Thursday, January 30, 2014

Special Collections Exhibits Gallery and Reading Room to be closed over Spring Break, March 10-14

Due to maintenance work in the Special Collections Library exhibitions gallery and reading room, there will be no public access to these areas March 10 to 14. Researcher access to the Special Collections Library will be by appointment only in the Blockson Collection Room. To schedule an appointment for that week, please email us at:

We apologize for any inconvenience and will do our best to accommodate your research needs during this time period.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Finding Aids Available

The following collections have new or updated finding aids available --

PSUA 8948 William L. Joyce papers William Joyce was the former head of the Special Collections Library at Pennsylvania State University. The collection primarily consists of materials related Joyce's service on various committees related to library studies.

RBM 9529 Edwin Forbes Civil War etchings - Edwin Forbes (1839-1895) was an American landscape painter, etcher and staff artist for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper best known for his sketches of military life during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The collection consists of 40 black and white etchings originally published by Forbes in 1876 as "Life Studies of the Great Army." The collection also includes the book "Civil War Etchings / Edwin Forbes," edited by William Forrest Dawson (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1985).

HCLA 9534 George H. McIntire railroad journals - George H. McIntire was the first superintendent of the Franklin Division Railroad, a position he held for over 20 years during the Pennsylvania oil boom. This collection consists of 38 of his handwritten journals.

PSUA 1067 National Art Education Association records - The collection contains the records of the National Art Education Association, Eastern Arts Association, Pacific Arts Association, Southeastern Art Association, Western Arts Association, International Society of Education Through Art, and the State Art Education Associat. It also includes art curricula, art periodicals and publications on training and careers in art education, and photograph albums from the associations' conventions.

PSUA 1133 Pennsylvania Art Education Association records - In the early twentieth century, small, county-based art education affiliates of the Pennsylvania State Education Association unified and pursued the goals of art education through a separate, specialized organization--the Pennsylvania Art Education Association. This collection contains the constitution and bylaws, meeting minutes, financial records, conference programs, correspondence, newsletters, art education papers and special programs, art education books, photographs and slides of conferences and members, and committee records.

PSUA 1219 Pennsylvania State University, Office of Physical Plant records - The Penn State Office of Physical Plant (OPP) maintains daily operations of buildings and infrastructure on the University Park campus, as well as overseeing planning, design, and construction of capital facilities for all campuses.

PSUA 154 Pennsylvania State University, University Central Files & Real Estate Services records - This collection includes reports, contracts, and files related to property management.

PSUA 435 Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center records - The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, was founded in 1963 with a $50 million grant from the Hershey Foundation. Ownership passed in 1968 to Penn State which designed and operated the medical school, a teaching hospital, and facilities for medical research and graduate programs of the Center. The collection documents primarily the early planning and building records between the Hershey Foundation and Penn State University as well as subsequent public relations materials.

PSUA 1385 Pennsylvania State University, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Records - The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life receives reports from and advises individual fraternities and sororities; as part of the Division of Student Affairs, and it connects Penn State's administration with the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, and National Panhellenic Council. The collection includes correspondence, reports, membership lists, minutes, and budgets, as well as annual reports from each fraternity and sorority. The collection also contains records documenting Homecoming, Interfraternity Council Dance Marathon [THON], and Spring Week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kidd Papers Come Home to Penn State

The Special Collections Library has acquired the papers and related materials from design "rock star" Chip Kidd. 

Kidd’s archives include works from his youth until the present. His student portfolio work from Penn State as well as drafts for the cover of “Jurassic Park” are among the more than 250 boxes of materials now housed in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library. The collection includes original artwork, sketches, separations, page proofs and original printed versions for each of Kidd’s several hundred published dust jacket and book designs; many of these have extensive handwritten mark-ups and corrections illuminating the artist’s creative process as well as the progression of works from concept through production. Approximately one terabyte of digital data complements these items, including files from nearly the entirety of Kidd’s career. As much of Kidd’s artistic and literary composition over the past fifteen years has been born digital, this portion of the archive includes the full record of many of his most iconic designs, as well original drafts of his written works, lectures and working notes.

For more information, see the full press release at:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Exploring Research Collections: A Special Collections Sampler

If you've got a hungry mind and want a variety of collections to browse, we've got a real smorgasbord for you on display in our exhibit space from January 8th to March 7th!  It was so exciting and intriguing to work on this exhibit, which was put together by staff members from all three units (Penn State University Archives, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Historical Collections and Labor Archives) of Special Collections. The result of this collaboration is an exceptional display of the diversity you find in our archives that spurs the imagination and inspires further exploration.

Special collections can often be a patchwork quilt of rare books, scarce publications, unique documents, archival materials, and hard to find resources that support and enrich the educational and research missions of a university. This sampling showcases pieces that have been woven together to create a rich tapestry of collections of distinction for Penn State.

In this exhibition, selections from Penn State’s Special Collection Library:
• show how the iron industry shaped Centre County;
• document the Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite and other Anabaptist communal societies;
• tell how a nun from Erie has had global impact on issues of social justice, peace and equality, especially for women in church and in society;
• show images from an “embedded” journalist during the Civil War;
• give examples of how art was taught in the 19th century and
• show the whimsical and macabre imagination of an illustrator.

These and many other discoveries await researchers and visitors to Penn State’s Special Collections Library. Open Monday–Thursday, 8–6 p.m.; Friday, 8–5 p.m.; and, during spring semester, Sunday, 1-5 p.m. For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Tim Pyatt at

We can't wait to see you and hope that it delights you as much as it delighted the staff to put this exhibit together! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Penn State Special Collections Research Travel Awards

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library on the University Park campus of Penn State offers travel awards of $1,500 for researchers whose work would benefit from access to the collections held at Penn State. Currently, three travel grants are available:
  • The Dorothy Foehr Huck Research Travel Award: Supports one award for researchers using any collection from the Special Collections Library.
  • The Helen F. Faust Women Writers Research Travel Awards: Supports two awards for researchers working on a project including women writers that would benefit from use of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library’s collections
  • The Albert M. Petska Eighth Air Force Archives Research Travel Award: supports one award for researchers working on a project pertaining to history of the Eighth Air Force during World War II.
Researchers receiving the awards would be expected to use the collections during the period of June to August of 2014. They will also be expected to participate in an informal public talk with library staff about their research project.
Who is eligible?
  • Any faculty member, graduate student, or independent scholar with a research project requiring the use of materials held by the Special Collections Library is eligible to apply. All applicants must reside outside of a 100-mile radius of State College, Pennsylvania.
  • Research topics should be strongly supported by the collections of the Special Collections Library. We encourage each prospective grant applicant to discuss his or her research project and the collections that might support it with Special Collections staff before submitting an application.
  • For information about the collections, please visit our website.
What expenses does the award cover?
  • There is no restriction on how the award may be used as long as the researcher visits Special Collections Library during the prescribed period. Please note that depending on how the award is used there may be tax implications for the recipients.
How do I apply?
  • Complete an application 
  • E-mail C.V. as an attachment (Word document or PDF) to LuAnn Shifter with “TRAVEL GRANT- (Enter Last Name)” in the subject line. We will send you an e-mail confirming that your application was received.
What dates do I need to remember?
  • The deadline for applications is February 28, 2014 by 5:00 PM EST.
  • Grant recipients will be announced by March 31, 2014.
  • Grants must be used between June 1 and August 31, 2014.
For questions about the program, please contact:
Doris J. Malkmus