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! 

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