If you ask me what my favorite book is, I have two answers: my favorite “book-story” is Middlemarch by George Eliot, but my favorite “book-object” is the 1979 Arion Press edition of Moby-Dick. While I’ve never actually read Moby-Dick (sorry, Melville!) – this work for me represents unparalleled craftsmanship, my introduction to our rare book collection at Southwestern University, and my first professional exercise in descriptive bibliography.Continue reading “Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale”
When I first started my internship at Southwestern University Special Collections, Director Jason Dean suggested that we read the RBMS Competencies for Special Collections Professionals as part of our weekly special collections reading group. While this was a great exercise in examining my own skill sets and developing learning goals for the duration of my internship at Southwestern, it left me with concerns about my career-readiness with only two semesters left in my MSIS program. These lists of knowledge areas in particular struck me as overwhelming:
. . .“a working knowledge of the basic history, theory, and best practices relating to materials found in special collections research libraries, including but not limited to printed books, manuscripts, archival material, and ephemera; photographs, prints, maps and other graphic works; audio-visual material in all formats; born-digital and digitized media; art objects and three-dimensional objects” . . . . . .“knowledge of the production and dissemination of information resources, including the history of the book and the book arts, book construction, editions and variants, binding history, illustration techniques, digital printing and publishing techniques, typefaces, paper, parchment, paleography, and scribal practices, or other topics as appropriate for their collections” . . .
The first exhibit on display in Special Collections for the Fall 2017 semester is entitled For God and Texas: Southwestern and the Methodist Mission for Higher Education. Inspired by a question I had about why Southwestern and so many other Texas schools are affiliated with the Methodist Church, I curated this exhibit to increase my own familiarity with the history of this institution and to situate Southwestern as a Methodist university. Continue reading “For God and Texas”