Monday, March 8, 2010

Week Seven - Special Collections and Archives

Week Seven was by far the most educational day I have spent in practicum at the Dean B. Ellis Library. Special Collections and Archives is area of LIS that I have no experience and the indepth tour provided by Melissa Davis was extremely informative. Special Collections at the library is in its “baby stages” according to Davis because it is a fairly new department only added to the library in 1998. Librarian, Dr. Brady Banta is half time head of Special Collections and half time head of the Heritage Graduate Program. The programs share the floor that is especially designed with security and climate control for the archives.

Graduate students and researchers from the public sector are among those who research the collections. The collections are closed to browsing, but items are retrieved by library personnel for use within the reference area. Users must lock away personal items, only allowed pencil (no ink) on the desk for any notations. And may use their laptop. Afterwards, personnel return the items to the stacks. Special lighting is also installed to prevent or lessen further item deterioration.

The department is basically divided in two areas of content format. The book room and the archive room. The book room houses the:
• Arkansas Collection (state, events, people)
• Hough Collection (founder is Daisy Rifles manufactured in Arkansas . Extensive aeronautics book collection with autograph copies by Lindburg and Amelia Earheart)
• Wilson Collection (18th and 19th century books)
• Rare books (various donors 17th-20th century)
• Lois Lensky Collection (children’s author and illustrator)
• Charlie Mae Simon Collection (children’s author)
• Lois Snelling Collection
• Maya Angelo Collection
• Faith Yinling Knoop – author of one of the first comprehensive Arkansas history books used for uniform teaching
• Mary Gay Shipley Collection – owner of That Book Store in Blytheville, AR – numerous autographed books and posters

The archive room houses several collections of Arkansas politicians and document collections of significant agricultural estates in the Arkansas Delta Region.
• Senator Gathings collection
• Senator Bill Alexander collection
• Governor Cherry collection
• Representative Blanch Lincoln collection
• Senator Mike Beebe collection
• Senator Shane Broadway collection
• Judd Hill Estate collection
• Twist Estate collection
• Mabel Gieseck Estate collection
• Pitzel Gins estate collection
• V.H. Kay Estate collection
• H.M. Cooley Estate collection
• Drainage District and Levee District Tax Records
• Steve Clark, Attorney General, Creation Science Case
• Some ASU history