SPEC Kit 317: Special Collections Engagement · 39
We create “on demand” exhibits of Special Collections holdings for some tours including Friends of the Library,
President’s Council. We have also displayed items for students in classes from the Departments of Music, Art, and
History. Our International Poster Collection has its own searchable Web site.
We find walk-in traffic usually stop to look at the exhibits, no matter how small the exhibit.
We generally prepare our exhibits to thematically coincide with other events taking place in the library or on campus and
piggy-back on promotion of those events to make our presence known.
We have incorporated exhibition projects into collaborative creation of syllabi with faculty for which students have
researched and written special collections exhibitions. When exhibition subjects connect with classes taught on campus,
we contact relevant faculty and graduate student instructors about bringing their students for scheduled guided tours of
our exhibitions.
We have no statistical measures of impact, but we have seen an increase in use numbers since implementation of the
exhibits program.
We have sometimes brought classes in to write short pieces about exhibits. We have worked with faculty to have
students collaborate to produce physical and virtual exhibits. Faculty have also been guest curators for exhibits.
We notify faculty who teach classes that pertain to our exhibits in the hope they will bring their classes in. Seeing items
in exhibitions gives them exposure to those who may be interested in using these or other similar items.
We regularly have student curators in some cases as a class project in others as a semester-long project, especially
in our print gallery and our music manuscripts display case. We regularly hold gallery talks in particular exhibitions
for individual classes. We routinely seek to tie our exhibitions to our lectures or other related events (film screenings,
printmaking demonstrations, music performances), such that the event is accompanied by a gallery open house, with
curators on hand, and with faculty and students invited.
We regularly use graduate students to perform exhibition research (as paid student positions) and often work with
faculty curators.
We try to integrate viewing of our exhibition into instruction sessions we provide, if appropriate. This often generates
more student interest.
We use exhibits as a draw when soliciting instruction sessions from faculty members, giving tours to visiting groups, etc.
We’ve also successfully engaged students by developing programs and lectures based on exhibit themes, for example,
hosting a symposium on maps in conjunction with a city-wide celebration of maps, in which an urban planning class
was required to attend either a lecture or the exhibit.
9. Does special collections host events such as lectures, open houses, symposia, etc. to highlight its
collections? N=78
Yes 75 96%
No 3 4%
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