24 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 300 2020 and security controls. This type of bilateral sharing is entirely logical given that both units are, by nature, repositories with contiguous or concentric educational missions. What was lacking, before the Mellon-catalyzed reconceptualization of UMLLAM and shared metadata efforts were rendered more seamless, were comprehensive initiatives that transcended the merely transactional. Antillean Visions: Maps and the Making of the Caribbean is a powerful example of this richer collaborative model. Co-curated by UM professors William Pestle (anthropology) and Ashli White (history) with support from LAM’s exhibitions team and UM Libraries’ creative team, this groundbreaking show was exhibited at the museum between February 1 and May 27, 2018. A truly interdisciplinary project, Antillean Visions featured nearly 200 historic and contemporary maps of the Caribbean, nearly all of which were drawn from UML collections. This multifaceted project also featured several audience- centric engagement opportunities (including a juried mapmaking/ data visualization competition, a bespoke in-gallery board game, and a digital mapmaking app) as well as a multi-author, award-winning catalog.11 What really set this initiative apart, however, was the early involvement of cross-departmental working groups and the integral role played by UMLLAM’s Mellon Fellows. Specifically, teams drawn from a multidisciplinary set of schools, departments, and research institutes participated in the development of this project from the start, rather than at the end as consultative add-ons. Both Mellon Fellows as well as UML’s lead conservator were also brought into the process as early as possible to ensure that effective, efficient engagement strategies as well as conservation assessment and treatment plans could be developed and implemented. This deeply collaborative approach resulted in a project that enabled UML and LAM to advance their interwoven missions in impactful ways while also contributing to The enhanced discoverability of UMLLAM’s collections has encouraged and facilitated more thoroughly integrated, thoughtful collaborations, including shared exhibitions.
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