What’s New in Special Collections? A selection of new acquisitions, recent donations and freshly available material from the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries, home to many of Syracuse University’s rare or unique research and teaching collections, will hold a special viewing of recent acquisitions and newly available material on Thursday, February 7, from 4-6 p.m. in the Antje Bultmann Lemke Seminar Room on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

A selection of materials on display will include, but not limited to, an early 16th century palimpsest, an 18th century Mexican illuminated missal, examples from the newly processed papers and records of SU Chancellor William P. Tolley and newly-accessioned materials from the Pan Am 103 Archives. Staff will also be on hand to showcase SCRC’s ongoing digitization and preservation initiatives regarding wax cylinders and plastics artifacts.

What else is new in Special Collections? Meet the new members of SCRC’s curatorial team who together with SCRC archivists and audio engineers will be on hand to comment on the significance of the items and to field questions.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact scrc@syr.edu or call 315.443.2697.


Dane Flansburgh Appointed Assistant Archivist for the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is pleased to announce that Dane
Flansburgh has been hired as Assistant Archivist.  Dane joined SCRC in August of 2016 as Temporary Project Archivist processing the Crusade for Opportunity Records and the records of Chancellor William P. Tolley.  Prior to joining SCRC he was Project Archivist at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY where he processed the records of the Atari Coin-op Division. This project, comprising 600 linear feet, was completed in only 18 months and resulted in a presentation at the New York Archives Conference, “Processing Colossal Acquisitions with a Small Staff; Or, What to Do After a Semi-Trailer Shows Up at Your Loading Dock.” Dane has a B.A. in History from LeMoyne College and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, with a specialization in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management.

We are delighted to welcome him as a permanent member of SCRC staff.


Dr. Sebastian Modrow Appointed Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts for the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sebastian Modrow as Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts. In this role he will have responsibilities including the assessment and development of collections of rare books, printed materials, and manuscript material, and will have a focus on teaching and interpreting the collections through outreach activities such as exhibitions and publications.

Dr. Modrow holds a Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Rostock, Germany and completed his Master’s in Library and Information Science and a Certificate in Cultural Heritage Preservation here at Syracuse University. He first joined the Libraries in 2015 and coordinated the completion of the Marcel Breuer Digital Archive project. In his most recent role as SCRC’s Assistant Archivist he was charged with various aspects of archival work from processing manuscript collections to managing digitization projects. With his expertise in Classics and History, he has been increasingly in demand in SCRC’s growing instruction program.

Dr. Modrow has published most recently in the International Information and Library Review and the Archival History News. He is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Archives and Records Conference (MARAC), the Association of Ancient Historians (AAH) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) where he has been elected to the steering committee of SAA’s Archival History Section for the year 2018-2019.

We are very pleased that Dr. Modrow will be able to continue to grow and contribute to the department in his new position.

We Remember Them opening reception on September 13

We Remember Them - The Legacy of Pan Am Flight 103 sliderAn opening reception for the the Libraries’ fall exhibition We Remember Them: The Legacy of Pan Am Flight 103 will be held on Thursday, September 13 from 4:30–6 p.m. in Special Collections Research Center gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

Curated by Pan Am 103 Archivist and Assistant University Archivist Vanessa St.Oegger-Menn, this exhibition commemorates the 30-year saga of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988 that claimed the lives of all 259 individuals on board Flight 103 and 11 residents on the ground. Among the victims were 35 Syracuse University study abroad students.

Since that day, Syracuse University has been dedicated to preserving and honoring the memory of all 270 who were lost.

Through archival materials donated by the victims’ families, friends, advocates, and affected communities, the exhibition documents not only the terrorist act itself, but the lives of those lost and the ways in which they are remembered.

Whether through scholarship, public advocacy, art, or physical memorials, we ensure their lives and the lessons learned from their deaths are not forgotten.

The exhibition will be on display in Bird Library’s sixth floor gallery through June 2019. For more information, visit library.syr.edu/scrc/programs/exhibitions/exhibit/2018-09-We-Remember-Them.php.

Film preservation specialist Deborah Stoiber to give annual Brodsky Lecture on March 22 in Bird Library

Deborah Stoiber, collection manager of the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, will give the lecture Conserving cinema’s legacy at George Eastman Museum on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 1:30­–3 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library. The lecture will be preceded by a hands-on workshop, Film Inspection and Identification, from 9:30–11:30 a.m. also in Bird Library. The lecture is open to the public, however there is limited space available for the workshop; please RSVP to jschambe@syr.edu.

The event is the 2018 offering in the annual Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation. The series is endowed through a generous gift by William J. ’65, G’ 68 and Joan Brodsky ’67, G’68 of Chicago. Beginning in 2004, the endowment has been used to sponsor programs that promote and advance knowledge of library conservation theory, practice, and application among wide audiences, both on campus and in the region. Programs will typically include lectures and workshops by prominent library conservators.

Stoiber’s lecture will provide an introduction to the George Eastman Museum’s moving image holdings. Founded by the museum’s first curator of film, James Card (1915–2000), the collection now consists of more than 28,000 titles spanning the entire history of cinema, from the early experiments of the Lumière brothers to the cinema of today. Her presentation will encompass the definitions of conservation, preservation, reconstruction, and duplication in the moving image world, and will focus on case studies on conservation practices and their application for both digital and analog media.

The interactive workshop will cover the basics of film handling, including the identification of nitrate and safety film bases, formats, and stages of decomposition.  Students will be encouraged to take photos and ask questions as they view films on workbenches.

Deborah Stoiber has worked for the George Eastman Museum for close to 20 years. She oversees 100,000 nitrate and safety motion picture reels, a large variety of video formats, along with 2,000 Technicolor dye bottles in three facilities located in and around the city of Rochester.  Her responsibilities include inspecting, accessioning, and cataloging collection material, making recommendations for de-accessioning collections, and new acquisitions.  Recent donations to the museum include an acquisition of South Asian Cinema that has created the largest collection of Indian Cinema outside of India. She is an instructor in The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, and is the technical director of the Nitrate Picture Show, the first film festival dedicated to the conservation of 35mm film.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available for this event. For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Julia Chambers at jschambe@syr.edu by March 15.