Libraries’ spring exhibition, Avida Dollars: Salvador Dalí, Joseph Forêt, and the Three Most Expensive Books in the World, opens April 22

dali postcardThis exhibition, curated by Professor Emeritus Harold Jones, explores the collaboration between Salvador Dalí and Parisian publisher Joseph Forêt to produce “the three most expensive books in the world” between 1956 and 1963. These books are illustrated editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Saint John’s Apocalypse. The materials on view are from Professor Jones’s personal collection, which he has generously donated to the Special Collections Research Center.

A symposium, Lope de Vega and the Modern World, will also take place on April 22 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. The event will honor Professor Jones and the 70th anniversary of Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures. Featured speakers are Alejandro García-Reidy, Syracuse University; Fernando Plata, Colgate University; Veronika Ryjik, Franklin and Marshall College; Chad Leahy, University of Denver; and Javier Rubiera, University of Montreal.

A reception celebrating the exhibition opening and the symposium will be held on Friday, April 22 from 4 –5:30 p.m. in the Special Collections Research Center on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

Harold Jones is professor emeritus of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Syracuse University. He joined Syracuse University in 1988, was chair of the department for nine years (1988–97), and served as program coordinator of Spanish for the following six years. His teaching and research interests include early modern Spanish poetry, drama, and Don Quixote.



Image of Salvador Dalí derived from an original work by Philippe Halsman.



Knowledge Crowns Those Who Hear Her: Sound Archives in the 21st Century: lecture and workshop with Sam Brylawski

Brylawski-smSyracuse University Libraries will present the annual lecture and workshop in the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation on March 24-25, 2016. The featured presenter is Sam Brylawski, co-director of the American Discography Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The program, entitled “Knowledge Crowns Those Who Hear Her: Sound Archives in the 21st Century,” is in two parts.

A public lecture will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, room 114 Bird Library. A workshop will take place on Friday, March 25, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Belfer Audio Archive, located adjacent to Bird Library. The workshop is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at or at 315.443.9763.

Sound archives in the United States are relatively new memory institutions. In fact, few are older than the Belfer Audio Archive, founded in 1963. The challenges facing all of them today are greater than ever before. In order to serve their constituencies, whether academic or public, managers of these collections are required to methodically acquire and preserve historical recordings before they are lost forever, and at the same time to navigate the relatively uncharted waters of born-digital audio that is never circulated in a physical format. Given these broad responsibilities, how can sound archives be sustained and best serve their constituencies? In fact, who are those constituencies? Sam Brylawski’s talk will briefly review the history of U.S. sound archives, and the challenges and opportunities they face today.

Sam Brylawski is the former head of the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Section. He is the co-author of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan (2012), the National Recording Preservation Board study on audio preservation, The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age (2010), and The ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation (2015). He served as chair of the National Recording Preservation Board from 2013 to 2015. Mr. Brylawski is currently co-director of the American Discography Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and editor of UCSB’s Discography of American Historical Recordings (

Syracuse University Libraries announce $1 million gift to endow Plastics Pioneers Curator position

Kool_cigarette_Millie_and-Willie_Brout_2010-07-15Dean of Libraries David Seaman is pleased to announce a new endowed fund to support the Plastics Pioneers Historical Plastics Collection, created by a $1 million gift to the Syracuse University Libraries. The donor, a successful member of the plastics industry, wishes to remain anonymous. The annual revenue from this endowment will provide support or will help fund a new curator who will manage and develop the Plastics Collection.

The Plastics Collection was given to the Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center in 2008 upon the closing of the National Plastics Center, which had amassed one of the nation’s largest private collections of artifacts, books, and papers related to the history and use of plastics. The collection continues to be supported by the Plastics History and Artifact Committee of the Plastics Pioneers Association.

In making this gift, the donor and the Plastics Pioneers Association commit to supporting the Syracuse University Libraries as it maintains, preserves, and makes accessible the history and artifacts of the plastics industry. Glenn Beall, a plastics historian and industry activist who helped to broker the gift, said about the anonymous donor, “He was a plastics processor, sold his business a few years ago, and this is his way of giving back to the industry for the wonderful career and business opportunities that the plastics industry provided to him.”

“This generous gift recognizes the importance of our research collections to University scholarship,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “It also affirms our commitment to curating and promoting cutting-edge research materials. This collection enables students and faculty to learn how plastics have shaped the modern world, transforming life as we know it.”

Dean Seaman adds that “this new endowed position will allow us to encourage use of the plastics collection across the curriculum, including industrial design, history, chemical engineering, environmental science, and entrepreneurship.” The collection can be accessed through the Plastics Collection website ( and in the Plastics Pioneers Reading Room (a 2013 gift of Glenn and Patsy Beall) on the 6th floor of Bird Library.

Syracuse University Libraries welcomes additional contributions of rare or historically significant books, periodicals, and artifacts, as well as financial support to curate and promote our collections.

For more information, contact Lucy Mulroney, Senior Director of the Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, at (315) 443–8539 or

Black History Month reception in the Special Collections Research Center

crisis_cover news graphicJoin us for a reception to celebrate Black History Month on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Bird Library’s 6th floor gallery. On view will be the current exhibition Black Utopias exhibition, co-curated by Professor Joan Bryant and SCRC Director Lucy Mulroney. Refreshments will be provided.

About Black Utopias 

Black Utopias commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the best-selling narrative of one of the most prominent men of the Civil Rights era. This anniversary holds special significance for Syracuse University because the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is home to the records of Grove Press, the avant-garde publisher of the Autobiography. Grove hailed the book as one of its “most important” publications. The first printing of 10,000 copies sold out before it was released in October 1965.

“Black Utopias” takes the personal transformations that form the narrative arc of Malcolm X’s Autobiography as the framework for exploring a range of utopian visions that have shaped Black American life. Although utopias are, by definition, the stuff of dreams, the examples presented in this exhibition are firmly rooted in historical experiences of subjugation, inequality, and injustice. They are at once visionary and modest endeavors to craft worlds of freedom, unity, power, equality, and beauty.

The exhibit features the handwritten letter that Malcolm X sent to Alex Haley during his pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as other unique and rare materials from the collections. It includes documents by little-known individuals and such prominent figures as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, Madam C. J. Walker, James Ford, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Exhibition dates: October 8, 2015 –  April 15, 2016

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Matrix, Meshwork, Moiré: Patterns in American Print

Jennifer Roberts

2015 Syracuse Symposium™ on Networks

Public Lecture: November 17 / 6 – 7:30 p.m. / Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library

Mini Seminar November 18 / 3 – 5 p.m. / Special Collections Research Center / Lemke Seminar Room

Both events are free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required for the mini-seminar. To register, contact Romita Ray at

A key question lies at the intersection of network studies and print studies: how might we define the relationship between the social networks that replicated images enable, and the physical net-works — the screens, dots, and lines of various printing matrices — that enable those images to be replicated in the first place? Proceeding through select examples by artists from Benjamin Franklin to Roy Lichtenstein, Jennifer Roberts’s public lecture, Matrix, Meshwork, Moiré: Patterns in American Print, superimposes these social and material networks in order to explore their patterns of convergence and their reciprocal agencies.

Jennifer L. Roberts is Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. She is an art historian focusing on American art from the colonial period onward, with particular interests in craft and materiality theory, print studies, and the history and philosophy of science. She is the author of Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (2004), Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (2012), and Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America (2014).

Event Co-Sponsors:

The Syracuse University Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences, organizer of the 2015 Syracuse Symposium™ on Networks

Department of Art and Music Histories

Special Collections Research Center

SUArt Galleries

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