Special Collections Research Center plays central role in University’s new graphic identity

goudy-sherman_1The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries is pleased to announce that Syracuse University’s new branding utilizes a Goudy-inspired typeface derived from original materials in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

William La Moy, curator of rare books and manuscripts in the SCRC, has spent the last several years researching the deep relationship between Syracuse University and revered American printer and designer Frederic Goudy. La Moy’s research revealed an important piece of University history and, ultimately, led to a distinctive new typeface to represent the University.

In 1934, Syracuse University School of Journalism Dean M. Lyle Spencer knew of Goudy’s importance and thought it would be a good idea for the new journalism program to form an association with an important American type designer. Spencer approached Goudy, who lived in the Hudson Valley, and he became interested in the fledgling program. Along with being asked to join the faculty and become a consultant, Goudy was awarded a medal for typographic excellence by the journalism school and given an honorary degree.

Recently, as the University looked to enhance its brand identity, in collaboration with New York City design firm Pentagram, designers exploring the University’s history visited the Special Collections Research Center to view Goudy’s Sherman typeface. The typeface was gifted to the University by Goudy’s niece and is largely unknown, having been used only in a few private press publications in the 1910s. The metal type has been housed in and safeguarded by SU Libraries for decades. “It is not only beautiful, but it has the lightness, the serviceability, and the range to serve a broad spectrum of publishing needs,” explains La Moy.

“Typography plays such a central role in branded communications,” says Rob Rayfield, executive director of digital and creative services in the University’s Office of Marketing and Communications. “Its effect and the impression it carries requires careful consideration when identifying a font to align with an institution’s identity. Sherman seemed to be patiently waiting in our archives to emerge and fill the role it’s so perfectly suited for at Syracuse University.”

“The Special Collections Research Center is delighted to contribute to Syracuse University’s new visual identity,” says senior director Lucy Mulroney. “The use of unique historical collections for the creation of a distinctive new typeface for the University speaks to our mission to support scholarship, creativity, and entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Chief Curator Andrew Saluti is currently developing an exhibition with La Moy that will highlight the University’s history with Goudy, his impact on typography, and his legacy as embodied in the University’s new typeface. The exhibition is planned to open in fall 2017 in the Special Collections Research Center in Bird Library.

Syracuse University, in partnership with Pentagram and production company DressCode, created a brief documentary video on the creation of the new typeface. “Goudy and Syracuse: The Tale of a Typeface Found” features La Moy, Michael Bierut of Pentagram, and type designer Chester Jenkins of Brooklyn, co-founder of Village Type.

Syracuse University has also issued a news story about the discovery, Hidden Treasure in Special Collections Embodies Syracuse University Spirit, written by Kathleen Haley.

Libraries’ fall exhibition: Our Doors Opened Wide: Syracuse University and the GI Bill, 1945-1950

10-0861Syracuse University Libraries’ fall exhibition, Our Doors Opened Wide: Syracuse University and the GI Bill, 1945-1950, will open on September 15, 2016 in Bird Library. Curated by University Archivist Meg Mason, the exhibition explores the dramatic impact of the GI Bill and the subsequent influx of veterans on the Syracuse University campus following World War II (1945-1950).

Between 1945 and 1950, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill, supported some 2.3 million students nationwide. Few universities in the country were more closely identified with the GI Bill than Syracuse University. Chancellor William Tolley promised servicemen and women that there would be places waiting for them at the University when they returned, and enrollment more than tripled in the years immediately after the war. Although still a small university by national standards, Syracuse ranked first in New York State and 17th in the country in veteran enrollment.

The exhibition features an array of materials from University Archives that document this critical period in the University’s history and the associated changes to the campus landscape, social and cultural life, and academic programs. Materials on view include:

  • photographs of temporary classrooms and housing for veterans, including old barracks and trailers, which filled the campus and surrounding areas;
  • cartoons of veteran student life on campus;
  • aerial shots of the main and south campuses showing changes in the landscape;
  • personal items from veterans who attended Syracuse University, including a cheerleading megaphone, a postcard about arriving at Syracuse, and photographs of the inside of one of the trailers used as married student housing;
  • Daily Orange articles about the impact of veterans on campus.

An opening reception will be held in conjunction with Orange Central on Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on in the gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

For more information, contact Syracuse University Archives at archives@syr.edu.


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 bbbrooke@syr.edu 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 (adp.library.ucsb.edu).

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 (http://plastics.syr.edu) 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 ldmulron@syr.edu.