Documenting COVID-19

The University Archives in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries is actively working to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Syracuse University. They are seeking to collect and preserve the personal responses of University students, faculty, and staff and are reaching out to the University community for contributions.

To learn more about the project and donate digital materials, the campus community is invited to visit the University Archives’ COVID-19 project page. The University Archives is accepting journal and diary entries, emails, photographs, videos, audio recordings, social media posts, and other digital documentation. Materials should document remote learning and work, displacement from student housing, social distancing, self-quarantine, and/or the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on donors.

Wondering how to document your own experience? Students could write or record themselves talking about their experiences with remote learning, including reflections from seniors sharing their feelings about finishing their studies during a pandemic. University staff could take photos of their workspaces at home and document how they transitioned to remote work. Faculty members could share their own challenges and triumphs in pivoting to teaching online. The University Archives is interested in collecting materials that document a variety of perspectives about the pandemic.

Digital content can be submitted via the University Archives’ COVID-19 project page. Members of the University community interested in donating physical materials should contact Meg Mason, University Archivist, mamaso02@syr.edu.


A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University Digital Exhibition

As part of our continuing commemorations of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has released “A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University” digital exhibition. This online exhibition mirrors and expands upon the physical exhibition that has been on display on the first floor of Bird Library since September 2019. It is a companion to our marquee sesquicentennial digital exhibition “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University.”

Curated by Pan Am 103 Archivist and Assistant University Archivist Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, “A Legacy of Leadership” includes documents and photographs from the Syracuse University Archives. From Alexander Winchell to Kent Syverud, this digital exhibition examines how each of the 12 individuals who have held the University’s highest office have helped to shape the institution over the past 150 years.

Photo Image: Photograph of Chancellor James Roscoe Day speaking at Commencement in Archbold Gymnasium, 1916. Syracuse University Photograph Collection, University Archives


2020 SCRC Faculty Fellows Program Deadline Extended

The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries (SCRC) has extended the proposal deadline to April 17, 2020 at 5 p.m. for two faculty fellows who would like to provide students with an opportunity to handle, analyze, and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their classes.

The SCRC Faculty Fellows Program supports innovative curriculum development and fosters new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in university instruction. Each fellow selected will receive a $5,000 payment, hands-on introduction to the collections, and ongoing classroom support throughout the semester. Proposal applications for the development or revision of a 3-credit course to be taught in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester from any discipline on campus are currently being accepted.


Special Collections Research Center Reflects on Sesquicentennial

UPDATED 3/17/20: EVENT POSTPONED

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will honor Syracuse University’s founding 150 years ago on March 24, also known as National Orange Day, with special exhibition tours and a pop-up exhibit.  Visitors of Bird Library on March 24 can experience five different University history exhibitions:

  1. 150 Years of Syracuse University in Maps on the 3rd floor,
  2. 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University on the 6th floor,
  3. A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University on the 1st floor,
  4. Milestone of the Syracuse University Libraries on the 1st floor, and
  5. Student Life at Syracuse University pop-up exhibit on the 6th floor.

University Archivist and curator Meg Mason will offer tours of the exhibition 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University on the morning of March 24. Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles, and other memorabilia, this exhibition presents the numerous traditions of Syracuse University and shows the University’s roots in the past and how some of the heritage has been passed forward. Tours are scheduled for 10:00 am and 11:00 am in the SCRC gallery space on the 6th floor of Bird Library. Reserve your place in a tour by contacting Julia Chambers (jschambe@syr.edu) by March 18.

SCRC staff will also present a pop-up exhibition, Student Life at Syracuse University over 150 Years, in Room 606 (Hillyer Room) Bird Library from 1 to 4 pm on March 24. Visitors will have an opportunity to see additional historical materials from the University Archives, including photographs, maps, memorabilia, and the papers of past SU students. Those interested in old photos and maps of campus, curious about where students lived when the campus did not yet have dorms, or the classwork and student extracurricular activities from the past should attend this pop-up exhibition for glimpses into student life over Syracuse University’s history. 

In addition to the five exhibits at Bird Library, the Libraries will also provide:

  • A display of the Milestones of the Syracuse University Libraries in Carnegie Library’s Diana entryway display case from March 16 through commencement weekend.
  • Five episodes highlighting Syracuse University’s 150th anniversary in Sound Beat, the Libraries’ 90-second daily radio program based on recordings from SCRC’s Belfer Audio Archive.  The episodes, scheduled to air in March, will focus on the school colors, the block S logo, campus songs and singing, the number 44, and student traditions. Sound Beat is carried by commercial stations in major markets, community-supported stations in small communities, and reader services that provide news and entertainment to the elderly and visually impaired.

150 Years of Tradition at SU: A Digital Exhibition

In honor of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has released “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University: A Digital Exhibition.” The online exhibition mirrors the physical exhibition on the sixth floor of Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, which is on display from September 2019 through June 2020. Both exhibitions include audio materials from the Archives.

“We are delighted to share the University’s rich history with alumni and friends of the University near and far,” said Dean David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of Syracuse University Libraries. “Digital exhibitions enable access to those who may not be on campus. It’s also an opportunity to document and share information with researchers globally in a way that is organized and easy to access.”

Contents in the digital exhibition include:


Black Arts Movement Pop-Up Exhibit

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is hosting a special pop-up exhibit on the 6th floor of Bird Library on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm on the Black Arts Movement. It was designed to complement the Humanities Center’s Syracuse Symposium-sponsored lecture, “Black Music and Black Power in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter” by Dr. Mark Lomax, also being held in Bird Library on February 19 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Peter Graham Room.

SCRC staff will have rare and archival materials related to the Black Arts Movement (BAM) available for viewing and listening during the pop-up exhibition in the Spector Room (Room 608) and Hillyer Room (Room 606).

The Special Collections Research Center is home to rare materials on Activism, Social Reform, and Radicalism in the Arts. The Black Arts Movement (BAM), an African American led arts movement, occurred approximately between 1965 and 1975. This renaissance of Black Pride illuminated Black Life amidst and in reaction to the vast cultural, political, and social upheaval of the times through poetry and small press publications, plays, illustrations, artwork, and more. Works related to a vibrant nucleus of poets, thinkers, dramatists, and artists—such as Imamu Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Emory Douglas, Ntozake Shange, Dudley Randall, Nikki Giovanni, Askia M. Touré, Haki R. Madhubuti—are held in the collections of SCRC.

If you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact scrc@syr.edu by Feb. 12.


Anna Laganà, Plastics Conservator, Presenting at Annual Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation

UPDATED 3/17/20: EVENT IS POSTPONED

Anna Laganà, research specialist in the conservation of plastics at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), will present at Syracuse University Libraries’ annual Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation. Laganà’s lecture, titled “The Conservation of Plastics in Museum Collections: a challenging path,” will be held on Wednesday, March 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library. The hands-on workshop, titled “Which Plastics are in my collection? The Identification of Plastics without the use of analytical techniques,” will be held the following day, Thursday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Antje Bultmann Lemke Seminar Room, Special Collections Research Center, 6th floor of Bird Library. To coincide with the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation, the Special Collections Research Center Conservation Lab will be dedicated to Joan Breier Brodsky ’67 G’68 on Wednesday, March 25 at 4 p.m. in the Robert Ortwine Gallery, 6th Floor of Bird Library.

All events are open to the public. However, due to limited space available for the workshop, please RSVP to jschambe@syr.edu.

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

Anna Laganà leads projects at GCI, including the investigation of treatment options for plastic works of art, and develops workshops on their conservation. Before joining the GCI, Laganà worked as Coordinator of the Contemporary Art Conservation Laboratory at the Centro Conservazione Restauro la Venaria Reale in Turin, as a researcher of modern materials at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands,  and most recently as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, coordinating the Postgraduate program 1 in Conservation of Modern and Contemporary.

Laganà was part of the POPART project (Preservation of Plastics ARTefacts in museum collections) work team, the first research project on the preservation of plastics in cultural heritage, founded by the European Commission. She is currently founding member and coordinator of the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA) Italian group and assistant coordinator of the International Council of Museum-Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) Working group Modern Materials and Contemporary Art.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available for the dedication and lecture on March 25. For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in these events, please contact Julia Chambers at jschambe@syr.edu by March 18.


2020 SCRC Faculty Fellows Program Now Accepting Proposals

The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries (SCRC) is now accepting proposals for two faculty fellows who would like to provide students with an opportunity to handle, analyze, and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their classes.

The SCRC Faculty Fellows Program supports innovative curriculum development and fosters new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in university instruction. Each fellow selected will receive a $5,000 payment, hands-on introduction to the collections, and ongoing classroom support throughout the semester. Proposal applications for the development or revision of a 3-credit course to be taught in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester from any discipline on campus are currently being accepted now through March 20, 2020.

The original funding for the SCRC Faculty Fellows Program was made possible through the generosity of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that transmit our cultural heritage.


Mini-Seminar with Professor and Associate Dean Carol Faulkner

Carol Faulkner, Professor of History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, will lead a mini seminar in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), 6th Floor, Bird Library, on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Faulkner will be discussing her recent book Unfaithful: Love, Adultery, and Marriage Reform in Nineteenth-Century America, which examines how an interconnected group of feminists, spiritualists, communitarians, and free lovers used the act and concept of adultery to challenge the legal institution of marriage. The mini seminar will include a hands-on exploration of select nineteenth-century archival resources from SCRC’s Oneida Community and rare book collections.

The mini seminar is open to the public; however, there is limited space available. Please RSVP to jschambe@syr.edu by February 28, 2020. If you require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please let us know in your RSVP.

Faulkner received her BA from Yale University, and her PhD from SUNY Binghamton. She is the author of Women’s Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen’s Aid Movement (2004), Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America (2011), and Unfaithful: Love, Adultery, and Marriage Reform in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). She is the co-editor of The Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott, Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History, and Lucretia Mott Speaks: The Essential Speeches and Sermons (University of Illinois Press, 2017).


New 150th Anniversary Exhibit: Milestones of SU Libraries

Syracuse University Libraries’ is featuring a new sesquicentennial exhibit of milestones of SU Libraries titled “Let the reader emerge!” on the first floor of Bird Library from February 3 until mid-May. A smaller collection of materials is also on display in the lobby of Carnegie Library. It was curated by Sebastian Modrow, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Special Collections Research Center.

The exhibit focuses on the SU Libraries as an evolving and expanding learning space and highlighting the history of the most important buildings on campus, including the von Ranke Library, Carnegie Library, and Bird Library. The sesquicentennial provides the University with an opportunity to reflect on both the origins and growth of the Libraries as a core stakeholder of the academic learning process.

“Academic libraries around the world are a critical cornerstone of universities, providing the history, context, and resources from which to build new ideas and scholarship. We are especially fortunate at Syracuse University to have a robust library system that has supported the campus community for 150 years. This exhibit contributes to the University by honoring our past, embracing the present, and impacting the future,” said David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of Syracuse University Libraries.