Out of the Vault

24 Jan

The Visual Media Resource Laboratory (VMRL) and Department of Special Collections hosted an open house Thursday, January 16 in Olin Library. A wide array of print resources and digital collections—many of them new—were on display in various public areas of Level 1. Curators, archivists, and other staff were on hand to discuss the resources, answer questions, or lead activities.

Out of the Vault Event Out of the Vault Event

Some highlights from the event were a photo booth with a green screen where participants could create photos of themselves using images from the Sharepoint database with images from the collections.

Visitors had a chance to access newly digitized resources, now available online, including:

  • Full transcripts and video footage of nearly 150 interviews conducted for The Great Depression, a documentary by the same filmmakers who produced Eyes on the Prize. The documentary featured a tiny fraction of these fascinating interviews with people from all walks of life. This new resource, never before available, offers much more.
  • An extensive digital exhibition about William Gass,celebrated author of fiction and literary criticism and WU professor emeritus of philosophy. The exhibition focuses on his education, military service, teaching career, and literary achievements.
  • A digital exhibition about James Merrill, an influential, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who left his manuscripts and many other personal items to WU.
  • A photo booth, where participants learn about the library’s image database and have a photo taken of themselves in a historic image from our collections.

Displays in the flat cases at the entrance to Olin Library, including:

  • Fashion Design Program Records of WU fashion shows and student designs, now held in University Archives.
  • A sampling of materials from Rare Books and Manuscripts, with more on display in the Department of Special Collections.
  • Samplings of materials from the collections of the Modern Graphic History Library (MGHL), an archive of 19th- and 20th-century illustrations.
  • Giveaways of buttons featuring images from WU’s special collections.
  • World War I posters from the newly acquired Louis and Jodi Atkin collection. Vote to determine which poster will be the first to be displayed for an extended period of time.
  • An exhibition—In Character: The Life and Legacy of Mary Wickes—continues in the Grand Staircase Lobby and Ginkgo Room. Wickes, a famous character actress, was a WU alumna whose scripts, correspondence, photos, and other memorabilia are in University Archives.
  • A continuing exhibit of miniature books from the Julian Edison Collection.
  • The opportunity to visit the Department of Special Collections to view materials on display there.
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