Special Collections Interest Group

ASERL’s Special Collections Interest Group was established in 2017 to encourage cooperation and partnerships among member libraries. A series of activities was undertaken in 2017 to bring together special collections professionals and libraries, in particular for shared digital collections and expanding professional development. Activities included site visits to 24 member institutions and a professional development survey to inform future webinars.

In 2019, the group offered two webinars on outreach and community engagement and donor relations, a disaster response survey and is planning a Shared digital exhibit to launch in Fall 2019.  See the Webinar Archive for recordings of these sessions.


Interest Group

The Special Collections Interest Group coordinates and plans events and topics of interest for the ASERL special collections and archives community. Current members of the interest group are:
  • Brenda Burk bburk@clemson.edu (Head of Special Collections, Clemson University Library)
  • Chrystal Carpenter carpenterc2@vcu.edu (Head, Special Collections and Archives, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries)
  • Cristina Favretto cfavretto@miami.edu (Head, Special Collections, University of Miami Library)
  • Laura Micham laura.m@duke.edu (Director, Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Duke University Libraries)
  • Aaron Pahl apahl@uab.edu (Digital Curation Librarian, University of Alabama at Birmingham Library)
  • Tammy Trần ttran58@gmu.edu (Library Fellow, George Mason University Law Library)
  • Ximena Valdivia xvaldivi@fiu.edu (Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Florida International University Library)
See https://lists.aserl-lists.org/mailman/listinfo/aserl-spec-collections to join the email list for ASERL’s Special Collections Committee.

Special Collection Profiles

Collections Spotlight

Protest Art -- Triad Black Lives Matter collection

Triad Black Lives Matter Collection — UNC Greensboro

The purpose of the Triad Black Lives Matters Collection is to document the BLM movement, police brutality protests, and race relations in the Triad area of North Carolina. The collection contains digital photographs and video footage relating to the Black Lives Matter movement and the George Floyd protests.

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An 1882 float themed Ancient Egyptian Theology with a boat with an awning and krewe members dressed as Egyptian gods

Carnival Collection: Floats and Costumes — Tulane University

TULANE UNIVERSITY — Fantastical floats and colorful costumes have become a hallmark of Mardi Gras parades, but did you know these Carnival traditions date back well over a century? Tulane’s Louisiana Research Collection preserves possibly the largest collection of New Orleans Carnival paper items, and the digital Carnival Collection features more than 5,500 original float and costume designs. Most are from Carnival’s “Golden Age” (the 1870s through the 1940s) with about three hundred designs from 1950 to 1970.

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Photo of Circular Church, Charleston SC

Kenneth Frederick Marsh Photograph Collection — University of South Carolina

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA — The photographs of Kenneth Frederick Marsh (d. 1968) were used to illustrate the following books by photographer Marsh and his wife, Blanche Marsh: Historic Flat Rock (North Carolina), Plantation Heritage, Robert Mills, and The New South, Greenville, S.C. The photographs and negatives depict historic and modern homes, public buildings, textile mills, churches, and scenes of South Carolina and Flat Rock, N.C. Many of the photographs are unpublished.

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