ArchivesFest Spotlight: UASC & Lawrence Library

*Post written by Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian.

ArchivesFest 2019

October 14-25, 2019:  UASC on the 3rd floor of the David L. Rice Library

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) is celebrating American Archives Month with its annual event, ArchivesFest. This year’s artifacts and historical documents are from the Evansville Museum, Historic New Harmony, the Working Men’s Institute, Newburgh Museum, Reitz Home, and other museums, and will be on display in UASC.  Stop by UASC anytime Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to view these special treasures from across the Tri-State region.

University Archives & Special Collections (UASC): David L. Rice Library

1. UASC Front Entrance

Front entrance of UASC at the David L. Rice Library.

In the summer of 1972, the Lilly Endowment, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana awarded the then Indiana State University Evansville a three-year grant to establish an archival project for the acquisition, preservation and processing of regional material. At the end of the third year the University was to assume responsibility for continuing the growth of the Special Collections. It started with just a few regional history books on Indiana from the library’s own collection. Today, the University Archives and Special Collection has over 850 unique collections, 800 oral history interviews, 6,500 rare and unique books, and 30,000 digital resources.

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University Archives & Special Collections Rare Books

“Rare Books” includes titles that are unique/interesting/worthy of special attention. This collection is a treasure trove of publications from the late 1700’s to the 21st century, with a primary focus on 19th century books–the bulk of the materials were published between 1830 through 1930.  It includes early textbooks on grammar, biology and medicine.

For ArchivesFest, staff and students in the unit have selected some interesting titles for the “Historic Books Cart”. Everyone is encouraged to look at these wonderful books.  Here are some sample titles:

  • Raggedy Ann’s Fairy Stories by Johnny Gruelle, 1928.
  • The Sad Sack (World War II cartoons) by Sergeant George Baker, 1944.
  • Reporting on the War: The Journalistic Coverage of the World War II by Frederick S. Voss, 1994.
  • Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What You Can Do by Albert Bates, 1989.
  • The Indiana Schools and the Men Who Have Worked in Them edited by James H. Smart, 1876.
  • The History of America (books IX and X): Containing the History of Virginia to the Year 1688, and the History of New England to the Year 1652 by William Robertson, 1796  (published in London).
  • Cœlebs in Search of a Wife: Comprehending Observations on Domestic Habits and Manners, Religion and Morals by Hannah More, 1809.
  • The Science-History of the Universe edited by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 1909.

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John M. Lawrence ’73 Library: College of Liberal Arts, Room 0119

1. Lawrence Library

Glass display case at John M. Lawrence ’73 Library, n.d.

The Lawrence Library is located on the lower level in room 0119 of the Liberal Arts Center of USI’s campus. The concept for this library sprang from the friendship of Patricia (Patty) Aakhus and John M. Lawrence. The library is named for Mr. Lawrence, a graduate of USI’s class of 1973 and an international expert and collector of medieval manuscripts, for his generous support of the College of Liberal Arts. John Lawrence donated many items to the College, including a collection of medieval manuscripts as well as other artifacts, for use as a study collection for students. Patty Aakhus was an associate professor of English and served as the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and program director in International Studies. Aakhus also published three novels based on medieval texts that she studied and translated. Patricia Aakhus served as the first caretaker of the space prior to her death in 2012. The Lawrence Library prides itself on the student leadership of the space where student archivists curate exhibitions, research manuscripts and artifacts, and participate in collections management and care.

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