Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Library has been awarded a grant of $187,082 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The one-year grant, “Extending the Reach of Southern Audiovisual Sources,” will help the library’s Southern Folklife Collection develop techniques to preserve these materials on a large scale and make them available online for public use.

Dartmouth College Library’s Preservation Services, has been awarded a $32,000 grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Tessa Gadomski, graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, University of Delaware, has been selected for the 12-month fellowship. While at Dartmouth Gadomski will address the conservation needs of the Rauner Special Collections Library Iconography collection. This collection has over 1,300 cataloged items that include printed images, glass slides, original art on paper and other media, photographs, albums, and digital files. A particularly significant subcategory of the collection is focused on the history of Polar exploration, and the majority of its images relate to Dartmouth College and New Hampshire history.

Acquisitions

A permanent art collection honoring Iraq’s literary history will be housed at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The library has signed an agreement with an international coalition of artists and writers to preserve and showcase a collection of more than 300 printed materials remembering the destruction of al-Mutanabbi Street, the centuries-old literary center of Baghdad. Only three libraries worldwide will hold complete runs of the collection known as “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.” On March 5, 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb exploded destroying al-Mutanabbi Street, a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of Middle Eastern writers and thinkers. In response to the attack, a San Francisco bookseller, Beau Beausoleil, rallied a community of international artists and writers to respond to the event through various media. The multinational cooperative has created a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers, and readers. The ”Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” collection includes 260 artists’ books, a publication entitled Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, Bombing of Baghdad’s “Street of the Booksellers,” plus 130 broadsides—one for every person killed or injured in the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street.

A library of bookbindings designed by Sarah Whitman (1842–1904) has been donated by private collector Jean Paul Michaud to Bowdoin College. Numbering 328 volumes, this collection is among the larger and more complete collections of Whitman bindings anywhere, comprising 85 percent of her known designs. Whitman, a highly regarded painter by training and founding member of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, turned to design and decorative arts in the 1880s as a book cover designer and stained glass artist. Socially connected to publisher George Mifflin, she was regularly employed by Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin to elevate the appearance of mass-produced books by creating graceful, elegant cover designs. Her stylings reflect the graceful and simple aspects of the Arts and Crafts movement, and her worked helped to transform book covers from drab casings to eye-catching works of art. During her two-decade career, she established herself as a pre-eminent and influential figure in the male-dominated business of trade bookbinding design, with more than 380 books to her credit.

The papers of author, literary reporter, critic, and professor Lis Harris, whose works of narrative nonfiction have delved into a diverse range of veiled subcultures and unfamiliar landscapes, have been acquired by Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Rare Book & Manuscript Library. A staff writer at The New Yorker for 25 years (1970–95), Harris authored three major books on postwar American society, religion, and politics: Holy Days: The World of the Hasidic Family (Touchstone, 1985), Rules of Engagement—Four Couples and American Marriage (Touchstone, 1996), and Tilting at Mills: Green Dreams, Dirty Dealings, and the Corporate Squeeze (Houghton Mifflin, 2003). The collection is comprised of roughly 36 linear feet of materials collected during Harris’ career as a reporter and author. It includes correspondence, research notes, writing drafts, interview notes, and audio recordings. In these materials, scholars will find valuable sources related to questions of religious fundamentalism, urban politics, and environmental justice, among other topics. Harris is an associate professor in the Writing Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. In addition to her books, she has authored innumerable articles, reviews, and commentaries, and has received numerous prizes and awards.

The University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library has become the official archive for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA)—an international service organization representing these theater arts professionals. Thousands of audiovisual, photographic, and paper records, which have been in temporary storage since the late 1990s, will be moved, arranged, described, and made available for public viewing in the library. The LMDA archives, once processed, will provide the public with a treasure trove of information about the history of theater and the work of the dramaturg. The materials include issues of the LMDA Review from its beginning in 1985; brochures, programs, t-shirts, and audio and video tapes from dramaturgy conferences beginning in the mid-1980s; plays and scripts translated from other languages; award submissions; interviews with early leaders in the field; board materials; and budgets and correspondence.

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