Women in the Archive

One of the best things about working in an archive is the sense of discovery. Right now, I have five boxes on my desk getting ready to be digitized, to make their debut if you will. They all look rather unassuming but shouldn’t be underestimated.

As a graduate student in literature, I spend most of my time thinking about the voices that historically have been rendered silent, barely intelligible. Currently the voice belongs to Katherine Philips, a female poet whose collected works were first printed in an unauthorized edition in 1664. I’m especially interested in reading the undercurrent of homoerotic desires in her poems, which means I’m reading for what is not said. Often, I have to search for what is illicit, unspeakable, and private–essentially what is left out. The secret joy of this work is discovering the voices of women whose rhetoric implied desires that could not be acknowledged or accounted for during their lifetimes. There is something particularly satisfying in creating an account of the unsaid, after all.

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Upcoming exhibits: Fall 2015

Upcoming gallery exhibit:

Alice 150 Years and Counting…

Beginning this October, we join museums and libraries worldwide in celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s famous tale, Alice’s Adventures in WonderAlice Postcardland.

A result of over thirty-five years of collecting,  the work of August and Clare Imholtz not only preserves early treasures of Carrollian fiction, but celebrates the far-reaching influence of Carroll’s legacy by enabling a cross-cultural look at international illustration and Alice ephemera.

We hope you will join us as we explore the brilliant and complex life of Carroll the writer, teacher, photographer, mathematician, inventor, and friend.

Read more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #WaitingForAliceUMD.

Fall 2016/Spring 2017 Exhibit:

Frederick Douglass

Look for the Frederick Douglass exhibit, Joint Heritage at Wye House, coming to campus fall 2016.

As a child, Frederick Douglass lived as a slave at Wye House Plantation on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Join us during the 2016/17 academic year, as we feature an exhibition of the objects related to the slaves and their owners, allowing us to explore the diverse experiences of those living at Wye House.

Featured Collections: Fall 2015

Expect the Unexpected

Did you know that we have collections right here on campus to help you learn more about black history and literature?

African American Literature

Black Judgement by Nikki Giovanni

Black Judgement by Nikki Giovanni

The African-American and African pamphlet collection contains literature, poetry and drama produced by and about African-Americans, primarily from the mid-20th century. Represented in this collection are well-known African-American figures such as Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. Browse the finding aid for specific titles or link directly to the relevant inventories:

Authors and Poets collection

Find primary source material related to major literary figures such as John Updike, William Carlos Williams, and Joyce Carol Oates in our Authors and Poets collection. African-Americans, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Claude Brown, are also represented in this collection. Examples of materials within this collection include:

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts and notes
  • Proofs and publications
  • Unique printed material; including programs, posters, sheet music and more
  • Serials – many including first appearances of literary works

Discover authors and poets

Literary Firsts

The First Appearances collection consists of over 1,300 periodicals presenting the first public dissemination, of many seminal 20th century literary works. Spanning 1915 to 1977, this collection contains famous pieces such as “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, “Ulysses” by James Joyce, and “Ship of Fools” by Katherine Anne Porter. Authors well-represented in this collection include Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, Gertrude Stein, Amiri Baraka, and more.

Contact us for information about this collection.

Simply Heavenly by Langston Hughes

Simply Heavenly by Langston Hughes

Spotlight on Success: Teaching with Special Collections

Did you know there are rich collections of primary source material available right here on campus?

Special Collections and University Archives librarians are prepared to assist you and your students achieve instructional goals. You are already aware of the ways in which Pat Herron, librarian for the English department, can help you and your students learn basic research skills.

Christina Walter and HHUM106 students

Christina Walter and HHUM106 students

SCUA librarians can help students interested in using primary source materials. We can provide a variety of instructional opportunities:

  • Set up a tour of the gallery exhibit or to go “behind the scenes”
  • Select materials for students to use throughout the semester
  • Invite a librarian to your classroom to describe our collections
  • Bring students to the library for librarian-led instruction on primary source research

Whatever your needs, a librarian will be selected to work closely with you and to design a tailored learning experience for your students. Email Laura Cleary, lcleary@umd.edu, for more information or complete our online form, go.umd.edu/instruction, to set up a learning experience.

Honors Humanities 106

In the Spring 2015 semester, we had the opportunity to work with Christina Walter’s class, HHUM106: Modern Eye Modernize: Literature and Visual Culture in the Early 20th Century.

Christina pre-selected material from the Robert Carlton Brown collection to share with students. Three classes were held in Hornbake Library, allowing students ample time to study the material. During their third class, the students presented their research findings. Over the course of this project, students were exposed to primary source material and engaged in sophisticated research techniques.