Visitors may be familiar with our public spaces, such as our Reading Room in Strozier Library, pictured here. Or maybe they have been to our Pepper Library Reading Room or the Heritage Museum in Dodd Hall. But what about what happens behind the scenes? Ever wonder about what we do in Special Collections & Archives? How we make materials available online, preserve them for the long-term, or take an item from its donation to its delivery to you in the reading room for research? If you’ve ever asked any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, explore blog posts about the many different facets of our work, from digitization to instruction and beyond.
What is it, and why do we need it? As we begin making bigger and better changes for the archive, one major adjustment currently being worked on is the creation of a standardized Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy. IPM is a program put in place in order to effectively protect archives from damaging insects. ForContinue reading “Pest Management in an Archive”
October is American Archives Month and institutions around the United States are gearing up to share their work throughout the month. The goal of the month is to raise public awareness about what archives are, what purpose they serve, and why they are important. Fun Facts about the FSU Archives FSU Special Collections & ArchivesContinue reading “American Archives Month 2021”
Lately I’ve been thinking about search bars. We have them on our computers, our phones, and our websites. Library websites have a lot of search bars. How are these little boxes able to deliver results for materials? So how does a search for library materials work? There’s three main components to a search system: theContinue reading “Catalogs (how do they work?)”
Happy College Colors Day! To celebrate, we wanted to share an interesting bit of our university’s history with you. Though Florida State University is recognized by its garnet and gold school colors, FSU’s predecessor institutions went through several color changes before settling on the iconic combination that we are so familiar with today. The storyContinue reading “Hymn To the… Purple and Gold?”
While the buzz of a classroom filled with excited discussion was somewhat lost in the move to a virtual space, this technology allowed us to share as much of the tactile experience of archives work as we could.
We are excited to apply the new skills we have developed over the past year of remote instruction to upcoming in-person or virtual sessions, as well as continue to develop more activities to introduce and support primary source literacy at FSU and beyond.
In January 2021 the Illuminations blog unveiled our redesign. The purpose of this renovation was twofold: overhauling the look of the blog while making our 500+ posts easier to find and navigate. It’s hard to miss the new images from our collections in the center of the home page. These images link to posts relatedContinue reading “New Ways of Exploring the Blog”
Throughout the month of April we shared some of the most commonly held misconceptions and myths about Special Collections & Archives, and then proceeded to debunk them. Here is a roundup of all our mythbusting posts in case you missed one. Welcome to Special Collections & Archives MythBusters Month! by Rachel Duke Rachel showed usContinue reading “MythBusters Month Wrap-Up”
A lot has been written about our rare books and manuscripts collections on this blog, but did you know SCA also collects all kinds of objects, art, and recording formats? Take a look to learn more about our non-paper collections.
While monetary value and current demand for a book are part of the criteria I review in assessing its appropriateness for FSU’s Rare Book Collections, it is just one facet in a web of related values that are considered.
Undergraduate students in the Spring 2021 “Museum Object” course (FSU Department of Art History) spent the semester developing and curating Show & Tell, an online exhibition of artists’ books. They collaborated with FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives and the Small Craft Advisory Press (SCAP) and endeavored to use this year’s non-traditional exhibition format toContinue reading “FSU SCA Artists’ Books Featured in New Digital Exhibit”
Winter has finally passed and while you revel in the return of green things, you might also think about doing some Spring cleaning. Brushing out the cobwebs of a neglected basement or attic, you find some ancient treasures, boxed up and passed down over the generations. As you page through fragile letters and photographs fromContinue reading “Archival Spring Cleaning”
Every year, about this time of year, I give an update on all the things that happened with the digital library last year. As you can imagine, the FSU Digital Library in DigiNole: FSU’s Digital Repository experienced some changes in how we do business last year. There were stretches of time where we weren’t addingContinue reading “State of the FSU Digital Library”
Happy New Year! A bit late but this is my first post of the year and it is to share happy news. Later this year, FSU Libraries will be migrating our digital library to a new platform. This spring will be a lot of work in getting the new platform up and running, migrating allContinue reading “Change is coming to the digital library!”
Thank you to Katie McCormick, Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives, for this post to kick off our new blog redesign. Welcome to Illuminations, the FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives blog. Whether you are a regular reader or this is your first time here, you’re in a new place. We’re excited about ourContinue reading “New Year, New Look, More Stories”
FSU Special Collections & Archives celebrated American Archives Month throughout the month of October by hosting events and sharing interesting items from our collection. We kicked off the month with a takeover of FSU Libraries social media on October 7th for “Ask an Archivist Day.” FSU SCA staff answered questions on Instagram about how toContinue reading “American Archives Month 2020 Recap”
This post is the second part of our “Archive of Me” series for American Archives Month. Earlier this month Kacee kicked us off with a post about her collections of slides inherited from her grandmother. Below, I will be talking about a few of the things that have ended up in my own personal archive.Continue reading ““Archive of Me” by Jennifer F.”
October is coming to an end pretty soon and the National Election on November 3rd is approaching fast! The University has an important resource, FSU Votes, that may come in handy before casting a ballot. There, you can learn more about obtaining a sample ballot, tracking a mail-in ballot, safety precautions for in-person voting, yourContinue reading “Vote!”
Recently, we digitized the Sun City Development and Motion Picture Studio Plat Map Sheets for use in a class which led me to look into…what are these exactly? I uncovered a fascinating story of the brother of Cleveland railroad barons and a Georgia inventor who, a decade apart, tried to bring Hollywood to Florida. DuringContinue reading “Sun City”
During this American Archives Month, here at Special Collections & Archives we have been having discussions about items that would go in our personal collections- any documents, images, or objects we’ve held on to for a long time that we would want future archivists to keep in our collection. This was a difficult question forContinue reading ““Archive of Me” by Kacee R.”
“Some persons dodder at 30, others at 80, and some pass through life without “doddering” at all. Our concern should be with competency, not age, race, sex or religion” – Representative Claude Pepper, 1986 There was a time for many professions in the United States when a person’s 65th birthday signaled the end of theirContinue reading “Maggie Kuhn, Claude Pepper and the Repeal of Mandatory Retirement”
October is American Archives Month! As an institution that works alongside and documents the local community, I wanted to highlight two collections housed in the Claude Pepper Library that illustrate local political action in our historic capitol: The National Organization of Women, Tallahassee Chapter Records and the League of Women Voters, Tallahassee Chapter Records. TheContinue reading “Found in the Archives: The Capitol March for the Equal Rights Amendment in Tallahassee”
Ever wonder what a preservation librarian does? Sit down with our own Preservation Librarian extraordinaire, Hannah Davis, to learn more.
A long time ago, in March 2020, when we all had such hopes that closing the library was a temporary measure, the Digital Library Center (DLC) started to think about how it could support remote research and instruction during the rest of the spring semester. Fast forward to August 2020, and the DLC is nowContinue reading “The DLC in the times of COVID”
***Trigger Warning: trans slurs/derogatory terms*** Our first submission is from Kacee Reguera, a recently-graduated student worker, who has been with Special collections for 2 years. While this project was geared towards the full-time staff, I chose to highlight her contribution first because I’m happy to see this conversation being engaged with by everyoneContinue reading “TRANSforming the Stacks”
Hello! My name is Gino Romero. As a student, it was comforting to know that it wasn’t just me, that the institution was also struggling to find these histories. But as a researcher, I was frustrated beyond reason. I wondered why it’s so hard to find these histories. Now I work in Special Collections andContinue reading “LGBTQ+ in Rare Books and Manuscripts: A Pride Month Project Becomes a Blog Series!”
As part of International Archives Week 2020, the International Council of Archives (ICA) has encouraged its members to consider what archives are and what they mean to researchers and society. Read on for my thoughts and a few sources on archival collections, institutions, and professionals, and what parts they play in empowering 21st century communities.
Like all of you, Covid-19 made an abrupt change to my spring semester. Thankfully, my Digital History class was mostly unaffected because the assignments were already web-based. Our final project had us create a digital exhibit using Omeka.net which is a free platform available from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for New Media. As opposed toContinue reading “Behind the Scenes: Building a Digital Exhibit with Omeka”
From April 26th-May 2nd, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services is celebrating Preservation Week. This initiative includes events from all over the country, which includes free webinars, a Twitter conference, and more. At FSU, we’d like to celebrate Preservation Week by showing off some of the preservation rehousing work we’ve done in theContinue reading “Happy Preservation Week!”
Today, April 22 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the first celebration of Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 was a major mobilizing event of inestimable historical significance. The event was such a success because it came at the right time as awareness of human effects on the balance of nature was growing.Continue reading “Earth Day 50th Anniversary”
As mentioned in a previous post, the current exhibit in the Special Collections & Archives Exhibit room was uninstalled in preparation for installing a new exhibit, “Earth Day 50”. Unfortunately, Strozier Library and FSU campus closures have forced us to explore different platforms for sharing exhibits that can be viewed safely from home. Maybe you haveContinue reading “Earth Day Exhibit Goes Digital”
With our work on extension service scrapbooks with the Havana History and Heritage Society for Gadsden County, we took a look at our own collections and found Leon County scrapbooks for a similar period on our own shelves! The Florida Home Economics Association Records holds scrapbooks which are mostly Leon County extension service records fromContinue reading “Florida Home Economics Association Scrapbooks”
The DLC recently completed processing and started loading materials from the League of Women Voters (LWV), Tallahassee Chapter Records materials held at the Claude Pepper Library into DigiNole. The materials in this first round of digitization with the collection include the newsletters of the Tallahassee chapter from 1962-2012 as well as Study and Action guidesContinue reading “Celebrating Women’s History with a new digital collection”
In 2019, we added 11 new collections to the digital library. We also added 1,414 new books (over 71,000 pages). 6,759 images, 1,028 newspaper issues and 3,707 PDF files. All added up with all the other types of files we loaded, we added 13,760 new items in the digital library in 2019! Now, the moreContinue reading “State of the Digital Library”
October is American Archives Month. And while every month is Archives Month to those of us here in Special Collections & Archives, October is the month we really like to toot our own horn. We kicked off the festivities this year with our annual takeover of the FSU Libraries twitter handle for #AskAnArchivist day whichContinue reading “Archives Month in FSU Special Collections & Archives”
FSU Special Collections & Archives is once again participating in #AskAnArchivist Day, the kick-off event for American Archives Month. We’ll be taking over the FSU Libraries twitter feed (@fsulibraries) tomorrow, Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 10am to 6pm. How does this work? Archivists here at FSU and all over the country will take to TwitterContinue reading “#AskAnArchivist Day is tomorrow!”
The following blog post was written by Joseph, Special Collections & Archives Scholar-in-Residence and Guest Curator of our latest exhibit A Century of Mystery and Intrigue. I really enjoyed putting together the exhibit last summer on pirates, so I started thinking about a possible new exhibit topic. The original idea I came up with wasContinue reading “A Century of Mystery and Intrigue”
A new digital exhibit is now available, featuring information and documents that expand on the items currently on display in at the Heritage Museum in Dodd Hall. The exhibit is titled A University in Transition: The Long Path to Integration and focuses on the role of institutional racism in delaying state university integration. It also highlightsContinue reading “New Digital Exhibit on Integration at FSU”
October is a special month for those us in the archives. It’s an entire month to celebrate our collections and, more importantly, our work which is often shrouded in mystery. Even for our co-workers in libraries. So, archivists have embraced American Archives Month, held every October, as a way to share what it is weContinue reading “Recapping Archives Month at FSU”
Poetry can be a powerful tool for eliciting emotion and is frequently used to express dissent or advocate for change. FSU Special Collections & Archives’ latest exhibition, “Poetry in Protest,” explores the genres, tactics, and voices of poets that write against the existing world and imagine societal revolution. As a means of delving into theContinue reading “Poetry in Protest, a new Exhibit in Strozier Library”
This post is part of our series celebrating American Archives Month. Last week, Special Collections & Archives did a Twitter Takeover of the @fsulibraries feed for #AskAnArchivist day so be sure to check out those conversations. The Digital Library Center has been busy loading material into DigiNole, and one of the most recent additions is the Girl’s OwnContinue reading “Girl’s Own Paper”
This post kicks off a month of posts celebrating American Archives Month. Yesterday, Special Collections & Archives did a Twitter Takeover of the @fsulibraries feed for #AskAnArchivist day so be sure to check out those conversations. This post is written by Melissa Quarles, Special Collections & Archives’ new graduate assistant. You’ll be hearing more fromContinue reading “Artists’ Books Collection Continues to Grow”
A guest post by Brianna McLean, currently working with Heritage & University Archives on exhibit development. Starting with the institution’s inception as the Seminary West of the Suwannee River in 1851, a new exhibit I’ve been working on for the Heritage Museum follows the timeline of Florida State University through important historic milestones: the CivilContinue reading “Updating the Heritage Museum”
Florida State: Traditions through the Eras is an exhibit that traces back some of Florida State University’s most well-known traditions through the institution’s long history. What we now know as FSU has gone through many changes over the years: beginning as the Seminary West of the Suwannee River, then the Florida State College, Florida StateContinue reading “Florida State: Traditions through the Eras”
Guests are invited to explore the life works of Clifton Van Brunt Lewis, a local activist in the Tallahassee civil rights movement who championed for equality, pushed for historic preservation and founded many of Tallahassee’s beloved cultural institutions, including LeMoyne Center for the Arts, Tallahassee Museum, and the Spring House Institute. Clifton and her husbandContinue reading “Clifton in the Capital: Tallahassee Civic Activist Exhibition Opening”
In January, Associate Dean Katie McCormick and I kicked off the new semester by traveling to Berkeley Springs, WV, to acquire a new collection of books related to the French Revolution and Empire. Nestled in the panhandle of West Virginia, Berkeley Springs is within shouting distance of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It’s also known asContinue reading “A Special Collections Travel Diary”
Robert Burns’ ability to spontaneously produce musical and poignant verse earned him the title of “Scotland’s Bard,” and ensured that his legacy would remain especially close to that nation’s people and their descendants. Special Collections & Archives’ forthcoming exhibit, “In his ‘Great Shadow’: Robert Burns’ Legacy,” opening January 22nd, explores not only the lyrical finesseContinue reading “In his “Great Shadow”: Robert Burns’ Legacy”
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Special Collections Research Center
116 Honors Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306
Claude Pepper Library and Museum
636 West Call Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
641 University Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306