Introducing Spring 2021 Student Assistants.

This spring the Armstrong Browning Library has added a few new Library Hosts and Library Services Assistants. Student Hosts are the first point of contact for visitors to the library, and one of their chief responsibilities is to be friendly and welcoming to guests. The Library Services Student Assistants help researchers access Armstrong Browning Library materials and support the library’s efforts to increase the visibility of its collections. Please stop and say, “hello” to our new colleagues when you next at the Armstrong Browning Library.

Jordan Vanderpool, Student Host

Male young adult standing in front of a stained glass window.

Student Host, Jordan Vanderpool

Hometown: China Spring, Texas

Major: Double major in University Scholar and Spanish

What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? The Armstrong Browning library is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. I love just being in the building, and furthermore, I love Robert Browning’s poetry, so it’s just great to work in a place so rich in literary history.

What food do you miss most when away from home? I miss most vegetables grown at my house, like swiss chard and turnips.

Hannah Barker, Library Services Assistant

Female young adult standing in front of a stained glass window.

Library Services Assistant, Hannah Barker

Hometown: Lewisville, Texas

Major: Accounting

What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I’m excited to be surrounded by so much history and part of a community that values literature and its preservation.

What food do you miss most when away from home? I miss my Dad’s fish fry and my Mom’s spaghetti – really just homemade food in general.

Madeleine Svehla, Library Services Assistant

Female young adult standing in front of a mural.

Library Services Assistant Madeleine Svehla

Hometown: Morrison, CO
Major: Master of Divinity
What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry (my favorite poem by her is entitled “The Best Thing in the World”). I have always had a deep passion for the power of the written word, and I am honored to be a part of the process of preserving ABL’s incredible collection! I admire the way the ABL combines beauty and research in ways that inspire creativity and contemplation.
What food do you miss most when away from home? The food I miss the most when I am away from home is my father’s Big Breakfasts. These meals usually consist of scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, English Muffins, orange juice, and occasionally, (just to mix it up) can also include either French Toast or waffles. My whole family gathers every Sunday to share this meal after church and I look forward to laughing and spending time together each week- these brunches are something I miss a great deal when I am away from home!

Matilda Weeden, Library Services Assistant

Female young adult standing next to a stained glass window.

Library Services Assistant, Matilda Weeden

Hometown: Monroe, Wisconsin (the Swiss Cheese capital of the US)

Major: International Studies

What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I am most looking forward to helping show people around and being surrounded by the beauty of the library on a regular basis.

What food do you miss most when away from home? When I am away from home I miss my mom’s homemade bread rolls or Culver’s crinkle cut fries dipped in chocolate frozen custard. Fries in ice cream just aren’t as good anywhere else!

2020’s Browning Collections Acquisitions

As the “library of record” of research materials relating to Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Armstrong Browning Library is constantly seeking to acquire original letters, manuscripts, books from the poets’ library, personal affects, portraits, all of the first and many successive editions of their poetry, secondary works and criticisms, their poetry set to music, and memorabilia. Every piece of Browningiana we add to our collections has the potential to provide researchers greater understanding of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Over the course of 2020, we added the items listed below to our Browning Collections.

THE BROWNINGS’ LIBRARY
The Art Review. Volume I (1890). London: Walter Scott, 1890.
Browning Guide #A0111.

Hausted, Peter. Ten Sermons, Preached Upon Several Sundayes and Saints Days …. London: Printed by Miles Flesher, Bernard Alsop, and Thomas Fawcet for John Clark, 1636.
Browning Guide # A1145.5.

Heine, Heinrich. Buch der Lieder. Stuttgardt: Verlag von Karl Crabbe, 1889.
Browning Guide #A1163.5.

BROWNING LIBRARY COPIES
Cruden, Alexander. A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures. 4th Edition. London, 1785.

ASSOCIATION VOLUMES
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Aurora Leigh. London: Chapman and Hall, 1957.
Browning Guide # M0020.5.

Browning, Robert. Dramatis Personæ. London: Chapman and Hall, 1864.
Browning Guide # M0127.3.

BROWNING LETTERS (ALS, autographed letter signed)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Louis Cappel, 29 July 1843. ALS
Gift of the Baylor University English Department in Honor of Dr. Dianna Vitanza.

Robert Browning to Charles Hamilton Aidé, 14 May [18]86. Signed note on photograph print, framed.

Robert Browning to D.[aniel] S.[argent] Curtis, 21 October 1882. Envelope also, framed. ALS

Robert Browning to Emilie Schlesinger, [undated]. “Pray forgive the delay in answering your note….” ALS

Robert Browning to Julia Sturgis, 3 March [18]63. ALS

Robert Browning to Lady Goldsmid, [undated]. “How very happy I shall be to go to you….” ALS

Robert Browning to Lady Goldsmid, [undated]. “Pray forgive my stupidity….” ALS

Robert Browning to Lady Goldsmid, 20 February 1869. ALS

Alexander Gilchrist to Robert Browning, 19 January 1855.

MANUSCRIPTS OF ROBERT BROWNING
Browning, Robert. Vetturino Endorsements.
Browning Guide #E0578.5.

LIKENESSES OF ROBERT BROWNING
Frederick Jones’ photograph of Robert Browning. London, c. 1868.
Browning Guide #G0048.

WORKS OF ART, HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL EFFECTS
Hat Pins. Pair of silver pins with decorative filigree ball head, c. 1750. Accompanied with visiting card inscribed by Fannie Browning.
Browning Guide #H0578.5.

WORKS OF ROBERT BROWNING, SR.
Browning, Robert, Sr. Drawings of heads. Five heads, pencil, N.D.
Browning Guide #J0024.5.

Browning, Robert, Sr. Oddments. Collection of 30 sketches, N.D.
Browning Guide #J0028.8.

EPHEMERA
Staffordshire Elizabeth Barrett Browning Powder Bowl, circa 1850.

RARE BOOKS
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese. London: George Bell & Sons, 1902.
Provided by the Jack and Daphne Herring Memorial Endowment Fund

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese. Portland, Maine: Thomas B.Mosher, 1898. Second edition.

Browning, Robert. Italy My Italy: IV Lyrics. Portland, Maine: Thomas B. Mosher, 1910.

Browning, Robert. Selections from Robert Browning’s Poetical Works. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1892.
Provided by the Jack and Daphne Herring Memorial Endowment Fund

Browning, Robert. Selections from the Poetical Works of Robert Browning. First and second series. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1900.

Mitford, Mary R. Narrative Poems on the Female Character in various relations of human life, Including Blanch and the Rival Sisters. NewYork: Eastburn, Kirk & Co, 1813.

Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, firm. The Browning Collections. Catalogue of Oil Paintings, Drawings & Prints; Autograph Letters and Manuscripts; Books; Statuary, Furniture, Tapestries, and Works of Art; the Property of R. W. Barrett Browning, Esq….London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, [1913].

[Ruskin, John]. Stray Letters from Professor Ruskin to a London Bibliopole. London: Privately printed (T.J. Wise), 1892.

RARE PERIODICALS
The Browning Society’s Papers. London: The Browning Society, 1889-1891.

RARE PERIODICAL ARTICLES
Robert Browning: Some Personal Gossip about the Great Poet,” in Saint John Globe, 29 May 1880, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE COLLECTION
Barrett Browning, Elizabeth. Poemes et Poesies. Traduitde l’anglaiset etude par Albert Savine.Paris: Biblioteque Cosmopolite, 1905.

Dimensione “D”: Atti del seminario Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Centro Studi Cultura e Progresso, Gabinetto G.P. Vieusseux, The British Institute. Firenze, Italia, Marzo 1992.

Fano, Centinarola, Rosciano, Cuccarano, Carrara, Bellocchi, zona artigianale, Madonna Ponte, Metaurilia, Torrette, Marotta, pianta della città. Map of the City. Bologna: Studio F.M.B., 1975[?].

MUSICAL SCORES COLLECTION
Heggie, Jake, music; Robert Browning, poetry. “Grow Old Along with Me.” For Baritone and Piano. Bill Holab Music, publisher, unknown date.

ABL LPs
Browning, Robert. “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix: Robert Browning Reciting the First Four Lines of His Poem.” BBC, [1960].

Also known as “The Voice of the Master” or “The Master’s Voice” this is a recording of Robert Browning reciting the first four lines of “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix” on a phonogram (old wax cylinder) in April, 1889.

NON-RARE
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Casa Guidi Windows. London: Collins’ Clear-Type Press, [between 1900 and 1910?].

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Casa Guidi Windows. With a prefatory note by William A. Sim. Drawings by Giulio Giannini, Jr. Florence: Giulio Giannini & Figlio, [192-?].

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Rhyme of the Duchess May. Illustrated by Katharine Cameron. London and Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis, [1907].

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Through the Year with Mrs. Browning. Boston: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co., [1912?].

Browning, Robert. Pippa Passes, & Men & Women. Illustrated by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1909.

Browning, Robert. Rabbi Ben Ezra and Saul. London: Siegle, Hill & Co., [1911].

Browning, Robert. Robert Browning. London: Robert Rivière & Son, 1916.

Browning, Robert. The Browning Birthday Book. Arranged by James Weston. London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., [19–?].

Browning, Robert. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Illustrated by Kate Greenaway. London: Bracken Books, 1986.

Carleton, Marjorie. The Barretts. A Comedy in Three Acts. Boston and Los Angeles: Baker’s Plays, 1940.

DeVane, William C. Browning’s Parleyings; the Autobiography of a Mind. Yale University Press, 1927.

Hutton, John A. Guidance from Robert Browning in Matters of Faith. Edinburgh and London: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1905. Second edition.

Ingram, John H. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Famous Women Series. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1888.

Meynell, Alice. The Colour of Life and Other Essays on Things Seen and Heard. London and New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1904.

Orr, Mrs. Sutherland. Life and Letters of Robert Browning. In two volumes. Boston and New York, 1896.

The Voice of Robert Browning and “The Voices of Browning”. Waco, TX; Baylor University, [1960].

An essay on the recording of Robert Browning reciting the first four lines of “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix” on a phonogram (old wax cylinder) in April, 1889 and descriptions of recent Browning acquisitions by the ABL.

Ward, T.H. The English Poets. 5 volumes. London: Macmillian, 1891.

Wedgwood, Barbara and Hensleigh. The Wedgwood Circle 1730-1897. Westfield, New Jersey: Eastview Editions, Inc., 1980.

NON-RARE PERIODICAL ARTICLES
Byatt, A.S. “A. S. Byatt on Robert Browning” in The Independent Magazine. Issue 12, 26 November 1988, p. 78.

Smith, Cornelia Marschall. “Proverb Lore in The Ring and the Book” in PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. Vol. LVI, Num.1, March 1941. Pp. 219-227.

Researching at the Armstrong Browning Library, Spring 2021

The Armstrong Browning Library’s collection materials continue to be available to readers in the third-floor Belew Scholars’ Room. Baylor University’s procedures and practices for the COVID-19 pandemic apply to all individuals in the Armstrong Browning Library. At this time the capacity of the Belew Scholars’ Room is 5 researchers.

Individuals needing to access collection materials in the Belew Scholars’ Room are encouraged to schedule an appointment at least 48 hours before their visit. To schedule an appointment and request materials email, abl_office@baylor.edu.

We are currently asking first-time readers to complete the “Application for Use of Research Materials” prior to arriving at the Armstrong Browning Library and encouraging applications along with a copy of a photo ID to be submitted electronically (.jpg and .pdf files recommended) to: abl_office@baylor.edu.

Adaptations to the Armstrong Browning Library’s “Regulations for Use of Research Materials

  1. Researchers should not enter the Library Services Center. They should show photo ID and tell the Library Services Assistant their name, so that the Library Services Assistant can sign-in the reader.
  2. Readers should email, abl_office@baylor.edu, at least 48 hours before their visit to request the collection materials they expect to use.
  3. When leaving the Belew Scholars’ Room, researchers must notify the Library Services Assistant who will sign-out the reader, unlock the researcher’s locker, and either remove materials to quarantine area or unlock the holds cabinet so that readers can place the materials they wish to place on hold inside the cabinet.

* Researchers must leave their masks on while in the Belew Scholars’ Room (even if they are the only person present).

Armstrong Browning Library’s Adaptations to Collections Access

  • Hand sanitizer is available in the Belew Scholars’ Room near the public computers and the reference collection.
  • Researchers should request materials via email: abl_office@baylor.edu rather than filling out call slips.
  • Materials will be pulled twice daily, at approximately 10am and 2pm (depending on staff availability).
  • Materials are pulled and delivered using gloves.
  • After use by reader, materials will be quarantined for 3 days before they will be re-shelved or available for use by another reader.
  • Only the Library Services Assistant will unlock and lock (touch the keys and handles of) lockers and the holds cabinet.

Virtual research assistance is available via email for individuals unable to visit the Belew Scholars’ Room.

To You and Yours

The Armstrong Browning Library wishes a

“Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years!”

Robert Browning in a santa hat.Knowing we could all use something to smile about this year, Maggie Liu, a senior graphic design intern with the Baylor University Libraries added a festive touch (the Santa hat) to the portrait of Robert Browning on the front of the Armstrong Browning Library’s Christmas card.

Miniaturist Ella Bush Shepherd (1862-1948) painted the original portrait. She was an American artist and member of both the Los Angeles Browning Society and the Pasadena Browning Society.

Included in our Christmas card is a request for current contact information. If you would like to update your contact information or be added to our mailing list, please email abl_office@baylor.edu with your current details.

Thank you for reading and subscribing to our blog. We look forward to continuing to share the Armstrong Browning Library’s 2021 happenings with you in this space.

Reflections from a Graduate Assistant: On Fall 2020 & Browning Societies

By Rachel Jacob, Armstrong Browning Library Graduate Research Assistant

Beginning graduate school is an intimidating endeavor. There are questions swirling in your mind such as whether or not you can make it through, if this graduate school was the right choice, and if you will enjoy the work when it actually becomes your job. I was fairly confident that I would be able to handle the academic requirements of graduate school. It was my graduate assistantships that concerned me the most. I could not be sure that I would be good at my job. Of course, it was not expected for me to already be experienced and know what I was doing. The point of a graduate assistantship is to give you that experience and that practical knowledge. But still, I had questions which needed answering.

One of the first substantial jobs I did at the Armstrong Browning Library was to organize materials from Browning societies or clubs across the world. Before my graduate assistantship at the ABL, I had no idea that the Brownings were such monumental figures in literature. I had read some of Robert and Elizabeth’s poetry, but was completely unaware of the devoted fans who follow them and their works to this day. The task of organizing and cataloguing the materials from different Browning societies opened my eyes to this fascination that still surrounds them. Each Browning society met consistently to discuss literary topics, mainly focused around the Brownings. With each society came things such as a yearbook for each year the club was in existence, meeting notices for each meeting, programs for every special event, and newspaper clippings with mentions of the club or the Brownings. The clubs spanned from Waco, to Seattle, to New York, to Manchester England. Certain clubs had materials which spread decades and generations. Some of these club are still in existence today.

At the start of this project, I was processing the yearbooks or meeting notices from different societies. Once I finished organizing and cataloging those, I began work on the New York Browning Society’s materials. This was separate from the yearbooks. In this material there were financial records, meeting minutes, bulletins, and event programs, and other miscellaneous society materials. This portion of the collection was mainly from the 1970’s through the 1990s. Unlike the yearbooks, which needed to be re-homed and catalogued, this material was partially unorganized. This presented new obstacles for archival work. There were certain areas of the materials which were organized with a clear original order. Those materials were not to be rearranged because the original order is kept as intact as possible. However, this whole collection did not have an original order. For the sections which no original order could be determined, it was my responsibly to decide what the best order was for these materials. This required intellectually and physically rearranging these materials to help them to make sense with the original order, while also being usable for research.

Two boxes sitting on a table.

NYC Browning Society Boxes

This whole project not only taught me about the enthusiasm that encompasses the Brownings, but also vital archival skills. Every object had to be arranged chronologically, catalogued, and described before being re-homed in a document box. This is basic archival work which I knew in theory, but was able to receive practical experience in.

The most important thing which this project, and everything I have done at the Armstrong Browning Library this semester, taught me was the answer “it depends”. There were countless times I would ask questions about organizing, archival processes, or the way things were done at the ABL to receive the answer “it depends”. In archival work, there is not always a right answer or an obvious choice. There are many variables that lead to the solution, and often times it is up to the archivist to make the decisions which will lead to the best solution.

Once I began receiving the answer of “it depends” at the ABL, I noticed that questions in my classes were answered with an it depends as well. In the museum field, there may be no right answer, no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, the classes and the experiences of our graduate assistantships are giving us the information necessary to create our own framework to know how to proceed when the answer is “it depends”. I may still have the questions which I had at the beginning of the year, and this semester may have raised other questions in my mind, but I am in a program and working graduate assistantships which are teaching me how to answer my questions. And I look forward to continuing to learn through my experiences, particularly with archival and conservation work at the ABL in order to continue in their mission to preserve the Brownings in order to encourage the continued study of their works.

Reflections from a Graduate Assistant: On Fall 2020

By Joy Siler, Armstrong Browning Library Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Assistant Desk and laptop. Stained glass window depicting Robert Browning's Ferishtah's Fancies above desk.

Graduate Assistant Work Space

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the collections processing work that I have done for the ABL’s Browning Society Ephemera Collection! Many of these items were inaccessible and disorganized before and now they are reaching a point where they can be easily located. Its important to make sure that all our materials are stored properly and readily available to the next person who needs to use them. Files of correspondence, meeting minutes, announcements, and many other documents will now be preserved and accessible!

What helped you learn the most?

I was very happy to be able to assist Dr. King’s course about the Brownings’ poetry at the library this fall semester! It was a great opportunity to familiarize myself with what the library has to offer, how its resources are organized, and the processes of making those resources available to those who request them. I also learned about handling and preparing some of the rarer materials in the collection to be digitized as the students prepared a virtual exhibit. It was very exciting, and I enjoyed working with the artifacts, books, and manuscripts!

What would you like to do more of?

I would love to continue working with the collections directly and preparing them for researchers! I really enjoy being in touch with developments in the academic community and then providing the resources that they need to learn about their subject. The physical collections we have are fascinating and I enjoy discovering new things every day!

Fall 2020 Instruction Sessions

With many more Baylor University courses being offered online or as hybrid versions this semester, the Armstrong Browning Library has provided study spaces for more students than in the past few semesters. The temporary increase in online courses has, understandably, meant fewer requests from faculty to bring their classes to the Armstrong Browning Library or to develop instruction sessions utilizing Armstrong Browning Library collections. We still have had faculty members request instruction sessions for their online or in-person classes.

Virtual Instruction Sessions:

Since so many of the classes coming to the Armstrong Browning Library request a tour, either as part of their instruction session or for their entire instruction session, we created a virtual version of the tour this summer. For the virtual tour we created a series of short videos. Each video highlights one of the spaces covered by our in-person tour. This was so instructors could choose either all the videos or just the spaces which they normally request for their class session.  As faculty began preparing to teach online during the fall semester, the Armstrong Browning Library shared the tour with faculty when we received requests for virtual tours.

A few of the classes which have previously come to the Armstrong Browning Library to utilize our resources for instruction sessions asked to collaborate on a virtual version of their standard sessions. One of the English 2301, British Literature courses has come in to analyze the presentation and transmission of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” from its first publication to the present. For this course, we selected fewer examples of the text from our collection than we did for previous in-person sessions. Then we photographed the volumes together and individually focusing on the same parts of the books and the same selections within the poem. The images were added to a slide presentation along with bibliographic information about each volume and guiding questions to help students analyze the volumes.

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In-Person Instruction Sessions:

Though many of the faculty who routinely bring their students to the Armstrong Browning Library are teaching online this fall, a few still had in-person classes and several of those instructors reached out to collaborate on socially distanced lessons using books, manuscripts, art, and artifacts from our collections. All of our instruction sessions were set up in the Hankamer Treasure Room this fall.

Baylor’s photography classes came to study the Julia Margaret Cameron photograph collection and examples of Victorian photography. We spread out resources so that there were only 1-3 items per table (depending on the table and the item’s size). This allowed 1 student to be at each table at a time. We stationed ABL staff members with the bound volumes of photographs so that we could turn the pages for students.

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We look forward to more in-person instruction sessions in the spring and we are prepared to help faculty teaching online find ways to integrate the Armstrong Browning Library’s collections into their courses, as well.

“Wilder Ever Still & Wilder!”: A Successful Benefactor’s Day 2020

By Joy Siler, Armstrong Browning Library Graduate Research Assistant

On November 5th, the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum upheld its annual tradition of hosting a Benefactor’s Day program to thank all those that support the functions of our institution. The celebration looked a bit different this year—being presented virtually on Zoom to all the ABL’s benefactors and supporters—but was held in the same joy as all previous programs.

Wilder Ever Still & Wilder Image

Benefactors’ Day graphic designed by Baylor Libraries Marketing and Communications Department

Dr. Beverly Taylor and Dr. Marjorie Stone provided the afternoon’s presentation about their collaborative research into Victorian wedding journeys and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s own enlightening experience as expressed in her unpublished honeymoon poem. Dr. Beverly Taylor is a Professor of English at the University of North Carolina and Dr. Marjorie Stone is the McCulloch Professor Emeritus of English at Dalhousie University. They discussed the historical and biographical context of EBB’s composition in the light of the Victorian era’s development of the honeymoon ritual and the transition of the Brownings’ courtship into intimate married life. Following the lecture, a Q&A session was held for viewers to ask questions over the presentation. A full recording of the celebration program may be viewed at https://www.baylor.edu/library/index.php?id=973376

Thank you to all who choose to support the Armstrong Browning Library and continue to contribute to our efforts towards providing collections, research, fellowships, and programming to our communities. We hope that you can join us again next year!

Introducing the Armstrong Browning Library’s Library Services Assistants, 2020-2021

At the Armstrong Browning Library, the Library Services Student Assistants help researchers access Armstrong Browning Library materials and support the library’s efforts to increase the visibility of its collections. The Library Services Assistants greet and register researchers. They provide directional information for the 3rd floor and the Austin-Moore Elizabeth Barrett Browning Salon to building visitors. Additionally, Library Services Assistants inventory archival collections and transcribe archival materials. Please stop and say, “hello” to them when you are on the third floor of the Armstrong Browning Library.

Hudson Baker

Hudson Baker

Hudson Baker

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: University Scholars (Linguistics, Biochemistry, Philosophy, Medical Humanities)
What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I’m looking forward to the beautiful artwork, reflective atmosphere, and rich history.
What food do you miss most when away from home? I miss my sister’s desserts: Butterfinger pudding, pizookie, and dessert lasagna, to name a few.

Azaria Finley

Azaria Finley

Azaria Finley

Hometown: I come from a military family, so I call home California since I lived there the longest.
Major: Social Work
What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I am looking toward to interacting with different people and groups, and being able to form a community surrounded by literature. Being able to listen to the angelic voices of the Baylor Choir when they practice at the library is the highlight of my day.
What food do you miss most when away from home? I miss my mother’s beef stew with mac and cheese. She normally cooks it around Fall/Winter, and I associate this with Christmas being around the corner.

 

 

Introducing the Armstrong Browning Library’s Graduate Assistants, 2020-2021

The Armstrong Browning Library has two new Graduate Assistants this fall. They are both from Baylor University’s Masters of Arts in Museum Studies program. Through their graduate assistantships, they will gain insight into the day-to-day operations of a special collections library and the uses and importance of primary source materials. Graduate Assistants receive practical experience handling, processing, and preserving rare books and manuscripts. Additionally, they have the opportunity to digitize materials, develop and install exhibits, and prepare and participate in delivering instruction sessions for classes utilizing Armstrong Browning Library materials.

Rachel Jacob

Rachel Jacob

Rachel Jacob

Hometown: Coming from a military family, I have lived in a lot of places but do not have a proper hometown. During the four years of my undergraduate studies, I lived in Northwest Arkansas and grew to consider that home.
Why are you completing an MA in Museum Studies? I am passionate about history and hope to use my MA in Museum Studies to further preserve history and allow objects to continue telling historical truths for the coming generations.
What do you hope to learn while working at the ABL? I hope to learn about the conservation and care of rare or historical objects, so that I can use that knowledge to preserve history as the Armstrong Browning Library has preserved Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s history.
What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? I am excited to be working in a world-class library with such amazing facilities as the Armstrong Browning Library. I look forward to learning the inner workings of a library and museum doing so much historical preservation and providing so many research opportunities.
What food do you miss most when away from home and why? My mother makes absolutely delicious homemade chicken nuggets and I always miss them when I am away from home.

 

Joy Siler

Joy Siler

Joy Siler

Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Why are you completing an MA in Museum Studies? I have a strong passion for the field of public history. I believe in its mission and what it does for academia, preservation, and public education alike. I am pursuing this degree so that I may have the various knowledge, training, and qualifications necessary to work in multiple museum contexts and positions.
What do you hope to learn while working at the ABL? By working at the ABL, I hope to gain critical professional experience and expand my skill set for working with collections of various rarities. This position will also help me to understand the day-to-day tasks needed to run a full-functioning museum and library–a unique combination that I believe would interest me as a career choice.
What are you looking forward to about working in the ABL? My personal interest in the type of collections that the ABL holds, and the era that their mission focuses on interpreting, makes me very excited to have this opportunity! The building itself is a gorgeous example of the dedication that its patrons have had for celebrating the Brownings and their contextual influences in literature, on 19th-century society, and beyond. Learning about that context while working with the collections is an adventure that I am definitely looking forward to!
What food do you miss most when away from home and why? I miss my mom’s homemade lasagna the most! It was a childhood favorite and I always asked for her to make it on my birthday every year. It is still one of my favorite foods and I can always eat a ton of it!