CLSC Updates- Spring 2019

Spring 2019 flew by in a whirlwind of activity.  Join us as we highlight a sampling of events from last semester in Central Libraries Special Collections.

Outreach spotlight 

Spring Valley Elementary Career Day

Mrs. Echols’ First Graders (Pictures at a different event)
Marguerite makes a Book by Kathryn Hewitt

Andrea Turner represented CLSC at Spring Valley Elementary Career Day.  Mrs. Echols’ first graders learned about activities in special collections and the variety of rare materials the libraries hold, ranging from the tiny miniatures to jumbo oversize, covering history, science and so many more topics.

They loved a little hands-on experience with preservation tools and enjoyed a quick overview of medieval bookmaking , with the help of a charming title from Moody’s Zeta collection.  The engaged students asked great questions.  There’s a future librarian in the bunch for sure!

Rare Children’s Books

Beth Farwell and and Andrea Turner hit he sidewalks and visited Sheri Nelson’s Children Literature class with a timeline of children’s books.  Students were fascinated by the varying trends in children’s literature through time and were especially intrigued by the horrifying images in a 19th century German children’s book of rhyming tales with moral lessons that illustrate the disastrous results of making poor choices.


Der Struwwelpeter: oder lustige Geschichten und drollige Bilder für Kinder von 3-6 Jahren by Heinrich Hoffmann  (Slovenly Henry)

Current Projects

Collection Review & assessment

This spring, CLSC unit moved forward on several projects to review and analyze several of the special collections housed in Moody Library.  Limited space, especially with appropriate environmental storage, necessitated steps toward implementing policies and collection scopes to ensure responsible stewardship. To tackle all that needed to be done, we decided the quickest way to communicate results and build understanding from all our communities was to let the data help tell the story.  Josh Been, Digital Scholarship Librarian, joined the team to help employ digital scholarship software to help see the collections in a new way.  More information on this project will be shared this later summer.

Assessment is key to understanding usage and relevancy of these collections.  The unit created new statistics forms, and are now tracking usage, appointments, classes, and time spent preparing for material use.  We anticipate these numbers will help capture the work of this busy unit.  For example, in April there were 172 people who viewed special collections either in a class or individual appointments.

Portion of one of the new forms used for assessment in LibInsight.

New Acquisitions

Baylor Libraries is excited to announce the addition of a full set of the St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition.  Housed in the Central Libraries Special Collections, this 7 volume work is a fine press facsimile of the St. John’s Bible commissioned by St. John’s Abbey.  For more information and to follow our journey with this beautiful work, please visit the website.


Preservation Week Event 2019

As part of the American Library Association’s annual Preservation Week, the Baylor Libraries participated in a special event with the Waco-McLennan County Libraries on Thursday, April 25, 2019. “Gathering at the Family Table: Preserving Memories and Recipes” focused on the stories and memories made around family recipes, as well as tips for preserving cherished family heirlooms. The free event was held at the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center at 5301 Bosque Blvd.  Amie Oliver, associate director of The Texas Collection, presented stories and recipes found in selected cookbooks from a large collection housed at The Texas Collection, while Beth Farwell, director of central libraries’ special collections, offered tools and tips for how to preserve materials created on paper, including books, photographs, and manuscripts. Additional presenters included Bill Bucker and Hannah Kubacak from the Waco-McLennan County Library’s Genealogy Center.

This event marked the 10th year of partnership between Waco-McLennan County Library and Baylor Libraries to celebrate and educate on preservation of our shared cultural heritage.

Interesting Finds

By Beth Farwell

I was surprised to bump into volumes in the special collections that had been cataloged with the topic eugenicsInquiries into Human Faculty was written in 1883 by Francis Galton (1822-1911).  This is a first edition and is located in the Hughes collection (BF701 .G2 1883).  Galton was an English explorer, anthropologist, and was known for coining the word eugenics to explain increasing human achievement through selective mating.  He was well known for his pioneering studies of human intelligence and frequently investigated the evolutionary ideas developed by his cousin, Charles Darwin.

Going further into the collection there is a French volume in English translation by Claude Quillet (1602-1661) titled “Callipaedia, or, The art of getting beautiful children”.  This translation from 1733 is a third edition and located in the rare book collection (PA8570.Q6 A67 1733).

Quillet was a French doctor who only published this one book.  Not much is known about Quillet except for his brush with a famous trial in Loudun surrounding a priest accused of witchcraft and possessed nuns.  Quillet attempted to defend his friend, the priest, but found himself against the notorious Richelieu and fled the country until Richlelieu’s death. This famous and bizarre trial can be picked up in other resources in the library having been retold by several authors (such as  and through music in an opera by Penderecki.

  • PR6045.H245 D48 1961 (book “The devils” by John Whiting)
  • BF1517.F5 H8 1959 (book “The devils of Loudun” by Aldous Huxley)
  • M1500 .P38 T52 1969 (score)
  • Rec. PHI 379 (LP – sound recording)

Student Recap

by Rachel Risk

My favorite part of this job was the variety of things I got to experience. I got to go behind the scenes in the Special Collections and see several of the collections, and inventory some of them as well. I saw some of the Book Arts collections and the unique struggles they present from a preservation standpoint. I got to work with a variety of books and repair jobs, from replacing the spine to making a new cover entirely. These experiences were really valuable to me – I’ve never learned so much from a part-time job before, and I hope I get to use these experiences in my future career! 

Frank Jasek awards Rachel with a diploma from the Do Right School of Book Binding.
Rachel repairs a book from the general collection.


Many thanks to all our partners who help in our success; from colleagues in the library, to faculty, students, and the Waco community! We’ll report out again in a few months after a busy summer. Til then…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *