CLSC Updates – Fall 2019

As the campus wraps up another fall semester, the Central Libraries Special Collections (CLSC) staff are looking back at a successful few months of collaboration and outreach. Since August, the unit has completed 40 special collections research consultations and reached 4,156 people through events, classes, or orientation sessions. We can’t wait for the spring semester! Hope to see you!

Outreach Spotlight

While our instruction and research appointments continued to rise, our ‘star’ outreach continued with the Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible purchased last spring.

3,928 people, between August, 2019 and December 12, 2019, have viewed this amazing work.

A beautiful dedication event in September partnered with Truett Seminary, the School of Music, and many of our board and advisory members.

Our biggest audience was Baylor’s Chapel featuring Brad Neary (Senior Development Officer and Director of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program) from Saint John’s University.

We wrapped up our large events with an inspiring lecture by Father Eric Hollas, OSB from St. John’s University who explored the role of art as ‘preacher’. We are grateful for the partnership with Mayborn Museum in exhibiting three volumes of the Bible in the Museum and helping to host this important lecture.

Current projects

  • Eldon Jay Epp Collection – Plans are coming together for a public recognition of Baylor’s acquisition of this research collection, purchased this past year. The materials represent decades of Dr. Epp’s research and scholarship and are a major acquisition for the field of religious studies. CLSC has been busy processing the most rare items and kudos go out to our fine cataloging team for jumping in and getting these unique items cataloged and ready for use. The collection is expected to significantly enhance the libraries’ ability to support Biblical and religious scholarship for researchers here at Baylor and across the globe. Hold the date on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. More details will be available soon.
  • Artist book labels – with over 1200 items and growing, stacks management of this collection is critical not only to ensure environmental safety conditions, but also to identify and house items correctly. Andrea Turner worked with our student to implement a new workflow ensuring all storage containers were labeled with a picture of the item for ease of access. Currently they have completed one range, so we expect this backlog work to be completed by mid spring semester. Great work!
  • New cutter – several years ago Frank Jasek’s large cutter broke after many years of use. These are now hard to find and expensive, so Frank creatively found other ways to cut backs off of books for various projects.
    Recently, the Digital Group began a significant project, and in order to perform these ‘un-binding’ steps, they offered to help purchase a new cutter. Frank researched, traveled, and organized the arrival of a large cutter ready for work.

Interesting Finds
This fall, Prof. Lauren Poor’s history class worked with primary sources related to U.S. immigration (voluntary or forced). In searching for resources that support the student’s research, Andrea Turner found a couple of interesting books.

  • Murray, Amelia M. (Amelia Matilda). Letters from the United States, Cuba and Canada. New York: G. P. Putnam & company, 1856. Call # Moody Hughes E166 .M97
    Murray, who served as Maid of Honor to Queen Victoria, set out on a tour of North America and Cuba in 1854, on which she researched botany and investigated slavery. She published a book in defense of slavery, based on a series of letters to her friend, Lady Byron (an active abolitionist.) The reaction to the book caused Murray to resign her position with the Queen.
  • Parkinson, Richard, and Washington, George. A Tour in America in 1798, 1799, and 1800. Exhibiting Sketches of Society and Manners, and a Particular Account of the America System of Agriculture, with Its Recent Improvements. London: Printed for J. Harding and J. Murray, 1805. Call # Moody Hughes E164 .P24
    Parkinson published this work in London to prevent emigration to America. While in America, he rented land surrounding Mount Vernon from George Washington, expecting to make a rapid fortune as a farmer. He encountered profound disappointment and wrote to save his countrymen from “running headlong into misery.” Parkinson was also appalled by the “notions of equality.”

Student projects
Hannah : Throughout the semester I have worked on a couple of larger projects along with some smaller tasks. The main two things I put my time towards were documenting the Kennedy Collection and labeling the artists’ book collection. Spending time with the Kennedy Collection allowed me to see a variety of newsletters, photos, and other memorabilia from Christian musicians throughout the decades. While labeling the artists’ books I have come across my fair share of interesting artwork.

Book of Hearts / Crane

I have a new-found appreciation for the time and precision that these artists put towards their work. My favorite artists’ books are from Marian Crane. The books of hers that I have seen include a great amount of intricate bead work that is very pretty and adds a different element to the book. It has been a very productive fall and I look forward to continuing in the spring.

If you are interested in more information on the CLSC or would like to visit, please send us an email at, or call at 254-710-3679 (Beth Farwell).

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Beth Farwell
Andrea Turner
Frank Jasek

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