Research Center Update 2020-21

The Arts and Special Collections Research Center is celebrating its first year of integration between the Special Collections and Fine Arts teams. As you might guess, this has been a challenging year with numerous changes. As the start of fall semester comes into view, I thought it would be an excellent time to share some updates and achievements from this past academic year. Our main goal was to provide services to the best of our abilities during a pandemic with hybrid, online, and a few in person sessions. I am so proud of our team. Not only did we achieve that goal, we did so with care for the welfare of our students, faculty, and staff.

We were not able to engage with our community this past year as we had planned. However, we had a few researchers visit including an ex-Cowboy Church pastor who worked with script examples from our medieval manuscripts, and a researcher teaching in Nicaragua who worked with Greek New Testament holdings from the Eldon Jay Epp Collection. We also welcomed two Special Collections Teaching Fellows recipients, Jon Snyder and Kaz Hayashi, who worked in the libraries this summer to prepare courses with integrated rare collection materials. We look forward to their results engaging our students with these unique collections.
Most of our interactions were online. Here are a few of our projects that provided outreach in spite of limited in-person work.

  • Reworked online research guides for specific courses, which resulted in 6,048 views
  • Most viewed online guides:
  • Identified School of Music online orientation needs, and created online guides to support graduate and undergraduate library orientation Music Graduate Orientation
  • Continued to promote St. John’s Bible Heritage edition through online opportunities with Baylor Chapel program
  • Created new online Baylor Biblical Art database to highlight illustrated Bible collection Baylor Biblical Art Database

    Baylor Biblical Art Database
  • Reworked webpages for integrated unit

Research support

    • Reserves: Led by Jaime Duerksen, we were able to move a significant number of print resources for course reserves to online formats supporting the move to a completely online teaching mode.
    • Special Collections: Led by Andrea Turner, over 900 items were pulled from the Special Collections to welcome students, faculty, community and travelling researchers both virtually and in person.
    • Preservation: Frank Jasek created 627 enclosures to keep our materials safe, in addition to making repairs to and rebinding of general collections items.  Frank tackled other special projects such us disbanding volumes in preparation for a major digitization project of the Baptist Standard.


  • Public Service and Stacks Maintenance: Led by Alison Larson, we accomplished several shifting projects in the Special Collections stacks. Most importantly, Alison helped adjust our public desk services to provide for new hours, safety measures, and flexible schedules.

Faculty partnerships

  • Baylor Biblical Art Database / Included faculty and staff from Truett, Art History, Data and Digital Scholarship Baylor Biblical Art
  • Research Inspiration blog (Women are center stage in Black Gospel history) / Included women faculty members from the Baylor School of Music Women and Black Gospel History
  • Information Literature Syllabi mapping project / Included faculty from Museum Studies, Information Literacy program, Data and Digital Scholarship

We look forward to an exciting 2021-22 year, and encourage you to reach out and learn more about our services and collections!

If you are interested in more information on the Arts and Special Collections Research Center or would like to visit, please send us an email at, or call at 254-710-2164.

Alison Larson (Public Services Coordinator)
Andrea Turner (Special Collections Manager)
Beth Farwell (Director; School of Music liaison)
Frank Jasek (Preservation Coordinator)
Jamie Duerksen (Reserves and Research Assistant)
Sha Towers (Associate Dean; Art and Theatre Departments liaison)

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