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Posts tagged ‘special collections’

A century’s-worth of family history

Derrick Usher is a communication studies major (Fall ’14) completing an internship in Special Collections and Archives. He is working on a project to organize the papers of the Jack Family of San Luis Obispo.

This is the first in a series of blog posts in which he shares his experiences processing the Jack Family Papers and some of the stories that he uncovers. Read more

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Kennedy Library

So we all know that Kennedy Library is an awesome place to study, hang out between classes, get coffee and more. But did you know that your library has so much more to offer? Our library is such an amazing place, and it is filled with all kinds of resources to make your time here at Cal Poly easier and more fun. Read more

Zach Vowell named digital archivist at Kennedy Library

Zach Vowell joined Kennedy Library in July, 2013, as a Digital Archivist. This position is new for Kennedy Library. Read more

Adventures in the Archives: My first week

Ben Simon is a student assistant in Special Collections & Archives. This summer he is working on a project to organize the papers of Cal Poly President Julian McPhee (1933-1966). This is the first in a series of posts in which he shares his experiences processing McPhee’s papers and learning more about the university’s history.

Having lived the entire 22 years of my life within the city of San Luis Obispo, I have always been simultaneously intrigued by the rich history contained within the Central Coast and dismayed by the public’s lack of awareness of SLO’s relevance.

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Using Vine to share the library’s artists’ books

Artists’ books! There are so many reasons to love them. One, because they are hand-made. Two, because they are hand-made in very limited quantities. Three, because there is no one way to read them.

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Architecture time machine!

Second year architecture students are stepping into the past with the help of Kennedy Library’s Special Collections. The upcoming exhibit, Atelier Morgan, features an inspiring collection of Julia Morgan’s sketches and drawings. As part of the exhibit, every second year architecture student at Cal Poly participated in the Julia Morgan Symposium, where they had a chance to look through the Morgan Papers to draw inspiration.

Architecture instructors rarely choose the same projects for their students, so this is an opportunity for the students to work on the same subject and explore Cal Poly’s Special Collections, architecture professor Robert Arens said.

“Students will take this opportunity to see the Special Collections and also see this great exhibit,” Arens said. The exhibit opens at Kennedy Library on November 9, 2012.

Faculty selected one of three Morgan projects to focus on for the quarter, having students design structures or create drawings that are inspired by, but not necessarily derivative of, Morgan’s iconic work.

Photo of Cal Poly architecure students review Julia Morgan papers“Everyone’s taking kind of a different approach to it,” Arens said. He described the challenge for students: “How do you fit into an existing context and kind of a revered one? How do you respond to that without imitation?”

And the students’ experience with these revered works has inspired them too.

For architecture student Karin Bjorkman, who is working on a sketch inspired by Morgan’s work at Hearst Castle, access to the Morgan Papers is a special privilege, she said. “It was really touching that they brought it down to us,” Bjorkman said.

For architecture student Eli Beckman, that privilege is also an incredible way to study something first-hand. “It’s a great sort of primary source as to what Julia Morgan’s work looked like,” Beckman said.

The Atelier Morgan exhibit is November 9, 2012 – January 11, 2013, with an opening on November 9 from 3-4pm in the second floor Gallery at the Commons. The opening is followed by The College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s 2012 Hearst Lecture Series featuring Victoria Kastner, historian for Hearst Castle and author of two books: “Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House” and “Hearst’s San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land.” The lecture will be from 4-5pm in the Business Rotunda at Cal Poly.

The architecture students’ Morgan-inspired projects will go on display in the Gallery at the Commons on the second floor of Kennedy Library, January 14 – February 1, 2013.

UPDATE: See photos from the exhibit opening on our Flickr.

Learn more about Kennedy Library’s Special Collections.

More information about the Julia Morgan exhibit is available at Atelier Morgan.

– Victoria Billings

Dear Library, a photographic then and now

One recent Thursday afternoon the Student Library Advisory Council (SLAC) visited Special Collections and University Archives on the fourth floor to view historic campus photos. There they found images of Kennedy Library 1980s-style along with the old library at Dexter. You can see the many styles of yesteryear in University Archives, as they have images of campus from 1901 to the late 1980s.

Photo of Dexter Library 1948 and today; Historic image (1948) courtesy University ArchivesYesterday and today
According to SLAC Co-advisor Jesse Vestermark the group (especially the coziness committee) had been playing with the idea of a “yesterday and today” type of photo project to help decorate the library’s walls for a couple of months.

“We were scheduled for a year-end behind-the-scenes visit to Special Collections,” Jesse said. “I mentioned the “yesterday-and-today” interest to Cate (Trujillo) and Laura (Sorvetti) and they came up with the great idea of doing a library-based dearphotograph.com-inspired activity with the library as the subject.”

The students were given reproductions of the originals to scout current locations around the library and campus to craft the “Dear Library” series.

Photo of the stacks in Kennedy Library in 1985 and today; Historic image (1985) courtesy University Archives
More images through the years
You can also see Cal Poly through the years by browsing El Rodeo and The Polytechnic Journal.

Historic images courtesy University Archives: 1) Kennedy Library in 1980 (top), 2) Dexter Library in 1948, 3) Kennedy Library stacks in 1985 and 4) Kennedy Library patio in 1985 (below).

More about SLAC.
Visit Special Collections and University Archives.

Photo of the patio in Kennedy Library in 1985 and today; Historic image (1985) courtesy University Archives

– Karen Lauritsen