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
Posts tagged ‘special collections’
Zach Vowell joined Kennedy Library in July, 2013, as a Digital Archivist. This position is new for Kennedy Library. Read more
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.
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.
“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
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.
Yesterday 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.
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).
– Karen Lauritsen
At the outset of planning an event it sometimes feels the day will never come. When it does, it is almost unbelievable. It’s happening! It’s all coming together! And it did, on April 5, when months of collaborative hard work between Special Collections and University Archives with the Book Club of California resulted in a bustling opening celebration for Pressing Forward: The Book Club of California at 100. Highlights included a talk by woodcut artist Tom Killion, the announcement of Book Collection Competition winners and a Science Cafe centered around bookbinding.
You can see the exhibit on the 2nd floor in the Learning Commons, which also includes photographs of members with their personal libraries. Visit our exhibit pages if you’d like to learn more.
Kennedy Library’s Catherine Trujillo and Peter Runge, along with a group of student collaborators, made it happen. Art and Design student Bryn Hobson had the honor of making the Centennial Keepsake for the event (left). His installation “Flight,” is a magical part of the exhibit that has floating pages ascending to the sky. See more photos of his work at the exhibit on brynhobson.com.
Whenever I spoke to Cate or Peter about the exhibit, I sensed it was a labor of love. At different points they headed to BCC’s hub in San Francisco to get to better know the people and the organization (and possibly the coolest headquarters for bibliophiles ever), worked with local collectors on documenting their libraries and launched a Book Collection Competition. Phew!
Talk by woodcut artist Tom Killion
Tom Killion, whose work has been featured in the BCC gallery among many others, was the featured speaker. He talked us through the stories of his woodblock prints: the inspiration he finds outside in Northern California, who he’s hiking with when he stops to make sketches that inform his woodblocks and how his artistic process works. Here is an excerpt from his talk that focuses on the how-to of Japanese woodblock art:
Winners of the Book Collection Competition
The opening celebration also recognized the winners of the first annual Book Collection Competition! Collected themes included illustrated horse novels of the 1970s and literature of the American West.
Stitched! Science Cafe
Earlier in the day, bookbinder and author of At Home with Handmade Books, Erin Zamrzla, drew a crowd of eager crafters who she led in a hands-on bookbinding experiment. She crafted individual packets of materials for everyone that included a how-to guide (which doubled as a folded envelope), needle, thread and recycled materials that became pages of a book. There was spontaneous applause when everyone realized she had handmade one for each of them!
Here’s a short video overview of Stitched!
– Karen Lauritsen