Collins Library Exhibits Seek to Intrigue Students

Behind the Collins library doors lies more than books, stress, and empty coffee cups. The DIRT exhibit and “Behind the Archives Door” lectures showcase the wide variety of resources and knowledge that the university has to offer.

On Oct. 6, the second lecture in “Behind the Archives Door” series took place featuring Suzanne Moore, a letter artist, calligrapher, and painter who designed a book entitled A Musings for Aileen as a tribute to the late Aileen Kane. Kane was a faculty member in the German studies department as well as the support specialist in the CWLT.

During the lecture, Moore talked to the audience about her fascination with letters and art.

Her previous works included a four-book series on the Cherokee nation’s language, the exploration of the African language and finding the intersection between Emerson and the Iraq War.

“Words represent much more than information…they evoke other kinds of thoughts, visuals, inquiry, and curiosity,” Moore said.

She explained the meaning behind each step of her creative process, from the type of paper she used to the colors she chose to include in each piece.

In preparation for the book, Moore researched and explored the history and symbolism of the letter A.

One of her main goals was bring historical references into the contemporary world. Her depictions of the letter A contained influences from historical Roman and Gothic architecture to the modern-day Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Both library director Jane Carlin and Moore wanted to design a book that was meant to be touched.

“It makes me nervous to think that a book will sit on a shelf and not get any wear…I would die a happy woman imagining that somewhere there’s a book of mine that will start to show people turning the pages” Moore said.

Collins Library commissioned the book, allowing students to access it through the library’s archives and special collections.

The library staff hopes that these lectures will inform students about the rich and extensive collection of primary source material that they have available to them.

“I hope they learn that the archives and special collections exist and that they are intrigued by the material and see opportunities to apply the material to their own research,” archivist and special collections librarian Katie Henningsen said.

The next “Behind the Archives Doors” lecture will feature Alicia Bailey, a member of the Guild of Book Workers. She will bring selections from the Abecedarian Gallery’s recent exhibit titled “Content: Artifact” and talk about her experiences with book arts. The lecture will take place on November 3.

Students can also find the DIRT exhibit in the front lobby of the library until December 4. Retired professor from Evergreen state college Lucia Harrison approached Carlin with an idea for an exhibit that would focus how art can help raise awareness to issues associated with the environment. The organization of the exhibit illustrates the intersection between art and science.

The exhibit displays original art pieces and poetry inspired by environmental concepts such as, soil formation and farming. The library also teamed up with the Slater Museum to bring in animal and insect specimens to display along with the creative pieces.

Whether it’s art, history, or science, the library continues to be the hub of knowledge for students.

“I think that’s what the library is all about. We’re a place for all ideas to meet,” Carlin said.