Special Collections

Call for Proposals:
Special Collections and Museums, University of Delaware Library

Special Collections and Museums in the University of Delaware Library encompass unique resources to support research, teaching, and programming for the University of Delaware community. The division encompasses the Special Collections Department, the Manuscripts and Archives Department, and the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection.  The Museums oversees three exhibition spaces and related collections: Old College Galleries, Mechanical Hall, and the Mineralogical Museum in Penny Hall.

The University of Delaware Library invites proposals from faculty for funding to support:

  • Faculty research of the collections that will involve students (undergraduate and/or graduate) and/or has a public component (e.g. website, lecture, symposium, exhibition etc.);
  • Residencies for writers, artists, and scholars using Special Collections materials. These must have a public component (e.g.: reading, exhibition, lecture, website, etc.);
  • Public events focusing on works or objects in the collections (symposia, readings, conferences, etc.).

Prior to applying, applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects with the contact(s) for the collection(s) involved:

Special collections (encompassing rare book and other materials as well as the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection): Tim Murray: tdm@udel.edu

Manuscripts and archives: Rebecca Johnson Melvin: lrjm@udel.edu

Museums art collection: Janis Tomlinson jat@udel.edu

Museums mineralogical collection: Sharon Fitzgerald slfitz@udel.edu

Proposals are due by January 15, 2017 and should include:

  • Narrative of the project, not to exceed three pages
  • Timeline
  • An itemized budget with explanation of each budget item
  • List of participants or co-sponsors. Letters of support are encouraged from participants are encouraged if appropriate.

Awarded funding will be transferred to the department of the applicant, who is responsible for informing the appropriate financial coordinator.

On Special Collections

Special collections as a whole support the educational programs of the University.  Particular area strengths include the fine, decorative, and applied arts; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana, with a concentration in the greater regions of Delmarva and the Delaware Valley and especially strong holdings in Delaware politics and public policy; horticulture; and history of science and technology with concentrations in the history of chemistry and engineering. The Mark Samuels Lasner collection focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature and art.

The Library’s special book collections encompass but are not limited to rare books and the special collections of the Delaware Collection; extensive artists’ books and fine press printing; trade catalogs, seed catalogs, and nursery sample books; and the Unidel history of chemistry collection.  Manuscripts and archival collections include original works on paper (which may be unpublished or published); personal papers of individuals and families; records of small businesses and organizations; graphic materials; prints, photographs, and images; commonplaces, albums, and scrapbooks; account books and ledgers; diaries, journals, and ships logs; audio/visual material; electronic records; and ephemera and realia, as appropriate. These special collections overall date from the fifteenth century to the present.

Exhibitions offer an introduction to some of the concentrations in Special Collections: https://library.udel.edu/spec/exhibitions/ . Archival collection descriptions are available online: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/index.htm . Digital collections created from Library holdings are also available on Artstor and DSpace: http://www.lib.udel.edu/digital/

On Museums

The strengths of the Museums’ collections include American art from the late nineteenth century to the present (especially photography, prints and African-American art), Inuit art (drawings, prints and sculpture) and pre-Columbian ceramics, as well as minerals. A representative selection from the collection is offered on Artstor.


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