Editorial StaffMarch 10, 20236min
By Maia Bronfman ’24 So many people were interested in Wesleyan’s Archaeology and Collections Open House earlier this month, Archaeology Collections Manager Wendi Field Murray didn’t stop talking for two-and-a-half hours. “I had so many great conversations with people of all ages. A young boy who brought a sketchbook to draw all the interesting things he was seeing; an individual who helped excavate the Beman Triangle site 10 years ago; a Wesleyan student who had never seen the collection; an older gentleman who collects historic glass insulators,” Murray said. There were over 150 attendees at the open house held in…

Steve ScarpaNovember 1, 20228min
You wouldn’t necessarily think of a library catalog search as a moment where social justice issues come into play. But for the staff of the Wesleyan University Library and the managers of the campus’s museum collections, the words chosen to describe their materials, called descriptive metadata, present a unique opportunity to be mindful of equity, fairness and inclusion – not to mention accuracy. “There are two goals. When people are looking for information, they need terms that are going to help them find what they need. The second part is that when they are looking for something about themselves, they…

Steve ScarpaSeptember 23, 20211min
The ongoing demolition of the 1954 wing of the Public Affairs Center (PAC) yielded a touch of history on Sept. 17 when crews unearthed a time capsule sealed into the concrete entry slab on the east side of the building. A demolition contractor found a partially damaged copper box that had been encased in concrete. The outside of the box was green and brown with oxidation and dirt, but the inside retained its original bright sheen and color. This particular contractor had seen time capsules on other building projects and knew what he was dealing with. (more…)

Olivia DrakeMay 4, 20214min
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the Wesleyan community in a myriad of ways from student life to research to the way we teach and learn. This spring, Wesleyan's Special Collections & Archives, along with Academic Affairs, are hoping to build a historical record—and preserve for posterity—the stories, memories, messages, and creative works of the University's students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Postcards from a Pandemic Wesleyan's Special Collections & Archives has launched a "Postcards from a Pandemic" project, which aims to help future students and researchers understand what it was like to be a member of the Wesleyan community during…

Olivia DrakeAugust 19, 20207min
On Aug. 18, Wesleyan faculty, staff, and alumni presented a WESeminar titled "Hidden Treasures." The seminar focused on the holdings of the Dietrich American Foundation on long-term loan at Wesleyan, which includes letters, writings, and manuscripts by Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, among others. All documents are available to Wesleyan students and faculty through Wesleyan's Special Collections and Archives. "One of the hallmarks of the experience of studying at a liberal arts college is the opportunity to interact directly with material objects of the past—documents, rare books, artworks, cultural objects—in ways that are often only reserved for graduate…

Himeka CurielMay 4, 20202min
On April 13, Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives launched a new project asking the Wesleyan community for personal reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic. University Archivist Amanda Nelson introduced the project by saying, “It’s clear that we are all living and making history right now. As an archivist, I am always interested in recording these efforts so that . . . later, with the benefit of hindsight, [they can] give us and future generations of Wesleyan the ability to reflect on and learn from them.” Here, Nelson provides more insight into how the project came about and how the Wesleyan community…

Olivia DrakeMarch 2, 20204min
From fish fossils to film memorabilia to 1880s Arguses to Korean zithers, Wesleyan University is home to thousands of artifacts and teaching tools that are available through a multitude of collections. Learn more about some of Wesleyan's major collections below, as they are among the best of Wes! Schedule your visit today! THE ODGEN AND MARY LOUISE REID CINEMA ARCHIVES (website):   THE JOE WEBB PEOPLES MUSEUM AND COLLECTIONS (website): (more…)

Cynthia RockwellOctober 29, 201910min
Wesleyan's Special Collections and Archives is now home to a robust collection of novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett's letters and books. The memorabilia was donated to Wesleyan by Beckett's longtime friend Jay Levy ’60, Hon. ’96, and his wife, Sharon. On Oct. 24, Levy joined Samuel Beckett scholar Lois More Overbeck; President Michael Roth ’78; Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian at Wesleyan Andrew White; Professor of Theater Ron Jenkins; and Assistant Professor of French Michael Meere for a symposium titled "Homage to Samuel Beckett." The event, held in Olin Library's Smith Reading Room and attended by students, faculty, friends, and…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 23, 20191min
In honor of Constitution Day, Special Collections and Archives hosted a pop-up exhibit inside the Davison Rare Book Room in Olin Library on Sept. 19. The exhibit featured early versions of the US Constitution, Federalist papers, the Connecticut State Constitution, and original letters by Founding Fathers George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Photos of the exhibit are below: (Photos by Nick Sng '23) (more…)