The collections of the Donohue Rare Book Room are the focus of two articles in the current issue of USF Magazine. The article “The Museum Makers” details the recent exhibition Reformations: Dürer & the New Age of Print. The exhibition, which drew entirely upon the Rare Book Room’s print collection and collection of early-printed books, was designed and curated by Museum Studies graduate students in the Curatorial Practicum course. Students worked with collection materials throughout the course, thoughtfully planning all aspects of the exhibition including programming, publicity, and outreach. The project was complex and had many moving parts. The artifacts themselves demanded, both intellectually and physically, a high degree of engagement. In the end, the hard work revealed itself in abundance: Reformations was a highly professional, museum-quality exhibition that brought a critical and fresh perspective to a nascent period in the history of print culture. I highly recommend the article for an in-depth view into the workings of the exhibition and the far-reaching impact it had for students and the USF community.
The second feature “Rare and Wonderful: A Peek Inside USF’s Rare Book Room” offers a glimpse of selected treasures. The images highlight the range of materials housed in the Rare Book Room, including books by L. Frank Baum, manuscripts by John Muir, works by Thomas More, illustrated books, prints, and photographs, to name but a few. The four-page spread shows only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the wealth of materials located in the Rare Book Room, but it gives one an initial sense of the collection. Library patrons are encouraged to visit the Rare Book Room where these “rare and wonderful” materials are accessible to anyone who wishes to use them.
Head Librarian, Special Collections & University Archives