Scholars Reveal the “Special” in our Library Collections

May 16, 2019

The average person sauntering down State Street understands that there is a wealth of knowledge held in Memorial and other campus libraries. However, most are unaware that many of the diverse collections safeguarded there are one of a kind. Raising the public’s awareness of these unique materials is an ongoing challenge for the Libraries, and one that the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries enjoys tackling. With a relatively small budget, the Friends support the Libraries with special events that highlight these collections, preservation funding to ensure their longevity, and competitive research grants awarded to scholars who wish to utilize them.  These scholars, who come from around the nation and the world, are investigating vastly different topics but they share one commonality:  their project requires a deep dive into a repository of exclusive pieces that can only be found in the UW-Madison Libraries.

This year, the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries has extended funding to defray the travel expenses for over a dozen doctorate-level researchers.  Some originate as far away as Spain and the United Kingdom; others hail from Ohio State, University of Virginia, University of Arizona, and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.  They are experts in the Cold War, Hmong displacement, political cartoons, contemporary film, Italian art, and American civil rights.  They are early academics, scholars in residence, experienced faculty, and independent writers.  Together, the Friends will offer them over $25,000 in travel assistance and sponsor lecture opportunities, publish their reports online, and highlight them in library print material. With each scholar’s visit, opportunities exist to shine light into obscure areas of our campus libraries where valuable collections are housed.

Over their 70-year history, the Friends’ continuous efforts to be an outreach arm of the Libraries has been rewarding. The Friends, in collaboration with the Libraries administration and the UW Foundation, have an important role backed by a strong tradition of recognizing and sharing what is special about UW-Madison libraries. See below for a taste of what the 2019 scholars are doing and check out the link for upcoming Friends events:

U.S. SCHOLARS        
LO, Aline
PhD in English Literature
Allegheny College, PA Hmong displacement and dispersal Bertrais collection in Memorial Library April 2019

PhD Candidate in History

Georgia State University History of Science, chymicall collections of the 17th century Duveen Collection, Special Collections May 2019
PhD candidate in History
University of Virginia American religious history, consumer & pop culture The Irna Phillips papers including scripts and correspondence from The Guiding Light, Wisconsin Historical Society May 2019
PhD in History
Southern Virginia University & Hamilton College, NY Intelligence history and the Cold War Culture, esp. J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I. The papers of Dore Schary, Walter Wanger, George Seaton, Edna Ferber, Howard Koch, and the Hollywood Democratic Committee, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, WHS May 2019
PhD in American Studies
University of Louisville, KY Native American History and their indigenous literary practices Many papers held within the Draper manuscripts collection, Wisconsin Historical Society June 2019
KYLE, Sarah
PhD History of Art
University of Oklahoma The interconnection between late medieval Italian art & plant medicine Early printed volumes of materia medica, the Chester Thordarson and Duveen collections in Special Collections, Memorial and Ebling Libraries July 2019
PhD candidate in English
CUNY Graduate Center, NY Amateur journalism, forms of childhood agency in the 19th century Photos, ephemera, and amateur newspapers edited by girls in the Library of Amateur Journalism, Special Collections July 2019
PhD candidate in English
Ohio State University Indian and South Asian literary history Periodicals and newspapers held in the South Asian Studies Collection in Memorial Library July 2019
PhD in Mass Communication
University of Arizona Journalism history, social justice political cartoons of the 20th century Social Action Collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society, including anti-Vietnam War protests, GI rights and protests, and small periodicals August 2019

PhD in Modern Art

University of the Arts, London, UK Contemporary art, experimental film and video Mid-20th century American filmmaker, The Shirley Clarke Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society June 2019
PhD candidate in History
University of Oxford, UK 20th century U.S. History, Ronald Reagan, Hollywood’s ‘red scare’ and the conservative ascendency
Hollywood Ten and Hollywood Democratic Committee records held by the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, also the Ed Sullivan Papers, the Republican Party of Wisconsin records, and Robert D. Novak papers, WHS Summer 2019
PhD in History
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain 18th and 19th century Philippine history Southeast Asian and Philippine collections within Memorial Library Summer 2019
PhD candidate in History
University of Oxford, UK Framing American Civil Rights through television news CBS and NBC News records, papers of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and many others, Wisconsin Historical Society Summer 2019
PhD in American History
University of East Anglia, UK Biography of Sigrid Schultz, Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune,1911-1941, and witness to the rise of Nazism The papers of Sigrid Schultz, Wisconsin Historical Society Winter 2020