Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Charles Deering McCormick Special Collections Library


In the Charles Deering McCormick Special Collections Library tour we were greeted by a very energetic former lumberjack named Mr. Russell. In 1930, the library began construction due in large part to money funded by Deering and McCormick families. In 1933 it was the primary library of northwestern until 1970, when another library was built adjacent. Since then the Charles Deering McCormick library has become a special collection library. The special collections consisted of many books, manuscripts, posters, and scrolls most of which were created very long ago. The library consists of 45,000 volumes of rare books covering different areas. The total amount of items that can be found in the special collections is over 225,000. Mr. Russell let us examine some very old stones that contained hieroglyphic-like symbols and a bible that was handwritten on animal skin from B.C. Some of the other items that can be found in the special collections include: the Archives of the Dublin Gate Theatre Ireland, four thousand year old Mesopotamian clay tablets, T.S. Eliot correspondence, originals of The Siege and Commune of Paris, and William Hogarth caricatures. The most unique item that can be found in the special collections library is the Autobahn.

Links
www.library.northwestern.edu/spec

Aras

6 comments:

Jessica said...

I thought it was really interesting how Mr. Russell sort of took us "through time". I love anthropology and artifacts like that, it was really amazing how well they have been preserved.

Liz said...

The materials in this part of the library totally blew my mind. Looking at the Bible in particular had quite the impact on me, just because it is an ancient document that has been preserved by so many hands. I really enjoyed this librarian's humor and his extensive knowledge about this special collection.

Maria said...

This special collections library was my favorite part of the Northwestern visit. The librarian was very knowledgable and approachable. Also, the variety of manuscripts was astounding. This collection included everything from papyrus to animal skin to actual printing blocks! I love learning about ancient cultures, and writings is one of the most important clues the past leaves us!

Jenn said...

Special Collections was my favorite section of the library. It was so awesome to listen to the history of writing and hold artifacts and books that are so old. The collection must be astounding to browse through and use for research.

mercedez091 said...

This was wonderful to see all the artifact that were in the special collections. I especially enjoyed how we actually go to touch all these pieces. I also loved that Mr. Russell was so interested and attached he was to his collection. It made the visit very interesting.

Kiley A said...

Before this class I never really knew there were 'special collections' libraries, but that part of the tour was my absolute favorite. I think what made that tour so interesting was Mr. Russell, because you could totally tell he loved his job!