University Libraries Exhibit Spotlights ‘Hidden Treasures’

Posted: February 5, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Veronica Fisher, University Records Manager

The University Libraries new exhibit, “Hidden Treasures in Special Collections & Archives,” features unusual, unique or otherwise unconventional archival material. The exhibit includes Civil War era items, rare books, theater-related archives and other visually appealing selections.

Some of the displayed items are from frequently referenced archival collections, such as the Federal Theatre Project Collection and the Arena Stage Collection. A 1930s tomato-shaped marionette and a photograph of film, television and stage actor Robert Prosky come from these sources.

However, most of the items are from smaller or lesser used collections, such as the Japanese sash from the Leonard H. Clark Collection and a 1792 French National Assembly law, signed by the king, from the Michael La Vean Collection.

Many of the exhibit items were selected because of their unique nature.

“We wanted to show the Mason community that Special Collections is not just a repository for manuscript collections. We have wonderful holdings in such areas as photography, rare books and Civil War memorabilia,” explains Adam Fielding, research services coordinator and cocurator of the exhibit.

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) is the unit within the University Libraries charged with acquiring, documenting, preserving and providing access to primary research collections and documents.

SC&A also manages the noncurrent and archival records of George Mason University and is responsible for the administration of, and preservation and access to, the theses and dissertations of Mason students. In addition, the unit creates audiovisual documentary resources through its Oral History program.

SC&A services, collections and programs not only support Mason’s teaching and research activities, but also serve the community at large and attract researchers from around the world.

“Hidden Treasures” is on display in Fenwick Library on the second floor, adjacent to room 202A. The exhibit runs through April 2009. An online version of the exhibit is also available.

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