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Saturday, June 18 • 9:00am - 9:50am
Challenges and Opportunities of Art Collections in Theological Libraries: The John August Swanson Collection at Pitts Theology Library

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This presentation explores some of the benefits and challenges of collecting artwork and artists’ papers in theological libraries. I draw on my experiences curating the John August Swanson collection at Pitts Theology Library to discuss practical strategies of processing, engaging volunteers, and performing outreach. This presentation first contextualizes the Swanson collection at Pitts Library and addresses some of the unique features of this collection such as the medium of serigraphy. Then there are three parts that cover the topics of processing, engaging volunteers, and promoting the collection.
In terms of media, artwork collections vary significantly from traditional book and manuscript collections and thus require different approaches. For instance, storing, preserving, describing, and promoting art materials require different skills and vocabulary from traditional collections. I discuss how we have addressed these issues at Pitts Library and offer suggestions for others interested in embarking on developing similar collections. There are great payoffs for curating art collections that may draw interest from patrons and the public at large. Art collections stimulate conversations among researchers, volunteers, and other visitors to the library, which suggests that there is a real place for these types of collections in theological libraries, and not just in art museums.

avatar for Brandon Wason

Brandon Wason

Curator of Archives and Manuscripts, Pitts Theology Library

Saturday June 18, 2016 9:00am - 9:50am
Shoreline A

Attendees (9)

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