Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wasatch Mountain Club (What is/are Special Collections?)

You may have heard "primary sources" when you were on the receiving end of a term paper assignment, but other than interviewing your grandmother (again), what's available?

Hey, good question! Many academic libraries have special collections that are unpublished things like manuscripts, diaries, photographs and letters that come from an authoritative source on the topic. Note that not every Bob and his uncle can contribute their things to a special collections. They actively collect significant and important collections and are growing constantly. Also, each library will have different stuff, guaranteed; because they're all typically one-of-a-kind materials. The special collections at our University of Utah Marriott Library are open to the public. Anyone can waltz on up to the desk and ask for specific things or general questions like, "how do I find out the names of miners at Bingham Mine in 1915?".

A great example of a collection is the Wasatch Mountain Club photographs. There are two ways of seeing the photographs. In person with the real photograph albums (special collections is on the 2nd floor of the library), or online via the scanned images. You can see an index of the images in what we call a 'finding aid'. If you want to see the actual images, you'll have to call ahead to make sure the collection will be there for you. Call 585-3073 for all the info.

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