Participant Driven Session: My Books Smell Good: Fantasy and Sentimentality in Special Collections
Sponsored by: Arthur Fournier fine and rare
Librarians from a large public university, a large private university, and a small liberal arts college will ask how and why we turn to the “wonder factor” of rare books and archives. Who hasn’t observed a visitor relishing the smell of old books, a researcher inspired by the architecture of a special collections space, or a rapturous student asking to touch a leaf of parchment? Join us for an open-ended conversation as we grapple with questions such as: How far can fantasy carry us when defending special collections to administrators? Do these approaches undermine our mission and relevancy? Is “sentimentality” going underground as we focus on assessment? What does it mean when we acquire things that lack materiality, as we move from analog to digital?
Rebekah Irwin, Middlebury College
Tom Hyry, Harvard University
Anne Bahde, Oregon State University