The Special Collections page on our website is the place to go to find some of the more unique and interesting items held by the Browne Popular Culture Library. We recently added four new collections to the page, and we just had to tell you about them!
Paper dolls were popular playthings for girls during much of the 20th century. Our paper doll collection includes everything from animals to movie stars in books that would’ve provided hours of fun to those who originally played with them. Like many of our items, these dolls came from donors, and so many of them have already been cut out and show signs of wear, making them interesting artifacts of 20th century girl culture.
Beanie Babies, cute and cuddly PVC plush dolls, burst on the scene in 1993 and became a nation-wide sensation for most of the decade. By the early 2000s, the market became over-saturated and the fad died out. Our Beanie Baby Collection includes examples of the dolls along with additional materials like books and price guides that illustrated just how serious collectors were about the fad.
“Who killed Laura Palmer?” was the TV-related question of 1990, when Twin Peaks premiered on ABC. While short-lived, the show inspired a devoted fandom, as shown by this small but interesting Twin Peaks Collection, which includes memorabilia sold in conjunction with the show, audio books, and several issues of the fanzine Twin Peaks Gazette.
The Hong Kong Cinema LaserDisc Collection is a collection of nearly 300 LaserDIscs focused mainly on Hong Kong cinema from the 1980s and 1990s. For the most part the films represented here never received a commercial release in the US on video cassette or DVD, making these a unique artifact of the arrival of Hong Kong films in North America. And yes, we do have a working LaserDisc player available for you to view these!