Tag Archives: Special Collections

Featured Study Space – Center for Archival Collections

Computers too crowded on the first floor?  Not enough room for your group up on 7?  Want to take a break from 8?  Come check out the study space on the 5th Floor of Jerome Library.  The Reading Room at the Center for Archival Collections has five tables to gather your group around, plus two computer workstations connected to a copier/printer.   We also have two scanners in case your projects need some last minute images.  We even have exhibits for when you need a bit of a study break.  Currently we are displaying materials documenting women and sports at BGSU.

The Center for Archival Collections is an archives and manuscript repository within the University Libraries.  Our primary mission is to actively acquire and make accessible to researchers historical materials for five unique collections: Northwest Ohio, University Archives, Historical Collection of the Great Lakes, Rare Books and Special Collections, and the National Student Affairs Archives. 

Just remember, you do not have to be using our collections in order to study here.  We have a friendly staff and our Reading Room is usually pretty quiet.  This makes us a great alternative study space anytime of the year.  We are open 8 am to 9 pm Mondays and 8 am – 5 pm Tuesdays through Fridays.

We hope to see you sometime soon on 5!

Featured Study Space – Browne Popular Culture Library

Founded in 1969, the Browne Popular Culture Library occupies the entire fourth floor of the Jerome Library and contains a mind-boggling collection of items related to American popular culture from the late 1800s through today.

But did you know it’s also a delightful place to spend a day studying? We have comfy couches with plenty of power outlets, tables for small group studying, and a chance to listen in on our staff arguing hot topics like the merits of Die Hard as a Christmas movie (it totally is!).

Need a break from studying? Check our catalog for your favorite superhero and spend some time with classic comic books. You could also read a romance novel, or even some classic Star Trek fan fiction. We’ve also got a wide selection of DVDs that you can check out with your BGSU ID- from TV shows and documentaries to animation and Hollywood hits.

The Browne Popular Culture Library is one of the hidden gems of BGSU’s campus. Come spend an hour or two among some of the coolest stuff around. And maybe get some work done while you’re at it. We’re open 8am-9pm Monday and Tuesday, 8am-5pm Wednesday-Friday, and 5pm-9pm Sundays. See you soon!

Featured Study Space – Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives

Stressed about finals? Come visit us in the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives on the third floor of Jerome Library! We have books, scores, and recordings to support curriculum in Music, Popular Culture, and American Culture Studies. 

If you’re writing papers, we have several Mac and PC computer workstations, a copier/printer, and two scanners, as well as helpful reference staff for music-related topics.

Just need study space? Come enjoy our comfy seating and work tables that can easily accommodate larger study groups.

Need a study break? Search our collections in the library catalog and relax while listening to some great music. We have almost a million recordings spanning nearly every conceivable genre from classical to heavy metal to reggae to bluegrass that you can hear in our listening room!  

Featured Study Space – Visit the CRC

As we get ready for finals, each day we’ll feature some of the lesser-known study spaces in the Jerome Library. Floors 2 through 5 house our Special Collections, but can also be great places to study, away from the crowds!

Curriculum Resource Center

What do Katniss Everdeen, Winnie the Pooh, and Jackie Robinson all have in common? They’re all characters in books available at the Curriculum Resource Center!

And if studying has got you down this Finals Week, why not treat yourself to reading The Hunger Games, Finding Winnie, or Jackie’s Bat? And while you’re picking up a copy at the CRC, why not stay to study?

The Curriculum Resource Center is the ideal place to tuck away and study during Finals Week. In addition to many group study tables, we have an entire classroom, Room 210B, at your disposal (just check the schedule posted outside to see if it’s available). A few of our tables are even tucked away from foot traffic if you really desire a quiet place to work.

As an added bonus, you’ll be surrounded by children’s and young adult literature, games, classroom activities, puppets, die-cut machines, and other charming distractions for when your brain is full and you need a break.

Expand your study space and study away from the crowd. Although Room 210B and the teaching aids shutter up by 10:00 PM, the CRC’s main floor closes when the library closes – which is pretty much never during Finals Week.

Come visit us. Even if it’s just to say “hi” or check out a great children’s book.

Take a sneak peak inside the Browne Popular Culture Library

This past spring, Visual Communication Technology student Linda Peralez stopped by the Ray & Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies to film a short documentary. Featuring Head Librarian Nancy Down and Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist Steve Ammidown as well as Department of Popular Culture Lecturer Dr. Charles Coletta, this documentary gives a brief history of the library as well as a glimpse inside its amazing and eclectic collections. Take a peek, and then come see for yourself!

A special thanks to Linda Peralez for allowing us to share her excellent work with you.

Popular Culture Scholars Convene for Summer Institute

The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association recently held its Summer Research Institute at the Wm. T. Jerome Library.

Two dozen scholars from universities around the country convened for this weeklong research workshop and had the opportunity to work in the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies and the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives.    PC22

The institute is presented in partnership with BGSU’s Department of Popular Culture and the University Libraries (UL). Research fellow Lynn Bartholome, visiting assistant professor Esther Clinton and professor and acting chair Jeremy Wallach from the Department of Popular culture served as directors of this year’s institute.

“The University Libraries enjoyed collaborating with the PCA/ACA and the BGSU Department of Popular Culture to host the research institute,” said Dean Sara A. Bushong. “Scholars benefitted from the opportunity to explore treasures within the collections and to discuss their research with others.”

PC333Among the presenters from University Libraries were Susannah Cleveland, head librarian of the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives, and Nancy Down, head librarian of the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies. Presenting from the Department of Popular Culture were lecturer Charles Coletta, lecturer Matthew Donahue, instructor Tiffany Knoell, associate professor Montana Miller and associate professor Angela Nelson.

In addition to conducting research in the UL collections, participants took part in lectures and roundtable discussions on topics such as interpreting popular texts and exploring methodology, along with a presentation about Dr. Ray Browne, a distinguished university professor emeritus of popular culture for whom the Libraries’ popular culture collection is named.



Donation Creates Research Destination for Great Lakes History

The University Libraries at Bowling Green State University has greatly expanded its collection of Great Lakes research materials thanks to a significant donation from the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society.

More than 160 cubic feet of photos, pamphlets, slides, bound materials, postcards and archival materials have found a new home in the Libraries’ Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL), housed within the Center for Archival Collection.


“We are grateful to the National Museum of the Great Lakes for entrusting us with their extensive collection, and we are excited that the consolidation of their materials with our existing Great Lakes archives has now created the largest collection of its kind on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University. “Thank you to the Museum, its board of directors, the Great Lakes Historical Society and the University Libraries staff who helped to facilitate this exciting and symbiotic new alliance in the name of historic preservation.”

These additional materials bolster the already robust offering of Great Lakes-related research and artifacts curated by the University Libraries at BGSU.

“The Great Lakes materials recently donated to HCGL is a wonderful addition to our holdings and provides many opportunities for collaboration between BGSU, the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Historical Society,” said University Libraries Dean Sara A. Bushong.


The addition of these materials to BGSU also will make University Libraries a major research destination in the U.S. for Great Lakes history.

“The added scope and depth of the HCGL collection expands research opportunities for BGSU students and faculty, National Museum of the Great Lakes staff and patrons, as well as researchers from beyond campus,” said retired HCGL archivist Bob Graham, who played an instrumental role in bringing the collection to BGSU. “Both organizations view this donation as the first step in an evolving partnership involving students, faculty and museum staff.”

Potential areas of collaboration include internships, lectures series, exhibits, new courses and digital galleries.

“The merging of these incredible archival collections is just the beginning of a long, synergistic journey between our two organizations that will both preserve Great Lakes history, but more important, elevate the perception of Great Lakes history in our national culture,” said Christopher Gillcrist, National Museum of the Great Lakes Executive Director. “This collaboration will help ensure the understanding of the role Great Lake history has played in our national story.”

Founded in 1944, the Great Lakes Historical Society was one of the earliest organizations to focus on the history of the Great Lakes region. For the past seven decades, the society has created one of the premier collections of historical materials documenting the Great Lakes, which was previously housed in the Clarence S. Metcalf Great Lakes Maritime Research Library at the former Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio.


“The archival collection that we donated to BGSU represents over 70 years of library-based materials donated to and acquired by our organization,” said Anna Kolin, development director for the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “By merging it with a large university, it increases its access to those looking to do research on Great Lakes topics, which is why, in part, BGSU was chosen.”

Local Author to Speak at BGSU Library

The Friends of the University Libraries cordially invite you to hear guest author, Julie Rubini, discuss her latest book “Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist.”

Tuesday, April 11
11:30 am
Pallister Conference Room
Wm. T. Jerome Library
Please RSVP at libadmin@bgsu.edu

About the Author
Julie and her husband established Claire’s Day, a children’s book festival in honor of their daughter. This celebration of Claire’s love for reading has grown to a multiple date celebration, impacting over 20,000 children and family members.

Julie is the author of Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist, published by Ohio University Press and Hidden Ohio, a picture book. She has also written Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller, a biography of America’s most honored author of children’s literature, to be released by OUP in June 2017.

She currently serves on Maumee City Council, and enjoys reading to kindergartners weekly. But most of all, she cherishes her roles as wife to Brad and mother to daughter Kyle and son Ian.

Julie is the recipient of the Toledo area Jefferson Award (2015) and the YWCA Milestones Award (2016).



Independent films on extraordinary African American musicians

To celebrate Black History month, Kanopy is highlighting a selection fo independent films, many exclusive to Kanopy, that showcase the stories of extraordinary African American musicians whose talent has shaped today’s music industry.

Kanopy’s entire Black History Month collection is now available to watch here.

Bayou Maharajah
This film explores the life, times and music of piano legend James Booker, who is described as, “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” This roller coaster portrait brings to life the unforgettable story of this amazing musician.
You See Me Laughin’ is a personal journey into the lives and music of the last of the Mississippi hill country bluesmen – farmers and laborers first, musicians second. Musicians who’ve labored for the blues tradition despite lives steeped in poverty and violence.The result is a raw, powerful music.
America’s Blues explores the impact that the Blues has had on our society, our culture, and the entertainment industry. The Blues has influenced nearly every form of American Music and sadly, aside from its part in the birth of Rock and Roll, its influence often goes unrecognized. If music were a color, it would be Blue.
This award-winning documentary tells the untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their journeys from the late 30s to the present day. The many first-hand accounts of the challenges faced by these talented women provide a glimpse into decades of racism and sexism that have existed in America.
In the 1970s Roberta Flack became a global sensation. Her style of soulful pop transcended to become the dinner party soundtrack for Middle America. It is a deeply personal story told alongside the wider context of America’s civil rights movement, a struggle that was to strike a chord all over the world.
A tender, revealing documentary about one of the most famous and popular performing artists of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theatre history; her song “J’ai deux amours” became a classic, and her hymn. Josephine Baker is portrayed as a true superstar, one with grace and humility.
A musical art form, the American Spiritual, was born out of the folk songs of slaves. Melodies of backbreaking work were sung and passed on throughout the Deep South. Sorrow songs were used to console and transmit secret information. The spirituals have survived generations and continue to inspire all over the world.
This documentary is an intimate look at Tupac Shakur’s life told through never-before-seen footage and interviews with his close friends, revealing an artist who grew up a thug, but one who soon tired of that lifestyle and its trappings, revealing a Tupac far different from the one most of America knows.

By 15 years old, Frank Morgan was an accomplished saxophonist. As his notoriety grew, so did a steady heroin addiction, landing him in and out of jail for over 30 years. The Sound of Redemption offers a frank look into the ups and downs of Morgan’s life and a reflective look at African American culture in 1950s Los Angeles.
This film excavates the hidden sexualities of Black female entertainers who reigned over the nascent blues recording industry of the 1920s. Unlike the male-dominated jazz scene, early blues provided a space for women to take the lead and model an autonomy that was remarkable for women.

Alumnus Expands Gift to Support Polka Preservation Fund

Steve Harris ’71 is on a mission to preserve polka’s musical heritage, and he is entrusting Bowling Green State University Libraries to help him do it.

In 2015, Harris, the president of Music Publishers of America (MPA), donated two copies of the thousands of selections in his company’s polka music collection – originally published by the Vitak-Elsnic Company – to the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives at BGSU’s Wm. T. Jerome Library.

Recently, Harris has also made provisions in his estate planning to ensure that the entirety of the company, plus a significant cash bequest, will flow into BGSU’s Polka Preservation Fund at some point in the future to help preserve and promote this invaluable collection.

“Steve has been an extraordinary donor to the library,” said Susannah Cleveland, head of the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives. “With his 2015 gift of sheet music, he helped us to make sure that this music that is so crucial to the culture of our region can be preserved and made accessible to scholars. His most recent gift will help us make a long-term commitment to this collection, this music and this culture.”

“I know the university and I share the same goal to preserve this part of our musical heritage,” said Harris, who grew up with this genre like so many others in rural middle America, especially those with Eastern European heritage. Although polka originated in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, it spread through neighboring Eastern European countries and was carried to America via waves of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“The vast majority of the composers and arrangers of the music in the collection were people who either themselves immigrated to this country or were the children of immigrants – Czech, Polish, Lithuanian, German,” Harris explained. “The music is part of a broader immigrant experience. It really represents an important part of the whole European immigrant experience from the 1880s to the 1950s.”

The music is in Harris’ blood. His parents played in a polka band with several family members, and Harris even graced the stage with them at the early age of 11. He has carried on the family tradition, releasing three albums of polka music from MPA’s collection. The latest release just this month was performed by Harris’ own Vitak-Elsnic Tribute Band.  Musicians in addition to Harris include his two brothers, a cousin and long-time friends who are all born and raised in northwest Ohio.  The album, appropriately entitled Made in Ohio, is available through MPA or digitally through iTunes and Google Play.

“The idea is to keep the music alive and reintroduce the genre to a different, younger generation of people and also to update and refresh the originals,” Harris said.

Harris’ recent gift to BGSU will help support ongoing cataloguing, processing, promotion and preservation of the collection materials donated in 2015.

“It will give us the ability to support additional access to and outreach for the collection and also to acquire and process related materials, support scholars in their research and program activities around polka,” Cleveland said.

In addition, the funds will help sustain promotional and outreach efforts in collaboration with area ensembles, as well as student travel to perform pieces from the collection or present on polka topics at conferences. It also will help with the additional acquisition of related polka materials and reference resources.

In addition to the sheet music MPA acquired from the Vitak-Elsnic Company, a venerable music publishing company in the polka music industry, Harris plans to donate the company’s business records for historical reference. He hopes BGSU is able to acquire artifacts and music published by other companies as well.

“Already with the initial donation, BGSU indisputably has the world’s largest collection of American polka music,” Harris said. “I’m confident the university can continue to build on its budding reputation as the world’s leading repository of polka music and related artifacts.”

Harris is thrilled that BGSU was so gracious and excited in accepting the collection, and he is working closely with the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives on a plan to promote the vitality of polka in the modern age.

“He has been an active partner in helping us to think of ways to increase outreach to the community around polka, an area that was new to us,” Cleveland said. “His generosity and attention to detail have made him an ideal partner in this initiative, and we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.”

Harris, meanwhile, is happy about the chance to reconnect with his alma mater.

“Over the intervening period when I was working in Columbus and later in the D.C. and New York areas, I didn’t get a chance to spend a whole lot of time at the university,” said Harris. “In the last couple of years, due to all the activity related to the collection as well as our band, I’ve come back regularly to the university.”

“As an alumnus, I’m very pleased and impressed to see what’s happening not only from the capital campaign and replacing some of the older buildings and making them more functional and attractive, but the university’s approach to its higher education mission. I’m very impressed with what I see all around, and I know the Vitak-Elsnic collection has found a good home.”