The October 7 issue of UVA Today features an article on the Library exhibition “Extinction in the Archive,” composed of images and documents that trace the extinction of animal and plant species throughout history. The exhibition, which will run through January 18 in the first-floor gallery of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, came about when visiting scholar and post-doctoral fellow Adrienne Ghaly asked students enrolled in her course “Extinction in Art and Literature” if they were interested in researching special collections for material related to man-made extinctions.
Items in the exhibition were drawn from a variety of sources in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library: “trade catalogs and botanical prints, travel narratives, cookbooks, menus of 19th-century Independence Day dinners, game pieces and books on painters’ pigments.” Exhibitions coordinator Holly Robertson and Special Collections curator Molly Schwartzburg assisted the students, and the Library supported the project with Wolfe Undergraduate Fellowships offering undergrads an opportunity to promote library resources to the University community and the wider public.
“It is a great introduction to primary research in Special Collections for undergrads,” Robertson said. “Typically, these students select two to six items for an exhibition and do research to convey the story of those objects as pieces of the larger exhibition narrative. They … work with Molly on the research/curatorial angle and me on the exhibition design and layout end of things.”
For details about the exhibition, read the article “Finding Extinction Where You Least Expect It—in the Special Collections Library” (UVA Today 10/7/2019).