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Oct 07 2015

New today, 10/7

By: Karen DeWitt

By: Gwynn Thayer

The Special Collections Research Center continues to scan new materials in order to improve access to its rich collections. We are pleased to share some new scans of the Dorton Arena that were taken during its construction. The images are a part of the James L. Brandt Papers, which include materials that belonged to (and were also collected by) NCSU Design graduate James Lewis Brandt. Brandt worked for architect G. Milton Small and retired in 1991. To explore more of our digital resources, click here.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Last week was a busy week in Special Collections – two Graphic Design classes, GD 231 and GD 203 (taught by Russell Flinchum and Deb Littlejohn, respectively) reviewed a large selection of books with interesting design components.

GD 231, History of Design for Engineers and Scientists:

Russell Flinchum shared some background on this course:

During July 2015 I had a very special opportunity to spent a month at Drexel University in Philadelphia at a NEH Summer Institute on “The Canon and Beyond: Teaching the History of Modern Design.” With my 26 classmates, I had the chance to visit a number of special collections, including the Hagley Museum and Library, where Dr. Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds, took us on an impressive journey on the role of color in 19th century design (her 2012 book, The Color Revolution, is highly recommended). Reggie’s workshop had clued me in to the extensive network of publications focused on color research and standardization and I was able to show my students the Hoechst Company’s impressive volume on Cotton Dyeing as an example of the primary materials that Professor Blaszczyk had worked from.

For the GD 231 class, Special Collections selected volumes on the early applications of electricity, mechanical engineering, supply catalogs, and other books that showed Flinchum’s students what “the state of the art” was over a century ago and how information-rich that environment was.

GD 203, History of Graphic Design:

The students in Littlejohn’s class had a large list of books to select from, such as this perennial favorite by  E. A. Seguy. While studying their books, the students will consider some of these questions, all provided by Dr. Littlejohn:

In the first (subjective) part, think about and write about your experience with the book, such as:

What is my first visual impression of the book?
What is the physical nature of the book? Size, weight, binding, paper
How do I sense the book? Look, touch, smell, hear (don’t taste!)
What about the physical nature of the book interests me?
What is interesting about the design? Typography? images? cover? layout? etc.

In the second (objective) part, research and answer some of these questions (all questions are unlikely to be pertinent to each book, choose wisely):

(everyone must answer this) Why is this book in the collection? Why is it important enough to collect?
What is this book valued for? (may be more than one thing) subject matter, author, design, age, writing, illustrations, printing, previous owners, where produced
Is this book mentioned in books about the history of books and printing? (Z 250 section of the library)
How does this book fit in with history? Printing history, art/design history, history of a discipline, etc.
Is this book an example of something special? a beginning, an end, a particular style, etc.
Is this book part of the development of something?
If there are important individuals involved in the book’s making, who are they?
Is this book connected with any other books in the collection? In a series, by the same author, by the same designer, about the same subject, etc. Does this add to its importance?

We look forward to working with these classes again next year!

Sep 01 2015

New books 9/1

By: Karen DeWitt

Aug 18 2015

New books, 8/18

By: Karen DeWitt

By: Gwynn Thayer

Dean Marvin Malecha of the College of Design at NCSU has added a wide assortment of his drawings and other materials to his Papers. They will be processed and added to the collection as soon as possible. The new items include detailed hand drawings of buildings and other sites of architectural and cultural interest from around the world, as well as various other drawing projects he has been involved with throughout his long career. The Marvin J. Malecha Papers are housed in Special Collections and include a wide variety of other materials, including architectural models, presentation boards, project files, faculty papers, photographic materials, and other papers. The drawing, seen above, is a sketch from July 1989 in Athens, Greece.

By: Karen DeWitt

Raleigh, NC – The NCSU Libraries is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Fourth Annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference, which will be held at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh, NC on September 20-22, 2015. The University of Calgary and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) are co-sponsors of this event.

Librarians, architects, planners, designers, information technologists, and others will gather to discuss the challenges and achievements of designing libraries and learning centers for the 21st century. Sessions will feature an array of topics including creating and communicating a vision; developing innovative, technology-rich learning and research spaces; creating Makerspaces; planning staff workspaces; and addressing organizational and service models, including transforming the collaborative roles of librarians in these new research and discovery environments. We will include examples from renovated libraries as well as new buildings. In-depth tours of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and the D. H. Hill Library will be offered.

An optional preconference will be held on September 20, 2015. The theme of the preconference is “21st Century Libraries: Why Do They Matter?” and it will include sessions on infrastructure, spaces, partnerships, and re-education of librarians to support the life cycle of research and teaching.

For more information, please visit the conference website at

Jul 09 2015

New today, 7/9

By: Karen DeWitt

Jul 07 2015

New today, 7/7

By: Karen DeWitt

By: Karen DeWitt