Students hold many different jobs across campus, from preparing food in the Dining Center to keeping the College Bookstore stocked, and Lutnick Library is one of the biggest employers of students at Haverford. Over 100 students work for the library, and for those whose jobs are in Quaker and Special Collections, there are opportunities to engage with original primary materials. As Hannah Kolzer ’22 (pictured above) and Lillian Sweeney ’23 (pictured below), two current student workers, could tell you, you might even get the opportunity to curate your own exhibit using library materials. (Continued after the gallery.)
Kolzer’s exhibit, Quaker & Special Collections Across Disciplines, is meant to introduce visitors to the breadth of resources available on campus. Featuring materials from a manuscript diary of a woman in Revolutionary-era New Jersey to a first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, the exhibit intends to challenge the assumption that library materials are only useful for studying the humanities, rather than for scientific or anthropological research. The exhibit also includes a social media component that uses the hashtag #QSCAcrossDisciplines to highlight some additional College holdings.
“The basic goals of the exhibit are to show off the wide and exciting range of items that we hold in Special Collections and to encourage students from all disciplines—and non-students—to come make use of the collections,” said Kolzer. “I would love for people who have never visited Special Collections to get interested and come visit! I hope that people use parts of the exhibit as jumping-off points to work on research in Special Collections.”
For Sweeney, who mounted the exhibit The Life and Objects of Rufus Jones, the experience of curating for the library meant familiarizing herself with a large quantity of material related to the influential Quaker philosopher who both attended (Class of 1885) and taught at Haverford College.
“The Rufus Jones collection is on the larger size—there are around 150 manuscript boxes in total—but the majority of that bulk comes from his correspondence,” she said. “I focused initially on looking at the artifacts and other more distinct objects, and from there a loose structure arose with his photographs, correspondence, notes from his lectures, and a variety of artifacts. I mapped out what each shelf would be based on and then pulled the items corresponding to each topic.”
The two exhibits are composed of display cases full of three-dimensional artifacts hand-selected by Kolzer and Sweeney, and include informational panels about the materials.
Both Kolzer and Sweeney were supervised in their work by Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Head of Quaker and Special Collections Sarah Horowitz. She devised the exhibit curation as one of her student worker tasks as a way to celebrate Lutnick Library’s recent reopening.
“Quaker and Special Collections was closed for 18 months during the library renovation project,” said Horowitz. “As part of our reopening, I wanted to introduce students and researchers to the wide range of materials in the collections.”
Quaker and Special Collections Across Disciplines is on view in the Heritage Reading Room, and The Life and Objects of Rufus Jones can be found in the Rufus Jones Study Room. Both exhibits will be on display through the end of the semester.
Photos by Patrick Montero.