Behind the Book Collections | UDaily

Behind each collection hides a story. How did the collector begin to accumulate objects? When did they start collecting? Why do they collect these particular objects?

While every collection is unique, one thing is true whether the focus is on trading cards, comic books, license plates or ceramic bird figurines: every collection takes time and effort. intention to build.

The winning collections of the 2021 Seth Trotter Book Collecting Contest – a competition sponsored by the Friends of the University of Delaware Library – have been carefully curated over many years by UD students.

The books in these collections speak to the history of black women, historical fashion, and disasters, respectively, while offering unique insight into the personal, professional, and academic stories of collectors Katrina Anderson, Margaret O’Neil, and Logan Gerber-Chavez. .

Discovering the hidden lives of women of African descent in the Atlantic world, 1600-1865

In this collection, Katrina Anderson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, merges her interests in women’s history and early African-American history. Divided into three subsections, the collection focuses on documents that shed light on the history of African American women from colonial America to 1865, the religious history of black women up to 1865, and the transnational history black women until 1865.

Growing up, Anderson had little exposure to black women’s history. As an undergraduate student, she immersed herself in women’s history, but it was during her graduate studies that she developed her interest in the history of women of African descent and began to organize his own collection of books on the subject. Since then, his collection has grown considerably, growing with his university studies and continued experiences.

“As an avid book collector, I am proud of my collection of books on the history of black women in the Atlantic world,” Anderson said in her entry for the competition. “…In my own dissertation, this collection helped me articulate a more nuanced understanding of the multiplicity of experiences of women of African descent in the Atlantic world, and how they persevered in their struggle to create change in society and a better life for the black community.

Historical fashion, textiles and textile arts: collection of books and archives

Margaret O’Neil, a student at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC), lives, breathes and reads historical fashion. Its collection focuses on historical Western fashion and textiles from antiquity to the present day. Over the span of five years, she collected around 200 books, 50 old fashion catalogs and magazines, 100 photographs of historic clothing, over 100 vintage sewing patterns and an assortment of packaging, advertisements and other documents. fleeting.

O’Neil, who first became interested in couture and historical clothing when she and her friends dressed in “period” costumes for high school murder mystery dinner parties, considers the collection versatile and constantly evolving. It serves as research and reference for her work as a textile restorer, to make reproductions of historical clothing and to accompany her collection of historical clothing.

“It’s so satisfying to have a large collection of books from which to research a new project like an 18th-century living room set or a mid-1860s dress,” O’Neil said in his application for the competition. “The internet has some great resources, but it’s just not as quick and easy as looking in my library.”

Once Upon a Tornado: A Collection of Disaster Books

Logan Gerber Chavez, a PhD student in the Disaster Science and Management program, collects books that tell stories of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mine spills, climate change, exposure to toxic chemicals, pandemics and other disasters. In its collection you will find dystopian fiction, memoirs, textbooks and reference books, case studies and picture books designed to teach children about disasters.

Gerber-Chavez first became interested in the weather after witnessing a tornado when she was in elementary school. The next day, she went to her local library to learn all she could about meteorology. His pursuits quickly broadened to include climatology, climate policy, geography, geology, hazardous materials, environmental justice, and disasters in general. Since coming to UD, she has been able to focus on building her collection and reading each title to broaden her perspective and understanding of the topics she will cover in her professional career.

“I am currently in the middle of the Ph.D. program in Disaster Science and Management and affiliated with the Disaster Research Center, home of the Quarantelli Collection, the world’s largest collection of disaster-related publications,” Gerber-Chavez wrote in her application. in the competition.” Although my personal collection was nowhere near the size of the Quarantelli collection, I was inspired by the access to books and started scouring all the used bookstores for books on the disasters wherever I go.”

For more on these unique collections, stay tuned for a series of UDaily articles that will introduce each of the award-winning collectors and how their collection came to be.

Seth Trotter Student Book Collector Competition

Since 2019, the Seth Trotter Book Collecting Contest has celebrated student book collections to encourage reading and research, the building of personal libraries, and the appreciation of printed and illustrated works by undergraduate and graduate students across the university. ‘UD. Sponsored by the Friends of the University of Delaware Library, the competition is named after Seth Trotter, a UD graduate of the Class of 1994, who died suddenly in November 1995. While a student at UD , Trotter frequently visited the Special Collections exhibits and the library. lectures as a member of the Friends of the UD Library. If you would like to support the Friends and the future of this competition, you can do so here.

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