Thousands of books and other works published in the U.S. in 1923 entered the public domain on January 1, 2019. According to The Atlantic, this was “the first time since 1998 for a mass shift to the public domain of material protected under copyright. It’s also the beginning of a new annual tradition: For several decades from 2019 onward, each New Year’s Day will unleash a full year’s worth of works published 95 years earlier.” To celebrate the creative potential of these new public domain materials, we created a Color Our Collections PDF featuring images from books in the JMU Libraries’ collections – both the Special Collections and the circulating collection – that were originally published in 1923.
JMU Libraries’ Preservation Officer Attends Summer Workshops at Cat Tail Run School for Bookbinding Arts by Julia Merkel The time to hone “bench” skills, learn new repair techniques, and catch up with colleagues in the book arts is always a welcome opportunity. This Summer, I was able to attend three workshops at the Cat Tail Run Bindery. Incidentally, the school and bindery are run by proprietor Jill Deiss, a JMU graduate. The bindery opened in 1991, and the School for Bookbinding Arts followed soon after as an alternative to traditional apprenticeships. Deiss believes that bookbinding can be effectively taught through short, focused courses within a carefully designed curriculum (perfect for working professionals.) She has seen her students develop advanced skills with many going on to full conservation training. Cat Tail Run is a busy and magical little place tucked away in the wooded rolling hills northwest of Winchester, Virginia. Customers of the bindery are as varied as private citizens wishing to have family bibles restored or new theses and dissertations bound to oversize county record books built to withstand extremely heavy use to prestigious institutions such as the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Cathedral, or the Smithsonian requiring period appropriate Continue reading Keeping Up-to-Date with an Age-Old-Art
By Fiona Wirth JMU Libraries is pleased to present the sixth Dressing for Education exhibit collaboration between Special Collections and the JMU Historic Clothing Collection. This exhibit celebrates the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification and explores the civic engagement of women on campus through artifacts, manuscripts, and clothing. The 19th Amendment: A History of Women’s Rights at JMU is free and open to the public during all library hours in the historic west wing of Carrier Library now through Spring 2020. This exhibit was curated by Julia Merkel ‘92M and Pamela Schuelke Johnson ‘90M with the assistance of Madison Whitesell ‘17, Ashley Roth ‘17, Fiona Wirth ‘18, Matthew Perkins ‘18, and Renessa Rabenda ‘21. As a student assistant for Special Collections and Preservation, I was incredibly involved behind the scenes in the research, writing, and curation of this exhibit. My introduction to the exhibit process began in Summer 2017, a year after planning had already begun by previous assistants. While a basic outline had been organized and rudimentary background research formatted, I was tasked with perusing resources to configure the best examples with which to pursue our narrative. In researching the history of women’s civic engagement at Continue reading The 19th Amendment: A History of Women’s Rights at JMU
Special Collections Graduate Student Assistant, Yoon Ji Kim, has recently completed processing The Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection. A portion of the comic books were donated in 2015 by Dr. Brian Flota, Humanities Librarian at James Madison University, and became the Brian Flota Comic Book Collection. In 2016, Flota donated a collection of over 7,000 comics owned by his father, Bradley Flota, expanding the original collection to over 9,700 comic books. This collection contains a wide selection of comic book and magazine genres from major publishers such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics, as well as independent publishers. Thanks to Kim’s efforts, the comic books are fully inventoried, housed individually in acid-free paper folders, and available to the public. Can you describe the process of working with these comics? What was the condition of the comic books when you started the project, and what did you do to get them into their final state? The process was a long one as it took a good amount of the year. Most of the comics were in good condition but many were inside sticky plastic bags. By removing the comic books from the Continue reading Q&A with Yoon Ji Kim on processing the Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection