NDS postcard flyer image

"What's in a brain?"

Norman D. Stevens, Director of University Libraries Emeritus at UConn, is, among other things, an amateur library historian with an interest in such subjects as the image of the librarian, library humor, and what he defined as librariana. In his book A Guide to Collecting Librariana (1986), he identified that term as “Those artifacts, including but by no means limited to printed materials, that depict any aspect of librarians, librarianship, and/or libraries; such artifacts, which are most typically of an ephemeral nature, may be those produced or used by librarians or libraries as well as those produced and used by others; they include, in particular,representations of librarians, librarianship, and/or libraries in the popular culture of society.” That book grew out of his own collection of over 25,000 postcards of library buildings, and much other material, that is now housed in the Canadian Centre of Architecture in Montreal. While building that collection, Dr. Stevens developed a broader interest in postcards and has established contacts with numerous major postcard collectors and collections. That led him to edit Postcards in the Library: Invaluable Visual Resources (1995). As part of that process, he conducted a thorough analysis of major scholarly articles in a number of fields that were based on the use of postcards.

To talk more about this, Norman will be the featured speaker for the UConn Humanities Institute Faculty Lecture Series on Wednesday, November 4 at 4:00pm.  His presentation, located here in the Dodd Center’s John P. McDonald Reading Room, will focus on his own experiences with using postcards for research purposes, his knowledge of substantial postcard collections, and the extent to which such seemingly unimportant materials can be truly valuable research resources. The program will conclude with a short visual presentation of postcards depicting books and reading from another of his collections.

Please reserve seating by contacting (860) 486-9057 or uchi@uconn.edu

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