This Thursday was a rather busy day here at the Wolfsonian-FIU Library. With David Almeida and I taking down and packing up the student exhibit at the Green Library on the Modesto Maidique Campus, rare books cataloguer Dr. Nicolae Harsanyi was left to hold down the fort, supervising interns, volunteers, and visiting scholars. At the same time, he was on hand to make a presentation to more than a dozen FIU students enrolled in Professor Tori Arpad’s exhibition installation class. The main reading room tables were laid out with all manner of rare materials garnered from nineteenth and twentieth century world’s fairs and international exhibitions, and the professor and her students had the opportunity to peruse the items on display and ask questions.

Shortly after those students departed and Mr. Almeida and I returned, we all had to scramble to quickly change out the display in preparation for the arrival another batch of FIU students. Professor Dennis Wiedman had been awarded a Mellon curriculum development grant and had devised an Ethnohistorical Research Methods class for graduate students with an interest in researching museum materials illustrative of globalization and modernity. The students were first given an introduction to the library collection and an orientation on the rules and regulations to be followed in scheduling research appointments. I also delivered a Powerpoint presentation in our classroom downstairs utilizing lots of digitized images of artifacts organized thematically and designed to show off some of the areas of strength that might prove useful for them as they begin to consider final research paper topics. But as the expression goes, “there’s nothing like the real thing,” and the students seemed to especially appreciate the opportunity of seeing an array of original primary source materials up close. I think it safe to assume that we can expect lots of FIU students emailing us with requests for research visits over the course of the Spring semester.

~ by "The Chief" on January 15, 2010.

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