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the campaign season

[Ed note: I don’t know what’s worse, that I put down the wrong election day in this posting originally–based on the advice of a colleague which I didn’t confirm–or that none of you caught it in the 4 days it was up! Go vote. November 2. And now back to our regularly scheduled program:]

While walking through the Consortium Library’s great room this morning I looked over at our exhibit of rare books on food and eating and thought: “I love it, but it’s been out for a while.”  (good job Megan!) Maybe it was time for a change.

But what to do next? One of the steps that always seems to take a while is coming up with a theme. If we don’t have something we already know we want to do, then we start having to cast around for ideas. And my fallback is trying to find something that’s going on currently that we can tap into. Well, what better than the campaign season in October/November? (Aside from wishing I’d thought of this a month ago, I mean). So I talked with MC who has recently gone through some of our larger political collections and knows where the extra campaign materials live and were kept back for exhibit purposes, and between her knowledge and some searching, we found a bunch of fun stuff to put out. Bumper stickers, buttons, placards, mailings, even a Ted Stevens ’67 silk tie (from the William Boardman papers).

view of exhibit from 3rd floor

And since we wouldn’t be doing our civic duty–or connecting it to current events–if we just put out campaign memorabilia, we printed out some labels that remind viewers to vote. Tuesday, November 2.

To the left is a view of the exhibit from the 3rd floor overlook into the Great Room. What I found interesting is how visible and readable some of these materials are from this distance. Even in this relatively low-resolution image, you can make out the big Hickel sign on an angle in the bottom left case. And if the photo were a little clearer, you could read the Egan bumper sticker (orange on black, just to the right of the Hickel sign) and the Chance bumper sticker (fluorescent pink on black just above the Hickel sign) too. As MC gently pointed out to me, that’s kind of the point to these things. To be visible, I mean. Which, while I hadn’t thought about it, makes them a great choice for an exhibit too: it’s always good to have exhibits out that draw attention to themselves.

If you stop by the cases and decide you just have to see more of this sort of thing, we have a lot of campaign type materials throughout many of our collections. In this exhibit, the materials came from the Arliss Sturgulewski, Jay Hammond, John Hellenthal, William Boardman, and Willard Bowman papers, but we have lots more. A good place to start looking would be our guide to legislative papers we have here in A&SC.

But whether or not you’re able to come visit the exhibit or come do some more research of your own, November 2. That’s the day. Make sure you remember to vote.

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