Input highlights importance of print and archival collections

Input highlights importance of print and archival collections

February 5, 2013


Queen’s community members took advantage of exciting opportunities recently to reimagine how space is designed and used across Queen’s Library and Archives. The consultation sessions were part of the Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP) process.

“As a faculty member whose research focuses on material print culture, I have been both reassured and energized by the preliminary discussions,” says Shelley King (English). “The steering committee’s initial consultation with stakeholders has affirmed both the importance of print collection and a commitment to developing spaces that will highlight the exceptional holdings in Special Collections and Archives.”

Dr. King understands the challenges of showcasing the Library’s rich resources after curating the exhibit “Dickens at 200” with her colleague Catherine Harland, assisted by Pamela Manders of the W.D. Jordan Library. The exhibit offered the public a rare glimpse of the Library’s extensive holdings of first editions and original part-issue numbers of many of Charles Dickens’ best-known novels.

“We struggled to find a way of displaying the rare and fragile materials while protecting them from the damaging effects of light exposure,” says Dr. King. “Thus it is heartening to know that modern exhibit space for Archives and Special Collections is one of the priorities of the planning.”

The LAMP project launched last year and is closely aligned with the university’s Campus Master Plan. Providing new learning spaces in the libraries is a guiding principle of the plan in addition to stewardship and showcasing of archival and print collections and continual growth of digital resources.

“The input we have received from staff, faculty and students supports the central role Library and the Archives play in learning and research at Queen’s,” says Martha Whitehead, University Librarian and chair of the LAMP steering group. “They have indicated the need for more areas where people can collaborate and engage in critical discussions.”

The LAMP steering group has partnered with CS&P Architects, a highly respected firm specializing in educational institutions to develop the new Library and Archives Master Plan. CS&P is working closely with collection and storage specialists and library experts to develop a plan that addresses the current space challenges while respecting the diversity of Library and Archives users.

Community members can submit their views through the LAMP website. The LAMP steering group will continue its work with CS&P until the plan is completed in June.