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Clarke Historical Library

Clarke Historical Library e-newsletter June 2020

Pop-up Book Exhibit Now Online

Selections from the current exhibition The Surprise and Wonder of Pop-up Books are now part of an online exhibit too, interpreting pop-up books old and new. The web version includes highlights of the show, as well as close-up photography and a 5,000-word essay placing the books in their historical, technical, and social contexts. Linked video shorts highlight the three-dimensional aspects of the books. The exhibit of the actual books installed in the Clarke gallery will be extended into the spring semester.

Pop-up Book Videos

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Clarke's social media channels regularly provided a peek between the covers of pop-up books in the collection. Links to the video shorts have been collected to a single page for easy, direct access. Enjoy!

Archivist Prepares for Fall Teaching

As CMU prepares for hybrid-flexible (Hyflex) fall classes, Clarke archivist Marian Matyn is adapting instruction of her HST 583 course (Archival Administration) for technology and physical space requirements. The Hyflex model includes both face-to-face and synchronous remote access. CMU is following social distancing guidelines too. These changes will also impact the instruction of LIB 197 (Introduction to Library and Information Research), taught by librarians from across the University Libraries.

WCMU Let's Go Back

May 4 marked the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. WCMU recently released an installment of Let?s Go Back: Stories from the Clarke Historical Library sharing the story of the response by CMU students, faculty, and administration. While many other college campuses erupted in violence, Central?s campus was remarkably peaceful even though students took over a campus building and occupied it for five days.

Puzzle Fun

Online jigsaw puzzles featuring some of the most popular CMU photographs from the Clarke collection are now a mouse click away. Each of the photos was featured in last year's exhibition Shaping Memories through Three Lenses. The puzzles were developed as a diversion during this year's quarantine period, and the collection continues to grow with a new puzzle added weekly. Check out the full selection at JigSawPlanet !

Building Re-Opening

After working from home for more than two months, on June 15 library staff began returning to work within the Clarke Historical Library. For the next several weeks some, but not all, staff will be in the building every weekday. We anticipate that on August 3, all staff will be working onsite and we will open to the public. Researchers will be welcomed back into the reading room to consult our material during our normal hours of operation, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

However, safety procedures will be in place to help limit the possibility of infection. Public and staff will be required to wear a face covering and, in order to observe social distancing, we will be seating only one researcher at each table inside the reading room. Thus, we will be able to accommodate only seven researchers at a time.

Because of the limited space, we encourage researchers to contact the library in advance to reserve a table. Although unscheduled research visits are welcome, priority will be given to those who make a reservation. If all available seating has been assigned, we will not be able to assist or seat walk-in researchers. To make a reservation contact John Fierst by email,

Our exhibit, The Surprise and Wonder of Pop-up Books, will also reopen to the public on August 3. Because so few people have had an opportunity to see it, the exhibit will be extended into the spring semester. We ask, however, that visitors respect others in the gallery, wear a face covering, and maintain a safe distance while enjoying the delights these books offer.