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WVU Libraries


The unique and varied collections held by archives and special collections within many academic libraries offer fertile ground for the creative endeavors of students, faculty, and professional artists. This chapter explores direct and indirect methods librarians and archivists may engage creators with primary source materials. Academic libraries do not necessarily need to build art-focused collections in order to support the research of creators. More than subject content, successful engagement with creators is developed by means of collaborative relationships with arts faculty, artists, and galleries to reach student creators and introduce concepts of primary source research as a source of inspiration. This chapter provides case studies of instruction in the classroom as well as ways to reach wider segments of creator audiences through exhibits and public programming opportunities with campus partners that move beyond the physical library space.

Source Citation

Harmeyer, Adriana and Tracy Grimm. "Special Collections as Muse: The Use of Rare Books and Archives to Inspire Creative Works." In Creators in the Academic Library: Collections and Spaces, edited by Rebecca Zuege Kuglitsch and Alexander C. Watkins. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries, 2023.



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