The University of Connecticut Libraries formally established its Special Collections Department in September 1965 and allocated space for it on the third floor of the Wilbur Cross Library. The department’s founding director, Richard H. Schimmelpfeng, wrote in his first annual report, “the year was filled with an extensive survey of the library stacks to determine what would be placed in the archives.” With that survey, the collection began with a modest assortment of rare books, some processed manuscripts, 557 cataloged volumes, U.S. Army maps, and a commitment to assemble the University’s archives.
Today, the holdings of Archives & Special Collections, as the department is now known, have grown by over 25,000 linear feet and more than 185,000 cataloged items. Much of this growth can be attributed to the creation of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in 1995. Named for the late Senator from Connecticut, the Center has become a forum for the University of Connecticut, the citizens of Connecticut, and scholars from around the world to share and to celebrate the academic and cultural treasures housed there. The Dodd Research Center is dedicated to preserving and providing scholarly access to its resources and is also committed to an extensive program of exhibitions, conferences, and lectures that encourage education and exploration.
This anniversary exhibit is a tribute to 10 years of collection growth and public service in the Dodd Research Center. On display are representative items from the major collections housed in Archives and Special Collections, as well as photographs and objects from special events that have attracted members of the University community, residents of Connecticut, and scholars from across the nation.
August 29 – December 30, 2005