Archives & Special Collections

Image of a book plate with grapes and fox reads Ex Libris, credit to Leonard Everett Fisher. Text beside image: Fables, Pictures, Pulp & Pen, An exhibition Honoring the Legacy of Richard H. Schimmelpfeng. On view August 30 - October 15, 2021. UConn Archives & Special Collections.

Fables, Pictures, Pulp & Pen

Richard H. Schimmelpfeng Gallery, Dodd Center
August 30 – October 15, 2021

Fables, Pictures, Pulp and Pen honors the legacy of Richard H. Schimmelpfeng featuring objects from the significant and varied collections donated to Archives & Special Collection over a 50-year period including fine press books, photobooks, handmade paper specimens, calligraphy and type samples and illustrated bookplates.


Mosaic art titled SHELBERTA THE HUSKY by artist Debora J. AldoMany Pieces Make a Whole

Norman Stevens Gallery
Homer Babbidge Library
September 2021 – December 15, 2021

Mosaics are an uncommon art that is tactile, textural, and light reflective. A well-done mosaic can also evoke a strong emotional response, all while being beautiful and structurally sound. Many Pieces Make A Whole uses art to express the environmental crisis we face, specifically the fragile state of our planet and the continued reduction of biodiversity. The mosaics ask questions relating to boundaries, connections, disconnects, and our use of space through a beautiful and ancient art form. As an alumnus of UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources’ landscape architecture program, Deb Aldo hopes students of all ages see mosaics as a potential option for their own careers

Navajo sand art

Sand Paintings From The Navajo Nation

Gallery on the Plaza
Homer Babbidge Library
September 2021 – December 15, 2021

Sand paintings by Native American Navajo people were not made to be art, but as part of an elaborate healing ritual or ceremony. The artist, or in the Navajo context, the medicine man, would use naturally colored grains of sand, and pour them by hand to create these elaborate “paintings” that were destroyed following the ceremony. However, over concerns that traditional Navajo knowledge was being lost, some modern Navajo now choose to share the ritual by turning them into paintings. These Navajo artisans, many represented here in this exhibit, use their artistic skills to bring to life this sacred tradition.

Online Exhibits

Image description: logo for exhibit titled 25 for 25, Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Collecting

25 for 25: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Collecting

Online Exhibition, UConn Archives & Special Collections
October 2020 – September 2021

Archives & Special Collections presents 25 for 25: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Collecting, a virtual, year-long exhibition celebrating collections and collecting. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, which brought together the collections and practices of the University’s Historical Manuscripts & Archives and Special Collections departments for the first time. Over the course of a year, Archives & Special Collections staff will explore 25 objects selected from the collections, engaging with and reflecting on the meaning of these objects and the activity of collecting over time. Through these objects, Archives & Special Collections celebrates the act of historical preservation and the recognition that collections constantly evolve, grow, and expand so that future educators, students, researchers, and learners may be inspired and informed by the objects within.

Imagining Mother GooseImagining Mother Goose: Exploring Maurice Sendak's Visual Interpretation of Nursery Rhymes

Online Exhibition, UConn Archives & Special Collections
February 2021 - January 2022

This online exhibition features the 1967 children’s book, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life, the 1965 Hector Protector and As I Went Over the Water, and the 1993 We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy by author and artist Maurice Sendak. In each of these books, Mother Goose nursery rhymes are the backbone of the stories but due to Sendak’s visual interpretation of the rhymes, the anticipated narratives are promptly turned upside down. By imbuing the imagery with liveliness and musicality, these books captivate the viewer in equal parts humor and poignant gravity.

In 1965, Maurice Sendak penned an essay on the eponymous Mother Goose. He writes, “If full measure of the rhymes isn’t taken in the pictures, then the artist has failed Mother Goose. And her revenge is swift, for no other writing I know of so swiftly exposes the illustrator’s strengths and inadequacies. So it is with trepidation that the artist must confront this formidable muse.”

AMS Virtual Exhibit ImageThe American Approach to Montessori Teaching and Learning

Online Exhibition, UConn Archives & Special Collections

The Montessori method of education was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s yet quickly fell out of favor with American educators. Widespread American interest in Montessori did not return until the 1950s, thanks in large part to teacher Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Rambusch founded the American Montessori Society in 1960, which sought to promote the Montessori method in the United States. AMS succeeded in reviving the Montessori method in the United States and gaining recognition for it as a valid educational system. This exhibit explores the origins of the Montessori movement in the United States and the Americanization of the Montessori method. It is comprised of materials from the American Montessori Society Records, which were donated to the UConn Archives in 2006 and digitized beginning in 2016.