Archives & Special Collections

Encounters with the Natural World: Works by Margaret Waring Buck, Katherine Shelley Orr and Jean Day Zallinger

Richard Schimmelpfeng Gallery
Dodd Center for Human Rights
Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
February 1 - April 21, 2023

The artists and scientists presented in this exhibition began observing their natural surroundings at a young age.  One is the daughter of a draftsman, one a trained portrait painter, one a self-described “doodler and daydreamer” who loved the sea.  Either formally or informally, all have used art to communicate through visual representation what they systematically observed.  Each shared their observations in non-fiction books for children in the hope of instilling a strong desire to learn and a curiosity about the world.   

On view are paintings, drawings, sketches and notes answering the question “what do I see around me?”  These artists responded to what the author of The Beginning Naturalist, Gale Lawrence, encouraged her readers to do, “begin to look at what’s around you, ask yourself questions about what you see, and find answers.  Only in this way will you establish a meaningful and lasting relationship with the natural world – of which you, too, are an important part.”    

This exhibition is being shown to complement Raid the Archive: Edwin Way Teale and New Works on view at the William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, from January 17 to March 10, 2023.   

Past Exhibits

Homer Babbidge Library

The Shadow  Jimi Hendrix, Woolsey Hall, New Haven 1968 Photo by Joe Sia
The Shadow Jimi Hendrix, Woolsey Hall, New Haven 1968 Photo by Joe Sia

Good Music: An Illustrated Record
of Rock 'n' Roll

Gallery on the Plaza
Homer Babbidge Library
January 17 - June 30, 2023

Opening Reception – March 30, 4pm

Join us for the opening reception of our latest exhibit, Good Music: An Illustrated Record of Rock 'n' Roll on Thursday, March 30 at 4:00pm. In addition to viewing the exhibit, we will be joined by Ann Charters for a screening of the film Searching for Secret Heroes. The film is the story of Sam and Ann Charters’ journey to capture the essence of the blues, what it represented to those that sang and played it and to their wider society in the Southern States of the USA.


Photos, LPs, books, posters, memorabilia, and even neckties are a part of the treasure trove of materials Ken Best has brought to the UConn Library to illustrate the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The collection tells the story of not only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but also Best’s 48-year career as a reporter, editor, media relations specialist, and organizational communications executive that included covering the arts and writing about rock ‘n’ roll. The exhibition includes historic, rare, and unique materials that represent the music industry and the history of rock music.

Best continues to host the Good Music Program on WHUS (91.5), the radio station at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, which he has done since 2008 and served as editor of UConn Magazine for 10 years, covered the School of Fine Arts at UConn for UConn Today for eight years and was a co-founder of the UConn 360 Podcast before retiring in June 2021.

Learn more about the exhibit at
UConn 360 Podcast 
Wayne Norman, WILI Willimantic

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

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 Dodd Center for Human Rights, 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.

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.

Connecticut Businesses in WWIIHomefront: Connecticut Businesses in World War II

Online Exhibition, UConn Archives & Special Collections

The outbreak of World War II dramatically changed Connecticut businesses. Long a vibrant part of New England industry, local firms switched from making clocks and wool coats to mass producing artillery cartridges and Army pea-coats. Selections from the Connecticut business collections held by the University of Connecticut’s Archives & Special Collections paint a detailed portrait of this remarkable moment in history through the lives of the people who lived it.