Beat Writers Collection in Special Collections

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

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This image contains parts of a collection consisting of books and periodicals (24 linear feet) published by members of the avant-garde literary movement known as “Beat Writers,” whose counter cultural and non-conformist attitudes helped shape the hippie culture of the 60’s. Some of the writers represented in this collection are Diane diPrima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, and Jack Kerouac. There are approximately eighty others.

The items displayed in these posts are just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

 

Digital Commons

The Ames Library’s Digital Initiatives Team launched IWU’s electronic record storage and access system in fall 2008. Digital Commons serves as the central location for outstanding student work, faculty scholarship, University records, and campus history. It holds 3,552 works to date. To launch this repository, the archives supplied research honors theses and scores dating back to the 1960s, as well as peer-reviewed student journals.

 

Our goals are to:

  • Promote and disseminate academic and creative achievements of students and faculty
  • Ensure preservation of and persistent access to said work
  • Increase discovery of IWU scholarship and artistic expressions
  • Foster scholarly collaborations with colleagues
  • Document and record IWU’s history and progress

If you create or control documents related to University history and have been wondering how to store them electronically, leave me a comment below and I will walk you through what DC @ IWU can do for you. If you are interested in getting faculty or staff members’ scholarly or creative works into DC, or wish to recommend outstanding student scholarship from your department, contact our Scholarly Communications Librarians Stephanie Davis-Kahl: sdaviska {at} iwu.edu.

Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and I thought I’d mention a few places where poetry can be found in our vaults.

Special Collections

We have a growing collection of Beat Generation material. This is primarily poetry in book and magazine/journal review format but biographies and some criticism is held here, too. More of the primary and secondary source material is available in the main library stacks. A title list is available, but each title is also cataloged and so they’ll turn up if you search in our online holdings, too.

Individual titles in special collections are usually accompanied by an inscription or autograph of an author such as 39 Poems by John Ciardi; The Unicorn and Other Sonnets by Thomas S. Jones, jr.; For My People by Margaret Walker, Threads by Dorothy Quick.

Archives

We hold various incarnations of IWU student-compiled journals containing poetry from the literary societies of the late 19th century through to today’s Tributaries and material on the Tounge & Ink conferences.