On the first floor of University of Arkansas’ library hides a department designed solely for collecting. The Special Collections Department is “the part of the library that holds the rare and unique materials, rare books and manuscripts, maps, any historic materials we’ve got them here,” said Catherine Wallack, Architectural Record Archivist. Wallack said Special Collections takes anything that focuses on Arkansas and Arkansas’ history. Most of the items have been donated. To showcase some of the items they own, the department holds different exhibits year-round. One of the exhibits open is Collection Curiosities: Strange and Unlikely Items in the Archives. It is a celebration of all things strange yet compelling in their archives, according to their website. The items in this exhibit are used to encourage students to search for more interesting items that can be found in Special Collections. The exhibit will end October 5. Another exhibit on display now is Cure: Healing, Health and Medicine in Arkansas. Cure has 19th and 20th century materials to reveal the perspective on the changing attitudes and approaches in the medical field. These items include books on cholera and yellow fever, photographs of nurses and a portrait of the physician who worked to get hospitals in Little Rock and Pine Bluff. This exhibit closes August 30.
Some of the items in the Collection Curiosities exhibit:
Some of the items in the Cure: Healing, Health and Medicine exhibit: