The Brody Learning Commons will be student-focused space, full of natural light, group study space and a bigger cafe (no more waiting for tables, we hope!). We have, though, carved out some space for two departments that you’ll definitely want to check out when the building opens: Special Collections and Conservation and Preservation.
Special Collections has always had a strong presence in the Eisenhower Library. During the current building’s planning stages, a February 20, 1959 press release touted that “Special provisions will be made for the University’s collection of rare books which are now scattered in a number of locations.” When MSEL opened, Special Collection was indeed a jewel in its crown, with exhibit space for the rare and valuable materials set aside on M-Level–right where our General Reference Collection is now. Over the years, as the building underwent various renovations, the department moved to is present location on A-Level, where it was much less visible.
Enter the BLC. Special Collections will have a new, larger, brighter reading room (not to worry–we will control UV light), a special seminar room named after long-time professor, Richard Macksey, which will also house his extensive book collection, which he is generously donating to the library; and a video monitor highlighting lots of our most exciting collections. We have research materials to support all kinds of topics, so plan to stop by to learn more. And keep an eye on the blog for next next installment of “Who’s in Brody” to hear about our plans for Conservation and Preservation.