Connections among the Collections

While the collections may seem disparate, most of them relate closely to at least one other collection, if not several. Although the Herrmann Collection deals exclusively with human memory, early onomasiological dictionaries found in the Cordell Collection as well as early primers and similar works in the Floyd Family and Walker collections are examples of aids to memory. The Cunningham Collection contains works that are pertinent to the other education collections, which are known collectively as "Classics in American Education." The Indiana, Kirk, and Indiana Writers Project/Program collections all focus on aspects of life in Indiana, which is also reflected in the focus on Indiana found in the Floyd Family Collection of textbooks. Even the Debs Collection, which focuses broadly on dissidence, contains many items pertinent to Eugene V. Debs and his life in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Faculty Collection reflects on the published research of Indiana State University employees, connecting in this way with other collections with an Indiana theme. The Walker Collection shares the interest in early American textbooks, but does not restrict itself to Indiana. The three "Classics in American Education" collections contain spelling and lexicological materials, reinforcing the holdings of the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries. The broadest collection is the Rare Books Collection, but pockets of books and other minor collections found within it reflect the interest found in the Cunningham Collection of the books of early childhood, but in this case books published in other countries. As well, the Rare Books Collection contains a particularly strong assortment of offerings from eighteenth century British authors, many of whom dabbled in lexicography, the main purpose of the Cordell Collection.

Awareness of such connections among the collections requires a tremendous breadth of knowledge of the contents of the 12 named subject collections. Developing ways to access related information in the various collections sometimes requires unconventional methodologies, yet providing this kind of access continues to be among the most rewarding challenges in working with the material. Finally, some of the search aids used by the department were instigated by user-submitted requests or suggestions. We appreciate the interest of the public in our collections and welcome both inquiries and suggestions.

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