January 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Six Pack of Student Exhibitions at Trinity College

Rick Ring, head curator & librarian of the Watkinson Library at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, has long been a proponent of students' use of rare books and special collections. As he told us last year when he was profiled in our Bright Young Librarians series, "I like to create an environment where curiosity, inspiration, and discovery is contagious and electrifying."

Coasters.jpgSince 2011, he has accomplished this largely through a Creative Fellowship Program for undergraduates, in which selected students produce a creative project based on or inspired by special collections material. Now Ring's students are diving into the archives yet again. A Six Pack of Student Exhibitions, referring to the six students (three graduate and three undergraduate) that participated in Ring's fall 2014 American Studies course on museum and library exhibition, is on display through June 30 at Watkinson Library. Each student designed a mini-exhibit based on his or her interest and the material in the library's vault. The projects included: Voices for the Vote: What Women were Saying and Reading during the Fight for Suffrage (Gaia N. Cloutier '16); The Impossibility of Translating Culture (Alix A. de Gramont '15); Aotearoa: The Land of the Long White Cloud (Quirin A. Sackmann '15); Vinegar Valentines (Meghan E. Shaw, graduate student); Shall We Dance? The Evolution of Etiquette on the Dance Floor (Karen J. Tuthill-Jones, graduate student); and Functional Pottery in America (Mariah J. West, graduate student).

The students also created a neat set of coasters to accompany the exhibit (seen above), printed by local letterpress shop, Hartford Prints.

Read more about the exhibits and the opening event last month on Ring's blog, The Bibliophile's Lair.