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Exhibition: Documents in Black and White

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
through Friday, December 16, 2016
Special Collections & Archives exhibition cases, 1st floor, Olin Library


Hillcrest Orchards

The exhibition “Documents in Black and White” consists of photographs from the Nancy Ottmann Albert Collection. Selected by the artist, the works span the thirty years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. Inspired by Walker Evans and the FSA photographers, Albert (MALS ’94) began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England in 1981. Shooting black and white film in a medium format camera, she returned over the years to record their decline and disappearance. Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These include mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition. The exhibition also contains images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture; barns and abandoned homesteads; filling stations; drive-in theaters. All of the work, which includes gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist.


Artist talk by Nancy Ottmann Albert


Nancy Ottmann Albert photo


Friday, October 28, 2016, 7 p.m.
Develin Room, Olin Library

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.  For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.


Are We Better Than Our Predecessors?

Toward a New Era of Progress


A talk by Dan Drew, Mayor of Middletown



In this talk, Mayor Drew will explore the erroneous assumptions that we are more advanced than preceding generations and what we can do to focus ourselves toward a future predicated on progressive social and economic advancement.

A Q&A with the Mayor will follow.


Smith Reading Room, Olin Library
252 Church Street

Friday, September 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

This Constitution Day event is free and open to the public.
It is sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.

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Dan Drew is serving his third term as Middletown’s Mayor.  He has worked to improve the way City Hall serves the public, move the community in a sustainable direction through the preservation and protection of our environment and natural resources, build on a strong economic legacy to support continued economic growth and new businesses, collaborate closely with local, state, and federal partners to make the riverfront revitalization project a reality, improve the quality of life for Middletown residents, and advocate on behalf of the city’s youth, workers, seniors, and families.  Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2002 and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in 2015.


For more information:



Early in the 2016 spring semester, Voranan Vaan Taepaisitphongse ’17 asked Art Librarian Susanne Javorski if she could borrow a card catalog drawer for a Drawing 1 art project.  In May, we got to see the fruits of her labors when her friend returned the drawer to the library (keeping the drawings) after photographing the images at Susanne’s request.  Thank you to Vaan for allowing us to publish the photographs on the blog and to Susanne for providing them.


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Carrels IMG_8463

Locker IMG_8465






Sign IMG_8464Stacks IMG_8461






TableChairs IMG_8460


Wondering what a card catalog is? Information about the books and other resources in a library used to be typed onto 3″x 5″ cards, which were filed in drawers by author, title, and subject.  To find the location of a book in the library or search for resources, the patron would flip through the cards in the appropriate drawer.  Below is an archival photograph of the card catalogs in Olin’s front hallway (circa 1950’s or early 1960’s), courtesy of Special Collections & Archives.

Card catalogs in Olin

May 3, 2016 – October 2016


Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library
Open during library hours

The new SC&A exhibition, “A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916,” is now open. It explores the study of astronomy at Wesleyan from the University’s founding in 1831 through the construction of Van Vleck Observatory in 1916, which celebrates its centennial this year. Items on display include atlases, textbooks, photographs, an original Henry Bacon Van Vleck Observatory architectural drawing, and more. The exhibition is held in conjunction with a number of other Van Vleck Observatory celebratory events sponsored by the Department of Astronomy. More details about the events can be found here: http://www.wesleyan.edu/observatory/centennial.html.





“A World in the Palm of Your Hand: The Art of Miniature Books”

Imagine a handful of books with beautiful bindings and engaging, often unique, content.  Miniature books, typically no larger than three inches, are seldom encountered outside of the collections of certain libraries and individuals.  Now you have an opportunity to experience these treasures in an exhibit created by the Miniature Book Society, an international organization devoted to the appreciation of miniature books. All events are free and open to the public.  For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.


Miniature Books Society Exhibit


Miniature Book Society Exhibit

April 12–June 23, 2016 during library hours

Olin Memorial Library Lobby, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06459



2016 Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting Event

“A Collection in a Shoebox”– A talk by Jim Brogan

Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:00 pm

Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Memorial Library

Jim Brogan is Vice President of MBS and publisher of The Microbibliophile, a bimonthly journal about miniature books and the book arts.

 Jim Brogan photo


 in conjunction with:


Wesleyan Miniature Book Open House

Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:00-1:00 pm, 6:30-7:00 pm, 8:00-8:30 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st floor Olin Library

View a selection of Wesleyan’s miniature books.


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Exhibit: “Signs of Spring: A Garden of Books in
Special Collections & Archives”

March 21 – late April 2016 during library hours

Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases
1st floor Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT



Passion and Power, Prints and Text: German Books in the Age of Dürer

Open house in Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library

Thursday, February 18, 2016 — noon-2 p.m.


German artists in the age of Dürer disseminated their images through a variety of means, including as illustrations in books and pamphlets.  Examples of the interplay of text and image will be available for browsing.  This open house is presented in conjunction with Passion and Power: German Prints in the Age of Dürer, on view at the Davison Art Center (2/5-3/3/16).



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Friends of the Wesleyan Library Holiday Sale Specials List —

a festive way to support the library

The books on our Holiday Sale Specials List have been donated to the Friends of the Wesleyan Library to raise money to support special events and projects at the library.  We are offering them to the Wesleyan community in time for the holidays.  If you are interested in any titles, please email Jennifer Hadley at libfriends@wesleyan.edu by 2:00 pm on 12/23/2015 to arrange for viewing, purchase, and pick-up before the library closes for the holidays or after January 4. Some items from our initial sale in November have been discounted.  There is no shipping service available.

Other ways to support the library in your gift giving include the Adopt a Book Program and gift memberships.  Both are tax deductible. Thank you for your generous support and especially to those who have already renewed their membership or recently joined the Friends!

Book sale compilation

Open House in honor of Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 4:15 pm – 6:00 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Memorial Library Wesleyan University, 252 Church Street, Middletown


Photo montage for veterans day


Join us for a Veterans Day open house in Special Collections & Archives.  On display will be materials related to the United States military and the home front from the Civil War through the present, with a focus on Wesleyan and Middletown history.  Highlights include contemporary veterans’ arts and literary projects, such as Combat Paper prints by Drew Cameron, who conducted a recent artist residency in Middletown.  Suzy Taraba, Director of Special Collections & Archives, and Leith Johnson, University Archivist, will be on hand to answer questions. All are welcome!

For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

Book sale from Connection reduced size


Don’t miss the Annual Library Book Sale!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

10 am – 4 pm

Lobby, Olin Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT 06459

3500+ academic and popular books.  Most priced $1-$2.  Better books $5-$10+.

Strong in art, history, Russian history, psychology, religion, popular fiction, German and Russian language, some baseball.

SPECIALS SALE: Selected special books will be available for viewing and purchase from 12 noon – 1 pm and 3 – 4 pm in the Develin Room (2nd floor Olin), first come, first served. No shipping service available.

  • Text version of the Book Sale Specials list

  • Itemized Buchan list

  • Version of the Book Sales Specials list with photographs of some items.

Cash and checks accepted.

For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

Part of Wesleyan’s Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities. 

Not able to make it on November 7? As usual, some of the remainder books will be available for sale in the lobby on Sunday, November 8 at $7 / box.

Thanks to the Wesleyan lacrosse team for helping us get ready for the sale!


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