The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Stan State History Revived Through Library’s Special Collections and University Archives

SCUA+Librarian%2C+Mary+Weppler%2C+showcases+one+of+the+recently+installed+displays+within+the+Vasche+Library.+%28Signal+Photo%2FLarissa+Vazquez%29

SCUA Librarian, Mary Weppler, showcases one of the recently installed displays within the Vasche Library. (Signal Photo/Larissa Vazquez)

If you have never heard of “Special Collections” or “University Archives” before, you may be in for a special treat. Other than how movies or television shows depict archives, special collections and archives are superlative resources that are available at your fingertips. No, there are no clear cubes down in the basement to trap people in like the TV show You or cursed archive tapes like in the show Archive 81.

Here at Stanislaus State, there is a Department of Special Collections and University Archives, which is brand new to the university. The Special Collections contain two divisions, such as Local History Collections & Archives as well as University Archives. Archives are defined as a collection of records or historical documents that provide information about certain people, places, and/or events.

Mary Weppler, Special Collections and University Archives librarian, described how a normal day may be archiving the history of Stan State.

“[I start with] emailing about research requests, working on exhibitions, working with our student workers with setting up and overseeing projects like digitization, cataloging and preservation activities, meetings, committee work, updating the SCUA website [and] working on scholarly activities such as upcoming presentations at CSU Sacramento and at the Society of California Archivists,” Weppler said.

Some of the current documents being collected and worked on are a recent film by the Communication Studies department and digital manuscripts. Weppler is also working on digitizing older issues of Signal print editions from the 1980s-2015. Aside from the Communication Studies department and organizations like the Signal, Weppler and her team are looking to work with archiving records and documents from other on-campus departments in the near future.

Some of the rarest book collections that are currently housed at Stan State include the Sayad collection that dates back to the 17th century. This collection includes other rare books about the religion and culture of Assyria.

Weppler explained that her childhood experiences led her to this profession and to where she is now, describing herself as an “old soul.” From her paternal grandparents being born in the 19th century surrounding her with old victorian photo albums, to her mother being from Puerto Rico, she grew interest and appreciation for history and culture.

“I can get very corny and romantic about it all, but archiving is kind of like taking history out of limbo and making it discoverable and accessible,” she said.

You can find the SCUA offices ion the third floor of the newly renovated Vasche Library, in Room 304. The SCUA is open to the public by appointment and is generally open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Any other questions can be answered by contacting Weppler or by going to the SCUA website. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Signal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Stan State History Revived Through Library’s Special Collections and University Archives