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Stony Brook University

Progress Update 2016 - Stony Brook University Library Strategic Design 2015 - 2018, Special Collections & University Archives


Special Collections and University Archives is committed to providing excellent research experiences and opportunities. Through the acquisition and preservation of diverse collections, and its comprehensive reference and outreach services, the department enriches the educational, scholarly, and entrepreneurial endeavors of Stony Brook University. Access is open and universal, to elevate the university's leadership role in scholarship, economic growth, technology and culture.


To cultivate learning, inspire discovery, and advance research through the acquisition and preservation of distinctive and renowned library collections.

Special Collections and University Archives aspires to be:

  • An integral and strategic partner in realizing Stony Brook University's five-part mission.

  • An internationally-recognized repository of exceptional research collections.

  • A premier library documenting Long Island's heritage.

Guiding Principles with Goals

Promote Academic Engagement

Empower and engage students with learning opportunities, in fulfillment of the “Experiential Learning (EXP+)” component of The Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC).

  • Develop a formal experiential learning contract and serve as an academic mentor to Stony Brook University students. (fall 2016)
    • Mentored and sponsored six undergraduate interns enrolled in EXT 488 and EGL 488 during the fall 2015/spring 2016 academic year.
    • Formulated learning objectives, outcomes, and indicators of achievement.  
    • Projects published on department website. 

Partner on projects that foster community spirit and pride.

  • Collaborate with the Office of Communications, Alumni Association, and Office of Student Affairs on promotional initiatives. (fall 2016)
    • Established Google folder with photographs documenting university history; provided access and utilized by SBU's social media coordinator, Alumni Association, and Dean of Students.
    • Researched and provided photographs for SBU's annual service award book.
    • Contributed photographs and archival materials for the School of Medicine's 40th anniversary festivities.
    • Hosted two open houses and installed exhibitions for the Alumni Association's reunion weekends - Class of 1965 and the Class of 1966.
    • Consulted on Alumni Association's "14 reasons to #loveSBU" promotion. 
    • Assisted Media Relations, University Communications, Community Relations, Advancement, Registrar, and other administrative offices with reference queries.
    • Furnished CBS Sports with historic photographs of the university during March Madness/NCAA basketball tournament.

Promote to teaching faculty the integration of collections in course assignments.

  • Using SBU Class Find, identify and target faculty teaching content related to collecting areas. Notify and encourage faculty to publicize specific resources to students. (spring 2016)
    • Identified faculty members and visited classes to promote primary source materials and collections, including Linguistics, Italian, English, History, and European Languages and Literatures.
      • ex. 1: collaborated on an intensive 400-level history course that included four instruction sessions, multiple reference consultations, and individual visits by students to complete assignments. Participated in the last class when students presented their final projects.
      • ex. 2: guided a freshmen seminar class with document transcription exercises. Published content in an online finding aid.
      • ex. 3: assisted graduate students with research projects on the history of books, bindings, and printing. Joined the last class and took part in the final summations and discussions.
      • ex. 4: identified and scanned rare maps of Long Island for faculty and students in the Department of Geosciences.

Utilize online and social media platforms to highlight collections, programs and services.

  • Establish an Instagram account; contribute content to the University Libraries’ Facebook page; develop online exhibits; continue to contribute content to the “Library News” website. (fall 2016)

Host and participate at programs for the university and surrounding communities.

  • Partner with university departments and community organizations on programs, including the History Department, the Wang Center, the Confucius Institute, and the Three Village Historical Society; sponsor tours during New York Archives Week (Oct. 14-21, 2015) and academic semesters. (fall 2016)

Build, Preserve and Provide Access to Rich and Diverse Collections

Develop a plan to establish an open stacks Long Island Collection.

  • Assess collections across all library locations; identify service and space requirements. (spring 2017)
    • Project rationale devised and submitted.

Recommend and select content for digitization initiatives.

  • Advise on the selection of collections for digitization projects based on rarity, usage and preservation factors. (fall 2016)
    • Max Fink Digitization Project in-progress.

Acquire, process, and catalog collections that document Long Island.

  • Actively collect and make accessible papers, maps, and books related to Long Island. (fall 2016)
    • Processed and/or re-processed 20 Long Island collections.
    • Acquired rare documents, books and maps through gifts-in-kind.
    • Awarded $20,000 NYS priority projects grant.
    • Added 40 original MARC records for collections to OCLC; indexed in ArchiveGrid.
    • Provenance, local, and distinguishing notes added to new and pre-existing MARC records.

Establish project-based workflows with library departments to ensure the discoverability of collections.

  • Partner with Resource Management and IT to produce and display high level, enhanced MARC records, to increase discoverability in the EDS, WorldCat, and ArchiveGrid (fall 2016).
    • More than 2,000 books cataloged from the Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection (50%).

Embark on a comprehensive collection assessment of the University Archives.

  • Inventory legacy records and collections. (spring 2017)
    • Work plan formulated and inventory project in-progress. 


Develop Responsive Library Spaces for Diverse Communities

Utilize library spaces to exhibit collections.

  • Install exhibition in the Javits Room. (spring 2016)
    • Coordinated the renovation of room E-2340, Special Collections Seminar Room; selected, scanned, framed, and installed artwork.
    • Created and installed exhibit featuring unique comic books in the Melville Library's first floor display cases.

Explore external venues to hold events and promote collections.

  • Partner with university departments, local museums and community organizations on educational programming and events. (spring 2017)
    • Collections exhibited at the Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, Charles B. Wang Center, Three Village Historical Society, and an event held at The Morgan Library & Museum (NYC).
    • Planning underway to exhibit collections at a newly founded art gallery (to be announced).
    • Partnered with the Office of Community Relations on tourism initiatives with the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (LICVB); department added to the LICVB "Path Through History" website.
    • Serving on the Culper Spy Day Committee and will participate in the 2016 event. 

Continue to expand online content.

  • Add finding aids to the department website as collections are processed; develop online exhibitions (fall 2016).
    • Added and enhanced more than 25 archival finding aids.
    • Created four online exhibits using Google Cultural Gallery: History of the Sunwood Estate, Melville Library renovations (1960s-1980s), Long Island Landscapes (etchings) by Charles Lawrence, and Mooncakes and Their Wooden Molds.
    • Scanned and uploaded photographs to Pinterest, Instagram, and History Pin.


Foster an Innovative Culture of Learning and Assessment

Maintain currency with archival standards/best practices and with literature relevant to curatorial areas.

  • View professional webinars; attend annual, regional archives conference. (fall 2016)
    • Earned Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Certification, Society of American Archivists (KN).
    • Serving on planning committee and secured speakers for the Documentary Heritage Program, Long Island Archives Conference (KN).
    • Attended workshops on the Digital Public Library of America and New York Heritage digitization project initiatives.
    • Completed professional webinars on collections care and management.