Today I realized a goal I've had for a long time--I saw the underground storage areas, carved out of limestone, that house the U of M special collections. I took pictures, but trust me, they don't begin to convey the size of the space or variety and sheer volume of the materials stored. I'll quote from the Archives and Special Collections brochure:
"The University of Minnesota Libraries' Department of Archives and Special Collections (ASC) collects and preserves an amazing array of materials that document our rich heritage and culture, ranging from 4000-year-old Babylonian clay tablets to the latest illustrated children's books, from the 1507 'map that named America' to costume and set designs for Guthrie Theater productions. While the materials must be used on site, the collections are available to anyone with a desire to explore, discover, and learn. ASC sponsors an active program of exhibitions, lectures, seminars, and symposia, most of which are free and open to the public. More detailed information about each of the collections, hours of access, and services can be found at http://special.lib.umn.edu."
If you'd like to see this for yourself, get over to the Andersen Library on the West Bank at noon on a "first Friday"--have some (free and tasty) lunch and hear a couple of short lectures about the different collections--then join a tour. Allow time to look at whatever exhibits are current, too.
2/1/2013 bus and walking
The soaring lobby of Andersen Library
These rows stretch the length of about 2 football fields and tower about 20 feet high!