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STL Special Library Spotlight: Missouri History Museum Research Library and Archives July 20, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.

The MoHist Research Library is in a building separate from the actual museum. It is in an old Hebrew school and the reading room has a gorgeous domed ceiling with very intricate artwork. The room is also climate controlled for all of the books lining the walls, so bring a sweater since it can be a bit frigid! The main collection consists for books, pamphlets, serials, newspapers, business catalogs, and there is even a collection of old menus. Besides being a library, it also functions as the archives for the Museum. We were given a brief lesson the archival process by our host Emily Jaycox. And given a behind the scenes look at the cataloging and processing part of the library.
The collection is mainly built around donations and gifts from the public which is quite different than most libraries. The acquistions budget tends to be a bit smaller since so much of the material is donated. But that is to be expected since the parent organization is the Missouri History Museum.
One of the most innovative projects the library is doing now is putting part of their image collection online using Flickr and Pictopia. It has brought more traffic to the website and allows a wider audience to view this collection.



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