Archivists Get a Glimpse of UT Dallas Library Rarities

Dec. 14, 2009

Visiting archivists got acquainted with some of UT Dallas’ most exclusive holdings recently when they met at McDermott Library to tour the Special Collections department.

Paul Oelkrug and his staff in Special Collections led visitors through the History of Aviation Collection, which features a world-class aeronautical archive. The collection is the department’s largest section.

The saw the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library, a regional resource for philatelic and postal history; and the Louise B. Belsterling Library, a collection of rare botanical books, including the library’s oldest volume.

The visitors were members of the Metroplex Archivists, a professional group that helps members learn about various holdings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Oelkrug said.

“Learning about other archives in the area allows us to refer our patrons to the institution that will best serve their research needs, or to refer patrons to the appropriate archives for addition information to supplement their research,” Oelkrug said.

Attending were representatives from Tarleton State University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, SMU’s DeGolyer and Bridwell libraries, City of Fort Worth Archives, Texas Woman’s University Unique Collections, Tarrant County Archives, and the Dallas City Archives.

“We take tours, talk about projects and problems that arise in certain areas,” Oelkrug said. “We often talk about the digitization of photographs and documents. The digital age has forced archivists to think beyond paper-based collections and to consider how to deliver documents and images in digital form.”

Members learn how the different institutions arrange storage, preserve holdings and handle other archiving tasks.

The visitors received books and DVDs prepared for a symposium held in April in conjunction with the CIA’s donations of 10,000 declassified documents to the Civil Air Transport-Air America Archive at UT Dallas. 

Special Collections is located on the third level of McDermott Library on the UT Dallas campus. It is open weekdays for researchers and visitors.


Media contact: Tom Koch, McDermott Library, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4951, thomas.koch@utdallas.edu.
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Archivist tour

Paul Oelkrug (foreground) leads archivists on a tour of McDermott Library’s Special Collections.

Curator Thomas Allen (left) explains one of the filing systems in Special Collections to visitors.

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