Q: So what exactly is Special Collections?
A: BYU-Idaho’s Special Collections and Archives is the area in the library that houses items unique to university history, the history of the Upper Snake River Valley, changes in recordkeeping, and anything related to specific areas of campus curriculum. So basically, we hold the library’s more rare and valuable books and things specific to the history of Eastern Idaho.
Q: What are archives?
A: Archives are documents created in the course of life.1 These may be seemingly normal things such as thank you notes or wedding announcements or more special things, like the minutes of the meeting that started a 128 year-old university. Governments, libraries, universities, and even some businesses keep archives.1 Archives are ever growing: as of June 2016, BYU-Idaho’s physical archives consist of 118 collections of materials collected by presidents and employees of the school. These archives are used in research, and they preserve the history of the university.
Q: What do you have in Special Collections?
A: Some of our more unique items include an original King James Bible, Egyptian Shabti, and a World War II sword. These items are either donated to or purchased by the University to aid in student learning and success.Q: So what do employees do?
A: Student employees are assigned or choose projects to assist in the preservation of the collections and archives. Projects include digitizing archives, preserving books, transcribing devotionals, planning exhibits, and updating finding aids. Our main goal is to ensure the integrity of the collections and archives while making them available to the public.
Q: Am I allowed to go in Special Collections?
A: Absolutely! We love visitors. Whether you want to come in to study or to view a current exhibit, students and community members are always welcome to come in. Because we are located in the quiet section of the library, our doors may not be open, but (during operating hours) they are always unlocked. We have open houses twice a semester and host classes and forums that you are welcome to join.
Q: How do I get a job at Special Collections?
A: We keep a fairly small number of employees and are not always hiring. However, there is no harm in trying! To apply, please bring a current resume to McKay 220.
- National Museum of American History. http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/about/what-are-archives