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“Whither Collecting? New Visions for Special Collections in the 21st Century,” a Panel Discussion at NYU Fales Library, Nov. 20

October 28, 2013
N-98 2013-14

The discussion complements the current Fales Library Exhibition, “Past, Present, Future: New Acquisitions for the 21st Century”

New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections, a leader in envisioning new types of collecting to support new categories of research, presents a panel discussion, “Whither Collecting? New Visions for Special Collections in the 21st Century,” on November 20, 2013 at 6:30pm, Fales Library, third floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.].

The panel, composed of leading thinkers in the field of special collections, will share their thoughts about how special collections are and can be developed in the 21st century, as librarians look at new kinds of collecting to support new kinds of research, especially in area studies, post-structuralism, institutional critique, the death of the author, and other postmodern modes of criticism.

“Libraries and archives have had to change their focus from only filling gaps in the past, to planning for the future while serving the present needs of myriad audiences,” said Marvin J. Taylor, director, Fales Library and Special Collections.  “As archivists, we live and work in dichotomy.  We straddle the traditional antiquarian world, where collection is static, and a new world where there are perhaps too many modes of collecting.  Our job as professionals– librarians, book dealers, curators – is to work both separately and together to ensure that we pursue new directions while at the same time preserving, respecting, and reimagining the material that has been with us all along.”

WHEN:  Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 6:30 PM

WHERE:  Fales Library & Special Collections, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012


  • Patrick Deer, Associate Professor of English, Director of College Honors, College of Arts and Sciences, NYU;
  • Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books, New York Public Library;
  • Ian Kahn, Proprietor, Lux Mentis Books;
  • Charlotte Priddle, Librarian for Printed Books, Fales Library and Special Collections, NYU;
  • Moderated by Marvin J. Taylor, director, Fales Library and Special Collections, NYU

R.S.V.P. with guest name(s) and title of the event

The current exhibition, “Past, Present, Future: New Acquisitions for the 21st Century,” which runs through November 27, 2013, highlights selections of new books, archives, photographs, and manuscripts acquired by Fales over the past three years.

“As Fales tracks and anticipates new areas of study, the curators comb current, near past, and historical cultures for materials to build the collections for present users and future scholars,” said Charlotte Priddle, Librarian for Printed Books at Fales. “This exhibition will help visitors to visualize the depth and breadth of NYU’s holdings, and the ongoing work within its special collections,”

The material for Past, Present, Future showcases acquisitions within specific collections at Fales, including: The Fales Collection of British and American Literature; the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection; The Downtown Collection;  The Riot Grrrl Collection; and the general Special Collections.

For more information on the exhibition, please email

About Fales Library and Special Collections:

The Fales Library, comprising nearly 355,000 volumes, and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the The Fales Collection of British and American Literature, the Downtown Collection, and  the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection.. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video objects. The Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection is a vast and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the Fales Library include the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll Materials, the Robert Frost Library, the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica and the manuscript collections of Elizabeth Robins and Erich Maria Remarque. The Fales Library preserves manuscripts and original editions of books that are rare or important not only because of their texts, but also because of their value as artifacts.

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

“Wither Collecting? New Visions for Special Collections in the 21st Century,” a Panel Discussion at NYU Fales Library, Nov. 20

Tolkien 1st Editions, from the Fales British Collection

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