Category Archives: News

Spring Exhibit – Stability and Growth: The Hallmarks of the Kerwin Years

A university president serves many roles such as champion, fundraiser, leader, strategist, and visionary. AU’s 14th President Neil Kerwin brought a forthright manner, honesty and passion to his work. Please join AU Library in celebrating the many accomplishments of his presidency through an exhibit of photographs that will be on display on the first floor of the Library through the end of the semester.


President Kerwin with Clawed and the Nationals Mascot, Screech, at AU Night at the Nationals on August 31, 2012

Renovation Update

Renovation of our AU Archives new space began in earnest in late December/early January.  Progress is slow but steady. They are currently reinforcing the floors in the stacks to allow for the installation of mobile shelving. The new floors in the stacks will be much higher than the floors elsewhere so they had to create a ramp. Here are a couple of photographs of the ramp and the steel beams that will support the floor in the stacks.



Ramp to stacks



Steel beams for reinforcing floor in stacks



Our offices, reading room and work area are farther along and work continues on those spaces as well. The timing of our move remains uncertain. Our goal of reopening in time for AU’s Founders Day (2/24) proved to be unrealistic. It is clear our space will not be ready for occupancy until late March at the earliest. We hope to have a more concrete timeline by the end of this month.  We will post another update as we get closer to our move date.


We appreciate everyone’s support and patience.  We believe our new space will be well worth the wait.





















Bill Gentile Photojournalism Digital Collection

AU Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the launch of another digital collection. The Bill Gentile Photojournalism Collection is a representative sample of Bill Gentile’s photographic work. It features images from Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua as well as from the Persian Gulf War.


Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon wearing headphones works with the Yanomami in Venezuela


Please consult our previous post for additional information on the Bill Gentile Photojournalism Collection.

Patrick Frazier Political and Social Movements Digital Collection

AU Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce its newest digital collection. The Patrick Frazier Political and Social Movements Collection contains flyers, photographs and posters relating to protests against President Nixon and the Vietnam War. The protests featured in this collection are mostly from the Washington, DC area and include student protests at American University. This digital collection is a work in progress. New content will be added on an ongoing basis.


Sun In: Chant for peace, Rock for joy, Sing for love



Please consult our previous post for additional information on the Patrick Frazier Political and Social Movements Collection.

Archives Move Uncovers Funky Finds

Archives staff has made substantial progress over the last few weeks. We boxed up all of the reel to reel recordings from the John R. Hickman Collection and integrated our photo collections into one series. After organizing and putting into folders the contents of all of our map cases, we began reviewing our large oversize to determine what could be stored flat. We are over halfway done with this project. We will begin packing the rare book collection about six to eight weeks before our move date depending on what else needs to be done. As we wrap up the fall semester, I thought I would share some funky items that we found as part of our move preparations.


Gordon Smith was a professor of music. As part of his collection, he donated a number of pieces of old audiovisual equipment. Most of this equipment has been given away but we found a Minox slide projector and slides hidden away in a corner.


Gordon Smith Minox Slide Projector


We also discovered this plaster cast of a hand sculpture. Unfortunately, it remains a mystery as the box it came in was unmarked.



We will post another update in early January.

Archives and Special Collections is Moving to the Spring Valley Building

AU Archives and Special Collections will be closing on Friday December 9 to prepare for our move to the Spring Valley Building (4801 Massachusetts Avenue) in late January 2017. This includes public use of the Archives Reading Room. Over the course of the upcoming weeks, we will be packing books, making sure everything is properly labeled, and replacing damaged boxes to ensure that our collections survive the move intact. If you find yourselves on the third floor of the Library, you will be able to follow our progress as we will be working in the Archives Reading Room. We will continue to monitor email traffic though response times may be slow and some tasks such as digitization orders may have to wait until after we reopen.


Prepping audiovisual materials for the move


We will post regular updates as the move schedule is finalized as well photographs of cool finds and our new space. We hope that you will come and visit us in our new space.

Check out new content in the digital version of The Eagle

The digital collection of American University’s student newspaper is almost complete. We just added content covering the 2009-2010 through 2014-2015 academic years. This batch covers The Eagle’s transition to an online only format with occasional special print editions. These special editions were timed to come out right before special events such as All American Weekend and Commencement. The digital collection is available 24-7 and is browseable and full text searchable. Searching is based on OCR of the digital files so it is not always 100% accurate.


The 1952 editorial staff of The Eagle

The 1952 editorial staff of The Eagle


In Memoriam: Herbert E. Striner

It is with deep sadness, we recognize the passing of Herbert E. Striner, former Dean of the Kogod School of Business (1975-1981) and the College of Continuing Education (1969-1973).

Former Kogod Dean Herb Striner in 1988

Former Kogod Dean Herb Striner in 1988

Herb Striner earned his A.B. and M.A. degrees in economics from Rutgers University and his Ph.D in economics from Syracuse University. During World War II, he served in the China-Burma-India Theater of War as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army.

Striner worked for both the Federal Government and the private sector including the Brookings Institution, The Johns Hopkins University, the National Planning Association, the Stanford University Research Institute and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. He specialized in manpower and productivity problems and served as a productivity consultant to corporations as well as the U.S., Australian, Canadian and Italian governments including serving on the U.S. delegation to a NATO conference in Portugal on manpower policies in 1969. Striner published over 90 articles and 5 books.

Exterior of the southeast side of the Washington National Cathedral (1977

Exterior of the southeast side of the Washington National Cathedral (1977)

An avid photographer and painter, Striner donated his collection of more than 8,000 negatives, prints, and slides to AU in 2007. His passion for photography began during World War II, when he was an infantry officer and was given his first camera. Striner said of this donation: “What I am most hoping for with this gift is that those whose interests in the history of the years spanned by the work, 1945–99, from whatever perspective—artistic or otherwise—will gain insights and a broadening of horizons that will contribute to their lives, as well as the lives of others.” Striner’s collection captures images ranging from international settings to local architecture to nature scenes, and is available online in our Digital Research Archive.

New Archives and Special Collections Subject Guide

Check out the new Archives and Special Collections subject guide. It sorts our holdings into 11 subject areas and lists the relevant collections. Whenever there is a digital component or an online guide to the collection, there is a link to those resources. We will be updating the guide on a regular basis to incorporate new collections and new digital resources.

American University Library Launches New Digital Collections Platform

We are pleased to announce the launch of the AU Digital Research Archive. The Digital Research Archive includes all of our digital collections as well as all of the content from AU’s institutional repository.

Our new repository platform offers improved search capability. You can now search across all of our collections or within an individual collection. You can limit your results by using the facets provided. You can sort results by the name of the creator, the date the item was created, the local identifier or the title.

The Digital Research Archive is divided into collections and sub-collections to facilitate browsing. The upper level consists of the following collections: Schools and Colleges: Including Syllabi and University Library, Special Collections, Student Research, and University Archives. The Schools and College Collection is further sub-divided by school or format. All department or school newsletters and magazines are within their school. University wide publications can be found in the University Archives collection. The University Archives collection also contains historic documents and photographs. All graduate and undergraduate research papers (including capstones, theses, and dissertations) are located in the student research collection.

We have also added several new collections including the Jack Child Slide and Stamp Collections and American University: The Formative Years.