Rachel Karwas

New library exhibit showcases research materials on American politics, elections

Wed, 10/17/2012

LAWRENCE - With the presidential election just a few weeks away, the University of Kansas Libraries will celebrate the opening of "The American Election: A focus on scholarship and scholarly collection," a new exhibition featuring KU collections and research about U.S. politics, politicians, elections and campaigns. An opening reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at the third floor west of Watson Library, and an online component can be found at

The exhibition, which highlights research from KU faculty and students as well as neighboring cultural heritage institutions, illustrates the essential role research institutions play in aiding scholarly research and output.

Amalia Monroe-Gulick, a political science subject specialist for KU Libraries, said the exhibit encourages future study of American politics and the election process by showing all that libraries can offer researchers.

"The American election is an expansive research area that spans not just time, but subject areas as well," Monroe-Gulick said. "KU Libraries and all of the exhibit partners provide access to essential materials for researching this broad, interdisciplinary topic."

The exhibition, located in the Library Gallery on the third floor of Watson Library, also includes photos of independent party political pamphlets from the Wilcox collection and traditional library materials, such as books and journal articles, which cover political science, communication studies, women's studies, history and more. Examples of electronic databases will also be present to represent the changes in how research is conducted in the technological era.

"We hope to pique the interest of visitors, because we're only highlighting a bit of our expansive collection of materials," said Sarah Goodwin Thiel, chair of the library's exhibition program. "We're using this exhibition to showcase the wide variety of materials available to researchers across campus and around the globe, while promoting the world-class research conducted with these materials."

Contributors to the collection include Spencer Museum of Art, the University Press of Kansas, the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics Archive, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. The exhibit will remain in Watson Library until January 18, 2013.

The exhibition opening Oct. 18 begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. with music by Til Willis. At 6:30 p.m., Burdett Loomis, professor of political science, will deliver "Distance and Intimacy Art, Fiction and Politics." For more information about the event, which is free and open to the public, contact Rachel Karwas at 785-864-8961 or

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