Our educational mission is to introduce our publics to diverse voices and ideas that challenge staid constructions of the canon and the master work. The Center routinely juxtaposes the familiar and widely recognized with the lesser known and the underrepresented. Through our work, we hope that the next generation of thinkers and makers will draw inspiration from a nuanced web of references.
Hands-On Object-Based Research
At the Special Collections Center, you can gather ideas for a creative project, engage in scholarly research, or discover something new. Gain hands-on experience utilizing primary sources in our reading room, and explore our unique collections through an active exhibition program and campus events. From social justice activism to international folktales to the latest in fabrication techniques, the material objects at the Center can be a great way to explore questions about conception, production, circulation, readership, and cultural histories.
The collections namely consist of artists’ books and photo-bookworks from the 1960s to the present; illustrated books and periodicals from the 1700s forward; historic and contemporary prints and printed matter from the 1450s forward; specialty archives and collections; and a new institutional archive.
You'll find: broadsides, campus materials, democratic multiples, documentation of time-based and performance projects, engravings, exhibition publications, experimental writing, fine press books, flip books, handmade editions, historic facsimiles, parlor toys, photographs, pop-up books, prints, rare books, zines, and more. See our SC Collection Guide for highlights and more in-depth info.
Open to Everyone
Open to students, staff, faculty, art and design practitioners, and the general public. Our Center functions as a reading room, classroom, print study center, and gallery. To schedule an individual appointment, research consultation, class visit, or group tour please contact our Center staff in advance.
Faculty Resources & Curricular Support
As a teaching resource for faculty, the Center can be utilized for class visits, critique sessions, performances, and extracurricular activities. For class visits, see How to Use the Center for a brief overview and the SC Educator Guide for more information about our educational offerings, lesson plan ideas, and ways to browse and learn about the collections. Interested faculty/classes are also invited to collaborate with the Center on Exhibitions and Special Projects.
Just the funny stuff
Curated by Janelle Rebel, Digital Curation & Special Collections Librarian
On view January 9 through February 7, 2023*
Well folx, the 2022 rankings are in and Finland is the world’s happiest country and Iceland is the world’s most peaceful place to live. The US came in number sixteen on the World Happiness Report and ranked 129th on the Global Peace Index. These haven’t been particularly funny times for a lot of us, and maybe, just maybe, we could use a moment of levity.
In the spirit of best-of lists as we kick off a new year, here are my top ten humorous picks, plus one, of materials from the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center. I had a noticeable proclivity towards black and white printing so that became part of my selection criteria. No wisecracking books in color here. Anthropomorphic animals and objects? Check. Some sexy silliness? You got it. Highbrow potty wit? You’ve come to the right place.
The annotations are, in fitting with the topic, VERY casual. Some might say the most casual I’ve written to date. There’s no one way to read a book and no right way to read a collection, and so without further ado, my 10 + 1, Just the funny stuff.
— Janelle Rebel
*Please note the Alfred R. Goldstein Library is currently swipe-access only, accessible with a Ringling College ID. Members of the public can make an appointment to see the exhibition Monday-Friday by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Library will be open to the public during Art Walk on January 20 from 4:00-7:00 pm.
Photo: Travis Millard, Dogs to Know (Los Angeles: Fudge Factory Comics, 2017).
The Mangroves of Masters Bayou: Toward a Philosophy of a Natural Spot
Upcoming: On view February 13 through April 21, 2023*
Artist talk: Monday, February 27 at 11:30 am - 12:05 pm
Art Walk: Thursday, April 6 from 4-7 pm; the Ringling College Galleries will be open from 5-8 pm
The Mangroves of Masters Bayou, a photographic installation by guest artist Jay Youngdahl, explores myriad meanings in mangrove forests. It is inspired by Masters Bayou, a part of Tampa Bay which abuts the Weedon Island Nature Preserve, and a locale where a vibrant Native American culture flourished for at least one thousand years. Youngdahl's exhibition will take over the Special Collections Center's exhibition cases and branch into its reading room.
Mangrove forests are magically material. Here, existing by definition in liminal spaces where sea water meets fresh water, fertility abounds. Mangrove leaves drop and decompose, forming a fetid mud beneath their trunks, creating land where there was no land, and providing dwellings for all manner of fish and crustaceans. Their wealth of food sources has been important to human inhabitants. Today, the protection these plants afford against dangerous weather formations is more important than ever.
Mangrove forests propagate human creativity as well. Motifs of mangroves have inspired many. Poets have found extraordinary raw material for their works here. Caribbean novelists and philosophers throughout the world have explored the rhizomatic connections in the structure of mangals which inform our understanding of common existential issues.
Jay Youngdahl, St. Petersburg, FL
Jay, a resident of St. Petersburg, lives on Masters Bayou. He is an artist who also practices civil rights and union law in the South. Through text, collage, and photography his art is participatory action art, as he makes art around and with the workers whom he represents and the locations in which he works and lives. He received an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Divinity at Harvard. “I believe in the connection between beauty and justice. I use my art to consider life around us, focusing on aspects and connections we may not naturally perceive, especially in our more 'common' endeavors.”
*Please note the Alfred R. Goldstein Library is currently swipe-access only, accessible with a Ringling College ID. Members of the public can make an appointment to see the exhibition Monday-Friday by emailing email@example.com. The Library will be open to the public during Art Walk from 4:00-7:00 pm.