Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in Special Collections? Well, follow me into the Processing Room for a peak at our collections as we preserve, organize, and describe them for researchers – I mean, really, who doesn’t love a backstage pass?
In July, Special Collections and archives hired me on as the processing archivist for the Critical Theory Archive , a collection dedicated to the work of some of the twentieth century’s most influential literary critics, philosophers, and thinkers including Paul de Man , Ihab Hassan, and, of course, Jacques Derrida. The collection also documents the study of Critical Theory at UCI, and includes materials from the School of Humanities’ renowned Critical Theory Institute. Over the next two years, I’ll be working on some really fascinating collections of personal papers, and I hope to share the process (no pun intended) with you right here on New and Noteworthy.
So, what’s new and noteworthy in the processing room this month? A whole lot! An addition to the Mark Poster papers has been completed, and full finding aid uploaded to the Online Archive of California. Please take a look at the born-digital half of his collection on UCIspace@theLibraries , and let us know if you’d like to come in and listen to his recorded interviews, take a look at some really groovy photos of Professor Poster in the 70s, or read his correspondence with Michel Foucault.
The Poster papers got the year off to a great start, but I’m already dusting off the ol’ micro-spatula and digging into some incredibly robust manuscripts donated to UCI by literary theorist and deconstructor of Dickens, Distinguished Professor Emeritus J. Hillis Miller. You may know Miller best as part of the famous “Yale School” of literary criticism, which was heavily influenced by the work of Jacques Derrida to whom Miller was both a colleague and friend.
So far, my lovely assistant, Junior History major Sara Hrachovy, and I are in the preliminary stages of sorting this voluminous body of work, but we’ve already found materials that will undoubtedly knock the argyle right off the socks any visitor to Special Collections. Not to mention, all of the born-digital material that will eventually be available online via UCIspace! You can research from home in your pajamas if you want! We don’t mind!
Enjoy these sneak preview photos of the Miller Papers, and check back for updates on this collection over the coming months!