Special Collections

color postcard with large text reading Greetings from St. Louis MO

Greetings from St. Louis

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 8, 2020

Virtual Adventure This morning, I attended a wonderful conference in Massachusetts. Well, technically, I was in St. Louis working from home (#ArchivesAtHome), and the Digital Commonwealth Conference 2020 was going out virtually from Massachusetts (with a keynote address from North Carolina). The ...

Pearl Archive

By joelminor on April 8, 2020

In addition to writers’ personal and professional papers, the Modern Literature Collection also consists of archives of small literary presses (e.g. Lord John Press Collection, Release Press Archive, Trigam Press Archive) and periodicals (e.g. River Styx Archive, Perspective Archive). Last year, ...

book cover

Holobaugh in History

By Miranda Rectenwald on April 2, 2020

What’s in a Name? At Washington University in St. Louis, a yearly ceremony honors “students, staff and faculty, and St. Louis community members who live and lead authentically and perform direct advocacy and service to LGBTQIA* communities.” This award is named the Holobaugh Hon...

Lee Kissman Alternative Theater Collection

By joelminor on March 27, 2020

In 2019 Washington University Libraries acquired the Lee Kissman Alternative Theater Collection, a new milestone for the breadth of the Modern Literature Collection. As the title suggests, the collection belonged to Lee Kissman–an actor, playwright and director who has been active in experi...


Harry S. Truman

By Miranda Rectenwald on March 27, 2020

In the ACLU of Missouri’s archives in the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections, I found this delightful letter from Harry S. Truman. In 1959, the organization went by the name St. Louis Civil Liberties Committee and was a small volunteer-only advocacy organization. While the form...

white paper with printing

Poetry Contest Day 5

By Miranda Rectenwald on March 25, 2020

While preparing materials for a faculty workshop last fall, I happened across a brief correspondence from Langston Hughes in the St. Louis Urban League Records. November 29, 1940 from Los Angeles, California, Langston Hughes wrote, “Dear Mr. Clark:  I read with much interest of your plans f...

light post, grass, several stone buildings

Day 4 empty

By Miranda Rectenwald on March 24, 2020

Campus 2020 I snapped this photo on campus last week, while classes were on an extended Spring Break On a spring day in previous years this grassy field would have been full of students playing soccer, Frisbee, lounging in hammocks between trees and poles, or just sitting with friends.  But in 20...

Historic documents and text: Everything May Yet Turn Out All Right

Everything May Yet Turn Out All Right

By Miranda Rectenwald on March 23, 2020

A number of years ago while preparing to scan some requested documents from the Steedman Fellowship in  Architectural Competition Collection, some letters with beautiful little sketches caught my eye.  I looked a bit closer at the letters and discovered they were not just perfunctory reports abou...

3 people standing

Day 2 An Unexpected Find

By Miranda Rectenwald on March 19, 2020

In February while meeting with some history students visiting the archives, I came across some unexpected photographs of John Lewis as a young man.   They capture one brief moment — a Sunday afternoon in May 1963 as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in St. Louis hosted an...