Reference Point

Fall 2012

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Fall 2012 Univ ersit y Libraries' Ne wslett er Volume 8, Issue 1 Clarke Historical Library's current exhibit, "The Presidency, " captures more than 200 years of dramatic presidential election campaigns. While it off ers a wide collection of legal documents, political cartoons, books and authentic presidential signatures, library student employee Amber Wright is hoping visitors pause and refl ect on the importance of what they're observing. "I want people to visualize standing in a room where documents that physically went through the hands of every U.S. President are hanging on the wall, " says Wright, who is studying music and art history "That's great, that's amazing, and you are instantly connected to that history dating back hundreds of years. " More than 100 artifacts will be displayed through Jan uary 2013. The display room will be constantly updated with new items as they relate to the 2012 presidential election. Janet Danek, CMU University Libraries coordinator of exhibits, is excited about the upcoming additions. "The exhibit is historic at the moment, but during the election it will be more of a history-in-the-making showcase, " " Danek says. "Things will be changing during the course of the election campaigns, so there will be much more to see. Some of the featured pieces include political cartoons. Since the turn of the 20th century, political cartoons have been used to humiliate candidates or to persuade readers toward a particular point of view. "The exhibit shows the continuity within American politics, " says Frank Boles, Clarke Historical Library director. "The idea that the president is incompetent is not a new idea. It's more of a standard for political cartoonists, and viewers who tour the exhibit can see how it appears during election season." Danek says the exhibit will introduce visitors to the immense wonders of history and provide excellent examples of the many unique things that Clarke Historical Library has to off er. •

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