Watkins to Present on Farm Security Administration Book, Exhibit April 2
Cover of Watkins' book, It's All Done Gone: Arkansas Photographs from the Farm Security Administration Collection, 1935-1943.
Join the University Libraries and emeritus professor Patsy Watkins Tuesday, April 2 from 5-7 p.m. in the Special Collections Reading Room for a presentation titled Opening Up the Archive: Telling Stories Drawn from the Farm Security Administration Collection. The talk will focus on her 2018 book, It's All Done Gone: Arkansas Photographs from the Farm Security Administration Collection, 1935-1943. Together with Melanie Griffin, assistant head of Special Collections, and Joshua Youngblood, Instruction and Outreach unit head, Watkins has curated an exhibit at University Libraries drawing from images in her book, which will also be a point of discussion. This event is open to the public and offered at no cost to attendees.
"While Dr. Watkins relied extensively on photographs from the Library of Congress when researching her book, the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections have wonderful collections related to the Farm Security Administration," said Melanie Griffin, assistant head of Special Collections. "We are delighted to host Dr. Watkins as she discusses the process of conducting archival research, and we invite participants at the event to explore our collections further and to discover stories that they would like to tell."
Watkins will hold an interview-style presentation with Larry Foley, chair of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, followed by a Q&A session on the exhibit and her book. Items from the Special Collections department's materials related to the Farm Security Administration, including the Jesse Laurence Charlton Photographs, the Works Progress Administration Historical Records Survey and the Joseph Taylor Robinson Papers, will be available for viewing.
"Larry and I both have worked extensively in different kinds of archives and have enormous respect for these collections and especially the professionals who manage them," said Watkins. "In this informal discussion, we plan to demystify archives and their incredible value for researchers."
The Libraries and Watkins thank Bedford Camera & Video for printing and mounting 30 photographic reproductions from the Library of Congress' online archive. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Counciland the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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