Celebrating 75 Years: DLIS Exhibition

Alyse Hennig is a graduate of the DLIS program here at St. John’s and is currently an Assistant Archivist in the University Library Archives.  Alyse, in charge of university records dating back to 1870, works particularly with special collection materials here at the university including rare books, manuscripts and political documents.  She recently created the fourth floor DLIS exhibit celebrating 75 years of LIS departmental history from materials in the university archives.

The program began in 1937 and the university archives has collected artifacts from the program since its inception.  For the exhibit, Alyse elected to use “pictures and other documents with visual interest, mostly key documents that illustrate turning points in the program’s history.”  Turning points include the start of the program, when the program changed from a bachelor to masters degree program, the move from Brooklyn to Queens, the original LIS classes offered and the introduction of technology classes.   The exhibit incorporates pictures of former faculty and program directors.  Alyse commented, “There are not that many pictures of faculty because it is a graduate program, and graduate programs are not included in the university yearbooks.”

The exhibit features scanned copies of images kept in the archives.  Alyse chose not to use the original images due to the exposure to lighting that could potentially damage the artifacts.  The exhibit was also presented as a PowerPoint at the 75th Anniversary Event Reception and at the Fall Symposium.

In completing the exhibit, Alyse found the records were only partially processed.  During her search for usable documents, she completed processing of the boxes, noting the LIS records were much more organized and available than that of other departments.  However, she stresses, “There is more work to be done.”  Alumni, faculty, and students are all encouraged to fill in the gaps and submit departmental materials to the university archives.  “If anyone has photos, other documents, anything,” Alyse urged, “Please donate.”

Alyse can be contacted by telephone (718) 990-6682 and via email henniga@stjohns.edu

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