Knowledge Building – Ongoing Exhibit, 2013

Knowledge Building
Temple University, Paley Library
1210 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, Pa.
Paley Library Hours

Knowledge Building explains—and through unique materials shows—how and why certain collections and collecting interests developed during Paley’s years as Temple University’s central library. It also introduces our library patrons to the rich resources found in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) today.

In the exhibition, Paley’s extensive archives of print and broadcast media provide an example of the archival imperative to “collect around” a specific subject, time period, or medium. Materials from three of Philadelphia’s four major newspapers and two of its largest television stations together offer a unique account of the region’s history, culture and concerns. They also serve as primary source documentation of larger national and international news
stories. This focused acquisition of 19th and 20th media resources has engendered one of the nation’s best collections on modern and contemporary urban history.


Knowledge Building also demonstrates how materials across collections can provide insights on a single topic. Take, for example, the display on religion in this exhibition. Here, materials from the Contemporary Culture collection, Rare Books division, Women in Religion collection and George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin collection coalesce, creating a broad overview of the topic. This overview is appropriate for a number of scholastic needs: comparative studies, incorporation into course work, or a general introduction to a topic. Through this example, we see how SCRC’s materials are collected to support scholarship and discovery.

Our collections also reflect the specific spirit, character and research interests at Temple. Examples in Knowledge Building include the Conwellana-Templana collection, which documents Temple history, and artist books and dance/music materials collected to support traditionally strong programs in the arts.

Other collections are developed to fill gaps in the cultural record, documenting and signifying the importance of histories and cultural movements not preserved elsewhere. Throughout Knowledge Building you will see materials from the Contemporary Culture Collection and the Urban Archives, two unique collections developed to ensure the preservation of subcultural and urban history, respectively.

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