Making the Case for Brown University’s Stamp Collections
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Postage stamp collections offer distinct challenges for special collections libraries. This essay presents a case study of the stamp collections in Brown University Library Special Collections from the perspective of a graduate student researcher and a professor who examined the holdings during a recent partnership with the University’s Public Humanities program. Currently, the stamp collections are in transition from volunteer curator to professional library management. The partnership, which included development of a class project to explore the collections and production of an exhibition to increase knowledge of the postage stamp holdings and show their value in teaching and research, was one step in that direction. This essay describes the history, management, and development challenges of the stamp collections at Brown, as well as student interaction with the materials and takeaways from planning the exhibition.