September 18th, 2012
The other day, I received an email from a blogger at a website that offers information on online educational resources, the Online Education Database. They let me know that they really enjoyed my blog! I was very pleased, because I always wonder who reads it and whether the information is useful. The email included a post they created on the 20 Most Impressive University Special Collections.
It is worth looking at to see what some of the premier Special Collections have to offer. For example, Trinity College in Dublin houses the original Book of Kells, and Oberlin College has a huge collection of music. Not surprisingly, Yale and Harvard are on the list as well, with their broad collections that have been hundreds of years in the making. They also include the Jazz Archives at Tulane, which not only houses music, but also, the devices to play it on. The Comic Arts Collection at Virginia Commonwealth is included, as well. There are some I would add to the list, including the Popular Culture collections at Michigan State University and Ohio State. And quite a few colleges and universities have very large collections of Artists’ Books, including our own SCAD Atlanta’s ACA Library.
Well, we may not have collections that make the top 20, but we are the only college or university to have the huge archive of an animation studio, the Don Bluth Collection of Animation. We have a rapidly growing collection of Artists’ Books. We collect Graphic non-fiction and limited edition graphic novels. We have a little of everything in the rare book world. We are very proud of our excellent Special Collections here at the Jen Library and love to share it!
April 3rd, 2012
Its time for the Jen Library’s Spring Open House. This year we are targeting the School of Communication Arts. It is a hands-on experience for students, professors, and staff to explore our amazing collections! We will be displaying periodicals and books, digital images, databases, and the DVD circulating collection. Special Collections will participate with artists’ books, some of our graphic fiction and non-fiction, and other rare and unique materials. We will also get out some of the fabulous artwork from the Don Bluth Collection of Animation. Students will be able to play trivia, win prizes, and find inspiration in a totally fun way. Also, you will be able to tell us if there are materials you want to suggest for our collection.
Everything happens on the 3rd floor on Wednesday, April 11, from 3 to 7 PM. Even if you are not in the School of Communications, you are welcome to come!
March 30th, 2012
When we find new and interesting things in the Don Bluth Collection of Animation, we are always excited to share them. During spring break our graduate student assistant, Ryan Long, worked tirelessly to process boxes upon boxes of merchandise, only stopping when she ran out of archival boxes. With Ryan’s help, we selected several items from Anastasia to display, including books, a press kit, and even a bubble-bath bottle. You can see these items through our windows or as always, please come in to take a better look!
March 27th, 2012
The 3rd Annual Savannah International Animation Festival will take place at the Coastal Georgia Center at 305 Fahm Street in Savannah, Georgia on April 13 to 14, 2012. The Festival will showcase independent, professional, and student animation, as well as panel discussions, workshops, and presentations. The Festival, now an annual event, is sponsored by the Animation Hall Of Fame, Inc., a nonprofit organization founded by Hal and Nancy Miles. Hal Miles also is a professor teaching visual effects and animation at SCAD.
Included will be a mix of professionals and historians from the fields of animation, visual effects, and gaming. Also promised is a guest presentation by one of the animation world’s leading creators.
The Jen Library’s Don Bluth Collection of Animation will be represented in a short presentation by yours truly. I am so honored to be included in the Festival! Admission is open to everyone, children and adults and there is even a Free Cartoons and Cookies event Saturday morning, April 14, at 9:00 AM. Visit their website to see what else is going on! Savannah International Animation Festival.
December 27th, 2011
Last year, Special Collections was contacted by Fraser Maclean, an animator and teacher from Scotland. He was finishing up a book on the art of animation layout and wondered if he could use some materials from the Don Bluth Collection of Animation in his book. We already had some layouts from the Secret of NIMH scanned, so sent him some samples. He loved them and selected a few to use. That was the easy part. The hard part was all of the legal stuff to allow permissions to publish, etc. Somehow we got through that and sent the images on to Fraser.
We saw that the book came out just a few weeks ago and ordered copies for the library. Setting the Scene: The Art & Evolution of the Animation Layout came in to the library the other day and it is beautiful! And so full of information! The book contains interviews, examples, gossip, history, and process on the art of the layout for animation. Full of lavish color illustrations, it gives the reader a peek into the history of how animators plot the scenes and pull all of the elements together into one cohesive work. There is a copy in Special Collections, and also a few in the circulating collection. Come in to the library and take a look at this beautiful book (if you can find a copy on the shelf.) Here is one of the images SCAD supplied for the book. It appears on pages 159.
September 13th, 2011
Today, September 13, we celebrate the birthday of Don Bluth, an amazing animator and generous contributor to the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Happy Birthday, Don, from the Don Bluth Collection of Animation, and thank you for your many contributions to the world of animation and to the students and faculty of SCAD!
August 18th, 2011
We promised animation in the Digital Library Collections and we have made some progress! We scanned several collections of animation drawings from the Don Bluth Collection and had Robin Miller in the VRC create .MOV files of the drawings. We may not have animated them with an X-sheet, but they still look great! We wanted students to see movement and effects without all of the distraction of amazing colors and beautiful backgrounds. Of course, Animation students are a picky bunch, so Work Study Student, Alex Blair, has done some tweaking to make the movement a little more in line with what the animator would have wanted.
Take a look at some quick animated drawings from Banjo the Woodpile Cat, Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and The Secret of NIMH. There are examples of both character and effects animation. In order to more fully understand the animation, we also provided PDFs of the collection of drawings. It is possible to see each drawing individually to see how the animator accomplished the action. It is surprising to see what was left to the viewer’s eye to fill in.
We have also added layouts, model sheets, and storyboards, as well as concept art. There are some great storyboards from Titan AE. We will continue to add content as we have time. Plans include some storyboards from The Secret of NIMH. If you have a favorite piece or series of pieces from the Bluth Collection, let us know and we will try to have it scanned and added.
April 15th, 2011
Our next Open House is on Wednesday, April 20th, from 3pm to 7pm. This time we are focusing the Open House on students from the School of Film, Digital Media, and Performing Arts. There will be books, periodicals, and other materials on display. We will have prizes, free stuff, and trivia. Friendly librarians and other information professionals will be there to answer any questions you may have about our collections or life in general. From the Don Bluth Collection of Animation, there will be examples of materials such as drawings, cels, storyboards, concept art, and backgrounds from their animated features and Dragon’s Lair, one of their video games. The Visual Resource Center will host digital image database demonstrations. Please join us for our Open House at Jen Library!
June 2nd, 2010
The Don Bluth Collection of Animation at SCAD is incredible, but it is huge! We have been working on processing it for several years now and can report a major milestone in the project. We have completed processing Banjo the Woodpile Cat, Xanadu, and The Secret of NIMH and have passed the quarter way mark! We have written finding aids for each of these three features as series in the collection. This will provide access to students and faculty to discover what types of information is contained in each series by searching in Millennium, the library’s online catalog. The finding aid will help researchers to know what is available and us to retrieve materials for you.
So what is a finding aid? Finding aids are also called guides or descriptive inventories. A finding aid could be defined as the archival equivalent to a book record in the online library catalog, because it describes the collection much like the catalog record describes the book. However, there are some major differences in these formats. A finding aid describes an archival collection of things and catalog record describes only 1 thing. A finding aid provides historical background of the person or organization that produced the collection, where the book record usually does not include such information. And a finding aid includes an inventory of the collection’s contents and how it is organized.
There are a number of elements to a finding aid. Here are a few:
The finding aid has some administrative information, usually where the collection is physically located, how the collection was acquired, how large the collection is, and the dates covered by the collection. Copyright information and notes about access will be in the administrative information, as will information on how to cite the archives if you use it as a source for a paper or project.
There may be a summary of what is in the collection or an abstract, which will provide information about the contents: what types of materials are in the collection, and a brief note about the creators of the collection, and about the scope of the collection.
There is either a biographical or historical note, which is much lengthier than the summary or abstract. This will provide some important background information that will help put the collection in context. There is also often a note on how materials are arranged and described. A very large collection may be divided into series. In the case of the Bluth collection, a separate series exists for each feature. If the collection is a large one, there will be series notes.
A list of subject headings is usually included and often this will contain any prominent names in the collection. Lastly, there is an inventory, listing of the contents of the collection. Usually materials are described at the folder level, but occasionally described by item. Box and folder numbers are included and used to locate the materials.
The first several series for the Don Bluth Collection have been arranged by feature in chronological order by copyright date: Series 1, Banjo the Woodpile Cat, Series 2, Xanadu, and Series 3, The Secret of NIMH.
So how do you discover what types of materials are in these collections? Go to the library’s online catalog, Millennium, and in the search box, select search by title. You can also search by call number MS 007. This should bring up all 3 and you can select which one you want to see. Once you click on one, you will see that there is already a lot of information in the catalog record. But you don’t find any information about what we actually have in the archives. In order to see that, click on the bar link that says View or Print Finding Aid. That will bring up a PDF of the finding aid with the inventory. There is a note at the beginning of the inventory that tells you how the materials in each folder are described. The first descriptor is the type of material, such as drawing or cel. Then there are several numbers. If you are familiar with 2-D animation, you will recognize that the numbering refers to sequence, scene, and drawing or cel number. The character or object being animated is also included.
We hope that these will prove to be a valuable resource for those who wish to use the collection. We have several other projects in the works. We now have 400 images from the Don Bluth Collection in SCAD’s Digital Image Database, and we are working on a digital project to share images with the larger community as well. And we are still processing other series in the collection. Those that are partially complete include Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and Thumbelina.
April 29th, 2010
The Jen Library is hosting an Open House next Wednesday May 5th from 3pm to 7pm. We are highlighting areas of our collection specifically for Animation, Sequential Art, and Illustration majors. We will have a Special Collections display of Don Bluth works, limited edition graphic novels , artists’ books, and more. We will also be giving away flip books, buttons, and videos that were part of the Bluth donation. The Visual Resource Center will host digital image database demonstrations and the Reference department will be asking both students and faculty for collection suggestions. Learn how the Writers Studio can help you improve writing and communication skills and meet tutors at the Learning Resource Hive. Please join us for our Open House at Jen Library May 5th.