For the next installment in our Teaching Spotlight feature, we're featuring Mark Langeneckert. Mark and his students visit our reading room each semester to work with our bookplate collection. His use of the collections in teaching is a model for those looking to historical collections for creative inspiration.
I’m an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Art Department. Drawing is my passion and the focus of my teaching. I’m responsible for coordinating the drawing area and leading the study abroad in art to the Netherlands (on even years) and Italy (on odd years).
One of the drawing courses I teach is Illustration. This course requires students to create an original work for a specific visual problem. One assignment is to create a bookplate design that incorporates the students name and the text, Ex Libris, into their work. The assignment is introduced by a visit to Special Collections to view their extensive assortment of historical bookplates. In many cases, this is their first visit to Special Collections.
The impact of this first-hand experience for students has resulted in some of their best work.
In the fall of 2014, I will be teaching a Drawing III course with an emphasis on the Graphic Novel. I look forward to accessing Special Collections resources in developing this new course.
The staff at Special Collections are extremely helpful with gathering materials, offering support and promoting their collection. I would encourage all faculty to consider using this resource in their classroom.