Cornish native curates library's
special collections and archives
By Katie Smedley
March 14, 2006 | Ann Buttars is curator of Western
& Mormon Americana in the Special Collections and Archives
at the Merrill-Cazier Library. She is in her 38th year
of employment in the libraries at Utah State University.
Buttars was hired to work in the Special Collections
department by a gentleman from her home town of Cornish
where she lived for the first 40 years of her life.
Special Collections is the division of the library
that deals with rare and primary resources. "It has
many of the library's unique materials, such as rare
books, photographs and manuscripts, as well as the university
archives which is everything by or about USU," said
Special Collections has the nation's second largest
Jack London collection, who is the author of Call
of the Wild and many other books.
"One of the most unique items is The Book of Hours,"
said Buttars. The Book of Hours dates back to the 1500s
and was handwritten in a monastery by Anglican monks.
"It is written on vellum with gold ink in Latin and
is illustrated with vegetable dyes," she said.
Buttars and other staff members have been working
with professors on campus to have classes visit Special
Collections and Archives in order to make students more
aware of what it has to offer. "We are open to everyone.
People are welcome to come in and look and do research.
We love to give tours and tell people about who we are
and what we do." Special Collection and Archives is
open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends
Buttars said her favorite part about working in Special
Collections and Archives is being able to help the people
who come in. It is one of the areas of the library most
utilized by people from the community.
"We accept donations of materials such as books, manuscripts
and photographs that help to document and provide resources
in the areas we hold such as the history of Cache Valley,
Utah and the intermountain West. The biggest portion
of our collections is made up of materials that have
been donated. We also accept monetary donations to assist
with purchases, processing and other needs of the division.
Special Collections is an interesting and intriguing
place to work, to do research and to simply visit,"