The Special Research Collection at Temple University

As part of my research for the Institutional Profile piece, I went to the Temple University Special Research Collection. I used the Archive to find information about Sigma Sound studio, and the resources at the Archive gave me newspaper clippings about the studio. These research materials were anything from mentions of the studio in newspapers, to multiple page profiles on the studio’s founder Joe Tarsia. The Archive’s primary audience is student researchers, given its location on a college campus. The hours of the Archive reflect this, as it is open from 8:30 in the morning till 5:00 pm.

The history of the Archive has been analyzed in Documenting Modern Cities the Philadelphia Model by Frederic Miller. “In very rough terms, this tripartite division serves the city well, consigning public records to the City Archives,  traditional private papers and records to the Historical Society, and collections relating to modern social history to the Urban Archives”[1] This quote relates just a fraction of the collection that evolved into the Special Research Collection. The Archive’s status as an important institution in the Philadelphia public history community, cannot be understated. The piece documents the Special Research Collection’s Urban Archive. However, the sheer scope and diversity of the Special Research Collection is interesting. This is evident in the make-up of the collected material, such as manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and even science fiction film posters.

The Special Research Collection is a vital resource and an institution of note. It works to preserve a huge aspect of Philadelphia history and a major piece of the public historic community of the city.

Figure 1: Image of Science Fiction poster at Special Research Collection

[1] Miller, Frederic Documenting Modern Cities the Philadelphia Model Pg 77

[2] Image source