University Libraries’ Clara Drummond honored with 2019 Leab Exhibition Awards

May 06, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Clara Drummond, curator and exhibitions coordinator for Penn State University Libraries’ Eberly Family Special Collections Library, has been awarded a 2019 Leab Current Exhibition Catalogue Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS).

One of six recipients of this year’s award, Drummond received the accolade for “Field Guide to Fairy-Tale Wolves,” an exhibition catalog she created as a companion to the physical exhibition titled “What Big Eyes You Have: Looking at the Wolf in Fairytales,” which was on display throughout spring and summer 2018.    

The Leab Award is annually presented in recognition of excellence in the publication of exhibition catalogs and brochures that accompany library and archival materials, as well as for electronic exhibitions; and that are produced by North American or Caribbean institutions. This year’s winning catalogs, chosen in five categories, will be displayed at the 2019 RBMS Conference in Baltimore next month.  

“The committee was delighted by this entry’s innovative take on the exhibition catalogue format with its cheeky ‘field guide’ structure, which gives new meaning to the concept of the catalogue as a companion to a physical exhibition, and adds an interactive dimension to the exhibition experience,” said Anna Chen, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards Committee and head librarian at the University of California-Los Angeles Clark Library.

Drummond said the field guide was meant to be a playful and fun explanation of the various artifacts on display for “What Big Eyes You Have,” as well an interesting way to guide people through the exhibit. The exhibition catalog, fashioned to resemble a field guide — a pocket-sized book designed to help the reader identify wildlife, plants or other natural occurrences — consisted of three chapters: "Big Bad Wolves," "Transformational Wolves" and "Companion Wolves."

Because the field guide relied heavily on the physical exhibition it represented, Drummond credited her colleagues in Special Collections for their assistance in the discovery and creative display of the exhibition items on view, and Penn State’s Preservation, Conservation and Digitization department for creating images of the highest quality for use in the field guide. The catalog’s completion was further made possible by funds from the Krumrine Family Endowment, created to support the production of University Libraries’ publications in Rare Books and Special Collections.

“I’m so happy this little booklet I sent out into the world was recognized,” Drummond said. “We all want our work to be meaningful, and that others found it so makes it even better.”

Drummond has been creating exhibitions for more than a decade, first as an assistant curator of literary and historical manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, and later as an independent curator in Belgium prior to her arrival at University Libraries in 2017. Topics of her exhibition history include Jane Austen; animals in art, literature and music; philosophy and World War I; and love letters. In 2010 she was profiled by the New York Times as an “under-40 standout in Manhattan’s art and museum circles.”

For more information about current or future exhibitions at Eberly Family Special Collections, 104 Paterno Library on the University Park campus, visit https://libraries.psu.edu/specialcollections or call 814-865-1793.

Last Updated June 24, 2019