Monday, September 21, 2015

Dust Bowl

This fall, LITS will be home to the American Library Association traveling exhibit Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry. The exhibit explores the Dust Bowl, one of the most significant environmental disasters in American history. The exhibit approaches the Dust Bowl from humanities perspectives that aim to engage its audience in a discussion on human and ecological impact of the Dust Bowl and similar phenomena. The exhibit drew its inspiration from sources including Oklahoma State University's "Women in the Dust Bowl", the film The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns, and a collection of papers written and collected by Mount Holyoke alum Caroline A. Henderson (class of 1901).

"Migrant Mother" by Depression Era photographer Dorothea Lange, featuring Florence Thompson and her children. LITS has several books on Lange including Dorothea Lange: The Crucial Years, curated by Olivia María Rubio (MH Stacks TR140.L3 P365).

Materials on the Dust Bowl available through LITS include films and a wide range of books. Books on the Dust Bowl available through LITS include:
  • The iconic Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (MH Stacks PS3537 .T3234 G7 1939);
  • stunning photography collections such as Dust Bowl Descent by Bill Ganzel and Years of Dust by Albert Marrin (MH Stacks Folio TR820.5 .G36 1984 and Folio F595 .M343 2009 respectively);
  • firsthand accounts by girls and young women who lived through the Dust Bowl as detailed in Dust Bowl Diary by Ann Marie Low and Waiting on the Bounty by Mary Knackstedt Dyck (MH Stacks F636 .L92 1984 and F687 .H3 D93 1999 respectively);
  • sociocultural phenomena brought about by the Dust Bowl as detailed in Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination by Charles J. Shindo (MH Stacks NX650 .L32 S53 1997); 
  • and the geological and agricultural background and implications of the Dust Bowl in Farming the Dust Bowl by Lawrence Svobida and The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History by R. Douglas Hurt (MH Stacks S451 .K2 S96 1986 and S441 .H92 respectively).
The exhibit will be running in LITS until late October, but the Caroline A. Henderson collection is available year-round here and through the archives. Don't forget to mark your calendars for this exhibit -- it is definitely one you won't want to miss!

*Image was obtained through the Creative Commons

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