PCA/ACA Research Workshop

PCA/ACA 2016 Spring Popular Culture Research Workshop at Bowling Green State University

Dates: 21-27 May 2016
Location: Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
In Brief: Engage with the deep, rich collection at the Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture Library and the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives, work with workshop faculty to identify and hone a research project, and learn key approaches for using this unique collection.
Workshop Program (PDF): 2016 Popular Culture Research Workshop Program

The PCA/ACA sponsored a week-long research workshop conjointly with the Department of Popular Culture, the Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture Library, and the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives at Bowling Green State University from Saturday, May 21, 2016 to Friday, May 27, 2016. This workshop was generously supported by the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, the Dean of Libraries, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Provost at Bowling Green State University as well as by the PCA/ACA Endowment.

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This research workshop introduced scholars from around the country and abroad to the research and pedagogical treasures of these very special collections. The Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies was founded in 1969 and is the most comprehensive repository of its kind in the United States and includes more than 190,000 cataloged books. The collection’s primary focus is popular fiction, popular entertainment (radio, television, film and the mass communication industry), and the graphic arts/advertising. Besides books and magazines, the collection includes a range of nontraditional materials including fanzines, comics, movie posters, postcards, greeting cards, trading cards, television episode scripts and many three-dimensional items (such as action figures, fast food toys, and games). (http://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl.html)

Music-Library-3smThe Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives is considered the nation’s premier academic collection of popular music sound recordings. Established in 1967 for the scholarly study of popular music and music recordings, the Sound Recordings Archives includes a million recordings in all formats (LP,78,45,CD, tapes and more), discographies, books, and periodicals related to popular music and the recording industry. (http://www.bgsu.edu/library/music.html)

The Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University also has interviews and personal papers of some key figures in Popular Culture Studies, especially of Ray Browne. In addition, the Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University hosts one of the country’s finest collections of research materials on the Great Lakes.

The staff of these collections assisted participants in locating unique resources for use in their teaching and research in accordance with Fair Use guidelines. At present, these collections are not as widely known and utilized in the academy as they deserve to be. In addition, the PCA/ACA Endowment has supported the growth of these special collections over the years and the PCA/ACA has identified Bowling Green State University as the official depository of all PCA/ACA records.

Archives-3smThe workshop faculty consisted of members of the faculty of the Department of Popular Culture and other areas at Bowling Green State University and members of the PCA/ACA Governing Board, all of whom  volunteered their time and expertise. While the Research Workshop is intended for academic and independent scholars who intend to use these special collections over time, applications from advanced graduate students who wanted to utilize these collections in their work were also be considered.

Archives-2smThe workshop was designed to engage participants in hands- on work with the special collections consistent with their individual teaching/research needs. Each participant identified his/her major project for the week early in the workshop. In addition to opening and closing receptions on Saturday evening and Thursday evening, participants were presented with a series of five or six presentations by the workshop faculty who provided them with a variety of key approaches/methodologies for the study and utilization of these materials. Social events were provided as an option to the group several times during the week. Travel grant recipients will be asked to present the results of their project at a regional or national PCA/ACA conference over the next two years.

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Photos from the Workshop:

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