KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The University Libraries has acquired the complete working archive of author and illustrator, David Small, and author, Sarah Stewart. Residents of Southwest Michigan, Small and Stewart have created a respected body of work, collaborating on six books, including "The Gardener," a Caldecott Honor book. Small's biographical graphic novel, "Stitches," was listed as one of Publisher's Weekly's best books of 2009, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award for Young People's Literature and a 2010 Alex Awards recipient.
The collection includes drafts and original art, unpublished works, notebooks, sketchbooks, correspondence and journals. Portions of the collection will debut in fall 2020 with a series of exhibits and lectures. Due to its size and complexity, the collection will become available as materials are cataloged and prepared for public use.
The collection was acquired to enhance learning and research on campus.
"The Libraries should invest in material that offers unique opportunities and access for our students and faculty. Our undergraduates and graduates will be able to conduct research using original, unstudied material, and this collection may attract additional national and international attention to our Libraries," said Dr. Susan Steuer, WMU professor and rare book librarian.
Steuer also worked with the Department of English to explore the research potential of the archive.
"The WMU English Department was instrumental in moving this acquisition forward. Faculty recognized its potential for teaching, particularly the experimental nature of storytelling, the integration of visual and textual elements to create narrative, and analysis of children's literature. We worked together to develop a plan for future courses and activities using the Small-Stewart Archive," Steuer said.
The size of the collection has required the libraries' to store the materials in a climate-controlled environment at the Zhang Legacy Collection Center, which houses the WMU Archives and Libraries' regional history collections. The Small-Stewart collection will be added to the libraries' special collections and housed in the rare book room in Waldo Library once it is fully cataloged.
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