Event provides 'peek into treasures' of award-winning authors' collection

Contact: Sara Volmering
David Small and Sarah Stewart

David Small and Sarah Stewart pose with selections of their published and unpublished works that are now a part of the University Libraries.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Award-winning authors David Small and Sarah Stewart will discuss their lives and work during an event highlighting their archived collection acquired by Western Michigan University.

A Cabinet of Curiosities,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Fetzer Center will discuss the David Small and Sarah Stewart Archive, which was acquired by the University Libraries in 2020.

The event will be hosted by archivist and rare book dealer Gerald W. Cloud, who will share information about the David Small and Sarah Stewart Archive and facilitate a conversation with the authors during the event.  

“Gerald and I have since become good friends, so perhaps I've heard all of it already, but I'm very curious to listen to it stated in terms of his broader occupation,” says Small. “It was Gerald who convinced Sarah that her travel diaries and garden journals were an essential part of this archive, and a visit to the remarkable exhibit at the Richmond Center shows this is exactly the case.”

"The event will help individuals understand how an archive of this kind, documenting the work and life experiences of artists and writers, contributes to scholarship as well as offering a peek into the treasures of this particular archive," says Dr. Sue Steuer, special collections librarian. "David, Sarah and Gerald have a rapport that will ensure a delightful evening of conversation."

The David Small and Sarah Stewart Archive includes drafts and copies of their published works, in addition to correspondence, gardening journals, unpublished doodles and more. The archive not only preserves their art and writing for the future, but it may serve as a tool and resources for researchers.

"Creators often don't understand the value of their drafts and personal papers for teaching and as a tool for future researchers and artists to understand how ideas evolve and develop. Sarah and David's work with Gerald to begin the curation process will offer insight to both creators and scholars," says Steuer.

The University Libraries has been preparing the archive for several exhibits and events throughout the Kalamazoo community, including the Oct. 20 event. Material from the collection is currently on display at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Public Library, Richmond Center for Visual Arts and Waldo Library. Visit the It’s a David Small World website for more information about all exhibits and events.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.