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Archive As Artistic Practice documents artistic works created by researchers and students in response to materials in the Flaxman Library Special Collections, exploring the library’s place at the intersection of artistic practice and archival documentation. Flaxman Library's Special Collections are a vibrant and active space that serves not only as resource for the campus community and beyond, but also functions as a lab where the production of primary work is congruent with the archival documentation of it. Mapping knowledge as an artistic practice in and of itself has become one of the core concerns for many artists. Our collections and archives have spawned numerous student and faculty projects, whether those come in the form of designed material for future grant applications, as documentary film projects, or as re-performances of existing scripts, not as an attempt to breathe life back into recordings of ephemeral events, but in the hope that seminal works from the past provide us with a fertile enough base for something entirely new to grow.

Featured Events

"Adrift In The Archives," Flaxman Library Bibliodérive, Feb. 20, 2015
During this event the Flaxman Library Special Collections provided participants with an array of unexplored objects, drawings, photographs and texts from the Randolph Street Gallery Archives. "They beg for your interpretation! Choose one or more and sing it, paint it, write it a love letter, use it as a short story prompt, perform (with) it, animate it. Reveal its hidden secrets in your own ways and translate them. All interpretations will be shared online as an alternative finding aid to help future users navigate the treacherous waters of archival research." For more information on this event visit