Special Collection: Boom and Bust

Now when students go to the second floor of the Richter Library, they can find more than just a quiet place to study.

They can also learn about economic hardships that not only affected the country, but the University of Miami as well.

“Boom and Bust,” an exhibit about the economy before and during the Great Depression, is being presented by the Special Collections Department to showcase special manuscripts, photos and rare books.

The works show the effects economic hardship had on literature, scholarship and the arts with books by Karl Marx and musical plays like Oscar Hammerstein’s “Allegro.”

Included in the exhibit is a document explaining how The Miami Hurricane ceased publication due to a “lack of funds” on Oct. 8, 1929.

There are also statements reporting rising tuition costs, and a letter from former UM President, B.F. Ashe to the class of 1935 informing them of the difficulty of finding jobs because of the economy.

“It’s more of a way of saying this isn’t the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last,” said Christina Favretto, the Head of the Special Collections Department.

According to Favretto, the display is also an attempt to give students an example of the types of collections available to them.  New exhibits are displayed up to eight times a year, and usually have something to do with current events.

Items can be reserved either online or in person from Special Collections on the eighth floor of the library. The exhibit is on the second floor.

“We want the students to know that they can check the materials out after they’ve been displayed,” Favretto said.

Graduate student Rudo Kemper, a library assistant who helped organize the display, learned a lot about what the library has to offer, and how students would be able to relate the exhibit to today’s financial situations.

“It makes me think about how things in the economy were then and how they’re similar now.” Kemper said.

Sophmore Dara Collins agrees.

“It’s a unique experience to see how cyclical the economy can be,” Collins said.

“Boom and Bust,” will be on display through the end of October.