New Year, New Collection!

Here at the Mason Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), our staff have been busy bringing in a few new collections, preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mason becoming a university, and working on other projects big and small to make our collections more accessible to students, faculty, and researchers worldwide.

As the SCRC Director, I’m privileged to work with a fantastic group of archivists and students who are passionate about their work of making primary source materials available to the public through processing, instruction, digitization, exhibitions, and outreach (among others).

Recently, the Libraries worked with Brian King and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) to bring in the donated records of that organization. Officially begun in 1925, the organization’s mission is “to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.” This is a large, rich collection of materials including correspondence, documents, reports, scrapbooks, maps, photographs (along with lantern slides from the 1920s), trail registers, and ephemera (such as trail signs and hiker patches).

The collection was stored in the ATC ‘s headquarters in West Virginia. On a cold day in late January, the material was packed up and brought to Fenwick Library on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus. Right now, the over 500 boxes, framed items, and maps are temporarily stored in three different rooms as we work through the boxes. This part of the archival process, called accessioning, is where we look through each box, assess the condition of the materials, note the contents with a broad description, number the box, and then move it upstairs to our secure stacks area.

Pallets ready for our new accession! Image credit: Lynn Eaton.

Pallets (and room!) filled. Image Credit: Lynn Eaton

More ATC materials. Image credit: Lynn Eaton

We are excited to learn more about the organization and begin to uncover some of the small and large treasures in this collection over the next few months. We’ll post updates on what we find in the collection here on the Vault!

Follow SCRC on Social Media and look out for future posts on our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter accounts.  To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions.