Animal Welfare and Animal Rights Collections at NCSU Libraries/Special Collections and the Archival Landscape of Animal History

Sunday, January 8, 2017: 9:20 AM
Centennial Ballroom F (Hyatt Regency Denver)
Gwynn Thayer, North Carolina State University Libraries
For this paper I will survey the broad landscape of primary source research materials that are available for scholars working in animal studies; I will address the challenges of conducting research in this field of study as well as the latest archival developments in this area, such as newly available collections. I will approach the subject in two ways: as a researcher who explored various animal-studies related collections around the country while working on my book, Going to the Dogs: Greyhound Racing, Animal Activism, and American Popular Culture, and as a curator who works with one of the largest animal rights and animal welfare archives in the country, located in the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University Libraries. In my current position I work with some of the most impressive collections relating to animal advocacy and its history. I will share some of the highlights from the collections and will speak to some of the challenges, rewards, and issues relating to collecting in this area.  I will also address the ways in which various animal protection organizations in the United States have approached their own historical records and historical legacy, and which leading organizations are making their archives or records available to researchers.