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Thursday, June 20 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Looking Back; Moving Forward: Transportation and Civic Exhibition Planning Collections as Resources for Environmental Studies Scholarship

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Transportation, from air travel to mass transit, contributes significantly to climate change, through emissions, the embodied energy of the built environment that supports its networks, and the legacies of civic projects and neighborhood expansion. Evidenced in institutional and private collections, in corporation records and ephemera, research centered on transportation as a driver of environmental change demonstrates atypical use of library and archival materials. This session offers three case studies, two from academic libraries, and one focused on a personal collection, to highlight how untapped aspects of popular collections can more broadly illuminate the long timeline of global warming. The session with conclude with a group discussion and Q & A to highlight practical application of case studies at attendee institutions.

Pan Am (Jay Sylvestre)
The Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records (Pan Am) collection at the University of Miami is one of the largest and most comprehensive aviation collections in the United States, and is accessed primarily to study aviation history and tourism. A hidden history within the Pan Am collection is the airline's impact on the field of environmental studies, preservation of local natural resources, and its role in the national conservation movement. In the late 1960s, Pan Am led development on the Everglades Jetport, a proposed 39-square-mile site built for supersonic flight, served by multi-lane highways and high-speed monorails. As proposed, it would've been the "largest airport in the world"; its proposition resulted in both the first ecological impact statement for the state of Florida, and the creation of Big Cypress National Preserve, the first such protected area in the National Parks System.

Environmental Impact Statements (Rachel Cole)
In addition to the climatological effects brought on by vehicular movement of people and goods, transportation infrastructure—bridges, tunnels, roadways, related power and water supplies—leaves a significant environmental footprint. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) collection at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library is one of the largest in the nation, and is available to historians, students, faculty, and citizen activists alike. This case study illustrates how a collection documenting aspects of the federal government’s environmental history is maintained and integrated with transportation research materials, and how researchers utilize the collection to assess governmental and large-scale projects, past and present.

Futurama: Visions of Transportation and the Specter of Climate Change in Three American-Based World's Fairs (Diane Dias De Fazio)
For the World's Fairs, nations and corporations created manufactured environments in the form of pavilions and exhibitions, and urban planners envisioned new pathways in the form of highways and public transportation improvements. The New York ('39-'40, '64-'65) and Knoxville ('82) Fairs included themes: the "World of Tomorrow", and "Energy Runs the World", and all held an implicit emphasis on a future dependent on the drivers of climate change: fuels and emissions, urban sprawl and infrastructure expansion, the American road and mass transit. Through an examination of a private collection, this portion of the session will evaluate how exhibitors and city planners for three American world's fairs presaged future transportation-rooted environmental challenges from behind the scrim of optimism.

Speakers
avatar for Jay Sylvestre

Jay Sylvestre

Special Collections Librarian, University of Miami
Jay Sylvestre, Special Collections Librarian, University of Miami, uses zines in teaching. Nearly every class taught in Special Collections includes zines: students learn and discuss how authority and expertise is demonstrated within zines and how zines expand the voices and people... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Cole

Rachel Cole

Public Services Librarian, Transportation Library, Northwestern University
avatar for Diane Dias De Fazio

Diane Dias De Fazio

Independent Curator of Rare Books and Book Arts


Thursday June 20, 2019 4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT
Grand Ballroom DEF