Libraries to dedicate Pennington gallery
A once-dark, all-but-abandoned corner of the lower level of Ekstrom Library now is light and soon will be filled with UofL treasures. University Libraries will dedicate the Lee and Joy Pennington Cultural Heritage Gallery with a 4 p.m. event June 13.
The dedication will start with a brief program in Chao Auditorium before it moves to the lobby outside the gallery for ribbon-cutting and a reception.
Lee Pennington, a former Kentucky poet laureate, playwright and documentary filmmaker, provided the funding that made possible renovation of a former auditorium into the new storage and gallery space. The auditorium closed when Chao Auditorium opened in the library’s west wing.
The Pennington gallery is the first space at UofL designed especially for the long-term preservation and storage of works on paper, said Carrie Daniels, director of Archives and Special Collections.
ASC designed the area to house specific types of items in its collections, such as rolled plans and large flat posters. The specialized storage will help archivists maximize space use and better protect the items from damage.
“Preservation is the key thing for us,” Daniels said. “People donate their valuable materials to us and we want to be able to provide the best home possible for them.”
Archivists will use the front glass display cases for revolving exhibits of items from its collections—which range from university records to historic photographs and rare books. The first one will contain some of Pennington’s papers, which he donated in 2012, as well as photographs and artifacts he is loaning for the dedication. They later will become part of the Pennington collection at UofL.