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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

University’s Browne Popular Culture Library features different genres, authors, formats

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Digital Resources Librarian Stefanie Hunker walks through the romance section at the library, which is located in the Browne Popular Culture Library on the fourth floor.

Students who enjoy reading romance novels may find a place at the University Library to fall in love with popular culture.

The Browne Popular Culture Library on the fourth floor of the Jerome Library was founded in 1969 and consists of more than 300,000 books such as comics, novels, movie posters and mass-market mail order catalogs.

Rebecca Shakespeare, senior, said it’s convenient for the University to have the popular culture library because she wants to learn about things she’s interested in, rather than read from textbooks for class that aren’t appealing to her.

“I can relate more to books I choose to read and I hate reading textbooks that aren’t relatable,” Shakespeare said. “The books are a part of people’s history and it’s good for the University to have a library like this.”

People who want to learn more about an author are able to look up annotated literary manuscripts of writers, as well as original pulp magazines.

The romance novel collection in the library has attracted scholars from all around the world to come and see manuscripts of romance writers, different genres of romance such as gothic, teen and western, and to view cover art from the books.

Nancy Down, chair of the Browne Popular Culture Library, said the romance collection has been in the library since it was founded more than 40 years ago but has gained popularity in the past 10 years.

“Romance is becoming a figure area of study in the academic community,” Down said. “The romance collection kind of shows the development of the genre over time.”

People who visit the library are able to view archives and organizational papers from many different authors, Down said.

“If you have an in-depth collection it’s worth traveling to visit because you can look at all of the romances themselves,” Down said. “We get visitors from around the world because they can look at all of these things together in one place.”

Matthew Donahue, instructor in the department of popular culture, has taken his classes to visit the library and said it has developed as a way for students to have a facility which consists of many different collections.

“The library is great for my students’ research papers and for their careers,” Donahue said. “It serves as a place for learning.”

Down said the romance collection shows how the development of the genre has changed throughout time and people are interested in change.

“Sometimes people will want to find the history of the authors as well as their lives,” Down said. “The section is interesting because you can view how relationships change and how the charcaters’ occupations change as well.”

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