Written by: Adina S. Vega
Edited by: Michelle Sosa

Nancy Down, head librarian of the Library for Popular Culture Studies at BGSU

Do you consider yourself a pop culture junky? Do you dominate trivia night because of your vast pop culture knowledge? Are your book, magazine, and DVD collections overflowing? If you answered yes to these questions, the Browne Popular Culture Library (BPCL) at Bowling Green State University’s William T. Jerome Library is a must-see. Their mission is simple: to collect and preserve media and information on American Popular Culture for educational and research purposes.

The BPCL, founded in 1967 by world-renowned folklorist Dr. Ray Brown, houses pop culture research materials post-1876. The collection includes research materials on popular fiction, entertainment, and graphic arts. The collection has unique sections, including more than 250 radical, anti-establishment, and counter-culture serial titles, ranging from 1950 to 1989. The library’s fourth floor is home to advertising images ranging from movie posters, trading cards, mail-order catalogs, movie posters, magazine advertisements, and advertising proofs. For food lovers, the BPCL is home to a large collection of resources on foodways and cookery in the form of cookbooks, manuals, and realia. 

An eclectic gathering of objects from the library, including X-files action figures Mulder and Scully, frequently appearing on the library’s Twitter account

The library’s romance, mystery-detective, science-fantasy, and Western fiction collections are spectacular and offer something for everyone. The Library also contains extensive collections of late 19th- and 20th-century juvenile/young adult series fiction. The popular entertainment collection includes television, motion pictures, and radio collections. Finally, the most popular feature of the library, the graphic arts collection, is home to one of the largest comic collections in the U.S. and includes a large collection of graphic novels, tens of thousands of book covers, calendars, trading cards, and posters. 

Most of the collection does not circulate, except the DVD collection, but a large part is searchable through the library catalog

Categories: iSchool SLA


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