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Model Research Collection: 2019-2020

The Model Research Collection is a new initiative that aims to show an individual’s or group’s process of investigation of a particular topic as expressed physically through a collection of library resources.

Featured Resources

About the 2019-2020 Model Research Collection

Find a Set / Find a Text; Read the Set Against the Text

Curator's statement:

"I study the social life of photographs. The culminating assignment in my classes is the following: “Find a Set, Find a Text; Read the Set against the Text.” All my students know it. It distills what I have learned over decades of working with photographs, as a scholar, a teacher, a researcher, a writer, a curator, and also as a practitioner myself. First, it’s not so good to work with single photographs—you need two at least, to contrast and compare. The word “Set” comes from mathematical theory, and directs attention away from specific inclusions to articulate the rules that generate what is “in” and what is “out.” The word “Text” comes from literature (the field of my Ph.D.)—essays, books, testimonies, archives. Where this process gets especially interesting is that the texts we read often do not match what we as viewers see. When I say to read images and texts “against” one another, I mean not only to highlight these contradictions, but also to layer them in time and space, opening them out to expand upon the making of our shared social life. For this, we need access to whole libraries of books, unbounded by preconceived fields of relevance. I am thrilled to share “Set/Text” with you here, foregrounding throughout the year a changing array of books and essays from various Yale libraries that have been my companions in this work on photographs."

Read the Yale News story about the opening event.

Related Special Collections in the Yale Library

Peter Palmquist Collection of Women in Photography, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Women at Yale, Manuscripts & Archives


Installation of the 2019-2020 Model Research Collection

Model Research Collection

Title List

Project Team

Anu Paul, Digital Scholarship Project Manager, Digital Humanities Lab

Monica Reed, User Experience Designer, Digital Humanities Lab

Paulette Rosen, artist and boxmaker

Jae Rossman, Director, Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support