Indiana State University Newsroom

Retired art professor donates materials for student research

November 11, 2011

Indiana State University students will have access to a retired faculty member's extensive collection of art-related books and periodicals.

Charles Mayer, professor emeritus of art history and former chair of the art department, donated his collection to the Indiana State University Foundation. The collection of 8,147 books, 163 journal titles and 457 photographs and other media items is housed at the university's Cunningham Memorial Library.

"Dr. Mayer's generous gift has greatly enhanced our collection of art related material. With this gift, we can now offer incredible art resources that provide for the teaching, learning, and research needs of Indiana State University students and faculty," said Alberta Comer, dean of the library.

Mayer said any university that includes the name of "Arts and Sciences" needs to provide ongoing support to the arts,"

Art is fundamental to the human ethos and I wanted to ensure that students would benefit from the materials that I had and to grow from the research they would pursue. I could think of no better place to give these materials than Indiana State," he said.

Working with library staff during his tenure at Indiana State gave him the confidence that his collection would be used appropriately, Mayer said.

"Under the administration of Alberta Comer's watchful eye, the library is getting the kind of guardianship that it needs," he said. "The library is in many ways the heart of an academic institution, whether we are talking the digital age or not. ‘Available online' does not mean we don't need a library anymore."

Mayer retired from Indiana State's College of Arts and Sciences in 2008 after 30 years of service

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or