Announced by President McRobbie in spring of 2020, McCalla will be the home to the new Collections Teaching, Research & Exhibition Center (CTREC), which will engage students, faculty, and public audiences with IU's world-class collections that span disciplines, time periods, and geography. These include many significant art, cultural, and historical collections across all of IU's nine campuses. The McCalla School will serve as an accessible hub to faculty, students, visiting researchers, and the public, allowing collections to be used across disciplinary boundaries, so that objects can be connected in new and imaginative ways, including via physical exhibits, digital content, classroom instruction, hands-on learning lab interactions, and public performances in the building's new multipurpose room.
The public galleries will feature rotating content curated by University Collections staff and by collections professionals, faculty, and students from across IU and from many different disciplines. Media kiosks will feature audiovisual content from IU collections, including selections from the 350,000 films, videos, and audio recordings recently digitized via IU's Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI). Classrooms, the collection lab, and the multipurpose room will be available via reservation to faculty, staff, and students who wish to have the opportunity to more deeply engage in collections content.
McCalla exhibits and events will not focus on a single type of collection; rather, they will feature materials from across Indiana University, both from Bloomington and from collections on campuses across the state. McCalla will thus provide an opportunity to have different IU collections speak to one another in new and different ways, with an emphasis on collaboration across disciplines and with a multiplicity of curatorial voices. This interdisciplinary approach is one that few universities—indeed, few collections anywhere—can offer, and it will allow IU to give new life to these collections and to enhance its research, teaching, and service mission.