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Archive for March, 2009

New Resource on Jewish Women

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Photograph of Gertrude Stein in her salon, writing

Photograph of Gertrude Stein in her salon, writing; Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Earlier this month, the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) announced the launch of Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, giving free online access to a rich resource that had only been available via CD-Rom. The Encyclopedia includes over 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations.

Edited by Paula Hyman of Yale University and Dalia Ofer of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Encyclopedia contains content from over 1,000 independent scholars on a wide range of Jewish women through the centuries—from Gertrude Berg to Gertrude Stein; Hannah Greenbaum Solomon to Hannah Arendt; the Biblical Ruth to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Gloria Steinem praised the Encyclopedia as “user-friendly and thoughtfully compiled, as much a joy for the casual browser as for those who come with a purpose. Whether you are a scholar in search of the past, a journalist in need of facts in the present, or a young Jewish girl looking for role models for dreams of the future, the encyclopedia is a treasure-trove.”

Safari Tech Books Online

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Safari Books Online

Interested in learning more about digital photography, website development, computer programming, or using programs like QuickBooks or Microsoft Office? Safari Tech Books Online provides access to nearly 7,000 books related to business and technology that you can view from your work or home computer. In addition to the topics previously mentioned, categories include computer science, databases, graphics, hardware, multimedia, and more.

New Digital Collection of Family Letters

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

andrewruthfletcher-c18601

Thanks to a generous gift from Frederika Northrop Sargent, a new collection of nineteenth-century family correspondence is available through the University of Vermont’s Center for Digital Initiatives.

The letters were collected by Vermonter Ruth Colton Fletcher (1810-1903) and are part of the Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers. Many of the letters are from family members who moved west to New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas and sent reports full of interesting details about the people, economy, institutions, and activities to family back home. The correspondents recount the hard work they faced as they created and managed farms in new states and territories and often share meticulous lists of the prices of land, grains, stock, and groceries. Writers document the burdens of sickness and death that their families endured and often provide accounts of their medical treatments. Enos Fletcher and Charles Hogan write about their military experience during the Civil War, and other correspondents refer to the war and its effects on their communities. In one letter, Ruth’s son Andrew describes the 1864 Confederate raid on the banks in the border town of St. Albans, where he was working.

The digital collection includes images of approximately 140 letters, encoded and searchable transcriptions of the letters, and a collection overview with a list of the correspondents and their relationships.

The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Photo courtesy of Caleb Kenna

Photo courtesy of Caleb Kenna

Migrant Mexican farm workers began arriving on Vermont dairy farms almost ten years ago and continue to work here living hidden lives. Through intimate photographs and interviews, The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers exhibit offers a revealing portrait of dairy farmers and Mexican workers and a glimpse into their interdependent lives—what they hope for and who they are.

Conceived by former Vermont Migrant Education Program tutor Chris Urban whose work teaching English brought him to farms around Addison County, The Golden Cage pairs photographs of dairy farmers and Mexican workers created by Caleb Kenna with audio and text excerpts from interviews conducted by Chris Urban. The exhibit was produced in association with the Vermont Folklife Center. Although the exhibit focuses specifically on Addison County, similar stories–in all their complexity and contradiction–could be told in dairy farming communities around Vermont and throughout the United States.

The exhibit will be on view in the lobby of Bailey/Howe Library until May 22, 2009.

The Queen City’s Anniversary Dreams: A Century of Champlain Commemorations

Friday, March 13th, 2009

boats1909small3

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s travels to the lake that now bears his name, Kevin Dann will present an illustrated talk on a century of Champlain commemorations in Burlington at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 in the Special Collections Reading Room in Bailey/Howe Library. The event is free and open to the public.

In 1909, Burlington and the entire Champlain Valley celebrated the 300th anniversary of European “discovery,” and the parades, pageants, speeches and spectacles prophetically mapped the nation’s twentieth century course toward empire. A half century later, at the 350th anniversary Champlain celebration in 1959, the dreams and stories told by the region’s residents marked another landmark in local memory. Kevin Dann, author of A Short Story of American Destiny, 1909 – 2009, will use these episodes of remembering to explore how we may choose to remember Champlain and the region’s past at this moment of the Quadricentennial. Dann will also speak about his own dream to rediscover a lost history of courageous and creative peacemaking through a “Corridor of Amity” pilgrimage from Montreal to Manhattan in 2009.

Kevin Dann received his BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, his MA from the University of Vermont, and his PhD from Rutgers. He is the author of Lewis Creek Lost and Found, Bright Colors Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for Transcendental Knowledge and Traces on the Appalachians: A Natural History of Serpentine in Eastern North America.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 656-2138 or e-mail uvmsc@uvm.edu. Parking is available at the visitor parking lot on College St. (free after 6 pm).

New Website Is Live

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

3wsThe new Libraries website is live. Please report any issues to Lyman Ross. Antonio Porchia once wrote, “Nothing that is complete breathes.” The new website along with the Internet are viewed as dynamic entities — always changing and breathing life into the discovery and research process.