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Archive for October, 2009

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Dancing in the Dark book cover
Dancing in the dark : a cultural history of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein

“The gloom of the Depression fed a brilliant cultural efflorescence that’s trenchantly explored here. Dickstein surveys a panorama that includes high-brow masterpieces and mass entertainments, grim proletarian novels and frothy screwball comedies, haunting photographs of dust bowl poverty and elegant art deco designs.” –Publishers Weekly

Listen to an interview with Dancing in the Dark author Morris Dickstein

Divas on screen
Divas on screen: Black women in American film by Mia Mask


“This insightful study places African American women’s stardom in historical and industrial contexts by examining the star personae of five African American women: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry.” –Publisher’s information

Watch Halle Berry in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge:

Long Past Stopping book cover
Long past stopping : a memoir by Oran Canfield

“Juggled between an endless succession of friends, relatives, anarchist boarding schools, libertarian commune dwellers, socialist rebels, and born-again circus clowns, Oran Canfield grew up viewing the inconsistencies of the world with a wary eye. The son of Jack Canfield—the motivational speaker and creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul—Oran is intensely self-conscious and reserved, but his life won’t seem to leave him alone.” –Publisher’s information.

Watch Oran Canfield talk about Long Past Stopping, via a prayer hotline:

Our Noise book cover
Our noise : the story of Merge Records, the indie label that got big and stayed small by John Cook, with Mac McCaughan & Laura Balance

“Freelance reporter Cook and Merge cofounders McCaughan and Ballance trace the history of the North Carolina–based record label that started in a bedroom and now releases some of indie rock’s biggest names. While some of the label’s artists may be beyond the scope of the casual music fan, bands like Magnetic Fields, Spoon and Arcade Fire demonstrate how vital Merge is to the indie rock landscape.” –Publishers Weekly

Check out the Merge Records website.

Sinister Yogis book cover
Sinister yogis by David Gordon White


“Marketed as a clear path to self-realization, mind expansion, and taut abs, yoga is also perceived as an ancient and unchanging Indian tradition based on the revelations of benign and limber sages. But this modern conception of yoga derives from nineteenth-century European spirituality, Sinister Yogis reveals, and the true story of yoga’s origins in South Asia is far richer, stranger, and much more entertaining.” -Publisher’s information

More about David Gordon White

What Else But Home book cover
What else but home: seven boys and an American journey between the projects and the penthouse by Michael Rosen


“Michael Rosen’s seven-year-old son Ripton one day decided to join a pick-up game of baseball with some older kids in the park. At the end of the game Ripton asked his new friends if they wanted to come back to his house for snacks and Nintendo. Over time, five of the boys—all black and Hispanic, from the impoverished neighborhood across the park—became a fixture in the Rosens’ home and eventually started referring to Michael and his wife Leslie as their parents.” –Publisher’s information.

Watch members of the Rosen family read excerpts from What Else But Home:

When the Rains Come book cover
When the rains come : a naturalist’s year in the Sonoran Desert by John Alcock

“John Alcock knows the Sonoran Desert better than just about anyone else, and in this book he tracks the changes he observes in plant and animal life over the course of a drought year. Combining scientific knowledge with years of exploring the desert, he describes the variety of ways in which the wait for rain takes place—and what happens when it finally comes.” –Publisher’s information

Read an excerpt of When the Rains Come

150 Years of Dewey Education

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

John Dewey at UVM in 1949

[John Dewey at UVM in 1949; courtesy of Special Collections]

The American philosopher, educator, and UVM alumnus, John Dewey, was born in Burlington, Vermont 150 years ago on October 20, 1859. Widely recognized as the “father of progressive education,” Dewey’s works investigated the relationship between democracy and education and the centrality of the student in curriculum.

Bailey/Howe Library is home to a wealth of resources on John Dewey’s life and work, including over 150 books by and about Dewey (which can be located via the library catalog).

Bailey/Howe’s Special Collections houses the John Dewey Papers, which include research materials and photographs compiled in conjunction with Dewey’s 1949 visit to UVM, marking his 90th birthday, as well as correspondence with John Dewey and his family. Additional progressive education collections include the papers of Theodore Brameld, Paul Nash, and Kenneth D. Benne – all scholars of the philosophy of education – and the records of Vermont’s Prospect School, which contain hundreds of examples of student work.

Student work by "Virginia," from the Prospect Center Archives

[Student work by “Virginia,” from the Prospect Center Archives; courtesy of Special Collections]

For more information on John Dewey, see the Center for Dewey Studies, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

New Chemistry Resource

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Chemistry Set

University of Vermont Libraries are pleased to announce the addition of Reaxys, a web-based search and retrieval system for chemical compounds, bibliographic data and chemical reactions.

Reaxys provides access to the content from Beilstein, Gmelin and the Patent Chemistry database and replaces the existing CrossFire service.

Features include:

    * Synthesis planner to design the optimum synthesis route
    * Multi-step reactions to identify precursor reactions underlying synthesis of target compounds
    * Additional search capabilities such as the ability to generate structure query from names or phrases
    * Search result filters by key properties, synthesis yield, or other ranking criteria
    * Results visualization
    * Similarity search
    * Transformation analysis

For more information about this resource, see http://www.info.reaxys.com/.

Chemistry Set, by unloveablesteve, used in accordance with the Creative Commons license.

National Day on Writing

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Megan's Present / Hand

Two events in Bailey/Howe, on Tuesday, October 20, 2009, will commemorate the National Day on Writing.

The Writing in the Disciplines Program will celebrate the past and present of writing-across-the-curriculum at UVM at its National Day on Writing open house. The open house will honor Professor Emeritus of English Toby Fulwiler, Director of the UVM Faculty Writing Project from 1984 to 2002, with a dedication and reception from 12 to 1:30 pm. Exhibits will also highlight the work of faculty who attended the 2009 WID Institute, as well as writing produced by UVM Writing Center tutors. Please RSVP for the reception at http://events.uvmctl.info/.

Bailey/Howe Library presents Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: Witnesses from our Written Past, an exhibit displaying early book-making techniques with 12th to 17th century materials from the library’s Special Collections. Colorfully illustrated books and manuscript leaves will illustrate numerous styles of writing, mostly in variations of Gothic script. The exhibit explains the process of manuscript production and copying in scriptoria at medieval monasteries and universities. It will be open through the fall semester in the Bailey/Howe library lobby and Special Collections area. A reception to open the exhibit will be held in on October 20 at 4:30 p.m.

The National Day on Writing, organized by the National Council of Teachers of English, draws attention to the remarkable variety of writing produced by writers in all walks of life, and celebrates the importance of writing in personal, professional and civic lives. Galleries and activities throughout the week will showcase writing in the UVM community, highlighting academic and creative approaches to writing.

See a full list of National Day on Writing events at UVM.

Megan’s Present/Hand by Aeioux, used in accordance with Creative Commons.

British History Online

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Midsummer Bonfire

The UVM Libraries now subscribe to British History Online, a digital library featuring sources documenting the history of the British Isles (England, Scotland, and Wales), from the 11th through the 19th centuries.

Topics include religious, legal, educational, cultural, parliamentary, regional, and urban history. Materials can be browsed by subject, place, time period, or source.

Sample documents such as 16th and 17th century journals from the House of Commons, historical diaries, and early maps of London can be located through browsing or keyword searching.

British History Online was created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust.

“Midsummer–The Bonfire” [illustration] appears in The Everyday book, Or a guide to the year: Describing the Popular Amusements, Sports, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs and Events, Incident to the three Hundred and Sixty-Five days, In past and present times, by William Hone, 1826. Retrieved via A Clipart History.

Computer Help on Sundays in Bailey/Howe

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

HELP! self-portrait

Need help configuring your laptop for wireless? Detecting viruses? Re-imaging your machine?

Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) will be offering computer help in Bailey/Howe on Sundays from 5:30 to 9:30.

Stop by with your questions.

HELP! by bejealousofme, used in accordance with Creative Commons.

H1N1 Flu: 1918-19 & 2009

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Ninety years ago, the 1918-19 Flu Pandemic was called the “greatest medical holocaust in history.” Best estimates put the worldwide death toll anywhere from 50 to 100 million people. The H1N1 virus, an unusually virulent strain of influenza A, was identified as the deadly culprit behind that pandemic. Now, fast-forward to 2009, and the H1N1 virus has re-emerged around the world.

A new exhibit at the Dana Medical Library, H1N1 Flu: 1918-19 & 2009, traces the epidemiological and historical aspects of this virus in two different centuries. The images and texts in the exhibit hope to shed some light on the virus’ impact on a world at war, on student life at UVM, and even on literary works on the shelves at the Bailey/Howe Library. Current 2009 influenza statistics from the Vermont Department of Health will be monitored and posted weekly for this dynamic display.

New Journal on Climate Change and Policy

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Icelandic Weather

The UVM Libraries now provide electronic access to Climate Policy, an interdisciplinary journal devoted to presenting high-quality peer-reviewed research and analysis of international policy issues raised by climate change. Works investigate climate policy through a variety of disciplines, including science, economics, environmental studies, political and social science, and ethics.

A recent issue looks at emissions trading in a variety of industries and countries. Sample articles include Wolfgang Sterk and Joseph Kruger’s “Establishing a transatlantic carbon market” and Erik Haites’ “Linking emissions trading schemes for international aviation and shipping emissions.”

Icelandic Weather by Zanthia, used in accordance with the Creative Commons license.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: Witnesses From Our Written Past

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: Witnesses From Our Written Past, the exhibit currently on view in the Bailey/Howe Library, explains the processes involved in making manuscript books during the Middle Ages using many examples from UVM’s Special Collections.  Dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries, these handwritten books and single leaves display many colorful illustrations and numerous styles of writing, mostly in variations of Gothic script.  Illustrated panels explain parchment-making, the manufacture and use of inks, binding the manuscript, and the process of copying texts in the scriptoria of medieval monasteries and universities.

Among the pieces on display are several notable copies of religious and secular texts.  Three works of Cicero—De amicitia, Paradoxa, and De senectute—were bound in one volume, each text beginning with a highly decorated page.   This copy was produced in the early 1400s.  Nearly filling one exhibit case, a Graduale Romanum—which contains music sung in the Mass, including the “Gradual” chant—was manufactured in the 1500s, probably in Spain.  Perhaps as impressive as the volume’s extra-large parchment pages is its severely worn cover made of wooden boards and partially covered with leather.  A picture of this cover can be seen in the “Binding the Manuscript” panel.  Other highlights include leaves from lavishly decorated Books of Hours, made for wealthy laypersons; several leaves from the Koran, one of which is dated 1106; and leaves from a ca. 1500 Italian herbal showing medicinal and magical uses for plants, some of which were drawn with distinctly anthropomorphic features.

The exhibit was prepared by Travis Puller, Gertrude Mallary Fellow in Special Collections, and is funded in part by the Friends of Special Collections.  It will be on display through the remainder of 2009.

Initial letter G

Initial letter G,  from a manuscript produced in northern Italy during the early 1400s.