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Archive for November, 2009

Medieval Manuscript History Detectives at Work

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Medieval Manuscript History Detectives at Work:

The Life and Times of the Cronica of Guillaume de Nangis, from Saint-Denis to St. Pancras



7:30 PM, Thursday, December 3, 2009

Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library

Medieval manuscripts intrigue us because of the intense and tedious labor evident in their making, the colorful illustrations that sometimes accompany their text, and because they represent links in the chain of knowledge spanning hundreds or even thousands of years. A monk in the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Denis named Guillaume de Nangis (or William of Nangis) produced a chronicle of the world late in the thirteenth century that was widely admired and copied. The original manuscript passed through the hands of French and English nobility into the library of King Henry VIII, and eventually to the British Library, now at St. Pancras, London.

How manuscripts were copied, miscopied, and propagated, and how specific manuscripts were handed down over the years—their provenance—is the subject of historical detective work undertaken by a relatively small number of specialists. Daniel Williman and Karen Corsano have traced the path of Guillaume de Nangis’s Cronica through the centuries and will share their discoveries with us—with some additional comments on the collection of medieval manuscripts in the Special Collections Department of Bailey/Howe Library.

Daniel Williman, professor emeritus of Classics at Binghamton University, and Karen Corsano, senior programmer at Channing Laboratories, Harvard University, are medieval scholars with unique expertise in establishing the provenance of medieval manuscripts. Their detective work has taken them to libraries, archives, and museums in all corners of the Continent and the United Kingdom.

Free and open to the public. Parking is available at the visitor parking lot on College St. For more information, call 656-2138 or e-mail uvmsc@uvm.edu.

SourceOECD: A Focus on Global Issues

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Big Blue Marble

A great online source on economics and social issues worldwide, that can be used by students and scholars working in a broad range of disciplines, including economics, business, social sciences, development, statistics, environmental science and studies, education, agriculture, and politics.

SourceOECD provides access to the publications of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international governmental organization (IGO) with 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach.

Publications can be accessed by theme in the advanced search mode.

Sample books on energy include Act Locally, Trade Globally: Emissions Trading for Climate Policy, Biofuels for Transport: An International Perspective, and World Energy Outlook 2009.

Data sets can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel.

Want tips on how to use SourceOECD?

Check out the Emory University Libraries “A (Relatively) Quick Guide to Using SourceOECD” or Ask a Librarian at UVM for help.

See also: Official SourceOECD user guide.

“The Blue Marble,” a public domain NASA photograph was taken in 1972 from Apollo 17. It was accessed via NASA’a Visible Earth website.

New Book Highlights

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Arachnids cover

Arachnids by Jan Beccaloni

“This adventurous volume summarizes all existing knowledge about each major type of arachnid, revealing their secrets through detailed species accounts, brilliant photographs, and a compelling cast of eight-legged characters. It examines the anatomy, habitat, behavior and distribution of each lineage, from the garden spider to the death stalker scorpion and even a species of mite that lives inside a monkey’s lungs. Drawing on the vast resources at London’s Natural History Museum, Arachnids spins a sensational tale, debunking common myths and delving deep into the lives of these bizarre and beautiful creatures.” –Publisher’s information

The College Fear Factor cover

The college fear factor : how students and professors misunderstand one another by Rebecca D. Cox


“We have learned a great deal in the last twenty years about what goes on in classrooms. But no one before Cox has shown so clearly what teacher-student interactions about learning and teaching are like, how these are interpreted, or misinterpreted, and with what consequences. The implications go far beyond community colleges. This is a book that should be read by every teacher at every level.”
–Marvin Lazerson, University of Pennsylvania

Ghostbread cover

Ghostbread by Sonja Livingston


“‘I know where I came from.’ With this declaration, the author of Ghostbread takes us on a journey through a childhood scarred by poverty and graced by love. Like an American version of Angela’s Ashes, the book allows us to encounter—and see, taste, and smell it—through the eyes of a beleaguered and intelligent child. We are grateful to be reminded of the human reality at the heart of a world that is all too often hidden in governmental ‘poverty indicators,’ and also glad that the author has survived to tell the tale.” –Kathleen Norris, author of Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life

Manga Kamishibai cover

Manga kamishibai : the art of Japanese paper theater by Eric P. Nash

“Before giant robots, space ships, and masked super heroes filled the pages of Japanese comic books–known as manga–such characters were regularly seen on the streets of Japan in kamishibai stories. Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater tells the history of this fascinating and nearly vanished Japanese art form that paved the way for modern-day comic books, and is the missing link in the development of modern manga.” –Publisher’s information

Call for Collection Proposals

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives makes unique research collections available online. This digital library offers powerful search and browse capabilities and accepts a variety of formats – from film to books to born-digital files. Now that we’ve established this infrastructure, we want to expand CDI collections so that our users are better served.

The library’s goal is for CDI users to participate as creators of digital research collections in an open, collaborative environment. We happy to announce that faculty, students, and staff may now propose collection ideas.

The Center for Digital Initiatives can help you by:

  • Providing online access to new teaching collections
  • Collaborating on course assignments which use our collections
  • Creating collections which support faculty research and department strengths
  • Engaging students in research projects and digital curation

If you have any questions about the CDI’s new collection proposal process, feel free to contact Robin M. Katz, Digital Initiatives Outreach Librarian at robin.katz@uvm.edu or (802) 656-3292.

Submit a collection proposal here.


Living in a Wired World: Can Personal Privacy Survive in the 21st Century?

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Fred Lane portrait

Imagine waking up one day in your own personal terrarium, where everything you do and say can be seen by anyone passing by. Sound scary? In a world of Web cams, social networking sites, and GPs-equipped phones, your dorm walls may be more transparent than you realize.

The University of Vermont Libraries present a lecture and book-signing by Burlington-based attorney and computer forensics expert Frederick Lane, about the challenges emerging technologies pose to one of our most controversial rights, on Wednesday, November 18th at 4:30 PM, in Billings North Lounge.

Lane’s American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right will be officially released by Beacon Press on November 23, 2009 and was recently selected as the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression’s book of the month.

Lane is the author of numerous books and articles on issues of intellectual freedom, including freedom of speech, privacy online and in the workplace, the impact of technology on our rights and liberties, and the separation of church and state. His work has been featured on Nightline, 60 Minutes, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Frederick Lane
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

“Is there anything more fundamental to human freedom than the right to privacy, to be able to live your life as you wish without the scrutiny or the interference of bullying authority?” asks legendary historian and activist Howard Zinn. “Frederick Lane’s book confronts us with this largely invisible threat, magnified by modern technology, and challenges us to defend our most basic rights.”

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 802-656-9980 or e-mail selene.colburn@uvm.edu

See Billings on a campus map.

Find information on visitor parking at UVM.

Upcoming Workshops

Monday, November 9th, 2009



  • Looking for a better way to keep track of your sources for research projects?
  • Ever wished there was a tool that could properly format your citations for you?

Help is here! UVM students now have several programs available to help track sources and cite them properly in research projects. Come to one of our workshops and learn how to:

  • Choose the program that’s right for you.
  • Save citations from the Library Catalog and Library Databases.
  • Insert properly formatted citations into your paper.


• November 12 (Thursday): 4-5pm, Bailey/Howe Room 123
• November 17 (Tuesday): 4-5pm, Bailey/Howe Room 123
• November 18 (Wednesday): Noon-1pm, Bailey/Howe Room 123
• November 18 (Wednesday): 4-5pm, Bailey/Howe Room 123
• November 19 (Thursday): 4-5pm, Bailey/Howe Room 123

No registration required. Just show up!
Questions, contact: Daisy Benson.

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What We’re Watching

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The Third Man DVD cover

Here’s a selection of Elect Resource and Serials Access Coordinator Shawn Biegen’s favorite narrative films. Shawn says, “In order to avoid my legal responsibility, as a former film student, to list Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Casablanca in any top film list, the following is a completely random selection of five films that I enjoy…”

The Third Man (1949)

While investigating the suspicious death of his childhood friend, an American pulp novelist becomes entangled in the seedy underworld of post-war Europe. The fact that this film was largely shot on location in the ruins of war-ravaged Vienna, gives it a haunting quality unique even among the best film noirs. Add to this Graham Greene’s screenplay, Carol Reed’s directing, and the acting of Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles, and you have as close to a perfect film as there is.

Watch the trailer for The Third Man:

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Relates the sordid life of its title character, an 18th century rogue intent on ascending to the peak of 18th century European society by any means necessary. This is my personal favorite out of all of Stanley Kubrick’s films. However, be forewarned that it is definitely a heavyweight, at a full 185 minutes long. So set aside an entire evening, and enjoy.

Watch the trailer for Barry Lyndon:

Brazil – 1985

Follows the life of a mid-level bureaucrat within an absurdly Orwellian society, as he becomes increasingly compromised by his search for a mysterious woman that haunts his dreams. There are actually two versions of this film available in our collection, as this film was famously taken away from its director, Terry Gilliam, and re-edited by the film’s concerned financiers. I strongly recommend watching the director’s cut.

Watch the trailer for Brazil:

The Prestige – 2006

Two rival late 19th century magicians, with a tragic personal connection, vie with each other to create the world’s most astonishing illusion in an era when scientific innovation makes anything seem possible. This excellent film was the victim of unfortunate timing, as it came out virtually simultaneously with The Illusionist, which proved to be too much magic for the general public, and split these films’ modest target audience in half.

Watch the trailer for The Prestige:

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – 2007

This is a film I recommend very cautiously, for the following reason. I really like westerns. Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn’t make westerns anymore because apparently nobody else goes to see them. If by some miracle a western is released, I will happily sit in my seat devouring my popcorn long after the two other people in the theater have left in disgust. So, it is possible that my bias may have blinded me to the fact that this film is truly bad. With that being said, I consider this film a flawed masterpiece that inverts the clichés of its genre by examining the consequences of the celebrity status attained by western icons like Jesse James, as well as the glorification of violence often associated with their fame. I am unbiased enough to concede that the film’s often rambling narrative should have been tightened up considerably, but I think it’s still well worth seeing. At the very least, please consider watching this film (or the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, Open Range, etc.) as an altruistic act, to help save the western genre from total extinction.

Watch the trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford:

Your Weekly Guide to Congress

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Senate Entry

The UVM Libraries now provide electronic access to CQ Weekly, from 1983 onward. CQ Weekly is an independent publication that provides objective, non-partisan reporting and analysis of Congressional activities, on a week-by-week basis. It will prove useful to students of political science, public policy, and history.

A recent issue included articles on health care legislation and debates, such as “Health Care: A Matter of Mandates,” “Highlights of the House Health Care Bill,” and “Health Care Polls: The Question Helps Define the Answer.”

Useful charts and graphics summarize recent votes, appropriations, and upcoming bills, making it easy to track on issues, and to see how the President’s agenda is faring. Articles are searchable a variety of ways, including by topic, committee, or bill number. Floor votes dating back to 1983 can be easily retrieved.

Print volumes of CQ Weekly from 1975-2008 are available in Bailey/Howe Books (JK1 .C15), and 2009 volumes can be found in the Reference Collection. Microfilm at the Library Research Annex dates from 1953-1988.

Senate Entry by deltaMike, used in accordance with Creative Commons.