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Archive for June, 2010

UVM’s Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Online

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Center for Digital Initiatives has comprehensively digitized all of the libraries’ medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

This collection was created with the help of Travis Puller, curator of the library’s 2009 exhibit Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: Witnesses from Our Written Past.

Based on Puller’s previous work, we scanned and described 21 loose manuscripts and 10 bound items created across Europe and the Middle East and dating from the 12th to 17th centuries CE.

Our collection includes lavish books of hours, three works of Cicero bound into a single volume sometime in the early 1400s, several Koran leaves, and a distinctive Italian herbal featuring whimsical, anthropromorphic illustrations of plants.

Hay Films Now Narrated by Retired Extension Prof

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Center for Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce an exciting new addition to our popular Hay Harvesting in the 1940s films. Lucien Paquette, retired UVM Extension faculty member, spoke with UVM Extension Annual Fund Officer Kurt Reichelt on January 21, 2010 in Middlebury, VT. Paquette’s insights and comments bring these silent films alive!

Watch for yourself on our Vimeo page.

These three silents films were originally digitized by the UVM Libraries in 2008, thanks to a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The films were a product of the UVM Agricultural Experiment Station research conducted by rural sociologist Robert M. Carter in the 1940s. Carter studied the efficiency and costs of various haying techniques, from older hand harvesting methods to mechanized processes. This collection captures farming equipment and techniques rarely seen today.

View the original silent films online in the Hay Harvesting collection in the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives.

What We’re Reading

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Wonder what librarians do for summer reading? Here are Assistant Library Professor Selene Colburn’s recent picks:

A friend and I share a project to make it through the approximately forty titles neither of us has read on the Guardian’s list of the hundred greatest novels of all time. In between (largely eighteenth century British) titles, we read whatever we feel like.

Here are a few highlights:


Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
The Guardian calls this “one of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable.” And though it did take me three months to read it, I was riveted by the still-shocking-today behavior of the novel’s arch villain Lovelace, and fascinated by the ways in which Clarissa is entrapped by the systems of class, gender, and family that he exploits, as he sets about romancing and abducting her.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
A friend said this slim book was “so tart it makes my eyes pucker” and truer words were never spoken. Muriel Spark’s brilliant prose lands like a dart in this devastating portrait of a single Scottish school teacher and the girls she takes into her confidence.

Coming Up Next

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
I’m a little daunted by the Wikipedia entry (occasionally, when no one is looking, librarians turn to Wikipedia to see what they’ve let themselves in for in greatest novels), which says that “Tristram as narrator finds himself discoursing at length on sexual practices, insults, the influence of one’s name, noses, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare and philosophy…” But I’ll reward myself for finishing it by watching the incomparable Steve Coogan’s turn in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

Whatever I Feel Like

In addition to local author Creston Lea’s fantastic short story collection Wild Punch (which I’m reading slowly, to make it last), I’ll be bringing Ivy Compton-Burnett’s A House and Its Head on my upcoming trip to the American Library Association Annual conference. But the book I’m most excited to read this summer is Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, about which Francine Prose wrote, “Reading Roberto Bolaño is like hearing the secret story, being shown the fabric of the particular, watching the tracks of art and life merge at the horizon and linger there like a dream from which we awake inspired to look more attentively at the world.”

RefWorks Pilot Completed

Monday, June 21st, 2010

After a one-year pilot project, the UVM Libraries has decided to cancel our trial subscription to RefWorks, a tool for managing citation information. The Bailey/Howe Library will continue to provide support for two other excellent bibliographic management tools: EndNote and Zotero. Not sure which is right for you?

To learn more about EndNote and Zotero visit: Introduction to Managing Information.

Registered UVM RefWorks users will not be able to access Refworks after June 30, 2010. If you are an existing UVM RefWorks user you will need to export your data out of RefWorks before our access expires.

If you need further assistance, please contact:

In the Muddle of Things photo by amypalko used in accordance with Creative Commons

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Bottled and sold : the story behind our obsession with bottled water by Peter H. Gleick

“Tap water is safe almost everywhere in the U.S. So why does someone buy a bottle of water every second of every day? And where do the thousands of plastic bottles discarded daily end up? Gleick, recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, argues passionately for a new era in water management.” –Publisher’s Weekly

The heights by Peter Hedges

“Kate and Tim tell the story of their practically perfect life (he’s a history teacher in a posh private school; she’s a stay-at-home mom) in alternating chapters. Brooklyn Heights, their neighborhood, rife with social strata, rules, and conventions, is rocked by a newcomer, Anna Brody, the beautiful, mysterious wife of a very wealthy man who latches onto the couple…Hedges, of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1991) fame, demonstrates a sure touch with people and settings.” –Booklist

The unwanted sound of everything we want : a book about noise by Garret Keizer

“Garret Keizer has, not for the first time, helped us look hard at something we thought we understood and see that instead it’s rich, fascinating, full of political and moral and human implications. I’d say that his argument goes off like an intellectual explosion, but perhaps better in this context to summon the image of a bell, struck once in the silence. This is a book for our precise moment on earth.” –Bill McKibben

Decoration day in the mountains : traditions of cemetery decoration in the southern Appalachians by Alan Jabbour & Karen Singer Jabbour

“Written by internationally recognized folklorist Alan Jabbour and illustrated with more than a hundred photographs taken by Karen Singer Jabbour, Decoration Day in the Mountains is an in-depth exploration of this little-known cultural tradition…Richly illustrated and vividly written, Decoration Day in the Mountains presents a compelling account of a widespread and long-standing Southern cultural practice.” –Publisher’s information