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The Smithsonian Wants You!

August 21st, 2014

The Smithsonian Institute is looking for crowd-sourced volunteers to help make its online collections accessible via a massive transcription project. Get your nerd on for the public good!

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers who sign up at the projects’ Transcription Center can help decipher handwritten archival collections from bee specimens to field notes from an Arctic journey to a study of Native American vocabularies.

Diary of William Dall

1866 diary of 21 year old Arctic explorer William Dall.

Pamela Henson, a historian at the Smithsonian says, ““These volumes open a window on the past and allow those who lived in the past to speak directly to us today…The Smithsonian has relied on the kindness of strangers to assist with its work since the 1840s, when volunteer weather observers began to send climate data to our Meteorological Project. In some ways we are continuing that tradition.”

New books in Bailey/Howe

August 21st, 2014

These works can be found on our New Book shelf in Bailey/Howe, an ever-rotating sampling of things we’re adding to our collection. You can also review all our newest books online, and subscribe via RSS to receive alerts about acquisitions, by discipline.

The Gay Essay cover

The gay essay by Anthony Friedkin ; [edited by] Julian Cox

“For more than forty years, American photographer Anthony Friedkin (b. 1949), creating full-frame black-and-white images, has documented people, cities, and landscapes primarily in his home state of California. During the culturally tumultuous years of 1969 and 1970, Friedkin made a series of photographs that together offer an eloquent and expressive visual chronicle of the gay communities of Los Angeles and San Francisco at the time. This is the first book to explore the series, titled The Gay Essay, in depth, within the broader historical context that gave rise to it.” –Publishers information

Last Stories and Other Stories cover

Last stories and other stories by William T. Vollmann

“Creatively sourced, boldly imagined, and incandescently written supernatural stories. . .Throughout this ingeniously fabulist, erotic, musing, and satirical treasury, Vollmann gives monstrous and alluring form to the forces that haunt us, from desire and love to regret and loss, as he contemplates with ardor, sorrow, bemusement, and wonder the beauty and terror of life and death and the vast mystery of the hereafter.” –ALA Booklist

Cambrian Ocean World cover

Cambrian ocean world : ancient sea life of North America by John Foster

“This volume, aimed at the general reader, presents life and times of the amazing animals that inhabited Earth more than 500 million years ago. The Cambrian Period was a critical time in Earth’s history. During this immense span of time nearly every modern group of animals appeared…The evidence of this Cambrian ‘explosion’ is preserved in rocks all over the world, including North America, where the seemingly strange animals of the period are preserved in exquisite detail in deposits such as the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Cambrian Ocean World tells the story of what is, for us, the most important period in our planet’s long history.” –Publisher’s information

Inventing Ethan Allen–Sept. 4 in Special Collections

August 6th, 2014

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Thursday, September 4, 5:30 pm
Special Collections Reading Room
Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont

Ethan Allen has legendary status in Vermont and beyond. Historians John Duffy and H. Nicholas Muller III explore the man and the myths about him in their fascinating new book, Inventing Ethan Allen. Join Duffy and Muller on September 4 as they explain how they unraveled a complicated web of memories, myths and history to understand the story of Ethan Allen in the context of Vermont’s history.

John Duffy is emeritus professor of English and the humanities at Johnson State College. He edited Ethan Allen and his Kin (1998) and The Vermont Encyclopedia (2003) and has written many articles on Vermont topics. H. Nicholas Muller III taught history at the University of Vermont, was president of Colby-Sawyer College, director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. He has published widely on Vermont history.

Find a copy of Inventing Ethan Allen in Bailey/Howe Library on the second floor or in Special Collections. The call number is E207 .A4 D84 2014.

Free and open to the public. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-2138.

 

Prospect Fellows Working at Bailey/Howe July 14-18

July 16th, 2014

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The third cohort of Prospect Fellows have gathered at Bailey/Howe this week to study the Prospect Archive of Children’s Work. Their residency is supported by the Prospect School and Center for Education and Research Fund, managed by UVM Special Collections.

The Prospect School in North Bennington, Vermont developed a methodology that allowed teachers to document children’s growth and learning. Prospect sponsored summer institutes, seminars and conferences for teachers who spread the school’s descriptive processes well beyond the North Bennington campus. In 2006, UVM Special Collections received the Prospect Archives as well as funds to support annual fellowships that encourage teachers to continue learning from the Prospect experience.

This year’s Practitioner Fellows include Kerry Elson, a teacher at the Weekday School at New York City’s  Riverside Church; Felicia Black, a professor at LIU Brooklyn; Caitlin Preston, a first and second grade teacher at the Central Park East 1 School in East Harlem, New York; and Tasnim Azad and Ashley Leone, who both teach at the Children’s Learning Center at Morningside Heights in New York. Mentors Ellen Schwartz and Peg Howes have worked with the Prospect School and Center since the early 1980s.

Erin Whitney received the 2014 Prospect Research Fellowship. Whitney is an educator and a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. She is using the Prospect Archive of Children’s Work to explore the ways that Prospect practitioners looked at the different kinds of works that children created to understand their learning and identities.

Learn more about Prospect and the Descriptive Processes

Prospect Research and Practitioner Fellowships

Prospect School and Center for Research and Education Archives

Prospect Archive of Children’s Work–Online

Jenny’s Story: Taking the Long View of the Child, Prospect’s Philosophy in Action (2010)
LB1115 .C278 2010 (B/H 3rd floor)

Starting Strong: A Different Look at Children, Schools, and Standards (2001)
LB1117 .C28 2001 (B/H 3rd floor)

From Another Angle: Children’s Strengths and School Standards, The Prospect Center’s Descriptive Review of the Child
LB1117 .F735 2000 (B/H 3rd floor)

Warren R. Austin Papers

May 14th, 2014

The Warren R. Austin Papers in Special Collections document the distinguished career of Vermont lawyer and statesman Warren Austin. They also provide insights into many of the important national and international events and issues of the mid-twentieth century.

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After graduating from Bakersfield Academy and the University of Vermont (class of 1899), Austin read law and was admitted to the Vermont bar in 1902. Except for a four-year stint in China with American International Corporation in 1916-1917, Austin practiced law in Vermont until 1931. After the death of Senator Frank L. Greene, Austin was appointed to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1946. In 1946, President Truman appointed Austin as the first U. S. representative to the United Nations, a post he held until 1953. Austin, a Republican, was staunchly conservative on domestic issues and opposed the New Deal. His time in China led him to support American involvement in international affairs rather than adopt the isolationist position of his Republican colleagues.

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The United States News included a feature on the “nonisolationist Republican” senator from Vermont in February, 1941.

Austin’s papers came to UVM after his death in 1962. The boxes fill over 100 feet of shelf space, and include letters, memos of meetings and conversations, documents, speeches, manuscripts of writings, legislative bills and drafts, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The material covers some important work from his law career, such as the 1925-1927 settlement of the Vermont-New Hampshire Boundary. The papers are an especially rich resource for international issues that Austin worked on in the Senate and the UN, including the Bretton Woods proposals, the Dumbarton Oaks conference, the Committee of One Million, the United Nations, the Inter-American conference at Chapultepec, the Korean conflict, the Lend Lease bill, the Mackinac conference, NATO, Palestine, the Rio de Janeiro conference, and United World Federalists.

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Find this book in Special Collections.

A collection inventory is available online. Some documents from the Austin Papers are included in the Congressional Papers and Letters Home from Congress collections in the Center for Digital Initiatives.

Exhibit: Working the Landscape

April 25th, 2014

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Working the Landscape: Vermont’s Fields, Trails & Forests
Exhibit Cases, Bailey/Howe Library Lobby, May 1-August 20, 2014

Vermont landscapes are the outcome of natural processes and human work. While often imagined as an unchanging iconic place, Vermont’s landscapes are the result of diverse and on-going activities. This exhibit focuses on the tools, machines, and practices that have shaped Vermont’s fields, forests and recreational spaces. The exhibit also draws attention to the policies that have influenced how people work the land. Woven through the exhibit are the voices of Vermonters who reflect on what they value most about the state’s working landscape.

“Working the Landscape” is the outcome of a service-learning project for the Bailey/Howe Library conducted by masters students enrolled in UVM’s Food Systems Graduate Program. The students applied their disciplinary perspectives from the fields of anthropology, community development, geography, communications, sociology, food security, animal science, and network analysis in the research for this capstone project.

The students also created an online version of the exhibit.

Free and open to the public. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-1493.

Painting: Hay Bales in June, Anna Ayres


Slavery in Early Vermont: Evidence from the Archives

April 2nd, 2014

Special Collections Exhibit April 1-June 30, 2014

Although Article 1 of the Vermont Constitution of 1777 proclaimed that “no male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, nor female, in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years,” historical evidence indicates that men, women and children were nonetheless held as property for decades after the Constitution was written.

Evidence of slavery in Vermont can be found in bills of sale, account books, newspaper advertisements, census records, government records, and town histories preserved in Vermont libraries and archives. This exhibit includes items from UVM Special Collections that confirm the persistence of slavery in the state during the late eighteenth century.

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“Sold to Col. John Barrett a Negro Girl Named Rose”

 

 

Free and open to the public. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-2138.

 

 

Book Arts

March 26th, 2014

An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street: Selected Artists’ Books

The UVM Libraries’ Book Arts Collection includes nine books created when the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition called on book artists to “reassemble” an inventory of books and reading material lost after a car bomb exploded on Baghdad’s “Street of Booksellers” on March 5, 2007. The winding street, named after the tenth-century Arab poet, al-Mutanabbi, was filled with bookstores and bookstalls, cafes and gathering places. It was an important center of the city’s intellectual community. Many booksellers were killed and wounded, and stores and stalls were destroyed.

In 2010, the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition asked artists to create books “that reflected both the strength and fragility of books, but also showed the endurance of the ideas within them.” Artists from around the world have donated over 260 books to the project. One complete set of the books will be donated to the Iraq National Library in Baghdad, and others are being exhibited in the United States and Europe. Visit Special Collections to see the books shown here, and more.

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Al-Mutanabbi Street
The pages of Beata Wehr’s pamphlet contain carpets with the words “a book” in different languages and alphabets. It can be read from left to right, or from right to left, depending on the cultural preference. No matter where the reader starts, they will move into the attack—indicated by the blacked out text on the center page spread—and then beyond to the resurgence of books, on pages where the text is highlighted with bits of added color.

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To Make You See
Suzanne Sawyer printed quotes from Joseph Conrad and Seneca over a map of Baghdad that shows the area of al-Mutannabi Street. Sawyer chose the quotes “for their connection to the importance of books and reading as common ground for all people.”

minute

In the Minute Before, In the Minute After
Maureen Cummins and Tona Wilson used a dos à dos (back-to-back) structure to join two books, one that portrays a long and glorious literary and cultural heritage before the bomb exploded at 11:40 am, and a second that portrays the hellish world after the explosion.

jetter

Street of Booksellers
Francis Jetter used a long accordion structure to show a street full of cafes and conversations, writers and readers, ghosts and dreams. The carved wooden covers put the “spines and bodies of books burned, broken, bulldozed” in our hands.

martin

Not a Straight Line
Emily Martin joined 10 small, Coptic-bound books to suggest a winding street of booksellers. As the reader unfolds the structure, the orientation twists and turns, suggesting the chaos that ensued after the explosion. Each book contains one line of text.

memento

Memento
Julie Chen created a meticulously designed metal locket that houses a small book on one side and a triptych on the other side. The small book challenges us to think about our relationship to printed words, information and reading. The triptych includes a woven token framed by photographs of al-Mutanabbi Street before the explosion. The texts on the woven strips are taken from the preambles to the United States and Iraqi constitutions. Visit UVM Special Collections to see the books shown here, and more.

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Al-Mutanabbi Street
Mary McCarthy and Shirley Veenema describe their book as “A circular narrative of destruction and rebirth, entered by either cover. Panoramas of place and events capture the irrepressible nature of words, thoughts, and ideas.” They collaborated to produce the collaged images, which are presented in an accordion structure that can be wrapped into a circle. The covers are covered with sand.

onebyone

One by One
Lynn Avadenka’s contribution to the al-Mutanabbi Street inventory was inspired by Wilfred Owen’s 1916 poem, The Parable of the Old Man and the Young, which appears on the last panel, at the end of what might be shops along a street or books on a shelf.

Laureates Kochalka and Lea to Speak

March 19th, 2014

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Vermont Double Laureate Team-Up

April 8, 2014, 5:30 pm in the Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library, UVM

James Kochalka, Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate, and Sydney Lea, the state’s poet laureate, will talk about their unique collaboration during the fall of 2013. Sponsored by the Vermont Arts Council and the Center for Cartoon Studies, Lea and Kochalka exchanged drawings and verses to produce a book of illustrated poetry, Vermont Double Laureate Team-up. Called “a book of poetic cartoons,” it contains two stories, “Garnett and Leon in December,” and ” Squiggle: Tonight’s the Night.” Copies of the book printed especially for this event will be available to those who come to the April 8 presentation.

James Kochalka is a cartoonist, musician, and a faculty member at the Center for Cartoon Studies. He is well known for his Monkey vs. Robot series and for American Elf, which he produced daily for ten years.

Sydney Lea has published eleven collections of poetry, including the most recent, I was Thinking of Beauty. His nonfiction works include Notes on Rambling, Hunting the Whole Way Home, and A Little Wilderness. In 2013, Lea collaborated with Fleda Brown, a former poet laureate of Delaware, on a book of essays, Growing Old In Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives. Lea has taught at several colleges and universities in New England and contributed to many literary journals and magazines. He founded and edited the New England Review from 1977-1989.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-2138.

 

 

 

Remembering Birdie MacLennan

March 12th, 2014

Birdie MacLennan

It is with great sadness that we share that our colleague, Library Professor Birdie MacLennan passed away on March 10, 2014, after a brief illness.

Birdie began working in the Libraries’ Cataloging Department in 1990, after working at Harvard University and Merrimack College and receiving a Master of Library Sciences from Simmons College. Since 2008, she served as Director of the UVM Libraries’ Resource Description and Analysis Services Department. Her service to the library profession resulted in widespread recognition from her peers around the world. She was also an active member of the UVM faculty, with many years of service on the Faculty Senate’s Professional Standards Committee.

In 2005 she received a Master of Arts in French from UVM; these studies greatly informed her teaching and scholarship. She was the Libraries’ subject liaison to the Romance Languages department, where her growing proficiencies in French and Italian benefited faculty and students and satisfied her deep intellectual curiosity. Birdie was an accomplished and internationally recognized scholar, with particularly strong ties to Québec. Her in-depth research on the Grande Bibliothèque of Québec resulted in published works on libraries and cultural identity. She was an active member of the Burlington Italian Club and the Alliance Française Lake Champlain Region Chapter.

Birdie leaves behind a powerful and passionate legacy as a steward of Vermont history. Through projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, she helped to ensure preservation copies and digital access for Vermont’s historic newspapers. Most recently, she served as Project Director and Principal Investigator for the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project, securing multiple rounds of funding and overseeing the creation of 250,000 pages of digital content, much of which is now available on the Library of Congress Chronicling America website.

Birdie was a devoted colleague and mentor, dedicated to serving students, faculty, staff, and librarians-in-training. She was compassionate, generous, and supportive to all who knew her. She will be profoundly missed in the faculty and staff of the University Libraries and as a valuable faculty member at the University of Vermont. She is survived by her sister Anne MacLennan Perkins, her niece Dominika Perkins, and her brother-in-law Donald Perkins of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The Libraries are establishing a fund to further Birdie’s work preserving Vermont’s newspapers and will create a local digital collection in her name. Checks can be made payable to the UVM Foundation and directed to the UVM Libraries, in honor of Birdie MacLennan (The University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Main St., Burlington, VT 05401).

Birdie after a Chinese calligraphy lesson in Singapore last year. She wrote, "The character represents: Longevity, Life, Vivacity 壽 in the traditional Chinese script."

Birdie after a Chinese calligraphy lesson in Singapore last year. She wrote, “The character represents: Longevity, Life, Vivacity 壽 in the traditional Chinese script.”