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Growing Fields in the Bailey/Howe Lobby

Friday, May 10th, 2013

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The Bailey/Howe Lobby is host to a colorful summer collection of farm and food images in a new exhibit called “Growing Fields.”  The gallery features UVM’s Farmer Training Program, as well as historical snapshots from the Center for Digital Initiatives, Special Collections and the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project.

Image reproductions, broadsides, and books document the changing face of farming in Vermont, from traditional practices of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to the back to the land movement, to a new generation of farmers working in the model of sustainable agriculture.

To learn about the nutritional value of Vermont’s local foods, visit the related exhibit at Dana Medical Library entitled Super Foods of Summer.

New Book Highlights

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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 new cool : a visionary teacher, his FIRST robotics team, and the ultimate battle of smarts by Neal Bascomb

When Dean Kamen, a millionaire inventor, realized that most kids couldn’t name a living scientist, he created the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition to encourage high-school students to consider scientific careers. Bascomb follows team 1717, the D’Penguineers, from Goleta, California, during the 2009 season. The team of high-school seniors, all rookie robot builders, is led by Amir Abo-Shaeer, a physics teacher and the founder of a fledgling engineering academy.

Pages from a black radical’s notebook : a James Boggs reader edited by Stephen M. Ward ; with an afterword by Grace Lee Boggs.

Born in the rural American south, James Boggs lived nearly his entire adult life in Detroit and worked as a factory worker for twenty-eight years while immersing himself in the political struggles of the industrial urban north. During and after the years he spent in the auto industry, Boggs wrote two books, co-authored two others, and penned dozens of essays, pamphlets, reviews, manifestos, and newspaper columns to become known as a pioneering revolutionary theorist and community organizer. –Publisher’s information

Ruta Tannenbaum by Miljenko Jergović ; translated from the Croatian by Stephen M. Dickey

Set in the Croatian city of Zagreb, then a part of Yugoslavia, in the period between the world wars Ruta Tannenbaum’s central character is an ingenue inspired by the real-life figure Lea Deutsch, the now-forgotten Shirley Temple of Yugoslavia who was murdered in the Holocaust. Using their shared Jewish heritage as a starting point, Jergovic´ constructs a fictional family history populated by historical figures with the precocious Ruta at the center. –Publisher’s information

Unlikely friends : bridging ties and diverse friendships by James A. Vela-McConnell

There are those individuals who have established deep, lasting relationships with others from very different backgrounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Research indicates that such friendships are a relatively rare phenomenon. While many study the reasons for this pattern, the research presented here focuses on the successes of the few: ‘How have you broken down the social distance between you and bridged the social distance that separates you?’

Fleming + CDI Digitize Images of Japan

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

A Tourist’s Album of Japan

Katherine Wolcott and her uncle, Robert Hull Fleming, compiled this photo album on their visit to Japan in 1909. It contains nearly 40 leaves of collected photographs and postcards, numbering two to three per album page. The pictures range in content, some depicting staged photos of daily life while others portray landscapes and countryside. The album itself measures approximately 11 x 14 x 4 inches. Users can view the entire album, or individual images.

A Collaboration

This collection represents a collaboration between the university’s Robert Hull Fleming Museum, where the album is housed, and the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives. Conceived of as part of the Museum’s Shadows of the Samurai: Japanese Warrior Traditions exhibit, this new online resource invites many perspectives on early twentieth century Japan.

Japan in Context

Wolcott’s album captures a unique view of Japan at the brink of burgeoning Western influence. After defeating the Russians in the Russo Japanese War (1904-05), Japan began to cement itself as a global power, and its efforts to modernize began to attract Westerners. The images in this album depict a Japan with a strong national heritage and cultural appreciation as well as a newfound embrace of modernization and technology.Most of the pictures in the album sold commercially as a form of postcard. In the early 1900s, the Japanese populace began consuming millions of these types of commercially produced picture postcards. Eventually, the medium became so popular that it started to replace the more traditional wood block print. The citizenry sought pictures of their budding nation, wanting to hold a still image of the rapidly modernizing and changing countryside.

Want More Cornel West?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

If you’re excited about Cornel West’s visit to UVM in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (soon to be rescheduled!) and want to learn more, check out the nearly forty titles by or about West in the library collection.

Here are some sample books and videos:

The African-American century : how Black Americans have shaped our country by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West

Cornel West : a critical reader edited by George Yancy

Keeping faith : philosophy and race in America by Cornel West

Jews & Blacks : a dialogue on race, religion, and culture in America by Michael Lerner & Cornel West

Prophetic fragments by Cornel West

Cornel West : the politics of redemption by Rosemary Cowan

Examined life [DVD] : philosophy is in the street written and directed by Astra Taylor ; producer, Bill Imperial, producer (NFB), Lea Marin

Porter Thayer Photos Online

Friday, December 10th, 2010

This collection is being digitized through a collaboration between the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives and the Brooks Memorial Library.  The collection launched with 100 initial photos in December 2010, after which batches of 50 images will be added to the collection on a continuous basis.  This work is supported in part by a grant from the Windham Foundation.

When completed, the collection will contain 1300 photographs of Windham County made from silver gelatin prints by this early 20th century itinerant town photographer. The prints were made in 1980 from the 5×7 glass plates negatives held at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“During the time period Porter worked, Vermont was extremely poor and rural, yet held a close-knit population that shared the labors of life. Farmers helped one another to survive in a subsistence and barter economy. For women, men, and children, life meant constant work. Thayer’s images describe the work and the tools involved. His landscape images reveal this working landscape, which today is mostly hidden by trees.” (by Jessica Weitz and Forrest Holzapfel)

Read more about this collection in a recent article from The Commons News.

What We’re Reading & Watching

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

We asked Ana Banu, a student who works in Bailey/Howe Library, to share some of her favorite books and movies from our collection and she delivered an eclectic mix of film, fashion, fiction, and art. Get them while they’re hot!

Here are her recommendations:

Yves Saint Laurent by Jéromine Savignon and Bernard Blistène

YSL is a brilliant fashion designer, although I could just call him a brilliant artist, without any further ado. He is also an inspiring individual not only for people who are intrigued by fashion. This book talks about his life in almost an intimate manner and presents it from different points of view, including his and the peoples who he worked with. You get to learn about his ways and also see how a character can become lovable through his actions, creations and way of living, right in front of your eyes. YSL dedicated his life to making women, and later on men, feel comfortable, powerful and stylish.

Zen in the art of archery by Eugen Herrigel

This book is one the shortest books, yet helpful and insightful, I’ve ever read. It is about Zen and it is about Archery. It is also about how the two go together in creating an awareness of the moment that is beyond words. Things, in general and in particular, begin appearing a lot simpler and natural after taking in what Eugene Herrigel says. And the way he says is accessible enough to keep you going.

Camera lucida : reflections on photography by Roland Barthes

This is one other short(er) book, but so intense and powerful that every paragraph could be developed into pages. In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes talks about his own system of viewing and interpreting photography, beauty, history. It is both playful and academic and it explains things that are not easily explained, like why we get emotionally involved when looking at a photograph.

L’ećume des jours (translation: Froth of the Daydream) by Boris Vian

L’ećume des jours is a novel for the French speakers, only because it is in French, not because the story wouldn’t survive a broader audience. I, personally, read it in a different language and loved it. The images described in the book are so powerful and visual that they transcend language. Reading it in French might add some nuances to the strange and creative ways of telling Colin and Chloe’s story.

Malcolm X – Directed by Spike Lee

Based on The autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X is a movie directed by Spike Lee. It truly embodies both historical accuracies and the director’s admiration for the person that Malcolm X was. The story is brought to life by Denzel Washington, Spike Lee’s fetish actor, and probably the best choice for playing this character.

Bubba Ho-tep

I postponed watching this movie, because it seemed to have that silly and distasteful air some movies have. But it is not distasteful, nor silly. It is the story of an old “Elvis”, who may or may not be the Real Elvis, and a black old man (Ossie Davis) who thinks he is JFK, in fighting an Egyptian mummy trying to steal some souls. And as “Elvis” says: Ask not what your rest home can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rest home.

Tommy DeFrantz Discusses Kake Walk

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Kake Walks and Dance Competitions: Race and Performance in American Popular Culture

Monday, October 4, 2010
7:00 PM – Royall Tyler Theatre

Dr. Thomas DeFrantz

Former Alvin Ailey dancer and MIT Professor of Music, Theater Arts, Comparative Media Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies Dr. Thomas DeFrantz will situate UVM’s Kake Walk in the broader context of American performance history. His most recent book is titled //Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance and Dancing//. His most recent creative works include /Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty/ commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts & “CANE,” an immersive environment dance theater experience that explores black sharecropping after the Civil War. He created historical choreography, including a Juba Dance, for the second iteration of the New York History Workshop’s award-winning exhibition /Slavery in New York/ on display at the New York Historical Foundation since 2007.

Part of the launch announcing Kake Walk at UVM, the newest digital collection from the Center for Digital Initiatives.

UVM’s Kake Walk, a synchronized dance competition during the annual Winter Carnival, featured fraternity brothers in blackface and kinky wigs high-stepping to the tune “Cotton Babes.” The event, abolished in 1969, occupies a controversial position in the university’s institutional memory; it is, for some, a hallowed tradition and for others, overt racism.

To read more about student contributions to the digital collection, see this recent story in UVM Today.

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Ain’t nothing like the real thing : how the Apollo Theater shaped American entertainment edited by Richard Carlin and Kinshasha Holman Conwill

“The Apollo Theater has provided a stage for performers and a setting for the creativity of black American music that has hugely influenced American music in general. Recognizing the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Apollo Theater, this book offers essays by entertainment historians, critics, and journalists chronicling the legacy of the storied theater.” -Booklist

How to grow a school garden : a complete guide for parents and teachers by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle

“In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.” –Publisher’s information

Sayyid Qutb and the origins of radical Islamism by John Calvert

“Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was an influential Egyptian ideologue who established the theoretical basis for radical Islamism in the postcolonial Sunni Muslim world. Lacking a pure understanding of the leader’s life and work, the popular media has conflated Qutb’s moral purpose with the aims of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. He is often portrayed as a terrorist, Islamo-Fascist, and advocate of murder. An expert on social protest and political resistance, John Calvert rescues Qutb from misrepresentation and follows the evolution of his thought within the context of his time.” –Publisher’s information

Three sisters by Bi Feiyu ; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin

“In a small village in China, the Wang family has produced seven sisters in its quest to have a boy; three of the sisters emerge as the lead characters in this remarkable novel. From the small-town treachery of the village to the slogans of the Cultural Revolution to the harried pace of city life, Bi Feiyu follows the women as they strive to change the course of their destinies and battle against an “infinite ocean of people” in a China that does not truly belong to them. Yumi will use her dignity, Yuxiu her powers of seduction, and Yuyang her ambition—all in an effort to take control of their world, their bodies, and their lives.” –Publisher’s information

Bamboozled, Kake Walk, & Blackface

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

BAMBOOZLED the movie

KAKE WALK the tradition

BLACKFACE the issue

Join us as we examine blackface and UVM’s once popular minstrel tradition Kake Walk through a film screening of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. A pre-screening presentation will include a brief history of Kake Walk, an exploration of racist visual vocabulary, and a look at the resurgence of these themes. A discussion will follow the film.

7:00 PM – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 – Lafayette 108

Organized by the Center for Digital Initiatives, the Fleming Museum, and the Center for Cultural Pluralism. The CDI’s forthcoming collection Kake Walk at UVM will featured digitized archival material, and will launch on September 16th.

Libraries Receive Grant to Digitize Vermont’s Historic Newspapers

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The University of Vermont of Vermont Libraries has been awarded funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the amount $391,552 to support the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project.

The UVM Libraries will work collaboratively with partners in the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Ilsley Public Library of Middlebury, and the Vermont Historical Society to select, digitize, and make available up to 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers, published between 1836 and 1922, from the collections of the Vermont Department of Libraries and the University of Vermont. The digitized newspapers will be made freely available to the public via the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America database.

The project builds upon work of the NEH-funded Vermont Newspaper Project which, from 1997 to 2001, identified, cataloged and microfilmed close to 1,000 historical Vermont newspaper titles in over 3,000 libraries, historical societies, and other repositories throughout the state.

By 1830, many towns in Vermont had their own local newspapers. Examples include Brandon’s Vermont Telegraph, a reform newspaper that supported women’s rights, temperance, vegetarianism, anti-slavery, and the abolishment of capital punishment, and Woodstock’s Working Man’s Gazette, a voice for farmers, mechanics, and artisans in the 1830’s.

The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project will provide a window into Vermont’s participation in key moments in American history, such as abolition of slavery, the Civil War, westward expansion, the influenza pandemic, and the First World War.

Project partners talk about the immeasurable impact digital access to these materials will provide for researchers.

Project Director Birdie MacLennan, of the UVM Libraries says, “This will go a long way in dissolving information barriers by offering an important link to Vermont history, for scholars, researchers, historians, genealogists and the general public. It’s a dream come true for users, who have been asking us for years when Vermont newspaper content will be made available online. We are pleased to now be able to say: Coming soon, to a computer near you!”

“We’re really thrilled to be partnering with UVM and others,” says State Librarian Martha Reid. “The Vermont Newspaper collection is one of the state library’s most widely used. It will wonderful to have it freely available to the world. Particularly to Vermonters who are doing local history or family research, this will be an invaluable resource.”

Chris Kirby, of the Ilsley Public Library says, “We have lots of patrons who come in doing genealogical research and this will greatly enhance their abilities. They’ll be able to search ancestors by last name and call up any stories about them.”

Vermont Historical Society Librarian Paul Carnahan says, “It will have a tremendous impact on local history research in Vermont. A lot of research boils down to information found in newspapers and until now there has been no easy way to get at it except sitting in a dark room with microfilm and winding your way through reels one at a time. It will be like day and night.”