Friends of the Libraries Hold Successful “Evening at the Library” Fundraiser

On Friday, June 16, 2017, over 70 library supporters gathered for an event sponsored by the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries. The event included drinks, hors d'doeuvres, a library scavenger hunt, and a silent auction.

The program included a talk from local authors Jill Orr and Alex George. Jill, an MU alum, writes humor essays about parenting on her blog, An Exercise in Narcissism, and published her first novel, The Gold Byline, in April. Alex is the author of the national and international bestseller, A Good American. He is also the founder and director of the Unbound Books Festival, and is a member of the Friends of the University Libraries Council. Attendees also heard remarks, from Ann Riley, vice provost for libraries and university librarian, and Kelli Hansen, special collections librarian.

The event raised around $9,000, which will be used to support the digitization of unique materials from Special Collections & Rare Books. Materials chosen for digitization will be uploaded to the HathiTrust Digital Library–a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure the cultural record is preserved and accessible.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event or gave a donation!

Library donor James B. Nutter dies at age 89

James B. Nutter, Sr., the founder of James B. Nutter & Co., passed away on Friday at his Kansas City home. Nutter graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in 1949. Along with creating one of the largest privately owned mortgage banking firms in the nation, he was generous with his time and money, giving away much of his wealth to charities and causes, including libraries.

Nutter once stated that he was inspired by his father’s appreciation of libraries, “My interest in libraries comes from my father, who felt that libraries are one of the most important things our country could have. So when I had an opportunity to make an improvement in the MU Libraries, I wanted to do so.”

Nutter was one of the early donors to MU’s first major fundraising campaign, For All We Call Mizzou, donating $1.25 million to the Libraries for an information commons.

The James B. Nutter Family Information Commons opened in the fall of 2014. The space immediately had a huge impact on the MU student body, which continues to this day. The Information Commons provides individual and group study space and integrates the latest online information resources and the expertise of library staff. The 25,000 square foot facility features comfortable seating for more than 300 people, and 100 fixed computer workstations. Any day during the school year, the space is full of students studying and doing research.

Nutter was married to Annabel Fisher Nutter for nearly 63 years. She survives along with his son, James B. Nutter Jr., who is president and chief executive of James B. Nutter & Co. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Ann Moore, who died of breast cancer in 2003.

University Archives Affected by Flooding in Lewis Hall

UPDATE: The Lewis Hall offices of University Archives are now open and available to the public.

The Lewis Hall offices of University Archives are closed due to a building water leak. Please send any information requests to or leave a message at 573-882-7567.

Archives staff will offer in-person reference help by appointment in the 4th floor reading room of Special Collections in Ellis Library. Pulling material located in Lewis Hall may take a day or two longer than normal. We will let you know when the Lewis Hall location is open to the public again.

Damage to materials held by the University Archives was minimal.

For more information about the effect of the flooding on the archival materials and on the building, see the link below:

Columbia Missourian article: "Archival material among Lewis Hall flood damage"

School of Health Professions 60 Second Video of Lewis Hall Flood

Support the Libraries: Wish List

The librarians have created a list of over 400 titles they would have liked to purchase this year to support teaching and research at MU. To see the full list of titles go to If you would like to help us add any of these titles to our collection, please select the title of your choice by sending an e-mail or contacting Sheila Voss at 573-882-9168.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

After you graduate, the University Libraries will still be here to serve you. To find out more about the resources available to alumni, visit Library Resources for Alumni.

All of us at the University Libraries, wish you the very best in your future endeavors!

“Visualizing Abolition” Exhibit on Display in Ellis Library

Visualizing Abolition: A Digital History of the Suppression of the African Slave Trade
This exhibit shares the materials explored for the development of a website on the history of the suppression of the African Slave Trade. It will provide viewers with access to materials such as: maps, letters, images, posters, legislation, books, and other relevant objects that made up part of this project on the largest forced migration in history.

Exhibitors: Honors College and the Office of Undergraduate Research

William Least Heat-Moon Celebrating the Release of his Debut Novel, May 2

Flat Branch Pub and Friends of the University Libraries present


Celebrating the release of his debut novel


Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 4:30 pm
Flat Branch Pub
115 S. Fifth Street, Columbia, MO 65201

Renowned Blue Highways author William Least Heat-Moon celebrates the release of his debut novel CELESTIAL MECHANICS: A Tale for a Mid-Winter Night (Three Rooms Press, April 2017) with book signing party at Flat Branch Pub in historic downtown Columbia, MO on Tuesday, May 2 at 4:30 pm.

The fun event will give fans of Heat-Moon’s work a chance to purchase the new book and have it personally signed by the author. Fifty-five percent of the $28 purchase price will be donated to support University of Missouri Libraries’ Special Collections efforts to purchase a rare book. Each person purchasing a book will also receive a page from the original manuscript of CELESTIAL MECHANICS from the author. In addition, those who contribute $50 or more to MU’s Friends of the University Libraries will receive an authentic full chapter of the manuscript from the author.

Heat-Moon’s new book, CELESTIAL MECHANICS, has already received extensive critical praise. American Library Association journal Booklist hailed as “An entrancing journey toward deeper insight into the cosmos, an exploration readers will share and savor with every masterfully crafted sentence.” Foreword Reviews praised it as “imaginative work about a man’s quest for true connection.” Library Journal notes it is “definitely for fans of philosophical novels and Least Heat-Moon’s nonfiction.” 

William Least Heat-Moon, pen name of William Trogdon, is of English, Irish, and Osage ancestry. In addition to CELESTIAL MECHANICS, he is the best-selling author of Blue Highways, PrairyErth, River-Horse, Roads to Quoz, Here, There, Elsewhere, and Writing Blue Highways.

Copies of CELESTIAL MECHANICS will be available for purchase and signing at the event. For additional information, please contact Matt Gaunt, Director of Development, MU Libraries,

Congratulations to the Undergraduate Research Contest Winners!

The University Librareis Undergraduate Research contest seeks to recognize and reward outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students at the University of Missouri.

In First place, and the recipient of a $500 scholarship, is Victor Topouria, a junior in journalism. His paper is titled, “The fabric road to power: geography of the textiles trade along the new Silk Road and China’s path to geopolitical dominance through the textiles supply chain”. Dr. Joseph Hobbs, professor of Geography, supported his submission saying, “Victor provided exceptional insight into the ways in which China is re-shaping the economics and geopolitics of Asia (and the world) through the medium of textiles.”

The Second place winner and recipient of a $250 scholarship is Samuel Mosher, a sophomore in history. His paper, “The suppression of the African slave trade in The Illustrated London News explored how The Illustrated London News, the world’s first weekly illustrated periodical, reported on Great Britain’s suppression of the African Slave Trade from 1842 to 1869. Dr. Domingues da Silva, Assistant professor of African History, supported his submission saying “Rarely have I seen another freshman student make such a complete use of the libraries’ resources to write a research paper. The paper’s quality and originality are beyond question.”

Special  thanks to the Friends of the University Libraries for their support of this award.

Special Collections, April 14

Special Collections & Rare Books houses nearly 100,000 items, including books, maps, pamphlets, and posters. Special Collections also oversees a microform collection of some 8,000,000 titles. Learn how to find Special Collections materials and how to integrate them into research (and teaching), whether you are interested in the intellectual content of the collections or in exploring the book as a physical object.

Date: Friday, April 14, 2017

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: 401 Ellis Library: Rare Books Reading Room

Open Workshop – Registration Required

Celebrate National Library Week April 9-15

This week, the University Libraries joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries are transforming their communities every day through the services and invaluable expertise they offer.

April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers. Libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies.

Libraries of all types are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large depend upon libraries and the resources they offer to address the needs of their communities. By providing such resources as e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or a safe haven in times of crisis, libraries and librarians transform their communities.

The University Libraries play a crucial role at MU by providing access to core scholarly journals, books and discovery tools that support research. Many students benefit from the knowledge and skills of our librarians who schedule class instructional opportunities and one-on-one consultations with individual and small groups of students conducting research. In addition, our campus libraries are popular locations for study. 

Libraries also offer something unique to their communities, the expertise of individual librarians. Librarians assist patrons in using increasingly complex technology and sorting through the potentially overwhelming mass of information bombarding today’s digital society. This is especially crucial when access to reliable and trustworthy data is more important than ever.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. 

For more information, visit the University of Missouri Libraries website at  .