Though many magazines have gone completely digital, Ellis Library is still home to a large variety of print editions – several of them are probably so obscure you haven’t heard of them, but they’re full of information you wouldn’t normally come across anywhere else.
Take, for example, December/January 2018 edition of American Craft. Erin Powell of our Serials Department couldn’t resist flipping through it when she saw this headline on the cover: “Tiny Scenes of the Apocalypse.”
Who remembers making a diorama in grade school? It’s a common enough project, but Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber have taken it to new heights (or lows, considering the size of their art) by expanding on the diorama with increasingly complex themes and textures. While Nix and Gerber didn’t study miniature design in college, their combined skills in photography, ceramics, and glass made them perfect partners for creating realistic scenes of disaster and dystopian realism. They’ve gradually moved from store-bought props and empty backgrounds to making nearly every element by hand. Every diorama is extremely detailed and filled with various textures and designs because, as Nix explains, “I don’t know what the camera is going to catch.” Seeing this kind of in-depth art can make you feel a little out of sorts when viewing the photos, as you can’t easily tell which photos portray real life, and which have been created in a studio. Nix actually ran into this problem last summer, when she photographed a grasshopper while visiting her mother here in Missouri. After posting the photo to Instagram, her followers immediately thought it was a model.
Most of their dioramas portray a “post-apocalyptic background,” as part of their ongoing series, The City, which debuted in 2005. Nix and Gerber both have a morbid streak, and their next exhibit, premiering at the end of November, takes the dystopian scenes from indoors to outdoors – from an overgrown library to a vast view of a city skyline. The dioramas are so detailed, the artists are only able to exhibit once every three years or so, but have been able to create their own commercial business, producing dioramas for companies like BBC America and Wired.
While people find a “dark humor” in the works, Nix worries that they “should be doing Utopian scenes” but admits, “it’s not in me.” She asks Gerber, “Do you think we should be making ‘pretty’? Could we even make ‘pretty’?” But neither of them know – they just know this is the art they need to make now.
Humanities researchers, help us decide which primary sources the Center for Research Libraries should prioritize for collection. MU, as a CRL member, will have access to everything they purchase. Your recommendations matter, so please take our survey by November 17!
As you prepare for Homecoming on October 21st this year, take a look at some of the University of Missouri campus maps held in MOspace, our online repository. This collection consists of maps from 1872-2015 and includes a large variety of maps, such as aerial views and 3D renderings of campus buildings–even parking maps and proposals for new buildings.
Homecoming was first celebrated at Mizzou in 1911. This map from three years later shows what was then proposed for where the football stadium stands today: a lake. A 1927 map details campus and downtown Columbia. The back contains lists of rooms for rent in boarding houses.
This campus map collection is hosted by MOspace, the freely available online repository for scholarship and other works by University of Missouri, faculty, students, and staff, as well as other MU resources.
Looking for real-time interdisciplinary news? Consider taking a look at the University of Missouri Libraries’ trial of POLITICO Pro for broad and granular coverage in 16 industry areas: agriculture, healthcare, cybersecurity, employment and immigration, education, energy, environment, tax, technology, financial services, etc. Information is provided in various ways, including industry-specific morning briefings, ready-made infographics and PowerPoint presentations, Twitter-style policy-specific newsfeeds, archived primary source documents, legislative forecasting, and in-depth analysis.
If you are interested in regional news coverage, consider taking a look at the University of Missouri Libraries’ trial of ProQuest Historical Newspapers: St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Search the contents of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1874-2003, including news articles, photos, advertisements, classified ads, obituaries, cartoons, and more. The easily searchable interface will lead you to first-hand accounts from the time, reporting on politics and other events, and tales of local society.
If your research interests include mass media, communications theory, linguistics, organizational communication, phonetics, or speech pathology, you may be interested in the University of Missouri Libraries’ trial of Communication Source. Developed from the merger of Communication & Mass Media Complete and Communication Abstracts, this resource includes nearly 700 full-text journals and indexes more than 1,000 core titles, with coverage dating back to 1915. Search journals, magazines, conference papers, conference proceedings, and trade publications.
To celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse, Special Collections and Digital Services have teamed up to digitize selections from materials on eclipses and astronomy from the collections of Mizzou Libraries. From sermons on eclipses as symbols of divine judgment to early works on physics and astronomy, you can find a wide range of attitudes and ideas about astronomical phenomena in this new digital resource. We’ll be sharing highlights of these materials on our Instagram and Tumblr, but you can see what else we found at our exhibition website, exhibits.lib.missouri.edu, and we’ll be adding to it throughout the week. Follow the links to read selected materials online in their entirety at the HathiTrust, and watch for unique Mizzou-contributed items as well.