Another record-breaking year in Special Collections

Although not all of our June numbers are in yet, we've topped our previous year's reference and instruction statistics yet again. We led about 180 class sessions and tours with over 1,900 total participants.  We provided over 5,000 items from the collection for researchers and class use – an increase of almost 50% over last year.  And we also answered over 1,300 reference questions!

Thanks to all our students and faculty for helping us to make this a great year. We're looking forward to continued service in 2016-17.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

Qo Libro e dela Sig[no]ra Laudomia Ricasoli Ridolfi.

One of the books in our collection, Prediche di Frate Hieronymo da Ferrara, 1496, (Predictions of Brother Jerome of Ferrara, known as Girolamo Savonarola), has an interesting provenance.

It was acquired in the late 1980s from H.P. Kraus, a renowned antiquarian bookseller in New York, who in turn got it from the library of Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein (1906-1989), a fearless prince, who dared to resist the brutal pressure by the Soviets to release half a thousand Russian soldiers seeking political asylum at the end of the WWII, when the British readily gave in to similar demands by Stalin’s henchmen.

exlibris Prince L

However, at the beginning of the 17th century the Predictions belonged to a rich Florentine by the name of Laudomine (Laudomia) Ricasoli Ridolfi. We have autograph owner’s note: Qo Libro e dela Sig[no]ra Laudomia Ricasoli Ridolfi.

Signora Laudomine was the widow of Cosimo Ridolfi, who belonged to the upper crust of the Florentine aristocracy. Refusing to hold any public position, he preferred the life of a “rustic magus”, as he styled himself in the letter to Don Giovanni Medici. *

A closely knit group of people captivated by astrology, alchemy, and all kinds of arcane knowledge congregated around Don Giovanni, an illegitimate son of the Grand Duke of Florence Cosimo I. Don Giovanni, legitimized at the age of seven, bestowed with money and his own palace in Florence, was an accomplished military and civil engineer and among other pursuits cultivated the passion for rare books, especially the ones on the Florentine Inquisiton’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum (a list of prohibited books).

His librarian Benedetto Blanis, who supplied the new books and meticulously catalogued his patron's library, was also a book dealer who ran his own shop in the Florentine Ghetto where rare manuscripts on the occult subjects were copied. Arrested by the Inquisiton twice, he spent two weeks in prison the first time, and several years the second.

From April 1619 to April 1620 Blanis was looking to acquire the library of Laudamine Ricasoli Ridolfi after the death of her husband. She detested her husband’s occult friends and as well as his books, but was not eager to give or sell them to Blanis either. Soon he learned that he had a rival — the General Inquisitor of Florence, Fr. Orazio Morandi, who shared his interest in thing arcane.

We do not know whom of the two– the inquisitor or the Jewish librarian, the good Segnora chose, perhaps, neither, because Katalog der Inkunabeln der Fürstlich Liechtenstein, where our copy is listed under the # 212, is silent on the matter. But then many of our books — just as most rarities — are shrouded in mystery.

open book


* Edward Goldberg, Jews and Magic in Medici Florence : the Secret World of Benedetto Blanis, U of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2011, p. 172.

All interesting information concerning the lives of Benedetto Blanis and Laudamina Ricasoli Ricardi was taken from the book cited above.

This week in Special Collections

Actually, this post should be called "The Last Two Weeks in Special Collections," since we're changing to a biweekly format for summer.  Campus and Ellis Library have been pretty quiet during intersession.  We're taking advantage of the lull to catch up on projects throughout the department, including featuring more about Special Collections on Tumblr.  We have lots of interesting materials waiting in the queue to share with you this summer, including a weekly series on comic supervillains, occasional peeks into the stacks, in-depth looks at our newest acquistions, videos, fore-edge paintings, forays into the field of digitization, and more.

Here are a few highlights from the last two weeks.  

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144727209511/theres-a-blue-moon-tonight-and-here-she-is-in

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144812973353/manuscript-monday-this-weeks-manuscript-is-one

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144979423001/seen-in-the-stacks-if-you-dont-love-a-line-of

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/145075462738/jugend-1896-no-19-katya-s-jugend-mu-nchen

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/145207918114/galactus-real-name-galan-galactus-universe

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/145357199107/how-about-a-friday-fore-edge-painting-this

Browse all our posts (including lots of wonderful content shared from other libraries) at http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

Staff Spotlight: Amy Spencer

For this Staff Spotlight, we sat down with Amy Spencer.  Amy recently graduated with a double major in linguistics and theatre design and a minor in Russian, and she's been our Special Collections undergraduate assistant for four years.  She's moving on to new adventures at the end of next month, and we will miss her!

tumblr_o2ayrgqAri1tutadzo6_1280What are your plans after graduation?  
Spend the summer in Columbia, working with the MU Theatre Department, then off to the University of Illinois in the fall to start grad school for Library and Information Science.

What type of work do you do in Special Collections? 
I do a lot of different things around the department.  I do a lot of reshelving of materials after patrons and classes use them.  I answer questions at the desk and occassionally write posts for our blog.  Every once in a while I'll design a display for our reading room, but mostly I just help out with whatever needs done that day or what the librarians need me to do to help them. [Editor’s note: The librarians would like to suggest that Amy’s job has been to come up with new and inventive solutions for any and all vexatious problems that have come up during her tenure here.]

What is a typical day like?  
I usually start off my shift at the reference desk in our reading room.  While I'm there, I'll do some blogging or another computer-based project.  Once I'm off the desk, I'll do something like reshelving or pulling books for a class.  Recently my big project has been going through our Spec-M collection and straightening items on the shelf and pulling things that need re-housed.  So that's something I've put a lot of time in on when nothing else needs done that day.

What has been your favorite project since you've been here?
A couple of years ago, the annual display we do in conjunction with the Life Sciences Symposium was themed "The Science of Superheroes," and I got to help with a big part of that display since I like comics so much.  It was a lot of fun to get to help with that and really get to dive into our comics collection.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

This week in Special Collections

The highlight of this week was our presentation on teaching diversity with material culture at the Celebration of Teaching, along with our friends at the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Museum, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the Mizzou Botanical Garden.  If you'd like to incorporate objects, artifacts, documents, and landscapes into your teaching, let us know! We'd be happy to help, and we're always ready to team up with other collecting institutions on campus.

Our weekly digest of posts will be converting over to a bi-weekly format for the summer, but you can still follow along with us on Tumblr.

This Week on Tumblr

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144605143626/seen-in-the-stacks-this-diminutive-set-of

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144557390856/air-raids-on-the-british-home-front-during-world

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144505218613/venom-real-name-edward-eddie-brock-universe

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144462490961/manuscript-monday-weve-been-putting-together-a

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144371190257/jugend-1896-no-17-katya-s-jugend-mu-nchen

 

 

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

This week in Special Collections

This was the final week of the semester!  We saw lots of students wrapping up projects and putting finishing touches on papers, and we can't wait to share some of their research with you over the coming weeks.

This Week's Tumblr Posts

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144250532781/ready-for-another-round-of-seen-in-the-stacks

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144149671476/lex-luthor-real-name-alexander-joseph-lex

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144100920918/manuscript-monday-our-collection-of-medieval

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/144015536892/jugend-1896-no-16-katya-s-jugend-mu-nchen

 

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

Don’t Miss These Library Presentations at Celebration of Teaching

Librarians from MU Libraries will be offering two different presentations at the Celebration of Teaching this year. Don't miss it!  Register for free at the Celebration of Teaching website.

Check out the Libraries!  New Services and Resources

May 18, 10:00-10:50 am, room 30, Cornell Hall

Grace Atkins and Judy Maseles will be presenting on learning management systems and open educational resources.  The Libraries can now deliver customized library landing pages with subject-specific LibGuides, Databases, E-Reserves, and subject-expert librarians right inside your Blackboard or Canvas platform. High-quality, peer-reviewed, Open Educational Resources can also be found all over the open web. But which ones are the best for MU instructors and their courses? Learn about all of the work that is happening on campus to support instructor use and creation of OERs and how you can incorporate library resources within your courses.  

240819Diverse Objects, Diversity Discussions: Teaching Strategies with Material Culture

May 18, 3:00-3:50 pm, room 44, Cornell Hall

Museums, libraries, and archives are places where students can meet the world’s many cultures and explore ethnic and gender diversity in their own communities. In this interactive session, participants will be encouraged to craft their own strategies for teaching using artifacts and primary sources from several collections on the University of Missouri campus. Professionals from several different campus collections will also offer their perspectives on teaching and assignment strategies, and the types of collection materials available. This session may be a first step for faculty interested in setting up consultations with librarians, archivists, or curators who can contribute to their courses.

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

Contest Sponsored by Friends of MU Libraries Awards Research Process of MU Undergrad

Columbia, MO—Leslie Jayne Howard received the MU Libraries Undergraduate Research Award on April, 16, at the annual Friends of the MU Libraries Luncheon. Leslie, who is senior theatre major, received the award for her paper “The Sand-Castle—An Extended Family of Inspiration.” Research for the paper was completed by using the resources of the Lanford Wilson Collection, which is part of the Special Collections at the University of Missouri Libraries.

David Crespy, professor of theatre at MU, stated in his letter of support, “Leslie’s research proposal was one of the most detailed, focused, and organized proposals in the course, and she has pursued her research relentlessly in the new Lanford Wilson Theatre Collection at our Ellis Library Special Collections and Rare Books – going so far as to arrange for access to hitherto restricted papers, based upon her exhaustive investigations into Mr. Wilson’s manuscripts, correspondence, programs, and other papers.”

The MU Libraries Undergraduate Research Paper Contest seeks to recognize and reward outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students at the University of Missouri. A preponderance of resources used to research the paper must be from the MU Libraries and the applicants must submit a brief description of their research process and sources. Any undergraduate in any discipline is invited to enter the contest, which is judged by a cross-disciplinary panel of librarians, members of The Friends of the MU Libraries and MU faculty members. The first prize winner receives a $500 prize.        

More details on the contest can be found on the webpage: libraryguides.missouri.edu/researchcontest.

 

This week in Special Collections

This was a very exciting week in Special Collections. On Tuesday, we unveiled the materials purchased as the MU Libraries' Centennial Gift: a small book of hours, a copy of Ruxner's Thurnier Buch printed in 1566, and a resplendent processional for the use of the Dominican sisters of St. Louis, Poissy.  Watch our Tumblr for upcoming posts about these amazing new resources.

We also hosted our last three class sessions of the semester: a work session for an English class who has been visiting us all semester (you'll hear more about them in the next few weeks) and two sections of English 1000.  Finals week starts next week!

This Week's Tumblr Posts

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143906171325/heres-the-follow-up-to-yesterdays-post-on-the

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143894787502/expanding-ones-knowledge-is-an-important-goal

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143844151560/this-danish-translation-of-the-bible-is-known-as

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143792836790/ozymandias-real-name-adrian-veidt-universe

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143745505684/manuscript-monday-last-week-for-manuscript-monday

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

This week in Special Collections

It's been a busy week in Special Collections. Alla hosted classes from the Honors College and nearby Stephens College, and we all started preparation for collaborating with E-Learning Librarian Nav Khanal to produce some videos on medieval manuscripts for an online class.  We also had a special visit from preschoolers attending the University of Missouri's Child Development Lab.  At ages 3-5, they're our youngest instruction session attendees yet!

Scroll through for this week's Tumblr Posts

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143533878072/today-we-have-a-tbt-to-the-west-stacks-in-1998

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143483134509/have-you-ever-wondered-about-the-phrase-dont

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143443410232/mystique-real-name-unknown-common-aliases

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143381284804/manuscript-monday-people-write-all-sorts-of

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143292521423/jugend-1896-no-14-katya-s-jugend-mu-nchen

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143269552927/this-is-the-last-in-our-series-of-posts

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143242428668/found-this-while-working-on-an-ill-a-cosplay-from

http://muspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/143218501452/following-on-from-yesterdays-post-on-charlotte

TAGS:

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.