Highlights from the MU Digital Library and MOspace

MU Digital Library

A 15th-century book of hours from Venice, Italy has been digitized and is now available in the MU Digital Library. Books of hours would have been familiar to most members of the middle and upper classes by the late Middle Ages. These devotional books have as their central text the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, a shortened version of the daily cycle of Christian devotions called the Divine Office. This book of hours also includes more specialized prayers and litanies relating to the Virgin Mary. The original, which was possibly made as early as 1450, is in the Ellis Library Special Collections Department. It is about 3.7 inches in height and is 330 pages long. 

MOspace Institutional Repository

In addition to papers and presentations from MU faculty, students, and staff, MOspace now includes many MU publications issued by departments. Recently, the Cambio Center Collection was greatly expanded. The MU Cambio Center, as noted on their website, "leads research and outreach on Latinos and changing communities.” In MOspace, you will find conference papers, eBriefs, and other Cambio Center publications. The University Libraries will continue to work with the Cambio Center to add new publications to MOspace. 

Links to sites mentioned:

Meet the Special Collections Intern: Kayla

This semester we have two new interns working on metadata, provenance, and digital projects with us in Special Collections. Last week we introduced Olivia; this week, say hello to Kayla.

Hello!

My Name is Kayla Thompson and I am one of the new interns in the Special Collections department at Ellis Library. I am senior studying English Creative writing with a varied collection of minors. Here are some fun facts about myself:

  1. My dream is to work in either a library or museum working with old books, manuscripts, and artifacts. For this reason, I am applying to graduate school for the fall for Library and Information Sciences.
  2. I love reading. Books are my favorite things in the whole world. At the moment I own somewhere around 500 of them, so old or new you can find just about any genre on my shelf, though, I prefer fiction. Currently I am in the middle of about five books including Homer’s Iliad, Cassandra Clare’s Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and Skye Alexander’s The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells.
  3. I am writing a novella about a young witch with no powers. Not quite sure where it’s going yet (if it’s going). I have wanted to write a book since I was 12, but have yet to produce something that I feel is worth putting out into the world. It’s mostly just a hobby at the moment.
  4. This summer I am going on a trip to study abroad in Greece. It has been a dream of mine since I was little. It will also be the last six credits I need to finish my Classical Studies minor.
  5. I own one fat and fluffy cat named Tora.
  6. And I probably drink way more coffee than could possibly ever be good for me.

So, that’s who I am. I can’t wait to get to know more about everyone I work with. I am already having fun and can’t wait to see where this semester in Special Collections takes me.

Be sure to tune into our Tumblr to see posts by Olivia and Kayla this semester.

Meet the Special Collections Intern: Olivia

This semester we have two new interns working on metadata, provenance, and digital projects with us in Special Collections. First up for introductions is Olivia:

Hey! Hi! Hello, my fellow bibliophiles! I’m very excited to introduce myself to you as the new social media intern for Ellis Library’s Special Collections and Rare Books Department. My name is Olivia Mikus and I am a senior here at MU, double majoring in French and English Literature. I hope to become a French educator in the high school, and eventually college, setting. 

Here are some more interesting (at least I hope) tidbits about myself:

  • I am obsessed with all things French, so look forward to (or feel free to skim over) a few interesting French finds, should I stumble upon any, during my semester cataloging for Special Collections.
  • I have two pets, both named after a character or an actor from my most favorite television programs: My cat, Jess, named after a character from Gilmore Girls and my pittie, Topher, named after Topher Grace (Eric Foreman) from That 70s Show.
  • *queue Harry Potter theme* All things Harry Potter, all the time. Need I say more? Oh yeah, #ravenclaw4life
  • My favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I read this for the first time in my 12th grade English Comp. course and have read it 3 more times since. That is where my love of classic English literature began and I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to channel that love into a major and, of course, this internship. (Here in special collections, we have an original hand-written manuscript of Charlotte’s and her sisters’ early childhood works. #geekingout)
  • If I could narrow my music interests down to a few groups they would include: The 1975 (Haven't heard of them? You should fix that…go on, I’ll wait), The Beatles, Blink-182 (Fun fact: Blink-182 and I were born the same year, 1992!) and Alanis Morissette, with whom I connect on a spiritual level. #90skid
  • I’m a definite foodie. I love to cook (though I’m no Julia Child) but even more so, I love to eat. Favorite foods? The edible kind, I don’t discriminate. I’m currently teaching myself to cook and I hope to someday start my own foodie blog about myself and my (sometimes disastrous, though always entertaining) cooking escapades. It’ll happen…one day.
  • Wanderlust: I have an unquenchable thirst to see every inch of this beautiful sphere we call Earth before I have to part with it.
  • Lastly, my most favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Love, loss, brain damage, a sprinkle of science-fiction, Jim Carrey, and Kate Winslet with mood-changing hair…Seriously, what more could you ask for?

Thanks for tuning in to A Bit About Me with Olivia Mikus. I’m super looking forward to sharing with you all the interesting texts I find while working in Special Collections. I hope you will find them as interesting as I do!

Watch for Kayla's intro post next week, and tune into our Tumblr to see posts by Olivia and Kayla this semester.

Color Our Collections 2017

Color Our Collections is back! We're going to be releasing coloring sheets as the week progresses this year, so make sure to come back and check this page regularly.  Our first set of coloring pages is adapted from Hesperides, sive, De malorvm avreorvm cvltvra et vsv libri quatuor by Giovanni Battista Ferrari, published in 1646.  This book is all about growing citrus fruits, and we thought the weird and wonderful illustrations of lemons, oranges, and fruits we can't quite identify would brighten up your winter day.

We'll have some art nouveau/Jugendstil offerings, medieval costumes, and more for you throughout this week, including some bookmarks to cut out and color. If you're in Columbia, be sure to stop by the coloring table on the first floor of Ellis Library to pick up coloring pages and show off your work.

 

Thurnier Buch Coloring Book 
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 Jugendstil Bookmarks Coloring Book 
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Hesperides Coloring Book 
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Special Collections exhibition travels to Kansas City

An exhibition from Special Collections was recently featured at the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City as part of First Fridays at the Crossroads Art District.  The photos show selections from the traveling exhibition Beyond Words: Visual Narratives from the Block Book to the Graphic Novel, which looks at the ways artists have used words and pictures to tell stories over a span of 500 years. Our exhibition partner, Exhibits USA, did a wonderful job of installing the exhibition in their gallery space! 

The exhibition will be on tour throughout the United States through 2019, sharing the richness of Special Collections with libraries and museums across the country.  For more information about booking the exhibit in your area, see the Exhibits USA bookings page.

Photos provided by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Used with permission.

Primary Source Workshop: Great Content for your Classroom

Are you excited about using primary sources with your students? Do you want to know how the State Historical Society of Missouri and MU Special Collections can contribute sources for your classroom? Are you helping students find resources for National History Day projects? This free educator workshop is for you!

Join the State Historical Society of Missouri in Ellis Library on the University of Missouri campus to explore:

· SHSMO collections in person and online, with a focus on the 2017 National History Day theme: Taking a Stand in History

· MU Special Collections

· SHSMO’s art gallery with curator Dr. Joan Stack

· Strategies for using primary sources effectively to make National History Day projects stand out

Please RSVP at shsmo.org/events. Attendees will be offered a free parking pass. In order to guarantee delivery, please register prior to November 4.

MU Libraries Celebrate Banned Books

photo-6Don't worry if you missed our Banned Books Week celebration during the week of September 25th. We celebrate banned books every day of the year! 

Banned Books Week is a week long celebration of books that have been challened or banned in different parts of North America. It was organized in order to promote people's right to read. 

 "Everything should be available for anyone who wants to access it," says Emilee Howland-Davis, a PhD student in the English department, regarding the importance of protecting the right to read. photo-1-2

She and her English 2100 class exercised their right to read on Thursday, September 29th, when they did readings of banned books out on Speaker's Circle. They read excerpts from Harry Potter and passed out bookmarks promoting Banned Books Week.

photoHowever, the efforts to stop banned books does not end once the week is over. Ellis Library continues that fight through multiple exhibits.

Be sure to come by the information desk and see our exhibit on banned books! Try and guess what book each of the covered books are! Each covered book is a famous piece of literature, many of which are included in reading lists for English classes. On the covering is key reasons why they have been banned or challenged.photo-8

See if any of your favorites have ever been banned by checking the ever growing list of banned books! Favorites such as Catcher in the Rye and Harry Potter are included in the list.

So don't be discouraged if you missed the week! Just pick up your favorite banned book and read it! It's always the right time to help the fight against banned books!photo-7

Color Our Collections – Homecoming Edition

This week is homecoming at Mizzou, and to celebrate, we're releasing another coloring book based on images from Special Collections. Unlike our last offering, this one is entirely focused on Mizzou and includes drawings, cartoons, and images from the Savitar, the yearbook of the University of Missouri, published from 1894 to 2004. There are also a few covers and illustrations from student magazines such as the Showme and Outlaw as well.  All of the materials in this coloring book are freely available in the University of Missouri Digital Library, so you can browse and turn the pages of Mizzou history for yourself.

Download the coloring book here, or stop by Ellis Library for the Homecoming Open House after the parade for a coloring table and more goodies.

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Share your work with us online through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and be sure to use the official homecoming tag, #MIZ105HC

The Lucubrator and the Young Ladies Academy of Philadelphia

This post is the eighth and final part of our continuing series on Dr. Juliette Paul's English 4300 class and their research on an early American manuscript in Special Collections.

By an Anonymous English Major, Recently Graduated

While researching the origins of a mysterious manuscript that was donated to Ellis Library many years ago, our Early American Literature class learned not only about who might have written the book, when, and why, we also learned a great deal about what life was like in the time period in which it was written. The Lucubrator is a commonplace book, written in late eighteenth-century America. It includes many essays, one of which, “On Female Education,” helps to reveal how eighteenth-century readers felt about the roles of women in society.

The author of the essay begins by recalling the recent opening of a local school for women: “The admittance of females into the Academy in the United States, is an eminent instance, of their refined cultivation and advancement in literature.” The academy to which the author refers is likely the Young Ladies Academy of Philadelphia. The opening of this particular academy would have been deeply significant to many Americans, as it was, according to Marion B. Savin and Harold J. Abrahams, “the first chartered institution for the higher education of young women in the United States and perhaps in the world” (59). The Academy was established on June 4, 1782, by John Poor, and, five years later, on January 9, 1792, it was granted a charter by the laws of Pennsylvania. By that time, one hundred women were in attendance. They studied the expected subjects, such as reading, writing, math, and history. They also studied singing, piano, and astronomy.

It was considered a prestigious accomplishment to graduate from the Academy, though often completion meant women might be better wives and mothers, rather than opening doors for careers. In James A. Neal’s An Essay on the Education and Genius of the Female Sex (1795), he writes, “When admitted to an equal participation of the illuminating beams of science, we observe women rising to the most conspicuous and enviable state of eminence” (2). Neal published his Essay on Education with his account of the Academy’s commencement activities held on December 18, 1794. Neal’s praise for the Academy shows his faith in women’s intellectual capabilities, but his was not the prevailing opinion of the time. Indeed, when Benjamin Rush delivered an address to the Academy on July 28, 1787, he made glowing remarks on female learning, but only because he believed that receiving a liberal education would make a girl “an agreeable companion to a sensible man” (79).

Domestic life was quite important in the eighteenth century and women often played an important role in making domestic life run properly. The essay “On Female Education” seems to convey this idea. Its author writes of women: “If they are never to fill a public seat or harangue in public, will they never have an occasion to read in a company of friends, or, to teach what they have leart [sic] to their families and children?” While researching this essay in the The Lucubrator, we learned that when it was written, America was beginning to come around to the idea that women deserve an education in order to become happier, more productive people.

People, most often, will be as great as they are allowed to be. When we continue to treat women as inferior, less intelligent people, it makes it hard for them to prove otherwise. Many are not given the chance to better themselves, and when they are, their accomplishments are overlooked by people who only seem to pay attention to what they want to see. While there is still a long way to go before people who are not white men are treated with equal amounts of respect, education continues to be the best route to achieving this.


Works Cited

Rush, Benjamin. Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical (Philadelphia, 1798).

Savin, Marion B. and Harold J. Abrahams. “The Young Ladies’ Academy of Philadelphia.” History of Education Journal. Vol. 8. No. 2 (Winter, 1957): 68-67.

When Authors Go Missing: Putting Manuscripts into Perspective, by Tyler Morris

This post is the seventh part of our continuing series on Dr. Juliette Paul's English 4300 class and their research on an early American manuscript in Special Collections.

by Tyler Morris

After weeks of working to decode The Lucubrator, I can’t help but feel I’m left with more questions than answers. The title page offered our class a name: James Noyes. But we quickly realized that the manuscript’s authorship is more of a mystery than any of us originally thought. Simply searching for “James Noyes” in databases and Google was not going to cut it. So I altered my approach. I looked to find “Lucubrator” essays written by other authors who could potentially eliminate James Noyes as a candidate for the authorship of some or all of The Lucubrator’s essays.  

Though I found a few published essays written by “The Lucubrator,” none matched those bound in the manuscript. We concluded that we could not attribute the manuscript to Noyes definitely nor question the attribution made on the title page. Eventually, I posed a different question: what good is a book that no longer has a known author or place of origin?

When considering my answer, it dawned on me that I had learned more from the manuscript than I originally thought, even without knowing its author. The fact that we could not find a printed version of a Lucubrator essay suggests either that someone should have done a better job of bookkeeping or that the manuscript may not have been meant for the public. But, then again, I think my speculation that the manuscript’s essays were at one time printed to entertain and inform readers is a compelling one, for several reasons.

Some of the essays are not dated in chronological order and others are given two dates, which may signify the dates on which they were printed elsewhere. Moreover, the essays are morally edifying. My favorite essay is one entitled “On Friendship.” After overcoming the difficulty of having to read literature in the original handwriting, you find that the author of The Lucubrator actually offers a rather beautiful description of true friendship. Phrases like “Friendship, when it is sincere, is acknowledged by all to be a very fruitful source of happiness,” or “When there is a dissimilarity of opinions or pursuits, there seldom exist any great degree of friendship; for that difference is apt to create disputes between each other, and people in general are too much attached to their own ways of thinking to respect another of different or opposite sentiments,” offer some insight and advice that is still very useful today. The same goes for the essays that offer criticism, such as “Propriety of Behaving with Moderation In Parties,” which is pretty much self-explanatory, and “On the Propriety of Taxing Ministers of the Gospels for the Support of Government.”

Likewise, learning about the life of the best candidate for the manuscript’s authorship, James Noyes of Atkinson (1778-1799), was inspirational. Interestingly enough, Noyes was around the same age as me and my classmates when The Lucubrator was written, which made me feel like I needed to step my game up as far as everything is concerned! Noyes was a prodigy responsible for publishing a Federal Arithmetic for Congress, as well as a number of almanacs and even an astronomical diary, which are profound achievements for anyone, but especially for an author so young. A few years later, Noyes died of polio, after being forced to use crutches. Issues with immobility left him stuck in his house for most of his final days.

I think that integrating short essays like the Lucubrator essays with applications such as Twitter and Facebook would be an excellent way to entertain my generation, as well as a tool for teaching life lessons. The idea and form of The Lucubrator are what we can take away from our research experience and what we can call the manuscript’s history and purpose, even if the author conceived of it differently.