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New request and registration system

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If you’ve used many materials here in Special Collections, you’re probably all too familiar with these little yellow slips of paper.  They’re our call slips, and until recently, we required all readers to fill one out for each item being requested from the stacks.

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This summer the MU Libraries transitioned over to a new computer system, and we took it as an opportunity to try a new way of requesting and paging materials.  Instead of filling out your name and contact information multiple times, you’ll be asked to do it once per year, on our new Patron Registration Form (you can even print it out from our website, fill it out in advance and bring it with you to the reading room if you want to save time). On subsequent visits, simply check in at the desk.  We’ll be able to complete the rest of your request electronically – no handwriting or carbon copies required!

Although we don’t yet have the capability to take requests online, you can, as always, email us to place materials on hold.  We’re hoping that this system will prove easier and more efficient for everyone involved. No more repetitive request writing for you, and no more wrangling thousands of paper slips for us.  Our call slip mascots, the Special Collections sheep, might have gotten a little excited when they heard about this.

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The new registration system takes effect August 1.  Although we’ve spent weeks practicing and trying to anticipate bugs, we’ll probably need your patience as we learn this new way of doing things.  Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts, concerns, or problems.

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Weekend reading: Week of May 10

It’s time for our weekly post roundup! Here’s a collection of links for your weekend perusal, in no particular order:

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Tracking down the history of Booche’s

Earlier this week I put out a call on Tumblr for photos of present-day downtown Columbia and campus that we could match up with materials in our collections. Tumblr user thesetenthings contacted us to ask about the history of Booche’s, the downtown Columbia pool hall that has been open since 1884.  Named for “Booche” Venable, the first owner, Booche’s is a bit of a Columbia legend for its atmosphere, its burgers, and its long history.

Having eaten many a cheeseburger at Booche’s myself, I set about trying to find evidence of the pool hall in our digital collections: the Savitar yearbook, Missouri Alumnus, Showme Magazine, and the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  And I found quite a bit! In fact, I found so much that I decided to make it a full-fledged post on this blog rather than a quick Tumblr photoset.

Booche’s bounced around several different locations and advertised to students in its first 50 years.  If Booche’s was the only pool hall in town in the 1880s (and I’m guessing it was; Columbia had less than 10,000 people back then), its first location was near Broadway and Seventh. This Sanborn Map shows a billiards business next to the lumberyard owned by W. P. Maupin.

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The earliest reference to Booche’s I could find in print in our digital collections was in the 1903 Savitar yearbook (there might be earlier references, but they’re not digitized, and for the sake of time for this post I was sticking to digital resources).  The 1903 Savitar has an ad that shows the interior but doesn’t mention the location. The next year, it simply says “Broadway and Tenth,” but doesn’t mention which corner of Broadway and Tenth.

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Advertisement from the 1904 Savitar, page 246.

Why?  It might have been because Booche’s had three different locations on or near Broadway and Tenth between 1895 and 1911. Here’s the first I was able to find in the Sanborn Maps, which shows a pool and billiards hall near the southwest corner of Broadway and Tenth.

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The next map, from 1902, shows a different business in that location and a pool hall on the northeast corner of Broadway and Tenth. This is probably the location shown in the photo ad from the Savitar.

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In 1908, Booche’s was back near its 1895 location on the southwest corner of Broadway and Tenth, except this time it had the corner storefront and had expanded into the storefront behind it as well.

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Finally, in 1911, Booche’s moved onto Ninth Street.  But it wasn’t in its present-day location yet; it was across the street, on the second floor of the Virginia Building.  The ad below from the 1911 Savitar announces the move and shows what must have been the interior at Broadway and Tenth, since the same photo was used in an ad the previous year.

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Advertisement from the 1911 Savitar, page 361.

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Advertisement from the 1917 Savitar, page 500.

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Advertisement from the 1920 Showme, page 28.

I wasn’t able to verify this with maps, but according to this 1976 Missouri Alumnus article, Booche’s moved into its present location in 1930.  Booche’s advertised regularly in the Savitar yearbooks and the Showme magazine through the 1920s.  It changed hands several times, but it remained a popular student hangout.

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“Booche’s hath many charms, too” from the 1945 Savitar, page 187.

Articles in the 1976 Alumnus and the 1983 Savitar discuss more about Booche’s history – such as the fact that it barred women until the 1970s, that it was originally known for its ham sandwich, not its cheeseburger, and that you couldn’t get a beer there until relatively recently.  You can read more from each of those articles in the links above, or browse through the digital collections on your own. They’re freely available to everyone!

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Weekend reading: Week of May 3

sav1928p0004Here’s a roundup of our posts on Tumblr and our favorite articles, blogs, and posts from around the web this week for your reading pleasure over the weekend.

Want more? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

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Generations: Reproduction, Heredity, and Epigenetics

What do old books have to do with cutting-edge science?  More than you might think.

Coste0044This year, the annual Life Sciences and Society Symposium is considering a relatively new scientific field: epigenetics.  “Epigenetics refers to the study of traits that are heritable but not caused by changes in the DNA sequence,” writes Dr. Karthik Panchanathan, an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Missouri.  “In some cases, events that happen during an individual’s life can sometimes result in epigenetic changes that are subsequently heritable. This is a form of Lamarckian inheritance, the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring.”

This year’s Life Sciences and Society Symposium considers the implications of epigenetics for human health and behavior.  Speakers will discuss what epigenetics means, how the environment affects genetic expression, and how the fast-changing field of epigenetics is transforming medicine and society.  See a lineup of speakers and register for the symposium on the Life Sciences and Society program website.

Special Collections is participating in the symposium with an exhibition of rare books and an opening lecture to kick off the symposium week. Although the scientific study of epigenetics dates only to the middle of the twentieth century, scientists have puzzled over related questions of heredity and development for hundreds of years.  Does it matter whether you inherit a trait from your mother or father?  How do your earliest stages of development influence the rest of your life?  Which characteristics are inborn, and which are learned?  These are questions being asked by epigenetics researchers today, and they are the questions we consider in a historical sense in the exhibition, through an in-depth look at topics such as early theories of generation, maternal imagination, child development, and original sin.

GenesCultureEvolution-gateway-bDr. Panchanathan will open the exhibit with a lecture entitled “Genes, Culture and Evolution.” Humans are unique among animals in the degree to which adaptive behavior is shaped by both genes and culture. Cultural transmission is a form of Lamarckian inheritance: individuals pass on cultural traits which they learned during their lifetime to their offspring. In this talk, Dr. Panchanathan will discuss how anthropologists think about and model cultural evolution. In particular, Dr. Panchanathan will discuss how and why natural selection on genes resulted in the human capacity for culture; how cultural evolution is similar to and different from genetic evolution; and how cultural processes have shaped our genes, so-called gene-culture co-evolution.

Dr. Panchanathan’s presentation is on Monday, March 9, at 1:00 PM in the Government Documents area in Ellis Library.  Generations: Reproduction, Heredity, and Epigenetics will be on display in the Ellis Library Colonnade March 5-30, 2015.

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