home Resources and Services “Reclaim Her Name” Leaves Female Authors’ Pseudonyms in the Past

“Reclaim Her Name” Leaves Female Authors’ Pseudonyms in the Past

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the U.K.’s most prestigious writing awards, began in an unusual way. In 1991, though 60% of novels that year had been written by women, all six shortlisted books were by men. Novelist Kate Mosse founded the Women’s Prize (also known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Bailys Women’s Prize in past years) 25 years ago to celebrate female authors. The $30,000 prize has been awarded to many incredible writers, such as Madeline Miller for The Song of Achilles (a personal favorite), Tea Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife and Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna. The most recent award was given in 2019 to Tayari Jones for An American Marriage, and voting is open for the 2020 prize and the winner will be announced September 9th.

The Women’s Prize has taken on a new project that is incredibly important in our current times. The “Reclaim Her Name” project brings to light female authors who, for one reason or another, were forced to write their works under a male pseudonym. More than 3,000 pseudonymous authors were considered by a group of researchers. In the past, women often wrote under a male pseudonym because female authors couldn’t get published, the content was considered too risque for women, or one of a hundred other reasons. However, this is not a problem confined to the past. There are currently authors using pseudonyms because they would be ostracized or punished by family or the state. This project allows women authors of the past to become visible for who they were, and to illustrate to people today that not all the authors of the past were male, with a female writer here and there. The most recent addition is a well-known book: Middlemarch by George Eliot. Eliot was the pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, who took the pen name “have observed that a nom de plume secures all the advantages without the disagreeables of reputation,” with her partner, George Lewes, adding, “the object of anonymity was to get the book judged on its own merits, and not prejudged as the work of a woman, or of a particular woman.” Mary Ann Evans will now have her name on the cover of Middlemarch for the first time in history, and this book, considered by many to be one of the greatest novels of all time, will finally have the credit given to its real author.

To promote the “Reclaim Her Name” project, Bailey’s, the sponsor of the project, is re-releasing these books for free.  They are available for download here: https://www.baileys.com/en-gb/reclaim-her-name/all, and many of the books are available through MOBIUS if you’d like a paper copy. Middlemarch is available at Ellis Library, call number PR4662 .A1 1910.

For more information on the project, check out “George Eliot joins 24 female authors making debuts under their real names” and check out the previous winners of the prize: Previous Winners.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Hidden Gems @ the Library: Rural Missouri

Hidden Gems @ the Library: Rural Missouri

Rural Missouri magazine was started in 1948. It’s the statewide publication of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Issues are released monthly to more than 500,000 members of Missouri’s electric co-ops. The magazine features interesting businesses and people, as well as interesting places to visit.

The current issue of Rural Missouri is located in the North Colonnade of Ellis Library. Back editions are available at the State Historical Society, as well as online at http://www.ruralmissouri.org/archives.php.

The current issue of Rural Missouri features a spread on the interesting items you can now check out at various Missouri libraries, as well as unique events taking place. Libraries aren’t just for books anymore, and the examples in this issue prove that in abundance! Some of the items available or loan include a telescope, superhero cake pans, American Girl dolls, and fishing poles. Some of these libraries are also giving away free items! Adair County Public Library in Kirksville allows people to take 10 seed packets home, using seeds donated from various seed companies and exchanges, in addition to handouts with information on gardening. In May, that same library hosted a comic book day and gave away stacks of comics. Libraries are also hosting Bingo nights, adopt-a-pet fairs, and star-gazing parties, to name a few. Be sure to check out interesting events and items at your local library!

For example, here at Ellis Library, if you need earplugs, you can find them in a vending machine on the first floor; if it’s raining, you can borrow an umbrella; a tripod if you want to take some pictures; as well as various electronics, including chargers for phones and laptops. In the last year, Ellis has perfected its Digital Media Lab, with a recording booth, a 3D scanner, and a green screen, all available by appointment: http://libraryguides.missouri.edu/dmc.

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Ellis Library Hidden Gems @ the Library: The Architectural Review

Hidden Gems @ the Library: The Architectural Review

The Architectural Review is “a curated selection of the best architectural ideas in the world to inspire your mind and feed your soul,” as described on their website.  This magazine is a monthly international architectural magazine, which has been published in London since 1896.  It features a collection of significant buildings from around the world, accompanied by critiques, photography, drawings, and technical details.  The Architectural Review also includes commentary that focuses on the history of the buildings, the social impact, and the reasons why certain choices were made.

MU Ellis Library has been collecting the magazine since 1896.  Online access is available for issues after 5/1/1993 and can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2UIkIWp.  Paper copies are available from 1896-present.  To view the records, please click here: http://merlin.lib.umsystem.edu/record=b1878198.

The December 2018/January 2019 naturally caught our eye because it is the library issue, which features books and buildings, “with pieces exploring the architecture and influence of books as well as libraries and archives from across the world, including the winner of the AR Library awards.”

Their digital content is updated daily and can be viewed at https://www.architectural-review.com/.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Behind the scenes at the University Libraries, there are quite a few things that go into making a book shelf-ready. Occasionally, the physical processing department, in the ground floor of Ellis Library, has to repair books before they can go on (or back on) the shelves for users to check out.

Thankfully, physical processing is staffed with employees who want to teach, and great students who are eager to learn. The physical processing staff is now able to hand more and more work over to dedicated students, giving the students great experience, and freeing up the employees for other projects, such as conservation and preservation.

Two such students are Lydia Dysart and Megan Potter, both student employees in the physical processing department. As you can see from the “before” photo, books often come to physical processing looking . . . less than great. But as you see from the “after” photo, a lot can be done to fix a book. From start to finish, these students were able to complete the project.

When a book is in poor shape, you can’t simply glue it back together. The books that are repaired rarely look like they have been repaired (see the “after” photo) thanks to detailed work. When walking around the physical processing work space, you will see streamers hanging from the wall in all different shades.  This is paper used to repair the books, and they want the repair to match the book as closely as possible. It’s intricate work that takes training and detail-oriented people. Thankfully, both Lydia and Megan were up to the task.

As you can see in the before and after pictures, the students have to fix breaks in the book block using rice paper. Then they replace the spine, and, lastly, consolidate and repair the covers. Lydia and Megan did all the spine and cover repairs in the finished repair pictures.

We all appreciate the students who work at University Libraries, and are happy to be able shine a spotlight on some great work!  Thank you, Lydia and Megan, for helping to preserve our library’s collection!

home Uncategorized Journal Spotlight: The New York Review of Books

Journal Spotlight: The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books is technically a magazine, but comes under the guise of a bound, awkward newspaper you can’t fold.  But if something’s ain’t broke, why fix it?  And the NYRB has been publishing its semi-monthly magazines since 1963.

What’s most interesting about the NYRB isn’t necessarily its longevity (though that is impressive, especially considering the demise of paper journals), but its very content.  The title is somewhat misleading, as the magazine doesn’t focus solely on books, but contains articles on everything from current affairs to literature to science.  They also include essays and reviews, as well as original works by well-known writers.  This was the goal of the magazine’s founders: they wanted to publish a magazine featuring “the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting.”  The early editors also wanted the Review to “be interested in everything…no subject would be excluded.  Someone is writing a piece about Nascar racing for us; another is working on Veronese.”  There is literally something for everyone in this magazine.  The magazine eventually expanded into book publishing, and you can buy books on their site.  The publishing side is also unique, printing translations of works previously unavailable in English, and, in the case of its Children’s Collection, reintroducing books that are no longer be printed or have fallen off the radar.

One downside to the magazine is its price, which is $79.95 per year.  It’s not exorbitant by any means, considering the material, but may be out of reach for many of us.  Thankfully, you can take a look at the New York Review of Books, the New York Book Review, and the London Review of Books in the Colonnade in Ellis Library with other newspapers and journals near the display cases.

For a preview of the kinds of content they run, you can check out a great short story by Ian McEwan, available free on their website: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/07/19/dussel/.

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Resources and Services University Libraries Provide Resource for Suicide Prevention Student Group

University Libraries Provide Resource for Suicide Prevention Student Group

Here is a terrifying statistic: suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10 to 34-year-olds*. According to the CDC, in the United States, someone takes their own life every 12.3 minutes. That’s over 44,000 people lost to suicide annually. The Mizzou Student Suicide Prevention Coalition (MSSPC) is working to change those statistics.

MSSPC is “a student organization at Mizzou founded to bring people of all backgrounds together to raise awareness for suicide prevention methods.”  Zach Lahr, the president of the organization, contacted Corrie Hutchinson, our Associate University Librarian for Acquisitions, Collections, and Technical Services, to ask for help procuring a license for a documentary, The S Word, for their week of action in April. The S Word is about a “suicide attempt survivor on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor.  Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.”

This documentary is especially important as it includes interviews from a diverse group of people, including a veteran and members of the LGBTQ community, to show that this is a national problem that encompasses all populations.

Suicide is a difficult topic to address, and MSSPC wanted a streaming license for this documentary so that students on the MU campus would have the opportunity to view it.Hutchinson was not only able to procure the streaming rights in time to stream the video, but was able to find the library funding to purchase the video. Because of this, students who weren’t able to attend screenings can now view it on their own, with others, or even in various courses.

To view this documentary on campus, stream here: http://proxy.mul.missouri.edu/login?url=https://missouri.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/t/0_yur6xt37.  If MU students would like to view this off-campus, they can click here: http://merlin.mobius.umsystem.edu/record=b12278488~S8.

For more information on MSSPC, you can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mizzousuicidepreventioncoalition/, as well as on their Twitter and Instagram accounts: @MizzouSSPC.

For more information on suicide, suicide prevention, and to get help, please visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

*according to the National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

home Uncategorized Serials Spotlight: History Today

Serials Spotlight: History Today

Today I learned: Benjamin Franklin believed in and researched merpeople

Ellis Library gets a lot of serials. A LOT. If you have an interest in a topic, we have at least one journal/magazine that will interest you, from art to history to footwear. Today’s focus is on History Today, “Britain’s best-loved serious history magazine.”  Not a history buff?  Trust me, you’ll still find something amazing in this journal or on their website (https://www.historytoday.com/) – they even included a spotify list to go with the most recent issue!

The May 2018 edition has a very creepy merperson on the cover, but don’t let that dissuade you. The article, “Diving into Mysterious Waters,” discusses not only the legend of mermaids/mermen, but how some of the most famous and intelligent people in early Europe wholeheartedly agreed that merpeople existed.

You may remember Cotton Mather from history lessons. He was the guy with giant, white hair who was disgustingly enthusiastic about hanging witches during the Salem Witch Trials.  Considering he believed that nonsense, it isn’t a huge surprise that in 1716, he wrote a letter to the Royal Society in London, revealing that he sincerely believed in merpeople.

While we scoff at this admission now, was it really that surprising? Sure, Christopher Columbus believed in merpeople, even claiming to have seen three of them upon arriving in the New World, but when Europeans first landed in North America and saw the opossum for the first time, they compared them centaurs and gorgons because they had never seen a marsupial, let alone one with a grumpy face. There were new discoveries all the time. “The 18th century was as much a time of wonder as it as of rational science: the two, in fact, seemed to interweave by the day.”

It’s not surprising that tales of merpeople existed then, and still exist to this day. Since ancient times, people have worshipped merpeople. Medieval European churches were covered with mermaid symbolism (the theory is that these decorations were a reminder to Christians “of the dangers of the lust for flesh”). Even after religious changes in Europe, when Catholic imagery was erased, merpeople stuck around.

Sightings abounded as well. In 1403, a group of Dutch women apparently found a mermaid and taught her how to wear clothes, take up spinning, and converted her to Christianity.  How a woman who was half fish would wear clothes or exist outside of water is beyond me, but people believed them. Mermaid sightings increased in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the seas abounding with tales of mermaids and their siren calls. The explorer Henry Hudson (of Hudson River fame) noted sightings in his captain’s log. Descriptions of mermaids over time contained the same basic information regarding their looks, until 1759, when the creepy drawing, “The Syren Drawn from Life” was published and freaked everyone out with its big ears, bald head, and “hideously ugly” features.

European cabinets of curiosity began to display “mermaid appendages” and by the end of the 18th century, some of the “smartest men in the western world,” including Benjamin Franklin and other members of the Royal Society, decided to take on the task of trapping and investigating merpeople.  This was a step in the kind of scientific research we continue to use today.  Sure, we may not chase mermaids around, but we do investigate other amazing things, with scientific discoveries happening all the time.  Parallel universes and DNA codes may not sing to sailors and lure them to their death, but the current scientific research is still pretty amazing.

The creepy mermaid drawing vs how people typically imagine mermaids. That picture had to have bummed people out when it was published.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to prove that not all merpeople conform to the same typical body type, here’s a new discovered species.

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home Ellis Library, Resources and Services New Nonfiction: Theft By Finding (Diaries 1977-2002) by David Sedaris

New Nonfiction: Theft By Finding (Diaries 1977-2002) by David Sedaris

Looking for your next summer read? University Libraries are here for you.

David Sedaris is a well-known writer (well, well-known to most people: https://goo.gl/hcFmQY) whose humorous essays tend to focus on his own crazy life in addition to the crazy lives of his family and friends. However, his new work changes things up a bit.

While Sedaris has never been one to hide anything, his honesty reaches new heights in his latest book, “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).” The first of two volumes, this diary contains Sedaris’s observations on the world, which is different from most diaries, which contain the introspective thoughts and experiences of the writer. This creates a new kind of reading experience for fans of his previous works, offering a peephole into other people’s lives, and who doesn’t love that? Have you ever had a strange experience with a stranger, overheard a crazy conversation, or come across some hot gossip? While many of us might tell our friends and family, Sedaris told his journal, and now the world. Like many authors, he draws from life for his writing, and records the things around him. But unlike other writers, Sedaris records the little minutiae that some wouldn’t give a second thought. It’s an interesting look into the mind of a writer, and will inspire you to take an extra look/listen to things around you, and, possibly, start a journal of your own.

Check out this book at Ellis Library  or through MOBIUS.

home Resources and Services Crafting on a budget – let Mizzou Libraries help!

Crafting on a budget – let Mizzou Libraries help!

Welcome to a new series where the library helps you find new hobbies and adventures you might not have considered before!

Paper quilling:

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewelry, mobiles etc. Quilling starts with rolling a strip of paper into a coil and then pinching the coil into shapes that can be glued together. There are advanced techniques and different sized paper that are used to create 3D miniatures, abstract art, and quilled flowers among many things.” – Wikipedia

Paper quilling is a great craft to take up when you’re on a budget.  The paper is inexpensive and available just about anywhere. You can create all kinds of projects, such as cards, jewelry, wall hangings, and more.  There are a lot of great books available through MOBIUS to get you started!

 

 

 

Wood Carving:

Wood carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure.” – Wikipedia

Wood carving can be a great hobby for someone who is more detail-oriented.  Start-up costs are low, typically under $20, and the supplies take up very little room.


Wood carving
basics / David Sabol with Kam Ghaffari


Wood carving
: projects and techniques / Chris Pye


Wood-Carving
Design and Workmanship / George Jack
ps://goo.gl/zW6Mdj

 

Sketching:

“A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work.  A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.  Sketches can be made in any drawing medium.” – Wikipedia

Sketching can be an extremely low-cost creative outlet, with help from books from the library!  All you need are some instructions, a pencil, and some paper!  You may think you aren’t able to draw, but with practice, you can really develop your skills, and it’s a good stress reliever.

Sketch Your Stuff : 200 things to draw and how to draw them / Jon Stich


Start Sketching and Drawing Now Simple techniques for drawing landscapes, people and Objects

 

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Resources and Services Spotlight on Serials: American Craft

Spotlight on Serials: American Craft

An overgrown library

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.

An abandoned laundomat at night.

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.

http://www.nixgerberstudio.com/

http://americancraftmag.org

Imagine handcrafting each map on the wall!

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