There is a new digital exhibit in Special Collections: Places in the World: Treasures from the Venable Collection, curated by John Henry Adams. As the title suggests, the exhibit showcases the recently acquired Gary E. and Janet J. Venable Antiquarian Atlas & Map Collection, a collection of 163 single-sheet maps and 79 bound atlases from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Digital Services is currently digitizing maps from the collection and uploading them to the MU Digital Libraryso that you can enjoy them even if you can’t manage a trip to Special Collections.
The exhibit focuses on how we all use maps to understand places in the world. Maps organize our worldview and let us develop an idea of how different locations relate to one another, whether we have been there physically or only mentally. The twenty maps in the exhibit are mainly from the 1600s with a few highlights from the 1500s, 1700s, and 1800s. They include maps of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the World, each of which is accompanied by a discussion of its context and a few points of interest, whether they be errors or artistic flourishes. We hope that the exhibit piques your interest and makes you look at maps, whether they be in your glove compartment, on your phone, or in Special Collections in a different light!
I had the privilege of working with staff in special collections and a Visual Studies professor to create an exhibit showcasing children’s literature. Most of the books were written or illustrated by African American women. Stories were published within a few decades after the Harlem Renaissance ended. The twenty-one books in the exhibit represent how invaluable the Harlem Renaissance was for African American children’s literature. Finding books, writing labels, and setting up the exhibit were the main goals for this project. I also used Via Libri to find and recommend rare books by Ellen Tarry, Jane Dabney Shackleford, and Ann Petry.
World Cat and MERLIN were pivotal in locating most books. Other books were found through bibliographies and other relevant articles. The New Negro, albeit important for the Harlem Renaissance, focused on intellectual movements rather than children’s literature. Although The Brownies’ Book is not in Ellis Library, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has uploaded issues of the magazine online. After examining the magazine, it is easy to see the positive impact it had not only for African American children, but for children from different ethnic backgrounds. Stories, poems, and illustrations challenged the stereotypical and racist portrayals of African Americans in earlier texts.
Through research, I learned that poetry was a popular medium during the Harlem Renaissance, and it is seen in contemporary African American literature. Poetry and children’s literature complimented each other; as many authors wrote poetry. Some authors wrote multiple books; a few of Arna Bontemps’ books are in the juvenile stacks. A prolific poet and librarian, Bontemps wrote books for young adults and children. Golden Slippers and The fast sooner hound are for younger audiences, while We have tomorrow and Sad-faced boy are for slightly older individuals. Like Golden Slippers, Gladiola garden and The picture-poetry book are collections of poetry. With poetry, aspects of African American life were relayed to a younger, wider audience.
Writing captions was one of the more difficult parts of the project; I needed to balance my interpretations of the text itself and the creators’ motives for their works. While analyzing the text, I examined illustrations and photographs. Some images, albeit harrowing, are displayed in the exhibit. To reflect on the past, a past where racism was not as frowned upon as it is today, acknowledgement is imperative.
I cannot recall reading a lot of African American children’s literature as a child. Most of the books I remember reading throughout grade school had white main characters. Granted, these books were not as problematic as books written in the early 1900s and before. I found it hard to stay invested, as I could not relate to the main character. Humiliation and discouragement are the last things children should feel when reading books about themselves. Unfortunately, with few realistic portrayals of African Americans, negative feelings surface. However, as more children’s literature is written for minorities, more children will learn to love themselves and their skin.
The exhibit will be on display in the Ellis Library colonnade through mid-September.
Laura Buck, senior library information specialist at the Zalk Veterinary Medical Library, has received a 2019 College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Dean’s Impact Award.
Each year, the Dean recognizes individuals who “have had significant positive impact on college programs.” Laura’s nominating letters pointed to her helpfulness, friendliness, and dedication to everyone in the College.
Laura began her service with the University of Missouri Libraries in 1989, moving to the CVM’s Zalk Veterinary Medical Library in 1999. One nomination cited her “sincere dedication, can-do attitude, and excellent organizational skills.” Another noted, “she has always been a positive force in the library, keeping the needs of the students, faculty, and staff foremost in her mind.” Another called her “reliable and helpful,” while yet another called her “an essential, vital resource within the library.” One nominating letter wrote of Laura, “She is the institutional memory of the library. Wouldn’t it be cool on her 30th year at MU that she received this well-deserved award?”
It is, indeed, cool that Laura has received this award. Congratulations, Laura, and thank you for 30 years of supporting the University Libraries’ Cycle of Success.
Yes, it’s that time of the semester again. You’re studying, you’re researching, you’re writing, you’re living on coffee and no sleep…but look, a fluffy puff of pure love and joy! These calm, cheerful, trained therapy dogs are here to give you a break and put a smile on your face ?
Come to Ellis Library on the main floor by the North Doors / checkout desk. Tentative schedule:
Every year, undergraduates across all disciplines are encouraged to submit research projects to the University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest. Their research projects can be traditional research papers, musical compositions, works of art, videos, web pages, or other creative works. The projects are judged by a cross-disciplinary panel of librarians who evaluate the sophistication of their research process and their use of University of Missouri Libraries resources.
One 1st prize $500 scholarship and one 2nd prize $250 scholarship are awarded to an individual or group project. Winners have their projects archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository.
This year’s winners were recognized at the Friends of the Libraries council meeting on Saturday, April 6. Awards were presented by Rachel Brekhus, Humanities and Social Science Librarian.
1st Prize Winners: Ashley Anstaett, Phong H. Nguyen and Andrew J. Greenwald Conceptual Design of Microfiber Removal Using Pressure-Swing Filtration
Their engineering paper is so much more than a design blueprint. It is a well-written and well-organized document that includes, not only the physical science involved with an invention, but also practical considerations of how the product could be maintained in real-world environments, how it could be marketed, and why it’s important to have products that remove microfibers from the environment, at the household level.
Their interdisciplinary group project required both library spaces and library resources. They described the Engineering Library’s collaborative space as “preferred” and “work-conducive,” and as providing software necessary for the conceptual design of the invention. The group also described their use of general and specialized online research tools. The process paper was more specific than most in describing how their keyword searching was done, and they identified the specialized e-journal database, Science Direct, which they used, not only for the review of literature, but also during the design process. Their process paper makes clear that in the world of product design, research is iterative and tightly connected with the creative process.
2nd Prize Winner: Erielle Jones Fly Like an Eagle: The Success of STOP-ERA in the Missouri Senate 1977
In her paper, Jones did an excellent job of linking the rhetoric in Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Forum with the rhetoric used in the Missouri State Legislature to argue against passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), including associating passages of the ERA with affirmative action measures, unpopular among Missouri white conservatives.
The process paper detailed, not only Jones’s ultimate choice of primary historical sources, but also her independent exploration of other primary sources in pursuit of an earlier approach to the topic, which did not yield the hoped-for documentation. The paper showed the role of discipline, assistance from library and archives professionals, and serendipity in finding and selecting sources while maintaining focus on a well-defined research question. Sources examined included correspondence, leaflets, newsletters, invitations, and receipts from the personal archives of state representatives, state senate testimony, surveys, news sources, and court transcripts.
Her process showed a commitment to both the importance and the limitations of historical documentation, and understanding of the social and racial context of both the political-opinion media environment, and this media’s impact on the legislative process. Certainly, the practice in popular conservative media of linking proposed legislation not directly related to race, with narratives of governmental interference with default racial distributions of privilege, continues to be relevant today.
Congratulations to Annie (Ningyuan) Hu! Annie was selected as the Journalism Library’s Instagram Takeover winner.
In March, the Journalism Library wanted to hear from the students. We encouraged students to submit a short video (no more than 15 seconds) to our Instagram telling us why they loved the library. Annie submitted a great video, highlighting our space and equipment! You can find her video here!
Annie is a senior Strategic Communication major who plans to work in fashion and/or beauty marketing. She visits the library daily to study and checkout equipment. When asked about the Journalism Library, Annie said “I like it, I love it! It makes me want to study here!”
A big thank you to Annie for her video! Be sure to check us out on Instagram!
Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students?
Explore possible open textbook solutions by attending the Open Textbook Library Review Workshop — a one-hour, in-person session where you can discover open textbooks in your field. After the workshop, you’ll be asked to write an optional short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library. Qualified faculty instructors who go on to write a review are eligible for a $250.*
Date: Friday, March 8 from noon-1pm
Location: Ellis Library classroom 213
Open to MU faculty and graduate instructors. Please take this anonymous survey to help The UM System’s Affordable & Open Educational Resources (A&OER) learn more about instructor approaches and practices for the selection of teaching materials. The data received from this survey will be used to formulate new strategies for supporting teaching and learning at the University of Missouri. Survey is open until May 20, 2019.