home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Gateway Carousel, Special Collections and Archives Pop-up exhibit in Ellis Library Colonnade: A Bouquet for Spring

Pop-up exhibit in Ellis Library Colonnade: A Bouquet for Spring

The birds are singing, the leaves are sprouting, and the flowers are blooming: spring is here! To celebrate, Special Collections is bringing out a set of botany books from the 1500s, 1700s, and 1900s. (We’ll be back with books from the 2100s once they’re available, so stay tuned!) Some of them describe wildflowers and others garden plants, some are for information and others for appreciation, but all of them are fully illustrated and waiting for you.

So stop and smell the roses! We’ll be on the Ellis Concourse near the Information Commons on Tuesday, April 16, from 2pm until 4pm.

John Henry Adams

John Henry Adams is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. He provides instruction and reference for the history of the book in general, but especially for medieval manuscripts, early European printing, the history of cartography, and English and German literature.

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Books to Celebrate Pride Month and Arab American Heritage Month

Books to Celebrate Pride Month and Arab American Heritage Month

April is Mizzou’s Pride Month and is also Arab American Heritage month!

This year, not only are we celebrating stories of triumphs and struggles of the LGBTQ community, but also celebrating and recognizing Arab American heritage and culture.

Below are some books in our library collection you can check out to celebrate both of these months. And be sure to check out the dual book display in the Ellis library Colonnade.


Books to Celebrate Mizzou Pride Month

Non-binary lives : an anthology of intersecting identities

The Velvet Mafia : the gay men who ran the Swinging Sixties

Queer ear : remaking music theory


Books to Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month

Bad girls of the Arab world

Him, Me, Muhammad Ali

Encyclopedia of embroidery from the Arab world



Peer Navigator Corner: Book Health & Preservation

Written by: Lorelai Clubb

Like nearly everything in our world, paper ages. A crisp sheet of paper can become yellowed, faded, brittle, and very easy to tear. While most modern books are printed on acid-free paper, which can last hundreds of years, older materials are printed on paper that is much quicker to deteriorate. Considering that many vital historical documents and accounts are recorded on older, acidic paper, special measures are needed to preserve those primary sources so they can continue to be accessed and appreciated for years to come.

At the University of Missouri Libraries, we have an entire department devoted to the care, preservation, and sharing of these historical treasures. Special Collections contains rare books, historical maps, original prints, and other archival materials that can prove vital to any research project. To give just a few examples, Special Collections at Mizzou includes one of the only surviving manuscripts by renowned author Charlotte Brontë, several cuneiform clay tablets, and original illustrations of classic literature in a variety of languages. There’s so much more that cannot even be covered in this post!

Specialists who work in this area of MU Libraries have several guidelines they follow to ensure all the materials are given the best possible care. Some keys to preserving book health include:

  • Temperature control: The ideal temperature for rare books and materials is about 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can accelerate the deterioration of books, while lower temperatures can lead to books cracking and drying out.
  • Moisture/humidity prevention: Having the correct levels of humidity is essential to protecting rare books and materials from water damage, mold, and cracking. Too dry a place will dry out the books, while too humid a place can lead to mold growing and ruining the material. Library experts recommend a humidity level of about 40-50%.
  • Using a book stand: Opening a book all the way to be flat, or 180 degrees, harms the spine. By using a book rest or book stand to open the book, the amount of stress on the spine and binding of the book is greatly lessened. Special Collections has many of these stands for you to use when visiting.
  • Reducing light: Both artificial and natural light can be detrimental to the preservation of a book or print. Not only does light fade the words and images, but light can also deteriorate the binding materials. Storing these materials in a darker place and using blackout curtains can prevent light from affecting the materials as much.
  • Storing books properly: Books are usually stored vertically for a reason, and storing books of the same heights together matters too. Books of the same size can support one another on the shelf. Having a very tall book stored next to a shorter, smaller book can lead to covers becoming distorted.

Our Preservation & Conservation Librarian for Special Collections is Michaelle Dorsey, and she is a great addition to the library team! If you have any questions about Special Collections, contact her via email at DorseyM@missouri.edu. She’s the expert, and the one behind the scenes repairing materials or working on things like phase boxes to ensure they last as long as possible.

No matter your major, there is something in Special Collections to help you with your research or class assignments. Beyond that, it’s just a fascinating place to visit, or to bring your family when they’re in town! Since materials are stored in the specific ways mentioned above, librarians will pull materials based on your research, or just personal interest before you come, so it’s important to make an appointment ahead of time. Be sure to visit https://libcal.missouri.edu/reserve/readingroom to schedule your visit to the special collections room 24 hours in advance.

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Gateway Carousel Take Me to the Lakes: Taylor Swift and the Lake District Poets

Take Me to the Lakes: Taylor Swift and the Lake District Poets

Wednesday, April 17 at 2 pm
114A Ellis Library

Celebrate National Poetry Month and Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, with a presentation from Makayla Dublin, Ph.D. candidate in the department of English.

Makayla will discuss current conversations around Taylor Swift’s connection to literature and poetry with a focus on her references to the Lake District Poets in the folklore track, “the lakes.”

Use this map of Ellis Library to make finding 114A a little easier.

home Ellis Library, Gateway Carousel, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Contactless Pickup Lockers

Peer Navigator Corner: Contactless Pickup Lockers

Written by: Alyssa Westhoff

Ellis Library has over 3.5 million books available to check out. Patrons are more than welcome to come in and search for material in person, but there is also a quick and convenient option for those who would prefer to place a request from home – contactless pickup lockers that are available 24/7. They are located in the vestibule of the West entrance of Ellis Library, between Speakers Circle and Bookmark Cafe. These lockers provide a way for patrons to find, request, and obtain the books they are looking for at the highest level of convenience! 

To place a request online, students can go to the homepage of our library website, https://library.missouri.edu/. The blue box titled “Discover at MU” has a search bar to type in a title, or any keywords of the book they are looking for. Once the item they are looking for is found, they can click the “Place Request” link in blue letters. This will prompt the selection of a location, with the option of “MU Ellis Library Pickup Lockers.” These lockers are also offered in Health Sciences Library. Patrons can go through the same sequence as before, just choosing “Lottes Locker” as their location instead. 

After selecting the correct location and confirming the request, an email will be sent with more details including confirmation when their material is ready for pickup, along with their locker number and access code. This is a great resource that I didn’t know about before I started working at Ellis as a Peer Navigator. Hopefully, these lockers can encourage more students to use the materials our libraries have to offer! 


home Ellis Library, Resources and Services, Uncategorized Peer Navigator Corner: Interlibrary Loan for Articles

Peer Navigator Corner: Interlibrary Loan for Articles

Written by: Clementine Arneson

With the seemingly endless line of research papers that I have been assigned at Mizzou, I have a lot of experience looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. The Ellis Library website is a great place to find such papers, and allows you to filter by type of resource, year of publication, language, and more. However, one library just can’t have all the resources and articles in the world. With that being said, Ellis Library can provide students with free access to journal articles outside of our own collections – there’s just one extra step in the process. 

If you’ve found an article on Google Scholar that sits behind a paywall, or the link on Ellis’s website doesn’t pull up the full text, you can use Ellis’s Interlibrary Loan service to access the article for free.The simplest way to do this is to use the link attached to the article you want to access. On Ellis’s catalog website, you will often see a link that says “FindIt@MU” attached to journal articles. Sometimes this will allow you to pull up the article right away, but sometimes it will prompt you to proceed to interlibrary loan. If you see a link that says, “Article not online? Request a copy,” click there. It will take you directly to the ILL page, and after logging in, it will have filled out the information on the form automatically. You can link Google Scholar to FindIt@MU in order to be able to follow these steps there as well. (Here is a guide to that process: https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/quickguides/googlescholarAddon).

You can also fill out this form yourself from Ellis Library’s main website. Under the “Quick Links” section of our homepage, at the bottom left portion of the screen, you will see a link to “ILL@MU.” Click this link, log in with your Mizzou pawprint and password, then click “New Requests” at the top of the screen. After choosing the type of media you are requesting, you will be prompted to fill out a form with information about the source you need. Most articles are electronic, so a PDF of the article might be ready in a few hours, although it could take a couple days if it’s difficult to find a library with a copy of.

MU partners with other libraries that have access to different databases than we do, so they are able to send us copies of their resources, and we can do the same for them. This same premise applies to all types of resources. If another library has a book you need, you can request a PDF of a chapter of that book. You can also request the whole book using this webpage (but check MOBIUS first: https://library.missouri.edu/news/ellis-library/peer-navigator-corner-mobius-lending).

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives Ediciones Vigía work on display in Special Collections and Archives

Ediciones Vigía work on display in Special Collections and Archives

An edition of Pierrot y la luna, a dramatic poem by Cuban poet Nancy Morejón, is on display in the Special Collections and Archives reading room through the end of April. The book was designed by Rolando Estévez, the director of the Cuban book arts collective called Ediciones Vigía, and is on loan from a private collection.

Ediciones Vigía was founded in 1985 by artist Rolando Estévez and poet Alfredo Zaldívar in Matanzas, Cuba, a city known for its poets and Afro-Cuban culture. Members of Ediciones Vigía crafted books using ordinary supplies that were easy to procure: brown paper, found objects, and repurposed materials. Each publication was released in an edition of two hundred or fewer copies. Vigía books often contain an element of playful surprise in the form of foldouts, flaps, and insertions. All Vigía books feature the oil lamp as a symbol of the workshop, which Estévez included as “a bright light that is a humble light, an intimate and familiar light.”

More Ediciones Vigía books will be on view in the Ellis Library Colonnade in April in conjunction with the conference Afro-Cuban Legacies: Visual Arts, Literature, Theatre, Music and Religion

Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is head of the Special Collections and Rare Books department.

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Peer Navigator Corner: Cast Gallery

Peer Navigator Corner: Cast Gallery

Written by: Laide Agunbiade

The Cast Gallery in Ellis Library provides Mizzou students a unique opportunity to dive into art, history, and culture without ever having to leave campus! As you walk through the familiar corridors of Ellis, surrounded by the comforting scent of books and the stress of school, it’s easy to overlook the hidden treasures that are within the walls of the library.

On the second floor when you enter the quiet study area, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an impressive array of statues, but they’re all over Ellis as well. The gems that were hidden away for years are now on display to be seen by all.

However, the cast’s journey to Mizzou didn’t begin within the walls of Ellis Library. Their origins trace back to the vision of John C. Pickard and his vision for bringing cultural pieces to Mizzou. In the late 19th century, Pickard created the foundation for Mizzou’s Department for Classical Archaeology by collecting over 100 pieces of artwork. From ancient Greek sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces, Pickard created a gallery with a range of diverse pieces.

As the pieces began to arrive in 1896-1902, they were installed in Jesse Hall before being relocated to Pickard Hall in 1975. There, they displayed Pickard’s legacy and deep appreciation of the arts.

In the spring semester of 2022, the gallery moved to another home on campus, finding a new residence within Ellis Library. Mizzou’s decision to do this showed their effort to share a significant hidden treasure, mixed in with lore of its forgotten past, to make the art accessible to all users who pass through Ellis Library.

As Mizzou is gearing up for the introduction of the Museum of Art and Archaeology collection, which will be located on the lower floor of Ellis Library, this is a perfect time to spotlight the art Pickard brought to campus years ago. The pieces that we walk past daily will serve as a reminder of the university’s rich tapestry.

So, the next time you find yourself coming to study, print, or just wander the halls of Ellis Library, I urge you all to take a moment to explore the gems of our Cast Gallery. Who knows what insights and inspirations you might discover through Ellis’ silent guardians!

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: The Digital Media Lab

Peer Navigator Corner: The Digital Media Lab

By: Alyssa Westhoff

Ellis Library has so many amazing resources that I did not know about before I started working as a peer navigator. One of my favorites is the Digital Media and Innovation Lab (DMiL), which provides technology for any creative projects students might be working on, and also provides hands-on support to learn how to use any of the technologies you might be unfamiliar with.

On the first floor of the library, in room 156, the DMiL has an Audio Recording Booth, Digital Art Tools, and 3D scanners. The Audio Recording Booth is a one-person sound booth with microphones, soundboards, Macs, and software for recording audio. Wacom Tablets, Cassette Digitization, and 3D mice can also be found in the DMiL, in addition to more tools that can be used to create and animate any project and bring it to life.

Right next door in room 157 is an interview recording room. It is similar to the one-person audio booth but can hold up to four people at a time. This room is perfect for recording a podcast, interview, or any other multi-person project.

Upstairs on the third floor, in room 3E21, is a film studio that has a green screen, LED lamps, and tripod stands. This room can hold up to 4-5 people at a time. Cameras and other recording equipment is available to be checked out at the Circulation Desk, but you are also welcome to bring your own!

All of the DMiL resources are available for use by making an appointment through the library website. To schedule an appointment, click the yellow “In the Library” tab on the homepage. A drop-down menu will appear with a “Digital Media Lab” tab as an option. Click on this link and it will take you to the Digital Media and Innovation Lab page. Located in the top right corner is a white box titled “Hours and Reservations” with a yellow “Make a Reservation” link inside. Click this yellow link and you will be brought to the calendar where you can choose the space and time you would like to reserve. On the day of your appointment, make sure to check in with lab staff before you begin!

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives Black History Month: “Life in America” Online Exhibit

Black History Month: “Life in America” Online Exhibit

Special Collections has a new digital exhibit in honor of Black History Month: Life in America: Sixteen Black Magazines from 1953 to 1998, curated by John Henry Adams. Magazines offer a snapshot of everyday life, both as it was and how some people might have wished it to be. What makes someone beautiful? What should people be wearing? Who are the important entertainers? What is the best music? What is happening in the world? What should children and teenagers be interested in? All of these are questions that magazines give answers to, and that is before we take into account what is being advertised in the magazines themselves. What is for sale? Who is expected to buy it? Taken together, magazines give us a chance to approach the culture of the past, but also to consider the present through the same lens.

The exhibit features magazines from a recent acquisition, the Samir Husni Magazine Collection, on topics ranging from beauty and fashion magazines to news and lifestyle magazines.


John Henry Adams

John Henry Adams is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. He provides instruction and reference for the history of the book in general, but especially for medieval manuscripts, early European printing, the history of cartography, and English and German literature.