home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Gateway Carousel, Staff news University of Missouri Press Summer Reading Display

University of Missouri Press Summer Reading Display

The University of Missouri Press Summer Reading display can now be found on the second floor of Ellis Library. Explore a rich collection of books celebrating Missouri’s history, literature, music, and art, including both new releases and favorite backlist books. Highlights of the display include Patricia Cleary’s latest work, Mound City: The Place of Indigenous Past and Present in St. Louis, and Greg Olson’s award-winning Indigenous Missourians: Ancient Societies to the Present. Also showcased are selections from the Sports and American Culture series, such as Jon Langmead’s Ballyhoo!: The Roughhousers, Con Artists, and Wildmen Who Invented Professional Wrestling and Sheldon Anderson’s Schools for Scandal: The Dysfunctional Marriage of Division I Sports and Higher Education. Additionally, visitors can see books dedicated to the work of Missouri’s Laura Ingalls Wilder and coffee table books that featuring the state’s scenic parks and its natural life and landscapes.

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives New exhibit in Special Collections: Reduce, reuse, recycle

New exhibit in Special Collections: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Today, an old book often lands in the trash can, but before the industrial revolution, they were often used as sources of paper and parchment. Fragments of old books were often used to provide covers for new books, or to reinforce their spines and hinges. Some texts only survive today because they became part of other books. For this exhibit in the Special Collections reading room, we show off some books in our collection that incorporate print and manuscript waste as part of their covers.

The exhibit will last through the end of July and shows a book with a medieval manuscript used to reinforce its spine, a book with a wrapper made of a fifteenth-century page, and a book with a parchment pastedown from a medieval manuscript.

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.

New Database: Social Explorer

MU Libraries is pleased to provide access to Social Explorer.

Social Explorer provides current and historical U.S. social data indicators from public and proprietary sources across demography, economy, health, politics, education, religion, crime, and more, at multiple geographic levels. All data are curated, documented, organized, and processed for ease of use.

If you have questions about the database or how to use it, contact your librarian at ask@missouri.libanswers.com.



Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is the Public Health and Community Engagement Librarian at the Health Sciences Library at the University of Missouri.

home Ellis Library Peer Navigator Corner: Finals Week Resources

Peer Navigator Corner: Finals Week Resources

Written by: Faith Brown

Finals week is a bittersweet time for most students. While finals mean that the school year is over and summer break is approaching, it also symbolizes a time of stress and uncertainty. Whether you’ve got finals in person, online, or no finals at all, MU Libraries has everything you need to make sure they get through finals week and come out on top.

One of the best resources MU Libraries have are study spaces. Mizzou has a total of five (Engineering, Geological Sciences, Journalism, Mathematical, Veterinary Medical) libraries in addition to Ellis that are currently open with study spaces available for any student, ensuring that everyone has their own niche spot to get work done. If you prefer a private space to study away from any noise, there are reservable study rooms at Ellis, the Engineering, and the Journalism libraries. In Ellis, there are study rooms on every floor (except the ground floor) with the most popular rooms being on the first floor by the color printer and computer lab. Study rooms vary in size and furniture options, some even being equipped with white boards and/or screens to link your computer to. To reserve a study room, visit the MU Libraires website, and scroll down to the “Quick Links” section toward the bottom left of the page. From there, click on “Reserve a study room” and locate the room you want along with an available time slot. If you’re unsure where a specific study room is, ask a Peer Navigator at the first floor help desk, or look at the library’s map. Spots fill up fast during finals week, so make sure you reserve the room you need in advance! For a list of which study spaces contain certain electronics or seating options, visit this website for more information.

During finals you might have papers to write in addition to (or in lieu of) any online or in person exams. Writing those final papers can be challenging and you may want help making sure your paper sounds correct—or figuring out how to start the paper in the first place. Thankfully, Ellis Library has a Writing Center located on the first floor that specializes in assisting students who are struggling to write or finish their papers. Writing tutors are available by appointment only, to schedule an appointment with the writing center visit their website and find a time that works best for you.

Of course, if you’re going to study you might want some extra materials to keep you prepared for finals. While Ellis Library may not have a food vending machine, the north entrance does have a supplies vending machine which includes materials such as writing utensils, exam Blue Books, pencil sharpeners, and more. If you’re looking for specific reading and/or research materials to aid your studies as well, contact a Research Librarian or Peer Navigator for help.

During finals, remember that your mental wellbeing is important in order to get work done efficiently. MU Libraries has a number of activities for students to take their mind off of their studies for a while. On May 5 and 7th, Ellis library is hosting an activity where students can create bookmarks, sticker collages, as well as a number of virtual activities to try as well (such as Library Ambiance for studying, virtual puzzles, and virtual coloring books from Ellis’ Special Collections). Ellis Library, the Engineering library, and the Vet library are also handing out snacks for anyone in need of a quick snack.

While finals is notorious for being the most stressful time of the school year, taking part in the opportunities and resources available to you will help it not only go by faster, but smoother as well. Good luck everyone, you’re almost done!

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives New online exhibit: “Fancy Magazines for Pet Fanciers”

New online exhibit: “Fancy Magazines for Pet Fanciers”

Finals week is here and so are we with another digital exhibit! The exhibit is called “Fancy Magazines for Pet Fanciers”, curated by John Henry Adams and Haley Lykins. The exhibit features fourteen magazines about pets, the animals that we keep around not just because they are useful but because they are fun. Magazines about birds, cats, dogs, and ferrets are all on display in the exhibit. (The animal types are in alphabetical order, so please don’t think that the order of the pets in any way indicates our preference!) So, if you need to de-stress with some pictures of animals as you prepare for or recover from your exams, come check out the exhibit!

The exhibit features magazines from a recent acquisition, the Samir Husni Magazine Collection. The collection features magazines 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.

home Ellis Library Peer Navigator Corner: Ellis Library Construction History

Peer Navigator Corner: Ellis Library Construction History

Written By: Lexi Tucker

Have you ever wandered Ellis Library and noticed fascinating details surrounding its construction? Some features that stick out might be Reading Room 201 with its high ceiling and huge windows or perhaps the west stacks that feel stuck in the 1930s. In truth, it’s an understatement to say Ellis Library has gone through quite a transformation since its initial completion in 1915.

Blueprints dating back to 1908 were designed to start construction of a University Library off Lowry Avenue (now Lowry Mall) establishing its building separate from New Academic Hall (now Jesse Hall) which until then held the University’s small library. Construction began in 1914 after a vote of the Missouri Legislature in 1913 and was in use by 1915. The original building consisted of three floors, including what we know as the General Reading Room today. The circulation desk, where you check out books, was housed in what is now room 213 and held the entirety of the library’s book collections which were to be read and kept in the building instead of being lent out and returned later.

The completion of the initial structure left obvious space for anticipated expansion on the west and east sides as the library grew with students and literature. The first addition was built in 1936 with The West Wing, and unlike the standing construction, it included a fourth floor only accessible by a flight of stairs from the third floor.

Following the West Addition was the East Addition in 1958, completing the initial vision of the library. The East Addition balanced out the library with four floors and created much-needed stack space. At this time changes were also being made to include elevators and replace more outdated features like the Men’s Coat Room that used to occupy the space. The expansions on both sides allowed the library to accommodate wings divided by subject, including the Social Science and Education Area libraries, Biological Science, Agriculture, and so forth.

In 1972 the library was officially named and dedicated after Elmer Ellis, the University of Missouri’s 13th president who is remembered for his period of library growth, expanding the collection by over one million volumes. Until this time the building was referred to as “University Library” or the library.

The South Addition concluded the physical construction of Ellis in 1985, featuring only two floors about the length of the building from west to east. This includes what we are more familiar with today, with the distinction of a Ground floor in association with the four floors and marks the removal of Conley Avenue for its placement. The South Addition went through several remodels, ultimately transforming from a reference room and book stacks to the large Information Commons I and II with computers, and the café space that we see today.

While the library may seem finished, blueprint plans show that there is still room for further expansion. The South Addition was designed to be load bearing, so in future years a second, third, and even fourth floor could be added.

The history of Ellis Library’s Construction is extensive and ranges decades with industrial and technological advances littered throughout. I highly recommend if you’re interested in learning more that you check out this timeline created by MU Libraries, as well as these additional photos and videos to understand the total transformation. If nothing else, keep an eye out next time you walk the halls of Ellis Library for displays like this one currently outside Quiet Room 114 and Room 115.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Museum of Art and Archaeology

Peer Navigator Corner: Museum of Art and Archaeology

Written by: Clementine Arneson (still being edited)

Since I have been at Mizzou, I’ve heard much talk of the Art and Archeology Museum, but have never been able to see for myself what it has to offer. However, it is about to become much more accessible to me and all Mizzou students. The museum began in 1957 as a study collection of art and historical objects, but became a more official entity in 1961 with a new donation of paintings. The museum collection has continued to grow over the years, and with this growth and development, has had several homes around Columbia. It was first located in Pickard Hall on the quadrangle, but due to concerns about radioactivity in that building, it relocated to Mizzou North. However, the museum is moving once again, and is now located on the lower level of Ellis Library.

The museum has an incredibly varied collection, with art and artifacts from every continent besides Antarctica. Just a glance at their “Museum in 30 Objects” collection shows a sculpture from the 1990s, a Mediterranean tool from around the 1st century, and 28 other items that fall in between. As students, the new location makes these collections more accessible than they have been in over a decade, especially since the museum is free! The museum can be a research tool as well. Some of the galleries hold rotating exhibits, meaning you might be able to see something new every time you visit. The museum’s website also has a database of their collections which you can access at any time. Finally, the museum’s website has a research tab where you can make requests to access items from their collection that are in storage (If you are interested in this option, make sure to ask for access in advance so staff have time to accommodate).

There are three entrances to access the museum. You’ll find an exterior door leading to the ground floor (not the first floor) on the north side of Ellis Library, facing the Student Success Center. There is another exterior door that faces Memorial Union. You can also enter the museum by going down the set of stairs across from the Circulation Desk inside Ellis. To learn more about the museum’s history and collections, find their hours, and see how you can get involved, you can visit their website at maa.missouri.edu, and if you happen to have any historical art or artifacts that you’d like to donate, you can contact the museum about doing so as well.

The museum will also be accepting applications for volunteers and staff members, so keep an eye out for that! Special thanks to Marie Hunter, the Deputy Director of the Museum, for meeting with me and providing more information.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Writing Tutors

Peer Navigator Corner: Writing Tutors

Written by: Sophie Lanzone

There are many different resources located in Ellis Library, but one of the most helpful resources in my opinion are the writing tutors located on the first floor. The Writing Center has been supporting students at the University of Missouri for over 45 years. These tutors are available for anyone with a current pawprint, including faculty, postdocs, and distanced students at Mizzou. The Writing Center offers free in person appointments on campus, zoom appointments, and asynchronous responses through the Online Writery. What’s great about the Writing Center is that you can receive detailed feedback and revisions for any stage of the writing process, regardless of where you are in a certain assignment.

The Writing Center is staffed with 50 to 100 wonderful tutors during any given semester. This includes a combination of undergrads, graduates and post-graduate writers. Each tutor has undergone formal training and on top of that must attend regular training workshops throughout their employment. They can help with any writing project, including all course-related assignments, personal statements, cover letters, scholarship essays, creative writing pieces, or anything else you may need help with. All of this is done with support from an advisory board of faculty and staff from across campus that focus on specific majors.

If you are interested in making an appointment, you can go directly to the Writing Center’s website or you can go through the Libraries homepage and click on the dropdown menu, “In the Library.” Under that menu, click on “Writing Tutors,” go to appointments, and click the “Make An Appointment” tab. Each appointment can be up to 50 minutes and will help assist you at any stage of your project. If you are just looking for feedback or don’t want a face-to-face interaction, you can share an online submission to the Online Writery. This service is offered 24/7, is free, and follows the same steps as mentioned earlier just clicking on ‘The Online Writery’ instead of ‘Appointments.’ The writing tutors are wonderful resources offered here at Mizzou, and I encourage all of you to utilize them as much as you can!

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Digital Media Lab in Ellis Library

Digital Media Lab in Ellis Library

The Digital Media and Innovation Lab (DMiL) in Ellis Library provides innovative technology and resources for your creative projects.  The DMiL has an Audio Recording Booth, Digital Art Tools, and 3D Scanners in Room 156; interview recording room in Room 157, and a film studio in Room 3E21.

The DMiL is complemented by the Information Commons computers and equipment checkout at the checkout & information desk.  The DMiL is available to students for class or personal projects.

You can make a reservation and check-in or stop by for a consultation in Room 153.

Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Questions & Consultation email: ellisdml@missouri.edu

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Peer Navigator Corner: Book Health & Preservation

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.