July 2016 Archives

July 5, 2016

Celebrating Yale History in Manuscripts and Archives, now on view in the Sterling Memorial Library Memorabilia Room, explores fascinating details of Yale’s history through the display of primary sources available at the library.  Most compelling, however, is the exhibit’s focus on “firsts,” minority students who were the first to gain admission to or graduate from specific programs.  These students broke barriers and, through their successes, prompted larger cultural changes on the Yale campus and beyond.

Henry Roe Cloud (B.A. 1910, M.A. 1914), born in 1884 on the Winnebago Reservation, was the first full-blooded Native American to graduate from Yale College. After graduating, Cloud attended Auburn Theological Seminary and later became a Presbyterian minister.  As an official in the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Cloud was a champion for Progressive Era reforms and fought to expand educational and professional opportunities for Native Americans.  

Louise Whitman Farnam (Ph.D 1916, M.D. 1920) was among the first women to receive a degree from the Yale School of Medicine.  In 1916, the year Farnam sought to matriculate, the medical school was willing to admit women; however, the school lacked appropriate facilities - mainly, women’s restrooms.  Farnam’s father, Yale professor Henry Walcott Farnam, agreed to “be responsible for meeting the expenses of suitable lavatory arrangements” (Farnam’s display includes the letter from Dr. Farnam to Yale president Arthur T. Hadley).  Louise Farnam earned her medical degree in 1920, and went on to practice medicine in China before settling in England.

Jasper Alston Atkins (LL.B. 1922) was the first black man to graduate from Yale Law School with honors. Throughout his illustrious career, Atkins argued numerous civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court. He also contributed to the process of dismantling the separate-but-equal system of higher education in North Carolina.  His display includes a typed recommendation letter from the Dean of Yale Law School, which describes Atkins as “industrious,” “trustworthy,” and “a man of unusual intellectual ability.”

Sylvia Ardyn Boone (M.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1979) was the first African American woman to receive tenure at Yale. She received her Ph.D from Yale in Art History, and received the Blanshard Prize for her dissertation.  She joined the Yale faculty in 1979, and received tenure in 1988.  Popular as both a professor and a colleague, Boone taught “The Black Woman,” a ground-breaking course introduced during the initial years of coeducation at Yale College. 

The exhibit explores numerous other facets of Yale’s history, including the founding of the university and the development of student life.  By focusing on several extraordinary students, however, “Celebrating Yale History in Manuscripts and Archives”  highlights how individuals can effectively and positively impact culture on the Yale campus and beyond.

Article by Hilary Purrington

Post on July 5, 2016 - 3:56pm |

July 5, 2016

The world was saddened this past weekend to learn of the death of Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. The Yale Library was honored to have had Wiesel as a member of the Honorary Board of Advisors of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, since its founding in 1981. The Archive is a collection of over 4,400 videotaped interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust and is part of Manuscripts and Archives, located in Sterling Memorial Library. Wiesel actively promoted the Holocaust Survivors Film Project, the New Haven grassroots project that preceded the Fortunoff Archive. He urged survivors to share their stories so they and their loved ones would not only be remembered in perpetuity, but would also provide present and future generations with the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust not only from Nazi documents, but from the victims’ perspectives as well.  The following are excerpts from Professor Wiesel’s remarks at the inauguration of the Video Archive at the Yale Library in November 1982.

“Future generations will be in your debt. No person in the world is as capable of gratitude as a survivor is, for we know that is by sheer luck that any of us is here.  We could have been elsewhere.  Nobody did anything to survive. We could have been among those who went just ten minutes before us.  We didn’t do anything then. But then we tried to do whatever we can to justify our being here.  We believe that every moment is a moment of grace and therefore every word must be an offering, and therefore every story must contain a secret which we try to share with as many of you, with all of you, as possible… a story of anguish, humiliation, and death.  We still ask ourselves whenever we meet, whether in words or in silence, why? Why Majdanek, and why Belsen, and why Treblinka?  Why? We read, and we read, and we read, and we shall go on reading till the end of our lives and we shall not understand why one million Jewish children.  Why? …I was there and I still don’t understand.  But our duty has not been to understand, simply to remember. …Whenever survivors were asked for so many years to tell the story, every one of them would say only one sentence:  “You won’t understand.  You won’t understand.”  …We want so much to be understood.  That is why we speak.  …We want so much to try and give you what we feel is the essential part of our being, a fragment of a fire that will prevent the world from knowing another fire.  Therefore this project is so important.  … what they have seen, nobody will see, and nobody should ever see.  Listen to them…  Listen to their stories.  Listen to their words and also to their silences.  For every word they say, there are a hundred that remain unsaid.  …They are witnesses, and therefore, you must listen to them, and listen with all your heart and all your soul.  …Listen to them and listen to them well.”

Elie Wiesel spoke at several subsequent Fortunoff Archive conferences and events and was the Chubb Fellow lecturer at Yale in December 2006.  Our heartfelt condolences go to Elie Wiesel’s family.

For more information visit the Fortunoff Video Archives for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale website.

Image: Elie Wiesel (right) and Geoffrey H. Hartman (left) at the Fortunoff Video Archive Tenth Anniversary Reception, December 7, 1992. Photographer: Peter R. Hvizdak

Post on July 5, 2016 - 11:55am |

July 7, 2016

The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University is pleased to announce the acquisition of the archives of Artspace, New Haven’s vibrant non-profit organization for contemporary art. Artspace is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the archive will preserve its legacy of connecting contemporary artists, local audiences, and community resources.

Artspace will deed to Yale all historical materials related to its founding and operations. These operations include robust exhibition and commissioning programs together with ongoing initiatives such as the Summer Apprenticeship for New Haven Public Schools students and the annual City-Wide Open Studios festival.

The archive contains a significant collection of exhibition documentation and related printed ephemera, administrative and financial records, correspondence, and documentation of the organization’s work with partner institutions and community members, including many Yale affiliates and alumni.

Artspace Executive Director Helen Kauder explained, “This partnership will preserve 30 years of materials documenting Artspace activities, and acknowledges the significance of the work by local artists, curators, graphic designers and the constellation of efforts to make New Haven a vital contemporary arts community.” Most recently, Arts Library Associate Director Jae Rossman was involved with the Artspace exhibition CT (un) Bound (November 7, 2014 - January 31, 2015), which featured new book arts commissions as well as a companion show at the Arts Library entitled Beyond the Codex. In conjunction with Artspace’s Library Science exhibition (November 12, 2011 - January 28, 2012), the Arts Library served as the site of an artist residency that produced an installation and artist’s book project. 

“The Arts Library is very excited about this acquisition. We are looking forward to making accessible these important historical documents, which will further the dialogue between local arts communities and the arts disciplines at Yale,” said Jae Rossman. The materials will be held by the Arts Library Special Collections department and made available for research and display.

About the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library

Bridging Paul Rudolph Hall and the Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art, the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library serves many arts constituencies at Yale and is also open to the public. Arts Library collections and services support research, teaching, and learning needs at the schools of Art, Architecture, and Drama, as well as the Department of the History of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery.

The Arts Library Special Collections (ALSC) contain rare and unique materials about art, architecture, the book arts and graphic design, and drama. The Arts Library’s archival holdings have a strong focus on the work of 20th and 21st century artists and designers. ALSC showcases its collections on a regular basis in the William H. Wright Special Collections Exhibition Area on the lower level of the Arts Library. ALSC exhibitions and related programs are free and open to the public.

About Artspace

Artspace is a visionary and dynamic non-profit organization championing emerging artists and building new audiences for contemporary art. Its exhibition and commissioning programs encourage experimentation, discovery, and lively civic discourse, while fostering appreciation for the vital role that artists play in improving our community.

Located in downtown New Haven’s Ninth Square, Artspace occupies a 5,000-square-foot former civil-war era furniture factory and features a rotating set of thought-provoking exhibitions. Through an award-winning apprenticeship program, teams of teens from New Haven Public Schools collaborate with professional artists on the creation of artworks and installations. Through the popular City-Wide Open Studios festival, nearly 2 million square feet of underutilized or vacant space have been activated and showcased for the benefit of artists and their supporters.

Post on July 7, 2016 - 11:47am |

July 14, 2016

On Tuesday August 9 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm, the Yale Center for British Art (YBCA) and the Yale University Library are pleased to host the founders of the Spotlight project from Stanford University for a 2-hour public presentation entitled YCBA and Yale Library present Spotlight on Spotlight. More information can be found at the Spotlight at Yale website, along with details of further developer and stakeholder sessions on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, August 10.

Spotlight is an open source software that enables librarians, curators, and other content experts to easily build feature-rich websites that showcase collections and objects from a digital repository, uploaded items, or a combination of the two. Spotlight is a plug-in for Blacklight, an open source, Ruby on Rails Engine that provides a basic discovery interface for searching an Apache Solr index.

The presentation will take place in the YCBA Lecture Hall. All are welcome to attend!

Post on July 14, 2016 - 1:07pm |

July 15, 2016

The Ivy Plus Libraries, a partnership of 13 leading academic research libraries, is pleased to announce the appointment of Galadriel Chilton as Director of Collections Initiatives.

Galadriel Chilton joins Ivy Plus from the University of Connecticut, where she oversaw e-resource management and was recently promoted to head of the licensing and acquisitions unit. Chilton brings to the position a proven track record of initiating and executing complex projects, and has an extensive record of professional contributions through instruction, presentations, and publication.  She earned her bachelor of arts at Berea College, and holds a master in library science from Indiana University, and master of arts in educational technology and instructional design from San Diego State University.

The Director of Collections Initiatives will facilitate the movement by the Ivy Plus Libraries toward fulfilling a vision of collection development and management that recognizes the partners’ preeminent academic research and special collections as one great collection that supports the teaching, research, and public missions of the respective institutions as well as the global scholarly community. With collective collections as the objective, Chilton will serve as the principal planner, project manager, and negotiator for initiatives that promise substantial positive impacts in the development, management, and use of collections in any format. The Ivy Plus Libraries’ initiatives will complement existing programs and partnerships. The Ivy Plus Libraries collections vision statement and guiding principles can be found here.

The Director of Collections Initiatives is organizationally based at Yale University, with Chilton working primarily through the Ivy Plus Collection Development Group consisting of representation from all the partner libraries in a participatory decision-making process. For more information about the initiative, contact Galadriel Chilton at galadriel.chilton@yale.edu.

About the Ivy Plus Libraries

The Ivy Plus Libraries are Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Yale. Borrow Direct, a resource sharing network, was the Ivy Plus Libraries’ first cooperative initiative and its success established the foundation for collective collections and other cooperative efforts. For more information about Borrow Direct, visit the website.

Photo: Galadriel Chilton, taken by Merlita Murphy

Post on July 15, 2016 - 12:27pm |

July 22, 2016

The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies – a collection of the Yale University Library – began in 1979 as a grassroots effort in New Haven to record on video the testimonies of survivors, witnesses, and bystanders. Today, the Archive holds more than 4,400 testimonies comprising over 10,000 recorded hours of video. Recorded by 37 affiliate projects working in over a dozen countries and languages, the Archive is a unique collection at Yale that has served as a resource for scholarship in a wide range of disciplines for more than three decades.

Over time, the collection evolved from a local to an international effort and became a model for documenting the Holocaust and other human rights abuses. This transformation came about largely through the vision and leadership of Geoffrey H. Hartman, Yale Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature and Fortunoff Video Archive Faculty Advisor. His death on March 14, 2016 was a loss not only for those who knew and loved him, but also for the countless admirers of his scholarly work. Professor Hartman was one of the world’s foremost Wordsworth scholars and a pioneer in the field of deconstruction theory. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Judaic Studies Program at Yale, and his published work reflects all these areas of expertise, as well as the significance of the Holocaust and the importance of testimony in particular.

To honor his legacy, the Archive is pleased to establish the Geoffrey H. Hartman Fellowship. This dynamic, multidisciplinary fellowship program will encourage use of the Archive’s materials for scholarly research and will help foster a new generation of academics who can incorporate testimony as a key resource in Holocaust studies and other related fields. Professor Hartman’s former students always attested to his intellectual generosity, engagement, and dedication to the mentorship of young scholars, making this fellowship a perfect way to recognize his legacy.

The call for applications for the first Geoffrey H. Hartman Fellowship is scheduled for December 2016, with the fellowship commencing in August 2017. For more information about the fellowship, please contact Stephen Naron, Director of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, at fortunoff.archive@yale.edu. To make a gift supporting the Hartman Fellowship, please contact Basie Gitlin, Director of Development for Yale University Library, at basie.gitlin@yale.edu or (203) 432-9851.

Post on July 22, 2016 - 12:42pm |