November 2015 Archives

November 3, 2015

All are welcome to join us on Thursday, November 5 at 4:00 pm for an opening lecture and reception for the opening of the exhibit "Out of the Desert: Resilience and Memory in Japanese American Internment” in the Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall & Memorabilia Room. The reception will feature remarks by historian Gary Okihiro and guest of honor, Yonekazu Satoda. A viewing of the exhibition and a light reception will follow. 

Drawing from Sterling Library’s Manuscripts and Archives and the Beinecke Library's Collection of Western Americana, the exhibition highlights Yale’s extensive collection of materials related to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Rich in internee correspondence, artwork, and literature, it underscores the importance of everyday creative production and alternative narratives of internment.

Gary Y. Okihiro is professor of international and public affairs and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. Professor Okihiro is the author of ten books and one of the founders of the fields of Asian American and comparative ethnic studies. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies.

Yonekazu Satoda was a 20-year-old senior at the University of California, Berkeley awaiting his graduation in the spring of 1942 when Executive Order 9066 resulted in the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. Satoda was subsequently incarcerated at Fresno Assembly Center and Jerome War Relocation Center in Denson, Arkansas. Throughout his internment, Satoda kept a journal. The diary, along with his original diploma mailer, are featured in the exhibit. 94-year-old Satoda and his family will be visiting from California for the exhibit’s opening.

Post on November 3, 2015 - 4:15pm |

November 3, 2015

All are welcome to join us for a book talk on Monday, November 9 at 4:30 pm in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall. In "The Worldmakers", Ayesha Ramachandran, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale and the Director of Graduate Studies, reconstructs the imaginative struggles of early modern artists, philosophers, and writers to make sense of something that we take for granted: the world, imagined as a whole. Once a new, exciting, and frightening concept, “the world” was transformed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But how could one envision something that no one had ever seen in its totality? "The Worldmakers" moves beyond histories of globalization to explore how “the world” itself—variously understood as an object of inquiry, a comprehensive category, and a system of order—was self-consciously shaped by human agents. Gathering an international cast of characters, from Dutch cartographers and French philosophers to Portuguese and English poets, the book describes a history of firsts: the first world atlas, the first global epic, the first modern attempt to develop a systematic natural philosophy—all part of an effort by early modern thinkers to capture “the world” on the page.

Post on November 3, 2015 - 4:22pm |

November 6, 2015

In conjunction with the new exhibition, "“How right they are to adore you!”: The Song of Songs Interpreted Through Fine Printing", the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library is presenting a talk by artists Robin Price and Barbara Benish. It will take place in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall on Tuesday, November 10 at 3:00 pm. The artists will speak about their ten-year collaboration on a forthcoming (2016) edition of "The Song of Songs".

Price and Benish previously collaborated on "The Book of Revelation" (R. Price, 1995). This new edition will feature Benish’s images interspersed with English and Hebrew text on eight scrolls (one for each chapter of The Song of Songs and each one several feet long). Price and Benish will discuss their ideas for approaching this sacred text, the selection of an English translation, their visual research of historic and contemporary Judaica, other influences on the imagery and structure, and more considerations in the making of this book art object.

The lecture is sponsored by the Yale University Library Bibliographical Press. Join us after the talk to print your own keepsake on an Albion hand press.

Questions? Contact Jae Rossman, Director, The Bibliographical Press, and Associate Director, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at

Post on November 6, 2015 - 3:04pm |

November 10, 2015

The Beinecke Library recently completed the digitization of the papers of Jamaican planter and slaveowner, Thomas Thistlewood.

Thomas Thistlewood (1721-1786) was born in Lincolnshire and emigrated to Jamaica in 1750. He began his life there as an overseer of sugar plantations, principally of John Cope's large Egypt plantation in Westmoreland, and in 1767 purchased his own plantation, Breadnut Island, where his slaves raised provisions and livestock. Thistlewood also pursued scientific and intellectual interests, keeping a detailed weather record and collecting a substantial library. He never married, but had one son, Mulatto John (d. 1780), by his slave Phibbah, who was originally a slave of his employer. Thistlewood eventually purchased her and lived with her at Breadnut Island; he called her his "wife" in the will that freed her.

The papers consist of diaries, weather journals, commonplace books, reading notes and other materials documenting Thistlewood's life, work, and intellectual interests. His 37 diaries contain daily entries dating between 1750 and 1786. Topics include Thistlewood's work as an overseer, and later owner, of slaves, including his methods of assigning work, allotting provisions, and discipline; his personal and sexual relationships with several slaves, including his lengthy relationship with Phibbah; and slave rebellions and rumors of rebellions, including Tacky's Revolt (1760). There are also thirty-four annual weather journals containing daily summaries, including precipitation measurements, and diaries from 1764-1767 that contain separate lists of daily Fahrenheit temperatures and rainfall amounts.

For more details, read the Beinecke blog.

Post on November 10, 2015 - 3:41pm |

November 10, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2:00 pm in Bass Library LO1

Wearable Technology is a hot topic in research and education circles, but what is it exactly and how does it relate to libraries? Is wearable tech another library fad, like QR Codes, Library 2.0, or Second Life- or do we ignore it at our own peril as we did with the mobile computing revolution? Author and librarian Tom Bruno will discuss various forms of wearable technology, discuss the Yale University Library’s experiment with loaning Google Glass, and explore the challenges and opportunities for libraries presented by this fascinating and rapidly-changing field of technology.

Tom Bruno is the Associate Director for Resource Sharing and Reserves at Yale University Library. This talk is sponsored by SCOPA.

Post on November 10, 2015 - 10:24am |

November 13, 2015

A collection of photographs from the Divinity Library is now searchable through Yale Library's Digital Collections. Relating primarily to missions & world Christianity from 1855-1978, the photos can be sorted by date, with the earliest being from the papers of Henry Harris Jessup, missionary to Syria from 1856-1910.

Post on November 13, 2015 - 4:03pm |

November 13, 2015

Join us for our third installment of the Zombies, Maniacs, and Monsters movie series on November 17 at 8:00pm in Bass Library LO1, with a screening of the 1973 exploitation-science fiction film, "Invasion of the Bee Girls". This B-movie is known for flipping the gender norms of the genre, with powerful women stalking and seducing men for their own nefarious purposes. Come see how a State Department special agent and a librarian grapple with a hive of genetically altered women-insects in this campy thriller on a VHS from Yale University Library's Horror and Exploitation movie collection.

Please register since only sixty seats are available. If you have any questions, please contact David Gary, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History at

Post on November 13, 2015 - 4:11pm |

November 16, 2015

The Yale University Library is collaborating with Preservica, a world leader in digital preservation technology, to enable the preservation of nearly one petabyte* of its unique and valuable digital content. This includes both ‘born digital’ content such as emails, websites, word documents or spreadsheets, and digitized versions of original physical materials.

“Our goal is to create a sustainable infrastructure to ensure long-term access to our digital collections,” commented Euan Cochrane, the Yale Library’s Digital Preservation Manager. “We have nearly a petabyte of highly unique and valuable digital content, which we anticipate will grow by tens of terabytes next year and at an exponential rate over coming years. Beyond our existing preservation efforts, we needed to get a digital preservation system in place to handle our plans to scale.”

Preservica was chosen for the extensible nature of its architecture that allows for scaling and connecting with other systems as technology evolves. Its ability to easily migrate between file formats after they have been ingested, and the ease of storage management, were also important factors. Also of benefit is the ability to prove the provenance and authenticity of the original digital content. Once an item enters the system, it’s then possible to keep track of its entire provenance and history.

To begin using Preservica, the Yale Library is launching a pilot ‘ingest process’, using a collection of 60 terabytes of master files via an automated workflow process, which will be followed by digitized audio-visual material and born-digital materials from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Manuscripts and Archives Department. The born digital collections include email correspondence, drafts of poetry and prose, drafts for Sesame Street skits, digital photographs, and many other items of significance to researchers.

ArchivesSpace, a web-based archives information management system already in use at the library, will automatically synchronize metadata between the two systems, providing a single coherent view of both physical and digital artifacts.

Cochrane is positive about the project’s future. “Having Preservica in place is really exciting because we are now able to widen our scope to include more complex objects and entire new archives, and we can ensure that our unique digital collections are accessible and useable for future generations.”

Preservica CEO Jon Tilbury is enthusiastic about the collaboration. “This is a great opportunity to work with a world-renowned educational institution and to preserve objects of significant historical importance. The Yale Library’s Digital Preservation Services team has always been at the forefront of technology development and application for digital preservation, and we are delighted to be part of this dedicated program.”  

*One petabyte is equal to 1,000,000 gigabytes, or around 1,250,000 CDs.

Post on November 16, 2015 - 10:15am |

November 23, 2015

Join us for a book talk in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall on Tuesday December 1 at 5:15 pm. This is the latest in the series of Arts and Humanities book talks at the Yale Library.

In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder, the Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale, presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying.

The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler’s mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler’s aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so.

By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler’s than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was — and ourselves as we are. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Black Earth reveals a Holocaust that is not only history but warning. All are welcome to attend.

Post on November 23, 2015 - 12:03pm |

November 23, 2015

Join us for a talk on Wednesday, December 9 at 2:00 pm in the SML Lecture Hall by Euan Cochrane, Digital Preservation Manager at the Yale University Library.

The preservation department at Yale University Library is in the process of implementing Preservica as the Library’s new digital preservation system. Preservica is going to provide a significant step-up in capability for the library, enabling it to preserve its digital content in a secure and trustworthy system. This talk will provide an overview of its functionality, the implementation timeline, and the evolving policies and decisions related to its use and governance by Yale Library and future tenant users.

Euan Cochrane joined the Yale Library in 2013 when the university identified the need for the dedicated expertise to lead a large-scale digital preservation program. The talk is sponsored by SCOPA and is free and open to the public.

Post on November 23, 2015 - 1:02pm |