November 2015 Archives

November 23, 2015

Gideon Fink Shapiro, Yale Digital Humanities Lab

The Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) is excited to share that Gideon Fink Shapiro has joined on as one of our Postdoctoral Associates. Gideon earned a Ph.D. in Architecture (history and theory) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where his dissertation research traced the confluence of garden art and urban planning in the public parks of Paris. Gideon's project at the DHLab, “Gathering a Building,” seeks to visualize the multi-dimensional context of architectural design and construction. It takes as a case study the two new residential colleges currently under construction on the campus of Yale University, scheduled to open in Fall 2016. The project uses archival and original data to expand notions of “site” and “building,” beyond their conventional definitions, in the form of a web exhibit.

Gideon will be working in the DHLab (Sterling Memorial Library, 316). Please stop by to welcome him!

Post on November 23, 2015 - 10:51am |

November 23, 2015

November, from the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Although the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library will close at 5 pm this Wednesday, November 25th and reopen at 2 pm on Sunday, November 29th (for more details, see the building hours page), Yale affiliates still have access to all of our electronic resources during November recess. You can find Arts-specific databases on the Arts Databases page and many others in the A-Z databases list. Don't forget that you can also search for eJournals by title. Many E-books can be accessed through Quicksearch, our new online search that combines Orbis and Morris records.

If you are traveling off-campus for the break, you'll need to connect to the Yale network via VPN to access these resources. There have been a few changes to this process since Multifactor Authentication (MFA) was implemented this semester. For help, see this guide to logging in to CAS from off-campus and the Yale ITS page about Multifactor Authentication.

Image: Pol de Limbourg, November (from the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry). 1410-1416, illuminated manuscript. Musée Condé, Chantilly, France. Retrieved November 23, 2015:

Post on November 23, 2015 - 2:49pm |

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 |

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 17, 2015

citation management tools

Are you looking for a better tool to incorporate citations to your research paper? Do you have questions about citation management tool(s) you are currently using? The Yale University Library is hosting a drop-in clinic for citation management programs such as RefWorks, Zotero and EndNote in the Bass Library L06-A from 2-5 pm on December 2. A group of librarians (including East Asian librarians) who are expert on citation management programs will be there to help you with any questions. All are welcome! We hope to see many of you there!

Post on November 17, 2015 - 2:16pm |

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 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 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 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 |