June 2016 Archives

June 30, 2016

President Peter Salovey has announced the reappointment of Susan Gibbons as university librarian and deputy provost, through June 30, 2021. In her second term, effective July 1, Susan also takes on new leadership responsibilities as deputy provost for collections and scholarly communication. Her portfolio as deputy provost now will include support of all of the university’s galleries, museums, and other collections, giving unified attention and new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration to this vital subset of the university’s academic resources. (Further details on the new configuration of Susan’s role can be found on the Office of the Provost’s website.)

Many people contributed to the reappointment review process, sharing perspectives on Susan’s accomplishments and aspirations for the future of the university libraries and other collections. One recurring theme among the comments received was that Susan’s leadership has transcended Yale’s library and, indeed, has transcended Yale. She is the consummate university citizen, equally adept when representing the broader goals of the institution as when illuminating the finer details of our digital and material holdings. A respected voice within the wider academic community, she has elevated Yale’s presence on the national and international stage, notably in the areas of data management and access, and in developing new institutional partnerships.

Susan began as university librarian on July 1, 2011 and was named a deputy provost on Jan. 1, 2015. She holds M.L.S. and M.A. degrees in history from Indiana University, a professional M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Rochester. Prior to coming to Yale, she held library positions at Indiana University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Rochester, where she directed digital library initiatives before being appointed in 2008 as vice provost and the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries.

Susan’s first five years at Yale have been a period of transformation and growth for the university library, linking this vital scholarly resource even more closely to our academic mission. We look forward to her further contributions in the years to come.

Post on June 30, 2016 - 11:03am |

June 28, 2016

Last week, world-renowned chef René Redzepi leaned over a 17th-century volume in the Beinecke Reading Room and studied a recipe for pickling an “old, fat goose”. He later visited the Babylonian collection, whose cuneiform tablets bear some of the oldest recipes in the world. The visit was with a group of leading chefs from 6 countries, who were on campus for the inaugural MAD (a Danish non-profit dedicated to improving food culture founded by Redzepi) Yale Leadership Summit, a week-long gathering exposing participants to experiences, ideas, and principles intended to help them think creatively and critically about systemic issues that all tie in with food. Read more in this YaleNews article.

Post on June 28, 2016 - 11:10am |

June 21, 2016

Dr. Harvey Cushing, a path-breaking neurosurgeon and Sterling Professor of Neurosurgery at Yale, had books on his mind when he wrote to his friend Dr. Arnold Klebs on Oct. 4, 1936. Cushing, a passionate bibliophile, had amassed over his career a vast collection of rare and historical medical and scientific texts. He had always planned to have his books and manuscripts sold on the open market after he died so that other collectors could enjoy them as he had.

“This idea has begun to wane in favor of leaving them to Yale to be kept together … as the basis of a medico-historical collection,” Cushing wrote to Klebs, a noted collector of medical texts.

Cushing, an 1891 graduate of Yale College, encouraged Klebs to consider leaving his collection to Yale. Dr. John Fulton, Sterling Professor of Physiology and Cushing’s former pupil at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, had agreed to donate his significant collection to the university as well.

“Let us play with the idea and see what comes of it,” Cushing wrote.

The idea came to full flower on June 15, 1941 when Yale’s medical-historical library opened within the Sterling Hall of Medicine. The library, now the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, is marking 75 years of serving the Yale community — supporting the university’s clinical, research, and educational missions. Read more in this Yale News article.

Post on June 21, 2016 - 12:13pm |

July 12, 2016

Summer DH Meetups: GIS Training

July 12 and 26 at 2:00-4:00pm in Bass Library, L06

Interested in working with maps? Looking to learn GIS fundamentals at your own pace? Join the DHLab and CSSSI for one or both of our summer GIS Training Meetups!

Esri, a leader in GIS software, has created an interactive, online course that introduces the basics of geographic information systems. During each Training Meetup, participants will work through the course in a group setting, with Miriam Olivares (the GIS Librarian) and DHLab staff on hand to assist with questions. Computers will be provided, but please bring headphones for listening to the video components.

Once you complete the training session, you will be able to:

  • Define GIS
  • Differentiate between vector and raster data
  • Navigate a GIS map
  • Query the map for location and attribute information
  • And more!

After registering for a free Esri account, the training video may be accessed anytime from Esri's website.

Space for the meetups is limited; to register, please go to the YUL Instruction Calendar and click on the day(s) you'd like to register!

**If you have already completed the online training, please join us for the July 26 session, where participants will have the option to work with real data in ArcGIS. We will provide sample data, but participants should also feel free to bring their own.**

Post on June 21, 2016 - 10:54am |

June 21, 2016

"Heuristic Evaluation for Digital Humanities Projects"

June 21 at 2:00pm in the DHLab (SML 316)

During DHLab Office Hours, Alexandra Provo presented on the evaluation of digital humanities projects, with Photogrammar as her case study. Borrowing from user experience research methods, Alex conducted a heuristic evaluation of Photogrammar using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and a list of digital humanities learning outcomes as her criteria. Her presentation outlined the evaluation methodology and gave an overview of several of the project's strengths and opportunities.

This talk was co-sponsored by the DHLab and the Yale University Library Reference, Instruction, & Outreach (RIO) Committee.


Alexandra Provo holds an MSLIS from Pratt Institute, where she focused on art documentation. She is currently the Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship at Yale University's Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and the Yale Center for British Art Reference Library & Archives. She also works on Florentine Renaissance Drawings: A Linked Catalogue for the Semantic Web as the project manager. She previously served as the project manager for Linked Jazz. Other experience includes positions as a Remote Contributor for Artsy’s Art Genome Project and a photograph cataloger at Harvard University's Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy.

Post on June 16, 2016 - 6:36pm |

June 13, 2016

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

The 21st International Festival of Arts & Ideas descends on New Haven for a 16-day celebration of arts and culture.  This year’s festival, held from June 10th-25th, is comprised of performances, lectures, and exhibitions from a diverse and dynamic lineup of participants.  The festival’s mission, “to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders…” promotes uniquely international and arts-rich programming.  

This year’s festival also includes the world premiere of The Square Root of Three Sisters, performed and created by the Dmitry Krymov Lab & Yale School of Drama, as well as gallery talks and tours of the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, and open rehearsal readings at the Yale Institute for Music Theatre.  For a complete schedule and to learn more please visit: http://www.artidea.org/

Post on June 13, 2016 - 10:08am |

June 8, 2016

“Senators, Sinners, and Supermen: The 1950s Comic Book Scare and Juvenile Delinquency,” a new exhibit in the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibition Corridor, tells the story of the 1950s comic book scare and the Tennessee senator who led the crusade against comic books.  Student curator Stephanie Tomasson (Jonathan Edwards ’16) developed the exhibit from her senior thesis for the History Department.  When exploring possible essay topics, Tomasson gravitated towards subjects that would touch upon 20th century American politics, media, and culture.  The comic book scare of the 1950s seemed like a perfect fit.

Tomasson’s initial research led her to Estes Kefauver, a Tennessee senator who led the crusade against comic books throughout the 1950s. He argued that comic books, often about violent or criminal activities, were contributing to the rise of juvenile delinquency.  A Mellon grant and additional grants from the History Department allowed Tomasson to visit the University of Tennessee’s Modern Political Archives and study Kefauver’s papers.  At Yale, Tomasson drew from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Divinity School Library, and Manuscripts and Archives. “I never stopped discovering new information and making new connections,” says Tomasson. The breadth of her research topic gave her the opportunity to become very familiar with many of Yale’s libraries and their extensive collections. 

Developing her thesis into an exhibit was particularly appealing to Tomasson because of the topic’s visual nature.  Curating an exhibit about the comic book scare allowed Tomasson to make visual connections that she could not necessarily explore in a written essay.   The opportunity also encouraged Tomasson to further explore and demonstrate the history of comic books as sources of both entertainment and sociopolitical commentary.  For example, in the 1950s, several political candidates used the comic book medium as campaign advertisements and political propaganda, and Tomasson provides examples in her exhibit. 

Tomasson remarks that David Gary (Kaplanoff Librarian for American History) and Kerri Sancomb (Exhibits Production Coordinator) were especially helpful and supportive throughout her research process.  They provided Tomasson with invaluable insights and suggestions, and also helped her transform her thesis into a visually compelling exhibit. “Senators, Sinners, and Supermen: The 1950s Comic Book Scare and Juvenile Delinquency,” will be on view in the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibits Corridor through September 22.

Post on June 8, 2016 - 3:49pm |

June 20, 2016

"Locating the Literary History of Word Processing
(Hint: It's Not in Special Collections)"

June 20 at 10:30-11:30am in Yale Center for British Art, Lecture Hall

Matthew Kirschenbaum will discuss what it means to do scholarship at the intersection of literary and technological history, working with floppy disks, tipsters, museum curators, journalists, LexisNexis, writers, editors, old computers bought on eBay, a former speech writer for Newt Gingrich, a billionaire, and multiple pairs of unseen hands. In the talk, he will also describe the research process for his recent book, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing.

The event is open to the public and is sponsored by the Born Digital Working Group as part of a series to train staff and increase awareness of the issues, challenges, and opportunities related to born-digital materials.


Matthew Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). He is also a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. In addition to Track Changes (2016), he is the author of Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (2008) and was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.

Post on June 8, 2016 - 3:08pm |

June 7, 2016

Join us on Friday, June 17 at 11 am in the SML Lecture Hall, for a fascinating talk outlining the work undertaken to catalog the vertical files of the Anton Brees Carillon Library in Lake Wales, Florida – a unique collection encompassing more than 80 linear feet and forty boxes of materials related to the carillon (an instrument of at least 23 bells in chromatic series) and the professionals that play them. This particular collection is only a portion of what is considered to be one of the largest collections of carillon-related materials in the world. Established in 1968 and named after the Gardens’ first carillonneur, the library is located on the fifth level of the Singing Tower. All are welcome!

Post on June 7, 2016 - 12:25pm |

June 7, 2016

Join us on Thursday, June 9 at 1pm in the SML Lecture Hall, for a talk on "Connecting the Dots and Dotting the Eyes" by Susan H Forster, MD, Chief of Ophthalmology at Yale Health. The talk will focus on understanding visual processing when observing a piece of visual art.

Dr. Susan Forster is a Clinical Professor and Director of Medical Studies for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Yale, and Chief of the Ophthalmology Department at Yale Health. Internationally recognized in the area of medical education, she is the current president of the Medical Student Educators Council of the American University Professors in Ophthalmology and the Medical Student Education Committee for the International Council of Ophthalmology. A comprehensive ophthalmologist, her formal education includes an AB from Harvard, MD from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a residency and fellowship at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Post on June 7, 2016 - 12:18pm |