April 2020 Archives

April 30, 2020

Two women raise their fists in Black Power salutes at the 1970 Mayday protests

Treasures from the Yale Film Archive is going online! To mark the 50th anniversary of the demonstrations around the New Haven Black Panther trials, be our guests for the preservation premiere of the documentary Mayday (1970), presented as a digital transfer of the Yale-preserved film, along with a one-hour conversation with filmmakers Nick Doob, Alberto Lau, Josh Morton, Andre Ptaszynski, and Michael Roemer.

In the spring of 1970, thousands of protesters descended on New Haven to demonstrate against the trial of Black Panther members for the murder of suspected FBI informant Alex Rackley. Led by radical luminaries Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden, the demonstrators converged on the New Haven Green to vent their anger and shut Yale down. Yale President Kingman Brewster commissioned a small group of Yale students to document the demonstrations, resulting in the 22-minute black-and-white film Mayday.

Watch Mayday

Watch the Filmmaker Conversation

Both videos are presented with optional closed captions, and both are available for viewing through the end of 2020. Mayday was preserved from an original 16mm print and restored optical soundtrack by the Yale Film Study Center in 2016.

What is Treasures from the Yale Film Archive?
Treasures from the Yale Film Archive is an ongoing series of classic and contemporary films in 35mm curated by the Yale Film Study Center and screened at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Post on April 30, 2020 - 3:20pm |

April 24, 2020

Barbara Rockenbach head shot

Barbara Rockenbach, associate university librarian for research and learning at Columbia University Libraries, will succeed Susan Gibbons as the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian July 1. She began her library career at Yale as the second Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship in 1998 and progressed to successively broader leadership roles. As director of undergraduate and library research education, she worked with colleagues to introduce the Personal Librarian program for Yale College students and championed teaching with special collections. Shortly after President Peter Salovey announced her appointment, Rockenbach joined a library all-staff meeting via Zoom. Despite the pandemic restrictions that have closed library buildings, she told library staff, “We still share the strong sense of place that is the Yale University Library.” 

Following is the full text of her April 15 remarks: 

“It is a pleasure to be with you today. I hope you are all safe and well at this moment. When I imagined my first meeting with all of you, the image was of a gathering in the Sterling Memorial Library lecture hall. I imagined shaking hands, some hugs, and definitely a lot of warm greetings shared in person. We are not in that moment now, but that doesn’t change the sense of connectedness we can begin building even at this time of disconnection. We still share the strong sense of place that is the Yale University Library.

“I begin in this position on July 1. While the next few months are hard to predict, I have learned something in the last month of Zoom chats. On Zoom, only one person can speak at a time and I’ve been reminded of the importance of listening. My first goal is to listen and learn from all of you. I am interested in hearing all your ideas and aspirations for the Yale University Library.

“While I am familiar with the library from my previous time spent there, it is in many ways an unrecognizable place to me. Under Susan’s leadership these past nine years, it is a library transformed. The strengths that I remember – the deep and broad collections, the innovative services, the beautiful spaces, and especially the extraordinary staff – are stronger than ever. I feel honored to be able to follow Susan as a leader and privileged to be in a position to advocate and support all of you as a staff.

“I have been incredibly impressed with how the library has transitioned to online collections and services during this time of COVID-19. My frequent visits to the Yale Library website have been inspiring. The Yale Library is present at this time for researchers, students, faculty, and staff. I look forward to hearing from all of you about the work you did to make this transition possible and the values you brought to that work.

“While it will be a few months before I start, I am looking forward to connecting with many of you before that time. In person meetings will be a challenge, but I will work with Sara Machowski to set up Zoom meetings. I'm eager to hear your ideas and hopes for our future work together and I can’t wait to get started.”

Post on April 24, 2020 - 12:55pm |

April 22, 2020

Professor of Linguistics Claire Bowern has been selected to curate the second annual Bass Library Model Research Collection. Her project, to be displayed during the 2020-21 academic year, will explore the intersection of language and society.

“Language is everywhere: it’s one of the key ways we interact with the world around us, through the words we use and the way those words categorize the world," Bowern wrote in her proposal. “Yet it's so ubiquitous we often take it for granted.”

Developed as part of the 2019 renovation of Bass Library, the annually rotating collection of around 1000 volumes is selected and arranged to show how researchers use library resources to investigate a specific topic or question.

“The Model Research Collection exemplifies the depth and breadth of Yale Library collections and, at the same time, offers a hands-on, interactive experience of how scholars work,” said Jae Rossman, director of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support and liaison librarian for the collection.

The inaugural model research collection, “Find a Set/Find a Text,” curated by Laura Wexler, professor of American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies was unveiled in October 2019 and was on display when Yale Library buildings closed in March. The 2020-21 collection is scheduled to be installed in September.

Bowern plans to assemble a broad range of print and electronic resources ranging from general works to scholarly texts and datasets. Her goal, she wrote, is  “to make language more visible by showing the different ways it contributes to the study of our lives: how language gives a window into the mind and brain; how language is acquired by children, how languages are lost and created around the world, and how language can be used (like archaeology with words) to study the past.”

Bowern is a historical linguist who researches language change and language documentation in Indigenous Australia, with particular attention to the question of how language changes. She works with speakers of endangered languages, with archival sound and print materials, and she uses computational and phylogenetic methods.

Bowern’s Model Research Collection will also a mark a milestone in the historical development of linguistics as an academic discipline. The year 2020 is likely the 150th anniversary of the first linguistics class taught in the United States. Based on Yale College catalog listings, it appears that the class, on the “study of language,” was first taught by William Dwight Whitney in 1870. The linguistics track for the bachelor of philosophy degree at Yale was established in 1871-72.

For more information about the Model Research Collection program, contact jae.rossman@yale.edu.

Image: Claire Bowern poses in Bass Library in front of the 2019-20 Model Research College, curated by Prof. Laura Wexler. Photo by Joanna Carmona.

Post on April 22, 2020 - 5:15pm |

April 21, 2020

Yale Library Online Library Prizes

Yale University Library is seeking nominations for two annual senior essay prizes, each carrying a $500 award. Essays may be submitted for consideration by the student author or their faculty advisor no later than May 11, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. 

The Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award is for a senior essay using materials from any of the library’s government depository collections. The collections encompass government documents and information for the U.S., European Union, Canada, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the United Nations.  In 2019, first prize was awarded to Pascale Bronder (Grace Hopper College, environmental studies) for Renewable Energy Access and Resilience in Urban Developing Areas: Distributed Solar Networks and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading in Puerto Rico. Second prize was awarded to Seamus C. Joyce-Johnson (Silliman College, history) for “Its Cargo Is People": Repositioning Commuter Rail as Public Transit to Save the New York–New Haven Line, 1960–1990”. See the Applebaum Award submission guidelines.

The Library Map Prize is for the best use of maps in a senior essay or its equivalent. In 2019, Claire Rossi de Leon (Pierson College, environmental studies) was awarded first prize for Ranging and Behavior of Black and Gold Howler Monkeys in Formosa, Argentina. Amanda Taheri (Branford College; ethnicity, race and migration) was awarded honorable mention for Settler Colonialism as a Structure: Interpreting Historic Moroccan Actions in Western Sahara. See the Map Prize submission guidelines.

For both prizes, senior essays submitted to a Yale academic department at any point during the 2019-20 academic year are eligible for consideration. The winning essays will be published in Eli Scholar.  

Post on April 21, 2020 - 5:29pm |