Yale University Library News

April 2009 Archives

April 1, 2009

Senior Essay Forums

Each year Yale seniors embark on a research process in preparing to write their senior essays. Over the course of many weeks and months they work closely with faculty, librarians, writing tutors, and others on campus. This year the Library is sponsoring two forums, structured as panel discussions, that will feature several senior essay writers who will talk about their research methods and processes.

Wednesday, April 22
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
(Students in History, Political Science, Women's Studies and Physics)

Thursday, April 23
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
(Students in History and Political Science)

The discussions will be in held in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 128 Wall Street.

More Information:

The goal of these forums is to give juniors, faculty, and others on campus who support student research and writing a chance to hear how senior essay writers do the following: 1) formulate their research interest and questions; 2) seek help from the library, museums and special collections, faculty and other support units on campus; 3) find resources to support their argument; and 4) carry out the research process to complete the senior essay. These forums will offer insights for improving services and support for student research. Additionally, they will give seniors their first opportunity to enter the scholarly communication cycle through sharing their research and engaging in dialog about their projects.

Each year, the Library gives out several prizes to senior essay writers. The Applebaum Award is conferred on a Yale College senior for an outstanding essay based on research done in the collections of the University Library's Government Documents & Information Center. Manuscripts and Archives offers two student prizes each year: one is awarded for an outstanding senior essay on Yale; and the second is awarded for an outstanding senior essay based on research done in Manuscripts and Archives. To learn more about these prizes please visit, www.library.yale.edu/prizes/.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 1, 2009 2:31 PM

Early Arabic Printing: Movable Type & Lithographs

A new exhibit in Sterling Memorial Library (across from the stack elevators) explores the history of printed Arabic books and the gradual introduction of the printing press and printing techniques in the Arab world. The first Arabic book printed using movable type was published in Fano, Italy in 1514, and presses supported by the Catholic Church subsequently printed books for the benefit of the Arabic speaking Christians in the Ottoman Empire. Over succeeding decades, religious and secular authorities in the Arab world sought to suppress presses over fears that printers might tamper with sacred religious texts or publish seditious literature. While presses were established in Aleppo (Syria) and Constantinople in the early years of the 18th century, it was only after Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 that the printing using movable type was widely adopted in the Near East.

The books displayed in the exhibit are drawn from the University Library's Near East Collection. Many volumes were printed using movable type, while others were printed using lithography, a technique invented at the end of the 18th century. Lithography is based on the chemical repellence of oil and water. Designs or text are drawn or painted with greasy ink or crayons on specially prepared stone. The stone is moistened with water, which the stone accepts in areas not covered by the crayon. An oily ink, applied with a roller, adheres only to the drawing and is repelled by the wet parts of the stone. The print is then made by pressing paper against the inked area.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and will run until the end of June, 2009. For more information, contact Simon Samoeil, Curator of the Near East Collection.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 1, 2009 3:12 PM

April 2, 2009

D.I.Y.: Instructions, Directions, Rules, and Recipes


D.I.Y.: Instructions, Directions, Rules, and Recipes from Manuscripts and Archives is a new exhibit that features items which explain how to do things. Taken from a range of manuscript collections and from the University Archives, the directions cover academic grading and testing, proper behavior in the dorms, knitting, childrearing, traveling abroad, office filing, using gas masks, and a supposedly guaranteed gambling system, among other activities.

The exhibit is on view in the Memorabilia Room in Sterling Memorial Library, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m through the middle of May. It is free and open to the public. Sterling Memorial Library is located at 120 High Street, New Haven.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 2, 2009 4:23 PM

April 6, 2009

April 16: Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jennifer Finney Boylan
Author of She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders and I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted
Professor of Creative Writing and American Literature, Colby College

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 128 Wall Street
Free and open to the public

To celebrate Yale Pride, the University Library is pleased to present a reading by Jennifer Finney Boylan on April 16, at 4:00 p.m. in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall. Boylan's 2003 memoir, She's Not There, was one of the first bestselling works by a transgendered American; until 2001 she published under the name James Boylan. She's Not There, currently in its eighth printing, is popular both as a textbook in high schools and colleges, as well as with reading groups. She's Not There won an award from the Lambda Literary Foundation in 2004, the year after its initial publication. Anna Quindlen called it “a very funny memoir of growing up confused, and a very smart consideration of what it means to be a woman.”

Her 2008 memoir, I'm Looking Through You, is about growing up in a haunted house. While transgender issues form part of the exposition of the book, the primary focus of I'm Looking Through You is what it means to be "haunted," and how we all seek to find peace with our various ghosts, both the supernatural and the all-too-human.

Since 1988, Boylan has been Professor of Creative Writing and American Literature at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

For more information on Jennifer Boylan, visit her web site: http://jenniferboylan.net. The full Yale Pride schedule is available here.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 6, 2009 12:24 PM

April 8, 2009

April 15: Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates Lecture

Michael Donoghue, G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will present the keynote address, “Charles Darwin, the Tree of Life, and the Future of Biodiversity,” for the 61st annual Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates Lecture on April 15.

The lecture in the Medical Historical Library of Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street will begin at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Beaumont Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Yale is marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of his publication of The Origin of Species with campus-wide programs and events. In this lecture, focusing on Darwin’s early theories of evolution and the first evolutionary “tree,” Donoghue will bring perspectives on evolutionary biology up-to-date.

Donoghue’s own work focuses on plant diversity and evolution, particularly the origin and early evolution of flowering plants. Research in his laboratory concentrates on understanding the Tree of Life and the phylogeny — or development of a species over time — of plants. He has also been a leader in the national and international movement to reconstruct the entire Tree of Life.

Donoghue, who assumed the newly created position of Vice President for West Campus Planning and Program Development last year, joined the Yale faculty in 2000. He served as chair of Yale’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from 2001-2002 and as director of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History from 2003-2008. Since earning his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard, he has published over 180 scientific papers, co-authored a textbook on plant diversity, and co-edited the book Assembling the Tree of Life.

Additionally, on display at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library through April 17, a rare book exhibit surveys the scientific history of evolution by natural selection from seventeenth century natural theology to the integration of natural selection and Mendelian genetics in the “modern synthesis” of the 1940s. The exhibit is free and open to the public in the Medical Library Rotunda, at 333 Cedar Street.

Other campus-wide celebrations and events are listed on the Yale Celebrates Darwin website http://opa.yale.edu/sp/darwin/ .

Posted by Yale University Library on April 8, 2009 12:20 PM

April 13, 2009

Exhibit Celebrates the Art of the Ketubah


A new exhibit in Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, The Art of the Ketubah: A Study in Jewish Diversity, celebrates the ketubah (plural ketubot), the marriage contract that Jewish law requires a groom to provide for his bride on their wedding day. The ketubah is intended to protect the woman by establishing the man’s financial obligations to her in case of divorce, as well as provisions for shelter, clothing, and food. Signed by two witnesses and read aloud during the marriage ceremony, the ketubah is an important public and cultural document. The ketubot on display in the exhibit are from the Yale University Library’s Sholem Asch Collection and span from four centuries and many countries. A virtual companion to the exhibit is available here.

Although many Jewish communities have historically decorated their ketubot, during the 17th and 18th centuries Italian Jews perfected the art of ketubah illumination. Italian ketubot from this period commonly feature rich floral ornamentation and images from the Bible as well as from Greek and Roman mythology. They often depict biblical personalities whose names were identical with those of the bride and groom, or they use images to identify their individual attributes like virtue and charity. A special feature of the ketubot of the Jews of Rome is the extended, rounded bottom edge which gave an opportunity to feature either a coat of arms, an object such as an urn, or a floral or geometric design which often include micrographic designs.

Ketubot from Jewish centers in Muslim world, including those in Iran and Afghanistan, are more conservatively decorated, reflecting the prohibition of the creation of graven images, but feature dazzling floral and animal motifs. Those of the Sephardic Diaspora (Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin) reflect the rich heritage and unique identity of these communities.

The exhibit will be complimented by a lecture by Professor Vivian B. Mann on Tuesday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m. in the Sterling Memorial Library lecture hall (128 Wall Street, New Haven). Mann is Director of the Master’s Program in Jewish Art at the Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Curator Emerita of the Jewish Museum in New York. Her talk, which is co-sponsored by the Judaic Studies Program, is titled “Jewish Marriage Contracts as Documents of Acculturation.”

The exhibit will run until June 30, 2009 and is free and open to the public Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon-5:45 p.m. Hours will change on May 12 and a detailed schedule can he found here.

Image: Ketubah (or marriage contract) from Isfahan (Iran), 1856, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 13, 2009 2:59 PM

April 21, 2009

Yale University a Partner in Newly Launched World Digital Library


April 9, 2009

Yale University Library joined with UNESCO, the Library of Congress and 30 international institutions in Paris today to launch the World Digital Library, a website that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives around the world.

The site, located at www.wdl.org, provides free, unrestricted public access to manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints and photographs.

Yale has contributed a number of important works in the pilot phase, including 22 pencil drawings of the Amistad slave ship prisoners, ca. 1839-40; William Clark's 1810 map of North America; an Arabic calligraphy primer, ca. 1852-53; and one of three manuscript copies of Ferdinand Magellan's journal from his voyage around the world in 1522. As the project expands, more content will be added from digital collections across the University, reflecting the international strength of Yale's holdings.

Yale University Librarian Alice Prochaska said, “The Library is proud to be part of this robust digital partnership and looks forward to making many of our rich and unusual collections available to researchers and students around the world. The World Digital Library also supports the Library’s and Yale’s mission to promote education, research and the dissemination of knowledge while preserving our cultural heritage for future generations.”

The launch took place during an event at UNESCO headquarters co-hosted by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Leaders from the partner institutions were on hand to present the project to ambassadors, ministers, delegates and special guests attending the semi-annual meeting of UNESCO’s Executive Board.

Associate University Librarian Ann Okerson represented Yale at the launch and said, "One of the Library’s highest priorities is to support and promote Yale as a truly global university. The World Digital Library will not only open many of our collections to the world, but will also support teaching and scholarship at Yale in area studies, languages and world cultures.”

The World Digital Library functions in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and includes content in more than 40 languages. Browse and search features facilitate cross-cultural and cross-temporal exploration on the site. Descriptions and videos, some with expert curators speaking about selected items, provide context intended to spark curiosity and encourage both students and the general public to learn more about the cultural heritage of all countries.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), founded in 1945, functions as a laboratory of ideas to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. UNESCO serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of information while helping member states to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields.

Image: page from an Arabic calligraphy primer, ca. 1852-53.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 21, 2009 11:17 AM

April 22, 2009

April 28: Vivian B. Mann on Jewish Marriage Contracts

Jewish Marriage Contracts as Documents of Acculturation
Vivian B. Mann
Director of the Master's Program in Jewish Art, Jewish Theological Seminary
& Curator Emerita of the Jewish Museum of New York

April 28, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 128 Wall Street

For more information, contact Nanette Stahl.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Judaic Studies.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 22, 2009 8:54 AM

French Liberty. British Slavery. British Responses to the French Revolution

French Liberty. British Slavery. British Responses to the French Revolution
Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main Street, Farmington, CT
April 17-August 28, 2009

This exhibition explores British responses to the French Revolution and focuses on the period of 1789-1794, from the beginning of the Revolution until the end of the Reign of Terror in France. Whether depicting the brutality and depravity of the events in France, the political divisions in Britain, or considering the nature of liberty and patriotism, the exhibition will look at the British response sparked by the French Revolution, as reflected in satirical prints by James Gillray, Isaac Cruikshank, and others, as well as political pamphlets by Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Richard Price, and others, and manuscript letters from Horace Walpole. All of the works in the exhibition are from the collection of the Lewis Walpole Library. The exhibition was curated by graduate student Julia Elsky (Yale French Department) and will be on view through August 28.

Transportation to Farmington will be available from New Haven for Yale students on a limited basis on April 24 and May 1. Please contact the Library at (860) 677-2140 or walpole@yale.edu for details.

The Lewis Walpole Library is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., and Tuesday 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. The Library is closed on University holidays. The exhibition gallery is open Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m. when exhibitions are on view. No appointment is required. For more information, visit: www.library.yale.edu/walpole/.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 22, 2009 9:04 AM

April 27, 2009

200 Reformatted Books Available Online

Approximately 200 reformatted books from the University Library's collections are now available online. These books were originally scanned as part of the Preservation Department’s reformatting process. The process created print facsimiles (available in the stacks) and the scans are now available online. Sixty-five books are restricted to the Yale community because of copyright dates or other intellectual property issues.

The books are in a variety of languages and subjects. Some have images and others are simply black and white text. Each book is full text searchable within the system, so readers can search across all the reformatted books or within a specific book.

Links to these books will be available in Orbis once permanent links become available for them. They will also soon be available when searching the digital collections cross search from the Digital Collections page on the Library's homepage, www.library.yale.edu.

Reformatted books that have no access restrictions are available here.

Reformatted books available to the Yale community only are available here.

For more information, contact the Library's Digital Production and Integration Program (DPIP).

Posted by Yale University Library on April 27, 2009 9:39 AM

A Soviet Poster Campaign Against Venereal Disease, 1928

The Cushing Rotunda
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
333 Cedar Street
April 23-May 28, 2009

In 1928, Venereal Diseases and the Fight Against Them, a portfolio of forty posters for exhibition and use in public lectures, was distributed throughout the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic by the People’s Commissariat on Health. “The Soviet government is waging a relentless battle against venereal diseases” the first poster of the series announced. “Participation in this battle is everyone’s duty…”

The exhibit, prepared by Alexander Kazberouk, Yale College Class of 2010, and Curator Susan Wheeler, displays a selection of posters from this recent acquisition to the library’s collections and explains how the posters were used for public education. An on-site computer is available to view the entire set of posters with an English translation.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 27, 2009 12:46 PM

April 28, 2009

New Exhibit Celebrates Franco-Belgian Comics

A new student curated exhibit, “Franco-Belgian Comics”, in Sterling Memorial Library celebrates comics, a 20th century art form found in newspapers, books, journals, and graphics novels. The Franco-Belgian bande dessinée (comic) tradition is one of the strongest in the world and began in newspapers in the 1920s with strips such as Hergé’s Tintin in Belgium’s Le Petit Vingtième weekly supplement. This exhibition will look at the evolution of Franco-Belgian comic strips over a number of decades.

Curated entirely by students, the exhibit also focuses on different aspects of comics, including masters of the bande dessinée, politics in the bande dessinée, movement and stasis, uses of color, realism and surrealism, wordplay, and physical presentation.

The exhibit is on view in the Sterling card catalog gallery from April 30 to July 30.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 28, 2009 2:44 PM

April 29, 2009

Extended Bass Library Hours

In response to requests for extended study hours, Bass Library will be open from 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 through 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

Valid Yale ID will be required to enter the building between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. Food is only permitted in the Thain Family Cafe and non-alcoholic beverages may only be brought into the Library in sealed travel mugs.

For more information on Library hours across the system, visit: www.library.yale.edu/hours/.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 29, 2009 11:02 AM

April 30, 2009

Add Your Tags to Digital Collections at Yale University Library

In support of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Library's Web, Workstation and Digital Consulting Services department has developed a tagging application for the Library's digital collections. To add tags or annotations, visit: http://images.library.yale.edu/digitalcollectionsajax/StartTagging.aspx.

Feature list:
* Tag or annotate an object. (You can remove your tags or annotations later if you want.)
* View all tags in a tag cloud.
* View just your own tags.
* Search using tags or terms in annotations.
* View the number of times a tag occurs with another tag.
* View objects by tag(s).

If you are new to tagging, you may find the following resources useful:

The tagging application is intended for use by the Yale community and requires CAS authentication. Tags and annotations are stored separately from metadata created by library staff.

This is very much a work in progress and the Library welcomes feedback. Please send comments, questions, and suggestions regarding the tagging application to Mike Friscia.

Posted by Yale University Library on April 30, 2009 9:42 AM

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