Yale University Library News

March 2011 Archives

March 2, 2011

The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White

Daniel J. Sharfstein ’00
The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White
Monday, March 7, 2011, at 6 p.m.

Yale Law School (Room 129)
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT

The Lillian Goldman Law Library together with the Yale Law School Legal History Forum and the Yale Black Law Students Association invite you to a discussion featuring an important new book by Professor Daniel J. Sharfstein, with critical commentary by Professor Claire Priest.
The Invisible Line unravels the stories of three families who represent the complexity of race in America and force us to rethink our basic assumptions about who we are. For example, one of the families that started out black produced a Yale-educated Confederate general! This book has been called a “must read” by major scholars spanning the fields of legal history and African American Studies. It is written with the sensitivity of a novelist from the perspective of a legal scholar and provides a fascinating account of how laws and court decisions help shape racial attitudes.

Daniel J. Sharfstein is Associate Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University.

Claire Priest is Professor of Law at Yale University.

Posted by Yale University Library on March 2, 2011 11:39 AM

March 3, 2011

Changes to Privileges Policies for Alumni and non-Yale researchers

Yale University Library will be making changes to its Privileges Policies for Yale Alumni and non-Yale researchers on April 4, 2011. These policies will change the usage, costs and borrowing limits for Desk Passes, Stacks Passes and Borrowing Privileges. Current Yale faculty, staff, students, affiliated researchers, spouses and affiliates with Yale IDs will not be affected by these policies. For more information and a summary of the changes, please click here.

Posted by Yale University Library on March 3, 2011 9:30 AM

March 9, 2011

The Great Might-Have-Been: a Chinese Visitor to Robert Boyle

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street

Yale historian Jonathan Spence will present the keynote address for the 63rd annual lecture sponsored by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates.

Spence, one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese history and culture, is the author of more than a dozen books. His most famous book The Search for Modern China charts the history of China from the fall of the Ming dynasty through the Tiananmen Square uprising. It became a New York Times bestseller and continues to be a standard text on Chinese history from the 17th century. Notable other titles include The Gate of Heavenly Peace: the Chinese and Their Revolution, Return to Dragon Mountain: Memories of a Late Ming Man, Treason by the Book, and Mao Zedong.

Spence was born in England and graduated from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. from Yale and joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor in 1966. He became the George Burton professor of history in 1976 and Sterling professor of history in 1993.

Posted by Yale University Library on March 9, 2011 2:30 PM

March 10, 2011

Presentation by Tony Hey, Microsoft: "The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery"

Wednesday, March 23rd, 4:00-5:00pm
Presentation by Tony Hey
Sudler Auditorium, 100 Wall St. , Wine & Cheese reception to follow

The Fourth Paradigm:Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery
There is a sea change happening in academic research -- a transformation caused by a data deluge that is affecting all disciplines. Modern science increasingly relies on integrated information technologies and computation to collect, process, and analyze complex data. It was Ken Wilson, Nobel Prize winner in physics, who coined the phrase “Third Paradigm” to refer to computational science and the need for computational researchers to know about algorithms, numerical methods, and parallel architectures. However, the skills needed for manipulating, visualizing, managing, and, finally, conserving and archiving scientific data are very different. “The Fourth Paradigm” is as about data and the computational systems needed to manipulate, visualize, and manage large amounts of scientific data. A wide variety of scientists—biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, engineers – require tools, technologies, and platforms that seamlessly integrate into standard scientific methodologies and processes. This talk will illustrate the far-reaching changes that this new paradigm will have on scientific discovery.

Tony Hey Short Biography:
As corporate vice president in Microsoft Research, Tony Hey is responsible for worldwide university research collaborations with Microsoft researchers. Hey is also responsible the multidisciplinary eScience Research Group within Microsoft Research. Before joining Microsoft, Hey served as director of the U.K.'s e-Science Initiative, managing the government's efforts to build a new scientific infrastructure for collaborative, multidisciplinary, data-intensive research projects. Before leading this initiative, Hey led a research group in the area of parallel computing and was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, and Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton. Hey is a fellow of the U.K.'s Royal Academy of Engineering and was awarded a CBE for services to science in 2005. He is also a fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the U.S. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Tony Hey has written books on particle physics and computing and has a passionate interest in communicating the excitement of science and technology to young people. He has co-authored popular books on quantum mechanics and on relativity.


Posted by Yale University Library on March 10, 2011 9:07 AM

March 14, 2011

Join us for the opening talk of the George Washington Map Exhibit

You are warmly invited to “America Transformed: From George Washington’s American Atlas to the 21st Century”, a special talk to mark the opening of the George Washington map exhibit next week.

The George Washington Atlas, one of the jewels of the Yale Map Department, recently underwent some much-needed conservation treatment. This subsequently inspired Yale alum, Barnet Schecter, to write his book “George Washington’s America: A Biography Through His Maps”. He will be speaking about his research using the maps at the opening talk next week. The following link is a sample animation that will be part of the exhibit and well worth a few minutes of your time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdIE1MvxvVU

The talk will be at 3pm on Wednesday 23rd in the SML Lecture Hall, followed by an opportunity to view the exhibit in the Memorabilia Room.

The event is free and open to the public.

Posted by Yale University Library on March 14, 2011 1:08 PM

March 16, 2011

Unique Niane Audiotapes Collection made Available through Arcadia Support

A unique project at the Yale University Library is making 63 reel-to-reel tapes, comprising the pioneering research of noted Guinean scholar, Professor Djibril Tamsir Niane, available online to students and scholars. Made in the 1970s, the tapes include field recordings, interviews, ceremonies and practices of several groups, in particular the Baga and Maninka.

The research expeditions conducted in Guinea by Professor Niane and his students were historical events in themselves. In Guinea-Conakry during 1969-71, Professor Niane conducted research while the Sekou Touré regime’s "demystification program" focused on the destruction of all traditional cultural elements, actively discouraging academic interest in such subjects. At considerable personal risk, Niane and a team of his university students broke new ground by investigating Baga culture in their coastal villages, as well as collecting oral history and tradition elsewhere in Guinea. Niane was later imprisoned and eventually escaped into exile.

The resulting material is the only significant body of audio historical data on indigenous history and culture collected between 1958 and Sekou Touré’s death in 1984. It was not possible for other outside researchers to work in Guinea until after Touré’s death, so the Niane collection represents virtually the only research on Guinean history and culture between the period of French administration and the end of the 1980s. The preservation of and online access to this unique collection makes a valuable primary source available to scholars of Guinea worldwide for the first time.

The collection was catalogued by distinguished Africa scholar David Conrad

This project was generously sponsored by the Arcadia Fund. Arcadia is the charitable foundation of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Since its inception in 2001 Arcadia has awarded grants in excess of $190 million. Arcadia works to protect endangered treasures of culture and nature. For more information please see: http://www.arcadiafund.org.uk/about/about-arcadia

"The world of African studies at Yale and far beyond owes an immense debt to Professor Niane for his singular and heroic efforts on behalf of these African peoples, to David Conrad for his unstinting efforts to provide access to these materials, and to the Arcadia Fund for making access available," said Dorothy Woodson, Africana Curator at the Yale Library.

To access the collection, please see:
For more information, contact:

Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian
Collections & International Programs

Dorothy Woodson, Curator
African Collection

Posted by Yale University Library on March 16, 2011 11:39 AM

March 21, 2011

New Yale Librarian named: Susan Gibbons of Rochester

Susan Gibbons, vice provost and the Andrew H. & Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester, has been appointed as University Librarian at Yale, President Richard C. Levin has announced. Full story.

Posted by Yale University Library on March 21, 2011 2:05 PM

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