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News and Upcoming Events: 2009

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NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS

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December 2, 2009

Celebrating Tel Aviv at 100: Modern Myths and Reality

Nowadays most Tel-Avivians can repeat the following story: On April 11, 1909, during Passover week, sixty pioneering families assembled on a desolate sand dune north of Jaffa. These were the founding members of Akhuzat-Bayit (home-and-estate) association, who had gathered to distribute the land by a lottery, relying on their faith and resourcefulness to overcome enormous doubts and difficulties. This was the foundation ceremony of “ the first Hebrew city, ” which was created “ in the middle of nowhere. ” In accordance with this story, Tel Aviv ’ s centennial is celebrated this year, 2009. (From Hizky Shoham's presentation)

An exhibit at Sterling Memorial Library, on display until February 28, 2010


December 2, 2009

Three image databases from the Divinity Library have been included in the Digital Collections search interface.

 EIKON Image Database for Biblical Studies

The EIKON Image Database for Biblical Studies is a faculty-library initiative at Yale Divinity School that provides digital resources for teaching and research in the field of Biblical studies.

AdHoc Image and Text Database on the History of Christianity

AdHoc, a Yale Divinity School faculty-library initiative, is web-searchable database that contains electronic images and texts related to the history of Christianity.

China Christian Colleges and Universities Image Database

Images from the Yale Divinity Library Special Collections document mission-sponsored institutions of higher education in China that were instrumental in introducing Western medicine, science, public health and forestry programs, women's education, and athletics between 1880 and 1950.

The three collections bring a total of 11,855 more images to the cross collection search interface, which now has a total of 392,100 images.


December 2009

Tatjana Lorković's (Curator, Slavic and East European Collection) account of her June 2009 acquisition trip to the Baltic is published in the vol. 10, no. 4 (October-December 2009) issue of the peer-reviewed quarterly Slavic & East European Information Resources.


November 19-21, 2009

Simon Samoeil (Curator, Near East Collection) and Abdul Hannawi (Near East Catalog Librarian) attended the annual meeting of the Middle East Librarians Association (MELA), held at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel and theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Simon Samoeil gave a presentation entitled "AMEEL: From Theory To Delivery."


October 22, 2009

R.A. Houston, Professor of Early Modern History and Chair of Modern History in the School of History at the University of St. Andrews, has begun his month-long Fellowship at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

Having recently completed work on the perception of suicide in Scotland and Northern England between 1500 and 1850, Professor Houston has come to the Library to pursue research for his newest project, Relationships between Landlords and Tenants on Estates in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, 1600-1850 as demonstrated in petitions to lords and their stewards or bailiffs. Professor Houston will be at the Library through the first week of November.

For further information about the Lewis Walpole Library Fellowships, visit the specific information page on the Library’s website.


October 20, 2009

Simon Samoeil, Curator of the Near East Collection, describes the history of Yale's rich collection of printed materials, as well as resources and services for students and scholars of the Near East, Arabic language and literature, and Islam. Two versions (English and Arabic) are available via Yale University on iTunes U as well as here (Arabic) or here (English).

The Library now has 51 netcasts (aka podcasts) available through its category on Yale University iTunes U, including a growing number in languages other than English. The Library's category has also seen close to 30,000 downloads since spring 2008.

For further information about the Library podcasts, contact Geoffrey Little, Communications Coordinator, @ geoffrey.little@yale.edu, or 203-432-8061.


October 19, 2009

Stefan Kramer (Social Science Data Librarian) has been invited to make a keynote presentation for podium discussion on training, job and careers in the (inter)national information and documentation sector during the "Young Information Professionals Day" of the annual conference of the DGI (German Society for Information Science and Practice) in Frankfurt.


October 15 , 2009

The Postwar Avant-Garde and the Culture of Protest, 1945 to 1968 and Beyond

Art and protest went hand in hand before they fused in the worldwide cultural rebellions of 1968. In 1945, young artists and activists from across war-torn Europe began to form international networks. Though established traditions—from Futurism to Surrealism—seemed at first to show the way, by the early 1950s, some had already commandeered the weapons of the past: discarding, scavenging, highjacking from the rubble of modernism to fight new battles.

Emphasizing graphic components, the Beinecke exhibition traces the culture of protest as it emerged from interactions between art and revolution in postwar Europe under the rubrics of Art brut, Lettrism, Cobra, Arte Nucleare, the Imaginist Bauhaus, the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals, the Provos of Amsterdam, Gruppe Spur and Berlin’s Kommune I, the Situationist Bauhaus, and the Italian “Movimiento ’77.” Highlights include the original working manuscript of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle and a gallery of fifty posters from the Paris uprising of May 1968.

Press release (PDF)

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, until December 19

For related events, check the Beinecke Calendar of Events

For more information, contact Rebecca Martz, Public Relations Coordinator, @ rebecca.martz@yale.edu or 203-432-2969.


October 15 , 2009

Freedom of the Seas, 1609: Grotius and the Emergence of International Law

In 1609, a little pamphlet touched off a big debate that shaped modern international law. The Lillian Goldman Law Library marks the 400th anniversary of this event with this exhibition, which will be on display through January 2010 in the Yale Law School.

At the dawn of the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company commissioned a young prodigy named Hugo Grotius to prepare a legal argument rejecting Spanish and Portuguese claims of dominion over the oceans around their overseas empires. His essay, "Mare Liberum" ("On the Freedom of the Seas") touched off a "Battle of the Books." What eventually emerged was a regime of international law to govern humanity's common interest in shared resources.

At the center of this battle was Grotius and England's leading legal scholar, John Selden. The exhibition documents their contributions and those from other European jurists, with books from the Rare Book Collection of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Harvard Law School Library, and the private collection of Edward Gordon.

The exhibition was curated by Edward Gordon, Yale Law School Class of 1963, and Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian. Gordon, past President of the American Branch of the International Law Association, was formerly professor of international law at Albany Law School, and has also taught at Rutgers, George Washington University, American University, Wellesley College, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

The Rare Books Exhibition Gallery is located in the lower level of the Lillian Goldman Law Library (Level L2), directly in front of the Paskus-Danziger Rare Book Reading Room. For those unable to visit the exhibit in person, it will appear in installments on the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog.

For more information, contact Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian, @ mike.widener@yale.edu or 203-432-4494.


October 15 , 2009

Ferenc Gyorgyey Research Travel Award

Delia Gavros, a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, is the recipient of the Ferenc Gyorgyey Research Travel Award. The award, honoring former Historical Librarian Ferenc Gyorgyey, enables historians, medical practitioners, and other researchers to spend a week in New Haven using the collections of the Medical Historical Library.

The Historical Library holds one of the country's largest collections of rare medical books, journals, prints, photographs, and pamphlets. It was founded in 1941 by the donations of the extensive collections of Harvey Cushing, John F. Fulton, and Arnold C. Klebs. Special strengths are the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Vesalius, Boyle, Harvey, Culpeper, Haller, Priestley, and S. Weir Mitchell, and works on anesthesia, and on inoculation and vaccination for smallpox. The Library owns over fifty medieval and renaissance manuscripts, Arabic and Persian manuscripts, and over 300 medical incunabula. The notable Clements C. Fry Collection of Prints and Drawings has over 2,000 fine prints and drawings from the 15th century to the present on medical subjects. Although the Historical Library does not house the official archives of the Medical School, it does own a number of manuscript collections, most notably the Peter Parker Collection, papers of Harvey Cushing, and the John Fulton diaries and notebooks.

For more information, contact Toby Appel, Medical Historical Librarian, @ toby.appel@yale.edu or 203-785-4354.


October 12-15, 2009

Akihiko Takashima, a restoration expert in the Conservation Laboratory of the Historiographical Institute (University of Tokyo) visited the Library to assess an unusual standing screen covered with rare Japanese documents. The screen is part of the Yale Association of Japan Collection in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Mr. Takashima also discussed preservation treatments for Japanese rare books and scrolls with Library staff, and demonstrated specific techniques.


October 9, 2009

Yale University Library Awarded Grant to Continue Arabic Digitization Efforts

A multi-year grant to Yale University Library from the U.S. Department of Education’s Technological Innovation Program will support “Gateway to Gazettes” (G2G), a new project that will digitize and make available the gazettes of independent Syria and British Mandate Palestine from 1919 to 1948.

Press release


October 8, 2009

Yale Library Gets Grant to Create Virtual Gallery of Islamic Manuscripts

Yale University Library and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) have received a joint grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom to create a virtual gallery of Islamic manuscripts.

Press release


September 30, 2009

Japanese Special Collections Cataloging Project Phase I

Staff from the East Asia Library, with support from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, completed the first phase of a three-phase initiative aimed at creating online records for three Japanese special collections.  Started in the fall of 2008, this initial phase involved the reconversion and enhancement of cataloging records pertaining to the Beinecke’s Japanese Manuscript Collection.  The project was implemented by Tomoko Korenaga (Catalog Assistant for Japanese Materials) under the leadership of Keiko Suzuki (Catalog Librarian) and with support from the Beinecke’s E.C. Schroeder (Head of Technical Services), Naomi Saito (Library Service Assistant), and Sarah Fisher (Head of Printed Acquisitions).  The 558 records they added to Orbis are of manuscripts (both original and copies) in a collection of pre-modern Japanese historical documents that Yale acquired in 1907.


September 15, 2009

Marje Tamre, Head of Collection Development at Tallinn University Academic Library in Tallinn, Estonia, is the tenth visiting librarian to come to Yale under the auspices of the Dr. Kristaps Keggi Baltic Internship Program, and the eighteenth intern hosted by the Slavic Reading Room.


September 15, 2009

“Last night, between seven and eight o’clock,” reported The London Chronicle in the December 11-14 issue of 1784, “died, in his 76th year, at his house in Bolt-court, Fleet street, Dr. Samuel Johnson, so universally known and celebrated in the learned world, that nothing we can say on that head can add to his fame.” Much more was to be said: within days of Johnson’s death, the first sketches of his life began to appear, followed by dozens of newspaper articles, poems, epitaphs, satires, prints, reviews, and biographies.

In celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of his birth in 1709, this exhibition examines the life of Samuel Johnson—author, critic, and above all conversationalist—as it was written after his death. Drawing on James Boswell’s correspondence and the manuscript of his “Life of Johnson,” as well as newspapers, prints, and works written and annotated by Hester Thrale Piozzi and others, the exhibition explores the tensions of memory and identity found in the competing lives of one of England’s first literary celebrities. [ca. 55 items]

As a contribution to the tercentenary festivities and in support of scholarship on Johnson and Boswell, Beinecke Library has begun scanning the entire James Boswell segment of the Boswell Family Papers, making the collection available in its Digital Images and Collections.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, until December 15

Online exhibition

For related events, check the Beinecke Calendar of Events

For more information, contact Rebecca Martz, Public Relations Coordinator, @ rebecca.martz@yale.edu or 203-432-2969.


September 3-4, 2009

Janene Batten (Nursing Reference Librarian, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library) attended ICML 2009, the 10th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, held 31 August - 4 September 2009 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where she delivered two papres:

  • Extreme Outreach: Having a Librarian in the OR Areas reported on the outreach work done by Denise Hersey, the Yale Medical Library's liaison to the University's Anesthesiology Department. Starting in the spring of 2006, Denise began providing library services in the operating room suites of Yale New Haven Hospital.
  • Information Needs of Connecticut, USA, School Nurses: Assessment and Resource Implementation. Written by Janene Batten, Jan Glover and Lynn Sette, this paper analyzes the results of a survey distributed to 2,000 Connecticut school nurses to identify their health information needs. The survey was part of a research funded with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

September 3 , 2009

Two new fellows   starts their month-long sojourn at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

Fiona Ritchie is working on a book on women's responses to Shakespeare in the long eighteenth century. While at the Library, Professor Ritchie plans to focus her attention on the Shakespearean playgoing of Frances and Charlotte Hanbury Williams, daughters of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams. Professor Ritchie comes to the Library from McGill University, where she is Assistant Professor in the English Department.

Jonathan Yarker of Trinity College, Cambridge, is writing his doctoral thesis, entitled "Copies and copying, attitudes towards reproduction in eighteenth century Britain." At the Lewis Walpole Library, he particularly intends to explore Horace Walpole's attitudes towards and use of copies and the Grand Tour's impact on projects in which copies after Italian old masters were used in interior schemes.

For further information about the Lewis Walpole Library Fellowships, visit the specific information page on the Library’s website.


September 3 , 2009

Library Orientation for Spouses of International Students and Scholars

Every year, a growing number of international students and scholars start teaching or doing research at Yale. Many of them come with their spouses and children. The purpose of the orientation, planned in conjuction with Yale's Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), is to make them aware of, and familiarize them with, the Library resources and services, and to make sure they will be able to take good advantage of them for information, educational, research or recreational purposes.

Bass Library, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


September 1, 2009

World Fellows Library Orientation

The Yale World Fellows Program is one of the initiatives launched by University President Richard C. Levin in 2001, on the occasion of Yale's tercentenary, and aimed at enhancing Yale's global footprint.

The 2009 World Fellows come from 15 countries and a wide range of professional fields and backgrounds. The purpose of the orientation is to introduce them to the Library resources and services, and to pair them with librarians and area curators who will be able to assist them with their research needs at Yale.

Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


September 2009

Stefan Kramer (Social Science Data Librarian) is the co-author of an article (in German) on the development of a metadata standard for research data in the social sciences, published in KIM Technology Watch Report (TWR).

KIM Technology Watch Report (TWR) is a joint activity of the Kompetenzzentrum Interoperable Metadaten (KIM) and the working group on international standardization in digital information retrieval (standards) of the Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation e.V. (DINI).


August 20, 2009

Young-Aie Kim, Head of International Affairs at Seoul National University (SNU) Library, begins her year-long internship as Visiting Korean Studies Librarian at Yale's East Asia Library.


August 5, 2009

Canadian art historian Matthew M. Reeve starts his month-long Fellowship at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

A tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Dr. Reeve holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, a CPSG (Certificate of Postgraduate Study) and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. His research interests are medieval art and architecture in Northern Europe, Artistic relationships between East and West during the Middle Ages, and Medievalism in Western Culture from the Renaissance onward.

At Yale, he will research “ Walpole’s Two Gothic Narratives: The Castle of Otranto and Strawberry Hill,” exploring relationships between Walpole’s famous novel and fanciful house.

For further information about the Lewis Walpole Library Fellowships, visit the specific information page on the Library’s website.


July 20, 2009

New Podcast: The Art of the Ketubah

A new Yale University Library podcast, The Art of the Ketubah: A Study in Jewish Diversity, is now available on Yale University on iTunes U. Narrated by Nanette Stahl, Curator of the Judaica Collection and featuring images taken from the recent exhibition in Sterling Memorial Library, the podcast explores the history and art of the ketubah, the marriage contract that Jewish law requires a groom to provide for his bride on their wedding day.


July 17, 2009

Dorothy Woodson (Curator, African Collection) is invited to make a presentation on the topic of "Africana Acquisitions: Ins and Outs," at the University of Cape Town's African Studies Library, in Cape Town, South Africa.


July 13, 2009

New Exhibit: Islamic Art and Architecture

This exhibition on Islamic art and architecture celebrates buildings and artwork commissioned by the rulers of the Islamic Empire and found in the Middle East and parts of Europe.

The books on display feature a variety of structures including mosques and minarets; madrasahs (schools); palaces and private homes; hospitals; hospices; castles and citadels; caravansaries; Sufi zawiyahs, khalwahs, tikiyahs and khaniqahs (religious centers); tombs and mausoleums; sabils (public drinking water fountains); public baths; covered bazaars; glass, ivory, silver gold, jewelry, brass and wood works; ceramics, textiles, embroideries and carpets. Taken together, they explore the important and lasting influence of Islam on European art and architecture.

Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street, New Haven
Until September 2009


July 12, 2009

ALA Annual Conference, (Chicago)

Graziano Krätli (International Program Support Librarian) moderated a panel organized by the International Papers Committee of ALA's International Relations Round Table (IRRT). The topic was "Libraries Serving Multicultural Communities" and the program featured the following speakers and presentations:

  • Patricia Montiel-Overall (University of Arizona, School of Information Resources and Library Science): “Developing Cultural Competence to Create Multicultural Libraries”
  • Musa Wakhungu Olaka (University of Missouri, School of Information Science & Learning Technologies): “The Role of Genocide in the Development of Libraries and Librarianship in Rwanda”
  • Susan Alexander (Fish Hoek Library, Cape Town, South Africa) & Sharon Brijmohun (Cape Town Central Library): “Masiphumelele Satellite Library: Multipurpose Service In A Poor Multicultural Community"
  • Guoying Liu & Danielle Winn (University of Windsor, Leddy Library, Ontario, Canada): “Identifying the Information-Seeking Behaviours of Chinese Undergraduate Students in Canada and the Implications for Canadian Academic Libraries”

The International Paper Committee (of which Graziano is co-chair) provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections and projects throughout the world.  The annual program also serves to stimulate the interest of U.S. librarians in international library matters.


July 3-8, 2009

Cesar Rodriguez (Curator, Latin American Collection) attended SALALM 54, the annual conference of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials. The 2009 theme was "Migrations and Connections: Latin America and Europe in the Modern World," and the event was sponsored by the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Ibero-American Institute) in Berlin, Germany, which is home to the largest library in Europe specializing in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal.

Cesar moderated the panel on "Intellectual Exchanges: Books, Ideologies and Culture," which featured the following presenters:

  • Howard Karno (Howard Karno Books), Booksellers and the Diffusion of European Culture in New Spain during the 16th Century
  • Richad Phillips ( University of Florida, Gainesville), Some Thoughts and some Digressions on Italian-Peruvian Relations
  • Roberto Vergaray ( E. Iturriaga & Cia, Lima. Peru), Federico Schwab en el Perú
  • Verena Paetow (Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut), The Personal Papers of Wolfgang Hirsch- Weber: Exile, Political Commitment and Science between Germany and Latin America

July 1-3, 2009

Dorothy Woodson (Curator, African Collection) attends the 20th ESARBICA Conference, "Documentary Heritage Management in the Digital Age," held at the University of Namibia Library, in Windhoek, Namibia. ESARBICA is the Easy and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives.


June 25, 2009

Charles and Joy Sheffey: Medical Missionaries to the Belgian Congo

This exhibit at the Divinity Library provides a glimpse into the life and work of Charles and Joy Sheffey, American Methodist medical missionaries who served in Wembo Nyama, Belgian Congo between 1922 and 1946. Letters and writings of the Sheffeys record their reactions to the African culture and environment they encountered in the Congo. The collection is notable for a large number of artifacts including a messenger drum, musical instruments, woven textiles and handicrafts, jewelry, and a “witch doctor’s magical gourd.”

The exhibit runs until September. For directions and hours, visit the Divinity Library's web site.


June 23, 2009

The Utopian Impulse: An Exhibition in the Memorabilia Room, Sterling Memorial Library, Until August 21, 2009

The “utopian impulse” is the desire to imagine or create a perfect society. Focusing on examples from the 15th through 18th centuries, this exhibition examines the many ways that Early Modern Europeans at home and abroad expressed the utopian impulse, seeking to fashion and explore new or "discovered" ideal societies, paradises lost and found, and perfect, harmonious built environments. Objects on view include architectural treatises and plans, utopian tracts, travel narratives, and maps of real and imagined places.

"The Utopian Impulse" is a collaboration across the collections of the Yale University Libraries, featuring works from the Anne T. & Robert M. Bass Library, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Manuscripts and Archives, the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, the Sterling Memorial Library general collections, and the Yale Map Department of Sterling Memorial Library. The exhibition was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and curated by Mia Reinoso Genoni, Mellon Special Collections Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow. Warm thanks to all who helped make this exhibition possible.


June 15-19, 2009

Dorothy Woodson (Curator, African Collection) attends the 4th annual Cape Town Book Fair, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.


June 12, 2009

The initial release of Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996: West (and Western) Europe is now available. The entire FBIS Daily Reports database can be accessed from the library's A-Z databases list or directly at http://infoweb.newsbank.com/?db=FBISX.

This West (and Western) Europe release includes 380,595 articles in 4,458 issues of the Daily Report.

The content in FBIS Daily Reports, 1974-1996 - which also covers the Middle East, Africa, Near East, Asia & the Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union - is nearly complete. You can see the release schedule here: http://bit.ly/qppZE. (You'll notice that geographic areas were named and grouped differently over the years that the FBIS reports were published.)

The Library is also acquiring FBIS Daily Reports 1941-1974. Thus far, reports for China for January-March 1974 are available, from the same interface as the  FBIS Daily Reports, 1974-1996. I will announce major releases of the 1941-1974 reports as they become available.

For more information or questions about this resource, contact Julie Linden, Librarian for Political Science, International Affairs, and Government Information (julie.linden@yale.edu; 203-432-3310).


June 12, 2009

Yale University Library is pleased to announce the campus-wide availability of STRATFOR, a resource for geopolitical intelligence on political, economic, and military developments around the globe.

For more information or questions about this resource, contact Julie Linden, Librarian for Political Science, International Affairs, and Government Information (julie.linden@yale.edu; 203-432-3310).


June 9, 2009

Affra Al Shamsi, Head of the Central Medical Library, Royal Hospital-Sultanate of Oman, begins his three-month fellowship at Yale University Library. She is the 10th librarian to come to Yale under the auspices of the International Associates Program. More...


June 8, 2009

The Yale University Library has just purchased the following literary databases:

For more information or questions about these resources, contact Todd Gilman, Librarian for Literature in English (todd.gilman@yale.edu; 203-432-1761)


June-July 2009

Otabek Gulyamov, a graduate student in Library and Information Science at Simmons College, spent the months of June and July as a summer intern in the Slavic Reading Room, under the mentorship of Tatjana Lorković, Curator of Yale's Slavic and East European Collection.

A Native of Uzbekistan, Mr. Gulyamov was a beneficiary of a fellowship from the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program, a program established by the US Congress in 1992 to encourage economic and democratic growth in Eurasia.


May 26-29, 2009

Danuta Nitecki (Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Library Teaching and Learning) attended QQML2009, the Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference, held at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh) Conference Centre, Chania, Crete, Greece. The conference proceedings - including Danuta's paper "Are qualitative and quantitative data appropriately gathered for managerial decisions?" - can be viewed at: http://www.isast.org/proceedingsQQML2009/.


May 26, 2009

Yale University Library users have now access to five World Biographical Information System (WBIS) digitized archives:

Baltic Biographical Archive Series II (BaBA II) includes 84,000 persons, 96 sources published from 1940 to 2002, 106,000 articles covering the Soviet era and social upheaval of the mid-1980s.

Korean Biographical Archive (KBA) Online covers from King Tangun, the founder of the legendary kingdom Choson, to King Sejong who introduced the Korean alphabet in the 15th century, and the political representatives of modern Korea. There are entries for 20,000 persons with abstracts in English to increase ease of access to the more than 45,000 entries in Korean, German, English and French.

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American Biographical Archive to 2001 (ABEPI IV) covers the most recent decades with 158,000 persons from 351 volumes published 1995 to 2000 with 177,000 articles.

South-East European Biographical Archive (SOBA) covers 88,000 persons from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and covers the period from the 9th century to late 20th century.

South-East Asian Biographical Archive (SEABA) offers 90,000 persons, published 1850 to 1997 including 122,000 biographical articles from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Both, the colonial era and subsequent independence movements in south-east Asia are included in the Archive. For improved ease of access 10,000 entries have English abstracts.


May 6, 2009

Charles Riley (Catalog Librarian for African Languages) attended the launching of this year's edition of the Quinzaine des Langues Maternelles at the Fondation Harris Memel Fotê in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Started in 2003 and organized by local publishers and bookstores, the Quinzaine is an annual festival celebrating the revitalization of African languages used in Ivory Coast.

Charles attendance at the event occurred at the end of a tour of the region that included stops in Conakry (Guinea) and Dakar (Senegal) to research writing systems.


May 1, 2009

Selected French History and Culture Resources

Article by Susanne Roberts (Librarian for European History, Coordinator of Humanities Collections) in FOCUS on Global Resources, the quarterly newsletter of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

To download FOCUS in PDF format, go to:  http://www.crl.edu/PDF/pdfFocus/Spring2009.pdf


April 30, 2009

A World of Free Knowledge: Ann Okerson (Associate University Librarian for Collections and International Programs) interviewed by ITP.net, a Middle Eastern Technology, Media and Business Web site. The same interviewed appeared also on Arabian Business, one of ITP's sister sites.


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.


April 23, 2009

A Soviet Poster Campaign against Venereal Disease, 1928

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 waginga 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.

The Cushing Rotunda, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, until May 28, 2009.


April 21-30, 2009

Library Orientation Sessions for Students Going Abroad

A total of eight drop-in orientation sessions were held over two weeks in the Bass Library to ensure that outbound students are aware of the possibility to access Library resources remotely, to help them install or test VPN software, and to assist them with Library-related questions and issues pertaining to their travel abroad.

The sessions are part of a new Library initiative to support study and research abroad that also includes

  1. The assignment of a Field Librarian to all Yale College students who are taking a Yale Summer Session (YSS) course abroad (and their faculty instructors), or are spending any length of time abroad to pursue a research of their own.
  2. An e-Travel Kit, in the form of a USB flash drive loaded with specific resources, to be distributed to all the above.
  3. A dedicated LibGuide with resources on Yale Summer Session Study Abroad destinations and programs.

The new initiative is led by the Library in collaboration with the Yale College's Center for International Experience (CIE) and the University's Center For Language Study (CLS).


April 17, 2009

French Liberty. British Slavery: British Responses to the French Revolution from the Collection of the Lewis Walpole Library

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 exhibit will run until August 28, 2009 and is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held on April 17, 2009, 3-5 p.m. For detailed information, visit: http://www.library.yale.edu/walpole/. The Lewis Walpole Library is located at 154 Main Street, Farmington, CT.

For more information, contact Susan Odell Walker, Head of Public Services: susan.walker@yale.edu or (860) 677-2140.


April 13, 2009

A Celebration of the Calligraphy of Ch'ung-ho Chang Frankel

Opening reception with the renowned artist and a performance of Chinese Kunqu Opera by the Kunqu Society of New York.

Sterling Memorial Library, East Asia Reading Room


April 9, 2009

The Art of the Ketubah: A Study in Jewish Diversity

An exhibit in Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library celebrates the art of the ketubah (plural ke tubot), 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.

Although many Jewish communities have historically decorated their ketubot, during the 17 th and 18 th 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). 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.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon-5:45 p.m. Opening hours will change on May 12, 2009. For detailed information, visit: www.library.yale.edu/hours. Sterling Memorial Library is located at 120 High Street in New Haven.

For more information, contact Nanette Stahl, Judaica Curator, Yale University Library: nanette.stahl@yale.edu or (203) 432-2707.


April 8, 2009

Starry Messenger: Observing the Heavens in the Age of Galileo

This exhibition is in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy with the Yale University Department of Astronomy.

In the autumn of 1609, the Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to the heavens, deciphering the cratered face of the moon, the four satellites of Jupiter, and other previously opaque features of the heavens. When, in 1610, Galileo published his Sidereus Nuncius, or Starry Messenger, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler responded with enthusiasm, praising the significance of Galileo’s observations with his own Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo, or, Conversations with the Starry Messenger (1610). To whom else did the stars speak in the early modern period?

This exhibition reveals the furred and cratered faces, the portents and instruments in European observations of the heavens from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. Drawing in part on a recently acquired collection of early modern comet literature, the exhibition explores the fascination and anxiety with the world, its state, and its possibilities of imperfection that infused the early modern European discussions of the stars.

Beinecke Rare and Manuscript Library, until June 30, 2009.

For more information, contact Rebecca Martz, Public Relations Coordinator: rebecca.martz@yale.edu or (203) 432-2969.


April 1, 2009

Visitors to This Old Library

Howard F. McGinn, Dean of University Libraries, Seton Hall University, leads a group of visitors from Bulgaria ona tour of Sterling Memorial Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The group consisted of Professor Alexander Dimchev, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, "St. Kliment Ohridski" University of Sofia, and three students enrolled in the Library and Information Studies program.


April 1, 2009

Early Arabic Printing: Movable Type & Lithographs

A new exhibit in Sterling Memorial Library (across the 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 June 30, 2009 and is free and open to the public Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon-5:45 p.m. Opening hours will change on May 12, 2009. For detailed information, visit: www.library.yale.edu/hours. Sterling Memorial Library is located at 120 High Street in New Haven.

For more information, contact Simon Samoeil, Curator of the Near East Collection, simon.samoeil@yale.edu or (203) 432-1799.


March 31, 2009

Datasets of five more "New Democracy Barometer" surveys available

Following the first acquisition of four "New Barometer" survey datasets, Yale's Social Science Data Archive now contains an additional five New Democracies Barometer datasets, filling the gaps before and between the previously acquired ones:

Together with those from the first acquisition, these now provide Yale researchers with the opportunity to study public opinion in Eastern European countries from primary data spanning the time period from 1991 to 2004/5. For questions, contact the Social Science Data Librarian.


March 25-31, 2009

Visitors to This Old Library

Svetlana G. Mamakina, Chief of the Scientific and Technical Library, Gipronickel Institute/Kola Branch, in Monchegorsk, Murmansk region, Russia, spent five days at the Yale Library as a guest of the Slavic and East European Collection.


March 23, 2009

Cyrill Walters, Librarian (Music Specialist) at the W.H. Bell Music Library, University of Cape Town (UCT) Libraries, begins her five-week visit at Yale University Library under the auspices of the Research Libraries Consortium (RLC). More...


March 6-8, 2009

Danuta Nitecki (Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Library Teaching and Learning) attended the Asia-Pacific Conference on Library & Information Education and Practice (A-LIEP 2009) at the University of Tsukuba, in Japan, where she was a panelist in the "Symposium on Future Perspectives in Globalization of Library and Information Professionals."


March 6, 2009

Thanks to Tang Li (Public Services Librarian), a Mandarin-language recording that describes the East Asia Library collections, resources and services is now available on Yale University Library News,as well as on iTunes.


March 2, 2009

Henryk Citko, curator of the Zbigniew Herbert Archive at the Biblioteka Narodowa (National Library of Poland) in Warsaw, begins his three-month fellowship at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. More...


February 26, 2009

Film screening of Adrift on the Nile (1971)

In conjunction with the Arab Cinema Posters exhibition, the Near East Collection is sponsoring a screening of Adrift On The Nile, an Egyptian film directed by Hussein Kamal and based on the homonymous novel by the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz.

The film will be introduced by Near East Curator Simon Samoeil, who will also talk about Arab cinema in general and the poster collection on display in the Memorabilia Room.

Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 2:00 p.m
Free and open to the public


February 4, 2009

Michael Kasusse, librarian at the Albert Cook Medical Library, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, begins his three-month fellowship at Yale's Cushing/Whitney Medical Library under the auspices of the International Associates Program. Michael is the eight International Associate since the inception of this program in the fall of 2005.


February 1, 2009

Yale University Library celebrates the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's (1809-82) birth, and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species (published 24 November 1859) with the following six exhibitions:


February 2009

Jeffry Larson (Librarian for Romance Languages & Literatures, Linguistics, and Classics) is portrayed in the current issue of Archimag, a French monthly magazine dedicated to information professionals and related topics, such as document management, Internet/Intranet, digitalization, records management, knowledge management, and economic intelligence.

The article was based on an interview Jeffry gave while attending the Salon de la Revue in October 2008


January 23, 2009

Dorothy Woodson (Curator, African Collection) participated in a panel discussion on African traditional textiles and modern clothing at Empire State College, State University of New York, in East Syracuse, New York. The panel, which also included Yale scholar Dr. Ann Biersteker, Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies, Dr. Deborah Amory, Dean of Empire State College’s Central New York Center, and Dr. Margaret Sithole, Assistant Professor in the ESC Business program, was held in conjunction with the exhibition “African Social and Political Cloths: Kangas, Kitenges and T-Shirts,” to which Dorothy also contributed samples of African cloths from her own private collection


January 20 - April 18, 2009

Book of Secrets: Alchemy and the European Imagination, 1500-2000

From Chaucer to Harry Potter, this exhibition explores the curious centrality of alchemy in the European imagination from the early days of print through the present. From the sixteenth century, books of alchemical secrets were published in almost every European language. Terms such as the philosopher’s stone entered into the popular understanding in the world of Harry Potter as in that of the sixteenth-century magus. Alchemy was chemistry, practiced by the leading scientists of the period; it was also mystical, seen by thinkers as prominent as Isaac Newton to be the means to understand the source of life itself. Skeptics like Ben Jonson satirized it in plays; poets from John Donne to Ted Hughes adopted its imagery. The twentieth-century psychologist Carl Jung based his theory of the psyche on his analysis of alchemy. Above all, people wrote, read, and thought about alchemy from the early modern period through the present day. [ca. 110 items]

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street
Free & open to the public


January 15 through March 31, 2009

The Splendor of Hangul: The Korean Script in Calligraphy and Print

Sponsored by Yale’s East Asia Library, this exhibit celebrates hangul, the alphabet developed in the fifteenth-century by the Korean King Sejong and a group of scholars he convened for this purpose. Featuring print and manuscript books from the Yale Library’s collections, as well as calligraphy by the distinguished artist Dr. Yoo Sung Lee, the exhibit traces the development of hangul styles over time, ranging from early geometric forms through gothic styles and finally to pure abstraction in art. More...

Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street
Free & open to the public


January 10-13, 2009

Simon Samoeil (Curator, Near East Collection) attended the international conference on Faith and Community at the University of Southern Mindanao, in the Philippines.

The conference was organized by the Institute for Training and Development, in collaboration with the University of Southern Mindanao, as part of an international exchange project for Filipino and American educational, religious, and community leaders in order to initiate a dialogue on the practice of Islam in open, diverse, and democratic societies. 

The eight-member American delegation visited the Filipino participants’ institutions, observed how the teaching and practice of religion is integrated into Southern Philippines culture and society, and took part in a 2-day conference at USM, where Simon gave a presentation on “Finding Common Ground, Rediscovering Our Roots.”


January 10-13, 2009

Joanne Rudof (Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies) attends the conference Witnessing: Sites of Destruction and the Representation of the Holocaust, in Bergen-Belsen, Germany. Co-organized by the Bergen-Belsen Memorial in cooperation with the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University.


Through February 28, 2009

Arab Cinema Posters

An exhibition of some of the 1,200 movie posters recently acquired by the Near Eastern Collection and housed within Manuscripts and Archives. The first Arabic film was produced in Egypt in 1923 and the Arab world boasts an active and prodigious film industry. Advertising films produced in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, the colorful and engaging posters offer unique insight on both cinematic and social history in the Arab world.

Sterling Memorial Library, Memorabilia Room
120 High Street
Free & open to the public

December 10, 2008 through February 28, 2009