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December 2013 Archives

December 3, 2013

Wright Reading Room Reopens

The Wright Reading Room in the lower level of Sterling Library, along with its adjacent seminar/group study rooms and restrooms, reopened for use today. More details on the progress of the nave restoration can be found at: http://guides.library.yale.edu/content.php?pid=412929&sid=3373658

Discover the big appeal of Yale’s smaller exhibits

Avid exhibition-goers may have recently traveled back to ancient Egypt at the Peabody Museum, encountered Renaissance painter Francesco Vanni at the Yale Art Gallery, or felt the “Power of Pictures” at the Beinecke Library. But did you know you could also dance with Lady Emma Hamilton, discover the secrets of alchemy, or spend time in the street markets of Hong Kong?

Read more in this YaleNews article about the abundance of exhibitions on view now at Yale, including at several Yale libraries, that draw from special collections.

http://news.yale.edu/2013/12/03/discover-big-appeal-yale-s-smaller-exhibits

December 5, 2013

Music Library and Microform Reading Room temporarily closed

The Library was affected by a substantial flood on Wednesday. As a result, the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library and the Microform Reading Room will be closed through the weekend. Thankfully, no damage to the collections was incurred. The Library is assessing how long the repairs will take. Updates will be posted via email, social media (Facebook and Twitter) and through signage in the building.

Yale Library Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yalelibrary
Yale Library Twitter: https://twitter.com/yalelibrary

December 6, 2013

Yale Library's African Collection Curator remembers Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Dorothy Woodson, curator of the African Collection at the Yale Library, came to Yale in 2000. She met Nelson Mandela several times while working in the Presidential offices in South Africa in 1996. She and several other Yale people, share recollections of the late Nelson Mandela in this YaleNews article:

"While a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa in 1994, my goal was to sort through and archive the voluminous boxes of prisoners’ archives from Robben Island, where Mandela and so many other political prisoners spent many difficult years — and in some cases (though not his) decades.

What a heady task this was. Reading messages written on little pieces of toilet paper that the members of the African National Congress “High Command” wrote to each other, revealed rich insights into the daily lives of this most unusual gathering of men. Much has been said about the harsh conditions the prisoners endured in the early years on the island. As some conditions improved over the years, the prisoners were allowed small requests, such as a few special food items they might want for the holidays. Mandela always ordered the same thing — pilchards (sardines) and orange crush, a soft drink."

Read more: http://news.yale.edu/2013/12/06/yale-remembers-nelson-mandela-1918-2013

The affect of services in SML as a result of Wednesday's flood

Following Wednesday’s flood, the Microform Reading Room will be closed through the weekend, but will reopen on Monday. Meanwhile, Microform materials can be requested via ‘Scan and Deliver’ at: http://guides.library.yale.edu/getit/scan.

The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library will remain closed until further notice, but services will resume tomorrow (Saturday) in a temporary space in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall. Patrons should enter the lecture hall through the Memorabilia Room adjacent to the Wall Street entrance of the Library. Music course reserves are available and staff will retrieve needed materials (books, scores, periodicals, items on carrels) for patrons. Media items (compact discs, DVDs, etc.) will not be retrievable but Yale students, faculty and staff still have access to streamed media subscriptions, accessible through the Music Library homepage.

December 11, 2013

Music Library reopening today at noon

Following the temporary closure of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library due to last week’s flood in SML, we are happy to announce that the Music Library will reopen at noon today (Wednesday 11th).

Circulation and reserve services will continue to be available in the lecture hall, as they have been for the last couple of days, but readers will now also have access to all public areas of the Music Library via the staircases and the elevator within the library. The first floor restrooms will also be accessible again.

Media materials (CDs, DVDs, etc.) will remain inaccessible for the time being.

Readers must enter the Music Library via the corridor that is located behind the guard station at the Wall Street entrance. Signage will help direct patrons. Security guards will be present at the Wall Street entrance during music library hours in the evenings. For opening times: http://www.library.yale.edu/musiclib/hours.htm

December 12, 2013

Need a break from studying? Come pet a dog!

Tails of Joys, a Connecticut-based therapy dog organization, will make a special visit to the Bass Library today, Thursday, December 12th from 12noon-2pm, to help you de-stress and take your mind off your final exams. Stop by the circulation desk for some fuzzy, four-legged love.

Newspaper Reading Room Reopens

After being used as swing space for the York Street wing renovation project and the nave restoration, the Newspaper Reading Room in Sterling Memorial Library has finally finished serving as swing space. Furniture has been returned and reconfigured for use as reading/study space. The room is available from Wednesday 11th to accommodate patrons during the reading period. The reading room can be accessed just adjacent to the main door of the Music Library.

First-known prison narrative by an African-American writer discovered at Yale’s Beinecke Library

Scholarly detective work has revealed that an 1858 manuscript, housed at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is the earliest-known prison memoir written by an African American.

Acquired by the Beinecke in 2009, the book-length manuscript, titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict” and written under the name Robert Reed, eloquently describes the author’s experiences while incarcerated in New York State from the 1830s through the 1850s. The memoir provides an insider’s account of the prison system and race relations in the mid-nineteenth century.

Caleb Smith, professor of English and American Studies, has authenticated the manuscript and identified its author as Austin Reed, a free black man who was born in upstate New York.

“Finding any new text by an African-American author of the 19th century is significant, but this memoir has so much to say about captivity, freedom, and human rights. It is a truly remarkable discovery,” says Smith. “Today, our country’s sprawling prison system draws comparisons to plantation slavery. Reed’s narrative shows how an especially gifted prisoner in the 1850s was already making the same connection. It’s also a beautiful and haunting piece of writing.”

Read more in an article by the New York Times published today:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/books/prison-memoir-of-a-black-man-in-the-1850s.html?hpw&rref=books&_r=0

Making the Old New Again: Practical Emulation for Long Term Digital Preservation & Access

Tuesday January 14th 11am-12pm
International Room, Sterling Memorial Library

Emulation has huge potential as a strategy for maintaining access to old digital content from documents, to images, 3D models, digital art, scientific workflows, research data, custom code, desktop snapshots (e.g. snapshots of politicians, authors, developers and celebrities PCs) and entire networked environments. A significant barrier to access to emulation solutions is being removed through the work of the beFLA Emulation as a Service Project. This presentation will discuss how the bwFLA project’s software is able to provide on-demand, web-browser based remote access to emulated software environments for use in accessing old content, migrating old content, and validating preservation strategies. The presentation will also describe how emulation can be applied in a variety of context to aid in the long term preservation of and access to old digital content.

Presenter: Dirk von Suchodoletz is a lecturer and principal researcher at the chair in ”communication systems” at the Institute for Computer Science in the University of Freiburg, Germany. Dirk studied mathematics, economics and politics at the Georg August University of Goettingen and received his Ph.D. in 2008 with a thesis on ”Requirements towards Emulation as a Long term Preservation Strategy”.
Dirk joined the efforts in the German nestor initiative on long term preservation in 2005 and became the chair’s project leader in the Planets EU-project in 2006. Through the preservation action research he has collaborated with practitioners at the major memory institutions like the British Library, the National Libraries of the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and Austria as well as national archives. He is one of the founding members of the Open Planets Foundation and the nestor working group on emulation. His current research interests are in mobile telecommunication networks, privacy, grid computing and digital preservation. His main focus is on questions in Long term preservation of digital objects and full scale computing environments, such as reliable emulation, automation of preservation workflows, digital software archiving and reference workstations for end users access to diverse original environments. He is currently investigating the foundation of ”Emulation as a Service” technology, a cloud service providing remote access to a wide range of different emulation services allowing for object migration, access and interaction in their original environments. Dirk is currently a scientific advisor in the two year bwFLA project aiming at the implementation of practical emulation based access workflows. The planned follow-up project about to start in 2014 will deal with emulation enabled reading room systems for libraries and centralized advanced emulation services.

December 16, 2013

Yale’s Beinecke Library acquires trove of letters by author James Baldwin

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University has acquired an archive of approximately 100 letters by renowned writer James Baldwin, and a typescript draft of his third novel, “Another Country,” with his handwritten annotations.

The archive constitutes one of the largest collections of Baldwin’s letters and manuscripts held by any institution worldwide.

“This remarkable archive provides a window into Baldwin’s thinking while he was an emerging writer and during the peak of his literary fame,” says Melissa Barton, curator of prose and drama in the Yale Collection of American Literature. “These materials will doubtlessly enhance our understanding of this brilliant and complex man. We are pleased to share them with scholars and students.”

The letters in the archive are from Baldwin to his friends Mary Painter and Eugene Lerner, and to his sometimes-assistant and biographer David Leeming.

The letters to Painter cover the period of Baldwin’s rise to national prominence — from 1954, when Baldwin’s play “The Amen Corner” was performed at Howard University, to 1964, just after the publication of “Another Country,” which he dedicated to Painter. Throughout his detailed letters, Baldwin frequently alludes to the composition of the novel, including early insight into the characters’ names and ethnic backgrounds, and to his copious magazine essay assignments.

The letters to Lerner and Leeming date from 1965 to 1977, the majority of which were written between 1965 and 1968. Writing primarily from Istanbul, Baldwin recounts visits from Marlon Brando, among others, and refers to the development of Baldwin’s fourth novel, “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone.”

The collection was purchased from Walter O. Evans, a collector and patron of African-American arts and letters.

This acquisition augments the Beinecke's collection of Baldwin's early manuscripts and papers, which include the author’s artworks and personal papers, as well a drafts of a novel titled "Crying Holy,” which eventually became his first published novel, "Go Tell It on the Mountain."

Other Baldwin papers housed in the Beinecke include various letters and a typescript draft of “Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone.”

The Baldwin collection complements Yale’s and the Beinecke's collections of African- American arts and letters, which include the papers of James Weldon Johnson, and Langston Hughes, among others.

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is one of the world's largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts and is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke’s extensive collections are used to create new scholarship by researchers from around the world.

One Donor’s Vision for the Library

As an undergraduate, Elai Katz ’92 loved getting lost in the stacks of Sterling Memorial Library, discovering unexpected treasures, and imaging the students and scholars who had run across those same books long before. Like generations of students before and since, when it was time to study, Elai would settle down in the Linonia & Brothers Reading Room, surrounded by others who shared his affinity for the Library.

Last spring, in honor of his 20th Yale College Reunion and in recognition of the Library’s special place in the life of the University, Elai made a generous five-year pledge to the Alumni Fund for Library Resources. Why does Elai (now an antitrust attorney in New York City) support the Yale University Library in this way? He gives because he believes, “especially in this digital age, a great academic institution such as Yale must maintain its leadership in collecting and classifying information. We now have access to a tremendous amount of data and texts through electronic sources, and yet, more than ever, we need exceptional libraries and librarians to organize and understand the contexts of those materials so we can make good use of them.”

By checking the “Library Resources” box when they make their annual Alumni Fund gift, graduates like Elai help the University Librarian address the Library’s most pressing needs and ensure that it remains a world-class resource for a world-class university. Non-alumni can have the same impact by directing a gift to the Yale University Library Fund. If you have any questions about supporting the Yale University Library, please contact Benjamin Yousey-Hindes, Assistant Director of Development, at 203-432-8087 or benjamin.yousey-hindes@yale.edu.

Seven Years and Counting: Yale’s Personal Librarian Program

The Fall 2013 semester marked the seventh year of the Yale Library’s Personal Librarian Program for undergraduates. Based on a similar program at the Yale Medical School, the Personal Librarian Program matches every student entering Yale College with a research librarian.

The program is designed to help new students become comfortable using a large academic research library. Yale’s library system, comprehensive as it is, can be intimidating to freshmen, most of whom are experiencing a library of this size for the first time. “Our goal is to ensure that every student understands the riches of the library collections available to them,” explains University Librarian, Susan Gibbons, “and we recognize that such a vast exploration requires a knowledgeable guide from the start.” Each Personal Librarian acts as a research advisor, answering questions about library collections and services. As the semester progresses and research papers become due, Personal Librarians offer guidance on everything from the identification and use of primary sources, to the concept of peer review in scholarly journals, to the preparation of bibliographies.

By the end of their sophomore year, students will have learned the skills necessary to make effective use of Yale’s library collections, and by extension, to produce stronger work. Recognizing how important this service is, last spring Yale College’s Class of 1977 Class Council came forward and generously committed to providing ongoing financial support for the Personal Librarian Program.

Many other universities and colleges, including Duke and the University of Toronto, have adopted the Personal Librarian model. Earlier this year Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, introduced a Personal Librarian Program to its incoming first-year students, the first time the model has been adopted outside North America.

December 18, 2013

Yale University Library services & hours during the 2013 holiday recess

As the holiday recess approaches, please be advised that several library services will be suspended or operating in a reduced capacity during this period:

Scan and Deliver–Last day for guaranteed 2-day service is Wednesday, 12/18/13. No request processing 12/24/13-1/1/14. Normal operations resume 1/2/14.

Borrow Direct–Last day for processing incoming deliveries is Monday, 12/23/13. No request processing 12/24/13-1/1/14. Normal operations resume 1/2/14.

Interlibrary Loan–No request processing 12/24/13-1/1/14. Normal operations resume 1/2/14.

Eli Express–Monday 12/23/13 AM service only. No service 12/24/13-1/1/14. Normal deliveries resume 1/2/14.

Please plan your requests accordingly, and allow for additional processing time during the first two weeks of January.

For the opening hours of libraries around campus over the holiday, please check on the library's website at: http://web.library.yale.edu

All of us at the Yale University Library wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and we look forward to meeting your research needs in the New Year!

Happy Holidays from the Yale University Library!

Wishing all of our patrons a happy holiday season and best wishes for the New Year! We look forward to working together with you in 2014.