Minerva, the Traditional Library Catalog to be Sunsetted

On May 1, 2014, the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), fondly known as Minerva will no longer be available via links on most University Library web pages. This piece of software has served us well for 15 years, but the time has come to retire her. You may have already noticed the change to our new default search of the WorldCat Local (WCL) database on the University Libraries webpage and also on the Ekstrom, Kornhauser, Music, and Art Library webpages. WorldCat Local will be used as our publicly accessible catalog, although we will continue to use the Voyager system behind the scenes to process and circulate materials. The Archives and Special Collections will continue to use the Minerva interface due to the specialized materials that they have.

When you say “no longer be available via links”, what exactly do you mean?

We won’t link to minerva.louisville.edu from our webpages, but if you type in that URL, it will continue to work for the foreseeable future. It will not be customized, and more importantly, the records will not be corrected or maintained and thus will not be as accurate as the ones in WorldCat Local. Some pieces of the system will, however, continue to be used such as “My Account” where you can log in to renew your materials and the piece used to request an item from the Robotic Retrieval and Storage (RRS) system.

Why is the library catalog changing from Minerva to WorldCat Local?

WorldCat Local searches for books, e-books, articles, videos, and other items from UofL Libraries and many other libraries, all in a single search. In addition to library holdings it includes over 70 million citations to articles from JSTOR, ERIC (education), ScienceDirect, ArticleFirst, GPO (U.S. government publications), and more databases. With its intuitive interface researchers can then narrow results by location, format and full-text availability. Minerva, on the other hand, only contains what UofL owns and cannot search articles at all which has been a source of confusion to students and other researchers.

Book records in WorldCat Local include an image of the book as well as the standard information that Minerva provided: call number, availability, subject headings, citation and description. WorldCat Local will also indicate libraries nearby that have the item if we don’t have it here at UofL. Articles can be limited to peer-reviewed and/or full-text availability. Overall, the contents and functionality of the WorldCat Local tool far exceed the Minerva catalog.

Why now?

It comes down to time and money. Reductions in budget and staff have made us look for ways to provide the same level of service with fewer hours of staff time. For the last several years our staff has been doing double duty updating both versions of the catalog. This has meant many staff hours creating and updating records in the two systems and managing changes to the Minerva interface. Officially going with WorldCat Local as our library catalog will eliminate the duplication of effort and help provide our patrons with a single interface for finding the up-to-date information they need.

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

We introduced WorldCat Local on a pilot basis a few years ago. We wanted to make sure that it would meet the needs of our researchers as well as fulfill the University Libraries’ needs for a catalog. While WorldCat Local has improved its functionality consistently, the software that runs Minerva is no longer being upgraded or developed. Another inhibiting factor has been that we have materials that are available through Minerva, such as University records, manuscripts, and some other archival materials, that have been problematic to access through WorldCat Local. The benefits of moving to WorldCat Local, however, far outweigh these difficulties.


Obviously, as with any change of this magnitude, there will be bumps along the way. Nothing is perfect, and there are still a number of issues to be resolved. WorldCat Local has interoperability with some library systems and processes. If you have questions about this changeover or what it will mean for your research, please contact the library at UofL that you use the most often.

If you’d like to familiarize yourself more with the WorldCat Local catalog, please visit our help page: http://louisville.libguides.com/help for more information.

On the Origin of Species

By Delinda Buie

“When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species…” (On Origin of Species, 1860, p. 9)


Seven uncharacteristically obliging marine iguanas pose on a bed of lava, Fernandina Island, 7 February 2014

Nearly two centuries years later, travelers to the Galapagos recall Darwin and are much struck with certain facts regarding the distribution of marine iguanas. They are everywhere – on land and in the water surrounding every island – and only occasionally interested in the humans attempting to find a foothold amid them and jagged shards of volcanic rock. The spikey creatures did not inspire affection in Darwin, who considered them “hideous,” and gave them the sobriquet “Imps of Darkness,” but this curator briefly turned outdoor adventurer found them pretty darn cute – especially when they blocked the path as our small group reluctantly left the Galapagos on the final day.

Darwin’s appreciation for the Galapagos at first was muted. Prone to sea-sickness during H.M.S. Beagle’s four year voyage around South America, he was glad to be on any land, however unhospitable. On his brief – only five weeks – treks on four of the islands, he delighted in the accessibility of wildlife, even birds, because isolation had made them unafraid of humans. It was only after return home to England that Darwin reviewed his notes about variations within species, particularly flora, distributed between the islands of the Galapagos archipelago, and still three decades more before he published On the Origin of Species. Even then, Darwin made scant mention of the Galapagos.

The Origin of Species

First American edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, which appeared 154 years ago: 28 March 1860.

The University of Louisville is one of about a hundred libraries worldwide to hold the first American edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The London edition had appeared on November 24 the year before, with the entire printing of 1250 copies selling out in one day. Publisher D. Appleton and Company immediately offered 5% royalty to Darwin for rights to an authorized American edition, and on March 28, 1860 issued the first of what eventually would be 2500 copies produced in four press runs. That same year Darwin also authorized an inexpensive British edition, with small type and cheaper binding, when he learned that factory workers in Lancashire were pooling their wages to share copies. On the Origin of Species long remained a best seller, capturing imaginations and provoking controversy over decades just as the Galapagos Islands had, much more quietly, claimed Charles Darwin’s: “… the several islands of the Galapagos Archipelago are tenanted…in a quite marvelous manner by very closely related species. (On the Origin of Species, 1860, p. 348).

Bound in three-quarter green morocco over marbled boards by Haddon, the University of Louisville copy of On the Origin of Species originally was part of the extensive collection of Oswego, N.Y. book collector Theodore Irwin, Sr. Irwin’s great granddaughter Nanine Irwin Hilliard Greene donated the book to the University of Louisville rare book collection in 1982, as part of the Irwin-Hilliard family library and archive.

2014 Stern Bramson Award

For almost 25 years the University of Louisville Photographic Archives has chosen one graduating high school student from the Greater Louisville area to receive the Stern J. Bramson Award for Photographic Excellence. This year we had entries from 12 talented photographers, the most we have seen in a long time.  The caliber of work was high and the decision was difficult.  After much debate we got ourselves together and chose the winner of the $1000 prize.  Unfortunately, we cannot let you know who it is until April 4th, when the participants will be notified themselves.

If you are interested in finding out who is the winning photographer, check the University of Louisville Photographic Archives Facebook page on April 4th. We’ll be announcing the photographer’s name sometime in the afternoon. In the meantime, here is a small selection from just half of the portfolios we received:

Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

2014 Bramson Award entry.

You can learn about Stern Bramson here and view his work by visiting the Photographic Archives at Ekstrom Library.

Louisville Weather History

We have been through a long winter, and whether you are willing to believe that it is finally over or not, you have to concede that weather plays a large role in our lives. It affects our economic lives, our educational system, and even our emotional experiences. Since one of Archives and Special Collections’ central goals is to document the history and life of the Louisville area, it isn’t surprising that we hold a variety of weather-related materials.

One of our biggest weather-related collections is the National Weather Service, Louisville Station records.

Report of smoke and "noxious stench" in Louisville

Report of smoke and “noxious stench” in Louisville

These logbooks of daily observations chronicle Louisville’s weather (and the goings-on in the Weather Service office) from its earliest days in 1871 through 1983. They provide interesting, if sometimes minute, details that connect with our lives (“what was the weather like on my birthday in 1883?”), but they also tell a broader story about how we have engaged with our environment. For several years, Louisville’s observers were asked to report whether they could see the aurora borealis. However unlikely it seems that they would ever be able to give a positive report, these observations were intended to provide data to aid in our understanding of this phenomenon. There are also frequent reports of “fog” that limited visibility downtown in the 19th century – what we would probably call “smog.”

The logbooks and other collections also tell the stories of more dramatic weather events, including tornadoes and floods. For example, on March 27, 1890, a particularly deadly tornado – part of a larger outbreak in the region — swept through Louisville, causing millions of dollars in damages and killing 76 people. While this was noted in the Weather Service’s logbooks, like many catastrophic events, it was also of interest to people outside the region. This being the case, stereographs were produced showing the damage in 3-D (this was state-of-the-art in the late 19th century).

Tobacco Warehouse after 1890 Tornado

Stereograph of Tobacco Warehouse after 1890 Tornado


The “whirling tiger of the air” was also documented by other photographers. The much more recent – and similarly catastrophic – tornado outbreak of 1974 is not as well documented outside of the Weather Service logbooks, although we do have photographs and newspaper accounts.



In addition to tornadoes, life on the banks of the Ohio brings with it the constant threat of flooding, so it is not surprising that various floods are well-documented in ASC’s holdings. While the scope of the 1937 flood puts it in a different category, our collections reveal that floods were a recurring theme.

A search for “floods” in our Digital Collections pulls up nearly 1000 items, including..

German Catholic church, Jeffersonville, Ind 1883…stereographs from an 1883 flood in Jeffersonville…

Postcard of 1907 Flood

Postcard of 1907 Flood

…a postcard from a 1907 flood…

Fourth Street, 1924 Flood

Fourth Street, 1924 Flood

…Caufield and Shook photographs from 1924…

1933 Flood, Louisville

1933 Flood, Louisville

…Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) photographs from 1933…

Southern Parkway, 2009 Flood

Southern Parkway, 2009 Flood

…and images from the 2009 flash flood.

Given the devastation it caused, it is not surprising that the flood of 1937 is particularly well documented. Newspaper articles, photographs, postcards and maps were produced in the wake of the destruction. Some of this material – including maps of the floodwaters – is available in our Digital Collections. In addition, we have recently accessioned a series of 13 oral history interviews with flood survivors that were recorded in the early 1990s. These interviews tell the stories of people who ranged in age from ten to thirty-nine at the time of flood. Some of them had to flee the rising waters, moving in with family or friends, while others were able to stay and assist in the recovery efforts – or at least welcome friends and family into their homes. They all tell a personal story of life during the flood of 1937.

There is an old adage, “everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it.” While we can’t help you do anything to change the weather, we can help you put it in historical context.

Artist Book or Livre d’Artiste?

The Art Library’s latest addition is The Book by photographer and graphic designer Julius Friedman.* It’s a simple title for a book that is anything but.

It started with library discards, books falling apart, covers battered, bindings torn. Friedman took those sad books and made them into something startlingly beautiful. He manipulated pages, he tore pages, he drilled holes in pages, he collaged pages, he swirled pages. And then he photographed what he had made. Transforming these books into art, into artists’ books, he was giving the old books new life. The response to the photographs of his artists’ books was even stronger than the response to the objects themselves. So an idea began to germinate – ask writers to share their thoughts about books, match their writings with photographs and produce a limited edition book. With the help of writer and editor Dianne Aprile he did just that. Eventually 23 writers contributed to the project.**

Friedman chose master printer Gray Zeitz of Larkspur Press in Monterey, Kentucky, to do the exquisite letterpress printing of the text. Binder Carolyn Whitsel tipped in the photographs and then sewed the signatures with waxed linen around black tape. Using boards covered with black Japanese book cloth, she fashioned an exposed spine binding. Finally, Friedman asked John Reeb to make the cherry box that houses each book. Friedman then included a photographic print in each box.

At this point, The Book seems to have entered the realm of Livre d’Artiste. Developed in late 19th – early 20th century France, the livre d’artiste refers to a sumptuously created, limited edition book, illustrated with original prints that are made or chosen to resonate with the text. The Art Library’s copy is number 5 in an edition of 20.  Whether artist book or livre d’artiste, we are thrilled to add The Book to our collection.

Below are some images of The Book and a sampling of what’s inside.

box by John Reebfront cover

ball within book  book spiral

book rock

book with gingko leaf 2



















*JULIUS FRIEDMAN is a graphic designer, photographer, artist specializing in cultural, nonprofit, and corporate design. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the National Museum of Poster Art, Warsaw, Poland; the Dansk Plakamuseum, Aarhous, Denmark; the Brown-Forman Corporation; 21C Museum.

**List of contributors
DIANNE APRILE is an editor and writer of essays and books, including The Eye is Not Enough, a collaboration with visual artist Mary Lou Hess. A former journalist and jazz-club owner, she teaches creative nonfiction at Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

MARTHA COLLINS is the author, most recently, of White Papers and the book-length poem Blue Front. She has also published four earlier collections of poems and two collections of co-translated Vietnamese poetry. She is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and an editor for Oberlin College Press.

KATHLEEN DRISKELL’s collection Seed Across Snow was listed as a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation. Her book Blue Etiquette is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She helps direct Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

CLAUDIA EMERSON’s five books include Late Wife, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and, most recently, Secure the Shadow. Emerson has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

NIKKY FINNEY has authored four books of poetry, including Head Off & Split, which won the 2011 National Book Award for poetry. She also authored Heartwood and edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. Co-founder of Affrilachian Poets, she teaches at the University of South Carolina where she holds an endowed chair.

KATHLEEN FLENNIKEN is the author of Plume, a meditation on the Hanford Nuclear Site and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award, and Famous, named an ALA Notable Book. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship. She is the 2012 – 2014 Washington State Poet Laureate.

ALBERT GOLDBARTH, a distinguished professor of Humanities at Wichita State University, is the author of over twenty poetry collections, most recently Everyday People. He has published three essay collections, as well, and was a Guggenheim fellow and twice a winner of the National Book Critics Circle award.

SARAH GORHAM is the author of four collections of poetry, Bad Daughter, The Cure, The Tension Zone, and Don’t Go Back to Sleep. Her essays have appeared in AGNI, Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Arts & Letters, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sarabande Books.

MARIE HOWE has published three books of poems, The Good Thief, What the Living Do, an elegy for her brother who died of AIDS, and most recently The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. She is Poet Laureate of New York state, where she teaches at Sarah Lawrence.

PICO IYER is the author of two novels and eight works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and, most recently, The Man Within My Head. An essayist for Time since 1986, he publishes regularly in The New York Review of Books and The New York Times.

NANA LAMPTON attended Wellesley College, University of Virginia, and Spalding University. She is a board member of Yaddo and Sarabande’s Advisory Board. Her publications include Bloom on a Split Board and The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye.

SHANE MCCRAE is the author of Mule, Blood, and three chapbooks. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Fence and elsewhere, and he has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and an NEA fellowship. He teaches in the brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University.

MAUREEN MOREHEAD is a poet and teacher in Louisville, KY. Her latest book is Late August Blues: The Daylily Poems. She is on the poetry faculty at Spalding University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. She was Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2011-2012.

LUCIA PERILLO’s sixth book of poems, On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Her previous book, Inseminating the Elephant, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Bobbitt prize from the Library of Congress.

PAUL QUENON is a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. He has published five books of poetry, with his photography, including The Art of Pausing and Monkswear.

SPENCER REECE, an ordained priest and former chaplain to the Episcopal bishop of Spain, is a teacher and chaplain at the bilingual school of Nuestras Pequenas Rosas, a home for abandoned and abused girls in Honduras. His second book of poems, The Road to Emmaus, is forthcoming in April, 2014.

JEFFREY SKINNER’s new book of poems, Glaciology, won the 2012 Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition. His play, Down Range, will have its second full production in Chicago in 2014. In addition to poetry collections, his other books include The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets.

KATERINA STOYKOVA-KLEMER is the author of three poetry books, most recently The Porcupine of Mind. She is founder of Accents Publishing and hosts Accents radio show on WRFL (88.1 FM) in Lexington

TREE SWENSON is executive director of Richard Hugo House. She spent ten years as executive director of the Academy of American Poets in New York. She was executive director and co-founder of Copper Canyon Press, where for twenty years she published poetry, and a former AWP Board President.

FRANK X WALKER is poet laureate of Kentucky. He is a Lannan Literary Fellow for Poetry, University of Kentucky associate professor of English and editor of Pluck! the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. Among his six books of poetry is Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers.

EMILY WARN’s latest of five books of poetry is Shadow Architect, An Exploration Of The 22 Letters Of The Hebrew Alphabet. Her poems and essays appear widely, including in Poetry, Bookforum, Poetry Northwest, and The Writer’s Almanac. The founding editor of poetryfoundation.org, she now teaches and writes in Seattle.

JONATHAN WEINERT is the author of In the Mode of Disappearance, winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize, and Thirteen Small Apostrophes, a chapbook. He is co-editor of Until Everything Is Continuous Again: American Poets on the Recent Work of W.S. Merwin.

NANCY WILLARD, a winner of the Devins Memorial Award, has had NEA grants in fiction and poetry. Her book Water Walker was nominated for the National Book Critics Award. She won the Newbery Medal for A Visit To William Blake’s Inn. Her most recent poetry book is The Sea at Truro.

CATHERINE WING’s second collection, Gin & Bleach, won the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature and was published by Sarabande Books. She has recent poems in Best American Poetry, Crazyhorse, and The Nation. She teaches at Kent State University.

Faculty Film Favorites

By Rosalinda Hernandez and Hannah Parks

Did you know that Ekstrom Library has over 1500 foreign language films? This collection represents 70 languages, from Albanian to Zulu. We asked some A&S faculty members for their favorite foreign language films, and here’s what they had to say.

Megan McDonough, Department of Humanities/Film Studies

Jodhaa Akbar poster

Jodhaa Akbar

“As with both books and film, it is hard to pick just one as favorite. However, I do love the Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar (2008). This film uses elaborate sets and costumes to bring to life the love story of Hindu princess Jodhaa and Muslim emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar. Like many Bollywood films, Jodhaa Akbar it has big dance numbers, dramatic fights, and famous actors. Yet, this films subtly deals with issues like religion and tolerance. Displaying the beauty of India in bright, rich colors, this is one of my favorite historical fiction films.”

*You might also enjoy: Lagaan, Earth, Water.

Matthieu Dalle, Department of Classical and Modern Languages

film poster

Pierrot le Fou

“My favorite foreign film is Pierrot le fou by Jean-Luc Godard (1965). It marks the transition between Godard’s early (“New Wave”) phase and his more experimental, militant phase. And that is precisely why Pierrot le fou is a fascinating film. It retains a (loose) narrative structure and some of the New Wave filmic conventions, but it is eschews linearity and is primarily concerned with the potentialities of cinema.

In Pierrot le fou, Godard shows that not only can cinema encompass literature, poetry, painting, music, etc., cinema IS literature, poetry, painting, music, etc., all at the same time. Pierrot le fou is both universal and intimate: it tells us something about Godard and France in 1965, but it is also a commentary on the human condition.

After seeing Pierrot le fou, French poet Louis Aragon wrote, “art today is Jean-Luc Godard.” Close to fifty years later, I can’t be as categorical; I can’t even amend the statement to proclaim, “art is Pierrot le fou.” It is clear in my mind though that, along with Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Joan Miro’s Blue I, II and III, Pierrot le fou is the purest work of art of the 20th century.”

*You might also enjoy: A bout de souffle , Alphaville

If you’d like to further explore our foreign language films, you can visit our Foreign Language Guide. The guide lists all of the foreign language films in our collection, organized by language. You can check out these films at the Media Resources Desk, located in the East Wing of Ekstrom Library.

3-D Found in the Archives!

While doing an inventory of the Photographic Archives storage area, we came across a surprising collection of glass stereo slides with a small box viewer depicting vivid scenes from World War I. I am well acquainted with paper card stereographs and often present them to student groups visiting the archive, asking if they ever imagined that 3-D technology was around over 150 years ago. But I had never before seen glass stereo photographs. The clarity in these three-dimensional images on glass is far beyond that of common paper-mounted card stereographs, so why do they seem so rare?


Glass stereographs and viewer. Photographic Archives, 1981.18.

Stereography, early three-dimensional photography, was immensely popular in the latter half of the nineteenth century having been introduced in the 1850s and lasting into the 1930s. Stereograph photos, also known as stereoviews, stereograms, and stereopticons, were created with special cameras that had two lenses placed approximately two inches apart (the general distance between human eyes). These stereo cameras shot two nearly identical images on one negative that when printed and viewed through a stereoscope appear three dimensional.

Common handheld stereoscope, designed by author Oliver Wendell Holmes around 1860.

Common handheld stereoscope, designed by author Oliver Wendell Holmes around 1860.

Stereography was a common form of entertainment and news in the nineteenth century, with handheld viewers and stereograph sets found in most family parlors much like radios and televisions were in the twentieth century. Sets of stereographs showing far-away places in Europe, Asia and Africa were mass produced, as were sets depicting events like the Civil War and natural disasters such as the Louisville Tornado of 1890 and San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Being so affordable and accessible, stereography made foreign views and newsworthy imagery accessible to people of all classes.

Scene of destruction from the Louisville tornado of 1890. 99.36.004

Scene of destruction from the Louisville tornado of 1890. Albumen paper mounted to card stock. Photographic Archives, 1999.36.004

The collection of glass stereoviews that we found in the archives consists of the wood box stereo viewer, approximately 100 glass slides each hand-labeled in French, and came with no information other than the name of the donor, Jon Kugelman, who gifted the items to the Photographic Archives in 1964. With some quick web research I have already run across a number of the same images that are in our collection. The photographs were likely shot by French photographer and stereographic inventor Jules Richard, and probably mass-produced and sold in the States by Brentano’s, a Parisian bookstore. It seems that glass stereographs were more popular in Europe than in the United States, which is why they are a bit rarer than paper mounted stereoviews.

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.83

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.83

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.26

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.26

The images in this collection show the realities of the Great War, including soldiers amid trenches, battlefield corpses, and bombed-out buildings. With the added feature of spatial relation, as well as the enhanced detail and light of the images on glass, these photographs vividly translate the destruction and horrors of war like I have never seen before.

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.66

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.66

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.61

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.61

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.68

Kugelman Collection, Photographic Archives, 1981.18.68

Though best viewed through a stereoscope viewer, some animated gifs of stereographs can be found online and help convey the three-dimensionality of the photographs, like this image from a collection very similar to the Kugelman Collection in our archive.


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