by Katherine JohnsonI was recently on a trip to New York City and of course, we had to tour the Empire State Building. If you have not yet been there, I will describe the environment for you. As you might imagine, certain times of the year are very busy and the lines can get very long, much like DisneyWorld. To keep the visitors entertained, the staff has created a history museum about this landmark that you read as you snake around the velvet ropes awaiting your turn for an elevator to the higher floors, which during peak hours can be a very long time.
Why is this pertinent? Well, with my professional hat on, I stood amazed at the amount of material that had been preserved on the planning, designing, and building of this amazing structure. Reproduced for the public’s viewing are design documents, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Artifacts and recorded interviews also tell some of the story. During the construction a log was kept detailing the exact work done and amount of materials used each day. The work on the building was well documented in photographs and there was a great deal of press coverage before, during, and after the construction. Even my husband, who is not always gung-ho on museums, was thrilled with the images and information provided about the actual building process. Since the goal was to build the tallest building in the world (which it was from 1931-1967) one can understand the mission to record every detail for posterity. But someone had to have the foresight and the determination to properly preserve all of these materials (storing them properly and organizing them for future use). This can be a costly endeavor.
After that, someone with a creative design sense had to work with the archivist or curator to create the exhibit and determine what to use in it. I do not possess that creative streak so exhibits that are well done always astound me. But, as an archivist and curator I do have insight into the work and the funding that must have gone into the preservation of the records of this immense construction project from the 1930s. Too many of these types of endeavors have no such written records to illustrate the background and day-to-day work that went into them. If the Empire State Building had been destroyed by terrorists, natural disaster or just due to age and we had no written or photographic history of it, the knowledge about it as well as some images of it would disappear after one generation. Although this is a structure and many may say “so what” to the preservation of its records, its importance to our culture can be demonstrated by 4 million people who visit there each year and the fact that it was voted America’s favorite architecture in a poll by the American Institute of Architects in 2007.
The Empire State Building still stands, no longer the tallest structure in the country but definitely etched into our cultural heritage, and has become a tourist attraction as well as continuing to be an office building for many businesses housing thousands of workers. People from around the world flock to it and although some may not pay much attention to the historical detail, there are many who crave learning about such places in depth.
by Sarah-Jane Poindexter
The University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections (ASC) recently launched The Louisville Underground Music Archive (LUMA) Project. This timely project will document the history and culture of Louisville’s underground music scene from the 1970s to the present, with a focus on the 1980s and 1990s. Generally speaking, records of popular culture are underrepresented in archives, putting this history at risk for loss, and in this case, creating a gap in the historical record related to independent/underground music culture in Louisville.
ASC’s goal is to address the gap by actively collecting a wide variety of materials including oral histories, show recordings, set lists, photographs, zines, posters, flyers, t-shirts, ephemera, correspondence, business records, and early web history related to the music scene. This is in keeping with ASC’s mission to collect, organize, preserve, and make available for research rare and unique materials, particularly relating to the history and cultural heritage of Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding region.
In addition to reflecting late-20th and early-21st century culture in the Louisville, the local music scene has had influence beyond the Ohio Valley, making it a subject of interest outside of our immediate community. Though the LUMA project just formally began, it has been developing for years in conversations between archivists Heather Fox, Carrie Daniels, Elizabeth Reilly, and Sarah-Jane Poindexter. Then in 2012 music writer and lawyer Paul Curry donated a run of the local music zines “Hard Times” and “Burt : the official Burt the cat fanclub newsletter.” This donation of local music writings, followed by the untimely passing of three major contributors to the music scene – Jason Noble, Jon Cook, John Kampschaefer – all within a year, the LUMA team felt a sense of urgency to officially launch the project.
Materials donated to this project will be professionally preserved, organized, described, and made accessible to students, scholars and the general public. LUMA project archivists will digitize select materials and make them available online via the Libraries Digital Collections. Items that are not digitized will be described and be discoverable through ASC’s website and may be accessed through the ASC research room on the lower level of Ekstrom library, Monday through Friday 8am-5pm. Ultimately, the Louisville Underground Music Archive will be an authoritative and comprehensive research collection freely available to the community and preserved for future generations. ASC plans to use collection materials to engage the public with Louisville music history through the curation of exhibits and other programming.
Keep up with the LUMA project on Facebook and stay tuned for the launch of the digital collections website as well as a community donation/archiving event in 2014. For more information or to make a donation, please contact the LUMA project at email@example.com.
Prepared by Melissa Laning, Rosalinda Linares, Samantha McClellan and Toccara Porter
Rosalinda Hernandez Linares
Rosalinda Linares joined the University Libraries Faculty as the Diversity Residency Librarian on August 19, 2013. She received her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh in December 2012. The Diversity Residency position, housed within the Reference and Instruction department, is an ongoing program to support entry-level librarians from historically underrepresented minorities in higher education. Along with her duties as the subject liaison to Classical and Modern Languages, teaching information literacy sessions, and providing reference services, Rosalinda is working on several projects across campus that promote the visibility of diverse groups within our UofL community. She is currently on a grant-writing team for the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance (K’LEA), which will focus on the strategic retention of Latino students at UofL.
Rosalinda received her undergraduate degree in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College. Prior to receiving her degree in library science, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Toledo Public Schools and also spent two years as a Literacy*Americorps Service Member. She has also worked with the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston and the Girls’ LEAP (Lifetime Empowerment & Awareness Program) Self-Defense Program, also in Boston.
As a former National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) intern at the National Park Service office in Seattle, Washington, and a recent transplant to Louisville, Rosie is very excited to explore the cultural landscapes of the Metro Parks system.
Samantha “Sam” McClellan is the new Social Sciences Teaching and Faculty Outreach Librarian. Her appointment to the Libraries Faculty was effective on July 8, 2013 following completion of her MLS degree from Indiana University in May 2013. In her new position, Sam works with students and faculty to assist them in finding appropriate resources for their research; this can be through one-on-one meetings or in a classroom setting. She views it as treasure hunting for information. The resources she will help students and faculty discover can include books, blogs, speeches, journal articles and more. She is currently working on a research guide to assist faculty in managing the information they gather from their own research projects.
Sam’s undergraduate degree is from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in Anthropology. While she was a grad student at IU, Sam served in a user services position at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. She also held several positions at the IU Wright Education Library and helped to organize the records of the IU Student Recreational Sports Center. During her undergraduate days in North Carolina, she volunteered at the Wake County Public Library and with Nourish International, an organization with the goal of eradicating poverty through small business ventures.
Sam is currently exploring the laws of gravity. Last year, she went skydiving and this year, she is planning on spelunking at Mammoth Caves.
Toccara Porter was appointed to the position of Coordinator for Distance Learning Library Services effective July 1, 2013. Toccara has been on the libraries faculty since spring semester 2008 as Diversity Residency Librarian so she is already a familiar face on campus, and has taught many of our information literacy and Endnote classes. In her current position, Toccara provides online library research support to students and faculty at UofL who participate in distance education programs both locally and overseas. She assists distance learning students and faculty by creating online research guides tailored to individual programs of study and creating electronic reserves pages with full-text journal articles for use as supplemental reading materials. Essentially, Distance Learning Library Services provides the online equivalent to on-campus library services.
Before joining the faculty at UofL, Toccara was a library assistant at the Louisville Technical Institute providing research support for interior design students. Some of her prior experiences include working as an elementary school substitute teacher and in the circulation department of the Columbus OH Metropolitan Public Library. Her MLIS is from Kent State University and her BA in History is from Berea College.
Toccara collects Hot Wheels cars – VROOOOM, VROOOOM! – and is a Buffalo Bills fan.
by Chris Poché
If you are working on a research project that requires work with primary sources, newspapers, or periodicals, chances are you may need to use microforms to get access to some of those materials. Despite the increasing availability of online resources, some materials are still most easily and, sometimes, only accessed through the use of microforms. The Current Periodicals & Microforms (CPM) department has added two new microform machines to improve service to our patrons needing access to such materials.
A traditional microform machine projects a microphotographic image of a document onto a monitor screen that is part of the machine itself. CPM still has one of these machines (a Canon 300) but has been moving in the direction of using machines that have their own software and display their images on computers.
In the summer of 2013, CPM purchased two ST ViewScan microform scanners, which offer ease of use, high quality imaging, and a variety of scanning options. Its most distinctive feature is called Clip Merge, which enables you to put several scanned images together in whatever configuration suits your needs. You can adjust the size of the images and juxtapose them in new arrangements. Also, you can highlight passages of text, write notes to yourself as you might write a note in the margin of a book, and more.
The ST ViewScan joins another relatively recent addition to CPM: the ScanPro 2000. The scanning options for the ScanPro 2000 are not as versatile as they are with the ST ViewScan, but it is also easy to use and provides high quality images. Its most distinctive feature is its powerful camera lens, which magnifies images up to 105x and is twice the power of the ST ViewScan.
Both the ST ViewScan and the ScanPro 2000 are capable of displaying and scanning documents in all the microform formats available in CPM: 35mm and 16mm microfilm (including 3M cartridges), microfiche, and microcard. Scans made with these machines can be saved in multiple formats (pdf, tiff, jpeg, png, etc.) to your flash drive; or, if you don’t happen to have a flash drive when you visit, scans can be emailed as well.
The microform collections and machines are available for use whenever Ekstrom Library is open, and CPM staff is available to assist you Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 8 pm, Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from noon to 8 pm. The new machines themselves can help you to use them if CPM staff is not available at the time of your visit. Every button and feature is explained onscreen, and the ST ViewScan even has short video demonstrations of its main features.
As libraries navigate into the online future, microforms may seem stuffy and old school, but the technology being made available for their use has improved greatly to meet the demands of the tech-savvy library user.
Did you know that October is THE busiest month for students and the library? You might have suspected based on your syllabi, but take a look at the numbers:
- Catalog searches are at their peak in October. During October 2012 the catalog was searched 137,204 times — over 4400 times per day.
- Items checked out of the library are also hitting their peak. Today, nearly 14,700 items are checked out. (Don’t worry, though! The University of Louisville Libraries’ collection holds over 2.4 million volumes.)
By Samantha McClellan, Social Sciences Teaching and Faculty Outreach Librarian
As a researcher, you might notice that you’re seeing “data management plans” as a part of your grant requirements. Effective for proposals submitted on or after January 18, 2011, investigators are expected to share their data produced under an NSF (National Science Foundation) grant. These plans are increasingly becoming a part of other granting agencies’ requirements, including the NEH and NIH. Tools like the DMP Tool are being created to assist you in creating your data management plan.
Data management is an essential part of the research life cycle—this can mean the difference between getting a grant, preserving your data for the long-term, and the overall success of your research.
The Components of a Data Management Plan
Typical data management plans consist of the following:
- A description of the project
- A description of the data that will be produced
- How the data will be managed throughout
- Documentation about the data
- Plans for short-term data storage, backup, and security
- Legal and ethical issues
- Plans for access, sharing, and reuse of data
- Plans for data retention and disposal arrangements
- Plans for preservation and archiving
Why Manage your Data
Regardless of whether your funding agency requires a data management plan, following standard guidelines for managing your data can assist you in numerous ways:
- Save time: planning how you’ll manage your data will save you time throughout the research process.
- e.g. Standardize your file formats across the project and use sustainable file formats. Long-term access can become an issue as certain software become obsolete.
- Simplify: when you let a repository house (and potentially share) your data, they also get the housekeeping duties of managing the data.
- e.g. Rather than answering questions and requests for your data, repositories will do that for you.
- Preserve: by depositing your data in a repository, you’re ensuring that the data will be available to you and other researchers long-term.
- Data repositories exist to store, preserve, and provide access to your data.
- Research efficiency: when you document your data throughout the lifecycle, you are making it easier for you and others to find and understand your data in the future.
- e.g. Use directory and file naming conventions to avoid confusion amongst multiple researchers.
- Meet funder requirements: if this is standard practice for you, you’re already on your way to a solid data management plan! Many funders now require formal data management plans and/or that data produced under their grants be made publicly available.
- Facilitate new discoveries: sharing data reinforces scientific inquiry, which can lead to new discoveries. This also helps in avoiding duplication of data by allowing multiple researchers to utilize the same data set.
- The open access movement exists to share and facilitate new knowledge.1
Consider the library a partner in the data management process. Librarians are interested in data management because we are interested in the short- and long-term preservation of raw data that can be used to create new and interesting ways to understand things. If you have any questions about managing your data or creating a data management plan, please refer to the UofL Libraries Data Management research guide or contact the Social Sciences Teaching & Faculty Outreach Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Crummett, C., Graham, A., McNeill, K., Sheehan, D., & Stout, A. (2013). MIT Libraries Data Management and Publishing. Retrieved from http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/data-management/
By Latisha Reynolds
If you are a Louisville local, you may have heard of the old Walnut Street business district (now Muhammad Ali Boulevard). West Walnut Street from 6th to 13th Streets was a business, social, and cultural gathering place for African Americans. Beginning in the late 1800’s, the first African American businesses started to form on and around Walnut Street, and it grew to include over 150 businesses. The area served a vital need during segregation, and thrived especially from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Although this area was demolished during urban renewal, it holds a special place in the hearts and memories of many African Americans in the Louisville community. I personally remember my great grandmother making references to restaurants, nightclubs, and other businesses on Walnut Street when I was a kid.
The UofL Libraries have books, photos, articles, and other archival materials that chronicle the rich history of this area. For a great summary of the Old Walnut Street business district check out the Encyclopedia of Louisville. The section Walnut Street African American Businesses in the encyclopedia discusses the history of the area, how it expanded over the years, and how it was impacted by events such as segregation, desegregation, urban renewal, World War II, and the Great Depression. Speaking of the growth, it mentions that as early as 1860 there were two African American businesses on Walnut Street (a boarding house and a barber shop) interspersed with other businesses and residences. By the 1900’s the number of black-owned businesses grew to 24, and that number grew to over 150 by the 1930’s. The growth continued through the 40’s, but began to decline in the 1950’s. Stated reasons for the decline and ultimate closing of the business district include: desegregation (many black residents took opportunities to shop in areas that were previously prohibited), the migration of many white residents to the suburbs, and finally urban renewal which later wiped out most of the businesses and resident homes in the 1960’s.
The businesses that dotted old Walnut Street included those for everyday needs like restaurants, churches, banks, insurance companies, news and printing services, barber shops, salons, gas stations, independent doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, and more. However, the area was well known for the entertainment, including several theaters, nightclubs, and other gathering places. Clubs like the Top Hat drew crowds from out of town, as well as local black and white residents who came to see the top jazz musicians of the time. Derby was a popular time on Walnut Street!
Theaters such as the Lyric, the Grand, and the Lincoln were also noted as popular entertainment spots. Other businesses included: Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Co., First Standard Bank, Bowman’s Apothecary, The Louisville Leader, The Louisville Defender (Ekstrom Library microfilm newspapers- 2nd floor), and White Printing and News Service, to name a few. (Encyclopedia of Louisville, African American Businesses)
There are several materials located in Archives & Special Collections (Ekstrom Library, LL17) that discuss the history, people, and businesses of old Walnut Street. Below are some selected materials.
- Blacks: Walnut Street Business District – “Newspaper clippings and miscellaneous printed material.”
- Moorman, Frank., Sr., Scrapbook, 1879-1976 (microfilm) – “Frank Moorman was the grandson of a slave. He was born in Daviess County, Kentucky. He established the Central Drug Company at the corner of Sixth and Walnut (now Muhammad Ali Boulevard) Streets in Louisville with Dr. J.C. McDonald in 1932. With McDonald, he opened the F&M Service Station at the corner of Eighth and Walnut Streets in 1937. The service station eventually became Frank’s Super Service, a franchise of the Standard Oil Company.”
- City Directories: Selected city directories list African American business owners on Walnut Street.
- Photos of Walnut Street/Muhammad Ali are also available in various collections.
- For additional print resources about African Americans and old Walnut Street check out the following:
- Bruce M. Tyler. African American Life in Louisville, Ekstrom Library African American collection (2nd floor) and other areas. Call number: F459.L89 N476 1998.
- John E. Kleber. Encyclopedia of Louisville. Ekstrom Library Reference book stacks; Archives & other UofL Libraries, Call number F459.L85 E54 2001.
- Mervin Aubespin, Kenneth Clay, J Blaine Hudson. Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A photographic History. Ekstrom Library, Browsing Collection (1st floor) and other areas. Call number: F459.L89 N429 2011.
While summer is usually a slow time for most areas on campus, we have been busy in the University Libraries! Over the spring and summer, we hired a number of new faculty and staff to fill key positions. Some of these positions, with titles such as User Experience Librarian and Social Sciences Librarian, were newly created ones to fill areas of strategic need thus improving our outreach and services to students and faculty. Our most recent hire is for a new associate dean who has been tasked with taking an already good set of services and resources and helping us to innovatively move forward.
While we are happy to welcome these new colleagues, we say goodbye over the next year to 10 of our coworkers who will be leaving under the voluntary separation program. I’ve turned a plan in for how we will maintain our operations while we experience this significant loss and I’ll share the plan once it is approved by the Provost. As we are allowed to gradually refill these positions, I look forward to working with you to take a step back and redesign the positions to meet user’s needs going into the future.
In addition to a number of new faces, we’ve also been busy updating our physical spaces. New furniture is arriving at the Art Library while new student and shelving spaces are being crafted on the third floor of the Music Library. Archives and Special Collections celebrated the opening of the Pennington Gallery – a state-of-the-art space to house and display primary source documents. The Collaborative Learning Center on the first floor of the Ekstrom Library has been completely updated and, based on student input, we are making the final updates to the newly refurbished Ekstrom 4th floor quiet study area.
So, instead of a quiet summer, it has been a time of transformation and change for our staff and our spaces – stay tuned!
by Barbara Whitener
Old and moldy. Boring. Just some of the descriptions of federal and state government publications. But look a little deeper and you will find some that are odd, quirky, surprising, and very interesting.
Want to see the World War I draft registration cards for Groucho Marx, Chef Boyardee, Moe of the Three Stooges, Al Capone, T.S. Eliot, J.C. Penny, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Chaplin? The National Archives has them all and more on a web page. Oh yes and for George McWhorter, the draft registration card for Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The final score was the Roaring Gimlets 62 the Pig-Stickers 49. The Alaska State Library writes about a baseball game in Alaska in 1893 when it was 38 degrees below zero. Not your average game. Read the link to see who won.
Remember the “Mean Joe Greene” coke commercial? You can see this and more on the site Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements from the American Memory, Library of Congress collection. Presented are advertisements, outtakes and experimental footage. Also included is a timeline and brief history of television advertising.
What are Perseid Fireballs? That hot candy? No, Wikipedia tells us that the Perseids are a “prolific meteor shower” that people have noted for about 2000 years. Perseids will be active July 17 – August 24, 2013 with peak activity August 11-12 (thanks Wikipedia). NASA has a video at
Have you heard the one about….? The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has a website that has the Phyllis Diller Gag File and information on Phyllis Diller. How did the housewife become a comedienne and work with Bob Hope and many other stars? She put it this way: “I became a stand-up comedienne because I had a sit-down husband.”
Have you heard of a Robonaut? NASA explains that a Robonaut is a “dexterous humanoid” robot built to help “humans work and explore in space.” There are four Robonauts that can assist astronauts with tasks using their versatility and quickness. They also do those mundane tasks over and over without complaining.
“You get attacked by army ants, bullet ants. You get bitten by wasps. There are snakes and diseases. You sleep on hammocks for days” is how Jeff Chambers of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory describes working in the Amazon “counting trees.” His specialty is tree mortality and the carbon cycle. He jokes that these five years in the Amazon is “probably one of the craziest things they’ve ever done.”
by Kelly Buckman, Ekstrom Library Reference
A new semester is right around the corner, but there is still time to prepare. Do you need to schedule a class for an Information Literacy or Group Research instruction session? Or maybe you’re interested in working with a librarian to prepare a course research guide? Would you like to encourage your students to schedule a research appointment so they can prepare for that big assignment? Or maybe you’re interested in learning more about using EndNote, our citation management software which helps you format and maintain your bibliographies and which can be downloaded for free with a UofL Login?
You can meet our staff, send us a chat question, or request these services and more from our new Reference and Information Literacy Page.