Do you use Google Translate? The Oxford Language Dictionaries Online, available from the University Libraries Databases A-Z list offers some advantages over Google Translate, especially for beginning language learners.
- The Oxford dictionaries are authoritative. No “voting” on whether the translation is good or not. They are compiled by language experts.
- Phrases! It’s fine to know the meaning of a single word. Google translate works decently for that. When you’re learning a language though, it is super helpful to know the phrases that often accompany a particular word, especially when they color the meaning of that word or when the word is not used literally. For example, Google will tell you that “gesicht” in German means “face.” The Oxford Language Dictionary will tell you that “solche Unhöflichkeit steht dir nicht zu Gesicht[e]” or “such impoliteness ill becomes you.” The translation of that phrase in Google: “Such rudeness does not become you to face.”
- Need to cite the word you translated? Oxford Language Dictionaries Online help you do that with the click of a button!
- The dictionaries contain important grammatical information for each language.
- Lists of useful phrases to use when you’re traveling!
The dictionaries also briefly summarize the history and current state of the language. U of L Libraries subscribes to Chinese, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish dictionaries through this service.
Have questions about this resource or any other library resource? Call 852-6747 or chat with us at Ask-a-Librarian.
One of my favorite activities when I’m sitting at the reference desk waiting for a student to ask me a question is to explore new books. Sometimes we’ll have a cart full of new reference books waiting to go; other times I’ll use the catalog’s “new items” section to search for newly received books or videos. One fairly new release is The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book: Singin’, Praisin’, Raisin’. [Ekstrom Library 3rd floor book stacks F106 .F695 2011]
This anniversary book is part of the Foxfire series which started out as a student writing exercise by a new teacher in a Georgia school. He asked his students what they could do to make learning English interesting. They decided to start a magazine in which they would write articles based on community interviews. In addition to capturing their interest the assignment captured aspects of a disappearing culture – from dressing hogs to making quilts. Many of the magazine’s articles were later published as books. While we don’t have the whole series we do have a number of the books, including:
- The Foxfire book: hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts and foods, planting by the signs, snake lore, hunting tales, faith healing, moonshining, and other affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 2: ghost stories, spring wild plant foods, spinning and weaving, midwifing, burial customs, corn shuckin’s, wagon making and more affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 3: animal care, banjos and dulcimers, hide tanning, summer and fall wild plant foods, butter churns, ginseng, and still more affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 4: fiddle making, springhouses, horse trading, sassafras tea, berry buckets, gardening, and further affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 7: Ministers, church members, revivals, baptisms, shaped-note and gospel singing, faith healing, camp meetings, footwashing, snake handling, and other traditions of mountain religious heritage
- Foxfire 9: general stores, the Jud Nelson wagon, a praying rock, a Catawban Indian potter, haint tales, quilting, home cures, and the log cabin revisited
- Foxfire 10: railroad lore, boardinghouses, Depression-era Appalachia, chair making, whirligigs, snake canes, and gourd art
Besides being a great way to learn about Appalachian culture, the books have been praised as instructional tomes on all kinds of skills from fiddle making to horse trading.
 The Foxfire Fund, “Foxfire Magazine” http://www.foxfire.org/magazine.html. [Accessed January 29, 2013.]
So, your professor said you needed more credible sources…where do you go to get them? Google? Yeah, maybe if you want to sift through blogs, videos, random web pages, and all kinds of other fascinating but not exactly relevant information. What if there was a web page, created specifically for your major, that listed places to go to find academic/scholarly information? Well, good news, there is! UofL’s Research Guides are web pages created by librarians that list library databases of articles (and other types of info) that can help you with your papers. Although each research guide might look slightly different, they all have several consistent “tabs” across the top: Find Articles, Books, Primary Sources, Course Guides, Citing Sources, and Help.
The Find Articles tab guides you to databases where you can find scholarly and popular magazine articles that discuss topics in this subject area. These library databases are sort of like “gated communities” because you have to be a member of the UofL community to access the articles which are only available by a paid subscription.
The Books tab leads you to sources where you can find in-depth information in print or electronic book form.
Depending on the subject area, Primary Sources might lead you to library databases or free websites that have original documents for the field of study.
Sometimes, in addition to the research guide, a librarian will also modify a guide for a particular course pointing students to the specific sources they need to complete a research assignment. These can be found under the Course Guides tab.
The Citing Sources tab jumps to a page that lists particular citation style guides such as MLA, APA 6th, Chicago/Turabian as well as software or websites that can help you cite with the click of a button.
The Help tab will indicate who the subject librarian is for that area with his/her contact information and has a chat box available in case you have an immediate question.
Librarians are open to suggestions, so if you think of something that would be helpful to you to have on these guides, let us know! Take a minute and explore Ekstrom Library’s Research Guides today!
Conducting a comprehensive literature review for a dissertation, thesis, or large-scale research project can be an arduous and overwhelming task. At the library, we receive a number of common questions about this process:
What databases should I search? Have I located all the influential studies relevant to my topic? What about the less-influential studies? Is it possible I’m missing an obscure article from an unknown journal that will completely alter the course of my research?
In other words, have I found everything?
While literature searches inevitably involve a certain amount of, well, uncertainty, we’ve put together a new research guide to help you strategize, organize, and, perhaps most importantly, stay in the good graces of a perpetually grumpy dissertation director.
Our guide suggests key library resources (as well as Google Scholar, which can be especially useful for interdisciplinary research), offers helpful search tips (do you know how to tell who has been citing your favorite article?), and lists some options for managing the search process (EndNote! EndNote! EndNote!). All of this stuff can make your life easier and your research more enjoyable and productive. Seriously.
But what about that lingering question: have you found absolutely everything of relevance? Given that new potential sources are being published by the minute (or faster) in a rapidly expanding information universe, it’s always possible to miss something. However, you can alleviate your anxiety by considering the following questions:
- Have I searched all the major databases relevant to my area of interest?
- Am I seeing the same authors/sources over and over again?
- Have I checked through the bibliographies/references of the sources I’ve found?
- Am I keeping track of new publications through database/journal alerts and regular communication with other researchers?
- Have I talked to a librarian?
It might seem a little self-serving (sorry!), but that last questions is especially important. Librarians at UofL are more than happy to meet with researchers in any discipline to discuss resources and strategies. It’s not just our job—we love research! You can request an appointment with a librarian on at Ask a Librarian. Good luck with the search!
The UofL Photographic Archives recently acquired three photographs by amateur street photographer Vivian Maier for addition to the fine print collection. Though not famous in the canon of photography along the lines of others found in the fine print collection, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Maier has been the buzz of the photography world for the last few years.
Her work was discovered when two separate men purchased boxes of unknown negatives and undeveloped film from an abandoned storage unit at a Chicago auction house in 2007. Shortly before the name of the photographer and her work began to attract attention, Vivian Maier died in April 2009 at the age of 83. A search for information about Maier revealed that she had worked most of her life as a nanny around Chicago and remained unmarried, having no children of her own. Her former charges described her as an intensely private, proud, opinionated yet very caring woman, who never showed anyone her photographs.
As Maier’s work has come to light through blogs set up by the owners of her archives, it has garnered national acclaim from photography experts, amateurs, fans and casual viewers alike. A master of the “decisive moment,” Maier captured street life in Chicago, New York, and beyond in France, Egypt, Asia and everywhere else she traveled throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s with a distinct sincerity. The quality of her work is undeniable, and the rate of successful images appears staggering. It is no wonder solo exhibitions of Maier’s work have appeared in galleries and museums all over the world, with a book published in 2011 and a documentary about her life impending.
The Photographic Archives is proud to add these three images by Vivian Maier to the collection, and is thrilled that the history of photography continues to evolve in such exciting ways. Come see our collections – we are free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Today’s guest blogger is Pam Yeager from the University of Louisville Libraries Photographic Archives.
Unidentified images in the Photographic Archives provide me with lots of opportunities to indulge my love of getting the story under the surface. But one well-identified photo from a recent acquisition provided some fun and surprises, as well. The Speed Art Museum recently de-accessioned a small group of Louisville photographs. One of these is a photo of a Louisville mansion at 214 W. Broadway that was identified on the back as belonging to William H. Dillingham. Three people sitting on the front steps are almost invisible in the picture, which includes the entire massive façade of the building. Caron’s City Directory for 1885 tells us that Mr. Dillingham owned a woolen mill supplies company at 421 W. Main St. There’s another figure off to the side of the house and farther back – so I assume she is not part of the family – perhaps an employee?By 1905, the residence is listed as owned by J.C. Lewis, and the company on Main St. is not listed. In 1914, Caron tells us that at 214 W. Broadway, Ms. Mattie B. Russell had furnished rooms to let, one of which was occupied by Pauline Bredelli, a music teacher. Perhaps Ms. Bredelli was the connection that led to 214’s next occupant: In the 1916 Directory,the Louisville Conservatory of Music is listed at the address.
From Robert Bruce French’s article about the Louisville Conservatory of Music in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, I learned that the Conservatory opened on September 7, 1915, “in the former Dillingham mansion at 214 W. Broadway.” The Conservatory was a great success, so much so that another larger school was built on Brook St. in 1926-7. But after the Depression hit, student enrollment dropped and the school ultimately declared bankruptcy and closed in 1932. It then merged with the University of Louisville’s part-time (no degrees granted) Department of Music. Faculty and students from the Louisville Conservatory became U of L teachers and students, and in only four years the School was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. French’s article also tells us the Brook St. site is now covered by I 65. And instead of the soaring arches of the Dillingham mansion at 214 W. Broadway, you’ll find a Subway restaurant, across from the more modest golden arches of a McDonalds.
Through October 25, 2012 the photo of the Dillingham mansion is part of Special Collections’ exhibit: “Samuel W. Thomas, Louisville Historian”, in the Photographic Archives gallery. Dr. Thomas used the photograph (when it belonged to the Speed Museum) in his book The Architectural History of Louisville, 1778-1900.
Banned Books Week draws attention to actual or attempted banning of books across the United States. This focus centers around the topic of censorship, which can adversely impact the ability of libraries to function as places that promote free and open access to information. Hence, this time is viewed as a Celebration of the Freedom to Read.
Intellectual freedom is valued by libraries in the aim of promoting access to information and the expression of ideas in various forms; even if the information might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of these items for all who wish to read and access them.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary in which libraries across the U.S. have celebrated Banned Books Week.
Why are books banned?
The three most common issues that spark debate on the banning of books involves those that are: “sexually explicit, contain offensive language, and unsuited for any age group,” according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Just to give you context for specific examples in the 20th century as described by Doyle (2010), consider the reasons why the following works were banned at one point:
- Invisible Man – Excerpts banned and removed due to images of violence and sexuality.
- As I Lay Dying – Banned for obscene passages about abortion and using God’s name in vain.
- The Lord of the Rings– Burned in Alamogordo, New Mexico in 2001 for being satanic.
- The Catcher in the Rye - Banned, challenged, and removed due to profane language, sexual references, and immorality.
As new generations of people discover these works and other contemporary works being published, there will likely be a continual need to address issues of access and censorship. Regardless of what side you support, having conversations about how to best address these issues with each other is key.
For more information about banned titles click here to view the list by author, decade, and year.
The Ekstrom Library will hold readings October 1st – 3rd from 11-1pm outside of the east entrance facing the quadrangle. Readers are needed to fill each 15 minute slot. Open slots are still available, so if you would like to participate contact Toccara Porter or call the Reference Desk at (502) 852-6747. Stop by, enjoy the readings, and share with us your thoughts and questions.
Doyle, R. P. (2010). Banned books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago: American Library Association.
“Libraries exist to preserve society’s cultural artifacts and to provide access to them. If libraries are to continue to foster education and scholarship in this era of digital technology, it’s essential for them to extend those functions into the digital world.” – The Internet Archive
Earlier this year, the University of Louisville Libraries began digitizing and adding texts to our very own corner of The Internet Archive, a nonprofit internet library which provides free, permanent access to digital collections from all over the world. Several of the items we’ve added so far are souvenir booklets containing some wonderful photographs of the city of Louisville from the early 20th century.
Other items include biographies and histories of industries in Kentucky, including one of our most downloaded items to date, Fine Whisky Facts compiled by George C. Buchanan.
The books UofL Libraries have uploaded to The Internet Archive can be viewed in several formats including online, on a Kindle e-reader device, downloaded as a PDF file, etc. UofL’s contributions were scanned and assigned metadata by Sarah Frankel and MARC cataloging records were created by Tyler Goldberg.
Last month, the University of Louisville Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) collection reached and surpassed 1,000 titles!
The 1,000th ETD was authored by Daniel Baumann, a recent graduate of the Speed School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering for his thesis, “Effect of Flow on Human Endothelial Cell and Dermal Cell Growth Rates Supplemented with Drug Infused Media.”
The UofL Libraries are thrilled that what started as a small project in 2002 has grown to a collection of over 1,000 titles. The Libraries have seen an amazing growth in recent years due to an increase in participation from UofL’s graduate students. For the May 2011 graduates, the ETD program’s participation rate was around 87%. For future graduates, the UofL Libraries hope to increase participation to 100%.
We also have appreciated a boost in participation thanks to a mention in the University of Louisville magazine (Summer 2012 edition, p. 39) which put a call out to U of L alumni to give their permission for us to digitize and add these titles to our ETD collection. As the distributed statement noted, electronic documents are more easily accessed by other scholars than print versions.
If you are reading this blog post and this is the first time you have heard of ETDs or you are a UofL Master’s or Ph. D. graduate interested in submitting your work to this digital collection, please visit our about page where you can find out more information about the collection and UofL’s “Nonexclusive License” which can be mailed or submitted electronically.