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.
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.
Our latest exhibit, Famous Faces: Picturing Celebrity in the Photographic Archives, highlights over 40 photographs of nineteenth and twentieth-century celebrated personalities and historical icons held in the University of Louisville collections. From gathering and researching these images I have learned a number of interesting facts about a few celebrities related to Louisville.
Elvis Presley (1935–1977) is one of the most iconic American celebrities of the twentieth century, having been a hugely popular singer and actor for over twenty years, earning the nickname “The King of Rock and Roll.” But the photos held in the archives of Elvis Presley, performing in Louisville at a special employee party put on by tobacco company Philip Morris, don’t tell the whole story. A little research revealed that this show, held on December 8, 1955, was a mere month before Elvis’ very first record was released – “Heartbreak Hotel” in January of 1956. He was an unknown! In fact, it has since been reported that the president of Philip Morris, in the audience during the performance, tried to get Elvis kicked off the stage because he considered the singer’s hip gyrations obscene.
The Modjeska, the delectable caramel covered marshmallow candy is an original Louisville creation that is continued to this day by confectioners like Muth’s Candies on East Market Street. It sounded like a strange name for a candy until I learned that it was named after a famous stage actress of the late nineteenth century. Helena Modjeska (1840–1909) was a Polish-born Shakespearean actress who was hugely popular in the United States after she emigrated here in 1876. In 1883, the year she received her American citizenship, she starred in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in Louisville, Kentucky, the first Ibsen play staged in the United States. As a testament to her appeal, Anton Busath, a candy maker who immigrated to Louisville from France, was so infatuated with the actress that after her visit to Louisville he decided to give the “caramel biscuit” confection he had spent years perfecting her name: the Modjeska.
Colonel Sander’s in his coffin? It’s not often that we see photographs of celebrities taken after they have died. Sure, post-mortem photography was popular in the Victorian era when families would have a professional photograph their recently departed child or other loved-one to memorialize them; often the post-mortem photograph would be the only image the family had. But this practice went out of style as handheld cameras and snapshot photography proliferated, and as medicine advanced and death became more removed from everyday lives in Western society. It turns out that photographer John Ranard snuck a camera with him while visiting Sanders’ body as it lay in the Taylor-Hall Funeral Home. Shooting from the hip allowed Ranard to remain undetected and as a result, we get to see Colonel Harland Sanders (1890–1980), founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, as he was buried – with his trademark mustache and goatee, white suit, and string tie.
Come see the entire exhibit, Famous Faces, up now through September 27th, located in the Photographic Archives Gallery in Ekstrom Library, lower level, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
by Hannah Parks, Ekstrom Library Media Resources
Summer is such a wonderful season. Schedules aren’t so tight, the weather is (usually) sunny, and people seem to be in a better mood than they were during the winter. I love to spend the summer hiking and cycling, but I also enjoy the rainy days, when I have an excuse to stay inside and be lazy. I usually spend these lazy days watching television shows and reading. Once I finish a show’s series or a book, though, I find it difficult to find a new one to start. I usually look for suggestions from friends, which, regarding television shows, aren’t hard to find here in Media Resources.
For those of you who share the same difficulty as I do in finding new shows to watch, I’ve consulted with my fellow Media Resources experts, and we’ve come up with a definitive list of eleven great TV shows to watch this summer, all of which are available through our department’s SGA collection. I’ve limited them to recent shows (aired within the past year) and separated them into genres, in case you’re interested in a specific type of show. I’ve also included their parental ratings.
Need more suggestions? Stop by the Media Department and we’ll help you out!
Arrested Development TV-PG
How I Met Your Mother TV-PG
Breaking Bad TV-14
Walking Dead TV-14
Game of Thrones TV-MA
Venture Brothers TV-MA
Family Guy TV-14
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.