Tag Archive for Olin Library

Special Collections and Archives Celebrates Constitution Day with Pop-Up Exhibit

In honor of Constitution Day, Special Collections and Archives hosted a pop-up exhibit inside the Davison Rare Book Room in Olin Library on Sept. 19.

The exhibit featured early versions of the US Constitution, Federalist papers, the Connecticut State Constitution, and original letters by Founding Fathers George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.

Photos of the exhibit are below: (Photos by Nick Sng ’23)

Constitution Day,

Constitution Day,

Consul General of India Donates “India Corner” Collection to Wesleyan


Pictured from left, Joyce Jacobsen, Ishita Mukerji, Andrew White, Consul Sandeep Chakravorty, Michael S. Roth, Swapnil Rai, Balu Balasubrahmaniyan, Steve Angle, and Consul Vipulkumar Mesariya gather at the new “India Corner” in the Olin Library’s Smith Reading Room.

Wesleyan’s Olin Library is now home to a collection of 33 titles donated by the Consulate General of India, New York.

On May 1, Consul Sandeep Chakravorty visited campus and participated in a formal dedication of the “India Corner.”

Housed in the Smith Reading Room, these volumes, representing India’s rich history and culture, and covering the country’s linguistic and geographical diversity, join the library’s other robust holdings in Indian history, culture, and politics as well as Wesleyan’s rich heritage in Indian music, dance, and theater.

Among the donations are Introduction to the Constitution of India by Durga Das Basu; Sufi Lyrics by Bulleh Shah, India: The Emerging Giant by Arvind Panagariya, Contemporary Dogri Short Stories by Ved Rahi, and Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. All are cataloged and available for checking out at Olin.

Wesleyan is the fifth U.S. university to be gifted such a book collection; the University of Buffalo, the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Rutgers each have their own “India Corner” at their libraries.

Several Wesleyan faculty and staff attended the "India Corner" dedication ceremony on May 1.

Several Wesleyan faculty and staff attended the “India Corner” dedication ceremony on May 1.

“We’re looking at colleges and universities like [Wesleyan] that are blossoming in their connection to India,” Consul Chakravorty said. “The collection is interesting and represented the diversity of India, from the north, south, east, and west, and some are in Hindi, and other languages.”

Staff Spotlight: Andrew White Takes on Library’s Top Job

Andrew White, pictured here in the Olin Library stacks, became Wesleyan’s new Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian on July 2. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

(By Christine Foster)

Imagine being chosen to oversee a vast treasure trove, including more than a million items ranging from art and music to government documents and—oh, yes, books. Such is the job set before Andrew White, who was chosen in April to be the University’s next Caleb T. Winchester Librarian.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Jacobsen wrote in a campus-wide email announcing White’s appointment that the search committee was drawn to his experience working collaboratively with different groups of people. The previous librarian, Dan Cherubin, died suddenly last September, after having made an outsized impact in just a year in the post.

White is being asked to be the “cheerleader in chief” for the library, but also to mind the budget, to consider how best to use the physical spaces, and to invite different constituencies in to effectively access the rich resources Wesleyan has amassed over the years. White took some time from his busy first few weeks to share his history and vision in a Q&A for the Connection.

Q: What attracted you to Wesleyan’s libraries? What makes us special?

A: Wesleyan is an amazing place and I immediately felt at home when I stepped onto campus and into Olin Library. Wesleyan is a significant name in American higher education and that significance is reflected in both the scope and breadth of the collections, not only in the libraries, but across campus. We are one of the largest libraries among national liberal arts colleges and I could not pass up the opportunity to help make our resources more visible and relevant.

Grant Supports 240 Hours of Folk Song Digitization for the World Music Archives

For 30 years, musicians such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Alice Gerrard, Tom Paley, and Hedy West performed at a small café in upstate New York. The business’s owner, Phil Ciganer, recorded the multiple musical acts on reel-to-reel tape and cassettes, and in 2004, he donated thousands of hours of material to Wesleyan’s World Music Archives in hopes of the University making them available for education and research.

For more than a decade, WMA was able to release small segments of the collection, but now, thanks to a $48,573 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), more than 240 hours of these recordings will be digitized and available for in-house listening at the World Music Archives.

The targeted content contains 123 audio cassettes and 47 tape reels, recorded by Ciganer during the Great Hudson River Revival Festival and the Bear Mountain Festival of World Music and Dance between 1978 and 1982.

Olin Library Presents Panel on Digital Privacy and Government, April 11

libraryeventOn April 11,  Wesleyan’s Olin Memorial Library will host “All Your Reading Habits Belong to Us: Digital Privacy and our Government: Catching Up with the Connecticut Four” in honor of National Library Week. The event, presented by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library, will take place 7-8:30 p.m. in the Smith Reading Room, with a reception to follow.

In 2005, the FBI, under the auspices of the USA PATRIOT Act, tried to access patron information from Connecticut libraries and issued a gag order on the librarians about the demand. The librarians, all executive members of the Connecticut non-profit cooperative Library Connection, and known in the press as the “Connecticut Four,” spent over a year fighting the order, and were successful in getting the FBI to withdraw.

Now, over a decade later, the Connecticut Four are speaking out again as new efforts are afoot to expand the FBI’s ability to require libraries to hand over private information in the absence of a judge’s order. This event celebrates all libraries’ continued fight for both access of material and the right to privacy. Two members of the Connecticut Four, Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase, will participate in a discussion with Dan Cherubin, Wesleyan University Librarian, on the history of the case, what’s changed and, in regards to our newly elected government, what we need to watch.

Barbara Bailey is director of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury, Conn. She is a former president and current board member of the Library Connection, a non-profit cooperative of 30 public and academic libraries, which share an integrated library system (CONNECT) and other technological innovations. Peter Chase was director of the Plainville (Conn.) Public Library from 1981-2015. He was vice president of Library Connection in 2005 and is also the former chairman of the Connecticut Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Both Bailey and Chase received the Paul Howard Award for Courage from the American Library Association.

The event will also feature announcement of the winners of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research prize. The candidate projects were evaluated based on the use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources, evidence of learning about research techniques and the information-gathering process itself, and the quality of writing and research.

Photographs by Albert MALS ’94 Exhibited in Olin Library

Hillcrest Orchards © 2016 Nancy Ottmann Albert

Hillcrest Orchards © 2016 Nancy Ottmann AlbertNancy Ottmann Albert’s (MALS ’94) evocative photographs of vanishing New England structures and landscapes will be featured in “Documents in Black and White,” a new exhibition opening in Olin Library on Oct. 5, 2016. The show is being presented in conjunction with the formal announcement of Albert’s gift of her papers to the library’s Special Collections & Archives (SC&A).

Nancy Ottmann Albert’s (MALS ’94) evocative photographs of vanishing New England structures and landscapes will be featured in “Documents in Black and White,” a new exhibition opening in Olin Library on Oct. 5, 2016. The show is being presented in conjunction with the formal announcement of Albert’s gift of her papers to the library’s Special Collections & Archives (SC&A).

Albert will speak about her work at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the library’s Develin Room.

Selected by the artist, the works span the 30 years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. Inspired by Walker Evans and the 1930s Farm Security Administration photographers, she began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England in 1981. Shooting black and white film in a medium format camera, she returned over the years to record the buildings’ decline and disappearance.

Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These include mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition.
The exhibition also contains images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture, barns and abandoned homesteads, filling stations, and drive-in theaters. All of the work, which includes gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist.

In 2014, Albert donated her papers to SC&A. Her papers include images taken in New England, France, Cuba, Portugal, Spain, London, Italy, Eastern Europe, Vienna, Barcelona, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia and Berlin, along with her research notes. The papers are now freely available for research and are described in an online finding aid. The gift will be formally acknowledged prior to her Oct 28. talk.

“Documents in Black and White” will be on view from Oct. 5 through Dec. 16, 2016, in the SC&A exhibition cases on the first floor of Olin Library during normal library hours. For more information, call 860-685-3863 or e-mail sca@wesleyan.edu.

Humanities Open Book Program Supports Out of Print Book Digitizing

Wesleyan recently received a $100,000 grant through the Humanities Open Book Program for digitizing select titles in the areas of dance and theater that were previously published by Wesleyan University Press but are no longer in print.

The Open Book Program is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of the agency-wide initiative called The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The purpose of the Open Book grant is to make out-of-print titles previously published by academic presses widely available in an open access (free) e-book format.

Wesleyan Oral History Project Available on WesScholar

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

Twelve oral history interviews of Wesleyan community members, including faculty emeriti and administrators, are available at Olin Library. Transcripts and recordings have been deposited in Special Collections and Archives, and Leith Johnson, university archivist, has worked to make the transcripts available on WesScholar.  (A link to the collection of memoirs will also be available from the Wasch Center website.)

The set includes an extensive interview with Bill Firshein, the Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, Emeritus, who passed away in December 2015. In this interview, Firshein related a whole complex of matters having to do with his Wesleyan career—his work as a scientist, his Jewish identity, his relationship with the administration, his colleagues, his hobbies and avocations. Another treasure in the collection is an interview with Bob Rosenbaum, who just completed his 100th birthday celebration in November. Rosenbaum is a University Professor of Sciences and Mathematics, Emeritus. He also served as academic vice president, acting president, and chancellor at Wesleyan.

“Should anyone undertake a history of the last 50 years of Wesleyan, going forward, these oral histories will be invaluable resources,” said Karl Scheibe, director of the Wasch Center. “And if no such history emerges, the oral histories will be even more important for the detail they contain and the perspectives they represent.”

Heather Zavod and Christine Foster, freelance writers who have contributed to Wesleyan magazine, are working on a new set of interviews this year, thanks in part to funding from the Friends of the Wesleyan Library and the library. The new participants are Jelle DeBoer, John Driscoll, Rick Elphick, Dick Buel, Duffy White, and Allan Berlind.

(This article was originally printed in the Spring-Summer edition of Check it Out, a publication from Wesleyan University Libraries and written by Karl Schiebe.)

Rare Miniature Books Exhibited at Olin Library

Olin Library’s Special Collections & Archives hosted an exhibit, “A World in the Palm of your Hand: The Art of Miniature Books,” April 14. Examining miniature books, which are typically no larger than three inches, the program gave visitors the opportunity to view these treasures in both an exhibit and an open house.

The exhibit was curated by the Miniature Book Society (MBS), an international organization devoted to the appreciation of miniature books. These books are rarely encountered outside the personal collections of libraries or individuals. The event culminated with an address, titled “A Collection in a Shoebox,” by Jim Brogan, vice-president of MBS, and publisher of The Microbibliophile, a bimonthly journal about miniature books and the book arts.

(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ‘ 19)


Cherubin Named New University Librarian

Dan Cherubin

Dan Cherubin

Dan Cherubin has been selected as the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian at Wesleyan, starting on July 1, 2016.

Cherubin has more than 20 years of experience in library and information services, most recently as the Chief Librarian and Associate Dean at Hunter College in New York. At Hunter, Cherubin was responsible for overseeing four libraries and had major roles in facility and space planning, implementation of technology, and the development of a strategic plan for the policies and practices of the library.

At Wesleyan he will work with the library staff to develop a strategic plan to integrate the library more fully into Wesleyan’s broader intellectual community.

“We encourage all constituencies across the University to be thinking of how the library can be engaged in, and enhance, educational and scholarly activities,” said Joyce Jacobsen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Cherubin has a BA in music from Bard College, an MS in library science from Columbia, and an MA in media studies from New School University.

The search committee members included David Baird, Melissa Behney, Marc Eisner, Sally Grucan, Julia Hicks, Mark Hovey, Ellen Nerenberg, Laura Patey, Gil Skillman, Anjali Tamhankar, Suzy Taraba, student representative Noah Kahan, and committee chair Joe Knee.

“A special thanks also goes to Interim University Librarian Diane Klare, who stepped in and did a great job at maintaining the high standards that we have come to expect from the library,” Jacobsen said. “Please join me in welcoming Dan to the Wesleyan community.”

ITS, Library Offer Wesleyan Community Demonstrations, Lessons

Staff from Information Technology Services (ITS), Olin Library and the Science Library hosted a poster session and demonstration on Nov. 17 and Nov. 19.

ITS staff taught students, faculty and staff about EduRoam (accessing free wireless worldwide at participating institutions using a Wesleyan login); Lynda.com (online training for hundreds of software titles); WFS upgrade (Wesleyan Financial System); WesStation’s green ban on junk mail; cyber security and passwords; and the Master Calendar.

Library staff provided information on Browzine (a way to get alerts and scan through the latest issues of journals on a tablet or laptop using a Wesleyan login); “Not Just Text” (the wide variety of images, streaming videos, sound recordings, CDs, DVDs, maps and open access materials available at the library); customizing resources (class instruction, individual appointments and course-specific online guides or video demos; writing better papers; and ways to preserve the record of scholarly activity on a long-term basis.

Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)