Current Events

History of the Olympic Games

With the beginning of the Olympic Games just around the corner, many of our minds have turned to those sporting events that we observe only once every 4 years. Miami University Libraries has a large number of items related to the Olympic Games. You will find books related to the Olympic Games throughout our collections, but a large concentration of them are located in the GV721 call number range on the second floor of King Library. Below are some interesting items from our collections related to the Olympic Games.


O'Mahony, Mike (2012). Olympic Visions: Images of the Games Through History. 

ArtArch | N8250 .O43 2012

This new collection of images contains photographs from each of the modern Olympic games, from the first in Athens in 1896 to the most recent in Beijing in 2008. This book can be found in the Art and Architecture Library in Alumni Hall.

Polley, Martin (2011). The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612-2012.

King Library (Second Floor) | GV721.4.G7 P65 2011

In 2012, London will host the Olympic Games for a unprecedented 4th time. For this reason, the Games and the British Isles are inextricably linked. What many don't know, however, is the role the British authors and athletes played in the formation of the modern Olympic movement. For instance, the first time an athletic competition which was comprised of a number of events was given the term "olympik" since the ancient games was in Britain in 1612? Also, it was a Englishman who discovered the Olympia, the site of the ancient games, in 1766. This volume presents the role Britain played in the formation of the modern Games, as well as the role it has played in their maintenance and rise to prominence.  

Mallon, Bill & Heijmans, Jeroen (2011). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. 

King Reference | GV721.5 .B83 2011

This reference book contains entries on the people, places and concepts that helped shape the Olympic movement. Its scope covers both the modern and ancient games. This title also includes a timeline of important events in the history of the Olympic Games. This book is a great place to begin research on any topic related to the Olympic Games.

Davis, David (2012). Showdown and Shepherd's Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze

King Library (Second Floor) | GV1065 .D38 2012

The marathon at the 1908 London Olympic Games went a long way in popularizing the sport of distance running. This account of that event places the race in its historical and socio-political context and examines the fallout of the controversial finish to the first prominent distance race. As a side note, it was at the 1908 Olympics that the distance of the modern marathon was standardized to 26 miles, 385 yards. The race was to have been 26 miles plus a lap of the Olympic track which would have resulted in a distance of 26 miles, 586 yards and 2 feet. However, Queen Alexandra was not pleased with her view of the final yards of the race from the royal box, so the final yards of the race were run clockwise around the track resulting in now-standard distance.

Tragedy and Controversy:

Smith, Tommie (2007). Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith

King Library (Second Floor) | GV697 .S65 A3 2007

Tommie Smith's and John Carlos' black power salute during the medal ceremony for the 200m race at the 1968 Mexico City Games set off a firestorm of controversy. Tommie Smith discusses this pivotal event in both the American Civil Rights and Olympic movements in this, his autobiography. 

Pound, Richard W. (2004). Inside the Olympics: A Behind-the-scenes Look at the Politics, the Scandle and the Glory of the Games.

King Library (Second Floor) | GV721.5 .P69 2004

This book by Dick Pound, former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, explores the dark sides of the Olympic Games. Topics include the politics and corruption of the host city selection process, doping and other cheating engaged in by athletes and controversies related to judging.

ABC News (2005). The Tragedy of the Munich Games

King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, DVD | GV722 1972 .T73 2005

This DVD is an ABC News special report of the kidnapping of members of the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It includes archival footage from ABC's coverage of the event as well as contemporary interviews with eyewitnesses and others affected by this tragedy. 

Books that Shaped America

The Library of Congress released a list of the top "Books that Shaped America" as part of its multi-year "Celebration of the Book."

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington states “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.” Below is a list of ten of the books on the list. So, what do you think? What are some of the books that helped shape america or what are some books that helped shape you? Let us know on Twitter.  Or Tweet books that shaped you with the following hashtag: #booksthatshapedme.

Natasha Trethewey was recently named the 19th US Poet Laureate


Natasha Trethewey was recently named the 19th US Poet Laureate. Some people at Miami University may remember that she came to do a reading here in 2008. You can actually see videos of her reading at Miami at this website.

Here are several articles about her recent appointment:

New Laureate Looks Deep Into Memory

Poet Laureate: 'Poetry's Always A Kind Of Faith'

Who Is the New Poet Laureate?

If you'd like to read some of her poetry, we have several of her collections:

Bellocq's Ophelia: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3570.R433 B45 2002

Native Guard. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3570.R433 N38 2006

Domestic Work: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3570.R433 D66 2000

You might also be interested in her recent collection of essays, poems, and letters about the effects of Hurricane Katrina:

Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3570.R433 B49 2010

Maurice Sendak

Children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died today, May 8, at age 83. A New York Times obituary detailing his life and characterizing his books as “essential ingredients of childhood” can be found here: Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83

Sendak is most famous for “Where the Wild Things Are.” For those wishing to revisit Sendak’s works, the library owns this and two other titles that complete a trilogy, “In the Night Kitchen” and “Outside Over There.”

Where The Wild Things Are King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.S47 Wh 1988

In The Night Kitchen King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.S47 In

Outside Over There King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.S47 Ou

Listed below are a few other titles in the library written and illustrated by Sendak:

Bumble-ardy King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ8.3.S4684 Bu 2011

Chicken Soup With Rice King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ8.3.S4684 Ch 1990

Higglety Pigglety Pop!
King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ10.3.S356 Hi

Nutshell Library
King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PS3569.E6 N88 1962 v.1-4

Pierre; A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and A Prologue King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Readers | PZ7.S47 Pi 1962

We Are All In The Dumps With Jack And Guy: Two Nursery Rhymes With Pictures King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ8.3.S4684 We 1993

Here are some books written by other authors, containing Sendak’s iconic illustrations:

A Very Special House King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.K875 Ve

The Happy Rain King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.S467 Hap 1984

The Miami University Libraries have an extensive collection of books of Sendack’s writings and/or illustrations available for Library Use Only in the Havighurst Special Collections Library. Here are a few of those titles:

Some Swell Pup: Or, Are You Sure You Want A Dog? Spec King Collection | PS3569.E6 S65 1976

Dear Mili: An Old Tale Spec King Collection | PT2281.G29 D43 1988

In February 2013, readers of all ages can look forward to savoring a new work of Sendak’s illustrations and writing once more, with the posthumous publication of “My Brother’s Book,” a picture book containing a poem inspired by Sendak’s late brother.

2012 Pulitzer Prizes

The 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded yesterday. Here's a look at some of the winning work:

Pulitzer Prize for History

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

This biography of Malcolm X draws on new research to trace his life from his troubled youth through his involvement in the Nation of Islam, his activism in the world of Black Nationalism, and his assassination. Years in the making, it is a definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis

A remarkably revealing view of how this greatest of Cold War strategists came to doubt his strategy and always doubted himself.

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Life on Mars by Tracy: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

In this book the author transports readers to the dawn of the Renaissance and chronicles the life of an intrepid book lover who rescued the Roman philosophical text On the Nature of Things from certain oblivion. In this work he has crafted both a work of history and a story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. 

2012 National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month

King Library will have a display up this month in the foyer of the first floor in honor of National Poetry Month. This year's display honors Philip Levine, the 18th Poet Laureate of the United States, and Adrienne Rich, who passed away recently.

Special Collections also has a blog post about our Louise Bogan Collection called The Working Library of Louise Bogan (1897-1970), Poet and Critic

There are several organizations and companies celebrating National Poetry Month with various programs and activities. Here are some links you might want to check out to learn more:

30 Ways to Celebrate


Voices on the Verge: 14 New Poets for National Poetry Month

MPL and National Poetry Month - April 2012

Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month

You might also be interested in a new resource we have at the library called Dustbooks eDirectories. It includes Directory of poetry publishers, Directory of small press/magazine editors and publishers, International directory of little magazines and small presses, and Small press records of books in print.

Finally check out our GoodReads shelf for some poetry recommendations:

Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich died on Tuesday March 27th. The New York Times has done a very nice obituary for her: A Poet of Unswerving Vision at the Forefront of Feminism

If you, like me, now want to go re-read some of her work (or want to discover her for the first time), we have many of her poetry collections at the library:

Tonight no poetry will serve : poems, 2007-2010. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 T66 2011

An atlas of the difficult world : poems, 1988-1991. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A84 1991

Diving into the wreck; poems, 1971-1972. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 D58

Collected early poems, 1950-1970. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A6 1993

You will also find many of her poems online. I like some of the poems found on The Academy of Poets website because they include recordings of her poems (some read by her):

The Art of Translation

Diving into the Wreck

The Burning of Paper Instead of Children

I would recommend reading some of her essays:

Arts of the possible: essays and conversations. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A83 2001

On lies, secrets, and silence : selected prose, 1966-1978. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 O6 1979

Of woman born: motherhood as experience and institution. King Library (2nd floor) | HQ759 .R53 1986

There are so many lines of her poems I could include to give you a taste of her words, but I think I'll leave you with these lines:

"My heart is moved by all I can not save:
So much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world."
-"Natural Resources" from The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974–1977

Downton Abbey


After watching last night's Christmas episode, I suddenly became sad when I realized I would probably be waiting a long time for series three. If you too were sad, here are some resources we have that you might enjoy while you wait for its return.

Some nonfiction titles of interest:

Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine. King Library (2nd floor) | HT653.G7 C358 1999

Aspects of Aristocracy: Grandeur and Decline in Modern Britain by David Cannadine. King Library (2nd floor) | HT653.G7 C357 1994

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain: Essays in Memory of John Clive edited by Susan Pedersen and Peter Mandler. King Library (2nd floor) | HN385 .A38 1994

American Jennie: The Remarkable life of Lady Randolph Churchill by Anne Sebba. King Library (2nd floor) | DA565.C6 S43 2007

Life below Stairs: Domestic Servants in England from Victorian Times by Frank E. Huggett. BEST Library, Basement | HD8039.D52 G7763

The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life by Mary Miers. ArtArch | NA7562 .M53 2009

Fiction, poetry, and memoirs of interest:

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell. SW Depository | TX649.P68 A3 (available for request)

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6106.E4 P37 2009

Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford. SW Depository | PR6011.O53 P3 (available for request)

House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate Morton. King Leisure Reading | PR9619.4.M74 S55 2008

The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen edited by C. Day Lewis. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6029.W4 A6 1964b

Collected poems, 1908-1956 by Siegfried Sassoon. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6037.A86 A17 1961

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6059.S5 R46 1993

You might also enjoy this blog post from ARTstor.

Meanwhile I'll be enjoying the memory of Mary and Matthew twirling in the snow!

Rita Dove, Miami alumna, receives National Medal of the Arts

Have you seen this recent Miami University News Release about Rita Dove? If you're interested in reading some of her poetry collections, check these out:

American Smooth: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3554.O884 A77 2004

Grace Notes: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3554.O884 G7 1989 | AVAILABLE

Mother Love: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3554.O884 M68 1995 | AVAILABLE

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3554.O884 O52 1999 | AVAILABLE

Charles Dickens Turns 200 Today!


Today is Charles Dickens' 200th birthday! To mark this occasion there are many blog posts and newspaper articles about him today:

Dickens and Victorian London: 2012 apps and ebooks

A letter to Charles Dickens on his 200th birthday

Happy Birthday, Dickens

Prince Charles leads Charles Dickens celebrations

Also, if you get a chance, check out Google's Doodle today!

We also have a small exhibit on the third floor of King in our Special Collections celebrating Charles Dickens. It will be up all this week.

If you are interested in reading more about him, here are some recent titles we have acquired:

Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4582 .D68 2011

Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin. Copy on Order.

Charles Dickens in Context edited by Sally Ledger and Holly Furneaux. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4588 .C3597 2011

Charles Dickens's American Audience by Robert McParland. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4592.A54 M37 2010

The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens by Jon Mee. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4588 .M44 2010

Finally there are many events planned throughout the world this year to celebrate his life and accomplishments:

Dickens 2012

Dickens and London Display

Dickens Anniversary Kicks Off in London

I myself plan to re-read Great Expectations!

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