New Materials

Miami University Libraries Joins Knowledge Unlatched

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Miami University Libraries is pleased to announce our participation in the Knowledge Unlatched project as a charter member. The current system for publishing scholarly material is in crisis. Knowledge Unlatched is pioneering a new, experimental model for the publication of scholarly monographs--instead of every academic institution purchasing a single title whose use is limited to that institutional community, a large cooperative of institutions pay into the cost of a title fee to a publisher. In return for this payment, the book is made freely available for anyone in the world to access on a Creative Commons license as a fully downloadable PDF. Because the number of participating institutions was much higher than originally predicted, the cost per book per institution dropped drastically.  

As of April 2014, 22 of the 28 titles in the pilot phase of this project are now available for anyone to download on the OAPEN platform. The remaining 6 titles will be published and made available over the remainder of 2014.  As a charter member, Miami University Libraries will be involved in the project’s governance going forward, and will have the option to continue participating on a title by title basis.  

Titles cover a variety of subject areas, primarily in the humanities and social sciences.  A list of the available titles can be found on the OAPEN platform.

LGBT Thought and Culture

Celebrate National Coming Out Day by checking out the materails available in our new LGBT Thought and Culture database.  This online resource contains books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection includes documents ranging from letters, speeches, interviews, and ephemera covering the political evolution of gay rights as well as memoirs, biographies, poetry, letters and works of fiction that illuminate the lives of lesbians, gays, transgendered, and bisexual individuals and the community. You can browse by works, authors, topics, archival collections, and material type.  You can also do a search for things like text, transcripts and notes, series, publisher, and language.  

Top preK-12 Education News Site

Miami University Libraries is currently offering a trial of Education Week, a top online site for preK-12 education news. The trial includes access to the following resources:

• The latest issue of Education Week, posted several days in advance of the cover date

• Complete and searchable Education Week archives all the way back to volume 1, 1981

• Online-only news and analysis from Education Week journalists and newswire sources

• “Commentary” articles by top educators, policymakers, and thought leaders

• Special reports and topical coverage • 20+ blogs on a variety of education topics

• State and district level data

• Digital Directions and the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook

• Webinars and expert chat events

Readers can also sign up to receive e-newsletters on a range of topics covering teacher insights, educational technology, curriculum, and professional tips. The trial runs through October.

Please email questions and feedback to Kate Lucey, Education Librarian.

Asian American Literature

We have a new four volume set called Asian American Literature.  It's edited by David Leiwei Li and can be checked out from the second floor of King. The call number is PS508.A8 A74 2012.

The editor of this book is a Professor of English, and Collins Professor of the Humanities, at the University of Oregon.  His other books include Globalization and the Humanities and Imagining the Nation: Asian American Literature and Cultural Consent.

This set focuses on valuable criticism.  As the editor explains in the introduction, "Students and scholars of Asian American literature should therefore consider this set of Asian American criticism a vital first-stop research and pedagogical resource from which to embark on further explorations" (23).

Each volume covers on a different aspect of literature.  Volume One covers Literary History: Criticism and Theory, Volume Two covers Prose: Fiction and Non-Fiction, Volume Three covers Poetry, and Volume Four covers Drama and Performance. 

The essays included here are written by a variety of critics, including Lisa Nakamura, Angela C. Pao, Cheryl Higashida, Gary Y. Okihiro, etc. Some of the authors that are analyzed in these essays include Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruth Ozeki, Laurence Yep, Amy Tan, Chay Yew, Myung Mi Kim, etc. 

Head’s Up: Traveling with Victorians

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Late last year a new book by Dr. John H. “Jack” White, Jr. (MU ’58) was published by the Indiana University Press.  Wet Britches and Muddy Boots: A History of Travel in Victorian America is noteworthy for many reasons, as the laudatory reviews now appearing make clear.

The book spans the millennia of human travel but focuses primarily on travel in the nineteenth century, when transportation was revolutionized by industrialization. It especially focuses on the experience of travel. What was it like to ride a stagecoach from one town to the next? Or travel by steamboat? What were roads like? Accommodations?  Food?  And how long did it take to travel distances we scarcely give a thought to today?

Jack has written the work as popular history; it is indeed highly readable and illustrated with a wide range of helpful and fascinating images. But it is also based on meticulous research. Jack, after all, retired as Senior Historian after a long curatorial career at the Smithsonian Institution in the Division of Transportation, Museum of History and Technology. His authority is well-established by a number of distinguished publications.

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We in Special Collections are especially delighted with the book because Jack is a loyal friend and supporter and because he did much of his research right here. Our collections are rich in primary resources for the nineteenth century, and transportation is a particularly strong area. We know how much time and effort Jack invested in research and writing. So we take special pride in his achievement.

Jack’s achievement is also an achievement for the former Head of Special Collections, Janet Stuckey, who supported, assisted, and (according to Jack) occasionally pushed him to the finish line. Jack is generously donating the profits from the book to the Miami University Libraries Janet Stuckey Fund, which supports acquisitions for Special Collections.

So it’s a win-win. And win. That last “win” is yours when you read the book.

Elizabeth Brice
Assistant Dean for Technical Services and
Head, Special Collections & Archives

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(Take Some Books) Home for the Holidays!

Winter is Coming. Winter Break that is. A great time to unwind from the stress of Fall semester, hang out with family and friends and spend some time reading a good book. We encourage you to take some books home with you for the holiday season. To that end some of our librarians have recommended some great books. Take a look and check them out! Remember that you can renew the books on the web.

The Disappearing Spoon : and other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

The periodic table of the elements is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, obsession, and betrayal. These tales follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and all the elements in the table as they play out their parts in human history. The usual suspects are here, like Marie Curie (and her radioactive journey to the discovery of polonium and radium) and William Shockley (who is credited, not exactly justly, with the discovery of the silicon transistor)--but the more obscure characters provide some of the best stories, like Paul Emile François Lecoq de Boisbaudran, whose discovery of gallium, a metal with a low melting point, gives this book its title: a spoon made of gallium will melt in a cup of tea.--From publisher description

The Worst Hard Time: the Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.

Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. --from Publisher description.

The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History by John R. Gillis

Since before recorded history, people have congregated near water. But as growing populations around the globe continue to flow toward the coasts on an unprecedented scale and climate change raises water levels, our relationship to the sea has begun to take on new and potentially catastrophic dimensions. The latest generation of coastal dwellers lives largely in ignorance of the history of those who came before them, the natural environment, and the need to live sustainably on the world’s shores. Humanity has forgotten how to live with the oceans. -- from Publisher description.



The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.





In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations that Changed the World by Ian Stewart

In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress. We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances, says Stewart--but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human history. Equations are modeled on the patterns we find in the world around us, says Stewart, and it is through equations that we are able to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world. Stewart locates the origins of each equation he presents--from Pythagoras's Theorem to Newton's Law of Gravity to Einstein's Theory of Relativity--within a particular historical moment, elucidating the development of mathematical and philosophical thought necessary for each equation's discovery.

Counterplay: an Anthropologist at the Chessboard by Robert Desjarlais

Drawing on his lifelong fascination with the game, Desjarlais guides readers into the world of twenty-first-century chess to help us understand its unique pleasures and challenges, and to advance a new "anthropology of passion." Immersing us directly in chess's intricate culture, he interweaves small dramas, closely observed details, illuminating insights, colorful anecdotes, and unforgettable biographical sketches to elucidate the game and to reveal what goes on in the minds of experienced players when they face off over the board. Counterplay offers a compelling take on the intrigues of chess and shows how themes of play, beauty, competition, addiction, fanciful cognition, and intersubjective engagement shape the lives of those who take up this most captivating of games. -- from Publisher description.

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media

The cohost of NPR's "On the Media" narrates, in cartoon form, two millennia of history of the influence of the media on the populace, from newspapers in Caesar's Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution to today.






Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again. -- From Publisher Description.

In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." Looking at what science does and does not know about diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about what to eat, informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the nutrient-by-nutrient approach.--From publisher description

Alternative Press Index with Archive

One of our newest resources, Alternative Press Index with Archive, is now available for Oxford campus users only. This EBSCOhost resource is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. Coverage in API Archive spans 1969-1990, and API’s coverage begins in 1991. Content comes from 700+ international alternative, radical, and left periodicals. View the complete lists of periodicals in both API and API Archive by selecting the Publications tab in the database toolbar.

Topics covered include theories and practices of socialism, revolution, ecology, democracy, anarchism, feminism, organized labor, indigenous peoples, and gay and lesbian issues. Oxford campus users can access Alternative Press Index with Archives from the following link: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/indexes/redirect/1080

Middle East Online

The Libraries now provide access to original source material from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers through the databases Middle East Online Series 1: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970 and Middle East Online Series 2: Iraq, 1914-1974. Series 1 includes content from 1917-1971, containing topics such as Black September, the Border wars of the 1950s, Jewish terror groups, and more. Series 2 includes content from 1920-1974, and is comprised of topics such as the Arab uprising of 1920, Oil concessions and oil exploration, Iran-Iraq relations, and more.

These resources will prove useful for Middle East and Islamic Studies minors and History, Political Science, and International Studies majors alike. Take some time to check them out. Who knows, you may find just what you need to finish up your midterm paper!

Use these links to get connected:

Middle East Online Series 1: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/indexes/redirect/1071

Middle East Online Series 2: Iraq, 1914-1974: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/indexes/redirect/1072

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies

Access to Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies is now available. If you’re working on a research paper for your film studies, theater, or digital game studies class, this is the perfect place to start. This resource offers 70+ peer-reviewed guides focusing on a wide variety of topics. Some examples of topics include: Acting, YouTube, Censorship, Reality Television and much, much more. Each guide is authored by cinema and media studies scholars, and includes a general overview of the topic and detailed list of important related books, articles, and websites.

Access this resource from the A-Z Databases list or the following link: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/indexes/redirect/1077

Other available Oxford Bibliographies Online resources include:

NEW! Oxford Bibliographies Online: Childhood Studies

NEW! Oxford Bibliographies Online: International Relations

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Communication

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies

NBC Learn

The Miami U. Libraries now offer access to NBC Learn, a news archive of 12,000+ stories from the NBC News archives from 1920-present. It’s important to note that this database is available for On-campus use only at this time.

NBC Learn makes available to Miami users thousands of videos, historic newsreels, primary source documents, photographs, and more. Browse collections by subject, including the Current Events collection, offering content from 2009-present, and the Decision 2012 collection, providing content on the candidates, issues, and more.

All video, documents, and images are viewed in what NBC Learn calls a “Cue Card” which serves as a video player, image and document viewer, and flash card. Depending on the Cue Card type, you’ll see links on the rights side of the card. Click on the Transcripts link to view a transcript of the video or, in the case of the below Cue Card, click on Activity to view a student activity for teachers in the classroom. Flip any Cue Card over by clicking on the curved arrow in the top right of the card. This is where you’ll find information about the resource, such as source, creator, air/publish date, event date, and much more. For more info about using these features, read the Cue Cards section of the database’s Help tab.

Use NBC Learn on-campus from this link: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/indexes/redirect/1064

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