Special Collections

Crossroad of Freedom: Antietam (part of the Let's Talk about It: Making Sense of the Civil War series)

antietam

Our fourth book discussion for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War book discussion series will be Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James M. McPherson. We will discuss this section on Thursday February 9th at 4:00pm in King Library 320. If you would like to join the discussion, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (hartsea@muohio.edu) or Kim Tully (tullykk@muohio.edu). They will register you for the discussion and arrange for you to get a free copy of the book.

There are also supplemental readings in the America's War anthology edited by Ed Ayers. They can be found in Part Four: The Shape of the War on pages 182 to 199.

If you are interested in learning more about the battle of Antietam, you may want to check out some relevant resources:

Antietam National Battlefield (U.S. National Park Service)
Battle of Antietam (Civil War)
The Battle of Antietam Summary & Facts

You can find out more about this book discussion and other upcoming programs here.

Caring for Your Personal Collections

As a preservation librarian I am often asked what people can do to preserve their own personal treasures. Whether the item is valued for monetary, historical, and/or sentimental reasons, knowing the proper ways to care for your materials will ensure that they are around for years to come.

Correct storage of your materials is the single most important factor in their preservation. You should avoid storing important items in areas such as basements, attics, and garages, which are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures and high levels of moisture. A cool, comfortably dry area is ideal. It is important to store your items in a stable environment. While specific types of items have ideal temperatures and humidity levels in which they thrive, more important than specifics is consistency. Fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity can cause more damage to items than a slightly higher or lower, but consistent temperature and humidity level.

Light damage can also be a problem when trying to preserve important materials. You should avoid storing books and other items in direct sunlight, as this can cause rapid and severe fading. Artificial light can also be a problem; items should not be exposed to constant bright lights.

Do not wrap books and other materials in newspaper or store them in cardboard boxes. Acidity from the paper and boxes can leach into the materials and cause them to break down over time. Also avoid wrapping items in plastic, as this prevents good air circulation and can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Protective enclosures and boxes for storing fragile items can be purchased from several suppliers (see links below).

Periodically check for pests, such as insects or rodents, where your materials are stored. These pests will eat their way through your treasures if given the chance. Keeping the materials and storage area clean and free of dust will help keep these pests away.

Most books should be shelved upright, supported by bookends when needed. Larger, heavier volumes are best stored flat. When removing books from the shelf do not pull on the top of the spine, instead push the book to each side in to remove the book. When being used, do not force the book to open or lay flat; instead let the book open naturally, without any added pressure. If the book is especially stiff or fragile, support foams can be used to cradle the open book.

Paper items should also be stored flat and unfolded. Paper items can be stored in acid free folders. The use of pressure sensitive tape on books and papers should be avoided. The tape will degrade over time and can cause permanent disfigurement and embrittlement of the paper. If items are in need of stabilization or repair, it is best to seek the help of a professional conservator.

Ashley Jones
Preservation Librarian
Miami University Libraries
513-520-2887
Jonesab2@muohio.edu

Links for additional information:

Your Old Books
Library of Congress
American Institute for Conservation
Library of Congress - Photographs
Library of Congress - Digital Materials
AIC – How to choose a conservator
AIC – How to find a conservator
Gaylord Archival Supplies

"The first thing I did was ask for Shaw's address."

In 1944 Mexican playwright Rodolfo Usigli took advantage of a wartime trip to England to make contact with one of his idols, British playwright George Bernard Shaw. Usigli's account of their ensuing correspondence and eventual meeting is the subject of You Have Nothing to Learn From Me: A Literary Relationship Between George Bernard Shaw & Rodolfo Usigli. Previously published only in Spanish, it has been translated into English for the first time and given context by Professor Emeritus Ramón Layera and Assistant Librarian Katie Gibson, with a foreword by Professor Kerry Powell.

The Miami University Libraries is pleased to present this work as its most recent publication, for sale through the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, home of the Rodolfo Usigli Archive. You can also purchase a copy of Usigli's best-known play, The Imposter, translated into English by Dr. Layera. Please see our Publications page for additional information, or better yet, stop by Special Collections to pick up your copy and consider the variety of other intriguing publications available.

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

Avant-Garde and Innocence (and a new web site, too!)

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of its Spring exhibit, Avant-Garde and Innocence: Children's Book Illustration by Russian Non-Conformist Artists in the Beginning of the 20th Century. The exhibit is free and open to the public Mondays through Thursdays 8:30 - 5:30 and Fridays 8:30 - 5. Special Collections is located on the third floor of King Library.

The exhibit is designed to celebrate Miami's Year of the Arts, the Arbuthnot Lecture in Children's Literature that Miami will be hosting in April, and the rich collections of Russian materials held in Special Collections.

For more information about the exhibit and the many other resources available, please see our new web site at http://spec.lib.muohio.edu/ or click on Special Collections, under the Services tab on the main Libraries page.

Choosing Sides (part of the Let's Talk about It: Making Sense of the Civil War series)

americaswar

Our second book discussion for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War* series will be Part Two: Choosing Sides from the anthology American's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries edited by Edward L. Ayers. We will discuss this section of the anthology on December 8th at 4:00pm in King Library 320. Martha Schoolman, Assistant Professor of English, will be helping lead our discussion. If you would like to join the discussion, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (hartsea@muohio.edu) or Kim Tully (tullykk@muohio.edu). They will register you for the discussion and arrange for you to get a free copy of the book.

If you are interested in thinking more about some of the issues that we'll be discussing, you may want to check out some relevant websites:

New York Times Civil War Blog

Hidden Patterns of the Civil War

An American Turning Point, The Civil War in Virginia

Frederick Douglass - National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

John Brown the Ablolitionist and His Legacy

Please check out our website for more information. You'll find details about the readings for Part Two: Choosing Sides, more information about the other upcoming book discussions, and links to a variety of resources.

*The Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War is a national series supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Check out the twitter hashtag #letstalkcw to find out about other programs at other libraries!

March by Geraldine Brooks

march

Our first book for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War* book discussion will be March by Geraldine Brooks. We will discuss this book on November 10th at 4:00 in King Library 320. If you would like to join the discussion, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (hartsea@muohio.edu) or Kim Tully (tullykk@muohio.edu). They will register you for the discussion and arrange for you to get a free copy of the book. The book is relatively short, but you'll still want to make sure you get a copy ASAP.

If you are interested in some background for this book, here are a couple of articles you might be like to read:

" 'March': Pictures From a Peculiar Institution" New York Times Review by Thomas Mallon. Published March 27, 2005.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Discusses Work. Interview with Geraldine Brooks shortly after she won the Pulitzer Prize. PBS NewsHour April 18, 2006.

Orpheus at the Plough: The father of “Little Women” An essay by Geraldine Brooks published in the New Yorker Jan 10, 2005.

Please check out our website for more information. You'll find details about this book, more information about the other upcoming book discussions, and links to a variety of resources.

*The Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War is a national series supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Check out the twitter hashtag #letstalkcw to find out about other programs at other libraries!

Special Collections fall exhibit: "The Deadliest that Ever Darkened Earth: Voices from the Civil War"

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections is pleased to announce its new fall exhibit in honor of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. “The Deadliest that Ever Darkened Earth: Voices from the Civil War in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections” draws from the wealth of Civil War-related materials in Miami’s Special Collections, including diaries, letters, official documents, photographs, printed books and ephemera. The exhibit explores the following topics: fighting for the Union, Miami University and the war, the rise and fall of the Confederacy, the state of medicine during the war, the African American experience, and the practice of journalism during the war. As you browse this exhibit, you will “hear” the voices of Union soldiers, Miami students, Confederate generals and spies, former slaves, African American soldiers, hospital workers, U.S. Sanitary Commission agents and newspaper correspondents as they tell their own stories and experiences during the war.

Walter Havighurst Special Collections is located on the third floor of King Library and is open Monday through Thursday 8:30-5:30, Friday 8:30-5 and is closed on weekends. The exhibit will run through December 23, 2011.

You're Invited! A Celebration of English Royal Weddings: a Special Collections mini-exhibit

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding is just days away on April 29th! Inspired by the upcoming royal nuptials, a mini-exhibit of materials celebrating English royal weddings from the 18th century to the present from the Walter Havinghurst Special Collections will be on display outside the main exhibit room on the 3rd floor of King Library through the rest of the semester. Among the items on display are a contemporary print account of the wedding of King George III and Princess Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz in 1761 and a pop-up book depicting the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Geodæsia: Land and Memory. An Exhibit in The Walter Havighurst Special Collections

qrcodeTraverse landscape and its many meanings with Geodæsia: Land and Memory, a special exhibition in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections at 321 King Library, January 24 to July 31, 2011. Artifacts such as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century maps, portraits, surveying transit, and Indian peace medal illustrate meanings and memories of land in Butler County, Ohio, during the period 1787 - ca. 1826, and inform an interdisciplinary study that incorporates history, material culture, Native American studies, geography, science, and economic issues in early America.

Kalie Wetovick, a graduate assistant in Special Collections, curated the exhibit as part of her master’s degree requirements in History.

The exhibit is in conjunction with an upcoming series of lectures hosted by the Humanities Center, Culture and Memory, which will occur from March 2 to March 24, 2011. The culminating speaker is Dr. Simon Schama, renowned scholar of history and art history. The exhibit Geodæsia was inspired by Dr. Schama’s book Landscape and Memory.

Buddhism: An Exhibit in Honor of the Dalai Lama’s Visit

Please visit the Walter Havighurst Special Collections Exhibit Room (321 King Library) to see our exhibit in honor of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Miami University. The exhibit has several related themes. The teachings of the Buddha are illustrated with images and books from the Library’s Instructional Materials Center. The section on the Dalai Lama features selected books by His Holiness from King Library’s circulating collection. Buddhism in North American and Southwestern Ohio include newsletters, photographs, and popular magazines with a Western perspective on Buddhism. Thai Fortune Telling is the theme for three manuscript books from Special Collections. On display are folding books from Thailand. These are the sort of books that would be found in Buddhist monasteries. One book is a dream book; another is a manuscript on astrology. The third book is devoted to fortune telling. Also on display is an ancient Thai palm leaf manuscript book. This exhibit runs through the end of December.

This link will take you to a copy of the exhibit brochure:
http://spec.lib.muohio.edu/Buddhism_for_web_A.pdf

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