Category: Library News (page 1 of 22)

Talking Research Over Lunch: Seniors Share Research Experiences with Peers in Their Major

In our conversations with faculty over the past several years, concerns were expressed about the dearth of opportunities for sophomore and junior students to develop the research skills necessary for success in their majors. To address these concerns, the Research Education department recently piloted a peer-to-peer learning model that builds on the foundational research skills introduced to students in their first year by focusing on research in a specifically disciplinary context.

 

On March 29th, we hosted the first student-led research workshop with students in the Psychology program. Over lunch, three senior thesis writers engaged twelve of their peers in a lively conversation aimed at strengthening the research skills and confidence of the recently-declared majors. Drawing on their personal experiences with academic research, the thesis writers familiarized their peers with the resources and strategies fundamental to research in their major.

 

Our hope is to expand this model in the fall and beyond. If your department is interesting in participating, contact Rob Walsh (robert.walsh@trincoll.edu). These workshops will reinforce discipline-specific research skills, foster a sense of community among students in connection with their research, and encourage students to see themselves as scholars.

 

Digital Collections & Services Projects Update

The student staff working for Digital Collections & Services has been busy this semester completing two projects: the George Watson Cole Postcard collection, and the Trinity College Bulletins, housed in Watkinson. Students have digitized hundreds of postcards this semester, with just a few hundred remaining which will complete Trinity’s digital collection of Cole’s 10,000 postcards. The postcards already digitized and cataloged are available for view in Shared Shelf Commons and Artstor. George Watson Cole was a librarian and bibliographer, friend and contemporary of famous librarians Melvil Dewey and Charles Cutter, who traveled through France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and England in the early 1900s and collected every postcard he could find. As a result, Trinity houses one half of his 20,000 postcards, primarily depicting pre-WWI Europe and some of California. These postcards show a slice of life: people, towns, maps, and churches as they appeared at the turn of the century and before two world wars devastated Europe.

The Trinity College Bulletins are also nearly complete, with a few volumes left from the 1940s and 50s, on which the students are currently working. During Fall 2017, the students completed digitization of Bulletins from the early 1990s to 2010.

The Bulletins include annual reports of the College President, Treasurer, and Librarian, the yearly library catalog and curriculum, necrology lists, faculty publications, photographs, summer school and graduate school information, among other booklets. The digitized bulletins stem from 1829 and are available to view on the Digital Repository. To get to the digital repository, visit the college library catalog –> Digital Collections –> Digital Repository –> College history, archives, and publications.

A biography of James Williams (1790 – 1878), who served as janitor to Trinity College for over 50 years, is also now available in the Digital Repository.

Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company

Italian Family Seeking Lost Luggage, Ellis Island, 1905, Lewis W. Hine

Sometimes described as the “Gutenberg Bible” of photographic printing, Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company #1173 reproduces 200 photos from the highly regarded collection of the same name acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005.  Illustrating the history of photography, the photogravure images were hand-printed by Richard Benson, Dean of the Yale School of Art, and range from 1800s daguerreotypes to 20th Century photos by Robert Frank and Diane Arbus.  Trinity College’s Raether Library is fortunate to have been chosen to receive this volume from Nathaniel Gibbons, photographic artist and friend of Richard Benson, and supporter of Yale University Art Gallery’s program to share remaining copies with select educational and cultural institutions.

It is the hope of Mr. Gibbons that our volume will be appreciated for its collection of photos, but also as an example of fine printing and bookbinding, and that it will prove to be a valuable resource for Trinity College students.  The book will be housed within our Watkinson Library, and will be accessible to Trinity faculty and students as well as interested outside users.

Connecticut Connections: Historical College Scrapbooks from Connecticut College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University

Over the past year, the CTW Digital Projects Group, which encompasses staff from Connecticut College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University, came together to consider how the three schools might collaborate on digitizing and publishing archival or other materials owned by each school.

For its pilot project, the group selected student-made scrapbooks from multiple eras: those of Linda Abel, a student at Connecticut College from 1965-1969, Lynn Smith Miller, a student at Wesleyan from 1910-1914, and Phillip DeWitt Phair, who attended Trinity College from 1890 – 1894. The scrapbooks offer a glimpse into college student life during these periods through ephemera such as playbills and athletic event tickets, dance and social cards, artwork, valentines, invitations and letters, newspaper clippings, menus, and miscellaneous objects.

Utilizing the University of Southern California’s open-source platform, Scalar, members of the group scanned and uploaded an image of each scrapbook page, jointly decided on metadata fields, and added metadata and descriptions for each page, as well as a biography and introduction to each scrapbook.

“Connecticut Connections” was recently presented at the CTW Retreat in downtown Hartford and is publicly available online at: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/ctwscrapbooks. 

Deer Jumping a Fence: March 12, 1908, Canaan, CT.

The Enders Ornithology Lantern Slides Collection comprises over 800 hand-tinted glass plate photographs, produced by Herbert Keightley Job from 1896 to 1925. Job was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1864 and was a minister, lecturer, author, ornithologist, and pioneer wildlife photographer.

Job’s slides are digitized and make up part of the Ostrom and Alice Talcott Enders Ornithology Collection, a comprehensive collection of over 5,000 items including books, original artwork, periodicals, and more in the Watkinson Library.

While many of Job’s slides are of birds, he photographed this deer in Canaan, CT jumping over a fence on March 12, 1908! Other slides include scenes of everyday life as well as architecture, landscapes, and animals, some of which were taken throughout Connecticut. What you find may surprise you!

Visit the Digital Collections page and select “Enders Ornithology Lantern Slides” under “Image Collections in Shared Shelf Commons” to view the collection. Learn about lantern slides here.

Library ‘wish list’ items

1885 map of Rockville, CTLate in the fiscal year, the Library reviews ‘wish list’ requests, and makes decisions based on available funds, relevance to student assignments, and faculty teaching & research.  A one-time purchase is preferred, even though it may require an annual service fee.

In Spring 2017, purchases included Caribbean Studies in Video: the Banyan Archive and the Digital National Security Archive.

Current ‘wish list’ items include China Academic Journals (East View; subscription), Communication & Mass Media Complete (EBSCO; subscription) and the Digital Sanborn Maps (ProQuest; subscription or one-time purchase).  All are currently available as a 30-day trial subscription via the A-Z Database list.

For questions or comments about e-resources or journal subscriptions, please contact Jennifer van Sickle at Jennifer.vansickle@trincoll.edu

1885 map of Rockville, CT, from the Sanborn map collection

Streaming Movie Options Swank

Citizen Kane poster

Be sure to check out movie titles available for classroom use from Swank. The Library licensed Swank content because we often have requests for feature films or TV shows not covered in our other resources Kanopy and Films on Demand. This week Swank is highlighting material from HBO like

We only pay for Swank movies that we request and turn on in their interface. If you see a title in Swank that you want to use for a course just send email to Kim Rinaldo at kimberly.rinaldo@trincoll.edu know and we’ll have Swank turn that on for Trinity access.

Trinity Library Exploring Alternatives for Institutional Repository

Beprexit logo, project of the UPenn Libraries

Beprexit

The Trinity Digital Repository is an open access resource for papers written by Trinity faculty and students, materials from the Trinity libraries, and Trinity publications. It is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Making material freely available fits perfectly with the mission of the library, and supporting it has been important to staff. Open access material also helps raise the visibility of Trinity publications, as you can see in the list of popular downloads. We have always hosted the repository with a company called Bepress, which was a small independent start up when Trinity started working with them. This year Bepress was purchased by the publishing giant Elsevier, causing great angst among the library community active in institutional repositories and open access initiatives. This was recently expressed by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, who announced their Beprexit project to find an alternative to Bepress. Like University of Pennsylvania and many other institutions, Trinity is looking at alternatives to Bepress now that it is owned by Elsevier.

I’m not completely an Elsevier critic. They provide high-quality access to a large body of scholarly work, and we license a lot of highly-used digital content from them. Elsevier is also very expensive, and they have a deserved reputation for purchasing many smaller publishers and affiliated service companies, giving rise to concerns about a monopoly, or something close to a monopoly. There are a few other big publishers, such as Kluwer, but there are far less publishers than when I started in the library profession.

To be fair to Elsevier they also have a history of supporting some open access initiatives, for example, the Hinari project. Through Hinari,  a program run by the WHO, Elsevier makes medical journals available to low and middle-income countries. They also have made no move they libraries have seen to shut down or put new conditions on Bepress repositories. Still, the move by Elsevier to take over Bepress is unsettling to say the least.  It isn’t entire clear why Elsevier purchased Bepress, but they have been very active in purchasing other platforms and citation tools like Mendeley aimed at the academic community. There is some thought that Elsevier is seeking to link open access preprints to the publication process. We in the library believe that we need to carefully examine options other than Bepress to host our repository.

The environment for repositories has changed pretty dramatically since we started with Bepress. There are more options available to us, many of which have been developed within the open access/open source community. Over the next few months the library will talk with companies that support DSpace, Islandora,  and Preservica. We’ll also talk with Bepress, since we are not necessarily ready to abandon a platform that has worked well for us. We do need to be concerned with both access and long-term management of our materials. We need a solution that will minimize our costs, and assure us that we can continue to provide access to Trinity materials in a reliable, open, and anonymous way (without intrusive data mining from any external company).

We invite any students or faculty to contact us with comments or concerns as we explore repository options.

8700 Trinity images now published to Digital Public Library of America!

Supported by The Mellon Foundation and others, Digital Public Library of America provides scholars and the general public with access to 18 million items from cultural heritage institutions.  Trinity contributions from Watkinson Library and Trinity Archives collections include ornithology lantern slides, early British theater playbills, George Watson Cole pre-WWI postcards, Renaissance manuscript illuminations, and Trinity College “old campus” photos. They can be located in “DPLA” by searching “trinity college” or by more focused searching. The collections can also still be accessed from our library Digital Collections page. Within the Cole postcard collection are 325 views of 1907-1914 California, including this one titled “Greetings from Venice California. On the Road of a Thousand Wonders.: Daily Scene on the Salt Water Canals,” by Souvenir Publishing Co. It shows one of the man-made canals built in 1905  to bring the feel of Venice, Italy, to southern California.

State Funding for Library Resources Threatened

Connecticut State Library in Hartford

Libraries across Connecticut, including the Trinity Library, benefit from programs run by the Connecticut State Library. Several of our most popular databases, including PsycInfo, ABI Inform, and Proquest Historical Newspapers are funded through the State Library’s ResearchIt CT service.  Historical Newspapers is used widely and offers content back to the 1980’s and sometimes earlier, for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and thousands of other newspapers. Access to these and other digital resources are provides to all Connecticut libraries–college, university, K-12 and public libraries.

State legislators and the governor have not been able to agree on a fy18 budget, and  since July 1 Connecticut has functioned under Governor Malloy’s Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan, which cuts funding for the State Library 18%. Funds specifically for ResearchIT are cut 50%.

Here are the specifics on the State Library budget under the executive order (ResearchIt funds are State-Wide Digital Library): overall funding is reduced from $9,396,000 by $1,728,000 to $7,668,000 in fy18 and for State-Wide Digital Library funds from $1,768,000 by almost $900,000 to $880,000.

This was nothing new for libraries–every year for the last few years, as part of budget negotiations the spending for the library and its services has been threatened with fairly drastic cuts, but funding has usually been restored at the eleventh hour. Because everyone is used to this there wasn’t too much concern. However, the budget stalemate has gone on for months, and the governor recently vetoed a budget passed by the legislature, which has now brought us to a more difficult situation.

The State Library has let us know that the subscriptions for Proquest Historical Newspapers and ABI Inform expired September 30. Proquest will not turn off access while we await a pricing proposal from them for all Connecticut libraries to keep access to these resources, but they won’t continue that access past December. The State Library and Proquest have said that the total bill will be the basic renewal price Proquest would have charged the State Library, but it is not at all clear how they intend to apportion the bill across all Connecticut libraries, or how all the libraries will manage that access and negotiations going forward.

Trinity College library knows that these resources are important to the community and we intend to fund them. Most libraries in the state will want to continue access as well, but the price may put these resources out of reach for some. Additionally, most libraries have tight budgets, and may not be able to suddenly pick up a large subscription they did not expect (major digital resources can run into the thousands or even tens of thousands.) The situation does underscore that the state budget problems can affect us all in unexpected and unwelcome ways.

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