Tag Archives: Crerar Kiosk

Discovering Chicago’s rare books with Elizabeth Frengel

Elizabeth Frengel holds a rare book

Elizabeth Frengel, curator of rare books (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

In her first year as curator of rare books in the Special Collections Research Center, Elizabeth Frengel has begun discovering the Library’s diverse treasures and identifying opportunities to enhance its holdings. Frengel came to the University of Chicago Library from her position as Head of Research Services at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. At Chicago, she is responsible for building and caring for the collections, as well as engaging faculty, students, and donors with the Special Collections Research Center’s materials, services, and programs.

With 340,000 rare books in Special Collections, Frengel has examined gems of historical importance and surpassing beauty. While delicately turning the pages of one of her favorites, an 1894 Kelmscott edition of The Tale of King Coustans the Emperor, Frengel notes the elegance of its inner design in contrast to the slightly worn condition of its exterior. Acquired with support from the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Rare Book Fund, this particular volume likely functioned as a press room or proof copy, or a remainder held by the press. “Such extra-textual components of the book can inform scholars’ understanding of the production processes of the press,” Frengel explains. Additionally, the work contains a handwritten note by Charles W. Howell on the front free endpaper stating that this copy survived the infamous fire at the Ballantyne Press in 1899. Such a notation further reveals this volume’s history and role as a complex cultural object rather than simply a textual conduit.

A hand points at an Arctic expedition map

A 16th-century Arctic expedition map bequeathed by Eleonora C. Gordon, M.D. (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

From handwritten notes to book illustrations, Frengel observes that extra-textual elements in the rare books collections often infuse works with layers of meaning and rich research value. For instance, Frengel was thrilled to see the Library become the new home of two exquisitely illustrated items documenting 16th century polar explorations, bequeathed by Eleonora C. Gordon, M.D.: a map and an Arctic expedition log supplemented with stunningly clean and detailed engravings depicting the crew’s adventures with a sweeping sense of dynamism.

Since arriving at Chicago, Frengel has also had the opportunity to work with Graham School student Robert S. Connors, who generously donated to the Library nearly 400 rare volumes from the 15th to the 20th centuries. According to Frengel, “Acquisitions such as this are important to scholars studying the transmission of classical texts through time and across cultures.” She is especially grateful to have received eleven incunable titles from the earliest period of European printing, including a 1475 edition of Augustine’s Confessions.

Frengel plans to continue learning as much as possible about the immense collections of rare books at Chicago. She envisions helping to build collections through acquisitions in areas such as classical texts in the early modern period, including Homer in print; Judaica; 19th-century literature; African Americana; and works that illustrate the history of the material text.

The Library looks forward to more energetic years of intellectual curiosity and thoughtful curation of rare books in the future.

Hands hold open a book with text in red and black

This 1894 Kelmscott edition of “The Tale of King Coustans the Emperor” was saved from the fire at Ballantyne Press in 1899. (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

Knowledge@UChicago featured research: Game Mechanics, Experience Design, and Affective Play

June’s featured research in Knowledge@UChicago, the University of Chicago’s open access digital repository, is Patrick Jagoda and Peter McDonald’s book chapter “Game Mechanics, Experience Design, and Affective Play” (2018). Jagoda is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Peter McDonald is an assistant professor at DePaul University and earned his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Graphic by Maico Amorim, accessed from Wikimedia Commons

Jagoda and McDonald’s chapter “explores games as a major object of study in both media theory and practice.” The authors consider approaches for game analysis that have characterized the study of games since the early 2000s and probe the concept of “experience design” that “foregrounds the ways players can affect and be affected by a game: experientially, kinesthetically, and ideologically” (p. 174).

The chapter appears in The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, a collection of 53 chapters exploring the “intersections of media studies, digital humanities, and cultural criticism through praxis.” The book is available for purchase, but a number of authors, like Jagoda and McDonald, have made their contributions to the volume available for universal access through open access repositories.

We invite University of Chicago researchers to share open access versions of their scholarship in Knowledge@UChicago. Publisher agreements often allow for versions of a published work to be available in an institutional repository, and it is possible to negotiate these rights before signing the agreement. Contact the Library at knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu to discuss your rights as an author and to review your publisher agreement if you are uncertain whether you have permission to submit your work in Knowledge@UChicago.


This year, we’re highlighting examples of research shared in Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting items, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.  See more digital scholarship news from the Library, including previous featured research on our news site.  

UChicago librarian halts ‘Jeopardy!’ champ’s historic run

Emma Boettcher on "Joepardy!" with $46,801 on display

Emma Boettcher, UChicago Library’s user experience resident librarian, on “Jeopardy!” Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Emma Boettcher, who wrote her thesis about the show, beats 32-time winner James Holzhauer

Three years ago, Emma Boettcher finished writing a master’s thesis about “Jeopardy!” Now the University of Chicago librarian has become a trivia answer herself—as the person who stopped James Holzhauer’s historic run on the TV game show.

In a drama-filled episode that aired June 3, Boettcher knocked off Holzhauer, whose high-risk style made him a celebrity during his streak of 32 consecutive wins. Holzhauer entered the contest having won $2,462,216—$58,484 shy of Ken Jennings’ record for regular-season “Jeopardy!” winnings.

“It was surreal, for sure,” Boettcher said Monday afternoon of defeating Holzhauer. “I taped back in March, so I had not heard of him before showing up that day. I didn’t know there was this 32-time champion out there. I thought it was a joke.”

Boettcher trailed Holzhauer by $2,600 after the first round, but pulled ahead in the Double Jeopardy! round by unveiling and correctly answering both Daily Doubles. She clinched her victory in Final Jeopardy!, correctly wagering $20,201 on this clue: “The line ‘A great reckoning in a little room’ in ‘As You Like It’ is usually taken to refer to this author’s premature death.” (The answer: “Who is Marlowe?”)

That brought her to $46,801—comfortably ahead of Holzhauer’s $24,799.

When Boettcher’s total flashed up, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebeck exclaimed: “What a payday!” Holzhauer, meanwhile, rushed over and gave her a high-five. In an interview with The New York Times, he said Boettcher had played “a perfect game.” And once clips from the show began surfacing, requests from local and national media flooded in.

“It’s been quite a day,” Boettcher said.

The quest for knowledge’

A native of suburban Philadelphia, the 27-year-old became a “Jeopardy!” fan around middle school, when she began participating in similar academic competitions. At the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she wrote an award-winning master’s thesis titled, “Predicting the Difficulty of Trivia Questions Using Text Features.”

The paper was inspired by a class she took on text mining. Because “Jeopardy!” already assigns value to bits of text, Boettcher thought it was perfect for a series of experiments to assess “if the computer can make the same assessments that a user does” based on factors like word length and syntax.

That task, as she told Trebek, turned out to be “very hard to do.”

Boettcher’s work at UNC was one of the things that prompted the University of Chicago Library to hire her as a user experience resident librarian—part of a residency program which brings in top recent graduates to expand staff expertise in new and rapidly developing areas of librarianship. In that role, which she has held since 2016, Boettcher coordinates user research to support the improvement of the Library’s public website, intranet and discovery tools.

She is currently involved in a national and international open source project to develop a next-generation library management system.

“One of the things I love about being a librarian is I’m surrounded by people who value and support the quest for knowledge,” Boettcher said. “That’s true in many environments, but it’s especially true of librarians, and at the University of Chicago in particular.”

She also has shared her enthusiasm for trivia on campus before, writing pub quiz-style trivia questions for the University of Chicago Library Staff Day.

After two-and-a-half months of secrecy, Boettcher is also happy that she can finally talk to her friends and colleagues about her win. However, she doesn’t take any extra pride in having cut short Holzhauer’s historic run.

“It’s nice to be a little part of ‘Jeopardy!’ history,” Boettcher said. “Regardless of who I was playing, I just wanted to play a good game.”

Marie Tharp: Pioneering Oceanographer – new web exhibit

A pioneer in her field, renowned cartographer Marie Tharp created the first scientific maps of the Atlantic Ocean floor with her partner Bruce Heezen. Her observations showed the topography and geographical landscape of the ocean bottom and were crucial to the development of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift in the earth sciences. 

A new web exhibit is now available about her work with images of some of her maps, many of which are available in the Library’s map collection.

Exhibit: https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/collex/exhibits/marie-tharp-pioneering-oceanographer/

 

 

Knowledge@UChicago featured work: Migration Stories: A Community Anthology, 2017

April’s featured submission is Migration Stories: A Community Anthology, a collection of stories, essays, poetry, and visual works by individuals at and around the University of Chicago. Edited by Creative Writing Program faculty Rachel Cohen and Rachel DeWoskin, the anthology was produced as a part of the Migration Stories Project, an effort born in 2016 to provide a space to share and experience stories of migration and movement.

Cover of Migration Stories

Cover image by Alejandro Monroy, AM ’17

In the anthology, readers encounter contributions by University of Chicago faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, high school students in the community, and others. Cohen and DeWoskin write, “From the outset, we wanted the project to focus not on a group of people who are called ‘immigrants,’ but on migration, that human activity, motion, across water, land and air, that is natural to us and that comes to every life in different forms. The stories themselves are a part of these movements; they themselves move from one place to another, one person’s memory to another’s” (p. 9-11). Knowledge@UChicago is pleased to preserve and provide access to this important collection.

We invite University of Chicago faculty and students to share research and writing about our community in Knowledge@UChicago and to use the repository as a place to document and preserve project outputs for the long-term. Contact knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu with any questions!


Each month, we’re highlighting an example of research shared in Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting an item shared each month, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.  See more digital scholarship news from the Library, including previous featured research on our news site.     

New center fuses media arts, data, and design

A rendering of people workign together in the MADD Center

A rendering of the Media Arts, Data and Design Center, a new collaborative space in the John Crerar Library at the University of Chicago. (Illustration courtesy of Payette Architects )

Partnership across UChicago explores intersection of technology, creativity, and research

The boundaries between art, design, science, and technology are disappearing in a digital world. Today, artists use algorithms, scientists rely on visualization and designers are often focused on helping people navigate new technologies.

At the University of Chicago, the disciplines come together at the Media Arts, Data, and Design (MADD) Center, creating a new collaborative space for experimentation, discovery and impact. The MADD Center will support work by faculty, other academic appointees, students, staff, and community partners through cutting-edge technologies. The 20,000-square-foot center in the John Crerar Library opens February 25.

“Design, as a field, now encompasses the sum of human interactions with the devices, environments, and communities that shape daily life,” said David J. Levin, Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts. “The MADD Center gives the University of Chicago a space to address these radical changes, assess their wide-ranging consequences, and comprehend the ways that perception, sensation, and experience are being transformed.”

At the MADD Center, there are opportunities to create, study, and learn about critical technologies driving both culture and science, including video games, virtual and augmented reality, data visualization, and digital fabrication. The MADD Center brings together the College, Division of Humanities, Division of Physical Sciences, UChicago Arts and the UChicago Library.

The MADD Center will host five resource labs:

  • An expanded Computer Science Instructional Labs, providing hardware and software for training and education;
  • The Hack Arts Lab, an open-access digital fabrication, prototyping, and visualization facility;
  • The new Weston Game Lab, offering expanded resources for the study, play, and development of analog, electronic, virtual and online games;
  • The Research Computing Center Visualization Lab in the Crerar Library’s Kathleen A. Zar Room, providing new data visualization technology; and,
  • The UChicago Library’s new GIS Hub, enabling geospatial research and learning activities by providing access to geographical information systems software and hardware and an expert GIS and maps librarian who offers consultations and training.

At the MADD Center, classroom and studio spaces support the teaching of Media Arts and Design and Media Aesthetics in the College, electronic music in partnership with CHIME Studios in the Department of Music, and virtual reality and other media courses as part of the new Media Arts and Design minor in Cinema and Media Studies.  In addition, the MADD Center will provide new opportunities for further collaboration with the Logan Center for the Arts, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and many others.

“I am excited about the new opportunities students and faculty in the College and the Humanities will have to work with colleagues in computer science and other areas as we continue to develop new courses in Media Arts and Design and support the many interests of our students and faculty in this area,” said Christopher Wild, Deputy Dean of the College and Humanities Division.

Collaboration Across Creative Forms

The open floorplan and close proximity of MADD Center labs is designed to create opportunities for crossovers and collaboration. Students designing a new board game can create prototypes on the 3D printers at the Hack Arts Lab, while researchers working with the GIS Hub might reveal new insights by visualizing their data on Research Computing Center resources. The MADD Center is located near the new Department of Computer Science offices and laboratories, a science librarians’ research and teaching suite, and the Library’s collections and study spaces at a renovated Crerar Library, creating new, interdisciplinary opportunities across divisions.

“As our world becomes increasingly digital, designers and artists need to become more engaged with technology and technologists need to become more fluent with design, media and the arts,” said Michael J. Franklin, Liew Family Chair of Computer Science. “By co-locating a critical mass of tech-savvy students and faculty with diverse skills and interests across these varied domains, we will facilitate robust dialogue and collaboration as our disciplines continue to co-evolve.”

People working in the Weston Game Lab

The Weston Game Lab will provide a vibrant new space at UChicago for the research and design of games. (Illustration courtesy of Payette Architects)

Gaming, UChicago-Style

The MADD Center is envisioned as a place for a group of students dissecting the structure of a classic Nintendo game, or sketching out the visual design for a new card game that teaches high school students about teen pregnancy. A cornerstone of the new center, the Weston Game Lab will provide a vibrant new space at UChicago for the research and design of the world’s fastest growing cultural and aesthetic form: games.

The Weston Game Lab is supported by a gift from Dr. Shellwyn Weston and Bradford Weston, JD’77. Within the Lab, students, faculty, and staff will collaborate on the research and development of games that produce social impact or experiment with form. Participants will also be able to research the history of games from technical and theoretical perspectives with the Library’s collection of video games and the Logan Center’s collection of consoles, attend workshops that afford new development skills, and organize collaborative groups for game-based experiments.

“Video games in recent years have become an immensely popular medium and multi-billion dollar industry,” said Patrick Jagoda, Associate Professor of English and Cinema & Media Studies and director of the Weston Game Lab. “For cultural, psychological, and sociopolitical reasons, we need rigorous academic study, across both humanistic and social scientific disciplines. I’m interested in growing a culture of thoughtful, ethical, and experimental game design for ends other than entertainment that includes interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff, and students. I think the University of Chicago can really shine in this space.”

Knowledge@UChicago featured research: The Changing Landscape of Arts Participation

Beginning this month, we’re highlighting an example of a deposit to Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting an item each month, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that faculty and other UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.

January’s featured deposit is a 2014 report entitled “The Changing Landscape of Arts Participation: A Synthesis of Literature and Expert Interviews.” This report is the product of NORC and the former Cultural Policy Center in the Harris School. The report, prepared by Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Patience E. Baach, Alexandria Schultz, Betty Farrell, Will Anderson, & Nick Rabkin, is “oriented to understanding the ‘cultural frames’ of various socio-demographic communities [in California] and to unpacking the many dimensions—meanings, settings, and social context” of participation in the arts. It was submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts, with support from The James Irvine Foundation.

In 2016, the Cultural Policy Center merged with Place Lab. The Library is pleased to have examples of the rich research produced by the Center available in the repository. Access more research created by this Center by visiting Knowledge@UChicago.

We welcome active and past centers to use Knowledge@UChicago for preserving and providing access to their research. Contact knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu for information about Knowledge@UChicago and to request the creation of a repository collection for your center.

Laptop and phone chargers now available at Eckhart

Laptop and phone chargers are now available for checkout at Eckhart Library.  If your device is running low, feel free to ask for one at our circulation desk.  Chargers available include ones for Macbooks, PCs, Androids, IPhones and IPads.  Each can be checked out for two hours at a time.

A full list of the chargers available is here: https://bit.ly/2RgBtoT

We also have calculators and headphones available for checkout at our circulation desk.

The Fetus in Utero: From Mystery to Social Media

Exhibition Dates: January 2–April 12, 2019
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Diagram of fetus in utero

Du Coudray uses diagrams of the fetus in utero to help midwives-in-training see both the anatomical and emotional factors at play during pregnancy. Detail from Du Coudray, Abrégé de l’art des accouchements dans lequel on donne les préceptes nécessaires pour le mettre heureusement en pratique, 1777. RG93.L45 Rare. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Once restricted to the privacy of the doctor’s office, ultrasound images of the fetus are now immediately recognizable in the public arena through advertisements and social media, where posts tagged “baby’s first pic” are commonplace. Such depictions of the fetus in utero have become iconic and are arguably the most easily recognized medical image. How and why did this happen?

To answer this question, viewers are invited to embark on a 500-year visual journey, from Renaissance woodcuts to modern medical images. Along the way, they will encounter three major shifts in graphic representation. First, from 1450 to 1700, the fetus transformed from divine mystery to a topic deemed worthy of study. Second, from 1700 to 1965, the fetus achieved status as a medicalized subject whose visual ‘home’ was the obstetrical textbook. Third, from 1965 to the present, the fetus has achieved status in popular culture while maintaining its traditional medical role.

Through this rich visual culture, images of the fetus in utero have been used in the service of education, research, political agendas, patient-empowered medicine, and finally, entertainment. The images on view offer historical insights and a sweeping look at how the visual culture of the fetus in utero developed.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Curators

Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, The University of Chicago; and Margaret Carlyle, Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, The University of Chicago

Life-size female manikin with fetus

This life-size female manikin served as a pedagogical tool for turn-of-the-20th-century medical students. Pilz anatomical manikin [female], [19–?]. New York: American Thermo-Ware Co. ffQM25.P545 19— RCASR. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Related Events

Curators’ Tours

Friday, January 4, 4:30–5 pm
Wednesday, January 23, 1:30–2 pm
Friday, February 8, 4-4:30 pm

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Free 30-minute tours by the curators. Please meet in the front lobby of the Regenstein Library at the start time.

Opening Event

Thursday, January 24, 5–7 p.m.
5737 South University Avenue, Chicago, IL
This wine-and-cheese opening reception is hosted by the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge (SIFK).
RSVP required

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download to members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news. For more information and images, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Issues of ‘Medicine on the Midway’ available on UChicago Campus Publications

Medicine on the Midway, Vol. 1, No. 1, December 1944 (previously titled Bulletin of the Medical Alumni Association, University of Chicago)

Issues of Medicine on the Midway from 1944 to 1981 have been digitized and are now available on The University of Chicago Campus Publications website. Formerly titled Bulletin of the Medical Alumni Association, this periodical was published by the School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago Campus Publications is a digital collection of publications documenting the history of the University of Chicago and the work of its faculty, students, and alumni; read more about its launch.

New issues of Medicine on the Midway are available at UChicago Medicine.