Tag Archives: Library Kiosk

Favorite Library sections of new Social Sciences faculty

Which sections of the library do faculty members enjoy the most? The fall issue of Dialogo, the University of Chicago Social Sciences Division magazine, introduced its new faculty members in interviews that included this question.  The answers give us some insight into their diverse influences and suggest the vital role that the Library plays in faculty research and teaching.

Joel Isaac

Joel Isaac, John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, Associate Professor

Joel Isaac is a historian focused on social and political thought in the United States and how the Cold War shaped political ideologies. His current research examines the revival of 18th-century categories of political and moral thought in the 20th century through more modern idioms: neoclassical economics, analytical philosophy, decision theory, and empirical political science. His first book, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn (Harvard, 2012), was awarded the Gladstone Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2012.

Isaac’s favorite section of the Library: “The Special Collections Research Center in the Regenstein Library.  Before I came to Chicago, I made some pilgrimages across the Atlantic (from Cambridge, UK) to use the SCRC.  Now its riches are on tap whenever I need them.  I confess I get a special charge from reading the papers of former UChicago faculty who have deposited their papers in the archives of the SCRC.  It’s a thrill to see the University through their eyes.”

Destin Jenkins

Destin Jenkins, Department of History, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018), Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of History (7/1/2018-)

Destin Jenkins’s research as a historian centers on the linkages between the American state, capitalism, racial inequality, and the built environment in the 20th century. His forthcoming book, tentatively titled “Bonded Metropolis: Debt, Redevelopment, and Racial Inequality in Postwar San Francisco,” argues that the practices of municipal debt finance redistributed wealth upwards, reinscribed racial inequality, and became a constraint on democratic state power.

Jenkins’s favorite sections of the Library: “Regenstein Library is phenomenal. My favorite section is arranged by call number, E.185. From small pamphlets proposing solutions to the ills of late 1960s ghetto life to thick volumes dealing with black employment, most of the material in this section deals with the political economy of black life. The most interesting book I’ve found is a 1919-1920 report, “Colored Women as Industrial Workers in Philadelphia.” It’s been especially interesting reading the report alongside W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Philadelphia Negro (1899). When Du Bois wrapped up this comprehensive study, at once sociological and a moral and political reflection on race and human civilization, he concluded that Philadelphia’s black women were largely confined to work as domestic workers. As elsewhere, World War I had thoroughly transformed the labor market. In Philadelphia black women arguably helped to facilitate industrial development, and, as track repair workers, inspectors, and porters, helped to maintain the city’s physical infrastructure. The Consumers League of Eastern Pennsylvania saw these opportunities as creating “a new day” for black women. I am looking forward to discussing this pamphlet and exploring the conditions under which black women toiled with students in my fall course, ‘Histories of Racial Capitalism.’”

Headshot of Ryan Jobson

Ryan Jobson

Ryan Jobson, Department of Anthropology, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019), Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology (7/1/2019-)

Ryan Jobson is a social scientist and Caribbean cultural critic. His research and teaching engage issues of energy and extractive resource development, technology and infrastructure, states and sovereignty, and histories of racial capitalism in the colonial and postcolonial Americas. His first book manuscript, “Deepwater Futures: Sovereignty at Risk in a Caribbean Petrostate,” is an ethnographic study of fossil fuel industries and postcolonial state building in Trinidad and Tobago. A second research project will comprise a historical ethnography of oil and bauxite development in Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

Jobson’s favorite sections of the Library: “As a scholar of the Caribbean, I enjoy exploring texts and materials produced in and about the region. I am particularly fascinated by original documents from the 18th and 19th century that I stumble upon in the stacks. On one of my first trips to the Reg, I was surprised to find a collection of late 19th century photographs of the Pitch Lake in Trinidad—the largest global reserve of natural bitumen asphalt. I later discovered that the photographs were donated to the university by the Barber Asphalt Co. on the occasion of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The gift coincided with efforts to structurally improve the roadways throughout the city, many of which were paved with Trinidad Lake Asphalt including Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard. In my courses, I draw on anecdotes like this to demonstrate the enduring connections between places like Chicago and the Caribbean. Evidence of these connections often lurks in corners of the library or on the pavement beneath our feet.”

Headshot of Alexander Torgovitsky

Alexander Torgovitsky

Alexander Torgovitsky, Department of Economics, Assistant Professor

Alexander Torgovitsky’s research is focused on developing new methods for causal inference and counterfactual analysis with economic data. His recent work has focused on developing tools for detecting and measuring state dependency (“stigma” effects) in unemployment dynamics. Other recent work has provided tools for extrapolating inferences from studies of small research populations to larger groups, with implications for understanding behavior and for policy making.

Torgovitsky’s favorite section of the Library: “I enjoy the student-run coffee shop (Ex Libris). The coffee is great, and I like the way many of the facilities at UChicago are run by students, unlike at many other private universities. It reminds me of my undergraduate institution, and I think it helps foster a strong sense of academic community.”

Alice Goff, Department of History, Assistant Professor

Headshot of Alice Goff

Alice Goff

Alice Goff is a historian of modern German cultural and intellectual life. Her work focuses on the relationships between material objects and political thought in the 18th and 19th centuries. Goff’s current research traces the history of artworks caught up in the looting, iconoclasm, and shifting boundaries of German states during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars and the consequences of their displacement for German political, religious, and intellectual practice at the beginning of the 19th century.

Goff’s favorite section of the Library: “For browsing, I most enjoy the folios or oversized sections of the library. No matter the call number, the folio shelves always have something monumental and strange to offer: the most lavish exhibition catalogues, the most beautiful atlases, the most unwieldy information, though unfortunately also the most cumbersome to get back to the office.”

Headshot of Mikhail Golosov

Mikhail Golosov

Mikhail Golosov, Department of Economics, Homer J. Livingston Professor in Economics and the College

Mikhail Golosov is an economist specializing in macroeconomics, public finance and political economy. His research explores economic theories related to wars over resources, tax systems, and strategic communication. He is an associate editor of Econometrica and the Review of Economic Studies.

Golov’s favorite sections of the Library: “I like to read social science books that are not directly related to economicssociology, history, philosophy—so I often gravitate towards those sections of the library. Researchers in those disciplines study human society, just like economists do, but often have a very different perspective. I find that I can learn from that a fair bit. Steven Pinker’s book The Blank Slate was one of the most fascinating books I read recently.”

Headshot of Peter Hull

Peter Hull

Peter Hull, Department of Economics, Assistant Professor

Economist Peter Hull develops novel statistical techniques to answer policy questions in education and health care. Currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research, he will come to the University of Chicago campus as a Becker Friedman Institute Research Fellow in 2018, and will join the Department of Economics faculty in the summer of 2019.

Hull’s favorite genres: “Apart from econometrics textbooks (only somewhat kidding), I’m torn between biography and science fiction. At their best, both genres amaze me in their ability to illustrate a set of foreign ideas, places, and times, all through a strong narrative structure; if only more academic papers had that ability! Recently I’ve been addicted to Robert Caro’s The Power Broker and five-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, while every winter am excited to crack open Gardner Dozois’ most recent Year’s Best Science Fiction short story anthology.”

Read more about new 2017 Social Sciences Division faculty members in Dialogo.

Launching a Center for Digital Scholarship at the Library

The Changing Nature of Scholarship

The advent of digital technology has opened up new horizons that have inspired scholars to transform the nature of their scholarship. From the rapid analysis of a human genome to the sharing of social science data sets to data mining vast quantities of text—scholars are continually developing new digital approaches to creating, analyzing, and sharing their research.

Brenda L. Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian (Photo by John Zich)

While digital scholarship activity among the University of Chicago faculty is growing, this new kind of scholarship comes with a challenge. Researchers must master a dizzying array of computational tools and techniques, they must think about how to manage their data in ways that can be used by other researchers, and they must find solutions for archiving and sharing their data that meet the increasingly stringent requirements of funding agencies. As faculty and students increasingly incorporate computational and algorithmic methods (e.g., text mining, network analysis, GIS and geo-spatial mapping, image analysis, data analysis) into their research process, they are looking for partners to provide the technical and human resources necessary to support their research activities, foster innovation, and facilitate cross-divisional collaboration.

Digital scholarship encompasses all parts of this new life cycle of digital research, from the changing ways in which scholars collect and analyze data to their increased interest in new techniques for preserving and sharing that data. The Library is a natural hub for the exchange of ideas and the home of a great deal of expertise on archiving and sharing information. Accordingly, we are preparing to enhance our offerings and collaborations with faculty in each segment of this life cycle.

Envisioning a Center for Digital Scholarship at the University of Chicago Library

Faculty tell us that “a substantial barrier to the adoption of computational and digital methods at the University of Chicago has been the isolation of faculty members from colleagues who are experimenting with similar techniques. . . . A physical space designated for such inquiry could help bridge this knowledge gap by providing an environment in which to explore the application of these techniques, receive hands-on training through tutorials or workshops, and benefit from informal collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines.”

To meet this need, I am pleased to announce that we are beginning the work of launching a Center for Digital Scholarship at the Library, which will become a new nexus for intellectual energy and growth, providing a space that will support state-of-the-art technologies and services that facilitate the exploration of new methodologies, the analysis of complex data, the visualization of theoretical relationships, and the sharing of research results.

Establishing such a transformative center at the Library will require identifying high priority needs and thinking creatively about how to resource those needs. Thanks to the generosity of Robert, AM’64, and Carolyn Nelson, AM’64, PhD’67, we will soon be able to hire a Director for the Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) who will develop a strategic vision, begin to build services, and coordinate with existing library staff. Our new CDS Director will jumpstart the process and position us to pursue additional funding to support a full suite of services. I am grateful to the Nelsons for their early support of the Library’s digital scholarship initiatives.

We are now beginning a search for this Director and look forward to having this position filled in the coming months. As the Center develops over time, we expect that we will be able to facilitate a wide range of activities. Possibilities fall into three categories.

  • Scholarly Exploration and Collaboration. A combination of intellectual programming (symposia to host international scholars, tutorials, brown-bag presentations, workshops, faculty lectures), services (project consultation, data archiving), and technology (scanning equipment, workstations equipped with GIS and other specialized software) will make the Center a hub that brings faculty, students, and scholars together in ways that spark interactions and facilitate cross-divisional collaborations.­
  • Graduate and Undergraduate Training.  Faculty turn to the Library as a partner to supplement classroom instruction with workshops, targeted training, and onsite training by embedded librarians who can teach the skills necessary for students to succeed. In addition to supporting initiatives across campus to develop courses and programs that integrate new computational methods and theories into a wide range of disciplines, the Library has partnered with UChicagoGrad to provide fundamental digital scholarship skills needed by graduate students to become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.
  • OCHRE database screenshot

    The OCHRE database allows users to view photographs of artifacts (here, Ras Shamra tablets) alongside associated machine-readable data such as descriptions, epigraphs, interpretive information, transliterations, and translations.

    Project Incubation and Execution. The Center for Digital Scholarship will provide services, such as project consultations, data acquisition and conversion, workshops in tools and techniques, and core technical infrastructure.  Researchers would benefit from guidance on strategies for organizing and executing digital project work and from assistance by staff with the experience and networks that can facilitate project components that are new to the researcher. Examples of such projects are the Library’s collaboration with Chicago Booth’s Richard Hornbeck on the location and digitization of 19th-century manufacturing data and with the Oriental Institute’s David Schloen on the OCHRE database system.

I look forward to being joined by the new Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship, who will collaborate with colleagues within the Library and across campus to develop a vision for the Center and plan for the rollout of services critical to digital research and teaching projects of many kinds.

 

Lyonette Louis-Jacques among award-winning authors

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian at the D’Angelo Law Library, was among the authors who were recently awarded the Reynolds and Flores Publication Award for their “Mexican Law and Legal Research” guide. The award, named after the authors of the Foreign Law Guide, a core foreign law research source, recognizes members of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) who have created a publication that “enhances the professional knowledge and capabilities of law librarians.” Louis-Jacques shares this award with her co-authors Bianca T. Anderson, Marisol Floren-Romero, Julienne E. Grant, Jootaek Lee, Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, Jonathan Pratter, and Sergio Stone.

The guide was recently published in March 2016 in Volume 35, Issue 1, of the Legal Reference Services Quarterly. It covers all types of primary sources of law and secondary legal literature, including international agreements, state gazettes, law journals, textbooks, and monographs. Additionally, it filled a gap in the literature: it contains an extensive bibliography of secondary literature in English on Mexican law and legal research, which is not found in other research guides or treatises on Mexican law and legal research. Since its publication, it has received approximately 500 views and over 200 SSRN downloads.

Uncovering history through rare book cataloging

Jennifer Dunlap with Ptolemy’s "Geographia"

Special Collections Project Cataloger Jennifer Dunlap with Ptolemy’s “Geographia.” (Ulm: Justus Albano, 1486.) Call number: alc Incun 1486.P93. (Photo by Joel Wintermantle)

Not all copies of a book are created equal. A copy of the Odyssey printed in the hand press era (1450 to roughly the 1840s), for example, would have different qualities than one printed in the machine press era (the 1840s to the present). What is more, each copy of a book takes on its own distinct history as it is acquired, studied, and passed from one person or institution to another.  The extra-textual elements found in rare books—from handwritten annotations to bookplates, bindings, and stamps—can reveal a history that is vital to a scholar’s research.

Thanks to the support of Julie and Roger Baskes, the Special Collections Research Center is undertaking a major project to enhance its rare book cataloging, making the special characteristics of individual rare books readily discoverable by researchers around the world. Over the past year, Special Collections Project Cataloger Jennifer Dunlap and dedicated graduate rare books assistants have reviewed, corrected, and enhanced bibliographic records for more than 4,000 titles, making edits to the online University of Chicago Library Catalog and WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections.

Along the way, they have discovered many previously buried treasures. For example, the catalog record for the Library’s 1486 edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia now makes note of the presence of the 32 hand-colored woodcut maps—including the pictured one with costly and striking blue paint filling the oceans. A box of sheet music previously listed under a single title was found to contain 75 pieces of music about President James Garfield.  Several were unique pieces not included in WorldCat until Dunlap created a new record there. “This project is not just impacting our local University of Chicago Catalog, but is also allowing other institutions to discover resources globally via WorldCat and link their own holdings to it,” she explained.

Re-cataloging a title can take from as little as five minutes to an entire day. Dunlap describes the style of binding and marks of ownership in the record, as well as adding applicable terms that can aid in searching.  If users made edits to the printed text, correcting a misspelling, adding a missing word or phrase, or censoring a word or line, Dunlap notes the presence of these edits in the online catalog record, transcribing them in full if they are short.  For example, the Library’s copy of Chronicles of England (circa 1486) includes crossed-out references to the pope and the sainthood and martyrdom of Thomas of Canterbury, suggesting that the owner may have been expressing anti-Catholic sentiments after the establishment of the independent Church of England.

In the eyes of scholars and experienced catalogers such as Dunlap, the many marks left by former owners bring a book’s readership to life.  Dunlap’s cataloging work continues so that more stories of writers and their readers can be discovered and written over time.

Boethius’ "Consolation of Philosophy"

The description of this book, Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy,” in the catalog record indicates the presence of numerous hand-colored woodcut illustrations. (Boethius. “De consolatione philosophiae.” Strassbourg: Johann Grüninger, 1501.)

My Library Account improvements

The Library has released a new version of My Library Account (formerly My Account), offering enhancements and new features:

  • Displays have been improved, especially on mobile devices.
  • Checked out items are sorted by due date, so items due soon appear at the top of the list.
  • Checked out items can also be sorted by title, author, call number, loan type, etc.
  • Alerts appear for recalled items, items due soon, overdue items, etc.
  • Interlibrary loan, course reserves, and short term loans display information about their loan period and whether they are eligible for renewal.
  • Faculty can view which items on their accounts were checked out by proxy borrowers.
  • Requested items more clearly display whether they are available for pickup.
  • Quick links have been added to other Library accounts (Interlibrary Loan, Special Collections, Course Reserves).

See My Library Account Help for more information.

The new Checked out Items screen; items due soon appear at the top of the list.

The new Checked out Items screen; items due soon appear at the top of the list.

New online resource: Nevo

The Library recently subscribed to Nevo, a database of Israeli law. It includes primary law (legislation, bills, regulations, case-law) and secondary law sources (articles, books). Access is campuswide. Searching is in Hebrew, but users can use their favorite translation tool (for example, Google Chrome or Google Translate) to navigate the database if needed. Try it out, and let us know what you think!

Shared Past, Shared Future: The Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Chicago – new web exhibit

Shared Past, Shared Future – web exhibit

whitman and MBL investigatorsThe recent affiliation between UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is the latest chapter in the long, intertwined history of the two institutions. Charles Otis Whitman, the first director of the MBL, also established biology at the University. Frank Lillie, Zoology chair, became the second director and remained president of the MBL corporation until 1942. Today, as the institutions draw closer, we highlight and celebrate our shared history.

DEADLINE EXTENDED Applications open for 2018 Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship Program

Robert Platzman

Robert Platzman in 1941

Application deadline is March 19, 2018.

The University of Chicago Library invites applications for short-term research fellowships for the summer of 2018. Any visiting researcher, writer, or artist residing more than 100 miles from Chicago, and whose project requires on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily archives, manuscripts, rare books, or other materials in the Special Collections Research Center, is eligible. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program. Applications in the fields of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century physics or physical chemistry, or nineteenth-century classical opera, will receive special consideration.

Awards will be made based on the applicant’s ability to complete the proposed on-site research successfully within the timeframe of the fellowship.  Applicants should explain why the project cannot be conducted without on-site access to the original materials and the extent to which University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research.  Up to $3,000 of support will be awarded to help cover estimated travel, living, and research expenses.  Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged. Awards may be used between June 1, 2018 and September 28, 2018.

Applicants must provide the following information:

  • A cover letter (not to exceed one page) including the project title; a brief summary; estimated dates of on-site research; and a budget for travel, living, and research expenses during the period of on-site research
  • A research proposal not to exceed three double-spaced pages. Applicants should include references to specific archival finding aids and catalog records of particular relevance to their proposed project whenever possible.
  • A curriculum vitae of no longer than two pages
  • Two letters of support from academic or other scholars. References may be sent with the application or separately.

Submit application in one electronic file to: scrcfellowship@lib.uchicago.edu

Letters of reference in electronic form are preferred; print letters of reference can be sent to:

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships
Special Collections Research Center
The University of Chicago Library
1100 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

For additional information contact:
Daniel Meyer, Director, Special Collections Research Center

For additional background on the Platzman Fellowship, and to see a list of last year’s recipients please see our website: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/about/platzmanfellowships.html

Hone your IT, media, and productivity skills with Lynda.com

University of Chicago researchers have access to Lynda.com, a leading provider of online courses covering business, media, and technology.  Researchers can choose from over 4,000 courses, all of which are broken up into short, easy to use videos.  Business courses cover LyndaLinkedin_blackeverything from leadership and marketing to product management, while media courses cover specific software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, as well as general techniques for graphic design, video editing and more.  Technology courses cover a full range of software and skills, including Java, R, SPSS, data analysis and cyber security.  Course levels range from introductory to advanced and instructors are vetted industry experts.

In addition to courses, Lynda.com has created guides using a collection of short videos, articles and checklists, that provide a step by step process for starting a business and becoming a manager.  The Starting a Business guide covers everything from evaluating yourself and your business idea to establishing operations.  Lynda.com’s Weekly Series feature guarantees that content stays fresh.  The most recent video in the Marketing Tips weekly series discusses representing the keyword funnel through SEO.

Questions about how to leverage this powerful tool? Ask us on Twitter, Facebook, or through our reference services.

Mother’s Room, Regenstein B51

Regenstein Room B51, located on the building’s B Level, has been renovated to create an accessible, ADA-compliant Mother’s Room for the exclusive use of nursing mothers currently affiliated with the University and visiting researchers using the Library’s collections. This single-use, private room is available for up to one hour increments.

To request use of the Mother’s Room, please contact the secretary in the Library Administration Office (Regenstein 180) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. At other times, please see the Circulation Supervisor on duty.