People

Raymond Gadke, AM’66, Reading Room Manager, 1943-2018

Raymond Gadke provided scholarly resources to four decades of researchers and mentorship to generations of College students at the University of Chicago. He died this week at age 74.

Raymond Gadke, 1943-2018. Inspired by a fondness for Elvis Presley’s garb in “Blue Hawaii,” Ray made Hawaiian shirts his regular uniform, and librarians directed patrons needing help with microfilms to find him based on his signature look. (Photo by John Zich)

Ray came to the University of Chicago as a master’s student in the Division of the Humanities with a strong interest in history, conducting research on the Catholic Church, completing his AM in 1966 and joining the Library staff in 1969. His early interests, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, giving nature, and close relationships with researchers and students were the hallmarks of his life and career at the University of Chicago.

Anyone who has frequented the microforms department in Regenstein Library since it opened in 1971 would recognize Ray, who began by overseeing this collection. Over the years, his responsibilities expanded to include the management of periodicals and, ultimately, all of the Regenstein reading room collections.

“He was an unfailingly friendly, unfailingly helpful face in the Library, known to thousands of people who walked through the doors—a bit of constancy in a sea of change,” said David Bottorff, Head of Collection Management and Circulation.  “He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the microfilm collection that is not replaceable.”

Ray used that knowledge to help researchers find the particular piece of microfilm they were looking for, getting to know the visitors who returned regularly, where they came from, and what they needed. He also became a mentor to scores of students who worked for him over more than 40 years at the Library.  In recognition of the important role he played in their lives, more than 50 UChicago alumni raised $75,000 in 2015 to create the Ray Gadke Internship Fund Established by Friends of Ray to Endow Undergraduate Internships.

Outside the Library, Ray frequently gave tours on campus, sharing his knowledge of the architecture, and he was widely known for his personal collection of religious statues, which started in the 1980s when Catholic priests who knew him from his graduate school research began giving him items from churches that were closing.  The collection rotated, as he gave items from his collection to other Catholic churches and schools as new ones came in.

Within the Library, Ray was known for organizing staff donations to the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Programs, collected at the annual holiday party in December.

He also donated rarely held religious studies materials and funds to the Library.  David Larsen, Director of Access Services and Assessment, recalls a period when Ray would regularly come to the Library with liturgical works relating to obscure monastic communities in the Midwest.

“Ray was a wonderful University and Library citizen,” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian. “In memory of his parents, Ray generously established the Elden and Ruth Lauffenburger Gadke Endowment Fund to acquire, preserve, and provide access to books and other scholarly resources in religious studies. The fund will now become a lasting symbol of Ray’s kindness and of his deep commitment to religious studies. His good cheer, deep institutional knowledge, and longstanding commitment to students, researchers, library colleagues, and the greater community will be greatly missed.”

Donations in Ray’s memory may be made to the Annual Fund at the University of Chicago Library, the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Programs, PAWS Chicago, or the Ray Gadke Internship Fund (choose “College: Jeff Metcalf Internships” in the “Area of Support” drop-down and note “in memory of Ray Gadke” in the comment field).

A memorial service will be held at Hyde Park Union Church on Wednesday, March 14 at 4:30 p.m.

James Nye travels to Nepal as a Fulbright Fellow

James Nye

James Nye

James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia at the University of Chicago Library, has received a 2018 fellowship under the Fulbright Specialist Program. He was matched with the Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya in Lalitpur, Nepal for developing library and archive resources in the Nepali language. Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, founded in 1955, is the world’s largest collection of Nepali books and periodicals.

During his fellowship, Nye will join in a survey of Nepali collections in the Kathmandu Valley, Palpa, and Lumbini, many of which were severely damaged in the 2015 earthquakes and are still out of service. He will also deliver a public lecture on the history of the book in Nepal, conduct a workshop for professionals on metadata for libraries and archives, engage in an academic roundtable discussion on archives in North America and Europe with holdings on Nepali, and assist colleagues at the Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya as they develop a collection development statement and plan for their collection.

The University of Chicago Library holds one of the largest collections of Nepali publications in North America with special strengths in publications from 1960 through the present.

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.

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium connects researchers, archives, and communities

The BMRC moves to the Library, updates its summer fellowship program, and welcomes a new executive director

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) has settled into its new Library home. Housed at the University of Chicago, the 12-year-old BMRC is a consortium of more than 20 libraries, universities, and other archival institutions that hold materials documenting African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. In the summer of 2016, the BMRC moved from the Provost’s office to the University of Chicago Library, where shared goals of community engagement and facilitating access to research collections have created a dynamic partnership.

Summer Short-term Fellowship Program

Left to right, first row: Ashlie Sandoval (Fellow), Ruby Mendenhall (Fellow), LaVerne Gray (Fellow), Anita Mechler (BMRC Project Manager/Archivist), Sonja Williams (Fellow); Second row: Steven Adams (BMRC Board Chair), James West (Fellow), Misty De Berry (Fellow), Leroy Kennedy (BMRC Board Trustee Emeritus), Douglas Williams (Fellow). (Photo by Jean Lachat)

The BMRC’s flagship Summer Short-term Fellowship Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, engages doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, artists, writers, and public historians from the United States and Europe to better formulate new historical narratives of Chicago’s African American past based on research collections housed at BMRC member institutions. It offers one-month Chicago-based residential fellowships to scholars chosen through an international competition. Starting in 2015, the BMRC introduced a cohort model, soliciting proposals on a few specific subjects in order to foster a community-focused environment for the Fellows and to increase interaction among those working on related subjects. This year’s focus was Design, Urban Design, and Architecture and drew scholars from institutions as close to home as Northwestern and the University of Chicago and as far away as Berkeley, Howard, and the University of Birmingham. From the evolution of food deserts to the impact of public housing architecture on communities, the BMRC 2017 Summer Fellows delved into Chicago-area archives for insight into the history of Chicago’s African American community.

In addition to creating opportunities for scholars and artists to conduct primary research in Chicago-based archival repositories, the goal of the Summer Short-term Research Fellowship Program is to engage the local Chicago community in the history of their city. Therefore, Fellows are asked to present their preliminary findings at one of several evening events at venues across the city. In 2017, presentation events were hosted at the Chicago History Museum, the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, the Union League Club of Chicago, and the Stony Island Arts Bank of the Rebuild Foundation. Topics such as “Staging Equity: The Evolution of Carceral Architecture in African American Communities in Chicago” and “Chiseling, Welding, and Painting: A Chicago Landscape’s Casting of a Black Artist” drew audiences of roughly 50 people each and provided an opportunity for lively discussion.

New Executive Director Andrea Jackson

Photograph of Andrea Jackson, Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium

Andrea Jackson

In September, the Library welcomed Andrea Jackson as the new executive director for the BMRC. Jackson comes from the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, where she received a 2016 Library Leadership Award. She has experience acquiring, preserving, and making accessible the historical legacy and records of African Americans and has experience with a broad range of constituencies that will inform the development of engaging programs. This background will be invaluable as the BMRC undertakes a strategic planning process to map out future goals and initiatives.

Deadline extended to apply for the Library Student Advisory Group

Student studying in Mansueto Library

Mansueto Library (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

The University of Chicago Library is looking for student representatives from the following schools and divisions to serve on the Library Student Advisory Group:

  • College (Class of 2021 Only)
  • Biological Sciences Division
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • Institute for Molecular Engineering
  • Physical Sciences Division
  • Pritzker School of Medicine
  • School of Social Service Administration
  • Social Sciences Division

The Library Student Advisory Group (LSAG) serves as a formal channel of communication between students and the Library administration. The LSAG discusses matters related to all six campus libraries, including its collections, spaces, and services, along with the present and future needs of the student community. The Library Student Advisory Group meets two times a quarter and representatives serve two-year terms.

Interested students should complete the online application by Friday, October 20.

For more information about the Library Student Advisory Group, or the application process, please contact:

Rebecca Starkey
Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach
Gender Studies and Library Science
rstarkey@uchicago.edu

Diane Dallis joins UChicago as Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

Diane Dallis joined the University of Chicago Library on May 10 as Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning.  Diane was most recently the Associate Dean for Library Academic Services at Indiana University and will bring to Chicago extensive experience in transforming reference services, building new programs and spaces that support research and learning, and creative use of assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of operations and to understand the role the library plays in faculty and student success.

Diane Dallis

Diane Dallis, Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

At Indiana University Ms. Dallis worked closely with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, the University Information Technology Services, the Associate Vice Provost for Research in Arts & Humanities, and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education to collaboratively develop new programs including support for new research technologies, scholarly publishing, and research and learning skills.  Ms. Dallis oversaw the development of a Learning Commons that provided students a more learner-centered environment with access to the tools, systems, and support needed to turn information into knowledge. Ms. Dallis also led the creation of a Scholars’ Commons that supports cutting edge research by providing easy access to experts and technology for every stage of a researcher’s scholarship from curiosity to discovery to publication, including consultation services in areas such as GIS, text mining, visualization, intellectual property, data management, digitization, metadata, and project management.

At the University of Chicago Library, Ms. Dallis oversees Humanities, Social Sciences, Area Studies, Special Collections, East Asia, and the Sciences, ensuring a coherent and responsive information and service environment for the highly interdisciplinary research and teaching needs of the campus.  Ms. Dallis will bring to the position both her experience at Indiana University, and her strong record of national leadership in the field, including serving as chair of the Public Services Big Heads group and the Big Ten Academic Alliance Public Services Discussion Group.

Apply for the Library Student Advisory Group

Mansueto Library at sunset

Mansueto Library (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

Applications due October 23, 2016.

The Library Student Advisory Group serves as a formal channel of communication between students and the Library administration. The group assists in making specific recommendations to improve the Library and considers proposals for future changes in services. The Library Student Advisory Group meets two times a quarter and representatives serve two-year terms.

We are looking for student representatives from the College (Class of 2020) and from each of the Graduate Divisions and Professional Schools.

Please complete our online application by October 23, 2016.

For more information about the Library Student Advisory Group, or the application process, please contact:

Rebecca Starkey
Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach
773-702-4484
rstarkey@uchicago.edu

 

Milton Watkins, Regenstein Entry Attendant, 1925–2016

A dedicated member of the University of Chicago Library staff for nearly two decades, Milton Watkins warmly greeted students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors at the Regenstein entry desk between 1992 and 2012. He died of multiple myeloma on April 13 at the age of 90.

Milton Watkins

Milton Watkins in front of Regenstein Library (Photo by Kiku Hibino)

Often referred to as the “Face of the Place,” Milton was the first person most people saw when entering the Joseph Regenstein Library.  He was able to make everyone who entered the Library feel welcome—students, faculty, and staff (some of whom came at exactly the same time each day), alumni, prospective students and their families, visiting scholars, and the occasional tourist who wanted to see Regenstein or Mansueto. He provided expert assistance when requested to both first-time visitors and long-time library users.

Milton began working at the University after a very full life.  He grew up at 38th and Federal on the South Side, attending Edward Hardigan Grammar School and Wendell Phillips High School.  Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army as a radar technician and troop instructor between 1944 and 1952. After returning to Chicago, Milton wed his fiancée Mary, who survives him.  Milton worked for the American Maize Products Company for 30 years; he also worked for the United States Post Office for 27 years as a postal clerk.  It was only after these retirements that he came to the Library.

Outside of the Library, much of Milton’s time was spent sharing in the ministries of St. John Church-Baptist at 48th and Michigan, where he served for many years as a deacon.  Milton’s dedication to the service of others as a church deacon carried over to his work at the Library.  He was a wonderful listener and helpful counselor whose smile and laugh could cheer up almost anyone.

For those entering Regenstein who Milton saw every day, his cheery “How are you doing?” made the day special.  For Library staff, his big smile and his reminder that “there’s a lot to do in a big place like this” also helped to make the work day special.  His friendly presence created a welcoming environment throughout the entire Library.

In addition to his wife, Mary, Milton is survived by his son-in-law Daniel Adams, his grandchildren (Danny Adams, Sheena Adams, Quintin Adams), and his great grandchildren (Devon Adams, Jordan Davis, Danyel Adams).  Milton’s daughter and Daniel’s wife, Anita Watkins-Adams, died in 2012.

A memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, April 23 at St. John Church-Baptist, 4821 S. Michigan beginning at 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service.

William Alspaugh, area studies librarian, 1942-2016

William Josiah AlspaughWilliam Josiah Alspaugh, known to his Library colleagues as Bill, died on January 24, 2016 at the age of 73 after a lengthy and varied career at the University of Chicago Library.

Bill worked in the Southern Asia Department from 1978 to 1997. One of Bill’s notable academic accomplishments was his collaboration from 1978 to 1981 with Maureen L. P. Patterson in compilation of the much-lauded South Asian Civilizations: A Bibliographic Synthesis, published in 1981 by the University of Chicago Press. From 1981 to 1997 he served as Assistant to the Bibliographer for Southern Asia. He also served as Associate Editor of South Asia Library Notes and Queries. His engagement during the 1980s and early 1990s in the preparation of the Indological Books in Series database was of pivotal importance, as was his contribution to the subsequent preservation of books described in that resource. Many of our graduate students benefited from his intelligence and generosity as a South Asia reference librarian.

Bill started working at the East Asian Collection in 1997, initially part-time, and soon assumed the duty of Chinese Bibliographer full-time. Later, he became Chinese Bibliographer/Cataloger, splitting his time between collection development, public services, and cataloging. For more than 10 years, he built the Chinese studies collection in western languages while also selecting many titles in Chinese language. Bill’s knowledge of the research resources for Chinese studies, especially those in western languages, was of great benefit to many graduate and undergrad students through the reference and consultation services he provided.

Bill retired from his Chinese Bibliographer/Cataloger position in 2008, but remained as a part-time Chinese cataloger until May 2011, and then again from March 2013 to 2015. Throughout his years with the East Asian Collection, Bill made great contributions, making a large number of newly acquired Chinese books accessible to patrons through his efforts in original cataloging.

After retirement in 2011, he volunteered at Cheena Bhavan, the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture, in Santiniketan near Calcutta, cataloging their Chinese collection.

Bill was fluent in Mandarin, Hindi, and French. He also studied Tamil language. He was a merit scholar during his secondary education in Oklahoma City. Bill received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and attended Stanford University where the Air Force sent him to the Defense Language Institute. There he studied Mandarin and subsequently monitored mainland China radio broadcasts from Taiwan and Okinawa. After discharge, he worked for Aetna for several years before returning to the University of Chicago for graduate study in the Department of East Asian Studies and, while a graduate student, to work in the Library. He earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Chicago Graduate Library School while working in the Library’s Southern Asia Department.

Bill was an intellectual shaped by his studies in the University of Chicago’s College and his years of close collaboration with colleagues in the Library, faculty, and our students. He said that he read articles in scholarly journals with a relish and zeal comparable to that exhibited by others in their reading of mysteries.

Bill is survived by a sister, Elizabeth Beasley, and two nephews, Robert Barrett Beasley and Charles Emory Alspaugh II.

PhD student interns gain new perspectives at the Library

When the call went out for summer internship ideas for the University of Chicago’s Graduate Global Impact program, librarians on campus recognized a dual opportunity. PhD students could develop new perspectives on scholarship by working with librarians on important projects, while the work they accomplished could enhance the Library’s offerings for its many users.

Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone with blueprints

Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone with blueprints (Photo by John Zich)

Four interns—Rafadi Hakim, Ellen Ambrosone, Marco Torres, and Eric Phillips—were hired for summer 2015. Through their internships, they gained new insights into the local and global impact of librarianship and scholarship.

The skills these interns developed in the Library can help them in a wide range of environments in the future. “The primary objective of the internship program is to provide graduate students with flexible training that can help them prepare for careers in academia, nonprofits, government, and industry,” said A-J Aronstein, Associate Director of Graduate Career Development and Employer Relations. “The kind of skills that one develops in the Library—including digital skills, coding, and archival research—are just as vital for jobs on the tenure track as they are for jobs in other fields.”

Digital South Asia Library Intern Rafadi Hakim

A PhD student in Anthropology, Rafadi Hakim, was hired to help expand and enhance the presentation of data and texts in the Digital South Asia Library (DSAL). His projects ranged from writing a grant application with librarians to adding digital facsimiles to the DSAL website.

Hakim jumped at the chance to be involved in the digital humanities. “Sometimes as a student, I feel I’m spending so much time fine tuning small parts of my own paper for just a few people,” he said. But, when working on the DSAL, he explained, “It’s not just about this exclusive circle. It’s massively helpful to people in different countries.” His work this summer required thinking about how to best serve students, scholars, and others with varying degrees of fluency in South Asian languages and varying amounts of Internet bandwidth.

Hakim also appreciates the new perspectives on scholarship that he gained from working with James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia, and Laura Ring, Cataloger and Assistant South Asia Librarian.   “It’s nice to get some mentoring from people in addition to the faculty in your own department,” he said.

Rafadi Hakim

Rafadi Hakim examines an image that will be added to the Digital South Asia Library. (Photo by John Zich)

 

Special Collections Intern Ellen Ambrosone

Over the last several years in particular, Special Collections has received an enormous influx of architectural drawings. “They’re hanging on racks; they’re in drawers; they’re in archival boxes,” said Kathleen Feeney, Head of Archives Processing and Digital Access. “Our best estimate is that there are 117,000 of them. We know we have them from the entire history of the University, from landscape drawings to electrical plans, but when we hired Ellen, we didn’t have a strong inventory.”

Ambrosone, a PhD candidate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, welcomed the opportunity to participate in the first phase of a multi-year project to preserve and make these drawings accessible. She began the compilation of an inventory of the drawings, so that researchers can more readily understand what is available.

Processing Archivist Ashley Locke Gosselar, who helped to direct Ambrosone’s work on the project, emphasized its importance. “Our campus—and the city at large—is renowned for its architecture. What Ellen is doing is helping to preserve that legacy.”

Ambrosone expects to use the skills she developed in her own work, and to share her knowledge with others. “Having a working knowledge of archiving and processing the collection makes me a more well-rounded scholar,” she said. “I’m thinking about how I can incorporate this experience into my teaching to show students how the work scholars do is often built on work done by library professionals.”

Citation Analysis Intern Marco Torres

History PhD candidate Marco Torres joined the Library this summer to analyze citations used in recent UChicago Latin American studies dissertations. “One of the goals of the project is to help us make decisions about what resources should be purchased in the future based on the type of materials PhD students are using,” explained Ellen Bryan, Reference Librarian and Head of the Dissertation Office.

Torres’s own dissertation proposal was approved shortly before his internship began. He plans to go to Mexico City to do research on the labor movement in the late 1930s and its role in Mexican politics. He particularly valued the opportunity to discover the kinds of sources recent graduates used in studying Mexico.

“A lot of what we do as scholars is to look at bibliographies and see patterns in them,” Torres said. “Getting that recent bibliography is not so easy, sometimes.” One unexpected trend he observed was that recent political science bibliographies cite trade publications outside the social sciences, in fields such as medicine.

ACASA Intern Eric Phillips

History PhD student Eric Phillips first met June Farris, the Library’s Bibliographer for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies, when consulting the Library’s Archives of Czechs & Slovaks Abroad (ACASA) for a seminar paper on the transformation of Pressburg into Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak half of newly independent Czechoslovakia in post-World War I Europe. He is studying the Czech language and preparing to write his dissertation on the economic history of interwar Czechoslovakia and Austria.

Eric Phillips

ACASA Intern Eric Phillips (Photo by John Zich)

Farris mentioned to Phillips some time ago that ACASA needed to be reorganized. New materials were waiting to be integrated into the original schema devised by early collector Zdenek Hruban, and old materials needed to be rehoused to make room for them. During his internship, Phillips immersed himself in this project. He was delighted to be the first to go through Professor Hruban’s papers and fascinated to see a copy of the Nuremberg testimony of Petr Zenkl, a mayor of Prague, who was sent by the Nazis to Buchenwald concentration camp.

“For the last two summers, I’ve been going to the archives in Prague and trying to navigate them. It’s been a challenging experience,” Phillips said in August. “Now I’m on the other side, learning how archives are organized.”

“Being a historian, archival research is the ultimate goal, so the more you do of it, the more competent a researcher you are, and the more it can help you develop themes in your area,” said Farris.

Hakim, Torres and Phillips’s internships were sponsored by the Division of the Social Sciences Emerging Leaders Initiative. Ambrosone’s internship was sponsored by UChicago GRAD.