Regenstein 420, the Art Reading Room, now open more hours

Beginning today, Regenstein Room 420, the Art Reading Room, which houses the 6,000-volume non-circulating East Asia Art Collection, is open 113 hours per week, all of the hours Regenstein Library is open. This is twice as many hours as the room had previously been open.

The room is no longer staffed by student monitors, a change necessary to help the Library reduce its overall costs in the context of a reduced budget for this fiscal year.

GRAD Writing Room opens in Regenstein Room 464

Elevated view of the Regenstein Library, from the University of Chicago architectural guidebook titled Building Ideas, published summer of 2013. (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

The Joseph Regenstein Library.

The GRAD Writing Room—a quiet space where graduate students and postdocs can focus on academic writing projects—has been relocated to Regenstein 464 from its original test location on the Regenstein A Level. A joint offering of UChicago GRAD and the Library, it is open all of the hours that Regenstein is open.

Graduate students and postdocs are eligible to use this space if they have attended previous UChicago GRAD write-ins or Writing Program events or have consulted Graduate Writing Consultants. Access to the room is controlled electronically and managed by UChicago GRAD. Visit the UChicago GRAD website for more information and contact to request access.

Finding your course reserves

The University of Chicago Library is dedicated to helping students achieve academic excellence. A primary way the Library does so is by providing course reserves. This service allows instructors to make books and other items in the Library’s collections such as articles, CDs, and DVDs available for your class. Course reserves may be available online or in one of the campus library locations.

To learn more about accessing your course reserves, please watch this short tutorial or visit the guide on finding course reserves.

Alert Quarter loans due – please return or renew

Quarter loans charged or renewed before September 21 are due Friday, October 2. Please return or renew your books. Materials may be renewed by logging into the Library Catalog via My Account.

Construction begins on Regenstein A Level collaborative learning center

Work has begun to transform the Regenstein A Level Reading Room into an inviting and attractive collaborative learning center where students, faculty, academic technologists, and librarians can interact. Responding to increased user demand for such spaces, librarians have worked with Woodhouse Tinucci Architects to create a new design that will transform the floor into a vibrant laboratory of interactive learning. 

Plans for the reconceived A Level feature a new 72-foot glass wall that will provide a view of the Jean Block Garden and bring daylight deep inside the room. A broad open area at the center of the floor will allow groups to gather around movable whiteboards, and a 36-person digital classroom for active learning will be available for library workshops and spontaneous use by students. The central zone will be lined with a variety of collaborative spaces, including a high work bar, conference tables, and lounge chairs, as well as café tables along the large glass wall. Video monitors will be available, and an easy-to-operate “one button” video production studio will enable students to create video essays and rehearse presentations. On the east side of the floor, a technology zone will include studio space for creating web tutorials, producing webinars, and delivering online instruction.

Work on the A Level is occurring in three phases, as funding becomes available. The first phase has begun with the installation of the glass wall on the north side of the building. Berglund Construction Company will be working between 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Mondays through Friday through November. The Library apologizes for the noise and inconvenience caused by this work.

The second phase, beginning in 2016, will focus on the center open area and collaborative spaces on three sides. The third and final phase, focusing on the active learning classroom and the east side of the central zone, is likely to be completed in fiscal year 2017.

Current Exhibits Poetic associations and the Wachs collection

Illustration by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). “The Poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: With Illustrations from His Own Pictures and Designs.” Edited with an introduction and notes by W. M. Rossetti. London: Ellis and Elvey, 1904. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Gift of Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92. Detail from the first edition of Rossetti’s poems illustrated with his own pictures.

Exhibition–Poetic Associations: The 19th-Century English Poetry Collection of Dr. Gerald N. Wachs

Dates: September 21 – December 31, 2015

In the period between the French Revolution and the start of World War I, often called “the long 19th century,” English poetry enjoyed enormous popularity and respect. The Romantics and the Victorians, as we know them today, were celebrities and, often, close friends, part of a literary community that influenced their professional and personal lives. Dr. Gerald N. Wachs (1937-2013), working closely with his friend, bookseller Stephen Weissman of Ximenes Rare Books, collected their works over a period of 40 years starting in 1970, using as their guidebook the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. They sought the finest copies, whenever possible ones that were presented by the author to other writers, friends, or family members. Books selected for the Wachs collection are nearly all “special”: in splen­did condition, often one of very few known copies, and many with extraordinary inscriptions that illustrate per­sonal and poetic associations. The resulting collection of nearly 900 titles illuminates the life and works of these enduring poets.

George Gordon, Lord Byron."She Walks in Beauty."

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). “Hebrew Melodies.” London: Printed for John Murray, 1815. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Gift of Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sharon Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92. This was the first title acquired for the Wachs collection.

It is difficult to single out representative examples from such a rich assemblage. The exhibition includes 104 items. Some are little-known works by famous authors. For example, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s first book, The Battle of Marathon; A Poem (1820), privately print­ed in an edition of 50 copies, of which only 15 copies are known to survive. Others are the first appearance of fa­mous works that differ considerably from the version we have come to know, such as Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade.

After Dr. Wachs’s death, and thanks to the great generosity of the Wachs family (Deborah Wachs Barnes, Sha­ron Wachs Hirsch, Judith Pieprz, and Joel Wachs, AB’92), more than 600 titles have been donated to the University of Chicago. This magnificent gift will create entirely new areas of depth to the Library’s collection, for example Anglo-Indian poetry, and add many works previously not in the collection or with features of great interest to researchers.

Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Hours: Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. when classes are in session. Consult hours for the Special Collections Research Center at

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Curators: Catherine Uecker, Alice Schreyer, Sarah G. Wenzel, and Eric Powell 

Associated web exhibit:


Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download by 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, contact Rachel Rosenberg at or 773-834-1519.



New food and drink policy provides Library patrons with more options

New Library food polciesAs the result of a new Library food policy, hungry patrons are now free to eat snacks in many campus Library spaces and have additional designated space for eating meals in Regenstein.

The new policy has been approved by the faculty Board of the Library and the Library Student Advisory Group and permits patrons to eat snacks in most parts of the Library, with the exception of a few designated food-free spaces. Meals and messy or smelly foods will still be permitted only in designated Meal Zones. The policy applies to the Crerar, Eckhart, Mansueto, Regenstein, and SSA libraries, as well as the D’Angelo Law Library, which has had a similar policy in place since 2008.

In Regenstein, where the Ex Libris Café is often fully occupied at peak meal times, the A Level has been designated an additional Meal Zone.

To help protect Library collections and to provide spaces for users who wish to avoid the presence of food entirely, a few areas have been designated food-free, including the Mansueto Grand Reading Room, the Regenstein bookstacks, and the Crerar Lower Level West compact shelving. In addition, no food or drink is allowed in the Special Collections Research Center. Covered drinks will continue to be allowed everywhere except Special Collections.

The new food policy is designed to help the Library maintain an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, as well as supportive of study, research, reflection, and scholarly collaboration.

Patrons are strongly encouraged to take an active role in making the new policy a success. This includes cleaning up and disposing of their own food waste in appropriate trash receptacles and notifying staff of spills, as well as asking others to abide by Library policies or reporting violations to Library staff.

See the Library’s food and drink policy for more information, including a complete list of Library spaces where snacks or meals are allowed.

Updated September 17, 2015

Students in Ex Libris

Students in Regenstein’s Ex Libris Cafe (Photo by Jason Smith)

Alert Access to books during Regenstein B Level repairs

Several aisles of compact shelving on Regenstein’s B Level West are inaccessible due to mechanical damage caused by a water leak. None of the Library’s collections were damaged as a result of this incident.

Work has begun to repair the mechanical systems in these aisles and restore patron access as soon as possible. It is currently estimated that repairs will be completed by the middle of Fall Quarter.

Patrons are asked to request books from inaccessible aisles by clicking on the “Can’t find it?” link in the book’s full record in the Library Catalog. Library staff will retrieve books on a daily basis Sunday through Friday and place them on hold for pickup at Regenstein Circulation by the next business day.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience while this important work is completed.

For updated information, including a list of call number ranges currently inaccessible, visit

Updated September 28, 2015.

Labor Day: All libraries closed

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, all campus libraries will be closed on Monday, September 7.

For a full list of library hours, see

Ex Libris Café closed September 4 – September 20

Ex Libris Café will close Friday, September 4 at 4 p.m. and reopen Monday, September 21 with interim hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Regular hours will resume Monday, September 28. 

The seating area and vending machines in Ex Libris will remain open during Regenstein’s regular building hours.

Library interim hours, August 29 – September 27

Beginning Saturday, August 29, the Library will have reduced building hours at all of its locations for the interim. Please note that on Monday, September 7, all libraries will be closed in observance of Labor Day.  Autumn quarter hours will begin Monday, September 28.

Crerar Library
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20)  8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27)  8 a.m. – 1 a.m.

D’Angelo Law Library Circulation
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 27) noon – 9 p.m.

Eckhart Library
Monday – Friday noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday Closed

Mansueto Library

Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 20) noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27) 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Regenstein Library
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday  – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 20) noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27) 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Regenstein All-Night Study
Closed until September 29 at 1 a.m.

SSA Library
Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday Closed

For a complete list of hours for all locations and departments, see

Lactation room construction in Regenstein

Regenstein Room B51, located on the building’s B Level, is being renovated into an ADA-accessible lactation room for use by students, faculty, and staff. The work, which began August 24 and is scheduled for completion in October, will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The Library apologizes for any inconvenience created by this work.

Exhibits Journeys to the West: An Exhibit in memory of Anthony C. Yu, 1934-2015

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: August 14 – September 30, 2015

Anthony C. Yu at the Divinity School

Anthony C. Yu at the Divinity School (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf7-01650], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library, date unknown)

As a small child, Anthony Yu first learned from his grandfather the story of a wise monk who travels from China to India with his companions, Monkey and Pig. The stories came from the classical Chinese epic The Journey to the West. Yu was fascinated with the epic from then on. As an adult, he embarked on a scholarly journey in the field of comparative religions and literatures, bridging the Eastern and Western literary religious traditions. This one-case, memorial exhibit is centered on Professor Anthony C. Yu’s magnum opus, his four volume translation of The Journey to the West into English.

Anthony C. Yu (1938-2015) was the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Margaret M. Mitchell, former dean of the Divinity School, eulogized Professor Yu as “an outstanding scholar, whose work was marked by uncommon erudition, range of reference and interpretive sophistication.” Yet he was also “a person of inimitable elegance, dignity, passion and the highest standards for everything he did.”

Book cover of The Journey to the West

Book cover of the 2012 revised edition of The Journey to the West, volume 2.

Professor’s Yu own life journey (1938-2015) resonates in many ways with the Chinese epic that he translated. Journeying to the West to pursue his vocation, Professor Yu spent 16 years of his life, just like the traveling monk from the story, working on the 1800+ pages of the English translation. David Lattimore (Brown University), writing in The New York Times Book Review, noted that Professor Yu’s translation “does full justice to the adventure, lyricism and buffoonery of The Journey to the West,” while remaining “completely sensitive to the spiritual content of the text, as well.” Not only was The Journey to the West the first unabridged translation into English, but it withstood the test of time and is now considered the definitive translation.

The exhibit itself is set up to invite search and discovery. You will encounter prior translations of the classical Chinese epic, together with Yu’s own definitive translation, an abridged edition and even some surprises related to the afterlife of Yu’s translation. Please stop by Regenstein Library’s 4th floor and discover for yourself the fascinating journey to the West, facilitated by our eminent scholar, beloved professor, and magnificent translator. Your journey will be worth it!

People Alumni honor Ray Gadke with named student internship

The longtime keeper of the Library’s microforms—and longtime wearer of Hawaiian shirts—becomes the namesake for a new student internship

Ray Gadke

Ray Gadke. (Photo by Hannah Gitlin)

On a Thursday in late June, Raymond Gadke, AM’66, walked into a restaurant filled with a sea of Hawaiian shirts, and those shirts were filled with University students and alumni of different ages. When Gadke, himself dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, sat down amid this sea, John Boyer, AM’69, PhD’79, the dean of the College, presented him with a giant check for $75,000.

This was the culmination of a fundraising effort to establish an internship honoring Gadke, a longtime University of Chicago Library staff member. More than 50 alumni—many of whom were in the room, wearing those Hawaiian shirts—raised $75,000 to create the Ray Gadke Internship Fund Established by Friends of Ray to Endow Undergraduate Internships (as it says on Gadke’s plaque commemorating the occasion). The fund will be part of UChicago’s larger Metcalf Internship Program, which offers undergraduate students paid experience in their chosen field. The Metcalf program was established in 1997 by University trustee (and Gadke internship donor) Byron Trott, AB’81, MBA’82.  

Brooks Dexter, AB’79, MBA’84, led the fundraising effort for the internship honoring Gadke. Now managing director at corporate finance advising firm Duff and Phelps, Dexter was, once upon a time—like nearly all those who gave money to the internship fund—a College student working for Gadke in the Reg’s microforms library. “For more than 40 years, Ray has been helping undergraduates make the journey from College to the next step in their lives,” Dexter says. He calls Gadke a friend and a mentor. “Those of us in Ray’s employ were known as ‘Ray’s Rangers.’” For the past 15 years, Gadke has sent a daily email of “fun facts” to his network of friends and former employees, “including a happy birthday wish to any Rangers with a birthday that day,” Dexter says. (The August 3 email, which stretches to 15 pages, notes that on that day in 1492, “Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos [Spain, not Illinois] with his three ships, seeking a westward route to India and China” and that in 1946, “what some historians consider the first ‘theme park’ in the world, Santa Claus Land, opened in Santa Claus, Indiana.”)

And why the Hawaiian shirts? Because Gadke wears them just about every day, and has ever since he saw Elvis Presley in the film Blue Hawaii. “I had worn button down shirts and stuff like that, but I thought, these are nice, and I got in the habit of wearing them,” he says.

Gadke’s job title is reading room manager, but he has worn many hats during his time at the University. He arrived in the 1960s as a history graduate student, studying the role of religion in American immigrants’ assimilation, an interest that he has maintained and that inspired his sizable collection of religious figurines from shuttered Chicago-area churches. During Gadke’s academic research, he’d met a number of local priests, and when the Archdiocese of Chicago decided to close some of its churches, “one of the pastors called me and told me, ‘I’ve got a church full of statues, what can I do with them?’ And so I said, Hey, that’s kind of a neat idea,’ and so I started acquiring them.” Gadke keeps a few of these statues in his office on the third floor of the Regenstein Library, but says that walking into his apartment, which has about 45 of these statues, kind of feels like walking into a church.

In 1971 Gadke was hired to supervise the microfilms collection, which is headquartered on the third floor of the library. Later his jurisdiction grew to encompass current periodicals as well, and now his job includes care of all of the library’s reading rooms: the periodical reading room on the second floor, the reference collections throughout the library, and and, of course, the microfilms.

Microfilms have been an important method of document preservation from the early 20th century through the end of the 20th century. After that, digitization took over, but microfilms remain important because of the volume of material they still store: newspapers, magazines, photographs, and countless other documents. Creating microfilms involved sliding individual documents under a projector and taking photographs of these documents using a film camera. This process, as Gadke explains, was equivalent to today’s digitization.

The University was one of the very first institutions to have an academic microfilm collection. Herman Fussler, AM’41, PhD’48, the former director of the UChicago Library system, started the University’s Department of Photoduplication, which produced massive amounts of microfilm in the basement of Cobb Hall (where the coffee shop is today) until its closing in 1995. Fussler created some of the very first academic microfilm when he sailed to Paris on an ocean liner full of microfilm equipment in order to catalog French Revolutionary newspapers from 1788 to 1791—film that UChicago still has. Though the University no longer maintains the Department of Photoduplication, microfilm still contains an amazing amount of knowledge about an incredible range of topics.

And Gadke himself has an amazing amount of knowledge about an incredible range of topics. At the library he helps patrons—students, scholars, visitors—find the research they need. “Everyone’s looking for something different,” he says. “People come from all over the world to use our collection. A lot of the things that we have, we are the only place in the country that has them.” That includes original copies of Revolutionary French newspapers, old Irish newspapers obtained for a professor studying Ireland, Armenian newspapers—as well as the good old Chicago Maroon. “We have people that want to look from the glory days of Big Ten football, want to come and read about Amos Alonzo Stagg and University of Chicago football. Right where we are”—he was standing in the Regenstein Library—”were football stands that held 40,000 people, and got up to 60,000.”

Gadke is approaching his 45th year working as a full-time staff member, which means that he’s worked at the Library for longer than any other man on the staff. When I asked him how it came to pass that he ended up working at the library, he told me, “It just kinda happened. You know, I got a job that I enjoyed, and it’s where I’ve been since.”

The article originally appeared on the University of Chicago Magazine website.

New online resource: IBISWorld

University of Chicago researchers now have access to IBISWorld.

IBISWorldIBISWorld is a database that provides comprehensive industry reports for over 700 industries ranging from biotechnology to pawn shops.  These reports provide strategic insight and analysis which can be used to gain a better understanding of market conditions and forecasts, industry supply chain, and competitive landscape.

The reports include breakdowns of industry performance, outlook, products and markets, major competitors and operation conditions.  In addition to being able to download the complete report, key statistics can be downloaded to excel and specific infographics can be downloaded and inserted into your own reports and presentations.  

Questions? Ask A Librarian.

Library purchases access to Met Opera on Demand

Photograph from Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Abel; Morley, Gerzmava, Rice, Grigolo, Hampson

     The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1883, with its first opera house built on Broadway and 39th Street.  One-hundred-twenty-three years after its formation, the Metropolitan entered the digital world with its 2006 release of The Met: Live in HD.  This digital transmission product now reaches 70 countries with live high definition performances.  Later, in 2008, the Metropolitan released Met Opera on Demand.  This online source, to which the Library now subscribes, includes 550 opera performances, some being varying productions of the same work.  Library users can follow the link for Met Opera on Demand to access the resource.  For the website to function properly, users must be certain their personal computers have the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed.

Japan Times: Librarian made censored publications from occupied Japan accessible to researchers

Memoir focuses on late librarian’s work on censorship in occupied Japan
Japan Times – August 7, 2015

Feature Story Seeing Chicago sociologists anew through the Archives

Harvey Choldin, AB’60, AM’63, PhD’65, finds himself plumbing the archives for an exhibition on the Chicago school of sociology

Harvey Choldin and Joe Scott with a map from the exhibition "Mapping the Young Metropolis"

Curator Harvey Choldin and exhibition designer Joe Scott examine a map from the exhibition “Mapping the Young Metropolis: The Chicago School of Sociology, 1915–1940.” (Photo by John Zich)

A few years ago I was at an opening of one of the Special Collections Research Center’s fascinating exhibitions with my wife, Marianna Tax Choldin, LAB’59, AB’62, AM’67, PhD’79, when it struck me: why not have an exhibit on the Chicago school of sociology? I’m a Chicagoan, an urban sociologist, and a UChicago alumnus, so my fascination with the Chicago school comes naturally. When I mentioned the idea to the director of Special Collections, Dan Meyer, AM’75, PhD’94, that evening, he thought others would be fascinated too.

A couple of weeks later Dan and I met to discuss the idea further. After a lifetime in academia, I expected Dan to appoint a faculty committee of sociologists, including me if I was lucky. Instead he said, to my surprise, that I would be curating the exhibit.

What was the Chicago school? Over three decades teaching urban sociology I was always aware of the work of University of Chicago scholars in the pre–World War II era. An influential 1915 essay by one of the school’s founders, Robert E. Park, conveys the nature of their contributions. In “The City: Suggestions for the Investigation of Human Behavior in the City Environment,” Park argued that sociologists had to get out of the library and conduct empirical research, studying the city firsthand. The city, he wrote, should be their laboratory. We planned the exhibition to celebrate the centennial of Park’s essay.

Ernest Burgess, PhD 1913, also held this view. His landmark 1925 publication, “The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project,” introduced his concentric zones model of urban growth. Diagrammed in a sort of bull’s-eye pattern, the model was reprinted for decades in book after book about cities.

I was particularly inspired by Louis Wirth’s (PhB’19, AM’25, PhD’26) paper “Urbanism as a Way of Life,” published in the American Journal of Sociology in 1938. Wirth joined the faculty after earning his doctorate. His ambitious paper attempts to define the city and explain why city life is as it is. The essay was broad in scope and fearlessly bold. I always started my urban courses and seminars with it and emphasized it in the urban sociology textbook I wrote.

Park and Burgess sent hundreds of students—two of whom became my professors, Everett Hughes, PhD’28, and Philip Hauser, PhB’29, AM’33, PhD’38—into the city to do research. Using the city as their laboratory, they one by one completed theses and dissertations that became classics of sociology. The titles were evocative: “The Taxi-Dance Hall,” “The Ghetto,” “The Hobo,” “The Gang.” The University of Chicago Press established a series in sociology and published these along with many other dissertations.

Hand drawn map

Ernest Burgess, whose concentric zone model of urban space had lasting influence, used maps extensively in his sociological work. Map of the Radial Expansion and the Five Urban Zones, undated. Ernest Watson Burgess Papers. The University of Chicago Library.

My unexpected task now was to delve into the archives and see what remained from this seminal time and place in sociology. There were disappointments. Park’s archive had very little, and Wirth’s retained items mostly from later in his life, after the number of students dwindled at the advent of World War II and the Chicago school drew to a close.

But there were delightful discoveries too. Harvey Zorbaugh’s project The Gold Coast and the Slum (1929), for example, had a file at the University of Chicago Press. In it were black-and-white snapshots taken in the “slum” of the book’s title, Little Sicily on the Near North Side, during his fieldwork. Another press file, for The Gang (1927) by Frederic M. Thrasher, AM 1918, PhD’26, held a sociologist’s or historian’s treasure: a large map of “Chicago’s gangland” with hundreds of red dots and triangles showing the locations of the city’s boy gangs. Some of the larger ones were the Dukies, Shielders, and West Siders.

A wonderful little archive was that of James Carey, PhD’58, who in the 1970s wrote a book on the Chicago school, tracking down its living members, men and women who had been students then or their surviving spouses. Carey got them talking candidly and informally about their peers and professors and the texture of life during the Chicago school, and later donated transcripts of his interviews to the archive.

Ruth Shonle Cavan, PhB’21, AM’23, PhD’26, the author of Suicide, recalled that “we didn’t have any money to have any paid commercial recreation. So most of our free time was either spent in the library or little groups discussing everything under the sun. … It came as near to a community of scholars as I have ever experienced.” Norman Hayner, AM’21, PhD’23, said that Burgess “worked the tail off us. All of us graduate students knew that we had to work when we got into a course with Burgess, but you learned something.” None of them had any sense of being in a “school”—the name would come years later. They were just doing exciting research.

Burgess’s archives proved to be the mother lode. I saw similarities between Burgess and my late father-in-law, anthropologist Sol Tax, PhD’35. Each man had spent his entire academic life vigorously engaged in social science at the University—and they both accumulated lots of paper that became important scholarly archives. Burgess’s take up 261 linear feet and are filled with treasures. I spent months with them: research proposals, penciled-in questionnaires, tally sheets of answers, drafts, published reports, and things less expected.

When you open a file, you don’t know what you’re going to find. In Burgess’s archive I might stumble on an umpteenth survey of boys in playgrounds or one more neighborhood study report. My challenge was to find items that would be legible and interesting to look at in a display case. One of the most memorable things I found was a field report written by Hauser when he was a student.

A world-famous demographer, Hauser was known for bringing a rigorously scientific approach to sociology. This report, written in 1929, was about his visits to the homes of three men who were killed in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. In one case the deceased was so poor and solitary that his friends recruited Phil to serve as a pallbearer.

At moments working in Burgess’s archive I felt my own place in the lineage that followed him. One day I found a demographic graph of a neighborhood, dated 1934, by Alex Edidin, PhB’34, who was an old friend of my family. Twenty-five years after Edidin, I had completed the same assignment for my teacher and his fellow student Philip Hauser. I photocopied Edidin’s graph and sent it to his son and my lifelong friend Michael Edidin, SB’60. He was delighted to see it.

In the months I spent in Burgess’s papers, I saw the full range of his involvement with urban issues: crime and delinquency, parks and playgrounds, mental illness, divorce, and more. He corresponded with the Union League Club, the Metropolitan YMCA, and other civic organizations and agencies. Perhaps his major efforts were directed toward solving the problems of the Depression. He directed a census of the city of Chicago in 1934, focused on housing and unemployment. My mother, Hannah Werth Choldin, PhB’30, a young schoolteacher, was an enumerator on that census.

When Hauser and Hughes taught me in the College, Hughes was near retirement and Hauser was department chair. I thought of them as eminent sociologists to be respected for their scholarly accomplishments and to be feared, of course, as professors. In the archives they came to life as young graduate students—getting assignments from their professors and launching new research projects with no notion their work would be remembered for decades to come. In all the years that I’d learned from them, remembered them, and been inspired by them as a scholar, I’d never thought of them like that before.

Harvey Choldin, AB’60, AM’63, PhD’65, is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The exhibit he curated, Mapping the Young Metropolis: The Chicago School of Sociology, 1915–1940, runs through September 11, 2015, at the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery and an associated web exhibit is available online.

This essay originally appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine.

Duke collections can now be borrowed rapidly through BorrowDirect

Duke University Libraries has joined the BorrowDirect partnership, expanding the number of research libraries that provide rapid access to their circulating collections to University of Chicago faculty, students and staff.

BorrowDirect logoBorrowDirect enables UChicago users to search the library catalogs of Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale, a collection of more than 60 million volumes.  Users can directly request expedited delivery of circulating items.

For more information about how to use BorrowDirect, visit

Redesigned research guides are easier to use and navigate

This weekend, the University of Chicago’s Library Guides were migrated to a new platform that features a number of improvements. Most notably, use of responsive design greatly improves the user’s experience on mobile devices and assistive technology, such as screen readers.

Mobile view of a Library Guide

A Library Guide as seen on a smartphone

The new platform also uses navigation menus on the left side of the screen, rather than the tabs across the top, which should make it easier and more intuitive for users to locate content in the guides.

Our librarians have created guides on a wide variety of academic subjects studied at the University. In addition, Help Guides show you how to locate specific types of material, such as newspapers, and to use Library tools and services, such as interlibrary loan.

Visit our Library Guides page for a complete list of our guides. 


Have an international relations research topic? Check the Chatham House Online Archive

Chatham House logoThe Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) was founded in 1920 following the Paris Peace Conference. University of Chicago researchers now have access to its archives. The  Chatham House Online Archive “provides a searchable, browsable research environment that enables users to explore approximately half a million pages and over ninety years of research, expert analysis, and commentary published in briefing papers, special reports, pamphlets, conference papers and books.”

The archive includes the full text of Chatham House’s flagship publication, International Affairs, a leading academic journal on international relations (IR) topics, as well as audio recordings of Chatham House lectures, with searchable transcripts. 

You can explore the Chatham House Online Archive by region or by subject: 

  • Business and Trade
  • Communications and Media
  • Energy, Environment and Resources
  • Health and Population
  • International Economics, Finance and Investment
  • International Law
  • International Politics, Ideology and Diplomacy
  • International Security, War and Conflict
  • United Nations and UN Bodies

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Current Exhibits Jewish Liturgy through the Ages: Nusaḥ Ashkenaz 1795-2015

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor.
Exhibit Dates: July 7 – September 30, 2015

Who knows what you can find in the stacks of the Regenstein Library? David Frankel, Ph.D student in History of Judaism at the Divinity School, went looking and discovered a fascinating assortment of Jewish prayer books (siddurim, singular: siddur). The siddur, perhaps even more than the Talmud or the Bible, has been the practical guide for Jewish people since the inception of printed Hebrew in the 16th century. The availability of books contributed to the all-encompassing nature of the liturgical texts included in siddurim.

A handwritten prayer added to a siddur

A handwritten prayer added to a siddur, published in Prague in 1839, on display in this exhibit.

While the siddur is first and foremost a book for the laity, it also offers scholars of Jewish Studies a glimpse into the history of Jewish ritual practice. The subfield of Jewish Liturgy within Jewish Studies provides the discipline at large with a broad understanding of not only the religious developments of Jews but also historically significant evidence. Prayer books can be used to track the movements of populations of Jews through time and space. Even when intellectual activities were scant, prayer books were commonly produced and provide scholars today with a way to peer into the world of Jewish societies that would otherwise have been lost to the ages.

A handwritten recipe for “tar beer” added to a siddur

A handwritten recipe for “tar beer” added to a siddur, published in Prague in 1839, on display in this exhibit.

Displayed in the exhibit are siddurim published between 1795 and 2015. Not displayed in the exhibit, but pictured here, are two “texts” added to final pages of one of the siddurim of the exhibit, Siddur kol tefillot u-teḥinnah (Prague, M. Landau, 1839). The first is a beautifully, handwritten additional prayer and the second is a recipe for “tar beer,” a mixture of tar and beer used medicinally in Jewish communities in the 19th century.

The Spirit of the Nation or the War between the Jews and Sanballat: A Gift to the Jewish Studies Collection

Book cover of The Spirit of the Nation in Hebrew

Book cover of The Spirit of the Nation by Kless

Few voices like that of Menachem Mendel ben Hayim Kless have emerged to shed light on the emotional sentiments of the first Eastern European Jews who left their homes and lives behind to venture to Ottoman Palestine in the 1880s during the First Aliyah, a period that saw the emigration of tens of thousands of Jews. His book Ruah ha-Le’om (Kishinev: Tipografīi︠a︡. A.S. Stepanovoĭ, 1890) is one such voice. Thanks to the generosity of Linda Stern, a descendent of Kless, the University of Chicago Library is now one of only four libraries worldwide that holds a copy. The copy donated by Ms. Stern is in excellent condition and an excellent complement to the Ludwig Rosenberger Collection of Judaica. It is available for viewing through the Special Collections Research Center as well as accessible in digitized form through HathiTrust (title page pictured here).

As a participant in the Hibbat Tsiyon (Love of Zion) movement, Kless composed the work as a plea to its readers imploring them to follow their coreligionists out of a continent that had turned against them upon the ascension of Alexander III of Russia. Throughout this short book, Kless employs the metaphor of the opposition of Sanballat the Horonite to the construction of the Second Temple in Nehemiah’s time (see especially Nehemiah 4). Written entirely as an address to the reader and containing within it references to the Bible and rabbinic literature, the Ruah ha-Le’om reads like a well-crafted sermon – a pietistic rallying cry.

: Receipt for money wired from Bella Greenspan in Israel to her brother Leizar Kless

Receipt for money wired from Bella Greenspan (née Kless) in Israel to her brother Leizar Kless, ca. 1900 (image taken by Linda Stern).

Reading Ruah ha-Le’om serves to compliment the reading of more well-known works by the Hovevei Tsiyon (Lovers of Zion), most notably Leon Pinsker’s famous German language pamphlet Auto-Emancipation (1882) as well as the many works by the famed Hebrew essayist Ahad Ha’am. Reading Kless’s work in light of these two thinkers is of particular interest to those interested in the history of the revival of Hebrew as the official language of Jewish settlements in Palestine and eventually as the national language of Israel. When considering the debate between the rival Hebrew and German factions, we ought to consider a work like Ruah ha-Le’om as an influential factor.

Menachem Mendel Kless (1846-1916) was born and lived much of his life in Poland. He wrote Ruah ha-Le’om while he was still in Europe. After arriving to Palestine in 1902, Kless along with many of the Hovevei Tsiyon took up residence in Rishon le-Tsiyon, one of the first pre-state Jewish settlements, where he was a Hebrew teacher. Menachem’s devotion to Palestine was not uniformly shared by his children. According to family letters held by the donor, Linda Stern, we learn that only two children, Bella and Haim, remained in Palestine. Two children, Keila and Fabi, left for Egypt, though Fabi later returned at the end of his life. Keila’s daughter married a British citizen and moved to England after the Second World War. Menachem’s youngest daughter, Nehama, immigrated first to Berlin and then Riga and likely did not survive World War II. Leizar, later Louis, left Palestine early in his life and eventually settled in New York. He is the great grandfather of the donor, Linda Stern.

New online resource: eMarketer

University of Chicago researchers now have access to eMarketer.

emarketereMarketer is a database that provides digital market research information ranging from digital ad spend in the automotive industry to use statistics of the newest social media platforms, such as Meerkat and Periscope.  This data can be used to benchmark consumer behavior, size markets, and value initiatives.  

This resource includes articles, analysts reports and statistical tables which can be downloaded to Excel for further analysis.  Custom data dashboards can be built using thousands of eMarketer forecasts including ad spending, device and platform usage, retail and ecommerce sales, and time spent with media.  In addition to eMarketer’s own forecast estimate data, it is possible to compare estimates from other research groups and firms.  

Questions? Ask A Librarian.

Dissertation Procedures for Staff: workshop

When: Thursday, July 2, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Doctoral candidates use the ProQuest ETD Administrator for online submission, review, and publication of dissertations. In this session, we will review the administrator’s role in helping students file their dissertations electronically. New graduate program administrators as well as experienced staff are invited. Feel free to bring your questions to this information session. If you would like to review the ETD interface, please visit:
Contact: Dissertation Office
(773) 702-7404
Tag: Training, Meetings, Workshops, Staff
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device