People Discovering Chicago’s rare books with Elizabeth Frengel

Elizabeth Frengel holds a rare book

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

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

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

A hand points at an Arctic expedition map

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

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

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

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

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

Hands hold open a book with text in red and black

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

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

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

Graphic by Maico Amorim, accessed from Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

Extended All Night Study Hours June 7 – 9

Regenstein Libary 1st Floor Reading Room
Regenstein Libary 1st Floor Reading Room (Photo by Jason Smith)

To support students preparing for finals, the Regenstein 1st floor all-night study space will remain open Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 after the building closes at 11 p.m.

The all-night study space will thus be open 24 hours until the end of finals on Friday, June 14.

For a full list of library hours, see

Exhibits When Fascism Wins: 80 Years from the Spanish Anti-Fascist Exile

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Third Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 1 – June 15, 2019

Photograph of María Teresa León

María Teresa León, 1938 (Source: Archivo Isabel Clara Ángeles Alarcón, Barcelona)

Curated by Collegiate Assistant Professor Miguel Caballero, with a selection of poems and prose translated into English by Maya Osman-Krinsky (Class of 2021)

In the spring of 1939, General Francisco Franco and his allied Nazi and Fascist forces took Madrid and Catalonia. After three years of war, the Spanish Republic eventually collapsed. Hundreds of thousands died or went into exile, among them dozens of writers and artists. Many fled to Europe, which was on the cusp of the Second World War. Many others moved to Latin America, the Soviet Union and even the United States, where they spent decades, as Franco’s military dictatorship continued in Spain.

The Regenstein Library has a rich collection of works by these authors who died fighting fascism or had to flee Spain. Some never came back. This exhibition, on the 80th anniversary of the beginning of their mass exile, is a homage to their political commitment and literary endeavors. Curated by Collegiate Assistant Professor Miguel Caballero, with a selection of poems and prose translated into English by Maya Osman-Krinsky (Class of 2021), it presents a selection of works written in the 1930s or during exile organized around three themes: uprooting and death; domestic epics; and self-sufficiency and power.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports online edition now available

We are pleased to announce that the online edition of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1941-1996 is now available to University of Chicago students, staff and faculty.  Fully searchable, this digital edition of the United States’ principal historical record of political open source intelligence for more than half a century provides insights into decades of world history. FBIS monitored and recorded intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories.  Recordings were transcribed and translated into English and are a rich resource for students and scholars in international and area studies, political science and world history.

The online collection features full-text transcripts from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, China, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the Soviet Union. This unique digital collection features individual bibliographic records for each report.

The Library gratefully acknowledges the Estate of Edward A. Allworth for helping to make the acquisition of this resource possible.


Feature Story Library summer 2019 graduate student fellowship opportunities

Cover of pamphlet for Abraham Lincoln National Historic Site

Digitized pamphlet from the John Crerar Library collections

The University of Chicago Library is offering three fellowships for UChicago graduate students during the summer. The fellowships are designed to give graduate students opportunities to explore alternative scholarly careers and to build skills and knowledge in new areas of scholarship.

Interested graduate students are encouraged to apply by May 30, 2019, for these posted fellowships.

  • John Crerar Foundation History of Science and Medicine Fellow
    The Fellow will focus on materials from the original John Crerar Library collections that were assembled prior to its merger with the University of Chicago.  This includes history of science and technology, especially late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century materials strong in the areas of engineering, manufacturing and applied arts. Activities may include researching historical and current significance of the collections, creating collection descriptions for use on webpages, and a special project focused on digitizing pamphlet materials from the collections.
  • Library Instruction Support Services Fellow
    This fellowship will provide graduate students with hands-on experience in providing library instruction, as well as developing guides and tools to help students learn about the variety of resources available to them at the Library and beyond. In addition, the fellowship will also offer graduate students an opportunity to learn about academic libraries services and collections that may benefit their own research, along with providing an insight into careers in library and information science.
  • University Archives Fellow
    Archives today are a rapidly expanding field with increasingly broad responsibility for preserving and making accessible unique materials in all formats—traditional paper documents, photographs, and analog recordings, as well as a growing array of digital content: email, databases, digital images, audio and video media, and web sites. This fellow will develop skills and expertise in all these areas while contributing to the programs and services of the University of Chicago Archives.

Summer 2019 fellowships come with a stipend of $4000 and typically involve approximately 200 hours of effort (typically 20 hours per week for a period of 10 weeks).

For more information about individual opportunities and how to apply, visit the Library website or contact Andrea Twiss-Brooks at

Rafadi Hakim pointing to digital image

A graduate student examines a digitized image. (Photo by John Zich)


Book display and guide for Asian American Pacific Heritage Month

For Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, visit the new book display on Regenstein Library’s first floor created by our Research Services Support Fellow, Juno Dong:

The books on display can give you a glance at our collections on the history, social image, economic status, and political engagement of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the States. While “Asian Pacific” is a broad umbrella term that covers many ethnically distinct groups, their shared existence as underrepresented minorities enables a collective identity to emerge from a wide range of personal experiences each individual has as an American of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in this country.

These selected books are located near collections highlighting this year’s UChicago Common Book, The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui. All books on display are available for checkout.

Not on campus? Visit our accompanying Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Guide, also created by Juno, as well as our guide on the UChicago Common Book.  If you need help locating research materials on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, please feel free to ask a librarian.

Book Display

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Book Display

College Research Week May 13-17

Student browsing the bookstacks.

Develop important research skills by attending College Research Week programs.

2019 College Research Week will take place from May 13-17 in Regenstein Library. College Research Week is a celebration of undergraduate research and creative inquiry at UChicago. This week-long event will include sessions on research skills, resources, and fellowships; undergraduate researcher and graduate student panels; an Undergraduate Research Poster Showcase, and much more!

College Research Week is brought to you by the College Center for Research & Fellowships and The University of Chicago Library. For more information, visit the College Research Week website.

College Research Week Schedule

Monday, May 13: Research Skills and Resources

Session Schedule:

Location: Regenstein, Room 122

10:00-11:30am: Introduction to Research Proposal Design, led by Sandra Zupan, Assistant Director of Fellowships and Research, CCRF
The goal of this session it to build your academic skills in research design, which can help you engage in undergraduate research. First, you will learn about the process of narrowing your interest to a research topic, followed by developing a research question and a literature review. Second, you will learn about the practicalities of data collection and analysis, ethical research practice and presenting the findings of the research.

11:30am-12:30pm: Undergraduate Research Funding, led by Tracy Nyerges, Assistant Director of Research, CCRF
This session will help you navigate the various undergraduate research funding sources available to College students across the disciplines. Whether you are new to research or an advanced undergraduate researcher, we will discuss research grant programs and options to fund academic year and summer research experiences for students in all majors. This session will also offer guidance and resources to assist you in planning for and preparing applications for undergraduate research grants and funding.

Location: Regenstein TechBar Studio Classroom, Room 160

1:00-2:00pm: Sharing and Archiving your Research with Knowledge@UChicago, led by Nora Mattern, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Library
Join the Library for a discussion on the principles of open access, how you can make your research poster or paper available to others, and why you may want to do so. Knowledge@UChicago is a digital repository where University of Chicago faculty and students can share and archive their scholarly work. Bring a laptop or tablet (or borrow one from the TechBar) and spend hands-on time with Knowledge@UChicago.

2:30-3:30pm: Managing Your Data and Files, led by Elizabeth Foster, Social Sciences Data Librarian, Library
Whether your data are digital photos of archival records or spreadsheets, this session will provide you with practical tips for naming, organizing, documenting, storing and preserving your data. Making a plan for managing your data and digital files can save you time and potential headaches in the long-run. In this workshop, we’ll begin creating data management plans for a current project and talk through challenges and lessons you’ve learned about effective strategies for managing your digital files. This session is given Elizabeth Foster, Social Sciences Data Librarian.

4:00-5:00pm: Getting a Head-Start on Your BA, led by Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach, Library
Are you apprehensive about writing a BA or honors thesis? Don’t worry, there are many resources to support you! Librarian Rebecca Starkey will help you get a head start on your thesis by offering strategies to ease your research and writing. Learn about specialized research tools for your major, methods for locating primary sources at the University and beyond, GIS and data support services, and how to reach the Library experts who can guide you. After the workshop, you’ll be able to take the first steps towards starting this important research project.

Tuesday, May 14: Research Fellowships and Undergraduate Research Scholars

Session Schedule:

Location: Regenstein, Room A-11

10:00-11:00am: International Research through Fulbright, led by Nicholas Morris, Associate Director of Fellowships, CCRF
The Fulbright US Student Program is an opportunity to conduct research, study, or teach English for a year internationally after graduation. Thisinformation session will investigate how you can launch your research interests through a funded, post-graduate grant. In this session, we will review the broad purpose and specific components of the Fulbright Grant, including essays, affiliations, and recommendations. We will identify essential components of previously successful grants and help you envision ways to start approaching the essays.

11:30am-12:30pm: National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, led by Nichole Fazio, Director, CCRF
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) program is one of the most robust and well-recognized national fellowships in support of graduate education (STEM and selective Social Science disciplines). This session will introduce students to the basics of the NSF GRFP, with a focus on the application process and what makes for an especially strong application. Students of any class-standing are invited to attend. We strongly encourage 3rd- and 4th-year students intending to submit applications this coming October to attend. 

Undergraduate Researcher Panels:

2:00-3:00pm: Arts & Humanities College Students
Join for this interative panel featuring UChicago undergraduate researchers and creative sholars in the Arts and Humanities. The participating College students will field your questions, talk about their paths and how undergraduate research and creative scholarship has impacted them. This session will be informative to current and future undergraduate researchers and scholars in a variety of Arts and Humanities majors.

3:00-4:00pm: Social Sciences College Students
Join for this interative panel featuring UChicago undergraduate researchers and creative sholars in the Social Sciences. The participating College students will field your questions, talk about their paths and how undergraduate research and creative scholarship has impacted them. This session will be informative to current and future undergraduate researchers and scholars in a variety of Social Sciences majors.

4:00-5:00pm: STEM College Students
Join for this interative panel featuring UChicago undergraduate researchers and creative sholars in STEM. The participating College students will field your questions, talk about their paths and how undergraduate research and creative scholarship has impacted them. This session will be informative to current and future undergraduate researchers and scholars in a variety of STEM majors.

Wednesday, May 15: Research and Your Future

Session Schedule:

Location: Regenstein A-11

11:30am-1:00pm: Graduate Student Panel and Networking Lunch
Join for this interative panel featuring the five current UChicago graduate students listed below from various fields. These graduate students will field your questions, talk about their paths to graduate school and how undergraduate research impacted their journeys. You will also be able to chat with these graduate students further after the panel during lunch. Lunch will be provided so please RSVP for this session

3:30-4:30pm: Navigating the SBS IRB Process, led by Cheri Pettey, Director, Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB
This session will explore the history of the applicable regulations, explain how to determine whether a project constitutes human subjects research requiring review, define the basic review process/requirements, and provide some helpful tips for navigating the process. There will be time for questions and students who have gone through the process are welcome to share their experiences and suggestions.

Thursday, May 16: Research Mentoring and Toolbox Building

Session Schedule:

Location: Regenstein TechBar Studio Classroom, Room 160

10:00-11:00am: Creating a Digital Portfolio to Share and Present your Research and Creative Scholarship, led by Stacie Williams, Director, Center for Digital Scholarship, Library
Digital portfolios or a personal website can help you to showcase your research, communicate your interests, and develop a professional network. In this session, we’ll explore what makes for an effective digital portfolio and consider decisions when crafting an online identity. This discussion will be followed by a tutorial on using WordPress to create a digital site.

Location: Regenstein A-11

11:30-1:00pm: Research Mentor/Student Pairs and Networking Lunch [lunch provided]
Join us for a lunch-time conversation with student and research mentors across the disciplines to learn more about their work. Students will discuss how they connected with their mentors’ project and together they will talk about the process of undertaking their research together. You will also have the opportunity to hear from faculty and scholars across the university community who pursued unconventional career pathways as a result of their research efforts. 

1:30-3:00pm: Research Proposal Writing, led by Sandra Zupan, Assistant Director of Fellowships and Research, CCRF
The goal of this session is to help you produce a persuasive research proposal, which can be used for successful UChicago and external grants, national fellowships and graduate school applications. First, you will learn about the structure and characteristics of persuasive proposals, as well as common areas of weaknesses in research proposals. Second, you will learn how to develop paragraphs, organize text and write in a clear, detailed, precise manner.

3:30-4:30pm: GRD101: Preparing for the Graduate School Application Process, led by Nichole Fazio, DPhil, Director, CCRF: This information session is designed for current undergraduates considering graduate school as a part of an academic and professional trajectory.  Whether you are certain that you will pursue graduate education or are just beginning to consider the possibility, this session will introduce you to a) the general process of investigating options, b) the application timeline, c) common application components, and d) attempt to demystify the application and admission process. This is a general session and open to all disciplines and years.  Note: this will not cover pre-professional application processes specifically (eg medical or law school), although some of the application components like personal statements, letters of recommendation and CVs will be discussed as universal components to all application processes. 

Friday, May 17: Undergraduate Research Support & Showcase and Reception

Session Schedule:

Location: Regenstein TechBar Studio, Room 160

10:00-11:30am: Zotero Drop-In Support
Drop by the TechBar for one-on-one training and support for Zotero, a free citation manager that allows you to organize, annotate, and cite your sources automatically in standard styles (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.).

Location: Regenstein 122

Research Poster Showcase and Reception

2:00-2:30pm: Opening Remarks
Professor Peggy Mason, Department of Neurobiology
2:30-3:30pm: Poster Showcase
3:30-4:30pm: Reception 


‘Augie March’ Panel Discussion

Celebrate the exhibition The Adaptations of Augie March and the production The Adventures of Augie March by joining in conversation with:

The Adaptations of Augie March

  • Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, Court Theatre
  • Nora Titone, Resident Dramaturg, Court Theatre
  • Daniel Meyer, Director of Special Collections and University Archivist

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

5:00 pm — Exhibition Viewing
5:45 pm — Special Remarks and Program
7:00 pm — Reception

The Joseph Regenstein Library
Room 122
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois

RSVP by May 14, 2019

Presented by the University of Chicago Library Society and Court Theatre


Current Exhibits “A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago”: Sources

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 25 – June 30, 2019

Old University of Chicago Library bookplate alongside gift recognition bookplate from the current University of Chicago Library

Old University of Chicago Library bookplate alongside gift recognition bookplate from the current University of Chicago Library

“The origin narrative of the University of Chicago does not begin with John D. Rockefeller in 1890. It does not even begin in the city of Chicago. It actually begins on a 3,000-acre cotton plantation in Lawrence County, Mississippi. Hundreds of enslaved African American men, women, and children lived and died on that plantation to make the University of Chicago, and its $7 billion endowment, possible. The University of Chicago refuses to acknowledge this part of its heritage.”

(Caine Jordan, Guy Emerson Mount, and Kai Perry Parker. “‘A Disgrace to all slave-holders’: The University of Chicago’s Founding Ties to Slavery and the Path to Reparations.” The Journal of African American History 103, no.1-2 [2018]: 163-178)

In 2017, members of the Reparations at UChicago Working Group (RAUC) published “A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago,” in Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. RAUC argued that there are inextricable ties between UChicago and the Old University of Chicago, which was founded in 1856 on land donated by Stephen A. Douglas, owner of a slave plantation in Mississippi.

This exhibit presents original manuscripts, publications, and legal documents that trace the connections and continuities between the Old University of Chicago and the new University, founded in 1890.  In this first case, we highlight the primary sources used by RAUC to establish the University of Chicago’s ties to slavery. The adjacent case brings together materials documenting the interconnectedness of the two institutions with evidence drawn from early university and seminary catalogs, and books with rarely-seen bookplates and inscriptions from Regenstein Library’s circulating collection.

Stone from Douglas Hall in Old University of Chicago as part of current University building

This stone from Douglas Hall at the Old University of Chicago, named after the University’s benefactor Stephen A. Douglas, is part of the Classics building in the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago

This two-case exhibit is presented in conjunction with the (U)Chicago Reparations Summit taking place on campus April 26, 2019. Learn more @TheRAUC on Twitter. Visitors without a UChicago ID can enter to see the exhibit by obtaining a day pass from the ID and Privileges Office in Regenstein Library during its hours.

Exhibits Feature Story The Adaptations of Augie March: A Novel by Saul Bellow, A Play by David Auburn, A Production Directed by Charles Newell, An Exhibition by Special Collections and Court Theatre

Exhibition Dates: April 29 — August 30, 2019
Location: Special Collections Research Center Gallery, 1100 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Rendering of costume for Augie March with blue shirt and blue pants

Sally Dolembo’s costume design for “The Adventures of Augie March,” final rendering of Augie March

Saul Bellow’s 1953 masterpiece, The Adventures of Augie March, launched his reputation as a novelist and established the future Nobel Laureate’s literary renown. In 2015, Court Theatre commissioned the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright David Auburn, AB ’91, to adapt Augie March for the stage. This exhibit showcases treasures from Special Collections Research Center’s Saul Bellow Papers in juxtaposition with materials generated by theatre artists working toward Court’s May 2019 world premiere. On display are early handwritten drafts of Bellow’s novel; the original drafts of David Auburn’s stage adaptation; Charles Newell’s artistic notes and plans for building the world of the play; costume designer Sally Dolembo’s sketches; the mind-bending design work of shadow puppetry collective Manual Cinema; and John Culbert’s minimalist, non-literal design for a set capable of evoking disparate places. The exhibit invites visitors to step into the world of Augie March—as Bellow imagined it, Auburn adapted it, and Newell envisioned it on stage. 

Curator: Nora Titone, Dramaturg at the Court Theatre

Photo of David Auburn

David Auburn


Associated Production

The Adventures of Augie March
Court Theatre
May 9 — June 9, 2019

Use of Images and Media Contact

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

Photo of Saul Bellow with his signature in passport

U.S. Passport, 1951, Saul Bellow Papers, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

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

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

Cover of Migration Stories

Cover image by Alejandro Monroy, AM ’17

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

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

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

Current Exhibits Independent Nations Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: March 28 – June 27, 2019

Map of Baltic States

The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have long and complex histories.  They have rarely been allowed independence or any individuality. Now in the 21st century, each nation finds itself creating its own path, as an independent country.

A Poetry Reading Featuring Ariana Reines

When: Friday, April 5, 2019, 68 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: Ariana Reines will read from her work. Named one of Flavorwire‘s 100 best living writers and a “crucial voice of her generation” by Michael Silverblatt, Ariana Reines is a poet, playwright, performing artist, and translator. Her books include The Cow (Alberta Prize, Fence 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar 2007, Fence 2011); Mercury (Fence 2011), and The Origin of the World (Semiotext(e) for the Whitney Biennial 2014).

Ariana Reines

A Sand Book, her next poetry collection, is forthcoming in June 2019 from Tin House. Her newest book is Telephone (2018) based on her Obie-winning first play (2009) commissioned by The Foundry Theatre and recently performed in Norwegian translation (2017) and at KW Berlin (2018). Francesca, a play by Nathalie Rozanes based on writings and performances by Reines premiered at the National Theatre of Belgium in 2016. Other performance and theatrical works include: Mortal Kombat (2015), commissioned by Le Mouvement Biel/Bienne and performed at The Whitney Museum, New York, NY, USA, and Gallery TPW, Toronto, CA, and Lorna (2013) at Martin E. Segal Theatre, New York, USA, both in collaboration with Jim Fletcher, The Origin of the World (2013) at Modern Art, London UK, and many others.

She has taught at Columbia University, the European Graduate School, NYU, Tufts, Naropa, The New School, Yale and many other places. In 2009 she was Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley. Her poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, The Believer, The Boston Review, Bomb, Granta, Harpers, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. She has been a MacDowell Fellow, a resident at the TS Eliot House, a fellow at The Center for the Humanities at Tufts, a Brown Foundation Fellow at the Dora Maar House, the Poetry Fellow at the University of East Anglia (UK), has judged the National Poetry Series, and is a nominator for the Foundation for Contemporary Art.

Presented by the University of Chicago Library.

Cost: Free
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library

Courses inspire student to collect, donate rare books to UChicago Library

Bob Connors with his books

Bob Connors, a retired tax attorney and Graham School student, recently donated his collection of nearly 600 rare books to the University of Chicago Library. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

Graham School sparks 70-year-old Bob Connors’ quest to find works dating to 15th century

Bob Connors flips open the heavy leather covers, thumbing past yellowed, worm-holed pages more than five centuries old. A few feet behind him, boxes pile up along the wall.

This collection of rare books started with a simple idea. As a student at the University of Chicago Graham School, Connors was reading texts considered the bedrock of Western Civilization. Why not find the oldest copies he could get his hands on?

An open book

The oldest book in Connors’ collection is a 1475 edition of Augustine’s Confessions, printed in Milan by Johannes Bonus. This incunable title is notable for its unusual text type, light and delicate. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

What began as a hobby for the retired tax attorney grew into a years-long odyssey—one that sent him down a rabbit hole of auctions and book dealers. Inspired by his studies, the collection of nearly 600 books is remarkable in both breadth and depth: rare editions of famous authors like James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald; oversized 15th- and 16th-century volumes with original oak covers and brass clasps; and the oldest of the lot, a 1475 copy of Augustine’s Confessions.

Connors is now 70 years old. Last October, he was diagnosed with cancer. He began to think: Of all his possessions, there was one set in particular worth preserving.

“I had all these books that I collected and I valued,” said Connors, sitting in his suburban Oak Park home. “And I guess part of it is, at this point, I’m into legacy. What will be left behind? And I knew that if I didn’t do something with these books, they would be thrown out. And I couldn’t let that happen.”

He decided to donate them to UChicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center, where they now live as the Robert S. Connors Basic Program Collection.

The name is a nod to the curriculum that nurtured in Connors a fascination with the history of the printed word. Since 1946, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies has offered the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults to encourage reading and engaging with the “Great Books.” One proponent of this approach was former UChicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins, who argued that it kept one’s “intelligence on the stretch.”

“Great books teach people not only how to read them,” he wrote in 1952, “but also how to read all other books.”

An irreplaceable collection

Elizabeth Frengel, the curator of rare books at the University of Chicago Library, had expected a small collection, perhaps around two dozen books.

The dolphin-and-anchor printer's device in a book held by Connors

Bob Connors holds one of his many Aldines—books printed by Aldus Manutius’ 16th-century press. Known for producing smaller, more accessible books, Manutius adopted a distinctive dolphin-and-anchor printer’s device. (Robert Kozloff for the University of Chicago)

When they first met, Connors brought with him copies of classic British literature such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot, enough to reveal he had “a good eye as a collector.” Then he and Frengel started talking about the Aldine Press, an early 16th-century publisher that printed smaller, portable books that were more feasible for students and scholars to acquire. The ready accessibility of these books transformed the nature of reading—and, many argue, extended the reach of the Renaissance.

“As a group, it’s irreplaceable,” said Frengel, who oversees the University’s approximately 340,000 volumes dating back to the 15th century. “If we weren’t able to make this collection available to researchers, that would be a sad loss. You couldn’t easily recapture that sort of scholarly value.”

The donation included 11 “incunabula.” Taken from the Latin word for “swaddling clothes,” the term denotes books published in Europe between 1455 and 1501. These works, along with some 16th-century publications, illuminate the history of printing and provide insight into the evolution of the book as a material and technical object.

“The books are not going to be things that sit on a shelf and nobody really uses,” said Fred Beuttler, a Graham School associate dean who was one of the first UChicago employees to see Connors’ collection. “We’re going to make them accessible to faculty and graduate students.”

On April 9, the University will recognize Connors in a ceremony, joined by his family and members of the UChicago community.

‘More fun than golf’

The books’ new home represents a fitting coda to Connors’ journey. While working downtown in the early 1980s, he called the University of Chicago on a whim and asked about part-time course offerings.

“It was the leading university in area,” Connors said. “If I was gonna be taking classes, I might as well take it from the best.”

Whoever picked up the phone pointed him to the Graham School’s Basic Program. On the first day of class, Connors found out that he was entering the first part of a four-year sequence. His relationship with the Graham School would last even longer.

Connors received a certificate from the Basic Program in 1985, but the classes wore on him. A new job had taken him an hour north of downtown Chicago, and the evening commute back into the city left him struggling to stay awake during discussions.

So he took a break, focusing on his career until he approached retirement. He enrolled again in 2006, signing up for a course on the Roman historian Tacitus. The discussion-based nature of the classes, he said, prompted him to read more closely than he ever would on his own. Along the way, he picked up an interest in collecting.

“Something I thought would be more fun than golf, I guess,” he said.

Connors’ love for books has always been clear. Meggie, the younger of his two daughters, still remembers their nightly reading sessions—a few pages of Little House on the Prairie, or a chapter of Little Women. She doesn’t consider herself a history buff, but her father’s occasional spiels about his collection revealed his passion.

“He really latches on to information,” she said. “Especially with these books, he could remember every single detail about them.”

That impulse hasn’t waned. Even now, Connors hopes not only to continue his studies, but to keep searching for books to acquire.

Frengel understands the urge. Many of Connors’ oldest books contain hand-written notes in the margins, unique to each of their previous owners.

A manicule in a book's margin

Drawn in book margins by hand, manicules were popular among Renaissance readers as a way to mark important passages of text. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

“Collecting these kinds of books give you perhaps a more insightful understanding of how culture is transmitted—how our cultural myths, our stories, our histories are passed down to us,” she said. “You can probably access almost all of these texts online for nothing, because they’re not copyrighted. But the material object puts you in touch with that history in an entirely new way.”

Connors has compared his books to an art collection—better shared than hidden away. Though he has read translations of many, there are several that he appreciates simply as historical artifacts. They would serve little purpose locked up in someone’s basement.

“They’ve been around for a long time,” Connors said. “I’m hoping they’ll be around for a good long time further when they’re cared for by the University Library. They really belong there.”

A University of Chicago news story

Register today for the Library’s Spring Quarter workshops

The University of Chicago Library is offering a variety of workshops and programs during Spring Quarter highlighting tools, resources, and services available to you to support your work. Learn about GIS, data management, using Zotero and EndNote, and more. Space is limited, so register for sessions today!

April 2, Noon – 1:00 p.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
April 17, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
Are you a Ph.D. student planning to graduate in Spring 2019? Come to this information session about the procedures for submitting your dissertation using a web-based interface, the ETD Administrator. We will review formatting requirements and discuss open access for dissertations via the institutional repository, Knowledge@UChicago.

April 10, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
Are you a Ph.D. student planning to submit your dissertation soon? Do you want to know if you are on the right track with formatting your dissertation? Dissertation Office staff offer an optional draft review service during the first few weeks of each quarter. Come to this information session to learn more about draft reviews and the basic requirements for formatting your dissertation. Bring your questions and bring your laptop.

April 8, Noon – 1:00 p.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
April 25, Noon – 1:00 p.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
Are you writing a BA or honors thesis next year? Before you start your research, learn how you can organize and cite the many sources you’ll be using for this extensive project. Learn about Zotero, a free research tool that can transform how you write your research papers. Use Zotero to organize your documents, gather citation information in a single click, and create footnotes or bibliographies automatically in styles such as Chicago, MLA, and APA.

GIS and Maps Librarian and students with map of Chicago on monitor

GIS and Maps Librarian Cecilia Smith (center) discusses mapping tools and resources with (from left) students Paul Gilbert, II, College ’20, and Emil Sohlberg, College ’20. (Photo by Joel Wintermantle)

April 9, Noon – 1:00 p.m. Crerar Library Computer Classroom Register
This session will provide you with practical tips for naming, organizing, documenting, storing and preserving your research data. Making a plan for managing your data and digital files can save you time and potential headaches in the long-run. In this session, we’ll consider requirements from funding agencies such as the NSF and NIH and publishers for data sharing. We’ll talk through challenges you’ve faced and lessons you’ve learned about effective strategies for managing your digital files. We’ll overview tools for managing research data and materials, including electronic lab notebooks and the Open Science Framework.

April 10, 11:00 a.m. – Noon, TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
This workshop will teach you how to get started with ICPSR (the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research). ICPSR is one of the largest social sciences data archives in the world. During the session, participants will learn how to create an account, browse and search for data, and download datasets. The session will also cover best practices for finding and evaluating datasets. Please bring a laptop to the session; one can be borrowed at the TechBar.

April 11, Noon – 1:00 p.m. Crerar Computer Classroom Register
EndNote is a research management tool used to keep track of citations, PDFs and other documents, and create formatted bibliographies as you write your paper. In this workshop, learn how to use the desktop version of EndNote. Topics covered include: creating and managing citation libraries, importing citations from online databases and other sources, importing and managing PDFs and creating bibliographies.

April 11, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. GIS Hub, Crerar Library Register
Come learn the core concepts of working with spatial data, including: spatial thinking for research, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial data formats, finding spatial data, tools & software, spatial analysis & geoprocessing, Spatial Data Management, and geospatial resources.

April 16, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
Join the Library for a discussion on the principles of open access, the individual and societal benefits of open research, and authors’ rights and self-archiving. We will consider strategies for expanding access to our scholarship and spend hands-on time with Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository for scholarly work. Bring a laptop to get started sharing and preserving your research!

April 25, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. GIS Hub, Crerar Library Register
This workshop will introduce you to digital mapping and geoprocessing using QGIS. You will learn about QGIS software navigation, fundamentals for spatial data visualization and manipulation, and how to create a map. No prior experience is expected.

April 24, 11:00 a.m. – Noon, TechBar, Regenstein Library 160 Register
Data management plans are researchers’ written strategies outlining how they will collect and take care of their data during the life of a project and what approaches they will take for sharing and preserving their data at the end of a project. This session will introduce the basic components of a data management plan, funder requirements related to data management planning, and DMPTool, a free online tool that guides researchers through the creation of a plan.

April 26, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. GIS Hub, Crerar Library Register
Need to make a web map? Find some spatial data? Come learn how to use ArcGIS Online in this hand-on workshop. No experience is needed – we’ll start with logging in and finish by creating you’re first web map.

May 9, Noon – 1:00 p.m. Online Register
Learn how to use Zotero, a free citation manager that allows you to save and organize citation information while searching and browsing the Web. With a single click, Zotero saves citations and enables you to create customized bibliographies in popular citation styles (MLA, Chicago and APA).

Exhibits How Jewish refugees found a wartime home in Shanghai

Brother and sister

Karin Zacharias (right) and her brother Hans Peter Zacharias, pictured in 1941 on the day of his bar mitzvah in Shanghai. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Pardo)

Scholar’s novel, exhibit explore lives of those who fled World War II Europe

Asst. Prof. Rachel DeWoskin has visited Shanghai every summer for nearly a decade, walking along streets that more than 18,000 Jewish refugees once called home. Spanning roughly a square mile, those blocks were where they established schools and businesses, rebuilding their lives in one of the few cities that accepted World War II refugees without visas.

food ration coupons

These food ration coupons entitled refugees in Shanghai to basic necessities such as flour, sugar and coal briquettes. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

DeWoskin’s years of research culminated in the January publication of Someday We Will Fly, her fictionalized account of a young Jewish girl fleeing war-torn Poland. Described as “a beautifully nuanced exploration of culture and people,” the book is the fifth from DeWoskin—an award-winning novelist and assistant professor of practice in the arts who has taught at the University of Chicago since 2014.

In writing her novel, DeWoskin also relied in part on the family possessions of UChicago staff psychiatrist Jacqueline Pardo, whose German mother Karin Pardo (née Zacharias) lived in Shanghai as a child. A selection of those objects and photographs are displayed on the third floor of Regenstein Library.

That exhibit is sponsored by the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, which is also supporting two events: a March 13 conversation between DeWoskin and former Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal followed by a concert of wartime music by Civitas Ensemble, and a May 14 symposium on the legacy of the Shanghai Jews.

DeWoskin spoke recently about her writing process, and what people can learn from this overlooked aspect of World War II history.

A display you saw in 2011 at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum planted the seeds for Someday We Will Fly. What was it that stuck with you?

There were two photographs in particular, of children who had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and were living out World War II in Shanghai. The first was of a group of teenage boys, holding table tennis paddles and wearing matching polo shirts monogrammed with school insignias. The boys have the hollowed-out look of kids growing up in the context of war, but they also look like teenagers anywhere, mischievous and sweet.

Two paper dolls and an envelope

These German paper dolls, which would have been a rare toy and thrilling to receive, were mailed to Karin Zacharias from Berlin by her grandmother, Helene Zacharias. Helene later died in Theresienstadt. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

I tried to imagine the lives of their parents, who had fled murder and persecution and brought their children to Shanghai, which had to be unimaginably unfamiliar and difficult for them. From there, they had built a school, created a table tennis team, and then gone to the trouble to make shirts. Those tiny insignias seemed to me iconic of the way human beings save each other and our children—not to mention the resilience refugees demonstrate, in ways both too small to be seen and too vast to be measured.

Next to that image was one of two toddlers holding rag dolls. The girls were in rags themselves, but someone who loved them—their parents, maybe, or friends or neighbors—had sewn dolls for them, and painted on those dolls lovely, expressive faces. The records of these children’s lives, and the objects that revealed their community’s devotion to them, inspired Lillia Kazka, the 16-year-old refugee at the center of Someday We Will Fly.

Lillia let me ask, in as many complicated ways as possible, the horrifying question of how human beings survive the chaos of war. Who loves us enough to keep us safe in the face of staggering danger and violence, and how can children come of age in circumstances as un-nurturing as those of occupied cities? How do we figure out how to live, to use languages both familiar and unfamiliar to tell stories that make our lives endurable? How do we hold on to the possibility of hope, even when we feel the constant pulse of dread?

Jacqueline Pardo and W. Michael Blumenthal were among the many people whose stories, books and lives helped shape your research and writing. How did the two of them inform your work?

I met Jacqueline Pardo by almost miraculous coincidence on campus. I went to her house in 2014 and was stunned to discover that she has a world-class archive of objects, documents and photographs that belonged to her mother in Shanghai during World War II.The objects, documents, and photos of Karin’s girlhood gave me the sweep and scope of a lived girlhood in Shanghai during the war: her school bag; notebooks and diaries; a thank you note she and her fellow Girl Guides wrote to American soldiers who had given them chocolate; and her exemplary report card, tarnished only by her music teacher’s hilarious note, “Can’t sing.”

Cigar box with letters

This cigar box was owned by Karin’s father, Leo Zacharias. Like many other Jewish refugees, Leo—a lawyer in Germany—found unfamiliar work in Shanghai. He established a cigar shop, a lending library, and, with two other families, a short-lived restaurant called the Wayside Diele. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

I also talked with and read the books of the supremely generous Michael Blumenthal, a former Treasury secretary under President Jimmy Carter. Michael is a Shanghai Jew who grew up in the neighborhood of Hongkou, which in 1943 became a ghetto—all Jewish refugees were forced to move there. He gave me a view of China and humanity both profound and intricately detailed. He remembered the boys walking in circles around Hongkou, like teenage boys anywhere, hoping for the notice of their crushes.

He also described what it felt like to come to understand as a child that some adults rally in the face of hardship, while others disintegrate. While working in the White House, he asked himself of each powerful person he met: “How would he or she do in 1940s Shanghai, dressed in flour sacks?” His wonder and empathy informed and continue to inform mine.

Why did you also want to build an exhibit out of Jacqueline Pardo’s family possessions?

Whenever I find something astonishing or profound in the world, I want to show it to my students. This is why the Program in Creative Writing works so hard to bring our favorite writers and their brilliant work to campus, and why I was determined to have Blumenthal come and talk with us. When I saw Jacqueline’s mother’s belongings, and percolated how instrumental they had been to me in writing Someday We Will Fly, I wanted to show them to my students. I also assigned my writers to bring in objects, documents, and photographs that were parts of or necessary to their novels-in-progress.

Ring shaped like a snake

This ring was made for Karin by her brother, who, after he finished school in Shanghai, held an apprenticeship with a silversmith. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

Writers are doing research all the time. It’s not always formal, but all of our looking, asking, and listening—it counts. I wanted to say to my students how much their work in the world matters, that they’re creating a record so they can convey meaning or ask questions. We gain emotional and intellectual knowledge by looking at picture or object and asking: “How did this picture come to be?” Or looking at somebody’s mother’s book bag, report card, or paper dolls, and being transported by those objects into 1940s Shanghai.

Seeing one family’s record of wartime daily life gives us a way to wonder about how to help people who are now at risk, who are now separated, who are now fleeing violence and danger. I hope our exhibit elicits both empathy and activism.

Was there any part of the research process that surprised you?

What was surprising to me was the combination of the unbelievable difficulty families faced, and at the same time the normalcy a lot of them worked to achieve. As I’ve worked on the book, I’ve felt more and more that the world of 1940s Shanghai is maybe not that different from the contemporary world that we’re inhabiting right now. There are children facing the same sorts of risks as the kid at the center of my book. There are parents facing the same astronomical obstacles. There are people behaving heroically, and there are those behaving unforgivably.


This passport, stamped with a red J for “Jewish,” belonged to Leo Zacharias. The Nazis required all Jewish men to take the middle name Israel. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Pardo)

If we look at history and imagine ourselves into it in ways both empathetic and literary, we can create ways to move toward a more socially just world.

Former Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal spoke with DeWoskin on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Fulton Hall, a conversation followed by a performance of wartime classical music from the Civitas Ensemble. On March 14, the Franke Institute hosted a daylong symposium exploring the legacy of the Shanghai Jews through historical scholarship, literature and music.

DeWoskin will discuss Someday We Will Fly on May 1 at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

A University of Chicago news story

April 12 deadline for the Crerar Writing Prize for College students

Are you an undergraduate interested in science, medicine, and/or technology? Have you written a scientific research paper of note that would be of interest to a general audience? Consider submitting a paper for the John Crerar Foundation Writing Prize.

The annual John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize for College Students honors the memory of John Crerar – industrialist and philanthropist whose estate established the John Crerar Library.

This competitive award for excellence and clarity in science writing acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago College student to produce a paper, on a scientific topic, which is thorough in its arguments but accessible to a broad readership.

Science Writing Prize organizers will present a topic on which students may submit a paper. The chosen topic will be related to the physical and biomedical sciences. We encourage and welcome submissions from all perspectives.

An important component of the paper will be the bibliography, which must include citations from a variety of sources and may be presented in a bibliographic style of the student’s choosing.

First Prize is $1500
Second Prize is $500
Third Prize is $300

Deadline: APRIL 12, 2019

Exhibits Book display for Women’s History Month

Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, First Floor, near the Dissertation Office
Dates: March 8–31, 2019

View our new book display in celebration of Women’s History Month. MAPH student Juno Yingzhi Dong, the Library’s new Research Services Support Fellow, created this display of books from Regenstein’s collections highlighting women’s experiences in wartime. Juno describes the focus of the display:

Part of the forgotten history in the modern societies, the role of women during wartime often receives little recognition. From serving in the military to filling the vacated jobs on the home front, from seeking a new life after years spent at the internment camps to being forced to become “comfort women,” the sexual slaves in the military bases, with and without their consent, millions of women around the world participated in WWII. Rarely under the spotlight in wartime historical discourse, the stories of these women deserve to be told and heard.

Women's History Month Book Display

A selection of the books on display on Regenstein Library’s 1st floor.

To learn more about materials on women’s history in our collections, visit our accompanying Women’s Studies Guide, which can point you more resources such as e-books, music, video etc.

If you need help locating research materials on women’s history of any particular country or region, or help in general with your research paper, ask a librarian!

Current Exhibits Robert G. Schloerb Honorary Exhibit

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois
Dates: March 5–31, 2019

“I recently had that feeling of power in a man who was working for peace. He has been maligned many times. He has been called a dreamer. His methods of striving for peace may not be right, but he works with a faith that God is working for peace. He believes that selfishness and national greed and hatred are ultimately self-defeating. The universe is against such policies. So, although he suffers and is rejected, he retains power and poise.”

Rolland W. Schloerb, God in Our Lives (New York; London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), 114.

Ten books have been added to the Religion Collection at the University of Chicago Library in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb (JD, ’51) on the occasion of his 95th birthday (March 5, 2019). An exhibit to commemorate Mr. Schloerb is on display in the Fourth Floor Reading Room of the Regenstein Library during March. Patrons will be able to peruse or check out the books added in Mr. Schloerb’s honor. Anne K. Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies, selected these titles to reflect Mr. Schloerb’s exceptional support of the Divinity School, especially its Ministry Program. The books reflect the broad interdenominational and global breadth of the Ministry Program and its commitment to integrating academic rigor and public discourse.

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Robert Schloerb and Mary Schloerb have a longstanding partnership with the University and the Divinity School, including decades of generosity and service. Through a generous gift, they created the Rolland Walter Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, in honor of Robert’s father, to support ministry students at the Divinity School. Rolland W. Schloerb (quoted above) served as pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church, now Hyde Park Union Church, from 1928 until his death in 1958. Sara Lytle, the current recipient of the Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, studies Buddhist studies and pastoral care, with particular interests in gender/sexuality, mental health, and death/dying. In addition, Robert and Mary Schloerb contribute to the Divinity School’s Annual Fund and the Baptist Theological Union International Ministry Fellowship. This fellowship supports travel for two Divinity Students, annually. Recent recipient Jair Pinedo traveled to Mexico, where he examined issues of immigration and migration, specifically as relates to children in migrant families. Co-winner Yitzhak Bronstein, studied intentional communities in Israel and how these communities transform the societies they inhabit.

Robert and Mary Schloerb have supported initiatives in the Biological Sciences, the Hospitals, the Law School, the Library, and the Oriental Institute. Robert Schloerb served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1994, and currently is a trustee emeritus. He is a current member of the Baptist Theological Union Board. His and Mary’s youngest son John serves as the current Vice President of the BTU Board. Robert Schloerb is also a life member of the Library Council, Oriental Institute Council, Divinity School Council and Medical Center Council. Mary Schloerb is a current member of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Chicago Lying-In Board. She has served on the Women’s Board and Oriental Institute Council.

We thank Mr. Schloerb and his family for their continued commitment to the University of Chicago community. These books represent that ongoing commitment as they too will support current and future Divinity School students.

Extended All-Night Study Hours March 15-17

Regenstein Libary 1st Floor Reading Room

Regenstein Libary 1st Floor Reading Room (Photo by Jason Smith)

To support students preparing for finals, the Regenstein 1st floor all-night study space will remain open Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 after the building closes at 11 p.m.

The all-night study space will thus be open 24 hours until the end of finals on Friday, March 22.

For a full list of library hours, see

Knowledge@UChicago featured research: The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago

February’s featured research is a master’s thesis completed as part of the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH).  Graduating students and alumni interested in raising the visibility of and increasing access to their PhD dissertation, master’s thesis, or BA/BS thesis are invited to share their work in Knowledge@UChicago.

Knowledge@UChicago has served as the open access home for University of Chicago PhD dissertations since 2015 and visitors to the repository will find more than 700 open access dissertations by University of Chicago researchers available. While University of Chicago PhD dissertations are also available in the subscription-based ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database, University of Chicago theses can be more difficult to find and, thereby, to use and reference in other research projects.

We’ve been glad to see recent examples of University of Chicago researchers sharing their master’s theses in Knowledge@UChicago. This month, Jeffrey McMahon, a University of Chicago alumnus, lecturer, and MAPH writing advisor shared the thesis he completed in 2002. In “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” McMahon examines the “symbolic and structural elements” of Algren’s essay and demonstrates the influence that other literary works, particularly Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” had on Algren’s text. You can download and read McMahon’s thesis by visiting Knowledge@UChicago.

Figure 5. The Cardiac System: References to the city's heart in "Chicago: City on the Make"

Figure by Jeffrey McMahon, “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” 2002.

If you are a University of Chicago graduate or current student interested in making your master’s thesis available to the world, visit our site to find more information about Knowledge@UChicago or contact Library staff at We look forward to reading your work!

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

New center fuses media arts, data, and design

A rendering of people workign together in the MADD Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

The MADD Center will host five resource labs:

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

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

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

Collaboration Across Creative Forms

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

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

People working in the Weston Game Lab

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

Gaming, UChicago-Style

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

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

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

“Deemed Inadvisable”: The University’s Wartime Japanese American Ban and the South Side Nikkei Community

Presentation Time: March 7, 2019, 3 p.m.

Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 122A, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Presenter: Eric Langowski, Japanese American Citizens League; Harris School of Public Policy student, CAPP ’20

Panelists: Hannah Hogan, former Woodlawn/Hyde Park resident; Mariko Ventura, former Hyde Park resident; Ross Harano, Hyde Park High School alumnus

Cost: Free. RSVP is required at

A Japanese language instructor sits and talks with soldiers

A Japanese-American language instructor at the University of Chicago talks with soldiers. February 12, 1944. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf3-02838, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Description from event organizers: In June 1942, University of Chicago President Robert M. Hutchins found that it was “deemed inadvisable” to admit Japanese Americans as it might threaten the university’s war contracts. Over the protests of faculty and community members such as Professor McKeon, the university denied admission to dozens of Japanese Americans throughout the war, just as thousands of Japanese American refugees moved to Chicago, many to Hyde Park and the South Side. These refugees, neither white or black, confounded Chicago’s institutionalized segregation creating semi-integrated communities.

Presenting this forgotten history of exclusion alongside a panel of South Side Japanese Americans sharing their lived experiences, this event explores the legacy of the university’s exclusion utilizing the Library’s archival collections and cultivates the Chicago Japanese American story.

This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago Library and the Committee on Japanese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies; and is partially funded by a community engagement grant from the Office of the Provost, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Mansueto Institute, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.

Love Data Week workshops explore data in everyday life, Feb. 11-14

The University of Chicago Library is offering workshops and programs in honor of Love Data Week, February 11-14. An annual global event that highlights data-related topics and trends, Love Data Week’s theme this year is “data in everyday life,” with a special focus on open data and data justice. UChicago students, faculty and staff are invited to join us for workshops, events, and a chance to learn more about data services at the University of Chicago Library. Unable to attend the events? Visit our Love Data Week guide.

Love Data Week, Feb. 11-14, Ongoing events at the Reg and Crerar LibraryIntroduction to Census Data
February 11, 11:00 a.m. – noon
Regenstein Library Room 523
The Census Bureau collects and disseminates demographic and socioeconomic data for the United States. Join us to learn about core data surveys, hear about upcoming changes that will be introduced in the 2020 Census, and find how to locate and download census data using ICPSR and Social Explorer.

Citizen Science Snack Break
February 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
TechBar, Regenstein Library Room 160
Citizen science is a movement that encourages the general public to participate in data collection for scientific research. Join us for a fun citizen science activity and a snack. No registration required.

Data Privacy Tips and Tricks
February 13, 11:00 a.m. – noon.
Regenstein Library Room 523
Data breaches and online tracking scandals are now common occurrences. Are you interested in protecting your personal data but don’t know where to start? Join us for an overview of easy-to-use tools that can help safeguard your privacy.

A Date with Data
February 13, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Regenstein Library Room 122
Do you love data? Join us for cake, button making, demonstrations of open data resources and projects, and a chance to learn about data services offered at the University of Chicago Library. Enter the Census Data Knowledge Challenge for a chance to win a gift card! No registration required.

Open Geospatial Data
February 14, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Crerar Library, Computer Classroom
Explore open data sources for your mapping, visualization, and research projects in this session. We’ll review free data sources ranging from the local to the global. We will also cover available resources for supporting your geospatial projects. No registration required.