Feature Story Welcome to the Library: orientation for new students

Librarian helps student

A librarian shows a research guide to a student. November 30, 2011. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Welcome to the University of Chicago! As the heart of campus, the Library offers much more than books and a place to study. The Library’s work is to provide comprehensive resources and dynamic services to support the research, teaching, and learning needs of the University community.

Below are just a few ways you can learn about the University of Chicago Library, its resources, and services before classes begin.

Orientation Guide

Designed to give a preview of all the Library has to offer, the Library’s orientation guide helps new members of campus navigate the Library.

In-Person Orientation Programs

Our orientation guide and online tours are no substitute for the variety of on-campus orientation sessions that the Library offers.

Undergraduates

Library Boot Camp
Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Thursday, September 21 at 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
Joseph Regenstein Library, A Level
Get in shape for college research by attending our 60-minute Library Boot Camp. Strengthen your research skills by learning about search tools and Library services before your first assignment is due. We’ll cover the basics: how to find books and course readings, printing, study spaces, laptop lending, and more. Students who complete Boot Camp will receive their own Library mug!

Science Research: An Introduction to the John Crerar Library
John Crerar Library
Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30 am
Thursday, September 21 and Friday, September 22 at 10:00 am
Are you pre-med or considering a science major? If so, this session at Crerar, the sciences library, is for you! Learn how to find and access articles in e-journals and databases for classes and research projects. During this 60-minute session, you’ll also receive a building tour and learn how to access print materials. Attendees receive a special Crerar giveaway!

ECON 101: An Introduction to Library Resources
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 122
Friday, September 22 at 11:00 am
If you are majoring in economics, this is a can’t miss orientation. Learn about all the services the Library can provide to aid in your research, from accessing the major relevant newspapers and journals (think The Economist and The Wall Street Journal) to finding economics articles and papers. Get an introduction to some of the best sources for economics data.

Graduate Students

Orientation programs for masters and doctoral students are arranged through your department or program, and are hosted by the subject librarian for that discipline. The Library’s Workshop and Events Calendar lists many of these programs, but if you do not see yours listed, please feel free to contact the Library via our Ask a Librarian service.

Virtual and Self-Guided Tours

Learn about the Joseph Regenstein Library through our short virtual tour.

Go behind-the-scenes of the Joe & Rika Mansueto Library in 360° with a video from the University of Chicago.

Want to explore the Library at your own pace? Download our Self-Guided Tour of the Regenstein and Mansueto Libraries.

Exhibits Red Press: Radical Print Culture from St. Petersburg to Chicago

Exhibition Dates: September 25 – December 15, 2017
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Socialist Revolution poster

“Long Live the Worldwide Socialist Revolution,” undated. Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

Samuel N. Harper, the first American scholar to have devoted a career to the study of Russia, was a first-hand witness to Russia’s revolutions of 1905 and 1917. An avid collector, over four decades, Harper built a unique archive that provides a street-level view of many of the historic events of the period. Broadsides, handbills and pamphlets attest to a long war of ideas—and to a decisive battle for explanatory power in the months leading up to the Revolution.

Presented on the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the exhibition also draws from other archives in Special Collections, including materials documenting the development of revolutionary print culture in the USSR, the spread of revolutionary ideas and methods from Russia to the Far East and to the streets of Chicago, and anti-revolutionary texts such as the fraudulent, anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Together they allow us to trace visual genealogies from the political satire of the post-1905 period to the mortal derision of Stalinist propaganda in the 1930s and the HUAC hearings of the 1950s.

Curators (from University of Chicago unless otherwise indicated): Robert Bird, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; Christy Brandly, Ph.D. student in Political Science; Monica Felix, graduate student in Comparative Literature; Erin Hagood, student in the College; Austin Jung, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature; Zachary King, Ph.D. student in Russian Literature; Zdenko Mandusic, Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University; William Nickell, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Claire Roosien, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Department of History; and Kaitlyn Tucker, PhD student in Slavic Languages and Literatures.

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

Free and open to the public.

Related Events

Socialist poster

“Here and There and Everywhere We’re Building Socialism!,” 1930. Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition: Revolution Every Day
September 14, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60637

Presented on the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, this exhibition immerses visitors in the distinct textures and speeds of everyday life that arose—and have lingered stubbornly—in the wake of revolutionary upheaval. Revolution Every Day juxtaposes works of Soviet graphic art—primarily posters from the 1920s and 1930s, many by female artists such as Valentina Kulagina—with works on video and film, including excerpts from Dziga Vertov’s documentary films from the 1930s, post-Soviet videos by artists like Olga Chernysheva, as well as a new commission by Cauleen Smith.

Humanities Day—Guided Tour of Red Press: Radical Print Culture from St. Petersburg to Chicago
October 21, 12–1 p.m.
Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Trace the worldwide spread of revolutionary and anti-revolutionary media and ideas through rare printed sources. Professor and co-curator William Nickel leads a tour of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 as it was waged through broadsides, pamphlets, periodicals, and posters.

Registration: This tour is full. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email humanities@uchicago.edu.

Revolutionology Workshop: The Bolshevik Contagion
November 3–4
Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637

Presenters at this two-day workshop, the first in a series sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium research project Revolutionology: Media and Networks of Intellectual Revolution, will focus on key texts and images emerging directly from the revolutionary struggle in Russia and the early Soviet Union.

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 ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Feature Story University of Chicago Library receives vintage Vivian Maier prints

Nearly 500 photographs to be available for research at Special Collections

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The University of Chicago Library has received a gift of nearly 500 photographic prints made by Vivian Maier, the master 20th-century street photographer known for her striking images of life in Chicago and New York City.

The prints, given to the University by collector and filmmaker John Maloof, will be preserved and made available for research purposes by the Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The new collection is comprised of vintage prints that have never been published or exhibited to the public, along with one of Maier’s cameras and some of her personal effects.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

“This collection of prints will help researchers and students to understand Maier as a working photographer,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center. “As a new discovery in 20th-century American photography, Vivian Maier’s work also offers fresh insights into the viewpoints and graphic styles of her contemporaries.”

The UChicago collection is the first of Maier’s work to be held by a research institution, allowing scholars to study her photography and creative process in the city that was her home.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

Maier’s work became known to the public less than a decade ago. Maloof in 2008 found himself with a trove of more than 100,000 photographs after purchasing the contents of several of Maier’s storage lockers at auction. His investigation into Maier’s life and work was told in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which Maloof co-wrote and co-directed.

Maier was born in New York City in 1926. She spent much of her early life traveling the world before finding a home in 1956 in Chicago, where she worked as a nanny to support her photography. It was only after her death in 2009 that Maier’s work was displayed in museums and galleries to widespread acclaim.

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

“Vivian Maier herself is unique as a photographer because of her personal story and the remarkable quality of her work,” said Brenda Johnson, Library director and University librarian at UChicago. “Seeing these prints will help viewers to step back into Maier’s time and place and to explore her perspective.”

Maloof donated the prints to the University to allow for researchers to better explore Maier’s printing process and understand how her work evolved. “There’s more here that she physically created with her hands—that can be studied—than has ever been open to the public,” Maloof said. “This is what made her tick, who she was as an artist.”

Maier’s work will join collections of a range of female photographers held by the UChicago Library, including photo-secessionist Eva Watson Schütze, documentary photographer Mildred Mead, anthropologist Joan Eggan and literary photographer Layle Silbert.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The prints in the Maier collection represent the range of subjects she captured from the 1950s to the 1980s. Included in the collections are images of recognizable political, religious and cultural figures, along with the intimate street portraits of anonymous men, women and children. The collection has images—often captured curbside—of John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra, among others. While past exhibitions of Maier’s work have typically featured large-format prints made from negatives by collectors, the UChicago holdings are comprised of prints made by Maier through commercial photo labs or in her own darkroom.

“A lot of the work in this collection has her process visible,” Maloof said. “She’s printing in different ways, she’s cropping in different ways, and you can see her hand in the process. You can study that, and I think that could be important for people to research.”

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The Maier collection is currently being processed and is expected to be made available to researchers by the end of the year.

Maloof plans to donate additional photographs made by Maier to the UChicago Library.

Press Inquiries and Images

Note: The copyrights in the photography contained in this news release are owned by the Estate of Vivian Maier. The estate grants a limited, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to media and press to reproduce the attached images in articles concerning Vivian Maier and/or John Maloof’s donation of vintage prints of Vivian Maier’s work to the University of Chicago. High-resolution versions of images may be used in connection with print versions of articles only. For electronic and online publications, the reproduced images may not exceed 1,500 pixels on the longest side and 72 dpi. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition could result in liability under the Copyright Act.

Publication of these images requires use of this notice: “Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier.  All rights reserved.”

To obtain images and for other press inquiries:
Andrew Bauld, News Officer for Arts and Humanities
News Office
773-702-8378
Reserved for members of the media.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

New online resource: Black Freedom Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Mississippi Subversion of the Right to Vote

Cover of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) pamphlet published in Atlanta, 1965

Researchers at the University of Chicago now have access to Black Freedom Struggle in the Twentieth Century, a collection of digital primary sources consisting of government documents, organizational records, and personal papers. The resource, which consists of four modules, includes major collections of civil rights records from the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush presidencies; the Martin Luther King FBI file and FBI files on locations of major civil rights demonstrations; and the records of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA); Records of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Also included in the collection are the personal papers of Mary McLeod Bethune and Charles A. Barnett.

Global population data available

The LandScan 2015 Global Population Database is now available to access and use on the computers in the University of Chicago Library Map Collection. Find the files in the Map Collection computers’ @work drive in the folder LandScan_2015_GlobalPopulation.
Screenshot of LandScan 2015 Population Database

East View, the data publisher, provides this information about the updated database:

  • Adjusted population totals and distributions for Syria, Iraq and Ukraine to account for refugee and internally displaced persons movements as of June 2016
  • Results from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s LandScan HD data, (developed at 3 arc-seconds) for certain national and regional areas
  • Output from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Settlement Mapper Tool” (which rapidly delineates and characterizes settlements using high-resolution imagery)
  • Refined urban built-up areas
  • Thousands of additional smaller villages and populated places
  • Improved spatial precision and population distribution values

The library also has the LandScan 2007 Global Population Database.

For assistance or questions about accessing this or other spatial data through the University of Chicago Library, contact Resident Librarian for GIS Taylor Hixson (taylorhixson@uchicago.edu). More information about the library’s support for spatial data and GIS is available in the library’s research guide.

Exhibits Art in the Stacks: Selections from Special Collections

Exhibition Dates: June 19–September 15, 2017
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Installation view: In the foreground: Edouard Benedictus’s “Nouvelles variations, soixante-quinze motifs décoratifs en vingt planches,” [1928?]. In the background: Henri Matisse’s “Jazz,” 1947. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

The Special Collections Research Center is known for being the University of Chicago Library’s center for rare books, manuscripts, and university archives. Nestled within these materials, there is a lesser known aspect of our collections—art. Art in the Stacks highlights these holdings with a selection of original paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in addition to artists’ books and other works on paper produced in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Stephen Longstreet’s collages

Installation view of Stephen Longstreet’s collages. Stephen Longstreet Collection. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Among the featured items are Picasso etchings, selections from Matisse’s Jazz book, pen and ink drawings by  Harold Haydon (PhB’30, AM’31), Professor Emeritus in Art, University of Chicago, and a bronze sculpture by Ruth Vollmer.

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

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 ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Extended All Night Study hours June 2 – 4

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 2 and Saturday, June 3 after the building closes at 11 p.m.

The all-night study space will thus be open 24 hours from Monday, May 29 until the end of finals on Friday, June 9.

For a full list of library hours, see http://hours.lib.uchicago.edu.

My Library Account improvements

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

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

See My Library Account Help for more information.

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

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

Exhibits A Brief History of Protest at the University of Chicago: 1915-1992

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: May 26 – June 30, 2017

Students march to protest the Draft in 1969

“Students march from Hyde Park into Woodlawn during a draft moratorium rally in Chicago, part of a nationwide day of protest against the Vietnam War.” 10.15.1969.
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf7-03566], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

“Dear Sir: Your readers will be very interested to know the outcome of the conference between the teachers of the Wendell Phillips High School and the citizens’ committee appointed at a meeting of the Negro Fellowship League, January 17th. It will be remembered that on that day both Miss Fannie Smith, dean of girls at the Wendell Phillips School, and Mr. Perrine, assistant principal, addressed the League in explanation and defense of the segregation of White and Colored children in the social room.” So wrote Ida B. Wells, journalist and founding member of the NAACP, in a letter to the editors at the Broad Axe, published by the newspaper on February 27, 1915. The affair became public after Marion Talbot, Dean of Women at the University of Chicago, publicly protested the decision to separate white and black students of Wendell Phillips at social events.

Activists protesting on 10th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster.

“Ronald Schupp (left, in mask), a Chicago civil rights leader and minister, and Bill Steyert (right) participate in a vigil commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The event, sponsored by Greenpeace and Rockefeller Chapel, featured two speakers who survived the disaster. It was held at the Henry Moore sculpture ‘Nuclear Energy’ on the University of Chicago campus.” 04.26.1996.
University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf7-06042-002], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

There exists a long and varied history of social activism among the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Chicago. This exhibit displays documentation of protests that have occurred at the University of Chicago. The material was drawn primarily from the digitized archives of the University, especially the University of Chicago Photographic Archive and the University of Chicago Campus Publications. The scope of the materials, ranging from 1915 to 1992, match the coverage in these two collections.

Alumni Weekend at the Library

The Library is delighted to welcome alumni and their guests for tours, meet and greets, and an exhibition during Alumni Weekend. Alumni and their guests are also welcome to visit the Library while on campus outside formal event times.

UChicago Alumni Weekend logoTour: Libraries in a New Light

Meet at the Joseph Regenstein Library, Lobby, 1100 E. 57th St.

Offered at four times:

  • Thursday, June 1, 2–3:15 p.m.
  • Friday, June 2, 2–3:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 3, 2–3:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 3, 3:30–4:45 p.m.

The Library remains at the center of research, learning, and campus life at UChicago, providing innovative digital services for the information age. Tour the newly transformed Regenstein A Level and the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. Admire the striking glass-domed reading room, see the robotic storage and retrieval system, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the preservation laboratories where collections from across the centuries are conserved and digitized.

Tensions in Renaissance Cities: View the Special Collections Exhibition and Meet the Curators

The Joseph Regenstein Library, Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 E. 57th St.

  • Saturday, June 3: 1–2 p.m.

This Special Collections Research Center exhibition charts the tensions of Renaissance capitals from Venice to Mexico City as they looked eastward, westward, backward toward antiquity, or upward to the celestial geographies offered by magic, science, and theology. See highlights from the Library’s rare book and manuscript collections and the Smart Museum of Art and meet the curators—Ada Palmer, assistant professor in the Department of History and the College; PhD student Hilary Barker, AM’06; and Margo Weitzman, AM’15.

Meet and Greet with Library Director and University Librarian Brenda Johnson

Joseph Regenstein Library, Lobby, 1100 E. 57th St.

  • Saturday, June 3: 2–4 p.m.

Enjoy light refreshments and conversation with Library Director and University Librarian Brenda L. Johnson. Explore the online archives for photos from your years at UChicago, learn about the Library’s emerging work in geographic information systems, discover the digital repository Knowledge@UChicago, and learn about Library resources for alumni.

For more information about Alumni Weekend, visit alumniweekend.uchicago.edu.

 

Memorial Day 2017: Eckhart, SSA closed, other libraries remain open

On Monday, May 29, Eckhart and SSA will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday. D’Angelo Law will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Crerar, Mansueto, and Regenstein will be open during their regular building hours, as will the All-Night Study Space on the 1st Floor of Regenstein.

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

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

Diane Dallis

Diane Dallis, Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

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

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

Exhibits (Co)-Humanitarian

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fifth Floor
Exhibit Dates: May 1 – August 1, 2017

Cover image of 조선 유적유물도감 / Joseon Dynasty Ruins & Relics Illustrated Book

조선 유적유물도감
Joseon Dynasty Ruins & Relics Illustrated Book

(Co)-Humanitarian uses print and visual resources to illustrate the ideological and geographic divisions between South and North Korea.  The exhibit also conveys North Korea’s human rights issues. In 1948 Korea separated into South and North Korea; it has remained a divided country ever since. The exhibit exposes our generation’s role in acknowledging and understanding the differences between South and North Korea with a view to fostering peaceful communication between the separated nations. The younger generation of the Chicago Korean community conceived this exhibition as a way to connect with North Koreans living in Empower House, which is a U.S. North Korean defector shelter located in Hyde Park, through academic education, art activities, and discussions.

보물을 찾는 소년들 / Boys Searching for Treasure

보물을 찾는 소년들
Boys Searching for Treasure

(Co)-Humanitarian is a collaboration between the University of Chicago Library and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Each institution has curated display cases  on the same topic, but with two different approaches. Emphasizing visual imagery, (Co)-Humanitarian was presented at the SAIC Flaxman Library in January and February 2017 making use of the Joan Flasch Artist Book collections.  The exhibit at the University of Chicago Library displays print publications from South Korea, North Korea, and other countries, focusing on 3 different subjects: North Korean politics, culture, and human rights.

Collection selected by librarians at the University of Chicago:
Jee-Young Park, Korean Studies Librarian, and Nanju Kwon, Visiting Librarian Intern

Display designed by student artists at the Art Institute of Chicago:
Jae Hwan Lim, Rachel Chung and Eun Pyo Hong

Library exhibition poster

The University of Chicago Library display cases

The University of Chicago Library display cases

 

SAIC Flaxman Library display case

SAIC Flaxman Library display case

Exhibits Catholics, Freethinkers, and the Printed Word in Czech Chicago

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 24 – August 1, 2017

Portrait of August Geringer

August Geringer (1842-1930), publisher of Svornost, the first Czech-language daily newspaper in the United States, and numerous books of Freethought literature.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chicago was the largest Czech enclave in the United States and, indeed, constituted the third largest urban concentration of Czechs in the world. Living primarily in the Pilsen and Lawndale neighborhoods on the west side of Chicago, members of the Czech community shared a common language and a strong sense of ethnic identity that manifested itself in a rich and vigorous associational life. There was, however, considerable social tension within this community, based on differing attitudes to religious belief. The primary fault line lay between members of the Catholic Church and those who espoused a form of secular humanism, known as Freethought.

The roots of the division between Catholics and Freethinkers lay in the history and political conditions of the Czech lands, where Catholicism was the state religion and thus strongly associated with Hapsburg rule and its Germanizing cultural policy, while anticlericalism and, more broadly, anti-Catholicism were conjoined with the nationalistic attitudes of those eager to emancipate their land from Austrian political control and cultural hegemony. Because Czech-American Freethought was strongly tinged with anticlericalism, Catholics and Freethinkers came to form two rival camps among Czech Americans, each of which carved out its own distinctive institutional and associational life.

Photograph of Fr. Prokop Neužil

Fr. Prokop Neužil, OSB (1861-1946), founder of the Bohemian Benedictine Press and third abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois.

As ideological rivals, Freethinkers and Catholics sought to make use of the printed word to propagate their views within the Czech-American community. The Czech-language press thus became an important medium in setting the tone for Czech-American culture. The city of Chicago was home to the most important Czech-American Freethought and Catholic publishers in the country—on one side, August Geringer, owner of a small publishing empire based around the daily newspaper Svornost and a committed Freethinker whose press published numerous works of Freethought literature, and, on the other, the Bohemian Benedictine Press run by the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey, which was the leading publishing venue for Czech-language Catholic literature in the United States. Drawing primarily upon the rich resources of the University of Chicago Library’s ACASA (Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad) collection, this one-case exhibit presents a small selection of the publications of these two presses, illustrating some of the characteristic features of the two poles of Czech-American culture that they represented.

Current Exhibits “Seward’s Folly” – “Walrussia” – “The New National Ice House”: In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska from Russia, 1867-2017

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 24 – August 1, 2017

Why did Russia sell Alaska? Why did the United States purchase it? And how did the American public and press react to this purchase in 1867, so soon after the end of the Civil War?

Signing of the Treaty on 30 March 1867

Signing of the Treaty on 30 March 1867
Robert S. Chew (Chief Clerk, State Department), William Seward (Secretary of State), William Hunter (Second Assistant Secretary of State), Vladimir Bodisko (Secretary of the Russian Legation), Eduard Stoeckl (Russian Ambassador to the US), Charles Sumner (Senator from Massachusetts), Frederick Seward (Assistant Secretary of State)

WHY SELL? By the end of the 1850s, after its defeat in the Crimean War, Russia’s tsarist government had no further use for the Russian American Company and began searching for a buyer of the colonies in northwest America, preferably not the British, Russia’s greatest rival in the Pacific. By 1863 Russia concluded that the Russian colonies in America were “at a perfect standstill as regards colonization, hunting, trade, and civic development, and that, generally speaking, the Russian American Company has far from justified the expectations which the government had placed in it” (S. B. Okun. The Russian-American Company.
Tr. by Carl Ginzburg. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951: 232-33.)

WHY BUY?  William H. Seward, 24th United States Secretary of State (1861-1868), saw the purchase of Alaska as another step in the expansion of the United States in the west, as did Charles Sumner, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts whose 2 1/2 hour speech to the Committee on Foreign Relations presented all of the facts then known about Russian America (i.e. Alaska). He articulated four advantages pertinent to the future interests of the United States: Advantages to the Pacific Coast, Extension of Dominion, Extension of Republican Institutions, and Anticipation of Great Britain.

Treasury draft no. 9759

Treasury draft no. 9759, the check that paid for the purchase of Alaska.
The check, in the amount of $7,200,000, amounted to two cents per acre, and is dated more than a year after the signing of the Treaty of the Cession of the Russian Possessions in North America

Although the Treaty to purchase Alaska was ratified by a 37-2 margin, at a cost of $7,200,000, it caused a great deal of pro and con exposition in the nation’s papers, with the purchase being labeled as “Seward’s Folly,” “Icebergia,” “Walrussia,” “The Nation’s Ice House.” It was well into the 20th century before Alaska’s purchase was generally acknowledged to be of great strategic and financial importance.

Exhibits Witness: Holocaust Memorial Books

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 21 – April 30, 2017

Illustration from yizkor book

Yizker-bukh fun der Zshelekhover Yidisher kehile, “Memorial Book for the Jewish Community of Zhelekhov”

In the wake of the destruction of the Jewish communities of Europe and the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazi Regime, survivors sought to preserve the history of these cities and towns and the lives of their residents. The yizkor book, or community memorial volume, became a preferred method of preservation. This one-case exhibit displays yizkor books from the University of Chicago Library’s collection in commemoration of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), which begins at sundown on April 23, 2017.

Publication of such volumes began immediately after the war and peaked in the 1960s, though volumes continue to be published today, often as translations of earlier volumes. Yizkor books, sifre zikaron in Hebrew, yisker bikher or pinkeysim in Yiddish, were written primarily by Holocaust survivors in their countries of resettlement, typically by landsmanshaftn, mutual aid organizations comprised of immigrants from the same town or region. It is estimated that 600-800 such volumes have been published, mostly in Israel and the United States. The majority were written in Hebrew or Yiddish, sometimes both, and some with a summary or introduction in English.

Yizkor books are typically divided into four parts: the town and its inhabitants  before the war, the events during the war, the fate of the town and its people after the war, and a necrology. They were meant to serve as witnesses both to the pre-War Jewish community and the crimes of the Holocaust, as such they include multiple autobiographical accounts of survivors, maps of city before the War, and photographs of the murdered and of survivors, such as those who served in the Israeli army and who edited the volume.  The volumes often incorporate illustrations that draw heavily of flame imagery, referencing the Jewish custom of lighting a candle at the time of death and every year on the anniversary of the death of a family member.

Current Exhibits Resources for the study of the use of gas by the Nazis to murder

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 12 – April 30, 2017

Pile of clothes next to entrance to gas chamber at Dachau.

Dachau, Germany, 1945, Entrance to a gas chamber and pile of clothes. (Yad Vashem archive, item 13526).

Hitler’s use of gas to murder millions, including German citizens, is well-documented. During World War II, the Nazi regime systematically murdered 6 million Jews, men, women, and children. The first death camp was established on December 8, 1941, at Chelmno in Poland, where gas vans were used to murder 300,000 Polish Jews and 5,000 Sinti and Roma. Starting in March 1942, the Germans built permanent gas chambers at concentration camps in Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Approximately 1.7 million Polish Jews were murdered at these camps. The Germans established a fifth death camp in Majdanek in late 1941 where approximately 78,000 Jews, Slovaks, Czechs, Germans, and Poles were murdered by the Nazis. Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. The Germans began exterminations at Birkenau in October of 1941, using Zyklon B gas in four, permanent gas chambers. There, the Nazis murdered over 1,100,000 Jews, 70,000 Poles, 25,000 Sinti and Roma, and 15,000 prisoners of war.

Cover image from book on Zyclon B gas

Cover image of Zyklon B: die Produktion in Dessau und der Missbrauch durch die deutschen Faschisten (Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2007).

This exhibit highlights some of the resources available at the University of Chicago Library for the study of Nazi atrocities during World War II.  A list of more resources owned by the library can be found here. In addition, the Library subscribes to online databases, including Testaments of the Holocaust.  Finally, there are many resources available, including vast documentation of Nazi atrocities, through the websites of Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize for College Students

The Kathleen A. Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize for College students is now accepting submissions. First prize is $1500. Second prize is $500. Third prize is $300.

The deadline for submission is April 20, 2017.The Kathleen A. Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize

The prize acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago student in the College to utilize GIS and spatial thinking to develop a digital narrative using Esri’s Story Maps applications. The prize organizers welcome submissions that provide spatial insights or narratives from all subjects and perspectives.

Visit the Zar GIS & Story Maps page for more information about submitting an entry. For questions about getting started with GIS and Story Maps, e-mail Resident Librarian for GIS Taylor Hixson (taylorhixson@uchicago.edu).

A Poetry Reading with Harmony Holiday

When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 6:008:00 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122A-B
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description:
Harmony Holiday

Harmony Holiday

Harmony Holiday is the author of Negro League Baseball, Go Find Your Father/ A Famous Blues and most recently Hollywood Forever. She is also the founder of Mythscience, an arts collective devoted to cross-disciplinary work that helps artists re-engage with their bodies and the physical world in this so-called digital age, and the Afrosonics archive of jazz and everyday diaspora poetics. She studied rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley and taught for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She received her MFA from Columbia University. She is currently working on a book of poems and lyric essays on reparations and a biography of jazz singer Abbey Lincoln. She lives in Los Angeles.

This event is free and open to the public.

Presented by Chicago Review and the University of Chicago Library

Cost: Free
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685
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Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.

New research guide for finding maps

Screen capture of the new finding maps research guide home page.Consulting maps is often a crucial part of primary source research, but knowing how and where to locate the right maps for research can prove challenging.

The Library’s new research guide for finding maps can help demystify that process. The guide has resources to assist with:

  • searching for maps
  • finding maps at the University of Chicago
  • map resources online
  • U.S. Census maps

To learn more about the University of Chicago’s Map Collection, visit the Map Collection’s main web page or the physical collection in Regenstein Library room 370 Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 12-5 p.m. during the academic quarter and Monday-Friday from 12-5p.m. during the interim.

Contact Sam Brown (sbb@uchicago.edu) with questions about using the map collection. Contact Taylor Hixson (taylorhixson@uchicago.edu) with comments or questions about the guide.

Mansueto Library 360° video

Explore the Mansueto Library’s Grand Reading Room, get a robot’s-eye view of the automated storage and retrieval system, and see preservation experts at work in the conservation and digitization laboratories in this 360° video.

How to view 360° videos

On desktop computers, use a web browser compatible with 360° playback (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera). Click and drag the mouse to adjust the frame. Set the video quality to 2160S (4K) for an optimal viewing experience.

On mobile devices, install the YouTube app, and visit https://youtu.be/fV6CAJsqWLA. Either tap and drag your finger to adjust the frame, or move the full device around with your hands.

About the Mansueto Library

The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library opened at the heart of the University of Chicago campus in 2011. It features a soaring elliptical glass dome capping a 180-seat Grand Reading Room, state-of-the-art conservation and digitization laboratories, and an underground high-density automated storage and retrieval system.

Learn more at mansueto.lib.uchicago.edu.

Exhibits In Memory of Charles E. Bidwell, Sociology and Education Scholar, 1932-2016

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: January 12 – March 27, 2017

Photo of Charles E. Bidwell, seated by a window

Charles Bidwell,
William Claude Reavis Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago

Charles E. Bidwell, was an accomplished scholar in the sociology of education.  He spent almost his entire academic career at the University of Chicago and his research sought to understand the organizational behaviors and functions in and around schools.

This one-case exhibit highlights a selection of his most heavily cited and influential works as well as his dissertation and accomplishments as an administrator, including editor for three important journals, the Sociology of Education, American Journal of Sociology, and the American Journal of Education.

Exhibits Feature Story Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book

Exhibition: Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book: Artists’ Books in German-speaking Space after 1945
Dates
: January 17 – March 17, 2017
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Die Schastrommel

“Die Schastrommel” no. 9. Bolzano: Österreichische Exilregierung. 1973. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Following the Second World War and with increasing intensity in the 1960s and 1970s, artists working throughout Western Europe explored new media and techniques, engaging in participatory and performative practices that tested the limits of language, representation, and action. Across Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and beyond, friendships formed amongst artists concerned with generating new avenues of access to their artistic aims, often realized in the form of public group events, as well as collaborative publications like art journals, inexpensive multiples, and artists’ books, all of which could be widely circulated and enjoyed independently of fine art institutions.

Drawing on the remarkable collection of rare artists’ books housed in the University of Chicago Library, Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book considers how the artist’s book emerged as a significant preoccupation in this milieu. The exhibition establishes links between artists affiliated with the reduced forms and focused design quality of concrete poetry and artists whose unruly, often messy materials and actions defined performance art. For all of these artists, books afforded sites for experimentation with visual and tactile experience, and the activity of “reading.”

Jörg Immendorff (1945-2007). "Hier und jetzt." Köln: König, 1973. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Jörg Immendorff (1945-2007). “Hier und jetzt.” Köln: König, 1973. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Referring to the way that language takes up space on the page, arrests the eyes, and requires perceptual interaction, works of concrete poetry test the graphical display of language, focusing on the material quality of letters and words. Concrete poetry often required that books take on unusual forms, such as the sequential unbound pages of Gerhard Rühm’s bewegung (1964) and Hansjörg Mayer’s fold-out book typoaktionen (1967), which reinvents the alphabet for tactile encounter. Artists’ books activate the process of reading, inviting the reader to play with and participate in how language and form produce meaning, as in André Thomkins’ “polyglot machine” Dogmat Mot (1965).

At the same time, artists’ books tend to deemphasize reading as a technique for understanding, foregrounding instead tactility, physicality, and materiality, as exemplified in the die-cut multi-colored laminate pages of Dieter Roth’s Bilderbuch (1957/1976). Indeed, Wolf Vostell’s 20-pound Betonbuch (1971), which encases in actual concrete his own book of sardonic proposals “to concretify” cities, furniture, and even clouds, may be read as a definitive if not paradoxical example of an artist’s book: unreadable in any conventional sense, it provokes and at the same time frustrates interaction.

Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago and UChicago Arts logos

In tandem with the year-long UChicago Arts Program Concrete Happenings devoted to Vostell, this exhibition aims to showcase artists’ books that intersect with and depart from the ambitions of concrete poetry and Fluxus.

Presented by the University of Chicago Library, with additional support generously provided by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago, UChicago Arts, and individual donors.

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

Related Events

Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book: Artists’ Books in German-speaking Space after 1945 is part of Concrete Happenings at the University of Chicago, a collaborative series of public exhibitions, screenings, symposia, and other programs that mark the return of Wolf Vostell’s colossal Concrete Traffic (1970) to public view following a major conservation effort. Concurrent exhibitions at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and Smart Museum of Art delve into other aspects of the Fluxus movement and Vostell’s work.  Among the programs on offer are Reading Fluxus Films and a two-part Concrete Poetry Workshop. Learn more about all of these projects at arts.uchicago.edu/concretehappenings.

First Week Events at the Library

Library Society Winter Reception for Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 5 p.m. exhibit viewing, 5:45 p.m. lecture and soundscape, 6:45 p.m. reception
The Joseph Regenstein Library (1100 E. 57th Street, Room 122)

Join the University of Chicago Library Society to celebrate the Special Collections Research Center exhibition Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book: Artists’ Books in German-speaking Space after 1945. Following an exhibition viewing, Christine Mehring, Chair and Professor of the Department of Art History, will present a lecture on highlights of the exhibition. A “Soundscape” inspired by select scores from items in the exhibition will be performed in collaboration with the Department of Music. A wine and cheese reception will follow the lecture and performance.

Free, but space is limited. Registration is required in advance at http://bit.ly/2gyeaEE. Free valet parking will be available in front of the Regenstein Library as of 4:30pm.

Presented by the University of Chicago Library Society.

Instructions for a Chicago Fluxus Opening

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3–6 p.m.
Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society (5701 South Woodlawn Avenue), Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library (1100 East 57th Street), and Smart Museum of Art (5550 South Greenwood Avenue)

A set of “instructions”—inspired by participatory Happenings orchestrated by Fluxus artist Wolf Vostell—will guide you across the University of Chicago campus during this opening celebration for three related exhibitions: Fantastic Architecture (Neubauer Collegium), Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book (Special Collections Research Center), and Vostell Concrete (Smart Museum). Enjoy a variety of free programs, food, and drinks at the three locations. A free shuttle will run between locations, but please bring your own thermometer.

Free, open to all.

Presented by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago Library, and Smart Museum of Art.

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 ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Take a virtual tour of Regenstein Library

Regenstein Library is a memorable part of the University of Chicago experience. Affectionately referred to as “the Reg,” the University’s largest library is a hub for students, faculty, and staff. The Library invites you to learn more about this unique building in a virtual tour.

The Reg’s brutalist architecture distinguishes it from the Gothic spires of the University’s first buildings. But don’t let the grey limestone exterior fool you; inside the Reg is a dynamic mixed-use space with a collaborative, open study floor; massive, quiet bookstacks; and innovative technology studios.

In the virtual tour, you can visit the Library and explore spaces such as the Special Collections Research Center and the newly redesigned A Level, as well as the Mansueto Library, which is connected to Regenstein by a glass bridge. The video also shows users how to find and borrow a book, get software and research assistance, and reserve a group study room.

If you have any questions about the Library, its services, or its spaces please Ask a Librarian.

Map Collection extends hours, GIS assistance

The Regenstein Library Map Collection has extended its hours Monday through Thursday: now opening at 10 a.m.

In addition to regular Map Collection use, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the academic quarter, GIS Resident Librarian Taylor Hixson will offer walk-in GIS assistance to patrons.

Taylor can assist walk-in patrons by:

  • identifying spatial data resources
  • helping organize, format, and join spatial datasets
  • finding journal articles, books, and other research about GIS
  • providing basic instruction for desktop GIS and web mapping tools
  • consulting with patrons about planning and managing spatial data research
  • linking patrons with advanced spatial analysis and computing centers at the university

Taylor is also available for scheduled GIS consultations in Crerar Library. To schedule a GIS consultation, e-mail her at taylorhixson@uchicago.edu.

The Map Collection is located on the third floor of Regenstein Library, and during the academic quarters its hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 12 -5 p.m.  Hours during interims are Monday-Friday 12-5 p.m.