Dialogo: Exhibit to show how the Chicago school of sociology changed the field

Go out there and meet people
Dialogo – Spring/Summer 2015

Exhibits Feature Story Where the intellectual meets the personal

Curator Lauren Stokes makes invisible histories visible in an exhibition on LGBTQ life at UChicago

Lauren Stokes with her exhibition, "Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles"

Ph.D. candidate Lauren Stokes in the Special Collections Research Center Gallery with the exhibition she curated, “Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles.” (Photo by Joseph Scott)

University of Chicago History Ph.D. candidate Lauren Stokes curated the Special Collections Research Center’s spring exhibition, Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago.  With the exhibition’s final days in the gallery approaching, Stokes answered Rachel Rosenberg’s questions about her research process, and described the connections and tensions between the LGBTQ experience on campus and the life of the mind.

Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles is a project of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.  The project exhibition is on view in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery through June 12, 2015.  An associated web exhibit will remain online after the gallery exhibition closes.

How did you come to curate this exhibition, and what made you interested in doing so?

Following  the success of the 2009 exhibition On Equal Terms: Educating Women at the University of Chicago at the Special Collections Research Center, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality decided to sponsor a project on the history of LGBTQ life on campus. The University received a 5-star rating from the National LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index in 2012, but we knew very little about the work that it took to get to that point.

Homo t-shirt: "The University of Chicago is gayer than you think"

Ho-mo t-shirt. Donated by Scott Dennis. Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles. Collection. The University of Chicago Library.

I was hired because I had previously researched the history of LGBTQ life at my undergraduate institution, which shares the same mascot as Chicago, so that I can now joke that I am truly the world’s expert on gay and lesbian phoenices.

What challenges did you face in working in the archives and conducting interviews?  What were the most exciting discoveries you made?

Finding LGBTQ life in the archives is difficult because the terms that we use to describe what we are looking for are not the terms that would have been used in the past. More than with other projects I’ve worked on, I needed to do research before I could even do archival research, and I was indebted to previous work on Chicago’s LGBTQ history in order to provide a roadmap. Without the work of previous scholars, for example, I would never have been able to trace the network of “Boston marriages” among the first generation of female faculty and graduate students or have known where to find Gay Liberation in and around the University in the 1970s.

For oral histories, one of our biggest challenges was finding a diversity of narrators. In reaching out to narrators, we sought to span generations (resulting in a range from a 1958 JD to the 2012 AB), racial backgrounds, and sexual and gender identities and expressions.  Many of the first volunteers were highly engaged with LGBTQ politics while at the University, but we were also committed to obtaining the stories of people who may not have been “out” or not have been LGBTQ-identified while on campus. For some of these people, we had to convince them that their experiences were also a necessary part of the history we wanted to preserve.

Photograph from Chicago Pride Parade, 1991. Chicago Maroon, June 1991. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf7-03416-001, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Used with permission of the Chicago Maroon.

Photograph from Chicago Pride Parade, 1991. Chicago Maroon, June 1991. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf7-03416-001, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Used with permission of the Chicago Maroon.

While curating the exhibit, I then confronted the additional challenge of translating these “invisible” histories, often characterized by silence, into object-based histories. Established institutional and political communities were more likely to leave material evidence of their existence. Now that the oral histories that speak to a different experience are in the archives, I hope that people will continue to use them in order to tell more “invisible” stories in creative ways.

Finally, Patti Gibbons at Special Collections worked to secure the loan of a square of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt that remembers some of the students and alumni who were lost to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. The quilt reminds visitors of an important chapter in local and national history, but also speaks to the silences that characterize the LGBTQ archive—many of the people we would have wanted to speak to about the early years of Gay Liberation died of AIDS-related causes.

AIDS also affected the material archive in surprising ways—there are many stories of birth families throwing out the personal items of sons and daughters who died of AIDS-related causes, while partners, lovers, and friends in the gay and lesbian community were legally unable to do anything about it.

The UChicago square of the AIDS Quilt on display in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery

The UChicago square of the AIDS Quilt, Block #753, on loan from the NAMES Project Foundation.
The NAMES Project AIDS quilt square lists some of the students and faculty lost to the epidemic. (Image courtesy of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality)

Has your work on this exhibition enhanced your intellectual and professional development? 

Thinking in terms of an exhibition is very different from thinking in terms of a dissertation. Not only was I telling a story with objects rather than texts, but I was also telling a story that had to arise from a community, and that had to do justice to the 96 people who were willing to share their stories with us.

"Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles" web exhibit

“Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles” web exhibit. Visit lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/outinthequads/

I began with a great deal of anxiety about oral histories because I did not know if I would create “perfect” oral histories—what if I failed to connect with a narrator? What if I asked the wrong questions? It took the experience of several oral histories, and later the re-reading of those oral histories, before I became comfortable with the idea that “perfection” is not a useful concept for oral histories. An oral history is a conversation rather than a definitive statement of unassailable truth—but these are features of the method rather than problems to be solved.

Finally, I also had the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course about archival research as part of the project, “Sexuality and the Production of History” in Spring 2013. It was incredibly exciting to introduce students to archival research, and specifically how historians work with documents that at first glance may not seem to say much about sexuality. Those students also helped me to look at the documents in new ways, and their insights have filtered into the final product.

These same qualities—the value of collaboration and the ability to accept messiness and contingency as features of the sources that I work with—are also filtering into my other projects, which center on migration in German history.

How does this exhibit address the campaign for marriage equality? And what sort of impact do you want this exhibition to have on public conversations or future scholarly inquiries into LGBTQ history and rights?

The University of Chicago was one of the first universities nationally to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners in December 1992, and the exhibit documents the faculty, staff, and student activism that made that possible. That moment also resonates with our contemporary moment because of the number of people who wanted to think “beyond marriage” and towards new ways of imagining intimacy and community.

Visitors at the Opening Gala view the exhibition "Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles" (Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality)

Visitors at the Opening Gala view the exhibition “Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles.” Molly Liu, AB’13, left, served as an undergraduate intern who collected oral histories for the project. (Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality)

The exhibit also uncovers a number of surprising activist strategies that might be worth reclaiming in the present, including coalition work between Gay Liberation and African-American groups in the 1960s and 1970s and queer students and hospital workers in the 1990s. I want everyone to know that LGBTQ people have always been part of the University, and that they have always worked to transform the University in creative and productive ways.

Finally, I think that the exhibit shifts our understanding of the University perhaps even more than it changes our understanding of LGBTQ life: because it was a theme that came up in almost all of the oral histories, I wanted to use the exhibit to explore the tension between the possibilities and the constraints created by the University’s focus on the “life of the mind.” For example, some narrators reported that their process of coming out influenced their path of study—one narrator remembered dropping a Political Science major in the 1960s because he didn’t think he could be a gay politician, while some of our narrators from the 1980s chose to go to law school so that they could make a difference in the AIDS epidemic. At an even more basic level, some of the narrators from the 1960s chose Chicago in part because Illinois was the only state that had decriminalized sodomy. The experiences of LGBTQ individuals offer special insight into the ways that none of our intellectual lives can be separated from our personal lives.

People Sandra Roscoe, Reference Librarian and Bibliographer for Current Fiction, 1947-2015

A dedicated member of the Joseph Regenstein Library’s Reference Department for 39 years, Sandra Roscoe helped generations of students and faculty members find the resources they needed. She died of a stroke on Friday, May 29 at the age of 67.

“Sandy was the consummate reference librarian,” said Jeffry Archer, Head of Reference Instruction and Outreach at Regenstein. “She was passionate about helping patrons, bringing her extensive knowledge of our institution and our print and electronic resources to bear on any question until the answer, resource, or right person was found to fulfill the patron’s need.”

Sandra Roscoe

Sandra Roscoe in 2009 (Photo by Lloyd DeGrane)

Sandy began work at the University of Chicago Library in 1975 as an Assistant Reference Librarian and was later promoted to Reference Librarian. Beginning in 1980, she had selection responsibilities for current English and American fiction.

“Sandy was such a great resource for students,” said Judith Dartt, AM’06, the Digitization Manager for the Library’s Special Collections Research Center. “When I came here as a graduate student, I always received the attention and help I needed from her. Sandy did wonderful work for Special Collections, too, during the time she provided reference support.”

Sandy received her B.A. in English Literature with distinction and honors from Mount Holyoke College.  After two years of graduate study in English at Clemson University, she went to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she earned her M.S. in Library Science and was elected to Beta Phi Mu, the librarians’ honor society.

During the 1990s, Sandy participated actively in the development of the library catalog Horizon and served on numerous committees including the Media Review and Implementation and Digital Resources Delivery Group.  She enjoyed writing, edited the orientation newsletter in the early 1980s, and served as the Regenstein Coordinator of Public Information in the late 1990s, helping to supply information about the Library to campus publications and other media.  She served on the Reference Advisory Subcommittee of the Virtual Access Committee, and in the early 2000’s assisted with exhibition planning and provided reference service for Reader Services in Special Collections. 

“As our colleague, Sandy infused us with her excitement, sharing questions and resources that came to her while providing reference,” said Archer. “And she made us feel special, often bringing in baked goodies like her amazing ginger cookies.”

Sandy is survived by her brother-in-law, Kent Rigsby, and her niece, Dr. Dana Gossett. 

Donations in Sandy’s memory may be made to the University of Chicago Library’s Fund for Books, which supports the purchase of print and digital resources. To make a gift, contact the Library Development Office at 773-702-7695.

 

OnMilwaukee.com: Discovered box of photographs added to Earl Rosenthal Papers at UChicago Library

Meeting art historian Earl Rosenthal
OnMilwaukee.com – June 2, 2015

Extended Library hours June 5 – 7

To support students preparing for finals, Crerar, Mansueto and Regenstein will extend weekend building hours during reading period and finals week.

Mansueto will be open Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 until 12:45 a.m. Crerar and Regenstein will be open these days until 1:00 a.m.

The Regenstein 1st floor all-night study space will be open 24 hours until the end of finals on Friday, June 12.

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

Feature Story Students’ dedication to Library highlighted in Scavenger Hunt

What do the “Miss Joe Regenstein” pageant, a hunt for the Library’s largest bladed weapon, and the hatching of “Reg Eggs” have in common? All three were 2015 Scavenger Hunt tasks, and all demonstrated students’ love of the University of Chicago Library and its centrality to student life.

The history of Scavenger Hunt and the Library

Scavenger Hunt began at the University of Chicago in 1987, and has since become one of Chicago’s most heralded traditions. The event has received national coverage in publications such as The New Yorker, and was a subject of a 2002 documentary The Hunt. Every year, over four days in May, Scavenger Hunt teams compete for points obtained by gathering hard-to-locate objects and participating in challenging—and occasionally bizarre—events. The Scavenger Hunt list consists of over 300 activities and tasks, including the “Scav Olympics”, a blood drive, and a road trip to out-of-the way attractions. Student teams are generally affiliated with undergraduate residence halls and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), but also may include graduate students and alumni.

Over the years, the Library has worked with the Scavenger Hunt judges wishing to have items on the list related to our collections or campus libraries. Understanding the Hunt’s significance to the University’s culture, the Library has been very supportive of the tradition, allowing events and tasks as long as our campus libraries can maintain a scholarly environment. Library-related tasks in the past include the creation of “bibliodomes” and questions about little-known facts from the University Archives. For the 2015 Hunt, the Library was approached by the judges for help with several items from this year’s list.

Meet Miss Joe Regenstein

One of the main events of this year’s Scavenger Hunt was Item 252, a Miss Joe Regenstein pageant, held in Hutchinson Commons on May 7. I had the honor of serving as a guest judge at the proceedings.

Miss Joe Regenstein contestants.

University students participate in Miss Joe Regenstein pageant, part of the annual Scavenger Hunt on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Hutchinson Commons. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

Each Scavenger Hunt team had a “contestant” for the pageant which represented a section of the Regenstein Library, such as Miss Bookstacks, Miss A Level and Miss Art Reading Room. Contestants were judged in three areas: costumes, talent, and overall knowledge of the Library.

For the costume competition, students created elaborate outfits. Miss Bookstacks’s dress was crafted from pages of a book (though not from the library’s collections). Miss B Level’s costume included a replica of its compact shelving, while Miss Ex Libris’s included a toaster–complete with a bagel.

To demonstrate their knowledge of the Library, the contest included a Q & A session, led by the judges. While some questions were specifically about library research, most were designed to fit the spirit of the event, such as:

  • The Classics Reading Room is the quietest place in Regenstein. Two graduate students begin a fight over Herodotus and Thucydides. How would you break the argument up and preserve the peace?
  • A computer science student thinks that Crerar is best library on campus. Defend Regenstein’s honor!
  • It’s hard to find outlets on Regenstein’s A Level. How would you bring power to the people?

Despite the lighthearted nature of the questions, students demonstrated their knowledge of the organization and culture of the Library, often basing their responses on research conducted before the event.

Miss Classics in the talent competition.

Miss Classics Reading Room builds Regenstein Library with books. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

The final task was a talent competition. Contestants built models of Regenstein out of books, sang songs, and conducted skits. Miss Reference Desk—a.k.a. Alicia Wright, Class of 2015—composed a poem for her team entitled “An Ode to the Reference Desk”:

Worse than Clark Kent and his glasses
We hide in plain sight 
Everyday superheroes 
Making things right 
So the next time you come in 
And need a book on, I don’t know, Shamoo 
Don’t forget to give the reference desk worker 
A heartfelt “thank you”.

All of the teams were creative, funny, and demonstrated their deep affection for the Library. But in the end, the winner was Miss TECHB@R, who led the talent competition—answering tech support questions while balancing a computer keyboard on his head.

A special sword

The Library is often contacted by the Scavenger Hunt judges for help in identifying odd items in our collections for the list. This year, item 49 sought “the country and century of origin for the larger of the two bladed weapons that are property of the University of Chicago Libraries.” In this case, the item in question was in our Special Collections Research Center—a dress sword owned by Ethan Allan Hitchcock, part of the William Beaumont Collection.

RegEgg

RegEgg on Regenstein Library’s A-Level on Friday, May 8, 2015. (Photo by Julie Piacentine)


Reg Eggs hatch

On May 8, Scavenger Hunt teams gathered on the A Level of Regenstein for Item 101, the construction human-sized eggs. Each contained monsters, or costumed team members, who “hatched” and then escaped the A Level via the Library’s Block Garden to spread discord among the main Quads. Interested parties may view the hatching of the Reg Eggs via the Snichcock Team’s YouTube channel.

Scavenger Hunt and the Library’s place in student life

While the Library plays only a small role in the overall proceedings of Scavenger Hunt, it provides a wonderful opportunity for librarians to build relationships with students by working together on a favorite campus event—and for students to demonstrate their creativity, and ingenuity, and research skills, as well as their love of the Library.

 

 

 

People Alice Schreyer, Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections, leaves UChicago

Alice Schreyer will be leaving the University of Chicago Library to join the Newberry Library as the Roger and Julie Baskes Vice President for Collections and Library Services on August 24. Alice’s last day at UChicago will be July 17.

Alice Schreyer

Alice Schreyer

“Alice has accomplished a tremendous amount for the Library since her arrival in 1991,” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian at the University of Chicago. Serving initially as Curator and then Director of Special Collections through 2011, she fundamentally reconceived and expanded collections, programs, and spaces to emphasize and encourage the use of rare and unique materials by faculty and students at all levels. Among the collections added to the Library during Alice’s tenure are the Saul Bellow Papers, the Barbara and Bill Yoffee Collection of African-American Children’s Literature, the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana, and the Daniel Clowes Archive. Alice supported the retrospective conversion of Special Collections catalog records, the encoding of archives and manuscript finding aids in EAD, and the launch of the Aeon online request circulation system. An early champion of digitization of Special Collections materials, Alice led several grant-funded projects and helped guide the development and expansion of Library digital collections as co-chair of the Digital Collections Steering Committee. She also oversaw a transformative series of construction projects, including the reconfiguration that shifted Special Collections from three floors to two and created new stack and staff spaces on A-Level; the Rosenthal Seminar Room project that produced the Library’s first smart classroom; the HVAC project that addressed environmental needs of the collections; and the recently completed construction project that reshaped Special Collections’ first floor and created its new public face on the Mansueto pathway. She also directed Preservation from 2007-2011 as the Mansueto Library, with its new Conservation and Digitization Laboratories, was being planned and constructed.

Since 2011, the Library has benefitted from Alice’s leadership in a number of roles. She served as Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences and Special Collections from January 2012 to June 2014, creating the Library’s first unified humanities, social sciences, and area studies division; as Interim Library Director and Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections from July to December 2014; and as Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections and Curator of Rare Books since January 2015.  

Alice has also played a vital role in shaping special collections librarianship throughout the country. Before joining us, she worked at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Library of Congress, and the University of Delaware Library. She was the founding editor of the ACRL journal Rare Books & Manuscripts from 1988 to 1993 and a member of the ARL Task Force on Special Collections (2002-2006), for which she wrote “Education and Training for Careers in Special Collections Librarianship; A White Paper” (November 2004). Book collectors and librarians continue to refer to Alice’s essay, Elective Affinities: Private Collectors & Special Collections in Libraries (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2001), originally delivered at the Library of Congress and published by the University of Chicago Library Society. In addition to teaching courses on special collections librarianship from 2001-2012, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia since 2004, as Secretary from 2009 through 2014, and as Chair since January 2014.

“We will miss Alice greatly but are pleased to know that she will be nearby and that we will have the opportunity to collaborate with her as she takes on her new role at the Newberry,” Johnson said.

Memorial Day: Eckhart and SSA libraries closed, other campus libraries remain open

On Monday, May 25, Eckhart and SSA libraries will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday.

Crerar, D’Angelo Law, Mansueto, and Regenstein libraries will be open during their regular building hours. The All-Night Study Space on the 1st Floor of Regenstein will also remain open.

Current Exhibits Student artists exhibit at Regenstein during FOTA

Four student artists are exhibiting their work on the 1st floor of Regenstein Library through May 8 during FOTA, the student-run Festival of the Arts that encourages artistic endeavors across the campus. 

Ben Veres, a 2nd year in the College, has created an installation, “Slice of the Mind” (wood and paper), along the east wall of the 1st floor.  Ben’s work provides a small glimpse into the magnitude of learning and discussion that takes places on an average day at the University of Chicago. 

Jasmeen Randhawa, a 2nd year in the College, is exhibiting a series of five photographs entitled “Healthy?” on the east wall, exploring the relationship of students and their surroundings on the campus.   Her work poses the question “How much is too much?” Also along the east wall, Diane Lee, a 3rd year in the College, has 14 photographs on display in the style of magical realism.

Angela Zhang, a 3rd year in the College, is exhibiting her painting “Latitude (II),” a work of oil on canvas, on the west wall of the 1st floor.  A companion piece, “Latitude (I),” is on display at Harper Memorial Library.

For more information about FOTA, visit facebook.com/UChiFOTA.

Feature Story UChicago Library acquires papers of cartoonist Daniel Clowes

The University of Chicago Library has acquired the papers of cartoonist Daniel Clowes, Lab’79, giving researchers access to never-before-seen notes and sketches from the acclaimed comic book author.

The materials in the collection—notes, outlines, narrative drafts, character sketches, draft layouts, line art, book dummies and more—reveal the start-to-finish artistic process behind three of Clowes’ award-winning graphic novels: The Death-Ray (2011), Ice Haven (2005) and Mister Wonderful (2011). The collection also includes ephemera related to two major exhibitions of Clowes’ work.

Daniel Clowes at the "Comics: Philosophy and Practice" conference at the University of Chicago in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Daniel Clowes at the “Comics: Philosophy and Practice” conference at the University of Chicago in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

“Daniel Clowes’ work is renowned for its sharp satire and compelling characters. This collection offers rare insights into Clowes’ creative process and the challenges and complexities of his art. It will be an exciting resource for scholars at the University of Chicago and beyond,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center, which will house the Daniel Clowes Archive.

Clowes’ first professional work appeared in Cracked magazine in 1985. In 1989, he created the seminal comic book series Eightball, which ran for 23 issues through 2004 and earned him a large following and multiple industry awards.

Eightball generated several graphic novels, including Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, Pussey! and Ghost World, his breakthrough hit about the last summer of a teenage friendship. The 2001 film adaptation of Ghost World, based on a script by Clowes and director Terry Zwigoff, was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.

Ice Haven, an intricate tale of kidnapping and alienation in a small Midwestern town, and The Death-Ray, the unlikely story of a teenage superhero in the 1970s, both appeared in Eightball before their publication in book form. Clowes’ “middle-aged romance” Mister Wonderful began as a serialized comic for The New York Times Magazine was collected in an expanded hardcover edition in 2011. Materials related to Ice Haven, The Death-Ray and Mister Wonderful are featured in the Daniel Clowes Archive.

Clowes’ comics, graphic novels and anthologies have been translated into more than 20 languages, and his work has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions. A major retrospective of his work debuted at the Oakland Museum of California in 2012 and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2013.

L-R: Hillary Chute, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Seth, and Chris Ware at the at the "Comics: Philosophy and Practice" conference at the University of Chicago in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

L-R: Hillary Chute, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Seth, and Chris Ware at the at the “Comics: Philosophy and Practice” conference at the University of Chicago in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

“I couldn’t be more honored and pleased (and, frankly, astonished) to have my archival materials included in the University’s Special Collection,” Clowes said. “The University of Chicago, both the physical campus and the institution, was central, almost overwhelmingly so, to my formative life, the first 18 years of which were spent three blocks away from this very site, and there could no more appropriate place for these papers to find their home.”

Clowes has longstanding ties to the University of Chicago. Born and raised in Hyde Park, he attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools before moving to New York to study at the Pratt Institute. His grandfather, James Lea Cate, was a scholar of medieval history and historiography and a UChicago professor from 1930 to 1969. His stepmother, Harriet Clowes, worked in development at the University of Chicago Library from 1976 to 1980.

In 2012, Clowes participated in the “Comics: Philosophy and Practice” conference sponsored by the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago. That event brought together 17 world-renowned cartoonists for three days of public conversation.

Prof. Hillary Chute, the conference organizer and expert on contemporary comics, has included Clowes’ work in her courses and interviewed him for her book Outside the Box.

“Dan Clowes is one of the most important cartoonists working today—and, crucially, he helped to invent the ‘graphic novel’ field as we know it today in his decades of groundbreaking work. His work has been a huge influence on many, many cartoonists—and on me, both as a person and a scholar of comics,” said Chute, associate professor in English and the College. “I could not be more honored and thrilled that the University has acquired an archive by an artist of this caliber.”

The Daniel Clowes Archive adds to the University of Chicago Library’s growing collection of materials related to word and image studies. The Library holds an extensive collection of contemporary comics, including many comics and zines published in Chicago, as well as the Walter C. Dopierala Comic Book Collection, which contains more than 2,000 popular mid-century comic books. The Library plans to add to its comics archive in the years to come.

The Daniel Clowes Archive is open to researchers.

A University of Chicago news release

Alert Library Catalog & BorrowDirect offline, 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. Wed., 4/29

The Library Catalog and BorrowDirect will be unavailable between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 due to scheduled systems maintenance.

The Library Catalog will allow searches, but holdings and item availability information will not be displayed, nor will service links associated with holdings and items. My Account will also be unavailable.

Direct searches of the BorrowDirect catalog will also be unavailable while maintenance is underway.

UBorrow will remain accessible during this time.

Library Book Sale, May 4 – 8 and May 11

When: Friday, May 4 – 8 and May 11
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room A-10 (via stairs in main lobby)
1100 East 57th Street Chicago, IL 60637
Description:

The Library is holding a sale of more than 11,000 duplicate and discarded volumes in Regenstein Library, Room A10, accessible via the staircase in the entryway of Regenstein, beginning Monday May 4. These include hardbacks, trade and scholarly paperbacks, multi-volume sets, maps and miscellaneous material.

Prices start at $20/Hardbacks, $10/paperbacks/CDs, and $5/miscellaneous materials. Prices will be reduced each successive day with all remaining items free on the final day, Monday, May 11.

Monday, 5/4
Hardbacks/$20 Paperbacks/CDs/$10
Miscellaneous Materials/$5

Tuesday, 5/5
Hardbacks/$10 Paperbacks/CDs/$5
Miscellaneous Materials/$3

Wednesday, 5/6
Hardbacks/$5 Paperbacks/CDs/$3
Miscellaneous Materials/$1

Thursday, 5/7
Hardbacks/$3Paperbacks/CDs/$1
Miscellaneous Materials/$.50

Friday, 5/8
Hardbacks/$1 Paperbacks/CDs/$.50
Miscellaneous Materials/$.25

Monday, 5/11
FREE

Contact: Scott Perry
   
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

People Tsuen-hsuin Tsien, Curator Emeritus of the East Asian Collection, 1909-2015

Tsuen-hsuin (T.H.) Tsien, Curator Emeritus of the East Asian Collection of the Joseph Regenstein Library and Professor Emeritus of Far Eastern Languages and Civilizations (now East Asian Languages and Civilizations) of the University of Chicago, passed away in Chicago on April 9, 2015, at the age of 105.

Dr. Tsuen-hsuin Tsien (center) with Professor Edward Shaughnessy (right) and Mary Tsien Dunkel (left) at the conference “Texting China—Composition, Transmission, Preservation of Pre-modern Chinese Textual Materials” at the University of Chicago Library in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

Dr. Tsuen-hsuin Tsien (center) with Professor Edward Shaughnessy (right) and Mary Tsien Dunkel (left) at the conference “Texting China—Composition, Transmission, Preservation of Pre-modern Chinese Textual Materials” at the University of Chicago Library in 2012. (Photo by Jason Smith)

T.H. lived a long and extraordinarily full life. He liked to say that he was born under the last emperor of China, in 1909, in Taixian (today’s Taizhou City), Jiangsu, China. In 1927, before entering university, he participated in the Northern Expedition, a military effort of the Nationalist government of China that resulted in the unification of China. In 1928, T.H. entered Jinling University (the precursor of Nanjing University), from which he was graduated in 1932 with a degree in Library Science. After graduation, he worked first in Shanghai at the Jiaotong University Library, and then in Nanjing at the Nanjing Branch of the Peking Library (the forerunner of the National Library of China). In December, 1941, he was personally responsible for shipping 300,000 rare books from the library to the United States Library of Congress for safe-keeping during the war; the books left the port of Shanghai, then still an open city, just days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and made it safely to Washington. After the conclusion of the war, T.H. went to Washington to arrange for the return of the books. However, the outbreak of civil war in China made their return at the time impossible, and T.H. remained in America together with the books. In 1947, Herrlee G. Creel (1905-1994; Martin A. Ryerson Professor Emeritus of Chinese Studies at the University) invited T.H. to the University of Chicago to manage the Far Eastern Library (now East Asian Collection). T.H. remained in Chicago thereafter.

It is no exaggeration to say that T.H. Tsien was the most influential Chinese librarian in America. Not only did he develop one of the country’s greatest East Asian libraries at the University of Chicago, but he also trained a generation of students for East Asian libraries around the country including those who went on to head the East Asian libraries at Harvard and Princeton. In addition, his published scholarship continues to have a profound influence on the fields of Chinese bibliography, paleography, and science and technology. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1957; his dissertation, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1962 as Written on Bamboo and Silk: The Beginnings of Chinese Books and Inscriptions, is still regarded as a classic in the field. In 1978, after retiring from his position as Curator of the East Asian Collection, T.H. accepted an invitation from Joseph Needham to participate in Needham’s great Science and civilisation in China project. In 1984, T.H. contributed Vol. 5.1: Paper and Printing, the first volume in the series to be published under a name other than Needham’s. After this time, he remained active. In 2011, his book Collected Writings on Chinese Culture, was published by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press. It includes thirty essays on “Ancient Documents and Artifacts,” “Paper, Ink, and Printing,” “Cultural Exchange and Librarianship,” “Biographies of Eminent Scholars,” “Memoir of a Centenarian,” and “Essays about the Author.” The volume also contains prefaces by Edward L. Shaughnessy and Anthony C. Yu, his colleagues at the University of Chicago, relating many more of his contributions to the University and to scholarship.

T.H. Tsien has now rejoined his beloved wife Wen-ching Hsu, who was one of the first instructors of Chinese at the University, and his eldest daughter Ginger, both of whom passed away in 2008. He is survived by two other daughters, Mary Tsien Dunkel and Gloria Tsien, as well as by his nephew Xiaowen Qian, Assistant to the Curator for the East Asian Collection of the Regenstein Library. He has established a legacy that will endure as long as scholars continue to value books.

Conference: Does Human Rights Have a History?

Conference dates: Friday, April 10 – Saturday, April 11, 2015
Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 122, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Walk-ins are welcome.

When were “human rights” invented and what were the major stages of the evolution of their different elements? This two-day conference will bring together leading historians of human rights working across time and space to address these and other important questions. It will also honor the contributions of Michael Geyer, Samuel N. Harper Professor of German and European History and the College and a founder of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago, to the field of human rights history and to the development of interdisciplinary studies of human rights thought and practice at the University of Chicago.  See the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights web page for more information.  

An exhibit “Germany & Beyond: Human Rights and History” will be on view at the conference.  It presents a selection of Michael Geyer’s contributions to the development of the interdisciplinary field of human rights studies over the course of his career.

The University of Chicago Library is a co-sponsor of this event.  

Conference: Does Human Rights Have a History?

Exhibits One Man’s Trash . . . Discovering New Ancient Greek Texts

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: February 19 – June 15, 2015

Greek Vase Painting, Muse reading scroll

Muse reading a scroll.
Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 435-425 BCE

Imagine trying to sort out and assemble thousands of scattered pieces of jigsaw puzzles; imagine that they are as fragile and misshapen as cornflakes and that many pieces are missing. The task is only beginning to resemble the monumental efforts of today’s papyrologists, who continue to work on the Greek papyrus fragments uncovered in the late 19th century from the sands of ancient trash heaps located outside of the city of Oxyrhynchus (modern el-Bahnasa), Egypt.  It has been said that over 70 percent of surviving literary papyri come from Oxyrhynchus, among which are a new poem by Simonides, extensive remains of the Hypsipyle of Euripides, and a large part of the Ichneutae of Sophocles.

This one-case exhibit explores the various ways new works have come to light since the Renaissance, when so many manuscripts were rediscovered in monastic libraries.   Two new poems by Sappho, for example, were discovered  just this year in an Egyptian cartonnage.  In the Ptolemaic period ancients used recycled papyrus (much as we use recycled newspapers in papier-mâché) to construct cartonnages i.e. mummy masks and panels.  Modern science has opened the door for more discoveries.  Multispectral lighting helps us read palimpsests, which are manuscripts on which the original writing has been washed and/or scraped off in order that the parchment be reused for another text.  In France a team of scientists has used a particle accelerator to bombard an unopened, charred papyrus scroll from the Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum with X-rays.  The X-rays were so sensitive that they could detect changes in thickness where carbon-based ink had been used to write letters. The team could make out the Greek letters inside the tightly wound scroll.

Charred Papyrus Scroll

Charred Papyrus Scroll from the Villa of Papyri

The Archimedes Palimpsest under multispectral lighting

The Archimedes Palimpsest under multispectral lighting

Exhibits Bestiaries: Representations of animals in 20th century Romance languages and literatures

The Joseph Regenstein Library, Third Floor
April 10 – June 13, 2015

A.	A.	Woodcut image of a dolphin originally accompanying a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire in his work ““Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée” (1911).

Woodcut by Raoul Dufy from Guillaume Apollinaire’s “Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée” (1911)

Books representing animals metamorphose and mutate; they might creep, crawl, or leap onto your shelf, surprise you, pique your interest, and make you reconsider your conception of ‘animal’ and human altogether.  This exhibition dives into the 3rd floor stacks to seek out the most interesting textual and visual representations of contemporary bestiaries written in the Romance languages.  The final selection of books found in this exhibition illustrates the expanding definition of the bestiary and its portrayal of all things beastly in the 20th century.

B. Woodcut image of an ox originally accompanying a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire in his work “Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée” (1911).

Woodcut by Raoul Dufy from Guillaume Apollinaire’s “Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée” (1911)

 

 

 

 

Dissertation Procedures for Students: workshop

When: Thursday, April 9, noon – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: TECHB@R Regenstein Library, Room 160
Description: Are you a Ph.D. student planning to graduate in Spring 2015? Doctoral candidates use the ProQuest ETD Administrator, web-based interface for online submission, review, and publication of dissertations. In this session, we will review the procedures for submitting your dissertation electronically. Please feel free to bring your questions to the session. If you would like to review the ETD interface, visit: http://www.etdadmin.com/uchicago.
Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=731
Contact: Dissertation Office
(773) 702-7404
Tag: Workshops, Meetings, Student Events Calendar, Graduate Students, Training
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Citation management training by request

Are you interested in learning how to organize and cite your sources by using citation managers such as EndNote or Zotero? The Library provides citation management workshops for groups (3 or more people) by request during spring and summer quarters.

Training programs are available to members of the University of Chicago community. Workshops can be scheduled Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other times may be available by arrangement. Is your group working outside of Chicago? Citation management webinars can be requested for researchers off-campus.

Individuals needing help with citation managers are welcome to visit the reference desks at our campus libraries or Ask a Librarian.

Request a Workshop

Standing desk pilot on Regenstein’s 2nd and 3rd floors

Two tables that can be used as standing desks have been located on the north side of the 2nd and 3rd floor reading rooms in the Joseph Regenstein Library.  Each desk is close to power outlets and windows. The Library welcomes any feedback you may have on the standing desk pilot.

Monitors available for use with laptops on Regenstein’s upper floors

In addition to the eight computer monitors on the 1st floor, 10 computer monitors are now available on the upper floors of the Joseph Regenstein Library for use as dual monitor stations.  Users can plug in their own laptops or borrow a laptop from the TECHB@R to create a dual display.  Mac users will need a special adapter, which can also be borrowed from the TECHB@R.

Library internships for UChicago Social Sciences Division PhD students

The University of Chicago Library encourages applications for five summer internships for UChicago Social Sciences Division (SSD) PhD students as part of the Graduate Student Affairs “Partner Opportunities” program. Internships are designed to provide experience in alternative careers and to develop skills that will be helpful to the student’s academic work. Depending on the position and qualifications, Library interns will develop research and technical skills in one of the following areas: citation analysis, digital presentation, digital preservation, exhibition research, archival processing, and cataloging Chinese monographs.

1. Citation Analysis Internship.—Working with staff in the Dissertation Office and other subject specialists, the Citation Analysis intern will investigate dissertation research trends through a citation analysis of a selected body of recently completed University of Chicago dissertations. Citation analysis, a form of bibliometrics, is a tool used to help quantify and describe patterns and relationships in academic literature. The intern will conduct research to identify the types of resources appearing in the dissertation bibliographies and complete a written report summarizing the results of the investigation. This project will not require in-depth statistical analysis.The dissertations examined for this project will focus on subject areas relevant to the intern’s academic interest. Knowledge of Microsoft Word/Excel and good communication and writing skills are required.

2. Digital South Asia Library Intern.—The Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) intern will work with the Bibliographer for Southern Asia as well as digital library professionals and University academics to expand and enhance our presentation of data and texts supporting social science scholarship. We seek an SSD Ph.D. student with experience in computational analysis of numerical, geospatial, or textual data and an interest in further developing skills for the delivery of scholarly resources. DSAL (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/) is one of the most highly regarded sources of digital assets for research on the South Asiansubcontinent. Knowledge of South Asian languages is not required.

3. East Asia Collection Intern.—Working with the Chinese Cataloging staff, the intern will catalog Chinese books using existing cataloging records from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), an international bibliographic information system. The responsibilities also include verifying names in the records, importing records from OCLC to the Library’s online system and keeping statistics. Required qualifications: good level of proficiency in Chinese language and ability to work independently and effectively.

4. Special Collections Archives Assistant Intern.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center has an opportunity for an SSD PhD student intern to assist archivists in providing preliminary access to archival collections, as follows:

  • Preserving the University’s Architectural Legacy.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center is undertaking a multi-­year project to preserve and make accessible 117,000 architectural drawings held in the University Archives. These drawings date from the University’s founding to the present. The collection includes a wide range of different types of architectural design records: proposals, plans, elevations, sections, decorative detail drawings, perspective renderings, presentation drawings, landscape designs, and maps of campus buildings and grounds. The graduate student intern would assist archivists in compiling a searchable online database, organizing and assessing the condition of the drawings to determine proper preservation for the future.
  • Chicago Jazz Archive Inventory Project.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center includes the Chicago Jazz Archive. The CJA was founded in 1976 to preserve materials on the birth and early growth of Chicago jazz. The collections include recordings, publications, photographs, articles, posters, programs, ticket stubs, and other ephemera of musicians, clubs, record companies, and jazz organizations. The graduate student intern would assist in inventorying the recordings collection of jazz collector John Steiner.

5. Special Collections Exhibit Research Intern.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center has opportunities for SSD PhD students to conduct research in Special Collection in support of the following exhibition projects:

  • European Academic Émigrés at the University of Chicago.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center is planning an exhibition in Spring Quarter 2016, European Academic Émigrés at the University of Chicago. The exhibition will focus on European émigrés and refugees of the 1930s and 1940s who found an academic home at the University of Chicago. The graduate student would work with the exhibition curator to conduct research in SCRC collections to identify archival, manuscript, and rare book items for gallery cases, create biographies and other exhibition text panels, and assist in design of a web version of the exhibition.
  • Chain Reaction: Chicago Pile No. 1 and the Atomic Scientists’ Movement.—The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center is planning an exhibition in its gallery in Winter Quarter 2017, Chain Reaction: Chicago Pile No. 1 and the Atomic Scientists’ Movement. On December 2, 1942, Manhattan Project scientists on the University of Chicago campus led by Enrico Fermi created the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Following the use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Manhattan Project scientists lobbied successfully for the passage of the McMahon Act and the formation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The graduate student intern would work with the exhibition curator to conduct research in SCRC collections to identify archival, manuscript, and rare book items for gallery cases, to create biographies and other exhibition text panels, and to assist in design of a web version of the exhibition.

A resume and cover letter are required. Apply online by April 15.

Reserve group studies with improved Book a Room system

University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff looking to book a group study can now do so with an improved version of the Library’s Book a Room system.

The new version of Book a Room, launched March 26, has a streamlined design and new features that make finding and reserving a room faster, easier, and more secure:

  • Users can now book rooms using their CNet ID and password, eliminating the need to confirm booking requests via a separate email.
  • Users can now filter rooms based on the number of people in their group.
  • An improved mobile interface lets users view the same room grid on mobile devices as on laptop and desktop computers.

For more information, visit How to Book a Room. Or contact us with comments and questions.

2015 Platzman Memorial Fellowships awarded

The Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2015 have been awarded to 11 recipients.  Recipients will visit between June-October 2015.

Established by bequest of George W. Platzman (1920-2008), Professor in Geophysical Sciences, the research fellowships are named in memory of George’s brother Robert Platzman (1918-1973), Professor of Chemistry and Physics and member of the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago during World War II.

The annual Platzman Fellowships provide funds for visiting researchers whose projects require on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily but not exclusively materials in Special Collections, with priority given to beginning scholars.  This year’s group of fellows brings the total number of scholars supported by the Platzman program since its inception in 2006 to eighty.

Feature Story A rare manuscript is rebound

Conservation and digitization of a New Testament manuscript collection support scholarship and teaching

Most book conservators never have the opportunity to reconstruct a 16th-century Byzantine binding from scratch.  For Ann Lindsey, Head of Conservation at the University of Chicago Library, that opportunity came in February, in connection with a major project to digitize all 68 New Testament manuscripts in the Edgar J. Goodspeed Manuscript Collection.

Ann Lindsey reconstructs a 16th-century Byzantine binding

Ann Lindsey reconstructs a 16th-century Byzantine binding with historically sympathetic materials in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library’s Conservation Laboratory. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

The role of the Conservation program at the Library is to maintain collections over time, ensuring that they can be used by current scholars and future generations.  Most of the manuscripts in the Goodspeed Collection, which date from the 5th to the 19th centuries, have required only minor treatments, if any, to be handled safely during the digitization process.

But the John Adam Service Book, one of the last eight items in the Goodspeed Manuscript Collection to be digitized, presented an unusual case where the disbinding and rebinding of a rare manuscript were merited.  Originally handwritten in Greek in the 15th to 16th century on paper produced in Italy, it was rebound in the 1850s, with a typical 19th-century cloth cover, and illustrated by its namesake, John Adam, near Epirus, Greece.  By the time it was acquired by the University of Chicago Library in 1930, its spine covering was missing.  When Lindsey examined the Service Book in anticipation of digitization, she found that any further handling of the manuscript would cause the exposed spine and 19th-century oversewing to damage the original 15th- to 16th-century pages. 

Lindsey conferred with her colleagues in Special Collections and Preservation, and the group concluded that the original manuscript would be best preserved, and scholars would be best served, if the book were disbound, digitized, and then rebound, using historically sympathetic materials so that researchers could consult it as needed and get a better sense of what the book was like when it was first bound and used in the 16th century.

A forensic investigation of the John Adam Service Book’s binding  

Sixteenth-century thread from the John Adam Service Book

Above: Ann Lindsey points to the threads that remain from the John Adam Service Book’s 16th-century binding (Photo by Robert Kozloff). Below: A photomicrograph of thread from the John Adam Service Book. By analyzing the thread under a microscope, Lindsey confirmed that it is linen.

A handful of linen threads are all that remain of the original binding—but they provided the evidence that Lindsey needed to determine that the book originally had a Byzantine binding, a rarity in American libraries. 

Most European books from the 15th and 16th century were bound in the Western style, sewn from start to finish on top of cords, with each stitch going through all of the pages of the book.  The threads are then secured in multiple places along the spine. If the folds of such pages were cut as part of a subsequent rebinding process and the spine were to be broken later, the threads would come out in many small pieces.

The folds of the John Adam Service Book were cut when the book was rebound in the 19th century.  But the threads Lindsey found upon examining the book are long, notched, and made of linen—all signs that this manuscript originally had a Byzantine binding.  When employing this method, bookbinders cut a notch in the back section of each page.  They sewed the first section of pages to a wooden board, the second section to the first section, the third section to the second, and so on, tucking the thread into notches and securing it with link stitches.  Because a Byzantine binding was used, when the folds were cut and the 19th-century binding was later broken, the thread emerged in long pieces. 

Once Lindsey identified the type of binding, she was able to infer much about the book’s construction. Byzantine bindings used quarter sawn hardwood front and back boards, had decorative grooves, and were covered in goat skin.  A new binding made of historically sympathetic materials should include all of those features. 

“It’s Ann’s remarkable expertise in seeing and interpreting evidence that we all respect so much,” said Daniel Meyer, Director of the Special Collections Research Center.  In addition to her master’s degree in Library Science, Lindsey has a certificate of advanced study in conservation from the University of Texas and conservation experience gained at the Huntington Library and the University of California, Berkeley, before she came to Chicago to lead the Library’s conservation efforts.  Her knowledge of how to rebuild a Byzantine binding came from a special class entirely devoted to the subject. 

Disbinding and rebinding

Lindsey uses link stitches to bind the second group of pages to the first group, which she previously sewed to a front board made of quarter sawn white oak. Quarter sawing positions the wood’s rings almost straight up and down so that the board does not curve over time. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

Lindsey uses link stitches to bind the second group of pages to the first group, which she previously sewed to a front board made of quarter sawn white oak. Quarter sawing positions the wood’s rings almost straight up and down so that the board does not curve over time. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

With a plan in place to create a new binding that would resemble the original one, Lindsey painstakingly humidified each folio slightly so that the 19th-century glue would soften and could be removed with a microspatula, along with the binding threads. Lindsey then gathered folios into sets of four, which she “guarded” with Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste at the edges to strengthen it in preparation for rebinding. The sets of pages were carefully delivered to the Digitization Laboratory, also in the Mansueto Library, where high-resolution images of each page were created by Photographer Michael Kenny and will be posted to the Goodspeed website. 

Once digitized and returned to the Conservation Laboratory, Lindsey sewed the boards and pages together in the Byzantine style, attaching half the pages to the front board and the other half to the back board, before lashing the two halves together, lining the spine with linen, and sewing a heavy end band across the two boards and the newly reconstructed spine.  As the final step, she used a dark brown goat skin to cover and hold the book together. 

Lindsey greatly enjoyed the woodworking and leatherworking that the project required, but the stitching of the binding is her favorite part.  “The sewing is the process where you start putting it back together,” she said. “It’s the heart of the book—and its literal backbone.  It’s what makes a book work well.”

Why digitize the full Goodspeed Collection?

Digitization of John Adam Service Book

Michael Kenny prepares to digitize a page of the John Adam Service Book. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

The Goodspeed Manuscript Collection is the first collection of bound early manuscripts that the University of Chicago Library committed to digitize in its entirety—and that work is expected to be completed within the next year.  The Library’s Special Collections Research Center is digitizing materials from its archives, manuscripts, and rare book collections as funding permits in order to enhance access to scholars.   In choosing where to begin among the early manuscripts, Special Collections staff members were drawn to the Goodspeed Collection because of its focus and coherence. 

“The Goodspeed Collection was brought together for one principal purpose,” explained Meyer. “Edgar Goodspeed was working with other scholars on a new translation of the New Testament and gathered early manuscripts of the New Testament that could inform the translation.”

All the Goodspeed Manuscripts relate to the New Testament in some way. The John Adam Service Book is a trephologion, or festal menaion, a liturgical book that includes text for the great feasts that fall within the fixed cycle of services of the Orthodox Church, such as those for the Birth of the Virgin, The Great Martyr Demetrius, and the Birth of Jesus.

The Rockefeller McCormick New Testament, cove

The Rockefeller McCormick New Testament, cover, front (binding).

Edgar Goodspeed, DB 1897, PhD 1898, became Chairman of the Department of New Testament and Early Christian Literature in 1923 and soon after began seriously collecting New Testament manuscripts for the University of Chicago. Goodspeed regarded such manuscripts as essential to humanities research, just as laboratories are essential to the natural sciences, and expected them to be invaluable not only to his own work, but to the research of many at UChicago.

It seems safe to assume that if Goodspeed were alive today, he would jump at the opportunity to have the collection digitized, for he regularly sought ways to raise both scholarly and public awareness of the unique manuscripts at Chicago, and encouraged the publication of facsimile editions that would allow scholars to study the manuscripts from afar. His first major discovery, The Rockefeller McCormick New Testament, uncovered almost by chance in an art dealer’s shop in Paris in 1927, was an unparalleled historical and iconographical find, featuring a fine cursive hand, splendid gilt covers, and more than ninety miniature illustrations.  Only the second complete Byzantine New Testament manuscript to be brought to the U.S., it attracted sensational publicity in the press and on radio and was reproduced in a three-volume facsimile edition suitable for scholarly research by the University of Chicago Press in 1932. 

The attention generated by Goodspeed’s early collecting efforts helped to fuel interest in the acquisition of additional New Testament manuscripts and led to expanded faculty expertise in iconography and textual editing at Chicago. Many other acquisitions made possible by Goodspeed captured the imagination of scholars and the public, among them, the Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse.  The only known illustrated Apocalypse in Greek at the time, it gained renown for its 69 remarkable miniatures dating to roughly 1600.  A facsimile edition was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1940. By the time he retired in 1948, Goodspeed had built one of the most impressive collections of New Testament manuscripts then held at any American university.  In recognition of his achievement, this collection of early Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin New Testament manuscripts bears his name today.

Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse

The Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse, fol. 15r. John, Letter to Smyrna: Christ’s voice emanates from heaven, upper left; John stands at center, dictates to the deacon Prochorus who is writing, seated on bench at right.

The Goodspeed Collection continues to function as a treasure trove for scholarship and teaching, now fueled by the growing availability of the digitized facsimiles online. Current faculty who use the collection include Hans-Josef Klauck, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the Divinity School, who has taught a course on Revelation and the Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse using both the original manuscript and online digital facsimiles. “In my judgment, the digitization of the codex was an exciting experience and provided a great chance for better, more advanced and more exciting teaching in my very field,” Klauck concluded.  

Divinity School Dean Margaret M. Mitchell was a member of the original team that planned and obtained funding for the digitization project and has delved deeply into another item in the collection, the Archaic Mark—the first Goodspeed manuscript to be digitized. Resolving a 70-year debate, she collaborated with Library staff and technical experts in micro-chemical analysis and medieval bookmaking to definitively determine that this Gospel of Mark was not a genuine Byzantine manuscript but rather a fascinating late-19th- or early-20th-century forgery.  

The Library expects that more scholarly discoveries will be made, and additional students around the world will benefit as the remainder of the Collection is posted online.  Already, the Goodspeed Collection website has delivered an average of more than 38,000 pages per year to more than 2,800 users around the world, including 57 percent from North and South America, 30 percent from Europe, and 10 percent from Asia.

“When we began the Goodspeed Manuscript Collection project in 2005, the University of Chicago was among the first to propose digitizing entire manuscripts instead of selected pages,” explained Alice Schreyer, Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections. “We received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services for this innovative approach, which is now widely accepted. We are thrilled to be completing this important work, which will support many types of scholarship for decades to come.”

High-resolution images of 57 of the Goodspeed manuscripts are currently available online at goodspeed.lib.uchicago.edu.

Library Catalog improvements

The Library has released a new version of its Library Catalog, offering enhancements and new features to improve your search:

  • Basic and advanced keyword search forms have merged. There is now one tab with keyword searching, with an option to switch to advanced search.
  • Improved printing and exporting, including the ability to mark multiple records.
  • Search terms are retained when switching to a new search option.
  • Vernacular character searching for languages such as Korean, Russian, or Arabic, is now available in all keyword searches. However, the vernacular must be included in the catalog record.
  • Improvements have been made to call number browse. Call number prefixes (such as f or s) are now ignored.
  • More information, including ebook platform, for full-text links in catalog records.
  • Search limits are now joined by Boolean OR rather than AND.
  • Catalog records can now be formatted into Chicago style.
  • Greatly improved Zotero support.
  • WorldCat search option added to the header of the catalog for quick access.

In the next few months, additional enhancements will be coming, including:

  • Improved access on mobile devices.
  • Catalog records details will be removed from tabs.
  • Addition of more Tables of Content to more book records.

For more information regarding the Library Catalog, view our help guide. Comments and questions about the Library Catalog can be submitted via our Catalog Feedback Form.

The University of Chicago Library Catalog

The new version of the Library Catalog