Featured Electronic Resources

The Stalin Digital Archive (SDA)

StalinDigitalArchiveThe Library patrons now have access to the Stalin Digital Archive (SDA), a collaborative effort between the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) and Yale University Press (YUP) to create an electronic database of finding aids, to digitize documents and images, and to publish in different forms and media materials from the recently declassified Stalin archive in the holdings of RGASPI.

J. Arch Getty at UCLA in his introduction to the database writes:

Joseph Stalin’s life (1878–1953) coincided with the most momentous events of the twentieth century: two world wars, several revolutions in Russia and China, the Cold War, and the dawn of the nuclear age. Stalin was influential in the Chinese revolutions and communist victory, the Korean conflict, and the occupation of Eastern Europe. In terms of modern Russian history he played key roles in the revolutionary movement, the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Soviet industrialization, the terror of the 1930s, World War II, and the Cold War.

It is therefore difficult to imagine a more important primary source for these events than Stalin’s personal archive, major portions of which are now declassified and available for study. Although specialists have known and used these documents for some time in the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow, the Stalin Digital Archive (SDA) will now make them available electronically, eliminating the need to travel to Moscow and rendering the documents searchable and printable, actions that are difficult even in the Moscow archive.

Moreover, the SDA will for the first time make these documents accessible to students and specialists in other fields for both research and teaching. The SDA will provide translations of hundreds of selected key documents from Russian into English. These translated documents will be accompanied by scholarly annotations.

The importance of Stalin’s archive might be seen in two ways, external and internal.Stalin Externally, Stalin’s papers provide us with unparalleled information on the development of key historical events from the point of view of a participant. Obviously, because he was a dictator, everything of importance came across his desk. For example, these materials fully document Soviet industrialization and agricultural collectivization from the late 1920s. There is practically a full series of economic reports to and orders from Stalin over many years. Foreign relations, both with Germans and potential allies in the 1930s and with Cold War opponents in the 1940s, received his close attention. It will be possible to rewrite and restudy the histories of such important events of a violent century.

One of the differences between the Nazi and Soviet regimes is the level of sensitive documentation. Although the Nazis were meticulous in keeping some kinds of records, at the top we have practically nothing in writing about many kinds of decisions. We have almost no “smoking gun” documents about the decision to exterminate Jews and others, and not much about the inner politics of Hitler’s court and the bureaucratic empires of his courtiers. In short, Hitler did not write much down, nor was he interested in documenting his decisions.

The Stalinists, on the other hand, were not ashamed of or worried about recording their most sensitive (and evil) decisions. During the Stalinist terror of the 1930s, we have Stalin’s correspondence with his secret police chiefs N. I. Ezhov and L. P. Beria in which he ordered the arrest, torture, and execution of various people. When in 1940 Stalin and the Politburo decided to shoot more than 20,000 captured Polish officers at Katyn, they recorded their decisions in memos and resolutions, complete with justifications. Compared with that of the Nazis, the documentation on Soviet repression is full and rich, and some of the most important elements of it came from Stalin’s desk and trademark blue pencil.

In addition to enhancing our ability to study major events of the twentieth century with new materials, Stalin’s archive also has a fascinating internal, personal component. It shows us the nature and evolution of Stalin’s own thought, opinions, and decision-making process.

Consider, for example, the more than 300 books in his personal library. Stalin once told his lieutenants that if they weren’t reading several hundred pages a week, they were illiterate. The record shows that Stalin was a voracious reader of a wide variety of subjects who made detailed notations in the margins of what he read. His opinions about political, literary, and philosophical works are fascinating and revealing about how he thought.

Similarly, the archive contains hundreds of manuscripts sent to Stalin by others for his corrections and comments. He often answered them in written letters, but just as often he made detailed marginalia that show his reactions. Both types of reactions are preserved in his archives. Similarly, although most of his articles and speeches have been published, the drafts and rewrites of them are in his archive and show the evolution of his thinking as well as his consideration of word choice and discursive strategy.

The archive contains a wealth of Stalin’s correspondence with his lieutenants on important and secret subjects. These letters and telegrams show Stalin’s opinions of Lenin, other Bolshevik leaders, and world figures as well as his reflections on policy choices. When writing to his closest Politburo assistants, he was informal and often quite unguarded.

We have nothing like this level of documentation for Hitler or other twentieth-century dictators, and the scope of SDA documents is comparable with the archival source bases we have for world leaders in more-open societies. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that study of these documents will enrich, if not revolutionize, our understanding of the Soviet Union.

 

Access American Mathematics Society journals off campus with mobile pairing

American Math Society LogoThe AMS now offers mobile pairing, a way for users to “pair” their various web browsing devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops) with the University of Chicago network.  Once you have paired your device you can access AMS electronic products the Library subscribes to easily whether or not you are connected to our network.

Pair your device at ams.org/pairing/pair_my_device.html when you are on campus. 

Your pairing will last for 90 days and you can renew it as many times as you like.  More information is available here: http://ams.org/publications/mobilepairing.

PubMed now able to sort by relevance

PubMed recently rolled out a new relevancy sort feature, available from the “Display Settings” drop-list. Sort order is calculated based on an algorithm in which the frequency of search terms in citations and fields in which they appear are weighted, as well as the citation’s recency.  Read more at the NLM.

HHow to access relevance sort.

How to access relevance sort.

USGS information related to Pakistan earthquake

For up to date scientific information on the earthquake that occurred in Pakistan this morning, as well as historical information and background on seismicity in this region of the world, check out the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program site.

Summary of the September 24, 2013 earthquake (M7.7 – 66km NNE of Awaran, Pakistan, 2013-09-24 11:29:48 UTC)
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000jyiv#summary

More information on Pakistan seismicity
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/index.php?regionID=17

News media outlets around the world have been reporting on the massive (7.7 on the Richter scale) earthquake that struck Pakistan earlier today.   Included in the news are reports that a new island has been formed as a result of the quake.  At the time of this post, no scientific agency has either confirmed or denied this report.

University of Chicago readers who want to consult additional in depth resources in earthquake science can use these online e-books from the Library collection:

Earthquake Early Warning Systems
Editors: Prof. Paolo Gasparini, Prof. Gaetano Manfredi, Prof. Dr. Jochen Zschau
ISBN: 978-3-540-72240-3 (Print) 978-3-540-72241-0 (Online)

Instrumentation in Earthquake Seismology
Editors: Jens Havskov, Gerardo Alguacil
ISBN: 978-1-4020-2968-4 (Print) 978-1-4020-2969-1 (Online)

Synchronization and Triggering: from Fracture to Earthquake Processes: Laboratory, Field Analysis and Theories
Editors: Valerio de Rubeis, Zbigniew Czechowski, Roman Teisseyre
ISBN: 978-3-642-12299-6 (Print) 978-3-642-12300-9 (Online)

Nearly 120,000 ebooks now available on EBSCOhost

The University of Chicago Library now provides access to a new collection of nearly 120,000 ebooks on the EBSCOhost platform. This collection covers a wide range of academic subjects, and new content will be added every month from major publishers and university presses such as Oxford University Press, MIT Press, Greenwood Press, Brill Academic Publishers, and John Wiley & Sons.

Ebooks on the EBSCOhost platform are available online for unlimited simultaneous use. Individual titles can be searched in the Library Catalog and full text of the ebooks can be searched in Articles Plus. This ebook collection replaces a subscription collection previously available on the Ebrary platform. If a title is no longer available on Ebrary, please check the Library Catalog or Lens, as many of these titles are now available on EBSCOhost.  

Ebooks tab of University of Chicago Library homepage search boxThe nearly 120,000 titles from EBSCOhost join more than 1 million other ebooks available from the Library.  To search for ebooks only from a wide variety of providers, visit the Library homepage search box and select the Ebooks tab (pictured).

If you have any questions regarding the new platform or are having difficulty finding a specific title, please contact us. Librarians will be happy to help you locate electronic or print copies of the items and may be able to purchase additional electronic copies if needed.

Jazz Age ‘Chicagoan’ lives again online

The Chicagoan—a Jazz Age magazine fashioned after The New Yorker—enters a new era today as the University of Chicago Library launches a website that makes digitized copies of nearly every issue available online for the first time. Thanks to an agreement with Quigley Publishing, the magazine can be used freely by individuals for research and educational purposes.

Drawing of one of the Art Institute lions with its tongue out looking at a man and his dog

Art Institute lions on the cover of the Chicagoan, dated September 22, 1928

First published in 1926, the Chicagoan came on the scene just 16 months after the initial appearance of the New Yorker and was inspired by its editorial content and design. Fighting stereotypes of Chicago as a city dominated by crime, the Chicagoan promoted its home as a vibrant and sophisticated center of culture.  It sported modern cover art, literary and performance reviews, and other features that “translat[e] into prose and picture the gusto and glamor of this good town”—as its own advertising proclaimed.

The Library’s new Chicagoan website, which reproduces the magazine’s complete run from 1926 to 1935, minus a few missing issues, provides an opportunity to delve into this wealth of material on the literary, cultural, artistic, athletic and social milieu of Jazz Age Chicago. Visitors to the site can browse digitized images of the magazine’s vibrant covers and lively interior pages, can read full issues from cover to cover, or can use the site’s search feature to look for the names, places, or topics of their choice.  Such access will allow scholars as well as general audiences to sample the magazine or to readily discover stories, facts and images of Chicago’s cultural history for a wide range of purposes.  

“As an online, searchable resource the Chicagoan facilitates new avenues of study and the ability to zoom in and out on images, while preserving the original print volumes from excessive handling,” observed Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, & Special Collections and Curator of Rare Books.

For example, browsers may notice that the Art Institute and its iconic lions are featured twice on the magazine’s front cover.  On September 22, 1928, a standing, cartoonish lion winks and licks its lips at the sight of a bowler-hatted, bespectacled gentleman in a black suit carrying a small white dog.  On July 20, 1929, sun-drenched lions lie sedately on their pedestal in the foreground, while the orange shadow of the Tribune Tower and another of the city’s skyscrapers complete the scene behind them.  Searching for “Art Institute,” one can find, among more than 100 results, a humorous article from August 27, 1927, declaring the “distraught city athrob” over its inability to name the museum’s famous lions. The targets of the humor include Chicago’s politics, religious life, and policing:

From the first hint of the [lion naming] predicament . . . everything from mass-meeting to silent prayer has been tried and tried again.  The first mass-meeting was broken up by the police, who called the assembly a “red” congress and quieted its roars with tear bombs and the shillelagh.  The last prayer meeting dissolved when T. Lucus Piddle said “darn” after three hours of unavailing effort at his counterpane.  Still no name.

A drawing of the corner of the Marshall Field's building with the clock prominently featured and the heads of people standing outside

A Chicagoan cover featuring the clock on the Marshall Field’s building

Those wanting to study coverage of Chicago institutions in the 1920s and 1930s will find a wealth of additional examples. Searches for the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium, for Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott, for Soldier Field, Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park yield numerous results. A visitor entering University of Chicago in the search box will uncover more than 100 separate references throughout the 12 volumes of the magazine.  Snippets of text and markers guide the user to the pages where they will find their highlighted search term.

The road from forgotten magazine to rebirth in digital form involved several key individuals and events. Ceasing publication without warning in 1935, the Chicagoan slipped out of its city’s collective memory until the late 1980s, when University of Chicago Professor Neil Harris discovered a nearly complete run of the magazine while browsing the stacks of the Regenstein Library. Fascinated by the Chicagoan’s powerful cover designs, clever cartoons, insightful articles and fanciful art, Harris, now Preston and Sterling Morton Professor of History and Art History Emeritus, studied the magazine in detail, researched its history, and edited a book, with the assistance of Teri J. Edelstein, that reintroduced the Chicagoan to the world in 2008.

That book, The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age features a lengthy introduction by Harris that explores the magazine’s ambitions and historical context, before presenting carefully selected excerpts of the original magazine and one complete issue. Published by the University of Chicago Press, the book has been hailed as “top shelf” by the New York Times and as “a lush tribute,” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which declared that “Harris does a wonderful job of situating the magazine in the urban cacophony of 1920s Chicago.”

Harris hoped that the book would spark further research into the Chicagoan and its legacy, and the Chicagoan website is designed to facilitate such research. “I’m delighted that a full version of the Chicagoan will now be available online,” he said.  “First, because it offers access to a range of talented artists, critics, and writers. Second, because readers and researchers will have so powerful an index at their disposal. And third, because it relieves me of a guilt trip, having granted just a few of the contributors new life by including them in the book. Posterity can now make its own judgments based on the entire cast of characters.”

Staff members using the Zeutschel scanner in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

The Zeutschel scanner in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library‘s Digitization Laboratory (pictured) was used to scan bound copies of the Chicagoan in a face up position. (Photo by Jason Smith)

The digitization of the Chicagoan was enabled by the generous gift that University of Chicago College alumnus Patrick Spain, BA’74, made in memory of his wife Barbara M. Spain.  Mr. Spain works in the technology industry and founded or cofounded and led four successful Web-based companies: Hoover’s, Inc., HighBeam Research, Newser and First Stop Health. He has been a member of the University of Chicago Library Society Steering Committee since 2004 and is particularly interested in how technologies can make rare and hard-to-access printed material available in digital format to a larger number of people.

The opening of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library’s Digitization Laboratory in 2011 also enabled this work. The Laboratory’s new Zeutschel overhead scanner allowed the Library to scan bound volumes in house, in a face-up position, for the first time. The Zeutschel’s software was able to digitally adjust page images of the bound issues of the Chicagoan to compensate for the curvature at the volumes’ inner margins. This created clear images for readers.

Library staff worked with Bill Quigley, grandson of the original publisher, to secure permissions and with the Center for Research Libraries, the Chicago History Museum, and the New York Public Library to secure scans of issues missing in its collection. The Library is actively seeking the remaining missing issues for digitization and posting on the website, and is interested in acquiring print copies of any of its missing or damaged issues.

While the hunt for the last few issues goes on, researchers and readers around the world are invited to begin their own search for historical treasures among the digitized pages at chicagoan.lib.uchicago.edu. Their investigations will reinvigorate the 20th-century Chicagoan by applying a 21st-century perspective.

Read journals on your iPad using BrowZine

browzineDo you own an iPad?  Do you read scholarly journals?  Then BrowZine might be a great tool for you!

The Library has arranged for a subscription to the Browzine app for all University of Chicago users.  BrowZine assists users by presenting open access and Library-subscribed journals on a common newsstand.  The result is an easy and familiar way to browse, read and monitor scholarly journals across the disciplines or to have a convenient list of favorite journals titles at your fingertips.  BrowZine works with the campus proxy server, giving you access to your favorite journals on your iPad.

Articles accessed through BrowZine may be synced up with Zotero, Dropbox or several other services to help keep all of your information together in one place.

If you have any questions about BrowZine or would like a guided a tour, please contact crerar-reference@lib.uchicago.edu

 Download BrowZine from the App Store on iTunes (requires a UChicago network connection): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/browzine/id463787411?mt=8

If you need a little help getting started, BrowZine has this two-minute video tutorial to help: http://thirdiron.com/browzine-ipad-app/video/

(If you are already a BrowZine user, to access the full set of UChicago journals available in the trial, tap the Settings button, log out, then log back in selecting “University of Chicago” from the list of libraries.  You will be prompted for your CNetID and password to authenticate through the campus proxy server.)

This service will continue to expand and add new titles and features as time goes on.  Third Iron welcomes you to follow their progress on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thirdiron) or Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/third_iron) and reminds you to watch for notifications on your iPad that an update to BrowZine is available. 

Butler-Gunsaulus Collection now available online

The autograph letters, documents, and engravings of the Butler-Gunsaulus Collection have been digitized and are available online via the collection’s finding aid. Presented to the University of Chicago Library in 1910 by Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus, a preeminent collector of rare books and manuscripts, the source material concerning historic persons and events was amassed primarily by Chicago businessman Edward Burgess Butler. Though a number of the papers are of European origin and date from the sixteenth century forward, most were produced in America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Among the collection’s Civil War documents is, “Special Requisition of drugs and medicines for the use of the sick of the 2nd Regiment, Missouri Volunteers and of those of the other regiments remaining at the hospital, Boonville Fair Grounds, July 2, 1861,” shown here. Morphiae sulfatis and Aethiops antimonialis are but two of the drugs herein requested by Union Army surgeon Ernst Schmidt, medications needed to treat casualties of the First Battle of Boonville. During that engagement, which occurred two weeks earlier, seven of the Union forces were injured, and five were killed outright or mortally wounded. Confederate troops, moreover, sustained similar losses.

The requisition carries the signature of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, whose victory in Boonville, at first glance, seemed insignificant. The aftermath, however, proved otherwise as Federal troops secured and retained control of the Missouri River, and supporters of secession were driven from the region.

New online legal history resource

Researchers campus wide can now access the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History online via the D’Angelo Law Library. Here’s a description of the print version (xxK50.O94 2009):

The Encyclopedia is a six-volume illustrated (B&W photos) interdisciplinary reference work with about 1000 articles on these and many other history of law topics. Picture of 6 volumes of the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal HistoryThe Encyclopedia specifically covers eight areas of scholarly research interest:  ancient Greek law; ancient Roman law; Chinese law; English common law; Islamic law; medieval and post-medieval Roman law; South Asian, African, and Latin American law; and United States law. And, within each area, these major categories of law–contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law, administrative law, and constitutional law. Contributors included internationally-renowned legal historians such as Law School Professor Richard H. Helmholz who authored the articles on:  Compurgation; Ecclesiastical Law in English Common Law; and Marriage: English Common Law.

Each Encyclopedia article includes cross-references to related articles and a bibliography of additional readings. The Encyclopedia has a Topical Outline of Contents (arranged by the eight areas listed above), a Directory of Contributors, an Index of Legal Cases, and an extensive 260-page subject index.

 

Women and the law

March 8 is International Women’s Day.  To celebrate, here are some key resources on women and the law worldwide:

  • Gender Jurisprudence Collections (GJC)(database of the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) and Women in International Law Program (WILP)  of the American University Washington College of Law; international criminal tribunal cases on sexual and gender-based violence)
  • Gender Law Library (World Bank; legislation on women’s economic status in 183 economies; constitutional provisions, statutes, decrees and regulations, treaties on gender equality, family and inheritance law, labor law, and restrictions on women in countries worldwide; including WBL (women, business and the law) indicators)

Gender Law Library screen capture

Screenshot of OECDiLibrary's GI-DB (gender institutions database)