Feature Story UChicago launches Kuali OLE and new Catalog

Academic librarians develop open-source software to meet faculty and student needs

The University of Chicago Library is pleased to announce its launch of the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) and a new Catalog based on VuFind.

An open-source, community-based library management system, Kuali OLE was created by a partnership of some of the nation’s leading university libraries, including the University of Chicago Library. Kuali OLE, which provides the Library’s technical infrastructure, is intentionally designed to function with a wide range of user interfaces chosen by various individual libraries, including Chicago’s new Catalog.

“We are especially pleased that by implementing Kuali OLE and VuFind we will be providing both a business system and a patron access module that are open source—planned, designed, governed and owned by the library community,” said James Mouw, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at University of Chicago and Treasurer of the Kuali OLE Board. “Community ownership of key library systems affords us the ability to manage, develop, and enhance our infrastructure as new technologies emerge and the needs of our scholarly community evolve. The ability to move quickly and effectively, working in partnership with other academic research institutions with similar needs is something we have not had with commercial systems.”

Kuali OLE

Kuali OLE was founded by a partnership of research libraries that now includes University of Chicago, Indiana University (lead), SOAS—University of London, Lehigh University, Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University. The partners pooled resources and expertise beginning in 2008 with several grants from the Mellon Foundation to develop this next-generation library system. Chicago and Lehigh University are the initial implementers. Other partners plan to adopt the new system in summer 2015.

Kuali OLE partners

Kuali OLE partners

UChicago Library staff members have played an integral role in the development of Kuali OLE since the design phase in 2008 and continue to do so by developing specifications, participating in software development, undertaking migration planning, providing subject specialist expertise, and testing new development. They hold several key leadership positions on the Kuali OLE team, and dozens more are participating in working groups supporting development activities. Development continues with the next Kuali OLE release due in summer 2015.

New University of Chicago Library Catalog

UChicago Library staff members have tailored VuFind, a library catalog originally developed at Villanova University, to meet the needs of local users. Design goals for the Catalog were drawn from an extensive series of interviews with UChicago faculty and students, conducted to ensure that the new tool meets the needs of researchers. Initial designs were refined throughout the first half of 2014, following the public beta testing of the Catalog by users beginning on February 14, 2014.

Alumna tries out the new Library Catalog

Sylva Osbourne, AB’14, tries out the new Library Catalog. (Photo by Lloyd DeGrane)

“Participating in the VuFind open-source project has allowed the Library to take advantage of commonly requested features already developed by the VuFind community while giving us the latitude to create functionality unique to UChicago needs,” said Elisabeth Long, Associate University Librarian for Digital Services.  “The level of engagement by our faculty and students in helping us design this new Catalog has been especially gratifying.”

The new Catalog features a simple, clean visual design while retaining all of the functionality that patrons identified as valuable in the pre-existing UChicago systems. It also adds new features requested during interviews, including display of the current availability of items on the search results page, as well as easier access to ebooks and ejournals.

“The successful, coordinated launch of these two new Library systems, designed to improve discovery and management of growing collections, could not have been accomplished without the creativity and talent of University of Chicago Library staff,” said Alice Schreyer, Interim Library Director and Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections at the University of Chicago. “We are proud to collaborate with our colleagues to develop these new systems that will benefit researchers from around the world.”

Alert New Catalog launched, most Library services restored

The University of Chicago Library has launched its new Library Catalog, and most Library services that were temporarily interrupted during the transition period are now restored.  Borrow Direct is not yet available. As of today, Lens and the previous Catalog are retired.

We are aware that some system functions may be working slowly. This will be addressed in the coming days.

For information about how to use the new Catalog, visit the Catalog Help page or contact us through our Ask a Librarian service.

If you have saved records using My Discoveries in Lens and wish to retain them, there is still time to place a request to have these migrated to the new Library Catalog.

We encourage you to report any difficulties you encounter in using the new Catalog, so that Library staff can quickly diagnose and resolve them.


‘Particle Fever’ screening and discussion on Aug. 26 to feature film’s star scientist

particle-fever“Particle Fever,” the new, award-winning documentary that follows six scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider—the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet—will be shown at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26. One of the scientists who stars in the film, Nima Arkani-Hamed, as well as physicists from UChicago and Fermilab, will participate in a discussion following the screening.

See more and RSVP for this free screening.  

“Using the New NCBI Variation Viewer to Explore Human Genetic Variation” webinar August 13th

NCBI will offer the webinar “Using the New NCBI Variation Viewer to Explore Human Genetic Variation” on Wed., Aug. 13, from 12:00 – 1:00pm  CDT.  Learn how to find human sequence variants by chromosome position, gene, disease names and more.  Additional details at the NCBI news site.

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2762824590748330498

New printing service coming to libraries and residence halls in August

07/31/14 update: The transition to the new printing service has been rescheduled to begin the week of August 11. See below for further information.

In early August, a new printing service will be rolled out to campus libraries and residence halls. The service will introduce upgraded equipment for printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, as well as a new and improved software interface for web-based printing.  Microform scanners will also be upgraded as part of the new service, and an overhead scanner for bound materials will be added at the Joseph Regenstein Library.

Starting Friday, August 1, users will no longer be able to use the current web printing service or to add value to their cards using the current web revalue service.  Printing from library computers and from personal computers with print drivers installed will continue to work throughout the transition.  Current copy card machines will still allow users to add value to their current cards using cash only.  The Library encourages users to avoid adding value to current cards or purchasing new copy cards until after the new printing service is in place.

Starting the week of August 11, the new equipment will be installed and the new web service will be launched at printing.uchicago.edu.  There may be brief periods in the week of August 11 when printing services are unavailable at a specific location while the old equipment is removed and the new equipment installed.

The cost of printing, copying, scanning, and faxing using the multifunction devices will remain the same as the 2013-14 prices for these services. Scanning at microform scanners and the new overhead scanner will cost the same as scanning at the multifunction devices: 2 cents per page.

Users who currently have an outstanding balance on their UChicago Card or recently issued library card will have the balance transferred to the new system automatically.  Users with older library cards or copy cards will need to ask for assistance in manually transferring any outstanding balance on their old card to a new card.

We appreciate your patience as the work to move to the new system is completed.  For more information about the upcoming changes, see printing.uchicago.edu.

“BLAST in the Cloud” webinar July 30th

NCBI will offer the webinar “BLAST in the Cloud” on Wed., July 30, from 2:00 – 3:30pm  CDT.  Since late June, web and standalone BLAST have been available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).  This webinar will show you how to log on to AWS and deploy the NCBI-BLAST Amazon Machine Image (AMI).  Prior knowledge of using web and standalone BLAST is required.

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8126572163773355778.

Alert Library service interruptions begin July 15

7/24/2014 update: The implementation has been rescheduled to begin on August 1. See below for new service change dates.

The University of Chicago Library will begin implementing its new Library Catalog and new library management system, Kuali OLE, on August 1 at 5 p.m. In mid-August when implementation is complete, the current Catalog and Lens will be retired.

Accessing library services during the transition

From July 15 to mid-August, UChicago patrons will be able to search the current Library Catalog and Lens, check out materials, and place Scan & Deliver and online purchase requests, but some services will be interrupted, delayed, or delivered in different ways:

From July 15 to mid-August

  • Borrow Direct is unavailable. UChicago patrons may use UBorrow or Interlibrary Loan to request books that are not available locally.
  • Recall of materials from other borrowers is unavailable. UChicago patrons may use UBorrow or Interlibrary Loan to request books that are checked out during this period.

From August 1 to mid-August

  • Checkouts, returns, and other circulation information will not be updated in the Catalog and Lens during this period. If you discover that an item is not on the shelf, you may place an Interlibrary Loan request. For information about equipment circulated from the TECHB@R in Regenstein, please contact the TECHB@R staff in person.
  • You will not be able to view your current checkouts or renew your materials online using My Account. Users needing assistance with circulation matters may complete this circulation web form or visit a Library circulation desk in person.
  • Online requesting of items from the Mansueto Library will be unavailable through direct links from the Catalog and Lens. To request items from Mansueto, complete this circulation web form, select “Mansueto Library” in the “Library or Collection” field, and provide the call numbers of the needed items. You may also request assistance from Mansueto circulation staff in person.

When implementation is complete and normal services are restored, we will post a follow-up announcement. At that time, the current Catalog and Lens will be retired. Please visit our News site for directions on how to transfer records from My Lists in the Catalog and My Discoveries in Lens in July.

We apologize for the inconveniences that Library users will experience during the transition period but look forward to the enhanced features that will be available in the new Catalog. To preview the new Catalog, visit the Catalog beta site.

For the latest information about the implementation and launch of the new Catalog and Kuali OLE, visit our Library News site. If you have any questions about the implementation, please contact us through our Ask a Librarian service.

Hanging sculpture Crystara temporarily removed from Crerar Library atrium

Image of Crystara

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers prepare to lower Crystara from the Crerar Library atrium.

For the next several weeks, visitors to Crerar may find that the main lobby feels a little emptier than usual. For the past 30 years, visitors to Crerar have walked under Crystara, a 30’ long aluminum and Waterford crystal sculpture by artist John David Mooney. Suspended above users as they made their way to the bookstacks and other library resources, the sculpture was designed to refract the sunlight coming in through the atrium skylight, changing the look of the entire lobby as the sun moved across the sky. Now, in order to repair the roof and replace the glass in the skylight, Crystara has been temporarily taken down.

Over four days, from July 7 to 10, workers lowered, disassembled, and moved the sculpture to the east side of the first floor. Work on the roof is scheduled to be finished mid-September, at which point the workers will return and the sculpture will be returned to the atrium. In the process, the new glass in the skylight should make Crystara gleam like new and help to fulfill the artist’s intention in a way viewers haven’t seen for years. 

After the break, see a slideshow featuring more pictures from the entire process.


Friday, July 4: all libraries closed

In observance of the University holiday, all campus libraries will be closed on Friday, July 4. Regular summer hours will resume on Saturday, July 5.

For a complete list of hours for all locations and departments, see hours.lib.uchicago.edu.

John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize winners announced

Congratulations to Elle Sullivan, Michael Begun and Sydney Reitz, the winners of the 2014 John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize for College Students.

1st place prize
REM Sleep: The Enigma that Remains by Elle Sullivan

2nd place prize
A History of Inconceivability by Michael Begun

2nd place prize winner
Starting with the Man in the Mirror: Psychopathy, Mirror Neurons, and the Legal System by Sydney Reitz

This year there was a tie for 2nd place.

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

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

First Prize is $1500
Second Prize is $500

Crerar Library roof update #2: Lobby and first floor furniture removal

Starting on July 2, the next steps in the Crerar Roof replacement will begin with the removal of the lobby furniture, including the benches, chairs, and display cases, as well as the tables on the east side of the first floor reading room. On July 3, computer tables on the first floor will the removed, but will returned as soon as possible. The rest of the furniture will be returned once work has completed. CSIL classrooms and computers, seating behind the reference desk, and reference bookstacks will be unaffected.

The furniture removal is necessary to prepare for work on the lobby skylight. We apologize for the inconvenience. Additional study areas are available on the 2nd, 3rd, and lower levels. Please contact crerar-circulation@lib.uchicago.edu with any comments or questions.

Exhibits Past, Present, Future: The Evolution of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Hospitals – new web exhibit

nurse photofile image A web version is now available of the Crerar Library exhibit: Past, Present, Future: The Evolution of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Hospitals.  This is a online archive of an exhibit that was shown in the Crerar atrium glass cases in 2011-2012.

Exhibit Description: A hospital and medical school at the University of Chicago were envisioned by the university founders.  That plan, initiated with a joint medical program with Rush Medical College, was followed by the development of the world-class University of Chicago Medical Center on campus.  This exhibit provides an overview of the history and evolution of the medical school program, the hospital facilities and their technology, and medical partnerships with other Chicago area hospitals.

Crerar Library roof update: gravel removal starts June 16

The next phase in the Crerar Library roof replacement project starts June 16th with the removal of the existing gravel on the roof. Work on the east side of the roof is scheduled for June 16th-24 and the west side for June 25-July 3, weather depending. The gravel removal is done via a large vacuum machine that generates a noise similar to an engine; please keep this is mind when settling on an area of study in the library on those dates. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please contact crerar-circulation@lib.uchicago.edu with any comments or questions.

Eckhart summer quarter hours

Eckhart Library hours will have the following hours for the summer quarter, June 23rd – August 30th.

Our hours are:

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

For specific days or the hours for other campus libraries, see hours.lib.uchicago.edu.


Crerar summer interim hours

Crerar Library building and service desk hours will be reduced for Summer interim, June 14th – 22.

Building hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8am – 10pm
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 8am – 8pm

Circulation hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday, June 15: Closed
Sunday, June 22: Noon – 5pm

The reference desk will be closed Saturdays, June 14 and June 21. For specific days or the hours for other campus libraries, see hours.lib.uchicago.edu. Summer quarter hours begin Monday, June 23rd.

Scientific Data: open-access publication with detailed dataset descriptions

Nature Publishing Group has launched Scientific Data, a new open access publication that, according to the publication, “aims to address the increasing need to make research data more available, citable, discoverable, interpretable, reusable and reproducible,” while also fulfilling some requirements of funder-mandated data management plans. 

More from the press release:
Data Descriptors, Scientific Data’s article type, are peer-reviewed, scientific publications that provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets, including the methods used to collect the data and technical analyses supporting the quality of the measurement. Data Descriptors are a combination of traditional scientific publication content and structured information curated in-house, and are designed to maximize reuse and enable searching, linking and data mining. 

Scientific Data logo

VSCSE Data Intensive Summer School, Jun 30-Jul 2

The University of Chicago Research Computing Center Presents…
VSCSE Data Intensive Summer School
June 30 – July 2, 2014
Regenstein Room 122

Are you ready to apply the principles of data intensive computing in your research?

 The University of Chicago Research Computing Center, in partnership with Northwestern University, is one of 20 sites across the US that will host the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering Data Intensive Summer School.  The interactive workshop will be delivered through high-definition videoconferencing technology, enabling synchronous audio/video Q&A. Attendees will participate in hands-on lab activities with on-site support from skilled computational specialists from the RCC and Northwestern University.

web:   http://rcc.uchicago.edu/news/vscse2014.html
email: vscse@rcc.uchicago.edu

This school focuses on the skills needed to manage, process and gain insight from large amounts of data. It is targeted at researchers from the physical, biological, economic and social sciences. The Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE) helps graduate students, post-docs, and young professionals from all disciplines and institutions across the country gain the skills they need to use advanced computational resources to advance their research.  The Data Intensive Summer School will cover the nuts and bolts of data intensive computing, common tools and software, predictive analytics algorithms, data management and non-relational database models.

Meals and refreshments will be provided each day. See http://rcc.uchicago.edu/news/vscse2014.html for a program guide and registration information.  

Crerar Library roof construction begins May 19

On May 19, workers will begin constructing scaffolding around Crerar Library in preparation for the roof replacement and façade repair. This work may be noisy at times; please be aware of this when planning your work in Crerar. Additionally, the sidewalk along the east side to the north corner of the building will be closed to pedestrian traffic, however both main entrances will remain open.

Full construction will begin on June 16th and is scheduled to continue through the summer until Sept. 26. Further updates on the project will be provided. Please contact co-Director of the Crerar Library Barbara Kern with any questions – bkern@uchicago.edu.

EndNote Workshop (Webinar) Tuesday, May 13, 5:30-6:30 pm

Endnote imageLearn about the desktop citation management software EndNote from the comfort of your home or office in this online webinar offered by the Library.  Topics covered include creating and managing libraries, importing references from online databases, importing and managing PDFs and creating formatted bibliographies and citations in Microsoft Word. Registration is required.

Register here.

Lecture: Diffusion MRI of traumatic brain injury – May 8, 3pm

Diffusion MRI of Traumatic Brain Injury

Michael Vannier / Professor, Radiology, University of Chicago

Thursday, May 8, 2014 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Kathleen A. Zar Room | Crerar Library

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a public health problem of immense importance and is endemic among recent military veterans, participants in contact sports, and accident victims. Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging has potential to become the non-invasive tool of choice for TBI structural assessment. Dr. Vannier’s research team has developed a roadmap for diffusion MR imaging in traumatic brain injury to advance the field and deliver the benefits most effectively. In this lecture the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of life long injuries due to TBI will be introduced, and visualization of the magnitude and extent of brain injury using diffusion MRI will be illustrated.

Cookies and refreshments will be served

About the speaker:

portrait of Michael Vannier

Dr. Michael Vann

Michael Vannier, M.D., joined the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago in 2004. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering; a fellow of the American College of Radiology; and a member of the NASA/U.S. Space Foundation Hall of Fame. He has held distinguished professional positions at Argonne National Laboratory, Emory University, University of Iowa, and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Vannier currently serves as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery. 


BIOBASE Knowledge Library (Proteome/TRANSFAC) Training

When: Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Where: Crerar Library, Computer Classroom
5730 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL
Description: Interested in finding out what’s known in the scientific literature about a particular gene, disease or drug? Want to apply that information to high-throughput data analysis? Interested in finding out about transcription factors related to your research? Learn to search the BIOBASE Knowledge Library (BKL) by topic or multi-gene data sets. Lunch is included.

12:00-1:00 Lunch break
1:00-2:30 ExPlain

Cost: free
Contact: John Crerar Library
More info: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1494
Tag: Workshops, Free Food, Training
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

“Virtual Anatomies” lecture on Apr. 30 @ 3 PM

Virtual Anatomies:  How Computers are Transforming Studies of Musculoskeletal Form and Function

Paul O’Higgins / Foundation Professor of Anatomy & Head of the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, Hull York Medical School

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Kathleen A. Zar Room | Crerar Library 

The present revolution in computing power and graphics capabilities promises a transformation in how anatomists will understand and investigate musculoskeletal form and function. Modern morphometric and statistical methods allow us to quantify three-dimensional forms from diverse imaging modalities to compare them and assess variation and associations. These methods have wide application from comparative anatomy to medicine. Beyond morphometry, methods from engineering such as finite elements analysis and multibody dynamics allow anatomists to directly relate form to function. For anatomists this should represent a transformation of possibilities for research, yet decades on from the key advances, progress is slow and the literature remains relatively small.  This presentation will review the state of the Virtual Anatomical arts in relation to studies of the musculoskeletal system and consider barriers to application and uptake that might be profitably addressed in future.     


After qualifying in Medicine, Professor Paul O’Higgins completed a PhD and lectured in Anatomy at the University of Leeds, and then at the University of Western Australia. From 1994 he was Reader, then Professor of Anatomy, at University College, London. His research uses computational approaches to understand the evolution, form and function of the skeletal system. He has published 3 edited volumes, 140 full length articles and co-authored and co-supervised the development of morphometric and finite elements software packages that are used widely in comparative and medical anatomical studies. Clinical experience includes several years in Accident and Emergency Medicine in both Leeds and Western Australia. Since 2003, he has been Foundation Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences at The Hull York Medical School, England.

Zar Symposium on data to be webcast live April 25

Thanks to recently received support from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, the April 25th Kathleen A. Zar Symposium will be webcast live at http://uchic.ag/live  

Zar Symposium: DataData: Collecting, Using, Managing
3rd Biennial Kathleen A. Zar Symposium
April 25, 2014
The John Crerar Library
The University of Chicago

Data is captured by computers and instruments on a continual basis, flooding researchers in images, video, audio, logs, simulations, and more.  This data is crucial to research, teaching and learning at academic institutions around the world.   Understanding the impact of data on researchers, libraries and institutions as a whole is critical to achieving long-term data preservation, appropriate sharing among communities, and enabling transformative new science.  This symposium will provide participants with an understanding of how data is used in real world applications, as well as examples of collaborative efforts between institutions, groups or individuals specific to collection, use, access, preservation and overall management of data.

Full Schedule (Central Time): http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/crerar/zar/kaz2014schedule.html

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal Funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN‐276‐2011‐00005C with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Kathleen A. Zar Symposium is a biennial event held at the John Crerar Library of the University of Chicago and made possible through the support of Howard Zar.

Developing Assignments that Use the Library: workshop

When: Monday, April 28, noon – 1:00 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122A 
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: This course is designed for faculty, instructors, and graduate students interested in teaching.

Have you found that your students aren’t using the academic sources you expect for their assignments? Do your students seem to lack basic library research skills? In this program, University of Chicago librarians will highlight ways you can integrate library research instruction into your courses to promote the acquisition of the skills necessary to complete research assignments. We’ll demonstrate ready-to-go online tools that can be integrated into your Chalk site, and discuss the different types of in-class instruction the Library can provide. At the end of the session, we’ll work together to create some sample assignments designed to help students learn how to use the Library’s collections and online resources.

Julia Gardner, Head of Reader Services, The Special Collections Research Center
Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach, Regenstein Library
Debra Werner, Librarian for Science Instruction and Outreach, Crerar Library

Registration is recommended. To register, please select the website below.

Contact: Rebecca Starkey at rstarkey@uchicago.edu or 773-702-4484.

Register: https://training.uchicago.edu/course_detail.cfm?course_id=1248
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
Tag: StaffTrainingSeminarsWorkshopsGraduate Students
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

Exhibits Feature Story Imaging/Imagining the Human Body

Imaging Imagining exhibition - 3 images of handsThree-venue exhibition at the University of Chicago examines anatomical representation from artistic and scientific perspectives throughout history

March 25–June 20, 2014

A multi-venue exhibition curated by two physicians at the University of Chicago explores the history of anatomical representation and the evolving relationship between the arts and medical science. On view from March 25–June 20, Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation is jointly presented in three parts by the Special Collections Research Center (The Body as Text), Smart Museum of Art (The Body as Art), and The John Crerar Library (The Body as Data) in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The exhibition includes over 60 works in a variety of media—drawings, rare manuscripts, sculptures, engravings, and radiographic images—dating from the Renaissance to today. It features both imaginative depictions of the human figure made by artists as well as scientific images of the body, and traces the interplay of artistic and medical imaging throughout history.

“In popular perception, the artist depicts the human figure for aesthetic or expressive purposes, while scientific images of the body lay claim to objective representation,” write the curators, Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. “In fact, the story of anatomical representation is far more complex.”

As Imaging/Imagining reveals, early anatomical illustrations required close collaboration between anatomists and artists, illustrators, and engravers. These images reflected scientific conventions but were also weighted with aesthetic, social, political, and religious meaning. As anatomical images became more medicalized, the disciplines diverged. Following the advent of the X-ray at the turn of the twentieth century, the divide widened as new imaging technologies allowed medical practitioners to visualize the body as never before. At the same time, modernism and abstraction radically transformed artistic practice, which had for centuries emphasized the centrality of the well-drawn figure. Today, modern medical imaging continues to inform artists’ perceptions of the body while still relying in part on the subjective hand of an expert to manipulate and reinterpret layers of data into a visual form.

“A project like Imaging/Imagining transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries in a way that enriches our understanding,” said Julie Marie Lemon, Program Director and Curator of the Arts|Science Initiative in the Office of the Provost at the University of Chicago. “The exhibition is an example of the sort of sustained dialogue the Arts|Science Initative seeks to foster between artistic and scientific forms of inquiry within the University and beyond.”

The exhibition’s themes will be explored in greater depth through several public programs, notably the talk on Thursday, April 17 at 5 pm, “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging” by Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Exhibition Sections

Imaging/Imagining runs concurrently across three venues, each with a dedicated section that contributes to the larger themes of the exhibition.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Text

March 25–June 20, 2014
Special Collections Research Center, Joseph Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street
Monday–Friday, 9 am–4:45 pm; Saturdays, 9 am–12:45 pm (when University of Chicago classes are in session); closed Sunday

The Body as Text explores the history of anatomical representation from the Renaissance to the turn of the twentieth century. It features illustrated anatomic texts, like Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica and Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, that map the body’s complex systems and functions, as well as prints, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and radiographs. The objects on view are drawn from the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center and the Smart Museum of Art.

Together, the works prompt viewers not only to examine the intent of the image makers and the intended function of the image but also to explore our contemporary understanding of the human body in the context of a broad history of anatomical representation and scientific progress.

The Body as Text is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian, Special Collections.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Art

March 25–June 22, 2014
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday until 8 pm; closed Monday

The Body as Art gathers images of the body from a range of historical periods and considers the extent to which they conform to established representational conventions or seem instead to reflect the artist’s own observations or expressive goals. It features works drawn from the Smart’s collection and the holding of the Special Collections Research Center. Highlights include figurative etchings; sculpture by Edgar Degas, Henry Moore, and Jacques Lipchitz; a cubist portrait by Jean Metzinger; prints by Otto Dix; and a sketchbook of watercolor drawings by Ivan Albright.

This section of the exhibition asks visitors to consider the enduring role of figure drawing in academic art study; the relation between artistic and scientific abstraction; the depiction of bodily suffering in wartime; and what art and medicine have to offer each other in the pursuit of accuracy, humanity, and empathy, when it comes to representing the body.

The Body as Art is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives.

The Body as Art is made possible by Smart Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Data

March 25–June 20, 2014
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue
Monday—Saturday, 9 am–4:30 pm; closed Sunday

The Body as Data examines the data revolution of modern medical imaging that has transformed anatomical representation and how we view the body. This data revolution occurred when the basic concepts behind x-ray technology combined with the capabilities of computers. The result is imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans that produce vast amounts of data which is then processed into modern anatomical representations.

These images often claim scientific neutrality and are viewed with a clinical gaze, yet they are more than objective and unaltered pictures of the body. They represent the body broken apart into bits of data that are then manipulated to produce a myriad of visually interpretable images. These images have in turn informed artists’ perceptions of the body and further pushed the boundaries of how we view the human form.

The Body as Data is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine in collaboration with Stephen Thomas, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, and Adam Schwertner, fourth year medical student at the Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago.

Related Programs

Family Day: Ultrasounds, Exquisite Corpses

Saturday, April 5, 1–4 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Drop by the Smart for an afternoon of family-friendly art activities. Combine ultrasounds with the ultimate Surrealist parlor game to make exquisite corpse drawings from ultrasound images of your internal structures. The ultrasound machine will be operated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and co-curator of the exhibition Imaging/Imagining.*

Free. All materials provided. Activities are best for kids ages 4–12, accompanied by an adult.

*The purpose of the ultrasound demonstration at the Smart’s Family Day is educational only. The ultrasound machine is not being used for any medical or diagnostic purpose.

The Body in 3D

Thursday, April 17, 3–5 pm
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue, Kathleen A. Zar Room

Drop by Crerar Library and watch a 3D video tour of the human body including the brain and other internal organs. Using images captured with contemporary medical scanning technologies this looping film will run every 5-10 minutes. 3D glasses will be provided.

Lecture: “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging”

Thursday, April 17, 5 pm
Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street, room 122

Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, author of X-Ray Vision: The Evolution of Medical Imaging and its Human Significance, will explore the exhibition’s themes in a free public lecture. Dr. Gunderman is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Free. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

How to Draw Hands

Thursday, April 17, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

The human hand is notoriously hard to draw. Learn some tricks and techniques during a fun and supportive sketching session.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.

Drawing the Body with the Body

Thursday, May 15, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Enjoy a performance by Mordine & Co. Dance Theater and take part in a gesture drawing and sketching program. The dance, choreographed by Shirley Mordine, is inspired by works on view in Imaging/Imagining. Performing Artists: Simone Baechle, Danielle Gilmore, Joseph Hutto, Emily Lukasewski, Michael O’Neil, and Melissa Pillarella.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.


Imaging/Imagining is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. It is presented by the Special Collections Research Center, Smart Museum of Art, and The John Crerar Library in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Images (from left to right): Detail from Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, 1858, Rare Book Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

Walker Evans, Untitled (Two hands), n.d., printed by the Chicago Albumen Works in 1980, Gelatin silver print. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Arnold H. Crane, 1980.107.

X-ray of a hand holding a feather duster from Walter König’s 14 Photographien mit Röntgen-Strahlen, 1896. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine, The University of Chicago Library.

Media Images

Download high-resolution images on Dropbox.

Media Contacts

C.J. Lind, Associate Director, Communications, Smart Museum of Art, 773.702.0176, cjlind@uchicago.edu

Rachel A. Rosenberg, Director of Communications, The University of Chicago Library, 773.834.1519, ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu