Spaces

Stories about buildings, renovations, special purpose spaces, equipment such as printers, etc.
Hours & Access – special hours and access restrictions (e.g., restrictions at D’Angelo during finals).

Favorite Library sections of new Social Sciences faculty

Which sections of the library do faculty members enjoy the most? The fall issue of Dialogo, the University of Chicago Social Sciences Division magazine, introduced its new faculty members in interviews that included this question.  The answers give us some insight into their diverse influences and suggest the vital role that the Library plays in faculty research and teaching.

Joel Isaac

Joel Isaac, John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, Associate Professor

Joel Isaac is a historian focused on social and political thought in the United States and how the Cold War shaped political ideologies. His current research examines the revival of 18th-century categories of political and moral thought in the 20th century through more modern idioms: neoclassical economics, analytical philosophy, decision theory, and empirical political science. His first book, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn (Harvard, 2012), was awarded the Gladstone Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2012.

Isaac’s favorite section of the Library: “The Special Collections Research Center in the Regenstein Library.  Before I came to Chicago, I made some pilgrimages across the Atlantic (from Cambridge, UK) to use the SCRC.  Now its riches are on tap whenever I need them.  I confess I get a special charge from reading the papers of former UChicago faculty who have deposited their papers in the archives of the SCRC.  It’s a thrill to see the University through their eyes.”

Destin Jenkins

Destin Jenkins, Department of History, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018), Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of History (7/1/2018-)

Destin Jenkins’s research as a historian centers on the linkages between the American state, capitalism, racial inequality, and the built environment in the 20th century. His forthcoming book, tentatively titled “Bonded Metropolis: Debt, Redevelopment, and Racial Inequality in Postwar San Francisco,” argues that the practices of municipal debt finance redistributed wealth upwards, reinscribed racial inequality, and became a constraint on democratic state power.

Jenkins’s favorite sections of the Library: “Regenstein Library is phenomenal. My favorite section is arranged by call number, E.185. From small pamphlets proposing solutions to the ills of late 1960s ghetto life to thick volumes dealing with black employment, most of the material in this section deals with the political economy of black life. The most interesting book I’ve found is a 1919-1920 report, “Colored Women as Industrial Workers in Philadelphia.” It’s been especially interesting reading the report alongside W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Philadelphia Negro (1899). When Du Bois wrapped up this comprehensive study, at once sociological and a moral and political reflection on race and human civilization, he concluded that Philadelphia’s black women were largely confined to work as domestic workers. As elsewhere, World War I had thoroughly transformed the labor market. In Philadelphia black women arguably helped to facilitate industrial development, and, as track repair workers, inspectors, and porters, helped to maintain the city’s physical infrastructure. The Consumers League of Eastern Pennsylvania saw these opportunities as creating “a new day” for black women. I am looking forward to discussing this pamphlet and exploring the conditions under which black women toiled with students in my fall course, ‘Histories of Racial Capitalism.’”

Headshot of Ryan Jobson

Ryan Jobson

Ryan Jobson, Department of Anthropology, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019), Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology (7/1/2019-)

Ryan Jobson is a social scientist and Caribbean cultural critic. His research and teaching engage issues of energy and extractive resource development, technology and infrastructure, states and sovereignty, and histories of racial capitalism in the colonial and postcolonial Americas. His first book manuscript, “Deepwater Futures: Sovereignty at Risk in a Caribbean Petrostate,” is an ethnographic study of fossil fuel industries and postcolonial state building in Trinidad and Tobago. A second research project will comprise a historical ethnography of oil and bauxite development in Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

Jobson’s favorite sections of the Library: “As a scholar of the Caribbean, I enjoy exploring texts and materials produced in and about the region. I am particularly fascinated by original documents from the 18th and 19th century that I stumble upon in the stacks. On one of my first trips to the Reg, I was surprised to find a collection of late 19th century photographs of the Pitch Lake in Trinidad—the largest global reserve of natural bitumen asphalt. I later discovered that the photographs were donated to the university by the Barber Asphalt Co. on the occasion of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The gift coincided with efforts to structurally improve the roadways throughout the city, many of which were paved with Trinidad Lake Asphalt including Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard. In my courses, I draw on anecdotes like this to demonstrate the enduring connections between places like Chicago and the Caribbean. Evidence of these connections often lurks in corners of the library or on the pavement beneath our feet.”

Headshot of Alexander Torgovitsky

Alexander Torgovitsky

Alexander Torgovitsky, Department of Economics, Assistant Professor

Alexander Torgovitsky’s research is focused on developing new methods for causal inference and counterfactual analysis with economic data. His recent work has focused on developing tools for detecting and measuring state dependency (“stigma” effects) in unemployment dynamics. Other recent work has provided tools for extrapolating inferences from studies of small research populations to larger groups, with implications for understanding behavior and for policy making.

Torgovitsky’s favorite section of the Library: “I enjoy the student-run coffee shop (Ex Libris). The coffee is great, and I like the way many of the facilities at UChicago are run by students, unlike at many other private universities. It reminds me of my undergraduate institution, and I think it helps foster a strong sense of academic community.”

Alice Goff, Department of History, Assistant Professor

Headshot of Alice Goff

Alice Goff

Alice Goff is a historian of modern German cultural and intellectual life. Her work focuses on the relationships between material objects and political thought in the 18th and 19th centuries. Goff’s current research traces the history of artworks caught up in the looting, iconoclasm, and shifting boundaries of German states during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars and the consequences of their displacement for German political, religious, and intellectual practice at the beginning of the 19th century.

Goff’s favorite section of the Library: “For browsing, I most enjoy the folios or oversized sections of the library. No matter the call number, the folio shelves always have something monumental and strange to offer: the most lavish exhibition catalogues, the most beautiful atlases, the most unwieldy information, though unfortunately also the most cumbersome to get back to the office.”

Headshot of Mikhail Golosov

Mikhail Golosov

Mikhail Golosov, Department of Economics, Homer J. Livingston Professor in Economics and the College

Mikhail Golosov is an economist specializing in macroeconomics, public finance and political economy. His research explores economic theories related to wars over resources, tax systems, and strategic communication. He is an associate editor of Econometrica and the Review of Economic Studies.

Golov’s favorite sections of the Library: “I like to read social science books that are not directly related to economicssociology, history, philosophy—so I often gravitate towards those sections of the library. Researchers in those disciplines study human society, just like economists do, but often have a very different perspective. I find that I can learn from that a fair bit. Steven Pinker’s book The Blank Slate was one of the most fascinating books I read recently.”

Headshot of Peter Hull

Peter Hull

Peter Hull, Department of Economics, Assistant Professor

Economist Peter Hull develops novel statistical techniques to answer policy questions in education and health care. Currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research, he will come to the University of Chicago campus as a Becker Friedman Institute Research Fellow in 2018, and will join the Department of Economics faculty in the summer of 2019.

Hull’s favorite genres: “Apart from econometrics textbooks (only somewhat kidding), I’m torn between biography and science fiction. At their best, both genres amaze me in their ability to illustrate a set of foreign ideas, places, and times, all through a strong narrative structure; if only more academic papers had that ability! Recently I’ve been addicted to Robert Caro’s The Power Broker and five-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, while every winter am excited to crack open Gardner Dozois’ most recent Year’s Best Science Fiction short story anthology.”

Read more about new 2017 Social Sciences Division faculty members in Dialogo.

Holiday closing November 23-24, 2017

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, November 23rd, and Friday, November 24th. The Center will reopen at 9:00 am on Monday, November 27th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Scared of the stacks? A new 30-minute workshop offers tips for students

Person in bookstacks.

Photo by Brad Busenius.

The Halloween season can be scary, but the stacks shouldn’t be! If you have trouble finding books on the shelf, or are just intimidated by Regenstein’s bookstacks, no need to fear. In our new 30-minute program Scared of the Stacks? Tips for Successfully Finding Books in Regenstein”, our librarians will provide an overview of Regenstein’s stacks, and offer advice on finding items in the Library quickly and easily. We’ll also explain some stacks mysteries, including what that little f before the call number means, and what to do if the B Level compact shelving doesn’t move.

We’re sure that after attending this workshop, browsing the stacks will no longer be tricky, but a real treat! Register today!

Programs start in the Techbar (Regenstein, Room 160).

  • Monday, October 30, 10:00 – 10:30 am Register
  • Monday, October 30, 3:00 – 3:30 pm Register
  • Tuesday, October 31, 11:00 – 11:30 am Register
  • Tuesday, October 31, 1:30 – 2:00 pm Register

Study carrels on first floor of Crerar

Some study carrels have been relocated from the upper floors of the Crerar Library to the first floor to provide additional study space.

Crerar Library 1st floor study carrels

University to create computer and data science hub in John Crerar Library

Exterior view of the John Crerar Library building renovations

Exterior view of the John Crerar Library building renovations. (Illustration by Jennifer Fifield)

Renovations beginning this spring will provide a vibrant new home in the John Crerar Library building for the Department of Computer Science and the Computation Institute. Included as well are renovated library spaces to provide a range of research services for faculty and students on campus. Combined, these efforts will transform the building into an exciting campus hub for collaboration, instruction, research and support, especially around computing and data science.

The work on the building’s top two floors, which began in March, will create a state-of-the-art academic space including closed and open offices, conference rooms, spaces for experimental research, graduate student offices and a large gathering area for departmental seminars, workshops and distinguished speaker lectures. The design creates an interactive environment to support the collaborative integration of the Department of Computer Science with the Computation Institute and anticipates the changing needs of the department. Windows will be added to the building’s façade on the top floor and skylights to the roof in order to allow natural light into the deep floor plan.

On the first floor, the Computer Science Instructional Laboratory will be expanded to accommodate growing student interest and demand for Computer Science course offerings.

Crerar 1st floor rendering

Renovations to the building’s first floor will add a new services desk and a café. (Illustration by Jennifer Fifield)

“We are building a modern space that invites and fosters collaboration,” said Michael Franklin, the Liew Family Chair of Computer Science. “Computing is increasingly impacting all aspects of our lives, and data science is becoming central to a growing number of disciplines. These new spaces will attract people to build a community around these crucial technologies.”

The first floor will continue to serve users of the John Crerar Library. A new services desk in the lobby will be a gateway to library research services and the collections remaining in the building. A café will be built as part of the renovated lobby to provide an energizing place for informal interactions. These alterations, together with collaborative spaces and teaching/seminar spaces, will make the first floor a focal point for faculty and students across the University interested in learning, experimenting and working with new software, technologies, and programs around data science such as geographic information systems or GIS; collaborating on innovative and emerging programs around data-driven discovery and digital media; and accessing information and research resources.

“The library’s newly renovated spaces will allow us to continue providing excellent services and be a leader in new, innovative programs around data science and data-driven discovery that will support faculty and students across the campus.” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian.

Rendering of Crerar renovations

Renovations in the Crerar Library building will create a state-of-the-art academic space for the Department of Computer Science and the Computation Institute. (Illustration by Jennifer Fifield)

The library collections remaining in Crerar are located in high-density compact shelving on the lower level. Adjacent to the collections, in an area that receives natural light, a newly renovated space for quiet study, as well as group study rooms, will be created as part of the building project. Materials that have been relocated out of the building will continue to be available through the request feature in the Library’s online catalog.

The Department of Computer Science currently resides in the Ryerson Physical Laboratory building, and the Computation Institute is located in the Searle Chemistry Laboratory building. The scope of computing research and collaboration across campus has outgrown both spaces. The new Crerar project will help fulfill the University’s ambition of expanding and enhancing the Computer Science Department and creating opportunities for new and creative ways to engage and foster collaboration across different fields of research.

“We’ve planned this adaptive reuse project so that the entire campus can benefit from the changes at the Crerar Library,” said Executive Vice Provost Sian Beilock. “The renovation will help create inviting spaces and new opportunities for accessing and understanding information that bring students, faculty and staff together.”

A University of Chicago news release

Crerar’s 2nd and 3rd floors close for renovations

Starting Monday, March 20, the 2nd and 3rd floors of Crerar Library will be inaccessible to Library users due to the start of renovations. Group study rooms will be unavailable, and study areas will be limited to the 1st floor and Crerar lounge. Both of these areas are collaborative zones. Quiet study at Crerar will resume when construction of a new lower level study space is completed.

Books and journals in Crerar are located on the lower level in compact shelving, with a selected reference and unbound journal collection on the 1st floor.  Additional science books and journals are located in the Mansueto Library.  Please check the Library Catalog for more information about specific items.

If you have any questions about finding material in the collection or the renovations, please contact Crerar Circulation or Director of the Science Libraries Barbara Kern (bkern@uchicago.edu).

Mansueto Library 360° video

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

How to view 360° videos

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

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

About the Mansueto Library

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

Learn more at mansueto.lib.uchicago.edu.

Take a virtual tour of Regenstein Library

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

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

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

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

Map Collection extends hours, GIS assistance

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

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

Taylor can assist walk-in patrons by:

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

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

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

New collaborative learning center opens on Regenstein Library A Level

Over the summer, the Regenstein Library A Level was transformed into an inviting and attractive collaborative learning environment where students, faculty, academic technologists, and librarians can interact.  The space is now open for use.

Welcome to collaborative learning centerAn open group work area was created in the center of the room.  Around this central zone, 10 new collaboration rooms have been constructed.  Their walls are covered in clear dry erase paint and can be used as whiteboards.  These rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and allow four to six people to work together comfortably.

A new terrazzo floor with café-style seating has been added along the glass wall on the north side of the A Level.  This space provides users with inspiring views of the Block Garden, which was redesigned this summer.

A new vending machine is stocked with supplies such as headphones, dry erase markers, pens, post-it notes, and mini-staplers.  A beverage vending machine has also been added.  A multifunction device for copying, printing, and scanning is available.

An easy-to-operate “one button” video production studio, which will enable users to create video essays and rehearse presentations, is scheduled to be installed by the close of October.

Later this quarter, a 27-foot bar-height table equipped with convenient access to duplex power outlets will be installed just beyond the entry.  Over the December interim, additional improvements will be made to the A Level.  Seven hanging whiteboards with adjacent power outlets will be installed in the central open work zone.  Sixty lockers, which will be available for daily rental, will also be installed in one of the small rooms along the west wall.

The final phase of this project, which has yet to be scheduled, will focus on the easternmost section of the floor.  Tentative plans include a 36-person active learning classroom and a technology zone.