From the Archives: The Howard W. Robbins Diary

HowardDiaryToday I decided to revisit a manuscript notebook that I first came across over the summer, when we initially acquired it. The Howard W. Robbins diary is a WWI notebook (1917-1918) which features 88 pages of handwritten notes, diagrams, formulas, and reports including the above illustrations of the various “Colours of Badges of some of the German States,” and the “Tassels of German Sword Knots.”

Robbins includes a diagram for training soldiers in patrolling and scouting.

Robbins includes a diagram for training soldiers in patrolling and scouting.

Robbins was a first Lieutenant in the 104th Infantry of the U.S. army, and his notebook features advice on a variety of topics, including Patrolling and Scouting, which, Robbins writes “is a great protection from surprise, serves to keep up the morale of our own troops, and tends to lower that of the enemies!” Robbins even includes a diagram for training soldiers in patrolling and scouting.

One of the most interesting aspects of Robbins’ notebook is his writings about the use of various military technologies, including Telescopes, the Prismatic Compass, Thermometer Targets, and even Aeroplane Photographs, or the taking of photographs from the air. This would have been an especially important new technology, as WWI was one of the first military conflicts to utilize powered aircraft. Robbins notes that those who take photos from the air are “men of special aptitude, as for instance artists, painters, architects, and so forth.” He also writes about how these photos help officers to identify German trenches, as well as Posts and Company Headquarters.

The notebook is filled with a variety of information on many different topics and could be a valuable and engaging primary source for anyone interested in WWI, or the development of military technologies and strategies.

Discover this and other interesting primary sources Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Archives & Special Collections on the second floor of the Library!

By Kara Flynn

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“The Politics of Deception: JFK’s Secret Decisions on Vietnam, Civil Rights, and Cuba” By Patrick J. Sloyan

PoliticsDeceptionThe Politics of Deception is a revelatory look into a JFK that few will recognize. Pulitzer Prize winner Sloyan reveals an iconic president and the often startling ways he attempted to manage world events, control public opinion, and forge his legacy.

The book explores the last year of JFK’s presidency in order to reveal the truth. He does this by using Kennedy’s secret recordings of crucial White House meetings and interviews.

With presidential election season gearing up, you may find this selection an interesting read. You can find this enlightening book in the Popular Reading Collection!

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Reassembling William Morris’ Library: Two scholars are digitally recreating the book collection of the Kelmscott Press founder

MorrisLibraryEven for Victorian dreamer, designer, artist, poet, publisher, and writer William Morris (1834-1896), the thought of his personal library being accessible around the world would have been a stretch. Luckily Sylvia Holton Peterson and William Peterson, both retired professors and authors in their own right, have taken on the task of bringing Morris’ enviable book collection together again: at least in a digital format known as The Library of William Morris—A Catalogue at

After the Petersons’ initial success, or as William calls it, their “dry run,” with the blog they created to complement their book, The Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census (Oak Knoll Press, 2011), they decided to take their passion for Morris’ life and work a step further.

“Both of us have an interest in William Morris and the Kelmscott Press, and so much has been written through the years about Morris as an artist, printer, and bibliophile that it seemed like an obvious project,” said William. “Initially we envisioned a book, but as we began to gather information, we realized that it really ought to become a digital publication. On our website we can continue to add new information, make corrections, and provide additional links as often as we want to; with a book, we would probably have Morris_bluepatchto wait a decade or more to publish a second edition.”

Morris himself could not have found a better pair than the Petersons to recreate his beloved collection. William has mined his extensive experience in the study of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English and American fine printing to write two books about the Kelmscott Press, while Sylvia was co-compiler with Jackson Boswell of Chaucer’s Fame in England: STC Chauceriana 1475–1640 (Modern Language Association, 2004). The Petersons are currently working on a book about the Daniel Press, an early adapter of the private press in nineteenth-century Britain.

The thought of reconstructing such a prestigious collection is overwhelming, but the Petersons are approaching it one book at a time and aim to compile at least 2,000 entries.

Read more of the online Fine Books & Collections article, Reassembling William Morris’ Library.

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Presentation by Visual Artist Kate Kern, April 15, 2015, Collins Library, Room 020, 7-8 p.m.

Collins Library and the Puget Sound Book Artists are pleased to announce a presentation by Kate Kern on, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Collins Library, Room 020, 7-8 p.m.


Artist Book: Her Time by Kate Kern.

Kate Kern is a visual artist who makes drawings, artists’ books, and installations. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she received a BFA from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio and an MFA in drawing from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. Kern has been the recipient of  numerous grants and awards. Her work can be found in collections including: The Akron Art Museum, The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Getty Research Institute, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Franklin Furnace/MOMA Artist Book Collection, MOMA library, and the Artists’ Book Collections of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Cincinnati, Brown University and others.

Wounded Home, Lloyd Library and Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio

Wounded Home, Installation by Kate Kern. Lloyd Library and Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.

 “When I was growing up, I was a kid who drew. Drawing has always been a way to interact with what I see and feel –that could be the material world or the world of dreams and memory or some combination of all of these. I often draw on (in all senses) other representations of the world, whether that be 19th century medical texts, old high school year books, or library card catalogs. I invite others into my drawn world that is at once cheerful and creepy in hopes that they too experience its contradictory emotions: tenderness and anxiety, sorrow and humor.”   -Kate Kern

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“Food for Fines” – March 23rd to April 5th!

FoodforFinesMarch 23rd– April 5th

This spring, Collins Memorial Library and the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement (CICE) are co-sponsoring Food for Fines.

Pay off your library fines with food instead of cash, March 23rd to April 5th. Donate to a worthy cause AND clean up your library debt at the same time.

Bring in 1 can of food and we will waive $1.00 of your library fines (for returned items). That’s right! $1 per can! No limit!

Welcomed Items:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned meats
  • Canned dinners
  • Canned vegetable & fruits
  • Dry beans & pastas
  • Stuffing mix
  • One – 6 ounce can or larger = $1.00 of fines. (Unlimited waived)
  • Canned food accepted for fines on returned items only, not for replacement fees of lost items.
  • Bring cans to the Circulation Desk on the main floor of the library.
  • Only non-perishable, un-dented, and labeled cans will be accepted.
    1. Additional donations are welcome.
    2. Please, no jars/glass containers. Thank you.
  • All canned food will be donated to the St. Leo Food Connection.


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“Saving Grace” By Jane Green

SavingGracePowerful and riveting, Jane Green’s Saving Grace will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Grace on her harrowing journey to rock bottom and back.  This book has been described as “A Scarlet Letter for the twenty-first century,”  “likely to stir debate,” and “a juicy heart-breaking page turner.”

If you are looking for a captivating novel, look no further! This book, along with many other exciting novels, is available in the Popular Reading Collection!

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From the Archives: Aviary Interesting Read

AviaryDo you ever wonder who it is that’s keeping you up at night, chirping to their little heart’s content outside your window? Could it be a pinewood finch? How about a barn swallow? Well, birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and we sure have our fair share of variety here at Puget Sound! It’s a little hard to swallow, so if curiosity gets the best of you, I wrencommend you come and check out the Archives & Special Collections’ over-sized book collection. The Birds of North America, published in 1888 (coincidence?), includes a nest-full of eggcellent information regarding just about any bird you’ll encounter in the Continental U.S. Additionally, “one hundred and nineteen artistic colored plates representing the different species and varieties” are contained within the gold-gilt pages, dovely for any aspiring ornithologist or talonted bird-watcher. So sparrow moment to come and see it! You won’t egret it!

By Monica Patterson

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“The Last Good Paradise” – A Novel By Tatjana Soli

ParadiseFrom Tatjana Soli, the bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters and The Forgetting Tree, comes a black comedy set on an island resort, where guests attempting to flee their troubles realize they can’t escape who they are.

If you’re looking for somewhere to escape, check out this book in the popular collection!

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British Library digitises 4m photos from endangered archives

BritishEndangeredArchivesA pioneering initiative from the British Library has seen over four million images from endangered archives all over the world digitised and put online. The Endangered Archives Programme has been running since 2004 and has funded 246 projects in 78 countries.

Among the vast collection of items that have been digitised are rock inscriptions, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and sound archives. Some projects have seen the digitisation of medieval manuscripts that date back as far as the 12th century.

Read more of the article British Library digitises 4m photos from endangered archives

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Maximize Your Summer! Courses in statistics, research design, data analysis, and social science methodology


About The Program
The ICPSR Summer Program is internationally recognized as a preeminent learning environment for basic and advanced training in social science research methodologies and technologies. They stress the integration of methods of quantitative analysis within a broader context of substantive social research. Courses include hands-on analysis of research datasets, and the instructors are experts in their fields who are adept at making complex subject matter understandable. Whether you want to brush up on your basic skills in statistics and quantitative methods, keep apace of the latest analytic innovations, or develop research skills particular to a substantive problem, you’ll find the training you need.

You can now register for all 2015 ICPSR Summer Program courses through the online Portal.

2015 Courses

Four-Week Courses
The Summer Program offers two, consecutive four-week sessions that take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the University of Michigan campus. Workshops and lectures in the four-week sessions meet for one to two hours daily, Monday through Friday. The four-week sessions provide a unique opportunity to connect with participants from all over the world.

Session I: June 22 – July 17, 2015. View the schedule
Session II: July 20 – August 14, 2015. View the schedule

Three- to Five-Day Workshops
From May through August, the Summer Program is offering over 45 three- to five-day workshops that will take place in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as Amherst, MA; Berkeley, CA; Boulder, CO; Chapel Hill, NC; Manhattan, NY; and Montreal, QC.

The 2015 lineup of short workshops includes many popular, returning courses in data science, network analysis, and multilevel modeling. They are also offering several new workshops, including:

View the full schedule of 3- to 5-day workshops.

Fees and Discounts
You can view a full list of the registration fees here . Additionally, they offer discounts for returning participants, as well as participants who enroll in two or more fee-carrying 3- to 5-day workshops.

For more information, visit, email, or call (734) 763-7400.



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