From the Archives: A Thoughtful Man

leonardoWhen Leonardo da Vinci is brought up, many think of his art: the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper just to name a few. However, I have discovered that da Vinci was more than just a man of art but also a man of thought, his paintings merely documentations of his findings.

Here is a quote from da Vinci I found in the book Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Drawings and Paintings by Frank Zöllner in the Archives & Special Collections.

Unable to resist my eager desire and wanting to see the great [wealth] of the various and strange shapes made by formative nature, and having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the entrance of a great cavern, in front of which I stood some time, astonished and unaware of such a thing. Bending my head back into an arch I rested my left hand on my knee and held my right hand over my down-cast and contracted eyebrows; often bending forth one way and then the other, to see whether I could discover anything inside, and this being forbidden by the deep darkness within, and after having remained there for some time, two contrary emotions arose in me – fear of the threatening dark cavern, desire to see whether there were any marvelous things within it…

In a very poetic way, Leonardo da Vinci paints a colorful image of the desire for knowledge and how it is both frightening and wonderful at the same time.

Stop by and take a look Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Archives & Special Collections on the second floor of the Library.

By Sierra Scott

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Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free

UntoldStoriesDeep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free

By Hector Tobar

Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surround working in such a dangerous place.

The story from this mine collapse, which happened in Chile in August 2010, is reported and interpreted for us by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

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Collins Library’s NEW Bottle Filling Water Fountain

Liaison Librarian Eli Gandour-Rood tries out new water fountain

Liaison Librarian Eli Gandour-Rood tries out the library’s new water fountain

In less than a week, over three hundred water bottles have been filled at the new drinking fountain in Collins Library, which incorporates a reusable water bottle filling station into its design. The bottle filling station provides a fast and easy opportunity to efficiently refill a mug, water bottle, or thermos. The efficient design incorporates a motion sensor, and plenty of space to fit a water bottle below the tap, allowing thirsty students and staff to fill up on water with no muss or fuss. By making it easier for people to fill their reusable water bottles with cold, filtered tap water, this filling station encourages the Puget Sound community to reduce waste from disposable single-use bottles and stay healthy and well-hydrated! Just one more way that Collins Library is committed to environmental sustainability, and making life easier for our students.

 

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From the Archives: Bibliodeath

CALLOUT_BibliodeathLast year I stumbled across Bibliodeath by Andrei Codrescu. The title is tantalizing–the death of books? Isn’t that a bit of a hot topic for libraries, especially with the rise of digitization (it is, but to me it’s the duty of libraries to unbiasedly collect information about all subjects, even the controversial ones)?

This particular book in our special collections falls into the classification of Z: books, writing, libraries, and bibliography. While it falls alongside publication such as the New Colophon (a book collector’s quarterly) and other codices, this book holds the status of an autobiography hiding within an archival exploration. It studies the boundaries and relationships between printed word and digital word through metaphor and anecdote.

An Amazon review touted that “it may at times make your brain hurt, like a math problem”, and I find this to be an accurate description. As an exploration of archives and Codrescu’s own life, the writing and ideas are simply too elaborate to simply paraphrase, and a mere skimming of the book reveals little to me of its true motivations.

Though at first glance most of the personal stories remain in the footnotes, you quickly discover that the footnotes can get quite lengthy. One footnote referencing A Chekhov Novella extends for 5-6 full pages of the book, expanding out from the margins and crowding out the general text.

You might be wondering why such a book would be hiding in the Archives & Special Collections, and the simple answer is because it’s special. The actual reason is because it’s a signed prepublication edition.

If you want to make your brain hurt but also want to come out the other end of this novel with a new perspective on books and archives, come check it out any time on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 1-3 p.m. on the second floor of the library!

By Morgan Ford

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“The Forgotten Girls” by Sara Blaedel

ForgottenGirlsThe body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a Danish forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should have made the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. This crime novel centers on the subject of young women and girls abused in mental institutions, and features the Danish homicide detective Louise Rick.

If you are a fan of Scandinavian mysteries, this crime novel might be just what you want! Blaedel has written multiple titles and is published in 23 countries.

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Music in the Library: Clarinet, Bass, and Jazz Duo, Friday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m.

Kelton Mock, Brady McCowan

Kelton Mock, Brady McCowan

Please Join Us!

Music in the Library: Clarinet, Bass, and Jazz Duo
Friday, February 27, 2015
3-3:25 p.m.
Collins Memorial Library, Reading Room

Performance by:  Jenna Tatiyatrairong, Kelton Mock, Brady McCowan

 

 

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Stress Management & Library Tools

CALLOUT_stressTips from Liz Roepke ’15, Peer Research Advisor

I’m not sure about you, but I am definitely starting to feel the pressure of quizzes, exams, papers, and projects this semester! When my to-do list keeps getting longer, I forget what day of the week it is, and I feel tired at 8 o’clock at night, I can tell I’m getting stressed out. So what to do about it? It seems backwards, but what helps me through weeks of particularly heavy workloads is usually stepping back from my work and taking some time to stop thinking about all the tasks I need to complete. Other methods I use are studying with friends from my class, writing more lists, and seeking outside resources like tutoring sessions or research consultations. Here’s my list of helpful resources from the library and around campus:

  • Research consultations: Working on a paper or research project? Request an appointment with a Liaison Librarian or the Peer Research Advisor (me!) if you’re having trouble settling on a research topic, finding enough sources, or finding the right kind of sources. You can check which librarian covers your discipline by finding your subject page at http://research.pugetsound.edu/index.php; the Peer Research Advisor (http://research.pugetsound.edu/peerresearch) can help you in any introductory-level course.
  • If it’s outside of business hours and you have research questions, you can use the 24/7 “Ask A Librarian” tool and a real-live librarian will respond to your message! If they can’t fully answer your question, the request will be forwarded to the reference librarians and they can help you the next morning. Access it here: http://research.pugetsound.edu/content.php?pid=488912&sid=4009630
  • Take advantage of the library’s lesser-known study spaces: there are study carrels on the north wall of the lower level, study rooms on the 2nd floor near the music stacks, and tables/carrels hidden around the 3rd and 4th floors (nice views outside!).
  • Bring a friend to study with you and you can keep an eye on each other’s things when you need a mental break. If I’m in the middle of a long reading assignment and I just can’t absorb any more information, I like to walk a loop around the president’s woods because the air feels so refreshing.
  • Schedule a tutoring or writing advising appointment at the CWLT (http://www.pugetsound.edu/academics/academic-resources/cwlt/). I’m always impressed by how helpful and knowledgeable my peers are!
  • If you have a question you think an expert has to answer, ask your professor or another in the department. Professors are usually able to make appointments outside of their office hours or can even try and answer your question by email. Don’t be afraid to admit you didn’t understand some aspect of their lecture, or that you have further questions about a class discussion – taking the initiative to ask for help is never looked down upon!

Remember, if you’re stressing out over upcoming tests and papers, take a deep breath and then utilize these available resources that are designed to help you succeed!

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From the Archives: A Trip to the Tacoma Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

KarpelesDespite having lived in Tacoma for the last three and a half years, I am the first to admit that much of the city remains a mystery to me, and in my last semester at UPS, I have been trying to get out more and experience all that Tacoma has to offer. Last month, I found myself back in Tacoma in early January with little to do before classes started up again. At a loss for ideas, I headed to trip advisor, hoping to find some undiscovered Tacoma attraction. In my search, I came across Tacoma’s Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, which is located just across the street from the Seymour Botanical Conservatory, in Wright Park. I had been meaning to check it out since I’d heard about it over the summer, but hadn’t yet visited. So, in the spirit of getting to know the city a little better, I ventured out with a friend in tow.

The Museum is currently showing a Mark Twain Exhibit, which features letters, manuscripts, notes, and illustrations by or about Mark Twain’s works. While the exhibit was interesting, the director of the Museum, Tom, is arguably more informative than the exhibit itself. As my friend and I were the only two people in the museum at the time, Tom ended up giving us a personal tour, as well as telling us about various materials that have moved through the museum in past exhibits. The whole experience was surprisingly interesting and engaging- I learned quite a bit about Mark Twain, and I got to chat with Tom about rare books and the variety of materials that rotate through the Tacoma Karpeles. He even brought out some reproductions of some of the other items in the Karpeles collection, including a “historical” time line of Narnia created by C.S. Lewis when he was doing the world-building for his books, which was really fun to see.

While the museum is free and open to the public, with only one employee, it remains in a state of disrepair and seems to remain a mystery to much of the city. Intrigued by my visit, and mildly confused about why the museum hasn’t been marketed better as a Tacoma cultural attraction, I decided to do a bit of quick research on the topic.

The Karpeles system as a whole is rather eccentric- developed by David Karpeles, a southern California mathematician turned real estate tycoon, the creation of the museums allowed him to display his ever expanding manuscript collection to the public. The museums are solely funded by Karpeles himself, and all are free to the public. Karpeles’ holdings include a wide range of materials, from the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, to a Papal decree from 1183, and none of the museums have a permanent exhibit. Instead, exhibits rotate among the museums roughly every four months. While the cities in which Karpeles museums have been established may seem random—Duluth, Minnesota, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tacoma Washington—Karpeles reportedly established museums in cities that lacked cultural resources, rather than in urban metropolises. With so many museums across the country—fourteen locations in all—it seems that some locations may be better cared for then others.

That being said, the Tacoma Karpeles Museum is definitely worth checking out. The museum provides a hands-on way to experience history, and with the non-existent price of admission, may be a more accessible way for students like us to experience the variety of rare materials the Karpeles system has to offer.

For more information about the museum, check out Kate Albert Ward’s article in Post Defiance: http://postdefiance.com/the-tacoma-karpeles-manuscript-library-museum/ or the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums official website: http://www.rain.org/~karpeles/

By Kara E Flynn

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reCollection: An Ephemeral Exhibition of Exquisite & Eclectic Ephemera – Jessica Spring, March 3, 4 p.m.

"You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato" from springtidepress.com

Images from springtidepress.com

Please join us! Tea, cookies, and conversation at the Behind the Archives Door series.

Jessica Spring, local Tacoma letterpress printer and owner of Springtide Press, will discuss her recent work as shown in reCollection: An Ephemeral Exhibition of Exquisite & Eclectic Ephemera, which was on display at the Spaceworks Artscape from September – December 2014.  Jessica’s talk will focus on the process of collecting and the curation of personal archives.  “When used by collectors, the term ‘ephemera’ describes materials, often paper, that have little value beyond their intended use,” says Spring. Matchbooks, postcards and milk bottle caps are examples. “These objects serve to light a cigarette, send a message, or protect a bottle of milk, but they also provide a glimpse of another place and time.”  Jessica will share examples of the ephemera as well as talk about how the curation of the collection has inspired and influenced her own art.

 

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“The Last American Vampire” By Seth Grahame-Smith

LastVampire

In this sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s shocking death. The Last American Vampire takes readers on a journey to all sorts of different places, in a vampire novel that includes elements of several different genres.

Make sure to sink your teeth into this book!

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