“Birds, Bugs, & Blooms” Natural History Illustration Exhibit at McClung Museum

Posted on


BBB_Banner_p815A new exhibit exploring natural history illustration from the 1500s to the 1800s opens Friday, September 12, at UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. Some of the rare books on display are on loan from the University Libraries’ Special Collections. Special Collections items include works of zoological and botanical illustration, notably a 1665 imprint of the historic Micrographia, by Robert Hooke.

“Birds, Bugs, & Blooms: Natural History Illustration from the 1500s–1800s” will run through January 4, 2015, and explores over 300 years of the intersection of science and art in natural history illustration.

More than fifty rare books, prints, and objects are on view, highlighting how increasing access to books, travel, and technology, as well as the evolution of knowledge, changed the way in which illustrations were created and interpreted. From fantastical images of beasts in the 1500s, to extremely accurate depictions of plants and animals in the 1800s, the illustrations in the exhibit demonstrate the rapid advances of natural history during the print age.

Several exhibit-related programs are planned. Free family programming includes exhibit-related Family Fun Days on September 27 and November 1, and a Stroller Tour for parents, caregivers and young children on October 6.

Other programming includes a natural history illustration workshop, “Using Scratchboard to Create Lifelike Illustrations” on October 5, and lectures on natural history and illustration by Barney Lipscomb, Leonhardt Chair of Botany at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, on October 22, and UT Professor of History Denise Phillips on November 6.

See the exhibit page for more programming details: http://tiny.utk.edu/birdsbugsblooms.

“Birds, Bugs, & Blooms” is curated by Catherine Shteynberg and Christine Dano Johnson. Lenders include Arader Galleries, Dr. Gordon Burghardt, the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and UT Special Collections. The exhibit is presented by Arader Galleries, W. Graham Arader III, UT Federal Credit Union, the Ready for the World Initiative, ARAMARK, Bennett Galleries, and the Ardath & Joel E. Rynning Museum Fund. Additional support is provided by Knox County, the City of Knoxville, and the Arts & Heritage Fund.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information building at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on the weekdays. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Additional parking information is available at http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/visit/parking.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu.




3D printing turns library users into industrial designers

Posted on


Last year, the Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library added 3D printing to the technology they provide to library users. 3D printing lets designers rapidly turn their ideas into plastic prototypes. Engineering students from the College of Agriculture are using the AgVet library’s 3D printer to test their design ideas.

The library’s IT technologist, Richie Sexton, spearheaded the project to offer 3D printing. A story in today’s Knoxzine features Richie explaining the operation and benefits of 3D printing. Check it out.

[Here are guidelines for 3D printing at the Pendergrass Library.]




UT Library Council honors work on master agreements

Posted on


thanks-2-small
Blake Reagan, Micheline Westfall, Corey Halaychik

The University of Tennessee Library Council recently honored three UT staff members for working to streamline the purchase of library materials across UT campuses. Not long ago, Corey Halaychik, Blake Reagan, and Micheline Westfall finalized the one-hundredth “master agreement” with a library vendor.

The UT libraries typically negotiate hundreds of licensing agreements each year with publishers of books, journals, and electronic resources. Many of those agreements are with the same group of publishers, yet each contract must be scrutinized annually by each campus for compliance with state laws and university policies. A master agreement, governing all subsequent purchases from a participating vendor, can eliminate costly hours of contract review and significantly speed up the purchase of library materials.

Over the past year, Halaychik and Westfall, both faculty members in UT Knoxville Libraries’ Licensing, E-Resources, and Serials Department, worked in close collaboration with Reagan, director of Contracts Administration for the University of Tennessee System, to negotiate a series of master agreements with library vendors. The agreements benefit all schools in the UT System and allow each UT library to bypass the yearly contract review process for new and renewed subscriptions. The libraries can now order books, journals, and electronic resources from participating vendors through a simple purchase order. On the Knoxville campus, the library has reduced the number of its vendor contracts by more than half.

In a ceremony on June 4, Sandy Oelschlegel, chair of the UT Library Council and director of UT’s Preston Medical Library, presented a “Resolution of Thanks” to Halaychik, Reagan, and Westfall for their “outstanding service and meaningful contributions to the University of Tennessee libraries and their patrons through the successful negotiation of past and future master agreements.”




UT Libraries Acquires Two Historically Significant First Editions

Posted on


Two historically important books, acquired by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been added to the library’s special collections.

Phillis Wheatley was an enslaved person in the household of a prosperous Boston family. Her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (published 1773) was the first published book by an African-American woman.

Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk* (published 1833) was transcribed and translated into English from the testimony of the Sauk chief who waged war on the United States in 1832. Black Hawk’s Life was one of the first Native American autobiographies published in the United States.

The UT Libraries recently purchased rare first editions of both works. The copy of Wheatley’s Poems is a particularly noteworthy specimen. It contains an extremely rare inscription by the poet herself.

frontispiece
Frontispiece to Phillis Wheatley’s Poems

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was a child of approximately seven years old when she was captured by slavers in west Africa, transported to America, and sold at auction in the slave market of Boston, Massachusetts, to John and Susanna Wheatley. John Wheatley gave her the name of the slave ship, the Phillis, aboard which she had made the grueling Atlantic crossing.

The Wheatley family began tutoring Phillis in English, Latin, and the Bible, and the young slave quickly displayed a facility for learning.

The verses in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral are filled with classical allusions. Many are elegies to the great men of the day. Her elegy on the death of the popular preacher George Whitefield, published in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and London when Wheatley was just 17 years old, gained her considerable notoriety. Susanna Wheatley tried to capitalize on her servant’s success to publish the verses but was unable to secure sufficient subscriptions to underwrite the cost of publication in the American colonies.

In the eighteenth century, the intellectual and creative capabilities of Africans were a subject of debate, and the reading public was skeptical of a literary work attributed to a slave. In 1772 Phillis Wheatley was called before a group of Boston’s leading citizens to defend the authenticity of her work.

The august body was convinced of her authorship. The Poems were printed in London and widely acclaimed. Wheatley was feted on two continents and met many notables, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

Wheatley was emancipated from slavery in 1773, but her life as a free woman was brief and fraught. She died in childbirth in 1784 at the age of 31.

The 1773 edition of Phillis Wheatley’s poems purchased by the UT Libraries, sadly, is missing the original frontispiece, a rare depiction of an individual female slave — a pensive Wheatley at work on a poem.

Wheatley’s slender volume of poetry, a signal literary achievement by an enslaved African, influenced the discourse on slavery in America.

Black Hawk’s recounting of his life and the Sauk insurrection influenced another debate, over the rights of America’s indigenous peoples.

White settlers began encroaching upon the Sauk nation’s ancestral homelands in the early decades of the nineteenth century, challenging the Sauk’s sovereign right to their land. The Sauk and other tribes living east of the Mississippi River were pushed to lands west of the river.

Chief Black Hawk (1767-1838) and other members of the Sauk questioned the validity of the treaty ostensibly ceding their lands. In 1832, Black Hawk and a group of several hundred men, women, and children attempted to resettle on tribal lands.

Whatever Black Hawk’s intentions, United States officials were convinced that his band was hostile. When Black Hawk sent a peace delegation to meet the approaching army, the three warriors waving a white flag were fired upon. Thus began the brief encounter known as the Black Hawk War. During ensuing skirmishes, Black Hawk’s small band gained several successes before a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Bad Axe. Black Hawk escaped capture at Bad Axe but later surrendered.

Transferred to Fort Monroe in Virginia, Black Hawk and other imprisoned leaders of the uprising were paraded in public — not as reviled enemies but as celebrities. Along the eastern seaboard, far from frontier hostilities, the romanticizing of the “noble savage” was already underway. The prisoners posed for portraits, toured Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, and even met briefly with President Andrew Jackson.

After a few months, Black Hawk and the other leaders were released. Black Hawk’s autobiography, dictated to a government interpreter, was published in 1833. It became an instant bestseller, going through five printings within a year.

The Black Hawk first edition also is a scarce treasure.

Katy Chiles, the UT professor who brought the item to the Libraries’ attention, appreciates the cultural significance and research value of both first editions. Her research on early American literatures and print culture studies involves looking at early editions of rare texts and analyzing how each different publication presented itself to readers in different and important ways. “In my work on Black Hawks’ Life, I am investigating how American publishers produced frontispieces, prefaces, and book bindings for the text’s earliest publications to influence the meaning of the War of 1812, the 1832 Black Hawk War, and, more broadly, British, U.S., and Indian relations,” Chiles told librarians when recommending the acquisition. “I also analyze the differences between texts, such as prefaces and frontispieces that play an important role in how ‘the Indian’ is represented. Access to first editions is key to enabling this kind of analysis. Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk is a crucially important book in understanding and appreciating what indigenous peoples have done with print.” Chiles teaches African-American, Native American, and early American literature in the UT Department of English.

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral and Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak or Black Hawk are now available to scholars of American history and literature in the UT Libraries’ Special Collections. The acquisitions complement the UT Libraries’ excellent holdings of early American imprints.

* Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak or Black Hawk, embracing the tradition of his nation — Indian wars in which he has been engaged — cause of joining the British in their late war with America, and its history — description of the Rock-River village — manners and customs — encroachments by the whites, contrary to treaty — removal from his village in 1831. With an account of the cause and general history of the late war, his surrender and confinement at Jefferson barracks, and travels through the United States.




Re-carpeting throughout Hodges Library

Posted on


Re-carpeting on all floors of Hodges Library will begin following final exams and will continue through June.

New carpet will be installed on the ground floor, first floor (including the auditorium), and all stacks floors (floors 3-6). Carpets in faculty studies and beneath graduate carrels also will be replaced.

Small areas within the stacks may be temporarily inaccessible. And access to individual faculty studies may be blocked for brief periods.

If you are unable to access needed materials, please ask for help at the circulation/information desk near the Melrose Avenue entrance.

UT students, faculty, and staff can obtain books from closed areas by using the “Request” link in the library catalog. (Read “How it works” at lib.utk.edu/request/library-express.)

The Libraries will make every effort to assure that the process is as unobtrusive as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.




Rita Smith Honored for Extraordinary Service to the University

Posted on


RitaSmith_April2014Rita Smith, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libraries’ executive associate dean, is the 2014 recipient of the UT Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Service to the University. Her extraordinary accomplishments and dedication were celebrated at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet on April 23.

The Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Service to the University is a singular distinction, awarded to an outstanding individual who “goes above and beyond the call of duty to make lasting contributions to the university.”

Rita Smith’s career at the UT Libraries exemplifies this exceptional level of commitment. Her award nomination read in part: “[Rita] has come to work every day of her career with no other desire than to go above and beyond the call of duty for the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Tennessee.” Her nomination further notes that her commitment to excellence is only surpassed by her modesty and commitment to collaboration—most are not aware of the breadth and depth of her contributions because “she is a consummate team player who thinks of others first and never seeks the limelight for herself.”

Rita Smith first joined the UT Libraries 38 years ago, rising from the position of reference librarian to reference coordinator to department head to her current position of executive associate dean. Along the way, she has been a major force behind many of the Libraries’ successes.

As head of the reference department, she helped guide the UT Libraries’ entry into the online age, assuring that the Libraries adapted resources and services to fit the changing needs of scholarship and learning at the university and that librarians and staff were well trained to implement new technologies and services.

Smith is a campus champion for diversity. She serves on UT’s Council for Diversity and Interculturalism and leads the Libraries’ Diversity Residency Program, an initiative that brings ethnic and cultural diversity to the Libraries, the library profession, and the campus. She mentors the Diversity Residents, who serve two-year post-graduate internships within the UT libraries.

Over the years, she has mentored dozens of library faculty and staff, many of whom have risen through the ranks to be great leaders at UT and elsewhere.

Smith has demonstrated a talent for managing both people and projects. As executive associate dean, she has primary responsibility for the library as space. The present Commons is largely a result of her foresight and efforts to meet new demands on library spaces to accommodate quiet study, collaborative work, and the use of technologies for knowledge creation and online learning. She led the team that investigated student needs, brought in consultants, and conferred with campus stakeholders to create the learning commons in 2005. The multi-million-dollar renovation of the Commons in 2012, under her direction, was by far the largest single renovation to the Hodges Library since its opening in 1987.

Had Rita Smith chosen to pursue her career elsewhere, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville would be very different today.

Smith is highly regarded by her colleagues for her work ethic, love for the students, and dedication to the UT community. Among her many virtues are a zealous devotion to the UT Vols (particularly the Lady Vols) and an amazing knowledge of players, stats, and sports trivia.




Map Collection Moves, Makes Room for More Study Space in Hodges Library

Posted on


The UT Libraries’ Map Collection is relocating, making room for more study space on the ground floor of Hodges Library. Map Services closes May 6 to begin preparing for the move.

Over the summer, the remainder of the map collection will be moved to new quarters in the James D. Hoskins Library (1401 Cumberland Avenue). The entire collection will once again be in one place, and the map collections will be staffed and remain accessible after the relocation takes place. The vacated space on the ground floor of Hodges Library will serve as study space and overflow seating for One Stop. The renovated space should open before fall semester.

Geospatial services (GIS assistance, geospatial data, etc.) will be relocated to Commons South alongside new scholarly digital services.

Library users will have access to the map collections by visiting the Storage Reading Room, 200 Hoskins Library.

If you’ve never visited the Hoskins Library, a pleasant surprise awaits you. The James D. Hoskins Library, designed by renowned architect Charles Barber and built between 1929 and 1931, is collegiate Gothic in style and features vaulted ceilings decorated with literary inscriptions. The main campus library moved from the Hoskins Library to the renovated Hodges Library in 1987.

Please bear with us as we relocate services.




Comprehensive Bibliography of the Smokies Now Available

Posted on


TerraThe culmination of fifteen years of research, Terra Incognita: An Annotated Bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544-1934 is the most comprehensive bibliography of sources related to the Great Smoky Mountains ever created. The book is now available for purchase from the University of Tennessee Press.

Terra Incognita catalogs printed material on the Great Smoky Mountains from the earliest map documenting the De Soto expedition in the 16th century to writings that were instrumental in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Each chapter, introduced by a substantive essay, details published works on a different aspect of the history, peoples, culture, and natural history of the Smokies region. There are chapters, for instance, on the Cherokee, early explorers, music, mountain life, and the national park movement.

The authoritative and meticulously researched work is an indispensable reference for scholars and students studying any aspect of the region’s past. According to author and historian Jim Casada, “Terra Incognita belongs in every academic library in the country and locals who simply cherish the Smokies will want to have it on their shelves.”

The title for the bibliography comes from a remark by Horace Kephart, an early twentieth-century chronicler of mountain culture and an important force behind the founding of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Researching the region prior to his first visit in 1904, Kephart found the Great Smoky Mountains to be a “terra incognita.” Little to nothing, it seemed, could be found in libraries to elucidate the land or its people. This new bibliography rectifies that omission by bringing together the scattered and obscure early accounts of the Smokies. (Kephart is the only individual to merit a separate chapter in Terra Incognita.)

Terra Incognita was compiled and edited by three librarians. Anne Bridges and Ken Wise are associate professors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libraries and co-directors of the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project (www.lib.utk.edu/smokies). Russell Clement, emeritus faculty at Northwestern University, worked for many years in academic libraries, most recently as head of the art collection at Northwestern.

An online database, Database of the Smokies (dots.lib.utk.edu), updates Terra Incognita with citations to material published since 1934, the date the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established.

___
Contact:

Anne Bridges, UT Knoxville Libraries (865-974-0017, abridges@nullutk.edu)

Ken Wise, UT Knoxville Libraries (865-974-2359, kwise@nullutk.edu)

Ordering information: http://utpress.org




Information Is Our Game: Meet Steven Milewski

Posted on


MilewskiCard

    BIG IDEAS demand reliable information. The University Libraries supports scholarship, research, and learning at UT by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and facilitating access to the world’s knowledge. The wide-ranging expertise of our librarians might surprise you.

    This semester we begin a series of profiles of UT Knoxville librarians. Watch for a new profile each week.

As Digital Media Technologies Librarian, Steven Milewski is our expert on streaming collections and technologies. With Steven’s guidance, the UT Libraries is building a collection of streamed media to support teaching and research. Steven is in charge of selecting video content, digitizing existing media holdings, and acquiring rights to streamed media, as well as maintaining the infrastructure that allows faculty and students to view streamed video from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

He can help library users extract video clips for use in presentations and help instructors embed videos in their class’s Blackboard site. Explore Steven’s online guide to finding and using streamed content relevant to your discipline at libguides.utk.edu/streaming.

Steven is the subject librarian for Social Work, providing information literacy instruction, research consultations, and collection development for that college. He also serves as the Libraries’ liaison to the UT Office of Disability Services. Over the past year, he has purchased new adaptive equipment and software for the library.

Steven holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in information science from UT.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Allison Sharp

Posted on


SharpCard

    BIG IDEAS demand reliable information. The University Libraries supports scholarship, research, and learning at UT by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and facilitating access to the world’s knowledge. The wide-ranging expertise of our librarians might surprise you.

    This semester we begin a series of profiles of UT Knoxville librarians. Watch for a new profile each week.

As a member of the Libraries’ Learning, Research, and Engagement team, Allison Sharp focuses much of her time on library instruction, programming activities, and services that contribute to student success.

Allison enjoys teaching research skills in the conventional classroom setting, but she is equally enthusiastic about programs, such as DeStress for Success, that chiefly aim to engage students in the college experience. She is motivated by the desire to help students feel comfortable and competent as library users and researchers at the University of Tennessee.

Allison connects well with students from diverse backgrounds. She has developed strong relationships with international programs at the university and has proven herself to be an invaluable instructor and mentor to international students.

As librarian for the Africana Studies Program and the School of Information Sciences, she provides research assistance, instruction, and collection development for those disciplines.

Allison holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She is pursuing a PhD in communication and information at UT.