October 2013 Archives

Rare Book Cataloging: A Policy Review

| No Comments

by Tim Johnson, Curator of Special Collections & Rare Books; E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections

Much of what we do happens beyond the public eye.  Rarely do students, faculty, or researchers observe us unpacking collections, crafting finding aids, or scanning materials.  However, all of these activities--and more--have a profound impact on how information consumers discover and use archival and special collections.  We constantly scan our own procedures and practices looking for ways to improve service and access.

One example of this "back office" work involves our rare book collections.  These volumes constitute some of the "crown jewels" in the Libraries' catalog and are found in various repositories around (and off) campus.  Primary gatherings of rare books are found in the Charles Babbage Institute, the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, the James Ford Bell Library, Special Collections & Rare Books, the Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center in the Law Library, and the Andersen Horticultural Library at the University's Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.

RBCat_Arboretum.jpgFor the past several months, staff members from these collections have engaged with colleagues from cataloging and metadata services to review the Libraries' rare book cataloging policy.  You, gentle reader, might be tempted at this point to offer a disinterested yawn or plead to be spared a microscopic examination of a rare book catalog record.  Consider your plea heard; the remainder of this post will not dive into the minutia of such a process.  But we do want to share with you a few tidbits from the process and the kind of questions considered from a researcher's perspective.

Processing the art of James McMullan

| No Comments

by Kate Dietrick, Processing staff and Curator of the Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

McMullan-1.jpgThis summer the Children's Literature and Research Center was thrilled to receive the materials of James McMullan, an internationally known artist most well-known for his theatrical posters, in particular his posters for Lincoln Center productions in New York. In the early 1990s McMullan began producing art for children's books, including partnering with his wife Kate McMullan for six children's books which include titles such as I Stink! and The Noisy Giant's Tea Party. McMullan has sent to the University of Minnesota Libraries the original artwork related to 16 different children's books, including the watercolors for Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies.

Currently I am in charge of processing the McMullan Collection, which means I organize the materials so that researchers can find what they need, and I make sure the materials are housed properly to ensure their safety.

But why might a researcher want to view these materials?

College Football--And Libraries--Live Here!

| No Comments

By Tim Johnson, Curator of Special Collections & Rare Books; E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections

Sometimes an opportunity to promote collections drops into our lap, out of the blue.  Occasionally such chances link our materials with surprising partners, those we're not used to dealing with on a daily basis.  Such was the case when I received an e-mail note from Cathie Hunt, an associate director for the global cable/satellite sports television network ESPN in mid-September.  The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team was scheduled to play the San José State University Spartans that coming TCF Bank Stadium.jpgweekend.  As television broadcaster for the game, ESPN had an interest in things beyond the stadium.  (The title for this post is a takeoff on the ESPN College Football tagline.)  As I soon discovered, this Saturday gridiron contest provided new venues of exposure for our collections and the Libraries, invited new connections with the University's Athletic Department, and confirmed the importance of our online presence.

Cathie's initial note was short and to the point: "I am the Associate Director for ESPN's football broadcast this weekend. When we come to a University we like to show something that is different and unique about the school and the campus. The Sherlock Holmes collection is something that I am sure our viewers would love to see.  If it is possible, I would like to have our photographer come to the library on Friday morning and shoot some of this collection.  He would only need an hour at the most to set up and shoot.  Please let me know if this is feasible."

Curator to Teach Lifelong Learning Class

| No Comments

bellhead-sec.pngMarguerite Ragnow, Curator of the James Ford Bell Library.

From Google Maps to those fold-out road maps that only dad seems to be able to refold, Americans have used maps to get from point A to point B for more than a century. Early untitled.pngmaps of America are not as straightforward. In fact, sometimes they deliberately misled. This short course will examine the earliest maps of America, the context in which they were produced, and how they were used.

Participants in this course will learn the real history behind the publicity and hype, see the actual maps, and be encouraged to draw their own conclusions about what maps can and cannot tell us about America's early history.

Held at the Bell Library, a premier repository of rare books, maps, and manuscripts, this course offers participants the opportunity to examine and discuss rare maps of America firsthand, as well as to gain insight into how the country was mapped and how maps were used in the pre-modern world. Marguerite Ragnow, curator of the collection, will provide context for each of the maps through informal lecture and presentation.

Course dates and time: Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, from 7-9 pm

Please use these links to get more information or to register for the class.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2013 is the previous archive.

November 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.