Rare Book Occasional – Scroll of Esther

By: Alia Levar Wegner, ARB Intern, 2017-2018

The inaugural post of the new Rare Book Occasional looks at the Archives and Rare Books Library’s two manuscript copies of the Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther). Produced sometime in the 18th- and 19th centuries, these parchment scrolls illustrate the ritual importance of scroll reading in Judaism.

The Book of Esther holds a prominent position in the Jewish faith, as it is one of the Five Megillot, or five scrolls that mark particular festival or fast days in the Jewish calendar. This important Biblical book recounts Esther’s role in securing the salvation of the Persian Jews, and its recitation marks a day of joyous celebration for Jewish people. Esther scrolls are traditionally read twice during the festival of Purim, once in the morning and again in the evening.

Scroll of EstherScroll of Esther opened

Top:  Scroll of Esther (Ms. no. 22), before treatment,  Bottom: Scroll open to the names of Haman’s sons (Esther 9:7,9). Photos: Jessica Ebert

The materiality of the Scroll of Esther forms an important part of its religious significance. Early rabbinical writers composed rules regulating its production and public recitation. According to rabbinic tradition, the ceremonial Scroll of Esther can only be handwritten on parchment with ink using the square Hebrew script. Esther scrolls are also distinguished by their arrangement on a single dowel. These rabbinical prescriptions continued to influence the scroll’s material construction in more contemporary times, as illustrated by the Archives and Rare Books Library’s 18th– and late 19th-century Esther scrolls. In accordance with tradition, these scrolls are handwritten on vellum in the traditional script.

Featured here are images of one of the Library’s Esther scrolls that recently underwent conservation to repair small tears and damage to the parchment (Ms. no. 22). The scroll was rehoused on two dowels to enable the manuscript to be safely viewed.

Additional information about the conservation process can be found here.

Scroll of Esther

Scroll of Esther (Ms. no. 22), after treatment. Photo: Jessica Ebert

For more information on this and other items at the Archives and Rare Books Library, visit us on the 8th floor of Blegen Library, call us at 513.556.1959, email us at archives@ucmail.uc.edu, view our website at http://libraries.uc.edu/arb.html, and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArchivesRareBooksLibraryUniversityOfCincinnati.

UCBA Library Participates in a Successful Spread the Warmth Drive

by Heather Maloney

Heather Maloney (left), Director of the UCBA Library and Jen Ellis, Associate Professor of Nursing, pose with items collected for the Spread the Warmth Drive.

Thank you to all who generously donated new and gently used coats, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and even blankets to support our UCBA Cares – Spread the Warmth Drive 2017. We collected over 148 items and donated them this week to the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Our donations will help make this winter and the holiday season a lot warmer for so many who are truly in need!

The Spread the Warmth Drive was sponsored and coordinated by the UCBA Library and Student Nursing Association.

Read UC Libraries 2016/17 Progress Report: Transforming People

progress report coverRead the University of Cincinnati Libraries 2016/17 Progress Report: Transforming People. In addition to providing an update on the news, events and stats from the previous academic year, the report celebrates UC Libraries’ most valuable resource – our people.

It is people who create a lasting impact on library operations, innovation and growth, and who implement and inspire lasting change. From essential library operations to innovative services, everything the Libraries has accomplished this past academic year is because of the hard work, dedication and creativity of the librarians and staff, as well as through collaborations and support of students, donors, faculty, researchers and university administrators.

The Progress Report is available online at https://issuu.com/uclibraries/docs/uclannualprogressreport16_17.

Questions? Request a print copy? Email melissa.norris@uc.edu

Happy Reading!

Don Heinrich Tolzmann Collection Now Available for Research

By: Kevin Rigsby, ARB Intern, Fall Semester 2017

AbendschuleThe University of Cincinnati Archives and Rare Books Library announces the opening of the Don Heinrich Tolzmann German-Americana Collection.  This collection contains a wealth of material from the German-American community in the United States, especially from Germans in the Greater Cincinnati area.  Of particular note are several sets of German almanacs from the early 20th century, papers and photographs from prominent German-American organizations such as the Turners, and histories and biographies written by or about influential figures in the German-American community.  There are also German-language newspapers from the beginning to the end of the 20th century, along with histories of several German religious institutions from the Cincinnati area.  This collection provides a valuable resource for students and scholars researching the history of German-American culture, and we extend our great appreciation to Dr. Tolzmann for his important donation.

The online exhibit for this collection showcases some highlights from this collection and provides a glimpse of the materials it holds.  The exhibit can be found on the Archives & Rare Books Library website at http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/exhibits/tolzmann-ga/.  And in looking at this exhibit, be sure to view other collections of German-Americana at https://libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/german-americana.html, including the “Gut Heil! The 1909 Cincinnati German Turnfest and Urban Sport” exhibit and the “Sacred Spaces of Greater Cincinnati and the German Influence” exhibit.  To learn more about the German Americana Collection, which is one of the top collections in the world of its type, or the other collections in the Archives & Rare Books Library, visit us on the 8th floor of Blegen Library, call us at 513.556.1959, email us at archives@ucmail.uc.edu, view our website at http://libraries.uc.edu/arb.html, and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArchivesRareBooksLibraryUniversityOfCincinnati.

Happy Winter Solstice, Greeks and Romans! From the Classics Library’s Staff.

Recommended holiday readings include Latin writings on agriculture, festivals, and the seasons:

Macrobius’ Saturnalia https://www.loebclassics.com/view/macrobius-saturnalia/2011/pb_LCL510.3.xml?rskey=zBWyFV&result=1

Columella’s Res Rustica https://www.loebclassics.com/view/columella-agriculture/1941/pb_LCL361.3.xml?rskey=2qvhvQ&result=1

And De Arboribus https://www.loebclassics.com/view/columella-trees/1955/pb_LCL408.343.xml?rskey=2qvhvQ&result=2 

Varro’s Res Rustica https://www.loebclassics.com/view/varro-agriculture/1934/pb_LCL283.161.xml?rskey=IlRdAQ&result=2

Cato’s De Agri Cultura https://www.loebclassics.com/view/cato-agriculture/1934/pb_LCL283.3.xml?rskey=A8FqDU&result=1

 

 

PS. If you have not yet picked up a classics library mini-bookmark (perfect for pocket-size books!), please come to the Reading Room and do so. While there, you can also view a display of rare books and modern editions of the agricultural writings above. Also, stay tuned for Angelica Wisenbarger’s witty description of the classics library’s “Book of the Month,” Stephanus’ 1543 imprint of Cato and Varro on Agriculture with commentary by Petrus Victorius, on Facebook later this month.

Oxford Music Online interface has changed

No. You are not suffering from sleep deprivation or over-study. As of Dec. 7, the Oxford Music Online interface has changed. First observation: works lists are integrated into the main article (no more “works” tab). To navigate to a works list, use the outline in the left column. It is going to take time for all of us to adjust. If there is something you are sure must be there, but you simply cannot find now, please contact one of the music librarians, and we will do our best to assist: Jenny Doctor: jenny.doctor@uc.edu or Paul Cauthen: paul.cauthen@uc.edu.

Starting Dec. 8 Langsam Library’s 4th Floor will Close when the Desk@Langsam Closes during Winter Break

winter break

Langsam Library’s Winter Break Hours:

December 8-10

Fri, Dec 8 – 7:45am-6pm
Sat, Dec 9 – 10am-6pm
Sun, Dec 10 – CLOSED

December 11-22

Mon-Fri – 8am-5pm
Sat & Sun – CLOSED

December 23-January 7 –

Dec 23-Jan 1 – CLOSED (Winter Seasonal Days)
Tues-Fri, Jan 2-5 – 8am-5pm
Sat, Jan 6 – CLOSED
Sun, Jan 7 – 12pm-11pm

Langsam’s 4th floor will resume 24/7 hours on Sunday, January 7.

UCBA Library 50th Anniversary Display

by Heather Maloney

Library display and sign
UC Blue Ash 50th Anniversary Display

The UCBA Library welcomes a Cincinnati Museum Center exhibit honoring our college’s 50th Anniversary. The display includes 1960’s era consumer products, a brief overview of major events and statistics of 1967, and a monitor running historic video entitled “Outlook 67”, produced by National  Television featuring an overview of the economy for the then upcoming year 1967. Take a break from exams to stop by and check it out!

Curate My Community is a series of exhibits at various locations that lets the Cincinnati Museum Center’s share its rich collections and the region’s incredible natural and man-made history with lifelong Members and new audiences. Together with partner organizations throughout the community we’ll continue to spark curiosity, educate people about the science and history of the region, and inspire lifelong learners. Read more at http://www.cincymuseum.org/curate-my-community

 

The recordkeeping of energy infrastructure

Natural gas pipeline capacity out of Ohio

When people think of the energy industry, they often picture heavy industrial equipment – pipelines criss-crossing prairies, oil rigs along coastlines, or earthmovers pushing mountaintop overburden into valleys below. But what about the invisible equipment? How do we visualize the caverns that store nuclear energy production waste? How do we know where the underground  piping is that connects us to the grid? How can we tell when there are wells nearby?

We cannot see invisible infrastructure, and even visible infrastructure blends into the background of our daily lives. But we can see the outlines of all infrastructure by inspecting the records associated with it. Some recordkeeping associated with the energy industry’s infrastructure is available to the public – permits that must be filed with state and federal agencies, for example. Other recordkeeping conducted for internal corporate administration is considered private business information. Some business information may be shared with the public if an energy company is a public company, but other forms of information may be proprietary.

One of the fastest growing sectors of domestic energy production is hydraulic fracturing of shale formations, better known as fracking. Ohio is located in a major shale formation and is the 7th largest producer of natural gas. According to the Energy Information Agency, “[t]he Utica Shale has contributed to the rapid increase in natural gas production in Ohio, which was almost 19 times greater in 2016 than 2011.” Ohio’s neighbors of West Virginia and Pennsylvania are part of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, and also rank highly for natural gas production (Pennsylvania is the #2 domestic producer, West Virginia is #8).

Most oil and gas activities are regulated at the state-level, and therefore different states have varying regulations around fracking. As a result, the impacts from fracking are experienced differently depending on where you live. Since there is a different regulatory landscape from state to state, this means that the information and records concerning fracking vary across state lines. To put it another way, this means that the public has different levels of information about fracking depending on where it’s carried out.

An illuminating example can be found with disclosure of chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing. Many states use the registry FracFocus for chemical disclosure. However, a recent study of FracFocus showed that 92% of submitted chemical disclosures for wells “withheld at least one ingredient record” by classifying it as a trade secret, confidential or proprietary business information (Konschnik and Dayalu, 2016, p. 508).

This issue will almost certainly continue to be of regional importance for both industry and concerned citizens. Ohio and Pennsylvania increased their production of natural gas more than any other states between 2015-2016, and the Energy Information Agency “projects that natural gas production will increase in both 2017 and 2018 as natural gas prices rise.” As the federal government and many states continue to embrace domestic fossil-fuel production over renewable energy, this is a topic that deserves our attention.