Posts related to the archives and rare books category

Revealing the Cincinnati Irish

By:  Kevin Grace

Mollie Gilmartin Death CertificateIn 1866, dozens of Cincinnatians, many of them veterans of the Civil War, helped launch an unsuccessful Irish invasion of Canada.  After capture by British and Canadian forces, these Cincinnati Irish were repatriated and they came home.  In 1894, a young Irish immigrant by the name of Mary “Mollie” Gilmartin, living in Cincinnati’s West End, was killed by a man who had stalked her from County Sligo.  Mollie was buried without a grave marker and then forgotten for almost a century.  In 1908, a little girl from the Avondale neighborhood wrote her Christmas letter to Santa Claus.  Elainae, the six-year-old of a wealthy family asked for a doll and for an Irish maid.  And in the 1920s, Ireland’s political leader Éamon de Valera came to Cincinnati to raise money for his emerging independent country.  The Cincinnati Irish had deep pockets with an abiding connection to their heritage.  These are all fairly disparate stories that touch upon just one of the ethnic groups that shaped Cincinnati then, but what meaning is to be found in them now?  How are commonalities with other groups, other eras, and other places discovered and studied? Continue reading Revealing the Cincinnati Irish

Environmental Records and Regulation

By:  Eira Tansey

Burning Barge on the Ohio River
Strode, William, “Burning Barge on the Ohio River”, 1972, Environmental Protection Agency: DOCUMERICA. Image source: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/543983

The relationship between local, state, and federal environmental protection has always been complicated – both by accident and by design. When the earliest environmental protections began, they typically started at the local and state levels, often following some kind of environmental disaster – and thus, environmental protections developed unevenly. By the time, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970, the decentralization of environmental policy was deliberately embedded in the original organization of the agency: much of EPA’s enforcement and regulatory duties are delegated to state environmental agencies.

Water issues have been roiling the Midwest, with significant attention paid to the Flint lead crisis and the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Ohio’s water issues may not be in the headlines as much, but the risks are worth paying attention to. Ohio is often described as a “water-rich” state with Lake Erie to the north, and the Ohio River to the south. Although we may be water-rich, this water is often quite contaminated. The Ohio River is consistently ranked as the most polluted river in the United States, and UC researchers have conducted studies of pollutants from Ohio River-sourced drinking water supplies connected with past manufacture of Teflon. Both Lake Erie and the Ohio River routinely experience harmful algae blooms, which are often connected to runoff from agricultural activities – and much harder to regulate. In addition, Cincinnati is under a federal consent decree due to the overflow from infrastructure deficiencies with the local sewer system.  Continue reading Environmental Records and Regulation

Caring for Cincinnati’s Children: The Cincinnati House of Refuge and Beyond

The Cinicnnati House of Refuge in 1856
The House of Refuge from the 1856 Annual Report of the House of Refuge

Last year, I wrote a short history of the Cincinnati House of Refuge for a website that is currently under development by some UC Librarians which will make the data from ARB’s digitized Cincinnati House of Refuge records more easily searchable.   While conducting research on the history of the House of Refuge, I became intrigued with how Cincinnati dealt with children whose parents for one reason or another were unable to care for them in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Cincinnati House of Refuge was designed as a facility for juvenile delinquents, but over time it also came to house children who had nowhere else to go.  This fall I am beginning a research quest to piece together why this happened, and when and what alternatives to the House of Refuge were established.  I will be writing a series of blog posts on what I find.  This first one, though, will provide some background on Cincinnati’s House of Refuge. Continue reading Caring for Cincinnati’s Children: The Cincinnati House of Refuge and Beyond

What Do Martin Luther, a Hidden Paleontologist and German-Americans Have in Common? They are All in the Latest Source.

sourceRead Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

This latest issue of Source includes an article from Xuemao Wang, dean and university librarian, about UC Libraries core beliefs and their role on how we achieve our mission “to empower discovery, stimulate learning and inspire the creation of knowledge by connecting students, faculty, researchers and scholars to dynamic data, information and resources.” Kevin Grace, university archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library, writes about a hidden bust of a famous 20th-century paleontologist and philosopher. Two important gifts are announced in this issues of Source – the first, an endowment from the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation for the German-Americana Collection; the second, a legacy gift from Sandra and Robert Cohan to benefit musical collections in the Albino Gorno Memorial Library. Exhibits highlighting the Archives and Rare Books Library’s Shakespeare Collection, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and a book display for Hispanic Heritage Month are also featured in this issue of Source. In addition, a collaboration between the College of Medicine and the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library to create a grant program to partner medical faculty with library informationists is announced.

Read these articles, as well as past issues, on the web at http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/source/ and via e-mail. To receive Source via e-mail, contact melissa.norris@uc.edu to be added to the mailing list.

Breaking in a New Stage

By: Sydney Vollmer, B.S., Marketing ‘17

Otto M. Budig Theater StageLast week, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company said hello to their new home at the Otto M. Budig Theater with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was fortunate enough to be invited to their Media Night on September 7, when I got a first look at the space and the show.

The Theater

Located at 1195 Elm Street, the new theater features a modern style of architecture one might not expect for a company boasting Shakespeare’s name.  There is a large lobby area for everyone to gather before the show and during intermission and it is Otto M. Budig theater lobbypeppered with Shakespeare quotes and play titles everywhere you turn, from the steps to the seating. I personally am a fan of the bathroom sinks which read, “A little water clears us of this deed” – a direct quote from Lady Macbeth. When you go to a performance, see how many you can find!  Upstairs, an open room is used for classes and meetings for various presentations. During Media Night, Jeremy Dubin, Director of Creative Education, gave an informative presentation on the costuming and set design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Continue reading Breaking in a New Stage

Most UC Libraries Closed Labor Day, September 4

labor dayUC Libraries will be closed Monday, September 4 for Labor Day, except for the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, which will be open 9am-5pm. This closing includes the Langsam Library 4th floor space, which will close Sunday, September 3 at 11pm and re-open Tuesday, September 5 at 7:45am.

A complete listing of library hours can be found online at www.libraries.uc.edu/about/hours.html.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend.

An Environmental Legacy

By:  Eira Tansey

Bob MarshallOver the last couple years, I’ve been exploring the relationship between record keeping, archives, and environmental policy. Right now, I’m shifting my research gears towards the role of recordkeeping practices in the formulation and enforcement of environmental policy.

To understand how we’ve arrived at today’s environmental problems and policies, it’s helpful to go back to the past and look at one of the most influential periods of federal action on natural resource protection. During Roosevelt’s New Deal, major environmental protection projects were undertaken, as well as the introduction of a major federal regulatory state. The Civilian Conservation Corps employed thousands of young men to build trails and buildings still in use today, as well as undertaking environmental restoration projects such as reforestation. While most of today’s major federal environmental laws have their roots in the 1970s, the legal foundation for federal action to be taken on issues that no state can resolve on its own can be traced back to many New Deal-era regulations. Continue reading An Environmental Legacy

GIS Learning Community – First Meeting for 2017-2018

 GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems.  GIS has applications for both teaching and research across many disciplines.

Do you need to visualize your spatial data but don’t know how? Do you have spatial data but don’t know how to map it?  Are you looking for guidance or have expertise to share regarding the analysis of spatial data?  Are you an ArcGIS, Q-GIS or other GIS program user and want to connect with other people who use these programs?  Are you simply curious about GIS and want to learn more?

The GIS Learning Community can help you address these and other questions.  The goal of the community is to be a user-driven forum for novice and expert practitioners to come together and discuss tools, resources, projects and solutions surrounding the spatial aspects of their data.   We invite interested individuals across all of UC to join us in building this community. The community is open to All Faculty, Staff and Students, as well as interested parties from outside of UC.  Please share with your colleagues and students.

The Details –

Date: September 6, 2017

Time: 3:00 to 4:30 pm

Place: (VENUE CHANGE 480 Langsam)

Light refreshments will be served

RSVP and Join the GIS LC at https://form.jotform.us/72324913145149.

If you are interested in the GIS Learning Community and are not able to come to the first meeting, RSVP or email ASKGIS@UC.Edu to be added to the GIS LC email list. Future invites will go to the GIS LC email list only.

More information is available on the GIS LC page on the GIS research guide:  http://guides.libraries.uc.edu/GIS/GISLC

The Mystery and Emotion of “Blue”

By: Kevin Grace

The Three PrincessesIt is a color that has both negative and positive connotations, is symbolic of mysticism, social rank, both high and low emotions, and of serenity and wisdom.  Blue is a color that is a signifier of both Hell and purity, of luxury and dignity.  There are as many interpretations of what “blue” symbolizes as there are cultures in the world.

And the symbolism of the color is the rationale behind an online exhibit created by Archives & Rare Books Library.  Intended to highlight the spectrum of rare books in the collections, the selections show the cultural diversity over the ages of this particular color.   Nineteen volumes are represented in the exhibit, with several examples from each of illustrations and bindings, ranging from a 15th century illuminated book of hours to early Qur’ans and Persian poetry.  There are botanicals, fairy tales, Art Deco bindings, Asian drawing Ms. No. 20manuals, pochoir pattern books, and Turkish ebru marbled paper.  Each indicates a specific use of blue that depends on religion, technology, or geographical heritage. Continue reading The Mystery and Emotion of “Blue”

Stratford-upon-Avon: “A Town Synonymous with William Shakespeare”

By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Ah, summer. A time for frolicking on the beaches, zipping swiftly through busy cities with bright lights, tolerating that toddler kicking your seat on the plane just because it means you’re finally getting to spend some time away from work, and appreciating the Bard? It’s true. Shakespeare’s home, Stratford-upon-Avon, has been relying on tourism to bolster its economy since 1769.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Source: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Continue reading Stratford-upon-Avon: “A Town Synonymous with William Shakespeare”