One of UC Libraries’ greatest strengths is its partnerships and collaborations. On or off campus, at home or abroad, the Libraries are always looking for opportunities to forge new relationships, while engaging in the university’s global agenda. As library dean I am fortunate enough to be involved with many of these relationships from their infancy.
This spring I traveled to China with UC’s Provost Kristi Nelson and Vice Provost for International Affairs Raj Mehta to visit Beijing Jiaotong University and Shandong University. In my role as Special Advisor to the Provost on China Initiatives, I have traveled to China on many occasions with various members of UC’s senior leadership, assisting in UC’s China engagement. More often than not, these trips include tours of university libraries (see the picture on the bottom left corner of Provost Nelson and me at the new Shandong University Qingdao campus library).
For several months from July of 2017 to April of this year, each day on the Archives & Rare Books Library’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ArchivesRareBooksLibraryUniversityOfCincinnati/, featured an architectural element of Blegen Library, from printer’s marks to the original floor tiles and terrazzo walls. In the way the cultural heritage of the building was presented with its sculptures and carvings representing the history of the book and the legacy of education, every detail was explored with a capsule account of its meaning and importance. The figures in the bas reliefs of “Ex Occidente Lux” and “Ex Orientale Lux” were freshly discovered. The bronze symbols of knowledge over the front door were explained. The human stories behind the plaster and bronze printers marks were revealed. Continue reading The Cycle of Knowledge and Do Unto Others: The Ouroboros of Blegen Library
The Winkler Center would like to thank Nandita Baxi Sheth (DAAP) and the University of Cincinnati Scholars Program for seeking the Center’s participation in the Summer 2018 Scholars Program titled Artifact from the Future: A Trans Disciplinary Critical Inquiry Experience.
The UC Scholars Program brought Hughes STEM High School 10th and 11th grade students to the University of Cincinnati for a two-week residential, immersive summer critical thinking experience that:
built skills through problem based and experiential learning activities
provided exposure to multiple UC Colleges and Programs, degrees, and careers
provided on campus residential living experience
introduced community and industry partners
developed mindfulness and self-care practices
developed collaborative, leadership, and study skills
The program planned all these learning activities and experiences through a lens of thematic inquiry.
The theme of inquiry for the summer ‘18 Scholars was a deep consideration of the future. Using a wide-range of multimedia and disciplinary approaches including the anthropocene, speculative fiction, science fiction, afrofuturism, and technology, students delved into prospective world scenarios and dystopian futures, and were charged with developing artifacts from that future.
One stop for the scholars was the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions. There, curator, Gino Pasi, gave a workshop for the students which included an introduction to archives, curatorship and public history, and a brief overview of what it is the Winkler Center actually does. Students then were introduced to health science-related artifacts from the past.
After that, four teams of scholars were created and each team received an artifact to examine, describe, and then use in a story, play, poem, or some other written work to be presented at the end of the workshop. The Winkler Center objects given to the students included the “iron lung,” an electro-convulsive therapy unit, a baby incubator from the 1950s, and a “quackery” cure-all from the 1930s called the Electraply. Amazingly each team described and guessed the proper uses of each artifact without any hints or clues.
We hope the students enjoyed not only their Winkler Center experience, but also the rest of their time here at UC. We hope to see them here in the future. For more on this year’s scholars program see: https://www.rtefakt.org/
Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.
In this edition of Source we highlight some of the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ newest endeavors in digital collections. From the latest version of the university’s digital repository, Scholar@UC, to a new archive space for special collections, to our recent membership in the large-scale collaborative repository HathiTrust, UC Libraries has made great strides in increasing our digital footprint and exploring new ways to enhance our user’s scholarship and the ways they can access and utilize our collections.
Join us Monday, June 18, from 1-2pm in G005G of the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library for the Dr. Stanley B. Troup Learning Space Grand Opening. Librarians and informationists will give demos of the space. They will show how the technology is integrated into the classroom and transforms the way they provide library instruction. All are welcome, so bring a colleague.
In my previous blogs, I have explored the history of Cincinnati’s House of Refuge and the records of the institution that are still available. Throughout my journey, I have been struck by the number of homeless children and children without adequate homes who were placed in this juvenile detention facility. One of the questions that I have been exploring is why these children were placed in the House of Refuge and not in another institution. My first thought was that there must not have been anywhere for these children to go, but a search for orphanages and other institutions in 19th Century Cincinnati has revealed that there actually were institutions that cared for children who had been abandoned, neglected, or whose parents were simply unable to care for them. So why were children who were not juvenile delinquents living in the House of Refuge? It seems that one reason may have been because there was not a standardized or centralized way of dealing with neglected, abused or homeless children in the city.
Services for children in need in 19th century Cincinnati were controlled by different entities and the placement of children was often influenced by religion, ethnicity, and race. Orphanages in Cincinnati were almost exclusively privately run and they were often affiliated with a particular religion. Some took in children who were homeless or children who the administrators felt were not adequately cared for by their parents, but other institutions only accepted orphans whose parents were either both deceased or whose parents were contributing members. In addition, only a few institutions in 19th century Cincinnati, including the House of Refuge, accepted African American children. A closer look at a few of these early Cincinnati orphanages shows how their services differed and overlapped. Continue reading The Cincinnati House of Refuge and Asylums for Children in 19th century Cincinnati
Zhaowei Ren started work as a software developer in the Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) on Tuesday, May 29. Zhaowei is the first hire funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the Digital Scholarship Center’s research on machine learning and data visualization in multiple disciplines in the humanities and beyond.
Zhaowei received his Master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he focused on data mining, algorithm design and semantic modeling. He has worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on several bioinformatics projects, and at Spatial.ai, a data science firm.
He brings a terrific set of both theoretical and practical skills to the DSC that will help in implementing and scaling up their machine learning and data visualization platform for transdisciplinary research.
Two additional hires funded by the Mellon grant will begin in the DSC in July.
On September 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, General William Haines Lytle of Cincinnati was shot and killed by a Confederate sniper’s bullet in the Battle of Chickamauga. A few days later, his body was carried back to his hometown. Lytle’s funeral was held at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati and the thousands of mourners followed his casket in the cortege to Spring Grove Cemetery, miles away from the church. The slow procession took up most of the day, the general’s body not arriving at Spring Grove until dusk. Sometime later, his grave marker – a broken column – would dominate the landscape of the garden cemetery.
William Lytle was more than another officer killed in battle. He was a literary man, a soldier-poet whose verse in antebellum America was popular in both the North and the South, and whose lines reflected his experiences on the battlefield. They showed a view of the bloody vista typical of the Romantic era and they embodied his view of duty as well, in his eyes, a terrible beauty of death and destruction. Lytle was a part of the Romantic tradition in his poetry, incorporating his classical education as a boy with his notions of heroism and duty in life. This is an excerpt from a poem he wrote in 1840 as a fourteen-year-old, “The Soldier’s Death”: Continue reading “I Am Dying, Egypt, Dying!”: A Cincinnati College Soldier-Poet’s Embrace of the Battlefield
All UC Libraries locations will be closed Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day, except for the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, which will remain open 9am-5pm. This closing includes the Langsam Library 4th floor space, which will close Sunday, May 27 at 5pm and re-open Tuesday, May 29 at 8am.
Regular library hours for all locations will resume Tuesday, May 29.
Two interesting publications by and about Dr. William Jensen, the curator of the Oesper Museum, have been added to the Oesper history of chemistry book collection. Click here to see the details in the March-April 2018 list.
For more information about Oesper and the apparatus museum, click here.
If you have any questions about this collection, contact Ted Baldwin, Director of Science and Engineering Libraries, at Ted.Baldwin@uc.edu.