This past year the University of Cincinnati marked its Bicentennial led by the tenants: To Honor the past. Elevate the present. Bend the future. While
celebrating the Libraries’ vital role in the past 200 years of the university, we also took this opportunity to reflect on our goals, objectives, accomplishments and gaps as the next phase of our strategic direction.
Our year of reflection has resulted in the need for the creation of an emerging, and even bolder, Strategic Framework – one built upon the knowledge of our strengths and challenges, coupled with the needs and perspectives of our users, and that will propel us forward as we strive to become the globally engaged intellectual commons of the university – now and well into the future.
The University of Cincinnati Libraries Annual Progress Report, 2018/2019, available online at https://issuu.com/uclibraries/docs/uclannualreport18_19, makes note of the accomplishments and happenings of the previous year, as well as celebrates the people and donors integral to us fulfilling the work of 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.
The Luna application, which houses some of our digital collections, will be upgraded to the latest version available from the vendor this morning, Dec. 12 starting at 10:00 am, so that we may patch some security vulnerabilities that were discovered from a recent scan of the server. Once the upgrade has been completed an all clear will be sent out for the server.
Modern Greek Studies in the United States and Grecian Cincinnatians
Modern Greek Studies generally finds its home in Classics departments in the U.S. (which was true also for UC which used to have a professor and lecturers in Modern Greek in addition to a curator of the Modern Greek collection in the Classics Library, Eugenia Foster) in acknowledgement of its Ancient Greek legacy. Also, most librarians of Modern Greek Studies at U.S. institutions are classicists. I guess because Modern Greek is closer to Ancient Greek than Italian is to Latin and Greeks do not share the same influential medieval and Renaissance past as Italians (although one might argue that the importance of Byzantium has been much undervalued), so contemporary Greeks feel maybe a closer connection to antiquity. Italy was also not ruled by a foreign empire for several hundred years, thus not allowing for more modern Greek cultural expressions to develop. The concept of Philhellenism, love of Greece, is also still alive and well among many humanities scholars, especially among ancient historians, classical archaeologists, and philologists. However, there are some American institutions that have recently opened Centers for Hellenic Studies focusing primarily on Modern Greece such as UCLA and the University of Chicago. The UC Classics Library is aware of its history and believes very strongly in continuity with regard to collection strengths. Even though some might argue that our Modern Greek collection fills no function since UC does not teach Modern Greek at the moment, we acknowledge that academia is not immutable and that having a distinguished historic collection requires curating it and continuing to acquire important titles to remain an important resource and that UC as an academic research institution has a responsibility towards scholarly communities beyond UC.
James Lee has been appointed associate vice provost for digital scholarship and associate dean of libraries effective November 1, 2019.
“James’ new role is a direct investment from university leadership to support UC Libraries’ growing responsibility to lead our institution’s enterprise-wide digital scholarship and digital integration vision,” said Xuemao Wang, vice provost for digital scholarship and dean and university librarian.
In May 2019, Provost Kristi Nelson and Vice President for Research Pat Limbach jointly announced that UC Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) was selected as one of the first six anchor teams for the Digital Futures initiative. Digital Futures is integral to the Next Lives Here vision in UC’s strategic plan: “It will empower diverse teams of thinkers and doers to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” President Neville Pinto said, “to bend the future in Cincinnati’s direction.” In July 2019, Provost Nelson announced Dean Wang’s expanded responsibilities as vice provost for digital scholarship, describing his new portfolio as “…covering a broad spectrum of areas including the DSC, Scholar@UC and research and data management, but also digital archives and preservation, digital records and assets management, scholarly communication and digital publishing, as well as the rapidly evolving movements of open science, open education resources, open data and open access.” Continue reading James Lee Appointed Associate Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship and Associate Dean of Libraries
Zorro Turns 100: The Hispanic Legacy
of America’s First Superhero
In 1919, an unknown U.S. pulp fiction writer created a masked California hero who fought for the people against tyranny. The dashing Zorro not only became America’s first superhero—he influenced the creation of Batman and other cape crusaders in years to come.
Join us to learn about Zorro’s Hispanic legacy and why, without him, we wouldn’t have today’s superhero universe.
Who: Dr. Mauricio Espinoza, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature
When: Wednesday, October 23, 2 PM-3:30 PM
Where: Walter C. Langsam Library Digital Commons (by the Triceracopter)
“Artful Books,” on display now through the end of fall semester on the 4th and 5th floor lobbies of the Walter C. Langsam Library, features books created by members of the Cincinnati Book Arts Society (CBAS) inspired by and in celebration of UC and UC Libraries.
Earlier this year, CBAS members visited the Archives and Rare Books Library where they researched and reviewed various collections for inspiration – the results of which are now on display in two cases with over 15 artists’ books covering a wide range of subjects, forms and mediums. Select highlights of the exhibit include:
Jan Thomas, “Shooting Star.” In 1952, Marian Spencer, along with her sons, was not permitted at segregated Coney Island, Ohio, Amusement Park. This singular event became the catalyst for a life of public service as a civil rights advocate, community leader and champion.
Marguerite and Doug Katchen, “Bearcats and the Past.” Bearcats have been symbols of UC at least since the early 20th century. Wooden plagues of the map of Ohio were used as pages on which was described a brief history of the University of Cincinnati and on which were displayed Bearcat and Ohio patches.
Beth Belknap Brann, “Queen’s Icons.” This hand-drawn book is a celebration of Cincinnati’s architectural gems of the late 19th century. It was inspired by the historic photo archives in UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library.
Smruti Deoghare, “200 Years of Red, Black (and White),” the University of Cincinnati colors are more than just college colors. This bold palette of tricolor represents unity in diversity. Over the last 200 years, the University has provided education to people from all walks of life and colors – red, black, white, and all shades in between. The artist feels Tangeman University Center is the ideal architectural symbol of inclusivity on campus.
A brochure describing all of the books on display is available at the exhibit and online.
“Artful Books” was curated by Jessica Ebert, conservation technician in the Preservation Lab and CBAS member, and was designed by Michelle Matevia, communication design co-op student.
The Cincinnati Books Arts Society began in 1998 and is a non-profit organization comprised of professional and amateur book artists, paper artists and creators. Their membership includes bookbinders, print makers, paper marblers, book artists, archivists, conservation professionals and book enthusiasts interested in learning more about books and how they are created. Interested in learning more about CBAS? Check out their website and follow them on Facebook (Cincinnati Book Arts Society).
The University of Cincinnati Libraries announce a new strategic endeavor and department aimed at creating a holistic strategy for collections and the services provided for them. Effective Oct. 1, the new department is called Collection Development Services and Engagement and is to be led by senior librarian Arlene Johnson.
In her new role, Arlene will be responsible for:
development of a collections development services strategy for UC Libraries.
oversight and day-to-day management of all UC Libraries resource sharing activities.
development of services and strategies for remote storage of physical collections.
continuation as the selector and liaison to the Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures Department.
The goals of this new initiative and department are to create a sustainable collection development services approach by looking across all disciplines at UC Libraries, understanding OhioLINK and other nationwide and international trends in resource sharing and ensuring that long-term remote storage needs will meet and exceed users’ expectations. Over the next six months, Arlene will work collaboratively with College and Departmental Library heads, liaison/selector faculty librarians and content management faculty and staff to perform an environmental scan of current best practices, as well as national research trends and approaches, so as to identify and articulate a series of recommendations to the UC Libraries community for feedback, development and implementation.
Arlene has 19 years of service and scholarship with UC Libraries, serving previously as co-director of the Digital Scholarship Center and before that head of the Libraries’ Circulation and Multimedia Services Department.
“Arlene brings an outstanding skill-set and experiences to lead this important strategic endeavor,” said Brad Warren, associate dean of public services for UC Libraries. “Her understanding of the role of the liaison coupled with the changing landscape of scholarship and the unique needs of the academic community, make her the ideal choice to head up this new department.”
“I would like to thank Arlene for her recent work with the Digital Scholarship Center,” said Xuemao Wang, vice provost of digital scholarship and dean and university librarian. “She played an instrumental role in introducing the concept of digital humanities to both UC Libraries and to our colleagues at the university, as well as in the early establishment of the Digital Scholarship Center.”
Congratulations to Arlene on her new position and responsibilities!
Dr. Albert B. Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, donated his complete correspondence, laboratory materials, manuscripts, awards and medals to the University of Cincinnati. His papers document both the development and testing of the oral polio vaccine and the growth of virology as a discipline.
In 1995, the John Hauck Foundation helped the Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center (now the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions) establish the Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives. An initial gift provided funds for an archivist to organize and preserve Dr. Sabin’s collection. Later, the Hauck Foundation provided the Winkler Center with two additional donations that helped with the construction of the Winkler Center’s new home and the building of the John Hauck Foundation Gallery in the space.
Recently, selections of the Albert B. Sabin Papers Laboratory Notebooks were digitized with another gift from the John Hauck Foundation. The digitized materials were added to UC’s online repository, Scholar@UC available at https://scholar.uc.edu/ (search “Sabin Notebooks”). The physical collection of laboratory notebooks holds the entirety of Sabin’s laboratory work during his time at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation and the University of Cincinnati (1935 to 1969), including his service to the United States during World War II.
To meet vital digital collection production and management needs, UC librarians James Van Mil and Hannah Stitzlein have taken on new responsibilities to support digital content, collection and repository service needs for metadata, access, discovery, promotion, ingest/harvest and preservation. Working closely with Sidney Gao, digital lab coordinator, and Glen Horton, head of the development team, they will provide matrix support for content, collections, imaging, repository functional development and technology infrastructure support.
James Van Mil has a new title of digital projects and preservation librarian. In this role within the Content Services Team he is responsible for planning and implementing strategies for the life-cycle of digital content. James is a primary contact point for digital collections project management services, UC Libraries digital content strategy and assuring adherence to standards and clarity of workflow for digital preservation.
Hannah Stitzlein has a new title of metadata and repository services librarian. Hannah Stitzlein, in her first year with UC Libraries has had a primary focus on metadata, the standardized description of digital content that ensures future access and data transfer for the libraries digital collections. In concert with metadata analysis and application, Hannah will now begin to provide repository services to further promote use of repository content and enhance discovery of collections.