Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American HeritageMay is Jewish American Heritage Month, officially recognized by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006.  Each year this proclamation is renewed by the current president to recognize and celebrate Jewish American culture, achievements and contributions since they first arrived in New Amsterdam, the southern tip of Manhattan Island, in 1654.  Continue reading

Star Wars Turns 40

Star Wars posterDid you know It’s been forty years since Star Wars premiered in May 1977.  It is the first film in perhaps the greatest cinematic franchise in history.  Most people would then make the assumption that its premiere was highly anticipated with wild fervor sweeping across the country.  Did you know that actual number of theaters showing the movie on opening day was fewer than 32? Continue reading

Archives and Civil Rights

John_Lewis_1964-04-16From Thursday, April 6th, through Saturday, April 8th, I attended the 2017 Midwest Archives Conference, held in Omaha. Throughout these three days, I heard about (and saw) many examples of amazing online digital archives and came away from the weekend with many ideas for improving Bellevue University’s own archives, which I’ll begin to implement over the coming months.

What I want to talk about specifically, however, were the plot threads that ran all throughout the conference: civil rights and politics. The conference opened with a session on the history of the famous Standing Bear v. Crook case, and the bulk of the remaining sessions discussed subjects like documenting protests and riots and preserving the history of and reaching out to social minorities. Even the sessions that focused more on the technical aspects of archival work circled back to these themes.

One of the most compelling such sessions focused on Washington University’s efforts to restore the complete uncut interviews from Henry Hampton’s landmark Eyes on the Prize documentary series. You can view their efforts here (if you watch only one, I particularly recommend the 1985 John Lewis interview). Not only was the technical insight into film editing and restoration fascinating, but the history of the content itself and its continued relevance is remarkable. Of all the resources I saw at the conference, this was the one whose importance I was most struck by, and it would not have been possible without outside funding.

A recurring theme at the conference was the necessity of government funding for archives, libraries, and museums. Concern was expressed, session after session, about a recent budget proposed by President Trump that would see such funding essentially removed altogether. This proposal, coupled with the current administration’s stance on issues like immigration (and his feud with the above-mentioned John Lewis), lent the conference an almost revolutionary air, as several presenters delivered impassioned defenses of libraries, humanities, and the arts, pointing to their work as necessary for the continued improvement of social matters in the U.S.

You can read more about the proposed budget in question here.

The presentation on Standing Bear v. Crook was in part presented by author Joe Starita, whose book on Standing Bear is available to check out from the Bellevue University Library.

Concussion: DVD Review

ConcussionDebate on the long-term effects of head traumas suffered by professional football players is a relatively new concern.  For decades, professional teams of the National Football League downplayed the possible permanent brain damage to players who experienced repeated concussions. In this film, Will Smith portrays forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was on staff at one of the hospitals in Pittsburgh. Continue reading

International Jazz Day

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Last year I made a post for Jazz Appreciation Month that held a few great, relatively unknown Jazz albums that I thought needed to be brought out from behind their proverbial bushel.  This year, I wanted to celebrate International Jazz Day, which is April 30th by the way, by offering some great documentaries on Jazz that we have through our streaming services here at BU. Click past the break for more!  Continue reading

John James Audubon, Naturalist

John James AudubonJohn James Audubon was born in what was then San Domingo (now Haiti) on this date 232 years ago in 1785. His childhood was spent in France, but by 1803 he left there to avoid conscription in Napoleon’s army. His father was a successful businessman and sea captain, and hoped an extended visit to Pennsylvania would encourage John James to find his way in the New World. Though he didn’t follow the path his father hoped, John James discovered two loves that endured for his lifetime – his friend and wife, Lucy Bakewell, and living in and preserving the outdoor life.

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Anthropological Linguistics Journal Review

Anthro. LinguisticsFor centuries people have been trying to study the history, culture, and languages of their own people; trying to discover where they come from and what their ancestors were like.  Taking this path to discovery can be difficult; however, there is one journal that can help take you in the right direction. “Anthropological Linguistics” allows readers to explore many different aspects of the world, and sets out to help readers explore what makes us human. Continue reading

Bed Bugs in a Library?

Bed Bug Sign

This year the Bellevue University Library Staff celebrated its 20th year offering a Professional Growth Day for library staff. The day provided an opportunity for Library Staff to come together and present for 10 minutes each on a library-related topic.  This year, Professional Growth Day was on Wednesday March 8, 2017. The  presentation that I did was, “Bed Bug Prevention in Libraries.” Continue reading

Collection Mapping

Collection MappingAt the Freeman Lozier Library, we always strive to bring you the absolute best materials for your area of study.  In an attempt to locate new and engaging materials for your research, the Technical Services Department has been slowly developing a new method to streamline how your professors make selections for their respective departments. Continue reading