March 2013 Archives

WHO: Stephen G. Nichols, James M. Beall Professor Emeritus of French & Humanities and Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

WHEN: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 4:15PM

WHERE: Pomona, Hahn 101

DESCRIPTION: Medieval manuscripts seem far removed from our contemporary world of Internet technology. What possible role in this world could one find for medieval scribes who copied literary, philosophical, historical, or scientific treatises by hand -- often accompanied by beautiful miniature paintings and decorations? How can they correlate with the born digital documents we read, study, or create everyday on our laptops, iPads, and computers?

However counter-intuitive it might seem, medieval manuscripts have played an important role in the development and refining of important tools for computational research in recent decades. On reflection, this should not come as a surprise since the evolution of the codex itself played a major role in the technology of the book in the Middle Ages. Viewed from this perspective, the world of the medieval scriptorium where scribes copied and illuminated (the term denoting manuscript painting and decoration) medieval codices has more in common with a 21st-century"digital scriptorium" than one might imagine. In fact, the teams of digital architects, programmers and meta-daticians required to deliver documents to our computer screens are much more similar to the teams of scribes, artists, and master scribes in a medieval scriptorium than they are to the printers who produced letterpress or offset books from the Renaissance to the late 20th century.

This lecture will explore the paradoxical symmetry between the medieval scriptorium and the contemporary digital scriptorium from three perspectives. First, I will explain the making of a medieval illuminated manuscript using illustrations and descriptions from codices of the 13th-15th centuries. Secondly, I will demonstrate the production of a digital surrogate or presentation of a medieval codex in the Digital Library of Medieval Manuscripts at Johns Hopkins University by going behind the scenes into the digital scriptorium. Thirdly, I will then suggest that as fascinating as the technology involved in transferring a parchment artifact to cyberspace may be, of far greater interest and significance are the possibilities of "thinking with, about, and through these objects" that digital versions provide. In other words, by making an historical artifact once available only to a very few privileged people accessible to anyone with a computer at any time of the day or night every day of the year, whole new vistas of teaching and researching medieval culture open up. The lecture will conclude by exploring briefly innovative teaching and research questions that digital versions of historical objects make possible.

Announcing RE:BOOK 2013!

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Most of us have old paperbacks, printouts, magazines, textbooks, or notebooks lying around that are falling apart or have generally seen better days. Instead of recycling, how about a little creative repurposing that could net you (modest) fame and (a small amount of) fortune?

In honor of National Library Week April 14-20, the Claremont Colleges Library is inviting entries for RE:BOOK 2013, our second annual repurposed paper art contest. You can be as innovative as you like with your submission, but *please note that you absolutely should not repurpose extant Library or otherwise viable books!* The idea of this contest is to give worn or cast-off pages new life.

This year will feature three Amazon gift card prizes for the best re:books: 1st - $250 | 2nd - $100 | 3rd - $50

Throw your hat in the ring at - RE:BOOKs must be submitted to the Library's Services Desk by 5 pm on Friday April 12. We'll have a RE:BOOK celebration, display, and prize giveaway on Tuesday April 16th at 3:30 in the Honnold/Mudd Founders Room.

To give you an idea of how all-around awesome this contest is, check out photos from RE:BOOK 2012, including our 1st prize winner 'Faire Day' by Scripps' Alexandra Pineus.


New Library Dean Announced

Dear Claremont Colleges Community:

On behalf of the Joint Governance Committee, I joyfully announce that Kevin Mulroy has been appointed to serve as the A.J. McFadden Dean of The Claremont Colleges Library. He begins on July 15.

Kevin comes to The Claremont Colleges from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he has served since 2008 as the associate university librarian for academic services.

He is an academic and author with more than 25 years of experience managing some of the most esteemed research collections in the country. He is a proven leader in all facets of library management, including public services, collection management, personnel, budgeting, fundraising, and technological innovation.

Kevin was selected following a two-year national search. He will lead a library unlike any other in the country, and he arrives at a time of significant opportunity, joining a new positioning of the library within the framework of The Claremont Colleges that brings with it high aspirations and renewed institutional purpose.

In October, executive oversight of the library was assumed by the Joint Governance Committee, which is composed of the presidents and chief academic officers of the seven colleges. Leadership of the committee rotates every five years and currently rests with Claremont Graduate University.

Reporting to the lead institution, Kevin will work within this new governance model to develop and implement a strategic plan and vision for the library, ensure its integration into the fabric of each of the seven Claremont Colleges, and clarify and define the focus of its collections. He will assess the library's space, facilities and information technology needs; lead a highly-skilled library staff; and leverage the library's financial resources and pursue additional funding to improve growth and service.

The preeminent academic resource for our seven colleges, the library has a general collection of approximately 2 million volumes, ranking third in the state of California among private institutions.

During his service at UCLA, Kevin oversaw about one third of the university's vast, nationally ranked library operations. He managed a budget of more than $10 million and held oversight of more than $5 million in acquisitions funds. His portfolio included responsibility for the operations of the Charles E. Young Research Library's Collections, Research and Instructional Services; Library Special Collections; enterprise-wide Teaching and Learning and Access Services; the Powell (College) Library; the East Asian Library; the Arts Library; and the Music Library.

From 2001-08, he served at the University of Southern California (USC) as associate executive director for research collections and services and as assistant dean for contracts and grants.

Before that, Kevin worked for eight years as director of research at the Autry National Center. He also held earlier positions at the Getty Research Institute and the UCLA Library.

Kevin's areas of subject expertise include US ethnic history and American studies. He has written two books on relations between African-Americans and American Indians: The Seminole Freedmen: a History and the award-winning Freedom on the Border: the Seminole Maroons in Florida, the Indian Territory, Coahuila and Texas. Mulroy co-edited Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California. And he edited a book based on an exhibition he curated at the Autry on international responses to the Western entitled Western AmerykaƄski: Polish Poster Art and the Western.

Kevin has presented and published widely on various aspects of US ethnic history, popular culture, and academic librarianship. He has also curated a number of exhibitions and organized public programs and events.

He received an MA in US history and politics and a PhD in American studies from the University of Keele (England) and an MLS from Rutgers University.

In addition to leading The Claremont Colleges Library, Kevin will join the faculty at Claremont Graduate University as professor of history and cultural studies.

Please join us in welcoming him.

Debbie Freund, on behalf of the Joint Governance Committee

Thurs., March 14, 4:15 PM | Founders Room |

Alicia Bonaparte, Sociology Field Group, Pitzer College

How did childbirth, once commonly administered in the household by lay midwives for women, become the domain of the hospital and the state? During the early 20th century, it was common for older African-American women -- Granny Midwives -- to serve this function, both for rural black and white women in South Carolina and elsewhere in the American South. Professor Alicia D. Bonaparte, medical sociologist at Pitzer College, will discuss her examination of South Carolina Sanitary Codes and midwife supervisors' notes, demonstrating how local and state laws governing midwifery practice and bags , a microcosm reflecting a larger trend throughout the country, became more restrictive over time. As a result, these restrictions diminished the presence of midwives in birthing work.

FMI: Adam Rosenkranz

On-campus access has been restored.

Chicano Database and History of Science Database Access Now Via Ebsco

You can still get to both via our databases page, but now the interface will be Ebsco rather than FirstSearch. Same content, different look. Please note that History of Science still can only be used by one person at a time.

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