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Event: Gwendolyn Brooks and the Mundane World

Gwendolyn Brooks's son's baby shoesPoet, novelist, and Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks is heralded for her deftness capturing the everydayness of black people, especially black Chicagoans, in her writing. Works like A Street in Bronzeville (1945) and Maud Martha (1953) portray the mundane aspirations and realities of their characters. Brooks’ papers in the Bancroft Library show that the author was very much attuned to the commonplace and ordinary in her own life as well. This April 20th talk by Amani Morrison looks at some of Brooks’s artifacts and writings, and suggests how the author’s own practices of marking time and experiences might help us to creatively rethink our own.

Event details
Bancroft Roundtable: MARKING TIME: GWENDOLYN BROOKS AND THE MUNDANE WORLD
April 20, noon
Lewis-Latimer Room, The Faculty Club
Presented by Amani Morrison, Bancroft Library Study Award recipient and doctoral candidate in African Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley

Photo: [Baby shoes of Henry Blakely III, ca. 1940], The Bancroft Library, BANC PIC 2001.201–OBJ. Photographed by José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez, PhD.

April Story Hour Features Shanthi Sekaran

Join us on Thursday April 13 from 5 to 6 pm for Story Hour in the Library featuring Shanthi Sekaran. Her new novel, Lucky Boy, has been praised as “richly layered” and “superbly crafted.” It tells the story of a young undocumented Mexican woman who finds her fate unexpectedly entwined with that of a Berkeley couple. Sekaran’s first novel The Prayer Room came out in 2009. She now lives in Berkeley and teaches writing at California College of the Arts. Story Hour in the Library is a monthly prose reading series held in UC Berkeley’s Morrison Library.

Details
Thursday, April 13, 2017
5 to 6 pm
Morrison Library, UC Berkeley Campus
storyhour.berkeley.edu
Free and open to the public

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley L. Bacchi, 510-664-7737, lcoevents@berkeley.edu.

April Lunch Poems Features devorah major

Join us on Thursday April 6, from 12:10 to 12:50 pm for a Lunch Poems reading featuring devorah major, who served as San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate from 2002 to 2006. In addition to her four poetry books, she has published four poetry chapbooks, two novels including An Open Weave (winner of the ALA Black Caucus First Novel Award), and two biographies for young adults. In 2016, City Lights Publishing released a new poetry collection and then we became. major’s poetry has been recorded on four CDs and she performs nationally and internationally with and without musicians. She is Poet-in-Residence at San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museums and a Senior Adjunct Professor in Diversity Studies at California College for the Arts. Lunch Poems is a monthly poetry reading series held in UC Berkeley’s Morrison Library.

Details
Thursday, April 6, 2017
12:10 to 12:50 pm
Morrison Library, UC Berkeley Campus
lunchpoems.berkeley.edu
Free and open to the public

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley L. Bacchi, 510-664-7737, lcoevents@berkeley.edu.

Write. Cite. Repeat.

Research management tools

Looking for an easy way to manage your research? The Library has you covered. We now offer premium access to three products — Overleaf, Mendeley, & ShareLaTeX — that make collaborative writing and citing in the engineering and physical sciences much easier. Sign up and learn more.

  • Overleaf is an online collaborative LaTeX editor with integrated real-time preview. It offers templates for arXiv and many journal publishers to help get you started, and it can also be linked to other services such as Mendeley, Git, and Plot.ly. A pro account (avaialable for free when you sign up with your Berkeley email) will provide up to 10GB storage space, 500 files per project, full project history, and the ability to save to Dropbox.
  • ShareLaTeX is also an online collaborative LaTeX editor. It too offers templates for arXiv and many journal publishers. With a premium account, you will get unlimited collaborators, full project history, and the ability to sync with Dropbox and Github.
  • Mendeley is a reference manager and academic social network that allows you to organize your references across multiple devices, automatically generate bibliographies, and share references with collaborators online. Your institutional account will provide up to 5GB personal library space, 20GB shared library space, 25 collaborators in private groups, and unlimited private groups.

Event: 19th-century Mormon maritime immigration

Icelandic immigrants on the ship Camoens, 1880s, National Museum of Iceland

The Bancroft Roundtable on March 16 will tell the captivating story of Mormon maritime immigration in the nineteenth century. Fred E. Woods, Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, bases his account on hundreds of first-person immigrant accounts collected and dissected over the past two decades. The superior modus operandi used by the Latter-day Saints to bring European converts to America is described.

Event details
Bancroft Roundtable: “The Sail before the Trail or Have We Missed the Boat?”
Thursday, March 16, noon
Lewis-Latimer Room, The Faculty Club
Presented by Fred E. Woods, Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University

March Lunch Poems features Jennifer Clarvoe

Join us on Thursday, March 2, from 12:10 to 12:50 pm for a Lunch Poems reading featuring Jennifer Clarvoe. The author of Invisible Tender and Counter-Amores, Clarvoe has received the Poets Out Loud Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the Rome Prize in Literature, as well as a Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers Conference and a residency from the James Merrill House. She has taught at Kenyon College for twenty-five years. Lunch Poems is a monthly poetry reading series held in UC Berkeley’s Morrison Library.

Details
Thursday, March 2, 2017
12:10 to 12:50 pm
Morrison Library, UC Berkeley Campus
lunchpoems.berkeley.edu
Free and open to the public

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley L. Bacchi, 510-664-7737, lcoevents@berkeley.edu.

Rare Books and Mystery Buff: Bancroft Cataloger Showcases Recent Donations at Oakland Book Fair

While most of Randal Brandt’s work involves sleuthing out cataloging information for the rare volumes that routinely cross his desk, he also finds time to curate Bancroft’s California Detective Fiction Collection.

Randal Brandt. Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library.

This collection will be showcased, along with examples of fantasy and science fiction and western fiction, at the upcoming 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, Feb. 10-12, in an exhibit Brandt curated. Many of the exhibited books are recent donations acquired through Brandt’s extensive network in the mystery writing community. Some of these include:

  • Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller presented the library with a gift of over 700 volumes in 2015, of books written, compiled, or edited by the “Mulzinis,” as they are affectionately known by their friends.
  • The Thomas H. Reynolds Collection of Ross Macdonald was received as a gift by Bancroft in 2016. Comprised of 37 exemplary copies of first editions and other rare volumes by Ross Macdonald, the collection was compiled by Thomas H. Reynolds, who, before his retirement, was the foreign and comparative law librarian at Berkeley.
  • The Anthony Boucher Collection was donated to the Bancroft Library in 2016. Boucher, who earned an M.A. from Berkeley, was a prolific writer of mysteries and science fiction, but is noted primarily for his reviewing and other activities. His renown in the field is such that the premiere annual conference of mystery authors, fans, and aficionados is known as Bouchercon.
Anthony Boucher

Also featured in the exhibit will be materials from other recent Bancroft acquisitions.

  • The Kenneth Perkins Papers were donated in 2015, including a wide-ranging array of hardcover novels, manuscript drafts, plot outlines, summaries, and synopses, research notes, correspondence, personal materials, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. Perkins, a prolific writer of westerns and mysteries, graduated from Berkeley in 1914.
Photo by Joseph Driste
  • The library also acquired the Frank M. Robinson Papers in 2015. Robinson moved to San Francisco in the 1970s to be a speechwriter for politician Harvey Milk. Shortly thereafter he started writing techno-thrillers and science fiction novels. The collection comprises books, manuscripts, and photographs, including shots taken during the 2008 production of the film Milk in which Robinson had a small part playing himself.
Photo by Joseph Driste

Q & A with Julie van den Hout

Van den Hout, a 2015 graduate from Berkeley, has been a Digital Humanities Project Archivist at the Bancroft since October 2016.  Julie came to Berkeley having discovered her passion for historical research after working for some years in health care. Her honors thesis explored a 17th-century Dutch book aimed at potential immigrants to what is now New York; it was awarded the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (honorable mention).

Julie van den Hout. Photograph by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library.

What inspires you about your position?
It has been an honor to work with the Engel Sluiter Historical Documents Collection. This immense personal research collection, donated to the Bancroft Library, is truly a legacy of Dr. Sluiter’s life work as a UC Berkeley Latin American History professor and researcher. By bringing together materials from archives worldwide, the collection provides detailed Spanish, Dutch, English, and Portuguese perspectives on sixteenth and seventeenth century Atlantic trade. Through a UC Berkeley Digital Humanities Collaborative Research grant, Dutch Studies and the Bancroft Library are working together to digitize a small subset of the collection on the seventeenth century colony of New Netherland (now New York), and then analyze the texts using natural language processing. Working with the primary sources in the Engel Sluiter Collection has taught me much more than I could ever learn in a classroom. I am excited about the capabilities of digital humanities, and what our current project will reveal about the Dutch colony.

Your priorities over the next 6-9 months
My overarching and ultimate goal with the project is to enhance search capabilities for the Engel Sluiter Collection, and help make these impressive, but relatively unexplored, materials more accessible to researchers. My immediate focus is to reconcile the Dutch documents with the digitized OCR outputs, in preparation for processing using our in-house topic modeling application that will identify themes within the corpus. The documents will be then be published online, with the new search capabilities freely available to researchers worldwide. At the same time, I will be working to learn more about the potential of digital humanities and applying our model to other historical texts.

Opportunities at the Berkeley campus and the Library
The libraries of UC Berkeley are a treasure trove of primary and secondary sources for study of the Atlantic World. Being at a research institution is a great way to find support for new ideas, and digital humanities at UC Berkeley is at the cutting edge in its field. While some people see digital humanities as trying to replace traditional scholarship, I see it as being able to enhance and partner with traditional scholarship to add new dimensions or perspectives. In our project, for example, the use of technology is helping us find connections in the historical data and texts that may not readily visible in traditional formats.

A favorite book or favorite campus hangout
My favorite book is Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Dana’s own memoir of two years spent, as an ordinary sailor, on a merchant ship between Massachusetts and California around Cape Horn, in the early 1800’s. Long before I became interested in academic history, Dana’s engaging accounts of life at sea and trading hides along the Pacific Coast brought the past to life for me. His descriptions of colorful, pre-gold rush Mexican California opened my eyes to a California I had never learned in history books.

February Story Hour Features Adam Hochschild

Join us on Thursday February 9 from 5 to 6 pm for Story Hour in the Library featuring Adam Hochschild, the author of eight books. His Spain in Our Hearts: Americans and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 appeared in 2016. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Story Hour in the Library is a monthly prose reading series held in UC Berkeley’s Morrison Library.

Details
Thursday, February 9, 2017
5 to 6 pm
Morrison Library, UC Berkeley Campus
storyhour.berkeley.edu
Free and open to the public

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley L. Bacchi, 510-664-7737, lcoevents@berkeley.edu.

In the Mood for Art?

If you’re preparing for a spring spruce up, the Library can help! Framed art prints that you can bring home and hang on your wall for the school year are available for free through the Graphic Arts Loan Collection. Prints comprise a survey of movements and artists – from Impressionism to Cubism, and from Rembrandt to Miro. Come learn about the possibilities next Tuesday Jan. 31, in the Morrison. You can browse representative works and initiate the borrowing process.

Art for Your Apartment (and dorm)
Tuesday January 31, from 5 to 6 pm
Morrison Room (Doe Library)

 

 

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