Two Days Away (March 4-5, 2017)

March 15 2017, by Karl Schaefer

I have been trying to keep myself on track with all the varied activities I have promised to undertake during my stay in Germany. So far, I think I’ve done pretty well. One month into my residence, I have completed one of three planned research trips, participated in one of two seminar sessions and done some writing. I think that’s not bad, but from experience I know that all of a sudden, one looks up and the time has all gone with too much left to do. A bad feeling.

Wanting to do whatever I can to prevent this from occurring, I set off this past Saturday (March 4th) for Munich where two more block prints reside. It’s a six hour train ride from Hamburg to Munich so not possible to do in one day. I had recently re-established contact with a former professor of mine from graduate school who has spent most of his professional life at Goethe University in Frankfurt. When he learned that I was going to be in Germany, we arranged to meet and since Frankfurt lies between Hamburg and Munich, this was a perfect opportunity.

I spent a very pleasant evening and morning reminiscing with David King and his wife Pat—I had not seen them in thirty years!—and then continued my journey south. In Munich, I spent the night in a small hotel which was so tucked away that it took me a good half an hour to find the street it was on. Even the locals weren’t exactly sure where Amalienstrasse was! In desperation, I walked into a competing hotel and the desk clerk cheerfully told me my hotel was in the next street!

This morning (Monday, March 6th), I walked the three short blocks to Ludwigstrasse, a grand, wide thoroughfare lined with Gothic piles of tooled stone to find the Staatsbibliothek, the state library.

After going through the obligatory check-in, shedding my jacket, hat, and briefcase, and sliding the pieces of paper, ruler, and magnifying glass into the transparent plastic bag I was given, I was admitted to the manuscript reading room where I spent two intense hours examining the block prints. The librarian who had discovered these block prints, Helga Rebhan, came out to greet me and introduce herself. We arranged to meet for coffee after I had finished looking at the block prints and we had a very informative conversation during the course of which she told me that she knew of another example that a colleague of hers had seen in southwestern China! The story of the block prints grows ever more intriguing…

Helga was able to provide a bit of general information about the Staatsbibliothek as well: ten million, that’s TEN MILLION volumes of print plus a couple hundred thousand manuscripts. The building was put up between 1832 and 1839 and is glorious both inside and out. The outside is solid stone, made to last; the inside has high ceilings and broad staircases. The reading rooms have all been modernized, but in a tasteful way; comfortable seating is everywhere and there’s plenty of light. It was busy on that Monday morning, due in part to the fact that the university is just a stone’s throw away down Ludwigstrasse. But the manuscript reading room was populated as well.

Very impressive all in all.

Now I’m on the train again, headed back to Hamburg and my apartment. I’d like to think I could kick back for a couple of days, but the fear of running out of time makes that seem unlikely. A cousin of mine comes to visit for four days at the end of the week and then we’re into the second week of March already. Nearly half of my time here will be gone. So, it looks like I’ll have to press on for a while before I can put my feet up.

Historical Abstracts

February 27 2017, by Bart Schmidt

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Historical Abstracts is one of the many databases the Drake community has access to through Cowles Library. If you are looking for research articles on non-American history, this should be one of your first stops.

Doing historical research of Canada or the United States? You should check out America: History and Life.

Looking for articles on the history of anywhere else in the world? You should use Historical Abstracts.  Historical Abstracts indexes and gives abstracts for over 2000 journals. It includes key historical journals from almost every major country as well as a great selection of journals in the social sciences and humanities that are of interest to researchers of history.

A few questions I’ve heard over the years from users of this resource:

Q: What is an Abstract?
A: An abstract is a summary of an article. Historical Abstracts gives summaries and index terms to the articles in its database. Users can read the abstracts to see if the article is something they are interested in.

Q: Why isn’t there full-text available for all of the articles I find in this database?
A: That’s a long story, mostly it’s because of expense. We can get you any article you find in the database. If there isn’t full text, click on Check for Full Text @ Drake . This may lead you to the full text article. If it does not, it will lead you to Interlibrary Loan.

Q: What is Interlibrary Loan?
A: We have another library send us a copy of the article for you. For more information go to Interlibrary Loan 

Any questions about using Historical Abstracts? Just ask!

ProQuest Black Studies Center

, by Carrie Dunham-LaGree

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Are you interested in researching contemporary or historic topics related to African-Americans, the African Diaspora or Africa? Then take time to explore the Black Studies Center, a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies that includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, reference books, and much more. This dynamic resources includes four collections:

  1. Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, which features Interdisciplinary essays written by leading scholars on the Black Experience, audiovisual resources, and a timeline of key events in a variety of themes that link to resources in this database.
  2. The International Index to Black periodicals, which covers scholarly and popular Black Studies journals, including full text for many titles. It also includes The Marshall Index,a guide to black periodicals for the years 1940-1946.
  3. Historic Black Newspapers, including the full digital files of The Chicago Defender (1910-1975) and The Daily Defender (1956-1975)
  4. Black Literature Index, which features over 70,000 bibliographic citations for fiction, poetry and literary reviews published in 110 black periodicals and newspapers between 1827-1940.

The Black Studies combines all four of these databases so users may choose to search all four at once or search a single one.

 


List of All Resources and Services announcements

Most popular:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education

Education Source

February 13 2017, by Samantha Becker

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Education Source is a database Cowles Library subscribes to that includes materials on all levels of education to our users. From early childhood to higher education, this database provides full text of over 1,900 journals and citations for over 5.5 million articles.

 

If you’re interested in looking at more specialized scholarship, Education Source collects work on different specialties like health education and multilingual education. Whether you’re interested in looking at education explicitly or a topic that is adjacent to education, Education Source can provide you with a unique perspective.

 

This resource is partially included in SuperSearch so you can get an idea of what’s included there but to get access to all of its resources you’ll want to access Education Source directly through the article databases link on our website.


List of All Resources and Services announcements

Most popular:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education

Oxford African American Studies Center

February 6 2017, by Samantha Becker

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Whether you’re looking to get started learning about a new topic or you need historical primary sources, the African American Studies Center can help you in your research. This multidiscipline database explores African American contributions to many different fields like business, education, science, medicine, and government.

The collection includes high quality reference works like biographies on over 6,500 important historical and contemporary figures as well as a large collection of primary sources. Use biographies, timelines, and charts to figure out the landscape of your topic or browse through maps, images (like the one below), film clips, and speeches to primary source. Try out the “at a glance” pages to consider multiple entries on the same topic.

To access this resource, go to “article databases” off of our library homepage. You can look by subject, under African American recourses or search for it by name. Since African American Studies Center isn’t included in SuperSearch you’ll have to go directly into the database to see everything it has to offer.

 


List of All Resources and Services announcements

Most popular:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education

Learn About: MathSciNet

January 30 2017, by Dan Chibnall

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Do you need to find resources related to mathematics? MathSciNet is your best source when searching the math realm. The database contains bibliographic information, abstracts, and reviews from across a wide array of publications in the field of mathematics. This database is frequently updated, with over 100,000 new resources added every year.

Screen Shot of MathSciNet Search Interface

MathSciNet Search Interface

 

In terms of authority, recent literature is reviewed by experts and professional mathematicians. 80,000 reviews are added every year. Plus there are over 550 journals within the MathSciNet collection.

 

Screen Shot of MathSciNet Search Results

MathSciNet Search Results

Search results are easy to navigate and full text is available for a variety of results. Items not available in full text can be found via the Full Text @ Drake option as well as interlibrary loan and the Get It Now option.

So the next time you’re doing research for anything related to mathematics, give MathSciNet a try.


List of All Resources and Services announcements

Most popular:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education

JoVE Biology (and JoVE Neurology) 2017

January 24 2017, by Priya Shenoy

This post is part of a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library.


Jove_screenshot

Starting an experiment can be a confusing and frustrating task because sometimes we don’t know how to start it or how to build the steps. Thankfully JoVE Biology can help you replicate and build experiments with visual aids. JoVE Biology is an online, peer-reviewed resource focusing on general biological research presented using videos.

Along with over 1,500 peer-reviewed videos, JoVE Biology also provides you with a PDF of experimental techniques, references, and lists of materials used in the experiment. A bonus is that you can access this material using MEDLINE.

In terms of content, JoVE Biology provides you with general biology research methodologies, including cell, molecular, and organismal biology. It includes, but is not limited to, techniques in physical biology, cellular biochemistry, genetics, physiology, systems biology and a combination of eukaryotic and prokaryotic model systems.

In addition to the biology resources, Cowles Library also provides you with access to JoVE Neuroscience. You can differentiate between them by looking for a blue-colored “B” or a green-colored “N” in the upper-right corner of the page. You can use the search tools on the left side of the screen to search one at a time or both at once.

Here is an example of an article from the database:

http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/2169 


List of All Resources and Services announcements

Most popular:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education

Library closed on Monday, Jan. 16

January 13 2017, by Andrew Welch

Due to the chance of hazardous weather conditions, Cowles Library will be closed on Monday, January 16. We will reopen at 7:30 am on Tuesday, January 17, weather permitting.

Help us improve the Cowles Library facility!

November 18 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

We want your input to make Cowles Library a better place!

Cowles Library adopted a new Strategic Plan a year ago that envisioned the Library as the University’s “hub for learning and scholarship.” Since that time, important steps have been taken in that direction, including using position openings to hire a new STEM Librarian, as well as a new Campus Engagement Librarian. To take our efforts to the next level, however, we need your help!
rainbow
Cowles Library is revising its Master Facility Plan to guide future functional arrangements and renovations in the facility. An architectural firm has been retained for the planning project and the development of a concept layout. This is where you, our users, come in:  We’d love to hear your thoughts on what features/services/resources/spaces you’d like to see in an updated library facility!

We have completed our first round of “formal” input sessions (including focus groups and an online survey).  However, we’d still love to get your input if you missed out on the earlier opportunities. Please fill out the VERY short form below, and thanks for the input!


Cowles Library endorses ALA statement on inclusion and diversity

November 16 2016, by Andrew Welch

American Library Association president Julie Todaro recently issued a statement on libraries, diversity, and inclusion. Cowles Library fully endorses this statement, which reads:

“After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. From children acting out in schools to adults participating in violent acts, it is clear that our nation is struggling in the wake of this election.

During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.

As an association representing these libraries, librarians, and library workers, the American Library Association believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. As we have throughout our 140-year-long history, we will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.”

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