Category Archives: Books

The Future Predicted in 1936

I think Binkley could be on to something….

“The present generation should not be surprised at the conclusion of a technological revolution that has as its seed [sic] of a cultural revolution. Such may indeed be true in this instance. The cultural revival of the monopoly of the metropolis and the democratization and deprofessionalization of scholarship are on the horizon which seems to lie ahead. And these things themselves accord with other elements of our social and economic prospects, notably the possible decline in the centralization of population in cities and the development of a new leisure in the hands of a well-educated people. The same technical innovations that promise to give aid to the research worker in his cubicle may also lead the whole population toward participation in a new cultural design.”

The Libraries have two copies of his Manual on methods of reproducing research materials, both available for recall from the Library Storage Facility.

(via boingboing.net)

“The Past is Never Dead.”

Here’s some great news from our colleagues across campus.

The History Department has just launched an informative, interactive history web site. Not Even Past provides current historical writing for a popular audience. For history buffs who want reading recommendations and short, interesting, digestible stories every day, the website offers text, audio, and video histories on subjects that span the globe. The site is designed for anyone who is interested in history, from an avid reader of history to a history film aficionado.

The content and “picks” are written by the department’s 60-person faculty with additional input from the graduate students. Notevenpast.org is rich with book and film recommendations, video interviews, podcasts, online commentary, and even virtual classes (free) every semester.

The History Department’s new site is one-of-a-kind – no other university or institution offers a similar resource. Not Even Past will be identified with the individuals in the History Department at UT, giving readers a personalized experience of great history writing as well as promoting the strengths of the department and the University of Texas. Not Even Past also differs from other History department sites in its stylish visual design and its cutting-edge user-friendly functionality.

And just in case you want to follow up on the current reading recommendations from Not Even Past, they’re all part of the collections at PCL (and currently available).

American slavery, American freedom : the ordeal of colonial Virginia / Edmund S. Morgan.

Disowning slavery : gradual emancipation and “race” in New England, 1780-1860 / Joanne Pope Melish.

Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave / written by himself with related documents ; edited with an introduction by David W. Blight.

Kerr’s Name Here

He may have retired from the Libraries recently, but that hasn’t led Tim Kerr to slow his pace even a step. And since his wife Beth is still plugging away as Theater and Dance Librarian at the Fine Arts Library, we like to occasionally check in and see what he’s up to.

Turns out that in addition to continuing work on his art, Tim has also been working on a book about his art.

Your Name Here includes images of his activism art – paintings, sketches and multimedia endeavors – with handwritten commentary. It also comes with a cassette (yep) of some of Tim’s favorite musical creations.

The book is available (free preview) from Austin’s own Monofonus Press, just in time for the holidays.

A Killer Diversion for Galloway

James Galloway, longtime evening supervisor in the Mallet Chemistry Library, has published a book chronicling a fascinating but little-known episode in Austin’s history:  The Servant Girl Murders: Austin, Texas 1885.

The book gathers extensive primary source materials and original research and puts it all together to tell the story of a frightening and ultimately unsolved crime wave in the capital city during the time when UT was in its infancy.  The tale is complete with clues, suspects, detectives, gory details and an elusive perpetrator that had the population of Austin on edge in 1885.

During the course of that year, six women, one man, and one child were murdered in their sleep by a silent, axe-wielding killer.  Many more were attacked.  The police and Pinkertons alike were powerless to stop the crimes. Then the murders ended as mysteriously as they began.  Who was responsible?  How was the person able to escape detection and capture?  And why did the murders stop?  James adds an accompanying essay that examines these still-tantalizing questions.

David Flaxbart is Head Librarian of the Mallet Chemistry Library.

New Biography on Retired Dean and McKinney Supporter Gloyna

gloyna_book_coverThis biography, Reflections of a Soldier and Scholar, by Davis Ford is packed with Earnest Gloyna’s fascinating recollections of farming, public education and family life in the Texas Panhandle during the Depression as well as his experiences in WWII, in graduate school at Johns Hopkins, and, of course, his professional life as a consultant/businessman, professor and dean. Of particular interest is his early life in the Texas Panhandle picking cotton, cutting milo, going to rural schools, learning to type and meeting his future wife, Agnes. Two of these would be helpful in his later life—typing and Agnes.

The story of how he chose graduate school over working for the U.S. Public Health Service after the war is classic Earnest. He decided to go to graduate school instead of joining the Public Heath Service because they would only pay him as a Captain. This decision changed everything—Earnest went to graduate school and became Dr. Gloyna.

Earnest has had an amazing career as an educator and researcher, as a consultant working on environmental problems all over the world, and as a dean. Under his leadership the College of Engineering grew enormously and improved its graduate programs by hiring highly qualified faculty from all over the United States. This faculty would help make the Cockrell School a research powerhouse.  Another of his great accomplishments was when he helped the Engineering Library grow from a barely competent collection to one of the best in the US. Continue reading

Book Clubs with Real Books

booksI love books.  I mean real books, the ones that I can open with my hands.  One of the joys of working in a library is being surrounded by millions of books.  Just for the record I like audio books also.  However, e-books are not as appealing to me.  I know they are “the future,” but I believe we still have a good hundred years or so with the real thing.  It is hard to imagine The Library of Congress being obsolete!

What made me think about books, the real thing, recently (not that I don’t think about books everyday when I walk pass several hundred thousand…lucky me) was an article about the World’s Largest Book Club.  Wow!  Who joins real book clubs anymore?  Well apparently there are thousands of folks who do.  So I began to think, do I know anyone who is in a real book club?  I can’t think of any one.  Everyone I think of belongs to some online, social media driven, book site.

Well it is exciting to see folks gathering, real gathering, just to discuss books.  Kathy Patrick in Jefferson County, Texas, started the Pulpwood Queens Book Club (featured recently in the Texas Observer).  Kathy’s husband, Jay, UT alum – class of 1986 – has created an equivalent group for men called Timber Guys.  I’d like to know what the next book on the Timber Guys list is?

I wonder if in 10 or 15 years will book club members bring their iPads, nooks, Kindles, iPhones or whatever these devices become to their book club meetings.  Do you belong to a book club?  Let me know.

Premiere of new Craycroft project employs Libraries collections

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Eighteen 8' tall wooden panels designed in the shape of the nine Montessori Grammar Symbols slide on tracks in front and behind one another. Each is painted with a colored chalkboard paint so that they can be written on during lessons.

We consider ourselves extremely lucky to be a mere stone’s throw from such great cultural institutions, and more so still when we get the opportunity to swim for a bit in their respective wakes.

As part of its ongoing series of installations by acclaimed contemporary artists called WorkSpace, the Blanton Museum of Art is featuring Brooklyn-based Anna Craycroft’s first in a series – The Union of Initiatives for Educational Assembly exploring the nexus of art and pedagogy.

The work, entitled Subject of Learning/Object of Study, uses over 500 books from the Libraries collections related to art education Continue reading

Editors discuss new book on Latino expericence during World War II

texlibris_beyondthelatinoThe Center for Mexican American Studies hosts a discussion of Beyond the Latino World War II Hero: The Social and Political Legacy of a Generation (University of Texas Press, 2009) with editors Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez and Emilio Zamora today at 4 p.m. at El Mercado Uptown,  1702 Lavaca St.

Beyond the Latino World War II Hero extends on the work of the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project which was founded by Rivas-Rodriguez. The project has interviewed more than 650 men and women of the World War II generation and has multiple components, including a photographic exhibit, a play, three books, and a website which was developed with and hosted by the University of Texas Libraries.

Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and in 1999 founded the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project. Emilio Zamora is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas.

Google, completa

texlibris_google_blacWe can officially celebrate the completion of the Benson component of our partnership in the Google Books project.  This from our colleagues at Google recently:

Since we launched our partnership with the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, we have been working hard to make their unique Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection accessible to readers online. The collection is one of the largest Latin American collections in the world, and is renowned for the scope and breadth of its materials covering Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean island nations, South America, and the Latino presence in the United States. Continue reading