Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

HIstory Associates: innovative private company doing historical research and archives management

May 28th, 2015 by Michael Winter

Founded at the end of the 1970s and innovating ever since, this private firm specializes in doing historical research and publishing its findings,  along with archives creation, organization, and management. They have worked with governmentagencies at all levels, major research libraries, museums,  and many private companies.  Watch History Associates informative, high-production value clip for an overview of the firm and its services.

Games Without Frontiers: Symposium, Library Exhibit, and Much More

April 21st, 2015 by Michael Winter

“Games Without Frontiers” is a multi-faceted initiative sponsored by the Program Committee of the Librarians Association of UC Davis.  It includes a comprehensive Library Exhibit, curated by Roberto Delgadillo, and other supporting materials, including Roberto’s comprehensive bibliography of the growing and increasingly significant “military-entertainment complex,” where gaming technology meets increasingly digitized means of waging war.  On Thursday April 16th the Program Committee also hosted a symposium of invited speakers addressing various aspects of this topic.  (For a response to and review reporting on and assessing the events of the symposium, see the recent review by Stephanie Maroney of the Davis Humanities Institute.) Interested parties should be sure to read the excellent and provocative introductory essay written especially for the occasion by Chris Hables Gray, one of the Symposium’s speakers.

Primary Sources for the Study of the Occupation of France, 1939-1945

January 16th, 2015 by Michael Winter

H-Net, a humanities research information network, carried recently an announcement of great interest to scholars working on occupied France and the French during World War II:  EGO 39-45 – War and occupation writings (1939-1945)Sponsored by the French government’s national research agency, the first phase of the project is a catalog of first person accounts, memoirs, autobiographical narratives,  notebooks, and private journals kept by a wide variety of persons during the occupation.  Database records include standard bibliographic descriptions along with fields identifying the libraries where items are held, and where available call numbers or indications of shelf-location. Future plans include links to the fulltext versions of the documents, as they are digitized and added to the online collection.

Meeting of opposites

November 19th, 2014 by Michael Winter

If you’ve every wondered how it could be that “being” and “nothingness” are actually two different words for the same thing–however opposite they may seem–you can shed light on this and many other puzzles by watching a You Tube clip about the work behind the Oxford English Dictionary.  (Hint: it’s clearly illustrated by the concept of a doughnut hole).  And for links to a number of additional clips offering behind-the-scenes looks at how the OED is produced, click here.

Let Us Know: Library Survey for Senate Faculty and Academic Federation Personnel

October 2nd, 2014 by David Michalski

The Library is conducting an online survey of Senate faculty and Academic Federation personnel this fall.

· The survey will run from October 13 – November 15. On October 13, you will get an individualized email jointly from the Provost and chairs of the Academic Senate and Academic Federation, which will include a link to the survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey when you get the email.

· The Library needs your input in order to provide the resources and services that you, your students, postdocs, and research associates need.

· Please see below and the: Library Faculty & Researcher Survey FAQ page for additional information. (http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/about/ithaca-faq.php)

Questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns about the survey can be directed to:
William Garrity, Deputy University Librarian,
wfgarrity@ucdavis.edu
530-752‑2110

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What Is the UC Davis Senate and Federation Library Survey?

The Library is conducting a UCD-wide survey of all Senate faculty and Academic Federation personnel to guide the Library’s provision of information resources and services. The tool we are using is Ithaka S+R’s Local Faculty Survey. Ithaka S+R is the consultancy arm of Ithaka, a not-for-profit that is also home of JSTOR and Portico. The Local Faculty Survey is the local version of Ithaka S+R’s well regarded national Faculty Survey Series.


When Is the Survey & How Will It Work?
The survey will launch on October 13 and close on November 15.
On October 13, you will get an email, with a link to the survey.
Reminder emails with a link to the survey will be sent to those who have not yet responded, at reasonable intervals, until the survey closes on November 15.

Survey Incentives:

To encourage participation, and recognize your time and effort, all participants who complete the survey will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five $75 gift certificates to the UC Davis Stores.

How Objects Speak

August 13th, 2014 by David Michalski

Some of the more interesting classes that draw upon the rich collections of Shields Library over the years are those that study material culture. Professors in American Studies, Community Development, Sociology, Anthropology,  the History of Science, and University Writing frequently send their students to library resources to trace the changing interaction between objects and society. Student’s examining technologies of everyday life, such as eyeglasses, cell phone’s, or hair dryers draw upon the library’s primary and secondary literatures to reconstruct the social worlds through which these objects pass. The term papers the students write testify to the complex relations that surround things, and in the process of writing, students often find that it is in the social gathering that the object comes to life.

Peter Miller, in his recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “How Objects Speak” traces the rise of interest in study of material culture and examines its contemporary appeal.

Milk Jar
From Miller’s article “How Objects Speak” Chronicle of Higher Education. 8/11/2014
Item: milk can
Material: Aluminum
Size: Diameter 32 cm, height of the main part 51 cm, and the upper part 15 cm.
Date: 1940?
Location: Warsaw, Poland.

Peter Miller has also gathered recent writing on material culture studies in his new edited book:
Cultural histories of the material world Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2013. See: Shields Library HM621 .C848 2013. It’s a good place to start, if one is interested in engaging the archaeology of the present.

Formal ontologies in the Digital Humanities

June 27th, 2014 by Michael Winter

For an excellent–and remarkably clear–discussion of how formal hierarchical semantic modelling can be applied to the subject domain of philosophy, interested readers should take a look at a recent paper by Colin Allen and the InPho group at Indiana University: “Cross-Cutting Categorization Schemes in the Digital Humanities,” ISIS 104, 3 (September 2013): 573-583; DOI: 10.1086/673276. For a sense of what a sample end-product model might look like, see  especially Fig. 1 on p. 582, which presents a representational map that depicts the similarities and differences in how the German philosopher Immanuel Kant is treated in two different domain-specific encyclopedias.

New Book on Georges Canguilhem

June 24th, 2014 by Michael Winter

Nowdays Canguilhem is probably better known as Michel Foucault’s mentor, but in his day he was a major French philosopher and historian of science, as this collection of articles reveals. For the basic bibliographic description and more information about the library’s copy, check the Harvest library catalog record.  The cover art is a reproduction of a painting by Maurice Matieu that is based on some lines from Henri Michaux.

Richard N. Schwab Papers

June 22nd, 2014 by Michael Winter

Richard N. Schwab taught in the history department at UC, Davis. The two linear feet of papers he donated to the Shields Library Department of Special Collections relate specifically to his lifelong work on the French Encyclopedia of Diderot and D’Alembert–or, as it is more formally known, Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers, which appeared in fascicles and then eventually as bound volumes between 1751 and 1765. Special Collections also owns an original 17 volume edition of this work, along with the numerous supplementary volumes of engraved illustrations/plates accompanying the text, as well as  other supplementary material issued along with the original text and plates.

Schwab’s contributions to the study of the Encyclopedie and indeed the study of the Enlightenment more generally are much too numerous to mention here, though it should be noted that he produced the English translation of the Preliminary discourse to the Encyclopedia contributed by D’Alembert.  A number of years ago Professor Schwab also began a fruitful collaboration with the University of Chicago and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and participated in the eventual issue of a digital version of this landmark reference work.

Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography Video Tutorials

February 18th, 2014 by Michael Winter

The MLA International Bibliography has just announced a new video tutorial series on different ways of searching the bibliography. New tutorials will be released every few months.  Click here for links to the currently available tutorials. The tutorials cover both the ProQuest and the EBSCO interfaces.