Archive forFeatured Resources

Halloween in ARTstor

Want to see some great scary images for Halloween? Check out ARTstor, the fantastic digital image library that you have access to from the Baylor Libraries.

First of all, check out the Farber Gravestone Collection, provided by the American Antiquarian Society. It contains “more than 13,500 images documenting the sculpture on more than 9,000 early American grave markers, mostly made prior to 1800” like this one:

According to the ARTstor blog,

“You can also do a search for “Day of the Dead” to find images of calacas, skeleton toys from Mexico. There are also some artists who were great at portraying the dark side: You may be familiar with Henry Fuseli’s famous “Nightmare,” but a simple search of his name leads to several equally scary works, including a different version of the painting and several prints with the same theme; a search for “caprichos” will lead you to Francisco Goya’s legendary series of prints, rife with witches, demons, and gloomy owls, and a search for “Goya witches” to a set of his most unsettling paintings and etchings; similarly, search “Baldung witches” to see a number of the German Renaissance painter Hans Baldung’s ghoulish drawings, or search for his name to see his famous “Death and the Maiden”; and a search for Jose Guadalupe Posada will result in the Mexican artist’s famous “Calaveras,” satirical engravings of skeletons popular during the holiday.”

Check out some of those searches and try some other Halloween-y type words – witches, pumpkins, candy – and see what ARTstor has to offer!

"Ya es hora." by Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1799

Day of the Dead figurine, skeleton dog, ceremonial, Mexico, 2002


Coffee reading and research

Depending on whether you heard the news over the summer, you may have been pleasantly surprised by the new addition to the Moody foyer when you arrived on campus this semester.  Yes, Moody Library is now proud to house a Starbucks coffee shop in our entrance.


If you’re a fan of all things java, here are a few other coffee-related library materials to give you some interesting reading while you’re downing your venti soy chai latte.

We’ve got a lot of books about coffee hidden in our stacks – just take a look at a few of the subject headings:

Here are some of the intriguing titles I found while searching through BearCat:
Allen, S. L. (1999). The Devil’s Cup: Coffee, the Driving Force in History. New York: Soho.
Fridell, G.  (2007). Fair Trade Coffee the Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice. Studies in comparative political economy and public policy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Hattox, R. S. (1985). Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East. Near Eastern studies, University of Washington. Seattle: Distributed by University of Washington Press.
Parker, S. F., & Austin, M. W. (Eds.). (2011). Coffee: Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate. Philosophy for everyone. Chichester, West Sussex; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Schultz, H. (1997). Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time (1st ed.). New York, NY: Hyperion.
Weissman, M. (2008). God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

If you’d like some solid statistics on coffee drinking to provide justification for the amount of time you will be spending in the Moody Foyer this semester, the library can also help you.  Check out the database called Proquest Statistical Insight and in the search box type “Subject: Coffee” for lots of great industry data, sales and market share indicators, agricultural production statistics and a whole lot more.

While you’re on a hunt for research, check out the database called Sociological Abstracts and do a search for the term “coffeehouses” and read up on all the fascinating ways the coffeehouse has contributed to social development all over the world.  Then think about what could happen to you this semester at Baylor, as you read your class assignments and do your own research while sipping a cup of joe at our new Starbucks in the library.


Google Art Project

If you haven’t already checked out Google Art Project, drop whatever you’re doing and head there now! –> With GAP, you can explore important museums from around the world. Go on a virtual tour and examine hundreds of works of art, many at amazingly zoomed levels (closer than the guards would let you get to the real thing!) You can also create and share your own collection of artwork from the galleries you visit.

Screen shot: Google Art Project site

Creatively using Google’s well-known “street view technology” from Google Maps, you can virtually walk around the museums, seeing the art just as you would if you were visiting the museum in person. There’s a great visitor’s guide that explains how the GAP works, gives you a behind the scenes look at how GAP was created.

Museums currently involved in the project are:
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin – Germany
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC – USA
The Frick Collection, NYC – USA
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin – Germany
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC – USA
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC – USA
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid – Spain
Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza, Madrid – Spain
Museum Kampa, Prague – Czech Republic
National Gallery, London – UK
Palace of Versailles – France
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg – Russia
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow – Russia
Tate Britain, London – UK
Uffizi Gallery, Florence – Italy
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands


All the words fit to print – and then some most excellent stuff

I’m going to start this post with one of my favorite language stories.

If I called you a “nice person” you’d feel that was a complement, right?  Ah, but that’s by today’s standard.  For Chaucer to call someone a “nice” person was to say that person was foolish, silly, or ignorant.  Both Chaucer and Shakespeare could also use it to describe someone as “wanton” or “dissolute” (think of the Prodigal Son, here).

The resource, par excellence, for exploring the past use of words in English is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).  Not only does this dictionary give you the definitions of words, but it will cite the word’s use in that sense as used in literature, letters, and other documents down through the years.  For many years while doing my doctoral research I had the compact OED on my shelf and consulted it frequently as I worked with Middle English and Middle Scots literature.  I should explain that the compact OED compressed the original 12 volume  into 2 and came with a magnifying glass – which you didn’t want to lose or you’d have quite a time reading the very small print.

Compact Oxford English Dictionary

The OED has a long and distinguished history as a reference tool (I’ll list of a few of the books written about it below) and now it has been “relaunched” as an online product: Oxford English Dictionary Online.  Now, not only can you search for meanings of words, you can find out which authors and publications are the most cited in the quotation examples; you can see, through the “Timelines” section, which decade/half-century had the most new words introduced into the English language; and you can search for “loan words” from other languages that have become part of the English language.  The “Historical Thesaurus” section will let you explore the changing use of a word by concept through time and language shifts . . .  

But enough of my rambling on.  Time to go play and explore.  I’ve developed a small intro “quiz.”  If you’d like to take it I have a surprise for two folks who complete the quiz correctly (random drawing from all correct entries). Here’s the link:  “Quiz” deadline is February 11th; surprises announced on February 13th.


Interesting Reads on the OED (BearCat links where available; Amazon where not):

Berg, Donna L. A Guide to the Oxford English Dictionary. 1993.  Part II, the “Companion” includes notes on people important to the development of the OED, the sources used, and interesting facts.

Gilliver, Peter, et al. The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary. 2006.

Shea, Ammon. Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages. 2008.

Willinsky, John.  Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED. 1994.

Winchester, Simon.  The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. 2003.

Winchester, Simon.  The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. 1998.

Comments (1)

Digital Collections for Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day today, here are links to some wonderful digital collections of historic photographs, postcards, documents and other materials regarding our honored veterans.

Division commander, 84th Division, Maj. General Hale, with division staff and attached French officers, Camp Zachary Taylor, Ky., November 21, 1917 (LOC)

  • Historic Government Documents from World War II from the Southern Methodist University Digital Collections
  • War Poster Collection (WWI and WWII) from the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Division
  • American War Experience – Korean War from the Northeast Texas Digital Collections
  • Korean War Propaganda Leaflet Collection from the North Dakota State University Libraries Digital Collections
  • The Virtual Vietnam Archive from Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and Archive
  • Central Connecticut State University’s Center for Public Policy and Research and CCSU’s Library have a fantastic Veterans History Project Digital Archive, full of oral history interviews with veterans.
  • The Library of Congress also has a good collection of oral history interview with veterans at its Veterans History Project Collection. “The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The Project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars:

    – World War I (1914-1920)
    – World War II (1939-1946)
    – Korean War (1950-1955)
    – Vietnam War (1961-1975)
    – Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)
    – Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)”

  • The U.S. National Archives has also been putting some wonderful pictures up on their Flickr stream tagged “Veterans Day”, including this iconic image:
  • New York City celebrating the surrender of Japan. They threw anything and kissed anybody in Times Square., 08/14/1945

Thank you for your service to our country, veterans!

Comments (1)

Ahh, Summer & Leisure Reading

So, your last final is taken or graded, grades are in, you’re headed “home” and maybe, just maybe, you’re thinking about what you are going to do with yourself this summer.  Think about those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” (a #6 hit for Nat King Cole in 1963, when the world was a little bit slower than it is now, perhaps) and all the time you’ll have.  If you’d like to continue the improvement of  your mind, I have two library resources to suggest that are right up your alley.

Fiction Connection – an online “reader’s advisor” resource.  If you really liked Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road and want to find a book like it, type the title into the search box in Fiction Connection and click search.  You’ll get a list of books with “road” prominent in the title, the first of which is McCarthy’s work.  Click on the green “Find Similar” button for a list of novels with similar themes, settings, etc.  If that list is too long, you can narrow the results down by using the checkboxes on the left in one of 7 or 8 areas of interest (topic, award, reading level – i.e., child or adult, character, – etc.).  Click on the title of the similar book to see published reviews (if any) and to use the “Search my Library’s catalog” and “Search online bookseller’s” links.

If you want to be read to, don’t overlook our Naxos Spoken Word Library collection.  This is a streaming audio collection, so these audiobooks can’t be downloaded and saved to an iPod; however, if you are at a desk job this summer or working online this collection has great resources.  It includes a rich collection of classic fiction (some with the text available on screen, too) and classical texts in translation (get a head start on those Great Texts classics for next fall!) – both abridged and unabridged, some biography and other non-fiction, religion, philosophy, and poetry (Homer, Dante, and Chaucer to Yeats).  There is also a selection of plays by “others” and by Shakespeare.

So pull out the hammock, find a shaded spot or a wi-fi coffee shop, grab a glass of lemonade and start enjoying summer!


Practice Tests Available

So, you’re getting ready to graduate and find a job as a nurse, EMT, or a teacher.  You’re probably tired of taking tests, but those NCLEX or TExES Pedagogy exams are kinda important.  You don’t need to buy a prep book from Barnes & Noble to practice.  Instead visit the Learning Express Library, register with your own ID and password and check out the practice tests they offer.

There is a list of the “Learning Centers” which include the nursing and teaching tests mentioned, but also EMT, real estate, and Civil Service tests.

And, if you want to try your hand at grad school there is a Learning Center for the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT tests as well.

Sharpen your pencils, grab some caffine, and good luck!


The Nineteenth Century microfiche collection

Have you ever wanted to read what Darwin’s contemporaries wrote about him? Or wanted to see an 1860 British pamphlet trying to raise public support for what would eventually become the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France? Perhaps you are looking for primary source documents to beef up a paper or project? If you have any interest in the 19th century, you are in luck, because Baylor has a subscription to a Nineteenth Century microfiche collection produced by Chadwyck and sold through Proquest.

The Nineteenth Century is a thirty-year publishing programme which reproduces on microfiche a significant proportion of English-language works first published between 1801-1900. The Programme is situated at the British Library, and it is the holdings of this great library that form the basis of the Programme.

However, individual titles don’t appear in BearCat. To locate the titles on the fiche, you must use the online index or the more comprehensive index C19 which indexes this collection as well as many other 19th century materials that Baylor purchases from Proquest.

The Nineteenth Century has been issued in several parts. Baylor owns the General Collection which contains over 19,000 texts for research in every area of human life and ideas. Included in the General Collection are Books on Economics (Approximately 1,000 texts on economic history focusing on the second half of the century), Books on British Colonization (Over 600 texts documenting the impact of British colonization around the world), Books on Ireland (327 texts, mainly pamphlets, on all facets of Irish political and social life), and Books on Evolution and Creation (319 essential books and pamphlets on the ‘Darwinian revolution’ and controversies that surrounded it).

Baylor has also purchased two specialized collections:Children’s Literature (A collection of 2,369 nineteenth-century books for children) and Books on Publishing and the Diffusion of Knowledge (Almost 800 texts for the study of printing, publishing and bookselling).

Also available and searchable through the index (but not purchased by Baylor) are these specialized collections: Women Writers (this collection of works of imaginative literature will eventually include about 4,500 authors, many never before identified or studied), Art and Architecture (2,445 books sourced from the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Library and the Bodleian Library), Books on China (733 works on the history and culture of China selected from Henri Cordier’s Biblioteca Sinica), and Books on Linguistics (over 1,200 texts for the historical study of language).

If you have any questions, or need help locating a microfiche found through searching the 19th Century index, be sure to contact a Reference Librarian.


Virtual Visits

So, the long Labor Day weekend is coming up and you’d like to go somewhere, visit someplace. But you’re a student, you don’t have much money or much time to do that, maybe. Consider a virtual visit to some of the world’s best museums and collections using the ARTstor database. You could visit New York City by going to the Architecture and Design Collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA):

Gunta Stölzl, (Artist), Design for Textile, 	1920-1924

Gunta Stölzl, (Artist), Design for Textile, 1920-1924

or take a “trip” to the bridges and canals of Venice by exploring the photographic collection of Sarah Quill (the Architecture of Venice collection within ArtStor):

Ponte Maravegie (bridge), 2003, Photograph copyright © Sarah Quill

Ponte Maravegie (bridge), 2003, Photograph copyright © Sarah Quill

or make a Chicago-style pizza and wander through the world art at the Art Institute of Chicago:

The actor Matsumoto Koshiro III, Ippitsusai Buncho (artist), 1770, woodblock print

The actor Matsumoto Koshiro III, Ippitsusai Buncho (artist), 1770, woodblock print

You can go back in time to medieval manuscripts (the illuminated manuscript collections of Princeton University and manuscripts and early printed books of the Bodliean Library, Oxford are in ArtStor):

Roman de la Rose, Princeton Garrett 126, mid-14th Century,

Roman de la Rose, Princeton Garrett 126, mid-14th Century,

Book of Hours. Use of Sarum. Folio #: fol. 001r, MS. Douce 231

Book of Hours. Use of Sarum. Folio #: fol. 001r, MS. Douce 231

or check out community murals from around the U.S.:

Bomba y Plena, 2004, Betsy Casanas (artist), Tim Drescher (photographer)

Bomba y Plena, 2004, Betsy Casanas (artist), Tim Drescher (photographer)

To get to any of these collections, enter ARTstor, and then click on “Browse by Collection.” There are hundreds of different collections from museums, colleges and private collectors. So, gather some friends, fire up the oven, put some popcorn in the microwave, pull up your laptop and go for a visit to someplace you’ve never been before.  No traffic, no lines, no tickets required .  Happy and carefree.  Enjoy the holiday weekend!


Codex Sinaiticus: Digitized 4th Century Bible

Detail of the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript

Truett Seminary and Religion students take note.

The Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest existing copy of the Christian Bible, has been digitized by the Codex Sinaiticus Project.

Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century, contains the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek. The New Testament appears in the original vernacular language (koine) and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint and the New Testament has been heavily annotated by a series of early correctors.

The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for the reconstruction of the Christian Bible’s original text, the history of the Bible and the history of Western book-making is immense.

This amazing project is freely available on the web for scholars to study.


« Previous entries