News & Notes

By: Eric Weaver on: May 11, 2015 2:49 pm | weavered

Our relaxation mix on Spotify has some of the finest stress-reducing tracks from acoustic pop, chillwave, ambient, and jazz: Take a Breath 

If you're looking for something a bit more energetic and current, we've got that, too: 2015

Good luck to all this week, or, as they say in Italy: in bocca al lupo!

By: Susan Hurst on: April 27, 2015 2:20 pm | hurstsj

Miami University Libraries has secured trial access to the e-Marketer database.  This is a great resource for data on all types of marketing and advertising, particularly for mobile and digital media.  The trial will continue through July 15th, 2015.  Please direct any questions or comments to Susan Hurst (

By: Marcus Ladd on: April 24, 2015 9:58 am | laddmm

The Droeshout portrait of William Shakespeare used on the title page of the First Folio

It's April 23rd, and that means a very Happy Shakespeare Day to everyone!

As part of the celebrations commemorating the 399th anniversary of his death (we thought about putting this off another year but just couldn't wait), we are very pleased to announce a complete reboot of our digital folios collection. This new collection includes every page from all four Folios of the Bard's work as well as miscellanea found with the collection, and can be found at

As some of you might recall, our set of folios was first digitized in 2008 and we were among the earliest to make the Shakespeare Folios available in full online. However, given a combination of technical issues and evolving standards & technology, it was decided that all four folios be re-digitized and a new collection launched.

The digitization itself took place this January, when our Graduate Assistant Dana Bogart and I reshot each folio using an Atiz Bookdrive stand with a pair of Nikon EOS 6D cameras we had just acquired late last year. Each folio was completed in a single session of approximately 3-4 hours.

Some were easier than others, with the First Folio being particularly difficult to capture due to the tightness of the binding. Our copy of the First Folio also has had some missing pages supplied in facsimile, most notably the entirety of Twelfth Night. These replacements run much closer to the inner margin making it very difficult to get a good shot. Another interesting and unique aspect of our particular set of folios is the handwritten notes found in some of them, particularly the Second Folio which features in some plays a meticulous comparison to the First Folio.

In addition to the folios themselves, some clippings about these particular copies of the folios (as well as others for comparison) are included as part of the collection. These were a much simpler scanning prospect using a regular desktop flatbed scanner. Once the photos were taken, I cropped and organized the images into individual plays to be added to the digital collection.

Note how close the printing is to the inner margin, as well as the expanded page that was created when these pages were inserted.

In addition to images with better technology, relaunching the collection has allowed us to move it fully into our current CONTENTdm 6 instance, which includes a more easily navigable interface, allowing the user to zoom in and navigate around each page within the viewport on the page. A "Page-Flip View" is also included as part of CONTENTdm, which simulates the effect of holding the book open and turning the pages.

A comparison of the old (left) and new (right) collection interfaces.

With the help of the clippings found with the folios, our own department records, and the 2003 census of First Folios by Anthony James West, I was able to gather some information about the provenance of these particular copies. According to West's The Shakespeare First Folio: A New Worldwide Census of First Folios, our First Folio was first sold by the bookseller Henry George Bohn to Chandos Leigh (1791-185), who passed it down to his son William Henry Leigh (1824-1850). The so-called 'Lord Leigh set' of Folios was sold to Frederick S. Peck by Gabriel Wells in 1927. It was then purchased by Dr. O. O. Fisher in 1947. Fisher was a Miami University alumnus (Class of '09) and avid book collector, who donated all four folios to Miami University. All but our Third Folio come from the Lord Leigh set and include the bookplates of Leigh and Peck. Our Third Folio holds the bookplate of John Gribbel. It is interesting to note that, according to West's census, a First Folio with the Gribbel bookplate was also sold in 1947.

The works of William Shakespeare are among the most (if they are not the most) famous, influential, and beautiful works of the English language, and even the folios themselves represent a unique point in history. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare writes:

The folio as a format was reserved for only the most expensive and prestigious volumes by the leading theologians, philosophers and historians of the day. A folio devoted to plays was unprecedented. The printing of the 907-page First Folio began early in 1622 and took nearly two years to complete...The first folio was so successful and demand apparently so great that a second edition was required within less than a decade. The Second Folio was a carefully corrected page-for-page reprint of the first that made hundreds of minor changes in the text, the majority of which have been accepted by modern editors.


The First Folio of Shakespeare's works is one of only five books to have ever been recorded in a worldwide census (interestingly, we have another one of the five in our collection: Audubon's Birds of America). But though the First Folio is the most famous and prized of the four, the Third Folio is arguably the rarest - it is said that most unsold copies were destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. Regardless, all four are incredible works of art and we are truly privileged here at Miami to have them. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with them.

Happy browsing.

Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Digital Librarian

By: Anonymous on: September 25, 2015 10:41 am | Anonymous

The Department of Commerce has a new website, which was designed by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO).  This easily accessible site includes a listing of key economic indicators, relevant news announcements, and the most recent reports on trade outcomes.  You can navigate the site easily and even share pages on social media.  With information and tools such as updates from the Office of Public Affairs, tornado safety tips, and historical accounts, there is something here for faculty, staff, and students of all departments.

More information can be found about the redesign itself, and feedback is encouraged as well.  Check it out today!

By: Eric Weaver on: April 06, 2015 1:32 pm | weavered

This Saturday, April 11th, Amos Music Library will host a live music event. There will be free pizza and soda; student bands The Illustrious Music Machine and The Brian Wood Trio will provide the jazz-blues-rock soundtrack. The event begins at 6:00; before the event ends at 9:30, we'll invite the audience to join in the jam (so feel free to bring an acoustic instrument!). The bands will perform in the courtyard, should weather allow, but the event will go on regardless.

Amos Music Library is located in the Center for the Performing Arts (CPA), behind Maple Street Station and south of the Shriver fountain.

Learn more at our facebook event page:

All are welcome!

By: Marcus Ladd on: March 13, 2015 10:25 am | laddmm

Miami University News: Class of 1958 alumnus honors mother’s legacy with bequest to Miami University Libraries

Costumed as a conductor for the Bicentennial, 1976

Costumed as a conductor for the Bicentennial, 1976


One of the pleasures of working in Special Collections is having the opportunity to meet individuals who share our passion for libraries, history, literature, the book and other forms of the written record, and the sheer joy that research and discovery can bring. Sometimes those people are faculty members, or researchers from out of town, or donors of beloved books or papers. Sometimes they’re students, encountering these joys for the first time. Looking in their eyes, you see the familiar gleam of excitement. Once in a great while it’s someone who fits all of those categories. Such an individual is John H. (Jack) White, Jr. Originally from Cincinnati, Jack attended Miami when the library was the Alumni Library (now Alumni Hall), and there was no Special Collections department. But his history professor, W.E. Smith, and Ned King, the Librarian, shared a special treasure with him: the Covington Collection, full of wonderful early books on the Old Northwest Territory, and off-limits to most students. Apparently they saw the future historian in Jack, and he has never forgotten the thrill of delving into those volumes, now one of the mainstay collections in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections.

Jack at DKE House 1956 enhanced

Jack at DKE House 1956


Jack graduated from Miami in 1958 with a degree in European history and obtained a job at the Smithsonian Institute, where he found himself curating transportation artifacts and materials. His love of history, combined with a knowledge of machinery and a fascination with the details of transportation, led to his nationally-acknowledged expertise and the authorship of a number of books and articles about railroads, steamboats, and the human drive to travel farther, faster, cheaper and more comfortably. His many awards include an honorary doctorate awarded by Miami in 1996. Later this month he travels to St. Louis, where he will receive the Captain Donald T. Wright Award for his distinguished contributions to river-related literature from the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library. When Jack retired from the Smithsonian in 1990 he chose to live in Oxford. Returning as an adjunct professor in the History Department at Miami, he also began a long relationship with Special Collections. That relationship has been marked by Jack’s continual generosity, including the establishment of an endowment to honor Janet Stuckey on her retirement in 2011 (the Stuckey Fund) , and most recently through the establishment of a very generous bequest to Special Collections. But Jack’s support of Special Collections has gone far beyond his financial gifts, as appreciated and as important as those are. Jack has been a constant and vocal supporter of Special Collections at the university and in the community. He has beat bushes for us. He has drummed up interest. He has sounded our trumpets. It seems only right that we recognize him and forever connect him with Special Collections. On Tuesday, March 17, we will celebrate our spring exhibit, The Ready Ones, with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. At the beginning of that program Dean Jerome Conley will name the Special Collections exhibit gallery in honor of Jack and (at his request) his mother, Christine S. White. It was she who insisted he attend Miami, he says. Without her he wouldn’t have had the remarkable life he has. And we wouldn’t have Jack in our lives. We hope you’ll join us in recognizing Jack’s many contributions to Special Collections, as well as his mother’s gift of her son to Miami, the Smithsonian, the history of transportation, and us. It just wouldn’t be as much fun without you, Jack.

Elizabeth Brice

Assistant Dean for Technical Services & Special Collections


Railroad Hall, Museum of History and Technology, 1964

Railroad Hall, Museum of History and Technology, 1964

By: Eric Weaver on: March 10, 2015 1:45 pm | weavered

Now in its 10th year, MusicNOW is a Cincinnati-based music festival that celebrates the borderland between indie rock and modern classical music. You can find more details about this year's event, which runs from from Wednesday, March 11th to Sunday, March 15th, at

In the meantime, come by Amos Music Library to check out albums from participating popular acts like Perfume Genius, Sufjan Stevens, Cloud Nothings, and The National, as well as pieces from composers such as Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, John Adams, and Bryce Dessner. 

Also, you can hear pieces via the streaming service Naxos. Just search our catalog for "Naxos music" and click "connect to resource online," or click the links below.

Bryce Dessner - Aheym (045778729661)

David Lang - Death Speaks (ft. B Dessner et al) (CA-21092)

Christopher Rouse - Symphony No. 1 (FECD-0026)

yMusic (ft. N Muhly, S Stevens, et al) (NWAM059)

Roomful of Teeth (ft. Caroline Shaw) (NWAM041)

Steve Reich / So Percussion - Drumming (CA-21026)

By: Eric Weaver on: March 04, 2015 2:29 pm | weavered

Alexander Street Press' Jazz Music Library is a great resource that allows Miami community members access to a vast collection of streaming jazz recordings.

Not certain where to start? Here are links to some of our favorite recordings from the late 1950s.

Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Corners" (1957)

John Coltrane's "Blue Train" (1958)

Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come" (1959)

Art Blakey's "Moanin" (1959)

Jimmy Smith's "The Sermon" (1959)

By: Anonymous on: September 25, 2015 10:41 am | Anonymous

March is National Nutrition Month, and here in Government Documents we can guide you toward healthy eating!


Come check out our selection of informative and fun titles, including

Fabulous Fruits, Versatile Vegetables: Dietary Guidelines for Americans

How much are you eating?: Putting the guidelines into practice

Menu Magic for Children

HealthierUS School Challenge: Recognizing Excellence in Nutrition and Physical Activity Application Kit

Team Up at Home: Team Nutrition Activity Book

and more!


For more information on National Nutrition Month and ways to eat right, be sure to visit

photo credit: <a href="">blueberries | raspberries</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

By: Eric Weaver on: February 16, 2015 2:45 pm | weavered

"1989" will soon be added to our Spotlight CD collection. If TS didn't have your vote, never fear, as 2014 titles from Perfume Genius (performing as part of this year's MusicNOW festival in Cincinnati) and Grammy award-winners like Beck, St. Vincent, and Aphex Twin will also be added to the collection. Thank you for your participation!