News & Notes

By: Jason Paul Michel on: April 18, 2012 3:49 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

The Miami University Libraries Civil War Programming Committee and Diversity Cluster are co-sponsoring a film showing and discussion of the award winning film Glory on Thursday, April 19th between 6 and 8:30 in King Library 320. There will be refreshments and door prizes, including DVDs of several popular Civil War documentaries and films! Free and open to the public. It's the last program in our Let's Talk About It: Civil War series. You can see more information about our programs this year on our website:

Glory won three Academy Awards in 1989 (best supporting actor, best cinematography, and best sound). It tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the US Army to be made up of African American men, during the Civil War. It stars Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick (the guy from Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Please join us for this moving and educational film. Hope to see you there!

By: Jason Paul Michel on: April 17, 2012 5:54 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

The 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded yesterday. Here's a look at some of the winning work:Pulitzer Prize for HistoryMalcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning MarableThis biography of Malcolm X draws on new research to trace his life from his troubled youth through his involvement in the Nation of Islam, his activism in the world of Black Nationalism, and his assassination. Years in the making, it is a definitive biography of the legendary black activist.Pulitzer Prize for BiographyGeorge F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis GaddisA remarkably revealing view of how this greatest of Cold War strategists came to doubt his strategy and always doubted himself.Pulitzer Prize for PoetryLife on Mars by Tracy: Poems by Tracy K. SmithPulitzer Prize for General NonfictionThe Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen GreenblattIn this book the author transports readers to the dawn of the Renaissance and chronicles the life of an intrepid book lover who rescued the Roman philosophical text On the Nature of Things from certain oblivion. In this work he has crafted both a work of history and a story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. 

By: Laura Birkenhauer on: April 16, 2012 9:41 am | crosbylm @LMBirkenhauer

Are you a poet aspiring to get published, but not sure where to start? The library can help! Check out this recently added database, The Directory of Poetry Publishers.

The directory contains a Publisher Index, Regional Index, Subject Index, and eBooks Menu. You can navigate to these features from any page in the directory, as they are included at the bottom of each page.

The Publisher Index contains listings of both magazines and book publishers. Magazines are listed in the directory in italics and all caps. Presses are listed in normal type. Publisher names preceded by a bullet were recently added to the directory. Clicking on the name of the magazine or press takes you to an entry of information about the press. Have questions about the contents of entries? Every entry has a link to the Key to Directory Listings. The Key provides detailed information about the contents and navigational features of listings.

The Regional Index lists publishers by state and country. The main page of the Regional Index offers a quick glance at publishers in each region, listing number of publishers beside specific states and countries in brackets.

Similarly, the Subject Index compiles periodicals and presses publishing specific subjects. Subjects are listed in alphabetical order. Number of publishers listing subjects is displayed next to subject description, in brackets, on the main page.

Clicking on the eBooks Menu button directs you to the main page for Dustbooks eDirectories. Once on the main page, you can click on The Directory of Poetry Publishers to return to the directory... or, you can explore some of our other, newly acquired Dustbooks products! These other products (The International Directory of Little Magazines & Small Presses, The Directory of Small Press/Magazine Editors & Publishers, and The Small Press Record of Books in Print) will be discussed in later blog posts.

By: hartsea on: April 03, 2012 9:59 am | hartsea

King Library will have a display up this month in the foyer of the first floor in honor of National Poetry Month. This year's display honors Philip Levine, the 18th Poet Laureate of the United States, and Adrienne Rich, who passed away recently.

Special Collections also has a blog post about our Louise Bogan Collection called The Working Library of Louise Bogan (1897-1970), Poet and Critic

There are several organizations and companies celebrating National Poetry Month with various programs and activities. Here are some links you might want to check out to learn more:

30 Ways to Celebrate


Voices on the Verge: 14 New Poets for National Poetry Month

MPL and National Poetry Month - April 2012

Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month

You might also be interested in a new resource we have at the library called Dustbooks eDirectories. It includes Directory of poetry publishers, Directory of small press/magazine editors and publishers, International directory of little magazines and small presses, and Small press records of books in print.

Finally check out our GoodReads shelf for some poetry recommendations:

By: Elizabeth Brice on: April 03, 2012 9:58 am | bricee

Coming up next month is National Library Week (April 8-14) and one of the things we in the library community always observe during that week is the importance of intellectual freedom and the ongoing fight against censorship. But there is a corollary in the art world that provides the subtext for our current exhibits in the Special Collections exhibit gallery.

Just as writers face the possibility of censorship, visual artists face similar efforts to control or constrain their work. The Russian artists featured in our Avant-Garde and Innocence exhibit supported the Bolshevik revolution only to find the Soviet government establishing the parameters of “acceptable” art. Unable to work within those narrowly defined limits, they emigrated to the West in order to pursue their artistic dreams, supporting themselves as illustrators of children’s books.

Our newest exhibit features a more recent example. Peter Sís, born in Czechoslovakia, became a filmmaker who, while working for the Czech government in the U.S., took the opportunity to seek asylum here in the 1980’s. A conversation with Maurice Sendak led to his transformation into first an illustrator and then an author of children’s books, many of which also speak to adults. In fact his most recent work is a beautifully illustrated fable for adults, based on a 12th century Islamic poem, The Conference of the Birds. Along the way he has collected just about every award available in the field, and our exhibit of a selection of his works features many award winners.

As a sidelight on our Sís exhibit I pulled the few but important examples of 20th century Czechoslovakian children’s literature we have in the King Collection, our major collection of historic children’s literature. In the course of researching the authors and illustrators of these titles I saw the familiar story repeated again and again: artists and writers fighting against the repressive constraints of totalitarian governments that, whether fascist or communist, feared the free expression of artistic vision.

Peter Sís, who just this week received the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, will present the annual May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, “Reading in the Dark,” here at Miami on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Hall Auditorium. This lecture is held in a different venue every year, and Miami’s selection for 2012 is the result of a creative coalition of partners, including the University Libraries, put together by Dr. Brenda Dales in the Department of Teacher Education.

Tickets for the lecture are free but must be reserved by contacting the Miami University Box Office. Following the lecture in Hall there will be a reception in King 320, and a book signing in Special Collections. The exhibit gallery will be open for viewing, and while you wait to have Mr. Sís sign your book you can enjoy seeing what an artist can achieve when imagination, vision and technique are allowed to run free.

Elizabeth Brice
Assistant Dean for Technical Services and
Head, Special Collections & Archives

By: hartsea on: March 29, 2012 9:46 am | hartsea

Adrienne Rich died on Tuesday March 27th. The New York Times has done a very nice obituary for her: A Poet of Unswerving Vision at the Forefront of Feminism

If you, like me, now want to go re-read some of her work (or want to discover her for the first time), we have many of her poetry collections at the library:

Tonight no poetry will serve : poems, 2007-2010. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 T66 2011

An atlas of the difficult world : poems, 1988-1991. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A84 1991

Diving into the wreck; poems, 1971-1972. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 D58

Collected early poems, 1950-1970. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A6 1993

You will also find many of her poems online. I like some of the poems found on The Academy of Poets website because they include recordings of her poems (some read by her):

The Art of Translation

Diving into the Wreck

The Burning of Paper Instead of Children

I would recommend reading some of her essays:

Arts of the possible: essays and conversations. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 A83 2001

On lies, secrets, and silence : selected prose, 1966-1978. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3535.I233 O6 1979

Of woman born: motherhood as experience and institution. King Library (2nd floor) | HQ759 .R53 1986

There are so many lines of her poems I could include to give you a taste of her words, but I think I'll leave you with these lines:

"My heart is moved by all I can not save:
So much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world."
-"Natural Resources" from The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974–1977

By: Laura Birkenhauer on: March 27, 2012 11:04 am | crosbylm @LMBirkenhauer

The Oxford Writing Festival kicks off today! Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, is among the writers scheduled to participate in the festival. Whether you're reading Levine’s works for the first time or, like me, revisiting some of your favorites in anticipation of the author’s attendance, you can find a number of titles by this popular author at the library:

Ella Enchanted

King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.L578345 El 1997

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.L578345 Tw 2001


King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ8.L4793 Fa 2006

Dave at Night

King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.L578345 Dav 1999

Betsy Who Cried Wolf

King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv Easy | PZ7.L578345 Be 2002

Levine is scheduled to speak and facilitate a workshop Thursday, March 29th in the Shriver Multi-Purpose Room. The Oxford Writing Festival is scheduled March 26-29. For more information and the official event schedule, visit

By: tullykk on: March 29, 2012 9:38 am | tullykk

Rediscovered recently during a cataloging project, this 16th century gem of a volume is Polydore Vergil's Anglicae historiae (History of England) printed in Basel, Switzerland in 1534 by Johann Bebel.  Vergil, an Italian historian, was commissioned directly by King Henry VIII to chronicle England's past from the ancient past through the early Tudor dynasty and ending with the beginning of Henry VIII's reign in 1509.  Portraits of Polydore Vergil (ca. 1477-1555) and his patron, Henry VIII (1491-1547), are shown below.

The book itself is a typical folio volume of the early sixteenth century, printed on cotton rag paper with wide margins and woodcut ornamentation.  The printer's device (a styilized palm tree) appears at the middle of the title page and on the verso of the final leaf.  Over 600 pages, this hefty volume has a contemporary leather over wooden board binding, with  decorative blind stamping and ruling on both front and back covers and surviving evidence of metal and leather clasps that once held the book closed.  Bookbinders in this period often  used manuscript waste, sometimes several centuries old, in their binding structures to strengthen the spine and as endpapers.  This volume has manuscript waste pages with decorative initial letters used as front and back paste-down endpapers.  The verso of the back paste-down endpaper (which has come unglued from the back board over time) is shown here.

A book often has more than one story to tell and this one is no exception.  In addition to the origins of the text itself and the fascinating details of the book as artifact, the provenance of the book also tells its own tale.  This book was once owned by Thomas Osborne, the first Duke of Leeds, (1632-1712) and could be found in the library at the Osborne family estate, Kiveton Hall, in South Yorkshire.  The volume has both the manuscript shelf-mark of the Kiveton library (seen in first image) and the armorial bookplate of Thomas Osborne dated 1701 pasted on the verso of the title page.  Thomas Osborne, who at the time was known as Lord Danby, was one of seven leaders of the Glorious Revolution who issued the famous invitation in 1688 to William of Orange to claim the English throne from the deposed Stuart king. Seen below are the bookplate, a contemporary portrait of Thomas Osborne, and an engraving of Kiveton Hall (which was demolished in the early 19th century).

Today, this regal volume printed almost five hundred years ago, with links to illustrious (and infamous) English kings and dukes, is housed in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections at Miami University.  It's just one of many early print treasures in our rare book collections.  Come explore our never know what you'll find!

Kimberly Tully
Special Collections Librarian

By: Jim Bricker on: March 13, 2012 8:59 am | brickeje

I read Flatland so many years ago that I don’t remember most of the details of the story. I do remember that I was captivated by the idea of a two-dimensional world inhabited by geometric figures and their struggle to comprehend worlds of one-dimensional and three-dimensional beings. The story was narrated by A Square, which also happened to be the pseudonym that Edwin Abbott Abbott used to disguise his identity when he published this satire on class and social problems in 19th century Britain. Flatland has been in print continuously since it was first published in 1884. One book publisher referred to Flatland as a precursor of modern science fiction. Special Collections has a first edition copy of this book. We also have a flat copy, our Arion Press edition.

In 1980 Arion Press published Flatland in an accordion-fold format of 56 folded panels. The book is bound in aluminum covers and is housed in an aluminum frame with a hinged top that closes with a clasp. The title is stamped on the covers in black. This edition was limited to 275 hand-numbered copies, of which our copy is 72. The introduction was written by Ray Bradbury and he has signed and numbered the book. The illustrations and 10 mounted die-cut panels were done by the printer, Andrew Hoyem, based on designs by the author. Hoyem signed the Colophon.

The panels for Flatland unfold to a length of 33 feet with text printed on each side, making this a 66 foot long book. Each panel of the book is 7 by 14 inches. Hoyem’s design is a creative expression of the plane of existence for the two dimensional story that Abbot tells. I am intrigued by this book every time I have the opportunity to look at it.

Arion Press was founded in San Francisco in 1974 by Andrew Hoyem and has been called the Nation’s leading publisher of fine-press books. They have printed 93 books to date, mostly by letterpress. The illustrations are often original prints by significant artists. Special Collections has a number of books published by Arion Press, including works by Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Jim Dine, and William Shakespeare, to name a few. Check the library catalog for a more complete listing of books by Arion Press in our collections.

By: hartsea on: March 13, 2012 8:59 am | hartsea

The Women’s Read-in is in its 6th year at the Libraries. It is co-sponsored by the Women's Center and is held in honor of Women's History Month. All members of the University and Oxford communities are encouraged to participate and attend.

Inspired by the fact that it is the Year of the Arts here at Miami University, our theme this year is "Recognizing Women and their Art and Stories". In keeping with this theme, we invite you to share women's art (music, drama, poetry, novels, sculpture, etc.). This can include your own work.

The event this year will be held on Thursday March 22nd from 11:00am-2:00pm in King Library 320.

You can register here to read/perform work by your favorite female artist or drop by to listen and enjoy refreshments.

Need some help choosing what to read? See a sample of what participants read from last year or our page on the Diversity guide for some inspiration!

See below for even more ideas:

We hope to see you there!