News & Notes

By: hartsea on: November 22, 2013 9:08 am | hartsea

Miami University Libraries will be hosting its first Muslim Journeys* Book Discussion on December 5th from 4:00 to 5:00 in King 320.  There will be a short presentation from a scholar, a discussion of the book, and light refreshments.  Our scholar for this book will be Dr. Mark Peterson from Anthropology and International Studies.

Our first book will be In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar.  You can find out more about this book and the other books we will be reading in our discussion series here.  You might also be interested in a Q & A with the author, related resources, and this New York Times review.

We encourage you to sign up for the book discussions so that you can receive free copies of the selected books. There is still time to get the book and read it over Thanksgiving, but you'll want to make plans soon. You can read more about our Muslim Journeys programming at the website.

If you are interested in even more books to read, check out some of the books from our bookshelf: Bridging Cultures: American Stories and Bridging Cultures: Connected Histories.

*Our Muslim Journeys programming is sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Miami University Humanities Center.  Additional support provided by the Miami University Center for American and World Cultures and the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.

By: gundyj on: November 19, 2013 10:13 am | gundyj

In 1964 the Government Printing Office produced the final findings of the The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, informally known as the Warren Commission Report. Now almost 30 years later the GPO has released a digitized version of the full report on (link to full .pdf). The 900 page, 77.5mb .pdf contains the entire Warren Commission Report as originally printed, digitized from an original copy housed at Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library

Supplementary to the Warren Commission Report the GPO has also made available on flight deck recordings from Air Force One recorded following the Kennedy Assassination.

The National Archives website maintains an index and increasing collection of digitized material of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, including appendixes and supplementary materials to the Warren Commission Report.

By: hartsea on: November 18, 2013 2:53 pm | hartsea

Doris Lessing died on November 17th at the age of 94. She was a noted author best known for The Golden Notebook.  The New York Times and NPR both have nice write ups about her life.  You might also enjoy Margaret Atwood's tribute.

You can also find an excellent retrospective of her work on this website.

You might want to check out some of her works:

Alfred and Emily.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6023.E833 A78 2008

The Fifth Child.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6023.E833 F54 1988b

The Grandmothers: Four Short NovelsKing Library (2nd floor) | PR6023.E833 G69 2003

The Grass is Singing. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6023.E833 G73x

The Real Thing: Stories and SketchesKing Library (2nd floor) | PR6023.E833 R44 1992

By: gibsonke on: November 13, 2013 11:33 am | gibsonke

Miami University Libraries will be a host site for the American Library Association's 6th Annual International Games Day event on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. The event will take place in the Center for Digital Scholarship, located on the third floor of King Library.
We will have a wide array of video games and board games available to play, along with fun giveaways and a chance to win prizes*. There will also be free pizza, drinks, and snacks provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

All are welcome - Come for the chance to try out new games, play old favorites, or just to enjoy friendly competition and free food!
*While supplies last

By: clarkejb on: November 08, 2013 1:53 pm | clarkejb

Love trivia? Or just like winning things? Submit your answer to the 3 questions below (yes, you have to answer them all) for your chance to win a gift certificate to the Miami Bookstore. Good luck!

November Question of the Month:

Part 1

For whom is Laws Hall named and what invention is he/she known for?

Part 2

What is the connection between Thomas Edison and this person?

Part 3

What is the connection between the statue of George Washington in Alumni Hall and this person?

Miami University student competitors who submit the correct answer will be included in a drawing at the end of the month. Contestants may submit answers until midnight, November 30. The student competitor whose name is picked in the drawing is the winner. The winner will receive a $20 Gift Certificate for the Miami University Bookstore.

By: micheljp on: October 31, 2013 4:26 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

By: micheljp on: October 30, 2013 9:43 am | micheljp @jpmichel

Noted journalist and founder and editor of The Weekly Standard, William Kristol and former Governor of New Mexico and presidential candidate Bill Richardson will debate Foreign Policy in this year's Janus Forum: The Role of the U.S. in the World.

Both guests are prolific writers, writing for such publications as The Weekly Standard, Hill, Commentary, Businessweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and more as well as several books. The Miami University Libraries' gives you free and complete access to all of these:

Read up on our guest's works so you can be better informed and ask more insightful questions!

By: hartsea on: October 29, 2013 10:20 am | hartsea

Today I'm highlighting some more of the books we received from our Muslim Journeys Bridging Cultures grant.  The theme this time is "Connected Histories."  Here are the books that we have:

When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East” by Stewart Gordon. King Library (2nd floor) | DS5.95 .G67 2009

The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili. BEST Library, Basement | Q127.A5 A4 2011

The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal. King Library (2nd floor) | DP99 .M465 2002b

Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf, translated by Peter Sluglett. King Library (2nd floor) | PQ3979.2.M28 L413 1992

In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh. King Library (2nd floor) | DT56.2 .G48 1994

You can check out previous books we highlighted in this post.  Also, our film series is still ongoing, so come join us for an interesting film.

By: tullykk on: October 28, 2013 2:12 pm | tullykk

Many librarians, archivists, and academics who work with rare books and manuscripts may publicly critcize the portrayal of their professions in films like The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, but secretly many dream about solving ancient mysteries or uncovering shocking secrets.  Though very few in the profession are lucky enough to discover something so earth-shattering that it can challenge centuries of belief or accepted fact, many of us who work with special collections materials solve little mysteries and uncover fascinating stories from the past on a regular basis. Every rare book on the shelf in a special collections or archives has the potential to lead its reader down a path of discovery, whether it's through the study of its text, its production, or its provenance.  Provenance in the book world is simply the record of a book's previous ownership.  Discovering who owned a book and documenting how it may have traveled over space and time to end up on the shelf of a rare book and special collections library can be one of the most rewarding, entertaining, and even sometimes thrilling aspects of the work we do. Just ask my colleague Masha Stepanova who wrote about an exciting find in our de Saint-Rat Collection last week in her blog post. The following is a brief story of how a shelf reading project in our department led to the re-discovery of another item in our collections with an impressive provenance...

As part of an ongoing shelf reading project, our student workers supervised by my colleague Jim Bricker, are barcoding our book collections and in order to apply a unique barcode to an item, the catalog record must be edited. Meghan Pratschler, one of our undergraduate student workers, discovered that one of the books on her project truck had a call number but not a catalog record, so the book ended up on my desk.  Nothing about this volume seemed noteworthy at first and the title Translations from the German in Prose and Verse, though descriptive, was not very catchy.  It looked to be a typical early nineteenth century volume of religious poetry, but when I went to find a catalog record for the title in OCLC/WorldCat, I noticed right away that only 30 copies were printed.  So it was definitely a limited edition and only 13 other libraries in North America and England reported owning a copy today.  The next thing I noticed was the unusual imprint, "Printed by E. Harding, Frogmore Lodge, Windsor 1812", so I thought perhaps this was an early private press title of some kind based in someone's residence.

The printed dedication page reads: "The gift of the Queen to her beloved daughters Charlotte Aug: Matilda. Augusta Sophia. Elizabeth. Mary. and Sophia. and with Her Majesty's permission dedicated to their Royal Highnesses by the translator Ellis Cornelia Knight." Realizing the connection between the English royal family and Windsor, the location in the imprint, I became even more curious about this slim volume.

Upon further searching, I found out more about the book and its origins.  The translator of the text, Ellis Cornelia Knight (1757-1837) shown above, was an accomplished writer who was a companion to both Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of King George III (see portrait at top of post), and later her daughter, Princess Charlotte Augusta.

The book was produced at a private press overseen closely by Knight and Harding, a job printer in Windsor, especially for the Queen's daughters. The quality of the printing is not particularly fine, but the volume does include a pleasant engraving of Frogmore Lodge.  Frogmore Lodge, better known as Frogmore House (shown above), was a seventeenth century country estate near Windsor Castle. Queen Charlotte and her daughters used the estate as a country retreat, similar to Charlotte's contemporary Marie Antoinette's Estate at Versailles.  Just the fact that a truly "rare" book commissioned by Queen Charlotte, with a text translated by her companion from the original German, and printed at her country home ended up on the shelf at a university library in Oxford, Ohio made this a fun find. I shared what I had discovered about the volume with Meghan, the student worker who originally "found" the book on the shelf, and the rest of the staff in Special Collections.  And here's where the provenance comes in...

The only truly distinguishing characteristic of Miami's copy was the original mottled calf binding with "Ldy. R." stamped in gilt on the front cover.  Who was the mysterious Lady R?  Everyone in the department was curious.  Since none of Charlotte's daughters, for whom the book was printed as a gift, had names which began with the letter "R" (and they would be styled "Princess" or "H.R.H." most likely anyway), I immediately thought that Lady R. was probably a member of the royal household, such as a Lady of the Bedchamber, commonly referred to as a lady-in-waiting.  A quick search didn't provide any immediate leads and I set the book aside in my office to return to when I had a free moment.  However, Meghan, our student worker, beat me to it! She located an official listing of the Queen's Household which included an entry for Cornelia Jacoba Waldegrave, Lady Radstock, who was one of the Women of the Bedchamber from 1799-1818.  There were no other clear candidates for Lady R. in Queen Charlotte's inner circle and the date, 1812, also lined up.  While we cannot definitively know whether Cornelia is in fact our Lady R., it seems highly likely.

So who was Lady Radstock? Cornelia Jacoba van Lennep (1763-1839) was born in Turkey to a wealthy Dutch merchant family.  She married William Waldegrave, first Baron Radstock (1753-1825), a distinguished Admiral in the Royal Navy and a Governor of New Foundland, in 1785. Though the historical record seems to contain very little about Lady Radstock, beyond her family's genealogy, there is a portrait of her family in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum, in Amsterdam.  The painting by Antoine de Favray from about 1771 depicts Cornelia, at approximately eight years old, in a blue dress seated on the floor. It's pretty amazing to think that that little girl born faraway and long ago in the Ottoman Empire, who married a Canadian governor and naval hero and became a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of England, once held this book in her hands, a "gift of the Queen."  Unfortunately, there are no other marks of ownership on this presentation copy and it is virtually impossible to trace the book's provenance after it was in the possession of Lady Radstock.  Perhaps we can, instead, indulge ourselves and imagine that this book's journey to the shelves of Miami's Special Collections was just as fascinating as its origins.

In the meantime, we've already had an undergraduate student stop by our reading room to see this recently discovered treasure (she'd heard about it from John Bickers, another of our stellar student workers in Special Collections) and that same student is now exploring other books in our collection  as the basis for a possible capstone project!

Kimberly Tully
Special Collections Librarian

By: bazelejw on: October 25, 2013 9:25 pm | bazelejw @@jwbazeley

In honor of Open Access Week 2013 (October 21-25), we will be profiling an influential figure in the scholarly communication landscape each day.

Friday, October 25

Jason Priem


  • M.Ed. in Social Studies Education, University of Florida, 2002
  • Ph.D. in Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill (2009- )

Current Positions

  • Co-founder, ImpactStory (2011- )
  • Doctoral student in information science, UNC-Chapel Hill (2009- )

Notable Affiliations

  • Ubiquity Press Advisory Board member (2011- )
  • Program committee, ScienceOnline 2012 conference (2011)
  • Lead organizer, altmetrics 12 workshop at ACM Web Science Conference (2012)
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, PLoS ONE, and Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

Notable Publications

  • “Scientometrics 2.0: new metrics of scholarly impact on the social Web”. First Monday, 2010. Available at
  • “Altmetrics in the wild: using social media to explore scholarly impact”. arXiv preprint, 2012. Available at
  • “The power of altmetrics on a CV”. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2013. Available at

Interesting Facts

  • Priem has worked as a middle school teacher, freelance web designer, and instructional designer for online courses.  
  • Priem is the co-founder of ImpactStory, a free, open-source web-based tool that allows researchers to aggregate alternative metrics for their scholarship.   
  • One of a group of scholars who coined the term “altmetrics”, short for alternative metrics, or measuring scholarly impact over the social web instead of through traditional citation. 

More Information