Do you want to learn more about Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Movement? Keep the conversation going! Miami University Libraries offers a wealth of resources from books and digital collections to video and audio items. These resources have been compiled in one place for your convenience. Contact any librarian if you need assistance in locating these items!
It's been about a year since the project first began, so I thought now would be a good time to review the latest updates to the Bowden Postcard Collection Online. As I wrote about in November, this digital collection is being developed from the donation of roughly 480,000 postcards by two friends and Miami alumni: Clyde N. Bowden and Charles Shields. The project began last summer with a pilot that used a handful of cards from each state in Bowden's collection. These cards were digitized, given metadata records, and added to CONTENTdm - our digital content management system.
In the year since we began, we have digitized nearly 2,200 postcards, mostly from Ohio. There have been some setbacks along the way, most notably the recognition in December for a need to revise our already existing metadata records. At the same time, however, we have also made great strides forward. Clyde N. Bowden, the donor and namesake, was very excited to hear about the project and has given us a very generous donation to fund the current Ohio-focused work. His was not the only positive feedback we have had, either. Since joining the Commons, our digital collections' Flickr account - of which the postcards represent a substantial portion - has averaged between 10-20,000 views a day, and the number of monthly hits we have received in CONTENTdm for the full collection has likewise increased several times over. One particularly memorable response was from someone who recognized his father in a photograph used for one of the Oxford postcards.
In addition to his financial contribution, Mr. Bowden also donated to us several boxes of books about postcards, books of postcards, and other postcard-related miscellanea. We are also receiving another generous donation from the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the form of roughly 500 postcards from their own collection - many of them being from the mid-20th century Middle East.
So where do we go from here? Thanks to Mr. Bowden's donation, we are able to investigate commercial digitization which will save a significant portion of our students' time and labor, allowing them to focus on creating the metadata records and adding them to the collection online. We also are expanding our operation and bringing on a third student this summer to help with the work. With the digitization outsourced and the extra help, I am anticipating having over 5,000 postcards online by the end of 2014. Once we have completed the roughly 8,000 postcards remaining in the Bowden collection, we will add the Ohio postcards from the Shields collection. My goal for the project is to complete both collections' Ohio cards - about 15,000 in total! - by the end of spring 2016. I have also created a Twitter account - @bowdenpostcards - to track new postcards being added to the collection. Although currently inactive for the summer break, I look forward to seeing the account continue to log the latest additions to the collection, including a fascinating postcard flipbook from early 1900's Portsmouth, Ohio (watch a video of it on the Special Collections blog here).
Marcus Ladd Special Collections Librarian & Postcard Czar
Poet and political activist Maya Angelou died today (May 28th). You can read obituaries and commemorations here, here, and here. You might also enjoy this collection of some of her best quotes (warning: video will play automatically). I also think this NPR profile from 2008 will be useful in understanding her impact on society.
You may also want to read some of her works for yourself:
Since we just finished our Muslim Journeys book discussions, I wanted to highlight the Pathways of Faith theme from our Bridging Cultures collection, in case you want even more books to read! Here are the books we have from that collection:
Do you love books? Have you ever wanted to learn how to make one?
Please join us for the first "Book Arts Day" in celebration of National Preservation Week at the Art & Architecture Library. This is a casual, drop-in event where you can learn a little bit about book arts, bookmaking, and preservation through hands-on activities.
Try your hand at bookbinding
Make a slipcase for your portfolio
Learn about book construction
Explore artist's books from the Walter Havighurst Special Collections
Find out more about how libraries preserve and repair books
When: Tuesday, April 29, 11am-1pm
Where: Wertz Art & Architecture Library (in Alumni Hall)
All are welcome! Stop in as long as you please. Yes, there will be refreshments.