News & Notes

By: natalejj on: August 20, 2014 4:14 pm | natalejj @@JennNatale

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!

By: micheljp on: August 19, 2014 11:07 am | micheljp @jpmichel

The Miami University Libraries is excited to provide users on the Oxford campus with full access to and the smartphone apps.* Of course, the Libraries also provides digital access to hundreds of other national and international newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times and more!

New Users: How to Activate a Pass

While physically on campus and within your school’s network:

  1. Go to
  2. Create an account using your school email address. If you already have an account using your school email address, you may log in with those credentials.
  3. When you see START YOUR ACCESS, the expiration time and date of your pass will appear.
  4. Go to and enjoy your full access from any location!

Read more about this exciting program!

By: root on: August 11, 2014 10:10 pm | root

Check back soon for more information about this exciting new facility in King Library.

Related links:
- Miami to form office of research for undergraduates
- Joseph Johnson named first director of office of research for undergraduates

By: laddmm on: June 11, 2014 7:41 am | laddmm

Please note that, as of June 1st, the URL of the Bowden Postcard Collection Online is

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.

One of the Oxford, Ohio, postcards being pulled from the cabinet.
One of the Oxford, Ohio, postcards being pulled from the cabinet.

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.

The work of creating card numbers and sorting the cards in the Shields collection was made significantly easier thanks to his labels.
The work of creating card numbers and sorting the cards in the Shields collection was made significantly easier thanks to his labels.

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).

Finally, as part of the aforementioned metadata revisions, we have narrowed the geographic location of each card - sometimes even to a specific street or building! Using this new information, we are developing a map to visualize the data in the collection. The map will be created using the Leaflet JavaScript Library, as well as some homegrown PHP and MySQL. In order to gather the necessary information from the CONTENTdm database, I wrote a script that queries the API for information about each item. This information is then pushed to a SQL database on one of our library's server - and in turn will be used to populate the map. The script itself is set to run on a weekly basis to continually update the SQL database. By preloading all the responses from the API, we are able to significantly reduce the time required to load the map. I am hoping to deploy the map by the end of June, so keep an eye on the collection!

Proof of concept for postcard map
Proof of concept for postcard map

Happy browsing.

Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Librarian & Postcard Czar

By: hartsea on: May 28, 2014 11:37 am | hartsea

Angelou 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:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 Z466 1970 

The Complete Collected Poems of Maya AngelouKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 A17 1994

And Still I RiseKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 A8

Mom & Me & MomKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 Z46 2013

On the Pulse of MorningKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 O53 1993

Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating WomenKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 P48 1994

Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and PrayerKing Library (2nd floor) | PS3551.N464 C45 2006

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."

By: hartsea on: May 12, 2014 10:29 am | hartsea


As we wrap up the school year, we are wrapping our Muslim Journeys programs.  The final collection I want to highlight is the Art, Architecture, and Film collection.  In this collection we have:

Koran by Heart (2011), directed by Greg Barker

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (2011), directed by Robert Gardner

Prince Among Slaves (2007), directed by Andrea Kalin

Islamic Art Spots (short films designed, written, and presented by D. Fairchild Ruggles, developed especially for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf

Islamic Arts by Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair. ArtArch | N6260 .B576 1997

The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter. ArtArch | N6260 .P67 2012

If you are looking for books to read, check out this post, this post, this post, and this post.

By: micheljp on: May 08, 2014 3:22 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

During Finals Week the 3rd Floor of King will have more open spaces for everyone to study!

Don't forget that we also have places to study in the B.E.S.T. Library in Laws Hall, the Art & Architecture Library in the basement of Alumni Hall and the Amos Music Library in the Center for Performing Arts.

By: hartsea on: May 12, 2014 10:28 am | hartsea

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:

The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by F. E. Peters. King Library (2nd floor) | BM157 .P47 2004 

Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown. King Library (2nd floor) | BP75 .B66 2011

The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson.  King Library (2nd floor) | BP132 .M39 2008

The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter.  ArtArch | N6260 .P67 2012

Rumi: Poet and Mystic, edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson.  King Library (2nd floor) | PK6480.E4 N53 2012

You can check out previous books we highlighted in this post, this post, and this post.

By: micheljp on: April 28, 2014 1:40 pm | micheljp @jpmichel

By: tullykk on: April 25, 2014 10:19 am | tullykk

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.