To celebrate this month, the St. Mary’s Library will be featuring different women’s history resources on the In the Collection portion of the Library’s website. We’ll also have a series of posts about research materials related to women’s history, as well as amazing information you can access online through various archival collections.
The library has a fleet of Kindles loaded with popular fiction, bestsellers, and all the current young adult novel crazes.
Whatever your favorite Kindle device might be, we want to make sure that we’re buying the books YOU want to read. Our only restriction: It has to be fiction or popular non-fiction. No academic titles, please; we’re trying to keep our Kindles, light and focused on reading for pleasure, not work. So take a minute and…
Leave a comment with a book you’d like us to add to our Kindle collection!
Not sure what books we already have on our Kindles? Take a look! Also take a minute to learn more about our Kindles from this awesome video created by SMCM student Eden Anbinder:
Fair Use is like a muscle; unused, it atrophies, while exercise makes it grow.
—Patricia Aufderheide & Peter Jaszi in Reclaiming Fair Use
February 27th marks the end of Fair Use Week, which makes this post a little late to the party. Despite my tardiness, I still think this event merits mention. Like so many other issues, copyright is likely something we’re all vaguely aware of hanging around in the distance alongside “the cloud,” “big data,” and other buzzwords we hear on a regular basis but will never admit we don’t fully understand. Somewhere way beyond this mythical Realm of Copyright is Fair Use. It’s likely in a shed, out in the middle of nowhere, where only teachers and college professors venture to visit from time to time.
Before I get totally lost in my painful mixed metaphors, let’s take a minute to learn a little more about Fair Use.
Thanks to the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center at the NCSU Libraries, we have a good, plain-language definition of this elusive concept:
“Fair use is an exception to copyright that permits unauthorized use in cases where where the value of the use to society is greater than the harm done to the rightholder…fair use is about what you are doing, what you are using, how much you are using, and if your use undermines the value of the original.”
You may have read about the 4 Factors of Fair Use, those murky, checklist-but-not-really-a-checklist items that are meant to help you determine when you’re taking advantage of Fair Use and when you’re really just taking advantage. These 4 Factors are (again from NCSU Libraries):
- the purpose and character of your use,
- the nature of the work,
- the amount and substantiality of your use
- the effect of your use on the market for the original.
Fair Use is rarely clear-cut, and many artists, educators, writers, and filmmakers refrain from using any copyrighted materials in their work or classrooms for fear of copyright infringement. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is but one of many organizations that are trying to change that. This year, between Feb. 23 and the 27th, ARL is sponsoring (or sponsored, depending on when you read this) Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the Doctrine of Fair Use.
On the Fair Use Week website you’ll find an events calendar filled with lectures (both in person and online) and a collection of resources on copyright and Fair Use including videos, blog posts, best practices, essays and a fantastic infographic, which has been made free for reuse and copied below. According to ARL, “every week is fair use week,” so take some time to learn about Fair Use…then maybe move on to attempting to understand “big data.”
As we near the end of Black History Month it’s important to keep in mind that there are a wealth of free research materials on African American history. So whether you’re researching for a scholarly publication, a class assignment, or just personal interest, keep in mind some of the resources available to you through the St. Mary’s Library and through various digital archives and libraries across the country.
Our Patron Services Librarian, Conrad Helms has an excellent blog post about the new Rosa Parks archival collection at the Library of Congress. We’re also featuring just a few of the many St. Mary’s Library resources on Africa & African Diaspora Studies in our In The Collection feature this week.
Also going on this week is a fantastic BSU-sponsored, student-designed Exhibit in the Boyden Gallery called Expressions of Blackness.
If you’re interested in learning more about Black History Month, take a look at the Library of Congress and all of the amazing documents, photos, and resources available to help bolster your knowledge and understanding of African American History.
For the last in our series of “In the Collection” features related to Black History Month, the Library brings you Black in Latin America, a 2-disc, 4-episode series on DVD that explores the intersections of race, identity, and Latin American history. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this series examines the legacy of slavery and colonialism in Latin America by specifically looking at Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I first caught Black in Latin America on PBS a few years ago and was hooked. It’s a fascinating glimpse of racial politics and identity in the larger “America.”
You’ll find this engaging series in our open DVD collection on the first floor of the library, call number F1419.N4 B533 2011. There is also a book to accompany the DVD, which is located on the 2nd floor of our library in the stacks (call number: F1419.N4 G38 2011) You can find out more about Black in Latin America by checking out the accompanying PBS website and the preview video below.
Historical researchers, be they students or faculty, are always interested in primary source materials–original photos, essays, letters, legislation, newspapers, etc.–that may open a door to the past. Among the St. Mary’s Library’s digital primary source collections is Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice, a database that brings together documents from archives and libraries around the Atlantic world.
Included in this online resource are documents covering the following themes:
- Slavery in the Early Americas
- The African Coast
- The Middle Passage
- Slavery and Agriculture
- Urban & Domestic Slavery
- Slave Testimony
- Resistance & Revolt
- The Underground Railroad
- The Abolition Movement
- The Legacy of Slavery
The Library has a great collection of 19th century African American Newspapers that you can access online through Accessible Archives. Primary source research has never been this easy! Included in this collection are the following historical newspapers:
- The Christian Recorder
- The Colored American/Weekly Advocate
- Frederick Douglass Paper
- Freedom’s Journal
- The National Era
- The North Star
- Provincial Freeman
Take a few minutes, explore the collection, and learn more about this amazing collection of first-hand reports from the 1800s.
February is Black History Month, and while we all take time to recognize and reflect upon our nation’s history, present, and future, we can also make Black History Month come alive thanks to the Library of Congress. Today (February 4) would have been Rosa Parks’ 102nd birthday, and surely not by coincidence, an exhibit of her letters and photographs opens at the Library of Congress.
Selections from the 10,000 item collection will be available for public viewing on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building from March 2 – 30, and then will be included in the current exhibition The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle For Freedom, which is open through September 12, 2015 on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Both exhibits are open Monday – Saturday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Pictures of some of the items are available here from The Guardian (full article here) and just from these few pictures, the breadth of the collection is astonishing: there are images of poll tax receipts, a Presidential Medal of Honor, a pancake recipe, and even a letter complaining about not being allowed in the library. Rosa Parks’ act of refusing to give up her seat on the bus is well-known throughout our country – it is rightfully regarded as a seminal moment in not only the civil rights movement, but the whole of U.S. history. To be able to see her thoughts and words in her own handwriting provides a stark perspective of what led her to strike one of the first blows against Jim Crow. Looking at and reading these documents allows us to appreciate the immense significance and courage of her actions – not just on that day in December 1955, but in the ensuing decades until her passing in 2005.
If you can’t make it up to D.C. to view the exhibit, fear not – the Library of Congress will be posting some of the collection online later this year. And you can always check out some of the SMCM Library’s materials about Rosa Parks and the larger U.S. civil rights movement.
It’s a new year and with is comes all of the promises we make to ourselves. I’ll go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I’ll stop eating potato chips. I’ll be a more informed citizen/student/professor!
We might not be able to help you shed those pesky pounds of “holiday weight,” but we can help you stay better informed about news, events, and issues in higher education. The Library maintains a College-wide subscription to The Chronicle of Higher Education. To access all articles, opinion pieces, and writing about academia you could ever want, just visit The Chronicle online and sign up for a free account using your St. Mary’s email address.
Now you can cross at least one thing off of your New Year’s resolution list.