Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Library Database Trials

If you've visited the library's webpage in the last few weeks, you might have noticed a new link dead-center on the site.  Under the "Databases" tab on www.library.coe.edu, there is a new link to direct users to databases with which we currently have trial access.  Every once and a while, different publishers will allow the library and our users to test out new databases in order to evaluate them and decide if they might be a good addition to our collection.  At any given time, we might have 1-3 trials running, though sometimes we may have more; other times, no trials at all.  Here at the library, we wanted our patrons to be able to find and use these products (what kind of test can you have without users?) while at the same time making sure that they knew that these databases were not necessarily permanent additions.  It would be rough to get used to using a database only to have the access mysteriously disappear mid-semester.  To meet this need, we thought it most appropriate to create a new page that explicitly stated that these were trials.  We also describe the databases, along with the timeline for the trial.  We hope that people will be able to use these databases and the resources therein, and we also hope that users will give us feedback.  Find a database that you like a lot?  Email the library at khandler@coe.edu and let us know what you think.  If you want to be anonymous, you can always drop a note in the library's virtual suggestion box.

We can't promise that we always add new databases, as unfortunately we can't subscribe to everything that we want.  What we can promise is that we'll use your feedback to help us figure out how best to expand our collection, and in the mean time, you'll have access to some great new databases.  Give them a try today!

They're ba-ack...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="194"] She's reviewing the Periodic Table of Elements in her head, we promise.[/caption]

Making a triumphant return this Reading Day, one of the most popular stress busters offered by the library will be available to students here at Coe once again.  That's right, the library will be offering chair massages once again as a way for students to unwind on Reading Day prior to finals!  The chair massages will be Tuesday, December 10th from 10 AM-3 PM, in the Perrine Gallery.  Massages will each be 10 minutes long, and they will be free!  So how do you get one, and what’s the catch?

  • Sign up will start on Friday, December 6th.  Sign up will occur on both Friday, and the following Monday.

  • You go to the Reference Desk to sign up.  If the reference desk is not staffed when you come, check in the Reference Office (right behind the Reference Desk.)

  • Only current Coe students are eligible to receive a free massage

  • You must come in person to sign up (no signing up for a group of friends, or by phone/email.)

  • The day of the massages, you must check in 5 minutes prior to your massage.  If you do not check in prior to your massage, you are liable to lose your spot to students on the waiting list.

Sound good?  Great!  Swing by the library to sign up for your free massage, and be on the lookout for other Finals Week treats from the library as we try to support our students as they wrap up the semester!  Good luck on finals, and please feel free to stop by the Reference Office if you have additional research questions that you need some help with.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More notes from a Circ worker...

My name is Bellamy and I’m an Elementary Education major at Coe. This is my second year working at the library and I love it. This semester I’m taking a class on children’s literature that requires me to read and bring in a selection of children’s books to class every Friday. I’ve been able to find all of my literature selections for this class from the children’s section of the Coe library. This area is located in the basement of the library and houses picture books on one side and chapter/young adult books on the other. At first I wasn’t sure if the library’s children section would have enough of a variety for all of different types of genres that I had to obtain. But now it’s halfway through the semester and week after week, I’ve been able to find great quality children’s literature books. The children’s section in the library may appear small, but there’s lots of great material!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Notes from a Circ worker.....

I am a senior nursing student and Stewart Memorial Library has been my second home for the past couple years. Whether it is studying, researching, or working I am normally here in the library. Apart of the nursing program we are expected to learn and know how to find evidence based research, I often use the library web site to help guide me. Because we are expected to know evidence based research so well I have become very comfortable with the databases we have here at Coe. I prefer to use Pub Med or CINAHL. I can normally find good sources that pertain to my topic which helps to strengthen my papers. The staff in the Reference office have helped me many of times and are always willing to help if problems or issues ever occur. ~~Allie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Thief

The end of September and start of October are always punctuated by Banned Book Week, which is, in short, a celebration of books that tend to be challenged by various groups because of content, word choice, characters, titles, covers, and so on. And while that could be a perfect excuse to wax poetic about Mark Twain, Voltaire, or yes, even Harry Potter, my annual celebration of Banned Books is to reread a very ironic book on that list:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 Why is it an ironic choice? Because The Book Thief is not only a surprisingly funny and heartfelt story about World War II Germany, it centers on books and book burning.

The New York Times described the book as “not really… ‘Harry Potter and the Holocaust.’ It just feels that way.” It’s narrated by Death, who shouldn’t be as fabulous as they are, but they’re fabulous (even if I can’t shake the image of Death being a tiny, sassy Australian woman). The main character (the titular “Book Thief” who is really named Liesel) is an adolescent girl whose life has been tinged with death, but has remained resilient, warm, kind, and sweet. The first book she steals is a manual for grave diggers, and her love of learning proves insatiable. She and her adopted family show a tiny slice of the War from the perspective of German citizens and every act of defiance her family commits feels like a victory.

It’s completely worth the read, and the film version is set to be released in early November. ~~Maisie

Editor's note--If interested, call # is PR 9169.4 Z87 B66 2006

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What I did last summer.......

Over the summer I worked in the library archives developing a finding aid for part of the William Shirer Collection. Shirer, a journalist from Cedar Rapids popular for his memoirs of fascist Germany and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, donated his entire collection of documents to the college archives near the end of his career. My job was to read through a collection of his personal correspondence from the year 1979 and create a document that summarized the collection and contained subject headings for important events and persons of note mentioned in the letters.

It was interesting to get a peek into the personal life of a famous author and journalist, as well as see the sorts of acquaintances Shirer had made throughout his life. Many of the letters Shirer received were from aspiring journalists and novelists hoping to get some advice about the writing process. Overall I enjoyed the experience, even if it did get a bit tedious sorting through his letters for the third time. ~~Eric

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

I've been hacked!


On Facebook lately, I noticed a friend complaining that some pins and boards that she had never pinned or created showed up on her Pinterest account (using social media to complain about social media.  How meta.)  Although she joked that the weight-loss ads that had popped up were "Pinterest fat-shaming me for all the desserts that I post,"  account security is something to be cognizant of.   What do you do if you get hacked?

First of all, any time you get hacked, or suspect that you've been hacked, your immediate priority should be changing your password for the site.  This is also a good time to remind yourself that make sure that you have different passwords that you change/update regularly.  It's not a great idea to have the same password for your Facebook account, your online banking, and your Google account.  You don't want to hand over the keys to your entire online kingdom in one fell password swoop.  Similarly, you should be updating your passwords on a regular basis.  If you've been using the same password for 2 years, it's time to retire it and come up with something new.

Once you've updated your passwords, it's time to go ahead and run a virus scanner on your computer.  Computing services can clue you into some great software for your devices, and it's also worth exploring ad-block or no-script programs that can stop hijack attempts.  Lastly, you will want to make sure that you go in and delete the posts that the hacker/program made on your behalf (which sometimes can't be done until you've changed the password.)

Hopefully these tips will help your accounts get cleaned up after a hacking.  As for protecting your account, make sure that you change/update your passwords regularly, and be vigilant when deciding to click on links.  Remember the old caveat that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, which means that Sony probably is not going to give you a free PS4 just so you can help them test it by clicking on some random link that you see on your Facebook feed. These types of ads can contain phishing programs searching for passwords and other sensitive date, so be careful And when in doubt, you can always check on Snopes or Google an ad or story to see if something has been debunked. Forewarned is forearmed!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Harvest Festival

Time goes so fast. A special festival happens once a year for all the Chinese is Full Moon-autumn festival. At that day, the whole family members would get together to eat the moon cake and watch the full moon at night to celebrate this festival. Yesterday, a library staff named Hongbo who is from China held a small celebration party for us. She brought some moon cakes and fruits for us. We were so excited cause the moon cake was so delicious and met each other after a long break. There was so many interesting things happened during the break, we could not wait to share it with others. We ate the moon cake and waited the moon showed up. However, yesterday was raining and sky covered by the clouds, we could not see the moon. It was kind of disappointed. I was still every happy to celebrate the traditional festival out of our country. Thanks Hongbo held this small party for us. Happy full-autumn day to everyone! ~~Linzi

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Take time to see the Art work in the Library

One of my favorite parts of working in the Library is the art. While walking around shelving books, or counting students, or even just sitting at the desk I see these pictures and am still amazed. This will be my second year working at the Library and I it is like the pictures are always changing and I am finding new ways to look at these works. After a long day of class and soccer it is relaxing coming to work just so I can look at the extensive amount of art this building holds, and try to interpret it from my understanding.~~~~Gordon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Notes from a Summer Worker Chapter 2

What I did in the Library this Summer
This summer, my coworkers and I have been working primarily on two projects. The first of which is transcription. Transcription is listening to accounts of the flood of ’08 and rendering it in on archival paper that will be stored in the library’s archives. I have had two individuals that I have transcribed. The first was a fantastical man who had traveled the country and the world performing in a show in which he dressed as a woman and performed comedic acts. He finally settled in Cedar Rapids, only to have his home flooded and his sequined costumes tarnished by the Cedar River’s bloat. With the help of his neighborhood, the community came together and repaired a broken morale. The second transcription assignment is about one of our own fellow Coe Students. She was a nursing student during the time of the “Epic Surge” and worked at St. Luke’s and lived there when her apartment was flooded. During the spring and summer of 2008, not one person was unaffected in some part by the flood.
The second project is that of digitizing students’ honors theses from past years. Currently, students are expected to submit a digital copy of their thesis, but in years past this was not the case. In order to preserve their hard work and showcase Coe’s intellect for future Kohawks and curious minds, we have been scanning the theses and making them accessible online.

What you look forward to in the school year
The school year is going to be the busiest yet for me. It’s bittersweet to be approaching my last year here at Coe College, but I have plenty of events and projects to assure that I don’t coast through it. I am heavily involved with Coe Human Rights Advocates here on campus (inquire if interested, friends!). We have a gala scheduled for the fall that will benefit a non-profit dedicated to eradicating the presence of anti-personnel mines whose purpose has longer expired through mine-dogs. The dogs are able to discover mines through scent, and humans are able to disassemble them. There will be a sampling of area restaurants’ appetizers to lure in community members and Kohawks to pledge their support. My school year will also include various activities and conferences that I will attend with fellow Coe College Democrats. There is no off-season in politics. Whether it’s the ice-cream social(ist), or hosting a speaker, there will be plenty to do. On the academic side, I will be focusing on writing my honors thesis about religious resurgence in politics in Turkey and India (which I expect to have a throng of faithful devotees to my writing. Or my advisor. Or just me). Regardless, it shall be written and bound and contain my blood, sweat, tears, and the stains from too many midnight espressos. In what free time I have left, it will be spent with my Tri-Delta sisters, doing weird things. Whether it is doing head stands in the hallway whilst listening to sitar music during tour season, crafting until glitter coats our lungs, or shopping with the money that I just do not have, we will make time for each other and treasure the little time we have left. ~~~~Shanel

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Library Hours during Fall Break











Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Interlibrary Loan: The ILList Office on Campus

What is ILL? According to the site Internet Slang, "ill" is "cool, tight, etc."  However, here at the library "ILL" means something totally different: Interlibrary Loan.

Need to borrow a specific book for your next big paper, but neither Stewart Memorial Library nor the fabulous public libraries here in Cedar Rapids seem to have it?  Interlibrary Loan to the rescue!  Students and faculty of Coe College have this great service that too many are unaware of.  Harlene Hansen (Reference Assistant) along with the student workers in the Reference Office work to help you find the book you are looking for at one of the various libraries Coe is in connection with and borrow it for you to use.  The best part is that this service is FREE to the Coe community.

Interlibrary Loan also works great for articles!  When searching through the databases on the library’s website, some articles are not readily available to view as internet or PDF files.  By clicking the “Request This Item Through Interlibrary Loan” button, your request is sent into a database where the reference workers search through a larger database to find you the article you need and a library that can supply an electronic or paper copy.

Don’t make yourself ill (and not the cool kind) over that paper that’s due in a few weeks!  Not sure if the library has a particular journal that you are looking for, or you’re not sure how to use the catalog to find out?  Stop into the reference office and Katelyn Handler and Harlene Hansen will be happy to help you out and to try and answer all of your questions.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Library Book Sale

Oct 10 and 11


Located in the Winifred Cone Gallery

All proceeds go to the Brian Schappert Endowment

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Notes from a Summer Worker Chapter 1

1) Contradictory to popular belief, circulation workers have a lot to do in the library over summer. My coworkers and I have been biding our time with regular circulation work on top of some special projects. A special project that has been going on for the duration of the summer is transcribing interviews about the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids. Once completed the transcriptions will be placed into archives and be accessible for students. Eventually, we hope to have everything in the archives on the Internet. We are working towards that with not only the transcriptions but scanning student theses as PDF documents as well.

You may be thinking okay so you’re busy with work but does anyone ever come into the library? The answer is yes, not as many as there is during school but people still visit the library. This summer Coe was the host to several programs for children in the community. One program was College for Kids that has two-week sessions, twice during the summer. The library was the host of several of the classes this program offered. The second program Coe hosted was Reading Camp where children in the community came to campus to improve their reading. As you would suspect, that was a busy time for the library! Coe was also involved in Iowa Private College Week and of course the library was one of many tour stops.

As fun as this summer has been at the library, I know we are all looking forward to having students back on campus. Even though we have had visitors throughout the summer, there is nothing like the Kohawks!

2) This is my last year at Coe. For the school year I am looking forward to seeing all of my fellow Kohawks back on campus. Instead of missing home, I am the opposite in that I miss school. Not necessarily the homework and test part, but having my Coe family on campus. The summer always seems too long with everyone away. Is there some way we could have everyone stay on campus for the summer and not have to have class?

I am also looking forward to recruitment this fall. From what I gather there is another big class of Kohawks coming in. We could possibly get thirty new members! It is amazing to see how fast Tri Delta has grown since my time here. As a freshman we only had 38 members and now we are in the sixties. I am excited to get to know these new members and continue to get to know the existing members. Yes, this is somewhat of a plug for Tri Delta but what I am most excited about for Delta is our philanthropic events for St. Jude. As a national organization we made the goal of raising $15 million in 5 years. Well we have finished our third year at $14.2 million! I can’t wait to get my fellow Kohawks involved in our events for fundraising.

Free Museum Tickets!

Need something to do this weekend?  Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring an event called "Museum Day Live!", place across the country this Saturday, September 28th.  As part of this promotion, the magazine is giving away FREE tickets to hundreds of museums around the United States, and to get your free tickets all you have to do is sign up here.  If you're staying local, some museums in the area offering free admission include:

  • Brucemore

  • Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

  • African American Museum of Iowa

In Iowa City, museums include:

  • Old Capitol Museum

  • University of Iowa Museum of Natural History


And there are plenty more great museums for you to check out if you want an excuse for a road trip. You are limited to 2 tickets, and tickets must be used this Saturday.  That being said, this sounds like awesome way to spend part of your Saturday, and again, it's free!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Library Updates, including JSTOR news!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="583"] Students from Bethany Keenan's Western Civ class practice their formation on the quad with a familiar building in the background, with Professor Keenan leading the way.[/caption]

Hi everyone! This post is to update campus on several bits of library news

1. First, an update surrounding the download of PDFs from JSTOR when using Firefox as your web browser. As of right now, it appears that the problem has been resolved; files will download normally, with users then able to open the PDF following the download. This is an important reminder though, that if you run into issues using any of the college's databases, please let us know! Notices from users are one of the ways in which we are alerted most quickly to problems or issues with our online resources, and by letting us know, we can get started fixing things.

2. Regular evening hours at the library reference desk are now in place. There are student reference workers available to answer research questions and provide library help in the evenings from 8-10:30 PM, Sunday through Wednesday night. If you need help finding something when you're working on stuff during the week, Aura and Andrew are there to help!

3. The library will be hosting several events throughout the month of October, including our fall book sale, an author visit and reading, and the first "Perrine Presents" event of the semester. Please keep checking the blog or the library website for additional news on these exciting events!

-Katelyn Handler, Head of Reference

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Advice from a Junior

Maybe high school was a breeze for you and now you think you got the whole study thing down? While study skills from high school can be extremely useful, many students have trouble their first semester getting adjusted to a college environment, specifically when it comes to studying. Here are some ways you can translate those loved and learned high school ways into college success, from the get go!

1. Take notes, and then some

Taking notes is a great way to mix what you read in the textbook with what the professor emphasized in class. Highlighting in the book (if you rented it, be sure to check if it’s okay you highlight!) and writing in the margins are also great ways to focus on what’s important. When in class, recording the lecture can be a great resource for later, like when you just need to hear exactly how a concept works.

2. Questions, questions, questions

Talking in class isn’t everyone’s favorite thing (I know it’s not mine). However, for the sake of your own understand (and GPA) don’t hesitate to ask the professor, other students, or even upperclassmen who have taken the class before you questions about the material. Form study groups with friends or people in your class and ask them questions. If you’re not a fan of talking during class, be sure to seek out your professor or drop by during office hours and ask away!

3. Figure out how you study

For some people, studying in a quiet space with no distractions is the only way to go. For others, they’ve got to have the music blasting and the door open to get any work done. I had a roommate who would study with the television on and right in front of her! Everyone’s got their own little study style. Beyond environment, figuring out techniques can be very useful as well. Talking yourself through scientific processes or using post it notes will help you stay on track.

4. YOLO won’t get you through college

Even the hardest partiers have to study sometimes. Coming to college may seem like the perfect time to chill out or go out, but managing your time effectively (or at least somewhat effectively) is going to be vital if you actually want to get your money’s worth. Remember, you’re paying a solid amount of money to be here. Save going out for the weekends and get your stuff done, and it will make that extra time even more worthwhile.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

As the library main floor has stated it is National Honey month! The month of September also pays homage to something else, Hispanic heritage.

What does this have to do with the library? The library has a plethora of Hispanic authors for you to read as well as their biographies! Read authors like Sandra Cisneros, who graduated from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and was taught by Gordon Mennega himself! Read Gary Soto a poet and writer focused in Chicano youth fiction. Prefer classic? How about the ever famous Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes (I recommend The Death of Artemio Cruz), and Isabel Allende!

Not really into books? The AV department has a wide variety of Hispanic subject movies that are both in Spanish and English. There's Selena, about a great Tejana singer and the tragic result of her fame, starring Jenifer Lopez. Or try Vicky Christina Barcelona to see Penelope Cruz do her thing! For practice with Spanish watch Volver or Biutiful.

As always keep reading and stay classy, Coe College!~~~~Paulina

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The study rooms are really nice to be able to work, by yourself or with a group, without any distractions. It's also helpful because if you need a book, you're already in the library! And, my personal favorite, you don't feel like people are staring at you and silently judging you. That's always a plus. So use the study rooms! Be productive! Yay, productivity!~~~~Angela

Monday, September 9, 2013

Issue with JSTOR & PDFs while using Firefox

Hi folks.  The library staff was alerted to a problem that users were encountering when trying to open PDFs while using Firefox to search in the database JSTOR.  After looking into the technical aspects on the college's end, here's the update that was recently posted by JSTOR Technical Support that we wanted to share with the Coe community:

"With the release of Firefox 23 on August 16, users began to experience problems downloading JSTOR PDFs through the built-in PDF viewer in Firefox. The viewer does not display our PDFs optimally, which may result in slow loading times or download errors. Users report that downloading a PDF through the viewer results in an error message that the file is corrupted or damaged, which prevents users from opening or using the file.

We are aware of this issue and our technical team is currently investigating this problem. We intend to use this page to update users on this issue, and we appreciate your patience as we work to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

As a workaround, we recommend one of two options. You could try a different browser, such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. If this is not an option, open the PDF as you normally would. Then, right click anywhere on the page and select "Save Page As...". This will allow you to save the PDF to your computer and should allow for a faster, more successful download. You can then open the file with another PDF viewer (such as Adobe) and use the print controls to print the article.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this issue may cause. Any questions you may have can be directed to JSTOR Support."

So, in this case, it's not us, it's them.  If you are in JSTOR and experiencing problems, please to refer to the workarounds listed above while doing your research.  Apologies for the inconvenience, here's hoping that JSTOR gets things figured out soon!

-Katelyn, Head of Reference

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Library Open House Wrap Up!

Thanks to everyone who came by the library last Friday morning, as the Stewart Memorial Library hosted its first Open House as part of the Orientation Week schedule.  We had more than 40 incoming and current students come by and check out the library while participating in our scavenger hunt, decorating doughnuts, taking cut-out photos, and playing bags and mini-golf.  The staff loved meeting new students, and we're hoping that the library can build on this experience as we try to figure out the best way welcome new and returning students to the library.  For the new students, we also hosted giveaways of several prizes.  Drumroll, please, as we present our winners!

2nd Runner Up: Michael Chace, with a gift card to Brewed Awakenings!

Runner up 2

1st Runner Up: Marissa Franke, with a gift card to the Coe College Bookstore!

Runner up 1
And our GRAND PRIZE WINNER, Elizabeth Haynes, with a $50 giftcard for Target!

Grand prize


Thank  you again to everyone that came and participated in the Open House, and keep checking out the Facebook page and this blog for more updates on library events!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Library Orientation Open House

For those students who are new to the Coe College community, the library will be hosting an open house on Friday, August 23, from 10 AM-12 PM.  All new students are invited to come over to the library for a variety of fun activities, including:

  • Glow-in-the-dark Miniature golf

  • A Coe-themed scavenger hunt

  • A build-your-own doughnut bar

  • Bags Toss

  • and a chance to take a photo as part of Grant Woods's "Fruits of Iowa" paintings!

Feel free to come over at any point in the two hours, and to participate in any (or all!) activities of your choosing. Students who come an participate will also be eligible to win one of several prizes, including a Target gift card that will go to one student who completes all of the library's activity. Take time to come on over and have some fun while seeing more of the library and its staff before classes start.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stephen Phelps with students


Stephen Phelps was Coe College's first president (1881-1886).  He is standing on the right with a group of Coe students.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Campus Views 1910


Coe College campus views January 13&14, 1910. Taken by Harry Petersen Corner, signed walker (developer?).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Coe College Cosmos: Final Exams 1949


"The English Department has decided on a very small exam: 32 essay questions. Each essay counts 3.125 points"

"The Philosophy Department has only one question: Discuss fully all phases of mankind 10000 B.C. to the present."

"--just conjugate each verb we've had so far, in all tenses, and write a history of the World War in French."

"Hold on here. Let's give this lad a practical exam.  He needs your subjects like he needs a hole in the head!"

Coe College Cosmos, January 19, 1949.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Primary Resources: Coe Archive's Collections

LeRoy Weld Diary pageFounder's Papers (1851-1881), LeRoy Weld Diaries (1894-1955), Western College Collection (1857-1906) , and the Paul Engle Papers (1927-1991) all have two things in common.  They are collections housed in the George T. Henry College Archives , and they are featured on the archive's Primary Resources Pinterest page.  A sampling of what the archives hold, each of these collections has an on-line finding aid that can be accessed anywhere, and  for anyone near Coe College (or looking for a destination for a road trip) primary resources that can be viewed, held and scrutinized outside of the digital world.

Check out more of the archives collections in the left hand column on its Collections page.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The cool, the pretty, and the snarky in the Shirer Collection

I have been working in the George T. Henry Archives in the basement of Stewart Memorial Library for most of this spring semester, wading through and re-organizing just one box of William Shirer correspondence from the 1960s (hey, it has 19 folders!). And let me tell you, that box was a treasure trove of cool letters, pretty handwriting, and plenty of snarky things.

William Shirer is a notable Coe alum, well-known among the history folk for his monumental work The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, published in late 1960. He wrote mountains of letters and received a ridiculous amount of fan mail praising him and his book, all of which I think I’ve touched at least half a dozen times. So I’d like to share with you some of the more memorable pieces of correspondence in the 1960s box, and maybe you’ll come down and wade through the collection yourself one day to see what snark and praise you can find.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image Here are two letters from the collection written to Shirer. So many of the handwritten letters in the collection are just gorgeous to look at, it doesn't really even matter what they say![/caption][caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image Just one example of Shirer's snark. Can't everyone tell the different between Swedish and Norwegian?![/caption]


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image One of my absolute favorites, in which Shirer compares 1960s NYC mail delivery to 1930s Afghanistan... unfavorably. Plus, "Whiz-bang society"? You can't beat that.[/caption][caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image One of the coolest letterheads. How cool would it be to have letters that say, "from the Inner Sanctum of Stewart Memorial Library, Coe College"?[/caption]

These are just four examples of the pretty letters, snarky letters, and cool letterheads that can be found throughout the Shirer collection and the George T. Henry archives as a whole. Come down, check it out, and maybe even find something to research in the meantime! ~Kristine

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Super Study Days

IMG_0371Whenever my friends and I have a big project to work on, we'll commandeer a study room all day for Super Study Days. It helps us focus to be in the library and away from any noise or other distractions. We get a lot accomplished since we have such easy access to books, computers, and (thank goodness) the printer. The library sometimes also provides a nice curfew; since they kick us out at 1 AM, we know it's time to go to sleep. ~Angela

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Primary Resources: Electronic Literature Organization

Electronic Literature Organization LogoThe ELO strives "to facilitate and promote the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media."  It is not a traditional primary resource, but in the 21st century where primary resources are no longer limited to hand written letters, paper documents, and physical objects the "Electronic Literature Organization" is one attempt to capture the intellectual output occurring in the ephemeral digital landscape.
"Electronic literature is born-digital literary art that exploits, as its muse and medium, the transmedia possibilities of the digital. It is, according to the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO), “work with an important literary aspect that takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer.”"

Check out their directory of electronic literature containing hypertext, flash, and interactive elements, for a peek at one of trails literature is blazing in the 21st century.

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive’s “Primary Resources” Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Digital Public Library of America Opens Today!

The Digital Public Library of America,is an attempt to make the America’s entire literary heritage universally accessible, has opened its doors today. It's an ambitious undertaking that may only get better and better.

Here's the link: http://dp.la 

You'll find the beginnings of a very fascinating digital collection from all over the US.

If you click on the "map" you can find things digital items in Iowa. You do have to zoom

in to find them, though. Check out your own home state or town to see if there's anything


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A copy of a 1772 Fortepiano comes to Fisher Library

Currently on view in Fisher Music Library is a copy of a 1772 AMERICUS BACKERS FORTEPIANO. The original Backers nr. 29 is the oldest extant English forte-piano and is housed in the Russell Collection at the University of Edinburgh. This 1982 copy is, as I've read, one of 2 made  by Peter Redstone in Claremont, Virginia. The instrument has languished for several years in a workshop in Pennsylvania as is was little used. Our music librarian was able to acquire it around Spring break as his personal instrument and project.

 Americus Backers (d. 1778), might be described as the father of the English grand pianoforte style, or as commonly called "forte-piano". The action was based on a published sketch of the original Cristofori fortepiano, which was the first ever fortepiano to be built around 1698. Backers improved upon it in areas of power, expression and reliability. The improved action was put in the a harpsichord like case. It is lightly strung and styled like popular harpsichords of the day. Unlike the harsichord the strings are struck and allow for various shades of dynamics. The harpsichord does not respond to changes in force. The sound level is fixed by the voicing of the plectra and the resonance of the soundboard.

Backers added two pedals –the una corda (shift) and the damper lift – which he built into the  trestle stand. These were the first instances of pedals on a fortepiano. The Viennese fortepianos had knee lift levers. These same 2 types of pedals are found on modern pianos. Backers Fortepiano forever changed the direction of Engish keyboard music, eclipsing the harpsichord. Backers’ design eventually evolved by others over the ensuing decades to become our modern piano. Unfortunately he died in 1778 and instruments continued to be sold as his even after his death. Other English makers used his design but claimed it as their own. There were no patents. Even as late as the early 1800s the basic case design remained the same though Backers was long departed. The English action a beefed up variant based on Backers original continued to be use up until the 1900s. It is amazing how modern the action is, though much more delicate.

This Redstone reproduction is currently under rehabilitation, but is playable.

You are welcome to come by Fisher Music Library (Marquis 102) and take a look or strum it lightly. The action and tone are delicate unlike a modern pianos. There are only 2 strings per note and the hammers are very thin and tipped with leather giving it a more rounded guitar or harp-like tone. The damper system is very light, so there's always some  background wash of sound. Baroque through early Classical period composers are the best pieces to try out.

The Backers fortepiano will be on view through the end of the term and part of next term. It is hoped that it can be used in a concert this fall or the coming spring if rehabilitation is successful.

As you can see, it is quite handsome.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Library work study students


Photo opportunity for the Stewart Memorial Library work study students in their "This is how we roll" t-shirts.


Ever wonder if there was more to being a man than having six-pack abs? The book, "The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man" will teach you how to handle nearly any situation life may throw at you. From learning how to live a virtuous life like Ben Franklin to getting fitted for a suit, this book has it all. As the introduction of the book states, "Our goal with this book is to hopefully encourage a new generation of men to pick up where their grandfathers left off in the history and legacy of manliness." You can read this cover to cover or pick out sections to read as this book is both fun to read and packed full of useful information. Stop reading ridiculous memes on the internet and do yourself a favor by reading this book.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Primary Resources: Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive Logo"Vision:...Enable immediate connections to powerful, audio and video-taped oral histories of survivors who experienced the Holocaust"

Since 1981, Dr. Sidney Bolkosky, Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, has interviewed Holocaust survivors. The University's Mardigian Library has been the repository of these interviews many of which are available on-line though their "Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive".

Beyond these oral histories, the site provides access to finding aids to the University of Michigan-Dearborn's holocaust collections, and links to other holocaust resources on-line.

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive’s “Primary Resources” Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

View from the Circ Desk

As a student at Coe there is a good chance thar you visit the library regularly, but do you really know what it has to offer you? I was recently given the privelege of working at the circulation desk, which gave me the opportunity to learn more about the library. I have learned that the people that work here are very willing to help you with anything that you may have a question on, but you have to be the one to take initiative. Right now I personally take full advantage of the AV department in using movies for class but also for pleasure. My most recent watch was A Beautiful Mind, which was for class but also a movie that I wanted to see but have never gotten the chance. I also am in the process of writing a research paper over Paris, and will most likely be asking the people who work at the reference desk to assist me in finding useful information over the topic. Also the library gives you many online options to use, one that I frequently use for my major is psYchARTICLES, which gives me a variety of scholarly articles to use for papers and projects. Overall we have many resources that you should take advantages of to help with your success in college.~Rachel

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Primary Resources: Europeana.eu

EuropeanaWhere can you find Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the works of Charles Darwin, and the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?  Why in Europe, of course!  Don't have the time or resources to jump on a plane to see Europe's culture?  Check out Europeana.eu, an internet portal that acts as an interface to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe.  Europeana has over 26 millions objects from more than 2,200 institutions scattered among 34 countries, and its still growing.  For just a taste of what you can find, the featured collections this week are: "Royal Book Collections", "Europeana Fasion: Weird and wonderful shoes form the worlds biggest collection", "The Museum of Architecture, Berlin" and "Exhibition: European Sport Heritage".

Prefer getting your history in bit sized portions?  Europeana is on Pinterest, twitter, and facebook.  You can also check out their blog.

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive’s “Primary Resources” Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Primary Resources: The Civil War Trust

CivilWarKnown for Civil War re-enactments and preserving endangered Civil War battlefields, the Civil War Trust also promotes educational programs. This includes a database of Civil War primary resources including: official records, speeches, acts of congress, correspondence,  photos, maps, and more.  You can also find links to more Civil War document collections.

A chance to read the words of the past.  This is a great resource that can be used for a research paper or a quiet night-in exploring America's history.

Also, check out their Pinterest page, civilwar.org.

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive’s “Primary Resources” Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Primary Resources: The Newspaper Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library

44637184_lxContaining Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Marion newspapers from 1853 to the present the Newspaper Archives of the Cedar Rapids Public Library contains over 665,000 newspaper pages.  If you know what you are looking for 1857 to the present is searchable by keyword and date.  If you don't you can browse the newspapers by title or date.

A wealth of local history placed at your finger tips.  I dare you to explore it, perhaps see what was happening in Iowa on the day you were born?

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive's "Primary Resources" Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Primary Resources: Women's Audio Archive

tape_8Art history, cancer, immigration, film theory, Paris, suffragettes...these are just a few keywords from the Women's Audio Archive which is a collection of recordings gathered by Marysia Lewandowska.
The Women's Audio Archive began as a series of recordings, taped by Lewandowska after leaving her home country in 1984, grown out of an interest in language as a site of cultural displacement. These recordings document public events, seminars, talks, conferences, and private conversations as valuable records of a particular time in discourse, beginning around 1983 until 1990.
(from the Women's Audio Archive Introduction)

Lewandowska "is a Polish born artist based in London who, through her collaborative projects, has explored the public function of media archives, collections and exhibitions in an age characterized by relentless privatization." (from Lewandowska's Linked-in Summary)

Did I mention this archive is free?  Lewandowska and a group of curators is working on making the collection fully available in the public domain.  Check the archive out to see the fruits of their efforts.

This is one of the resources pinned to the archive's "Primary Resources" Pinterest board.

~Sara Pitcher, Archives Assistant