Monday, December 14, 2015

Deck the halls!

Paintings are hung on the walls with care, in hopes that student viewers soon will be there. The library's art collection has finally come back! Come on in during this busy finals season to relax while looking at beautiful Marvin Cone paintings, bright Andy Warhol prints, and more!

Reference and learning commons desk

Inside the Pochobradsky Reading Room

Outside the speaking center and library classroom

Lower level presentation wall

Monday, December 7, 2015

What do you do with withdrawn books during the holidays?

Make a tree! Circulation students built the tree out of withdrawn reference books and decorated it with photos and lights. The tree adds a merry decoration to the circulation area and is the perfect tree for a library. 

The construction process

Final product! Lookin' good.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Few Research Tips for your Final Papers

Learn how to identify good websites:  If you are relying on and citing articles from,, , Wikipedia, or similar websites, hit the brakes.  If the author or sponsoring organization isn't an unbiased, credentialed or recognized authority on the subject, then you probably shouldn't waste your time.

There are thousands of great websites which provide access to resources for college-level research.  Here are just a few:

Don't stop with websites: You can save yourself a lot of time by using library databases to complete your.research, so take advantage of them!  The databases provide access to published resources including scholarly articles and books, as well as advanced search features which make sorting and filtering your results a breeze.  One bonus feature of databases is that they often provide pre-formatted citations which you can use in your reference list (always double-check it for accuracy).

Know when and how to cite: Don't forget that in addition to the list of references at the end of your paper, you also need to include citations in the text of your paper whenever you use someone else's words or ideas (even if you are paraphrasing or summarizing in your own words); these citations may be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or parenthetical references, depending on the publication style you are using.

If you need help evaluating or citing sources, selecting a database, or using any library tools or resources, stop by the reference desk or talk to a librarian.

*This information also appeared in today's Learning Commons Newsletter, LC News which was emailed to all students, faculty, and staff.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quick Reads

It's a busy time for college students: presentations, registration for next semester, essays, final exams, and so many other things. 

But one great way to relax is to lose yourself in a novel, and before you think you don't have any time to read, check out some of our recommendations for short novels that you can most likely read in just one sitting!

214 pages

This short young adult novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a story about an isolated, odd, and possibly murderous family and the weirdness that ensues when a cousin arrives for a visit. Find it on the third floor of the library with the call number PS3519.A392 W4. 

197 pages

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy is a little creepy, but in a good way. Lester Ballard, a man fasley accused of rape, is released from jail and attempts to return to life in East Tennessee. Find it on the third floor of the library with the call number PS3563.C337 C4 1993

219 pages
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up first with their competent grandmother, then two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. A great book about family, find it on the third floor of the library with the call number PS3568.O3125 H6 1980.

175 pages
In The Lime Twig, a group of crooks plan to steal and race a horse under a false name. Reviewers say it's strange and experimental, but well worth the read. And at only 175 pages, it wouldn't take long! Find it on the third floor of the library with the call number PS3558.A82 L5x

120 pages
Coming in at only 120 pages, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has written a great story about a man who returns to his hometown to solve a murder and is determined to get to the bottom of the story. Find Chronicle of a Death Foretold on the third floor of the library with the call number PQ8180.17.A73 C5 1983

Sit down with some turkey and pumpkin pie, and enjoy these great quick reads. Have a great Thanksgiving break, Kohawks!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A real life "Room of Requirement"

Check it out Harry Potter fans: architect Gary Chang transformed his 345 square foot apartment into a real life room of requirement.

What's the room of requirement?  One of the characters in the book describes it as "a room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker's needs" (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18)

Chang's tiny apartment can transform into 24 separate spaces, depending on his current need.


You can check out photos and all of the possible configurations in this article from designboom architecture.

I found out about this apartment in a new youth book in the library, Take Shelter, At Home Around the World, by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New JSTOR Arts & Sciences Added to the Library

The Library has added JSTOR Arts & Sci­ence XIII and Arts & Sci­ence XIV to its col­lec­tions. At this time, 208 new titles have been added to the library catalog and are also accessible through Journal Titles on the library website. As with all of the JSTOR archive collections, these collections have an embargo (moving wall), which excludes the most recent (3-5) years of contents from the journals they contain.

JSTOR XIII expands its international set of journals in core humanities fields with emphases in Language & Literature, Philosophy, and Religion.  Represented subdisciplines include European church history and the literature of the American West. 

JSTOR XIV focuses on the study of culture and communication, specifically Archaeology and Anthropology, Language and Literature, Political Science, Asian Studies, Sociology, Education, and Communication Studies.

For a complete title list of these collections, please follow the links –

Monday, July 27, 2015

The "Good One" Club

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
It is inevitable that in a teaching lab, mistakes happen.  Students (and sometimes faculty) shatter, overheat, mislabel, and otherwise mess up.  As I started learning about the equipment in the physics lab, I sometimes felt paralyzed by all that could go wrong.  The way that the physics students handle these errors is with humor--by writing up a satirical account of the misdeed and posting in the halls of Peterson for all to see.  Then everyone can laugh about (and learn from) their mistakes together.    

Recent "good ones" (many of these may not be official "good ones" which get written up, but are just a few mistakes which have happened on the days I've been in the physics labs):

  • a sample of glass was mailed off to another university; the researchers started getting unexpected results in their tests.  It was finally discovered that the students who had made, packaged, and sent the samples had mislabeled one of them.
  • the scanning electron microscope was used to examine a sample which looked very strange under high-magnification.  After much head-scratching, it was discovered that the actual sample had been blown off of the viewing slide leaving only a highly magnified image of a piece of tape
  • the small enclosed furnace room reeked of ammonia after students heated a glass which contained (I believe) ammonium powder of some form
  • someone used highly flammable acetone cleaning solution in the furnace room
  • while working with hydrochloric acid to clean crucibles, a student left the water running alongside an uncapped bottle of acid.  The students that arrived later found a puddle which they had to verify wasn't acid before cleaning up.
  • the students also mentioned a couple of past accidents--melted platinum crucibles worth hundreds of dollars and equipment accidentally frozen by liquid nitrogen.   
When I first heard about the good one club, I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea; I am a fairly empathetic person and have been known to suffer from vicarious embarrassment.  But since learning that it is a somewhat formal/organized activity with support from faculty, I've decided that I'd prefer to have my mistakes broadcast openly with humor rather than whispered about.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tellurium Glass--to England via Coe

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
At her poster session in the spring of 2015, Brittany Hauke told me that she had worked the previous summer to make a mere 2-3 grams of  tellurium glass.  She explained the baffling reasons behind the difficulty of making the glass.

The first meeting I attended with the materials science working group, Dr. Feller praised Brittany's accomplishment, saying that making this glass was extremely frustrating and required "surgeon's hands".

Over the last couple of weeks, I got to see Brittany and her lab partner Ariel Crego make and test several samples of the glass.  After two cycles of heating, roller quenching, and "mining" for pieces of glass, this was the glass they had managed to make:
Ariel Crego displays two vials of tellurium glass.  The glass on the right
turned yellow for an unknown reason, but it otherwise tested correctly. 
And here's a few steps in the process of making the glass:

First various powdered chemicals are mixed up according to precise calculations based on chemical weight.  They are melted together, reweighed to measure loss due to escaping gasses, and then reheated.  Finally, the molten glass is poured over the roller quencher, a piece of equipment which was invented right here at Coe.  The roller quencher cools the glass much more quickly than other methods.

In the videos first a run through the roller quenching, followed by

Brittany putting the molten glass in for a run through the roller quencher.

 The tedious process of picking through the flakes of crystal for any shards of glass.  I couldn't really see the difference, but apparently the crystal is more white.  Once the glass is out, they melt the crystal back down and run it through the roller quencher again.

They may reheat and run the same material through the roller quencher 4 or more times. 

Right now, Brittany is at the University of Nottingham in England working with researchers to do further testing on the glass.  One possible application for the glass may be in fiber optics. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

More of an Art--DSC of Lithium Borate and Cesium Borate Glass

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
Kristiana, Anthony, and Arron standing behind a differential scanning calorimeter.
They are collaborating on a glass research project this summer.

When Anthony DeCeanne told me about the work that his group is doing this week--measuring and calculating the change in Tg for over 40 samples of glass, I thought it sounded a bit tedious.  This "change in Tg" or ΔTg  (Delta Tg) is at the heart of a recent discovery made in Dr. Feller's lab.  Basically, the ΔTg for borate glasses with small amounts of added elements (Lithium, Sodium, Pottassium, and Cesium) have unexpected differences in ΔTg depending on which element is added to the boron to make the glass.

One of the first steps this group is taking is to go back through data collected by previous students and recalculate ΔTg for various forms of lithium- and cesium- borate glasses using a new method described by a meticulous Japanese scientist, Masao Kodama. 

I observed Anthony going through the process for several hours (as shown in the time-lapse video below) and realized that there is more to it than I first expected.  He looked at many DSC graphs from former years which didn't have the peaks and curves necessary to calculate the change in Tg and realized that the samples would need to be made again and retested.

The whole process isn't at all cut and dried --there are so many things that can go wrong in the process of getting a DSC reading which could skew the results.  Just one example is that the sample can crystallize within the chamber if a certain temperature is exceeded, which forces the students to start over and adjust the range of temperatures tested.  Below is Arron Potter preparing just one sample for testing in the DSC.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My First Glass Sample

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
Despite all of my notes from my first days work, when I prepare my own first sample of glass, I make several mistakes and am constantly struck by the fact that doing something is a lot different from watching someone else do the same thing.

First, I forget to measure my sample weight before stirring, which reminds me to double check that I am taking and recording all measurements.  After that, the rest of the recording process goes well, except that I have less time to write the "story" of the process the second time around since I am now busy actually doing the tests.

When it comes time to don heavy gloves and use tongs to set my sample into the furnace, I am extremely nervous.  I'm afraid I'll spill glass into the furnace, burn someone, or otherwise make the physics department regret allowing me in.  The gloves are awkward and they make it difficult to maneuver the tongs, like using left-handed scissors.  Once the glass is cooked, I begin to pour my molten glass onto the plate quencher but I go a bit too slowly and the glowing orange liquid barely makes it out of the crucible before hardening.   Nonetheless, it all works, and once we lift the top plate of the quencher, I am proud to see a perfect unbroken gem of clear glass. 

Then my partner tells me that I'll need to try to break it in half to fit it into our vial.  I attempt to use tweezers to press one side of the glass against the plate and make a clean break.  When that doesn't work, I foolishly pick up the sample in my bare hand.  I don't think I put any pressure on it, but I feel that it still has a bit of heat in it and then it shatters.  Luckily, I'm not cut.

The first test I attempt on my new glass is Raman.  I focus my microscope (not realizing that I am supposed to be attempting to focus on the surface of the glass), and start the laser.  I'm pretty excited to see all of the right peaks on the readout, but my partner points out that the whole thing has a much higher intensity than she would have expected.  I'm curious if this could have something to do with where I focused--somewhere inside the middle of the sample, rather than on the surface.  She makes some adjustments and attempts the next couple of measurements and gets no recognizable peaks.  At one point we see evidence of a cosmic ray pop up on the screen for a brief second.  Finally, we get the expected peaks (except for one extra blip that we can't explain), and move on to the next test.

The DSC test measures the point at which the glass begins to soften as we slowly heat from 50 to 600 degrees Celsius.  The first step is to crush my glass into a powder using a mortar and pestle.  I worry about all of the shards of glass which are managing to escape from the dish as I grind and pulverize and scrape the glass.  Bored with the process, I call it quits before everything has turned into a powder.  I attempt to scoop only the powder and not the remaining shards into my sample dish and then begin the reading.  Though it takes about 15 minutes to run the test, I watch the readout the whole time, hoping that I get the correct result.  But no such luck--something has gone wrong again which causes my graph to make a strange dip prior to climbing.  I blame myself, assuming I somehow got a too large chunk of glass into the sample which messed things up.  The student who has been training everyone on the DSC instrument thinks it may be something else.  I decide that I will have to rerun the test, and since I've already cleaned up and disposed of my glass powder, I will have to start from scratch.  Ugh.  

Despite running out of time before I can get a density measurement on the pycnometer, I feel good about the morning's work.    

Intro to the lab

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
For all of Dr. Feller's materials science students, the first week's activity was to make a sample of glass (.4 Sodium Borate) and then run three tests on it (Raman spectrography to get the molecular structure, DSC to get the glass transition temperature, or Tg, which is the point at which the glass begins to soften, and Pycnometer for a density measurement).  Even if the first sample turns out perfectly, Dr. Feller says that students should then make the sample a second time and then a third.  My lab partner, who has a lot of experience in the lab rolls her eyes; she has apparently made this glass too many times before and wants to get back to making a more useful sample.  But for me it sounds like a great opportunity to see what making glass is all about and then to get comfortable with the procedures.

The first day, I watch my lab partner go through the steps, which gives me plenty of opportunity to take copious notes.  Dr. Feller stresses the importance of a thorough lab notebook. He wants the story of the experiments recorded, including all of the procedures, errors, and unexpected results.  He warns his students that if they don't write it all down, then when it comes time to write a paper for publication or to replicate the experiment, perhaps months or years later, everyone will be lost.  

While making and testing the first sample, I am surprised by how comfortable I feel with many aspects of the procedure.  We start out using Google Sheets to calculate the recipe for our glass; since I love tinkering with Excel, (and because my lab partner knows exactly what she's doing), I don't feel at all as intimidated by this first step as I thought I would.  When it comes time to actually measure out the ingredients on the scale, the process is familiar from my college chemistry labs.  While the 1000 degree C (1800 degrees F) glowing orange furnaces are enough to scare anyone, I am relieved that there are at least no open flames.  And when we open up the Raman spectroscopy machine to put
Bird bone tissue. Coloured scanning electron 
micrograph (SEM) of spongy bone from a robin. 
By Steve Gschmeissner.
our sample in the first time, I am delighted to see a microscope, which is one piece of lab equipment I got very comfortable with in my college biology lab classes.  The sample of glass under 10x magnification even looks like bone tissue to me, a gorgeous network of transparent blue struts, similar to the photo at left.  Rather than feeling completely alienated, I feel fairly at home in this high-tech, multi-million dollar physics lab.

In addition to some familiar equipment, all of the people in the lab--both students and Doctor Feller--put me at ease.  They are extremely welcoming, excited to be working there, and happy to share their passions with a novice.  Doctor Feller remembers to point out the physics concepts in basic terms for me and I think I can remember some of the concepts from my introductory level science classes.

All in all, the first day nerves get squelched very quickly and I immediately start learning much faster than I would from a book or article.  On my way out on my first day, I pass a student poster hanging in the hall and stop to read it.  Rather than being confused by the terminology and descriptions of the procedure, I quickly grasp the basics. 

Shards of Glass and Extreme Temperatures

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
The physics labs on campus are a foreign world where multiple furnaces glow orange at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, glass is crushed into a powder with shards flying, and liquid nitrogen is pumped from large tanks into instruments where air won't suffice.  It's a place where cosmic rays become visible as sudden peaks on a graph and an electron microscope provides a window to the unimagined textures and structures of the nano-world.

Raman spectrum from a sample of .4 Sodium Borate glass.
The peaks at 771 cm-1 and 498 cm-1 are due, respectively, to the
"breathing" and back and forth vibrations
of the 3,4 coordinated rings.  The hump at 1385 cm-1 is due
to the vibrations of non-bridging oxygens.
Whatever that all means...
To me, it sounds fairly poetic to imagine a molecule breathing, but that is exactly how Dr. Feller describes the structural vibrations of one type of glass, which is apparently evident from the spectrum shown at right.  He explains how the Raman spectroscopy works.  First the machine sends out a laser beam which hits the glass and spreads out over the surface.  Don't quote me on this, but I believe the laser itself is responsible for exciting the molecules so they start vibrating in a new way, as does the beam of laser light.  All of these vibrations, though, are constrained by the structure of the molecules, so the location, height, and steepness of the peaks in the resulting spectrum graph provide clues to the molecules structure.

After skimming through the Wikipedia entries on Raman, spectroscopy, and inelastic scattering, I'm still fairly confused about how all this works...just as I was over 10 years ago when I initially learned about spectroscopy.  But the students don't seem confused--at the first meeting, they were conjecturing about the reasons for the locations of the peaks and asking questions about the slope of the peaks, which seemed to impress Dr. Feller quite a bit.  It's nice to be the outsider who isn't expected to understand everything...far more enjoyable that way.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Materials Science: 2015 Summer Projects

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program kicked off this Monday at Coe with a total of 38 undergraduate students participating across seven working groups.  There is a mix of Coe students participating, from beginners to experienced researchers, along with students from other colleges and universities around the country.  I joined Dr. Feller's research group in materials science with 10 students and he and the students have been extremely welcoming and have allowed me to get hands-on experience with the lab equipment over the past couple of days.

For week 1, the students started with a deep cleaning of the lab.  On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Feller announced the projects that students can work on over the summer and gave his students an opportunity to choose which ones they may be interested in.

Of the eight projects available, at least four will include some collaboration with other universities around the world.  For example, three groups will be making samples of glass which will be shipped to other universities for further research and analysis.  One bonus of these collaborative projects is that students may eventually be invited to travel to these other sites; in fact, one student will be going to England for a second time this summer to work with the researchers who've been using the glass she's made.

Two of the projects are related to a new discovery which was recently made at Coe.  The discovery was an unexpected difference in the way in which two related glasses softened when heated.  Students will continue investigating the phenomenon and work to test a hypothesis which seeks to explain it.

One interesting new project this year will analyze elements present in pennies minted during WWII, particularly 1944 & 1945.  During the war copper was needed for the war effort and so the mint briefly made pennies from steel and then, in 1944, began reusing copper shell casings to make pennies.  Dr. Feller said this would be the first research to analyze and characterize the pennies from 1944 & 1945 to look for unique elements or distinguishing characteristics within the pennies.  They won't have to destroy the pennies to analyze the elements--they'll use the chemistry departments new XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) spectrometer gun, which provides a readout of all elements, including trace elements, present in an object.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Summer Research at Coe

Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
It is May 12.  Spring classes and commencement have passed and May term is about to start. The library looks very empty, not only due to fewer students, but also because the artwork throughout the library has been taken down in preparation for the library renovation, which will get underway soon.

This will be my first full summer on campus and I am looking forward to learning about all of the research that happens at Coe during the break from classes.  The summer research program which I've heard the most about at Coe is the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. I've been browsing the national REU website, and it looks like Coe is unique as one of only four institutions in Iowa to host REU students (alongside the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa).

Coe has seven REU projects which undergraduates from around the country can apply to spend their summer working on:
  • Acoustics of free reed instruments: J Cottingham
  • Biochemistry of sea worm cement: M Dean
  • Experimental and computational materials science: S Singleton
  • Materials Science: S Feller
  • Molecular Biology: P Storer
  • Particle Detector Development: U. Akgun
  • Optics: M Affatigato
Last summer, I began working at Coe in time to attend the final presentations given by the REU students and was surprised by what I heard.  I never would have guessed that musicians might study how a drum vibrates depending on where the surface is hit or that physicists would be involved in the creation of glass.  So far as I can recall, my physics classes in high school and college didn't cover current research, instead focusing on equations and laws written up in textbooks.  

One of the things I am most excited about at Coe is that undergrads are encouraged to participate in research during the summer after freshman year or even earlier.  This summer, I hope to be able to get into the labs to observe first-hand the work being done and to get to know some of the students doing research at Coe.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alumni Spotlight: Clement Pierce Wilson

Since Coe graduated her first class, Kohawks have been doing pretty impressive things. Today's find is a brochure from the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. A graduate from Coe, Clement Pierce Wilson, class of 1912, ran in these games. 

Front cover of the 1912 Olympic Games program

He ran in the 4 X 100 meter relay race, the 100 meter race and the 200 meter race. Coe did offer the Clem Wilson Award for track for 50 years after his performance at the Olympics.

Excerpt from the 1913 yearbook
He broke the Iowa state record for the 440 yard race in 49 seconds and then tied the world record in the 100 yard dash (91.44 meters) by running it in only 9.35 seconds! Today that title is held by Asafa Powell, a Jamaican who can run it in 9.07 seconds.

Clem's senior photo
Clem was the captain for the track team his senior year and was also a member of Delta Phi Epsilon. Come and see the whole brochure and other amazing Coe related artifacts down in the archives!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On this day in history...

150 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C.

Only five days before, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army in Virginia, ending the American Civil War.

Photo courtesy of the George T Henry Archives, Adams Collection 1734-1879

However, Lincoln didn't die immediately, he passed away the next morning at a lodging house across the street from the theater. Above is a picture of an article from the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, a newspaper from New York that ran from about 1840-1890.

When the article was written, Lincoln was still alive but not expected to live much longer. The article also describes the attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward on the same night. Seward's fate was much better than Lincoln's and he continued to live for a few more years.

If you're interested in reading the whole article, come down to the George T Henry Archives! This article is part of the Adams Collection, which includes many other newspapers detailing aspects of the Civil war and slavery. The Adams Collection also has many other other documents and artifacts from the mid 1700's to the late 1800's. Click the link under the photo to find out more!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Picture This

In today's digital age, it's a lot harder to lose pictures than it was when cameras weren't attached to our cell phones and required actual film. Many photographs have been lost to time because owners lost the film or the actual cameras.

Enter The Rescued Film Project. This is an online archive of images that were captured on film from the 1930's through the 1990's. Every photo was taken with an intent to eventually be seen, and the Levi Bettweiser, founder and film technician for the Project, can help these photos come to life.

Bettwieser at work. Photo courtesy of

Recently, the project develped 31 rolls of film from WWII, and the photographs are incredible. Check out this awesome short film about the process and the results, and be sure to check out to see more photos. National Geographic interviewed Bettwieser about the origins of the project, read that here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On this day in history...

Voorhees was occupied for the first time! March 15, 1915 was the first time students spent the night in the dormitory. 

Construction started in mid 1914 and was intended to be finished by the fall semester, but was delayed until late February 1915. It was built to accommodate 65 girls and included included a reception hall, apartments for the dean of women, community bathrooms, a kitchenette, a laundry, and the Frog Pond. Rooms in the dormitory ranged from $120-130 per semester (about $3,000 in today's money).  

Main parlor & music room, around 1915
Credit: George T Henry Archives
The $50,000 to build it was donated by Elizabeth Voorhees, who specifically wanted a dormitory for women. Three years later, she donated again to expand the building to accommodate more students.

Small west parlor, around 1915
Credit: George T Henry Archives

Small west parlor, 2000
Credit: George T Henry

Mary Low Bowers '43, studying in room 339, around 1942
Credit: Kathryn Marie Flew '43

To see even more photos and read articles, handbooks and many other things related to Voorhees, stop by the archives!

Beware the Ides of March?

That is, if you're Julius Caesar. March 15 has been associated with disdain ever since the Roman dictator was assassinated in 44 BCE by his fellow statesmen. Superstitious people may be wary of the day, convinced awful things will happen to them because it wasn't a great day for Caesar. However, many interesting historical things happened on March 15, so read below to learn about a few of them!

Batter up! 

In 1869, the Cincinnati Reds became the world's first professional baseball team. The "Big Red Machine" has since one five world series titles.

Rolling in Style

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (made between 1907-1925)
Photo Credit: Malcolm Asquith
Rolls-Royce Limited, the English car manufacturing company was founded on March 15, 1906 by Charles Rolls and Sir Frederick Royce. Their first car, the six cylinder Silver Ghost was considered to be "the best car in the world". 

"We shall overcome"

Pres Johnson meets Martin Luther King, Jr
 meet at the signing of the Voting Rights Act August 6, 1965

In 1965, shortly after the Selma to Montgomery marches, President Lyndon B Johnson addressed Congress to expand voting rights legislation. This eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was introduced two days later. 

Information Highway

Photo credit

On this day in 1985, became the first registered .com domain in the world. Since then, hundreds of millions of domains are in use, but the Symbolics Computer Corporation had their feet in the pool first!

There are many more cool events that happened on the Ides of March, so don't be afraid of this day any longer!

Friday, March 13, 2015

"Libraries are becoming museums," says curator Michael Basinki. "Everything is going digital, but we remain tied to the physical objects."

If you ever find yourself at the University of Buffalo, make sure to check out the 2,500 year old Greek and Roman coins.

Top to bottom: a gold aureus of the Roman emperor Otho; a tetradrachm of Athens, showing the busyt of the goddess Athena; a tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, showing Alexander dressed as the god Herakles; a silver tetradrachm of Sicily showing the nymph Arethusa; a gold aureus of the emperor Nero; and a gold otcodrachm of Arsinoe II.
Photo credit: Douglas Levere

The coins were donated to the UB library in 1935 by Thomas Lockwood as part of a larger collection of rare books. However, it wasn't until a professor that focused his research on currency and antiquities checked out the library's rare coin collection that the treasures were really discovered.

The professor, Philip Kiernan, is now developing a graduate course to examine the items' history. It is the first time the coins will be studied specifically.

To view more photographs and for more information about this awesome collection, check out this article from the UB libraries. Want to see even more cool historical artifacts? Stop by the George T Henry archives in the Stewart Memorial Library basement - we may not have Roman coins (or do we?) but we've got some interesting artifacts detailing Coe's history.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, Edward Albee and Dave Eggers!

"A usefully lived life is probably going to be, ultimately, more satisfying." - Edward Albee
Edward Albee turns 87 today, and he is probably best known for his play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (PS3501.L25 W5), which is a crazy portrayal of married life in the 1960's. A film version was released in 1966 and using the profits from the play and movie, he created the Edward F Albee Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to providing work space for writers and visual artists. 

George and Martha (Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor) in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 

“It is no way to live, to wait to love." - Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is 45 today! He's perhaps best known for his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (CT275.E37 A3 2000) but did you know he co-wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film version of Where the Wild Things Are? He's since published many more works and has become a literary advocate, creating McSweeny's publishing house, which is a platform for young writers. He also has created a nonprofit organization 826 Valencia, a volunteer-based writing lab devoted to expanding children's writing skills. 

Max and Carol (Max Records & James Gandolfini/Vincent Crowley) in the film Where the Wild Things Are
Photo Credit: rhcpfan24

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Mr Watson - come here!"

Those were the first words transmitted through technology on this day, March 10, 1876. They were spoken by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, Thomas A Watson, in the next room.

Bell worked on creating a device that could transmit speech electrically. He and another inventor, Elisha Gray, worked independently on similar devices. Gray created a harmonic telegraph, the transmitter and receiver of which consisted of a set of metallic reeds tuned to different frequencies. An electromagnetic coil was located near each of the reeds.

telephone: Bell’s sketch of a telephone. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <>.

The device failed, however, Bell took some of Gray's suggestions and created a kind of "liquid" transmitter design, which was the design that permitted the first transmission of speech, "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you." And, thanks to the Library of Congress, we can actually view Bell's lab notebook! 

The first public demonstrations of the telephone followed shortly afterward. 139 years later, the telephone as we know it is almost unrecognizable compared to the one Bell started working with, but the simple fact we can communicate electronically remains the same.