Gifts to the Mudd Library

It’s that time of the year when we start gathering a variety of statistics to help us sum up the previous academic year. One such statistic is the number of items that were gifted to our library. When Director of Technical Services, Jill Thomas, compiled these numbers, she felt compelled to share and thank our donors.

A large donation of CDs we received this academic year.

This year the library faculty and staff would like to thank our many donors who have contributed to our collection. Donations are treated like new acquisitions and are evaluated by the same standards as new purchases to safeguard quality, consistency, and relevance to the needs of the Lawrence University community.  Our donors are faculty members current and retired, alumni, parents of past and current students, and Appleton community members with no ties to the university at all.

This year, from donations alone, we added into our collections over 2,000 books, DVDs, musical CDs, and journals. That number does not include two gifts we have not finished going through of over 4,000 music CDs, and over 40 boxes of books from a retired faculty member. These gifts help stretch our budget that never seems to go far enough.  If you are considering donating to the library, please check our out gift page.

So here’s to all of our donors; thank you for thinking of Lawrence and giving to the Seeley G. Mudd Library.

Summer Events at the Mudd Library

Summer is a great time to learn about new, interesting things. With this in mind, the Mudd Library is happy to be hosting an exhibit as well as our annual coffeehouse series this summer. As always, we encourage everyone still on campus to stop in and check out our great selection of novels, non-fiction, and movies.  Keep in mind, we have begun our summer hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The crowd listens at last year’s “Films from the Archives” coffeehouse.

For just a few more days, the library will be hosting the exhibit, “A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities.” Learn more about this fascinating exhibit at the History Museum website, then stop in and see it for yourself. The exhibit will be on display through June 30th.

We will also be hosting our annual summer coffeehouse series. The first session is entitled, “Lawrence and Diversity,” and will take place on Wednesday, July 1 at 10 a.m. At this coffeehouse, Archivist Erin Dix will discuss the history of how fostering greater diversity and greater appreciation for diversity has been, and remains, a priority for Lawrence University. See our guide to learn more about this, and our other exciting coffeehouses.

We hope to see you in the library this summer!

The Mudd Welcomes James Zwerg and Congressman John Lewis!

All of us at the Mudd are honored to welcome James Zwerg and Congressman John Lewis to campus this weekend. Each of these brave men will be receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree at commencement on Sunday, where Lewis will deliver the commencement address.

Meanwhile, we’ve expressed our admiration and appreciation by gathering some interesting and pertinent materials from our shelves together so that you, our wonderful patrons, can easily access these important works. We invite those of you wishing to learn more about the civil rights movement as a whole, as well as the integral role played by both Lewis and Zwerg, to stop by and delve into our resources.

John Lewis’ award-winning memoir, Walking With The Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, is featured in our display and available for check out. His 2012 publication Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, which “draws from his experience as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless guidance to anyone seeking to live virtuously and transform the world,” is also available.

Graphic novels are an accessible medium that present complex issues in a beautiful, artistic way, and the graphic novel March is a great example of this. It is “a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.” Written in the format of a comic book, March is a great introduction to the intricacies of the civil rights movement, and Lewis’ role in it.

The display also includes several books expounding on the work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Lewis founded the SNCC and Zwerg joined shortly thereafter. To learn more about this organization, check out A Circle of Trust. For a feminist perspective, we are showcasing another important work: Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC.

If you’re interested in the Freedom Riders, our Archivist has created a display featuring moving images of the riders in action, as well as local newspaper articles from the time covering the movement. One chilling photograph shows Lewis and Zwerg, both bloodied, after an 1961 attack in Alabama. To learn more about the significance of the Freedom Rides, the DVD Freedom Riders is available, as is the book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

For a sweeping and comprehensive view of the civil rights movement as a whole, check out Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, a 14-hour documentary covering the movement from 1960 to 1985, available as a series of DVDs. We also have the documentary’s companion book, America’s Civil Rights Movement, for deeper exploration.

Please join us in welcoming James Zwerg and Congressman John Lewis to campus! Stop by the Mudd to learn more about the work and achievements of these men before they arrive. You are sure to be inspired by their courage.

Canine Therapy 2015

We’re halfway through tenth week, this term is quickly coming to a close! DSC02406Thankfully, students can get in some puppy love during this stressful point in the term. This Monday, June 8, will be the Mudd’s annual Canine Therapy session from 10:30-11:30AM.  Faculty, staff, and other Lawrence community members can bring their dogs to visit outside of the library so students can take a little bit of time to unwind and destress with the help of some friendly furry friends. Be sure to stop by!

Honors Convocation: Is it Warm in Here?

The 2015 Honors Convocation will be this Thursday, May 14th at 11:10am in the Memorial Chapel.

Is it Warm in Here? The Intractable Challenges of Climate Change will be presented by David Gerard, Associate Professor of Economics and recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award.

What does it mean to say that a problem is “intractable”?  What makes this particular problem so difficult to solve?  Where can we go from here? Here is a link to a recommended reading as a brief introduction to the subject. And for a longer, more detailed consideration of the issues, take a look at this article. Gerard’s primary research interests lie in quantitative policy analysis, particularly focusing on energy, environmental and safety issues such as risk regulation and public policy.

To learn more about Professor Gerard and his work, visit his faculty and research webpage here.

Professor Gerard will participate in a Q&A session on Thursday afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm in the WCC Cinema.

Lux Reaches 200,000 Downloads


Lux, the Lawrence University institutional repository, is home to student honors projects, artwork, The Lawrentian, various annual reports, the Women and Identity in Gaming Symposium, and many more creative and scholarly works produced by the Lawrence University community.

We are pleased to announce that Lux has reached the milestone of 200,000 downloads since 2012! That means items that were created here, at Lawrence, have been viewed by people all over the world 200,000 times. Pretty cool!

Microform Magic with the ViewScan II

Professor Frederick with the ViewScan II

If you have used the microform readers of the past, you may remember having to squint to see poor quality images and putting a substantial amount of effort into reading the material. Our new ViewScan II digital microform reader adds digital magic* to your microforms! The ViewScan II allows you to edit and crop frames, resulting in content that possibly looks better than when it was first printed back in 1900 (or whenever)!

Associate Professor of History, Jake Frederick, has been visiting the Mudd Library to use the ViewScan II quite often as he prepares for a publisher’s deadline. After trying to read a microfilm reel for years on machines at other libraries, Professor Frederick was ecstatic to discover how readable the ViewScan II made his microfilm copy of a document from the 18th century.

Here is what he had to say about his experiences with the ViewScan II:

Normally using microfilm is like trying to read badly printed newsprint in a moving car at night. It’s blurry, dark, never focuses on the whole page at the same time, and is likely to make you seasick. I have had some microfilm sitting in my office for the last nine years that I could hardly bring myself to look at because it’s usually so terrible to use. The new scanner in the library is awesome. It has literally taken away everything that made using microfilm awful. I can’t believe how much better it is.

Interlibrary Loan Assistant Andrew McSorley has noticed a number of students, many of whom have never used microfilm technology in the past, have become quite comfortable with using microforms on the ViewScan II. Andrew explained, “With the ViewScan, otherwise rare items on old-fashioned media can now be sifted through easily on state-of-the-art, intuitive technology. Basically, between ILL and this microfilm reader, there are now far fewer barriers between our students and access to just about any material they could think of.”

In addition to editing, the ViewScan II allows patrons to save microform images (from microfilm reels, microcard, etc.) to a USB flash drive, or to print directly to the nearby laser printer. If you’d like to use the ViewScan II, the Mudd has a variety of microform materials, including The New York Times newspaper dating from 1851, as well as the Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel starting from 1884.

Have questions about using microforms? Contact our friendly reference librarians, or ask us at the reference desk!

*No actual magic is used in this machine, however the technology is quite useful.

Fox Cities Book Festvial 2015

The Fox Cities Book Festival will be happening this week, April 20-26. Featuring an abundance of free events at many venues in the Fox Valley area, the festival will have something for everyone! Visit the festival’s website here to view the full schedule and learn more about the events.

And be sure to check out these events that are happening on the Lawrence University campus:

Wednesday, April 22: Martin Brief Gallery Tour (1:00pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Beth A. Zinsli, director of the Wriston Art Galleries, will give a tour of artist Martin Brief’s exhibition. Brief’s artwork is focused on language, almost to the point of obsessiveness, digging deeper into the meaning of words until he has reached the very limits of expression. (Brief will also be giving a talk on his work in the Wriston Auditorium – Room 224, tomorrow April 21 at 4:30pm).

Thursday, April 23: Reading by poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman (4:30pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of the poetry collection titled Paper Doll Fetus. Drawing from the history of obstetrics, midwifery, and the many experiences of childbirth, Hoffman crafts imaginitive and poignant work. She will be reading her poetry in the Wriston gallery, so this is a great opportunity to explore and be surrounded by many kinds of art.

Friday, April 24: Author Meet & Greet with Crystal Chan (12:00pm, Seeley G. Mudd Library- Milwaukee Downer Room)
Stop by the Mudd Library and chat with Lawrence University alumna and author of Bird, Crystal Chan. Enjoy coffee and cookies while you mingle. We encourage both readers and (especially) writers to attend this event!

Friday, April 24: Art Photography Panel with Kevin Miyazaki & Travis Dewitz (5:00pm, Warch Campus Center Cinema)
Kevin Miyazaki is a Milwaukee-based editorial and fine art photographer, whose most recent project culminated in the book Perimeter: a Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan which exhibits a diverse image of the people and place attached to Lake Michigan.
Travis Dewitz is a professional photographer and Eau Claire native, who is known for his corporate, portrait, youth modeling photography, and numerous personal projects. Dewitz’s latest personal project resulted in the book Blaze Orange, which takes an intimate look at the close ties between deer hunting and Wisconsin identity.
Miyazaki and Dewitz will be hosting a panel to talk about art photography and the development of their work.

Mozart Visits the Mudd Library

The Mudd Library was recently given the unique opportunity to exhibit an original Mozart manuscript. Technically speaking, it was an autograph (meaning Mozart wrote it himself) leaf (one page, double-sided) from one of his compositions.

To share this artifact with Lawrence students, Music Librarian and Associate Professor Antoinette Powell, and Director of Technical Services and Assistant Professor Jill Thomas put together a presentation focusing on not just the manuscript, but also historical background to put it in context. Antoinette explains:

“By researching and examining the leaf, Jill and I were able to talk about Mozart’s compositional style, the types of materials he used, the history of western Europe at that time and daily life in Salzburg. It was an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty to see something Mozart touched.”

All of the books Antoinette and Jill used to conduct the research about the score and its historical context came from the Mudd’s collection. Their extensive research revolved around:

  • the work itself
  • the circumstances of its creation. Mozart wrote it for a family friend who was graduating from college. It was Finalmusik, which is music to be performed outdoors to honor the professors at the end of the school year.
  • how the owner acquired it
  • Mozart’s life at this time (he was 17 when he wrote it in 1773)
  • European and American history in 1773. In what is now the U.S., people were wearing hats made out of raccoons and dumping tea into Boston Harbor, while in Salzburg people were wearing elegant clothes and listening to Mozart  in a refined outdoor setting.
  • the paper and ink with which the work was created, including the differences in paper over the past 400 years

The title of the work is Serenata (Serenade in D major, K. 185.) The leaf we had on loan is from the fourth movement, Menuetto – Trio.   It contained the final 10 measures of the menuetto on one side and the first 16 measures of the trio on the other.

Over 60 people viewed the item over four days in the Milwaukee-Downer room in the Mudd Library. The students and faculty  were primarily from music composition and theory classes in the Conservatory. The students saw the autograph and were able to compare it to a modern published edition, as well as other pieces that were published around the same time and after to analyze the differences in paper making. Antoinette and Jill also showed the students what can be learned about Mozart’s process of composition by examining the leaf, including:

  • he worked fast
  • the composition was completed in his head before he put the pen to paper
  • at this time he was traveling a lot and preferred using small-format paper

The thoughtful owner of the leaf is a Lawrence University alum from the class of 2010. Although it has been returned to its owner, we are grateful to have had this unique opportunity to share such a rare piece of history with students at Lawrence.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Andrea Parmentier

002 (Medium)Andrea Parmentier is an Appleton native who has been working in the Mudd library for over two years. This English and Geology double major is another of our fabulous Circulation Desk Assistants, completely adept at answering questions and helping patrons find exactly what they are looking for. We appreciate Andrea’s hard work and wonderful personality. Read on to learn more about this library student worker.

Andrea, what’s your favorite part of your job?

Making the closing announcements is pretty fun.

Share something you’ve done at work that has made you especially proud.

One day an older man came in. He’s made it his mission to find a list of all WWI armed service members from Wisconsin who had died and were buried overseas, and contact family members who never found out what had happened to them or where they were buried. I helped him find the information and print it off. He was so grateful – I was very happy to have been able to help him out.

As a student, where is your favorite (study/relaxation/hang-out) spot in the Mudd?

I love the Milwaukee-Downer Room tables, especially the mid to late afternoon light.

What are your hobbies?

I write poetry, knit, bake, and have started to cultivate bonsai.

What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

A Conspiracy of Kings – the latest book in the Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

What are your favorite bands or performers?

It’s kind of dorky, but I’m a big fan of Flying Forms – a baroque ensemble that’s been coming to Lawrence for the past few years.

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

Hyperbole and a Half hasn’t updated in a while, but I love it. Also, Interweave magazine.

What groups and/or organizations are you active in (on or off campus)?

I’m most active in the library’s knitting club and at the Fox Valley Literacy Council.

When will you graduate? What are your post-graduation plans?

I’m graduating this June and I’m going to grad school for a Master of Library Science.

Please feel free to share anything else you’d like about yourself or the Mudd!

If you knit, crochet, embroider, or do any kind of handicraft, come to the library’s knitting circle at 4:30 pm on Thursdays! We also have yarn and needles and don’t mind teaching new knitters.