Category: Student Research

Winter Term Services at the Seeley G. Mudd Library

Happy winter term, everyone!

We are open and providing all of our usual Reference and Circulation Services.

We have safe, clean, and distanced study spaces available throughout the first and second floors anytime our building is open.

Log into your library account to request physical materials. We’re happy to locate and retrieve books and other resources for you to pick-up at the Circulation Desk, or to be sent to your campus SPC.

Check out this awesome guide if you need help accessing our resources from off-campus.

Reference Librarians are available to help you with research assistance and reference instruction. We’re also on hand to offer assistance of any kind!

We’re offering some cool Zoom gatherings this term as well, including weekly read-alouds, virtual study hall, and fiber arts hang-outs. Be on the look-out for announcements about these events through our social media accounts.

Whether through our computer screens, or from six feet away, we’ll see you soon!

Meet Your Reference Librarians: Lina Rosenberg Foley Edition

By now, many of you have reached out to our reference librarians by email, phone, chat, our web form, and now, our reference kiosk.

We provide solid research assistance, as well as help with navigating our wide array of electronic resources.

Have you met Lina? If so, you’ll know she is enthusiastic about helping you and supporting your academic success.

She is also our University Archivist, so she loves providing our community with access to the wealth of primary sources and interesting historical ephemera that she carefully curates.

Read on to learn more about this multi-passionate Reference Librarian-slash-University Archivist-slash-all around wonderful person (and alumna)!

Lovely Librarian Lina

Undergrad Major: Environmental Studies (from this fine institution!)

Favorite Book: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Favorite Hobby: Anything outside- camping, hiking, mountain biking

Favorite Database: Artstor, because not only can you find a bunch of things from the Archives and the Wriston Art Galleries, but also art and architecture from around the world. 

Pets: Only the squirrels in my backyard

Best part of being a Reference Librarian: Learning something new because of a question someone’s asked

Anything else: Vote! Register to vote, and get your friends and family to do it too- it’s easy and quick, and your civic duty.

Meet Your Reference Librarians: Andrew McSorley Edition

Considering that you may not have had the opportunity to meet all of our fantastic library faculty and staff during Welcome Week this year, given the need for social distancing, we thought it might be nice for you to get to know the librarians who are here to support you.

Reference librarians, among many other things, help you learn to engage in high-quality research and use our extensive collections in the most advantageous way. We support student scholars! We also support faculty and staff.

First up we have Andrew McSorley, our Reference and Digital Liberal Arts Librarian. Andrew is a published poet and also a published dad! If you’ve worked with him before, you know he is very intelligent, well-rounded, and has the ability to take complex ideas and information and express it all in a clear and concise way. He’s also very, very funny.

Here are a few more fun facts about Andrew, answered in his own words.

Undergrad Major: Creative Writing

Favorite Book: Sometimes it’s Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Right now, probably either Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino or Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (plays count, right?)

Favorite Hobby: Poetry, Ice Hockey, Magic: The Gathering

Favorite Database: This is such a fun idea, to have a favorite database. They’re all so useful. The one I use the most is probably Credo Reference, but AVON (Academic Video Online) and Oxford English Dictionary are pretty fun. 

Pets: One cat, Nikki.

Best part of being a Reference Librarian: Meeting new students!

Anything else: Stay curious, and never stop learning!

Thanks so much for all you do for Lawrence and our students, Andrew.

Our Reference Librarians can be reached in a variety of ways highlighted here.

Academic Citation Workshop presented by the Mudd Library and the Center for Academic Success

There’s enough confusion and uncertainty in the air these days.

Whether or not you’re citing your sources correctly does not need to be one of them.

Stop by Zoom on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 pm Central to get some support and clarity on your citations.

Reference Librarian Gretchen Revie and Associate Dean of Academic Success Julie Haurykiewicz will guide you through the art and science of academic citations, so you can get them right the first time, without confusion.

You do not have to figure this out on your own. We are here to help you succeed.

Join the meeting here.

Hope to see you there!

National Library Workers Day: A Tribute to Technical Services!

Those of us who work directly with students, staff, and faculty in the library rely every day on the efforts of the people who work in other parts of the library.

Most of you may never see them.

We can do what we do because they do what they do. Now, more than ever, we count on them.

So, a huge thank you to:

Jenni, who orders the library’s books, DVDs, scores, and more;

Trudi, who monitors and maintains all of our journal orders and collections in paper and online;

Kim, who coordinates our government documents;

Susan, who makes sure we can find it all in our catalog;

Jill, who helps all these great people do their jobs as head of Technical Services (and manages acquisitions and special collections);

Craig, who makes it possible to find everything we own and more (and to check it out) by making OneSearch and Alma work.

We could not be providing the services that we are right now if it wasn’t for this fine group of folks.

We see you! We appreciate you! We could not be doing this without you. Thank you!

2019 Honors Projects

Nabor with his honors project title page and cookie.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 19 students were awarded honors in independent study for their honors projects! If you’re wondering what this entails, here’s the description from the honors projects web page:
       “Honors Projects are coherent programs of independent work carried out by students, usually in their senior year, on subjects or problems of more than ordinary difficulty in areas that they have studied in considerable depth, usually in their majors or closely related areas. An Honors Project may also be a work of creative, visual or performing art.”

Many students elect to have their projects uploaded into Lux, the Lawrence University institutional repository. Projects from 2019, as well as most from the past ten years, and some going back to 1960, can be accessed in Lux.

Lawrence University Honors Projects in Lux

Uploading to Lux has provided us in the library an opportunity to not only allow students to share their work with the world, but also to celebrate their achievement and share what they’ve accomplished with their classmates. After uploading, each student prints out their title page, adds it to a large tack board, and gets a cookie. It’s a small celebration, but we took photos anyway. See students adding their pages in the Honors Projects 2019 flickr album.

Student Research in the Library: Xiaoya Gao

Xiaoya Gao is a fifth-year senior from Urumqui, China. In June she will be receiving a BA in History and a BM in Piano Performance. That’s right, she’s almost completed a double-degree!

This industrious researcher is planning to attend graduate school after Lawrence.

Xiaoya took some time from her busy schedule to tell us about what she’s been researching in the Mudd.

Student researcher Xiaoya Gao

Sisi, what’s the focus of your research?

Female health in two late Ming novels: a path to women’s autonomy in a closed society.

What are you hoping to learn or gain?

I hope to learn more about the history of healing in late Imperial China by studying the novels written in late Ming and early Qing, especially the encounters between female patients and their healers.

Why do you think this research is important?

My research is important because female health in novels is a newly touched-upon topic in Chinese medical history. From the novels, one could see “hidden” figures and facts that were not included in official Ming documents and yet existed in the Ming society. Novels have unofficial accounts of history that the “official” history is unable to tell. 

In the two novels I’ve studied, the “forbidden practices” of female patients and their healers revealed that women found and wielded their autonomy through an unofficial social system. Also, half of the history of healing is missing if we ignore women’s history of healing. Female reproductive health is significant because it is a tremendous part of women’s life in the Ming dynasty.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I have always enjoyed taking classes and doing research in women’s history. During my junior year, I took Chinese Women’s History and Women in Early America, and I have been in love with women’s studies ever since. After taking a class on the history of Chinese Medicine and writing a paper on a specific topic I liked, my focus on Chinese women’s medical history in novels became clear.

“Reach out to the library staff when you have questions about citations, or anything related to your research! They are extremely helpful.”

~Xiaoya Gao

What library materials and resources have been the most useful to you in pursuing this research?

Besides the books I used from the Mudd Library, I requested many materials through interlibrary loan. I also found online resources like JSTOR and Historical Abstracts useful.


Student Research in the Library: Sophie Penniman

Sophie is an English and history double major with a creative writing minor from Austin, Texas. She will graduate in June.

After graduation, Sophie will stay in Appleton briefly, applying for graduate school and baking delicious treats at Seth’s Coffee in Little Chute. She also plans to hike the 500-mile Colorado Trail in the Rocky Mountains!

Sophie will pursue her graduate degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives management. She’s been a student worker for several years in the Mudd, and we know that she’s going to make a fantastic librarian and/or archivist!

Read on to learn more about the research she’s been undertaking with the help of the library!

Student researcher Sophie Penniman

Sophie, tell us about your research.

I’m working on my senior capstone for history! I’m writing about the travel diary of Betty May Hale, an American 13-year-old girl who spent six months traveling in Europe with her family in 1937.

What library materials and resources have been the most useful to you in pursuing this research?

Honestly, my office has been a massive help!! Especially at a small, residential school like Lawrence, it’s sometimes hard to find a space entirely to yourself that’s just dedicated to academic work. My office is a place free from distractions where I can just go and work, which has been really useful to me. Also, last term I carried all the books for my research around with me in a tote bag, so it’s great to have somewhere for them to live in the library.

Other than that, the archives were a great resource, especially in the early stages of my project.

” There are so many resources available for you at the Mudd, you just have to take advantage of them! “

~Sophie Penniman

What are you hoping to learn or gain from this research?

I’m studying how Betty May’s travel experiences affected how she thought about herself as an American. I’m also interested in how the travel agency the family used (a company called Thomas Cook) influenced the way they interacted with Europe and the European people.

Why do you think this research is important?

The mid-late 1930’s are a really interesting time for a lot of reasons—America was just climbing out of the Great Depression, World War II was right around the corner, and the United States was in the middle of this big cultural shift from relative isolationism/neutrality to globalism. There’s a lot written about this period on a national level, but there’s not as much about individual people, especially normal Americans like Betty May.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I studied abroad in London my sophomore year and had an amazing time, so I wanted to do a project that dealt with study or travel abroad to Europe. Initially I was going to compare the experiences of a few different young women traveling before World War II, and I came across Betty May’s diary in a library database called American Women’s Letters and Diaries. There was so much more material in Betty May’s diary than in any of my other sources, and eventually I just narrowed my focus to her.

” Librarian Gretchen Revie has been really involved with helping my capstone class access research and citation materials.”

~Sophie Penniman, discussing all of the ways the Mudd Library has supported her research

Sophie, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your work! It’s been an honor and a joy to support you and we wish you all the best.

The Mudd is Everything!

The Mudd Library isn’t just a place to study, or to search for and gather materials.

Libraries offer so much more, and the Mudd is no different!

  • Print and Copy Shop

Printing projects and papers and presentations, oh my!

We have everything you need to put the finishing touches on your papers and projects. Make copies, print your paper, or use the scanner. We have a universal phone charging station if you’re running low. We have staplers, tape, paper clips, rulers, and all kinds of other accoutrements to help you polish your assignments and hand them in with pride.

  • Academic Support Station

Do you need another primary or secondary source to support your argument? Looking for an open-source photo to add to your slides or for the proper citation for your paper? The reference librarians are here to help you find what you need and engage in the best and most thorough research possible. We aim to help you feel confident and supported as a student researcher.

  • Information Kiosk

Curious about what’s happening on campus? Looking to find local thrift stores, coffee shops, or parks? Not sure when that concert starts tonight? Stop by, we’ll  help you find out!

  • Social Hot Spot

All of your friends are here! Hang out on the first or second floor to discuss, debate, and collaborate. Chat, vent, laugh, share. Sometimes just sitting next to someone who is working as hard as you are can be the most valuable resource. Snap some pics or make a vid! Then get back to that group project! Pull up a whiteboard and teach each other what you’ve learned. Ask someone out on a study date. The options are endless.

Learning, together.

  • Safe, quiet, peaceful haven

The third and fourth floors are meant for quiet study. They also make a great place to read, reflect, daydream, or nap. Write that paper! No one will barge in just as you get in your groove. Or, if you’ve been in your groove and need a little break, stop down to the first floor to nurture yourself with a cup of tea. Text your mom and then get back at it. The library is for everyone, and everyone is welcome here and treated with respect and dignity!

Getting productive while enjoying the peace and of the fourth floor.

What do you need?

Academic support?

A quiet place to get some work done?

A place to belong?

We’re here for you!

Student Research in the Library: John O’Neill

John O’Neill is a double-degree student from Reno, Nevada. He’s been at Lawrence for five years and will earn his BM in French Horn Performance and his BA in Russian and Government in a just few short weeks!

John is also a much-beloved library student worker, and has been the night supervisor at the Circulation Desk. He definitely knows his way around the Mudd and offers great insight into using the library to your best advantage.

Upon being asked what he would like his fellow students to know about the Mudd Library, he responded,

“Get to know the staff, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always go upstairs to find your own books because you will come down with an entire stack of useful materials.”

Read on to learn more about John and the fascinating and important research he’s been pursuing in the Mudd!

DSC04921
John O’Neill holds a 2002 issue of Appleton’s local newspaper, The Post Crescent, which he used to research Appleton’s sister city, Kurgan, Russia.

John, what are your plans after graduation?

I am planning to travel to Ukraine for the summer to work with an NGO there that works with under-served regions of the country. After that I will be back in Appleton and hopefully onto Chicago in the fall.

What have you been researching in the Mudd Library?

Over the past two terms I have been working on my senior experience in government. For this project I am profiling the Fox Cities-Kurgan Sister City Relationship. The partnership had an astonishing period of peak activity from the 1990s through 2013, but it has since been dormant. Some of the partnership’s major accomplishments included a 2003 security summit hosted in Appleton with keynote from Mikhail Gorbachev, opening of medical facilities and a domestic violence shelter in Kurgan, obtaining funding for a project to decommission a significant stockpile of chemical weapons in the Kurgan region, and over 100 educational exchanges between universities, high schools, and middle schools in both regions.

What library materials and resources have been the most useful to you in pursuing this research?

For this project I ended up using a wide variety of resources that the library offers students. I took advantage of the main collection, ILL, and electronic databases for most of my background research. Later, I relied on our wonderful reference librarians, who pointed me to contacts at the Appleton Public Library and the Appleton Historical Society. Finally, I learned to be grateful for the VCRs and microform readers that the library makes available to students. Most of my resources were on VHS tapes from the 90s, so having those VCRs on hand was absolutely fantastic.

What are you hoping to learn or gain from this research?

One of my main objectives was to learn how sustainable local organizations are built. This involved finding out how Fox Cities-Kurgan got its start, what program leaders hoped to accomplish, and why it eventually entered a decline. As I progressed in my research I found many other sister cities around the country with similar stories of huge growth followed by a swift decline. This led me to ask just how much these relationships are subject to the broader political climate and what their place is in the global geopolitical environment.

Why do you think this research is important?

For me, The Fox Cities-Kurgan Partnership has been an inspirational example of international partnership that transcends political boundaries. Not only did the program accomplish some enormous objectives that we wouldn’t normally associate with smaller towns like Appleton, but it also forged lasting friendships between the countless exchange participants, volunteers, host families, and students who were involved. By increasing awareness of the program I hope to re-spark the interest in international advocacy that the program was founded around.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

A couple of years ago I found the partnership’s website, which hadn’t been updated since 2013. I later tried to search for Kurgan on the Post Crescent’s website, but due to archiving of the newspaper, my search returned no results. The disappearance of this program from the public eye made me a little sad and I began reaching out to program leaders and participants to find out more.

John, this sounds like really important work. We are so excited to see where you take what you’ve learned and to see the grand adventures that are in store for you! Thank you for sharing.

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