Thursday, October 28, 2010

Early Images of Humans

This story was featured on Yahoo!News yesterday. It discusses the recent discovery of humans in a Cincinnati waterfront daguerreotype taken in 1848. In the photograph, there are two men standing on the dock located on the left side. The story goes on to compare this discovery with that of the earliest known image of a human in Louis Daguerre's 1838 photo of Paris. In Daguerre's picture, there is a man getting his shoes shined in the lower left hand corner.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ghost Stories and Condie Cunningham's Door at the Library

This week the library shares one of Montevallo's most enduring haunted tales. The door to Condie Cunningham's Main Hall dorm room is now on display at our Ask Here Desk. This week you may come by and see the door, read the official accounts of Condie's unfortunate demise, and share your own Montevallo ghost stories.

The door will be on display through tomorrow, Wednesday, the 27th and again from Friday, the 29th through Saturday the 30th.

The haunting continues on Saturday afternoon when library faculty and staff will recite Montevallo's famous ghost stories from various locations on campus. The stories will be told from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Saturday.

Celebrate Montevallo history and our haunted past this week at your campus library!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Darkness into Life: Remembering the Holocaust

A poignant exhibit opens today in the gallery of Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo.

For Birmingham residents Max Herzel, Ruth Siegler, Martin Aaron, and Riva Mirsch, their memories of the Holocaust are a complicated patchwork of loss, suffering, grief, bravery, and hope. These men and women, along with five others, survived the horrors of the Holocaust and came to settle in Birmingham. Their stories are told in Darkness into Life, an exhibit of original paintings and photographs on display at Parnell Memorial Library Gallery October 25 through December 4. The exhibit, produced and sponsored by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Committee, is co-sponsored by Parnell Memorial Library and the Montevallo Arts Council.

Darkness into Life was created by artist Mitzi J. Levin and photographer Becky Seitel, who spent hours with each of the survivors to better comprehend what they experienced as children and young people during the Holocaust. Levin's paintings focus on the survivors' lives before and during the Holocaust; Seitel's photographs depict the survivors' present-day lives in Birmingham. Montevallo resident Deborah Layman is the the education and publicity coordinator for the Montevallo exhibit.

Former MHS English teacher Jane Clayton has arranged for every class from Montevallo High School and Montevallo Middle School to have docent-guided tours when the students visit the exhibit. Teachers will be given follow-up classroom activities and resources to further explore issues raised by the exhibit.

A special program and reception at Parnell Memorial Library on Sunday, November 7, at 2:00 P. M. will feature traditional Jewish music played by a Klezmer band organized by Dr. Alan Goldspiel, Chair of the Music Department at the University of Montevallo.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. Guided tours for groups are available by appointment. For information, contact deborah.layman(at)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Upcoming Events at Carmichael Library

Your campus library is busy with programs, displays, and other events in the weeks ahead. Here are some highlights:

Program: Issues in Literature for Children and Young Adults: Censorship and the Young Person's Right to Read.
Wednesday, October 20, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

The Montevallo Branch of AAUW and Carmichael Library will host a program on "Issues in Literature for Children and Young Adults: Censorship and the Child's Right to Read" on Wednesday, October 20, at 4:00 p.m. in Carmichael Library. At this session Pat Scales, UM graduate, prominent member of the Association of Library Services for Children, and Chair of the prestigious Caldecott Committee in 2003, will discuss Censorship Issues and the Child’s Right to Read. Mary Beth Rodgers, Barbara Belisle, and Loretta Cobb will comment on books such as The Boy with the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, The Red Hills of Alabama by Barbara Belisle, and Tales from the Heart of Haiti by Patti Marxsen. Jane Clayton will moderate the discussion. The public is cordially invited to attend.

Family Day in the Library
Saturday, October 29

The library will be the site of faculty meet and greets with parents. In the afternoon, library staff and faculty will tell some of Montevallo's famous ghost stories from sites across campus. More information about UM Family Weekend can be found at the Division of Student Affairs web site.

Exhibit and Presentation: Day of the Dead
Exhibit runs from October 28-November 9. Presentations on Tuesday, November 2, 11:00 a.m.

Carmichael Library will commemorate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the library lobby for the ninth consecutive year. The library will host a showing of ceremonial altars (ofrendas) built by students of Dr. Eric Vaccarella's Spanish Conversation class. This year's ofrendas will also serve as a commemoration of the Mexican Bicentennial of Independence (1810) and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. All the honorees are Mexican. They include Mario Moreno Cantinflas (film actor), María Felix (film actress), Sor Juan Ines de la Cruz (17th-century poet and advocate for the rights of women), Pedro Infante (signer and actor), and Frida Kahlo (painter).

The public is invited when our students present their work at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 2nd. The presentations will be made in Spanish. The altars will be on display from October 28th - November 9th.

We hope to see you here!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sigma Delta Pi Photography Competition

Photo by Wolfgang Staudt. Creative Commons license.

Sigma Delta Pi, Chapter Epsilon Eta
VI Photo Contest Moments Around the World

The Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, is now accepting entries for its sixth photography competition.

Photo Contest Details
  • The contest is open to any University of Montevallo student, faculty or staff.
  • The theme of this contest is "Moments Around the World." Pictures accepted may be from travels within the USA or abroad taken between October 2009 to August 2010.
  • Participants must print out, sign, and return the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement Form when submitting their entry. Failure to submit this form will invalidate the contest entry.
  • You may pick up the Contest Rules and Entry Agreement Form in the Foreign Language Office (Comer 101).
  • Sigma Delta Pi will not accept any electronic submissions.
  • Entries are limited to 3 pictures per person. Please place all entries in one package.
  • Photos may be in one or two of the categories described below, and will be judged on the beauty and quality of the photo.
  • Entries will be divided into three categories 1) People, 2) Places or Landscapes, and 3) Weird Wonders (funny, unique, or uncommon pictures.)

There will be a special box in the Department of Foreign Languages in which students may place their entries. Also, students may send submissions to:

Sigma Delta Pi
Department of Foreign Languages
Station 6410
University of Montevallo
Montevallo, AL 35115


Sigma Delta Pi accepts entries from Monday September 23 to Monday October 25, 2010.


Please email Dr. Leonor Vázquez-González at with any questions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Presidential Heritage

Over the next few days, I hope everyone will stop by Carmichael Library and view our display about Montevallo's presidents. The presentation features photos, a few artifacts, and brief highlights from each administration. The display coincides with Founders' Day 2010 and the inauguration of Dr. John Stewart as the University of Montevallo's 15th President. October 14th will mark the institution's 114th year of operation.

Click here to see a few more photos

Click here for this years Founders' Day schedule

Special thanks to Jamie Rawls, Archives student worker.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Founders' Day 2010 Schedule

Photo by Matt Orton

This week's Founders' Day events include the inauguration of Montevallo's 15th president, Dr. John Wesley Stewart III. Be sure to check UM's Inauguration 2010 page for details on the many events happening this week.

The library will be closed on the morning of Founders' Day, Thursday, October 14th. We'll open at 12:30 p.m. Our new coffee shop, Ollie's Simply To Go, will open at 3:00 p.m.

Happy 114th birthday, UM!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Conference Hightlights

Over the past few days, I've had the opportunity to sit in on a number of excellent and exciting research presentations. One session that really grabbed my attention was titled, Of Bits, Bytes, and Books: Use and Meaning in Digital Humanities and the Emerging Library. While we have all heard about the how great digitization is, this group of presenters spoke about serious research problems that have risen in the past couple of years.

The Historic Columbia Foundation's Kyra Herzinger began by comparing digital information dissemination to a buffet style restaurant, meaning that objects were sometimes loosely arranged into arbitrary categories from which the consumer can pick and choose without sifting through the totality of the collection. She went on to say that digitization can cause objects to loose their intrinsic value. For example, a person can view the scanned version of a diploma, but viewing the physical artifact allows the researcher to see if and how the diploma was framed, displayed, etc. She also warned that archivist have a tendency to scan aesthetically pleasing collections and while overlooking documents that many may consider important.

Melanie Griffin, University of South Florida Special and Digital Collections Librarian, expressed concern about the research value of Victorian sensation novels in the digital format. Paraphrasing her description of Victorian sensation novels, Griffins states these are works "appearing between 1860 and 1880 England that are marked by adultery, illegitimate children, poisoning, bigamy by women, paranormal activity, and drug use." Many of these novels were first published in serial format then as as multi-volume sets, then as condensed single-volume books. Additionally, many authors wrote a "base text" and publishers sometimes add details and drama might appeal to their audience. Obviously, this poses problems when presented in the digital format. Often times only one edition is presented and usually it is the most attractive copy or the shortest version. Researchers could be led to believe they are looking at the only copy or the finished text, while in reality the physical archive may contain multiple runs of the novel presented in book and serial format.

Finally, Patricia Sasser, University of South Carolina, discussed musicology and the lack of coherent digital resources available. She states that the study of music history lacks clear and centralized tools and researchers depend on sources ranging from information in scholarly databases in other subjects to YouTube. Sasser laments that even the Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology tool, meant to actively collect citations in a bibliographic format, is not comprehensive and lacks standardization in its information gathering techniques.

All three presenters highlighted problems that are applicable to almost any field in this new technological age and are worth exploring by scholars and practitioners alike. While digitization adds a significant geographic convenience for researchers, many collections are still worth a visit.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Greetings from Maryland

The morning began with David Gracy's keynote address. Before joining the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, he served as the 14th Texas State Archivist. While in this position, he began a project that has evolved into a book titled, The State Library and Archives of Texas: A History, 1835-1962.

During his address, Gracy spoke about how the idea of funding libraries has always been popular with politicians until the actual budget request is made. He cites specific instances of this throughout Texas history beginning with the group that gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos to found the Republic of Texas in 1836. The men loved the thought of ordering books on law and government to aid them in writing a constitution and actually created a committee to explore the idea further. The committee regarded this purchase as essential for the survival of Texas, but in the end declined to actually buy the materials because it just wasn't the right time.

Gracy closed his speech by pointing to the lack of research being performed on library history, especially on state libraries and archives. He argued that this is fertile ground for exploration and research on the institutions themselves is as valuable as what they contain.

Off to another round of sessions and then a trip to Annapolis.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Delta Gamma Gets Caught Reading

Photo and graphics by Joel Bullock

The ladies of Delta Gamma were in the library earlier this week with some of their favorite books in hand. The Zeta Nu chapter of the sorority was founded in 1991 and now includes over 50 sisters.

We caught the ladies in the main floor browsing area of Carmichael Library just in front of our new coffee shop, Ollie's Simply To Go Café. The library café offers fresh coffee and tea, as well as snacks, salads, and sandwiches.

We asked a few of the Delta Gammas to talk to us about what they were reading.

Kate Lewallen, Chapter President, History and French major
Carmichael Library: What are you reading?
Kate: Un Americano a Fusine Laghi, by Robert McCall

Carmichael Library: Why did you choose this book?
Kate: My grandfather wrote this book about the time he spent in northern Italy immediately following World War II. He was a soldier in the 88th infantry that helped secure the border with Yugoslavia.

My grandfather is one of my biggest role models, and I love having this piece of his history, especially since I got to see these places with him and the rest of my family a few years ago.

Carmichael Library: How do you use your campus library?
Kate: I use the upstairs area as a quiet place to study. I also use the Interlibrary Loan service a lot.
Olivia Tennant, Chapter Public Relations Officer, Undeclared major
Carmichael Library: What are you reading?
Olivia: Big Fish, by Daniel Wallace.

Carmichael Library: Why did you choose this book?
Olivia: I saw the movie and I thought that it would be a fun book to read.

Carmichael Library: How do you use your campus library?
Olivia: I use the ground floor area for study all of the time. I make "A"s on tests that I study for here!
Mattie Owens, Political Science major
Carmichael Library: What are you reading?
Mattie: Paper Towns, by John Green.

Carmichael Library: Why did you choose this book?
Mattie: Because I love the author dearly.

Carmichael Library: How do you use your campus library?
Mattie: I use the library to meet with groups: it's a good place to meet with friends. I've also been stopping in at Ollie's a lot this past week!
Olivia Timpson, Art major
Carmichael Library: What are you reading?
Olivia: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling

Carmichael Library: Why did you choose this book?
Olivia: I'm a huge fan of the series. I read all of the books when I was younger and I'm now re-reading them to remember what happens in them and to renew my love of the series.

Carmichael Library: How do you use your campus library?
Olivia: I use the computers for research and spend a lot of time in the second floor quiet study area.
Thanks to the ladies of the Delta Gamma Zeta Nu chapter for appearing in this edition of Get Caught Reading. Be sure to stay tuned to our updates here and on Facebook. You never know who we'll catch curled up with their favorite book!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Library Research Seminar-V

Library Research Seminar-V will begin in a little more than 24 hours with a large number of librarians descending on College Park, Maryland. The official start will happen first thing Thursday morning as Diane Barlow and Trudi Hahn welcome conference attendees and introduce our keynote speaker, David B. Gracy and his presentation, Is There Counsel in those Curtains? Research Agendas for the Times. Both Barlow and Hahn represent the University of Maryland's iSchool where they serve as Associate Dean and Professor of the Practice, respectively. Dr. Gracy is the Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise at the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Celebrating National Tutoring Week

In celebration of National Tutoring Week, The Learning Enrichment Center will host a series of events. The Center will host an Open House, Wednesday, October 6th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the lower level of library. Come and enjoy refreshments, meet the tutors and see what the LEC has to offer!