Special Collections & Archives’ Ledger Art Books Serve as Hands-On Learning Tool for Graduate Students

 

“Driving the Horses” plate from the Koba-Russell Sketchbook. Courtesy of: Plains Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project (PILA).

 

The beauty of Indian Ledger Art isn’t just about depicting Native American history in vibrant colors and powerful compositions, but how it has influenced the next generation of Native American artists.

To Dwayne Wilcox, it’s more than artwork. It connects him to his Native American culture and reaffirms his purpose in the community. Wearing black pants, a striped dress shirt that hangs loose on his frame, and his signature pork pie hat, Wilcox stands in front of an audience speaking softly about his art and gazing earnestly at the Ledger Art drawings in his exhibit.

Dwayne Wilcox

The Lakota Ledger artist met with students and spoke in November at a public gathering hosted by the Library in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. A small collection of Wilcox’s contemporary ledger artwork was on view in an exhibition called Teíč’iȟ iŋla: Practicing Decolonial Love, curated by UC San Diego graduate students. Wilcox was joined by Ross Frank, associate professor of ethnic studies and director of the Plains Indian Ledger Art project (PILA).

Due to increased collector interest, more nineteenth-century ledger books are coming to light. However, sheets are sold individually for thousands of dollars, dispersing them on the market. In the last few years academics have been trying to reassemble book pages. Many of these fine examples of ledger art drawings are now accessible online. PILA has been working since 1995 to digitally preserve Plains Indian Ledger books under one platform to promote research and public access.

“Without trying, this digital project has brought UC San Diego about a million dollars’ worth of original, nineteenth-century Ledger Art books. We have the third largest collection of complete ledger books in the country outside of the holdings at the Smithsonian museums,” said Frank. “The Library’s Special Collections & Archives has eight complete ledger books and another one is on its way. We have a fine example of the work that was done by the 28 artists of the 72 prisoners that were held in Fort Marion in 1875 during the Red River War.”

Pictured left to right: Special Collections & Archives Director Lynda Claassen, Alison Urban, Jessica Fremlan, Melanie West, and Ethnic Studies Associate Professor Ross Frank.

PILA provides graduate students pursuing a doctorate in Ethnic Studies and other programs with hands-on training in research, digital database, and web management. In addition, the Ethnic Studies department offers courses that give undergrads and graduate students the tools to design museum exhibits that incorporate indigenous knowledge.

“It was important to me that the exhibit we created not only be a visual experience but one that prompted critical discourse and engagement among visitors. In providing a space to write or draw thoughts and responses to the exhibit we hoped that a conversation could happen on these pages,” said UC San Diego graduate student Alison Urban. “I love flipping through the book and seeing how the questions we posed through the presentation of modern and historical Ledger Art have activated students to connect with the notion of decolonial love.”

The Library’s physical collection of Ledger Art books continues to grow, albeit slowly, given their scarcity and cost. But they provide a vital teaching and research resource, and the Library will continue to work with Ross Frank and Ethnic Studies to develop and promote these unique cultural materials.

Q&A: UC San Diego Library Supporter Mary Ann Beyster Reflects on Father’s Legacy

From left to right: Mary Ann, Betty, and Jim Beyster celebrated the opening of the Beyster Papers during a reception on April 21, 2017.

The Beyster name is intertwined with the history of San Diego’s entrepreneurial and technology community. The late Dr. J. Robert “Bob” Beyster built Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from a small scientific consulting firm in the 1960s to a multibillion-dollar defense contractor powerhouse. He was known for his visionary business practices and sophisticated ability to bring out the best in his employees. SAIC grew to become one of the largest employee-owned companies in the nation.

In 2015, the Beyster family donated Bob’s Papers including business records, stock plans, and records of government-funded research to the Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Dr. Beyster’s legacy is now carried on by his daughter Mary Ann through the work she’s doing with entrepreneurship, innovation, and employee ownership in the education system. Of the Library’s valued supporters, few have a background quite as diverse as Mary Ann’s. Not only is she an enthusiastic community leader with 30 years of experience in manufacturing, technical management consulting, and small business innovation, but she’s also a passionate documentary director and producer.

Library staff asked Mary Ann a few questions to learn more about her late father’s legacy and her involvement with the UC San Diego campus.  Read more…

A Hub for Innovation and Learning: 3D Technologies Offered by UC San Diego Library

Higher education institutions have reached a pivotal turning point, where a confluence of innovative and ground-breaking technologies are bringing an abundance of change to the way in which we teach and learn. From cloud computing to 3D printing and augmented reality, these technologies are altering how we live and work.

For decades, a great deal of scholarly work was limited to photos and text, causing important details about objects and places to be lost and our ability to communicate complexity to be hampered. At the heart of our most recent wave of innovative technologies is a newfound ability to quickly and easily process and visualize 3D data. The means to design and build a new object, explore a place without being there, and capture and share the world around us is now highly accessible. Geisel Library’s Digital Media Lab (DML) puts these tools in the hands of students and faculty and lends expertise and context to make the learning experience simple, fun, and personally relevant. The DML offers free 3D printing, VR headset use, and expert consultation. The possibilities are endless, spanning almost every discipline.  Read more…

UC San Diego Names Erik T. Mitchell New Audrey Geisel University Librarian

Erik T. Mitchell, Ph.D. has been appointed university librarian at the University of California San Diego effective April 16, 2018. Mitchell currently serves as associate university librarian of Digital Initiatives and Collaborative Services and associate chief information officer at UC Berkeley.

“Our Library is a premier resource for UC San Diego’s community of changemakers, playing a central role in the university’s mission by serving as a hub of discovery,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Dr. Mitchell has been at the forefront of integrating new information technologies in libraries to find, use and create knowledge, so I am confident that his expertise will continue to help transform the way our academic community teaches, learns and conducts research.”

During his five years at UC Berkeley, Mitchell worked extensively with various leadership teams to advance the mission of the university, drawing on principles of service, shared values and collaboration. He advocated for and led a charge to incorporate preferred name services into the campus’ library systems, worked with vendors and systemwide colleagues to select a digital imaging platform that is ADA compliant and established processes to ensure that all new programs and services include diversity, equity and inclusion considerations at the design and decision-making stages. He also co-led the creation of programs for research data management, the expansion of targeted and mass digitization programs and comprehensive computing services for students. Additionally, he was integral to cross-institutional and nationally shared print initiatives and has served as co-principal investigator on funded research and development activities.  Read more…

East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: A Book Talk with Journalist John Pomfret

UC San Diego Library Joins Project STAND: Archiving Student Activism at Universities and Colleges across the Nation

Nearly twenty colleges and universities around the country have joined to launch Project STAND (STudent Activism Now Documented), an online hub to heighten the awareness of archival and historical collections documenting student activism around the United States.

STAND will focus on digital and analog primary sources that document the activities of student groups that represent the concerns of historically marginalized communities (e.g., African American, Chicano/a, LGBTQ, religious minorities, disabled etc.). STAND will also highlight the work of others (e.g., faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni) who advocate for or support the interests of those communities.

The project was established in the fall of 2016 to bring together academic institutions from across the state of Ohio but has since broadened and includes representatives from Chicago State University, University of Illinois, The University of Michigan, South Carolina State University and Jackson State. The UC San Diego Library joined the project in January 2018.  This exciting initiative was originally conceived by Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist at Kent State University and Tamar Chute, University Archivist at The Ohio State University.  Read more…

Jumpstart your reproducible research: Upcoming 2-day Software Carpentry Workshop, March 7-8, 2018

Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

This workshop will cover automating tasks with the Unix shell, version control with Git, and an introduction to R.

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop. Registration for both days is mandatory. Please do not register if you cannot attend both days.

Where: Classroom 4, Biomedical Library Building, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093.

When: March 7-8, 2018. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on.

Register here:

https://ucsdlib.github.io/2018-03-07-UCSD/

Knowledge Unlatched: UC San Diego is an Open Access Hero for 2018!

UC San Diego saw the second highest usage of any institution in North America and the seventh highest usage worldwide of scholarly content from Knowledge Unlatched.

As part of UC San Diego Library’s ongoing support for Open Access, the library pledges funds to “unlatch” books in partnership with Knowledge Unlatched. We are more than pleased to learn that our support has made some impact!

Here’s an example:

Ned Randolph, a Communication Studies PhD candidate, published “River Activism, “Levees-Only” and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927” in Media and Communication published by Cogitatio Press. Not only does he retain copyright and licenses his work with Creative Commons license, but he has seen 240 views and 29 downloads since publishing in open access on February 9, 2018. That’s 29 downloads in three days! See the info graphic showcasing this year’s heroes.

 

Get Ready for a Seuss-tacular Celebration in Honor of Beloved Author’s Birthday

Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the popular children’s author-illustrator of The Cat in the Hat, which diversified mainstream children’s literature, turns 114 on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Party plans are underway at the University of California San Diego campus to celebrate the ingenious and creative spirit of Dr. Seuss during a noontime birthday bash that will include a two-story inflatable cake with candles, a giant, inflatable Cat in the Hat wearing a red and white striped hat, birthday cake, and Seussian musical entertainment by the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra.

Coinciding with national Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss fans near and far are invited to join the fun being held in front of Geisel Library, the university’s flagship building named in honor of Theodor and Audrey Geisel in 1995. UC San Diego’s Interim Audrey Geisel University Librarian Tammy Nickelson Dearie will be on hand to greet party-goers and serve cupcakes to the first 2,000 attendees.

“Few readers who have grown up in the last sixty years can imagine their childhood without the wonderfully whimsical images and rhymes of Dr. Seuss. The illustrations in the more than 60 books he wrote are timeless and draw both children and adults alike,” said Dearie. “We’re honored to host a cherished campus tradition that began in the early 90’s when the UC San Diego Library received its first gift from Audrey Geisel.”  Read more…

Older Posts »

Events Calendar

<< Feb 2018 >>
SMTWTFS
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 1 2 3