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…

2017 Dinner in the Library Gala Raises Significant Support for Smart Learning Spaces

Interim University Librarian Tammy Nickelson Dearie, Author Ann Patchett, Chancellor Khosla

UC San Diego’s 14th annual Dinner in the Library lived up to its reputation as the premier campus event for lovers of libraries and books. Hosted by Interim University Librarian, Tammy Nickelson Dearie, the yearly tradition transformed the first floor of Geisel Library into an elegant cocktail and dining area amidst book collections and study spaces.

Drawing a crowd of more than 160 library friends and supporters, the gala raised $205,000 to support the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI), which will  transform the 1st, 2nd, and 8th floors of Geisel Library to benefit student learning and research. Dearie gave special thanks to all those who generously supported this year’s Dinner, especially lead sponsor Audrey Geisel, and Jeanne Jones, who chaired the Dinner’s honorary committee for the second consecutive year.

This year’s keynote speaker, international best-selling author Ann Patchett mesmerized the audience as she described her evolving relationship with books and how she became a champion for independent bookstores. In 2011, Patchett opened her own bookstore—Parnassus Books in Nashville—at a time when bookstores were closing all over America. Very few people thought she would make it in an era of superstores and mass merchandisers such as Amazon, but she prevailed. The store has doubled in size and now there’s a second outpost of Parnassus Books at the Nashville airport. Read more…

Gift to UC San Diego Library Enhances Its Distinguished Melanesian and Anthropology Studies Collection

Ted Schwartz and Paliau Maloat, founder of the Paliau Movement, in Central Park, New York, 1970.

The UC San Diego Library recently received a generous gift to create the Schwartz Library Collection Endowment for Melanesian/Anthropology Studies, in honor of UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Theodore (Ted) Schwartz, a prominent figure in psychological anthropology. The fund will support in perpetuity the Library’s distinguished Melanesian and Anthropology Studies Collection. In addition to the endowed fund, Schwartz’s personal papers have been donated to the Library’s Special Collections & Archives, where they will be available for use by scholars, researchers, and educators.

“We are delighted to make this gift to honor the work of my uncle, Theodore Schwartz, in Melanesian Studies and support the excellence of the Library’s collections in this area of distinction for UC San Diego,” said Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz. “This endowed fund will ensure that Ted’s research and the Library’s collections in Melanesian and Anthropology Studies are preserved and accessible to scholars at UC San Diego and around the world.”

Photo album.

More than 80 boxes of Schwartz’s personal papers were donated to the Library, which include correspondence with notable anthropologists, expedition notebooks, lecture notes, and photographs from expeditions. Significant amounts of film and audio clips have also been donated, including footage of his early work with the well-known cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. The collection provides insights to Schwartz’s work, which consisted of extensive documentation capturing indigenous languages, interviews, genealogies, and reflects his methodical approach and comprehensive data analysis. Read more…

UC San Diego Students Receive Library Research Prize for Outstanding Research Skills

Congratulations to the 2017 Undergraduate Library Research Prize Winners!

Recognizing that outstanding student research goes hand in hand with knowledgeable use of library resources, collections, and services, the UC San Diego Library has announced four honorees for the 2017 Undergraduate Library Research Prize. Their research topics ranged from fish communities living in low oxygen zones in the Gulf of California to the role of women as playwrights in Restoration England.

The annual award is sponsored by the UC San Diego Library, the Vice Chancellor for Students Affairs, and the UCSD Alumni Association. Awards are given in the Social Sciences, Arts, Humanities and Physical and Life Sciences categories. They include a cash award of $1,000 and $500 for first and second place, respectively.

“It’s very rewarding to see the students’ passions, growth as scholars, and their special relationships with their faculty mentors,” said Tammy Nickelson Dearie, Interim University Librarian. “While the winning entries showcase the rich intellectual diversity of student research taking place across campus, there’s a common thread. Each of these students deepened their research experience by investing extra time and effort in using the resources in the UC San Diego Library.”  Read more…

Library Sets Bold Campaign Goals to Advance Learning, Research, & Innovation

On March 25, UC San Diego officially launched the Campaign for UC San Diego, a $2 billion comprehensive fundraising effort to transform the student experience and the campus, with worldwide impacts. The public launch of the Campaign was celebrated at a technology-rich event at the campus’ RIMAC arena, where guests were awed by a dynamic multimedia experience, showcasing innovation and experimentation, and underscoring the university’s unconventional history.

The Campaign for UC San Diego will help fund three key priorities: enhancing the student experience; enriching our campus community; and sparking research and innovation. With the support of UC San Diego friends, alumni, and parents, the university aims to boost investments in these areas to fuel innovative treatments and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Given the essential role the UC San Diego Library plays in sparking research and innovation at the university, the Library’s campaign priorities are well-aligned with those of the campus. A top priority for the Library and the campus is to raise additional funds to support the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI). Because of the significance of the initiative for student learning and the campus overall, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla has agreed to match gifts raised up to $1 million, doubling the impact of other contributions. Donations to the GLRI are designated to support renovation or maintenance activities.

“We are seeking support for a multi-million dollar initiative to transform the first, second, and eighth floors in Geisel Library into modern, collaborative, technology-rich spaces that advance the learning and research efforts of our talented students and researchers,” said University Librarian Brian Schottlaender. Read more…

Schottlaender’s Gifts to Advance Geisel Revitalization & Poetry Archive

Posted On: April 11, 2017

With his retirement on the horizon, University Librarian Brian Schottlaender has pledged two generous gifts to the UC San Diego Library, one to advance the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI) and another to support the Archive for New Poetry in the Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Between now and the end of the academic year, Schottlaender, who recently announced his plans to retire in June 2017, said he will focus his energies on raising funds for the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, a top priority for the Library and the campus. In addition, he has made a planned gift for the GLRI Maintenance Endowment.

“I can’t think of a higher priority for the campus and for our students, especially, than raising the funds we need to revitalize the major interior spaces of this architecturally stunning landmark building,” said Schottlaender. “Our students are among the most academically competitive in the nation. They spend an awful lot of time here, and deserve the most advanced, technology-equipped spaces we can offer, to accelerate their learning and discovery. This is why I made this gift to support the GLRI and why I would encourage others to consider supporting it.”

Read more…

Introducing Tammy Dearie

Tammy Nickelson Dearie, who currently serves as the UC San Diego Library’s Associate University Librarian for Enterprise Services, will become the Interim University Librarian when Brian Schottlaender retires at the end of June.

Although the recruitment effort for Brian Schottlaender’s successor has begun, recruitments like this can often take up to a year, so in that time, Tammy will become much more visible at Library events and more familiar to Library friends and supporters. This transition will go smoothly, as Tammy’s breadth of experience in the Library world, and at UC San Diego in particular, is impressive, as are her accomplishments and leadership skills.

A UC San Diego alumna who received her M.L.I.S. (Master of Library & Information Science) degree from UCLA, Tammy has a wealth of experience in managing Library budgets, departments, and staff, as well as major projects, processes, and initiatives. In 2009, after serving as the head librarian for the former Social Sciences & Humanities Library for 8 years, Tammy was appointed to serve as Associate University Librarian, reporting to the University Librarian and a member of the Library’s senior management team. Under the auspices of Brian Schottlaender, Tammy played a pivotal role in the Library’s reorganization to a more centralized model, in collaboration with associate university librarians Catherine Friedman and Martha Hruska, who make up the senior leadership team, and Library staff. Read more…

Alumna & Former University Art Gallery Director Donates Artists’ Book Collection

“Freedom: a fable” pop-up book by Kara Walker

UC San Diego alumna Geraldine “Gerry” McAllister, a strong advocate for the arts on campus during her 25-year stint as director of the university’s Mandeville Art Gallery, has donated her collection of artists’ books to the Library’s Special Collections & Archives. McAllister, who received her B.A. degree and subsequently her M.F.A. from the university in 1974, also served as president of the UCSD Alumni Association, and was its first dues-paying Life Member.

After receiving her M.F.A., McAllister worked as director and curator of the university’s Mandeville Art Gallery for the next two decades, where she exhibited the works of many prominent contemporary artists. In spite of her modest budget, McAllister—who was known on campus and in the art world as a bold mover and shaker—succeeded in bringing in numerous well-established artists, including a traveling exhibit of paintings by Frida Kahlo.

McAllister, who studied visual arts, and was married to artist Adare McAllister until his death in 2012, began collecting contemporary artists’ books in the 1980’s. Her collection of 128 artists’ books comprises several rare and valuable works by well-known regional as well as international artists, some with strong university ties. The collection includes works by John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Jenny Holzer, Edward Ruscha, and Niki de Saint-Phalle, as well as art by Alexis Smith, Kara Walker, Allan Kaprow, and Bruce Nauman. Read more…

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