North Korean Poster Collection

North Korea, a closed nation that was created during a tumultuous time post World War II and the Korean Civil War of the early 1950s, has been in the news a lot lately. Primary source materials, including evidence, artifacts or other items created within the boundaries of North Korea, are hard to find. Very little information is allowed to flow over the country’s two borders with South Korea and China. The UC San Diego Library has one window available into this corner of the world, a collection of 66 North Korean propaganda posters. The original posters are held in the Library’s Special Collections & Archives, and digital copies are available through the Library’s Digital Collections website.  

The posters are high-quality hand painted reproductions of printed posters that exclaim slogans and sayings to bolster the morale of the North Korean populace. From protecting the Supreme Commander to reuniting the Asian continent the posters are a way to guide the thoughts and actions of the North Korean people and make them proud of the actions of their government. They use bright colors to attract the eye and most are large in size to overwhelm and consume the viewer. The posters, with catchy slogans and cartoon-like images attempt to persuade the North Korean people to work hard, be loyal to the government and be proud of their heritage.

This collection of posters, created between 1985 and 2002, is unique in Calisphere and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). These two online treasure troves collect images from a wide variety of organizations, including UC San Diego. Calisphere collects digital material from educational and cultural heritage institutions throughout California, while DPLA has a broader scope that includes all fifty states and institutions like Harvard University, ARTstor and Library of Congress. While other institutions may have collections of North Korean propaganda posters in their physical collections, UC San Diego Library is unique in making these resources accessible through these two popular online portals.

Digital Collections Website Serves as One-Stop Resource for State’s History & More

Whether you’re a researcher, a teacher or simply a curious citizen, this one-stop digital platform offers unique cultural archival resources to California history lovers.

Developed and maintained by UC’s California Digital Library, Calisphere provides free access to over 1,025,000 digitized items including photographs, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings and documents. The oldest digitized item in Calisphere is an Armenian Manuscript Bible dating back to 1121 A.D.

Calisphere is now one of the largest collections of digital archival material in the state following a significant makeover in 2015—and continues to add new resources every week. These collections have been digitized and curated by all ten UC campuses and other notable libraries, archives and museums throughout California. Visitors can access selections from the collections from any device, at any time and no registration is required. The UC San Diego Library is a major contributor with over 90,000 digital objects in Calisphere. The website also serves as a hub, gathering content and contributing nationally to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)Read more…

Voluminous Art: Treasures from San Diego’s University Libraries

Voluminous Art: Treasures from San Diego’s University Libraries
Saturday, March 10 – Monday, September 3, 2018
Mingei International Museum

This spring, Mingei International Museum will shine a spotlight on the special collections from the libraries of UC San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego.

Voluminous Art celebrates the art of the book by showcasing approximately 25 volumes from each library collection, a sampling that will hint at centuries-old practices of book design, typography, binding and printing.

The oldest work on view will be a manuscript volume on the art and science of spelling from the 1200s. Many of the books will have been printed during the first 50 years after Gutenberg’s breakthrough with movable type, including the Nuremberg Chronicle. There will also be a portfolio of colored pictures hand drawn by a Kiowa Indian named Koba while he was imprisoned at a military facility in St. Augustine, Florida in 1876.

To honor his San Diego legacy, the Mingei will include a Dr. Seuss book with an original drawing by Theodore Geisel. Finally, there will be multiple examples of so-called artists’ books – contemporary creations,usually in very small, one-off editions of eccentric art works.

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…

Pacific Standard Time: Latin American Artists’ Books

Pacific Standard Time: Latin American Artists’ Books
Friday, January 5, 2018 – Saturday, April 7, 2018
Geisel Library, 2nd (main) floor, west wing

Southern California cultural institutions are currently celebrating Latin American and Latino/a art through Pacific Standard Time, a collaborative effort initiated by the Getty Foundation. From San Diego to Santa Barbara, museums, libraries, and galleries are mounting exhibitions about ancient or pre-modern worlds, others are hosting studies of individual artists in the modern and contemporary environments.

The UC San Diego Library has chosen to draw on one of its strengths and explore Latin American and Latino/a artists’ books published in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The artists hail from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Cuba, and the United States.  All of the works exhibited are drawn from Special Collections & Archives, which houses the Library’s extensive collection of artists’ books.

Artists’ books go beyond the traditional book format in their wide-ranging use of materials and methods of presentation. Artists’ books may be accordion, scroll, box, sculpture, painted, or any other form. They can be in a variety of media. The subject matter can be anything, and they may be unique or mass produced. Books selected for this exhibition provide examples of the richness of the artists’ books collection in the UC San Diego Library as well as acknowledge the significance of Latin American and Latino/a resources to the UC San Diego community.


“Celebrating Pacific Standard Time at UC San Diego Library”
Friday, January 5, 2018 – Monday, April 2, 2018 
Geisel Library, first floor

A complementary exhibit highlighting Latin American and Latino/a art from the Library’s Arts Collection is on view near the Media Desk on the 1st floor. The Library has pulled together publications from the Arts Collection including related exhibition catalogues, museum catalogues, monographs, and other print documentation. Enjoy!

Geisel Library’s 8th Floor and Tower Restroom Renovations Continue to Move Forward in Winter 2018

The long-awaited and much-needed renovation of the interior spaces of Geisel Library continues to move forward as Winter Quarter kicks off. Geisel’s 8th floor will remain closed through Winter Quarter 2018 in order to create an updated, modern space for individual study. Construction work is ongoing and the 8th floor  is expected to reopen in Spring Quarter 2018. Simultaneously, the restrooms on Geisel’s floors 4 – 7 continue to undergo renovation with the addition of new ADA-accessible and gender-neutral restrooms on each floor.

Throughout the course of the restroom renovations, Geisel’s floors 4 – 7 will remain open, and there will be restroom access on each floor at all times. Restroom renovations on floors 4 – 7 are expected to be completed in late Spring Quarter 2018. Generally, construction will occur in one shift, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exceptions may occur and Library staff will notify users in advance when possible.

With the continuing need to provide quiet study space, Geisel’s 7th floor continues to serve as the temporary silent study floor during the closure of the 8th floor, and the Biomedical Library Building has been declared a Quiet Building indefinitely. The collection of oversized materials that was on Geisel’s 8th floor has been moved to the 6th floor. The Roger catalog can be used to find the current locations of any books.

The renovation of the 8th floor marks the next phase of the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI), which began in 2015 with the construction of Audrey’s Café. Responding to student, faculty, and staff feedback, the renovation sets out to transform the interior public spaces of Geisel Library by dramatically enhancing the user experience through modern, technology-rich spaces that advance research and learning.

For the latest updates, visit lib.ucsd.edu/construction or follow our social media channels as the project moves along.

Paul Blackburn Audio Collection Now Online

The UC San Diego Library is pleased to announce the launch of our latest digital collection, the Paul Blackburn Audio Collection. These digitized recordings feature poetry readings, lectures, conversations, and correspondence recorded on reel-to-reel tape by Paul Blackburn from 1960 to 1971 in New York City.

Paul Blackburn portrait

Blackburn was a cornerstone of the New York Poetry scene – In addition to writing his own poetry and translating such writers as Octavio Paz and Julio Cortázar, Blackburn played an important role in organizing and attending poetry readings throughout New York City and hosted his own poetry radio show, Contemporary Poetry on WBAI in New York.  These events provided opportunities for both established and unknown writers to participate in the New York poetry community. He recorded these readings, lectures, conversations about poetry with friends, as well as radio and news broadcasts.

The editor of Blackburn’s posthumously published Collected Poems (1985), Edith Jarolim, has called this collection “the most comprehensive oral history of the New York poetry scene between the late 1950s and 1970.” An example of its rarities is the only known recording of an interview by the poet Mina Loy. Among others, the collection includes recordings of

The first release of this collection includes over 100 recordings featuring over 100 poets, now available for streaming. Subsequent releases will bring the total number of recordings to over 200 available for online streaming and about 50 descriptions of recordings that can be made available onsite at UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives.  We anticipate having the entire digital collection complete by February 2018.  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…

Results of Digital Collections 2017 Summer Survey

The Digital Library Development Program, working with the Library’s Digital User Services, conducted a 3-question quick poll on the Digital Collections site, July 7-17, 2017 in order to gain insight into who was using our digital collections and for what purpose.  Getting data on digital content has never been easier with Google Analytics (GA) – We can quickly gather statistics on page hits or duration of a visit, and even how users found our content.  However, we have found that GA only provides one side of the story and we were hoping to find out more about our users.  Who are the users of Digital Collections and how are they using our content?  Is it an undergraduate student looking for primary source materials for a paper?  A post-doc doing research in a lab?  Is it a genealogist in Pennsylvania looking to find out more about her family?  Knowing who is using the collections and how will help the Digital Library Development Program in making decisions regarding the design, what type of information to display, and even what type of content to pursue for our collections.

So what story do the results of this survey tell us?  Read more…

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