April 24, 2013
Exhibition on View April 24 – May 14, 2013
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor
Physical books are both texts and artifacts; objects that indicate distinct histories of design, production and use. Printed works reflect the technologies of paper and parchment making, type casting and printing, and binding – each recording historical developments in book production. They also give clues to past ownership and readership through book plates, inscriptions, marginalia and the occasional ephemera tucked inside their pages (clippings, letters, pressed flowers, etc.). It may well be that the future of the physical book is in peril, replaced by electronic and digitized versions. But books as artifacts of the past will continue to impart other meanings beyond the textual content.
The twelve books on exhibition – dating from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries – were examined and described by graduate students in the Library and Information Science and Public History programs at St. John’s University. The class on special collections librarianship and the history of books and printing was taught by archivist and special collections librarian, Dr. Blythe Roveland-Brenton. The co-curators are: Audrey Belanger, Katie Daniels, Nicole Husbands, Egita Johnson, David McMahon, Janay Meertens-Deans, Kendra Meyer, Christina Orozco, Melissa Perlzweig, Laura Smith, Matthew Weidemann, and Porscha Williams.
Interested in these or other rare books from the University Libraries Special Collections department? Contact us at email@example.com to make an appointment.
March 11, 2013
The St. John’s Libraries Spotlight Exhibits are monthly exhibits produced by the Circulation Department focused on a particular topic or theme. These exhibits seek to call attention to the resources the Libraries have to offer the St. John’s community and educate the St. John’s community on particular topics and themes. Remember that the books used in the spotlight exhibits can be checked out of the library at any time. Each exhibit has a corresponding page on the “St John’s Libraries Spotlight Exhibits” Campus Guide. The corresponding campus guide pages list the works used in the exhibit, with their call numbers, and provide additional electronic resources related to the topic. The goal of the corresponding campus guide pages then is to preserve, and add to, the resource and topical awareness promoted by the exhibits.
March 2013 Exhibit – Women’s History Month. This exhibit displays a collection of works on women’s culture and history in celebration of Women’s History Month.
From the African American History Month Exhibit
February 2013 Exhibit – African American History Month. This exhibit displayed a collection of works on African-Americans and peoples of African descent in celebration of African American History Month.
January 2013 Exhibit – Creative Media. This exhibit displayed a collection of works on forms of creative media in celebration of International Creativity Month.
December 2012 Exhibit – Holiday & Vacation Reading. This exhibit displayed suggested holiday and vacation reading from the libraries’ McNaughton Collection.
November 2012 Exhibit – Native American History and Culture. This exhibit displayed a collection of works related to Native American History and Culture in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.
From the Half the Sky Exhibit
October 2012 Exhibit – Half the Sky. This exhibit displayed a collection of works related to prominent themes in Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky, a powerful work on the abuses third-world women face that was selected as the 2012-2013 St. John’s Freshman Read book.
September 2012 Exhibit – Comics & Graphic Novels. This exhibit displayed a collection of the libraries’ resources on comics and graphic novels.
February 19, 2013
Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
Manumission letter written by Joshua Pigman and James Argent of Frederick County State Maryland freeing two slaves, James and Frances, once they turn 21 years old. May 22, 1784.
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor
February 15 – March 15, 2013
Co-curated by Megan Margino and Sharell Walker
The St. John’s University Special Collections presents an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Within Special Collections are a variety of primary and secondary documents related to slavery, the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Included in this display are reproductions of original documents in Special Collections such as hand-written letters and documents from people such as Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and other notable figures of the era. There are also rare and first edition books that contain unique perspectives on the historical events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation.
These documents are available for research by appointment in the University Archives and Special Collections. To make an appointment, please call (718) 990-1465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 14, 2013
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor
January 14 – February 12, 2013
Sparks was the oldest literary magazine at St. John’s, which ran for only a short time, from 1891-1897. It was formed when students from the Sparks Literary Society began writing class pamphlets. Upon the success of this pamphlet and encouragement from their faculty advisor, Father McCormick, they began the Sparks literary magazine. The earliest issues were handwritten, while later issues were printed. In addition to editing this early publication, the society dedicated themselves to the study of elocution, composition, and debate. The name Sparks was derived from “the fact that the pamphlet contained little offshoots from the flame of knowledge then so fervent and bright in the minds of many of their class.” By 1897, Sparks Literary Society had raised enough funds for a furnished meeting and reading room and small library.
Sequoya is the second-oldest and longest-running student-published literary magazine at St. John’s University. It was first published in April 1934, at the original St. John’s College campus in Brooklyn. The magazine’s purpose was “to be a free and clear avenue for literary expression”. The magazines featured fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and art, including photography. Over the years, the name of the publication switched between Sequoya and Sequoya Quarterly, and later Sequoya Literary Magazine and Sequoya Literary and Arts Magazine.
Copies of Sparks and Sequoya are housed in the University Archives and are available for research. Please call (718) 990-1465 or email email@example.com to make an appointment.
October 18, 2012
Curated by Claudia Sbrissa and Blythe Roveland-Brenton
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor
October 22 – December 3, 2012
Since 2005, Claudia Sbrissa, associate professor of fine arts, and Blythe Roveland-Brenton, archivist and special collections librarian, have partnered in an undergraduate project for a Book Arts class. The project, entitled “A Special Collection,” utilizes the library’s Special Collections as a source of inspiration and information. The assignment requires the students to research and figuratively deconstruct a book of their choosing. The end result is the creation of a unique book inspired by the University’s Special Collections.
During library visits, students have the opportunity to view and learn about a wide range of books from Special Collections – from incunabula (books produced during the first fifty years of the invention of printing) to art exhibition catalogs, from late 19th-century Japanese crepe-paper fairy tales to Barry Moser’s Pennyroyal Caxton Bible published at the end of the 20th century. The books feature novel cover material, multimedia inserts, and a variety of binding styles.
The items in this exhibition represent a small sample of the work created by students in the Book Arts class together with material drawn from Special Collections that inspired them.
September 20, 2012
Open Source Media Software
I recently received an education in global DVD compatibility, and was encouraged to share my findings with the STJ community. A professor recently asked me to facilitate the purchase of a DVD for a class. As I researched its availability I found that it was not available domestically and was out of stock from Amazon UK. I did locate it from another UK vendor and began to process this order.
The professor then told me that the DVD was made in a PAL format and not NTSC. Without getting into technical details, it means that this DVD is encoded for use in many countries, but not in the USA, which uses the NTSC format. Windows Media Player which we tend to use by default is not PAL compatible. I then found out that DVD players sold in PAL countries play both kinds of discs, but NTSC players can’t play PAL discs.
With the assistance of the IT Department, I was alerted to an open source media software program entitled VLC Media Player available free via CNET that addresses this issue. Due to the global reach of the St. John’s community, the links listed below might be particularly helpful.
September 5, 2012
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Exhibition on View August 30th – October 12th 2012
4th Floor University Library
The Mary Garden at St. John’s is located behind Donovan Hall and lies adjacent to the Organic Community Garden. Conceived and designed by Professor Andrea Oliva Florendo, M.A., DDA and her Mariology students as cross-curricular gardeners, the Mary Garden provides students with an opportunity for community service. In this service learning project, art, stewardship and gardening offer the vehicles and language for theological reflections, and devotional and spiritual inculturation.
A Mary Garden is an essential, but little examined feature of garden history that can be traced from the small monastic gardens of medieval times. The name has its recorded origins in Renaissance religious art in which paintings of Mary or the Virgin and Child are depicted in an enclosed garden (Hortus Conclusus) surrounded by symbolic flowers. Whereas a Mary Garden of the 13th century was created to spread the Gospel and Christian symbolism, the modern-day Mary Garden may also be seen as a conservation tool instrumental in encouraging the preservation of biodiversity.
Outside of the classroom, students have a greenhouse, a herbarium at St. Albert Hall and the garden itself at their disposal. Hands-on activities such as pressed-flower art, nature printing, watercolor painting, and gardening allow for the students’ own discovery and spirituality. The results of some of these students’ activities are on display on the 4th floor of St. Augustine Hall. Also featured in the exhibition are books from St. John’s University Libraries and Special Collections. These books, and many more, are available for further research, by visiting the main library on the Queens Campus or making an appointment with the University Archives and Special Collections Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Mary Garden at St. John’s, please contact Andrea Oliva Florendo at email@example.com.