All news

Books & Beasts: Parchment Identification from Animal Protein Analysis

Posted April 17th, 2014 by Jana Dambrogio

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Rare Book Program Manager Stephen Skuce (left) discusses the illuminated parchment pages of MIT’s 15th century manuscript Book of Hours with visitors Stephen J. Milner (Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Manchester) and scientist Sarah Fiddyment (University of York).

Milner and Fiddyment and their colleagues Caroline Checkley-Scott (Collections Conservator at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library) and Professor Matthew Collins (University of York) gave a wonderful presentation on their groundbreaking work. Their collaboration involves sampling of centuries-old parchment (used in books and documents) to determine the species of animal used in the parchment’s manufacture. The DNA is gathered through a novel, non-invasive technique: a plastic eraser, via minimal, gentle contact with the parchment, attracts DNA from its surface, and the eraser “crumbs” are harvested: no abrasion or cutting required, and the sample can then be sent to the research team for analysis. This technique, developed by Fiddyment, gathers ample DNA for investigation, providing invaluable evidence for identification of the materials used to create our cultural heritage. The resulting data has numerous and exciting implications for various fields in both the humanities and the sciences.

 

Learn more about Mendeley–with pizza!

Posted April 17th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

Mendeley logo

Meet Mendeley Representatives–Refreshments served!

When: Friday April 25th 3:30-5pm

Where: 14N-132

Come eat pizza and learn more about Mendeley, a tool that helps you manage and share pdfs and easily generate citations and bibliographies when writing.  Representatives from Mendeley,  MIT Mendeley Advisors and library staff will be on hand to meet you, answer your questions and get feedback on this great tool.

RSVP for the event.

Enhanced Mendeley Access for MIT Users

The MIT Libraries has purchased Mendeley Institutional Edition for the MIT community.  This gives MIT users more personal and shared space than what is available with a free Mendeley account.  To find out more see our Mendeley page.

Questions? Email personal-content@mit.edu

Electroacoustics for lunch – Monday, April 28

Posted April 17th, 2014 by Christie Moore

electroacoustic-flyer_medJoin us for a lunchtime performance by MIT’s Florian Hollerweger (Music and Theater Arts) and Forrest Larson (Lewis Music Library) as they explore acoustic and electronic sounds of ethereal and earthbound origins in a new collaboration.

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: noon – 1 pm
Reception follows
Free and open to the public

Guardians of the MIT Community

Posted April 16th, 2014 by Nora Murphy
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Barbara Haven, Raymond Roberts, and Robert Molino

Security on MIT’s campus has evolved since the 1950s when night watchmen, serving primarily as fire watch, patrolled the campus. The responsibilities, duties, and reporting structure of the police have changed with the times and the needs of the community. Crimes on campus previously handled by Cambridge police were taken on by MIT’s force in 1959. Over the last two decades the MIT Police have worked with students and staff more collaboratively on safety issues. Read more about the history of the MIT Police on the Institute Archives and Special Collections web site.

OA research in the news: Germs that go to great lengths

Posted April 16th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
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“Sneeze vector” by 729:512. CC-BY-NC license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

A new study by MIT researchers shows that the droplets our noses and mouths release during coughs and sneezes can travel much further than previously thought. John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, and Lydia Bourouiba, an assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, are two of the coauthors on a recent paper, “Violent expiratory events: on coughing and sneezing.”  The researchers directly observed sneezing and coughing, and also simulated it in the lab, and found that coughs and sneezes produce “turbulent buoyant momentum puffs,” or respiratory clouds, that can carry potentially infected droplets five to 200 times further than known before. This could mean airborne pathogens are more easily transmitted through ventilation systems and enclosed spaces.

Explore Professor Bush’s research and Professor Bourouiba’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Patriots’ Day library hours: Monday, April 21

Posted April 16th, 2014 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, April 21, 2014, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):Small U.S. Flags

All other library locations will be closed for the holiday; the Libraries resume regular hours on Tuesday, April 22.

Have questions? Ask Us!

More E-books now available from Wiley Online Library

Posted April 15th, 2014 by Barbara Williams

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You keep telling us you want more e-books and we aim to please. The Libraries are pleased to announce a cooperative pilot project with Wiley Online Library. Beginning now for one year, about 15,000 electronic books published by Wiley will be available to the MIT community. After this pilot we will purchase perpetual access to books with significant use. (Note some textbooks, extensive encyclopedias and/or handbooks might not be available). This project will also help us determine how to provide access to major STEM e-books in the most cost efficient way.

Soon the links to these books will appear in Barton, but now you may visit the Wiley Online Library.

To read these on your e-book device see our E-reading FAQ.

Happy reading, and Tell Us what you think!

Climate Change volumes now online

Posted April 11th, 2014 by Chris Sherratt

Many will already be aware that Dr. James Hansen, one of the most prominent voices in the climate change conversation, visits our campus next week. In honor of his visit, the Libraries would like to highlight the new, five volume online resource, Climate Vulnerability: understanding and addressing threats to essential resources.

It would be difficult to find an aspect of this challenging topic not addressed in this collection of essays. Well referenced and written by experts, the articles explore the vulnerability of human health, food resources, energy, ecosystems and water to our climate and its changes. They address science, policy, economics and social ramifications of these changes in the world around us.temperature_gis_2012We hope you explore!  Image credit: NASA

 

“Be Thou the Advocate…”

Posted April 10th, 2014 by Nora Murphy

Happy Charter Day, MIT!

Letter from Governor Andrew to William Barton Rogers, 9 March 1861

On this day, 153 years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed, and Governor John Andrew approved, legislation that established MIT.

On March 9, 1861, Governor Andrew had written to William Barton Rogers that a meeting had been scheduled with the State Board of Education to afford an opportunity for proponents of the plan to explain its advantages for education and industry. The letter reproduced here expresses the governor’s confidence in Rogers’s dynamic personality and powers of persuasion.

Rogers had worked long and hard to establish a polytechnic school in Boston, spending years sharing his vision and soliciting support. Two days later the U.S. Civil War began when Confederate soldiers fired upon Fort Sumter. MIT’s first classes were not held until 1865, shortly before the end of the war.

More information about the establishment of MIT is available on the  Institute Archives and Special Collections web site. MIT’s original charter is housed at the Massachusetts Archives among the acts and resolves of the Commonwealth.

Help identify MIT Banjo Club of ca.1893

Posted April 10th, 2014 by Christie Moore

Is one of these players your ancestor? Help identify members of MIT’s Banjo Club of ca.1893, the picture hanging outside the Lewis Music Library!

BanjoClub_1893webFrom yearbooks in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, we have made some tentative IDs. Left to right, standing: Nathan Cheney ’94; possibly Floyd Frazier ’96; Winthrop Tracy Case ’94; possibly Edwin Francis Hicks ’94; possibly F.S.V. Sias ’95. Sitting: possibly Lucius Spaulding Tyler ’96; Albert William Thompson ’95 or ’96; George Frederic Shepard, Jr., ’95.

Post a comment on the Lewis Music Library Facebook page if you can help!

 

Find business case studies

Posted April 8th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

Need business case studies for a course? There’s no shortage of sources — a Google search turns up hundreds of distributors of business cases. Here are our top picks for cases on any subject within business and management.

Sloan LearningEdge
A collection of cases from Sloan in entrepreneurship, leadership, ethics, operations management, strategy, sustainability and system dynamics.

MIT Center for Information Systems Research
To find business cases on the CISR website, go to Publication Search and select Working Paper (case studies are found in this category).

Harvard Business School case studies
Harvard Business Publishing has thousands of business cases available. Our interlibrary borrowing service can obtain cases needed for your MIT-related coursework or research. Abstracts of HBS cases can also be found in Business Source Complete. Enter “Harvard Business School cases” in the SO Publication Name field.

ABI/Inform Global and Business Source Complete are Libraries databases covering scholarly articles and other types of literature in business and management. To find case studies, use the Document Type limiter in Advanced Search.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is resource for working papers in management and other social sciences. Use Title/Abstract search and include “case study” (in quotes) in your search.

Many websites list cases available for purchase. Here are some of the best-known distributors:

  • The Aspen Institute sponsors CasePlace.org, a distributor of cases and other teaching resources from a variety of publishers. Use Advanced Search and select Product Type: cases.
  • The China Europe International Business School provides access to cases through its China Case Clearing House. Although it distributes cases from schools worldwide, the emphasis is on China-related enterprises.
  • The Case Centre is an independent, non-profit organization focused on promoting the case method in business education.
  • The Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, distributes cases from business schools worldwide through Ivey Publishing.

Have questions about business case studies? Ask Us!

New journal on urbanism & an Aga Khan AKPIA symposium, 4/11-12

Posted April 8th, 2014 by Patsy Baudoin

nullThe MIT Libraries, through the Aga Khan Documentation Center, now receives Portal 9, a journal of stories and critical writing about urbanism and the city. Two issues, in both English and Arabic, are published each year, each focused on a unique topic and addressing “the need for a conscientious debate about architecture, planning, culture, and society in urban contexts across the Middle East and the rest of the world.” Portal 9 can be found in Rotch Library’s Limited Access collection, beginning with issue #1 (Autumn 2012).

Readers concerned with issues of urbanism and the city might also be interested in the Aga Khan Program at MIT’s upcoming symposium, “The Orangi Pilot Project & the Legacy of Architect Perween Rehman,” taking place this Friday and Saturday (April 11 & 12) at MIT. The program includes a keynote address by architect Arif Hasan, and papers on topics in the areas of Land & Housing; Planning, Politics & Conflict; Community-based Planning & Professional Choices; Gender, Development & Finance; and Documentation, Knowledge & Evaluation. Sharon Smith, the Libraries’ Aga Khan Documentation Center Program Head, will be speaking at the symposium. More information can be found on the event’s website.

Historic Letterlocking: The Art and Secrecy of Letterwriting

Posted April 4th, 2014 by Jana Dambrogio

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Would you like to have your very own “locked letter”? One that’s based on a historic manuscript letter folding format used by Elizabeth I, Queen of England? If so, plan on attending our talks on “The Art and Science of Document Security: Past, Present, and Future” on April 29th. Each attendee will receive their very own locked letter with a secret message. This event kicks off Preservation Week at MIT, April 29-May 1, 2014.

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Historic letterlocking refers to any movable object (such as paper, parchment, or papyrus) that has been written on, folded, and secured shut to function as its own envelope. The tradition dates back 4,000 years in Western and Mediterranean cultures. Documenting the physical details of well-preserved original manuscripts has helped to define the different locking formats with their multiple levels of built-in security and their various authentication devices. In some instances the letters employ anti-tamper and authentication devices that enhance the format protection.

All events are free and no registration is required.

 

Science poetry reading April 10 in the Lewis Music Library

Posted April 4th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

2013_poetry-e_DickinsonThe MIT Libraries is hosting a poetry reading in the Lewis Music Library on Thursday, April 10, with author and professor Adam Dickinson.

Dickinson’s latest collection, The Polymers, is an imaginary science project at the intersection of chemistry and poetry. It was a finalist for Canada’s 2013 Governor General’s Award for Poetry and was recently called “the most exciting book of English poetry published anywhere last year.”

Dickinson sees The Polymers as part of “ecopoetics,” or “ecocriticism, …a kind of environmental activism practiced using the resources of poetry and poetics rather than simply traditional academic scholarship.”

Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 5:00- 6:00 pm
Reception to follow

The event is free and open to the public.

The origins of MIT’s Specifications for Thesis Preparation

Posted April 3rd, 2014 by Nora Murphy

Faculty Minutes, 23 May 1868As the deadline for submitting theses for the 2014 June degree period approaches, students may be wondering how the specifications originated. 

In May of 1868 the MIT faculty voted to approve the first specifications for theses, requiring only that a thesis be written “on paper of ordinary letter size (about 8 x 10 in.), on one side of the paper only, and with a margin of one inch on the left.” In 1872 additional specifications were added: the paper was to be of good quality, “with drawings on double elephant paper 40 x 27, or single elephant 20 x 27.” Early theses were handwritten, with hand drawings of illustrations, until about 1914 when typewriters began to be used with regularity.

For more information about early theses, and the development of thesis specifications, contact the Institute Archives and Special Collections. Current thesis specifications are prescribed by the Committee on Graduate Programs and the Committee on Undergraduate Programs and are published by the MIT Libraries.

Violin music concert Friday, 4/11/14

Posted April 1st, 2014 by Christie Moore

sjia_achow_cropThe 12th annual Prokopoff violin music concert will be held on Friday, April 11, from 1-2 pm in the Lewis Music Library. Nine talented MIT students will perform music by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Wieniawski, Bach, Paganini, and Elgar. Come enjoy some wonderful music in an attractive setting!

This event highlights the more than 2,000 violin music scores collected by Stephen Prokopoff and donated to the library in 2001 by Lois Craig, former Associate Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 1 – 2 pm

The concert is free and open to the public.

Reclaiming your copyright after 35 years: a new opportunity

Posted March 31st, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

Starting in 2013, authors began to have the ability to reclaim copyrights they transferred to a publisher in 1978 or later. Copyright law permits authors to reclaim their copyrights 35 years after transferring rights for purposes of publication. Authors interested in reclaiming copyright need to file a notice in advance, according to a designated timetable.

Reclaiming copyright allows the author to make new publishing arrangements, including making the work openly available on the web, or taking advantage of new economic opportunities.

Initiating the required notice to the Copyright Office involves very specific steps that must be taken on a particular timetable. A few of the key parameters include:

  • The notice to the copyright holder (publisher) must include specific pieces of information, and must also be registered with the Copyright Office
  • The notice must be provided to the copyright holder within 10 years and no later than two years before the copyright would terminate under the notice (see Sample calculations)
  • Termination must occur during a five year period beginning 35 years after publication

In a simple case, these specifications likely mean that for a work published in 1981, the last year a notice could be sent to inform the publisher about termination would be this year, in 2014. An author may require the assistance of an attorney to determine exactly whether and how the requirements apply, as the process is complex.

For more information:

Ellen Finnie Duranceau / Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing / MIT Libraries

E-books to enhance professional development

Posted March 28th, 2014 by Barbara Williams
MIT Libraries resources support online professional development courses for the MIT community.

MIT faculty, staff and students have access to Lynda.com, and a recently added collection of online classes from Skillsoft that focus on business, management and IT.

The MIT Libraries provide access to e-book collections that supplement and enhance the online courses at Lynda.com and Skillsoft.

Books 24×7: full-text e-books on engineering and IT topics

Safari Technical Books Online: IT books published by O’Reilly

MIT Press Ebooks: e-books available from the MIT Press

Springer Ebooks: e-books published by Springer on a variety of scientific topics

For more information on e-books offered by the MIT Libraries, see the MIT Libraries’ E-book Research Guide.

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Spring into IAPril classes and events!

Posted March 27th, 2014 by Stephanie Hartman

Spring is finally here! While you wait for Mother Nature to cooperate, check out the April offerings from the MIT Libraries. Something for everyone!

If you have any questions or feedback, let us know! Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Preservation Week, April 29–May 1: Explore the art and science of preserving cultural heritage

Posted March 27th, 2014 by Heather Denny

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Join us for a variety of events that highlight the importance of preserving cultural heritage materials during National Preservation Week.

Tuesday, April 29th, starting at 12 pm

The Art and Science of Document Security: Past, Present, and Future, 32-144 A series of talks presenting research on historical, contemporary, and novel methods for creating secure documents in all forms. Join us for one session or several. There will be breaks for refreshments and questions throughout.

  • 12:15 pm “Our Marathon”: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive
    Our Marathon is a crowd-sourced digital archive of stories, photos, video, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombings and aftermath. Join us for a brown bag talk with Jim McGrath and Alicia Peaker from the Our Marathon team for an overview of the project and the archive.
  • 1:00 pm      Opening Remarks
  • 1:15 pm     Our Digital Lives: Protecting Our Data In Use and At Rest, Michael Halsall, Senior Network and Information Security Analyst at MIT

  • 1:45 pm    Benign Neglect No More: How Document Security Affects Access to Memory, Kari R. Smith, Digital Archivist, MIT Libraries Institute Archives and Special Collections
  • 2:45 pm    Historic Letterlocking: The Art and Security of Letterwriting, Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator, MIT Libraries Curation and Preservation Services
  • 4:00 pm    Thanks for the Memory: 50+ Years of Computing at MIT exhibit, 14N-130 Gallery visit led by Nora Murphy, Archivist for Reference, Outreach, and Instruction, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, Maihaugen Gallery  

  • 8:00 pm   The Monuments Men Movie Screening, 26-100 Enjoy a free screening of The Monuments Men. George Clooney portrays a local art conservation hero George Stout who saved cultural heritage from ruin during WWII.

Wednesday, April 30th, 11 am-3 pm

  • Our Marathon “Share Your Story” event, 10-105 Representatives from the Our Marathon online collection of Boston Marathon Bombing experiences will be on campus to document the personal experiences of the MIT community during and after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

May 1st, 2-3 pm

  • Scrapbook Preservation webinar, 14N-132 Interested in preserving your own items? Join us for a free webinar about scrapbook preservation hosted by the American Library Association. Melissa Tedone, Conservator of the Parks Library Preservation Department at Iowa State University, will talk about older scrapbooks as well as how to identify the most stable materials for new scrapbooks.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact preservation-team@mit.edu, or see the Preservation Week website.