In 1817 (two hundred years ago!), construction of the Erie Canal began. Milne Library is celebrating this anniversary by hosting a traveling exhibit, “Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal, 1817-2017,” throughout November on the main floor of the library near the main staircase.
[As told by Amanda Wentworth]: As someone who relatively recently became interested in the wonderful world of librarianship, it was not too long ago that the term “Special Collections” would’ve passed through the air over my head with no recognition and no further consideration.
Milne Library invites you to view an exhibit dedicated to one of SUNY Geneseo’s most distinguished and influential professors, Dr. Walter Harding. Harding, one of the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, was a member of the English Dept. faculty from 1956 to 1983 and in that time served as chairman of both the English department and the Division of Humanities.
The impact of Harding’s world-class scholarship and passion for Henry David Thoreau reached far beyond Geneseo, from campuses and auditoriums across the nation to Asia and Europe, where the U.S. State Dept. sent him to deliver a series of lectures on Thoreau and American literature. And, of course, the hundreds of articles and books he wrote or edited continue to enlighten and influence the world of Thoreau studies.
The exhibit, located in Milne’s lobby, coincides with the annual Walter Harding Lecture to be delivered on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Doty Recital Hall. This year’s speaker is Elizabeth Witherell, editor-in-chief of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (aka the Thoreau Edition). Walter Harding himself was the first editor-in-chief, from 1966 to 1972, of this monumental scholarly project. The exhibit will be on view through the end of the semester.
Library Intern Demi Monachino and Milne Library’s Special Collections Librarian, Liz Argentieri, are currently hard at work creating an exhibit dedicated to one of the college’s most distinguished and influential professors, Dr. Walter Harding, who was on the Geneseo faculty from 1956 to 1983. Dr. Harding was one of the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, and we find ourselves up to our elbows in the many essays, articles, and tributes he wrote centering on Henry David Thoreau (an original Transcendentalist and the author of Walden). Among all of these scholarly documents on Thoreau, however, we are also finding some truly amazing information on Dr. Harding himself.
This man, who accomplished so much in a lifetime and amassed one of the world’s largest collection of Thoreauviana, was a large influence on not just the Geneseo community, but the world. It is somewhat hard to believe that a professor from our small college town in western New York was sent to Japan by the State Department to teach Thoreau there, and received letters from the likes of President Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Albert Einstein, just to name a few. For us, Dr. Harding is truly starting to come alive once again through these testimonials and remnants of his legacy, found in our own Milne Library and in the Thoreau Society’s Walter Harding Collection at Walden Woods, where we’ll be visiting later this spring.
The goal of the exhibit, which will be on display in Milne during the weeks surrounding the annual Walter Harding Lecture this fall, is to share with current Geneseo students and faculty the kind of awe and pride Dr. Harding’s life and work has inspired in us. We want to reintroduce to the community this remarkable man and scholar that many have never had the pleasure to meet (and some may have never heard of), and to open their eyes to a man who, despite having such a large global impact, always remained humble. In this presentation of Dr. Harding’s knowledge, wit, and accomplishment, we only hope that we do justice to his legacy.
~ Article written by Demi Monachino
It’s official — Allison Brown is Milne library’s new Digital Publishing Services Manager. Allison was the successful candidate in last summer’s nationwide search to fill the newly-created position, bringing with her a proven track record of working with authors, navigating the publishing landscape, and producing a variety of publications.
Before you scratch your head too vigorously, wondering “But hasn’t Allison been here, doing that, long before this past summer?” — yes, she had been functioning as the digital publishing coordinator here in a temporary capacity for several years, and was instrumental in helping Milne build its publishing services from the ground up. The early projects, going back to 2012, include the Genesee Valley Historical Reprints Series (33 titles); Stuart Symington’s memoir, Tagging Along; and the first Proceedings of GREAT Day.
Since then, Allison has continued to produce more from Milne’s “press,” working closely with student groups, faculty, and emeriti at Geneseo and throughout SUNY. Among the current and ongoing projects she’s involved in is Open SUNY Textbooks, for which she is project manager — working closely with authors and coordinating peer review, editing, and publishing. She also continues to assist with production of the Proceedings of GREAT Day as well as advise for and coordinate publication of Gandy Dancer, the Geneseo-based, SUNY-wide student literary magazine edited by SUNY Geneseo students. With Gandy Dancer, Allison works closely with English professor Rachel Hall’s Editing & Production Workshop classes, both in and out of the classroom.
As Digital Publishing Services Manager, Allison manages to offer both publication assistance (production, project management, software training, etc.) to authors and experiential learning to the interns with whom she regularly works. She expects both areas to grow as more authors explore alternative publishing options, including open access (OA) publications and digital projects, and more students seek help with producing and managing their publications.
Allison earned a B.A. in English from Houghton College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. Prior to coming to Milne Library, she worked at Boston College’s library as a circulation desk assistant. Allison is an avid consumer of audio books since, she says, she seems to spend a lot of time in her car (much of it driving between her home in Rochester and work in Geneseo), and listening is a good way to use that time.
You can find Allison in her office (Milne 108) on the Library’s lower level, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-245-6020.
Please join us at the opening of an exhibit featuring the remarkable, often beautiful and historically important photographs of Martha Blow Wadsworth (1864-1934) from Milne Library’s Special Collections. The event will take place in Milne Library on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 6-7 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.
“A Camera in 1888: Martha Blow Wadsworth, Chronicler of American Moments” highlights photographs taken during her travels to Alaska with an Army surveying party, to Panama while the canal was being built, and to the American west and southwest (again with an Army surveying party ) — all in the early 20th-century. Through the talented eye of one local amateur, the exhibit illustrates what the consumer camera, introduced in 1888 by Kodak, made possible. It will be on view through December in the lobby of Milne Library.
Ms. Wadsworth was a native of St. Louis who lived in Avon, N.Y. with her husband, Herbert Wadsworth (of the prominent Geneseo family). An avid horsewoman and amateur photographer, she has been described as vivacious, energetic, and adventurous. Thirty-three of her albums, as well as hundreds of glass slides, from which the photographs have been selected were donated to Milne Library in 1976 by nephew-in-law Michael Moukhanoff and are housed with the larger Wadsworth Family Papers collection.
“A Camera in 1888” was curated by Special Collections Librarian Liz Argentieri and Regina Carra ’15, with assistance from Jack Scott ’06. It is part of the larger campus-wide program, 1888 in America: William Trost Richards’ Seascape Contextualized, which opened Oct. 24 and runs through the end of the semester.
So you’re new to campus and kinda new to the whole research paper thing. Or you’re not new but just a bit rusty, and that library skills class you took seems so long ago. Who can remember all that searching/citing/writing stuff anyway?
Just settle down, breathe deeply, turn on your computer, and bring up Milne Library’s homepage. See that list over there on the right, called Quick Links? About half way down is the one you want – “How do I …”
Click on it and you’ll find all you need to help you through your research project, no matter which stage it’s at. Just about everything is covered, from “Begin My Research” to “Edit and Proofread My Writing.” Need help distinguishing scholarly from popular (or primary from secondary) sources? There’s a guide for that! Need some guidance on which databases to use, and how to do a really great search? Yep – there’s a guide for that, too.
When asking a librarian is just not an option – whether because it’s 2 a.m. and you need help NOW, or because you’re more of a DIYer – Milne’s “How do I …” guides will help see you through the research, citing, and writing of your paper or project. (But do try to ask a librarian, too, OK?)
There are some items among Milne Library’s collections that just can’t be found in many book shops, or even in many libraries. Now, though, access to them is easy through the Genesee Valley Historical Reprints Series, one of several publishing endeavors Milne has undertaken in recent months, along with the Library Publishing Toolkit, GREAT Day Proceedings, Tagging Along: Memories of My Grandfather, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr. (an original monograph), and the SUNY Open Textbooks initiative (the first two titles of which will be available in October).
The Library launched its reprints series last fall, and with it a publishing model that offers both for-profit sales and free downloads of scarce and unusual books selected from Milne’s special collections. To date, Milne has published eleven titles in the series and is adding more each week. By the end of this fall, the series will be 30-40 titles strong. The range of subjects represented is broad and varied, and among the titles currently available through Amazon (for sale) and Open Monograph Press (free) are Recollections of Three Rebel Prisons, a memoir of local soldier G.G. Prey’s Civil War experience as a prisoner in the South; Rochester Through a Kodak, a “snapshot” of the Flower City in the late 1800s; and Recipes of Quality, one of several local early 20th century cookbooks offered in the series.
Besides breathing new life into older, hard to find, out of print titles – many of local interest — this new publishing venture aims to make some of Milne’s rarest and most interesting materials widely available, to preserve them in both electronic and print formats, and to develop efficient publishing services for the wider campus and community.
Milne Library is pleased to announce the publication of Tagging Along: Memories of My Grandfather, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr., by Stuart Symington, Jr., the first of what Milne hopes will be a long run of original titles published by the library through the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. This handsome 131-page, illustrated book is now available from Amazon.com, on a print-on-demand basis, for under $10. It will also be freely accessible in Open Monographs Press beginning in July.
A small group of librarians-cum-editors began working last fall with the author, who is the son of U.S. Senator Stuart Symington, Sr., and Evelyn Wadsworth Symington, daughter of U.S. Senator James W. Wadsworth, Jr., of Geneseo. With Symington, the editorial team worked out style issues, added photographs, and designed the cover and layout for the book–everything, in short, that publishing houses do to ready a book for publication. Milne Library then uploaded the electronic file of the book to CreateSpace, and descriptive and ordering information for the book appeared in Amazon.com. When copies are ordered, CreateSpace will print them for Amazon to ship. It’s a publishing model that Milne has been using in conjunction with hosting the open access ebook versions on Open Monograph Press. The initiative began last fall, when Milne issued Recollections of 3 Rebel Prisons, by G. G. Prey, the first title in its Genesee Valley Historical Reprint series.
Tagging Along recalls the time Symington spent with his “kind, wise, generous, and very patient grandfather.” The story of “Grampa” Wadsworth’s political career and private life, woven together with the author’s memories and impressions of long childhood visits to his grandparents’ home and farms in Geneseo, is set against the rich background of Wadsworth family history. As SUNY Geneseo President Christopher Dahl says in the book’s foreword, Tagging Along is “a lively, affectionate memoir of a politician and statesman who was present at some of the major events of the twentieth century, a man who represents a conservative tradition rooted in respect for the soil and responsibility to his community–a tradition, sadly, very little in evidence in today’s civic and political life.”
Stuart Symington, Jr., a retired member of the Missouri Bar and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, was born in Rochester, N.Y., and spent much of his youth on the Niagara Frontier and in Washington, D.C. He served overseas in World War II and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Here’s a resource you probably didn’t know about, but really should — even if you’re just curious about Geneseo and its regional environs: the Local History Subject Guide. It will lead you to all kinds of cool sources dealing with many aspects of the Genesee Valley region, including Livingston, Monroe, Wyoming, Genesee, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben and Allegany counties.
The Guide is a must-see first stop for students seeking a local take on their research topics, from American history to demographics, Native American studies, geology, business, education — you name it. Milne Library’s own Genesee Valley Historical Collection, located on the lower level, is home to a wide variety of local historical materials, but the Guide also points to other collections, both online and physical, that are worth knowing about. This is especially important since so much of the local history record is unique — i.e., original source materials held by single agencies. Increased digitization of unique materials, however, is removing barriers to access, and libraries, historical societies, and museums are able to more easily share their treasures with everyone. A great example, and one in which Milne Library has added some of its unique collections, is the New York Heritage digital repository.
So whether you’re a student on a research mission, a local history buff, genealogist, author, or simply someone a little interested in the area you’re calling home these days, check out Milne’s Local History guide and see where it leads you.