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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration On-line Bibliography

In conjunction with the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, the Grinnell College Libraries compiled an on-line bibliography (https://libweb.grinnell.edu/sp/subjects/guide.php?subject=MLK) featuring selected works of guest speakers Patricia Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic.

Letters Home

"Letters Home" exhibition, Oct. 1, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2015, Burling Library 

As part of the Center for the Humanities theme “A Century of War: 1914 and Beyond,” the Burling Library exhibition "Letters Home " is on display on the main floor and in Burling Gallery on the lower level. Drawn from Grinnell College’s James Norman Hall Collection and Jimmy Ley Collection, this exhibition offers us an opportunity to see the wars through the eyes of two young Grinnellians as they wrote to friends and family at home.

James Norman Hall 1910 grew up in Colfax, Iowa, and graduated from Grinnell College in 1910.  In the summer of 1914, he traveled to England hoping to pursue his dream of being a writer. When Britain declared war on Germany in August of 1914, Hall enlisted in the 9th Royal Fusiliers, where he was trained as a machine gunner and served in Kitchener’s Army until his discharge in December of 1915. Later, he was sent to France to write about the Escadrille Lafayette, a group of volunteer American airmen serving with the French and decided to join the Lafayette Flying Corps and trained as a pursuit pilot. For his war service, Hall was awarded the Croix de Guerre, five Palms, the Medaille Militaire, the Legion d’Honneur, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Hall lived to have a remarkable career as an author.  He published several works about his war experience including Kitchener’s Mob, Flying with Chaucer, and a history of the Lafayette Flying Corps that he co-wrote with Charles Nordhoff. The two men went on to write other works, including Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea, and Pitcairn’s Island.  Hall’s autobiography, My Island Home, recalls his life in Colfax, his years at Grinnell, and his war experiences. He died in Tahiti in 1951.

Jimmy Ley ’44 grew up in Lakota, Iowa.  He attended Grinnell College from 1940-1942, when he volunteered for the Army Air Force and sent eventually deployed to England as a flight engineer.  On his twenty-fifth combat mission, the final one before he was due to return home, Jimmy Ley and his crew were shot down over the English Channel. For many years, he was listed as missing in action. Finally in 1949, Jimmy Ley’s body was found in a small cemetery in Groffliers, France, and returned to his family for burial. Jimmy Ley was highly decorated for his bravery during the war, and was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

Diane Lenertz ’15 who curated this exhibition, says that by diving into the first-hand accounts of two Grinnell men who fought in World War I and II, she was able to gain a better personal understanding of how war impacts individual lives.

Special Collections and Archives houses the complete James Norman Hall Collection and Jimmy Ley Collection. 

We are grateful to Nancy Hall Rutgers and the late Conrad Hall for the donation of their father’s papers and to Jimmy Ley’s family, who recently donated this collection to the College.  

Winter at Grinnell

"Winter at Grinnell" exhibition, Dec. 1, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2014, Burling Library, Special Collections and Archives

The exhibit Winter at Grinnell is now on display in the Special Collection and Archives reading room. The display highlights winter activities that have occurred on the Grinnell campus from the 1950s to the 1970s, such as the Boar’s Head Dinner, Winter Carnival, skating on Barber Plaza, and the Christmas formal. The materials on display are drawn from a number of collections including files about student activities, campus buildings, and yearbooks.

Winter at Grinnell was researched and designed by Special Collections students Olivia Caro ‘17 and Hannah Condon ’16. The students had the opportunity to be involved in every stage of the project, from brainstorming display topics, to selecting materials to be used, to determining how to stage the display case. Through their work, the students learned about several traditions from Grinnell’s past, as well as how to conceive of and design a display. Caro and Condon are fairly new to Special Collections, having started work at the beginning of the fall semester, so this particular project was an excellent opportunity for them to put to use what they’ve learned in the past few months.

Special Collections and Archives is located in the lower level of Burling Library and is open 1:30-5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Libraries Study Breaks Fall 2014

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.

China's iGeneration

Assistant Professor of History Matthew Johnson’s new book China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited by Luke Vulpiani, Keith B. Wagner, and Kiki Tianqi Yu, has been released as an open access (OA) publication with support from the Grinnell College Libraries and 300 other libraries around the world. Published by Bloomsbury Academic, China’s iGeneration is available both in print and as an OA title, freely accessible and downloadable for anyone with an Internet connection.

China’s iGeneration is one of the 28 inaugural titles available through Knowledge Unlatched (KU), a not-for-profit organization that collaborates with academic libraries to share the cost of making scholarly books freely available online. The Grinnell College Libraries are a founding member of this project. “We see KU as one model for supporting open access to scholarly books, for the benefit of readers and authors alike” says Richard Fyffe, Samuel R. & Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College. In Iowa, Drake University and the University of Iowa are also participating.

“When the publisher suggested the KU option, we thought it would be a great opportunity to reach broader readership and contribute to OA efforts,” Johnson says. However, Johnson’s interest in open access precedes the publication of China’s iGeneration.

As a member of the editorial body of The PRC [People's Republic of China] History Group and its open access publication PRC History Review that focuses on the history of the People’s Republic of China, Johnson had already found one outlet for his interests in digital literacy and digital scholarship. His previous book, Visualizing China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present, co-edited with James A. Cook, Joshua Goldstein, and Sigrid Schmalzer and published by Lexington Books in September 2014, is intended for classroom use and has a companion website that provides images not available in the print edition .

With his experience and interest in open access, Johnson plans to keep exploring new pedagogical approaches to the history of China in the context of digital literacy and digital scholarship. Peter Aldrich ’15, who met with Johnson as a student reporter and is one of the students in Johnson’s seminar this fall, says that the meeting taught him about both open access initiatives and what it means to learn and to practice scholarship in the digital age.

“We made our decision to support Knowledge Unlatched before the first 28 OA titles were finalized, and we were extremely pleased to find that China’s iGeneration was included in the  collection," Fyffe says. "Matt Johnson’s interest in open access scholarly publishing and the libraries' commitment to support broad dissemination of Grinnell faculty scholarship nicely dovetail with Grinnell College’s open access resolution.”

Team Tolstoy

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Laura “Lola” Baltzell ’83 and Christiane Carney Johnson ’83 will discuss the collaborative process they used to create the War and Peace Project exhibited through Dec. 7 in Burling Gallery. Their gallery talk is free and open to the public, and will start at 4:15 p.m. in Burling Library Lounge.

During their talk, Baltzell and Johnson will describe the collaborative fusion of literature and art that led to the creation of collages that cover all 747 pages of Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel. Each 5 x 7 inch collage incorporates one page from the Russian text, combined with bits of maps, dried flowers, ink, wax, graphite, thread, letters, and other printed material.

Baltzell, who majored in Russian and economics, and Johnson, who majored in Russian and political science, developed the project with a group of artists who dubbed themselves Team Tolstoy. They both were inspired by their experiences in the late Professor John Mohan’s renowned course about the Russian writer.

The team included four additional Grinnell alumni — Otto Mayr ’82, Lucy Zahner Montgomery ’83, Elizabeth Jorganson Sherman ’83, and Lynn Waskelis ’83. Artists Emma Rhodes and Adrienne Wetmore also served on the team.   

In addition to giving the gallery talk on Wednesday, Baltzell and Johnson will help Grinnell students create their own collages during a study break from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

While on campus, Baltzell and Johnson will work with students enrolled in a tutorial on War and Peace taught by Associate Professor of Russian Kelly Herold, visit Russian language and literature classes, and attend a reception hosted by Professor of Russian Todd Armstrong.

The Faulconer Gallery brought the War and Peace Project to Grinnell’s campus in cooperation with the Russian Department and the Center for the Humanities. The project has been shown in Boston, New York and Russia. The Grinnell exhibit is the first in which the project has been exhibited in its entirety in the United States.


Culling the Masses

David Cook-MartínPlease join us for a book celebration for David Cook-Martín, associate professor of sociology, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3 in Burling Library Lounge. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Cook-Martín will read from his new book Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press 2014), co-authored with David Scott FitzGerald. He will discuss democracy and its history with racism in the context of immigration policies of the Americas. Associate Professor Karla Erickson, sociology, and Assistant Professor Rebecca Hamlin, political science, will join the conversation with the author.

Culling the Masses book cover

Today, the idea of choosing individuals based on perceived race is repugnant to our ideals of equality and fairness. Generations of scholars have argued that racism was an aberration that democracies eventually worked out of their laws. Culling the Masses challenges this assumption by showing how governments in the Americas have deliberately chosen their populations by ethnically selective immigration and nationality laws. In fact, the governments that were most inclusive, whether democratic or populist, were most likely to select by race. The biggest exemplar of liberal democracy was the United States, which had the longest period of uninterrupted racial exclusions (between 1790 and 1965).

Cook-Martín was recently interviewed by Salon. You can read more about Culling the Masses in HEPPAS Books and Scholars Strategy Network.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies, dean's office, sociology department, and Grinnell College Libraries.

Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 Privacy Statement

Recently Grinnell College Libraries has learned of a privacy issue with the latest desktop version of Adobe Digital Editions 4.0. ADE is used by ebrary for downloading certain ebooks owned by the Libraries. The latest version of ADE collects user information, including information about ebooks in ePub or PDF formats that are not managed by ADE, and transmits this information to Adobe unencrypted. The Grinnell College Libraries is committed to user privacy and recommends that users take the following actions:

  • Uninstall ADE 4.0 and reinstall an earlier version of ADE. Earlier versions do not have this privacy issue.
  • Use the online ebrary reader for ebooks, or another reading app other than ADE 4.0.

Adobe is currently working to resolve the privacy issue and will release a patch update soon. The Libraries will continue to monitor the situation and will share any updates we receive about this issue.

S&B From the Beginning

The Grinnell College Libraries are excited to announce the release of the new digital archive of the Scarlet & Black student newspaper. This online archive provides free access to the College's archive of the Scarlet & Black newspaper from the first issue in 1894 through May 2010.

The archive is accessible to all Web users both on and off campus. Individual articles are searchable through the archive, but are not searchable or findable directly through Google or other search engines.

In addition to being a valuable source for research, this archive provides a fun way to browse through the College’s history. One hundred years ago Oct. 3, 1914, social life at Grinnell became a little more egalitarian when the ladies’ societies unanimously voted to abolish “rushing” and open all of their meetings to all of the women on campus.  At the same time, the students celebrated the start of the new football season with a massive pep rally featuring the cheer, “We’ll give a yell for old Grinnell!” 

Whether you are researching such College notables as George HerronRobert Noyce ’49, or Hallie Flanagan Davis 1911, or reminiscing about your own college days, the text search feature helps you find articles on specific topics efficiently. The browse feature lets you review articles published in specific decades, years, months, or days.

Since its first publication on September 12, 1894, the Scarlet & Black has served as a vital source of up-to-date news on campus, an important record of our institution, and a rich historical resource.

We hope that you enjoy being able to explore the College’s history in the new Scarlet & Black online archive!

Lunch Discussion with the Grinnell Prize Winners

Lunch: Noon – 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Burling Library Lounge

Students who are interested in health and health professions are invited to a lunch discussion Friday, Oct. 10, with the Grinnell Prize winners of 2014.

Along with the Grinnell Prize winners, healthcare professionals from the Grinnell community will participate in the discussion.

Box lunches will be served. No RSVP required.

This event is part of Grinnell Prize Symposium and co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program.

The Grinnell College Libraries also invite you to enjoy a book display on the winners and their causes in the Burling Library Lounge.