While it’s still Spring: A recap of TUL @ Spring Fling


This gallery contains 9 photos.

On Wednesday, April 17th, Temple Libraries joined 200-plus Temple organizations and vendors at Spring Fling 2013.  It was delightful to participate in our second year at Spring Fling. Here’s a little recap, with big thanks to everyone who volunteered.  . . … Continue reading

Notes from the Littell Project: Sci Fi Writings

Franklin Littell grew up to be a prolific writer of religious history, but he may have gotten his start writing science fiction.  When he was just 11 years old (circa 1928), he wrote “A Trip to Mars.”  In this story, a young student of astronomy named Jim journeys to Mars with his professor.  They travel in a ship invented and built by the professor that went “one hundred thousand miles an hour, forward, and one hundred thousand five hundred miles an hour, perpendicularly…” In the story, Littell describes a ship that was “run by five engines, of eight thousand horsepower each….  It had one pair of wings…,” was equipped with “fifty large oxygen tanks…,” and ran on “a new kind of gasoline that will make the plane go one thousand miles per gallon.”

Littell describes their arrival on Mars as experienced by his character Jim: “…under the plane some of the boldest men of mars, were preparing to fight…”.  Jim and the professor landed the ship and disembarked when “suddenly the chief [Martian] yelled and started for the man [the professor].  They [Jim and the professor] put up a desperate fight, but were outnumbered.  It was their [the Martians’] custom to poke their spears into their victims before they burned them…” .  Page 6 of the manuscript tells us what happens next.

Typed page on yellowed paper, from a Littell manuscript, (linked to larger version).

Littell’s short story is creative and fun and a definite foreshadow to his future life as a writer, but it also unexpectedly links the Littell papers to another collection acquired by the Special Collections Research Center in 2010, the manuscript and illustrations for Peter Caledon Cameron’s Nodnol (circa 1900).  Part of Temple’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collection, this manuscript takes the reader on an expedition to the Antarctic, where among other things, a new race of people are discovered.  The people found inhabiting the South Pole prove to be far less aggressive than those encountered on Mars by Littell’s Jim and the professor, but both stories speak to the early 20th century’s fascination with discovery and encountering new worlds.  By the time Littell wrote, the race to the South Pole was over and space was beginning to take shape as the newest, unexplored frontier.

“Nodnol. The narrative of a Voyage for scientific investigation into the Antarctic Regions, the discovery of Astrogee, a Second Satellite or New World, resting on the South Pole of Our Earth, its exploration, its strange fauna and flora, its marvellous [sic] natural phenomena, its wonderful nations of civilized Quadrumana and its glorious population of perfect Humanity.” 279 pages, annotated and edited by the author, with a separate portfolio of seventeen signed illustrations in pen and ink.

Purchased in May 2010 for the  SCRC’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection, the Nodnol manuscript was written and illustrated by the English-American water-colorist Peter Caledon Cameron (active in the U.S., coming from England, 1880s-1930s?; Philadelphia/New Jersey area) and is typical of 19th and early 20th century fantasy and science fiction writing and illustrating.

Black and white print of a futuristic city scene, (linked to larger version).





Notes from the Franklin Littell Project: Childhood


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  Work on organizing the papers of former Temple professor and father of American Holocaust Studies, Franklin H. Littell, is underway.  Littell was a scholar of religious history, whose focus lay in the history of sects and of Christian/Jewish relations.  He also brought … Continue reading

Foundations Department at Tyler and Libraries Once Again Partner for Book Giveaway, Artists and Authors Talk

Third Annual Tyler School of Art Foundations/Paley Library Book Give Away and Artists and Authors Lecture Stop by the Paley Library Circulation Desk during the week of April 16 and receive your own copy* of Ellen Harvey’s New York Beautification Project. Between 1999 and 2001, Harvey executed small old-fashioned landscapes in oil on graffiti sites across New York City. New York Beautification Project documents the works and Harvey’s diaristic accounts of painting illegally throughout New York. The narrative of her “beautification project” is both provocative and hilarious, touching on such issues as who is allowed to make art in our society, and what distinguishes art from graffiti, while never losing touch with the frequently comical reality of creating a contemporary art project on the streets of New York.

Don’t miss Harvey’s lecture, Monday, April 16 at 11:00 in Tyler Room B004.

*The fine print:

  • From Monday, April 16 through Friday, April 20, copies of New York Beautification Project will be given away to the first 20 patrons to request a book and show their Temple ID to Library Circulation Staff. Any member of the Temple community can receive a book. Each day the giveaway will begin at a different time to accommodate the variety of schedules of our faculty, staff and students.
  • Monday, April 16, 9:00 AM, Get your copy of Ellen’s book right before she speaks!
  • Tuesday, April 17, 11:00 AM
  • Wednesday, April 18, 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 19, 3:00 PM
  • Friday, April 20, NOON

This annual program is sponsored by the Foundations Department, Tyler School of Art and Temple University Libraries.

It is made possible through the use of General Activity Fees.

Portrait of Ellen Harvey standing before paintings on a wall.

[image of Ellen Harvey]

Brian Boling Joins Temple as Media Services and Digital Production Librarian

I am delighted to welcome Brian Boling to Temple University Libraries. Brian joined us as the Media Services and Digital Production Librarian on Monday, August 1. He will manage Paley Library’s Media Services Unit, including the oversight and growth of a 12,000-item media collection, working with faculty, students and patrons to ensure the collection supports teaching and research at the university. Brian will also provide support for the media viewing area, micromaterials equipment, and the production and editing of digital media, Brian comes to us from the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University, where he provided reference and managed the collection in their media services department. Prior to that, he worked at the Public Library of Nashville and Davidson County, and The Great Escape Online.com, LLC Brian earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Information Science from the University of Tennessee. Please join me in welcoming Brian to Temple. Carol Lang Interim Dean of University Libraries

Margery Sly Joins Temple as Director of Special Collections

I am delighted to welcome Margery Sly to Temple University Libraries, where she will take on the newly created position of Director of Special Collections beginning today, December 20. Reporting to me, Margery will lead the merger of the collections and staff within our current Urban Archives and Special Collections operating units, and then lead the ongoing operations of this unified Special Collections division.

Margery comes to us from the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), where she served as the Deputy Executive Director for the past seven years. Prior to that, she held several other administrative and archival positions at the PHS and Smith College in Northampton, MA. Margery received her MA in American History and MS in Library Science at Case Western Reserve. She received a BA in German literature and history from Dickinson College.

Please join me in welcoming Margery to Temple University Libraries.

With warm wishes,

Larry P. Alford

Delphine Khanna joins Temple University Libraries as Head of Digital Library Initiatives

I am delighted to welcome Delphine Khanna to Temple University Libraries, where she will take on the role of Head of Digital Library Initiatives beginning today, December 1. Delphine will create a Digital Initiatives Department, where she will oversee the digitization of special collections and other library materials in text, image, and video formats. She will also lead the development of digital repository systems to preserve and make accessible the intellectual output of Temple University, and the implementation of discovery tools related to these initiatives.

Delphine comes to us from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as the Digital Projects Librarian for over ten years. Prior to that, she held several digital librarianship positions at Rutgers University. Delphine earned her MLS from Syracuse University, and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Linguistics and Computer Science from the University of Paris.

Please join me in welcoming Delphine to Temple University Libraries.

With warm wishes,

Larry P. Alford

New York City Writers Descend on Paley Library

New York City Writers Descend on Paley Library Prolific and well-versed writers Emily Gould and Keith Gessen come to Philadelphia on October 26 and 27 for a two-day program on writing and publishing. Marco Roth, a 2009 Pew Fellow for the Arts, will join Gessen to discuss their literary journal, n+1, on the 27th.

These young writers have emerged on the Philadelphia and New York scenes over the past five years and amongst them boast publication in the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Nation and the London Review of Books. Both discussions take place at Paley Library Lecture Hall located at 1210 Polett Walk on Temple’s Main Campus. On October 26 at 5:30 p.m. Emily Gould will be joined by scholar/poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis. They will explore the craft of writing, popular culture and media, and their love of pets. Gould wrote a cover story for the New York Times magazine, and has written a plethora of articles, commentary, and opinion pieces for myriad online and print sources. She recently published her first full-length book And the Heart Says Whatever.

On October 27 at 3:30 p.m. Keith Gessen and Marco Roth will discuss the establishment of their new literary journal, n+1. This journal has lead to multiple offshoots including a mini-book series, a film review print journal, and an online book review periodical. Their latest mini-book, What Was the Hipster? has just been released, and the n+1 inventors have held a series of discussions on this post-modern cultural phenomenon.

Temple University Libraries Fall Public Programming Schedule Expanded

Temple University Libraries Fall Public Programming Schedule Expanded The Libraries have added three new programs to the fall 2010 schedule:

November 1, 7PM Philadelphia Sound and Vision Ibrahim Theater @ International House, 3701 Chestnut Street Temple University Libraries, Urban Archives presents a look at hidden stories of music and sound in Philadelphia. It features some of the more distinct characters, traditions and venues in the city’s recent history. The screening will feature: free-jazz performer Sun Ra and his Arkestra, David Bowie visiting Veterans Stadium, synthesizer expert Gerson Rosenbloom, Philadelphia International soul legends McFadden & Whitehead, punk/…new wave stalwart Ken Kweeder at the Hot Club, the organist at the Spectrum sports and entertainment venue, jazz-vibraphonist Khan Jamal, Mummers new years string bands, the original Electric Factory concert venue and more! The program consists of unique footage from the Urban Archives’ collections including unaired news footage, television broadcasts, news magazines and documentaries from local networks WPVI 6 and KYW 3. This highlights recent preservation and digitization work done on our film and video holdings. Open to the general public and FREE!

November 2, 5:30 PM Nancy Heinzen on Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 South 18th Street Take a look inside Philadelphia history with Nancy Heinzen, author of The Perfect Square: A History of Rittenhouse Square. (Temple University Press, 2009). Author Nancy Heinzen will discuss the growth and development of Rittenhouse Square, illustrating that not only is this urban space unique, but so too is the combination of human events and relationships that have created and sustained it. This program is presented by Temple University Libraries, the Temple University Press and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Come early to explore PAAs newest exhibition, The Sitting Room: Four Studies, in the first and second floor galleries.

December 1, 3:30 PM In Conversation with Andrew Lam East Eats West: The unexpected Consequences of Asian Immigration to America Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor From cuisine and martial arts to sex and self-esteem, East Eats West shines new light on the bridges and crossroads where two hemispheres meld into one worldwide “immigrant nation.” In this new nation, with its amalgamation of divergent ideas, tastes, and styles, today’s bold fusion becomes tomorrow’s classic. But while the space between East and West continues to shrink in this age of globalization, some cultural gaps remain. Andrew Lam, the award-winning author of Perfume Dreams, continues to explore the Vietnamese diaspora, this time concentrating not only on how the East and West have changed but how they are changing each other. And he’ll talk about what it is like to thrive in the West with one foot still in the East.” Andrew is a writer and an editor with the Pacific News Service, a short story writer, and, has been, for 8 years, a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” He co-founded New America Media, an association of over 2000 ethnic media organizations in America. His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, The LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. His short stories are also anthologized widely and taught in many Universities and colleges. This program is part of the Language and Linguistics Speaker Series organized by the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program. Support also provided by CIBER in the Fox School of Business and Management, GenEd, Vietnamese Studies, Department of English and the Faculty Senate Lectures and Forums Committee.

Talking About Starbucks

Bryant Simon

Bryant Simon

Temple history professor Bryant Simon is the author of Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America From Starbucks, published by University of California Press in 2009. It describes how the Starbucks phenomenon reflects many of the social and cultural trends in American society and business. On March 24, 2010, he stopped by Paley Library to talk to me about his new book. He discussed the history of the company, the research methods he employed, the coffeehouse tradition, the shrinking of public spaces in America, and how we might renew our civic culture.

Listen to the audio of the interview

[ensemblevideo contentid=SJ8M9IHa2Uu06K2YLqbBDA audio=true]

 iTUnes U link (for downloads)

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—Fred Rowland