In January, Stanford launched Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts, an online learning experience devoted to the technologies involved in creating and interpreting medieval manuscripts. We're off to a roaring start with thousands of enrolled participants across more than 90 countries (and it's not too late to sign up!). The creation of the course has been a truly collaborative experience: Stanford University faculty and library staff have worked closely with counterparts at Cambridge University, Stanford Academic Technology Specialists, graduate students, and a team from Stanford's Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning to produce a suite of learning materials that have become much richer than any of us envisaged at the beginning of the process in 2013!
As the CLIR postdoctoral fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at Stanford I work primarily with data about large collections of digitized manuscripts and fragments. For example, I have helped to make our teaching collections more easily discoverable in Searchworks. I've also been bringing together partner institutions' descriptive metadata to feed a specialized manuscript search environment.
In practice, I write code to transform batches of 70, 300, 500, or 1000+ manuscripts at a time: I've gotten very comfortable thinking of medieval manuscripts in the tens, hundreds, and even thousands. But the truth is that these large batches of digital-medieval manuscripts I curate are built of unique, single objects. Single objects that, just like the physical objects they grow from, are made by individual people, in particular environments, under specific institutional, financial, and social pressures.
In order to better understand the process that leads to the creation of a digital-medieval book, I recently followed the digitization of a fifteenth-century book of hours, Stanford University Libraries, M0379, from the request for digitization, through the slow hard work of taking the images and hours of post-production labor, to its arrival in Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).
The shortening of the days and the increased crispness in the air invites stories that begin “Once upon a time…” If you love fables, fairy tales, tall tales or trickster tales come to Cubberley Library to check out our latest display of picture books and children’s literature. The tales span many cultures and a familiar tale may be retold in many ways. We have Cenderillon: a Caribbean Cinderella and a cyborg Cinderella along with her more traditional sister. The brothers Grimm have Little red cap while the story Lon Po Po is a Red Riding Hood tale from China. Trickster tales also span continents. On our shelves Ananse from Africa and Brer Rabbit from the American south are up to their usual tricks. Some of the tales are humorous: Maynard the Moose is The uglified ducky and that darn bear bursts The mitten every time. Other stories have a more serious bent such as Briar Rose, Jane Yolen’s heartbreaking retelling of Sleeping beauty as set against the historical backdrop of the Holocaust. Whatever your preference is--humorous, serious, traditional, retold or twisted--we have it, so come visit.
"World Literature Today , the award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, today announced Meshack Asare as the winner of the prestigious 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. Awarded in alternating years with the renowned Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the biennial NSK Prize recognizes great accomplishments in the world of children’s storytelling." (reported October 24, 2014)
Asare's books include Sosu's call, The brassmanʼs secret and Chipo and the bird on the hill : a tale of ancient Zimbabwe. For other books of interest see Cubberley Library's list of Children's books with an African theme.
This week's new books included two works by Graduate School of Education faculty members. Emeritus professor Denis C. Phillips has edited the Encyclopedia of educational theory and philosophy which covers a wide range of theories and ideas that have shaped education, while professor Linda Darling-Hammond is the co-author of Beyond the bubble test: how performance assessments support 21st century learning.
Walking around campus, one can readily see the impact of Stanford’s Arts Initiative. Joining the existing Cantor Arts Center are several new buildings, including the Bing Concert Hall, which opened in 2013, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, which opened on September 21st, and the growing structure that will be the McMurtry Building, slated to open in 2015.
In parallel with this new focus on the arts, the MSS division in Special Collections has worked over the last year with Peter Blank and Anna Fishaut at the Art & Architecture Library, in identifying and funding the preservation and processing of four recently acquired art collections. Some of the projects will include selected reformatting of audio-visual elements, processing of digital files, additional digitization efforts, and collaboration with the libraries’ Department of Conservation and the Art Library’s Visual Resources Center.
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, a tale of love & fallout by Lauren Redniss which is part of Stanford's 2014 Three Books Program is available in Cubberley Library's Curriculum Collection. Check out other books on science for children and young adults that are also part of this collection.