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A new exhibition in Stanford’s Green Library, co-curated by Stanford Ph.D. candidate in history Hannah Marcus and Curator of Rare Books John Mustain, explores the phenomenon of writing in books from multiple perspectives. Through examples of early print and manuscript hybrids, scholarly annotation, dialogue in the margins, censorship, the use of blank pages and margins for incidental storage, and writers editing their own work post-publication, the exhibit considers the ways in which print and manuscript notation exist symbiotically in books to the benefit of historians and other scholars.

From 4:15-6:00 today, Professor Fred Turner will speak on "The Family of Man" and the Politics of Attention in Cold War America," in Room 307 of History Corner (Building 200). This controversial exhibit, curated by photographer Edward Steichen, was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955, was considered by many to Cold War propaganda. Professor Turner challenges that view this afternoon.

Anthony Lewis Anthony Lewis, the great scholar and decorated former columnist of the New York Times, passed away on Monday in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for national reporting, he was author of many books and articles, and an articulate advocate for justice and law. He was the first Lee Hills Senior Knight Fellow at Stanford, in residence here in January 1994. He last visited in 2008,speaking at the Law School about his book Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment.

This week, while things were otherwise quiet at Stanford due to Spring Break, 35 technologists from 20 institutions* descended upon Stanford for our annual library developers' (un)conference: LibDevConX, hosted by SUL's Digital Library Systems & Services group. For the fourth year in a row, the event brought together some of the best and brightest technical experts from different places with like concerns, to explore needs, common solutions, and learn from each others' innovations. This year, topics included: 

  • comparing media and digital asset management solutions
  • the latest features in Hydra 6
  • exploring Hydra-not-on-Fedora
  • what it would take to replace DSpace with a Hydra head
  • requirements for a robust digital exhibits engine
  • image interoperability
  • effective approaches to testing web front-ends
  • performance tuning for Ruby on Rails apps
  • successful recipes for devOps

The event site is online at, and notes are being posted in GitHub at Work on some of the many ideas generated at the event has already begun, and will be coming to a digital library system near you in the coming quarters. 


*CDL, Cornell, Columbia, Digital Curation Experts, the Danish Royal Library, Danish Technical University, Duke, the Getty Research Institute, Harvard, Indiana University, MIT, Notre Dame, NYU, Oregon State, Penn State, Princeton, the Southern California Chinese American Society, University of Virginia, and WGBH

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Stanford Vintage: A Look at the Stanford Wineries

Leland Stanford: American industrialist, politician, university founder, and vintner. The Stanford's owned wineries in Tehama County, Alameda County, and produced wines on their stock farm in Palo Alto.

Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Peter Henry Blair, Dean of New York University's Stern School of Business, will speak about his new book, "Turnaround: Third World Lessons for First World Growth." He is a well-known expert on the global economy. The talk will be held in the Lane/Lyons/Lodato Room of the Fisher Conference Center of Arrillaga Alumni Building, and is sponsored by the Hoover Institution Media Fellow Program.



Alternative Academic Career Paths for PhDs: logo

On April 10, three Stanford librarians will talk to Stanford graduate students about their experiences moving from PhD programs into library work.  This event, titled “Alt Ac @ Libraries,” will feature Chris Bourg, AUL for Public Services (PhD in Sociology); Matt Marostica, Subject Specialist for Economics and Political Science (PhD in Political Scicence); and Regan Murphy Kao, Japanese Studies Librarian (PhD in Japanese).

Matt, Regan, and Chris will engage with soon-to-be Stanford PhDs on what it means to support research through curation, collection, and other library work, instead of taking more traditional PhD paths into tenure-track faculty positions — positions that are both increasingly scarce and not necessarily the right fit for all academically-minded people.  They will likely address both the challenges and the rewards of their careers in an academic library such as Stanford's.

The perhaps odd-sounding "alt-ac" moniker gained prominence a few years ago as a Twitter hashtag marking conversations among and about "alternate" career paths for people with academic dreams (and credentials).  In 2011, an unusual (and fascinating) collection of essays called #alt-academy, edited by University of Virginia digital humanist (and fellow library worker) Bethany Nowviskie, was published by MediaCommons.  This path-breaking collection describes itself as being

by and for people with deep training and experience in the humanities [and other fields], who are working or are seeking employment — generally off the tenure track, but within the academic orbit — in universities and colleges, or allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, academic presses, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations. 

Like all institutions of graduate education, Stanford has large communities of both PhD-bound students nervous about future employment, and PhD-educated, untenured, academic staff who love their careers.  Surprisingly — shockingly, really — these two communities rarely gather to discuss what will inevitably unite many of their members: an "alternate academic" professional career.  The Alt Ac Speaker Series, of which this Stanford Libraries panel is part, is sponsored by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, the Career Development Center, the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Humanities Center.  The series is designed to give Stanford graduate students the opportunity to explore "a range of rewarding alternative academic (alt ac) career options within colleges and universities." 

The Stanford Libraries, meanwhile, are a haven for people who have chosen precisely such careers.  Our colleagues Chris, Regan, and Matt will be proudly representing the dozens of us who have chosen this path, which they'll generously share with our graduate student colleagues on campus.

Emeritus Professor Barton J. Bernstein will present a lecture on the U.S.'s decision to use the A-bomb on Japan this Friday night, March 1st, at 6:00 p.m., Building 200 (second floor), Room 205. The hour-long lecture will be followed by a Q&A segment. It is free and open to the public. Prof. Bernstein, a widely published expert on A-bomb history, will present a planned resonse--partly in agreement and partly in disagreement--to the noted film maker Oliver Stone's documentary, "The Bomb." The documentary and a panel featuring Oliver Stone and Daniel Berrigan, was presented last Friday night.