Digital Library of the Week: The Fantastic in Art and Fiction

Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts has created a wonderful digital collection, The Fantastic in Art and Fiction. All things supernatural are included here, from your typical Angels and Demons to Freaks, Monsters, and Prodigies. Each section of the collection gives you a brief overview of the topic and includes references to scholarly research and related literary works. So, if you’re interested in Possession and Insanity, you’ll discover you might want to read M.G. Lewis’ The Monk (Greenfield Vault, 823 L587m). Or, if you are curious about the image below, check out The English Dance of Death (Greenfield Special Collections, 741.942 R79 1903 v.1 and v.2)

from The English Dance of Death
from The English Dance of Death

The University Libraries has other terrific materials about the otherworldly. Search the Libraries’ catalog for subjects such as fantastic or supernatural or marvelous. You’ll find The Sandman, a collection of graphic novels written by Neil Gaiman for D.C. Comics – and also one of this month’s staff recommendations by Greenfield Library Assistant, Mike Sgier.

Digital Library of the Week: Textiles Materials Collection

This week, let’s take a look at a wonderful textile materials collection from the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Constance Howard was the head of textiles at Goldsmiths and many of the textiles you see here were part of her personal collection, which she donated to the college in 2000. This is a kantha (decorative embroidery, done with the running stitch, that is very popular in Bengal).

There are beautiful textiles – clothes, beadwork, embroidery, religious garments and weaving samplers, just to name a few – from all over the world. Also included in the collection are slides of Goldsmiths College’s student work, like this 1985 piece by Judith Duffey.

We have some terrific books on textiles and fibers  in the University Libraries’ collection. One of my favorites is a series of books called Art Textiles of the World. These are beautifully photographed works of fiber art by contemporary artists.

Find e-books in the library catalog

You may have already noticed that records for e-books are showing up in your library catalog search results, right alongside the books, journals, and DVDs that have always been there.  These represent the 50,180 titles that are available in full-text through ebrary, our premier e-book resource.

Just follow the links into ebrary to read the whole book.  Once you’re in ebrary, you can sign up for a personalized account that lets you save your favorite titles.  You can even take notes or highlight right in the books — not something we encourage with our print books!

Don’t forget ebrary, our e-books subscription

In January 2010 the UArts Libraries launched their subscription to ebrary, an online subscription collection of more than 47,000 books. It’s research time, so we want to remind you to take advantage of this great collection.

Working on a paper on animal rights legislation? A quick search of ebrary turned up 526 books, including titles such as For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (Ohio University Press, 2006) and Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (Oxford University Press, 2004).

To get to ebrary, follow these simple steps:

1. Start at the library home page:

2. Under “Online Resources“, select E-Books

3. Then select ebrary:

IF YOU’RE OFF-CAMPUS you’ll be prompted to log in with your name and library barcode number. Don’t have a barcode? Just bring your valid ID (Fall 2010 sticker on it) to the Greenfield or Music Library and we’ll give you one.

New Additions to ReVIEW

designinform is a collection of three databases: Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR), Design ProFILES (DP) and ReVIEWReVIEW is digitizing the very best decorative and fine art journals that were published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They have just added even more material to their database – and you have access to all of it! Three important art journals are now available for full searching and access through ReVIEW.

The Studio was a highly respected journal published in England. Scholarly articles written by leading art critics highlight early nineteenth century trends in international decorative and fine arts. ReVIEW offers the first fifty volumes, published from 1893-1910.

Similar to The Studio is the German publication Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration. While it also covers international art news, Deutsche Kunst has a strong focus on German, Austrian, Scandinavian, and Central European decorative and fine art. It is written in German, but you can search by artist name or browse the journal for beautiful, high-resolution images. The first twenty-seven volumes, published from 1897-1910, are available.

The latest addition is Art et Decoration, published out of Paris. The journal covers mostly French, Belgian, and Western European art. It is written in French, but you can search by artist name or browse the journal for beautiful, high-resolution images. You will find a lot of the Art Nouveau style and extensive coverage of the Paris Exposition of 1900. Art et Decoration’s first twenty-seven volumes, published from 1897-1910, are available.

ReVIEW informs us that they are now digitizing the first six volumes of The Poster, an extremely rare, English-language journal dedicated to poster art. Look for it in December of this year.

Digital Library of the Week: “Penny Plains” and “Two-pence Coloured:” English Theatrical Portraits from NYPL

“Penny Plains” and “Two-pence Coloured:” English Theatrical Portraits 1799-1847 in the William Appleton Collection from the New York Public Library Digital Image Gallery includes over 300 English toy theatre portrait prints depicting characters for many different plays, including many of Shakespeare’s.  Each portrait is based on a real actor who portrayed the character on stage. For example, here is Edmund Kean in character as Richard the Third:

Mr. Kean as Richard the Third
Mr. Kean as Richard the Third

This is a “two-pence coloured” print, named for its cost of two English pennies. “Penny plains” have no coloring and cost just one penny. Prints were often purchased by children, glued to firm cardboard, and the character cut out. It could then be used in toy theatre, with the stage and set design often created by the child (though soon these also became available for sale) and favorite plays were acted out, in miniature, at home.

To learn more about toy theatre, check out Toy Theatres of the World by Peter Baldwin. It’s in the Greenfield Library’s open stacks with call number 745.5928 B193t.

“American History in Video” named a Best Reference 2009 resource

American History in Video, one of the UArts Libraries’ online streaming video subscriptions, has been named as a Best Reference 2009 title in the April 15, 2010 issue of Library Journal. You can find it via the Audio & Video Databases link from the library home page. The article describes this resource as follows:

“A collaboration between Alexander Street Press and A&E Television Networks, this collection of nearly 1500 videos with searchable transcripts synchronized to video, chronicling American history from the 1890s to the 1980s, tops any other similarly themed resource in its field and is an amazing deal. It’s a product every library could make accessible to its researchers, from elementary school children to historical scholars and everyone in between.” source: Best Reference 2009 – 4/15/2010 – Library Journal

New E-Journal Finder!

The UArts Libraries are pleased to announce a major upgrade to our website’s e-journal listings.  The new E-Journal Finder has detailed holdings information for all 10,054 (and growing!) journals that we have access to online.

You can search for specific journal titles or browse the contents of each of our full-text databases.  Remember, an individual journal may be available in more than one database, with differing dates in each.

Our old e-journal listings may still be found here, but they are no longer being maintained and will eventually disappear.

Please send any questions or comments to Josh Roberts, Digital Initiatives & Systems Librarian,