UArts alumna Deborah Willis in the news

A few of Willis' books in the Greenfield Library
A few of Willis' books in the Greenfield Library

UArts alumna Deborah Willis (Photography, Philadelphia College of Art, Class of 1975) has been in the news again lately due to her latest book, Posing Beauty: African American Images From the 1890s to the Present (W.W. Norton & Co., 2009, ISBN 0393066967). In addition to her photographic work, Willis is considered by many to be the foremost expert on the history of African American photography. She is dear to librarians for her two important bibliographies, Black Photographers: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography, 1840-1940 (Garland, 1985) and An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography of Black Photographers, 1940-1988 (Garland, 1989) (note that these are in the reference section of the Greenfield Library). Click here to see everything in the Greenfield Library by Willis.

What’s so great about bibliographies? Bibliographies are collections of information intended to be used and shared by subsequent researchers. Willis spent 11 years working on the 1985 bibliography, work described as “painful, meticulous labor” spent searching “private collections, seldom-used newspaper and magazine files, obscure institutional collections, and the private albums of the relatives of photographers” (foreword, p. ix). By doing so, she brought many important photographers to light, and, perhaps most importantly, made it possible for others to easily find and use the same information and build on it. Her work is a remarkable contribution to African American culture and history.

Willis will discuss her latest book at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Tuesday, December 8, at 7:30pm. Admission is free.

Electric Googleoo: Google Like You Mean It!

Tuesday, November 17, 5:15pm-6:00pm
workshop will start on time
Greenfield Library Special Collections Room B-7 (lower level)
Bring your laptop!

Google is taking over the world. Come learn how it works and how to exploit it for all it’s worth.

UArts Digital Initiatives & Systems Librarian Josh Roberts will lead a hands-on workshop on basic Google search strategies, advanced search options and Google’s new filtering features.  (I will also participate because I truly love talking about Boolean logic and searching.) We will learn a lot, be amazed, and emerge as better and more powerful searchers.

About Josh: Josh has undergraduate degrees in computer science and electrical engineering and a master’s degree in information science.  He administers all network and systems aspects of the University Libraries and is an all-around Information Age guy.

No sign-up necessary; just be in the Greenfield Library Special Collections room (B-7, on the library lower level) promptly at 5:15.  Please remember: no food or drink in the library.

If you haven’t ever used the wireless connection in Greenfield you may want to test it prior to the workshop.  Any connectivity problems, please contact the UArts OTIS Help Desk at 215-717-6677 or

Can’t make it as scheduled? If there is enough interest we will be happy to offer this again.

New video/DVD policy for students

Just a few DVDs in the Greenfield Library
Just a few of the DVDs in the Greenfield Library

We are happy to announce a new student borrowing policy for the UArts Libraries collection of videos and DVDs. Students will now have a 3-day borrowing period and will be allowed to renew such items twice. The first renewal will be for another 3 days, and the second renewal will be for one more day. Remember: all library users may renew materials themselves via the Web at “My Library Record” on the UArts Libraries home page.

A 3-day borrowing period means that students can check out (up to 2) videos/DVDs on a Friday, and the items will be due that Monday.

Why the change? Students have asked about taking videos out on a Friday and returning them on Monday; the former 1-day borrowing policy didn’t allow this. We take questions and suggestions from all our patrons very seriously and accommodate them when possible.

Want to search the catalog and see what we have? Review this document on searching for videos and DVDs:

Searching the UArts Library Catalog for Videos/DVDs