Digital Library of the Week: Getting Ready for the Mummers!

If you are new to Philadelphia, you might have heard about our New Year’s Day parade full of feathers and glitz from head to toe. Learn more about the string bands, fully staged performances, and, of course, ‘dem golden slippers – all done by amateur Philadelphians! To prepare for the day-long festivities, this week’s digital library post will point you to some great information on this historical annual event.

A Mummer’s Magazine article (yup, they have their own magazine) notes that mummery “is as old as man’s imagination.” Another article that appeared in National Geographic recounts the parade from a Mummer’s point of view. In this case, the author is in the comics division, who are most famous for the Mummers Strut to O’Dem Golden Slippers. Steve Coper from Fralinger String Band (they are one of the best!) wrote a nice summary of Mummer history, including videos and pictures. Find out more about Fralinger and the other string bands, as well as the Fancy Brigades.

Want to see all that glitter and gold? View photos of past years’ costumes that are now in the Mummers Museum in South Philadelphia. Also, use one of UArts Libraries’ image databases, AP Images, and search for Mummers. (If you are off campus, you’ll have to enter your name and library barcode). We also have an e-book, The Philadelphia Mummers: Building Community Through Play (again, if you are off campus, you’ll have to enter your name and library barcode). To learn more about Mummers and South Philadelphia culture, check out South Philadelphia: Mummers, Memories, and Melrose Diner (in the Greenfield Library; call number 974.811 D852s).

Winter Break: Library Hours, Borrowing


The UArts Libraries will be closed for winter break from Tuesday, December 21, 2010, through Monday, January 10, 2011.

January 3-10 we will be working but will be closed for in-service days. You may reach us by e-mail but the libraries will be closed.

The libraries will be OPEN Tuesday through Friday, January 11-14, 2011 from 9am-5pm.

The libraries will be CLOSED Saturday through Monday, January 15-17, and will open for semester hours on the first day of classes, Tuesday, January 18.

What do we do during in-service? We do all the things we can’t do when we’re open during the semester: have full-staff meetings and work on projects that involve all staff such as shelfreading. What is shelfreading, you ask? Shelfreading means that we look at every book on the shelves one by one and make sure they’re in order. Yes, we really do it.


Would you like to borrow library materials over the break? Students who:

* return all checked-out materials
* pay all outstanding fines
* are pre-registered for the next semester

may borrow library materials over the winter break starting Monday, December 13. (All pre-registered students will also be able to log into our electronic resources over the break.) Books, pictures, scores, and videos will be due on January 21 (first Friday of the first week of classes). Aebersold CDs from the UArts Music Library will be due on TUESDAY, JANUARY 11.

Photo by Josh Liba, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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.