Tag Archive | "University of Miami Libraries"


UM Trustee Arva Moore Parks Presents New Book on George Merrick January 16 at the Richter Library

Special to UM News

George Merrick BookCORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 5, 2015) – As the University kicks off its 90th anniversary celebrations in 2016, Miami historian and UM Trustee Arva Moore Parks is sharing her recent insights on the institution’s founding and early history.

Parks will present her latest book, George Merrick, Son of the South Wind, on Thursday, January 14 at the Otto G. Richter Library. The book, released last October, is the story of the visionary creator of Coral Gables who founded the University of Miami.

Parks’ presentation coincides with the official opening of “The Pan American University: The Original Spirit of the U Lives On,” an exhibition of archival materials—including photographs, publications, and other documents from UM Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections—that highlight UM’s enduring connection to Latin America and the Caribbean.

The January 14 presentation will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a reception, book signing, and exhibition viewing. For more information and to RSVP, please contact richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.


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‘Book Traces’ Event Unearths One-of-a-Kind Books in the Stacks


‘Book Traces’ Event Unearths One-of-a-Kind Books in the Stacks

By Sarah Block
Special to UM News

Students, faculty, and community members found more than 300 one-of-a-kind books featuring marginal notes and additions during UM Libraries’ Book Traces event on September 24.

Students, faculty, and community members found more than 300 one-of-a-kind books featuring marginal notes and additions during UM Libraries’ Book Traces event on September 24.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 1, 2015) — Many of the books that were found originally came from the University of Miami’s earliest donors, who helped UM, as a young institution, establish a basic library collection. In the books’ margins these individuals also left behind traces of their lives.

When students, faculty, and community members searched the Richter Library’s Stack Tower and Weeks Music Library during UM Libraries’ Book Traces event on September 24, they unearthed early community members’ memories and observations, critiques, dedications, scribblings, and adornments that have remained within the texts for more than one hundred years.

Participants, including several classes from UM’s College of Arts and Sciences as well as groups such as the Classics Club, discovered the reader markings, known as marginalia, in 300 books in UM Libraries’ holdings. Findings were culled mainly from areas on the fourth and fifth floors of Richter’s Stack Tower and ranged from diary-like annotations to insertions of flowers, letters, and official documents.

“Books have a long history of marginal notes and additions in the form of marginalia,” says Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre, who helped organize the event with the goal of bringing awareness and access to the many unique and historical holdings of UML within its open and circulating collections. “To find one of these one-of-a-kind books is an opportunity to take in this special kind of reading experience shared with readers of the past.”

Tyler Pedersen, a third-year classics major, had been on the fifth floor of the stacks before, but says he hadn’t spent a lot of time looking for particularly old copies of the works. “It’s really interesting to see how readers have interacted with them,” he said, skimming Paul Delcharme’s Euripides and the Spirit of His Dreams (1906) with heavy highlights in a section related to “the dangers of marrying the wrong woman.”

Another student found an early-20th-century tram ticket from Birmingham, England. One text that a faculty member had pulled from the stacks had only proofreaders’ marks penciled in by the reader, addressing spelling mistakes and incorrectly alphabetized references in the book’s index.

UML’s Book Traces event was based on a national initiative started by Andrew Stauffer at the University of Virginia (UVA) that seeks to preserve information about unique copies of library books from the age when the “printed book was king” and used in many aspects of people’s lives. Stauffer, who presented during the day’s events along with co-investigator Kara McClurken, said readers historically would return to and engage with the same texts many years apart, leaving inscriptions along the way that documented milestones and major life events and reflected changes in attitudes and even handwriting. “Past readers have left us with an incredibly rich archive of historical artifacts,” he said.

The Book Traces website crowdsources marginalia from libraries across the United States, focusing specifically on books printed from the 1800s up to the 1920s. Books within this period, generally not housed within their rare and unique books collections, are accessed less and less in print form as they’re made available online through repositories such as Google Books.

McClurken, head of Preservation Services at UVA, discussed how marginalia in circulating collections presents a unique challenge for libraries with respect to users’ experience. “There’s this idea between books’ content and context, their artifactual evidence and their functionality, that libraries and preservationists seek to balance,” she said in her presentation.

The Book Traces initiative helps ensure that the unique information in old library books, such as those found during Thursday’s event, are documented. Sylvestre says that while UML plans to highlight selected findings from the event in a digital exhibit of student generated content, the search for marginalia is far from over. Many decades since the University’s founding days, its once small library now has more than three million volumes, with plenty of areas rife with unidentified marginalia.

Until the next Book Traces event, visitors are encouraged to submit marginalia they find in library collections to Book Traces and to notify Sylvestre at UMBookTraces@gmail.com so they may be featured in the upcoming exhibit.


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The Lure of the Caribbean: UM Alumnus Hermes Mallea Talks about the Elegance of the Caribbean Playgrounds of the Rich and Famous

By Peter E. Howard
UM News

Hermes-MalleaCORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 03, 2014) — Hermes Mallea spent nearly an hour showcasing the Caribbean playgrounds of the rich and famous with the pace of a speed-dating encounter that took you from Bermuda and Barbados to Jamaica and Antiqua and Cuba’s hedonistic heights.

He showed how architects spun a web of elegance and simplicity in their work through nonstop slides and photos of properties as varied as Palm Beach’s haughty Mar-a-Lago to Laurance Rockefeller’s fabled RockResorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were the Victorian gingerbreads and those with European influence, and the breezy haciendas sans air conditioning or door locks. Read the full story

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Cuban Heritage Collection Acquires Brothers to the Rescue Archive

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Cuban Heritage Collection Acquires Brothers to the Rescue Archive

José Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue, and Maria Estorino, chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, review some of the archival materials Basulto has donated to UM Libraries' extensive repository on Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora.

José Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue, and Maria Estorino, chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, review some of the archival materials Basulto donated to UM Libraries’ extensive repository on Cuba and the Cuban diaspora.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 10, 2014) – Flying in their dependable, twin-engine Cessna 337s, the pilots of Brothers to the Rescue patrolled the skies over the Straits of Florida for more than a decade, searching for Cuban rafters adrift at sea and then alerting the U.S. Coast Guard to the migrants’ coordinates. Read the full story

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Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water Showcases Student Life Over the Decades


In University Archives, cheerleaders from another era sport an M rather than the now-familiar U.

University of Miami Libraries University Archives’ exhibition, Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water, is on display through January 2014 at the Otto G. Richter Library, and features photographs, fanfare, memorabilia, and publications that reflect student life at the University during the 1960s, 1980s, and early 2000s.

“There is a vibrant history here at UM,” says Koichi Tasa, University archivist and the exhibition’s lead curator. He notes that the exhibition’s title, the first line of the University’s Alma Mater, alludes to the timeless backdrop that unifies University athletics, student activities, and campus events across many generations.

Among the exhibition’s ’60s generation mementos is a vintage photograph of soul music pioneer Ray Charles performing at the UM Homecoming Concert in 1963, just two years after the University officially desegregated the campus. Research Services Supervisor Marcia Heath, a curator of the exhibition, said that Charles’s performance was a catalyst in raising morale among the student body during the racially charged period.

“These materials really show us where we’re coming from…how far we’ve come,” she said, also referring to the transformation in the University’s physical campus. One 1962 photograph of the Richter Library shows the completion of the main floors and stacks addition, which earned a design award by Florida Architect in 1964. The library now houses a print collection of more than four million volumes.

The exhibition, also curated by Education and Outreach Librarian William Jacobs and Special Collections Research Assistant Steve Hersh, includes IBIS yearbook spreads chronicling the evolution of traditions like Carni Gras, where students in the ’60s and ’80s strutted in high gear to embrace the Carnival spirit.

The exhibition even houses traditional fanfare such as a dink, once-required headgear freshmen sported until Miami’s first touchdown, and then tossed into the air. “Like the world, the University is changing daily,” said Cynthia Cochran, director of alumni programs. “The opportunity to visit some artifacts from those periods only enriches [alumni’s] visit back to campus, for some of whom it has been 50 years.”

Since he started at the University Archives in 2007, Tasa has worked closely with the UM Alumni Association. In 2010 artist Jacobina Trump created a mural at the Alumni Center, inspired by collection materials, conveying an unchanging horizon over the many generations to walk the campus. Like the exhibition, it also bears the words Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water. “Those words hit home for us all,” Tasa said.



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