Summer’s almost here! The library has added 30 new titles to our print browsing collection, and another 30 (including many non-English titles) to our collection of e- and audiobooks (go/overdrive/). These books are available for borrowing by the entire College community, so enjoy the copious Vermont sun with some lemonade and a new book!
The library has recently purchased access to all issues of journals published by the Royal Society of Chemistry from 1841 through 2007. Journal titles include:
You can browse by journal title or article content from the RSC’s homepage. The journal titles can also be found in Midcat and in our A-Z list of journals, and articles with content matching your Summon search will turn up in Summon results. All this now accessible from on- or off-campus!
The library has acquired some new resources over the last few months:
- Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day and features advanced search options
- Japan Times Archive Full text of every issue of this English language newspaper based in Japan that was published from 1897 through 2015
- Digital Loeb Classical Library Important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature, presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page.
- American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism, 1968—1979 – This collection of FBI files from 1968 to 1979 provides detailed information on the evolution of AIM as an organization of social protest and the development of Native American radicalism.
- Federal Response to Radicalism in the 1960s Another collection from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Library, this collection sheds light on internal organization, personnel, and activities of some of the most prominent American radical groups and their movements to change American government and society. Included are files on Cesar Chavez, the Black Panther Party, and Malcolm X, among many others.
- FIAF international index to film periodicals This database contains the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)’s “Treasures from Film Archives”; a detailed index of the silent-era film holdings of archives from around the world, a selection of Reference volumes and the linked full-text of over 60 journals.
- JSTOR books Middlebury has purchased access to nearly 800 e-books on the JSTOR platform. Subjects include books published in 2015-2017 in the broad areas of languages and literatures, sociology, political science, and climate change. (You will find relevant content from any of these books by searching the JSTOR platform. In the near future, they will also be in the library’s catalog.)
Last week we shared our newest oldest acquisition, a cuneiform-inscribed baked clay tablet from around 2,000 BCE, and today we feature our newest new acquisition, two works by Brian Dettmer.
Brooklyn-based book artist Brian Dettmer transforms books into art pieces, carving into them to uncover new meaning in the pages and to redefine the book’s role as an cultural object and knowledge repository.
Pictured above, and on display in the Special Collections Reading Room are The Smaller Big Fun Book, 2012 and Manual of Engineering Drawing, 2010. Come take a look!
Disclaimer: While we appreciate these works of book art, we do not endorse such work with any Library materials.
In special collections, visitors often ask us, “What’s your most expensive item?” Or sometimes: “What’s the oldest thing you have?”
In late November, we acquired our newest, oldest thing: a baked clay tablet that originated in ancient Mesopotamia (current-day Iraq), from roughly 2,000 BCE. This small tablet (measuring just about 1 inch x 1 inch and pictured here) is incised with cuneiform script, considered to be one of the earliest forms of writing.
With the help of Middlebury alum Seth Richardson, Class of 1990, a historian of the ancient Near East at the University of Chicago, we’re learning more about our new acquisition. Likely in British and American hands since the early 20th century, our tablet is essentially a beer coupon. That’s right. Based only on preliminary examination, Dr. Richardson translated the first line: “3 liters of first-rate beer.”
And as it turns out, the Western tradition of beer brewing began in Mesopotamia between 3500 – 3100 BCE. How do we know? Largely from cuneiform tablets like ours, which contain detailed records around beer production, the delivery of raw materials (barley, yeast, bread, flour), and the trading of beer products. Like apple cider production in colonial New England, ancient Mesopotamians lacked clean water, but had an abundance of grains and the know-how needed to ferment them. And they had the earliest known written alphabet to boot.
Funds for the purchase of this item were gifted by Jeri Bapasola, French School, 1978.
“Beer in the Ancient World.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Accessed December 3, 2015.
Two new exhibits have cropped up in the library this week – “Old Friends and New: Writers in Nature, 1847-2000” in the atrium and “Reading Nature” in the lower level Harman Reading Room. Both feature books that explore literary and scientific human interaction with the environment to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.
“Reading Nature” on the lower level of the library features books by scientists, botanists, naturalists, artists, and poets from the beginning of the 18th century to the 20th century. Each captures nature in a new way, redrawing the frames through which we understand the natural world.