Friday, March 17, 2017

Director of UK Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center Talks Frontier Nursing on WUKY's Saving Stories
In honor of Women’s History Month (and—perhaps unwittingly—as a sidebar to the current healthcare debate), WUKY’s Saving Stories featured clips from the Frontier Nursing Service oral history collection in an interview with Dr. Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Founded in 1925 by Mary Breckenridge in rural Leslie County, the Frontier Nursing Service brought primary health care to remote areas of eastern Kentucky, helping, among other things, to dramatically decrease the health risks to women and infants associated with childbirth. UK Libraries SCRC is the repository for the Frontier Nursing archives, which documents the organization’s background and development and includes such materials as correspondence, minutes, reports, promotional materials, guest books, financial files, architectural plans, and memorabilia. There is an accompanying collection of photographs and other audio-visual materials located in the Audio-Visual Archives as well as the collection of oral histories in the Louie B. Nunn Center. If you missed the interview on Tuesday, you can hear an archived version here, and you can listen to the full oral history archive here.

UK Libraries to Host Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
The Art+Feminisim Wikipedia edit-a-thon is an international communal updating of Wikipedia content on subjects related to art and feminism. Designed in response to a 2011 survey, which revealed fewer than 10 percent of Wikipedia contributors identify as female, Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thons work to encourage female editorship and help to reverse the dearth of content about women and art in the world’s most popular online research tool. Since 2014, an estimated 4,600 articles have been created and improved as a result of these international events.  To continue that progress, UK Libraries along with university libraries across the US will host an Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon this spring. Please join us at the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library, Monday, March 20. Participation is easy and all are welcome. We hope to see you there.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

UPK author recognized by PEN America Literary Awards

UPK author Rion Amilcar Scott’s first short story collection, "Insurrections: Stories," has been named to the longlist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, a PEN America Literary Award. The prize honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work — a novel or collection of short stories — represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. The winner receives a cash award of $25,000, a stipend intended to permit a significant degree of leisure in which to pursue a second work of literary fiction.

"Insurrections" joins nine other books on the longlist — "We Show What We Have Learned" by Clare Beams, "The Mothers" by Brit Bennett, "The Wangs vs. the World" by Jade Chang, "When Watched: Stories" by Leopoldine Core, "Hide" by Matthew Griffin, "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi, "Tuesday Nights in 1980" by Molly Prentiss, "Hurt People" by Cote Smith and "Wreck and Order" by Hannah Tennart-Moore. The judges for this year’s award are Jami Attenberg, Tawni Nandini Islam, Randall Kenan, Hanna Pyalvainen and Akhil Sharma.

Award finalists will be announced by PEN America on Jan. 18, 2017. Winners will be announced at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017, at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium.

"Insurrections" centers on the fictional town of Cross River, Maryland, an African-American community that was founded in 1807 by slaves after the only successful revolt in the United States. Grappling with the experiences of adolescence, brotherhood, mistaken identity, child raising, abuse and particularly, hope, each story showcases Scott’s unique ability to flesh out intricately imagined characters and to narrate from a variety of perspectives, often revolving around children who display more wisdom, compassion and tact than their adult counterparts.

Early reviews of "Insurrections" have lauded Scott’s original and powerful voice. It was included on LitHub’s list of “18 Books You Should Read this August,” and The Millions named it one of the most anticipated books for the second half of 2016. In his review for The Millions, Michael Deagler called Scott’s stories “vast and riotous.” On The Root website, Hope Wabuke praises Scott’s ability to “get into the heads of his characters and bring them to life as real, complicated souls. “In Scott’s hands,” she writes, “the short story collection becomes an epic album, each story placed in musical accordance with the next to craft a complete, melodic whole.”

In a conversation with Molly McArdle for Brooklyn magazine, Scott compares Cross River to Winesburg from Sherwood Anderson’s "Winesburg, Ohio," or the Springfield of "The Simpsons" — the kind of place “where things get out of hand. It’s also a place where people have a keen awareness of history: they’re all children of this insurrection. They’re trying to live up to that. It’s a place of people who awkwardly stumble towards some sense of freedom.” McArdle, “compared [the book] to hitting 10 grand slams in a row. It’s hyperbolic, sure,” she said, “but not entirely incorrect. ['Insurrections'] is a crazy streak of hits.”

Scott’s collection was also chosen as July’s selection by The Rumpus book club. Readers can also browse his “Booknotes” playlist at Largehearted Boy or read an excerpt in Electric Literature’s “Recommended Reading” column with an introduction by author Daniel José Older.

Scott’s book is the debut title in UPK's New Poetry and Prose series, edited by Lisa Williams and sponsored by Centre College. Williams selected Scott’s collection from more than 120 submissions.

Rion Amilcar Scott teaches English at Bowie State University. He earned an MFA at George Mason University, where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and a Completion Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, the Washington City Paper, The Toast and Confrontation.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pride Community Services Organization newsletters now online

The Pride Community Services Organization (PCSO) newsletters, starting with the first issue in 1979 and up to the present day, are now available online via University of Kentucky's digital library ExploreUK. Providing online access to the newsletters is an ongoing project between the PCSO and the UK SCRC.

PCSO is a Lexington community based organization that works to improve the lives of people in the sexual minority and gender expansive community of Central and Eastern Kentucky. The organization was originally the Gay Services Organization founded in 1977 by a group known as the UK Gay Liberation Front. The Gay Liberation Front was not an official student organization and there was a lawsuit filed to prevent the group from becoming an official student organization. (Click here to read more about the lawsuit Singletary v. Gay Liberation Front and the first Gay Liberation Front in New York.)

Starting in fall 2016, it took several months to digitize and catalog the 413 issues of the PCSO newsletter for a total of over 6,500 scans. Patrons now have access to the full range of the newsletter, starting with the August 1979 Gayzette, a one page sheet with printing on both sides. In 1981, the title changed to the Gay Newsletter, and a year later the title was changed to GSO Newsletter. There were several name changes and formats, and the most recent version of the publication is titled LinQ, which is a slick magazine style publication with several pages. New issues of the newsletter will continue to be added to ExploreUK.

According to Chad Hundley, PCSO office manager, the newsletters have included a little bit of everything over the years: recipes, news, gossip, social events, social issues, listing of LGBTQ affirming businesses, literature, and much more.  With a more regular publication schedule, the newsletters would become the only monthly LGBTQ* publication in Kentucky. Now, for the first time ever, there is free online access to all of the newsletter issues. To find issues of the PCSO collection of newsletters visit ExploreUK here.

The digitization of the PCSO newsletters was made possible through the work of Hundley and Christopher R. Bauer at the PCSO, and Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs, Director of Digital Services Sarah Dorpinghaus, Special Collections Librarian Reinette Jones and graduate assistant Nicole Reynolds at the SCRC.

The UK SCRC is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection and ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Joe Phillips retires after 29 years with UK Libraries

Reginald “Joe” Phillips, will retire from his position with Facilities effective January 2, 2017. Joe has worked at UK Libraries for more than 29 years. “We congratulate Joe and wish him the best,” says Melissa Barlow, Finance and Administration director.

All the best Joe and thank you for your service to UK Libraries.

Shirley Greene retires after 42 years with UK Libraries

Shirley is retiring as serials check-in technician in the Print Serials Unit effective January 4, 2017. She began her UK career as a library technician at the Medical Center Library in 1974. As the library transitioned from a print based process to online check-in, Shirley rose to the challenge taking computer classes to improve her skills and working with a variety of Integrated library systems over the years.

“I was very pleased to have Shirley join us in Young in 2010,” says Catherine “Kate” Seago, director of Acquisitions. “She has been our lead person handling print serials check in for several years now. She is very conscientious and takes great pride in getting the journal issues out accurately and quickly. She has also regularly made contributions to UK Libraries by serving on the hospitality committee, and to the university by her service on the University Staff Appreciation Day committee.”

Kate adds that all of Shirley’s supervisors have consistently pointed out Shirley’s easy communication with patrons and fellow staff members, her willingness to work on a variety of projects, and her attention to detail.

Thank you Shirley for your service and best wishes for the future. 

UK's Nunn Center, West Chester University students chronicle the First Great Migration online

Over 100 years ago, thousands of African Americans began to leave the Jim Crow racism of the South and ventured north to Philadelphia. In what became known as the First Great Migration from 1910-1930, the City of Brotherly Love's African-American population jumped from 85,000 to 222,000. The change to the Pennsylvania city's makeup and the new citizens' search for opportunity and equality would have a profound impact on the city.

On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First Great Migration, Doug Boyd and UK Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History and a team of history students from West Chester University, led by faculty Charles Hardy
III and Janneken Smucker, have utilized a vast selection of digital tools as a supplement to oral histories to give a more robust understanding of this movement to the public online.

The project between the two universities is built around Nunn Center interviews conducted by Hardy during the 1980s with African Americans who migrated to Philadelphia and black Philadelphians who witnessed their arrival and impact. The interviews were originally conducted as part of a public history project with the Philadelphia History Museum and were used to produce a series of public radio documentaries, “Goin' North: Tales of the Great Migration,” that were accompanied by an educational supplement published by the Philadelphia Daily News. In his desire for new generations to know the story behind the Great Migration,
Hardy contacted Boyd at the Nunn Center in 2014 to discuss digitizing the collection and using UK's Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) technology to help tell these stories in a new way.

Today, “Goin’ North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia” reimagines the 1980s project as a collaborative initiative linking archives and the college classroom that is using digital technologies not imagined at that time. The project engaged 45 West Chester students with Nunn Center staff and collections, and features student created OHMS Level 3 indexes, each including an audio file synchronized with an exact verbatim transcript, curated segment synopses, keywords drawn from a controlled vocabulary of over 1,600 terms generated by students, images that illustrate the interview content, and GPS coordinates that situate the topics in geographic space all brought together through the content management system Omeka. Students also created digital storytelling projects to enhance the resources.

The West Chester students were responsible for almost everything in creating the new content for "Goin' North." "This experience was really about choosing from the enormous landscape of tools out there, identifying the best ones for their purpose, learning to use the tools and then creating some pretty amazing things," Boyd said.

Amazing indeed. The Roy Rosenzweig Prize Committee of the American Historical Association was also impressed with the work, awarding the project the Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History to Boyd, Hardy and Smucker and noting how the "Goin’ North" website "effectively integrates a variety of off-the-shelf digital tools — iMovie, historypin, thinglink and ESRI Story Maps — for the purpose of telling a story.”

Boyd, who has also worked on oral history projects with his own classes and other UK faculty, is excited with the "Goin' North" outcome and is looking forward to implementing similar strategies in the future with students.

“We believe 'Goin’ North' is a model for engaging students with oral history, utilizing innovative digital platforms, connecting the archive and the classroom with effective pedagogy, multi-institutional collaboration and the production of a final product that is powerful, professional and useful,” Boyd said.

Boyd credits the OHMS technology developed by his team at UK's Nunn Center as one of the reasons doors of opportunity are opening for students in relations to oral histories.

"Archived Oral History has always been a challenge to effectively utilize in classroom settings. Our system, OHMS, really makes it possible to take student engagement (in a pedagogical context) with archived oral histories to the next level," Boyd noted. "In addition to having this deep engagement with the interviews, the students are part of producing something real … something that has impact.

"The resulting digital project is not something that the students simply create for the class project and turn in for a grade. This online resource ('Goin' North') is something that serves as a rich and important interpretive resource for this oral history project, this community."

Since the launch of the "Goin' North" website, there have been over 21,000 page views serving 4,000 unique visitors to the site. Based on this success and interest, Boyd, Smucker and Hardy are looking to collaborate on another oral history/classroom collaboration for the Philadelphia community.

And, Boyd is also on the lookout for the next project on his campus as well. "We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with faculty on campus. This model can be emulated and enhanced, so I look forward to more potential partnerships at UK."

The Nunn Center, part of the UK Libraries' Special Collections Research Center, is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of nearly 8,000 oral history interviews.