Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tokyo Restoration and Conservation Center conservator visits SCRC archives

UK Libraries Conservation and East Asian Studies Librarian Kazuko Hioki recently hosted Tomoko Yasuda, a conservator from the Tokyo Restoration and Conservation Center ( Tomoko, who is interested in basic preservation activities and prioritization for archival material, toured UK’s SCRC archives with University Archivist Ruth Bryan. She also toured the Kentucky Underground Storage near Wilmore, Ky.

Pictured from left:  Tomoko Yasuda, Kazuko Hioki, and Ruth Bryan at UK's SCRC.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

UK Libraries promotes student success at Open Educational Resources panel on October 27

UK Libraries will host a panel discussion about the positive impact of open educational resources (OER) on teaching, learning, and student success. The panel discussion, followed by a reception, will be 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the UK Athletics Auditorium at the William T. Young Library. This event is free and open to the public.  

Leila Salisbury, director of the University Press of Kentucky, will moderate the panel. Two speakers will discuss the promise OER holds for student success from different perspectives. The first speaker, Jeffrey Gallant, from Affordable Learning Georgia, will provide an overview of the current textbook market, the benefits of OER, and the success in adopting OER at higher education institutions. The second speaker, Allison Soult, from the UK Department of Chemistry, will share her insights and experience of teaching with OER. There will be a Q&A after the presentations. 

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the prices of college textbooks have soared 88 percent from 2006 to 2016. Educators and foundations are developing OER to alleviate the adverse effect of costly textbooks on students and to provide instructors with the flexibility to customize their course content.

For more information about OER, visit this guide, contact an academic liaison, or contact UK Libraries by e-mail.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lexington's early marriage indexes of African Americans available online

Over the summer of 2016, the Special Collections Research Center at University of Kentucky Libraries and the Fayette County Clerk’s Office developed a pilot project that will provide online access to the Colored Marriage Indexes dated 1866-1882 and 1958-1968. The purpose of the project is to provide researchers with greater online access to early primary documents pertaining to African Americans in Kentucky. 

Details of the project, including ensuring security of the original records, took a few weeks to work out and were finalized during a sit-down meeting with Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins Jr., Deputy Clerks Meredith Nelson and Shea Brown, and Reinette Jones and Sarah Dorpinghaus from UK Special Collections Research Center. The project involved the secure in-person handoff of one volume at a time from the Clerk’s Office at 162 E. Main St. to the Digital Lab in the M.I. King Library Building on campus. Volumes were returned to the Clerk’s Office at the completion of each digitization process.

The four volumes of the Colored Marriage Indexes are the original finding aids used to locate the early marriage bonds of African Americans in Lexington. The indexes contain the name of each bride and groom, and the page number of the actual marriage bond held at the Fayette County Clerk’s Office. As the marriage indexes and bond books have been in continuous use by the public for many years, some are in fragile condition. 

The digitized versions of the indexes are now freely available to the public on ExploreUK, UK's digital library. The originals were scanned in full color at a high resolution that surpasses the national standard for digital preservation. The typed indexes have been run through optical character recognition (OCR) and are searchable.

The first two volumes of the indexes are handwritten and will be transcribed using an open-source software program developed by Eric Weig, digital library architect in the Special Collections Research Center. The program is called Libscribe. Libscribe works in conjunction with the open-source Omeka content management system to facilitate simple page transcription in order to improve digital library search accuracy. Once the transcription has been completed, it will be searchable and presented as an alternate view for each handwritten page.

“I am very pleased with the results of our collaboration with the Special Collections Research Center. The images are outstanding and will be a huge asset to genealogists and researchers everywhere,” said Blevins.

The original indexes and marriage bond books are available for use by the public in the Land Records Vault at the County Clerk’s Office, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and copies may be made by the counter staff. 

UK Special Collections Research Center 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.

Eric Weig speaks at national forum for preserving digital news content

Eric Weig, digital library architect in the Special Collections Research Center, was an invited speaker at the recent Dodging the Memory Hole (DTMH) 2016 national forum “Saving Online News.” The forum, funded primarily through The Institute of Museum and Library Services, was held at the University of Los Angeles.

In addition to his talk titled “Working with CMS,” Eric led a discussion on the topic. He will also serve as a mentor for a graduate SLIS student who won a scholarship to attend the forum and will develop research based on preserving online news content. 

This is the fourth event in the DTMH conference series focusing on preserving digital news content. The name, Dodging the Memory Hole, comes from George Orwell’s “1984,” where photographs and documents conflicting with “Big Brother's” narrative were tossed into a “memory hole” and destroyed.

Today's memory hole is largely the unintentional result of technological systems not designed to keep information for the long term. The three previous DTMH events were held at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library in Charlotte, N. C., and the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

UPK book on Kentucky art and culture wins Alice Award

University Press of Kentucky’s "Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture," edited by Andrew Kelly and sponsored by the Frazier History Museum, has been named the winner of the Alice Award given by Furthermore Grants in Publishing. Furthermore is a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund and is concerned with nonfiction book publishing related to art, architecture and design; cultural history; conservation and preservation; the city; and public issues of the day.

“It is a privilege to be in the company of the other distinguished publications shortlisted for the Alice Award,” Kelly said. “I am delighted that 'Kentucky by Design' has been recognized by the Furthermore Foundation, and honored to accept the Alice Award on behalf of all the outstanding scholars, experts and museum professionals nationwide who made this book possible.”

The Alice Award was established in 2013 by Joan Davidson, president of Furthermore, in honor of her mother Alice Kaplan. Kaplan, vice president of the Kaplan Fund, was a well-known patron, scholar and activist in the arts, who urged the foundation to support music, dance, libraries and the visual arts. She loved and collected illustrated books as works of art and considered them essential documents in a civilized society. The Alice Award is dedicated to recognizing and cherishing the lasting values of the well-made illustrated book, and the special sense of intimacy it affords. Each year a jury of distinguished leaders in publishing and the arts selects the winning Alice book from the hundreds of eligible titles that have been supported by Furthermore.

"Kentucky by Design" celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Federal Art Project’s (FAP) Index of American Design. The FAP was established at the height of the Great Depression under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. One of the aims of this project was to collect and record the history of American material culture, and it culminated in the creation of the Index of American Design. This work, while intended for a wide audience, was never published.

Now, after 80 years, Kentucky’s contributions to the Index of American Design have at last been compiled in "Kentucky by Design." Kelly has gathered the contributions of experts to catalog prime examples of the state’s decorative arts that were featured in the index, pairing the original FAP watercolors with contemporary photographs of the same or similar artifacts. He provides information surrounding the history and current location (and, often, the journey in-between) of each piece, as well as local or familial lore surrounding the object. In addition to a wealth of Shaker material, the objects featured include a number of quilts and rugs as well as a wide assortment of everyday items, from powder horns and candle lanterns to glass flasks and hand-crafted instruments.

The winner of the Alice Award will receive a $25,000 cash prize, which will be presented at a reception in the Rare Book Room at Strand Books on Oct. 25. The Alice Award “provides important and deserved confirmation of the press’ achievement,” noted Jerrold Hirsch, a contributor to the volume and author of "Portrait of America: A Cultural History of the Federal Writers’ Project." “I am proud to be part of such a beautiful and important book.”

Andrew Kelly, trained at Sotheby’s New York, is a Helena Rubinstein Fellow of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has authored and edited numerous monographs and catalogs on the fine and decorative arts. He has worked in association with many institutions, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, McNay Art Museum, Harry Ransom Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lisbon Ajuda National Palace Museum, Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation Palma de Mallorca, Russian State Museum at the Marble Palace, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum and the Tate Gallery London.

University Press of Kentucky (UPK) is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that includes all of the state universities, five private colleges and two historical societies. The press’ editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation through the UK Libraries.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

UK announces establishment of the Heyburn Initiative

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Dr. Martha K. Heyburn on Monday announced the establishment of a national, nonpartisan federal judicial initiative at the university in honor of the trailblazing U.S. Senior District Judge John G. Heyburn II.

The Heyburn Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary, in partnership with the UK College of Law and UK Libraries, will establish an archives and oral history program for Kentucky’s federal judges and a national lecture series on relevant judicial topics. It also will play host to federal judicial conferences.

"The John G. Heyburn Initiative for Judicial Excellence is a perfect tribute to my friend," Sen. McConnell said. "John was kind, he was thoughtful, he was principled — and the Heyburn Initiative will remind us that these virtues count both on the bench and in life. Dedicated to the preservation and study of judicial history in Kentucky, I look forward to the Heyburn Initiative becoming an integral part of Kentucky’s judicial community and a national focal point and destination for all students of our legal system."

Based on the recommendation of Sen. McConnell, President George H.W. Bush appointed Judge Heyburn to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in 1992. He served as chief judge in the Western District of Kentucky from 2001 to 2008.

Heyburn's opinions on same-sex marriage are well known: He struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage and the state’s refusal to honor such marriages from other states, ruling that both violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. He died on April 29, 2015, at age 66 of cancer.

Dr. Heyburn, his wife of nearly 39 years, said the initiative seeks to spark a continuing conversation about the rule of law and aid in the constant improvement of the judiciary.

 "John was determined to make better the legal system he considered 'the envy of the world,'" Dr. Heyburn said. "This initiative will mark his legacy by educating citizens about the American government and democracy itself through the prism of the third branch and by sparking a robust dialogue about our legal system."
UK officials said the Heyburn Initiative will be unique in the nation, enhancing the public’s understanding of the third branch and how the three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — interact. UK and the College of Law will establish a lecture series to annually bring speakers to address current issues facing the judiciary. Sen. McConnell announced Monday that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be the first speaker, in early 2017.

UK and the College of Law also will work with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Federal Judicial Center to host conferences and training sessions for the federal judiciary’s judges, administrators and staff. By focusing on timely legal issues and providing seminars of exceptional quality, the Heyburn Initiative will be distinguished as the leading resource to improve the quality of the judiciary. 
The initiative will seek to create a complete history of all Kentuckians who serve or have served in the federal judiciary, with archives and oral histories managed by UK Libraries. The material is to be made publicly available online. 

No independent or university-based center currently offers these unique components, UK officials said. "The importance of today’s announcement is two-fold," said President Eli Capilouto. "First, the university is proud to honor the legacy of astute jurisprudence and public service left by Judge Heyburn. Indeed, his contributions to legal doctrine ensuring fair and equitable application of the law are renowned and far-reaching. Second, as the home of the new Heyburn Initiative, the University of Kentucky is enhancing and extending its capacity as a place of knowledge, discourse and service. The mission and programs of the Heyburn Initiative going forward will support scholars and jurists for many years to come, building on our role as a public flagship and land-grant research university." 

In addition to his well-known opinions on same-sex marriage, Heyburn played a significant role in the Jefferson County Public Schools student assignment plan, ruling that schools cannot use race or gender as the sole factor in determining admittance, but that busing could continue. The case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

An independent advisory board will be created to support the Heyburn Initiative. Funding to support the Heyburn Initiative will be raised and managed by the Community Foundation of Louisville.

Office of Philanthropy rolls out new UK Libraries giving website

Under the direction of the Office of Philanthropy, UK Libraries has a new giving website. It is part of the new UK Network for Good platform. According to Daniel King, director of Philanthropy, the new site represents a major overhaul in UK Libraries online giving.