Posts on December 2015

Spanish History for Kids?

Illustration depicting the so-called "Armada Invicible" as it was destroyed by a storm when attempting to invade England.

We have recently purchased an extremely rare illustrated history of Spain. It consists of just twenty-four oblong leaves (152 x 262 mm), each of them containing six illustrations with their respective descriptive narratives below. Each of these pairs highlights important events in Spanish history from Antiquity until the reign of Philip V (1700-1746). There is no letterpress involved in the making of this book. The rectos of the pages have been entirely designed and printed by using the process...

MHydra Prototype: A Team Approach to the World of Hydra

Project Hydra logo

The open source software Hydra is, by its name and nature, modular and complex. Using this technology gives the University of Michigan the opportunity to participate in the development of an increasingly-adopted suite of tools with the flexibility to accommodate a host of needs and engage in the spirit and philosophy of open source software development. With open source, we must concern ourselves not just with our own institution’s needs and priorities, but those of a broader community.

Safe and Inclusive Classrooms: Transgender Students Describe Ideal Learning Environments

This fall, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a special report, “Diversity in Academe: Transgender on Campus.” Touching on topics from pronouns to restrooms, the report issued a call to provide equal access to transgender students on college campuses with an emphasis on creating safe environments in which all students may thrive. Student interviews captured in a powerful video can prompt us to think about providing safe and inclusive classroom environments for library instruction as well.

Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

Cover of Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

Signora da Vinci is an imaginative retelling, more fantasy than historical fiction, of the life of Leonardo da Vinci's mother, Caterina. In Robin Maxwell's novel, Caterina is the daughter of an alchemist/apothecary in a small town near Florence. After a brief romance with Piero da Vinci, a young man from a much wealthier family, she gives birth to Leonardo, who is taken away by his father's family the day after his birth. In order to be near her son, Caterina disguises herself...

Guest Post: Student Reflections on Creating Artists' Books

Estevez piece featuring an ethereal winged woman in pink and purple tones.

"Estévez’s handmade book arts are not only storied in out Special Collections and displayed in his newest exhibit, but have been passed down to eager students. Continuing in that tradition, which he helped begin, Estévez led a workshop for Michigan students on the art of bookmaking." Read more of this guest blog post by students in Prof. Ruth Behar's course, "Cuba and Its Diaspora." Professor Behar is Victor Haim Parera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology.

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