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Showing posts with label rare books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rare books. Show all posts

16 May 2017

Celebrate IDAHOBIT with the Library

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is Wednesday 17 May, and the Library is celebrating by putting together some of our best LGBTQIA resources, says subject librarian Carolyn Jones.

Gay Information
No. 11, 1982

May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). It was created to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBTIQA community, and encourage the global community to stand together. In honour of this day, Monash University Diversity & Inclusion is hosting a range of events throughout the week, so check them out and get involved!

If you’d like to do some of your own research around IDAHOBIT, look no further than Monash University Library.

The Law Library at Clayton campus, as well as the Peninsula Library, will have several key related resources on display throughout the week. At Law we will be showcasing law-related resources relating to LGBTQIA cases and legislation history, and Peninsula will have education and health resources available to explore.

The Library’s LGBTQIA resources reach far and wide, from our amazing new database Archives of sexuality & gender: LGBTQ history and culture since 1940, which we added to the collection last year, to extensive collections of LGBTQIA film and documentary material in all of our streaming digital collections. You can (and should!) spend hours on Film Platform and Kanopy, as well as Alexander Street Press learning about the history and the vibrant variety, struggles, and celebrations of the LGBTQIA community worldwide.

We also have special access to the Visual History Archive, a database with thousands of hours of interviews with Holocaust survivors, including many targeted throughout and following WWII due to their sexuality or gender identity. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals tells the story of those in concentration camps that were marked with a pink triangle. They were not allowed to go free when Nazi Germany fell, and many continued to be incarcerated for years.

The Monash book and ebook collections have a strong focus on gender and sexuality issues and history from across many fields of study. Here is just a sample:


Keen for a soundtrack as you read? Smithsonian Global Sound Archive has a wide variety of music from around the world, from the iconically bisexual David Bowie to trans artist Rae Spoon to music from yesteryear, like 1973’s What Did You Expect...?: Songs About the Experiences of Being Gay.

Our fantastic eJournal platform Browzine also has an extensive collection of international journals to browse through, including GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies and Transgender Studies Quarterly, offering some of the best in LGBTQIA academic research and writing today. The resources available through our Newspapers Library Guide can help you dive into the up-to-date and historical happenings on the LGBTQIA community across the globe. Whether you’re interested in decriminalisation, public perception, or more recent news around marriage equality and Safe Schools, we’ve got you covered!

And, to round out our fabulous Library finds for IDAHOBIT, check out the many vintage items held in our Rare Books Collection! The brand new Special Collections Reading Room at the nearly-finished Sir Louis Matheson Library is open to all staff, students, and the public.



Blatant Lesbianism
Elaine Alinta
1978












     



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28 February 2017

A teaser book display at Peninsula Library

A new book display at Peninsula Library provides a teaser about the exhibition that's opening soon in the Sir Louis Matheson Library at Clayton campus. 


An interesting display at Peninsula Library features a number of books chosen to complement the exhibition that will open soon in the Sir Louis Matheson Library at Clayton.

The Peninsula Library display is about journeys for the young and the young at heart, says Daniel Wee, a librarian who's part of our Rare Books team and who chose the items for the display.

"From skirmishes with swashbuckling pirates to voyages to the farthest outreaches of our galaxy, tales of adventure and discovery play an integral role in the creation of children's literature. Before movies and television, fantastic stories fired the imagination of young readers," says Daniel.

Books, like the boys' and girls' annual -- gift books which contained many stories and pictures -- and much loved favourites, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, are held in various forms in Monash University Library's collections.

The Library has four collections of children's books located in the Peninsula Library and the Matheson Library-based collections of Teaching Materials, the Melbourne Centre for Japanese Language Education (MCJLE) and the Lindsay Shaw Collection in Rare Books.






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1 December 2016

Writing in books: Marginalia in the Rare Books Collection

When you are reading for study or pleasure, do you underline words, highlight parts of the text or draw asterisks next to important lines? Do you write notes to yourself in the margin to clarify what you’ve just read or to remind yourself of an idea that the passage has brought up? If you are using an ebook or reading an article online, do you use the annotate tool to highlight passages or to create notes? Perhaps you annotate as a way of replying to the author or to question, approve, or refute his or her viewpoint.  If you do any of these things, you may not have realised it, but you have been engaging in the scholarly process of creating marginalia.  By Lauren Buchanan



Recently, a conference on marginalia - Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins - was held at the State Library of Victoria in conjunction with Monash University and University of Otago’s Centres for the Book. It included a masterclass where participants could bring and discuss examples encountered in their work or study, learn about different kinds of annotation, and consider the underlying meaning and significance of the practice. Attending the conference led me to consider the examples of marginal notes I have seen in the Rare Books Collection at Monash and pick out just a few favourites to share. These items are available for you to view in the Special Collections Reading Room at Sir Louis Matheson Library, Clayton. (Note: The library is currently closed, reopening on 30 January 2017.)

Marginalia is generally produced as part of the reading and studying process (Jackson, 2001) and can also serve a communicative function (Fajkovic & Björneborn, 2014). Annotations to the text can act as an imaginary conversation between the reader and the author, as well as initiating an ongoing conversation between subsequent readers of the marginalia. Once they have been written, “marginalia become physical artefacts, whose function is a constant and inseparable part of both the text and the physical book” (Fajkovic & Björneborn, 2014, p. 914).

In the realm of marginalia, there are many different kinds of markings. From an innocuous pencil underline of a keyword to the vertical line next to a paragraph indicating its importance; from an exclamatory “No!” scrawled by an outraged reader to an earnestly written argument debunking the author’s viewpoint in the margin of the page. Stars, asterisks, curly brackets, scribbles, doodles, sketches, even the elegant outline of a hand with a finger or fingers pointing to specific parts of the text, known as a manicule, are all marks of marginalia.

Decoding handwritten annotations

The first image is an example from one of our manuscripts, probably written in France during the eighteenth century. A professional scribe was employed to transcribe Jean de la Fontaine’s Transformation metallique, trois anciens tractez en rithme francoise (Paris: Guillaume Gillard, 1561) and an extract of Le roman de la rose by Jean de Meung (c.1240). The manuscript’s owner has interacted with the text by underlining important passages, inserting a curly bracket to emphasise another passage, writing extensive notes in the margins, and also excising large passages by crossing them out. The reader has also drawn a manicule in the left-hand margin, a name that comes from the Latin maniculum, meaning "little hand”. Manicules originated in the scribal tradition of the medieval and Renaissance period and functioned as punctuation marks to signal corrections or notes. They were later used as a printer’s typographical symbol to mark notes and also act as a means of signifying noteworthy passages and in advertising displays (Houston, 177).

The next item that caught my eye is an edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du contrat social, ou, Principes du droit politique (Strasbourg: De l'Impr. de la Société typographique, 1791). Our edition has an ownership inscription on the front cover that reads, “A. Lewis Parkes” and contains a number of handwritten annotations. Unlike the previous example, in which marginalia accompanies the text throughout, the Rousseau edition has only been annotated on the front and preliminary papers and the endpapers. This particular example also highlights one of the problems inherent in decoding handwritten annotations. Sometimes, the handwriting is extremely difficult to read and its meaning and significance remains opaque. Interpreting marginalia can often prove a tantalising but frustrating and difficult task!

 The last two examples of marginalia are both connected to the author Jonathon Swift. This image is from a pamphlet with a rather interesting lineage. Swift’s pamphlet, The Presbyterians Plea of Merit (1733), attacked the Whig government for their intention to remove the Test Act for dissenters. We hold the anonymously printed reply to Swift’s pamphlet, entitled, A Vindication of the Protestant dissenters (Dublin, Powell: 1733), which contains handwritten notes penned by Jonathon Swift himself as he read the attack upon his work. Unfortunately, some notes were cropped in the binding process but we can immediately see some of his reactions in the margins, including his rebuttals of certain points. These comments were later reworked as part of Swift’s ironic reply, Reasons for repealing the Sacramental Test & c. in favour of the Catholics (1732).

The final example shows an anonymous commentator’s interaction with another of Swift’s pamphlets, The management of the four last years vindicated….(London: J Morphew, 1714). It was written by Swift as a reply to Charles Povey's An inquiry into the miscarriages of the four last years reign (London: Robinson, c.1714). As you can see, the commentator has drawn a manicule, signalling the importance of the passage. There are also underlinings, vertical lines to emphasise a paragraph, comments written next to the printed text, as well as copious notes at the foot of each page. Like previous examples, the handwriting here is difficult to decipher, rendering the task of interpretation problematic. However, for a student or researcher interested in either Swift or the historical period, grappling with difficult marginalia may provide a rich reward.

Studying marginalia can provide a deeper insight into an author and his or her readers as well give a greater appreciation of the wider context in which they wrote. Marginal notes and annotations help make an item unique and offer a glimpse into the lived experience of the book itself. They raise questions of provenance, use, and appreciation. In the digital landscape, we may question whether the process of creating marginalia will continue and what this means for the study of marginalia. We would love to see you in the Special Collections Reading Room deciphering these works or puzzling over other books with accompanying marginalia.



References

Fajkovic, M., & Björneborn, L. (2014). Marginalia as message: Affordances for reader-to-reader communication. Journal of Documentation, 70(5), 902–926. doi:10.1108/jd-07-2013-0096 

Houston, K. (2013). Shady characters: the secret life of punctuation, symbols, & other typographical marks. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


Jackson, Heather J. (2001).  Marginalia: readers writing in books. New Haven: Yale University Press.






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3 November 2016

Special Collections Reading Room opens

The old Rare Books Reading Room at the Sir Louis Matheson Library is now closed for building works. From 7 November, researchers and visitors will be able to view rare and valuable items in the new Special Collections Reading Room.

Located on the ground floor, the new room is designed for the exclusive purpose of viewing restricted special use items.It will be open from
9am to 5pm on weekdays.

To arrange to see a rare or fragile item from our Rare Books, Asian or Music and Multimedia Collections, please contact staff to request the item/s in advance. Pre-requested items will be retrieved twice a day, at 10am and 1pm. 


More information about our special collections including how to contact staff is available:



Staff will also be on hand at the Reading Room service point after 7 November.

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20 June 2016

Rare Books Week a must for book-lovers


Book lovers, local historians and collectors will be interested in the Melbourne Rare Books Week, to be held between July 14 and 24, 2016.

The mid-year program is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

Monash is associated with a number of items on the program, with staff presenting topics including The Tyranny of Distance, 50 years on (Emeritus Prof Graeme Davison), Banned books exposed (Dr Patrick Spedding), Illustrated books (Stephen Herrin) and Keeping the originals (Professor Wallace Kirsop with a panel). Other speakers during the week include Emeritus Prof. Chris Browne, Adj Assoc Prof John Arnold, and former Rare Books Librarian Richard Overell.

Two of the free events are to be held at the Monash Law Chambers in Collins Street, while others are to be held at the State Library of Victoria, the Library at the Dock, the Supreme Court Library and other city venues.

All events are free, but bookings are needed in most cases. The full program and links for individual rsvps can be found on the web page.

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8 May 2015

Asian literary gems new and old at Matheson

Books by Nobel Prize winning author Mo Yan are on display at the Matheson Library, along with historic Japanese texts.

Rare Japanese classics from the Suetsugu collection and the works of Chinese literary sensation Mo Yan are currently on display and available for borrowing at the Sir Louis Matheson Library, Clayton Campus.

The displays are part of the Library’s Asian Studies Collection, a leading research facility in Australia. The Collection has a strong focus on Southeast Asia and East Asia.

Suetsugu Collection
The Suetsugu collection―a large collection of over one 1000 volumes of rare 18th and 19th century Japanese books―originally came from Matsue, Japan, and was the library of an old established Matsue family. The historical and cultural city of Matsue is also known, incidentally, as the home of the writer Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo).

Later the collection came into the possession of Captain L. K. Shepherd, an intelligence Linguist with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force from 1947-1956. Captain Shepherd eventually donated the collection to the Monash Library.

The books on display at the Matheson Library include a four-volume history of Japan from 1861 written in the Kanbun style, a Japanese work of classical literature from 1661 titled, ”Essays in Idleness”, Chinese poetry by Li Bai written in calligraphy, and two tiny volumes of Confucian literature. The Suetsugu collection is held in the Rare Books Collection.

Mo Yan莫言 winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature


A separate case displays a selection of books by or about the 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Chinese novelist Mo Yan (莫言), whose works include novels, short stories and essays. His novels were translated into English by Howard Goldblatt (葛浩文), professor of East Asian language and literatures at the University of Notre Dame.

The Matheson Library has collected most of Mo Yan's books and also holds many books about him in both Chinese and English. They can be found through Search under his name “Mo Yan” or under each individual title. Books in Chinese are kept in the Chinese collection and English books are kept in the general collection.

The Asian Studies Collection materials are presently located in the open access lower ground floor Matheson Store while the library is being refurbished. Please visit the collection or enquire with Information staff about accessing items from the collection.




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18 February 2015

Meet our new Rare Books Librarian


Stephen Herrin, who already has a few exhibitions in his curating portfolio, has been appointed as the new Rare Books Librarian at the Matheson Library.


Hand-coloured illustration from John Gould's
A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, 1837-8
The Rare Books Collection is a valuable assortment of books, pamphlets, ephemera and realia assembled to support research at the University and beyond. Some highlights are a 1476 commentary of the Bible, Gould’s Birds of Australia, and the first English edition of Newton’s Principia. There are collections of politics, communism, the occult, artists’ books, Australian literature, science fiction, women’s studies, and many others representing social and historical movements and ideas.

“I am very proud to have been appointed the Rare Books Librarian here at Monash. It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to curate, build and promote this extraordinary collection," said Stephen.

"I was very fortunate to have worked with the previous Librarian, Richard Overell, for a number of years until his retirement. He had a great knowledge of books, an anecdote for everything, and was a true mentor for me.”

Stephen Herrin
Stephen has had a wide range of experience through his career. He holds a BA in Literature from the University of Wisconsin, an MA (Librarianship) and a PhD through the School of Information Management and Systems from Monash University. He has been a reference librarian at Deakin University and here at both the Matheson Library and Hargrave-Andrew Library, and spent three years as the Research Assistant on the History of the Book in Australia Project.

“I would like to invite any interested academics and librarians to the Rare Books Section to discuss the diverse collections and how we might assist your research or teaching.”



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