2019 Spring – Personal & Institutional News

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2019, Vol. 42, No. 2

Column Editor: Sharon Clayton


Yelena Luckert, Librarian for Jewish and Slavic Studies at The University of Maryland Libraries, is co-editor of the following book ~

Luckert, Yelena, and Lindsay Inge Carpenter, eds. The Globalized Library: American Academic Libraries and International Students, Collections, and Practices. Chicago: ACRL, 2019. She notes that many of the articles in the book deal with collections, study abroad, instruction, and other subjects that could be of interest to ESS members.

ESS Member, Lucia Wolf, Reference Librarian in the European Division of The Library of Congress, is publishing a new blog. She writes to us “Here is my new blog from the Library of Congress on Italian women’s writing, as a final tribute to the month dedicated to women’s international day. Through my blogs, I am also promoting knowledge of new collections that I am curating at the Library of Congress, as in this case 19th century women’s periodicals from Italy. The Library already holds vast collections of women’s writings; however, I am focus specifically on the development of the Italian women writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Please stay tuned and also read my colleagues’ blogs about the international collections at LC! I hope that you will enjoy it and please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Last October, Sarah Sussman, Curator of French and Italian Collections at Stanford University, contributed to the Revue de la BnF on French collections in American libraries. Thanks to all of the ESS members who helped with the research, a wide variety of institutions is represented. The article is available on CAIRN: Sussman Sarah, « Outre-Atlantique. Les collections françaises dans les bibliothèques américaines », Revue de la BNF, 2018/2 (n° 57), p. 48-65.

Dick Hacken‘s article on “Gottfried Keller and the Fictionalization of Switzerland” appeared in the Swiss American Historical Society Review, vol. 55, no. 1 (Feb. 2019), pp. 38-71. Herr Hacken contrasts the concocted socioeconomic conditions depicted in Keller’s Die Leute von Seldwyla (“The People of Seldwyla”) decalogy (that’s like a trilogy, but connecting 10 works rather than three) with actual, historical 19th century Swiss conditions. In addition to literary posturing and postulating, the ostensible critic also provides short synopses of the ten stories — the best known of which are perhaps “Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe” (“A Village Romeo and Juliet”) and “Kleider machen Leute” (“Clothes Make the Man”). The article may not be highly notable or quotable but it definitely is downloadable from the BYU institutional repository. Woodcuts and other illustrations illuminate the message wherever the words bog down.

Institutional News

ESS member Sebastian Hierl, Drue Heinz Librarian, at The Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library of The American Academy in Rome, announces that they have updated their Digital Library presence on the web. Sebastian writes that “The site now provides access to over 42,000 images pertaining to archaeological sites throughout Italy and the Mediterranean, including of sites in Turkey, Libya, Syria and Iraq now damaged or lost—as well as photographs pertaining to the history of the Academy. The site will continue to grow over the coming months, as we add more collections. In addition, the Academy contributed photographs by Ernest Nash to “The Urban Legacy of Ancient Rome: Photographs from The Ernest Nash Fototeca Unione Collection“—which is a project by the University of Oregon, Stanford University, Dartmouth College and Studium Urbis at and which features over 1,295 photographs of Roman buildings, monuments, and sites taken by Ernest Nash throughout the mid-20th century.”

Sebastian notes that “anyone traveling to Rome for research now has an additional resource to quickly access the research collections of 23 libraries through the URBiS portal — the latter now unites the collections of 23 libraries, with close to 3 million unique holdings.”

ESS member Claude Potts has let us know that The University of California, Berkeley has a new online exhibit The Languages of Berkeley. The UC Berkeley Library has recently launched an online library exhibition that celebrates the magnificent diversity of languages that advance research, teaching, and learning at Berkeley. It takes the form of an exciting sequential exhibit that will build on one blog post per week, showcasing an array of digitized works in the their original language chosen by those who work with these languages on a daily basis—librarians, professors, lecturers, staff, and students. Many of these early-published works are now in the public domain and are open to the world to read and share without restriction. The exhibit will reach completion in Fall 2020 and then be archived with other online library exhibits.

File:Wittenburg.jpg250pxthumbleftalt=Wittenburg Braun/Hogenberg, from Civitates orbis terrarum (Towns of the World), 1618-23 (facsimile edition).

The University of Michigan Libraries has an online exhibit Reforming the Word: Martin Luther in Context, curated by Professor Helmut Puff. The context is the European world at the time, and the introduction starts with, “The late medieval German lands teemed with innovation. Novel forms of piety emerged, the demand for practical learning grew, more universities competed for students, and wealth from both trade and mining transformed social relations. The dissemination of texts and ideas on an industrial scale via the printing press reshaped communication, knowledge, and belief. In this context, reform—the renewal of a lost standard of the past in the present—became a battle-cry for religious, economic, and political change.”


ESS member, George Paganelis, let us know the following sad news:

“The University Library at California State University, Sacramento mourns the passing of Prof. Speros Vryonis, Jr., one of the most eminent scholars of Hellenic and Turkish civilizations of the 20th century and the architect of the University Library’s Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection. “It’s easy to marvel at Dr. Vryonis as a towering intellect and prolific scholar, but his accomplishments, as he would tell you, had as much—if not more—to do with hard work and discipline,” notes George I. Paganelis, Curator of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection. Upon the closure of the Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism, Vryonis was instrumental in the decision to bring the center’s library to Sacramento State, where it was renamed in honor of its benefactor and Sacramento State alumnus Angelo K. Tsakopoulos. He also advocated for the creation of a full-time curatorial position to oversee its care and growth in the University Library. “Dr. Vryonis was a consistent supporter of my work to enhance the collection. He was very generous with his time and encouragement, and his praise was the highest compliment I have received in my professional life,” Paganelis adds. Read Vryonis’ full obituary.