||September 18, 2009 – Issue 20|
A Modern-Day Vivarium
Were he alive today, Cassiodorus, founder of the Vivarium, a famous sixth-century monastic library and fishponds in Southern Italy, would surely admire Stanford's Harold A. Miller Library at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove. Certainly, the very idea of such a library – or, indeed, of a university with a branch library supporting wet research – would have been foreign to Cassiodorus, an encyclopedist whose monastery held a few hundred manuscripts at most. The days of divers dripping sea-water onto the Miller Library's books are past (the Library was once located adjacent to the divers' locker room), but the idea of a collection highly focused in subject and proximate to researchers remains central to our understanding of how libraries serve research.
Stanford's first President, David Starr Jordan, of course, was a leading ichthyologist known for his definitive and beautifully illustrated books on fishes of North America and Hawaii; the University began seriously collecting in the subject almost immediately thereafter. As a result, the Miller Library's resources are extensive and deep, including a Special Collections Room containing important, often unpublished journals and research records, as well as antiquarian and rare printed books. The Library is currently supported in part by seven endowed book and journal funds:
The Donald P. Abbott Memorial Fund for Marine Invertebrates
The Alan Baldridge Fund
The Eugene C. and Aileen E. Haderlie Memorial Fund
The Hopkins Marine Station Library Fund
The Greg G. Peterson Memorial Fund
The E. S. Pillsbury Fund
The Marshall Steel Sr. Foundation Fund
Throughout the year, the Hopkins Marine Station is home to resident faculty and graduate students, visiting scientists, and numerous courses for Stanford undergraduates (including a course on kelp forest ecology which requires SCUBA certification). Joe Wible, Head Librarian and Bibliographer of the Miller Library, is himself an active participant in the research programs of Hopkins, particularly in his favorite role as diver. Hopkins maintains one of the oldest daily records of sea-water temperature at a single spot in the world, providing crucial data for the effects of global warming. Its buildings house numerous laboratories and intriguing equipment, some of it designed by Stanford students and assembled onsite. One building contains four large tanks acclimating tuna, mackerel and hammerhead sharks to the conditions under which they will be displayed at Hopkins' next-door neighbor, the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Supporters of the Miller Library may make donations directly to its gift fund or join the Friends of Hopkins Marine Station. Friends of Hopkins receive a newsletter from Director Stephen R. Palumbi, invitations to an annual picnic and open house, and opportunities to attend lectures and tours. Read about recent research and news from the Hopkins Marine Station here.
Recent Acquisitions Featured in Exhibit
In a typical year, the Stanford University Libraries adds close to two thousand linear feet of original manuscripts and archives as well as hundreds of rare books to its Special Collections. Recent Arrivals 2004-2009: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives, opening on Monday, September 21 in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda, displays some of the most notable gifts and purchases of the past five years.
Highlights among the books on display include the copy of Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) that Douglass inscribed to the woman who ransomed him from slavery, from the library of late Professor of English Jay Fliegelman; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's History of the Expedition . . . to the Sources of the Missouri (1814) which contains a celebrated map drawn by Clark that provided the first accurate depiction of the sources of the Columbia and Missouri rivers; a 1468 illuminated Latin manuscript of Jacob de Voragine's (ca. 1230-1298) Legenda Aurea (Golden Legend); and several very rare Hebraica volumes purchased from the private Valmadonna Trust Library.
Manuscript items on display include a diary recounting a Protestant family's harrowing escape from France in 1687; photographs by experimental filmmaker Jack Smith (1932-1989); correspondence between Irving Rosenthal (1930-) and William Burroughs (1914-1997) concerning editing and publication of Burroughs' Naked Lunch; and materials documenting the friendship between Estonian philosopher, scholar, and prolific author Leonid N. Stolovich (1939-2007) and Yuri Lotman (1922-1993), founder of the Moscow-Tartu school of semiotics.
The Stanford University Archives is also well represented, with a set of sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings (displayed in magnified facsimile) for the Stanford Memorial Church mosaics produced by the Venetian glass firm A. Salviati & Co., ca. 1899-1901. Images on display include a controversial drawing for the church façade – which Jane Stanford rejected – along with the approved design.
Recent Arrivals 2004-2009: Rare Books, Manuscripts & Archives is open to the public through December 31, 2009 whenever Green Library is open (for hours, click here).
Commemorate with Books
Library gifts come in myriad varieties, some of which directly support ongoing acquisitions, including some that result in commemorative bookplates. By tradition, Stanford University uses gifts to the Memorial Fund to purchase books for campus libraries. A sailing ship depicted in The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville, 1657, graces the bookplate memorializing departed family members, classmates, faculty, and others, as well as recording the names of contributors.
The Celebration Fund commemorates life's more joyous occasions – living achievements and special moments of friends and family – with a bookplate depicting musicians from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. Anyone wishing to provide new books for the Libraries without dedicating the gift may also give to the Celebration Fund; bookplates bearing the Stanford Seal honor book sponsors.
One bookplate is placed in a random, newly acquired book for each $50 donated to the Memorial or Celebration fund. The Library Development Office is publishing an updated brochure about our commemorative bookplate programs. To request copies of the new brochure by mail click here, or to discuss supporting a specific subject collection in the Libraries, please call 650-723-3866.
New Students Tour Libraries
Throughout this week, hundreds of new undergraduate students and some of their parents took 50-minute orientation tours of Green Library, in advance of the first day of classes on September 21. The tours emphasized library information services and research resources, while highlighting subject collections and study spaces for individuals and groups. Additional tours and online demonstrations were conducted for new graduate students, not only in Green Library, but also in many of the branch libraries serving graduate research. Orientation programs are offered throughout the year; of course, those held at the beginning of Autumn Quarter are especially vital and well attended. A full list of tours and orientation workshops at the Stanford Libraries is found here. An online tour of Green Library is found here.
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|Stanford University Libraries|
Library Development Office
Cecil H. Green Library
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
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