This year the Departments of Drawing and Painting hosted their 10th Sketchbook Annual on Oct. 2, in which students and faculty were encouraged to show their musings, studies, notes, and doodles with the rest of the MICA campus. 

The Decker Library is glad to partner with Sketchbook Day each year to host an exhibition of selected books from the event. The exhibit will be up until this Saturday the 14th! Make sure to swing by before then to check it out!

Techniques on display in this year’s selections include collage, altered books, pen drawings, paintings, and form studies highlighting the unique perspectives and original processes of MICA’s student body.

Students whose work is on display include:

Bernard Bagalso, Maria Diaz, Avani Dwivedi, Rachel Falzon, Sophie Fisher, Rebecca Hu, So Hee Kim, MinYoung Lee, Ben Lefferts, Xiaoxiao Li, Haley Manchon, Terrence McCormack, Hannah Moog, Emily Moran, Chuan Nitta, Lucy Ranson, Avery Storms, Savannah Pafchek, Dawon Yang, Laura Young

On the lower level are also showcased sketchbook-related works from the Decker Library’s collection, some available for checkout.


Accessing History: Unmasking the Process of Preservation

Come check out the preservation exhibit opening May 3, 2017 at 4:30pm!

The purpose of this exhibition is to unmask the preservation process and offer a glimpse into how we maintain our collections to ensure that they are available to the public for years to come. Over the course of history, the preservation process has evolved alongside our understanding of records and their role as documentary evidence. Today, preservation takes many factors into account, including proper storage, environmental conditions, and the physicality and materiality of records. We preserve these materials not only for their historical value, but also for their value as primary resources for researchers, including UWM students, staff, and faculty.

This exhibition displays items from four different departments of the library—Special Collections, Archives, Digital Collections, and the American Geographical Society Library—and focuses on the challenges faced by the Libraries in preserving often delicate or unusual materials.
Materials from all four departments participating in the exhibition will be on display at the opening for attendees to see up close. There will be a brief gallery talk followed by the opportunity to speak to members of each department and handle special materials!

Under the direction of Max Yela, this exhibition was developed and installed by Special Collections/Archives intern Elizabeth Kamper and Special Collections intern Kalani Adolpho, both graduate students in the UWM School of Information Studies.


The AACA Library’s 1906 Mitchell:

When you visit the library, you will be greeted by a small collection of vehicles in the lobby, including this 1906 Mitchell Model C-4 Runabout. This car is really special because it was donated to us by descendants of the Mitchell family. We’ve included an advertisement for a 1906 touring car at the end of this post.

From Louise Penny’s FB page: “Spent the weekend with the Clintons, and HRC’s best friend Betsey, in Chappaqua, New York. They could not have been warmer or more welcoming. Yesterday we had a tour of Hyde Park, FDR and Eleanor’s home-Presidential library, with new exhibition on internment of Japanese Americans in WW2. Chilling. It was a ‘pinch me’ weekend.” - March 5, 2017.


Our #tribblemaker day was great fun! Students in the Learning Commons stopped by to take a Break from Busyness and stitch up a tribble to help fill the tribble case in the 50 Years of Star Trek exhibition.

I’ll be in the Learning Commons all week 12PM-3PM if you’re local and you want to make a tribble.

You’ll get a #tribblemaker button and one entry to win the life size Kirk cutout that is in the tribble case in the exhibition.  


comic #2508: pie

Highlights from our second year of marriage:

I am particularly excited by what our Education staff has been doing with “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories,” a Library exhibition on the renowned science fiction writer Octavia Butler, whose papers reside at The Huntington. In partnership with Rockdale Visual and Performing Arts Magnet, an elementary school in nearby Eagle Rock, our educators developed a “deep learning” curriculum based on the life and legacy of Butler, involving creative writing for the fifth and sixth graders and a Butler-inspired art project for the entire school—all 300-plus students.

This was a pilot project and a labor of love. Huntington staff spent many weeks developing curricula for the classroom and professional development materials for teachers. The idea was to use Butler’s work as a platform from which to inspire students to imagine their very own alien world, and, through art and writing, to describe a day in the life there.

Read on in “Telling Their Stories” on VERSO.

image: An Octavia E. Butler–themed bulletin board in a classroom at Rockdale Visual and Performing Arts Magnet.


Very random, very unedited impressions from my first six days in London. (Comments in the descriptions.)

Since last Tuesday afternoon I have: 

  • registered as a reader at the British Library
  • geeked out about the Highlights of the British Library-exhibition and the upcoming Harry Potter - A History of Magic exhibition (for which I’m too early… I will be eternally sad about this)
  • looked at a couple of digitised books/pamphlets/documents, including Francis Borland’s Memoirs of Darien
  • took several strolls in St. James’ and Green Park 
  • visited the British Museum & geeked out about the Enlightenment & Roman Britain galleries, the Lewis chessmen, and the LGBTQ+ history/objects trail 
  • written most of my Cambridge paper
  • read three articles about missionaries in Panama and half of The Door to the Seas
  • took a quick trip to the National Gallery
  • went to the spa & treated myself to a massage and a facial (I call that self-medicating my anxiety and depression, same as the parks btw)
  • bought and read most of Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree while finally getting a feel for the geography of the books and the city (which are the same, really)
  • … and practically lived on bibimbap, pho, udon, and onigiri, aka all the Asian food I don’t readily get back home (I’ve also been low on spoons and too exhausted to cook, and I’m not that big on sandwiches)

I’m on a roll? I mean, I also had a couple of insights re: my fan fic, but that was bound to happen anyway. (I’m always most creative when travelling - when I’m not anxious as hell, that is.) 

Cover to Cover

To commemorate Banned Books Week, University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives features books in our collection which have been banned or challenged. One of the most frequently banned or challenged books in America according to lists maintained by the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Special Collections has multiple copies of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn included in its Mark Twain Collection. Here is an illustrator’s view of Huckleberry Finn from the 1886 edition of the book in Special Collections

Since its publication in 1884, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has generated controversy. The first ban of the book occurred in Concord, Massachusetts just one month after its release when librarians there called it “trash and suitable only for slums.” Twain’s book has been repeatedly challenged based on its treatment of race and the author’s language. It ranks #14 on the 100 Most Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been included in a Library of Congress exhibit, Books that Shaped America, that explores books “that have had a profound effect on American life.”

Original drawings for The Alphabet of Bones, 1987

Joyce Cutler-Shaw Art Featured in “Library Duet” Exhibitions

“Library Duet” is a joint exhibition of Joyce Cutler-Shaw’s work at UC San Diego’s Geisel Library and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla. The Athenaeum exhibit, opening September 23, will display Cutler-Shaw’s artist’s books from its permanent collection. UC San Diego will exhibit Cutler-Shaw’s artist books and archival materials, the Alphabet of Bones, and her Brain Project work, October 5-27, with an opening reception on October 5.

“Library Duet” comes 14 years after “Library Quartet,” a collaborative effort that was the first of its kind in the region.  Then, four libraries—UC San Diego’s Special Collections & Archives, the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, the San Diego Public Library’s Earl & Birdie Taylor Branch Library and the San Diego Public Library’s Mission Valley Branch Library.  Both collaborative exhibitions are seen as an opportunity to highlight the many stages of a distinguished and prolific artist’s career.

An artist who works across media, Cutler-Shaw’s work includes drawings, artist’s books, installations, and public commissions.  The Brain Project is a current work that follows Cutler-Shaw’s recent diagnosis of corticobasal syndrome and degeneration with brain scans in various forms, tunnel books with videos, and handwriting and drawing samples.

UC San Diego has long been a repository for Cutler-Shaw’s work. Her personal and professional archives are located in Special Collections & Archives, enabling scholars and researchers to study her original writings and drawings, correspondence, project proposals, photographs and slides, as well as audio and video recordings. A recent generous gift from Cutler-Shaw established the Joyce Cutler-Shaw Archives Program Fund; the funds will be used to support activities that increase access to and awareness of the creative endeavors and themes that permeate her art. Of note is a project to digitize the audio and visual materials in Joyce’s archives, specifically the much-admired Art & Artists Lecture Series she created from 1974 to 1982, and materials from the Landmark Art Collaborative, an organization she co-founded in 1979, which integrates art, the environment, and architecture.

A UC San Diego alumna who was a member of the university’s first MFA class in 1972, Cutler-Shaw was the first American artist to be appointed as an artist-in-residence at a university medical school when she was offered the post at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine in 1995. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the university’s “50 at 50,” when 50 distinguished alumni were honored for their contributions to their communities, the nation, and the world, for UC San Diego’s 50th anniversary.  Earlier this year, Joyce was awarded the Geisel Citation for Library Philanthropy for her major contributions to the Library and the campus.

The opening reception for “Library Duet” will be October 5, 5-7 pm, in the Seuss Room, Geisel Library, UC San Diego.