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SU Library News & Events

Specialists in media preservation visit Syracuse University for three-day event

October 22nd, 2014 by Julie Sharkey

There are tens of thousands of audio and videotape recordings in storage all over the Syracuse University campus–speeches and lectures, performances, athletic events, WAER and Orange TV programs, original faculty and student research, and archival recordings in the SU Libraries’ Belfer Audio Archive and Special Collections Research Center. Many of these tape recordings are rare or unique, and they document sounds and images of significance to the University and to our greater cultural heritage. Professional media specialists predict that such fragile formats have, on average, only about 15 years of playtime left.

Please join us in a series of events focused on media preservation and scholarship. A Syracuse Symposium panel discussion on November 5 from 2–4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library will center on the challenges and looming crisis of media preservation, with perspectives from Mike Casey, Chris Lacinak, and Grace Lile, three leading experts in the field. A Critical Connections Lecture and Mini-Seminar features Tim Brooks G’69 (Newhouse) examining African American artists at the birth of the sound recording industry. His work highlights the impact of media preservation on 21st-century scholarship.

Syracuse Symposium Panel Discussion
Witnessing Archival Preservation: Perspectives on Preserving Tape-based Media Recordings

November 5, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library, First Floor
Reception to follow

Mike Casey, Director of Media Preservation Services, Media Preservation Initiative, Indiana University
Chris Lacinak, Founder and President, AVPreserve
Grace Lile, Director of Operations and Archives, WITNESS

This event is co-sponsored by Syracuse Symposium™ in the SU Humanities Center

Critical Connections Lecture and Mini-Seminar
African Americans and the Birth of the Recording Industry

Public Lecture: November 6, 5:00 p.m.
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library, First Floor

Mini-Seminar: November 7, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Lemke Seminar Room SCRC, Bird Library, Sixth Floor

Both events are free and open to the public, however advance registration is required for the mini-seminar. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at or at 315‐443‐9763.

About the speakers

Tim Brooks G’69 (Newhouse) is a former television executive and a researcher of early recording artists and phonograph history. His multi award-winning book, Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919, was the first to document this subject, and the companion CD, Lost Sounds, won a 2007 Grammy award for “Best Historical Release.”

Mike Casey is the Director of Media Preservation Services for Indiana University’s Media Preservation Initiative. He has authored or co-authored a number of vital documents outlining best practices for audio preservation. He authored the “Indiana University Media Preservation Survey” report and was principal author of the follow-up report.

Chris Lacinak founded AVPreserve in 2006 to enable organizations to maximize the usability of their content. He is a former Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of VidiPax, a moving image and sound preservation reformatting facility. For six years, he taught at NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation graduate program.

Grace Lile is an archivist with over 20 years’ experience working with film and video collections. Prior to joining WITNESS in 2003, Grace spent nine years at CNN and two years at the Worldwide Television News Archive. Grace is actively engaged in efforts to support human rights archiving and documentation.

Issues in Digital Scholarship talk with Peter Leonard

October 21st, 2014 by Julie Sharkey

peter-leonard-sliderAs a part of the Syracuse University Libraries’ ongoing Issues in Digital Scholarship series, Dr. Peter Leonard, Librarian for Digital Humanities Research at Yale, will be on campus Wednesday, November 12 for a talk on his work with digital methods in the Vogue & Financial Times archives. The talk, entitled “Making Sense: Data-Mining Large Collections of Digitized Cultural Material,” will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at Bird Library.

Sponsored by the Syracuse University Libraries’ Research and Scholarship department, the series focused on digital scholarship seeks to explore how scholars in different fields engage digital technologies as the subject matter of their research, in their research methods, their collaborative work, and the systems through which their research is disseminated and preserved. Additionally, we will explore the ways in which the library, the university, and its technology infrastructure can support these modes of scholarship and sustain their future.

All are welcome. Light snacks will be provided.

Peter Leonard is Librarian for Digital Humanities Research at Yale University Library, where he helps scholars answer humanistic questions with quantitative and algorithmic methods. His recent work as Co-Principal Investigator of a Google Digital Humanities Grant has focused on Topic Modeling as a technique for exposing hidden structure in the Nordic-language volumes in Google Books. He received his doctorate in Scandinavian Literature from the University of Washington.

Green Roofs: Lessons Learned presentation on October 22

October 20th, 2014 by Julie Sharkey

green roofsSU Libraries and the School of Architecture are pleased to present a second event this fall in their materials awareness program. The Architecture Reading Room staff have organized a series to highlight both the physical samples collection, as well as provide an education component to a unique collection.

A presentation by Building Envelope Technologies (BET) will take place on Wednesday, October 22 from 11:00 to noon in Slocum Hall, Room 402.

BET also offers CES credits to graduates and working professionals.

The presentation is open to students, faculty, alumni, and guests. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact Barbara Opar at or at 315-443-3518.

SU Libraries to award adult education research grants

October 13th, 2014 by Pamela McLaughlin

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries invites applicants for its Alexander N. and Margaret Charters Adult Education Grants-in-Aid Program, now in its seventh year. Up to $4,000 of grants-in-aid will be awarded in 2014 to researchers, scholars, and practitioners. The actual amount of each award will depend upon the scope of the research outlined in the applicant’s proposal. Winners will be encouraged to submit copies of any scholarly output resulting from their work for inclusion in SUrface, Syracuse University’s institutional repository.

The application deadline is January 15, 2015; winners will be announced by March 1, 2015. Grant funds must be used between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. For information on how to apply, visit the Charters Grants-in-Aid Program website.

The Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults is the world’s most comprehensive collection of English-language materials in the field of adult and continuing education. The collection includes more than 90 manuscript collections, 2,100 books, 50 professional journals, 220 newsletters, 400 sound recordings, 100 video recordings, 10,000 photographs, and 2,800 master’s theses and dissertations. Also included are the papers of individuals such as William Langner, Beverly Cassara, and its namesake, Alexander Charters, as well as the records of such pivotal organizations as Laubach Literacy International, the National University Continuing Education Association, and the Adult Education Association/American Association for Adult and Continuing Education. More information is available on the SCRC website.

The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries, home of the Charters Library, has more than 150,000 printed works and over 2,000 manuscript and archival collections. Its holdings are particularly strong in the 20th century, and include the personal papers and manuscripts of such luminaries as artist Grace Hartigan, inspirational preacher Norman Vincent Peale, author Joyce Carol Oates, photojournalist Margaret Bourke White, and industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague, as well as the records of organizations such as avant-garde publisher Grove Press. A full list of all SCRC collections is available from our website at

A dozen news databases every SU student should know!

October 9th, 2014 by Pamela McLaughlin

In salt-pressupport of the Newhouse School’s recent participation in the first ever National News Engagement Day on October 7, this SU Libraries Subject Guide highlights 12 examples of leading online news & newspaper databases worth a look.  All are available to Syracuse University affiliated students, staff, and faculty, 24/7 & 365 days per year:

For more information about news databases at SU Libraries, contact public communications librarian, Michael Pasqualoni, at