Orange Central 2019: What’s Happening at the Libraries?

A photo of the Syracuse University campus with a cursive text overlay that reads "Welcome Home"

Registration is now open for Orange Central 2019, Syracuse University’s annual homecoming and reunion weekend, September 12-15. Throughout the weekend, Syracuse University Libraries will be hosting a multitude of unique events for the Orange community to enjoy:

Friday, September 13

  • 9:30-10:00am or 4:30-5:00pm – 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University Exhibition Tour*
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia from the University archives, this exhibition showcases the traditions that unite the University, including the number 44 and the color orange. Join University archivist and exhibition curator Meg Mason for a guided tour. (*Note that as of 6/7/19, the 9:30am time slot is full. Please see other tour time slot options on Friday and Saturday.)
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:00am-noon – Innovation Breakfast of Champions
    • Bird Library, Blackstone LaunchPad, 1st Floor, Suite 120
    • Did you ever pitch a product or an idea in an entrepreneurship competition while an SU student? Work on an innovation or student venture? Have you launched something since graduating? Join us in SU’s Innovation Hub in Bird Library to catch up and to get a sneak preview of the next crop of SU innovators.
    • Program cost: No charge; includes buffet breakfast
  • 2:30-3:15 or 3:30-4:15pm  – Preserving Your Orange Memories: A Preservation Fair
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Wondering how to preserve your freshman beanie, old photos, videotapes or yearbooks for years to come? Learn how to care for and preserve personal collections, especially your Syracuse University-related memorabilia. Please note: Libraries staff cannot provide preservation treatment or appraisals for items brought to the fair.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 2:30-3:15 or 3:30-4:15pm  – Funding the Future
    • Bird Library, Blackstone LaunchPad, 1st Floor, Suite 120
    • Josh Aviv ’15, G’17, founder of SparkCharge, hosts an interactive fireside chat focused on emerging sustainable startup trends and creative funding opportunities for entrepreneurs. Co-hosted by the Blackstone LaunchPad, the School of Information Studies and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 4:00-5:30pm  – Forever Orange: The Story of Syracuse University
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • Join Rick Burton ’80 and Scott Pitoniak ’77, authors of Forever Orange, a book commemorating Syracuse University’s 150th anniversary, for a fascinating look at the diverse people, places and events that have helped Syracuse become an internationally renowned research university. Hear from the authors and take the opportunity to purchase the book (with a special 25% discount) and have them sign it. Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) will be provided.
    • Program cost: No charge

Saturday, September 14

  • 9:00-10:30am – 150th Campus Past and Present Walking Tour
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Learn about our past at the Special Collections Research Center exhibition, 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University; meet the University archivist; and then explore campus during a walking tour led by student guides from the Office of Admissions’ U100 group. The weather in Syracuse can be fickle, so check the forecast, dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes—the tour will go on, rain or shine! Please follow the directions in the registration form if you require golf cart transportation.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:00-10:30, 10:45-11:15, or 11:30-12:00 – 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University Exhibition Tour
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia from the University archives, this exhibition showcases the traditions that unite the University, including the number 44 and the color orange. Join University archivist and exhibition curator Meg Mason for a guided tour. (*Note that as of 6/7/19, the 9:30am time slot is full. Please see other tour time slot options on Friday and Saturday.)
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:30-11:30am – Bringing Don Waful’s POW Journal to Life
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • A look behind the scenes of a unique audio project from Sound Beat, the popular public radio program from the Syracuse University Libraries. Host Brett Barry ’98, G’13 narrates selections from the World War II POW journal of Don Waful ’37, G’39 interspersed with present-day commentary from Mr. Waful himself, nearly 80 years later! Q&A to follow.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 12:30-2:00pm – Libraries Former Employees Lunch*
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • Have you ever worked in the SU Libraries system, either professionally or while an SU student? We welcome you back to the Libraries for a celebratory lunch for an afternoon of networking and conversation!
    • Program cost: No charge; includes refreshments

Please note that registration is required for all Orange Central events. For a full list of campus-wide events or to register, please visit: cusecommunity.syr.edu.

Libraries Announces Several Promotions

Syracuse University Libraries announces several promotions effective July 1, 2019:

head shot of Anita Kuiken

Anita Kuiken

headshot photo of James Meade

James Meade

head shot of Sebastian Modrow

Sebastian Modrow

  • Anita Kuiken, associate librarian for Falk College, has been granted permanent status.
  • Sebastian Modrow, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Special Collections Research Center, has been promoted from senior assistant librarian to associate librarian with permanent status.
  • James Meade, audio preservation engineer with the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, has been promoted from senior assistant librarian to associate librarian with permanent status.
  • Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, assistant University archivist and Pan Am 103 archivist with University Archives, has been promoted from senior assistant librarian to associate librarian with permanent status.
  • Anne Rauh, collection development and analysis librarian and interim Head of Collections, has been promoted from associate librarian to librarian, the Libraries’ highest rank.
  • Scott Warren, associate dean for Research and Scholarship, has been promoted from associate librarian to librarian, the Libraries’ highest rank.
head shot of Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn

Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn

head shot of Scott Warren

Scott Warren

Head shot of Anne Rauh

Anne Rauh

“These promotions provide an opportunity for the University to recognize the long-standing academic and research contributions of our librarian professionals,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. 

Recommendations for promotion are brought forward to the Dean of the Libraries by the Libraries’ Promotion Committee. They are then reviewed and approved by the Provost. 

iSchool, Arts & Sciences and Libraries Collaborate on “Art of Romanticism” Course

As part of Professor Romita Ray’s “Art of Romanticism” course this past spring 2019 semester, Ray, her students, School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor Daniel Acuna, and Elizabeth Novoa, President of Unika Analytics, designed a website titled Romanticism at Syracuse University. The site features four items from Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections and pieces from the SUArt Galleries.

screen shot of website

Screen shot of Romanticism at Syracuse University website.

As part of the coursework, Ray and her students regularly met in the Lemke Seminar Room on the 6th Floor of Bird Library to study objects in the Libraries’ Special Collections, and the Libraries supported both high resolution scanning and permissions assistance for the website.  They also met with Acuna and Novoa over the course of the semester to discuss the website and its evolution. The site features fourteen opinion/editorial length essays written by students in the class, each centered on a specific object in the collection. The website incorporates zoom features to help viewers scrutinize the featured objects. It is optimized for mobile use, so it can be viewed on tablets and smart phones.

“What’s equally wonderful is that a signed watercolor by JMW Turner showed up in the collections. It was transferred from the library to the SUArt Galleries a few decades ago. Students were also excited to learn about William Blake’s famous Songs of Innocence and John James Audubon’s acclaimed Birds of America, original hand-colored prints of which are housed in Special Collections. Studying these objects first-hand raised questions about print-making techniques, social issues of the time, the politics of art-making, and in the case of Audubon’s prints, questions about ornithology and our understanding of the animal world today ,” said Ray, Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Art & Music Histories in the School of Arts & Sciences. “We have some treasures hiding in our art collections here at SU. Collaborating with Novoa and Acuna meant leveraging technology in the best possible way to make visible the stories behind these treasures. ”

“This is another outstanding example of collaboration across the Syracuse University campus and community,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian and Interim Dean of the iSchool. “Providing students with the opportunity to work with our Special Collections is an important service of the Libraries.”

PlastiVan® Visits Syracuse University Libraries

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center hosted a visit from the PlastiVan® on April 26, 2019.  The PlastiVan® is sponsored by SPE Foundation, an association of more than 22,000 members uniting plastics professionals worldwide and committed to making the plastics world better by providing a forum that generates awareness of issues facing the plastics community to identify solutions that will benefit everyone. The PlastiVan® program travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about plastics chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and applications.

High school student sitting at table in library working beside Libraries curator

Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central student (left) works with Syracuse University Libraries’ Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, Courtney Asztalos (right) during PlastiVan® field trip.

The PlastiVan® provided a unique field trip for forty local Syracuse high school students from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central. PlastiVan® CEO, Eve Vitale, delivered onsite PlastiVan® instruction sessions complete with hands on scientific experiments. Syracuse University Libraries’ Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, Courtney Asztalos, provided one-hour sessions in the Lemke Room showcasing the Libraries’ historical plastics collections.

“The Libraries’ plastics collection is truly unique,” said Courtney Asztalos. “It provides an opportunity to unite chemistry, engineering and history. And the PlastiVan® program helps to spark that curiosity.”

“This is a great opportunity to provide experiential learning to high school students in the area,” said Dean David Seaman, Librarian and Dean of Syracuse University Libraries. “SU Libraries is committed to educating those in our campus and broader community.”

Syracuse University Libraries and Department of Chemistry Collaborate to Identify Chemical Composition of Plastics Artifacts Collection

Syracuse University Libraries has collaborated on a first-of-its-kind project between the Special Collection Research Center (SCRC) and the Department of

Syracuse Chemistry of Artifacts Project (SCOAP) team in front of Plastics Artifacts Collection on 6th Floor of Syracuse University Libraries’ Bird Library. From left to right: Chemistry PhD candidate Elyse Kleist, Dr. Mary Boyden from Syracuse University Chemistry Department, and Dr. Timothy Korter, Chemistry Professor.

Chemistry. Courtney Asztalos, the Libraries’ Plastics Pioneers Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, partnered with Syracuse University Chemistry Professor Dr. Timothy Korter to investigate the chemical composition of objects from the Plastics Artifacts Collection, located on the 6th Floor of Bird Library. Along with Professor Korter, Dr. Mary Boyden and Chemistry PhD candidate Elyse Kleist created the Syracuse Chemistry of Artifacts Project (SCOAP) to use Raman spectroscopy to analyze plastic items from the Plastics Artifacts Collection. Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive technique using a laser beam to enhance knowledge of the chemical composition of plastics. This information is critical to the Plastics Artifacts Collection’s conservation, preservation, and curation.

In addition to the benefit to the Libraries, the collaboration is also providing a research opportunity for the Chemistry Department. With a solid foundation now in place through the creation of a comprehensive reference database of known plastics and formation of research protocols, the SCOAP team has set the stage for undergraduate students to engage in undergraduate research beginning in the fall of 2019. “It is magnificent to see the plastics artifacts being utilized in new and exciting ways, especially in contributing to SCOAP’s chemical research,” said Courtney Asztalos, Plastics Pioneers Curator. In the fall 2019, students enrolled in CHE450 (Introduction to Chemical Research) will work alongside Prof. Korter and Dr. Boyden on the project as part of their American Chemical Society certified degrees. They will use Raman spectroscopy to identify the chemical composition of items in the Plastics Collection and will also work with Libraries staff to understand the historical and cultural value of important plastics artifacts. “From a chemistry perspective, this is an outstanding example of applying rigorous analytical chemistry techniques in a real-world scenario where the students can immediately see the positive impact of their investigative work,” said Dr. Korter.

“We are delighted to partner on this innovative research project,” added David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, “which combines skills and materials from the Special Collections Research Center with faculty and student expertise, and which adds to our knowledge of important items in our collections to benefit future research. This is exemplary of the kind of work an R1 research university is engaged in.”

This initiative was made possible through financial support from Invest Syracuse and the Department of Chemistry for the purchase of a portable Raman spectrometer, microscope, computer, and supplies, as well as SU Libraries for project space and the purchase of modern polymer reference samples that were used to create a plastics reference library. Members of the Plastics Pioneers Association also donated reference samples to SCOAP’s plastics reference library.

For additional information, visit SCOAP website at https://tmkorter.expressions.syr.edu, Plastics Artifacts Collection at www.plastics.syr.edu, or SCRC website at https://library.syr.edu/scrc.