Critical Connections lecture on Archigram by Dennis Crompton

Dennis CromptonDennis Crompton will present the L.C. Dillenbeck lecture, Roots: It’s All the Same at the Syracuse University School of Architecture on November 7 at 5 p.m. in Slocum Hall Auditorium. His talk is the third in this year’s Critical Connections Lecture Series organized by the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries.

Dennis Crompton was a member of the architectural collaborative group Archigram, which was established in London in 1961 and worked together until 1975. The group operated as an experimental think tank, producing a magazine, projects, models, exhibitions, and proposals that represented a shift in how architectural practice was considered, prioritizing processes and structures for living over the notion of architecture as commodity. The word Archigram is a combination of the words “architecture” and “telegram” and it was intended to convey a sense of urgency. Crompton, who has kept the group’s records from their earliest days and established the Archigram Archive in 1975, will discuss the Archigram Opera, first made in 1972.

Crompton will also present a companion mini-seminar on November 8 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Special Collections Research Center on the sixth floor of Bird Library. The mini‐seminar is free and open to the public, however advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at bbbrooke@syr.edu or at 315‐443‐9763.

Reconstructing Diderot: Eighteenth-Century French Bookbinding, A lecture in the Brodsky Series

PeacheyJeffrey S. Peachey, a book conservator, independent scholar, and toolmaker, will present an illustrated lecture in the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation series entitled Reconstructing Diderot: Eighteenth-Century French Bookbinding on October 3 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. The lecture is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

In this image-driven, fast-paced overview of eighteenth-century French bookbinding, Peachey will examine the larger questions associated with the history of craft and material culture, the transmission of textual information, and, of course, the history of bookbinding. Book structures of the late eighteenth century represent one of the most radical transformations since the invention of the multi-section codex: by the mid-nineteenth century, the machine-made cloth case binding begins to dominate book structures. Peachey will illustrate the historical context of how these books were made and discuss physical evidence found in documentation by Denis Diderot, René Martin Dudin, and other sources. Peachey will give particular attention to the tools and techniques used to produce these bindings.

On Friday, October 4, Mr. Peachey will lead a daylong workshop on bookbinding. Although the workshop is fully enrolled, you may contact Barbara Brooker at bbbrooke@syr.edu or at 315‐443‐9763 to be placed on the mailing list for next year.

For more than 20 years, Peachey has specialized in the conservation of books and paper artifacts for institutions and individuals in the New York City region and nationally, as the owner of a New York City-based studio for the conservation of books. He is Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation, has served as Chair of the Conservators in Private Practice, and was recently awarded the Sherman Fairchild Conservation Research Fellowship at The Morgan Library & Museum. He is the inventor of the Peachey Board Slotting Machine, which is used in conservation labs around the world.

 

The Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation combines a public lecture with a hands-on workshop. Supported by William J. (65, G68) and Joan (67, G68) Brodsky of Chicago, Illinois, the series offers programs that promote and advance knowledge of library conservation theory, practice, and application among wide audiences, both on campus and in the region.

Belfer Audio Archive to celebrate 50th anniversary with series of lectures and concerts

Belfer Audio Archive at 50The Belfer Audio Archive at Syracuse University will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of lectures, concerts, and film screenings from October 31 to November 2, 2013. Developed by a team of faculty, librarians, and members of the University community, the events will highlight the Belfer’s rich heritage and illuminate the importance of recorded sound to music-making in the twentieth century, and the legacy of those practices on music today.

Since its founding in 1963, the Belfer Audio Archive rapidly became a leader in sound re-recording and preservation technologies. The Archive now houses one of the largest collections of sound recordings in North America, with particular strengths in cylinders and discs up to 1970. With new leadership and an administrative home in Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, the Belfer Archive is becoming more fully integrated into the academic and cultural life of the University and the broader communities that it serves.

The anniversary celebration will explore a number of common themes.  The opening lecture, “Sound, Memory, and the Psychoanalytic Century” presented by Paul Théberge, sets out a primary focal point: how sound recording became the vehicle for a diverse range of public, cultural and individual memories, and, at the same time, how sound technologies in cinema have played a vital role in representing the experience of aberrant psychological states of mind.  The lecture will be followed by a double-feature screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound and Rebecca.

A seminar on Friday will explore the history of the Belfer Audio Archive itself, from its founding by Prof. Walter Welch to current research and scholarship that is being conducted in the Archive’s collections. Other events on day two include a Syracuse Symposium 2013 panel discussion with distinguished film music scholars who will explore how composers and producers have used sound technologies to create new ways of expressing psychological states, particularly in film scores by composers Miklos Rósza and Franz Waxman, and an SU Symphony Orchestra concert featuring Rósza’s Spellbound Concerto and Waxman’s Rebecca Suite, as well as a new work, Goodnight Moon, by SU composer Andrew Waggoner.

The final day features the renowned Kronos Quartet. First violinist David Harrington will converse with Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, taking as a starting point how archival sounds documented in audio recordings intersect with the ensemble’s cutting-edge music-making. The series will conclude with a concert by this uniquely creative string quartet.

For more information and a full schedule of events, see http://belferat50.syr.edu.

Critical Connections lecture on plastics by Robert Friedel

friedel-sliderRobert Friedel, Professor of Technology & Science at the University of Maryland, will present Is it Real? Imitation and Style in the First Plastics on September 26 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. His talk is the second in this year’s Critical Connections Lecture Series organized by the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries.

Our identification of plastics with the imitative and the ersatz goes all the way back to the introduction of the first plastics in the 1870s. The first successful one, celluloid, rapidly came to be identified, for example, with the imitation of ivory, an effect that it could pull off successfully. Friedel’s lecture presents a larger re-examination of our deep-seated perception of plastics as inherently artificial.

Robert Friedel has written several monographs in the history of technology, focusing largely on the nature of invention (Pioneer Plastic, Edison’s Electric Light, and Zipper: an Exploration in Novelty). His latest book, A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium, is a wide-ranging survey of Western technology since the Middle Ages. In addition, he has published numerous articles and shorter works on material culture and on the history of technology, ranging from the history of materials to changes in the engineering profession. Friedel teaches courses at the University of Maryland in history of technology, science, and environment. Before coming to Maryland, he was a historian at the Smithsonian Institution and Director of the IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering.

Friedel will also present a companion mini-seminar on September 27 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Special Collections Research Center on the sixth floor of Bird Library. The mini‐seminar is free and open to the public, however advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at bbbrooke@syr.edu or at 315‐443‐9763.

Lecture and seminar related to Libraries’ Audubon exhibition

irmscher-sliderChristoph Irmscher, Professor of English at Indiana University at Bloomington, will present the lecture, Lives of the Birds: Audubon and the Problems of Scientific Biography. The lecture will be held on September 5 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. It directly precedes the opening of the Libraries’ fall exhibition, John James Audubon and the American Landscape.

Audubon’s colorful life, which took him from Haiti to France to the United States, has attracted almost as much attention as his life-sized portraits of birds engaged in all sorts of spectacular activities. Drawing on Audubon’s own representations of the lives of birds, in his images and his writings, as well on his own recent attempts in the genre of life-writing, Christoph Irmscher shows how Audubon used ornithology as a form of covert autobiography.

Irmscher, a native of Germany, is widely recognized as the leading authority on Audubon. He is the editor of the Library of America edition of Audubon’s Writings and Drawings. He is the author of the recent biography, Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science (2013), and of several other books on subjects ranging from natural history writing (The Poetics of Natural History, 1999) to the life of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Longfellow Redux, 2008, and Public Poet, Private Man, 2009.) His work has been supported by the National Endowment of the Humanities, most recently for summer institutes on Audubon held at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, in 2009 and 2011.

Irmscher will also present a companion mini-seminar on September 6, 2013 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Special Collections Research Center on the 6th floor of Bird Library. The mini‐seminar is free and open to the public, however advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at bbbrooke@syr.edu or at 315‐443‐9763.