Effective November 12, Libraries Buildings Closed to All Students

In accordance with Syracuse University’s pause effective November 12, the Libraries buildings will be closed to all undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty and staff will be able to access Bird Library only, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., until further notice. Carnegie Library and King+King Architecture Library will be closed.

Note that in observance of Thanksgiving, Bird Library will be closed on Thursday, November 26 through Sunday, November 29. We will reopen for faculty and staff use only on Monday, November 30.

Although building use is restricted, the Libraries will continue to provide services on-site during open hours. Libraries reference staff are available to provide remote support via live chat, text 315.464.0744, email libref@syr.edu, or phone 315.443.4083, Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 12 midnight, Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 12 midnight. Reference support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via chat.

All affiliated patrons with a valid SU or SUNY-ESF ID can safely borrow items from our physical circulating collections at Bird, Carnegie, or King+King Architecture Library. Items will be pulled and held for pickup at Bird Library by appointment only. The Libraries is also offering delivery to on-campus building entrances for quarantine locations, such as residence halls, by calling 315.443.5727 or emailing circhelp@syr.edu. As a new service, the Libraries will provide UPS delivery to faculty and student residences as well. Scanning and electronic delivery of book chapters and articles remains available.

Books, including interlibrary loan items, may be returned at the book drop box outside of Bird Library or Carnegie Library. To return borrowed technology equipment, please call 315.443.5727. If you have library items checked out but do not plan to be in Syracuse, please email circhelp@syr.edu to make alternate arrangements.

The Libraries will continue to provide course reserve materials electronically. Millions of items are also available through the Libraries’ online collections. For assistance locating relevant resources and content, liaison librarians remain available for consultation.

LaunchPad services remain available virtually.

Students are directed to visit the University’s Information Technology Support page for information on computer labs available on campus. For more information on Libraries’ services, visit the Libraries on Pause webpage. For reference questions or other support, contact Libraries staff via chat, text 315.464.0744, email libref@syr.edu, or phone 315.443.4083.


Love Browsing Library Shelves? Do It Virtually at SU Libraries

With Libraries buildings closed or on reduced hours, the opportunity for users to find materials serendipitously by browsing our physical shelves is more limited than usual, and this is still a favorite way for some users of the print collections to locate just the right material.  While it may not replace all the pleasures of using the book stacks in our physical libraries, you can simulate the browsing experience virtually from the book’s online record in the Libraries Classic Catalog. Summon searches will also take you to this record for a library item too.

The “Browse this Shelf” feature is located at the bottom of the catalog record and allows users to scroll along the virtual shelf by Library of Congress call number. Since this feature includes not only print books, but ebooks, journals, microfilm, maps, and other items that may be physically separate in different Libraries’ locations or only exist online, it improves upon in-person browsing by bringing together more materials on the same topic. Hover your computer mouse over a book cover to see title, author, copyright year, availability, call number, and location. Google Books’ Limited Preview is available for some titles, allowing access to parts of the book’s content, as well as a link to reviews and other information if they exist.  Click on the book cover to see full information about that title.

screen shot of virtual book shelf

After browsing, users with a valid SU ID can request any print books they locate for pickup at Bird Library or delivery via UPS to residences in the U.S. 


“You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, World War II P.O.W.” Audiobook Now Available

Sound Beat: Access Audio, part of the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries, has recently released the long-anticipated audiobook of Don Waful ’37, G’39 titled “You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, a World War II P.O.W.” on the Sound Beat: Access Audio website.

This two-hour production provides remarkable insight into the psyche of a captive soldier set against the backdrop of one of the most compelling events of the 20th century. The journals, narrated by Brett Barry ’98, G’13, tell part of the story. Four interview sessions conducted between 2018-19, with then 103-year-old Waful, gave him a chance to fill in gaps and reminisce on his experience 75 years after the war’s end. A third part of the audiobook voiced by famed broadcaster Sean McDonough ’84 , provides reference through a historical timeline. McDonough, who began his career calling games for the Syracuse Chiefs baseball team (of which Waful was former President) also gives the audiobook’s prologue and epilogue.

The journal details Lieutenant Donald R. Waful’s time behind enemy lines. Captured by the German army and held captive from 1942-44, Waful recorded details of daily life, diversions the prisoners employed to pass the time, and his burgeoning love for Cassie, the enlisted nurse he’d become engaged to weeks before his capture.

This original audio content was produced by Sound Beat: Access Audio, which creates audio projects that highlight iconic Syracuse University community members. Don Waful (1916-2019) was an icon in the community and on campus for decades. He received his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1937 and his master’s degree in 1939. He was a member of the Alumni Glee Club and quite possibly the longest-tenured football fan.

Sound Beat, both the 90-second interstitials and the longer form Sound Beat: Access Audio, provide opportunity to incorporate applied learning for Syracuse University students. Student interns help to research and write Sound Beat episode scripts and serve as production assistants for Access Audio. These interns come from a wide range of programs on campus, including our project partner InclusiveU, which provides support and opportunities for students with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. “You Don’t Surrender” was recorded at WAER and Newhouse studios, and was mixed and mastered at Silver Hollow Audio.


Elias Savada Provides Gift for Sound Digitization

Elias Savada, Director of the Motion Picture Information Service, is gifting Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) with a three-year cash donation for sound digitization and preservation. Savada is the son of the late Morton Savada, who was proprietor of the Manhattan record store Records Revisited.

The Savada family donated the complete inventory of the store, more than 200,000 78-rpm records, to SCRC’s Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive after the store closed in 2008. In addition, the family gifted papers from Records Revisited; correspondence from customers, other dealers, and friends; inventories and receipts; and obituaries, clippings, and other information about artists of the era to complete The Morton J. Savada Papers collection. In 2015 the Savada Family renewed their philanthropic commitment to the collection through creation of the Savada Family Sound Beat Endowed Fund, which provided seed funding for the ongoing creation of daily episodes of Sound Beat, an interstitial broadcast program that uses recordings from Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. The Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive houses over 500,000 items, from the earliest experimental recordings on tinfoil to modern digital media. Through digital transfers made at the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, the collections provide source material for Sound Beat episodes.

“One of our greatest priorities as stewards of the rare and unique materials that comprise Special Collections Research Center is preservation. We are so grateful to Elias Savada and the Savada family for their ongoing commitment to the preservation of recorded sound at Syracuse University,” said Petrina Jackson, Director of Special Collections Research Center. “Being able to maintain this commitment takes a lot of invisible labor on the part of our staff. As we continue to collect and care for materials, we are guided by the fact that many, like the Savada family, have entrusted us with their collections and that documenting these histories are not only the root of new and original scholarship, but a source of accountability and remembrance. Preservation is a protection of our investment in these archival and cultural heritage materials and a commitment that allows us to continue to provide access to materials to researchers and our SU community.”

“I am unaware of any other donation of recordings as large as the Savada gift to Syracuse University Library,” said Sam Brylawski, past president of the board of Association for Recorded Sound Collection. “It is an outstanding gesture by the family. It is gratifying, too, to know of Syracuse University’s commitment to preserving the work of Morty Savada and making it available to the public and the research community.”

Elias Savada holding record from Records Revisited in the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, 2010.

Libraries and Residence Hall Association Collaborate on Orange Quest

Syracuse University Libraries and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) are collaborating on an interactive virtual treasure hunt, called Orange Quest, for students living on-campus at Syracuse University. Orange Quest will kickoff on November 5 and run through Saturday, November 14 at midnight. Registration is required, preferably by November 4, but anytime during the Quest.

Orange Quest is a fun, interactive game that will test students’ knowledge of Syracuse University history, campus landmarks, and research prowess at SU Libraries. Students are encouraged to team up with two or three friends and compete against other student teams for the quest. Winners can receive a pizza party for their team (maximum number of people on a team is four) or an RHA t-shirt. Game rules will be released to participants at the live launch on November 5. A recording will be sent to those unable to attend the live launch.  Participants need access to computer or smart-phone technology and, for some questions, may need to travel to public areas limited to main campus. Physical distancing and mask-wearing is required at all times.

Questions can be sent to orangequest@syr.edu.


New Special Collections Research Center Exhibit: ‘Provisions for Your Research Journey’

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) announces a new exhibition located in the Plastics Pioneers Reading Room on the 6th floor of Bird Library. The exhibition, entitled ‘Survival Kit: Provisions for Your Research Journey’,  is on display now throughout 2021. It utilizes a selection of artifacts, documents, and photographs from the Edwin F. Bushman Papers, a mid-century plastics engineer, and the Plastics Artifacts Collection, to guide students and visitors through developing primary source-based research projects that dare to inquire into the unexpected.

From the discovery of materials, to the unfolding of their analysis, this unique exhibition has been designed to function as a standalone resource for students, as well as a scaffold for instruction in any course that emphasizes primary source research. An artifact can be an object of inquiry even on its own, but in finding and articulating relationships among artifacts, a world emerges with its own history to tell. SCRC intends to provide live-streamed interactive class sessions, as well as asynchronous video tours, to immerse students in the environment of the exhibition. 

“Our plastics-related collections are unique to Syracuse University and I am excited for students to walk away empowered with skills for primary source research and the knowledge that these collections are available for them to engage with and interpret,” said Courtney Asztalos, Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts. “Immense potential exists within the plastics collections in discovering untold histories and imagining new plastics futures—my hope is for this exhibit to inspire students to follow their curiosities within this unique resource.”

The labor, skills, and perspectives that built this interdisciplinary exhibition were a collaborative effort between Courtney Asztalos, Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts; Jana Rosinski, Curatorial Assistant of the Plastics Collection and PhD student in Composition & Cultural Rhetorics; Lynn Wilcox, Design Specialist, Syracuse University Press; Ann Skiold, Librarian for Visual Arts; and Emily Hart, Science Librarian, Research Impact Lead. Exhibition curators also acknowledge the invisible labor and absent voices of those who made the manufactured objects from which the plastics collections were created.

For more information about the plastics collections in SCRC, please visit https://library.syr.edu/scrc/collections/areas/plastics.php and https://plastics.syr.edu/.


Special Collections Research Center to Receive Onondaga Historical Association 2020 Medal Award

The Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center will receive the Onondaga Historical Association’s (OHA) 2020 Medal Award at a virtual event on Thursday, November 12.  The OHA Medal Award is the organization’s highest honor for contributions made to the cause of preserving and interpreting Onondaga County’s collective heritage. The award is being received by SU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) this year as the University celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary.

The history of Onondaga County and Syracuse University are inextricably connected. SU Libraries is dedicated to advancing the University’s teaching, learning, and research mission. An important component of that is preserving and interpreting the incredible assets within the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. During the University’s sesquicentennial year, SCRC staff created several exhibitions and related programming to help spotlight different areas of the University’s 150-year history and provided extensive reference support to campus constituents to help prepare for the University’s anniversary celebration. “Receiving this award in SU’s anniversary year affirms the extraordinary effort SCRC staff have put into acquiring, preserving, interpreting, and providing access to our magnificent collections throughout the years. We are committed to this standard of excellence and to promote an even wider array of stories and programs to engage a more inclusive audience,” stated Petrina Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center.

“Our artifacts enable the University and Central New York communities, and researchers and historians globally, to pursue new knowledge through historical materials,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “Our Special Collections Research Center has had the opportunity to collaborate with OHA on numerous projects over the years that require our collective resources of archival materials. The University’s collections, like materials from Archimedes Russell, the founder of King and King Architects, or Gerrit Smith, one of the most important figures in the anti-slavery movement, are housed within Special Collections. But these artifacts are essential to the greater community’s history of architecture and abolitionism. In that way, we are symbiotic.”

The Award Ceremony, historically a breakfast, is taking place as a one-day virtual event on November 12. For tickets or more information, visit https://www.cnyhistory.org/oha-medal/.


Special Collections Research Center Exhibits Online

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has recently published three online exhibitions that feature the University’s history, leaders, and libraries.  The three online exhibitions are available for public viewing and include:

All three digital exhibits are part of the Libraries’ continuing commemoration of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial.


RefWorks Cancellation

The Syracuse University Libraries is canceling our subscription to RefWorks effective February 28, 2021. If you have used RefWorks in the past, you will need to transfer any data to another citation manager before the subscription ends. Information on other citation management tools and how to transfer data can be found on the Libraries’ Research Guide on RefWorks Transition.

Any questions can be directed to Giovanna Colosi, librarian for the School of Education, at grcolosi@syr.edu.


Libraries Accepting Applications for Temporary Access and Use of ProQuest’s Text and Data Mining (TDM) Studio

Syracuse University Libraries is currently accepting Syracuse University researcher applications to temporarily access and use ProQuest’s Text and Data Mining (TDM) Studio platform.  Researchers and research teams can apply to access the beta release of TDM Studio for one week or one month in the fall or spring semester. The tool, which uses R and Python to assemble and analyze datasets within ProQuest’s text and data mining environment, allows users to mine large volumes of published content.

TDM Studio opens up avenues for analysis across all disciplines and many time periods from the millions of pages of journalism, scholarly journals, and other publications provided through contemporary and historical ProQuest databases that are part of SU Libraries’ collections.  

Although TDM Studio is still in development, it includes a growing array of training materials and example scripts. Researchers can download the results of their analyses to work within other visualization environments. Applicants should have some familiarity with R or Python programming languages. During this beta period, researchers will be asked to share their feedback on the platform. For information on user access and dataset limits, please refer to the TDM Studio Guide.

To submit a proposal for temporary access to TDM Studio during this fall semester beta period or to explore for use during the spring semester, fill out this proposal form. If you have questions, email datasvcs@syr.edu.