Data Tool Expands Support of News Text Mining

Syracuse University Libraries is pleased to announce that enhanced text mining for newspaper content is now available within the ProQuest database platform called TDM Studio.  The Libraries is an early adopter of this researcher-friendly text mining tool.  One component of the tool, ProQuest TDM Studio Visualizations, does not require advanced coding skills and supports point and click creation of data visualizations, enabling users to:    

  • Mine discussion of subjects across thousands of instances of current and historical journalism. 
  • Analyze up to 10 newspaper titles based on available SU subscriptions in ProQuest.
  • Apply pre-built visualizations to research questions using established text mining methods.
  • Visualize global trends by comparing impact of a news topic across multiple geographic locations.
  • View interactive chronological displays to reveal changes in the subject of news coverage over time.
  • Manage as many as five simultaneous research projects of 10,000 documents each.

Access to this visualization component is part of ongoing development of ProQuest TDM Studio, which also provides workbenches, for advanced text mining.  Both data tools help SU faculty and students bring insight to large volumes of text, without having to independently acquire separate rights clearances or pay additional licensing fees.

Upon account registration with your SU email address, a graphical user interface is available to all current SU faculty, students, and staff. These following newspaper titles are available for text mining within initial release of the TDM Studio Visualizations platform, with dates of coverage primarily from 1990 to present:

  • Washington Post
  • New York Times
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Globe and Mail
  • Guardian
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • South China Post
  • Times of India

Researchers with skills in either R or Python programming languages can also request individual or team access to a ProQuest TDM Studio workbench account using the ProQuest TDM Studio proposal form.  With a few exceptions, the coding environment within a TDM Studio workbench supports text mining of most sources SU licenses within ProQuest.  Visit the ProQuest TDM Studio guide for a detailed comparison of TDM Studio Workbenches and the TDM Studio Visualizations platform

For more information, contact datasvcs@syr.edu or your subject librarian.  To explore these new resources, go to:


Volunteers Needed for Virtual Living Library Event

Syracuse University Libraries will host its annual Living Library event during National Library Week on Wednesday, April 7 from noon to 5 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will have the opportunity to talk to “living books”—volunteers from the broader Syracuse University community representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. Living books engage in 20-minute conversations with patrons in one-on-one or small group settings. The Libraries look forward to offering its seventh Living Library this year — its first one in a virtual environment.

Event organizers are currently seeking Syracuse University faculty, staff, and students to volunteer as living books. Applications are being accepted through March 5 via an online application form.

“Due to COVID-19, we had to cancel our Living Library event last year, but we’re so pleased that Library staff have arranged to offer it virtually this year. Now more than ever, encouraging oral storytelling is so important for our society. It enables us to learn about the different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives of our community members,” said Dean David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of the Syracuse University Libraries. “It promotes empathy and inclusion in a safe and supportive environment. It is valuable and rewarding for both those who share their stories, and for their audience who listens and learns. Every person has a story to tell and insights to share.”

Popular topics from previous years have included Native American, Chinese, Indian, Nigerian, and Middle Eastern cultures; disability, queer, and biracial identities; military life; mental health issues; immigrant experiences; and experiencing homelessness. This event is part of the CNY Living Library, supported by the Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC).


Libraries Launches StackMap

Syracuse University Libraries recently launched StackMap, a new online mapping tool to help increase the findability of items in the collections. When visitors are on the Libraries’ website and search for an item in Summon or the Classic Catalog, there will be a “Map it!” button next to the item’s call number details. Clicking on the button will provide a detailed map highlighting the approximate location of the physical item within Bird Library. The stacks in Carnegie Library remain closed for the spring 2021 semester due to COVID safety precautions, so the “Map it!” buttons will direct users to the Service Desk at Carnegie Library. Items located in King + King Architecture Library, the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, or the Law Library will provide users with a campus map to that library’s location. StackMap will be updated routinely to ensure information accuracy.


“Learn@SUL” Virtual Workshop Series Spring 2021

Back by popular demand, Syracuse University Libraries is providing online workshops for the Spring 2021 semester. Learn@SUL workshops are free and open to students, faculty, and researchers across campus. Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom link. Upcoming workshops include:

For more information on any of these events, visit libnews.syr.edu.


“Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano” Audiobook Wins AudioFile’s Earphones Award

One of Syracuse University Press and Sound Beat: Access Audio’s first audiobook collaborations  has been recognized as an Earphones Award Winner by AudioFile, the premier audiobook authority publication. The Earphones Award, given to Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano  by Alan Scott Haft, recognizes “truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text.”

Over the past couple of years, the Sound Beat team, part of the Special Collections Research Center, has worked with the Libraries’ Advancement staff to include longer format audio projects, like narrated journals and documentary-style pieces. Partnering with SU Press to create audiobooks was a natural progression and partnership. And through an exciting partnership with the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, InclusiveU students form an integral part of the production team. The opportunity to produce high quality audiobooks with students from InclusiveU at the center of the experience demonstrates the impact of cross-collaborative scholarship at Syracuse University.

SU Press has been publishing vital scholarship, sharing ideas, and giving voice to important stories since 1943. They were delighted to collaborate on providing an alternate format for authors and readers. Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in the digital publishing industry. And they provide another medium to reach audiences and to share stories that might otherwise have not been told.

The AudioFile reviewer described Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano  as an “… exceptional audiobook [that] proves there are still unique stories of Holocaust survival to hear. Alan Haft’s biography of his father… who used brawn and boxing skills to survive … imprisonment at Auschwitz, is one listeners will long remember. Narrator Price Waldman tells Harry’s story with a sense of rage, determination to survive, and even love, allowing the story to excel on audio in a way that print books cannot match…” (AudioFile 2021).

The book is available for purchase  through several vendors, including Apple Books, Hoopla, Libro.FM, and Audible. 


Special Collections Research Center Launches Latin American 45s Digital Collection

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), working in partnership with the Digital Library Program (DLP), recently launched the Belfer Latin American 45s Digital Collection. The digital collection will eventually provide access to over 12,000 recordings that date from the 1950s to the early-1960s and include many rare and little-known issues on small independent record labels from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and elsewhere.

This major digitization project to preserve and make accessible this unique collection began in 2017 as an early partnership with the Libraries’ newly launched DLP. As a result, images of record labels and covers in the collection, as well as basic descriptions of the recordings, are now publicly available online. New images and audio files will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis as recordings are digitized over the next several years.

Primarily sourced from 45-rpm discs, the digital collection encompasses a wide range of musical genres, including merengue, bolero, guaracha, cha cha, Pachanga, mambo, and others. It also includes a large selection of salsa recordings from the 1970s, reflecting the origins and development of that musical genre. Recordings were selected from The Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordings, which is housed within  the Special Collections Research Center. Max and Joseph Bell, the owners of Bell Music Box, a New York City record store, were avid collectors of Latin and Caribbean Music. In 1963, Syracuse University acquired the entire inventory of the Bell Music Box store. The acquisition constitutes the bulk of Latin American 45-rpm discs in SCRC’s Belfer Audio Archive.

The digitization was also made possible by several generous financial gifts, such as those from Elias Savada, for sound digitization and preservation.

“One of our greatest priorities as stewards of the rare and unique materials that comprise Special Collections Research Center is preservation. Our other priority is making these collections accessible,” said Petrina Jackson, Director of Special Collections Research Center. “We are delighted to be able to provide access to sound recordings through this digital collection to researchers and our SU community.”

For more information, watch the Libraries’ virtual event recording that outlines the process of creating the Latin American 45s Digital Collection.


SU Libraries Invited to Participate in OCLC’s Express Digital Delivery Program

Syracuse University Libraries has been invited to participate in OCLC’s Express Digital Delivery Program, which will lead to even faster digital interlibrary loan for SU users. OCLC is a global library cooperative that provides shared technology services, original research , and community programs for its membership and the library community. The Express Digital Delivery Program is exclusively available to the top 10% of OCLC member libraries globally who routinely  fill digital article and book chapter requests in less than 18 hours, with an average turn-around time of 10 hours. SU Libraries will be among 1,100 “gold star” libraries invited to participate in the program, which is scheduled to begin in February. Participating libraries will receive facilitated borrowing and lending with each other, ensuring the fastest service to and from these high-performing libraries. In addition, participation provides SU Libraries’ users with access to 57 million holdings in participating libraries, 21 million of those being unique titles.

“It is an  honor to be invited to participate in this program, and a testament to our Interlibrary Loan team’s commitment to service delivery. Furthermore, it’s an excellent example of the collaboration between various units in the Libraries to meet our users and other institution’s needs quickly and efficiently. Between our Interlibrary Loan team and the team at the Libraries’ Facility, our storage complex, we provide timely access to materials,” said David Seaman, Dean of the Libraries and University Librarian.


Sound Beat: Access Audio Offering Children’s Audiobooks about Enslaved People by Cheryl Wills

Sound Beat: Access Audio is providing two free family audiobooks, written by Emmy Award-winning journalist Cheryl Wills ’89,  the great-great-great granddaughter of Emma and Sandy Wills, enslaved people from Haywood, Tennessee. The audiobooks are narrated by the author and are also available in video form, featuring artwork from the original print books. Educational materials and discussion questions are included for educators and caregivers, designed to spark conversation and foster understanding for younger listeners. Both stories offer important tales of triumph in the face of extreme adversity. These Access Audio productions have been made available as a gift from the Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Links to the materials is available online at http://soundbeat.org/sound-beat-access-audio/emma-the-emancipation-of-grandpa-sandy-wills/.

“The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills” uses actual Civil War military records as a backdrop, detailing Sandy’s journey from a suffocating slave plantation to a Union Army camp, then on to a new life as a free man. Featuring Carter Boone as Grandpa Sandy.

“Emma” would become Sandy’s wife, and grew up a brave and strong enslaved woman who had to fight for everything in her life – her freedom, her hope, and her dream of education for her family.

Author Cheryl Wills ’89 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications) has received awards from The Associated Press, New York Press Club, Newswomen’s Club of NY Front Page Award, as well as a medal of excellence from the prestigious United Nations Correspondents Association. In recognition of her career, the veteran journalist received an Honorary Doctorate from New York College of Health Professions in May of 2005. Wills was the first journalist invited to speak before the General Assembly of The United Nations in March of 2011 about the impact of slavery on her family during the UN’s International Remembrance of Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. To read more about Cheryl Wills’ background and story, read this interview from a Newhouse student.

About Sound Beat: Access Audio

Sound Beat is a daily, 90-second radio show highlighting the holdings of the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. Belfer is part of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center and is one of the largest sound archives in the United States. Each Sound Beat episode focuses on one particular recording from the Archive and provides a back story detailing its place in recording history. Sound Beat: Access Audio features long-form audio projects including audio books, interviews, narrated journals, and documentary-style storytelling that highlights the experiences of iconic Syracuse University community members. Sound Beat: Access Audio projects have included collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and administration from partners across the Syracuse University campus. Inclusion and the student experience are at the forefront of Sound Beat: Access Audio’s mission. Through an exciting partnership with the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education’s InclusiveU, students form an integral part of the Sound Beat: Access Audio team in all aspects of production, working with Libraries staff to develop their research, writing, and editing skills.


SCRC Receives Grant to Process Forrest J. Ackerman Papers

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation is providing Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) with a $17,000 grant to process the Forrest J. Ackerman Papers. Forrest J. Ackerman was a popular American science fiction author, editor, agent, collector, and fan. His papers include correspondence from 1930 to 1967 and includes fan mail; communications with other writers including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, and others; and correspondence with book and film companies.

“This is especially gratifying to receive good news at such a difficult time,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “We thank The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for their support of our world-class Special Collections, and the faculty and students who benefit from them daily.”

“This grant will help SCRC process this popular collection and provide broader access to researchers globally,” said Petrina Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center. “SCRC benefits greatly from foundations and private donors that enable us to ensure resources like the Forrest J. Ackerman Papers are accessible for wider communities and long into the future.”


Applications Open for 2021 ACC InVenture Prize Competition

Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at SU Libraries (LaunchPad) is currently accepting applications through January 20 for the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize. The ACC InVenture Prize is a televised “shark tank” competition open to student startup teams from the 15 colleges and universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Consortium. Teams are invited to submit an online application of a venture idea to participate in Syracuse University’s campus qualifier, which will be held virtually on January 29.  The SU campus qualifier winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by M&T Bank and move on to participate virtually in a PBS-televised event in April.  The ACC InVenture finals feature a $30,000 prize package and is open to undergraduate students or students who have received their undergraduate degree within the past year and who are the original creators, inventors, or owners of the intellectual property underlying their invention.

The 2020 SU campus qualifier winner, Matt Shumer, pivoted his idea for Visos after the ACC finals were cancelled due to the pandemic.  Instead, he formed a new team called Otherside AI, working with fellow Whitman student Miles Feldstein and Syracuse alumnus Jason Kuperberg ’18 through the LaunchPad’s accelerator program.  Shumer and his teammates went on to raise $2.6 million this fall to launch Otherside AI. 

VPA School of Design alumni Quinn King ’20 and Alec Gillinder ‘20, co-founders of MedUX, won the 2019 campus qualifier competition and the $10,000 second place award in the ACC finals. They developed a medical device through Invent@SU then worked with the LaunchPad to commercialize their venture. Since graduating in May 2020, their wearable, portable intravenous delivery solution venture has taken off and will soon launch commercially. 

The 2018 campus qualifier winners, Kayla Simon ’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, developed In-Spire, a wearable asthma bracelet which they created through Invent@SU and advanced commercially through the LaunchPad.  Simon and Tarangelo used the experience to propel their innovation career paths.  Simon, an aerospace engineering major at Syracuse, is now an integration engineer at Relativity Space, building the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket. Tarangelo, a bioengineering and biomedical engineering major with a focus on neuroscience, is now a clinical specialist with Brain Lab, which develops advanced software-driven medical technology and powers treatment in many surgical fields.

Kate Beckman ’17 and G ’18 won the 2018 campus InVenture Prize and advanced to the top five finalists in the conference finals at Georgia Tech.  She created Fresh U, a national online publication geared toward college freshmen, growing it to a staff of 300 contributing writers across more than 100 campuses, and developing media partnerships with companies like Teen Vogue.  Fresh U was acquired after Kate completed her graduate degree at Newhouse. She is now senior content manager for RippleMatch, an intelligent platform for college recruiting.

All former InVenture winners remain active LaunchPad alumni and mentor current Syracuse University student startups.

“I believe that in the modern era, anyone can start a scalable, high-growth company and every metropolitan area should have a thriving startup community,” said M&T Bank Regional President Allen Naples. “By helping Syracuse University host the InVenture Prize Challenge, we’re investing in the exceptional creativity and ingenuity of our students and doubling down on our efforts to build our entrepreneurial community into one that generates jobs and prosperity for generations to come.”