Carnegie Library Stacks Remain Closed, New Periodicals Available at Bird Library

The book stacks at Carnegie Library, located on the Shaw Quadrangle, remain  closed due to unexpected repair work needed. Therefore, all new print periodicals that would normally be shelved at Carnegie will be available at Bird Library. This includes 44 print titles.

Out of caution for the safety of Libraries’ employees and users, all access to books and periodicals located in the Carnegie stacks remain unavailable until further notice. Users requiring books or periodicals housed in Carnegie Library are asked to request these items through Interlibrary Loan. If searching for an item from Summon or the Catalog, users should click the “Request this item” link to submit a prepopulated Interlibrary Loan form. Please note that books and periodicals borrowed from other libraries typically take several days to a week to obtain.

Carnegie Library primarily houses Q-Z print books and a small number of Q-Z print journal current issues. These cover biology, chemistry, engineering and computer science, library science, mathematics, military and naval science, nutrition science and dietetics, photography, public health, physics and astronomy, information science, and technical arts and crafts.


Rachel Fox Von Swearingen Assumes Role of Collection Development and Analysis Librarian

Rachel Fox Von Swearingen has recently assumed the role of Collection Development and Analysis Librarian in the Department of Research and Scholarship at Syracuse University Libraries. Fox Von Swearingen has been with Syracuse University Libraries since 2011, when she was appointed Librarian for Music, Dance and Musical Theater. As a subject librarian, she was responsible for collection development, instruction, outreach and research services for her assigned subjects as well as participating in library-wide collections projects. In 2016, Fox Von Swearingen led a team of librarians in a year-long collections analysis to develop criteria for deselection, data-driven de-selection and data-driven storage for the 200,000-volume science and technology collection. Over the course of her tenure at the Libraries, she has contributed significantly to collection development and analysis work. Her new role will allow her to focus on collections analysis.

Fox Von Swearingen received her BM in Music Theory from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and her MLIS from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Appointed to the rank of full librarian by the University in 2020, she has received two Dean’s Commendations from the Libraries and held several national service positions. These have included the HathiTrust User Support Working Group 2013-2014, Member-At-Large for the Music Library Association in 2018-2020 and HathiTrust Shared Print Advisory Committee for 2021-2024. Prior to joining Syracuse, Fox Von Swearingen worked as a public services librarian at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.


Special Collections Research Center Contributes to University of Toronto Art Museum Exhibition on Plastics

Multiple artifacts from Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) Plastics Artifact Collection are currently on display in the University of Toronto Art Museum exhibition titled, “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through.” This exhibition, open from September 8 through November 20, 2021,draws on the existing work of the Synthetic Collective, an interdisciplinary collaboration of visual artists, cultural workers, and scientists based in Canada. The exhibition features data visualizations, artworks created by the Synthetic Collective in response to their research, as well as new commissions by contemporary artists from the Great Lakes Region. Also included in the exhibition are historical installations, including the artifacts on loan from SCRC, and objects that used early plastics that are now degrading, evoking questions of conservation and preservation in museum culture. This exhibition spotlights the connections between scientific and artistic methodologies and challenges the viewer to explore how arts-based approaches to thinking and working can make viable contributions to environmental science and activism.

SCRC’s Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, Courtney Asztalos, will be participating in the “Plastic Heart” exhibition public programming as a member of the panel discussion “Dialogue # 3: The Plastic Conservation Conundrum: Preserving Plastics in Museum Collections and Plastics’ Durability in the Environment” on Wednesday, October 13, 6pm–7:30pm EDT. Asztalos says, “The Synthetic Collective’s groundbreaking work in their experimental exhibition “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through” brings necessary awareness to the plastics lifecycle in exhibition-making, art and collections while proposing exciting alternative models and methods forward for change. I am thrilled to participate in a conversation on how plastic cultural artifacts within the context of special collections pose unique challenges and opportunities, emphasizing how SCRC’s plastics collections are rich resources for researchers and artists to investigate for activism, and unearth for the creation of new scholarship and artmaking. As a special collections curator, I am committed to bringing greater awareness to the broader public about how our collections can support innovation, change and agency within our current global plastics pollution crisis.”

“The Plastics Collection”, initially conceptualized as an umbrella term for the plastics-related collections at SCRC, serves as a research and programming resource to advance the study and understanding of plastics in modern society. These collections include manuscripts, photographs, time-based media, books, periodicals and over 5,000 plastic objects produced from the late 19th century to the present day. To learn more about the SCRC’s collections in this subject area, please visit https://library.syr.edu/scrc/collections/areas/plastics.php.

More information regarding the Plastic Heart exhibition, public programming and registration information can be found at https://artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/plastic-heart/.

Image of Courtney Asztalos, curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, superimposed on Plastic Heart exhibition. Image credit: Synthetic Collective


Libraries Award Grants for 2022-2023 Faculty Fellows

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) has awarded two Faculty Fellows grants for the 2022-2023 academic year. Sarah Fuchs, Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures in the Department of Art & Music Histories (College of Arts and Sciences), and Doug Dubois, Associate Professor in the Department of Transmedia (College of Visual and Performing Arts), have each committed to a four-week summer residency in 2022 at SCRC that includes workshops and training sessions on handling special collections materials, teaching students how to search for materials, and the logistics of designing successful assignments with rare and fragile materials. The Fellows, who applied and were selected by a committee, will use their learnings and materials from SCRC to teach new courses the following year.

Each Faculty Fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend, made possible by a generous gift from  George Bain G’06, a member of the Library Associates. “Supporting SCRC Faculty Fellows advances both faculty teaching and student scholarship and integrates Special Collections into the curriculum, a wonderful way to introduce today’s students to the riches of special collections,” said George Bain. The original funding for the SCRC Faculty Fellows Program was made possible through the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that transmit our cultural heritage.

Sarah Fuchs plans to further develop a regularized course by exploring and directly incorporating SCRC’s various historic sound recordings and playback machines within the teaching framework of the history of recorded sound. Doug Dubois will revise and expand a special topics course utilizing several of SCRC’s photographic collections to build a critical framework for the study and practice of portraiture.

Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC Faculty Fellows program aims to support innovative curriculum development and foster new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in University instruction. Each fellow receives instruction on how to provide students with a unique opportunity to handle, analyze and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their class, as well as ongoing course support. For more information about how to support a Faculty Fellow for the 2023-2024 year and beyond, contact Ron Thiele at rlthiele@syr.edu or 315-560-9419.


LaunchPad Accepting Applications for 2021-2022 Competitions

Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad is now accepting online applications for 2021-2022 school year competitions. The universal application for the competitions, with nearly $100,000 in prizes, are for innovative or creative solutions to address problems or opportunities. Competitions are open to all undergraduate and graduate students from any academic program at Syracuse University as well as  SUNY-ESF student taking innovation and entrepreneurship courses at Syracuse University. In addition to the online application, registrants must provide a one-page business statement. All applications close ten days prior to the competition date.

This year’s LaunchPad competitions are:

  • ‘Cuse Tank:  Scheduled to take place on October 8.
  • Founder’s Cup: Scheduled to take place on October 29.
  • Impact Prize: Scheduled to take place on November 12.
  • ACC InVenture Prize: Scheduled to take place on February 11.
  • RvD iPrize and Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards – Scheduled to take place on March 25.

Over the past five years, Syracuse University students have won $3.65 million in campus, state, and national competitions and raised more than $54 million in equity funding for their ventures. Out of nearly 1,000 ideas, SU students have incorporated more than 140 businesses and have used their experience to build skills and their resumes and find their dream jobs at top innovation companies around the world.


“The Art of Recovering Black History”; A Discussion with P. Gabrielle Foreman, 2021 Watson Professor

P. Gabrielle Foreman, the 2021 Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, will participate in a virtual discussion with Petrina Jackson, Director of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, on Friday, October 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on the topic “Go Back and Get It: The Art of Recovering Black History.” Those interested in attending can register in advance

The conversation will be organized around relevant images of Black activism and women in the 19th century from objects in Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Approaching these historical materials from both sides of the desk–as an archivist and a researcher– Foreman and Jackson will examine archival silences and possibilities for uncovering and documenting Black activism over time.   

This discussion is one in a series of Syracuse University Humanities Center planned public activities for Fall 2021. Other events featuring P. Gabrielle Foreman this fall include:

Foreman has a long-standing commitment to the intersection of Black digital humanities, race, and public history. She  is co-director of the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk, professor of English, African American Studies and History, and Paterno Family Chair of Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University. She is also founding director of The Colored Conventions Project and senior Library Fellow and affiliate faculty at The University of Delaware.

The Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities was established by the Watson family to support on-campus residencies of prominent humanities scholars, writers and artists.

This year’s residency is hosted by Dorri Beam, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of English; Joan Bryant, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Petrina Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center; and Patricia Roylance, Associate Professor of English. It is supported by the Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities initiative of the Syracuse University Humanities Center.


Job Opportunities at the Libraries

Syracuse University Libraries is filling multiple key positions this fall, now that the University has resumed in-person instruction and its full array of on-campus services. Some of these positions are newly created and directly tied to strategic initiatives and others are openings resulting from retirement or normal attrition, but all of these roles are important to the success of the Libraries and the users we serve.

If you are passionate about advancing academic excellence in a university welcoming to all, we hope that you will apply for one of the open positions posted on the Syracuse University job board.


Grace Swinnerton Appointed New Visiting Librarian for Digital Library Program and Institute for Veteran and Military Families

Grace “Gigi” Swinnerton was recently appointed as Syracuse University Libraries’ new visiting librarian for the Digital Library Program and Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF). This position is a one-year appointment. Swinnerton recently obtained her master’s in library and information science from Syracuse University and was a member of the Libraries’ first Information Literacy Scholars cohort. While a graduate student, she worked as peer manager of the IVMF student library team and has played a lead role in developing the IVMF Digital Resource Library, an index of locally produced and curated content. She will be presenting at the Dublin Core™ Metadata Initiative (DCMI) 2021 virtual forum in October with other student team members around their work on the topic “Maximizing Interoperability through Metadata: a Student Initiative.”  In her position, Swinnerton will continue to develop the IVMF Digital Resource Library while gaining competencies in digital library work, especially around the institutional repository and how it relates to and synthesizes practices in digital stewardship and digital scholarship.


Carnegie Library Stacks Closed

Effective immediately, the book stacks at Carnegie Library, located on the Shaw Quadrangle, are closed due to unexpected repair work needed. Out of caution for the safety of Libraries’ employees and users, all access to books located in the Carnegie stacks are unavailable until further notice. Users requiring books housed in Carnegie Library are asked to request these items through Interlibrary Loan. If searching for an item from Summon or the Catalog, users should click the “Request this item” link to submit a prepopulated Interlibrary Loan form. Please note that books borrowed from other libraries typically take several days to a week to obtain. Normal Reading Room hours will not be impacted at Carnegie Library.

Carnegie Library primarily houses Q-Z print books and a small number of Q-Z print journal current issues. These cover biology, chemistry, engineering and computer science, library science, mathematics, military and naval science, nutrition science and dietetics, photography, public health, physics and astronomy, information science, and technical arts and crafts.


New Digital Exhibition Featuring the Story of The Syracuse 8

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center recently released a new digital exhibition titled “A Courageous Stand: The Story of the Syracuse 8.” The Syracuse 8 was a group of Black student-athletes who boycotted the Syracuse University football program until it addressed their allegations of racism in 1970. Miscounted by the media, the Syracuse 8, comprising Greg Allen, Richard Bulls, John Godbolt, Dana “D.J.” Harrell, John Lobon, Clarence “Bucky” McGill, A. Alif Muhammad, Duane Walker, and Ron Womack, made their stand at a significant personal cost. However, they made their mark on Syracuse University history by serving as a voice for social justice. The digital exhibition is available online: https://digitalexhibits.syr.edu/syracuse8/.

Curated by University Archivist Meg Mason, “A Courageous Stand: The Story of the Syracuse 8” includes photographs, correspondence, newspapers, student protest fliers, and other documents from the Syracuse University Archives. Different perspectives and voices are included in this exhibition, including the members and allies of the Syracuse 8 as well as Chancellor John Corbally and Coach Ben Schwartzwalder.

“Fifty-one years later, sharing the story of The Syracuse 8 through these primary source materials available from the University Archives in the Special Collection Research Center provides clarity and context on the struggle of students against racism,” said Petrina Jackson, Director of Special Collections Research Center. “Looking through archives is a way to not only reflect but to understand current circumstances.”

As part of this year’s Coming Back Together reunion of Black and Latino/a alumni at Syracuse University, organizers are planning a celebration of the 51st Anniversary of the Syracuse 8 with special guests.