7.28.2014

The Scott Preston Papers are now available for research!

As part of my internship experience, I had the opportunity to process and make available for research the Scott Preston Papers. It was quite the experience organizing the papers of someone’s life.While putting things in order, I learned who Scott was, what personal foibles he had, and his passion for poetry. It was very satisfying to see disorganization turn into 23 neat, researchable boxes. So, who was Scott Preston?

Photo Source: The Wood River Journal, May 16, 2007, p. A13.
Scott Preston was a poet, performer, and publisher largely based in the Wood River Valley, Idaho.

Preston considered his poems his diary. Special Collections now houses 20 years’ worth of published and unpublished poems.
 
Also writing for The Wood River Journal, Preston penned reviews, articles, and most notably, opinions in his weekly article, “Potshots.” In 1981, Preston began the Wind Vein Press and self-published collections of poetry called the White Clouds Revue.

As an advocate for cowboy poetry, the collection also contains memorabilia from various cowboy poetry gatherings, numerous books, and audio recordings of Preston himself and other cowboy poets.

The Scott Preston Papers give researchers the insight of the challenges of independent presses in Idaho, and the culture of the cowboy poet. To learn more about what the collection holds, see the finding aid here: nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv53259/

A special thanks goes to all the folks who work in Special Collections. They are the best mentors an intern could have.

Mandy Moncur,
Special Collections and Archives Summer Intern

7.23.2014

Dance Appreciation Month

Dance_class.jpg
From Albertsons Library's Historic Boise State Collection
July is dance appreciation month and the last Saturday of the month is National Dance Day! As you might expect, Albertsons Library has resources to help you find your bop, boogie, or pirouette!

Let’s start with the books. If you type dance history into the search box on the front page of the library website, you’ll retrieve over 25,000 books and eBooks. To be clear, not every one of these titles is sitting in the library, but about 2200 of them are, with another 600+ online titles that Boise State University students, faculty, and staff can access immediately. Most of the other 22,000 titles can be acquired via the library’s Interlibrary Loan service - free! Below are just a few examples. Click the title to view details.




Though these books look really interesting, dance lends itself to the moving image, and the library can help with that too! There are a number of DVDs in our collection, but we also subscribe to a streaming video database entirely devoted to the art of dance.

Dance in Video is a library of over five hundred hours of dance productions and documentaries from the 20th Century. Content covers a variety of genres, including ballet, jazz, tap, improvisational, and concert dance.

Search or browse for videos in a variety of ways, including genre, title or choreographer. Each video is accompanied by a complete transcript and is divided into tracks. Those who create a free account can save playlists and/or video clips. In addition, tools are provided for citing and sharing videos with others in the Boise State University community.

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You can get to Dance in Video from the Albertsons Library website under the “Videos & Music” tab.

Of course, there are a plethora of great dance resources on the Web. The New York Public Library has put together a guide to the best of the web for dance so that you don’t have to dig through all those Google search results.

As always, the librarians at Albertsons Library are happy to help if you have questions. Until then - let’s dance! 

Ellie Dworak

7.22.2014

KAPOW! Batman swag on the Quad!

Albertsons Library is not the only institution celebrating a birthday this year. Batman has us beat by a full 25 years. The cowled crusader first appeared in a DC comic in 1939, and has since grown to be, as Warner Brothers claims, “the single most successful film franchise in history,” with additional appearances on TV series, in video games, and publishing and merchandise.

We’ll be celebrating Batman’s birthday on Wednesday, July 23rd from 11am on the Quad as various Bat Girls and mini Batmen hand out swag bags. With limited quantities available, it’s a good idea to get there quickly! If you miss it, or need an additional Batman fix you might check out these resources available at the library:

On our shelves
Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack2nd Floor, Compact Disc M1527.Z55 D37 2008

DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore3rd Floor, PN6727.M664 A6 2006

Batman: the Dark Knight Strikes Again3rd Floor, PN6728.B36 M546 2002

eBooks
Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Iconhttp://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/857365220

Fan Phenomena: Batmanhttp://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/856869786

Hunting The Dark Knighthttp://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/851315641

Online
DC Comics 75thhttp://bit.ly/1hZzMol

“Batman: Strange Days” official 75th short film
http://bit.ly/1ev2A67

TIME Magazine’s history of Batman logohttp://time.com/41410/batman-logos-gif/



This post is the second in a series celebrating Albertsons Library’s 50th [#BoiseStLibraryat50]

Elizabeth Ramsey & Deana Brown,
Reference Librarians

7.17.2014

Library Student Assistant Helena Works at Craters of the Moon this Summer!



Our computer lab assistant Helena Mallonee is working as an Interpretive Ranger this summer at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Craters of the Moon is a surreal and awesome landscape located near Arco, Idaho about 3 hours driving distance from Boise, Idaho. 

Craters of the Moon was explored by Robert Limbert in 1921, which led to the establishment of the area as a National Monument, and his archival papers are available at Albertsons Library's Special Collections and Archives. You can view the finding aid to those materials by selecting this link. Albertsons Library has many books, maps, and articles about the area which you can check out here

Helena was gracious enough to spare some of her very rare internet time answering a few questions about her work for us. 

Amy: You're a Boise State student, and you're working at Craters of the Moon this summer. What's the connection between your major and your job?

Helena: My job and my degree are closely related, although not the same. At Boise State University I'm learning about geophysics and geology. At Craters of the Moon, I explain these topics to the general public, at a much less technical level. I also need to know about the area's history and biology, subjects I don't have much formal education in. It's been a great excuse to learn about those topics! I also need to know how to explain things to people in a way that is clear, concise, and catchy - we're called "Interpretation Rangers" because we interpret between the resource and the visitors. Having a technical background is a huge boon in this line of work, but there are many more skills you need!

What's the weirdest thing you've seen there?

The weirdest thing is probably Craters of the Moon itself! In our enabling legislation, Craters of the Moon was described as "weird and scene, a landscape peculiar to itself." I'm very interested in basaltic volcanology, so it doesn't look very weird to me, but I know it appears very strange to most visitors!

What is the most commonly asked question?

The most commonly asked question is "Where is the bathroom?" That one is fairly easy to answer!

My favorite common question is "Where's the volcano that created all this?" or "How did this come to be here?" This question is great, because it provides an opportunity to talk about the geology of Craters of the Moon and explain what makes it important.

Why should we stay on the trails?

While off-trail travel is technically allowed in most areas of the Monument, we ask everyone to stay on the trails for two reasons:
  1. Many of the lava flows here have a delicate coating of volcanic glass on them, with a layer of oxidized lava beneath. When you walk on the lava, it breaks apart the crust, reveling the oxidized layer. This means that the people after you can't see the pretty, natural glass coating - you have left your trace on the landscape. One of the tenets of the Park Service is preservation of the landscape and features for future generations. 
  2. Walking across lava flows is hazardous. It's not like a gentle walk in a forest, you are walking over rough, unstable terrain with many small holes and ridges. We don't want you to get hurt (especially with the limited cell coverage), and we also don't want to get hurt while rescuing you. You may feel comfortable taking risks, but it's important to remember that the people who come to rescue you (whether you want us to or not, we will come) are taking risks themselves. 
We want everyone to be safe & have a good visit!

If we come visit what are the highlights?

My favorite walk is the Broken Top loop - it's a 1.8 mile hike around a cinder cone, and it's kind of a microcosm of Craters of the Moon. The north side has trees and plants, and on the south side the trail takes you across the lava flows and down into a lava cave! We have a guided walk there weekday mornings at 9 am. The most popular place is definitely the Caves Trail, where you can go into 4 lava caves in 1.5 miles (roundtrip) of trail. We lead guided walks to the largest cave at 1 pm and 4 pm, and 9 am on weekends. Inferno Cone is a great place to climb a volcano & see a panoramic view of the Snake River Plain, and Devil's Orchard is great for taking sunset photos!

Anything else we should know about you and rocks and Craters?

Craters of the Moon National Monument is cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. The developed area is managed by the Park Service, but there are many acres of undeveloped land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Those areas are great to visit, but you need information & a high-clearance vehicle. This is my first summer with the Park Service - before that I worked this same job, but for the Bureau of Land Management. If you're interested in a job like this, a great way to start is by volunteering at a local park or public land! Other great ways are Student Conservation Association internships and GeoCorps internships. There are many different types of jobs at parks, including Administration, Finance, Maintenance, Biology, Geology, Law Enforcement, and Interpretation. It's an incredible experience, you meet great people, and get to spend the summer doing fun things outside!

7.16.2014

Just Visiting: Idaho’s Protected Wilderness

New Digital Collection and Window Exhibit at Albertsons Library

2014 marks a big year for the United States ~ the Wilderness Act is turning 50! In 1964, with a few swishes of President Lyndon Johnson’s hand, the President acknowledged the intrinsic value of wild and unspoiled spaces and almost 10 million acres of federally owned land were afforded the highest level of conservation and preservation. In fact, the law states that a wilderness is “where a man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” At the time, the new law created the most restrictive land-use policy for public land in the world, because of its constraints on logging, mining, road construction and the use of motorized vehicles.

Can you imagine the controversy and negotiations which were necessary in the decade leading up to the 1964 signing? Since the Wilderness Act impacted both the current and future uses of the land, almost everyone had an opinion and you can bet that very few agreed on much. From what areas to include and which activities should be allowed or prohibited in those areas, the topic was a hot one. Idaho’s political figures spent a good deal of time in Washington D.C. and back home listening to constituents and drafting legislation to build a responsible system for wilderness.

Today, the State of Idaho’s designated wilderness areas have increased to 4.5 million acres (3rd most in the country) and in the fifty years since the Wilderness Act was passed, the debates rage on - pitting ATV enthusiasts against backpackers, mining companies against conservationists, and states against the federal government...and that’s just the short list! Does federal control of land in Idaho trample state rights or does federal control of the land protect Idaho’s public land from economic exploitation? Does the desire to have a space as natural and wild as possible unnecessarily limit the outdoor enthusiasts’ ability to enjoy that
space? Who decides how to manage public land?



To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Special Collections and Archives recently published a new online Wilderness Collection. We also have a wonderful new window exhibit created by Mandy Moncur (a graduate student in the history department who interned with Special Collections and Archives this summer). The new exhibit highlights key people and places associated with the Wilderness Act
in Idaho.

Interested in learning more about the Wilderness Act? Here’s how—browse the newly created online collection, view the new exhibit on the 2nd floor of Albertsons Library, or visit Special Collections (open 9-5, M-W). We have letters, speeches, government reports, photographs, diaries and much more available for research. We invite you to discover the pleasure of studying national policy at the most intimate level - first hand from the people who helped to create and shape it!

The digital collection contains material from the collections of Frank Church, Cecil D. Andrus, Len B. Jordan, Larry LaRocco, Gracie Pfost, Ted Trueblood and others.


Jennele Estrada & Jim Duran,
Special Collections and Archives

7.10.2014

Construction Update in Albertsons Library


Summer time may be synonymous with beach reads, cold drinks, and floating the river--but it also means construction projects! 

The library elevator renovation project is about half way completed. Contractors continue to work on the elevator motor and refurbishing the cabs. Renovation is projected to be completed just after the start of Fall 2014 semester. 


Starting Friday, July 11 construction will commence on relocating Starbucks’ entrance. The door will be moved to the vestibule to improve traffic flow in and out of the coffee shop. The project is slated to be completed in less than 10 business days. Starbucks will remain open throughout the duration of the construction so your iced latte addiction can continue unimpeded.

If you have any questions about construction and access to the building and collections during the project, please contact Mary Aagard at maryaagard@boisestate.edu or 426-4025.

7.09.2014

Freedom Summer

Photo from the Frank Church Collection in Boise State University, Albertsons Library’s Special Collections

Idaho Senator, Frank Church, advises then President Lyndon Johnson during the creation of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1965. This bill was conceived in response to demonstrations and violent reprisals against demonstrators throughout the South 
during the early sixties.

The summer before the bill was signed into law more than 700 university students, black and white, journeyed to Mississippi to assist the locals in registering to vote. It was thought by the organizers, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), that the participation of these students would draw greater attention to the lack of not only voting rights, but the general poor standard of living of the black citizens of Mississippi. Within a day of the students’ arrival, three of them went missing. Their bodies were not found for six months. This time in American history is known as Freedom Summer.

An American Experience documentary on Freedom Summer recently premiered on PBS. You can still watch it online http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/freedomsummer/ or learn more about this momentous time in American History through a number of resources at Albertsons Library including:

The print book Freedom Summer by Doug McAdam looks at the impact of Freedom Summer on volunteers’ political, professional and personal lives

John Dittmer’s Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi examines the experiences of the local black communities during Freedom Summer and beyond 

Another print book, Faces of Freedom Summer, presents the event from the viewpoint of photographer Herbert Eugene Randall, who documented the experience

The ebook, After Freedom Summer, examines how the event changed the political landscape of Mississippi http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/757826249

The video Freedom Summer, produced by A&E, is available online in a streaming format http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/677927121

This blog post is the first in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary.
Elizabeth Ramsey,
Assistant professor, Librarian