Library News and Events


Meet the Inaugural DRS Pilot Projects

Posted by: Amanda Rust



The Library’s Digital Scholarship Group is excited to announce projects chosen for the 2015 DRS Project Toolkit Pilot program. In this Pilot program, we work with selected digital projects at Northeastern to develop new tools for online scholarship. Projects will store and preserve their digital content in Northeastern’s next generation Digital Repository Service (learn more about the DRS here). Projects can then use platforms like WordPress and Omeka to curate and display this work in an engaging and accessible manner on the web. The Digital Scholarship Group received impressive proposals from a wide range of Northeastern’s colleges and departments, and are looking forward to working with the following three proposals for 2015-2016:

  • Debra Mandel (Libraries) will showcase the exciting work Northeastern students have created in Snell Library’s Digital Media Commons and Studios. A collaborative facility with state-of-the-art audio and video technology and support, the Digital Media Commons has helped students at Northeastern record music, create animated films, and produce a range of high-quality creative projects. The Digital Scholarship Group will help Digital Media Commons staff celebrate and preserve this work.
  • Giordana Mecagni (Archives and Special Collections) will create digital exhibits about the Boston Public Schools Desegregation, a process which began in the fall of 1974. The Digital Scholarship Group will help Northeastern’s Archives and Special Collections make digital records of this important event in the history of Boston more widely accessible and visible. In addition to Archives and Special Collections, an interdisciplinary coalition of students, faculty members, and archivists from the Northeastern community will participate in this project.
  • Jenny Sartori (Jewish Studies) and the University’s Holocaust Awareness Committee will create a publicly-accessible archive of Northeastern’s Holocaust Awareness Week programming. For more than thirty years, these events have reflected Northeastern’s commitment to Holocaust awareness and genocide prevention. This will be an important educational resource that highlights the digital records of survivor testimonies, distinguished lectures, and roundtable discussions, as well as the history of the Holocaust Awareness Committee itself.

These projects join three other new DSG initiatives from earlier in Spring 2015:

  • a web presence for content from the Library’s Arader Galleries collection (and the creation of new signage that directs viewers of the physical prints to this online collection)
  • the addition of Stephen Sadow’s collection of interviews with Latin American artists and writers to the DRS
  • the migration of the Catskill Institute materials from their current home at Brown University to the DRS (and a new website at Northeastern)

The Digital Scholarship Group also continues to support the ongoing work of the Women Writers Project; Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive; The Early Caribbean Digital Archive; Viral Texts; Digital Humanities Quarterly; and TAPAS. For more information on projects supported by the Digital Scholarship Group, please visit our Projects page.

If you’d like to contact the Digital Scholarship Group, please email us: We are also on Twitter: @NU_DSG.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Data Curation, Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications


Keep track of your BLC books!

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


Are you one of the thousands of Northeastern students and researchers who borrow books using interlibrary loan through the BLC (Boston Library Consortium) partnership program?

If so, this is a heads up that beginning June 1, BLC books are subject to overdue fines.

These books and DVD’s are the ones with the white bands wrapped around the cover saying “Boston Library Consortium.”


This means books, CDs, and DVDs that you borrow from our partner libraries in the BLC will now be subject to the same fines as Northeastern books.  (You can look up the fine information on our web site.)

Why are we doing this?  Because it’s important for us to maintain good relationships with our partner libraries.  If we do not return books to them, they can’t serve their own populations of students and researchers.  And it can be hard for us to return items in a timely manner when we do not charge fines.

The good news is that it’s easy for you to avoid fines!   All you need to do is note on your calendar when your books are due, and always read your email reminders from the library.  We notify you 3 days before fines begin, and we follow up with another email on the day the book is due.

You may also check your library account at any time to see what you currently have checked out and the due dates.


Posted in: Library News and Events


ACI Scholarly Blog Index: Research Powered by Social Media

Posted by: Amy Lewontin


Academic bloggers work hard to get new research in the sciences, engineering, the humanities and social sciences out to the world as quickly as possible.

So how do you keep up with so much interesting and important scholarly material? Try taking a look at ACI Scholarly Blog Index, a very new resource that the Northeastern University Libraries is currently beta-testing. ACI Scholarly Blog Index was created with students and faculty in mind as a tool to help you spend less time looking at irrelevant material on the web.

Looking for the best bloggers in economics, medicine, or politics? Try a search in the ACI Scholarly Blog Index. You’ll learn about the authors of the blog and what kind of academic work they are engaged in. Want to know who is writing about chemistry from a particular university?  ACI Scholarly Blog Index is also perfect for that.

All of ACI’s blogs are individually chosen by researchers with expertise in that blog’s topic or field of study.  If you are the author of a scholarly blog, and would like to suggest your blog or one your read regularly be included, there is a recommend a blog form.

You can easily create an account to search and save material you locate via ACI.  Use your Northeastern e-mail address and then create a password, of your own choosing. Why else should you try creating an account with ACI? You will see the full text of the blogs, not just an abstract.  Blog records can be downloaded and saved and your citations can be exported to Mendeley, EndNote,  or Zotero. Without logging in, the default is MLA.

Watch this helpful video for more information about logging in.

To find out more about using ACI, see the Support site here.

Let us know what you think!  Review ACI Blog Index here!



Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online, Serendipity


February 23-27 Is Fair Use Week!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett






What is fair use? It’s a right granted to us that allows us to use copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder, under certain circumstances. The central purpose of the doctrine of fair use is to encourage creative expression and innovation through the transformative use of intellectual property.

Fair use is not unusual—quite the contrary: it’s applied every day, in a variety of circumstances. Have you quoted an author in a paper for class? That’s fair use! Have you watched “The Daily Show,” or “South Park”? You’ve enjoyed the humor of parody that fair use allows! Have you DVRed those shows to watch later (or do you remember the dark ages of recording TV shows on your VCR)? Even though you’re technically making a copy, that kind of copying is also fair use.

But fair use is sometimes mischaracterized as being too difficult to determine and thus advised against out of fear of infringement. So, the organizers of Fair Use Week hope to increase awareness and understanding of fair use, and emphasize its importance to the creation of new knowledge.

There are several online events taking place as part of Fair Use Week:

  • On Tuesday, February 24, from 2:00-3:00, Kevin Smith of Duke University will be presenting a webcast on fair use.
  • On Wednesday, February 25, from 3:00-4:00, Brandon Butler of American University will be hosting a “tweetchat” on Twitter about fair use and audiovisual materials, at the hashtag #videofairuse.
  • Several videos about fair use are scheduled to be released next week.

You can read more about Fair Use Week—why it’s important and what it all means—at this link: I also recommend checking out the Fair Use Week Tumblr, organized by Kyle Courtney at Harvard University. He and his colleagues are posting interesting stories and snippets about Fair Use Week. You can follow @FairUseWeek on Twitter.  (And, if you haven’t seen it, we have a page about fair use on our library website.)

Finally, check out this great infographic that has been created about fair use!

(click for full image)


Posted in: Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications


Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive – WBUR Oral History Project Announces Lesson Plans

Posted by: Claudia Willett


In the wake of the events that occurred on April 15, 2013 at the 117th Boston Marathon and on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Northeastern University English Professor Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Assistant Professor Ryan Cordell recognized the obvious need for a space where people could tell and share their stories with each other.  They believed that sharing stories from survivors, families, witnesses, visitors to the city, and everyone around the world touched by the event will speed the healing process, and wanted to create that space as a gift to the community.

Together, they established the Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, a crowd-sourced, digital archive of pictures, videos, stories, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombing.  Thus far, they have acquired an archive of almost 10,000 items, 3 interactive exhibits, and 3 major collections.


[April 21, 2013, from the Public Submissions collection]

This summer, I contributed to this remarkable endeavor as a Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) graduate summer intern sponsored by the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department and supported by the Project Co-Director James McGrath. In addition to exhibit building and social media, the main task of my internship was to create lesson plans for schoolroom use.

Because children were affected by this crisis as well, the team at Our Marathon thought it would help the healing process for children to use the Our Marathon archives—to remember and share stories in the safety of their own classrooms.  Additionally, it can be difficult for teachers to navigate the complex questions young students ask and a resource like the digital archive can work as a great tool to facilitate age appropriate discussion.

To that end, I helped create a Teaching Resources page for Our Marathon. This page showcases five lesson plans for Kindergarten through Grade 12 that utilize Letters to the City of Boston and The Copley Square Memorial collections,  and the WBUR Oral History Project as the basis for a teaching unit. These lesson plans are designed to demonstrate mastery of grade and subject appropriate Common Core Standards.

Hopefully, these assignments will generate more student submissions to the archive as well as create a platform for an important dialogue amongst students and teachers. I look forward to reading about their experiences in the Our Marathon archives.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, History, Information and Society, Library News and Events, Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online