New History and Humanities Resources

Posted by: Jamie Dendy


Northeastern University Libraries announce the acquisition of two new digital collections to further our support of important research and teaching at the University.  Both collections provide critical resources that complement the expanding interdisciplinary nature of scholarship across the campus.

Historical Black Newspapers.  This collection consists of three leading African-American newspapers: Chicago Defender (1910-1975), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).  These primary source materials are vital to the study of African-American history and culture and to a comprehensive understanding of U.S. history in general.

Full text searching includes valuable photographs and images, advertisements, and arts reviews. This collection celebrates the achievements and documents the struggles of the African-American community through much of the twentieth century.  The collection supports research among multiple disciplines, including African-American studies, history, political science, sociology, and urban studies.

JSTOR: Arts & Sciences VIII Collection.  This new addition to the valuable and popular JSTOR database of important journals across most subject areas expands the JSTOR collection by adding over 140 journal titles in the core humanities disciplines.

The new addition includes journals in art history, classical studies, history, language and literature, music, and philosophy.  Art and architecture journals include rare 19th century titles taken from important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick collection

For more information about these collections and how to effectively search and make use of them, please contact a subject librarian or request research assistance.

Posted in: African-American Studies, Art, History, Journalism and International Affairs, Library News and Events, Music, Research Online


By jove, Snell has it: on one of the best books of poetry. Ever.

Posted by: damong


In 1984, poets Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes put together a collection of poetry called The Rattle Bag. While not widely known, probably even among poets (what’s left of them), this is one of the more wide-ranging, enthusiastic and purely neat books of poetry to my mind. I don’t claim to be the foremost authority on poetry: I wrote a lot of it in High School, when I studied Creative Writing at Walnut Hill school in Suburban Massachusetts. That is when I was introduced to the book, by way of my teacher, Daniel Bosch. Since High school, I have moved on to other poetic forms and barely written any actual poetry.

But I still have The Rattle Bag. I still frequently read it, too, as creased and wrinkled and brown as it’s beginning to look. The main reason for this is that anything can be found inside. This means any sort of poem– anything from ‘As I came in by Fiddich-Side,’ a Scottish medieval ballad, to ‘Mushrooms’ by Hughes’ former wife, Sylvia Plath. It also means any type of sense, and all extremes of emotions. There is the necrophobia of the anonymous Welsh poem “Death.” There is the the childish surrealism of Lewis Carrol’s “The Mad Garnder’s Song.” There is the formal excellence– or chilliness– of Philip Larkin’s poems, such as “Cut Grass.” There is the narcissistic joy of “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island,” by Frank O’ Hara. And there are the standard poets: Frost, Blake, Thomas. The guys you have to read.

Yet with the guys you have to read, you won’t find any of the typical poems that come to mind with them; no “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Frost, or “The Tiger” by Blake. It doesn’t even matter whether or not the poem is written by a master or not. Heaney and Hughes have adopted the unusual but completely just form of organizing the poems alphabetically,  not by author. Due to this organization, the poems have to be read on their own terms, and not on the terms of the poet that wrote them. As a result, a poem called “Legend” by an obscure Australian poet Judith Wright is at least as interesting as Dylan Thomas’ “Fern Hill.” Interest is precisely what Daniel used to get at in his classes, in terms of what writing should ultimately do. This is the view shared by Heaney and Hughes, I am sure, and the driving force behind the selections in The Rattle Bag.

As a closing afterthought, Seamus Heaney has had a relationship to the Boston area for a long time now, ever since he started teaching classes at Harvard part time. I am not sure if he teaches there anymore, but when he did, self-promotion aside, I can only hope that he assigned this weird, sprawling, unceasingly interesting book to his students.

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch


Creative scientists, show NPR what you've got!

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


National Public Radio is inviting listeners to use your creativity to express your feelings about science!  You describe a scientific phenomenon in video, and if your video is selected, NPR will feature it on their YouTube site.

The project is called WonderScope, and is designed to get radio listeners involved in a communicating about science using web-based multimedia.  Here’s how it works:

1. NPR gives you a topic and a length. For example, the first topic is time, the length is 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
2. Sign in to YouTube and upload your video

…and get ready for the Academy Awards!

Posted in: Information and Society, Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications


Goin' Mobile with IEEE

Posted by: Amy Lewontin


IEEE mobile

IEEE has just launched their new IEEE Xplore MobileBeta. With this service, anyone can search articles in the IEEE Xplore digital library from any Web-enabled phone. IEEE is looking for opinions on the site and ideas on how to improve it.

Go to http://m.ieeexplore.ieee.org to start searching on any internet-enabled mobile device, try the new site, and send feedback via the link at the bottom of the mobile Web page. You can email the article link to yourself for future viewing of the full-text, or read the abstracts right on your phone.

Using  the IEEE Xplore® Mobile Beta, you can do a basic search, display the top 10 results by relevancy, and view abstracts and citations. To view the full-text of an article, the user can email the link to any email address and then view the article directly from the main IEEE Xplore Web site when they are on their personal computer.  All Northeastern students, faculty and staff have access to the IEEE Xplore Library.

IEEE Xplore Mobile is viewable on all Web-enabled mobile devices. It has been optimized for newer mobile devices (i.e., Apple iPhone, Blackberry Storm). When using older mobile devices (i.e., Blackberry 8360, Blackberry Curve), you may be able to choose “Internet Browser” as your default browser in your device’s options for optimal viewing.

Try it out and let IEEE know what you think.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online


When you need something from another library

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


worldcat_textside_120You’re probably already familiar with the interlibrary loan system: Snell Library doesn’t have a book (or video or cd) that you want, so you order it, and we get it for you from another library. An email tells you when it arrives at Snell, you pick it up, take it home, and return it to Snell when you’re done.

Beginning today, Northeastern and the member libraries of the Boston Library Consortium offer you a new way to quickly search all our catalogs at once, and easily make interlibrary loan requests for the books and audiovisual items you need. Called “WorldCat Local” , this web-based mega-catalog searches across the Boston Library Consortium and beyond, and uses your myNEU login for placing orders.

Of course, not everything you see in WorldCat Local can be ordered; you’ll still have to visit the member libraries in person for things like rare and archival materials, reference encyclopedias, and journals. But with WorldCat Local, it’s a snap to see exactly which library has what you need before you make the trek, and the ILLiad and Nexpress systems remain available for ordering individual article pdf’s.

To try WCL, go to http://northeastern.worldcat.org or look for the link in Nucat or on our “Borrowing from other libraries” pages.  WorldCat Local is available to any member of the public for searching. Current NU faculty, staff and students with myNEU accounts may place orders.

Please let us know what you think of WorldCat Local!

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