For the past several years, members of the Drexel community have had the option to chose between RefWorks, a site licensed by the Libraries, and EndNote, a site licensed by IRT. Following the University initiative to examine and reduce redundancies on campus, the Libraries will no longer provide a license to the RefWorks tool. Access to RefWorks will end on September 30, 2014.
Last month we talked about collection management and the need for deselecting, or weeding, and it might cause you to wonder what happens to all of the weeded items? Items removed from the collection are given to Better World Books, an organization that allows libraries to sell items online or donate them to other organizations.
As we finally move into spring, how many among us are anxious to shed our winter jackets in favor of warmer weather? Spring is an exciting time of sunshine and new growth, but with that comes housekeeping – weeding, planting and spring-cleaning. For the Libraries, this spring marks a time to review our collections as we plan to make room for more up to date references and feature an resources that will stimulate discovery and reading enjoyment.
Earlier issues of this newsletter have highlighted various strategic directions within the Libraries’ evolving Strategic Plan—building learning environments, deepening connections with scholarship, and modeling a library organization. I have left the most enduring and perhaps obvious one for last—that the Libraries ensures access to ideas and authoritative information sources, regardless of time or geography, for Drexel’s diverse community to learn, contribute to scholarship, and serve society.
Libraries staff is undertaking innovative initiatives to address this important responsibility. We continue to license access to electronic information resources, critical to research and teaching, and are challenged in doing so by the growing population at Drexel, as well as the expansion of the University’s scholarly communications and research scope. We are also working to simplify the discovery of multiple unique collections across Drexel and beyond, and collaboratively with others, to ensure that the creative expressions at Drexel are available to others for future use in teaching and research.
Ever since learning about the dink while working on our Fall 2010 exhibition, "Greetings on Thee, Little Guys: A History of Freshmen at Drexel," Archives staff have wished for one of these blue and gold beanies to add to the Archives' collections. That wish has finally come true. Just this month we received not one, but two dinks, donated by two different alumni. Paula Milmon Hutt '55 mailed hers from Denver, Colorado. George Piper '57 dropped his off. George also donated his game ball from the penultimate game of the 1955 season.
This is the second in an occasional series of stories from the collections of the University Archives. Today Brian Stewart tells a tale he uncovered while researching the former home of Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer. Every college student knows that residence halls are named after important people, but how many can say why that person was important? Sometimes, as is the case with Van Rensselaer Hall, the name seems to come from nowhere. Why name a building after a family who founded a different school? The fact is that there were Van Rensselaers in the Drexel family, and they were important not just to the University, but to the city of Philadelphia. The following is a brief history of those Drexel family members; their lives, times, homes, and contributions. Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer (1860-1929), called 'Sallie,' was the fourth Child of Anthony J. Drexel and Ellen Rozet. Considered by some to have been the most confident and forceful of Tony's children, Sarah would become an active philanthropist and one of Philadelphia’s premier socialites. In 1879 she married John Ruckman Fell, a director of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and later member of the Board of Managers of the Drexel Institute. The couple had five children; Amanda, Ellen, Mae, Francis, and John; and together purchased a significant track of land in Fort Washington. John R. Fell died of a stroke on November 12, 1895, leaving Sarah in possession of their home, Camp Hill Hall, and the financial resources of both the Fell and Drexel families. In 1897, Sarah proposed the construction of a second home in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, and announced her engagement to Alexander Van Rensselaer (1850-1933) following a cruise aboard the May, her yacht. Sarah Drexel Fell became Sarah Drexel Van Rensselaer on January 27, 1898.
This is the first post in an occasional series of stories from the collections of the University Archives. Today Brian Stewart tells a tale he uncovered while researching Jessie Smith. Howard Pyle (1853 – 1911), author and illustrator of children’s books and a member of the Drexel faculty (1894-1900) is perhaps best known for The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, first published in 1883. The Merry Adventures was one of the first modern interpretations of the story of this now-famous outlaw, and featured a new standard in detailed illustration and a storyline that greatly appealed to children. The book is often credited as being the foundation for the character’s popularity, which continues to this day. Another of Pyle’s works, the novel Men of Iron, was later adapted into the 1954 film The Black Shield of Falworth. Pyle was also a much sought-after instructor in the art of illustration, and both established and directed the Drexel Institute Department of Fine Arts’ School of Illustration in 1894. Though Pyle retired from the Institute in 1900, he went on to found his own school; the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. The distinctive style that characterized the work of Pyle and many of his students would become known as "the Brandywine School."
“The events of September 11 galvanized many disparate groups. Who would have thought that comic books would be one of them?” wrote Time magazine’s Andrew Arnold1. Arnold should not have been surprised.