Archives & Research Collections
Think of Italy, not as we know it now but that period of historical fermentation from the end of the 14th century to 1600, when Italy was not a country but a series of city states governed by powerful families and foreign invaders. The period is known as the Rinascimento or the Renaissance--a rebirth of culture, humanism, and intellectual values centred in Tuscany that witnessed a flowering in the arts and literature. This is the subject of the current exhibition in Archives and Research Collections that runs until the end of October.
One of the most intriguing new additions to Mills Library's Archives is the Crombie family fonds, a vast and varied collection of letters, illustrated diaries, official documents and pictures that chronicles a farm family's trials and tribulations from 1760 to 2002. Read more in this McMaster Daily News article.
A new exhibit entitled Convocations at McMaster University, 1958-1973 will be on display in Archives and Research Collections (Mills Memorial Library - Lower Level) from May to July 2006.
Eight exceptional individuals who have been awarded honourary degrees by McMaster University are showcased in this display:
- a trio of authors: Robertson Davies, Hugh MacLennan, Margaret Laurence
- a trio of politicians: T.C. ("Tommy) Douglas, Stanley Knowles, John P. Robarts
- a journalist: James M. Minifie
- a rabbi: Bernard Baskin
The display focuses on the turbulent decade of the sixties and how various convocation speakers chose to address the issues raised.
The display runs until the end of July 2006. We hope you will take the time to visit Archives and Research Collections, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
Archives and Research Collections is pleased to announce an exhibition on nineteenth-century book covers that runs from January until the end of April, 2006.
If you would like a peek at the Library's two millionth volume as well as much other scientific literature from a twelfth century manuscript to the work of a man who died just last month, please come down to the Archives (Mills, Lower Level) and view our latest exhibit: On the Shoulders of Giants: Natural Science before and after Isaac Newton on display from September to December 2005.
Flooding in Mills Library last week caused much scrambling, but little permanent damage to valuable rare periodicals in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. At about 5am Thursday, May 12, workmen cleaning carpets in the building discovered that a pipe fitting had leaked on the 1st floor. When Security Services was notified, an officer discovered that water from the leak had seeped through the 3-foot concrete floor to the area below where the Library's rare journals and maps are housed.
Quick action by staff from Security Services, the Library, EOHSS (Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services) and Physical Plant ensured that damage was minimal. Research Collections Librarian Carl Spadoni arrived on the scene at about 6am and rushed water-soaked 18th century journals to the Library’s Preservation lab, where he fanned them all out to dry. Dave Ouellette, a Library staff member and freelance conservator, was called in to manage the drying process. Smaller journals were placed between paper blotters to soak up the water and many fragile journals were hung on strings to dry. Several volumes were placed in a freezer to arrest paper damage. As the paper in the larger books began to dry, they were put into presses to minimize distortion. Amazingly, only a few volumes have sustained permanent water-staining and warping. "We really dodged a bullet on this one", said Spadoni, "the damage could have been extraordinary. In another few hours we could have lost all our journals and rare maps". Spadoni points out that important journals such as the
, the primary reviewing journal of the 18th century, would be next to impossible to replace, since they are rarely available for sale. Some 300 to 500 volumes were affected by the flood, which was the most severe flooding incident in the Library in more than ten years.
Have you ever lain in bed at night and asked yourself whether the present King of France is bald? Perhaps not, but Bertrand Russell addressed this question in his paper "On Denoting", published in Mind, the foremost journal of English philosophy, in October 1905. Russell's paper concerns the distinction between names and descriptions. It is considered to be a classic of analytic philosophy and a major contribution to the philosophy of language. George IV wanted to know whether Scott is the author of Waverley, but he did not wish to know whether Scott was Scott.
On Wednesday, April 20 CH TV's News at Six will feature a story about Sir Edwin Leather and his archives, which were donated to McMaster's Library in 1996. Sir Edwin Leather, a native Hamiltonian, died on April 5th in Bermuda, where he had retired after serving as Governor and Commander-in-Chief from 1973-1977. Previously Leather and his wife Sheila, who died in 1994, had lived in England for many years.