Library News

Library Supports Graduate Student Involvement in Open Access

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode

McMaster University Library is proud to offer a travel scholarship for one McMaster graduate student to attend OpenCon 2014, the student and early career conference on open access, open data and open educational resources.  This three-day event is being held in Washington DC from November 15-17, 2014.  The event is geared toward training the next generation of graduate students and early career researchers to understand and ultimately champion open access on their campuses.

The award is valued at $1,500 USD and covers travel (flight from Pearson), lodging (shared accommodation), registration and some meals. 

The conference is being run by the Right to Research Coalition, a student arm of SPARC, one of the world’s most prominent organizations devoted to Open Access. 

In exchange, the successful individual will be asked to file a brief (3-5 page) report on her/his experience with recommendations for how we could further the OA cause at McMaster.  We’d also ask him/her to deposit the item in our Institutional Repository.  We might also want a testimonial on the Library website and/or to involve them in an OA event on campus. 

To apply for the McMaster travel award, please go to:  Applications are due by September 26, 2015.  The successful candidate will be contacted by October 3, 2015.

For further details about the event itself, please see:

For further information, please contact Olga Perkovic ( or Gabriela Mircea (

Echoes from the past: First World War song revived by McMaster student

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Mills

To mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, McMaster music student Jason Scozzari revived a moving piece of Canadian wartime music.

The composition, "Days of Peace," was written by Herbert Kohler in 1915.

The original sheet music is housed in McMaster's extensive "War Songs from the First Half of 20th Century" collection, located in the Archives & Research Collection at Mills Memorial Library. Scozzari, who is entering his fourth year at McMaster this fall, performed the piece in Convocation Hall.

Learn more about the 121 wartime songs in this rare and historic collection, and watch Scozzari's performance below:

- Source:

Welcome to the Class of 2018!

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode

We know a University Library can be a bit overwhelming, and want to make you feel comfortable here!  We also realize that you might not be using some of our resources until later in the term, so we’ll give you more info about those later. For now, a few tips to make things a little easier for you:

Our URL is Go there to find out about our  hours, different kinds of study spaces, information about borrowing, our computers and technology , printing and lots of other cool stuff. Better yet, go to our using the libraries page to get all this info in one place. If you have any questions, just ask any of the staff at a service desk in any of our libraries—they’ll be happy to help you. You can also drop in to one of our Library 101 sessions - these are quick information sessions to help you get comfortable in the Library. Look for the schedules online or in the library!

We’re excited to have you at Mac! Have a great year!

PrintSmart just got smarter!

Submitted by pottier on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts Innis Mills Thode

PrintSmart, the campus networked printing system, migrated to a new software platform on August 11, 2014.

Features of the new and improved PrintSmart system:

  • See your PrintSmart account balance as soon as you sign in - this value will display on the desktop as long as you are signed in!
  • Ability to add value to your PrintSmart account from any computing device, using major debit or credit cards, in $5, $10, $20 or $50 increments.
  • Check your transaction history, including recent and pending print jobs, from any computing device
  • Ability to transfer unused account balances to another PrintSmart account
  • Keep an eye on the environmental impact your personal printing activity is having - check out the new environmental dashboard! How many trees have you saved this term? How many grams of CO2 have you saved? What are your savings in terms of energy consumption?
  • Ability to print from any personal computing device, without downloading print drivers - this feature is called "web printing"
  • Ability to scan to email from any public copier/printer
  • Ability to sign into public photocopiers/printers using your MAC ID and password, or try logging in by swiping your student card!

Stay tuned for more updates as we roll out the new PrintSmart service!
powered by PaperCut Software International Pty. Ltd.

Innis Library Turns 40: A Tribute to Harold Innis

Submitted by perkovic on
Filed under Library News:  Innis
Harold Innis, Source: University of Toronto Archives

July 2, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the official opening of the Innis Room which would eventually become known as Innis Library. This autumn, the University Library will mark this milestone with a public celebration. To mark this day, however, we thought it appropriate to celebrate our namesake.

Harold Adams Innis was an influential thinker, writer and teacher in early twentieth century Canada. Innis was raised on a family farm in Southern Ontario and decided early on to pursue life as a teacher. He would eventually begin his undergraduate education at McMaster University, but his schooling was interrupted by his sense of duty. In 1916, Innis enlisted in the Canadian army, which was then embroiled in the First World War. His tour of duty included his participation in the now legendary battle of Vimy Ridge.

After being wounded and sent home, Innis continued his education and earned his Master of Arts degree from McMaster in 1918. He continued his postgraduate work at the University of Chicago. Upon completing his PhD, Innis , left the windy city to take up a teaching position at the University of Toronto where he spent his career writing and teaching.

Innis worked in the fields of political economy, media and communication theory and Canadian economic history. Innis and fellow University of Toronto professor Marshall McLuhan, did pioneering work in communication theory developing important original concepts on how modern communication technologies influence social and historical change.

Innis was also a major player in the field of economic history, authoring several books as well as being one of the founders of the Economic History Association and the Journal of Economic History. He was also instrumental in helping create two important funding sources for academic research in Canada; the Canadian Social Science Research Council and the Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Innis has been recognized as a leading figure in the fields he studied and has been awarded no less than five honourary degrees. In 1964 the University of Toronto paid tribute to their former faculty member by naming a college after him. Ten years later, McMaster University followed suit, by giving their future business library his name.

by Alessandro Erasmi & Rodney Howland
Photo: University of Toronto Archives


New Database: Indigenous Peoples, North America

Submitted by adling on
Filed under Library News:  e-Resources
The New Nation - September 1973




This new database documents the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of First Nations in Canada and the United States.

It includes manuscripts, monographs, newspapers, photographs, motion pictures, images of artwork, allowing the exploration of the impact of invasion and colonization on Indigenous Peoples in North America, and the intersection of Indigenous and European histories and systems of knowledge.

Canadian content ranges from rare monographs from the Javitch Collection (University of Alberta) to issues of 20th century newspapers such as New Nation, from Winnipeg. 

Documents will continue to be added through 2014, with major collections sourced from:

  • The Alaska Indian Language Collection (Gonzaga University)
  • The Association on American Indian Archives (AAIA and Princeton University)
  • Citizenship Case Files of the U.S. Court in Indian Territory, 1896‐1897 (U.S. National Archives)
  • Great Nemaha Agency Collection, 1866‐1873 (Wichita State University)
  • The Indian School Journal (Chilocco Indian School)
  • The Javitch Collection (University of Alberta)
  • Letters Sent by the Indian Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1849‐1903 (U.S. National Archives)
  • Moravian Mission among the Indians of North America (Moravian Archives)
  • The Pacific Northwest Tribes Missions Collection of the Oregon Province Archives of the Society of Jesus, 1853‐1960 (Gonzaga University)
  • Papers of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (Library of Congress)
  • The Papers of the Society of American Indians, 1906‐1946 (Private Collection of John Larner)
  • Records of the Creek Factory of the Office of Indian Trade of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1795‐1821 (U.S. National Archives)
  • W. S. Prettyman Photograph Collection (Wichita State University)


iPhone need a boost? The class of 2013 has you covered

Submitted by pottier on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
Electronics Charging Station

Plug in and go: Two free charging stations have been installed on campus, thanks to a gift from the Class of 2013. One is located in the Student Centre atrium (pictured) while another is in Mills Memorial Library. Each station is equipped with 10 charging lockers for cellphones and tablets.

The class of 2013's gift to future generations of Marauders? Free juice.

For cellphones and tablets, that is.

Students in need of a quick charge for their devices can now take advantage of two cellphone charging stations on campus - one in the Student Centre atrium, the other in Mills Memorial Library (located across from the Service Desk on the Main Floor).

Each station has 10 lockers (eight for cellphones and two for tablets) in which devices can be stored and locked using a pin code.

Users can return to their lockers later in the day to pick up their powered devices free of - ahem - charge.

These stations were made possible thanks to members of the class of 2013 who were asked to contribute to a project at the University.

"It's hard to walk around campus without being impacted by the support of McMaster alumni,
 says Chris Pickard, a member of the class of 2013 who now works for the University as an alumni officer. "To be able to contribute to the future student experience at Mac and join the legacy of giving really means a lot to me."

McMaster;s Alumni Advancement team is looking for ideas for the class of 2014's gift. Send your ideas to with the subject line "Grad Class Gift."


New: SPIE Digital Library

Submitted by adling on
Filed under Library News:  e-Resources
SPIE logo

Access to optics and photonics research has been expanded through the SPIE Digital Library.  The library has started a new subscription to the Library, which provides access to more than 375,000 technical papers

from the SPIE Conference Proceedings, 10 fulltext journals, and nearly 200 e-books.

Areas covered by the SPIE Digital Library include:

  • Astronomy and Astornomical Optics
  • Biomedical Optics and Engineering
  • Communication and Information Technologies
  • Defense and Industrial Sensing
  • Electronic Imaging and Processing
  • Micro/Nanolithography and Nanotechnology
  • Optics and Electro-Optics
  • Sensors

SPIE's user guide provides more information about contents and functionality. 

Thanks to all for your feedback in the recent database trial.

D-Day Secret of Mulberry revealed in the Archives

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Mills

Allied preparations for D-Day were a race against timeThe story of how the pre-fabricated harbours used for the invasion of Europe were planned and built is a testament to the greatest engineering feat of its time and a best kept secret. After the Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942, Western Allies knew that an amphibious landing was necessary.  A vital part of the solution was the construction of artificial harbours code-named “MULBERRY” which made the allied landings in France possible in June 1944.

Winston Churchill personally authorized the scheme.  On May 30, 1942 Churchill issued a directive to Admiral Mountbatten: PIERS FOR USE ON BEACHES. “They must float up and down with the tide. The anchor problem must be mastered. Let me have the best solution worked out. Don’t argue the matter. The difficulties will argue for themselves.” Investigations were started in deep secrecy looking at various ways to construct such a moveable harbour.  Two harbours would be built – MULBERRY A, for the American-led  landing on what became known as Omaha Beach, and MULBERRY B, for the British and Canadian landing at Arromanches.  Each harbour would be the size of Dover harbor.

Acquired by the Library in 1976, the Mulberry Harbours collection which spans to over 1 metre and dates from 1942-1947, consists of classified documents from the British War Office, drawings, blueprints, laboratory reports,  correspondence and over 700 official photographs with security classifications, censor stamps and War Office identification numbers on the verso. The provenance of the collection is that of Colonel V.C. Steer-Webster, a Royal Engineer who played a leading role in the invention, design, development and trials of all the Mulberry equipment and commanded the War Office branch during the Second World War. It also includes the typescripts and proofs of Mulberry: The Return To Triumph (1965), written by Michael Harrison, with proofs corrected by Lord Mountbatten. Harrison had used the Steer-Webster papers to write his book before the archives came to McMaster Library.  Of note is an original signed document with the caption “Most Secret” prepared by Hugh Lorys Hughes and dated 10 August, 1943.  It bears testimony to a Welsh engineer’s contribution to one of the greatest Allied successes of World War II . His description of “Piers For Flat Beaches” is accompanied by drawings and photographs of his concept for the harbours. 

The presence of a proto-type model in cardboard comprising 88 pieces, used by Colonel Steer-Webster in describing the construction of MULBERRY to President Roosevelt and two wooden models of a Phoenix Caisson and Kite anchor lend a visual edge to the technical data. The archive covers the progress of the Mulberry from inception to completion:  the towing across the Channel, to construction and operation on the Normandy coast which began on the morning of June 6, 1944.

Additional information can be found at

written by Renu Barrett

Related story:

  • The Hamilton Spectator

Miss Lou tribute to Maya Angelou

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections

“Dear Mrs. Bennett-Coverley, The magnificent Maya Angelou has asked me to contact you and ask you to present the 1986 Living Legacy Award to her at the presentation banquet on March 7, 1986, in San Diego, California.” So begins the letter from the Women’s International Center inviting Miss Lou to present a tribute to Maya Angelou at this occasion. The letter, Bennett-Coverley’s reply, and her touching tribute are all part of the Miss Lou Archives, held in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections in Mills Library.

As part of her tribute, Miss Lou wrote a poem to Angelou, which reads as follows:

Maya Angelou….

Dem say dat yu magnificent, an dat is not no lie.

For dictionary say magnificent, dignified

Stately, Splendid

Grand, Exalted,

Noble, and nuff more wud to

In fact, eena any language

Yuh magnificent fe true

But eena fe mi language

Magnificent mean Tallewah,

And Tallewah, mean stalwart

And Tallewah, mean strong

Big-hearted, Brave-hearted, Lion-hearted,


Walk good, Maya Angelou

And Magnificence walk wid yu.



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