Library News

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.


Former president receives award for contribution to the arts

Submitted by plessla on Filed under Library News:  Events

McMaster University Library would like to congratulate president emeritus Alvin Lee for receiving the lifetime achievement award at the Hamilton Arts Awards on May 29. The Hamilton Arts Awards celebrate Hamilton’s vibrant arts community and recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to arts and culture in our community.

In her letter of support for his nomination, University librarian Vivian Lewis wrote, “I believe that Dr. Lee’s career exemplifies the sense of artistic excellence, community volunteerism and ongoing passion for the arts being recognized by the award.”

Lee has been a strong supporter of the Library since his arrival on campus in 1960, when he first dreamed of building a research library at McMaster. In recognition of his enormous contribution to the development of McMaster University Library over many years, Dr. Lee was presented with the first Library Advocate Award in 2001.

Related articles:


CHCH to broadcast live from Library May 27

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

Hamilton’s CHCH-TV is planning to broadcast live Tuesday, May 27 from McMaster, when on-air personality Lori DeAngelis will visit Mills Memorial Library to interview archives and research collections librarian Rick Stapleton in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections.

Stapleton will highlight some of the library’s most interesting items in several live segments from the archives, which are home to 126,000 books and shelves that hold 3.6 km of archives.

The show starts at 6 a.m. and runs to 10 a.m.

- Source:

- See the video here:


Mac's maps help solve Aussie grave mystery

Submitted by plessla on Filed under Library News:  Maps, Data, Gov Pubs News Mills

McMaster's collection of First World War maps has helped put an end to the 84-year-old mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Private William Phillips' remains.

That's how long Phillips, an Australian soldier killed in the final months of the Great War, was buried beneath another man's headstone.

Katie Daubs, a reporter for the Toronto Star, is currently walking the Western Front and wrote about the story here.

An excerpt from the story is below:

Bray-sur-Somme, FRANCE — For 84 years, Pte. William Phillips was missing, lying underneath another man’s headstone.

The soldier was killed in the final months of the war, when the front lines were moving quickly. He was buried on the battlefield near Bray-sur-Somme, but when the graves were moved into cemeteries in 1919, he was recorded as missing, his body classified as an unknown soldier.

The popular jockey was one of the thousands of Australians with no known grave commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. It was something that wasn’t questioned by the family, who were never told many details about his final resting spot.

The location didn’t come from a DNA test, or an exhumation. It was a curious relative who, after years of archival research, found a very specific map on the other side of the world, at McMaster University in Hamilton.

More than decade ago, out of general interest, 54-year-old Scott Arthur decided to “have a peek to see exactly where this bloke is.”

The bloke was his Great-Uncle William Phillips, a thirty-something jockey, five foot two officially, when he signed up for war. Will, as he was known, left behind a sweetheart who never married, and adoring nieces and nephews. He was one of the 416,000 men to enlist in Australia, then a British dominion with just under five million people. He was one of the 61,513 who never came home.

When his mother Alice found out the bad news, she went to her room and never came out. She died in November 1918.

Arthur, who lives in Newcastle, a city in New South Wales, Australia, thought it was one of those old family legends, but later found a newspaper clipping about Poor Alice Phillips.

“I felt sorry for her, the vision of that old woman going to her bed and never getting back out,” he says. “She fretted herself to death.”

Continue reading "For 80 years, Pte. William Phillips lay in the wrong grave"

- Source:



Subscribe to Library News