A memorial service for former University Librarian Graham R. Hill will be held tonight at 7:00 pm in the Great Hall of the University Club. Hill, who was the University Librarian from 1979 until his retirement in 2005, passed away on April 13. He also served as president of the University Club for many years.
Hill received a B.A. from the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1968, an M.A. from the University of Lancaster in 1969, and an M.L.S. from the University of Western Ontario in 1970. He came to McMaster in January 1971.
During his tenure, Hill oversaw tremendous changes in the University Library, from the advent of the computer age to unprecedented growth of the campus in the 1980s and 1990s and the digital revolution in collections. Asked upon his retirement about his proudest achievement, Hill referenced the major expansion and renovation of Mills Memorial Library in the early 1990s, which significantly increased collections and study space.
In 1998, Hill was named as the first winner of the CARL (Canadian Association of Research Libraries) Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship, recognizing, in particular, his longstanding commitment in the areas of copyright reform and education. He served on the CARL Board of Directors from 1981-1987 (President from 1985-1987), and was Chair of the CARL Standing Committee on Copyright. Hill was also an active member of the Association of Research Libraries. He served as a Governor at Hillfield-Strathallan College from 1981-1993, and Chairman of the Board from 1989-1991.
McMaster’s current University Librarian, Vivian Lewis, recognized the indelible contributions Hill made to libraries on campus and across Canada. “I had the great honour of working with Graham for many years prior to his retirement. He was an inspired leader and a trusted colleague who will be missed by the library community.”
December 9th, 1961: Renowned peace activist Bertrand Russell addressing a crowd in Trafalgar Square on behalf of the Committee of 100, a leading British anti-war group. This photo is just one of the many items on display as part of the Perspectives on Peace exhibit in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections.
Did you know the peace symbol, now a globally recognized icon, was first created in the 1950s as the symbol of the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a movement in which internationally renowned peace advocate Bertrand Russell was deeply involved?
The Perspectives on Peace exhibit, on display until the end of April in McMaster’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections located in Mills Library, features materials from this campaign and other selections from Russell’s vast archives, as well as materials from many other notable peace activists.
Part of the campus-wide Perspectives of Peace campaign, the exhibit showcases a variety of items from influential peacemakers of the 20th and 21st centuries including musicians, writers, activists and performers, providing a unique look at the evolution of peace movements and human rights.
The exhibit includes selections from:
The Bertrand Russell Archive: The most complete collection of Russell materials in the world, the archive contains photographs, manuscripts, medals, and other personal items belonging to Russell, one of the most influential social thinkers and peace activists of his time. The exhibit includes material on Russell’s opposition to nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War, including the Russell-Einstein manifesto, photographs of the first use of the peace symbol, and letters from Albert Einstein andboxing legend Muhammad Ali, as well as a Christmas card from John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The Vera Brittain Archive: Consisting of nearly 300 boxes, this archive contains diaries, manuscripts, lectures, books and many other materials documenting Vera Brittain’s remarkable life as a peace activist. Brittain first witnessed the horrors of war while serving as a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse in the First World War, losing both her brother and her fiancé in the conflict. The exhibit features Brittain’s diary in which she details her tragic personal losses and also contains a manuscript of Testament of Youth, Brittain’s best-selling memoir that captured the impact of the war on her generation.
The Perspectives on Peace exhibit also features a number of other materials including; letters describing the WWI Christmas truce of 1915 from the Gerald Blake archive, lyrics of songs about human rights from the Bruce Cockburn archive, and handwritten poems and letters by McMaster alumnus and acclaimed poet Bernard Trotter that describe the plight of soldiers in World War One.
Filed under Library News: Alerts
This year you will once again have lots of options when it comes to late night studying during exams.
Thode Library will be open 24/7 from April 8th to April27th. The Reactor Café will be open April 11th-26th from 10am to 10pm. Don't forget there is an ATM to Thode so you will have easy access to cash for use at the café and the vending machines.
The lower level of Thode is the Quietest Study Area in the building. In addition there is a small Silent Study room on the lower level.
Mills Library moves to extended hours next week – the main library will be open 8am to 10:45pm, 7 days per week.
The Mills Learning Commons (2nd floor) is open 24/7, effective immediately, until April 27th. Make sure you give the new vending machines by the washrooms on the 2nd floor a try! Cold drinks (pop, water, juice, energy drinks), hot drinks (including latte's and cappuccino's), snacks (some healthy ones too) and the 1st Red Bull vending machine in Canada!
The entire 6th floor of Mills is designated as a Silent Study Area and we will do our best to patrol this area. Feel free to send an email to email@example.com or use theonline form if students in the area are not respecting the Silent Study guidelines (no talking, no socializing, no cell phones, no music). A large area on the 4th floor is designated as a Quiet Study Area. During exams, all seating areas on the upper floors (3rd – 5th) are considered Quiet Study Areas and will be signed as such.
Innis will also move to extended hours next week – Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 2:45am / Friday 8:30am to 10:45pm /Saturday 10:30am to 5:45 pm / Sunday 1pm to 7:45pm.
You will find more information on the various study spaces available in our libraries here.
All libraries have bookable Group Study Rooms. Please remember that these are to be used by groups of 2 or more, and cannot be booked for more than 2 consecutive hours by one group. The library reserves the right to remove bookings which do not follow these guidelines. Food and beverage vending machines in all libraries will be stocked daily during exams.
Good luck on your exams!
‘Without conservation, the history in these books could be lost, we need to preserve them for future generations,’ says McMaster Preservation Technician Audrie Schell who restored the 545 year-old Book of Hours.
Five centuries ago, the Book of Hours, now held by the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, was a cherished possession, an integral part of daily life in the Middle Ages.
As the years passed however, this once treasured book succumbed to a slow decay, its spine disintegrating, the fine artwork that adorned its pages flaking away little by little, another piece of history nearly lost forever.
It took more than eight months, but thanks to modern restoration techniques and skilful artistry, this medieval gem now looks as it did when its original owner first held it 545 years ago.
“A book of hours is a piece of art,” says Audrie Schell, Preservation Technician in the Division who restored this unique text in McMaster’s Preservation Lab. “Books of hours were commissioned works, so this is a one-of-a-kind item, an historical artefact that belonged to a specific person over 500 years ago, it’s very special.”
Books of hours, commonly used throughout the Middle Ages, were devotional texts containing cycles of psalms, prayers, hymns, readings and images of medieval Christianity that served as a daily guide to help the faithful lead pious lives and find salvation.
Over the centuries, McMaster’s book of hours had become badly damaged. Its pages, made of animal skin, or ‘vellum,’ had been exposed to moisture, forming waves and wrinkles, which caused the pigment to crack and the artwork to begin to flake away.
Schell began the painstaking restoration process by using a specialized humidity chamber and suction table that enabled her to gently stretch and flatten each vellum page individually. Then, using a fine brush, she applied a consolidant to re-adhere the flaking pigments, and hand-bound the pages, placing them in a leather cover.
The result is a stunning, one-of-a-kind work of art that now looks as vibrant as it did in the 15 century.
“We all need to have roots whether we’re conscious of it or not, and we need to know our history,” says Schell. “Without conservation, the history in these books could be lost, we need to preserve them for future generations.”
To view the Book of Hours, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Read this and other articles featured in the latest issue of the McMaster Library News.
Words and Music, an event hosted by the McMaster University Library, featured readings from emerging writers (from left) Denise Davy, Nichole Fanara, Ken Watson, Margaret Nowaczyk, Pamela Hensley, Janis Crowe and Robert Pasquini.
“It’s so exciting to be here tonight,” says Pamela Hensley before reading an excerpt from her work, Lola Lascaire to an audience of faculty, staff, students and community partners gathered at the University Club.
It was a sentiment echoed by all seven aspiring authors who participated in the event, many of whom were reading their work in public for the first time.
The readings were the centrepiece of a special event jointly hosted by McMaster University Library, The Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library aimed at showcasing the work of aspiring McMaster and Hamilton authors who have spent the past four months honing their craft with the guidance of Kim Echlin, the 2015-16 Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence.
“We often work with established authors, but this is a wonderful opportunity to support writers who are at the beginning of their careers,” says McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis. “Libraries traditionally focus on reading. In this case, we get to focus on the craft of writing. This event is a way for us to both provide a platform for emerging writers, and to connect with the local writing community both on campus and in Hamilton.”
The evening concluded with a reading by Echlin, who shared a passage from her latest novel Under the Visible Life. Echlin was accompanied by Pianist Jason Scozzari, a fourth year student in McMaster’s Honours Music program.
During her residency, Echlin split her time between campus and Hamilton Public Library, working with the apprentice authors in both locations. Echlin also became involved in the Hamilton writing community through initiatives like gritLIT and visited local schools to talk about the creative writing process.
The Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence program is funded in part through a generous donation from the Taylor family and is co-sponsored by McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library.
Writings from a Residency
Read excerpts from two of the writers who has been working with Kim Echlin over the past four months:
Lola Lascaire by Pamela Hensley
Pamela Hensley has an engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from University of Michigan. Originally from Ottawa, she worked in the US, Japan, and Germany before moving to back to Canada six years ago. Pamela is the author of several works of short fiction, her latest published in EVENT magazine, and is in the early stages of writing her first novel. She lives in Ancaster with her husband and daughter.
Our Future Forms By Robert Pasquini
Robert Pasquini is a 4th year PhD candidate in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster. His poem entitled “Dissolution” appeared in the online publication Ditch, and his short story “The Curator” was published in Hamilton Arts and Letters. Robert’s scholarly and creative work reflects his unyielding fascination with all things nineteenth century, science fictional, and evolutionary.
Students look at floor plans from the McMaster Library Space Plan in the lobby of Mills Library, part of a recent exercise aimed at finding ways to improve existing library spaces and plan for future needs.
What could McMaster University Library look like in 10 years? Visit the lobbies of Mills and Thode Libraries to find out.
Floor plans from the recent Master Library Space Plan exercise will be on display until the end of April. McMaster faculty, staff and students are invited to visit Mills and Thode Libraries to view the plans and provide feedback using the whiteboard placed beside each poster, or by submitting feedback online.
The plan, which University Librarian Vivian Lewis says could be implemented over the next decade, is the result of broad consultations with faculty, staff and students and is aimed at finding ways to improve existing library spaces and plan for future needs.
McMaster University Library, the Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library invite you to Words and Music, a special event featuring readings by Kim Echlin, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence for 2015-16.
Echlin’s reading will be accompanied by pianist Jason Scozzari, a fourth year student in McMaster’s Honours Music program. This event will also include readings by some of the aspiring writers from the McMaster and Hamilton communities that Echlin mentored during her residency.
When: March 23, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Great Hall, Alumni Memorial Hall (University Club)
What if you were told you couldn’t read a book because of its so-called offensive language or graphic content? Chances are you’d want to read it even more, if only to find out why you were told not to read it in the first place.
Freedom to Read Week is a nation-wide commemoration of the thousands of books that have been banned, challenged, or censored for any number of reasons, including sexuality, coarse language, racism, or religious objections.
From February 21-27, McMaster University Library is joining public libraries, bookstores and schools across the country to create awareness around the issue of censorship and highlight the importance of intellectual freedom.
Throughout the week, faculty, staff and students are invited to the lobby of Mills Library to explore a display featuring a wide and surprising array of books that have at one time been banned or challenged.
Faculty, staff and students can also participate in Freedom to Read Week via Twitter, using the hashtag #MacFTR16, where everyday throughout the week, Library staff will tweet out the reason a book was banned and invite people to give their own reasons why it should be read.
Although banning books is far from a common practice in Canada, there continue to be those who seek to remove books they deem offensive from libraries and schools.
Challenged and banned books have ranged from literary classics such as James Joyce’s Ulysses to popular children's books such as the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. As recently as 2014, a patron of the Toronto Public Library challenged Dr. Seuss's Hop on Pop: The Simplest Seuss for Youngest due to the concern that it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers.”
Watch videos featuring a number of famously banned literary classics, including the following video that asks the question, "What if we never got to meet Atticus Finch?"