Friday Find: Library of Congress’s Alan Lomax Collection

Folklorist Alan Lomax believed that folk culture, particularly folk music, is essential to human society. His lifelong goal was to record and document traditional folk culture so that it could be preserved for future generations. From the time he left his position as head of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress in 1942 through the end of his career as an internationally known folklorist, author, radio broadcaster, filmmaker, record producer and television host, Lomax compiled one of the largest and most culturally significant collections of ethnographic material in the world.

Included in this collection are photographs, video footage and sound recordings of traditional singers, instrumentalists, and storytellers captured by Lomax during numerous trips to the American South, the Caribbean, Haiti, Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, France, Spain, Morocco, Romania, Russia and Italy. All of the material in the collection is available for personal viewing at the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center.  Many of the sound recordings, photographs, and videos may also be accessed online through the Association for Cultural Equity, fulfilling Lomax’s dream of preserving traditional folk culture and making it universally accessible for all.

Open Call for Library Instruction Sessions

Instructors, does your course have a research component? If so, consider scheduling a library instruction session! From evaluating resources to advanced search techniques to proper citation, a library instruction session teaches students to locate and use information properly and effectively.

To request an instruction session for your class, please complete this form or email the instruction librarian. Computer lab space is limited, so book early to ensure you are able to reserve your preferred dates.

Students, do you need help with your research? You can schedule small group or individual library instruction sessions and get one-on-one help from a librarian! Complete this form, email the instruction librarian or just stop by the library and a librarian will be able to help.

Friday Find: New Digital Exhibit at the Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum has a new Digital Costume and Textile Exhibit on their website. With over 50,000 images of costumes and textile artifacts from the mid-18th century to the present, this digital collection is the second largest in the world and one of the nation’s most complete digital repositories. Although the exhibit currently only features costumes, over time the Museum intends to digitize pieces from their entire collection.

Whether you are a history buff or a disciple of fashion, this digital resource offers a unique opportunity to view some very rare and beautiful historical objects.

eBook Exchange: Jane Eyre

eBook Exchange is back! Our August eBook Exchange post will feature a review of Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel, Jane Eyre, as well as a link to where you can read it for free on Google Books.

I first read Jane Eyre when I was fifteen-years-old. I’ve found that a lot of people are turned off by the novel’s length and it’s complex Victorian language, but I was enraptured by it, even as a teenager. I loved the secret turmoil hidden beneath the buttoned-up Victorian façade. More importantly, I loved how Jane’s character was so refreshingly different from any other Victorian heroine I had ever read.

Don’t get me wrong; I am most certainly a lover of Jane Austen. But I have always felt that, in comparison to a character like Jane Eyre, Austen’s heroines are somewhat flat and one-dimensional. While their primary objective always seems to be love and marriage, Jane’s objective is integrity, compassion and strong sense of self.

Romance is great in a novel, but is it really enough to make it a life-changing literary experience? Jane Eyre manages to have both a passionate love story and a strong, fiercely independent female protagonist. Jane has her happily-ever-after in the end, but she gets it on her terms; something unheard of for a Victorian woman.

In short, I think Jane Eyre is a refreshingly different heroine that all readers can gain inspiration from. As one Google Books reviewer wrote, “I wonder why I left [this book] on the shelf for so long… Possibly because I thought I would meet another character like Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary. Instead, I discovered the story of a beautifully modern woman.”

I am sure that once you meet Jane, you will come to love her character as much as I do. And thanks to Google Books, you can get to know her by reading the eBook version of Jane Eyre in its entirety, for free!

Brown Library Launches New Chat Service!

As the fall term approaches, you may find yourself needing help navigating some of the Library’s resources.

Never fear… LibraryH3lp is here!

The Library’s new chat service allows students to chat remotely with librarians from home. Reference librarians are available all hours that the Library is open to help students locate the information they need.

Interested? LibraryH3lp can be accessed using the Chat With Us tab on the Library’s Homepage.

We look forward to chatting with you!