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Bishop is new AUL for Content & Collections

Janet BishopJanet Bishop is the new Associate University Librarian for Content & Collections. Bishop joined the University Libraries June 15 after 10 years at Colorado State University Libraries, where she served most recently as Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections.

“Janet brings a rich portfolio to the AUL position, to the University Libraries, and the University,” said University Librarian Wendy Lougee. “Coming from another land-grant institution, she is well versed in the context of public universities. In her decade at CSU, she has been engaged within the state, including appointments to notable advisory councils related to preserving historic resources. As an Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellow, she has also had broad engagement with contemporary issues facing the research library community.”

Johnston leads Data Curation Network

Lisa JohnstonThe Libraries’ Lisa Johnston will lead efforts to develop a network for sharing data curation resources and staff across six major academic libraries, under a one-year project funded by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Data Curation Network will develop a “network of expertise” model for data curation services that will enable academic libraries to collectively, and more effectively, curate a wider variety of data types that expands beyond what any single institution might offer alone. The goal is to better support researchers faced with a growing number of requirements to openly and ethically share their research data.

Tretter Collection honored for service to GLBT community

Kris Kiesling, Lisa Vecoli, and Wendy Pradt Lougee with the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community by the American Library Association.

Kris Kiesling, Lisa Vecoli, and Wendy Pradt Lougee with the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community by the American Library Association.

The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries was named the inaugural recipient of the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.

The award was established to honor a library, librarian, library staff member, library board and/or library friends group who serves the GLBT community.

“The Newlen-Symons Award recognizes the tremendous impact of the Tretter Collection and its leadership in collecting and preserving the record of the GLBT community, from the University of Minnesota campus and beyond,” said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Through preservation, collection development, and advocacy, the Tretter Collection embodies how libraries can transform lives and communities.”

Libraries receives $224,450 to digitize African American collections

The Libraries received a grant of $224,500 from the Council on Library and Information Resources for an ambitious two-year endeavor that aims to digitally archive its materials representing African American history and culture. Digitized materials, dating from the 16th century to present, will include nearly half a million pages of print documents, images, and audio and video recordings from across more than 70 collections within the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Department.

As materials are digitized — an effort led by the University’s Givens Collection of African American Literature — they will be made publicly available via online search tools, such as the U of M Libraries website, the Digital Public Library of America, and Umbra: Search African American History (

Secrets of the Archives

We developed a new monthly video series called Secrets of the Archives in 2015, hosted by our own Tim Johnson. Each episode focuses on a significant item or collection within our archives. Check out a book that survived being burned by the Nazis, or a rare 17th-century, hand-colored manuscript containing maps and plans for the city of Goa.

Minitex to enhance e-book app

Library users will more easily access e-books across multiple systems thanks to SimplyE, a free app for phones and tablets that is being further developed at Minitex, a joint program of the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

SimplyE, developed by the New York Public Library, eliminates the need for a user to switch between multiple e-book vendor apps to access collections from a single library. Minitex developers will enhance that functionality to allow users to access e-books from their public library, their college library, and other shared collections. The work is funded by a $695,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Bell acquires rare book from 1475

Rudimentum1A rare example of the Rudimentum Novitiorum, a chronicle of the world printed in 1475, containing the first European-printed maps, has been acquired by the James Ford Bell Trust for the benefit of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.

“The Rudimentum Novitiorum is one of the rarest and most significant pieces we have,” said Ford W. Bell, trustee and the grandson of James Ford Bell, who was the founder of General Mills. “We are thrilled to have acquired it and are looking forward to sharing it.”

Written in Latin and roughly translated as “Handbook for Beginners,” the 474-page volume was intended as an encyclopedic collection of human knowledge, incorporating history, geography, and scripture. Its authorship is unknown but it was printed in Lubeck, Germany, then a principal European trading center, shortly after the invention of printing on the Gutenberg press in the 1450s.

How I Work

Learn how to be more efficient and effective at work by reading How I Work, a new, twice-monthly blog interview series created by the Libraries Personal Information Management collaborative. Each blog entry includes tips from experts at the University of Minnesota, including faculty, staff, and students.

University Bindery: 1922 – 2015

The University of Minnesota Bindery, which first opened in the basement of Perine’s Books in Dinkytown back in 1922, closed in July 2015. The Bindery, initially a unit of University Libraries, was housed for nearly 50 years on the fourth floor of Walter Library before moving to the Printing Services building on Como Avenue in 1972.

The Bindery fell victim to the significant shift away from print and toward digital collections. The Libraries will still use bindery services, but will contract for these services through a private vendor.

Inside the Archives

Our video, Inside the Archives, reached more than 30,000 people on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media. It provides a peek at the stunning and unique materials available for use by anyone – scholars, students, researchers, and the public. It also highlights the impressive, smart, and committed archivists and curators who oversee these treasured collections.

Free online e-book collection launches

Ebooks Minnesota, a free online e-book collection spearheaded by Minitex, launched in February. The collection is accessible online at and via free apps from iTunes, Google Play, and Kindle. Ebooks Minnesota is open to all individuals and libraries within Minnesota’s borders.

Readers can access any book in the collection at any time, regardless of how many other readers are using the book. This feature makes the collection particularly useful for teachers looking to assign a single book to an entire class or even an entire school. Likewise, community book clubs can read books together without worrying about checkout limits or due dates.

Transgender project wins travel grant

A project intended to document the oral history of transgender individuals in the Upper Midwest received a funding boost recently, which will help project organizers interview more people from outside the Twin Cities.

The University of Minnesota Libraries’ Transgender Oral History Project (TOHP), with initial funding from Tawani Foundation, will collect up to 400 hours of oral history from 200 to 300 transgender people from the Upper Midwest. The latest grant, a $10,000 Headwaters Foundation for Justice award, will be used to fund travel throughout the Upper Midwest to ensure a more diverse, inclusive, and representative collection of life stories for the project.

The collection will be housed in the Libraries’ Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at Elmer L. Andersen Library.

From the Archivist blog

Become a University of Minnesota history buff by following the From the Archivist blog, edited by University Archivist Erik Moore. It’s on our continuum website.

Read This Book!

The Libraries monthly Read This Book! video series continued with books on subjects ranging from children’s literature to cookbooks to pirates.

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