Jubilee: A Journey to the Italian Renaissance on M-Level

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Petrus Mallius, Paolo De Angelis, & Bernardini Tani, Basilicae veteris Vaticanae descriptio avctore Romano eiusdem Basilicae canonico (Rome, 1646).

Make a pilgrimage to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library’s M-level for JUBILEE: Roman Catholic Pilgrimage Culture in Papal Rome, 1500 – 1675, a rare book exhibition featuring beautifully illustrated books from the Italian Renaissance. The curator, senior Taylor Alessio, will give at talk about the exhibition on M-level at noon on Friday, April 29. Stop by and hear about her experiences working with rare books and contact relics.

These volumes from our special collections illustrate important aspects of Papal Jubilee years of the 16th and 17th centuries. The exhibition coincides with Pope Francis’ recent declaration of an “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” throughout the Catholic world (December 9, 2015 to November 20, 2016), and brings exhibition visitors back in time to the origins of this important tradition.

Senior Taylor Alessio followed her passion for this aspect of European and Catholic history from the classroom to the Special Collections Reading Room. Alessio, a History of Art major in the Krieger School, was awarded a Sheridan Libraries Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award (DURA) in 2015 and spent the summer before her senior year investigating the culture of Jubilee pilgrimages and the indelible marks they left on the city of Rome.

The exhibition is a culmination of her research. “I am incredibly excited to share this project with my classmates and the greater Hopkins community. It was truly an honor and a privilege to spend time piecing together how this great tradition was experienced by pilgrims through this collection of rare books and unique historical objects.”

In early modern Europe, the celebration of Papal Jubilee years attracted millions of pilgrims to the city of Rome. Books printed for and about the events surrounding these anni santi provide unique insight into religious, political, and social life of the time, with volumes produced for a marketplace that ranged from the humblest pilgrims to Renaissance Popes.

Books featured in this exhibition explore and manifest the physical development of the city of Rome as a pilgrimage destination, the mental and physical qualities of pilgrimage, the cult of holy relics, and the proliferation of guide books and other sacred keepsakes from this period of Catholic Reformation.

With the Ottoman Turks in control of Jerusalem, Rome became the ultimate Catholic destination. The traditional spiritual benefits of pilgrimage were augmented by the sale of Holy Year indulgences, which some likened to rebaptism in their special power to remit sin and damnation. The urban fabric of the city of Rome itself had grown to awe-inspiring heights with the revival and expansion of the ancient city and the construction of the largest church in the world: the new St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican.

Despite the challenges of physical danger, poor living conditions, food shortages, periodic lawlessness, and the threat of plague, pilgrims nonetheless flocked to Rome in the hundreds of thousands seeking personal salvation and the saving power and promise of holy relics.

Jubilee is on exhibit through June 1.

Winners Announced for the 2016 Student Book Collecting Contest

Student Book Collecting Contest 2016

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Betty and Edgar Sweren Student Book Collecting contest!

The annual competition, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries and was endowed in 2007 by Betty and Edgar Sweren, recognizes the love of books and the art of shaping a thoughtful and focused book collection.

All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program at Johns Hopkins are eligible to enter.

“I look forward to this contest each year,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums. “The judges had some tough choices to make this year, but it’s always a pleasure to discover these collections and the interesting individuals who assemble them. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest, and congratulations to our winners.”

First prize in the undergraduate division was awarded to senior Audrey Cockrum, a Writing Seminars major in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, for her collection The Ever-Evolving Atlas of Amy Clampitt: Mapping Two Centuries of British and American Ecopoetry.

There was a tie for first prize in the graduate division, with Alexander Englert and Christine Lee each receiving top honors. Englert, a doctoral student in Philosophy in the Krieger School, won for his collection Philosophy in Times of Crisis: Jaspers, Arendt, and the Question of Our Shared Nature. Lee, who is pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recognized for Ekphrasis: Relating Words with Art, Thinking with the Eyes, Seeing with the Brain.

Undergraduate Ruth Marie Naime Landry, a junior Writing Seminars major, took second prize for Cities in Literature. Anna Moyer, a PhD student in Human Genetics at the School of Medicine, was awarded second prize in the graduate category for Coming Down to Earth: Improving Representations of Intellectual Disability in Literature and Memoir.

Third prize in the undergraduate division went to sophomore Gillian Marie Waldo, a Film and Media Studies major in the Krieger School, for From Apertures to Zoetropes: A Collection of Books on Cinema. There was no third prize awarded this year in the graduate category.

Stop by the Special Collections Reading Room on M-level of the Brody Learning Commons to see selections from this year’s winning collections. The books will be on display through May 31.

ProQuest E-Book Survey: Tell a Vendor What You Need!

ebookOne of our e-book vendors, ProQuest, is administering a Global Student & Researcher E-book Survey. They want to better understand e-book usage and needs among college and university students, faculty, and staff.

Follow the link below - it should only take approximately 15 -20 minutes to complete.


As a thanks for your time, ProQuest will enter you into a drawing for one of three Apple Watches. The prize winners will be notified in June using the email addresses entered in the survey.

Please note this survey is voluntary, and all responses received will be treated in the strictest confidence. So, feel free to tell them what you think about e-books!

Collecting GIS Data via Your Mobile Phone

Historically, when Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users collected field data outdoors, they often used paper forms or dragged along a laptop computer and GPS unit to record observations and measurements.  Once back on campus, the data were uploaded BlogCollectorinto a GIS project for further analysis.  In situations where an entire class went out field collecting, an additional workflow required compiling and editing all the individual  submissions.

This past year, the Sheridan Libraries GIS and Data Service began promoting Collector for ArcGIS, a mobile phone based application that offers field data collection that automatically updates GIS maps housed in a library-provided geocloud via ArcGIS Online for Johns Hopkins.

The process is simple.  GIS users working on their own, or with a GIS and Data staff member, identify the geographic area where students and faculty will be collecting data and assign a default basemap.  The library offers a wide assortment of imagery or terrain basemaps to choose from.  The second step involves attaching the basemap to a blank GIS table that will be used to collect variables in the field.   The table can include drop down boxes and predefined options to simplify the field data collection process and eliminate errors while thumb typing on a mobile phone.  The last step is uploading the GIS basemap, and associated table, to the geocloud area assigned to the class as part of an ArcGIS Online Group.

As students head out to the field they download the free Collector app from the Google Play Store or the Apple AppStore.   At the field site, students will see the predefined map and collection table on their phone.   While collecting data, GPS coordinates are captured from the mobile device and automatically added to the GIS table and map in the ArcGIS Online geocloud.  In cases when field sites are too remote for cellular connections the data are stored locally on the mobile device and uploaded when Internet service is available.

Collector for ArcGIS is one of the newest GIS options available to all Johns Hopkins users.  To learn more about Collector take a look at our GIS and Maps guide or send an e-mail to us in GIS and Data Services:  GISandData@jhu.edu.

Got Term Papers?

Just a reminder to all you stressed students out there - the library can help! There is a reference librarian on duty on M Level of MSEL in the Research Consultation Office from 10am-8pm Monday through Wednesday, 10am-5pm Thursday and Friday, 1-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by or make an appointment - we are trained to help with ALL kinds of research questions and can get you started with resources, help you track down difficult sources, and find additional resources if you need them.

In addition, there are subject librarians available for individual consultation. Each has specific expertise in online and print resources in nearly every field of study.

Like to do-it-yourself? Try our lists of databases by subject. You will most likely find some very relevant sources there.

And last but not least, we have made research guides for many of the disciplines, departments, and programs. Find an appropriate guide in the box on the libray homepage under GUIDES by TOPIC. These can help you in beginning, and even advanced, research.

So take heart! And take advantage of your library's services.

Hopkins’ Spring Fair, A History

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As Spring Fair gets under way, here’s a look back at the origins of the annual event. The first Spring Fair took place April 21-23, 1972, an entirely student-run festival. From the earliest days, it has been organized and run by the undergraduate student body, with cooperation from campus offices providing electricity, water, and security. It still serves as a means for inviting the community to the campus for food, crafts, and children’s activities.

For the first few years, the formal title of the event was 3400 On Stage, signifying that the university was holding an open house for all to enjoy. The 1972 publicity poster includes this invitation: “The Student Council invites the Baltimore community to join us for a parade, concerts, plays, arts and crafts exhibitions and sales, sports events, science exhibitions, and a wealth of entertainment opportunities.”

In its early years, Spring Fair took its place beside the many community/ethnic festivals that were held around Baltimore every year. While most of those festivals have since disbanded or moved away (for a variety of reasons), Spring Fair has taken place each year without fail and, weather permitting, always draws a crowd. On some occasions, the weather has not cooperated – one year it snowed on the opening Friday, but in some years it seems as if the weather picked up on the theme and carried it forward; in 1985, the theme was “A Touch of the Tropics,” and the weather for all three days was sunny and very warm.

While the size of the fair has waxed and waned over the years, the purpose has remained the same. In the earliest years, the fair took place on the upper and lower quads, with children’s rides on the freshman quad. Beer vendors were distributed throughout the venue, rather than being confined to the “Beer Garden.” The need to ensure that only those of legal age could get to the beer led the organizers to create a single, gated area for beer sales.

When the brick sidewalks (and underground irrigation pipes) were laid in 2000, tents could no longer be pitched or vehicles driven on the quads due to the danger of hitting or crushing pipes, so the Fair moved to an area known as Garland Field. Garland Field was where the Decker Quad is now located (when that area contained a surface parking lot). In recent years, the food vendors have been placed on the Freshman Quad, with crafts on the upper quad.

So, enjoy the food, crafts, entertainment, and these retro photographs, taken at the first event in 1972.

#ASAPbio and bioRxiv

biorxivBack in 2013, the researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory decided to emulate the physicists using arXiv and create a pre-print repository for biological papers. They called it bioRxiv.

Use increased slowly, for several reasons. Biologists didn't want their work to be 'scooped' and some were afraid that papers in bioaRxiv wouldn't be accepted by journals for peer review and publication.

Last month the Howard Hughes Medical Institute hosted the ASAPbio meeting to give all the players in the biological scholarly communications space a chance to discuss how to include pre-prints in their current ways of work. The program and video are available to anyone interested.

This effort is gaining attention in the news. JHU's own Carol Greider was quoted in a New York Times piece. Nature ran a news story, too.

Get involved! Discuss the benefits of submitting to bioaRxiv with your lab mates, profs, even your librarian. Join the conversation on Twitter at #ASAPbio. Post a selfie of yourself submitting your paper.

French Film Festival, April 10-14

Marginality2Join your fellow Francophiles and film fanatics at this year's French Film Festival. The theme is "marginality" and will showcase films that address issues facing marginalized groups of people in contemporary French society, most notably addressing questions of gender, race, nationality, religion, and sexuality.

Sunday, April 10th
Reception 6:30 PM / Film 7:00 PM - Gilman 50
Samba (2014), presented by Linda DeLibero

Monday, April 11th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Laurence Anyways (2012), presented by Laura Mason

Tuesday, April 12th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (2000)

Thursday, April 14th
7:00 PM - Krieger 205
Hadewijch (2009), presented by Derek Schilling and followed by a discussion

See you there! À bientôt!

How the N.A.G. Blue Jay Came to Be

Guest post from Neil A. Grauer (A&S '69)

Editor's note: Stop by the Special Collections Reading Room on M-level of the Brody Learning Commons for an exhibit dedicated to the Blue Jay as we welcome alumni back to campus for Reunion Weekend.

As a freshman in the fall of 1965, I was eager to draw political cartoons for the News-Letter.  I met with the editors, Caleb Deschanel and Jim Freedman. They seemed happy to have me join the staff, and within a few weeks, I had my first cartoon published.

Initially I drew cartoons about national and international events, but one day Caleb — later to be an acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (and father of actresses Zooey and Emily Deschanel) — told me that the News-Letter had no objection to these drawings, “but they really have nothing to do with what’s going on around the campus.”  Could I create a cartoon Blue Jay who would comment about campus issues?  Thus my cartoon version of the Blue Jay was born.

Originally, my Blue Jay starred in a comic strip named simply “Blue Jay.”


His first appearance was on March 26, 1966. He complained about the bookstore’s high prices.


He later made snide remarks about the physical appearance of alumni showing up for Homecoming, the terrible parking problem around the campus, and urban crime. The French have an expression for this – which even non-French speakers know: The more things change, the more they stay the same (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose).


It was natural that I also began using the Blue Jay in sports cartoons. The sports editor had a regular column, “The Jay’s Nest,” for which I drew a heading that showed the Blue Jay pounding away on a typewriter, wearing a battered fedora, a’la every reporter in old movies; and I also began drawing cartoons of the Blue Jay doing severe bodily damage to the mascots of opposing lacrosse teams.

I found out some years later that legendary lacrosse coach Bob Scott would post these cartoons in the team’s locker room. After Scotty retired in 1974, his successor, Henry Ciccarone, called me and asked for a fresh set of game-day cartoons, since the ones Scotty had used were yellowed and full of thumbtack holes. Every year since, through the coaching tenures of Chic, Don Zimmerman, Tony Seaman, John Haus, and now Dave Pietramala, I have done a set of fresh game-day cartoons for them to use for amusing – and perhaps inspiring – the team. I also draw a personalized Blue Jay for each senior, with the player’s number on the Jay’s jersey.

Although primarily associated with Hopkins lacrosse, my Blue Jay has had a multi-sports career. I’ve drawn him playing basketball and football, swimming, wrestling, and running track.

Henry Ciccarone was the first Hopkins coach to put my Blue Jay on T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and the like. Every lacrosse coach since has given team members apparel featuring my Blue Jay – and quite a few players have had it tattooed on them.

Sometimes plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose isn’t so bad after all.

A Wealth of Health on April 5

74664159_48a3edb27d_qAn embarrassment of riches in the form of remarkable speakers is yours for the taking on Tuesday, April 5.

This year's keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Public Health Student Forum will be the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

Vice Admiral Murthy has been on the job for a little over a year. He is responsible for communicating to the public about health matters, as well as overseeing over 6,500 public health personnel in the Uniformed Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

As his biography details, Dr. Murthy has done an extraordinary range of jobs, including medical clinician, researcher, co-founder of a software tech company having to do with clinical trials, and president of the non-profit Doctors for America.

This event's many other speakers, from JHU and elsewhere, will introduce you to a wide range of public health problems and issues. It is always a remarkable experience.

The semester's final Conversations in Medicine will feature Dr. Emily Oster, associate professor of economics at Brown University. She has worked on an astonishingly wide array of topics – her research papers include topics from China (Hepatitis B Does Not Explain Male-Biased Sex Ratios in China), Africa (Routes of Infection: Exports and HIV Incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa), and India (Proximate Sources of Population Sex Imbalance in India). In addition, she has done research about the complicated issue of health insurance and those at risk for Huntington Disease, and discovered, to her surprise, a lack of knowledge among this population about a law that protects them.