The Dog Days of Summer

Is this Baltimore summer hot enough for you? You might say we have hit the heart of the "dog days" of summer. You might also wonder where the heck that phrase comes from! It turns out, the origin of the "dog days" of summer is far older and far more interesting than you might have thought.

Although the phrase sounds as if it could have come out of the American 50s, it turns out people referred to July and August as the "dog days" of summer as far back as Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. The Romans connected the heat of summer with Sirius, known as the "Dog Star" as it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, or "Big Dog." During the conjunction of Sirius and the sun, the two stars are aligned as seen from earth. The twenty days before and after this conjunction are officially known as the "dog days" of summer and generally translate to the time-frame of July 3 to August 11. However, various interpretations exist and the "dog days" can mean generally any time from July through August (as people from Bawlmer well know, these can be the hottest days of the year!)

During the dog days of summer in Baltimore, there are many escapes from the heat and humidity. Visit the George Peabody Library (nicely air-conditioned!), the Homewood Museum or the Evergreen Museum and Library. Stay in and watch a good movie. Or read a good book! If you're brave enough to venture out into the heat, Baltimore offers a plethora of warm weather wonders. Check out Shakespeare in the Meadow with productions of both Much Ado about Nothing and Measure for Measure. Head down to Little Italy and watch a movie under the stars. Cool off with a swim in the Hopkins pool. Catch a ballgame. Or, take your dog for a walk (or a swim!) Just remember to bring along some water for your four-legged friend!

Charles Street — Baltimore’s Main Artery

As any Johns Hopkins student should know, arteries are the blood vessels that carry life-sustaining oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Similarly, it is easy to think of Charles Street--one of the oldest thoroughfares in the country--as the main artery of the city of Baltimore. Since the 1700's, Charles Street has supplied the life-blood of culture, education, and commerce to Baltimore.

Charles Street is the dividing line between streets designated as "west" or "east".  Starting in south Baltimore, the road passes through such varied neighborhoods as Federal Hill, Mt. Vernon, Charles Village and up into the leafy northern areas of Homeland and Roland Park. This beautiful and historic road has been designated as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration.

The cultural heart of the city, Mt. Vernon Place, is situated right on Charles Street. The magnificent Washington Monument and its surrounding parks are a beautiful oasis in the midst of a busy city. And this space is shared by two of the most important cultural institutions in the city, the Walters Art Museum and the George Peabody Library. Built in the early 1800s, Mt. Vernon Place has started showing the wear and tear of city life. But fortunately the Mt. Vernon Place Conservancy is giving both the monument and the surrounding area the restoration that they deserve.

Most of us see Charles Street through the window of a car or bus, but the best way is on foot. Pedestrians actually get the chance to look up and notice some of the great architectural detail found on the route. For many years Charles Street was the host to one of the city's two Easter Parades--the other was on Pennsylvania Avenue. The street is also the location of the annual Baltimore Pride Parade. Another important part of Charles Street that is getting a great pedestrian makeover is the stretch near the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. And if you want to get some great exercise on Charles, you can enter the annual Charles Street 12 Miler footrace.

However you decide to experience, get out and enjoy all the history, beauty, and culture that Charles Street has to offer.

Beer: The Blog Post

"They who drink beer will think beer."
- Washington Irving (1783-1859)


The mere mention provokes desire and conjures thirst.

But is it thirst for the triple-hopped, top-fermented, and bottle conditioned adult beverage that you feel -- or thirst for knowledge about it? The library is, naturally, the place to go if you thirst after knowledge, even about beer.

The Sheridan Libraries have among their collections brimming tankards of beer scholarship. You might sip the hoppy Froth!: The Science of Beer, take a deep draught of the malty Every man his own brewer, or quaff the frothy Beer is Proof God Loves Us. The libraries have books and reports on the economics of beer and the beer industry, on the science of fermentation in beer production, on the history of brewing, and on legal issues surrounding the beer industry. Our holdings include beer-related books, serial publications, and at least one film that is utterly besotted with an all beer theme.

But are we awash in all things beer? Not really. We're missing the amber nectar itself.  For that, you'll have to slake your thirst elsewhere.

A Canadian film star once wished on screen to be:

"Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine."


Web Archiving & the Wayback Machine

Would you like to see old versions of the website for your student group to find out who ran it and what they did? Or maybe you'd like to examine the content and presentation of on September 13, 2001 for a paper. What about browsing JHUNIVERSE -- JHU's first website -- and seeing its use statistics from 1996?

All of these things are possible because of the work of the nonprofit Internet Archive, which since 1996 has been saving copies of everything on the web that it can. Anyone can access those copies at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine by entering a website URL and browsing the timeline of captures.

Since 2012, the JHU library has partnered with the Internet Archive through its subscription service, Archive-It, which allows us to capture copies of websites that we select for the university's archives. These websites will be available through the JHU Archive-It page, which is currently under development.

Recently, the JHU Archives piloted a project using Archive-It to capture websites belonging to a small number of JHU-affiliated student groups (with their permission). Student groups often post important information about themselves like their officer lists, announcements of activities and photographs on their websites as well as on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. Since the Internet Archive does not crawl most of these sites by default, using a service like Archive-It is one of the best ways for the JHU Archives to ensure that this information is preserved. We hope to continue and greatly expand this project over the next year.

In addition to creating web archives related to a specific group or organization, some libraries have also used Archive-It to preserve content related to topics of research interest that might otherwise disappear. For example, Cornell University Library created an Archive-It collection on fracking in New York and the Internet Archive itself created a collection on the Occupy Movement of 2011/2012. The JHU Archives doesn't have plans for any thematic collections at this time, but should an event or subject arise that warrants it, we will be prepared to capture the ephemeral web-based content as a form of historical record.

We are interested in hearing from you about websites we should be capturing or ways in which we might use this exciting service. Leave a comment below or send the archives an email.

The Many Ways to Get Library Help

helpisonthewayThere are many ways to ask for help. Some folks prefer help in a face-to-face setting. Others are more comfortable on the phone, in a chat room, querying a database, or Googling around the Internet.

Knowing we're all so different, librarians offer different kinds of help for these different kinds of behavior. Here's hoping you find your preferred method on the list below!


If you're in MSEL, stop by our Information Desk and Research Consultation Office. (See our service hours.) You can also set up an appointment to meet with your librarian.

Phone, Chat, Tweet, Text, or Email
You can send us tweets, or emails. Text us at (410) 692-8874. We are also available via chat or telephone.

Query a Database
Frequent questions and answers are available 24/7 in our Ask a Librarian service.

The Ask a Librarian service is indexed by Google. Make sure you add JHU to your search terms to find us, rather than the library at Harvard or Yale.

New Service for Archiving Research Data

Johns Hopkins Data Management Services provides archiving services for the Johns Hopkins research community through the JHU Data Archive. These services give researchers the opportunity to share their data outside of original collaborations and beyond the life of a research project.

Beginning July 1st DMS offers a new service for archiving JHU researcher data collections. The new Small Data Collections Archiving Service is designed for researchers who want to provide online access to data collections associated with discrete research products such as publications, simulation models, experiments or a small project. This service is scoped to be cost effective while providing for access to, and preservation and discoverability of, research data collections.

We developed this new archiving service in response to researcher feedback we have received over the past two years. Over the past few months we solicited a dozen faculty and staff across JHU Schools for their input on a proposal of this service and have incorporated their feedback.

Unlike our Large Data Collections Single Grant Archiving Service, funding for the Small Data Collections Archiving Service does not need to be tied a grant. Thus this service could be used for sharing and archiving legacy research data or data collections originated from multiple projects.

The Small Data Collections Archiving Service does not supersede the Large Data Collections Single Grant Archiving Service; both are in effect as of July 1st. Johns Hopkins researchers may find the Large Data Collections Single Grant Archiving Service more appropriate for archival of research data from larger projects tied to a grant.

Details on this new service are available on our website. We will work with researchers to determine if either archiving service is the best fit for their needs, and will provide prepared language describing service for its inclusion in data management plans and proposals.

Please contact us at with any questions or comments!


Jonathan Petters, Data Management Consultant, Johns Hopkins Data Management Services

Johns Hopkins Data Management Services provides the JHU research community a) consultative support on data management plans for proposals, b) guidance on aspects of research data management through seminars and workshops, and c) archival of data collections through the JHU Data Archive. Contact us at with your research data management questions.

The Collections of the Ivies+ Now at Your Fingertips

Borrow Direct logoHow would you like to be able to search and request books from the eight libraries of the Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale) as well as the libraries of the University of Chicago and MIT?

Johns Hopkins University has recently joined BorrowDirect, an 11-school consortium that offers direct access to  the more than 50 million volumes from the member libraries.

Hopkins faculty, students and staff  now can search Borrow Direct for books that are not available at JHU. These can include everything from books that JHU doesn’t own, to books that are checked out, and even books that are on reserve! To get started, sign on with your JHED ID, search the catalog, select a pick up location, and place your request. Items will be delivered in three to five days, and if Borrow Direct can’t fill the request, the system will pass you seamlessly to an Interlibrary Loan form. Pretty nice!

Give it a try, and let us know what you think at

Summer “Camp” – Quirky Videos for Summer Evenings!

Is the summer heat wiping you out? Do you just need something fun to watch at the end of the day? Baltimore is well-known for its campy humor, probably best characterized in the films of John Waters. So, when in Baltimore, do as the Baltimoreans and camp it up!

In addition to Waters’ films, the Eisenhower Library has many DVDs of films and television shows with a kooky flair. How about classic early TV, like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, My Three Sons? We’ve got ‘em! Newer TV, like Soap and Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We have that, too. Fun stuff, isn’t it?

And, the feature films we have are almost too numerous to mention – but, here are some arbitrary favorites to get you started:

Mel Brooks’ High Anxiety and Blazing Saddles, Woody Allen’s early classics Sleeper and Zelig, Mars Attacks!, Fantastic Voyage, Mommie Dearest, Pillow Talk, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ed Wood, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Strictly Ballroom, the Addams Family (TV series and the movies), Muriel’s Wedding, La Cage aux Folles, Kiss of the Spider Woman,… shall I go on?

If you need help identifying more film and television classics that you want to watch this summer, be sure to use the resources on the Film & Media Studies Research Guide. And, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, please remember to ask a librarian!

Interlibrary Loan Down: Wednesday, July 2

IlliadWe're moving Illiad, the software for Interlibrary Loan, from the Welch Medical Library to our home base. So, we need to take the system off-line for one day: Wednesday, July 2.

Please bear with us, and submit your requests first thing on Thursday, July 3!

Very sorry for the inconvenience!

Wine: a Library Collection Taste Test

Wine - red, white, rose, sparkling -- so many choices -- so much fun. However, there is a serious and academic side to wine and wine making as demonstrated in a new addition to our journal collection, Journal of Wine Economics. This is a peer reviewed publication that the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) publishes twice a year. The library subscribes to the electronic version of the journal, which is indexed in EconLit.

This leads to the question: what else does the library have that relates to wine? Just as there are many varieties of wine to sample, the MSE Library has a larger inventory of wine-related material than you might expect. For example, if you are interested in the history of wine making, try Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture. Then search Catalyst (the catalog) with the phrases or words “red wine,” “white wine,” or viticulture to find other intriguing possibilities. Wine also has its legal side; search “law AND wine” to find titles that go back to a proclamation by Queen Elizabeth in 1618 that set the price of wine.

Poetry anyone? A quick search of the Columbia Granger's World of Poetry with the word "wine" produces a long list of poems such as "The Wine is Bright" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. If the poems are not copyrighted, the full text is available.

For wine in music there is the song "Kisses Sweeter than Wine" that is available through the American Song database. If fiction is your preference, curl up with the book, Bread, Wine & Angels by Anna P. Zurzolo. And of course, there is the movie Sideways, a comedy set in California wine country. Not only do we have the movie, we also have the screenplay and the shooting script. So please taste test our collections and enjoy!