Mason Libraries are here for YOU

Are you taking advantage of the Mason Libraries’ numerous resources and activities? Don’t forget:

Need a break from studying and research? Like to read? Consider joining the Mason Libraries Book Club, or attending one of our upcoming special events:

  • Musical Rarities and Curiosities, Friday, November 3, 2pm Special Collections Research Center (Fenwick Library, Room 2400): Join Steven Gerber, Music Librarian, for an informal inspection of a dozen musical rarities acquired for Special Collections in the last year or two. These range from a 19th-century psalm setting in manuscript by Francesco Basili and costume designs for opera characters to the printed program of an 1850 Jenny Lind concert, a leaf from a medieval choir book, and limited-edition songs from Irving Berlin’s musical Top Hat.
  • Advances in Science 1586-1999: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Exhibition Reception, Tuesday, November 7, 3pm – 5pm, Special Collections Research Center (Fenwick Library, Room 2400): Visit SCRC to hear remarks about our current exhibit and enjoy refreshments generously provided by Argo Tea Café.
  • Music in the Lobby: Up Close + Classical, Wednesday, November 15, 1pm – 1:45pm: Join us in the Fenwick Lobby to hear the Mason Student Strings group perform selections by Bach and Dvorak. Refreshments generously provided by Argo Tea Café.
  • Mason Author Series: Patricia Donahue, Thursday, November 16, 3pm – 4:30pm, Fenwick Main Reading Room: Communities are the sum of myriad types of participation—positive, negative, formal, informal, direct, and indirect. Join us for a discussion with Patricia Donahue on her recent book, Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb, which challenges conventional wisdom about participation in modern American communities through the story of Northern Virginia’s Pimmit Hills.

Check out the Libraries calendar for more workshops and happenings, and visit our website to learn more about our resources and services!

Advances in Science Exhibit

Bioscience. Space Exploration. Engineering. Information Technology. These are but a few of the rapidly advancing fields of science which affect our modern lives. Achievements in these disciplines were built – and continue to build – upon discoveries made by preceding generations of scientists. As Sir Issac Newton famously wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

The exhibit Advances in Science 1586-1999: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants explores the layered nature of scientific research, in which new knowledge is gained over the framework of each new discovery. In this exhibit, we see how the scientific method, first advocated by Sir Francis Bacon, informed the methodology of naturalist, Charles Darwin and later, the scientists who discovered DNA, Watson and Crick. In the field of applied mathematics, the theories espoused by Euclid during the 3rd Century, B.C. created a system of mathematical thinking that would not be expanded until the 19th century. And even as applied mathematics advances and paradigms shift, the work of Euclid remains relevant.

This exhibition explores the evolution of scientific thought through rare books, archival documents, and photographs. It examines two main branches of science: the life sciences and applied mathematics. Featuring the works of Euclid, Bacon, Spallanzani, Pasteur, Linnaeus, and Darwin, Advances in Science 1586-1999: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants spans the period between the formulation of the scientific method to the construction of the International Space Station. A reception will be held on November 7, 3-5 p.m., Special Collections Research Center, 2400 Fenwick Library. Robinson Professor, Dr. James Trefil, is the guest speaker.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Bramlett, rbramlet@gmu.edu, 703-933-2058.

 

Join us for Spirits in the Archives!

The arrival of October means it is American Archives Month! Since 2006, cultural institutions around the United States have hosted annual events to spread the word about what archives are and the important role archivists play in preserving and presenting history.

The Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will be holding an archives information session today, October 3 from 1 – 4 p.m. Just stop by their display in the Fenwick Library Atrium to learn more. October 4 is AskAnArchivist day: SCRC will be active on their various social media accounts to help answer any questions you may have about archives, archivists, and anything else archives-related.

SCRC is also participating in the REMIX contest organized by the Virginia Caucus of Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and invites you to join them by creating your own submissions. The REMIX “Spirits in the Archives” is a contest to inspire literal and figurative out-of-the-box ideas for cultural heritage collections, such as creating redaction poetry, GIFs, collages, coloring pages, memes, and other digital interventions.

To conclude the celebration or archives, SCRC will host an  Archives Month Open House on October 31 from 1 – 4 p.m.  Some collections related to the “Spirits in the Archives” theme as well as REMIX contest submissions will be featured.

For more information about American Archives Month, the REMIX context, SCRC’s Mason Archives Month contest, some fun images from SCRC’s collections, and SCRC’s vital role in archiving and preserving history, please read SCRC’s blog post over at Vault217.

Veterans Look Back on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Join the University Libraries on Tuesday, October 24, at 2pm in the Fenwick Main Reading Room, for a special “Talking to History” event.

Martin J. Sherwin, University Professor of History, will moderate a panel discussion with four other veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Ray Beery, Garrett Cochran, Eric D. Henderson, and Bob Persell. Our five guests have a range of experience among them – Air Force intelligence officer, Air Force captain, junior officer on a destroyer, and CIA agents – and will share their reflections and stories of this time. After the panel discussions, all attendees are invited to visit our Special Collections Research Center to view Cuban Missile Crisis-related items on display (including manuscript collections, publications, and an original U.S. civil defense film, Duck and Cover).

For more about the Cuban Missile Crisis, including audio from many national security meetings, visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum‘s online exhibit, “The World on the Brink – John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis: Thirteen Days in October 1962.”

About Martin J. Sherwin: Martin J. Sherwin is University Professor of History at George  Mason University. He joined the faculties of the History-Art History Department and the School of Public Policy in the Fall 2007. For 27 years prior to coming to GMU, he was the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History at Tufts University. His 2005 book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (with Kai Bird) won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography as well as the English Speaking Union Book Award among other awards.