Monthly Archives: December 2014

Student Perspectives: Studying Abroad

Gavin Damore '16

Gavin Damore ’16

Written by Gavin Damore ’16 studying abroad in London 

I was ecstatic when I received the timetable for my first term at Goldsmiths College; only one class session a week, with Mondays and Tuesdays off. So much free time, it seemed, but it turns out that’s not quite true. If you want to excel in the British academic world, you need to spend much of that extra time in the library.

 

 

Goldsmiths College Library

Goldsmiths College Library

Goldsmith’s Library is open 24/7. I initially thought this excessive; how many students really do work on a Friday or Saturday night? But no matter what time you decide to pop over, there will always be plenty of people there, whether they’re watching a film, reading a book, or editing a musical composition. This is due to the fact that students don’t go to class quite as often in England as we do in America, but not because college – or as the Brits call it, “Uni” – is less intense. It’s just as rigorous, if not more rigorous due to the strong emphasis on individual work. Lectures and seminars only provide a starting point; from there, you have to decide where your interests lie and use library resources to dive into your own research.

My final grade in each class is determined by an 8-10 page essay, and even though it’s not due until the middle of December, I’m expected to start working on it now. Having access to Stonehill’s databases while abroad is enormously helpful in this! While Goldsmiths has an amazing array of resources and provides access to other libraries in the area, it’s still reassuring to turn to the Stonehill catalog for additional scholarly articles. It’s actually something I did recently; I started doing research for my Hollywood Cinema essay about Charlie Chaplin’s films. Out of curiosity, I decided to check Stonehill’s database to see what was available, and ended up finding a fantastic source to add to my bibliography.

It’s comforting to know that the MacPhaidin Library can help me out abroad, especially in a country where libraries play such an integral role in academic life. Combining Goldsmith’s resources with Stonehill’s gives me confidence in my research and makes the studying part of study abroad a smooth process.

#blacklivesmatter  

#blacklivesmatter #ICantBreathe #CrimingWhileWhite #AliveWhileBlack

 

Ferguson Public LibraryIf you use twitter, Facebook, or other social media, over the past few weeks you have probably seen at least one of these hashtags. You have probably heard the names Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, and others. News outlets are covering protests in cities across the United States, showing the riots in the wake of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, die-ins in cities including St. Louis and New York, and many journalists and political figures arguing their points about what caused each individual death, how we should understand their significance, and how we should understand the events that have followed.

 

Scholars and activists have long pointed to the systemic violence and institutionalized racism these events bring to the forefront of our national consciousness. Right now in our age of social media there are many voices, and the internet is flooded with both vital information and clickbait. Many of the articles circulating on social media point out hard truths, seek to foster dialogue, or try to explain why that dialogue is so difficult but so imperative. Others, angry at the challenges those voices represent to the status quo, seek to shut down conversation in the name of respecting our judicial system and its authority.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information available, or interested in reading more about what scholars and activists have to say about race and privilege in America, or if you are seeking advice on how to talk about these issues, here are some resources to consider:

 

Videos

 

Online Responses

 

Scholars, Activists, and Community Organizations

 

Books in the Library

 

Library Libguides

 

 

Current News Coverage

You can also use the DisCo to watch current news coverage. The DisCo is equipped with four HD television screens, enabling you to watch up to four news channels at a time.

 

Know of a scholar, article, book, or other resource you think people should know about? Email us at reference@stonehill.edu.

Faculty Perspective: James Bohn on Researching in the Disney Archives

For the past five years I have been working on a book about music in animated features from the first three decades of the Disney Studio. One of the most significant challenges of my research has been getting access to primary documents. While most studios are very protective of their intellectual property, they are not very good at preserving it. Fortunately, a little over a year ago, after much persistence on my behalf, I finally received permission from Disney Enterprises to do research at the Disney Archives. Happily, I was able to travel to beautiful downtown Burbank this past August to do research for my forthcoming book.

 

One of my goals was to unearth more detail about the careers of some of the earliest composers who were resident at the Studio. To that end, I was able to peruse four issues of the Mickey Mouse Melodeon (1932-33), the Studio’s earliest employee newsletter. This newsletter was largely written by Walt Disney’s personal secretary, Carolyn Kaye Shafer.

 

Fortunately for researchers, Walt Disney was notoriously fond of documentation. The filmmaker typically had transcripts made of story meetings, storyboard meetings, and sweatbox sessions. Animation tests were shown at sweatbox sessions, which were so called because of the tremendous heat of the unventilated room in which they were shown, as well as that the animators’ work was under great scrutiny from Walt during these sessions. Since music was an intrinsic part of these films, the Studio’s composers were typically in attendance at such meetings.

During my research session, I was able to look at selected meeting transcripts from Bambi, Lady & the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty. The transcripts from Sleeping Beauty are notable due to the inclusion of an earlier composer assigned to the project, Walter Schumann. Schumann was fired from the project and none of his music made its way into the film. Walt’s frustration with the composer is palpable in the meeting notes.

I was also able to spend time doing research at the Disney Music group, which is also in residence at the Studio. The Disney Music group has been actively scanning scores. So while I was not able to do any hands on research of original documents, they made numerous scans of scores available to me. I spent most of my time looking at various drafts of scores for early shorts (1928-1937), as the authorship for the soundtracks to many of the Studio’s early shorts is not firmly established. By looking at the music manuscript I was able to form more of a time line of who likely created various drafts of a number of scores.

Most Hollywood studios are not concerned with documenting the film making process, let alone with preserving such records. Furthermore, most studios have thrown entire libraries of musical scores into landfills. Disney, through their archives, offers scholars a unique opportunity to investigate the creative process from story treatment through completed film.

RefWorks: Citation Manager

refworks“I wish I learned about this sooner, It would have saved me tons of time.”

This is the reaction I get every time I tell students about RefWorks.

RefWorks makes your life easier. How? Everyone remembers the aggravation, and irritation of having to complete a bibliography, just when you have finally finished the paper. Having to remember where the commas, periods and colons go and what gets italicized can make you a little crazy. You know it is important to have a bibliography, you worked hard to gather your sources, and you want your professor to know that, but making a bibliography is a pain. Last time you used EasyBib and it didn’t go over well. Your professor was not happy, and your bibliography looked like a giant mess. There has to be a better way, and that way is RefWorks.

To get started right away, check out the Quick Start Guide

What is Refworks?

Refworks is a citation manager that collects and organizes your sources and enables you to print them out with the click of a button. APA, MLA, Chicago, it doesn’t matter what style you want, RefWorks can do it. It even has styles for individual journals.

How does it work?

RefWorks is integrated with most of our databases, so once you have an account, all you have to do is export your citations to RefWorks with the click of a button. Each database has its own little quirks, but it is super easy, For instance, for Ebsco Databases like Academic Search Premier, and PsycInfo, all you do is go to the tools menu on the right hand side, select “Export,” and then select “Direct Export to Refworks.” Refworks will open in a new tab and import the item you selected into your Refworks account. Quick and Easy!! For more information look at the RefWorks LibGuide

Tools for your computer

Refworks even has to tools to grab sources from web sites and to put citations right into your paper as you write. They are called Ref-Grab-It and Write-and-Cite. They have to be installed on your computer, and there are small differences depending on browser. For more info on Ref-Grab-It, watch this video For more information on Write-and-Cite, watch this video.

Make your Life Easier! Use RefWorks!

As with everything, there are always librarians who can help you. If you need any help with setting up a RefWorks account, or if you have decided to go Old School and are writing your bibliography by hand, a Reference Librarian is happy to help you.

Changes to Electronic Reserves Coming Soon!

circulationWe have a new system, Ares, in place for managing electronic reserves for the spring semester. Materials you wish to place on electronic reserve will now be linked from your e-learn course page directly to our online electronic reserve product, Ares, without the need for a link through a url. More good news, you will no longer need to provide a password that your students have to remember. Students will simply enter their network (email) password to access the course materials.

In addition, the library reserve staff will have access to archived articles, chapters, web links and other documents from our current e-reserve system. If you used an item for a previous course and plan to use it again, we should be able to access it and upload the material to your e-learn course page, via Ares.

The library staff will continue to ascertain the need for copyright permissions for your materials and request those permissions for you, again using Ares.

As we are learning this new system and preparing materials for the spring semester at the same time, we would really appreciate receiving your e-reserve course lists earlier than ever. Even if a course list is not completed at this date, please send us the information you do have so that we can begin work. All course material lists need to be in to us by Jan. 5, 2015. E-reserve lists received after that date may not be processed in time for the first day of classes and will be handled on a first-received basis.

Please also provide a syllabus, so that we know how quickly materials will be needed by the class and we can prioritize which items to process first. Please contact Sue Conant (sconant@stonehill.edu), Jennifer Connelly (jconnelly@stonehill.edu) or Joyce Vacchi (jvacchi@stonehill.edu) with your questions or call (508)565-1313.