Mullen Library will open at 11 AM on Thursday, January 20, due to expected inclement weather.
Danielle Brogdon, Evening Circulation Supervisor, has been selected as the recipient of the Edward J. Belanger Jr. Staff Award for Excellence in Service for 2021.
In one nomination a colleague wrote:
She has consistently provided outstanding service while keeping a positive attitude. She is attentive to the concerns of both patrons and colleagues. She has adapted to the multitude of changes that have occurred to the Access Services workflow with ease and without complaint.
Another colleague wrote:
Danielle assisted in hiring and training the library student workers for the summer and fall semesters. Her tireless work running interviews when needed and providing training for new and returning student workers has helped the library resume pre-pandemic services.
Ed Belanger worked for the university for over 40 years before retiring in 2002 as the Libraries’ business manager. His service and dedication to his fellow staff was extraordinary, and he was one of the most positive, up-beat, and good natured people you will ever meet. After his retirement, his children made a donation to the Libraries for the creation of an award in his honor. Each year the Libraries select a staff member of the year who not only contributes outstanding service to the library but also shares Ed’s good nature. Past honorees serve as the award committee, selecting from among nominations submitted by library staff.
Documentaries and Drama
Excerpt: Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches initiated and directed by James Bevel and led by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams, and John Lewis. The film stars actors David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and Common as Bevel.
Baldwin, Lewis V. 2016. Behind the Public Veil: The Humanness of Martin Luther King Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
Baldwin, Lewis V. and Victor Anderson. 2018. Revives My Soul again: The Spirituality of Martin Luther King Jr. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press.
Baldwin, Lewis V., Vicki L. Crawford, Robert M. Franklin, Victor Anderson, Teresa Delgado, Larry Rivers, Crystal A. Degregory, Gary S. Selby, and Walter E. Fluker. 2019. Reclaiming the Great World House: The Global Vision of Martin Luther King Jr. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Cervantes, Valerie S. 2018. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet. Washington, District of Columbia: Congressional Research Service.
Dorrien, Gary J. 2018. Breaking White Supremacy : Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Finley, Mary Lou, Bernard LaFayette, James R. Ralph, and Pam Smith. 2016. The Chicago Freedom Movement : Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky.
Jackson, Thomas F. and Martin Luther King. 2007. From Civil Rights to Human Rights Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Laurent, Sylvie and William Julius Wilson. 2019. King and the Other America: The Poor People’s Campaign and the Quest for Economic Equality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Lischer, Richard. 2020. The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Rose, Justin. 2019. The Drum Major Instinct: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Theory of Political Service. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.
- The Catholic University Campus Ministry has a MLK Jr. Teach-In site. Check out the Ministry website for additional information and service opportunities.
- The Center for Cultural Engagement has a Resources page with such topics as Resources for Confronting Racism and Being an Ally.
- The John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library has a book display of select print resources on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. including the four volume set of his papers. The display is located on the 1st floor.
Mullen Library will be closed on Sunday, January 16, 2022, due to the forecast for a winter storm. Stay safe.
Catholic University Libraries has acquired a number of databases from Gale Cengage on social, political, historical, and health topics. Gale Primary Sources consist of large collections divided into case studies on critical, contemporary issues, each of which is backed with an accessible collection of hand-picked primary sources. In addition, each case study contains a bibliography and relevant discussion questions. All curated content has been chosen by an international expert who has reviewed the case studies for accuracy and teachability.
Political extremism has been on the rise across the world for many years. One particular collection the libraries have acquired is Political Extremism and Radicalism:
Liberal democracies of North America, Europe, and Australasia throughout the twentieth century have experienced a variety of forms of extremism and radicalism that have shaped mainstream political thinking as well as cultural norms. To comprehend modern governmental and societal systems researchers must understand the environment that created them, their origins, and their adversaries. (web site)
This series provides insight into fringe groups–the right and the left of the political spectrum–through rare, primary sources. Scholars and students will find these sources valuable in understanding the period and context when the documents were created. Scholars and students can answer questions on philosophical, social, political, and economic ideologies and address such issues “surrounding gender, sexuality, race, religion, civil rights, universal suffrage, and much more.”
Some of these collections include: Christian Identity and Far-Right Wing Politics (1923-1910); James Aho Collection (1960-2010); Social Documents Collection (1918-2000); FBI Files on Charles Lindbergh (1939-1956), Ezra Pound (1941-1971), Joseph McCarthy (1942-1974), and the Posse Comitatus (1973-1996); Walter Goldwater Radical Pamphlet Collection (1800-1999); The American Radicalism Collection; British Home Office Defence Regulation 18B Advisory Committee Papers and Registered Papers Regarding British Fascists; British Security Service Personal Files, Right-Wing Extremists; Fascists and Anti-Fascist Booklets; The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda; Leaflets, Stickers, Posters, and Electoral Ephemera from Fascist and Anti-Fascist Organizations; Searchlight Magazine; and Searchlight Oral Histories Collection.
In addition to this fine resource, we have a smaller collection called “Political Extremism” which focuses on twelve case studies. The case studies cover the historical events, political actions, and social movements centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia from the 1900’s to the 2010’s. They include coverage on such disparate radical and extremist movements as the National Socialist Party of Australia, the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, the British Union of Fascists, the UK National Front, the Black Panther Party, the Weather Underground and the Socialist Party USA.
Each case study has curated primary source content that can be used to teach students how to use primary sources for analyzing social issues. Included is an introductory essay, annotated sources for students to examine and discussion questions linking themes in the case studies to today. The primary sources are written by international experts and presented so they are easily comprehended by students. These primary sources are unique in that they reveal “the internal debates about historical extremist activism and the sensitivities of dealing with radical and extremist actors.” This method sheds light on contemporary issues raised about such movements. In particular, the collection explores “the role of female activists within radical movements, the use of terrorism and political violence within extremist movements, how extremists and radicals use propaganda and marketing techniques to promote their ideas to mainstream audiences, and the effectiveness of state proscription when dealing with such movements.”
Additional information about the collections, archives, and document types can be found here.
Due to the rise of COVID infections in the region, only students, faculty, and staff with a current CU ID may enter Mullen Library at this time. No food or drink will be allowed and a face covering will be required at all times. Library hours are posted on the web. Thank you for your cooperation!
Our guest blogger is Julie Pramis, who is a graduate student in Library and Information Science (LIS) at the Catholic University of America.
What more fitting collection for the university archives to have than one of Catholic University’s own founding members: William C. Robinson. Judge Robinson was a founder, professor, and dean of the Columbus School of Law, then known as The School of Social Sciences. After a 27-year long career as a law professor at Yale, he left his comfortable position to move to Washington, D.C. (somewhat reluctantly, due to health concerns: he was in his sixties at the time!) to ensure the founding of a law school at the university of his faith. His personal papers include a great collection of his correspondence with John Keane in their planning of the school, and many of his notes on the law for the courses he taught.
William Callyhan Robinson was born on July 26, 1834 in Norwich, Connecticut (Alumni Record of Wesleyan University, p. 421). Robinson was raised Methodist, but after graduating from Dartmouth he entered the General Theological Seminary, where he studied for the Episcopal Ministry. In 1857 he graduated from the Seminary and married his first wife, Anna Elizabeth Haviland. He became a missionary of a parish in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and then a rector in Scranton. In the early 1860s, Robinson converted to Catholicism and left his position as a clergyman. Had he not been married, Robinson likely would have become a Catholic priest.
In 1891, Bishop John Keane wrote to Judge Robinson about founding a school of social sciences at The Catholic University of America (Ahern, P. H., 1949, p. 98). Robinson had great interest in establishing a law school in CUA, as both a proud Catholic and long-serving practitioner and professor of the law. However, he was unsure what effects the climate of D.C. would have on his health, a man accustomed to the New Haven atmosphere. Moreover, he had a comfortable position at Yale—whose law school he helped bring back from the brink of extinction—and he was in his middle age at the time. Bishop Keane was persuasive, though, and Robinson was absolutely committed to the founding of the school. Later on, Robinson would write to a friend about the difficult work involved in bringing the School of Social Sciences into being, and stated that “The creation of a University is not the task of sinecures” (Jackson, F. H., 1951, p. 60). Robinson taught law at CUA until his death on November 6, 1911. He gave his last lecture on the Friday before his death.
The Papers of William C. Robinson were interesting to process for this first-year Library and Information Science student. Sometime prior to the Fall semester of 2021, the papers had been sorted into acid-free folders, placed in Hollinger boxes, and a finding aid was started and then abandoned. Many small notebooks were left unfoldered and unsorted in their boxes. Additionally, some of the materials in the last boxes had sustained fire damage, which happened prior to donation to the archives. The larger of these items – three bound volumes – were wrapped in acid-free paper. Staples, pins, and paperclips were left in the papers. A group of extra-long papers that were folded in half remained as such.
I started my work with many questions and a general understanding of archival work. Why leave metal fasteners – susceptible to rust – in these papers that are more than 100 years old? Why leave these folded papers folded rather than flatten them to ease researcher use? How do I handle unsorted notebooks with no clear chronological order? What in the world do I do with fire damaged paper? Since then, I’ve learned a lot about MPLP: More Product, Less Process, as well as more about the competing needs of archivists’ resources and researcher’s needs. With this information I’ve learned to understand the previous processor’s work as though they were explaining it to me through time. With the papers stored in both acid-free folders and boxes, and stored in a climate-controlled environment in the university archives, rusting metal fasteners is less of a concern and would serve more to take time away from other, more necessary work in processing the collection. Unfolding papers that have been folded for such a long time and of such an age (more than 100 years at least), unfolding would require humidification and perhaps a professional conservator; concerns of time, money, and other resources means that we can leave the papers as they are. Those same concerns apply to various unsorted notebooks: the time and money involved in trying to sort items that may not have a clear order even after extended effort tells archivists that we can apply MPLP here, too. As for the fire damaged items, I had to approach that as its own beast.
Some items were loose papers singed on the sides; some items were large bound volumes singed on the edges, effectively sticking the pages together; and some were smaller notebooks with fire damage that did not stick the pages together as with the larger volumes. I researched what archivists and/or conservators could do to improve singed materials. Much of my research turned up what to do with recent fire damage, which in most situations would be followed by water damage from sprinklers, the fire department, or any other water-suppression system designed to stop the fire. These materials were damaged in 1977, in Judge Robinson’s personal library. His grandson, John B. Robinson, donated the items to The Catholic University of America with both party’s full knowledge of the state of the items. They are long dry. I had already re-foldered the loose papers from their manila envelopes into acid-free folders and boxes before I understood the MPLP process, and that the papers were probably fine in their envelopes. You live, you learn. The large bound volumes are still wrapped in the acid-free paper they were in when I found them.
Regardless, I am glad that I sorted some of these items into more Hollinger boxes. The last box, box 17, was a bit heavy and very full. Especially considering nearly all of these items had some level of fire damage, having all of them stacked on each other in a heavy banker’s box that may be troublesome for some to lift, I think sorting them out into three boxes (two Hollinger and the original banker’s box) will help to prevent unnecessary handling of the items. Boxes 17, 18, and 19 can be handled individually, so any use of box 17 won’t result in needing to move or rearrange items from 18 or 19 to ensure they all fit back in the box. Additionally, one non-damaged item in box 17 is Judge Robinson’s leather diploma case. It is a little worn with age, but no fire damage, and the contents inside are in good condition (rolled tightly, though, so handle with care!).
Working with Judge Robinson’s papers hands-on gave me so much more insight into archival accessioning, processing, and description and access than I could have had solely in the classroom. In the beginning of the semester, I was intimidated by the size of the collection and how much work I needed to do to sort through every paper. In hindsight, a 17-box collection is a good beginner’s introduction – not too big, not too small – and I know now that I don’t have to examine every piece of paper. Thinking about how to arrange the collection for future researchers felt like a lot of responsibility for a first-time processor. That’s why I am so grateful to the processor before me, who showed me through their actions and restraint what archival work we should prioritize first and what we can prioritize last, if we get to it. If I could change one thing now, I would have worked on the papers more slowly. Since I had the full semester to work on these papers, there was not as much of a time limit on completing the processing and creating the finding aid with EAD as there would be for a professional archivist. I’ve had the great opportunity to work in the archives at my pace focused entirely on one collection, which I understand now is not every archivist’s experience.
The papers themselves are fascinating, and available for further examination in the CUA archives! In addition to his work on founding CUA’s law school and other work in the law, you can find the work he did tracing his genealogy, personal and professional correspondence, and various financial and other papers accumulated in the course of his lifetime. Please take a look at Judge Robinson’s papers if you get the chance.
Ahern, P. H. 1916-1965. (1949). The Catholic University of America, 1887-1896; the rectorship of John J. Keane. Catholic University of America Press, 1948 [c1949].
Alumni Record of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. (Third edition). (1883). Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company. https://books.google.com/books?id=gqMgAAAAMAAJ=PA421#v=onepage=false
Jackson, F. H. William C. Robinson and the Early Years of the Catholic University of America, 1 Cath. U. L. Rev. 58 (1951).
Before you leave for the Christmas break, check out our Popular Reading shelves for some interesting selections listed below. Categories include fiction, historical fiction, mystery, suspense, non-fiction, current affairs, social issues, and politics. Something for everyone.
Our collection is on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room. Have a restful, peaceful Merry Christmas. See you in the New Year!
Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.
Our guest blogger is Meghan Glasbrenner, who is a student worker at the University Archives and a graduate student in Library and Information Science (LIS) at the Catholic University of America.
As part of my coursework I was given the opportunity, in place of a traditional final research paper, to formally arrange and process the Janaan Manternach and Carl J. Pfeifer Papers, which had been acquired by the CUA Archives from 2020 through early 2021. I am thrilled to share that the collection, which spans some 70 years, now has an online finding aid.
As was discussed in an earlier Archivist’s Nook post by guest author Tricia Campell Bailey, the collection includes a mix of both personal and professional items and documents, with the former focusing on the couple’s personal lives and relationships, both individually and jointly, including their choices to be released from their religious vows after they developed a call to marry in 1976. However, the largest portion of the collection can be found in its extensive holdings related to their professional activities, most notably their groundbreaking work in revising formal religious education’s use of the Baltimore Catechism, focusing instead on making the lessons, morals, and foundations of the Catholic faith accessible and relatable for everyone.
The Baltimore Catechism’s question and answer format (of which the standard edition has 421 and the abridged edition 208) is familiar to anyone who grew up attending Catholic school or CCD classes through the 1960s, as it was in effect the text for US Catholic instruction as far back as 1885. Traditional instruction using this text involved students memorizing and repeating a series of questions and their provided responses, which ranged from simple statements such as #6: “Q. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next” through more complex concepts such as #339 “Q. What benefits are derived from the communion of saints? A. The following benefits are derived from the communion of saints:—the faithful on earth assist one another by their prayers and good works, and they are aided by the intercession of the saints in heaven, while both the saints in heaven and the faithful on earth help the souls in purgatory”.
While the Baltimore Catechism provided an extremely detailed breakdown of the core teachings and beliefs of the Catholic faith, what religious education teachers, such as Sister Janaan and Father Pfeifer, discovered during their instruction was that while their young students may have been able to successfully repeat these memorized phrases, they weren’t demonstrating a real understanding or connection. Taking a chance, Sister Janaan began quietly experimenting with new teaching approaches, most notably incorporating art, poetry, and music into her lessons, such as using religious-themed paintings to help children visualize abstract mysteries and pillars of the faith and short, simple songs and poetry writing exercises to give them space to voice their own understandings and questions. In a draft of the introduction to her 1982 collaboration with Carol Dick entitled The Gift of Me: Songs for Children (a copy of which is available in the collection), Manternach sums up this belief when she states, “Songs have a power that no other medium has for freeing children into meaning and feeling. Songs sung have the power to unite, to teach, to heal, to relax and to make events into celebrations and/or solemn occasions.”
Similarly, Father Pfeifer was influenced by his interactions with Fr. Aloysius Heeg, SJ, who he met during his studies in the School of Divinity at St. Louis University, and instilled in him the importance of using pictures, stories, and free questioning in catechesis teaching, and would lead directly to his personal interest in photography. Years later Pfeifer would extend the approaches he used in his formal classroom into his Photomeditations series, appearing as a weekly National Catholic News Service syndicated column from 1974-1980 and published in book form in 1977. While some of the photos include religious imagery, such as rosary beads and crosses, the majority simply depict singular images of everyday things, places, and people that may normally be overlooked or taken for granted. The accompanying text, unique to each photo, asks readers to “meditate” on the image and the emotions, feelings, or lessons it may bring to their minds, allowing them the space to make connections to the teachings of their faith in their own way and time.
Together Manternach and Pfeifer would turn these quiet experiments into a national revolution in religious education through the publication of their Life, Love, Joy and This is Our Faith textbook series and other educational resources. However, this creative approach extended beyond simple materials or publications; for them the label “Creative Catechesis” was a mindset more than anything, one that formed the foundation of many of their talks and workshops over their nearly 3 decades of professional work, and not a one-size fits all approach. The creation, in their honor, of the Creative Catechist Award by their long-time publishing company Silver, Burdett, & Ginn in 2001 offers no better testament to their legacy. Growing in faith involves more than being able to repeat a system of beliefs; sometimes it involves quiet reflection on a story with a simple message, for as they so clearly reminded their audience in an April 2001 workshop handout in response to the question: Why Use Story?: “Jesus used it all the time.”
Join the Washington Research Library Consortium Textbook Affordability Working Group for a brief introduction to open textbooks and a panel discussion featuring four faculty members who teach with them. All teaching instructors attending will have the opportunity to earn a $200 stipend by posting a review of an open textbook!
Date: Friday, December 10th, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Welcome – Introduction to Open Textbooks and Faculty Funding Opportunity
Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship, Catholic University Libraries
Faculty Discussion Panel
Dr. Sen Chiao, Professor at Howard University’s Program in Atmospheric Science and Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr Sarah Fischer, Professor of Criminal Justice at Marymount University
Dr. Amanda Hinojosa, Professor at Howard University’s Business School
Jennifer Yang, Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, Marymount University
Angelique Carson, WRLC
- Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship, Catholic University Libraries
- Angelique Carson, WRLC
Register today! – https://open.wrlc.org/events/fri-12102021-1300 (Zoom link will be sent the day before the event to registered attendees)
Learn more about the event and Open Textbooks at https://open.wrlc.org
Questions? Contact Kevin Gunn (firstname.lastname@example.org), CU’s TAWG representative.