Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Story of the library banners

Some of you may have wondered what the banners that hang in the entrance to the library are, what the story is behind them. It is quite an interesting tale actually, going back many years. Before Hartwell Hall was built, there was another building that stood in the same location, which housed the Normal school, as we were called then. (A Normal school was a teacher training institution.) In that building, along the main corridor, were a number of stained glass windows that had been given to the school by different graduating classes and student groups, mostly between 1910 and 1930.

In the late 1930s the old building complex was torn down and replaced by Hartwell Hall. The stained glass windows were not used in the new building, but were crated up and stored. Many years later around 1970 a grad student doing research for a history professor ran across the crates, and the history professor, Wayne Dedman, got them moved to the library, where they are on display now in the Kiefer Room. The banners that hang in the main entry way were made from photos of the windows a few years ago.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Early PC days at Drake

Back in the early '90s we didn't have all the computers we have now, and we didn't have the Internet in the same way. Pictured here is our first PC "cluster." The PCs were very primitive by today's standards, and were not connected to the Internet. Instead they ran one or more CD ROM databases. This set up was housed next to the center stairs on the main floor by the reference book stacks.

 One database we had for example was called Academic Abstracts that had articles from a small number of journals, and didn't cover many years at all. It wasn't until early 1996 that we had a PC or two on the floor connected to the Internet, which had just become enhanced by the advent of the WWW. Before that we had two "dumb terminals" to search the Internet; they connected to the Prime mainframe and you could search "Archie" or "Veronica," which were "gopher" index tools. It was early days indeed!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

"Card Catalog"

The old school way to look up books was to look in the card catalog. This massive set of oak furniture held thousands of author, subject and title cards, taking up most of the floor space in between the center staircase and the glass office area on the main floor. The card catalog had its day and now we have something called "Summon," which is the search box on the main library page. Here you can look for both books and all sorts of other materials in one search. Please ask one of us if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scottish Independence?

In a few weeks the people of Scotland will vote on whether or not to seek independence; if they vote yes, it will end the union of England and Scotland which has existed since the early 1700s. The BBC has a helpful page here explaining some of the basics of the vote. There's a lot of information online of course at news spots like The Scotsman, The Telegraph and so forth. We have many books in our catalog about Scotland, and our article databases are a rich source of information too. All of that can be accessed via our home page. Shown here is a pro-independence rally last year. Notice the many blue flags with the white St. Andrews Cross, which is the Scottish flag, known as the "Saltire."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Does the library have textbooks?

The library has many books, including some textbooks, but we do not necessarily have the textbook for any particular class. The textbooks we have may be part of the circulating collection, and if so you can see about checking them out. They may be part of the reserve collection which means in building use only.

How do you know whether we have what you want? Search under the "Articles, Books, Videos & More" tab on the library web page. Just put in the title of your book, and hit enter. If you see it in the list click on the title to see more information; where it is etc. (Hint: you can limit to books only by clicking on the link for that on the left hand column.)

As always, if you aren't sure what the record means, why you can't seem to find something and so forth please do ask one of us for help.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Words of WWI

Drake Library offers access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online, the premier English language dictionary. As part of the many observances of the centennial of the opening of WWI, they have posted a list "100 Words That Define The First World War." Pictured here are French infantry in an illustration from the beginning of the war, when they still wore the traditional red pants and blue coats.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Genealogical research anyone?

Researching your family history can be fun, especially if you enjoy a good bit of research and digging! We have a guide to help you get started, and there are many more resources in our catalog and online via Google.