Your Voice: Dr. Erika Nielson

Erika NielsonDue to my myriad of roles as a doctoral student, Senior Lecturer, Common Reading Coordinator, and Assistant Director of the Common Experience, I have used many of the services provided by the library, including reservation of spaces for events, personal exploration and development, professional development, research and teaching support from research and instructional librarians, use of innovative spaces like the 3D printing lab and YouStar Studio, and inspirational events, such as Technology Day. I appreciate each of these services and the fact that those who work at Alkek provide these services genuinely and with a smile on their faces; they seem to enjoy what they’re doing.

How to Find Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents that are direct records of an event, raw data, documents, magazines or newspapers from the time, photos or other material created at the time of an event. Even audio recordings, buildings, or just about anything could be considered primary sources.

Our historical primary source databases are located here.

Again, if you’re working in the field of history, you can search our catalog for published collections of primary sources.

Our history maven Margaret Vavarek suggests the searching the following key words in the catalog: Correspondence, Description and Travel, Diaries, Interviews, Personal Narratives, Sources, Letters or Speeches

Featured Author: Novelist Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt (link to our books here) s a best selling author whose principal theme is the moral seduction of working class innocents who are drawn into the world of glamorous but dangerous wealthy people.

Here’s a review of her work (about her famous debut The Secret History) from Literature Resource Center.

“The Secret History is less a mystery–the killers are revealed on the first page–than “an exploration of evil, both banal and bizarre,” in the words of Martha Duffy in Time. The story is narrated by Richard Papen, a transfer student who disavows his own middle-class upbringing to gain entrance into an elitist circle of students. “The gradual moral seduction of Richard is all the more cleverly revealed by its depiction in his own voice,” commented Andrew Rosenheim in the New York Times Book Review. As Richard becomes accepted by the group, he learns that four out of the five other members had participated in the bloody murder of a farmer who interrupted their late-night “bacchanal.” When one among the small coterie threatens to betray this dark secret, that person, too, is killed. “Tartt shows a superior sense of pace, playing off her red herrings and foreshadowings like an old hand at the suspense game,” Duffy stated in Time. In the New York Times Book Review, Rosenheim praised Tartt’s “skillful investigation of the chasm between academe’s supposed ideals and the vagaries of its actual behavior” and further commented that her prose was “at once lush and precise.” Nancy Wood, reviewing The Secret History in Maclean’s, believed that Tartt “is strongest when she finds poetry in everyday events: the sights and smells of a campus, the familiarity of certain television shows.” The Secret History, Wood concluded, “stands out as well written and original.”

 

Aretha Franklin Recordings and Biographies

Aretha Franklin books here.

From this obituary:

Known as the Queen of Soul, she was born into true American royalty as the daughter of one of the most celebrated of the nation’s black Baptist preachers, the Rev CL Franklin, and his wife, Barbara, a nurse’s aide and a singer and choirmistress in her husband’s church.

Clarence LaVaughn Franklin had met Barbara Siggers in Sunflower County, Mississippi, where he picked cotton while practising his preaching in small local churches. Aretha Louise – one of the couple’s four children, and named after her father’s two sisters – was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where CL Franklin had become pastor of the New Salem church; she was still an infant when they moved, first to Buffalo, New York State, and thence to Detroit, where her father became the minister of the New Bethel church. Aretha was six when her mother returned to Buffalo, accompanied by her son from a previous relationship. The remaining siblings were supervised in their father’s comfortable Detroit home by their paternal grandmother, Rachel, known as Big Mama, and a series of housekeepers, but spent the summers with their mother until Barbara died of a sudden heart attack when Aretha was 10.

The children – including an older sister, Erma, and a younger one, Carolyn, both gifted singers – grew up under the wing of a charismatic father who was among the first of his kind to spread his message via radio, recordings and national tours with his own travelling revival show. CL Franklin made friendships with many important African Americans: he marched alongside Martin Luther King and ordained the young Jesse Jackson; Ward was an intimate friend; and Aretha once came home from school to find Art Tatum, the nonpareil jazz pianist, playing the family grand.

Book Review: The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs

I can recommend wholeheartedly The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs.

This book pretty much sums up the current cutting edge approach to presentations – honesty, passion and preparation.  External appearance doesn’t matter so much as authenticity.

There are also tips on how to organize a presentation. For example, define an enemy or problem and show the audience how your idea overcomes the problem.  Also create an a-ha moment that the audience can take home with them mentally.

Along the way, the book also discusses the correct use of slide images and text behind you and the correct use of props. Lots more in this one – check it out.

The Internet Wayback Machine Archives The Web

The Internet changes constantly. Ever wonder what happens to content that’s taken down?

A handful (but growing) number of organizations archive web content. A “picture” is taken every few days and stored.

The main Internet archive is called the Wayback Machine.

From The Economist:

The Wayback Machine’s inventor, Brewster Kahle, is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and computer whizz who helped design Mr Hillis’s ground-breaking Connection Machine in the 1980s. In 1996 he founded a non-profit organisation, the Internet Archive, to create a free internet library capable of storing a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online. The Wayback Machine allows users to view the library’s archived web pages as they appeared when published. Today the Internet Archive also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. At the last count, its collection contained more than 150 billion items.

Search The Wayback Machine Here

Even though we have the Wayback Machine, it is not a perfect solution and does not capture all of the web. Here’s a critique of our current storage methods of the web. 

Texas Authors: Robert E Howard, Creator of Conan the Barbarian

All Robert E Howard books here

Bet you didn’t know that Conan the Barbarian was actually from Texas.The creator of Conan was Robert E. Howard, who spent most of his life in Cross Plains Texas, just outside of Abilene.

Also: Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger were in a movie called the Whole Wide World which is about Robert E. Howard’s life in Cross Plains.