Collection Highlights

Discovering Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain

Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain

Fatoumata Seck—first-year PhD student in the Department of French and Italian—has written a piece in ReMix about her experience studying and processing the newly acquired archive of Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain, the first black woman anthropologist of Haiti.

QR codes pilot project in Jonsson Reading Room

Have you seen these? These square-shaped matrix-style barcodes with black geometric pattern are called Quick Response codes – aka QR codes – and they’re really useful in today’s smart-phone driven culture for linking to digital information whether it be bibliographic information from a SearchWorks record (yes, QR codes are available for every item in SearchWorks!), a Website, a text message, someone’s contact information etc. QR codes can be scanned by QR code apps downloadable to iphone/android/blackberry/windows smart phones and ipads/tablets.

Well, you may have noticed some of these QR codes showing up in the wilds of the Jonsson/Social Sciences Reading Room and government documents stacks (W1 and W2). Kris Kasianovitz, Barbara Celone and James Jacobs have just released some QR codes to test their viability and utility in connecting the library’s vast physical government documents’ collections with our equally vast and rapidly growing digital government information resources. These particular QR codes link to government agency pages, SearchWorks records or directly to digital resources such as Proquest Congressional Publications. You’ll notice that we’ve placed QR codes in various shapes and sizes; this is to test which QR codes are more noticeable and useful. We have placed information about and directions for using QR codes in several locations around Jonsson/SSRC so that users will know what we are doing.

This is a pilot project; we are trying to determine if QR codes will work for what we are trying to accomplish – that is, connecting the library’s physical collections with our digital resources. To that end, in the weeks ahead we will be gathering data on how often the codes are scanned and the type of devices used to scan them. We’d be most appreciative of your feedback on QR code usability. Please email your feedback to Barbara Celone ( We welcome your input!

[note: this was originally posted in SULAIR News]

"A 'Byte' into History"

Steve Jobs

Good Day Sacramento was here in Green Library recently to talk to Henry Lowood—Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections—about the Apple collection. You can see the video here.

Musical Acoustics Research Library Collection open to research

Stradivarius violin

Great news: the Musical Acoustics Research Library Collection is now open to research. From the Special Collections blog post:

[F]or decades now acousticians and instrument builders have been providing hard scientific data on how musical instruments produce sound and what affects the quality of that sound. One of the most important, comprehensive repositories of such information is the Musical Acoustics Research Library (MARL) collection at the Stanford University Libraries. At the core of this collection are the extensive research files compiled by the Catgut Acoustical Society (CAS), which was founded by the creator of the New Violin Octet family, Carleen M. Hutchins. In 1992 CAS transferred its collection to Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Renamed the Musical Acoustics Research Library in 1996, this archive has a three-pronged mission: to promote the study of musical acoustics, preserve and further the research on the Hutchins’s Violin Octet, and grow the collection with the acquisition of materials from other important sources. Among these are the papers of three prominent twentieth-century wind instrument acousticians: Arthur Benade, John Backus, and John W. Coltman.

You can see the finding aid to the collection here.

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