Archive for June, 2011

Chancellor’s Statement on the State Budget

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block released this statement on June 29 in response to the 2011–12 budget approved by the state Legislature and expected to be signed by the governor: 

 To a large degree, research-driven innovation and an affordable college education have been the foundations of California’s post–World War II vibrancy, driving both economic growth on a large scale and socioeconomic opportunity for countless individuals. As a leading public research university, UCLA has played a major role in the state’s success. 

 The dream of a public higher education system in service to the state has been severely hampered by the 2011–12 state budget expected to be signed in Sacramento. Not only does the spending plan reduce funding to the University of California system by $650 million in the fiscal year starting July 1 — a cut of about 24 percent — but it also leaves open the possibility of additional reductions in January if state tax revenues fall short of projections. This comes on top of reductions over the past two decades that have brought state funding to a level below what was provided in 1998–99, when the UC system had 73,000 fewer students, more than halving per-student funding levels

 While the severe fiscal challenges facing the state are undeniable, this is nothing less than an abrogation of the state’s responsibility to fund public higher education. While helping to solve a short-term budget crisis, it does a disservice to the state’s long-term future by disinvesting in the research and the workforce that California needs to prosper. 

 At UCLA, we continue to take steps to save money, increase efficiency and generate new revenues through a campuswide restructuring effort designed to adjust to new funding realties. While we planned prudently and budgeted conservatively to absorb an anticipated $96 million reduction in state support in 2011–12, the state’s new spending plan may necessitate additional measures. The exact amount of additional reductions in campus funding is not yet known. To generate revenue necessary to ensure the educational experience that students and their families deserve and expect, the UC Office of the President and members of the Board of Regents have said additional tuition increases may be inevitable.

 The severe fiscal challenges facing the state are undeniable; however, further reductions in state support for higher education are unconscionable and unacceptable. I encourage students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of UCLA to continue advocating on behalf of the university. Please visit UC’s advocacy website to make your voice heard.

Research Library Renovation (8)

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
As the construction phase nears an end, the new spaces are taking shape.  Never again will they look so pristine and clean!  We still have yet to take occupancy of the renovated spaces and once that happens, we still have to move in and transform them into programs and services.  We are still shooting for a opening with service by the beginning of the fall term.

The new reading room now awaits the move of the print collection and installation of computers to acces electronic reference tools.

Informal seating among reading tables in the Reading Room.

Twenty-three media pods are ready in the Research Commons.

Another alternative for the use of the Research Commons space.

The Research Commons can also serve as a large presentation space.

One arrangement of movable seating in the instruction room.

The "Street" is ready for traffic.

Lounge seating allows for quiet study and reading.

Coffee anyone; or maybe tea! Okay a Red Bull.

Entry gallery is ready for its first exhibition.

New entry doors, framed in brass, welcome you into the Research Library.

Do come visit us soon!

Library Celebrates Walter Gordon’s 103rd Birthday

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

On June 20, 2011, UCLA Library celebrated the 103rd birthday of Walter Gordon, attorney, civic leader, historian and raconteur.  Born in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica in 1908 to educated parents, Mr. Gordon, had established his law practice by 1936. He retired in 2004, after nearly seventy years practicing law, leaving his practice in the hands of his son, Walter Gordon III, a UCLA Law school alumnus. After decades of collecting photographs that document important, overlooked aspects of Los Angeles history, Mr. Gordon gave his collection of 800 photographs to his friend and fellow historian, Judge William Beverly. We are honored that Judge Beverly donated to Library Special Collections the Walter L. Gordon, Jr./William C. Beverly Photography Collection. Through the excellent efforts of our Collecting Los Angeles program, which supports research, teaching, and knowledge concerning the Los Angeles region, the dedicated staff in our Digital Resources Cataloguing and Metadata Center, and the Digital Library Program, the Gordon Photography Collection is being made accessible online here: You can read more about Mr. Gordon and the collection at

Walter Gordon with his birthday banner.


Mr. Gordon with Judge William Beverly.


Walter L. Gordon Jr. ca. 1940.


The CatMet team whose members met every week with Mr. Gordon for four months to identify photographs an create the metadata for the collection before it was developed as a digital collection. From left to right behind Mr. Gordon and Judge Beverly are Claudia Horning, Hermine Vermeij, Sara Layne, and Chamya Kincy.

UCLA Library Acquires Ethiopic Manuscripts Collection

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

The UCLA Library has acquired the largest private collection of Ethiopic manuscripts and scrolls in the U.S., given by Gerald and Barbara Weiner. Together with the library’s existing collections, this gift makes the UCLA Library the leading repository for Ethiopic manuscripts in North America. 

 A classical Semitic language, Ethiopic is used as the liturgical language of the Christian church in Ethiopia. 

 Dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries, the collection of 137 bound manuscripts and 102 scrolls is particularly rich in elaborately illustrated liturgical texts. Highlights include a late 19th/early 20th-century version of the Gospels containing 78 miniatures; a 19th-century “lives of the saints” with 40 miniatures; a 20th-century compilation of a table blessing and miracles performed by Jesus with 37 miniatures; and a 20th-century collection of prayers with an image of John the Evangelist and 26 miniatures.  

 “Words cannot express our deep thanks to Jerry and Barbara — first, for building this gorgeous collection, then for giving it to us,” said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. “These extraordinary items, noteworthy both for their research value and their beauty, will be of great interest to students and scholars, as well as to the extensive Ethiopian community in Southern California.”  

 The production of Ethiopic manuscripts continues to the present day, with many texts only very recently being published in print format. Scribes in religious communities work for as long as a year to produce a single manuscript, working individually or in groups and using handmade ink, pens and animal-skin parchment. 

 Text in the calligraphic Ge’ez script is often accompanied by elaborate geometric ornaments and illuminated frontispieces, miniatures, and full-page illustrations. The scrolls are known as “magic scrolls” because, according to the religious tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the prayers they contain are believed to have curative qualities.

 “This new gift is an important collection of manuscripts that makes UCLA’s Ethiopic collection one of the best in the world for research,” said William Schniedewind, chair of the UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. “It has the potential to serve as an excellent resource for study by graduate students and scholars and to open new vistas in our understanding of the Ethiopic manuscript traditions.” 

 Housed in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, the materials will also provide a catalyst for lectures, conferences, public programs and community initiatives. 

 The collection complements the UCLA Library’s existing holdings of Ethiopic manuscripts, which were purchased by renowned UCLA scholar Wolf Leslau on the library’s behalf, primarily in the mid-1960s, during his many research expeditions to Ethiopia. Dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, these bound volumes and scrolls encompass service books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a few rare Jewish manuscripts written in Ge’ez and Agaw, and a beautifully illuminated Bible given to UCLA by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie when UCLA awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree. 

 UCLA Library Special Collections administers the UCLA Library’s rare and unique materials in engineering, humanities, life and physical sciences, medicine, performing and visual arts, social sciences and UCLA history. Its collections encompass rare books and pamphlets from the 15th through the 20th centuries; extensive manuscript holdings; drawings, including original architectural drawings; early maps and atlases; oral history recordings and transcripts; photographs, prints and paintings; and administrative records.  

 The UCLA Library, ranked among the top 10 research libraries in the U.S., is a campus-wide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. Its collections encompass more than 9 million volumes, as well as archives, audiovisual materials, corporate reports, government publications, microforms, technical reports and other scholarly resources. Nearly 80,000 serial titles are received regularly. The UCLA Library also provides access to a vast array of digital resources, including reference works, electronic journals and other full-text titles and images.