Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

UCLA VirtualTour Spotlights the UCLA Library

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The new virtual tour of UCLA for prospective studies includes two segments on “favorite places to study.”  The first features the Charles E. Young Research Library and can be found at

The second features the Powell (College) Library and can be found at


Biomedical Library featured in YouTube Video on Snapshot Day

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The UCLA gathers various statistics four days a year to give us a “snapshot” of how the libraries on the campus are used. Following is a link to the Biomedical Library video recently done for UCLA Library Snapshot Day in March 2012:

The new south campus student center was liberally used as a backdrop for interviews!


UCLA Library Partners with CLIR on New Data Curation Fellowships

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The UCLA Library is partnering with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) on a new data curation fellowship program.  Funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the program will provide recent PhDs with professional development, education, and training opportunities in data curation for the natural and social sciences.

An expansion of CLIR’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Academic Libraries, which the UCLA Library has participated in for a number of years, this new fellowship is designed to develop highly skilled, knowledgeable specialists through during two-year postdoctoral fellowships. The aim is to create scholarly practitioners who understand not only the nature and processes of their own disciplines but also how research data is organized, transmitted, and manipulated. Other partner institutions are Indiana University, Lehigh University, McMaster University, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan.

Further information and position descriptions are available at Applicants must have received a PhD in a discipline no more than five years before applying (i.e., after April 1, 2007). All work toward the degree, including dissertation defense and final dissertation editing, must be completed before starting the fellowship. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, but no later than June 30, 2012.


UCLA Library Receives Major Gift for Project Focused on Ephemeral Media of the Middle East

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Facebook posts, tweets, photos among resources to be digitized, preserved

 The UCLA Library has received a grant of $3.4 million from the Arcadia Fund to launch an initiative to digitize, preserve and provide broad public access to print items, images, and multimedia and social networking resources produced in the Middle East. 

 Increasingly, the day-to-day reality of current events in the Middle East is documented not in the pages of printed newspapers but through Facebook postings, tweets, smart phone photos and other informal ephemeral media. The new International Digitizing Ephemera Project will focus on collecting this documentation, organizing it and making it available, together with digitized versions of relevant print items, to offer primary sources that students and scholars can utilize and build upon in instruction and research. 

 Over the past several years, the pace of political and cultural change in the Middle East has been breathtaking, and this initiative will enable us to capture and provide access to non-traditional documentation of these earthshaking events.  The UCLA Library is deeply grateful to Arcadia for its exemplary generosity and for sharing our vision of the importance of this region and these new research materials.

 The UCLA Library will collaborate with three international partners on the five-year project. One of the partners, the National Library of Israel (NLI), has already been identified; the two remaining ones will be chosen by the project director and advisory board. 

 NLI has developed a three-year initiative to oversee the digitization of approximately 150,000 printed ephemera items, including posters, leaflets, tickets, postcards, and broadsheets from throughout Israel’s history.  In collaboration with the UCLA Library, NLI will make these items available online to an international audience of scholars, researchers and those interested in Israeli culture and history.

 The dynamic pace of events and change in Israel’s relatively short history, coupled with the plethora of cultures, religions and nationalities that comprise Israel’s heterogeneous population, make the collecting, digitizing and preserving of printed ephemera particularly crucial as a tool for research and a bridge to cross-cultural understanding.  The day-to-day reality of current events is increasingly documented not in the pages of printed newspapers but in informal ephemeral media.  The collection will be integrated digitally from source materials in libraries, archives and other collections throughout Israel, and will seek to represent its diverse population to the greatest extent possible: Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities, the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, Arab Israeli and Druze populations, as well as immigrant communities such as Ethiopians, whose cultural heritage is at particular risk of disappearing without record.

 The project is expected to offer a model that other institutions can adopt for collaborative international preservation and access activities. In the long term, the UCLA Library also hopes to expand it to other areas of the world, such as eastern Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Central America, where traditional documentation of events and communities is lacking and researchers must rely on ephemeral primary sources.

 Arcadia is the charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Since its inception in 2001, Arcadia has awarded grants in excess of $200 million. Arcadia works to protect endangered culture and nature. Arcadia has made several major donations to the UCLA Library, the most recent being a $5 million, five-year gift to support transformative change in developing, preserving and making collections accessible.

UCLA Young Research Library renovations completed; usage levels have doubled

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The UCLA Library completed renovations to the major public spaces in the Charles E. Young Research Library in fall 2011, and the new facilities have proven to be extremely popular with UCLA students, faculty and visitors.  During the fall quarter, over 195,000 people visited the library, more than double the number during the same period the year before.

 The renovations focused on the first floor and lower level of this classic Mid-century Modern building, designed by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons. The executive architect for the project was the global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins and Will, with Eva Maddox Branded Environments. 

 “Guided by the themes of discovery, journey and collaboration, we developed these new spaces to support pedagogy and research, both now and into the future,” said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. “Academic research libraries are no longer defined by their physical collections, and this redesign reshapes our collection access, services and facilities to support our users throughout their academic and professional careers.”

 The Young Research Library provides research-level collections, services and facilities for graduate students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences. It was constructed in two phases; the first opened in 1964 and the second in 1971.

 In accordance with University of California policy, the renovations adhere to green building principles established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) national rating system. The building is expected to achieve the status of LEED Gold (Commercial Interiors 2.0) once the U.S. Green Building Council completes its review of the library’s documentation.

 About the library’s new spaces

 An open, collaborative research commons offers 22 flexible, technology-enabled “pods” in which students and faculty can utilize library resources, conduct research and work with one another. Holding up to 10 users, each pod contains a large LCD monitor operated by a laptop. Also part of the commons are 15 group-study rooms, a classroom and a laptop lending desk. The research commons has been very popular with both instructors and students, accommodating everything from instructional sessions to office hours to project demonstrations.

 Created in conjunction with the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities, an adjacent space houses the Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage. In this area, which is equipped with a large-screen rear-projection system and specialized workstations, courses are taught in UCLA’s undergraduate digital humanities minor and graduate certificate program. In keeping with the open nature of the larger research commons, all activities in this space can be viewed by those walking by, fueling serendipitous discovery and information exchange. 

 An expansive, glass-enclosed reading room supports quiet study and research while still offering views of activities in surrounding spaces. Frequently used print reference materials are housed in this room, and seating is available at both large tables and in individual lounge chairs. Librarians staff a service desk, where they answer quick reference questions and provide in-depth assistance with sophisticated research inquiries, with an adjacent consultation area for meetings with larger groups.

 The library’s conference center has been expanded to add a spacious, technology-equipped conference room. In its first few months, this new space has accommodated conferences, film screenings and large group meetings. Together with the existing presentation room, boardroom and parlor, the conference center now offers a large, flexible suite in which to present expanded programming.

 The first floor also contains an open gallery adjacent to the front entrance, which currently houses an exhibit of unique and rare special collections materials related to Charles Dickens. A second enclosed exhibit gallery will showcase UCLA Library treasures on long-term display. Two lounges and a popular coffee bar complete the new first-floor spaces.

 On the library’s lower level, former staff work space has been opened up to create a spacious, light-filled study commons framed by views onto the green berm that surrounds the building. The commons accommodates more than 100 users at tables and in individual chairs. Open stacks house newspapers and unbound periodicals, and self-service cabinets contain frequently used microformat materials and maps.

 Adjacent to the study commons, the entrance into the Department of Special Collections has been opened up. Full-length glass doors offer passers-by a view of the department’s lobby and exhibit area, inviting them to come in and see what’s on view.

 Large-format electronic signage at the building entrance and throughout the first floor and lower level also supports the renovation’s themes of discovery, journey and collaboration. With content varying by location, the signage communicates timely information, such as hours and events, showcases digital collections and new acquisitions, and honors donors.

Introducing the Code of Best Practices Now Up on YouTube

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

“Introducing the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries” is now posted to UCLA’s Youtube channel. 

 Part 1:

 Part 2:

More than 125 people attended this kick-off session on February 3 at the UCLA Library.  Presented by Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law and Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives, Association of Research Libraries, the presentation provides a context and background for the Code and outlines the eight principles each with described with limitations and enhancements.

The code can be accessed at:




A Fascinating Friday

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The past Friday was a great day in the life of the UCLA Library.  And it was a great example of how our future unfolds.  As one enters the newly renovated Charles E. Young Research Library, you were greeted with the new exhibit on Dickens.  Note the link to see more:

And during the mid day we hosted an open house in the new Research Commons.  Every pod was an action area and the Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage and the instruction room were open for not only viewing, but so that faculty and students could learn about the potential of these new spaces.  As I walked through, I was struck by just how excited people are about the potential of our collaborative future.  Faculty were thinking about how they could present their courses using library collections, both physical and digital in new ways.  Library staff and graduate students were interested in the various applications and uses of the space.

The convergence of these two events was a great experience for me.  As a bookman and reader, I treasure the Dickens legacy and have been amazed at the breadth and depth of our special collections with Dickens material.  But I am also “wowed” by the potential of our new research spaces.  Our future is so rich.

Gary E. Strong, University Librarian

Holiday Greetings

Monday, December 5th, 2011

UCLA Library Partners to Launch Data Management Tool

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Important questions are challenging researchers today: Where should their research data reside? How can they make the data discoverable by other investigators and repurposed in new ways? Would allowing others to access the data help advance their fields or their careers?

The University of California and several other major research institutions have partnered to develop the DMPTool, a flexible online application to help researchers generate data management plans — simple but effective documents for ensuring good data stewardship. These plans increasingly are being required by funders such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF). The DMPTool supports data management plans and funder requirements across the disciplines, including the humanities and physical, medical and social sciences.

When researchers openly and collaboratively share their data, advances in fields can occur much more quickly and effectively, as reported in the New York Times for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research. The DMPTool will help in this effort.

“Many funding agencies require a data sharing plan be included in their applications. How to accomplish this is a challenge for our principal investigators, given that retention of research data is now much more than retaining all original notebooks, but includes storing of massive amounts of electronic data…The availability of the new Data Management Planning Tool will prove invaluable in assisting them in the management of their data and complying with these agency requirements,” states Charles Louis, vice chancellor for research, UC Riverside.

The DMPTool is open source, freely available and easily configurable to reflect an institution’s local policies and information. Users of the DMPTool can view sample plans, preview funder requirements and view the latest changes to their plans. It permits the user to create an editable document for submission to a funding agency and can accommodate different versions as funding requirements change. Not only can researchers use the tool to generate plans compliant to funder requirements, but institutions also can use the tool to present information and policies relevant to data management and to foster collaboration among faculty, the institutional libraries, contracts and grants offices, and academic computing.

William (Bill) Michener, professor and director of e-science initiatives for the University Libraries, University of New Mexico, and DataOne principal investigator, states, “The requirements from NSF and other funding agencies for data management and sharing will lead to new and better science by promoting data stewardship and encouraging data sharing. The DMPTool is an important resource for researchers as they develop funding proposals, and gives them a full picture of all aspects of sound data management practice.”

Project partners include the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, the UCLA Library, the UC San Diego Libraries, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Virginia Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, DataONE, and the United Kingdom’s Digital Curation Centre. Working collaboratively, these institutions have consolidated their expertise and reduced their costs.

Dr. Livingstone’s lost 1871 ‘massacre’ diary recovered; discovery rewrites history

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

In Africa 140 years ago, David Livingstone, the Victorian explorer, met Henry M. Stanley of the New York Herald and gave him a harrowing account of a massacre he witnessed, in which slave traders slaughtered 400 innocent people. Stanley’s press reports prompted the British government to close the East African slave trade, secured Livingstone’s place in history and launched Stanley’s own career as an imperialist in Africa. 

 Today, an international team of scholars and scientists led by Dr. Adrian Wisnicki of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, publishes the results of an 18-month project to recover Livingstone’s original account of the massacre. The story, found in a diary that was illegible until it was restored with advanced digital imaging, offers a unique insight into Livingstone’s mind during the greatest crisis of his last expedition, on which he would die in 1873. 

 Livingstone’s 1871 Field Diary is a free online public resource published by the UCLA Digital Library Program in Los Angeles ( The project was made possible by the generous funding and support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (, an independent grant-making agency of the U.S. government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs. The British Academy has also helped fund the endeavour. With these grants, the research and all the data is made available to advance humanities and technology studies across the United States and globally. 

 The story the diary tells is electrifying. Livingstone had once been a national hero, but when he wrote this diary, he had been forgotten by the public and was stranded without supplies in Central Africa. A dedicated writer, he made ink from berry seeds and wrote over the pages of a single copy of the London Standard — the precursor to today’s Evening Standard. Exposed to the African environment, the manuscript deteriorated rapidly and today is virtually invisible to the naked eye.

 The diary depicts, in Livingstone’s words, “the unspeakable horror” of the slave trade in what is now the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It provides an eye-witness account of the shocking massacre, perpetrated by armed slave traders in Nyangwe, a Congolese village. The event forced Livingstone to change his travel plans and led to his famous meeting with Stanley. Had Stanley not found Livingstone and greeted him with the words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”, the world might never have heard of Livingstone again. 

The massacre is one of the most important events in “The Last Journals of David Livingstone” (1874), edited after Livingstone’s death in 1873 by his friend Horace Waller. Until now, this book was the main source for historians and biographers. However, critical and forensic analysis of the original 1871 text reveals a very different story from Waller’s heavily edited version. In particular, it sheds light on a heart-stopping moment when Livingstone gazes with “wonder” as three Arab slavers with guns enter the market in Nyangwe, where 1,500 people are gathered, most of them women: 

 “50 yards off two guns were fired and a general flight took place — shot after shot followed on the terrified fugitives — great numbers died — It is awful — terrible, a dreadful world this,” writes Livingstone in despair as he witnesses the massacre. “As I write, shot after shot falls on the fugitives on the other side [of the river] who are wailing loudly over those they know are already slain — Oh let thy kingdom come.” 

 Wisnicki, an assistant professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, says, “Evidence in the diary suggests that members of Livingstone’s party might have been involved in the massacre. Livingstone seems to have considered this possibility and this, together with his failure to intervene, appears to have left him with a profound sense of remorse. In copying over the 1871 diary into his journal, Livingstone decided to rewrite or remove a series of problematic passages. His revised journal account, on which the 1874 book is based, did not reflect his original record. It’s taken 140 years to discover Livingstone’s original words and reveal the many secrets of the original diary.”  

 The original account of the massacre is just one of many passages in the diary that are significantly different from the 1874 book. 

 “Livingstone would never have published this private diary in his own lifetime,” says Wisnicki. “In particular, his attitude to the liberated slaves in his entourage is one of disgust — an attitude greatly at odds with his public persona as a dedicated abolitionist.” 

 Wisnicki anticipates that the publication of the 1871 diary will change the way history interprets Livingstone’s legacy. 

“Instead of the saintly hero of Victorian mythology, the man who speaks directly to us from the pages of his private diary is passionate, vulnerable and deeply conflicted about the violent events he witnesses, his culpability and the best way to intervene — if at all,” he says.

 Spectral imaging, the process used to recover Livingstone’s original text, involves illuminating the manuscript with successive wavelengths of light — starting with ultraviolet, working through the visible spectrum and ending with infrared. Processed digital images enhanced the selected text. 

 The scientific and technical team, led by Mike Toth of R.B. Toth Associates, an expert in technical studies of cultural objects for museums and libraries, includes Keith Knox of Eureka Imaging (Kihei, Hawaii), Roger L. Easton Jr. of the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.), Bill Christens-Barry of Equipoise Imaging LLC (Ellicott City, Md.), Ken Boydston of MegaVision Inc. (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Doug Emery of EmeryIT (Baltimore, Md.). The Library of Congress provided invaluable support in system development and technical advice. Together, the scholars and scientists involved in this interdisciplinary project help usher in a new era of academic endeavour in which advanced imaging technology is applied to the study of 19th-century manuscripts. 

 Toth says, “The results of this diary project, which enhanced Livingstone’s faded handwriting and suppressed the underlying printed text, demonstrate the significance of the spectral imaging process for the digital recovery of damaged and old manuscripts. By making the results available online, the project helps preserve the original diary, which is too fragile to be made available to the public.” 

 Analysis and images for download are available at