WRLC Libraries

Apply Now for the Kiev Judaica Collection Research Fellowship

The George Washington University - Fri, 07/01/2016 - 10:22
July 1, 2016

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to invite applications to the biennial Kiev Judaica Collection Fellowship Program for the 2016-2017 academic year. 

The fellowship program supports short-term research and writing at the I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection, housed in the Kiev Room of the Gelman Library. Applicants for the fellowship program must be conducting research in the field of 18th-20th century Jewish history, Hebrew literature, Jewish art or Hebrew booklore. Candidates may come from a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, Graphic Arts, History, Religion, Comparative Literature, Bibliography or any relevant area of Judaic Studies. 

The Kiev Judaica Collection Research Fellowship will award  

  • $1,500 to one graduate or post-graduate researcher, academic or independent scholar.
  • $750 to one undergraduate student at GWU in the final years of matriculation (Junior or Senior year status).

For more information or to apply, please download a fellowship application. Please contact Shelly Buring, curatorial assistant, with questions. The deadline for submission of applications is July 31, 2016.

The I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection was established in 1996 by Dr. Ari and Phyllis Kiev with the donation of the private library of Dr. Kiev’s father, Rabbi I. Edward Kiev (1905-1975), one of the preeminent Judaica librarians of the 20th century. In 1998, the Kiev Room was dedicated to house the collection – along with supplementary collections of Jewish graphic art, archives, printed and recorded music, ephemera, artifacts and ritual objects - and to provide a reading room for researchers. 

Start Smart with a Graduate Student Library Orientation

The George Washington University - Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:34
July 1, 2016

Get to know the powerful tools and unique resources your Libraries have for graduate students. Learn about library spaces and services, and discover resources specific to your discipline. This orientation will provide a great overview of how to use the library and make sure you are ready for that first research project.

There are six sessions to choose from:

Thursday, August 18, 5-6pm
Friday, August 19, 11:30am-12:30pm
Thursday, August 25, 4-5pm
Friday, August 26, 11:30am-12:30pm, 2-3pm, and 3-4pm

These orientations fill up early so please RSVP to reserve your preferred session.

Be sure to check out our research guide, "What Graduate Students Need to Know " for more information, and feel free to contact a librarian to schedule a one-on-one research consultation at any point during the semester.

Are you living in a filter bubble? Web searching, privacy, objectivity, and GW Libraries search.

The George Washington University - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 15:20
June 30, 2016Dan Kerchner

This past spring, four of us here at GW Libraries had the privilege of attending the 2016 Code4Lib conference, featuring a wide variety of talks and discussions relevant to anyone interested in technology in libraries, archives, and museums.


The closing keynote was given by Gabriel Weinberg, the CEO and Founder of DuckDuckGo.   If you're not familiar with DuckDuckGo, it's a search engine committed to not tracking you.


Tracking Your searches:  Good and Bad


When you search using Google or other engines that track you, there's the obvious privacy issue around the company recording of all of your searches, but there's another aspect (let's refrain from judging it for the moment) which is that it affects the results of your search.  Sometimes you may actually want that, but sometimes you don't.   But let's first see when and why this happens.


You and I May Get Different Search Results


I'm going to use Google as an example, but this could apply to Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines as well.


Search engines that track you incorporate several factors into determining which results you see.  If you're logged in to Google and haven't turned off the personalization settings, to the extent they can be turned off, then Google bases your results, and their rankings, on your previous searches (and possibly other information it knows about you from terms in your email, etc.) to try to present you with results it thinks you're likely to want and to click on.  Other factors it takes into account include your location based on your IP address.


When you're hungry and want to quickly find something to eat nearby that you might like, you might want results that are localized and perhaps even take into account what it knows about your preferences.   But when you're doing research for a paper, you may simply want the most objetive, consistent search results possible.


Here's an example:   A Google search on "Obama" yielded slightly different results when I was not logged in to a Google account, versus when I was logged in to my (personal) Google account.  The top news links were different:  NBC, BBC, ABC, versus NBC, CBS, BBC; and a New York Times link was ranked considerably higher when not logged in, versus logged in:





One result of personalized results is the phenomenon referred to as the "filter bubble," a concept coined by Eli Pariser in his 2011 book.  A filter bubble means that you're presented with results that tend to further reinforce your existing preferences, beliefs, and opinions.  There is some controversy around the extent of the effets of this, but it has been a topic more in the forefront lately, particularly when it comes to social media and how platforms such as Facebook and Twitter determine which news items to prioritize in your feed.

Privacy, Tracking, Personalization and Other Search Engine "Features"


Let's check Wikipedia to get a rough sense of which search engines employ tracking, share information with third parties, and which don't:


From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_search_engines#Digital_rights as of June 30, 2016:



Is the knowledge that your information might be shared with third parties, and that the search engine might be at least attempting to modify your browser settings ("browser hijacking"), worth the tradeoff of the benefits you derive from using those search engines?  That's a personal choice, but it might be worth your while to try out a variety of search engines, paying attention to which track and which don't track.


Can't I just use Incognito Mode?


Incognito Mode seems to be somewhat misunderstood by many people.  Incognito Mode is a browser feature that refrains from saving your browsing history and cookies in the browser itself, but if you're logged into Yahoo, Google, etc. within the incognito-mode window, they're still saving your searches on their side, and results may still incorporate your location and/or IP address.


Trackless Search Engines


One solution to concerns about privacy and objectivity is to consider using a search engine which doesn't track you.  One of these is DuckDuckGo, which we mentioned earlier.


Libraries and Privacy


GW Libraries follow in the long-held library tradition of respecting and protecting patrons' privacy as well as providing objective search results when you use our research tools:


  • We won't share your circulation records, and records of electronic materials that you accessed.

  • We don't track you!  When you search through the library web search interfaces, you will get the same results as anyone else in the GW Community, and the GW search engine is not tracking or saving anything about you.   We wrote it, and the code that runs it is open source, so you can see it for yourself on github!

  • And last but not least, you won't get advertisements!


The only factor that can change your search results is whether you're using the GW Libraries search interface from an on- or off-campus IP address.  This is because some of the resources, usually resources that GW pays to provide, are available to you as a member of the GW community, but not to the general public.


We do anonymously log search queries that come through the "All" tab (fondly known as the "Bento" search).   The queries are anonymous; they are not associated with any user or even an IP address.  We use these to better learn about our users are searching for - particularly the most popular searches - and we use what we learn to improve the research tools we provide.


Here's an example of a view that we as GW Libraries staff can see.  Note that there's no information about who submitted each search:



More on the GW Libraries "All" search in a future blog post!


The Bottom Line


If you're using a search engine to try to survey and locate web content for research purposes, you probably want the most objective results and rankings possible, un-influenced by your personal search history and possibly even un-influenced by your location.   Educate yourself about search engine choices so that you can make a thoughtful choice about which one to use.


Some further reading:


GW Libraries' "How Do I?" page on using Google Scholar:   https://library.gwu.edu/howdoi/googlescholar

The Library Freedom Project, working to protect digital privacy and freedom in libraries:  https://libraryfreedomproject.org

Google's privacy policies https://www.google.com/intl/en-us/policies/privacy/#infochoices

More about DuckDuckGo:  https://duckduckgo.com/about



VISION Magazine 2016 Now Available in Print & Online

The George Washington University - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 08:08
June 30, 2016

We are proud to announce that the annual magazine of the GW Libraries, VISION, is now available in print and online.  

In this edition, we explore how the GW Libraries contribute to student and faculty scholarship through collaborations to create new software, build databases, perform statistical analyses, create 3-D models, manage and visualize their research data, and more. You can also find out how showcasing faculty scholarship, using the power of crowdsourcing to understand history, and providing a 24/7 "amazing space for students" are all part of the daily work of the GW Libraries.  

Gelman & Eckles Closed for Independence Day

The George Washington University - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 10:50
June 22, 2016

Gelman and Eckles Libraries will be closed on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4 to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.

Gelman will reopen at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5. Eckles will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5.

Documents Tell the Story of Enslaved People at the Columbian College

The George Washington University - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 13:38
June 15, 2016

The year was 1847 and slavery was legal in the District of Columbia, although it was the site of significant anti-slavery activism. Two enslaved men, known only as Abram and John, were owned by Capt. Haynes of Virginia and brought to Columbian College to assist him in his work as the college's steward. Columbian College student Henry J. Arnold provided Abram with $14 and a letter for an attorney with the intention that Abram would file a lawsuit to win his freedom. For this act of bravery, Arnold was expelled from the college. 
While the Arnold Case was not completely forgotten in the history of GW, it has remained largely obscure or else apocryphal to both scholars and the general public. Thanks to collaboration between DCAAP and the GW Libraries' digital services unit, the University Archives have now made available to scholars a cache of documents that illuminates this situation. The documentation consists of drafts and copies of letters written by Columbian College’s then-president, Joel S. Bacon, to Arnold, his family and others who inquired or appealed to Bacon about the matter. With this critical documentation, the story of enslaved people at Columbian College can now be more fully told.

Read more about this incident and the about the documents in a post by University Archivist Christie Peterson.


Opening Celebration of the Corcoran Archives

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 13:38
June 13, 2016

Wednesday, June 15
5 - 6:30pm
Special Collections Reading Room (704)

Please join us as we celebrate the opening of the Corcoran Archives in its new home at GW Libraries Special Collections Research Center. Selections from the collection will be on display in the reading room and light refreshment will be served. Archivists will be available to answer questions and discuss what is known about the archives now and what may yet to be discovered in them. 

The Special Collections Research Center is located in suite 704 of the Gelman Library. Photo ID is necessary to gain entry to the Library.

Nearly a decade has passed since the archives of the Corcoran Gallery and the Corcoran College of Art and Design—now the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design—were accessible to researchers. In June, nearly 2,000 boxes of historical documents and hundreds of thousands of architectural drawings, exhibition posters, photographs and oversized ledgers were donated to the George Washington University from the Corcoran board of trustees.

The Corcoran archives document the life and vitality of one of D.C.’s oldest cultural heritage institutions and provides nearly 150 years of insight into the history of American art museums and art education, from its founding in 1869 through 2014 when the historic agreements between the Corcoran, GW and the National Gallery of Art were finalized. The archives will be available to the public at the Special Collections Research Center in Gelman Library.

Learn more about the archives and how to access them on the Corcoran Archives webpages.  

Corcoran Archives Documenting Nearly 150 Years of DC Cultural Institution Come to the GW Libraries

The George Washington University - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 08:31
June 9, 2016

Nearly a decade has passed since the archives of the Corcoran Gallery and the Corcoran College of Art and Design—now the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design—were accessible to researchers. In June, nearly 2,000 boxes of historical documents and hundreds of thousands of architectural drawings, exhibition posters, photographs and oversized ledgers were donated to the George Washington University from the Corcoran board of trustees.

The Corcoran archives document the life and vitality of one of D.C.’s oldest cultural heritage institutions and provides nearly 150 years of insight into the history of American art museums and art education, from its founding in 1869 through 2014 when the historic agreements between the Corcoran, GW and the National Gallery of Art were finalized. The archives will be available to the public at the Special Collections Research Center in Gelman Library.

“We’ve been excited about receiving the archives since the merger was first announced. The Corcoran is an iconic organization with a rich history and these archives tell the story of not only the arts, but of the city of Washington, D.C.,” said Geneva Henry, dean of libraries and academic innovation at GW. “Access to them is highly anticipated. We have been fielding research requests and the availability of the archives will now provide fascinating insight for researchers into the Corcoran.”

Inside the Corcoran Archives

Some highlights from the hundreds of thousands of materials in these archives include journals from William MacLeod, the Corcoran Gallery’s first curator from 1873 to 1889, summarizing each day’s activities and his opinion of works offered to or purchased by the gallery; 17 letterpress volumes of outgoing correspondence concerning Corcoran activities (1876-1908); exhibition posters, promotional materials from the Corcoran College; and architectural drawings by Ernest Flagg of the historic Beaux-Arts building. Also included are plans for the proposed expansion designed by Frank Gehry (which did not materialize); photographs of events, staff, visitors and exhibitions dating from the 1880s to the 2000s; and documents related to the controversial canceled Mapplethorpe exhibition.

"Getting the Corcoran archives is significant to the Corcoran's evolution,” said Sanjit Sethi, director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. "These archives are part of our living history. In these boxes lies a history that can be activated by students, faculty, researchers and community members. People who take the time to decipher, analyze and interpret this information can both gain valuable insight into a remarkable institution and help shape the Corcoran's future.”

Due to lack of funding, the Corcoran archives were closed and sent to long-term storage in 2007. They have been unavailable to researchers since then. With the transfer to GW, the Corcoran’s history will be open to all interested researchers. In 2014, the Corcoran’s library collection also moved to GW. The Corcoran’s library collection brought more than 40,000 art and design books to GW.

Corcoran Materials at Other Institutions

All of the historical archives documenting the Corcoran’s rich institutional history came to GW. Other materials that were part of the archives but not necessarily institutionally focused—primarily art and artist records—have been distributed to other institutions, including the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library and the National Gallery of Art.

Researchers can learn more about the Corcoran archives here: https://library.gwu.edu/scrc/corcoran-archives  

"Maintaining the Corcoran legacy was an important priority for the Corcoran trustees," said Corcoran Trustee Molly Rolandi. "Finding the right home for the Corcoran archives is a critical part to that legacy and GW is that home. This is only the most recent example among many of how GW has fulfilled its commitment to maintain the Corcoran legacy and identity within the GW environment. “

William Wilson Corcoran’s History with GW

GW’s Special Collections Research Center already has notable historical collections related to William Wilson Corcoran, the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s founder. These include documents related to his partnership with George Washington Riggs and the Riggs Bank. Support from both Mr. Corcoran and Mr. Riggs helped the growth of GW. Mr. Corcoran also has other ties to the university: The School of Engineering and Applied Science at GW was organized on Oct. 1, 1884, as the Corcoran Scientific School of Columbian University and was situated in the University Building at 15th and H Streets, Northwest. The school was named for Corcoran, who was a trustee and president of the Board of Trustees from 1869 to 1888. Additionally, Corcoran Hall was named in 1924 to honor Mr. Corcoran, as one earliest benefactors of the university.

Welcome to the Libraries #GWClassof2020

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:45
June 6, 2016

We are excited to welcome the #GWClassof2020 to the university and to the libraries at Colonial Inaguration! 

Drop by Gelman Library for an Open House on CI Day #1 from 11am - 1:15pm. We'll be happy to answer your questions and show you around your new home away from home.

Notice of Increased Noise & Minor Disruption in June

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:39
June 6, 2016

Gelman Library will help to welcome the Class of 2020 by hosting several activities for Colonial Inauguration (CI) throughout the month of June.  

Expect increased noise and visitors on the entrance floor from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on the following dates:
Thursday, June 9 • Thursday, June 16 • Wednesday, June 22 • Tuesday, June 28

Expect increased noise and visitors on the entrance floor from 3:30 – 5 p.m. on the following dates:
Friday, June 10 • Friday, June 17 • Thursday, June 23 • Wednesday, June 29

All public computers on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor –and- study carrels on the 3rd floor will be reserved for registering students from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on the following dates:
Saturday, June 11*  •  Saturday, June 18* • Friday, June 24  •  Thursday, June 30 

*Library building open only for CI students and staff.

Eckles Library Closed on Wednesday, May 18

The George Washington University - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 09:42
May 18, 2016

Eckles Library will be closed all day on Wednesday, May 18.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this closure. If you need research assistance, please contact the Gelman Library Ask Us Desk. If you have questions about checking out or renewing books or about accessing books from other schools, please contact the Gelman Library Check Out Desk at (202) 944-6840. 

Gelman & Eckles Closed for Memorial Day

The George Washington University - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 09:32
May 16, 2016

Gelman and Eckles will be closed Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.

Gelman will close at 6 pm on Saturday, May 28 and reopen at 7am on Tuesday, May 31.

Eckles will close at 5pm on Friday, May 27 and reopen at 9am on Tuesday, May 31.

Congratulations Class of 2016!

The George Washington University - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 15:06
May 4, 2016

Congratulations to all of our 2016 graduates!  After all this time together the libraries wouldn't abandon you to a libraryless existence.  Here are a few of the resources available to you as a GW alumni.

Access to Gelman
GW Alumni can present their valid GWorld Alumni ID card for access to Gelman Library.  For information about how to obtain your Alumni ID card, see the GWorld 2.0 Alumni ID Card web page.

Borrowing Privileges
Borrowing privileges are extended to GW Alumni for $50 per year.  Payments should be made at the Circulation Desk in Gelman Library.  For more information see details about Alumni borrowing privileges.

Selected E-Resources
Thanks to the the generous support of the GW Alumni Association, GW Libraries offer access to selected E-resources, including ABI/Inform CompleteProquest Research Library, and JSTOR Archive.  Visit the E-Resources for Alumni page for more information. 

End-of-Semester Building Hours

The George Washington University - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 13:09
May 3, 2016

With the end of the semester comes the end of 24-hour access to Gelman Library.  24-hour access to Gelman Library is not available during the summer, but all of our online resources are available 24-hours a day to our current students, faculty and staff. Gelman will resume 24-hour access at the beginning of the Fall semester.  


Commencement Week
Tuesday, May 10
Closing at 10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 11 - Friday, May 13
7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15
Noon - 6 p.m.

Summer Hours*
Summer hours begin Monday, May 16.

Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
Noon - 6 p.m.

*Closed May 29 & 30 for Memorial Day and July 3 & 4 for Independence Day.

Interesting Find in the Collection: NEA Travels to Russia

The George Washington University - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 14:00

In 1959, National Education Association Regional Vice-President Allan M. West visited the Soviet Union to evaluate its teaching conditions and professions. He was only one of 7000 US citizens to visit the communist country that year.

Lockers Now Available on the 4th & 5th Floors

The George Washington University - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 11:26
April 5, 2016

Looking for a secure spot to store small items while you are on campus? Gelman Library now offers lockers on the 4th & 5th floors for reservation by any GW student.

The Lockers on the 4th and 5th floors are located in the hallway past the bathrooms and are reserved on a “first-come / first-served” basis. Lockers rent for $35 per semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer).  Locker rentals begin on the first day of classes for the semester and end on the last day of scheduled finals of the same semester. Students may rent lockers per semester or for the academic year (a total of 3 semesters, Fall, Spring and Summer).

To apply for a locker, please select a locker by taking the slip posted on the desired locker and complete the online request form (you must have the locker number to complete the form). A library staff member will contact you for an appointment to make the applicable payment and issue you a combination lock for the requested locker. 

Please direct questions to Jennifer Wesson at (202) 994-2937 or jwesson@gwu.edu.

Faculty Call for Posters on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The George Washington University - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 11:10
April 1, 2016

Scholarship on Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a growing area of research and discussion at top universities across the country, and we are excited to be joining their ranks through this inaugural effort. GW faculty interested in the systematic inquiry of teaching and learning are invited to present their classroom research, big or small, completed or in progress, at a SoTL Poster Session that will be part of the 2016 GW Teaching Day on October 14, 2016.

Poster proposals are due May 15, 2016. Find out more information about the suggested research strands, timeline for acceptance, and proposal submission process on our website at go.gwu.edu/sotl. For additional questions, please contact Professor Natalia Romanova or Professor Maria de la Fuente.

This Poster Session is sponsored by the GW Academy of Distinguished Teachers, in conjunction with the University Teaching & Learning Center.

The Eckles Prize for Freshman Research Excellence

The George Washington University - Wed, 03/30/2016 - 18:35
March 30, 2016

Freshmen: Is your paper so good it should win a prize?  It just might if you submit it for The Eckles Prize for Freshman Research Excellence.

The Eckles Prize is awarded to a freshman for a research project that shows significant and meaningful use of the resources and services available at the GW Libraries.

First year students are encouraged to submit a research project of any length or format, as well as an essay summarizing how library resources were used to complete that project.  Students should enter the one project that they feel reflects their best work of the year.

Prizes are awarded to the top 3 submissions:

1st Place: $500
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200

Visit go.gwu.edu/EcklesPrize to view the official instructions and criteria. You can also find a selection of past winning papers.

The deadline to apply is May 20, 2016. Winners will be announced in late summer.  Winning students will present their papers during an awards ceremony in the fall.

GIS Software & Assistance Available at Gelman

The George Washington University - Sun, 03/27/2016 - 13:45
March 27, 2016

Would your data make more sense shown on a map?  Do you need to statistically analyze data over space?  

ArcGIS is a geographic information system system (GIS) that allows people to collect, organize, manage, analyze, communicate, and distribute geographic information.  Now you can learn and use this powerful software at Gelman Library! ArcGIS is available on all Gelman PCs (not Macs) and GIS specialist Kean McDermott is here to help you use it.  

Kean McDermott, GIS Specialist
email: keanmcd@gwu.edu
make an appointment: go.gwu.edu/ResearchHelp 
Ask for Kean during daytime hours at the Ask Us Desk

Principles of Graphic Design

The George Washington University - Sun, 03/27/2016 - 13:38
March 27, 2016

Wednesday, March 30
10:00am to 11:30am 
Gelman Library, Room 300

Good design habits can bring order and clarity to any document, from a business card to an oversize poster. Knowing when to apply harmony, contrast, balance and space to printed materials draws viewers and audience members in, focusing their attention on the ideas you wish to communicate. Learn the building blocks of successful design at this workshop presented by the GW Libraries' Exhibits Developer Phil Raino.