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Kristina M. Olson Named 2015-16 Fenwick Fellow

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:03

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Zenelis has announced the 2015-2016 Fenwick Fellow is Dr. Kristina M. Olson, Assistant Professor of Italian and the Coordinator of the Italian Program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Professor Olson’s research proposal, Sumptuous Literature: Clothing and Governance in Fourteenth Century Italy, is a current book project that investigates the intersection of history and literature in the works of medieval and early modern Italian authors. In her research, she will explore the impact of the displays of new wealth in clothing and jewelry and the restrictions imposed upon such social practices as expressed in the literary works of the Italian middle ages—namely those of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, the “three crowns” of Italian literature. Ultimately, Sumptuous Literature seeks to show how characterizations of fashion in literature shed new light upon our understanding of the simultaneous rise of capitalism and of fashion, and how these phenomena are first articulated in terms of gender and the body.

During her fellowship, Professor Olson plans to complete the historical and literary research for this project and write the first chapters of her book. Another expected product of this project will be the compilation of a database of the leading families of this period that will be featured on the Digital Dante project at Columbia University. Finally, her research will result in acquisition of research materials to expand the University Libraries’ holdings in medieval and early Renaissance history and literature.

Professor Olson will present the results of her work in spring 2017 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries.

Categories: University News

Welcome, Mason Nation!

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:09

Happy New (School) Year! Mason Libraries faculty and staff at Fenwick Library, Gateway Library, Arlington Campus Library, and Mercer Library welcome you to the Libraries and the University. We look forward to working with you on your papers, projects and other research needs…just ask! We’re at your fingertips!

Categories: University News

Looking for a library job?

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 16:21

Welcome back, students!! To answer a popular, seasonal FAQ, all available library jobs are posted on HireMason.

Categories: University News

Picturing Performance in Fenwick Gallery

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 13:12

The new Fenwick Gallery exhibition, Picturing Performance: a sampling of music, dance and theater imagery, highlights selected rarities and antiquarian prints held in George Mason University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.

Examples include musical iconography and similar graphic materials which illustrate aspects of music, dance, and theater history or exemplify technical developments in the performing arts. The twelve selected items on exhibit reflect these genres, and includes engravings, lithographs, photographs, and drawings. The exhibit curators are Steven K. Gerber, MA, MLS, Music & Theater Librarian, and Rhianna Cockrell, George Mason Student/Library Intern. The exhibition is on display through September 18.

For more information about Fenwick Gallery, please contact Jenna Rinalducci, Art & Art History Librarian, jrinaldu at



Categories: University News

Get ready to research at SmartSTART!

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 11:02

Welcome, new students! Get ready to research! From 1:00pm – 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 1, Gateway Library staff will help you get a SmartSTART on the semester! Drop in and discover:

  • Course Reserves
  • Textbooks on Reserve
  • Laptop Print Drivers
  • The Wonders of Your Mason ID
  • Zotero
  • OneButtonStudio
  • and more!

Stop by, enjoy a snack, and get a SmartSTART at Mason! For more information, please contact Sara Hudson, shudson7 at, 703-993-3471.

Categories: University News

Graduate Student Open House!

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 10:59

Graduate Students are cordially invited to meet your subject librarians and other research specialists at Fenwick Library’s Graduate Student Open House. You’ll get an overview of key research resources, services and tools, tour Fenwick Library, and more! Enjoy a snack as you discover what the University Libraries have for you—and your success at Mason.

Graduate Student Open House – Floor 2, Wing A, Fenwick Library

  • September 3 4 —7pm
  • September 18 10am — Noon
Categories: University News launches at Mason!

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 09:52

George Mason University Information Technology Services (ITS) and University Libraries are pleased to announce that Mason has partnered with to provide free and unlimited online training resources to Mason students, faculty, and staff.

Use to access Mason’s university-wide subscription to the entire library of more than 2,000 videos on a broad range of subjects.

Tutorials cover specific software, business skills, photography, music and video editing and production, animation, web design and development – and more. Available 24/7 from your computer, tablet or mobile device, go to and enter your Mason username and password. Log in and learn!

On Monday, August 10, the goes live on myMason. During BYTE week, ITS will offer sessions; libraries on all campuses will offer sessions August 31 – September 18. Need technical help? ITS Support Center will provide assistance.

Learn. Grow. Do.

Categories: University News

Gastronomy in the Gallery

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 16:04

From the ubiquitous red and white checks of Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book to the amazing photography found in Modernist Cuisine, cookbooks are so much more than a collection of recipes. Cookbooks provide insight into a culture, a region, a time period or a cuisine. They are timeless and completely outdated, often at the same time. And, sometimes they are not even books.

Highlighting the Mason Libraries’ unique collection of cookbooks, Gastronomy in the Gallery is a brief tour of this distinctive cultural and social art form. The resources featured in the exhibit come from the circulation collections, rare and historical items from Special Collections & Archives, and the growing artists’ books collection of the University Libraries. The exhibit runs July 13 – August 12, 2015 in Fenwick Gallery.

Categories: University News

VIVA Provides Mason with Six New Databases

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 10:17

Thanks to Mason’s membership in VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, Mason users now have access to six additional databases in the social sciences:

  • Political Science Complete
  • SocIndex with Full Text
  • Child Development & Adolescent Studies
  • Race Relations Abstracts
  • Urban Studies Abstracts
  • Violence & Abuse Abstracts

All of these new electronic resources are based on the EBSCO platform and can be accessed through the Libraries’ Database Portal and the New e-Resources page of the Libraries’ website, 

VIVA’s subscription to EconLit, formerly based on the ProQuest platform, has moved to EBSCO and is now available with full text. EconLit is also accessible through the Libraries’ Database Portal.

VIVA, located at Mason’s Arlington campus, is the consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Members include all 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (ranging from doctoral schools to community colleges), as well as 32 independent institutions and the Library of Virginia. VIVA contributes to higher education in Virginia by – among other roles – providing shared access to online library resources.

For more information about the Libraries’ electronic resources, please contact Madeline Kelly, Head, Collection Development, 703-993-2849.

Categories: University News

Johnson Center 3rd Floor Library Book Access

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 09:51

Library books located on the 3rd floor of the Johnson Center (call numbers ML-Z) are temporarily unavailable due to the roof construction work. Access to other Mason Libraries collections is not affected.

If you need the print version of a 3rd floor Johnson Center library book, use Interlibrary Loan to request it. Mason Libraries’ e-books can be located through inPrimo and the catalog. The Johnson Center roof project is expected to be completed in October.

For more information, please contact Gateway Library Service Desk, 703-993-9060, or email fencirc at

Categories: University News

Independence Day Holiday Hours

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 21:14

Mason Libraries are closed Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

On Sunday, July 5, Fenwick and Gateway Libraries are open Noon to 6pm. Mercer and Arlington Campus Libraries are closed July 5.

All libraries resume regular summer session hours on Monday, July 6.

Categories: University News

Independence Day Hours

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 14:01

Mason Libraries are closed Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. On Sunday, July 5, Fenwick and Gateway Libraries are open Noon to 6pm. Mercer and Arlington Campus Libraries are closed July 5. All libraries resume regular summer session hours on Monday, July 6.

Categories: University News


Fri, 06/26/2015 - 13:23

Mason Libraries welcomes all #Mason2019 students and families to summer orientation! Stop by and see us – and what’s in it for you!

Categories: University News

Fall Course Reserves

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 12:46

The Fenwick Library Addition is anticipated to open in late January 2016. Library materials will start to be moved into new library space by late October. This massive project will affect all areas and items in the existing Fenwick Library. Faculty should plan ahead for fall course reserve needs and place Fall Semester 2015 reserve requests now.

For more information, please contact Laura Ramos, lramos8, 703-933-3493.

Categories: University News

Exploring Suburbia

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 12:06
Suburbs are residential or mixed-use areas, either existing as outlying parts of cities or urban areas or as separate residential communities within commuting distance of a city. Suburbs first developed on a large scale in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of improved rail and road infrastructure. With the advent of the suburb, commuting took root –  traveling by a mode of transport (train, trolley, automobile, boat, etc.) to and from a place of employment. In general, suburbs have lower population densities than inner city neighborhoods, and most of their residents commute to cities. Exploring Suburbia: Housing and Transportation features materials housed in Special Collections & Archives. The exhibition looks at four areas with regard to the rise of suburbia: the effects of advances in transportation; federal government support of suburbs; standardization of construction and materials, and the backlash against the suburban model of stripping the land and building identical houses all in rows. The exhibit is now on display in Fenwick Library, Floor 2, Wing A.



Categories: University News

Increase + Multiply: SC+A Summer Exhibit

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 11:43

Now on exhibit in Special Collections + Archives, Increase + Multiply: The Story of Publishers’ Bindings traces the effects of technology on book publishing. The display is in Fenwick Library, Floor 2, Wing C, and is on exhibit through the summer.

From the time of the Roman codex until about 1830, the technique of binding continued virtually the same — a unique, handmade craft passed down through the centuries.  Then, in the 1830s, a short cut was invented.  “Casing-in” allowed covers to be made separately and only later attached to the book.  The new process meant that cover decoration could be mechanized.  The publishing business then grew to combine the old separate crafts of printing and binding to create a finished product – the book – for sale.  Through this century, books included the publishers’ branding as cloth colors, stamped designs, spine labels, and other evidence linked books to their publishers. Thus the term “publishers’ bindings” was used for this new era of book production.

Once the manufacture of covers became a separate task from binding the pages, design developments followed quickly throughout the nineteenth century. Experimental graining and embossing of cloth in the 1830s was adopted so quickly that smooth cloth book bindings are rare for many decades of the nineteenth century.  Soon to follow were blind-stamped curling ornament and small generalized vignettes in the 1840s.  The 1850s saw more generous use of gold leaf stamping, with larger, content specific vignettes.  The 1860s, at lease in Civil War torn America, brought in minimal decoration, with limited cloth graining and colors, and emblematic pictorials on book bindings. The 1870s saw the return of exuberance, with asymmetry, black ink as well as gold stamping, and Eastlake designs.  During the 1880s, new colors of ink emerged along with the use of crowded, overlapping bulletin board designs.  Lettering tended to be expressive or flowing.  By the 1890s and into the twentieth century, artist-signed –or un-signed–book bindings are often found.  Artist bindings are characterized by highly professional layout, ungrained book cloth, and a flat, poster style.  By the 1920s, printed paper book jackets – not book bindings–began to be the focus of design. The era of decorated publishers bindings came to an end.

For more information about this exhibit, contact Yvonne Carignan, ycarignan


Categories: University News

Virtual Reference Summer Hours

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 11:32

Mason LIbraries is providing its popular virtual reference service throughout the summer.  Staff are online Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find us at

Categories: University News

Mason Libraries Summer Hours

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 07:11

Summer hours for all Mason Libraries are posted. Please note exceptions for Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays.

Categories: University News