Category Archives: General

Meet at NCSU Special Collections 12/5 and 12/7

I’ve arranged for us to meet and be spoken to in our own Special Collections next week. Todd Kosmerick, University Archivist, has kindly agreed to tell us about how to find materials in Special Collections around the nation and here in our own library.

Special Collections is VERY HARD to find right now because of the construction; believe it or not, you have to go up to the SECOND floor of the East Wing of D. H. Hill and THEN take the stairs or elevator down to the GROUND floor, because you can’t get to the correct part of the ground floor from the first floor right now. Here are directions.

Leave plenty of time to get to Special Collections promptly at 4:30, because we’ve only got half an hour there. At 5pm we’ll go back up to the second floor to the ITTC lab (where we had the class on reference books) to finish out the class session and do course evaluations.

Thanks.

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Bibliography resources

20th-Century American Bestsellers — database with detailed descriptive bibliographies of many 20th-century American bestsellers (created by students).

Screencast by Jon Udell of changes in a Wikipedia entry — graphically makes the point that an “edition” in the online world may be a concept whose time has went.

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Special Collections UNC trip canceled

It definitely looks as though we’ll need to cancel the trip up to UNC for Tuesday, at least, and probably Thursday as well. Ah, well. I’ll see about taking us over to Special Collections and/or getting a guest speaker from Special Collections right here on our own campus instead — if not, I’ll give you my own spiel on Special Collections and archival research.

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Annotated Bibliography assignment

Here are some answers to some questions about the annotated bibliography assignment. Remember that what I’m looking for is an annotated bibliography of the 20 best sources for you related to your research topic.

  • Can we include our weekly assignments in the bibliography?
    Yes.
  • Do we have to revise them?
    No, not unless they need it.
  • Does the annotated bibliography need to be mechanically clean and relatively formal?
    Yes, though you can certainly use the first person.
  • Do we have to include all the weekly assignments?
    No, and a couple of them (e.g., Library of Congress Subject Headings) aren’t really appropriate for an annotated bibliography.
  • Can I include just journal articles and books in the bibliography?
    Yes, if those are among the 20 best sources of information for you.
  • Can I include websites, blogs, listservs, book reviews, and whole journals in the annotated bibliography?
    Yes, if those are among the 20 best sources of information for you.
  • How long should the annotations be?
    The annotation (which should summarize and evaluate the source) should be about 1 or 2 ORIGINAL paragraphs.
  • What citation style should the bibliography use?
    Any accepted scholarly citation style (MLA, Chicago, APA, or other). If you’re using something besides MLA, Chicago, or APA, please indicate which style you’re using.
  • When and how is it due?
    Please e-mail it to me at amanda_french@ncsu.edu on Tuesday, December 12 as an attached MS Word, Open Office, or WordPerfect document.

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UNC Manuscripts trip 12/5 and 12/7

I’ve arranged a “field trip” for us up to UNC’s Manuscripts Department for Tuesday December 5 and Thursday December 7. (No permissions slips necessary in grad school!) The sessions are due to start promptly at 5pm, so you will have a little lag time to get there. Sessions will end about 5:45pm.

I won’t be requiring attendance for this class, but I do strongly urge you to brave the rush hour traffic to attend. There’ll be a little oohing and ahhing and showing and telling, and that’s always fun, but we’ll also talk about the whys and hows of doing archival research.

Think about this: The recent (last 30 years) trend in literary scholarship has been towards the theoretical, yet one of the things the internet does best is to create wider access to, and, consequently, greater interest in, primary sources. I’d contend that the discovery, editing, and interpretation of archival material is easier than it has ever been and will soon (say, in the next 20 years) surpass “doing theory” as the most important work in literary study. At the very least, some print editions of letters and manuscripts will need to be rebuilt from scratch as electronic editions.

Please comment on this post and let me know whether you’ll come to one of these classes, and if so, to which one. Please also use the comments section to this post to arrange carpools; I understand there’s also a bus that goes up there, and that might be convenient, too. If you have information about that, please post it here in the comments.

The UNC MSS department is located on the 4th floor of Wilson library; detailed driving directions from Raleigh are here. As these directions state, the best place to park is in the Visitors’ Parking lot on the right side of Raleigh Rd./54 soon after the intersection of Raleigh Rd. and Greenwood Rd.

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Guest speaker next week

Greg Raschke, Associate Director for Collections and Scholarly Communication Administration at NCSU Libraries, will be our guest speaker next week on the crisis in scholarly communication. Unfortunately, I won’t be here Tuesday, because I’m flying up to New York to see my mother, who’s just been hospitalized for heart problems. Greg will conduct class alone on Tuesday, but I’ll be back in time for Thursday’s class.

Please attend class as usual next week, and watch the blog for the next assignment. Thanks.

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Reference works addendum

I wanted to remind you that reference works are by no means limited to dictionaries and encylopedias: bibliographies, directories, atlases, and all manner of handbooks count, too. And to find a reference database that might be useful for you, you might want to spend a good bit of time browsing through that A-Z list to dig up untold treasures. I also don’t mind if you ask Cindy for advice on this or any other assignment! Though please do give it a shot yourself first.

Have a good fall break.

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