Archive for March, 2008

Digital, Virtual, Irish

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008


Last week I was flying to a state consortial meeting–a puddle-jumper kind of flight–no more than an hour or so. Perfect time to break out the new Kindle and do some reading. One of the books I bought for the Kindle was Ulysses. I got it for next to nothing. How is it I managed to get two degrees in English, studying primarily the authors of high modernism, without having read Ulysses? A puzzle indeed. But the Kindle to the rescue. (more…)

The LES Bibliography and You

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

One of the tasks of the Publications Committee is to maintain the bibliography of Studies of Interest for Literatures in English Librarians. Currently the bibliography “resides” at the Central Michigan University Libraries and is cared for by Publications members Aparna Zambare and Michaelyn Burnette.

According to Michaelyn, “This bibliography was started by an LES member some years ago as a way of drawing together journals and books of interest to our section; its origin pre-dated many of the widely available resources which ease the strains of research.” Currently it includes several hundred items in four categories: English in Higher Education; Reference, Research and Instruction; Technical Services; and Collections.

As we consider how best to update this list and make it available to LES members, we thought perhaps it would be best to take an informal poll first. Do you use (or have you ever used) the bibliography? Are the kinds of items listed “of interest for Literatures in English librarians?” Does it foster research being done by LES members? Are there categories we could add or delete from the list? If you have opinions or experiences of the usefulness of this resource, leave us a comment! Your feedback will be valuable in helping us re-shape the professional bibliography for the 21st century.

Getting Up to Speed

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I’ve been thumbing my way through a couple different volumes in the Oxford “Very Short Introduction” series. (I only thumb these days, no actual reading!) They are quite attractive and useful works. We’ve bought quite a few volumes in the series. In fact, our head of reference has been keen for us to get the entire series. I’m not sure they warrant that much devotion, but it does strike me that they are a pretty good resource for librarians to learn more about literary genres and critical practices that they may not be familiar with. Brief, [fairly] authoritative, entertaining. Increase your reference skills and your collection development acumen at the same time. I am also a fan of Routledge’s “New Critical Idiom” series. I am less familiar with “Edinburgh Critical Guides,” but they look pretty good too.

PostmodernismOxford Very Short Introductions

ModernismRoutledge New Critical Idiom

GothicEdinburgh Critical Guides

Review of C19

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

About Timothy Hackman

Librarian for English & Linguistics, University of Maryland Libraries. Member of LES since 2006.

By hook or by crook, I convinced the other humanities selectors at Hopkins that purchasing access to ProQuest’s C19 Index was an imperative. And it was. The academic strength of Hopkins’ English faculty lies in the period from the 1750 to 1920, although that is shifting with a few new hires, and I am fielding an increasing array of questions from graduate students interested in online resources from the long nineteenth century.

C19 Index
certainly does that job and does it well. ProQuest calls C19 “the bibliographic spine of 19th century research, providing integrated access to the most important finding aids for books, periodicals, official publications, newspapers and archives.” Users of C19 Index can simultaneously query the Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue, Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, and The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, and others. Certainly, my patrons are appreciating improved access to these resources, in one, easy to navigate location. And they no longer have to use that notoriously clunky Nineteenth Century Masterfile.