About Laura Smith


Happy Hannukah!

The Miracle of the Potato Latkes, by Malka Penn, illiustrated by Giora Carmi

Here is a page from one of the many holiday books that you can find in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. The Miracle of the Potato Latkes: A Hanukkah Story, was written in 1994 by Malka Penn and illustrated by Giora Carmi.  This page from the book is shown here courtesy of the author and illustrator.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope everyone enjoys a delicious Thanksgiving!

Illustration from Uncle Wigglily's HolidaysIllustration by Lang Campbell in Uncle Wiggily’s Holidays or How Uncle Wiggily Had a Turkey for Thanksgiving and How He Delivered the Christmas Presents and How He Baked the New Year’s Cake, by Howard R. Garis, published in 1920.


Veteran’s Day, UConn style

Veteran's barracks, 1946

More than 2000 UConn alumni served in World War II; 114 of them lost their lives in the conflict. After the war the Veteran’s Administration requested that the university accept between 3000 and 4000 returning soldiers as students. In 1946 the campus had 792 veterans enrolled as students (11 of them were women) with another 300 at the Hartford and Waterbury extension campuses and 154 are enrolled in the Law, Insurance and Pharmacy schools. Eleven temporary barracks, nicknamed “Siberia” because of their distance from the main campus, were built on “the site of the former agronomy plots bordering the main road to Willimantic.” This site is now the Fine Arts Complex and E.O. Smith High School.  As more veterans were accepted to UConn more housing was built or found in nearby Willimantic.

More information about the expansion of the campus for returning World War II veterans can be found in the UConn Chronology at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/collections/chronology/index.cfm and photographs of scenes such as the one above, of “Agronomy Field” can be found on the Digital Repository.

Bill Clinton back on campus to accept the Dodd Prize

President Bill Clinton came to the University of Connecticut in 1995 to dedicate the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. He returns today, exactly twenty years later, to receive the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, along with the international Human Rights Education organization Tostan.  We’re delighted to welcome him back to UConn!  Here he is at the ceremony on October 15, 1995.

Bill Clinton at the dedication of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, October 15, 1995

Bill Clinton at the dedication of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, October 15, 1995

Puppets in the reference room!

Puppet exhibit

In support of the National Puppetry Festival, we have joined other exhibition venues on campus to show off puppet related materials in our collection.  In the reference room you’ll see books describing how to make puppets of all kinds and the theaters and plays to go with them as well as hand puppets from the Phyllis Hirsch Boyson Artifact Collection.  The show will be up through August 31.

For more information about the National Puppetry Festival visit http://www.nationalpuppetryfestival2015.com/

You can view the puppet exhibit during the hours that our reference room is open: Monday through Friday, 9a.m. to 4p.m.

Puppet exhibit

“The most important value of the practice of puppetry for a child is his introduction to the world of art.  In his work, a puppeteer creates and uses many forms of art: he writes, he designs sets, he sculptures his puppets, he costumes them, he uses carpentry techniques to build sets and props, he uses artists’ techniques to color his backgrounds.  The puppeteer also becomes a producer, an actor, and a director; perhaps a singer, a musician, or even a lighting director or stage manager.  On top of all this, the puppeteer must be skillful with his hands; he must be a manipulator of puppets.

The study of puppetry is not just a hobby; it is a most enjoyable initiation to the world of fine arts.”

Sir George’s Book of Hand Puppetry, George Creegan, 1966

New categories in our Digital Repository!

We’re always looking to improve our new digital repository, either by adding content at a crazy fast pace, or improving the look and design of the pages.  Our latest change is to group the collections by overall topics, to help direct researchers to the main areas under which they are likely to search.  The categories are:

Activism, and include such interesting items as the charter for the International Military Tribunal which led to the Nuremberg Trials to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II, in the Thomas J. Dodd Papers.

Business and Industry, with items such as this employment card for a worker at the Cheney Brothers Silk Manufacturing Company in Manchester, Connecticut.

Cheney Brothers Silk Manufacturing Company employment card

Connecticut History, which includes photographs such as this one from the Ona M. Wilcox College of Nursing Records, of children in the pediatric ward of Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut.

Pediatric Ward at Middlesex Hospital

International Culture and Political Movements, which includes many Spanish language items such as this about the Cazadores de Balmaceda Battalion, in the Valeriano Weyler Papers.

Cazadores de Balmaceda Battalion in the Valeriano Weyler Papers

Literary and Artistic Expression has many collections that show the range of human creativity, with such fascinating research items as this photo of Gregg Won in a series of scrapbooks from the Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection.

Gregg Won in the Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection

Political Collections hold many different types of materials documenting the lives of Connecticut political figures, including this video recording from the papers of Bruce Morrison, who ran for the office of Governor of the state of Connecticut in 1990.

Bruce Morrison

University of Connecticut History includes a vast array of materials chronicling UConn’s history from its formation in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School to its current status as one of the highest regarded state universities in the United States. This photograph shows an alumni day parade in 1941.

Alumni Day, 1941

There will be some cross-over among the categories; for example, the Thomas J. Dodd Papers can be found in the categories of Activism as well as Political Collections.

You can also browse the materials by types of media right from the front page.  Options include printed books; manuscripts, pamphlets, periodicals; maps; photographs; audio recordings; and video recordings.

Let us know what you think of these improvements and keep checking for more on the way!