Archives & Special Collections acquired a collection of zines for use in research, teaching, and learning activities across campus and in the community. Zines (rhymes with “beans”) are low-barrier, low-budget, photocopied publications in which authors are in full control of the entire process of creating a publication, from writing and layout to printing and distribution. Zines are made for the purpose of sharing information, and have often been used by historically marginalized or underrepresented subcultures and social movements to build communities where people can connect and communicate with one another. In times of strife and conflict, zines offer a cathartic art form to create and share stories of lived experiences and play a large role in communication for members of social and political movements.
The zine collections in Archives & Special Collections contextualize and complement resources available at the UConn Library, including zine-making kits in the Library’s Maker Studio and publications available in the circulating collections for learning about and making zines.
Here are a few resources to get you thinking about making your own Zines
On a cold day in February we had the pleasure of meeting Robert Lougee, Jr. regarding a collection he and his sister, Lorraine Lougee, were donating to the Library. As we watched the snow fall, we learned not just about the importance of the book collection prized by Dr. Robert Lougee (May 4, 1919- July 6, 2019) and his interest in making sure they were made available to those who might benefit from them, but also insight into his personal and professional legacy.
It was clear from the start of the conversation that the family has a deep love and respect for Robert. We learned of his service to the country including as an artillery officer (First Lieutenant) in Europe during World War II which sent him to the Battle of the Bulge, his love for his wife Grace and their nearly 77 years of marriage, his ability to read five languages, his respect of the beauty of nature, and the family vacations they all treasured together in New Hampshire.
Professionally speaking, Dr. Lougee’s career at UConn began in 1949 when he moved his young family to Storrs, joining the faculty as an instructor in the History Department. Lougee thrived in the academic environment and in turn provided UConn with invaluable expertise and leadership for 35 years, including serving as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1971-1974), University Senate President, head of the History Department, and countless committees including his part in the selection of President Glenn W. Fergueson (1973-1978). In an article from the Connecticut Daily Campus on October 3, 1973, President Fergueson is quoted as saying he accepted Lougee’s resignation as dean “most reluctantly, and only after many efforts to persuade him to continue.” When he retired from UConn in 1984, Lougee received dozens of letters of appreciation from his colleagues across campus and his profession, including one from our own library director Norman D. Stevens.
Beyond the formal titles and roles, perhaps most important is what Dr. Lougee gave back to the University through the humanity he brought to students and colleagues alike. It was not out of the question for him to bring home a sobbing student for lunch to help cheer them up or counsel foreign students who were struggling with the English language. During a conversation with Nora Stevens shortly after ours with Robert, she painted a picture of a different time at the University. Where faculty gathered as friends, enjoying luncheons and activities together. She fondly remembered the Lougees’ and their part in making UConn faculty, students, and staff feel like family. In fact, UConn was so much a part of the Lougee family, their dog Peter would follow him to his office and even showed up in the middle of one of his western civilization classes. Robert and Lorraine would agree, their father made a greater contribution because of the way he lived his life, treating everyone with a genuine sense of respect and dignity.
After serving as an administrator, Dr. Lougee returned to his first love – teaching students and being a student and scholar himself. Dr. Lougee’s research passion was for modern European, German, and social history which is what built up the substantial collection of books. After his death at the age of 100, Robert, Jr. and Lorraine felt they could continue the legacy that was so important to him by generously donating over 1,600 books to the UConn Library. The collection was built through his academic research and leisure reading, including works in foreign languages, and in many of them you can find handwritten notes and marginalia, providing unique historical context valuable to researchers and book lovers. [You can learn more aboutBook Traces, a project we are involved in with the University of Virginia to document these types of communications.]
“I have personally looked through each book in the collection and am excited that students, faculty, and researchers will have the opportunity to use such a deep collection of primary research materials spanning World War I and World War II. Professor Lougee was building his collection in the same fashion we were, and it is full of top notch research titles for an incredible addition to UConn’s resources,” notes Dave Avery, our subject specialist to the History Department.
More than 300 books were permanently added to the collection and the remainder were donated to Better World Books, an organization that also believes in the power of knowledge and the desire to share it with those in need.
As I write this months after our meeting and months into working from home, I am reminded of how important it is to hear the stories of the people behind the donations. Over a cup of coffee, we learned so much more than Dr. Lougee’s collection of books but also the person he was. And when Robert pulled out the collection of typed, hand signed, and weathered letters sent for Dr. Lougee’s retirement, you can imagine that our University Archivist Betsy Pittman was like a kid in a candy store. They don’t just represent the gratefulness of Dr. Lougee’s colleagues, but also a reminder of the beauty found in a handwritten letter, a kind of communication that we rarely see these days. We also spoke to him about our CT Soldiers Collection which documents the experiences of Connecticut servicemen from the Civil War through the Vietnam War, and how his collection of written letters home while serving in the war would be an opportunity for researchers to see the kind of person he was during a difficult time in our country.
“We are so pleased Robert and Lorraine chose to give back to UConn and its research through the Library,” said Dean Anne Langley. “The book collection will greatly benefit the general collections, and just as important, it opened up an opportunity to talk about how some of his other materials could continue to share with others the kind of person he was while benefiting researchers in Archives & Special Collections.”
There has been a delay in the processing of those books due to our temporary exit from the Homer Babbidge Library in March, and we expect the books will be made available through our catalog in 2021. For more information about the collection, please contact Dave Avery.
Book Traces is a national project led by the University of Virginia to discover and document handwritten inscriptions, marginalia, and other readerly markings in old library books. Last year we were interested in knowing if our older collections in the stacks contained interesting marginalia and we discovered some remarkable stories about the books, their readers/owners, and the library that holds them.
We randomly selected 2,000 UConn Library books published before 1925. We wanted books only with historical annotations – no highlighting or fresh marks! Once our student employee Vanessa Garcia located the book on the shelf, she paged through it and snapped photos of any noteworthy markings using a library-supplied iPad. All the photos were uploaded to booktraces.org, which features crowdsourced images of over 3,100 marked-up old library books.
What did we find?
Some 12% of the 2,000 books in our sample contained markings. Approximately 1.5% revealed what University of Virginia scholars call “notable interventions.” Supplemented by genealogical research, these markings give real insight into past readers and owners and enables us to trace the genealogy of library books. Like many universities, UConn Library’s early collections were built largely through gifts of previously owned books. Thus, our findings also give insight into UConn’s history and the growth of UConn’s library.
Glued-in Letter from 1846
UConn’s copy of Chronicle of Calais in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIIIwas a gift—a peace offering—from prominent English printer John Gough Nichols in 1846. “I have always regretted your secession from the Camden Society,” wrote Nichols, “until now that it gives me the excuse for requesting your acceptance of a copy of the book I have just edited.” Nichols’ letter is glued onto the book’s flyleaf. The unknown addressee must have quit the Camden Society, founded by Nichols in 1838, after a dispute. He or his heirs presumably regifted Nichols’ book to UConn.
Reader Engagement with Poetry
In Hospital, a collection of poems by William Ernest Henley published in 1908, includes a poem called “Children: Private Ward,” on whose page is the annotation “see page 41, R. L. S.” On page 41, the owner of the book had copied in longhand a published letter by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island. Like Henley’s poem, Stevenson’s letter alludes to children in sickbed. The book’s owner evidently felt it was very important to read poem and letter together. He or she may have felt a deep personal connection to the theme of children suffering from illness.
Notes of a Solo Woman Traveler
Italien Handbuch für Reisende is a Baedeker’s German-language travel guide to Italy. Published in 1902, it is filled with miniscule, penciled English reading notes on Italian art and geography. The flyleaf shows an ownership inscription in the name of Ida Prescott Clough, with an address of Friedrichstraße 124 in Berlin, Germany, and a sketch captioned “Shape of Doge’s cap.” This refers to the distinctive hat worn as a mark of office by the Venetian doge, or leader.
Research reveals that the book’s owner, Ida Prescott Clough (1875–1959) was a Bostonian and Radcliffe College alumna. In 1902, she lived and traveled in Europe, where she likely acquired this German guidebook, in which she jotted countless observations and sketches. Miss Clough journeyed solo in an era when society frowned on young women traveling unaccompanied. Later in life, she taught at Miss Porter’s School for Girls in Farmington, Connecticut.
Pressed Clover and Gift Inscription
Verse(1862) is a book of poetry by Henry Webster Parker, a native of Danbury, Connecticut, who served as pastor of the North Congregational Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This volume’s flyleaf shows the gift inscription: “Presented to Mrs. Elizabeth Mayhew on her ninety-second birthday, with the friendly regards of H. W. Parker. New Bedford, June 26, 1862.” Mrs. Mayhew could have been one of Parker’s parishioners. On page 103 is a very different marking: a delicate clover pressed between the pages by an unknown reader, who perhaps felt inspired by Parker’s poem “More Light.” These verses call for reason to triumph over false beliefs.
How You Can Participate 1. Explore other examples of marginalia and readerly markings on booktraces.org. In the dropdown menu “Browse by Institution,” select “University of Connecticut.”
2. Post your own photographs of markings in old library books.
Since January we have had the opportunity to welcome new staff to the UConn Library and wished others well as they moved on to other positions or retirements. (Information is for the time period of July 1, 2019-September 30, 2020.)
We chatted with Dean Anne Langley and asked her a few questions so you can get to know her better.
How did you get into libraries? I worked as a student assistant in a Library as an undergraduate and watched librarians and the role they played in academia and saw myself being a part of that.
What do you love most about working in a library? Having access to all the information I could possibly want.
Why was it important to you that having fun be a part of the values for the Library? People are more productive and creative when they are having fun and in order to solve the challenges facing academia and libraries we have to be productive and creative.
What are you working on now that you want us to know about? UConn has a new Provost and we have been working together on several initiatives including finding new models for accessing information, particularly journals. Since UConn also has a new President, we are working together to ensure that we incorporate their goals into building the right library for UConn.
In the midst of the pandemic, what do you do to take your mind off the crazy things happening in the world right now? I am slightly addicted to BTS (the Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, is a seven-member South Korean boy band) and painting in my art studio.
What is a positive that has come from this pandemic? Realizing how amazing our staff is under pressure and how they have stepped up in their game to support research and teaching at UConn.
What’s your most used emoji? Thumbs up.
What was your first job? Short-order cook at a local diner.
Do you have a crazy library story to share? In my first professional library position I got in trouble for having too much fun date stamping the journals and organizing chair races.
What’s your go-to productivity trick? Using brightly colored pens and paper.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on? Dismantling racism.
Do you have a hidden talent? Patience.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Finding something good about anything.
Using activism and social justice collections in Archives & Special Collections.
“These issues are no different than those faced today, which I think highlights the idea that progress is a sustained organizing action and students need to see what has worked in the past and some things that haven’t.” – Graham Stinnett, Archivist
This fall UConn offered a new course designed to introduce students to the foundational history of systemic and anti-Black racism in the U.S. that underlies the current movement. The free course, titled U.S. Anti-Black Racism is coordinated by a team of three faculty of color at UConn through a series of online modules with topics including the history and concepts of systemic and institutionalized anti-Black racism, Black resilience and resistance, and intersectional solidarity.
One of those modules, Anti-Blackness on the College Campus, will highlight the Alternative Press Collections held in Archives & Special Collections. The module explores the Black student sit-in of April 22-24, 1974 at the University of Connecticut’s Wilbur Cross Library. Using historical documents and photographs, archivist Graham Stinnett contextualizes and explores the recorded past to demonstrate the impact students of color have had in anti-racist activism at UConn. A video created specifically for the class has been released as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Archives & Special Collections as well as some other resources including photos and an interview with former library director Norman Stevens.
It’s with great sadness we share the news of the passing of Vice Provost Emeritus Brinley Franklin. When Brinley began his career at UConn in 1990, the Homer Babbidge Library was precariously wrapped in plastic but over the course of his 23 years he led us through a transformational time in academic libraries by fostering innovation and collaboration. Often quiet and contemplative, he had a thirst for knowledge and a smile that was infectious. A numbers guy at heart, none of the spreadsheets or his trusty mechanical pencil as described by the memorial his family shared below, were ever more important to him than the people that worked for him.
Brinley R. Franklin (b. December 19, 1950 Washington DC- d.
March 5, 2020, Bristol, RI) 69, passed peacefully on Wednesday, March 5, 2020,
at his home in Bristol, RI surrounded by his wife and children.
Brinley, known as Brin to his friends and family, was a
devoted husband, father, and friend whose love for music, modern art, and
travel poured into everything he did. A research librarian to his core, he
spent his life in a constant state of awe about all that the world had to
offer. He looked ahead and welcomed new people and ideas with fascination. He
traveled extensively, spending time on every continent except Antarctica. He
was never not listening to music and found great pleasure in attending rock
concerts near and far and in collecting albums and photographs of rock
musicians. He also attended countless sporting events from college basketball
to the U.S. Open. Brin loved a competitive tennis match with his buddies and
was always trying to improve his game. He was an active member of the yoga
community in Bristol and he believed fiercely in the power of meditation and
thought. He was inspired by nature and in his last year led a collaboration of neighbors
to rejuvenate the Japanese Garden in the historic North Farm Arboretum. And
let’s not get started on his passion for Dylan, popular culture and his ability
to subtly look great in Italian fashion.
Brinley’s professional career began in Washington DC, where
he was a Corporate Librarian and Senior Consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers
and KPMG. Brinley went on to become Associate Director, Director, Vice Provost,
and Vice Provost Emeritus of the University of Connecticut Libraries in Storrs,
CT where he spent over two decades leading the transformation of the libraries
and research centers from traditional to digital institutions. He sat on the
Dean’s Council at UConn and assumed other university-wide administrative roles.
In addition to his work at the University of Connecticut
Libraries, Brinley served as President and Committee Chair for the Association
of Research Libraries and served as President of the Boston Library Consortium.
He was globally recognized and renowned as a leader in library institutions,
where he was known for his calm and analytical approach to both professional
issues and especially to leadership. He built his considerable professional
reputation on his meticulous approach to managing library data systems, while
in leadership and professional matters, Brinley was always as sharp as the lead
in the mechanical pencil that was his constant companion.
Brinley was the founder and Principal for Library Management
Consulting, LLC and the primary consultant in the U.S. for assisting colleges
and universities with the optimization of overhead cost recovery related to
library expenses that support sponsored grants and contracts. The methodology
Brinley developed, and perfected over the years in collaboration with other
colleagues, provided higher education institutions with the data necessary to
negotiate the library component of the indirect cost rate in accordance with
federal regulations. In 2019, Library Management Consulting was acquired by
Attain, a leading management, technology, and strategy consulting firm based in
Brinley was the son of Joachim Frankenstein (later John
Franklin) and Susi Ehrenberg (Mrs. John Franklin) who emigrated to the United
States from Germany in the early 1940s to escape Nazi persecution. Brinley
began his formal education at the University of Maryland at College Park, where
he earned his BA in American Studies and MLS in Library and Information
Sciences. He took a brief educational hiatus to live in Vermont before he went
on to acquire an MBA from George Washington University.
Those who were close to him will tell you the most important
part of Brinley’s character, and maybe the most subtle, is that he looked out
for you, in many small but important ways, and in a style that made what he did
almost invisible. If you were close to him you just knew that he thought about
you and tried to make your life better. He did things for you without your
asking and he told you what you needed to hear, in a way that you heard it,
without rancor, when you needed to hear it … a rare gift. His honesty was
exceptional; you didn’t ask him a question if you didn’t want a direct answer.
Brinley is survived by his wife Raynna Bowlby; his children,
Marga and Woody Franklin and Drew Genetti and his wife Erin; his grandchildren
Hayden, Avery, and Finley Genetti; his sister, Carol Stinson and her husband
Joel; his nephew, Kurt Stinson and his wife Jeanne; his grandnephew and
grandniece Mack and Ketty Stinson; and lastly his best friend and goldendoodle,
A celebration of his life will be held at the Japanese
Garden and Arboretum in the Spring near Brinley and Raynna’s home in North
Farm, Bristol RI.