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The YMCA Buffalo Niagara records, pt. 1

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Meeting minutes of the Railroad Department’s Management Committee, YMCA Buffalo Niagara, December 1899

 

by Matthew Oliver, UB DLIS graduate student

Who can say for sure what this Ebenezer fellow was thinking as he wrote this unique and puzzling passage, concluding the Railroad Department’s Management Committee meeting minutes in December 1899. What is clear though is his message on the passage of time and the emergence of a new era, and whether eager or hesitant he reveals a rather solid understanding of the importance of leaving behind a record. What is to become of the speeches and deeds of peoples long gone, or yet to go? Are they to be remembered or simply fade from memory?

Enter the archivist, stage left. I am of like mind with Mr. Ebenezer, for I have been fortunate to have been endowed with that very same respect and understanding for the need to preserve history, no matter how provided or by whom. As an archivist-in-training I was afforded the opportunity to partake in the reorganization of the YMCA Buffalo Niagara Records, housed in the University Archives of the University at Buffalo. Since February the responsibilities associated with this project have been many, diverse, exceptionally educational, and wonderfully exciting. Upon initiation, I was tasked with adding three boxes of new materials into the pre-existing collection.  These accessions included records of various forms, from 19th century minutes books to photographs to banners and even a baseball cap. After completion of the initial survey I was instructed in how to create enclosures for those records (in this case mostly bound books) that were quite fragile and in need of extra protection. Similarly, loose photographs found throughout the collection were in need of proper housing as well, providing each with archival polyester casing. While there was a considerable amount of work involved, the appropriate housing is essential for the continued preservation of the records, else the very purpose of an archive is for naught. New materials necessitated new folders and/or boxes with appropriate labeling, which in turn required a relabeling of previous materials, if needed, to reflect new locations or dates, etc. I’d be hard pressed to say that every day spent on this stage of the project was not intellectually stimulating and most enjoyable. It is not every day that an individual has the ability or capacity to see and touch moments that comprise a historical record, and I believe I was provided with a great opportunity to be involved in the project. The process described above, the incorporation, is only half of the story however.  The technical organization of the materials for research purposes is just as imperative a task, and one to be described shortly in a follow-up blog post.

*This post is part of an occasional series written by University Archives graduate assistants and practicum students.  To prepare students for careers in Special Collections, our graduate assistants survey, process, and describe archival collections, digitize items for online use, and provide reference service to patrons.  These posts allow our students to share their experience and impressions of working with primary source material in the Archives.

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Stress Relief Days at the Health Sciences Library (South Campus)

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stress-dogs

UB students can take a break and relax between end-of-semester study sessions during Stress Relief Days on South Campus. We’ll have therapy dogs to meet and pet, free coffee and snacks, and soothing music in the Health Sciences Library.


Health Sciences Library

Room B-15, lower level

  • Monday, May 4th, 11am – 2pm
  • Tuesday, May 5th, 11am – 2pm
  • Wednesday, May 6th, 11am – 2pm
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Stress Relief Days in the UB Libraries

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stress-dogsComing soon! 

Therapy dogs, snacks, games, and music will be returning to the Health Sciences Library and Lockwood Library during Spring 2015 Stress Relief Days. This semester, we’ll be offering two locations and two different dates. Hope you’ll join us!

 

May 4, 5 & 6:   Health Sciences Library – Room B-15, Lower level

  • Monday, May 4th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 5th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

May 11, 12 & 13:  Lockwood Memorial Library – Staff Lounge, Basement

  • Monday, May 11th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 12th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 13th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

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2015 UB Student Writing Awards

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 UB Student Writing Awards! A reception honoring undergraduate and graduate student award winners took place April 15, 2015 in Special Collections, 420 Capen Hall, North Campus.

poetry-winners-2015

The Friends of the University Libraries Undergraduate Poetry Prize

Alex Hunt


The Academy of American Poets Prize

Max Crinnin
Honorable Mention: Alison Fraser


The Dan Liberthson Poetry Prize Graduate Student Prize

Kristina Marie Darling


Undergraduate Prize for Library-Supported Research

Jack Ding


The Arthur Axlerod Memorial Award

Edward Spangenthal and Sarah Grimaldi
Honorable Mentions: Cathryn Piersa, Corey Klino, Alex Hunt, Angelina Bruno, Cassandra Norris


The Scribblers Prize

Amanda Kelley
Honorable Mention: Cathryn Piersa


The Albert Cook, Mac Hammond and John Logan Prize

Emily Anderson, Satya S. Gundu, Amanda McLaughlin
Honorable Mentions: Conor Patrick Clarke, Kristina Marie Darling, Alex Hunt


The English Department Essay Contest

Alex Hunt
Honorable Mention: Edward Spangenthal


The Joyce Carol Oates Fiction Prize

Emily Anderson
Honorable Mentions: Veronica Wendy and Monica Lippens


The English Department Prize in Creative Non-Fiction

Rebecca Tong
Honorable Mention: Angelina Bruno


The George Knight Houpt Prize

Alex Hunt


Composition Program’s Student Prizes

Courtney Santasero
Honorable Mentions: Joon Seo Youk and Miranda Scamacca


Composition Program’s Syllabus Prizes

Shosuke Kinugawa
Honorable Mention: Nicholas Frangipane

 

Judges: Marie Elia, Carrie Bramen, Andrew Stott, Micahel Basinski, David Schmid, Steve McCaffery, Judith Goldman, Christina Milletti, Nicholas Frangipane, Dustin Parrot, Fremio Sepulveda, Kate Caccavaio, Cheryl Emerson, Cindi Tysick, Joshua Flaccavento, Dimitri Anastasopoulos, Edric Mesmer, Karen Mac Cormack, and Jang Wook Huh

Thank you to Randy Schiff, Nicole Lazaro, Doug Basford, Denise Wolfe, Marie Elia, Cindi Tysick, and Linda Gould for all their help with the writing awards. A special thanks to H. Austin Booth, Vice Provost for University Libraries, for her continuing support of the University Libraries Poetry Prizes. Reception sponsored by the University Libraries.

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University Libraries Proposed Cancellations

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The University Libraries have identified the following subscriptions (journals, serials, databases) for potential cancellation, effective January 2016:

List of Cancellations (HTML)

These cancellations are made necessary by the rising costs of scholarly information (journals, books, and databases) and by the need to cull lesser-used materials in order to buy new items that are in high demand.

Some full-text content will still be available, however, via third-party (database) providers. Please see our list of electronic journals to check the availability of any particular title.

We are also confident that our Delivery+ program and purchase-on-demand operations will allow us to provide material quickly when you need something we do not own.

The University Libraries uses a variety of factors to identify cancellations, including use, cost and impact.

We welcome your feedback. To ensure that your feedback is factored into decision-making, please email me directly using the address below by May 8, 2015.

On behalf of the University Libraries, I would like to thank you for your continuing support and understanding.

H. Austin Booth
Vice Provost for University Libraries
vpul@buffalo.edu

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