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Penrose Library Blog

Washington State Park Free Day, March 19

by Amy Blau  Mar 10 17

If your spring break plans include outdoor recreation, know that on Sunday March 19, Washington State Parks offer a free day when a Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park, in honor of the 104th birthday of the State Parks. The subsequent two free days are Saturday, April 15 (Spring Day), and Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day).

While the Washington State Parks website will provide the most up-to-date information on recreation opportunities in the state parks, you can consult guidebooks in Penrose Library or read up on the history of Northwest State Parks online (sign in with your Whitman ID). You can also explore opportunities in Oregon State Parks , the National Forests, and the National Parks.

Great Falls on the Palouse River from summit of Cliffs on right bank, by James Madison Alden. Part of the series Landscape Views of the Area Along the Northwest Boundary, 1857 – 1862. National Archives. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/305504 There are no known restrictions on the use of this image.

How do I … find the Library FAQ?

by Amy Blau  Mar 6 17

You can find answers to questions about how to find or use library resources, or about library policies and library hours, on dedicated information pages and in the Penrose Library knowledge base. This collection of frequently asked questions lets you search by question, topic, or keyword. If your question is not already there, you can send it along to the librarians at Penrose Library.

To find the FAQ, click on the How do I option from the navigation menu (1) and choose the FAQ (2).

The knowledge base interface lets you enter your question in the search box or browse questions by topic. As you type your question, you will see suggested questions that you can choose from. If you choose a topic, all related questions will be displayed.

If you don’t see the information you’re looking for, click on the “Submit your question” button and ask us!

Richard Bogle and America Waldo Bogle

by Amy Blau  Feb 21 17

Among the photographs in the Walla Walla Photographs Collection in ARMINDA, the Whitman College Institutional Repository, is this image of the Bogle family of Walla Walla. Richard Bogle, born in 1835 in the West Indies, married America Waldo in Salem, Oregon in 1863. Bogle was the first black businessman in Walla Walla; he owned a well-regarded barbershop on Main Street, was successful as a rancher, and was one of the founders of the Walla Walla Building and Loan Association. He and his wife lived in Walla Walla from 1863 until their deaths, hers in 1903, his in 1904.

Pictured are the couple and their five surviving children. From left to right: at knee of Richard Bogle (seated), Waldo Bogle; standing at his left, Arthur Warren Bogle; to his immediate right, Belle Bogle; his wife, America Waldo Bogle; Katherine Bogle; Warren Richard Bogle.

Selected sources for further reading on the Bogle family, their descendants, and the diverse history of Walla Walla and the region:

Lyman, William Denison. An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County, State of Washington. San Francisco: W.H. Lever, 1901. (see especially pp. 242-245 and 345-6)

Mangun, Kimberly. “Kathryn Hall Bogle (1906-2003).” The Oregon Encyclopedia.

McLagan, Elizabeth. A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940. Portland, OR: The Georgian Press, 1980.

Oliver, Egbert S. “Obed Dickerson and the ‘Negro Question’ in Salem.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 91.1 (1991): 4-40. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20614359

Thanks to Owen Crabtree for his research on the Bogles.

Learning and Fun with Puzzles

by Amy Blau  Jan 27 17

“The Six Best Sellers,” Ruth Eastman, Front page for Judge, vol. 88, no. 2254. From the New York Public Library Digital Collections: http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/1aaa2fd0-1f90-0134-9154-00505686a51c We believe this image has no known copyright restrictions.

“Ever since the days of the Egyptian Sphynx, Puzzles, Paradoxes, Riddles, and other mystifications have been popular sources of amusement. From the simplest Riddle to the most abstruse Paradox, they are all productive of a peculiar and lively pleasure. The youthful mind is by nature analytical and inquiring, and takes delight in searching to the bottom of anything that appears difficult to understand. Puzzles, therefore, are excellent means for the development of these natural tendencies, combining, as they do, the elements of work and play. They strengthen the memory by exercising it, teach us application and perseverance, enable us to improve the facility of holding several ideas in the mind at once, and, in short, are highly beneficial to all the more intellectual qualities.”

This paen to puzzles, which opened a mid-19th century puzzle collection, presents puzzles as important elements of education. While it emphasizes the mental development of young people, solving puzzles is an aspect of lifelong learning valuable at all ages, as modern-day articles on the importance of puzzles for maintaining mental acuity into old age point out. And, puzzles are fun for all! National Puzzle Day (January 29) was established in 2002. It doesn’t seem to have an official status, but we might all welcome an excuse to exercise our brains with riddles, word games, number puzzles, picture puzzles, and logic puzzles, not to mention jigsaw puzzles.

In the exhibition space at the front of Penrose Library, find books about puzzles from our collection, and a few puzzles we have on hand to try out. If you’re interested in historical puzzles, in Eighteenth Century Collections Online, an answer book reveals some surprisingly racy solutions to a book of riddles published in London in 1745. (Sign in with your Whitman ID.) The Internet Archive hosts more riddles — with answers! — from years past, as well as up-to-the-minute puzzles. For constructive puzzling, check out the National Puzzlers’ League homepage, which gives instructions on making crossword puzzles, as well as links to many puzzle resources.

Happy puzzling!

On exhibit at Penrose: rare books from the McFarlane Collection

by Amy Blau  Jan 23 17

Post written by Ben Murphy

Currently on display on the main floor of Penrose Library is a selection of rare books from the Vernon H. McFarlane Collection of Finely Illustrated Texts. McFarlane graduated from Whitman in 1927 and went on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Washington in bacteriology. He worked for the US Department of Agriculture, supervising research and publishing on rice, sugarcane, and other fruits and vegetables. His publications include titles such as “Studies on the Germicidal Efficiency of Chlorine in Control of Microoorganisms in Starch” and “Microbiological Control in the Production of Spray-dried Whole Egg Powder.” According to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, he was also “one of the early investigators in the development of frozen foods. In World War II he was a governmental troubleshooter on dried egg processing.”

His hobby was much different from his professional interests. He began collecting books because he was drawn to their illustrations. He started with atlases, but as the cost of atlases in the rare book market began to grow in the 1940s, he began collecting travelogues, and later bibles and religious texts. Over the course of his life he amassed a collection of over a hundred books published during the hand-press period of the 15th to 19th centuries. Most of the books were printed on handmade paper and have bindings of calf, vellum, or Morocco. Some have elaborately decorated covers and edges. The oldest item is a copy of the text known as the “Nuremberg Chronicle,” published in 1493. The collection includes atlases, bibles, travelogues, histories, mythographies, books of fables, and more. But what binds the collection is McFarlane’s passion for fine illustrations. The collection features many examples of different types of relief and intaglio prints, some colored by hand. McFarlane donated his collection to Penrose Library in 1974 and it remains one of our most cherished collections.

Now through mid-February, we are displaying a selection of atlases, geographies and cosmographies. Cosmography is not a well known discipline — or even word — today. But during the same period that production of the printed book was taking shape and exploding through Europe, cosmography developed as a discipline that blended elements of geography and mathematics with astrology and religion. According to John Rennie Short in his book Making Space: Revisioning the World, 1475-1600, cosmography was “a rich stew of rational measurement, religious meditation, and esoteric discourses.” Yet Short also argues that during this period when cosmography was being practiced, the modern notion of global space as we know it was being constructed:

Modern space — the space the modern world inhabits and “sees” — was created in Europe between 1475 and 1600. It was produced using a variety of means, including the grid to plot the word; the use of the cosmographical sphere as the starting point for the mathematically derived practices of navigation and surveying; the increasing use of maps; and the creation of a cartographic language for new mappings of the world, states, and cities. In this new spatial practice, the world was enmeshed in a grid, laced with compass lines and seen through the lens of the theodolite, back-staff and cross-staff.

The items on display here come after Short’s 1475-1600 timeframe, yet many of the same assumptions and practices are evident in these texts. Four of the of the texts are written in English, and they also reflect the development of an English identity in relation to the rest of the world. According to Peter Craft, Richard Heylyn’s Cosmography, for example, “reveals a good deal about the ways in which the English saw themselves in relation to the rest of the world and performs the cultural work of national identity formation which the more secular and fictionalized literary forms would increasingly share.” So while McFarlane’s interest was illustration and images, many of the works are excellent resources for the study of the European politics, art, science, religion, exploration and colonialism in the early modern period.

In mid-February, we will replace the atlases, geographies and cosmographies with a selection of illustrated bibles from the McFarlane Collection. We will update this blog post accordingly.

 

Items on display:

Peter Heylyn. Cosmography in Four Books. Containing the Chorography and History of the Whole World: And All the Principal Kingdoms, Provinces, Seas, and Isles Thereof. London: Printed for E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, B. Tooke, T. Hodgkin and T. Bennet, 1703.

Gerhard Mercator. Historia Mundi, Or, Mercators Atlas: Containing His Cosmographicall Descriptions of the Fabricke and Figure of the World. 2nd edytion. London: Printed for Michaell Sparke, and are to be sowld in Greene Arboiure, 1637.

Herman Moll. Atlas Minor: Or a Set of Sixty-Two New and Correct Maps, of All Parts of the World. All Composed and Done by Herman Moll, Geographer The 2nd ed. N.B. These are the maps which Mr. Templeman has so frequently recommended to the publick. London: Printed for Thomas Bowles, and John Bowles, 1732.

Arnoldus Montanus. De nieuwe en onbekende weereld….[English Title: The New and Unknown World: or Description of America and the Southland, Containing the Origin of the Americans and South-landers, remarkable voyages thither, Quality of the Shores, Islands, Cities, Fortresses, Towns, Temples, Mountains, Sources, Rivers, Houses, the nature of Beasts, Trees, Plants and foreign Crops, Religion and Manners, Miraculous Occurrences, Old and New Wars: Adorned with Illustrations drawn from the life in America, and described by Arnoldus Montanus.] T’ Amsterdam: By Jacob Meurs, 1671.

Edward Wells. A New Sett of Maps Both of Ancient and Present Geography … Together with a Geographical Treatise Particularly Adapted to the Use and Design of These Maps. London: Printed for J. and J. Bonwicke, S. Brit, T. Osborne, E. Wicksteed and T. Cooper, 1730.

Bibliography:

Craft, Peter. “Peter Heylyn’s Seventeenth-Century English Worldview.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 26, no. 11 (2014): xii, 325–344.

“Man donates rare books to Whitman.” Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. September 19, 1974.

Mayhew, Robert J. “‘Geography Is Twinned with Divinity’: The Laudian Geography of Peter Heylyn.” Geographical Review 90, no. 1 (2000): 18–34. doi:10.2307/216173.

Schmidt, Benjamin. “Mapping an Empire: Cartographic and Colonial Rivalry in Seventeenth-Century Dutch and English North America.” The William and Mary Quarterly 54, no. 3 (1997): 549–78. doi:10.2307/2953839.

Short, John R. Making Space: Revisioning the World, 1475-1600. 1st ed. Space, Place, and Society. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press, 2004.

Fake news and information literacy

by Amy Blau  Jan 18 17
What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

Randall Munroe, “Duty Calls,” xkcd webcomic. https://xkcd.com/386/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/

In the wake of the presidential election of 2016, a key concern has been the spreading of fake news, especially via social media. A study conducted by the Stanford History Education Group on online media literacy at middle school, high school and college levels has been widely cited in response to concerns about fake news. This study found that students at all levels are underprepared to identify misleading information online and to effectively make cases about its trustworthiness. A recent Pew Research Center poll indicated that a majority of Americans are very or somewhat confident in their ability to recognize fake news stories — but that hasn’t seemed to stop the spread of problematic information.

While Facebook and other social media sites consider what measures they can and should take to identify fake news or to curtail the sharing of fake news sites, and advertisers contemplate how to pull their ads from networks that serve such sites, individuals might ask, how can I know that a source is trustworthy?

Established fact-checking websites like snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org may be helpful in some instances, but often the evaluation of information comes down to making as solid a decision as possible about the credibility of its source and transparency of its intentions.

There are several checklists that provide suggestions for evaluating information. The CRAAP test developed by librarians at California State University, Chico, suggests considering information using the categories of:

 

  • Currency (the timeliness of the information),
  • Relevance (the importance of the information for your needs),
  • Authority (the source of the information),
  • Accuracy (the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content), and
  • Purpose (the reason the information exists).

Journalism education website MediaShift similarly promotes the SMELL test, developed by former reporter and journalism professor John McManus, which proposes the categories of:

  • Source (Who is providing the information?),
  • Motivation (Why are they telling me this?),
  • Evidence (What evidence is provided for generalizations?),
  • Logic (Do the facts logically compel the conclusions?) and
  • Left out (What’s missing that might change our interpretation of the information?).

Assistant Professor of Communication Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College maintains an extensive guide to identifying ‘False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources‘ based on characteristics such as domain name, attribution, and writing style. She also includes a long list of suspect sources. A similar (but shorter) list of fake news sites is on Wikipedia — the editing history of the Wikipedia entry is also quite instructive. Librarian Beth Hoppe at Bowdoin College has created an excellent guide with links to many resources to help identify fake news and to suggest credible sources. A recent article in School Library Journal also provides a round-up of resources for teaching and promoting information literacy.

Penrose librarians are happy to answer questions and to develop lessons related to these information literacy issues for specific classes. Students can also register for Library courses this semester on Information Literacy (Library 100) and Primary Sources (Library 300), which address choosing appropriate sources for research in scholarly settings.

Spring 2017 — Welcome Back!

by Amy Blau  Jan 13 17

Welcome back to campus! What’s been happening over the break? Well…

We’ve had some (more) snow! Compare and contrast with a few wintry pictures from yesteryear, held in the Whitman College and Northwest Archives collections.

To the right, this early 20th-century photo of the Whitman Campus is undated, but has been labeled with the dates 1909-1913. (Whitman College Facilities Records, Box 16e-f)

And this one to the left shows the snow in downtown Walla Walla in 1916. (Walla Walla Photograph Collection, WCMss66, Box 1, Folder 107)

Penrose Library is open 9-5 through Sunday, January 15. On Monday, January 16, we are open 9 am to 10 pm. On Tuesday, January 17, we open at 9 and are then open 24-7 to the Whitman community until Spring Break.

We look forward to seeing you soon in the library.