April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
The library I chose to explore this week is the Art History/Classics Library. It’s located in 308 Doe Library, and its hours are 9am-9pm M-Th, 9am-5pm Fri, closed Saturdays, and 1pm-7pm Sunday. A word of warning for undergrads – you need a one day pass in order to access the library and its collection. You must apply in writing or in person to the Head Librarian to gain access.
The library, while stating that most of the art history and classics collections are housed in Main Stacks, still has a generous selection of monographs, journals, CDs, DVDs, rare items, and special collections. There is also a microfiche/microform collection for those studying art history to browse selected works or art. The library also contains a wide array of museum catalogues, so if a scholar of the fine arts would like to take a trip to view a certain item, he/she can locate it through its museum listing.
The fine arts historian on staff at the library is Kathryn Wayne, and the classics selector (best job ever!) is John Ceballos. The library primarily caters to graduate students and faculty (they have access), but also to curatorial staff at the BAM. One recent acquisition to the library is a Paul Klee exhibition catalog, among many others listed on the website. This library would be quite useful to a historian – he/she could peruse the collection of microform for a work of art as a primary source relating to a certain time period or social/poltical/religious movement. Also, the wide array of classics available would provide a historian of ancient civilizations with ample primary sources.
April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
This week I went on Oskicat to locate a propaganda film relating to post-war England from the Media Resources Center. I stumbled upon a great four-in-one British propaganda DVD that included a film produced for the Ministry of Labour and National Service entitled “What’s the Next Job”. So I took a trip over to Moffit and booted up the DVD. This short video follows a series of average English workers as they enter the job market – with the assistance of the British government and its helpful assistance and placement services. While all the characters had reservations as to whether they would land suitable jobs, they worked with government officials and were placed in jobs, or training programs for jobs, that catered to their talents or hobbies.
Here’s the link to the Oskicat page:
The second source that I encountered was a short Ministry of Information film called “Salvage with a Smile”. I found this little gem in the British National Archives website, among other short propaganda movies. The importance of this film lies in its production date (1940 – pre-Beveridge Report), and its sense of seamless class mixture. A professor invites his trash collector into his house to treat him to a glass of beer, and the trash collector proves to be a respected, and confident, member of the group. This scene of social solidarity is important to bridging the latent class divisions in Britain during the war, and might allude to a post-war future where class is re-imagined in a more inclusive way.
April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
This week I found a really interesting poster using Luke Habberstad’s suggestion of the Hoover Institution Poster Collection website. This poster deals with the economic security of Britain, and implies that the British people could bolster this security by some form of equity-distributing system (social insurance). I’ve narrowed my topic down to look at how British propaganda by the Ministry of Information portrayed post-war society in their attempts to keep morale up among citizens. This poster was most likely printed post-Beveridge Report (report on the foundation of a plan of social insurance in Britain that was widely popular), and seems to incorporate some of its principles. I’m interested in studying how much propaganda focusing on post-war society was altered by the publication of the Beveridge Report, so this poster is right up my alley. The Hoover Institute website contains digitized versions of thousands of British war posters from both World Wars, and is a fantastic resource.
Link to poster:
March 31, 2013 § 1 Comment
I’ll admit that I don’t know much about your topic, but your choice of medieval women seems like a really interesting one, and there is quite a bit of material at your disposal. From browsing through your posts, I’m not sure whether you’ve picked out a particular aspect pertaining to medieval women that you’d like to explore, but you did mention Joan of Arc as a figure you’d like to research more about. I checked all over JSTOR for articles on Joan the person, but had trouble finding a worthy one, so I stuck with OskiCat.
Find #1: Letters of Medieval Women (Anne Crawford)
This seems like it would be a valuable resource for you since it consists of a collection of primary source letters. Through analyzing the correspondence of women during the medieval period, you can gather great insight into their social customs and happenings, and understand how women felt about their condition. I’m sure these letters would be instructive for your research, and you can never have enough primary sources at your disposal!
Find #2: Considering Medieval Women and Gender (Susan Mosher Stuard)
This book looks like a pretty good secondary source on particular conditions of women in medieval times. It deals mostly with the themes of marriage and slavery as they apply to medieval women. The book also touches upon the consumption patterns of women in the time period. I’m not sure if that’s up your alley in terms of research interests, but it could help to give you context. I’m sure there’s more to find within the book about overall conditions.
Find #3: Joan of Arc: the Warrior Saint (Stephen W. Richey)
This suggestion is based on your identification of Joan of Arc as someone you’d like to learn more about. While I’m not sure Joan of Arc’s experiences were at all indicative of the average medieval women, she sure proved to be a powerful figure worthy of further study. This book explores Joan’s stunning military exploits, her dynamic personality, and the context within which she was able to enjoy such success. I think Richey’s book would be a great starting point if you want to focus your research on Joan of Arc.
I hope this is all helpful! You seem like you have a great project ahead of you!
March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
This week I browsed the Berkeley Regional Oral History Office website, and decided upon reading an oral project completely different from my topic – venture capitalism. There was not much on the site that addressed my topic of WW2 British propaganda, even obliquely, so I launched into Lawrence Sonsini’s oral interview. I remember hearing my parents talk about the firm Wilson Sonsini when I was younger – I wanted to know more about the company’s profile and one of its leaders. Sonsini discusses his time at Boalt Law, his legal expertise with mergers and start-ups, and his firm’s vertical relationships with its clients. I found Sonsini’s remarks about evaluating a company’s shot at success based on its leaders’ ethics and passion, and his insistence upon meeting the clients’ needs, very insightful.
The interview was conducted by Sally Smith Hughes, who did a great job of building off of Sonsini’s responses to get him to talk in depth about his business and how it has come to resemble its current form. Her questioning style seems loose, but she is still able to pick up on important phrases or admissions from Sonsini. Hughes also shows impressive knowledge of the history of Silicon Valley, and of the law and venture capital firms in the area. Hughes also admits at times that she doesn’t know a particular fact or field, and that humility allows Sonsini to fill her in. I think working with oral history could be limiting if the interviewer gets caught up in asking the next question or following a preset pattern, and does not listen well enough to move the conversation forward based on what the narrator is actually saying. I think a strength of oral history is that it can follow a loose progression, while still remaining instructive and illuminating. The human element of an oral interview is very important as well – talking freely to an interviewer who goes out of his/her way to give your story importance and relevance.
March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
This week I didn’t really have time to peruse the newspaper and microform library in Doe, so I utilized the online database of The Times available through the library website. When we looked through the databases on Monday, I had no idea that the Times had a digital archive – I was under the impression that they only had an index listing of articles. This was a great find! I did have a somewhat hard time finding writers commenting on Britain’s propaganda strategies while searching through the digitized articles – most commented on the subversive Nazi efforts.
I found a really interesting snippet from the Times, describing a propaganda film called “Mr. Boland Thinks Again”. It’s kind of a strange film as described, but shows the efforts of the Ministry of Information to persuade Britons to be self-reliant (the farmer stores silage for his livestock instead of importing foodstuffs from the Continent). Film was a very important medium of propaganda, and I’m sure tens if not hundreds of short films like this one where produced by the MOI during the war.
Link to article: http://find.galegroup.com/ttda/infomark.do?&source=gale&prodId=TTDA&userGroupName=berk89308&tabID=T003&docPage=article&searchType=BasicSearchForm&docId=CS102577949&type=multipage&contentSet=LTO&version=1.0
March 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
This week I had a mixed experience with the Bancroft Library. After the great talk we were given on Monday, and the sweet British propaganda posters we got to leaf through, I thought I could go back and take another peak at them this week. I initially used Oskicat to find the posters, and their Bancroft call number, but when I went to have a look at them I was told that I first needed to have permission, due to the fragility (many of the posters are folded). This required me writing a note to the appropriate person. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do this considering I went to the Bancroft today. I remember the speaker on Monday mentioning digitized copies of posters, so I went to the OAC website to check on whether they had some examples over the web. And wouldn’t you know, they did. They even had two different collections available, with about fifty examples in each. One of the collections had posters aimed at citizens of the British Commonwealth, whether in Africa or India. While the Bancroft has hundreds of these British posters, I’m grateful they put a few stirring examples on the web.
Here’s a link to one of the British WW2 poster collections: