Queens College Library is excited to share a new exhibit Art of the Announcement on view now in the 3rd floor vitrines. Spanning 45 years, from 1932-1977, this exhibit features exhibition announcement cards and posters from leading century artists and galleries. Throughout the 20th century art gallery announcement cards and posters assumed a new prominence and graphic sophistication, offering artists a new level of professional control over their visual identities.
Th exhibit includes examples of exhibitions covering the range of artistic production from painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and more. One highlight of the exhibition is the announcement card for the landmark 1932 exhibition Surrealisme at Julien Levy Gallery. This landmark exhibition is historically important for introducing the then nascent Surrealist Art movement to the United States. While the original cover image created by Joseph Cornell demonstrates the increasing involvement of artists in creating distinctive visual languages to promote their exhibitions.
The exhibit marks the first time this historically rich collection of cards and posters has been on exhibit at Queens College Library.
The exhibit will be on view until August 24th, 2023, and was curated by Substitute Visual & Performing Arts Librarians, Assistant Professor Scott R. Davis.
The library is pleased to announce that the papers of Queens College basketball legend Lucille Kyvallos are processed and available for research. Transferred to Special Collections and Archives last summer, the collection includes administrative, coaching, and teaching records; awards, photographs, and publications; and other materials that shine a light on the history of women’s college basketball from the late 1960s through the early 1980s.
Select items from the collection are on display in a library exhibit, Leaving it All on the Court: Queens College’s Lucille Kyvallos and her Iconic Legacy. Stop by Rosenthal to see photographs, trophies, awards, and primary documents from this extensive and multilayered collection. The exhibit opened March 1st in celebration of Women’s History Month but will remain on display through December of this year. The exhibit is located in the display cases in the Charles J. Tanenbaum room and adjacent lounge area on the 3rd floor.
Lucille Kyvallos is a trailblazer of women’s basketball in collegiate sports. She was the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Queens College from 1968 through 1981, holding an overall record of 239-77. Kyvallos helped bring her team and the sport to the national stage: she coached the first women’s college basketball game played at Madison Square Garden in 1975 and led the 1977 US National Women’s Basketball Team at the World University Games to a silver medal, among other accomplishments. During her tenure, she worked tirelessly to promote women’s college basketball and bring it to a wider audience.
Sarah Barlow-Ochshorn, a graduate Fellow from the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS), processed the collection and curated the exhibit, thanks to generous funding from Lucille Kyvallos and the Department of Recreation and Athletics.
“Getting to learn about Lucille and her impact on women’s collegiate basketball has been a joy. The materials in her collection reveal the perseverance, resilience, and teamwork that led to the success of the QC women’s basketball team in an era when women’s sports lacked adequate support and resources,” said Sarah.
Interested in learning more about Lucille Kyvallos and her collection?
The Queens College Greek Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies have joined efforts with the Queens College Library in an exciting cataloguing project that will make their collection of Byzantine and Modern Greek literature explorable throughout the CUNY library system. Since the Center’s founding in 1974, their Harry J. Psomiades Greek Studies Library has been building an extensive collection of books, journals, and scholarly publications that supports their academic initiatives as well as the country’s largest Greek community right here in Queens. After receiving a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the project was able to begin this spring semester.
It seems almost serendipitous that the cataloguing of these valuable items began just in time for March’s Greek-American History month. Director Gerasimus Katsan and Assistant Director Maria Athanasopoulou, who are overseeing the project, also manage the operations of the Greek Center and are committed to preserving and promoting the history of Greek language and culture. And as the liaison and subject specialist for the Greek Center, Librarian Carlo Minchillo understands the intrinsic value of the collection as a vital educational resource for academic research.
With approximately 6,000 items to catalog, there are many moving parts and details for such a unique project that require special attention. Cataloguer Ronnie Gomez and his assistant Miguel Nunez will head the book processing part of the project. With half the collection in Greek and half in English, Ronnie and his team must be precise when creating the cataloguing records for these various items. After proposing the initiative in 2022, Carlo now oversees the coordination, logistics, and communication of the project. And finally, the assistant to the Greek Center, Neophytos Ioannou, was hired to help support the Greek Center and transport materials back and forth from the Center and the Library.
Queens College Library Call Numbers
There are also files, special documents, and items that require assessment for permanent retention. This special skillset is best left to the expertise of the Head of Special Collections, Annie Tummino, and Archives Specialist, Caitlin Colban-Waldron, at Queens College Library. So when the Center identified materials in their collection that might meet the criteria for retention, Caitlin visited to determine if they hold historic value of interest to future researchers.
The book processing is underway and there are items from the Greek Center Library that are now searchable through the library catalog! The location is listed as Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies (Jefferson Hall 302) and requests can be submitted by using your CUNY credentials. For research assistance, reach out to subject specialist, Carlo Minchillo, or visit the Reference Search office in room 344 on the main floor of the Queens College Library.
In Celebration of Black History Month, this month we share an item from our digital shelves: an oral history with Nathaniel Smith.
Nathaniel Smith is Director of NYC Men Teach at Queens College, CUNY. The interview was conducted by former staff member Obden Mondésir over Zoom in two parts, in November and December 2020. In the interview, Smith talks about his early childhood, family, and education throughout his life. He also touches on Hurricane Katrina, the organization of the BLFSA (the Black & Latinx Faculty & Staff Association) at Queens College, and the lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this clip, Smith discusses the work of the BLFSA on campus after the murder of George Floyd:
Exhibit Dates: January 26, 2023 – June 30, 2023 Exhibit Location: Barham Rotunda
Black History Month gives the Queens College Library the opportunity to celebrate and honor the efforts of QC students and faculty who sought social justice for all by their participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, especially the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. Starting in 2009, Queens College Library’s Special Collections and Archives (SCA) began collecting materials from alumni, faculty, and community members involved in these movements that now constitute part of the Civil Rights Collection of the photographs, printed materials, and miscellanea seen in the present exhibition documenting experiences of the participants that speak to the courage and optimism as well as to the rich history of QC activism during the civil rights movement.
In 1989, the QC library clock tower was dedicated to the memory of James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman (a QC student), and Michael Schwerner, civil rights activists who were murdered during the Congress of Equality’s (CORE) Freedom Summer project of 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their deaths have inspired countless others to continue the struggle for equality and justice for all Americans.
The inclusion of materials supporting Women History movement in the exhibition bridges the coordinated efforts of the suffragists across centuries and countries for abolitionism and women’s rights by demanding change to the voting laws. The suffragists understood the persuasive power of language and utilized postcards to spread their textual information; propagated visibility through marches and campaigns; and contributed to political empowerment through the visual arts (posters, collages, buttons, et al) to connect to the great and just causes of human history in order to disseminate their message. Their sense of energy and urgency established a new and formidable expression in the world that ultimately changed cultural perceptions and reshaped the discourse of American democracy for the better.
You’re invited! Douglass Day 2023, February 14, featuring a Transcribe-A-Thon of the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary.
Douglass Day is a collective act of radical love for Black history, and an event that helped inspire the creation of Black History Month.
Details for Queens College:
Location: Queens College Library Room 225
Time: 12:30pm – 2pm
Light refreshments will be provided!
Douglass Day is an annual program that marks the birth of Frederick Douglass. Each year, we gather thousands of people to help create new and freely available resources for learning about Black history. We frequently focus on important Black women’s archives, such as Anna Julia Cooper (2020) and Mary Church Terrell (2021).
This year, Douglass Day features a transcribe-a-thon of the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893), who “was one of the earliest Black women to edit a newspaper, serve as a Civil War recruiter, attend law school, and so much more” according to the Douglass Day website. The organizers of the event “are pleased to be partnering with the Archives of Ontario, Libraries and Archives Canada, and many others. Together we are presenting newly digitized and fascinating collections from Shadd Cary’s long and fascinating life.”
The event is organized by Transformative Learning in the Humanities and will run at three CUNY campuses. A transcribe-a-thon is an event in which people gather in person or online to work simultaneously on a crowdsourcing project. We share cool finds and more on social media, connecting across all of our locations.
From February 6-10, 2023, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections. Sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine, the initiative is a wonderful way to publicize unique holdings and create new uses for public domain materials. Please download, print, and share your favorites!
Here at the Queens College Library, members of the Special Collections and Archives and Web and Digital Services units teamed up to create a coloring book based on illustrations from the text Pepper and Salt or Seasoning for Young Folk (Harper Brothers, New York, 1885). The item is one of several hundred in our rare juvenile literature collection.
The QC Library is pleased to inform library users that they will no longer need to remember another username and password to access interlibrary loan (ILL). Users can now access the interlibrary loan (ILL) system (ILLIAD) using their CUNY Login Credentials. Your CUNY Login credentials follow the pattern: Firstname.LastnameNN@login.cuny.edu, where “NN” is the last 2+ digits of your CUNY EMPLID.
When users select Interlibrary Loan from any access points on the QC Library website or catalogue, OneSearch, they will see a Login to ILLIAD button. By selecting that button, users will be prompted to login with their CUNY Login Credentials.
Now accepting applications for the Spring 2023 Open Educational Resources Faculty Fellowship!
The Queens College Library is pleased to invite applications for the Spring 2023 cohort. To date, more than 100 Queens College faculty from 33 departments have participated in the OER Faculty Fellowship, developing their pedagogical practice in an interdisciplinary environment while saving QC students an estimated $1.5 million in textbook costs. We are excited to expand our community!
Wondering what an archivist does? In this post, Pamela Padilla, the library’s Shirley Klein Rare Book and Manuscripts Graduate Fellow, provides a sneak peek of her work processing the Alexander Kouguell Papers. Kouguell, a world-class cellist, taught at Queens College for over 68 years and sadly passed away on October 2, 2022. He donated his papers to the Queens College Library just a couple of months ago, in August 2022.
Most librarians will agree that archival science is an important branch of library work, but despite the deference there is often the question of what exactly an archivist does. There are many aspects to an archivists’ profession such as reference work, collections care, and management of new/existing material, but today I will be focusing on processing—an invaluable part of collections care.
This was the case with the Alexander Kouguell collection, which required extensive processing. Not every collection has these processing demands, but the Alexander Kouguell Collection is diverse not only in its content but its mediums. Music manuscripts required rehousing, documents required de-framing, and photographs required sleeving. Several scrapbooks had to be vacuumed to mitigate any risk of mold, and their contents were well worth saving.
Dr. Kouguell’s career as a professor at Queens College began in the 1940’s and lasted over 60 years, with an additional 10 as an adjunct lecturer. His collection offers its viewer a snapshot of his life, from his honeymoon photos to his participation in Queens Colleges faculty orchestra throughout his tenure, but his extensive career as a cellist also offers a cultural snapshot of NYC throughout half a century. The preservation of his life and history serve as a reminder of the impact that can be made by a singular person.
It’s usually the case that people unfamiliar with the profession may ask “Why rehouse anything? Aren’t the folders/envelopes/plastic slips that these materials come in enough?” and our answer to that is that they usually aren’t. Photographic negatives, photographs themselves, or oversized papers aren’t typically argued against when discussing rehousing, but even paper requires special care. Paper isn’t what it used to be and hasn’t been since the mid 19th century—its lower quality leads to an inevitable yellowing and breakdown due to acid hydrolysis, or the breaking down of the cellulose that keeps the paper together. This process threatens paper and its contents.
The processing of collection often begins before the first object is rehoused. That is, it begins with the acquisition. An archivist ensures that their institution has an appropriate level of copyright and intellectual control through of a deed of gift. By ensuring the proper acquisition of a collection from a donor through a mutually agreed upon deed of gift (assuming the donor is one outside of the institution), an archivist has begun the processing of this collection.
The processing of an archival collection takes time, patience, and (surprisingly enough) a bit of elbow grease. It’s how we rehouse our materials to maximize their longevity and how institutions ensure they have the intellectual control needed to make collections accessible.
Pamela Padilla is a second-year candidate in the Dual Degree program in Library Science and History (MLS/MA), pursuing a Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials. Padilla is one of three graduate students participating in the Archives Fellowship Program at Queens College Library over the 2022-2023 academic year. Fellows carry out real-world projects in Special Collections and Archives, receiving stipends, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.