Blog topic: Fun facts

Duke Ellington

A small remembrance of Duke Ellington

January 26, 2016
by Ray Heigemeir

I came across this miniature book, Duke Ellington Remembered: New York Notes, by Whitney Balliett, and thought it perfect for a miniature blog post. It is by far the tiniest book in the Music Library. Balliett (1926-2007) was a journalist and jazz critic who wrote for a number of publications, including for the New Yorker under famed editor William Shawn.  His essays on jazz and jazz musicians have been collected into a number of monographs, many of which are available in the Stanford Libraries.

Free-range logo

Outdoor library instruction workshops

April 23, 2015
by Felicia Smith

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Albert Einstein

Stanford University’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) offers classes that guide students in developing analytical and research-based argument skills. Students take PWR 2 classes in their second year to continue building the aforementioned skills. PWR 2 consists of research projects that allow students to research, write, translate, and deliver an in-depth investigation.

Amazing Library Race

Amazing "Library Titles" Race for library instruction

April 9, 2015
by Felicia Smith

“The Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!”

Do I have your attention?

Good. That is the point of a library instruction workshop game that requires students to unscramble a book title, search the catalog to find its location, and retrieve it from the shelves. “The Rebellion of The Beasts: Or, the Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!” is a sample title.

Stanford University Libraries (SUL) supports the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) by offering library instruction workshops that include a walking tour of the library as well as an introduction to library resources. These library workshops are designed to support PWR’s objective to guide students in developing analytical and research-based argument skills. The library workshops are usually just a one-shot class that lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes; this is the duration of most classes.

Music note

Are you a "Round Hed"?

March 27, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

A copy of the Sherman & Hyde Musical Review (San Francisco, 1874) came across my desk and I happened upon this "artikel" written in tongue-and-cheek defense of the shape-note singing technique (aka, "skuare notes"), which was apparently looked down on by 'properly trained' musicians--"Round Heds", who read music with the standard round-head notation. The Music Library has a number of of shape-note singing primers, which were the subject of a 2012 exhibit on Early American Tune Books. Several titles have been digitized; see The Easy Instructor for examples of shape-note notation.

Edison listening to wax cylinder 1888

A buried sound: the unanticipated visit to the Archive of Recorded Sound

January 28, 2015

About two months ago, I accidentally wandered into an antique shop in Fairfax, California. Inside there was a seemingly random arrangement of kipple which the shopkeeper clearly understood. It was as if I had discovered a surreptitious vault in an Indiana Jones movie filled with gleaming mounds of treasure, a glut of pearls and gold, a feast for the eyes*. I hesitated, unsure of where to start, slightly concerned that something would fall on me.

Eyeglasses over an open book

Happy 120th birthday to Aldous Huxley, born July 26, 1894!

July 23, 2014

“There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.”
-Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley is widely known as the author of Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, and Island. Did you know he was also the grandson of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice (1940), lectured on the “Human Potential” at The Esalen Institute in the 1960’s, and was once Eric Arthur Blair’s French teacher at Eton College before Eric went on to write 1984 and Animal Farm with the pen name George Orwell?

Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries has a sketchbook, which Huxley used when he was 17 years old. Dated March 7-July 6, 1912, it is possible that Huxley brought the sketchbook along with him during his travels through Marburg, Germany before attending Oxford University in the fall of 1913.

Steve Schneider [photographer unknown].

In Honor of Earth Day

Dr. Steve Schneider was inspired to be involved in climate change and global warming in part because of Earth Day.

Like his eco-ally Carl Sagan, Schneider was a scientist able to Successfully get information to the public. Sagan had his television show Cosmos (recently revitalized by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan—check your local listings).

Schneider wrote popular science books, did radio interviews around the world and appeared in movies and on television.

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