Celebrate inventors – including Edwin A. Link – at Bartle Library

August’s Pop-Up Exhibit celebrates American inventors and their inventions. America is home to great inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone and Orville and Wilbur Wright who invented the Airplane. Binghamton University and surrounding community are home to many great (and future) inventors, including the local inventor Edwin A. Link.

Discover more about inventions with the Patents & Trademarks subject guide or reach out subject librarian Aleshia Huber at hubera@binghamton.edu.

Learn about the Edwin A. Link and Marion Link Collections located in Special Collections on the second floor of Bartle Library or reach out to curator Beth Kilmarx at bkilmarx@binghamton.edu.


The Pop-Up Exhibit is located at the corner of the Reader Services Desk in the Bartle Library. Free themed bookmarks are available each month.

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Visit Special Collections during Bartle’s Welcome Week event!

Returning students, welcome back! New students, welcome to campus!

Come to Bartle Library and enjoy a fun, self-guided tour. Each stop provides a brief overview of the services and resources you’ll be using throughout the year. Be sure to visit Special Collections located on the second floor off of the North Reading Room and learn about our exciting collections!

Post your tour photo with hashtag #baxterbooks to any social media to enter a contest to win a cool prize!

Noon-3 p.m., Wednesday, August 24 in Bartle Library

welcome week graphic 3


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Head of Special Collections featured as a “Human of Binghamton”

On loan from the Libraries collections: one uniquely special “Human of Binghamton”

Jean Green, Head of Special Collections, Preservation and University Archives was recently featured as a “Human of Binghamton.” She shared a bit about her travels to Russia after graduating for college as an undergrad.

Posted on July 7, 2016 by libpr
 “When I was in college, I suddenly wanted to go to Russia more than anything else in the world. I started to learn Russian on my own and went to Russia in the summer of 1983, immediately falling in love with the country and the people. It is a fabulous, beautiful place and I would recommend a visit there to anyone.” #‎HumansofBinghamton‬

Photo by Casey Staff
 Humans Of Binghamton is our campus’ version of the blog-now-book “Humans of New York
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Upstate Cauldron is Featured Book for July 2016

cauldron 001

Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Early New York State is our Featured Book for July 2016. Part of our Local History Collection, this book is guide to the phenomenal crop of prophets, cults, and utopian communities that arose in Upstate New York from 1776 to 1914. The book received a bronze medal in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the US Northeast – Best Regional Non-Fiction Category.

From 1776 to 1914, an amazing collection of prophets, mediums, sects, cults, utopian communities, and spiritual leaders arose in Upstate New York. Along with the best known of these, such as the Shakers, Mormons, and Spiritualists, Upstate Cauldron explores more than forty other spiritual leaders or groups, some of them virtually unknown.

Godwin uncovers common threads that characterize these homegrown spiritualities, including roots in Western esoteric traditions, liberation from the psychological pressures of dogmatic Christianity, a preoccupation with sex, and involvement in the radical reform movements of the day. He “blends the diffuse and complex religious movements that once converged in Upstate New York to show how we became a modern civilization indelibly stamped by the experience of spiritual outsiders” [Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America: White House Séances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation].

In addition to maps and photographs of surviving buildings and monuments, the book also features a gazetteer of sites listing 150 locations connected to these groups, which may be used as a helpful travel guide to these unique sites.

Author Joscelyn Godwin is Professor of Music at Colgate University. He has written many books on music, mysticism, and Western esoteric traditions.

If you would like to learn more about alternative religions, utopian communities and Doomsday cults in Upstate New York, visit Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections located on the second floor of the Bartle Library [located off of the North Reading Room.

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Two Hundred Year Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”

Finding Frankenstein: On the trail of a monster across Europe

By John Malathronas, for CNN  June 20, 2016

Two centuries after author Mary Shelley conceived "Frankenstein," its gothic echoes can still be found across Europe. Castle Frankenstein near Darmstadt, Germany, was the birthplace of alchemist Conrad Dippel, whose purported experiments on the human bodies may have inspired Shelley.

Castle Frankenstein – Two centuries after author Mary Shelley conceived “Frankenstein,” its gothic echoes can still be found across Europe. Castle Frankenstein near Darmstadt, Germany, was the birthplace of alchemist Conrad Dippel, whose purported experiments on the human bodies may have inspired Shelley. 

(CNN)  I’m standing at the square of Plainpalais in Geneva trying to escape the clutches of Frankenstein’s monster, my expression one of horror and disgust.

The monster stands a couple of feet taller than me, its hair disheveled, its serrated chest exposed, its eyes focused creepily at the park in front where skateboarders and BMX bikers buzz around carefree.

“That’s good, hold it right there,” says Cyrille and takes a picture with my cellphone.

Historian and guide Cyrille has been taking me around the Swiss city on a Frankenstein tour and the statue of the monster at Plainpalais, the site where it committed its first murder, was too good a photo opportunity to miss.

Frankenstein is a niche but growing attraction in Geneva, fueled by the bicentenary of the monster’s creation.

It was in June 1816, 200 years ago, that a group of five young people from England gathered in a villa overlooking Lake Geneva and tried to scare each other with ghost stories.

‘Waking dream’One of them, 18-year-old Mary Godwin, had a “waking dream” which she recounted one night and transfixed her audience, which included the English romantic poet Lord Byron.

Mary was accompanied by her future husband, the 23-year-old poet Percy Shelley, who had abandoned his first wife and children to elope with Mary.

They were all free-thinking bohemian spirits — what we would call today alternative creatives.

Byron encouraged Mary to write her scary story down; she started immediately and called it “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.”

Byron sent her manuscript to his publisher with the comment “pretty good work for a girl of eighteen.”

A copy of that first edition stares me in the face. It’s one of the six author copies Mary Shelley received herself and it’s full of annotations; most would find their way into the second edition.

Literary summer

The Geneva-based Fondation Martin Bodmer, one of the biggest libraries of rare books in the world is celebrating the bicentenary of Mary’s nightmare with an exhibition.

There are portraits, paintings, first editions and manuscripts that explain the background and recreate the setting of that literary summer.

Professor David Spurr from the University of Geneva, curator of the exhibition, fills me in.

“That was ‘the year without a summer’,” he says. “Mount Tambora had erupted in Indonesia in 1815 in the largest explosion in recorded history.

“The volcanic ash cooled down the atmosphere causing freak weather patterns for three years afterwards.”

He shows the 1816 meteorological records from Switzerland; the maximum temperature in June varied between 10-12 C (50-53 F).

A handwritten note says that even at the end of the month “there was not a single leaf on the oak trees.”

“The miserable weather forced the party to invent their own entertainment,” he adds.

“Byron took up lodgings at Villa Diodati at the top of a hill in Cologny, while the Shelleys stayed at a small house in Montalegre, 10 minutes walk away by the lakefront.”

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Happy International Archives Day!


June 9th is International Archives Day!

At the International Congress in Vienna in 2004, the 2000 participants adopted a resolution requesting the United Nations to create an International Archives Day. Some countries had already decided to have a national archives day, to raise awareness of the general public and the decision-makers about the importance of archives. National Archives Day in the United States is January 23, however National Archives Month is celebrated in October.

The public’s image of the archives is sometimes foggy: often confused with libraries, archives continue to be perceived as documents for internal use only, which are difficult to access and are of interest only to historians. The perception of records and archives by the public and the organizations that create them is not clear.

It is therefore important to remember that records and archives are documents, created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations, or in the transaction of business. Archival records are those documents that are preserved by their creators, successors or an appropriate archive institution because of their legal value or enduring historical significance. Archives constitute a major cultural heritage and information resource and that resource  gives testimony to the development of economical, political and social humanity.

So raise a glass and celebrate International Archives Day! The history you are celebrating might just be your own!

Read more about International Archives Day

Read about National Archives Month in the United States

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Good Poems for Hard Times is the Featured Book for June

good poems 001

The poems in this volume were chosen by Garison Keillor for his readings on public radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. Here, readers will find comfort in works that are bracing and courageous, organized into such resonant headings as “Such As It Is More or Less” and “Let It Spill.” From William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman to R. S. Gwynn and Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Keiller is a much beloved American author, storyteller, humorist, radio actor, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, whom Keillor voices, a detective who appears in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits.

This book is part of the Maria Mazzioti Gillan Collection. Maria Mazziotti Gillan is an accomplished author herself and a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions).

She is director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of poetry at Binghamton University-SUNY. She is also the founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review.

She has published 20 books, including: What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010) and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica, 2013).  In fact, there is a poem by Ms. Gillan included in this volume entitled “After School on Ordinary Days.”

To learn more about Maria Mazziotti Gillan, visit her website at www.mariagillan.com.

So, if you are having “one of those days,” the poems gathered in this collection may offer you solace and provide you with the healing power of good poetry.

This book can be found in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library [just off of the North Reading Room].

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University Archivist, Yvonne Deligato, receives award


Baxter congratulates University Archivist, Yvonne Deligato, on her award.

University Archivist and Local History Bibliographer, Yvonne Deligato, has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Division of Student Affairs. The award acknowledges her exemplary contributions to the Binghamton University community.

Her nominator wrote: “Yvonne Deligato is a truly dedicated Bearcat. She is one of the hardest working staff members on campus. As the University Archivist, she is unfailing in her commitment to preserve the university’s history, from office records from the President’s office to oral histories of Harpur College’s origins. As University Archivist, she is always being called upon for assistance from various offices on campus, particularly the Alumni and Communications units. Ms. Deligato [is] often called upon to produce the impossible such as early photos of campus and buildings or program memoranda, and she is able to do so due to her professionalism and skill as an archivist.

Ms. Deligato is also the Local History Bibliographer and routinely teaches classes or assists faculty teaching classes using the Local History archives materials. She is often seen helping students who are interested in the history of the surrounding area, and when she is not, she is busy digitizing, processing and preserving historical records.

Ms. Deligato has single-handedly preserved and saved the history of the Binghamton University and her dedication and hard work should be rewarded.”

Congratulations Yvonne!



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Prof. Sandro Sticca presents gift to Special Collections

Pictured (left to right):  Curtis Kendrick, Dean of Libraries; Prof. Sandro Sticca; Beth Kilmarx, Curator of Rare Books.

Pictured (left to right): Curtis Kendrick, Dean of Libraries; Prof. Sandro Sticca; Beth Kilmarx, Curator of Rare Books.

Sandro Sticca, professor of French and comparative literature, presented a wonderful gift to Special Collections on May 5, 2016. Prof. Sticca is a constant supporter of Special Collections and his gifts are greatly appreciated by Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections.

Below is a brief description of the gift book: 

Responsa ad cuiuscunque penè generis casuum conscientiae quaesita quadringenta … : Apud Societatem Minimam. pars secunda / Giovanni Battista Corradi, (O.P.) 1603.  [69], 532, [2] p. ;  Venetiis : Apud Societatem Minimam.

Physical Description:  Contemporary limp vellum binding; lacks decoration or spine labels, with evidence of insect and animal damage.  Spine cover partially intact.  Evidence of leather ties on front and back covers.   Blue sprinkled top, fore, and bottom edges. Front and back free endpapers are missing. Title page is printed in black and red inks, has a printer’s device, in addition to marginalia. The text is printed in double columns, has running titles, pagination, printer’s guide words, signatures, head-pieces, tail-pieces, and decorated initials.  Index and errata.  Rounded humanist Bembo font.

Pagination:  [69], 532, [2] p.

Dimensions:  228 mm height X 155 mm length X 50 mm width (octo size).

Publisher:  Printed in Venice by the Minimalist (?) Society.

Thank you to Prof. Sticca for his continued generosity and patronage of Binghamton University Libraries and Special Collections.

Title page of

Title page of Responsa ad cuiuscunque penè generis casuum conscientiae quaesita quadringenta …

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Shakespeare lecture today at 12noon!


As part of the Libraries’ Special Collections’ Occasional Lecture Series, Richard Mackenney, Professor of History at Binghamton University, will speak on “Shakespeare: Staging the Renaissance” at noon today.

The lecture will be held in Special Collections, Bartle Library (2nd floor). After the lecture, view the Shakespeare in Special Collections: Selections from the Max Reinhart Collections and the Rare Book Collections exhibitThe exhibit and lectures mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (April 23, 1616).

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