Rescheduled!! New date!! Panel Discussion: Kurdish Community Perspectives: Impacting Our World

NEW DATE: April 20

All are welcome at a panel discussion reflecting the contributions of our faculty members to the learning, teaching and research of the Kurdish culture and the everyday life of its people.

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Join us from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, 2017 in the Main Gallery of Binghamton University’s Art Museum for

“Kurdish community perspectives: Impacting our world”

Panelists will discuss their current research and findings, and how these efforts help us understand the world today. A general discussion of current events in the Kurdish community follows. Topics to be explored include the impact to Kurdish society as a result of the recent travel ban, perspectives on immigration and the vital role of diversity in education.

Panelists from Binghamton University

  • Moderator: Kent Schull, associate professor of Ottoman and modern Middle East history
  • Aynur de Rouen, curator of the Kurdish Collection, Special Collections
  • Bahattin Demir, PhD student in history
  • Ekrem Karakoc, associate professor of political science
  • Nilay Ozok-Gundogan, visiting assistant professor of Ottoman history

Panelist from the American Kurdish Council, New York chapter

  • Ridwan Zebari, director

RSVP online

This panel discussion complements the exhibit of black-and-white photography from the Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library and Museum Collection currently on display at the Art Museum: “A Glimpse of Everyday Life in Iraqi Kurdistan”

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Did you know that a single pink rose represents pure love?

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On this National Flower Day, Special Collections would like to introduce you to The Language of Flowers.

Delightfully illustrated by noted 19th-century illustrator and writer, Kate Greenaway, this petite tome includes a list of over 200 plants and their figurative equivalents. For example, the azalea represents temperance, the daisy represents innocence and the water lily represents pureness of heart.

Kate Greenaway (17 March 1846 – 6 November 1901) was an English children’s book illustrator and writer and one of the most influential illustrators of her age. Greenaway, along with Randolph Caldecott and Walter Crane, revolutionized illustration. Her first book, Under the Window (1879), a collection of simple idyllic verses about children that she wrote herself, was a bestseller and sold 100,000 copies in her own lifetime.

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Likely because her mother was a seamstress, Greenaway paid particular attention to the clothing of her characters. Rather than stick to the fashion of the time, she chose instead to depict characters in clothing from the early 19th century. Though unconventional, the choice proved instrumental in influencing Victorian fashion. Her books attracted not only book lovers, but also the fashionable set in London. Parents began to dress their children in outfits that could have come straight out of Greenaway’s illustrations. Liberty of London, a well known department store in Britain, even adapted her “looks” for a line of children’s clothing.

Her seminal role in creating the form of the modern child’s picture book was recognized in 1955, when the Library Association of Great Britain established the Kate Greenaway Medal. The award is given annually to the British artist who has produced the most distinguished illustrations in works of literature for children.

Included at the back of The Language of Flowers are a selection of flower-related verses, including “To a Mountain Daisy” by Robert Burns, and “To Primroses Filled With Morning Dew” by Robert Herrick. Quite à propos as March 21 is also World Poetry Day!

Why not visit Special Collections today and see Greenaway’s fashionable illustrations and learn the language of flowers? We are located on the second floor of the Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room).

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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The Courtship of Ferb: An Old Irish Romance transcribed in the Twelfth Century into the Book of Leister is an Irish romance, whose earliest written version is found in the twelfth-century manuscript known as the Book of Leinster. It is a notable example of cante fable, a term for spoken prose narratives interspersed with short songs conveying crucial information (e.g. magical utterances, riddles, threats, etc.).

The Courtship of Ferb belongs to a group of romances which, taken together, tell the story of what has been called the Heroic Age of Ireland. These romances were put into their present form at various periods between the seventh and tenth centuries. The central plot of the romances is the state of warfare between the kingdoms of Ulster and of Connaught with characters such as Conachar (or Conor), king of Ulster, and Medb or Maev), queen of Connaught.

Why not delve into the mystical world of old Irish romance this St. Patrick’s Day? Come and visit us in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library.

 

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Kurdish Panel Discussion POSTPONED!

Panel Discussion: Kurdish Community Perspectives: Impacting Our World

This event, originally scheduled for today, 5-7pm, in the University Art Museum has been postponed!

It will be rescheduled – details to follow!

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Panel Discussion: Kurdish Community Perspectives: Impacting Our World

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Binghamton University Libraries invites you to a panel discussion reflecting on the contributions of our faculty members to the learning, teaching and research of the Kurdish culture and the life of its people.

Join us from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 2017, in the Main Gallery of Binghamton University’s Art Museum for the panel discussion: Kurdish Community Perspectives: Impacting Our World.

Panelists:

  • Moderator: Kent Schull, Associate Professor of Ottoman and Modern Middle East History at Binghamton University
  • Aynur de Rouen, Curator of the Kurdish Collection, Special Collections, Binghamton University Libraries
  • Bahattin Demir, PhD student in History at Binghamton University
  • Ekrem Karakoc, Associate Professor of Political Science at Binghamton University
  • Nilay Ozok-Gundogan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Ottoman History at Binghamton University
  • Ridwan Zebari, Director, American Kurdish Council, New York Chapter

Panelists will discuss their current research and findings, and how these efforts help us understand the world today. A general discussion of current events in the Kurdish community follows. Topics to be explored include the impact to Kurdish society as a result of the recent travel ban, perspectives on immigration and the vital role of diversity in education.

RSVP online

This panel discussion compliments “A Glimpse of Life in Iraqi Kurdistan,” an exhibit of black-and-white photography from the Libraries’ Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library and Museum Collection currently on display at the Art Museum.
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Help preserve history: Seeking photos and signs from the Binghamton Women’s March

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We’re asking for your help in preserving local history! The Libraries is documenting and collecting items from the Women’s March that took place in our community on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Items from other marches that people from the Binghamton area may have participated in are also welcome.

If you attended a march, or have photographs that you have permission to share, visit the Women’s March Submission Form to contribute a photo or video to the digital archive.

 

 

We’re interested in photographs and video of signs and crowd scenes.  Before submitting, be sure images are:

  • High resolution files from DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras
  • Camera phone images will be accepted, but use will depend on view ability
  • Clear, not blurry
  • Unique, not-repetitive

For photograph/video submission questions, contact the University’s librarian for women, gender and sexuality studies, Nancy Abashian at abashian@binghamton.edu.

We’re also interested in physical signs, flyers and other ephemera about or used in  marches attended by members of the greater Binghamton community.

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Our Featured Book for March: Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life And Art To Film

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Special Collections celebrates Women’s History Month with its featured book for March:  Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life And Art To Film written by Julie Taymor, the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical.

Artist Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. Considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954.

Frida, the person and her art, defy easy definition. Rather, they lend themselves to ambiguous description. Often volatile and obsessive, Frida was alternately hopeful and despairing. She loved dancing and crowds and flirtation and seduction – and was often miserably lonely, begging friends and lovers to visit, not to “forget” her. She had a ferocious and often black sense of humor, as well as a sharp command of wit and metaphor.

Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life And Art To Film is begins with a forward by Kayden Herrera and with introductions by Julie Taymor and Salma Hayek. The book  is a companion title to Julie Taymor’s movie “Frida”, depicting the true story of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and her husband Diego Rivera (1186-1957), the Mexican painters whose acclaimed work and passionate love affair characterized them during the first half of the twentieth century. Full-color photographs illustrate the screenplay text, as well as interviews with cast and crew members, director’s notes and descriptions of how they created unique sequences of the movie.  The sidebars naming many of the people who appear in the film are very helpful, especially the side-by-side comparison of the paintings and the excerpts from Frida’s life which inspired them.

The Search for the Frida Kahlo’s Life And Art To Film is part of the Rogg Collection. To read it and learn more about Frida Kahlo’s life, please visit Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Bartle Library. Special Collections is open Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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The Cloistered Books of Peru: A convent in the Andes is home to a treasure trove of rare, and possibly unique, early volumes

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The breviary, published in 1697, traveled more than 9,000 miles, by sea and land, before taking its place in the collection of the Recoleta. (Courtesy of the author)

In our digital age of e-readers and same-day delivery, it’s worth remembering how much blood and sweat used to go into the distribution of the written word. Consider the journey of a book I’ve had the rare privilege to examine, a Catholic breviary published in 1697. A call-and-response worship device, bound with wooden boards and covered in tooled leather, it is printed in bold blacks and reds and features lush illustrations throughout. The massive tome measures 18 inches high, 12 inches wide, and six inches thick, and weighs in excess of 22 pounds. Not an easy book to carry around. Yet, not long after its publication, someone did carry it—all the way from its publishing house in Antwerp, down the thousand miles through Europe and the Iberian Peninsula to the city of Seville. There it was loaded onto a boat and transported down the River Guadalquivir to the Atlantic loading port of Sanlúcar, where, along with thousands of other books, it began a month-long journey to the Caribbean Sea. Arriving at one of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, it was offloaded and placed aboard a smaller vessel for transit through pirate-infested waters to the port of Nombre de Dios (later Portobelo), which lay on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama.

The next leg of the journey, crossing the Isthmus itself, a mere 30 miles at its narrowest point, was a cursed ordeal. The shorter of the two possible routes took only four days but wended up into the mountains and along the Isthmus’s spine on a perilously rugged and narrow path. The longer route, known as the Gorgona Trail, was safer but required two weeks of hard travel down the Atlantic coast to the Chagres River, a muddy mess harboring dangerous reptiles and malarial mosquitoes. Adding to the difficulties of either itinerary was the presence of pirates and fugitive slaves whose livelihood depended on plunder. Both routes led to the city of Panama, on the Pacific side of the Isthmus. From there, the breviary and its companion books were loaded onto galleons for the 1,400-mile voyage down the Pacific coastline to Lima—the City of Kings and, for the legions of Spaniards seeking their fortunes, the major port of arrival in South America.

Once in Lima, where they often spent some time in the collections of private owners, the books eventually made their way south some 630 miles, probably carried by mules through the mountains, to the southern city of Arequipa. Some of them may also have been shipped down the coast to the port of Islay, then hauled uphill another 70 miles by mule or oxcart to reach the city. In all, the breviary, which I could barely lug from one room to another, and whose precise route to the New World we can, of course, never truly know, traveled about 9,000 miles to reach its destination.

Read more here!

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Happy World Book Day!

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Droeshout portrait. An engraving by Martin Droeshout as frontispiece to the collected works of Shakespeare (the First Folio), printed in 1622 and published in 1623.

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

Where better to celebrate World Book Day than Binghamton University’s Libraries?! Special Collections holds works by Shakespeare, Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Nabokov.

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Special Collections Hours during Winter Break

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Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections will be open 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. during Winter Break (March 3-7, 2017)

Enjoy your break everyone!

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