Exhibitions at the Binghamton University Art Museum feature Special Collections materials


The Multi-Modernist Tilly Losch: Dancer, Actress & Artist exhibit at the Binghamton University Art Museum. Photograph by Beth Turcy Kilmarx.

Two student-curated exhibits at the Binghamton University Art Museum feature materials from the Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections.

The exhibits are:

The Civil War: Images of Ruin, curated by graduate students from the Departments of History and Art History, which includes several issues of Harper’s Weekly held by Special Collections from the years 1862, 1863 & 1865. These issues include images taken by Mathew B. Brady an American photographer best known for his scenes of the Civil War. Brady’s use of a mobile studio and darkroom enabled vivid battlefield photographs that brought home the reality of war to the public.

The Multi-Modernist Tilly Losch: Dancer, Actress & Artist, Curated by Kara Lynn Nandin ’15, which features several portrait photographs of Tilly Losch that are held in Special Collections, including one by American visual artist, Man Ray, and a photograph  taken by the noted Austrian-born American photographer, Trude Fleischmann.

Find more information here

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Saeedpour Kurdish Exhibit to be open Thursday 5-7


Join us in the Libraries for a special viewing of the

Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library and Museum Collection

Thursday, March 26, from 5-7pm

The collection is the largest of its kind in North America and contains artifacts including jewelry, musical instruments, clothing and textiles, maps, photographs and art and other unique Kurdish cultural material from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Event location: LS-2502, second floor of Bartle Library

Contact: Aynur de Rouen at 607-777-3944

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Cool Connections, Hot Alumni Speaker Series: Kelli Ann (Walther) Burriesci ‘97

Kelli Ann (Walther) Burriesci ’97, deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will talk about her career path and share advice with students at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, in UU-133A, the Fleishman Center.

For the last 18 years, Burriesci has worked in the not-for-profit, private and public sectors. In her current position, she coordinates the department’s screening and credentialing policies to facilitate legitimate travel and trade and deter, detect and deny access to or withhold benefits from individuals who may pose a threat to the United States. Burriesci majored in both political science and philosophy, politics and law at Binghamton and worked part-time for the Telefund.

“Cool Connections, Hot Alumni” programs allow students to learn more about careers and to create potential contacts with an industry professional and Binghamton alumni. The speaker series is a collaboration between the Alumni Association and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to attend. Students planning to attend should register in hireBING through the calendar feature.

For more information, contact Francis Borrego in the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at 607-777-2400.

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A Miniature Elzevir book is the March Book of the Month

Aminta : favola boscareccia  by  Torquato Tasso.



 Aminta : favola boscareccia diTorquato Tasso.  Amsterdam : Nella Stamperia del s.D. Elsevier; Et in Parigi : Si vende appresso Thomaso Jolly …, 1678.   Illustrated by Sébastien LeClerc.  85 p. : ill. ; 11 cm.   An “Elzevier” book.   Call number:  PQ4639. A2 1678, The Miniature Book Collection.

Elzevir is the name of a celebrated family of Dutch booksellers, publishers, and printers of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The duodecimo series of “Elzevirs” became very famous and very desirable among bibliophiles, who sought to obtain the tallest and freshest copies of these tiny books.

Although it appears the family was involved with the book trade as early as the 16th century, it is only known for its work in some detail beginning with Lodewijk Elzevir (also called Louis). The family ceased printing in 1712, but a contemporary publisher Elsevier takes its name from this early modern business.

The fame of the Elzevir editions rests chiefly on the works issued by the firm of Bonaventure and Abraham.   Their Greek and Hebrew impressions are considered inferior to those of the Aldines and the Estiennes, but their small editions in 12mo, 16mo and 24mo, for elegance of design, neatness, clearness and regularity of type, and beauty of paper, cannot be surpassed.

Special mention ought to be made of the two editions of the New Testament in Greek, published in 1624 and 1633, of which the latter is the more beautiful and the more sought after; the Psalterium Davidis, 1653; Virgilii opera, 1636; Terentii comediae, 1635; but the works that gave their press its chief celebrity are their collection of French authors on history and politics in 24mo, known under the name of the Pelites Republiques, and their series of Latin, French and Italian classics in small 12mo.

Also, they are noted for their publication in 1638 of Galileo‘s last work, the Two New Sciences, at a time when the Inquisition forbade the latter’s writings.

Jean, son of Abraham, born in 1622, had since 1647 been in partnership with his father and uncle at Leiden, and when they died Daniel, son of Bonaventure, born in 1626, joined him. Their partnership did not last more than two years, and after its dissolution Jean carried on the business alone until his death in 1661. In 1654 Daniel joined his cousin Louis (the third of that name and son of the second Louis), who was born in 1604, and had established a printing press at Amsterdam in 1638.

From 1655 to 1666 they published a series of Latin classics in 8vo, cum notis variorum; Cicero in 4to; the Etymologicon linguae Latinae; and in 1663 a magnificent Corpus Juris Civilis in folio in two volumes. Louis died in 1670, and Daniel in 1680.

This month’s book of the month book was published by Daniel Elzevir in 1678.  It has a  mottled full calf binding.  The spine has four raised bands with decorated gilt compartments.  The book has an engraved frontispiece.  The title page is decorated with a printer’s device.   A third illustration was inserted upside down at the beginning of the first scene.

To see this book, visit Special Collections which is located on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.  During the spring semester, the department is open to the public 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Aminta : favola boscareccia by Torquato Tasso.   Call number:  PQ4639. A2 1678, The Miniature Book Collection.

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Barbara Abou-el-Haj, associate professor of art history, dies

Barbara Abou-el-Haj, 71, recently retired associate professor of art history, died Friday, March 6. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1975, and joined the faculty at Binghamton as an assistant professor in 1985. She was promoted to associate professor in 1991, and retired in August 2014.

At Binghamton, she was very active in the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Fernand Braudel Center.

A prolific author, her writings decisively shifted the field of medieval art history away from its long-established comfort zone of ritual, liturgy and the sumptuous expression of spirituality, making her a leader of the field.

Read more here

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Opening reception: Libraries’ Miniature Book Exhibit


Special Collections will host an opening event in celebration of this unique and diminutive exhibit from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in Special Collections, second floor, off of the North Reading Room, Glenn G. Bartle Library.

The miniature book collection consists of 116 books that spans four centuries from 1605 to 1991. Books on a variety of topics can be found in the collection that is rich in prose, poetry, philosophy and religious writings with titles ranging from the classics to the obscure. Authors represented in miniature include the humanists, the humorous and politicians such as Petrarch, Charles Dickens and George Washington.

All are welcome. For more information, contact Lisa Havtur via e-mail.

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Cornell historian to speak on slavery and capitalism

Edward E. Baptist, associate professor of history at Cornell University, will present “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in LN-1106, the IASH Conference Room. He is author of the award-winning Creating an Old South and most recently The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. The talk is sponsored by the Department of History.

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CEMERS trip to the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will host a bus trip to the Cloisters and the Islamic Galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday, March 13. A guided tour will be provided at both museums.

The cost is $30 for undergraduate and graduate students; $25 for declared MDVL majors/minors and $45 for faculty and staff. Pricing includes transportation, museum admission and tours.

Arrive promptly at 8:15 a.m. Buses will depart the Events Center parking lot at 8:45 a.m. and return to the Events Center parking lot at 10:30 p.m. Students must have a valid Binghamton University student ID card to board the bus.

All students, faculty and staff are welcome.

Deadline to sign up is today, Friday, Feb. 27! For more information or to sign up, visit the CEMERS office, LN-1129, call 607-777-2730 or contact Erin Stanley via e-mail.

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Former Professor of English John David Walker dies

John David Walker, 83, former professor of English, died at his home Feb. 24, 2015. He joined the faculty at Binghamton in the early 1960s, retiring in 1995 after 35 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin, and his PhD specializing in 18th-century English literature from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Following his retirement, he participated in six of the University’s London semester-abroad programs.

Read more here

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Professor Emeritus Wolfgang Kappe dies

Wolfgang Paul Kappe, 84, professor emeritus of mathematics, died Friday, February 20, 2015.

He completed Abitur in 1947 and enrolled at the Technische Universität in West Berlin then at the Humboldt Universität in East Berlin, where he pursued studies in mathematics. In 1959, he enrolled at the Universität Frankfurt and relocated to the Mathematical Research Institute at Oberwolfach as administrator, completing his doctorate in 1961. He and his wife emigrated to the U.S. in 1963. In 1968, they moved to Vestal, to join the mathematics faculty at Binghamton, where they were instrumental in developing the PhD program and where Wolfgang served as graduate director for many years.

An algebraist working in group theory, with major contributions to this area, Kappe retired in 2000, but kept contact with the department by attending the algebra seminar on a regular basis.

Read more here

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