Graduate Course Syllabus

HIST 410: Advanced Digital Methods: Loyola Library Project
Fall 2013, Tuesdays, 6-8:30 pm
Information Commons, Room 230
Professor Kyle B. Roberts, (office: Crown Center 548)

Overview

In the late 1870s, a librarian created a subject catalogue for the burgeoning library of St Ignatius College, the forerunner to Loyola University.  College prospectuses from the period herald the dramatic growth of the library’s collection, but it is the surviving library catalogue that reveals the broad range of books that the Jesuit Fathers selected for their educational mission. The library catalogue provides a lens into some of the most important tensions within nineteenth-century urban Catholic identity: between the Jesuits’ centuries-old tradition of the Ratio Studiorum and the demands of a professionalizing urban economy; between European-born and educated Jesuits and their American-born students, many of them children of immigrants; and between the desire for idealism and the necessity of pragmatism in a rapidly growing city.  Through the unusual lens of a library catalogue, this seminar provides the opportunity for an interdisciplinary exploration of nineteenth-century transnational book history, Catholic history, urban history, educational history, and digital history.

Over the course of the semester, students will:

  • Participate in a collaborative digital humanities project that will result in the Fall 2014 online publication of the Loyola Library Virtual Library System (VLS);
  • Research a segment of the original library catalogue and track down original books still in the library’s collections;
  • Learn how to import MARC records for the titles in their segment of the catalogue into the VLS (This comes with a small stipend and a publishing credit);
  • Select and write label text for one surviving book from their segment of the catalogue for inclusion in the Summer 2014 exhibition at LUMA on the Jesuit Restoration;
  • And write a final paper based on their segment of the catalogue that will be published on the Jesuit Libraries Project website.

No prior experience with digital applications is necessary. This course is part of the preparations for the 2014 Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Restoration of the Jesuits.

Organization of the Course

The course will be divided into three segments:

  • Weeks 1-5 will involve seminar-based discussion of various contextual topics related to religious history, book history, urban history, digital history and bibliography;
  • Weeks 6-11, students will focus primarily on researching their segment of the library catalogue, importing MARC records into the VLS, and tracking down original books in the Loyola collection.  Meetings during this week will be built around lectures by guest scholars on various topics related to the class, such as Catholic publishing history, Midwestern library history, Jesuit history, etc.  Students will provide brief progress reports of their work during this period and occasionally meet individually with the professor;
  • Weeks 12-15 will return to seminar-based discussion focused on how we write the history of libraries and ideas.  The course will culminate with individual presentations of exhibition label texts and final papers.

Assignments and Weight in Final Grade:

  • CLASS PARTICIPATION: [15% of final grade].
  • FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Locate surviving books in Pegasus and save to a list. Due Week 5. [10% of final grade].
  • SECOND ASSIGNMENT: Enter MARC records for books that have not survived in the VLS. Due Week 11. [10% of final grade].
  • FINAL ASSIGNMENT:
    • Label Text. Select one book from your section of the library catalogue.  Write a 250-word label text for the book to be displayed in the 2014 LUMA exhibition, “Crossings And Dwellings”. Your label text should explain what the book is, how it is reflective of your interpretation of your section of the catalogue, how it is reflective of the broader themes of the exhibition, and does all this for a broad, non-academic audience.  There is no set formula for your label. It should reflect what you found to be the most interesting to you as a scholar. [25% of final grade]. Due by December 10th.
    • Final Presentation. You will give a five-minute presentation on your book and your research on your segment of the catalogue at the final class on December 3rd.  You will be grouped into one of four panels.  Members of the Loyola Libraries staff, History Department faculty and students, and members of the broader Loyola community will be in the audience and will have an opportunity to ask you questions about your presentation.  [15% of final grade]. Due Week 15.
    • Final Reflection Paper.  You will write a 10-15-page paper in which you reflect on why you chose the book that you did for the LUMA exhibition and place it in the context of your research on your segment of the catalogue.  This paper is intended to allow you to expand upon the ideas that you can only briefly cover in your label text and your five- to seven-minute presentation.  It also can be a place where you respond to questions you received from your presentation at the final class.  This paper could be used as the basis for a paper at the May 2014 Community Libraries AHRC Network and the October 2014 Bicentennial of the Restoration of the Jesuits Conference (both are in Chicago).  [25% of final grade] Due by December 10th

Course Meetings

Week 1, August 27
Introduction to the Project; Tour of University Archives

  • What is a Library?
  • What is the History of the Book?
  • Introduction to Library Catalogue segments

Readings for class:

  • Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night (Yale, 2006; 9780300151305)

Week 2, September 3
The Jesuits: Crossings and Dwellings

  • Who are the Jesuits?
  • Why were they suppressed?
  • What was their educational mission?

Readings for class:

  • Thomas Tweed, Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion (Harvard, 2008)
  • Jonathan Wright, “The Suppression and Restoration”, in Thomas Worcester, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, 263-277. Available online through Loyola.
  • Gerald McKevitt, “Jesuit Schools in the USA, 1814-c.1970”, in Thomas Worcester, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, 263-277. Available online through Loyola.
  • John W. O’Malley S.J., “The Historical Significance of the Ratio”, The Jesuit Ratio Studiorum of 1599.

Assignment due by Sunday, September 1, 10 pm:

  • Email Dr Roberts (kroberts2@luc.edu) three to five choices for the segment of the library catalogue that you want to work on over the semester. He hopes to be able to honor all of the requests, but reserves the right to make the final assignment.

Week 3, September 10
Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Chicago and the United States

  • What was the place and experience of Roman Catholics in nineteenth-century United States?
  • When and how did Catholicism arrive in Chicago?
  • Why was St Ignatius College founded?

Readings for class:

  • Jon Gjerde, Catholicism and the Shaping of Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge, 2012)
  • Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., The Catholic Church in Chicago, 1673-1871 (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1921). skim
  • Ellen Skerrett, Born in Chicago: A History of Chicago’s Jesuit University (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 2008), chapter one. PDF in Google Drive.

Week 4, September 17
MARC and Book Cataloguing

  • What is bibliography?
  • What is MARC?
  • Book Cataloguing Workshop with Kathy Young

Readings for class:

Assignment due in class:

  • Bring to class two books from your segment of the catalogue that survive in Loyola’s collection (it doesn’t matter if they come from the shelves in Cudahy, library storage in Sullivan, or Rare Books in University Archives) and a copy of the Staff View (MARC) record for each from Pegasus.

Week 5, September 24
The Loyola Library VLS

  • What is a VLS?
  • How do we evaluate a Digital Humanities Project?
  • Copy Cataloguing with MARC records in the VLS
  • Preliminary entry of MARC records

Class presentations:

I would like us to evaluate book history digital resources as part of our discussion.  Evaluating a web-based resource is different than evaluating a monograph or an article.  Questions of content, functionality, and design all demand attention, alongside argument (if there even is one!)  The interdisciplinary composition of this class is uniquely suited to evaluate these resources in a way that often an individual scholar is forced to do on her own.   I would like a Digital History, Public History, and History student to work together to evaluate one of the five resources listed below.  I would like you to use the Journal of American History (JAH) web review guidelines as the basis of your critique, which you will present to the class.  This assignment is as much about giving you a deeper familiarity with an web resource as it is about understanding how we evaluate such resources.  The sites we will evaluate are:

Readings for class:

Assignment 1 due:

  • Go through all the books listed on the spreadsheet of your segment of the catalogue and find out how many have bibliographic records in Pegasus.  Save all of those to the special “My List” that you will log-in to use. In addition to saving all of the matches, you should be prepared to hand in the spreadsheet of your segment of the catalogue, noting which books you were able to locate.

Week 6 – 11
Circulation Patterns: Print Culture, A Chicago Jesuit Library, and American Catholic Identity Seminar Series
While you enter of data into VLS and track down original books in Rare Books, Cudahy, and Sullivan, we will have guest speakers join us to talk about topics related to this class. For each  The seminars will begin at 6 pm in the Palm Court, 4th floor of Mundelein Hall.

  • Week 6, October 1: Ellen Skerret, Independent Scholar
  • Week 7, October 8: No class
  • Week 8, October 15: Robert Orsi, Northwestern University
  • Week 9, October 22: James Connolly, Ball State University
  • Week 10, October 29: Thomas Tweed, Notre Dame University
  • Week 11, November 5: John McGreevy, Notre Dame University

Assignment 2 due by Sunday, November 9th, 10 pm:

  • All of the books that did not survive in Pegasus will be loaded into the VLS as skeletal (or mock) MARC records.  Your responsibility is to use Koha’s Z39.50 server to locate MARC records that match the mock MARCs and to import them into the VLS.  You should again hand in the spreadsheet of your segment of the catalogue, noting which books you located.

Week 12, November 12
Library History

  • Special Guest: Monica Mercado, University of Chicago, “Catholic Books at the Columbian Exposition”
  • What is library history?
  • How do we write library history?

Readings for class: Sarah Wadsworth, ed., “The Woman’s Building Library of the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893.” Special issue, Libraries & Culture 41, no. 1 (Winter 2006)

  • Angela Sorby, “Symmetrical Womanhood: Poetry in the Woman’s Building Library” (p.5-34)
  • Candy Guenther Brown, “Publicizing Domestic Piety: The Cultural Work of Religious Texts in the Woman’s Building Library” (p.35-54)
  • Amina Gautier, “African American Women’s Writings in the Woman’s Building Library” (p.55-81)
  • Barbara Hochman, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the World’s Columbian Exposition” (p.82-108)
  • Bernice E. Gallagher, “Illinois Women’s Novels at the Woman’s Building Library” (p.109-132)
  • Anne H Lundin, “Little Pilgrim’s Progress: Literary Horizons for Children’s Literature” (p.133-152)
  • Emily Todd, “Afterword: The Woman’s Building Library and History” (p.153-161)

Week 13, November 19
Exhibiting Books
We will meet at LUMA, 820 N Michigan Avenue, for this meeting

Readings for class:

Assignment due on Sunday evening, November 17:

  • Using the book that you catalogued back in our class on Week 4, write a label text for the book from your segment of the library that you catalogued.  Try your hand at talking about where the text fits into your segment of the library catalogue.  Write it for a broad, well-informed, but not academic audience. Bring a copy of your draft text to the class meeting.

Week 14, November 26
Reception and Audience

  • What is the study of reception?
  • Comparative Examples
  • Peer critique of first draft of label texts

Readings for class:

  • Jane Tompkins, ed. Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism, ix-xxvi, 201-232. PDF in Google Drive.
  • J.A. Radway, “What’s the Matter with Reception Study?: Some Thoughts on the Disciplinary Origins, Conceptual Constraints and Persistent Viability of a Paradigm.” Reception Study, ed. James Machor and Phillip Goldstein (Oxford University Press, 2008). PDF in Google Drive.

Assignment due on Sunday evening, November 24:

  • Write a draft of your label text for the book that you want to exhibit at LUMA in the summer 2014 “Crossings and Dwellings” exhibit.  The text can be no more than 250 words.

Week 15, December 3
Presentation of Final Research Projects

Assignment due in class:

  • You will give a five-minute presentation on your book and your research on your segment of the catalogue at the final class on December 3rd.  You will be grouped into one of four panels.  Members of the Loyola Libraries staff, History Department faculty and students, and members of the broader Loyola community will be in the audience and will have an opportunity to ask you questions about your presentation.

THE FINAL LABEL TEXT AND REFLECTION PAPER ARE DUE ON DECEMBER 10TH BY 5 PM. BOTH SHOULD BE EMAILED TO DR ROBERTS.

 

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