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Special Collections travels to Mexico City

Beautiful

The Top Shelf

During the first week of this month, Rare Books Librarian Agnieszka Czeblakow and I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City for the annual Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) conference. This year’s theme was “Sites/Cites, Texts, and Voices in Critical Librarianship: Decolonizing Libraries and Archives.”

As a first-time attendee, I was excited to learn that SALALM is so interdisciplinary; the event brought together librarians, archivists, book dealers, curators, scholars, and other professionals. Our shared goal was to think critically about how processes of selection, organization, and description give shape to research and teaching on Latin America, Iberia, and the Caribbean.

I was able to participate in a wide variety of activities, including panels composed of experts discussing issues relevant to all institutions that collect Latin American materials (UTSA included). I learned how other institutions think critically about their holdings, develop innovative workflows…

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A pocket guide to Totonac, an endangered language.

Fascinating. What an amazing find.

The Top Shelf

As the digitization of the Sons of the Republic of Texas Mexican Manuscript Collection (SRT) in its entirety progresses, I continue to be amazed and pleasantly surprised by some of the hidden gems that are buried in the unassuming SRT filing cabinets in the Special Collections vault. One of those wonderful moments happened recently when I came upon document 5794, “Vocabulario de la lengua Totonaca.” The vague title featured in the metadata does not do this incredibly interesting document justice. Document 5794 is so much more than just a “vocabulary.” Its cover contains a striking  example of calligraphy, the contents are interesting, unique, and exciting. The document provides a glimpse into the diversity of eighteenth-century Mexico. It features one of the 68 indigenous languages officially recognized by the Mexican government that are still spoken today.

txsau-srt-5794_00001 not cropped

The name Totonac ecompasses a cluster of approximately 9 closely-related languages still spoken by…

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HemisFair Exhibit at the McNay Art Museum

The Top Shelf

Install1 “Synchronetic” by Fletcher Benton

UTSA Libraries Special Collections has partnered with the McNay Art Museum to present HemisFair ’68: San Antonio World’s Fair, an exhibit organized in celebration of the 50th anniversary of HemisFair ’68 and of San Antonio’s Tricentennial.  The exhibit primarily draws from the archival holdings of UTSA Special Collections.

Highlighting artists and designers who contributed to the Fair, HemisFair ’68: San Antonio’s World’s Fair features small selections of artworks, architectural drawings, conceptual site plans, costume and graphic designs, ephemera, souvenirs, and audiovisual materials, including film and sound recordings, that document the early planning for HemisFair ’68.

The exhibit runs from May 3, 2018 to July 29, 2018

Install3

The exhibition is organized by Heather Ferguson, former Archivist for the McNay Art Museum, with Amy Rushing, Head of Special Collections for UTSA Libraries.

Install2

Lead funding is most generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane…

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Alamo Arcade: Portal to the Alamo Gardens

The Top Shelf

With various proposals for the new Alamo Master Plan in the news today, we look back to an earlier time when there were similar efforts to redesign the area around the Alamo.  The idea for a park adjacent to the Alamo chapel received serious attention when the Alamo Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the San Antonio Conservation Society presented the idea to the mayor and city commissioners in 1925.  Among the leaders was Clara Driscoll Sevier, who had provided money to preserve the Alamo Long Barrack over 20 years earlier.  Mrs. Sevier, chairman of the Alamo Park Commission, again advanced considerable money toward purchase of the property immediately south of the Alamo for what would become part of the Alamo State Park, now called the Alamo Gardens.  The long process of bringing the park to fruition is chronicled in numerous articles in the San…

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This week: Fidel Castro’s love affair / Celebrating the brilliance of Scarface / The secret power of ISIS / Molly Ringwald looks back / The British Empire’s shadow on today’s world

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. ‘My Dearest Fidel’: An ABC Journalist’s Secret Liaison With Fidel Castro
By By Peter Kornbluh | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“The untold story of how Lisa Howard’s intimate diplomacy with Cuba’s revolutionary leader changed the course of the Cold War.”

2. Revisiting the Controversy Surrounding Scarface
By Jason Bailey | Vulture | April 2018
“It landed on VHS and Betamax the following summer, at what may have been the perfect moment, as home video reached a penetration point and videotape rentals were becoming part of the average moviegoer’s diet.”

3. End of the American dream? The dark history of ‘America first’
By Sarah Churchwell | The Guardian | April 2018
“When he promised to put America first in his inaugural speech, Donald Trump drew on a slogan with a long and sinister history — a sign of what was to follow in his presidency”

4. How Trump Moved the Mexican Border North
By Emily Gogolak | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“It started in Texas. And the rest of the country is next.”

5. The ISIS Files
By Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times | April 2018
“We unearthed thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long.”

6. ‘The Clock Is Ticking’: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades
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7. What About ‘The Breakfast Club’?
By Molly Ringwald | The New Yorker | April 2018
“Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.”

8. 5 Reasons Why a Writer Should Move to Tampa
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“Welcome to the lightning capital of North America.”

9. My Caribbean trip opened my eyes to the legacy of the British empire
By Lenny Henry | The Guardian | March 2018
“After Brexit, the Commonwealth could play a crucial trading role. But the historic associations with slavery still resonate.”

10. Essential Writing Advice from Virginia Woolf
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“Woolf was a once-in-a-generation mind, and as both a writer and publisher, she had strong opinions about what made a piece of literature great (or, more often, mediocre). Luckily for us, she wrote many of her ideas down, in some of the many essays and letters she penned over the course of her life.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Revisiting the Pentagon Papers / Short walks are good for you / James Mattis: Roman hero / A memory of Baghdad / Touring Clinton country

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Lying in Politics: Reflections on The Pentagon Papers
By Hannah Arendt | The New York Review of Books | November 1971
“The quicksand of lying statements of all sorts, deceptions as well as self-deceptions, is apt to engulf any reader who wishes to probe this material, which, unhappily, he must recognize as the infrastructure of nearly a decade of United States foreign and domestic policy.”

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3. Women Writing the West
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4. James Mattis Is an Ancient Roman Action Hero
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5. Something attacked my son while he was sledding in the woods. But what?
By Mark Shanahan | The Boston Globe Magazine | March 2018
“My child went sledding alone and emerged from the trees bloody and dazed. He still can’t remember what happened.”

6. Why So Many Public Libraries Are Now Giving Out Seeds
By Katherine Davis-Young | Atlas Obscura | March 2018
“Seed-sharing programs aim to expand access to crops and educate the public, while also protecting scarce agricultural resources.”

7. Did scientists really just discover a new organ in he human body?
By Rich Haridy | New Atlas | March 2018
“Using a new microscopic technique, a team of scientists has identified a previously unknown human anatomical feature. Dubbed the interstitium, the discovery reveals that what was previously thought to be simply dense connective tissue sitting below the skin’s surface, and surrounding our organs, is actually a complex series of interconnected, fluid-filled compartments.”

8. One Morning in Baghdad
By Adam Exum | The Atlantic | March 2018
“Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, there’s no satisfying answer to the question: What were we doing in Iraq anyway?”

9. My 72-Hour Safari in Clinton Country
By Adam Wren | Politico Magazine | March 2018
“More than a year into Trump’s presidency, the bubble has closed back over the Acela Corridor, where voters say they do not regret not voting for Trump.”

10. History of a Conversion: A Political Profile of Mario Vargas Llosa
By Felipe Restrepo Pombo | Words Without Borders | March 2018
Read Part 1 and Part 2

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Robert Frost / Puerto Rico’s enduring agony / A Mediterranean megaflood / Men and mental health / Repealing the Second Amendment

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. A Bittersweet Journey Back to Puerto Rico After Maria
By By Luis Ferré-Sadurní | The New York Times | March 2018
“The Times joined a family on their return to Puerto Rico months after fleeing Hurricane Maria’s fury. The homecoming was not what they expected.”

2. Why Dictators Write
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“What Saddam Hussein’s romance novels and Kim Jong-il’s film criticism reveal about authoritarianism.”

3. In Her Orbit
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“Nathalie Cabrol searches the Earth for the secrets of life on Mars”

4. America’s Most Widely Misread Literary Work
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5. A Megaflood-Powered Mile-High Waterfall Refilled the Mediterranean
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6. A Brief History of Trump Insulting Women Who Call Him Out
By Lisa Ryan | The Cut :: New York Magazine | March 2018
“Here, a look back at Trump’s habit of degrading women who accuse him sexual misconduct or impropriety — or who simply dare to stand up to him.”

7. How Trump favored Texas over Puerto Rico
By Danny Vinik | Politico | March 2018
“A POLITICO investigation shows a persistent double standard in the president’s handling of relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria.”

8. Repeal the Second Amendment
By John Paul Stevens | The New York Times | March 2018
“Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. … But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

9. We Asked People Why They Got Sober
By Graham Isador | Vice | March 2017
“In my life, most stories of sobriety had been fed to me through after-school specials or sensationalized retellings on the evening news. The following are stories from real conversations I had with friends about why they stopped drinking and drugs. At times, the stories felt both much bigger and much smaller than I had expected them to.”

10. Men don’t talk about mental health. They should.
By Jordan Rubio | Houston Chronicle | March 2018
“Going through such emotional lows has been deeply shameful to me. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just tough it out and get over it. I disparaged myself, thought myself weak and worthless and pathetic. The guilt of going through something like this haunted me as though it were a great sin.”

Bold Thoughts

Lets Think Bright For A Change!!

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A community for those involved with the Family Court of Hong Kong. We would like to hear your story about Family Court in Hong Kong. Languages English and Traditional Chinese. Established April 16, 2018. 一個涉及香港家事法庭的社群成立於2018年4月16日。我們希望可以聽聽你對於家事法庭的故事. 英文語言及繁體中文. -- 離婚中被洗腦的兒童」是虐待兒童 父母疏離是涉及已分配孩子的父母的. Site format best viewed from a computer.

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