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The Friends of the Wesleyan Library are happy to announce the launch of an undergraduate research prize. The research project, widely conceived, can be from any undergraduate course taken in Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, or Winter 2017 from currently enrolled Wesleyan students. Honors theses are not eligible.

Projects will be evaluated based on the use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources as well as on the quality of writing and research. We are particularly interested in receiving applications that show evidence of learning about research techniques and the information-gathering process itself.

There will be two cash awards: a 1st-place prize worth $500 and a 2nd-place prize worth $250.

Instructors and librarians are encouraged to nominate students’ work; students may also self-nominate. Please send nominations to: libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

All materials must be submitted electronically, preferably as PDF files. Applications will include:

The jury will be comprised of members of the Friends of Wesleyan Library board, Wesleyan librarians, and Wesleyan faculty from Arts & Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

Deadline: 5pm, March 10, 2017.

Awards will be announced in April 2017.

For inquiries, contact the Friends of Wesleyan Library, at libfriends@wesleyan.edu.


ArtFarm, a Middletown theater organization which produces an annual summer Shakespeare festival among other programs, asked the library to assist with a community-based theater project, Where Are We Now? Race, Pride, Class and Inequity.  They are placing books in various community spaces to invite people to write about their experiences of discrimination or hopes, dreams, vision and suggested solutions for creating an equitable community.  The Wesleyan book is on a table in Olin Lobby through March 3, 2017.  Some of the stories collected may be featured in wall art or be included in a performance on April 7, 2017 at Oddfellows Playhouse.


Guerilla#2.StoryShare Equity.Hope










On Friday, January 27, 2017, Associate Professor of Music Paula Matthusen and Visiting Scholar in Music Terri Hron performed Hidden Volumes, “an exploration and remembrance of space through magnetic, transferred traces” in Olin Library.  “Looping backwards and forwards, distorting time,” they improvised on a series of recordings originally made in a dark Roman aqueduct which had been transferred onto reel-to-reel tape (the loops of magnetic traces).  The performers stationed themselves in the central book stacks on the third floor, but the music could be heard throughout many floors of the library.  The audience explored the soundscape by moving through the space — and enjoyed browsing the nearby books.  Afterwards, Paula explained some of the technical aspects of the composition.






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Wishing you a happy new year and all the best in 2017.
Thank you for your generous support of the library and the Friends, especially to those who have recently joined the Friends and those who have already renewed their membership for this academic year!

Other ways to support the library in your gift giving include the Adopt a Book Program and gift memberships.  Both are tax deductible.


Post- Holiday Sale Specials List —

The books on our Post-Holiday Sale Specials List have been donated to the Friends of the Wesleyan Library to raise money to support special events and projects at the library.  We are offering them to the Wesleyan community.  If you are interested in any titles, please email Jennifer Hadley at libfriends@wesleyan.edu to arrange for viewing, purchase, and pick-up after January 3.  There is no shipping service available.


Book sale compilation

Amy Slowik from Russell Library (123 Broad Street)  is starting a lunchtime mystery book group.



A talBook coverk and book signing by
co-editors Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 4:30-6:00 pm

Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library
252 Church Street, Middletown

Camp and Heatherton trace the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy that was first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton.

Open House of Special Collections & Archives materials related to the history of incarceration and policing

Before and after the talk: 4:00-4:30 pm, 6:00-7:00 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library

The talk and open house are free and open to the public.

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Jordan Camp is a postdoctoral fellow in Race and Ethnicity and International and Public Affairs at Brown, co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and author of Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016).  Christina Heatherton is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Trinity College, co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and author of the forthcoming book The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution, Internationalism, and the American Century (University of California Press, 2016).

Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.
For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.


Exhibition: Documents in Black and White

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
through Friday, December 16, 2016
Special Collections & Archives exhibition cases, 1st floor, Olin Library


Hillcrest Orchards

The exhibition “Documents in Black and White” consists of photographs from the Nancy Ottmann Albert Collection. Selected by the artist, the works span the thirty years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. Inspired by Walker Evans and the FSA photographers, Albert (MALS ’94) began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England in 1981. Shooting black and white film in a medium format camera, she returned over the years to record their decline and disappearance. Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These include mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition. The exhibition also contains images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture; barns and abandoned homesteads; filling stations; drive-in theaters. All of the work, which includes gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist.


Artist talk by Nancy Ottmann Albert


Nancy Ottmann Albert photo


Friday, October 28, 2016, 7 p.m.
Develin Room, Olin Library

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.  For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.


Are We Better Than Our Predecessors?

Toward a New Era of Progress


A talk by Dan Drew, Mayor of Middletown



In this talk, Mayor Drew will explore the erroneous assumptions that we are more advanced than preceding generations and what we can do to focus ourselves toward a future predicated on progressive social and economic advancement.

A Q&A with the Mayor will follow.


Smith Reading Room, Olin Library
252 Church Street

Friday, September 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

This Constitution Day event is free and open to the public.
It is sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.

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Dan Drew is serving his third term as Middletown’s Mayor.  He has worked to improve the way City Hall serves the public, move the community in a sustainable direction through the preservation and protection of our environment and natural resources, build on a strong economic legacy to support continued economic growth and new businesses, collaborate closely with local, state, and federal partners to make the riverfront revitalization project a reality, improve the quality of life for Middletown residents, and advocate on behalf of the city’s youth, workers, seniors, and families.  Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2002 and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in 2015.


For more information:



Early in the 2016 spring semester, Voranan Vaan Taepaisitphongse ’17 asked Art Librarian Susanne Javorski if she could borrow a card catalog drawer for a Drawing 1 art project.  In May, we got to see the fruits of her labors when her friend returned the drawer to the library (keeping the drawings) after photographing the images at Susanne’s request.  Thank you to Vaan for allowing us to publish the photographs on the blog and to Susanne for providing them.


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Wondering what a card catalog is? Information about the books and other resources in a library used to be typed onto 3″x 5″ cards, which were filed in drawers by author, title, and subject.  To find the location of a book in the library or search for resources, the patron would flip through the cards in the appropriate drawer.  Below is an archival photograph of the card catalogs in Olin’s front hallway (circa 1950’s or early 1960’s), courtesy of Special Collections & Archives.

Card catalogs in Olin

May 3, 2016 – October 2016


Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library
Open during library hours

The new SC&A exhibition, “A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916,” is now open. It explores the study of astronomy at Wesleyan from the University’s founding in 1831 through the construction of Van Vleck Observatory in 1916, which celebrates its centennial this year. Items on display include atlases, textbooks, photographs, an original Henry Bacon Van Vleck Observatory architectural drawing, and more. The exhibition is held in conjunction with a number of other Van Vleck Observatory celebratory events sponsored by the Department of Astronomy. More details about the events can be found here: http://www.wesleyan.edu/observatory/centennial.html.



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