Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Archives, Libraries and Popular Culture

This is partly a "working post" for a class I'm teaching next week for adult learners. The first session is "Pop Culture in Archives and Special Collections." I want to play a few clips of how archives and special collection libraries (or libraries in general) are portrayed in the movies and television. So I'm using this as my clipboard to paste down a few links.

From "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001). Gandalf reads Isildur's account of the ring of power. (1:04)

From "The Name of the Rose" (1986). Brother William of Baskerville discovers "one of the greatest libraries in all Christendom." (9:40)

From "The Name of the Rose" (1986). The scriptorium. (2:53)

From "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" (2002). Chief Librarian of the Jedi Archives, Jacasta Nu, assists Obi Wan Kenobi with his research. (1:06)

Mr. Bean at the Library (1990). Mr. Bean works on a rare manuscript. (9:13)

From "The Music Man" (1962) --Marian the Librarian. (7:43)

From "All The President's Men" (1976). Woodward and Bernstein pay a visit to the Library of Congress. (1:31)

From "Angels and Demons" (2009). Symbologist Robert Langdon tracks a mystery in the Vatican Archives. (0:56)

From "Angels and Demons" (2009). Breaking out of the Vatican Archive. (1:14)

From "Ghostbusters" (1984). Psychic researchers encounter a library ghost. (1:27)

From "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009). A scene from Hogwarts library. (0:53)

From "Desk Set" (1957). Librarians in the reference department of a television network. (1:12)

"The Librarian: Quest for the Spear" (2004). Interviewing for the position of librarian. (2:36)

Holmes, Studio 360, Fox 9, and The Movie

The Holmes media blitz continues. And we couldn't be happier. The various reports have brought some great attention to the Holmes Collections. In the process, we've been able to introduce a few more folks to the world of Holmes (and gather in a few new supporting Friends in the process).

The latest reports took place last Sunday and Monday. On Sunday night the public radio program "Studio 360" took a look at the world of Holmes. If you missed the broadcast check out this link to hear the program. The blurb for my segment in the story reads "Where would you expect to find the world's largest Sherlock Holmes archive? Try nine stories below Minneapolis, in the rare book collection at the University of Minnesota. Sarah Lemanczyk descends for a visit." I had a great time with Sarah. She was actually the first reporter on the scene to cover the Collections in anticipation of the new movie release (more on that shortly). I was curious how she was going to use some of the effects we recorded (e.g. doors opening, foots going down steps, etc.) She did a great job. I have to admit that I'd forgotten that I told her the State Fair story, but so it goes. We had fun. I enjoyed the other pieces in the Holmes spread as well, especially the chance to hear from Susan Rice, Les Klinger, and David Stuart Davies.

On Monday morning I was a guest on the Fox 9 morning news program. I don't have a link to a clip as yet, but I'm hoping that the station will put one up soon. I'll let you know. Alix Kendall did a nice job with the interview, giving me a chance to show a few things from the collections. I was hesitant to bring any rare objects with me so stuck to some safer choices and duplicate items. The special moment for me was having Alix put on the deerstalker cap that once belonged to John Bennett Shaw. She looked very good with it on, but I think it might have flustered her a wee bit. It was one of those spur of the moment things that happens during an interview. I was talking about the cap, held it up and thought. . . I wonder if she'd mind. She was great! I didn't head into work that day (taking advantage of having the kids home from school), but apparently the phones were ringing off the hooks about seeing Sherlock at the U.

As for the movie. . . I really enjoyed it. I went the morning after Christmas with my daughter. We caught an early show (11 am) at the mall and didn't have to fight for seats. (It was a much different case by the time we emerged from the theater. By then the place was packed with post-holiday shoppers and there was a line for the next showing.) I generally rate movies by how many times I look at my watch. I didn't check the time once during "Sherlock Holmes." I thought it was a fun movie and, contrary to some of my more traditional Holmesians, thought the action was OK. I especially enjoyed Jude Law's portrayal of Watson. Law gave us a well-developed character, in many ways an equal of Holmes, with excellent banter between the two. It was not hard to believe that this man had seen military action or had the skills of a doctor. I also enjoyed the setting. This was a grimy, gritty London and one that had a richness and depth, almost another character in the movie. My complaint was with the use of Mary Morstan, the only real canonical glitch to my eyes. In the original stories Holmes would have known Mary from "The Sign of Four," but in the movie its as if they've just met. I don't know why this was done, but it detracted slightly from my enjoyment. I was pleased at how the physical and mental Holmes came together, as I was with how all of Holmes reasoning was tied together. And there was the set-up for a sequel. Will it indeed be Brad Pitt who plays Moriarty? I gave the movie two thumbs up, or 4 out of 5 stars. And I'm going to see it again (and get it on DVD).

There is one curious matter about the movie: Robert Downey Jr. received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a musical or comedy. "Sherlock Holmes" to my mind is neither a musical nor a comedy. So I'm not sure why his performance and nomination was shoe-horned into this particular category. But I'm glad he was nominated.

I may or may not get another post in before the New Year, but in case I don't--best wishes for the coming year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

More Holmes in the Star Trib

Kudos to the Star Tribune for the great coverage of the Holmes Collections. The newspaper ran Jeff Baenen's AP story again over the weekend with front page coverage, above the fold, in the "Variety" section. My daughter started getting texts and FB comments from friends on Saturday morning about her "cool" dad in the paper and my son texted me mid-morning to say that the picture of me with Raggedy Ann and Andy (as Holmes and Watson) was "huge." So there were a lot of happy faces in the Johnson household on Saturday.

The jollity continued at a party Saturday night, causing me to run out and buy a few more papers. (By this time the "early Sunday" edition was out, and the "Variety" section was still there in all its glory.) I had a bit of fun at the Cub store in Apple Valley, where I picked up six more copies of the paper. The clerk told a friend and I that we were "insane" (either for buying multiple copies of the paper or for our dress--it was a PJ party and I was in sweats and a hoodie; my friend had been sporting a robe). After paying for the papers I looked back at the clerk and asked "aren't you curious as to why we're buying so many copies of the paper?" While asking the question, I pulled out the Variety section and held it next to my face. The woman behind me in line exclaimed "my God, its him!" So we had a nice laugh. The clerk then asked if I'd give her a signed copy, but I was already headed for the door.

It was great coverage for the Collections, but it struck me more than once during the weekend that none of this would be possible without the work of many of my colleagues, the ongoing support of the University and our Friends, and the many Friends and donors who have helped build this collection. It was (a continues to be) a humbling reminder of the importance of our collective work and what it means to be a steward of these materials for future generations.

So, in the spirit of the season, and echoing the words of my Dickensian namesake, "God Bless Us, Every One!" Best wishes for the Holiday season!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holmes at the University of Minnesota

We have a great relationship with the Libraries Communication office and the University Relations office. U Relations just posted two video stories about the Holmes Collections. The first piece gives you a nice overview and features appearances by Professor Gordon Hirsch from the English department and Dick Sveum, president of the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections.



The second piece focuses on a few of the treasures from the Collections, notably the Beeton's Christmas Annual and a manuscript leaf from the Hound of the Baskervilles.



My sincere thanks to the folks from University Relations--Drew Swain, Ryan Mathre and Liz Giorgi--for all their help in promoting the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University. And my thanks as well to Professor Hirsch, Dick Sveum and Marlo Welshons from the Libraries Communication office. We had a lot of fun with the interviews! I hope you enjoy them!

Follow-up on Holmes Story in the Strib

I found it interesting that the Star Tribune decided to use photos from its own morgue instead of the photos provided by the AP for the Holmes story. I don't know what was behind that decision, but it did lead to an erroneous caption for one of the pictures. The caption reads: "Sherlockiana at the University of Minnesota's Wilson Library (emphasis mine) includes an 1887 copy of "A Study in Scarlet," an original draft page 24 from "The Hound of the Baskervilles," an ashtray from the Sherlock Holmes Pub in London and other items." The Holmes Collections moved out of Wilson Library in late 1999 and have resided in the Elmer L. Andersen Library ever since. Whoever does the Stribs captions didn't do their fact-checking. That, in turn, will lead people to Wilson library asking about the Holmes collections, at which point they'll be directed to Andersen Library (unless they want to see the permanent exhibit of the 221B sitting room that has resided on the 4th floor of Wilson since 2008).

At the same time, it was great to see an old picture of "Mac"--E. W. MacDiarmid in the stacks with the Holmes Collections (probably taken when the materials from the Hench Collection arrived in 1978, and probably taken when that part of the collection resided in Walter Library, on the East Bank campus). That was the first time that Mac's path crossed mine, when I was a graduate student in the Library School, taking classes on the 4th floor of Walter Library. Fond memories.

Sherlock Holmes: The Movie and the Collections

Just thought I'd make a brief note of a couple of items that came out from the Associated Press the other day about our Sherlock Holmes Collections. Look here if you're interested in the print version of the story and here if you want to see another AP bit on YouTube. Since this was an AP report, the story appeared in any number of papers and other media sites. At least a few of those included the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis StarTribune, and ABC News.

I had a lot of fun doing the interviews with the AP reporter, Jeff Baenen. I'm looking forward to a couple of other pieces hitting the airwaves/net soon: a couple of pieces from our own University Relations department, and from the public radio show "Studio 360."

And, of course, there's the movie. I'm looking forward to seeing it (although I haven't found anyone yet who can get me into a sneak preview--which I'd love to do). I've been checking the trailer for some time now, noting a few subtle changes in trailer and web site along the way. Bottom line--I think its going to be a lot of fun.

It was interesting--a great word here in the upper midwest--to see that the movie has received a Golden Globe nomination, although the category is a bit jarring--best actor for Robert Downey Jr. for a musical or comedy. I'm sure the characterization of the movie as musical or comedy will come as a bit of a shock to some of the Sherlockians/Holmesians out there, who would most likely think of Holmes in terms of drama. Anyway, we shall see (and soon, I hope)...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Discussion and Questions

  • the presence of social networking and possible fruitful conversations that we might have with those in the marketing world, e.g. Best Buy, Pancheros, who are using social networking as part of their marketing plan
  • it is good to be on the landscape, to have a good tone with those in the social network
  • the importance of community stewardship, e.g. things that are pushed to Flickr
  • the resident/visitor scenario. more data about what people are doing will help to improve services. the trade-off between privacy and convenience.
  • transaction costs. learning requires the expenditure of work:) don't want to get caught in the quality and convenience trap
  • experiences of newspapers, travel agents, bookstores. alignment of revenue models and use models. libraries will depend more on shared consolidation services
Next speaker on Dec. 17th

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Tentative Conclusions

Current will move to emerging pattern

Books: a new balance?
Journals: move to consolidation?
Discovery layer: need one?
Institutional materials: disclose through discovery layer, but also...
Analytics: let traffic influence design of website

Disclose and syndicate
  • institutional collections: is someone responsible for search engine optimization?
  • holdings: syndicate (knowledge base, holdings,...)
  • services: Libx, widgets,...
  • SEO. Consistent url patterns across services, hackable urls, bookmarking buttons, etc.
This is about interoperability with the web

User and institutional leverage
  • expertise, reputation (provide bibliographic tools,...)
  • watch identity management: prepare for when manage context (usage) and claims. (affinity strings)
  • integration with other campus systems (course management,..)
  • 'follow' and intervene? (Salesforce.com)
Usercentric mashups will continue to be important

Organizational
  • seek collaborative sourcing models
  • externalize infrastructure
  • focus on distinctive impact
  • place local in bigger contexts
  • track identity management and reputation enhacement
  • recognize that things have changed
Presentation end. Time for discussion and questions

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--emerging Pattern 2

Mendeley: 100,000 users and 8 million research papers; manage profile; manage publications; "like itunes for research papers";

VIVO at Cornell: $12mil project funded by NIH

Reputation management, social networking

Discovery scenarios:
  • Relationship between consumer and library: direct--added value
  • Between library and flow: disclosure and syndication
  • Between many/indirect discovery: may involve identity, locate, resolution or other services at library
The "indirect discovery" scenarios; with the second and third scenarios the discover happens elsewhere

With the second scenario we want to disclose holdings and existence

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Example of indirect discovery: Google Scholar, Google Books

Syndication via iTunes

Syndication: bookmarking and rss; pushing stuff into their flow

We now have "an ecology of services"

What does it really mean to push stuff out onto the web?

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Network Reconfigurations

An "insta-mashup" i.e. Lorcan's experience with LinkedIn and the NYT; pulling stuff from NYT based on his LinkedIn profile; here's stuff you might be interested in.

Will probably see more like this

In the future, how much will we focus on "identity services" for the network that will, in turn, deliver information based on your profile.

Social services require identity

Realtime services require identity

movile services require identity.

They all want to know who you are, or who you claim to be.

Tweetdeck knows about Facebook identity. Lorcan's example, for this morning, where he went to Tweetdeck which in turn used his FB identity to authenticate his internet use with the hotel (ALoft/Minneapolis) in which he was staying

Importance of cloud computing when you're constantly changings devices; cloud and mobile are natural partners

network is the unit of attention
data aggregation
gravitational pull
networks effects
long tail

Multiscalar: personal, departmental, disciplinary, library, consortial, systemwide

bookmarking, researcher pages, deposit papers, research data

identity and federation lacking across scales

Choices: focus on distinctive local impact? Engagement? externalize infrastructure? Common requirements?

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Collection Directions

Stuff that comes from the outside in (old) and the stuff that comes from inside and wants to get pushed out (new)

Grid with two axes: stewardship; uniqueness
  • Low unique/High stewardship = newspapers, gov docs, cd & dvd, maps, scores; concentration of licensed material, small number of suppliers, 'professional services'; bought materials--move to licensed? concerns with space/usage
  • high unique/high stewarship = rare books, local/historical newspapers, archives, mss, these, dissertations; special to whom? distinctive?
  • high unique/low stewardship = ePrints, learning objects, courseware, e-portfolios, research data, prospectus, institutional website, tech reports; institutionally important, future 'special'
  • low unique/low stewardship = open source software, newsgroup archives, freely-accessible web resources; interest will grow
The outside in stuff: discover, deliver, disclose holdings, manage claims

The inside out stuff: disclose. Array alongside other institutions? Make sense as individual destinations?

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Emerging Pattern

Environments: back office/management; materials workflow; user environment; between Managment and end User Access

Workflow:
  • Bought/physical
  • Electronic/Licensed
  • Digital/Digitized
  • Special collections/Archives
Manage it-->Content-->Metadata-->Get It-->Find It

This results in a very complex environment, with legacy systems, etc.:
  • ILS, ERM, Repository, Special
  • MARC, A&I, XXX, DC, EAD
  • ILL/Circ, Link resolver, special
  • OPAC, MetaSearch,A-Z,NxtBen, Website
Website intergration that gives something wholistic/organic

U of Michigan's web site does quite a nice job of wrapping around all these services, etc.

Industry pattern that you can see emerging==end-user environment with integrated discover and the management environment that has integrated resource managment

When you put the network in there, it gets a little more complicated, but can still see this integrated environment

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--First Network Interlude

Here's the first "interlude" in Lorcan's talk.

Attention switch
  • Then: resources scarce; attention abundant
  • Now: attention scarce; resources abundant
  • this flip is important because it tells us how people think about information
Workflow switch
  • Then: expect workflows to be built around my service
  • Now: Build services around workflows
Consumer switch
  • Then: More investment in business/eduction environments
  • Now: More investment in consumer environments
People are bringing more advanced expectations. Is this driven by the attention on the consumer? What, these days, do we really mean by "being available." If a piece is found, according to OCLC, in four research libraries, is it "available" or "effectively lost?"

"In an environment of scarce attention high transaction costs equals low/no availability."

Dave White's "Visitors and Residents" in terms of a presence on the web.

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--the Numbers

Lorcan's comments (we may also link to the UMConnect Presentation at some point):
  • This is the 3rd time Lorcan's been here to present
  • Discoverability report done by the U Libraries was done very well
  • How people do things, discover things and deliver things
  • Disclosure to the network
Numbers:
  • 4,316,022 WorldCat holdings
  • 575,542 UM contributed records in MNCat
  • 2,687,888 number of holdings attached to UM contributed records
  • 683,258 number of items held by 5 or fewer institutions
  • 1,603,701 number of items held by 25 or fewer institutions
  • 311 languages represented in collection
  • 233 countries of publication represented in collection
  • These are the stats/numbers as of July 2009
  • 784,796 UM owned titles in HathiTrust as of October; 20% of UM holdings
  • 12% of these titles in less than 25 libraries
  • retain the 12% as local asset; the stuff held by 25-100 libraries--shared research collection, regional consolidation; stuff held by more than 100 libraries--source print delivery with network provider?

Live: Lorcan Dempsey--Wendy Lougee Intro

OK, I decided to "live blog" Lorcan's speech to the U Libraries. Wendy is now going through the opening and, interestingly, indicated that this talk is available not only through UMConnect to library staff unable to attend, but is being streamed to CIC colleagues as well. Given the collaborative nature of our endeavor, this is a great move to open up Lorcan's talk to a wider audience.

Wendy mentioned "Financing the Future" and wants to make sure everyone has read it. I'll come back later (if I don't have time now) and put in some other links. Here's a link from the staff wiki to today's event.

Lorcan's title slide: "discovery, delivery, disclosure"

Lorcan Dempsey on Campus

Today marks the beginning of an interesting speaker series for the U of M Libraries. The series is described thus:

"The University Libraries have invited speakers to engage the Libraries staff in broad strategic themes that will shape the future of the University Libraries. These themes capture an arena of strategic importance to the University and to the Libraries. Through the process, we will explore directions and potential investments...."

Today's theme is "Discovery and Delivery" and the speaker is Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC. Here's the little blurb that accompanies today's theme and speaker:

The Libraries' classic roles in providing collections and information access have undergone fundamental changes in the context of new models of distributing content, new technologies and players in the discovery environment, and changing expectations for delivery among our users.

When "discovery happens elsewhere" and users expect discovery and delivery to coincide, how should libraries respond? What mechanisms should be developed to meet the needs of students and faculty?

What roles do major players (such as Google and Amazon) currently have in the overall search and discovery environment and how will these roles evolve? In the years ahead, how will the library interact with these players and their services?

What is the future role of the local library catalog? Does it exist? What should it contain? How should it be defined?

What are library staff roles in this new discovery and delivery environment? Where are the future alignments for library expertise?


We have been given a number of readings in preparation for today's presentation. These include:

* Horizon report 2009: The Horizon Project produces a yearly report identifying emerging technologies that are likely to have a large impact on learning-focussed organizations. Worth reading because it places the technological developments affecting academic libraries in the context of the key trends and challenges facing the learning institutions that they serve. Includes executive summary and a summary of the key trends reviewed.
* University of Minnesota Libraries Discoverability report executive summary (staff access only; don't know why). The Libraries' Phase 1 Discoverability report identifies key trends related to discovery and offers principles to guide decisions involving discovery. The full report also provides an analysis of usage data for the Libraries' main discovery systems.
* Mark Dahl, "Evolution of Library Discovery Systems in the Web Environment". Dahl recounts his work on a series of projects that take him beyond traditional library discovery tools. Provides an engaging narrative framework for understanding the need for new types of discovery and the development of technology to support them.
* Peter Brantley, "Architectures for Collaboration: roles and expectations for digital libraries". Former Executive Director of the DLF offers some personal views on what libraries need to do to adapt to their changing environment. A broad, high-level view of the changing responsibilities and opportunities facing libraries.
* Lorcan Dempsey, Four Sources of Metadata about Things. Our speaker, Lorcan Dempsey, delineates four kinds of metadata which libraries can use to enhance their discovery services.

And, finally, here's a little bio blurb for Lorcan Dempsey:

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Programs and Research and Chief Strategist, oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. He is a librarian who has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England and the US. He has policy, research and service development experience, mostly in the area of networked information and digital libraries. He writes and speaks extensively, and can be followed on the web at Lorcan Dempsey's weblog and on twitter. Before moving to OCLC, Lorcan worked for JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN at the a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath.

I'm debating whether or not to live blog this event. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Old Dictionaries

An interesting article in the New York Times Magazine by Ammon Shea on old dictionaries.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lorcan Dempsey's weblog

Lorcan makes some comments on work done here at the U. The report is, most definitely, worth a look.

Lorcan Dempsey's weblog

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Harvard Acquires Updike

Good news for those interested in Updike.

MinnPost - Broadband connectivity is a big issue in rural and remote parts of Minnesota

You can't have Web 2.0 without good access to the 'Net. Here's a story that came across my desk this morning.

MinnPost - Broadband connectivity is a big issue in rural and remote parts of Minnesota

Shared via AddThis

Rare Books on front page of the MN Daily

A nice article that appeared in today's Daily. My thanks to Luke Feuerherm and photographer Marija Majerle for the coverage.

University’s rare book collection held deep underground

One of the nation’s most unique collections of rare books is preserved and available on campus.


Library curator Tim Johnson points out archived books Tuesday in the Elmer L. Andersen Library. Comprised of nearly 3 million volumes, the library is home to one of the world's foremost rare book collections.

Published: 10/06/2009
By Luke Feuerherm

When searching for rare art on campus, most turn to the aesthetic grandeur of the East Bank’s Weisman Art Museum. However, some of the University of Minnesota’s rarest art lies buried beneath 90 feet of shale and limestone across the Mississippi River.

Elmer L. Andersen Library is home to one of the world’s foremost rare book collections, containing 120 special collections and additional archives that make up nearly 3 million volumes in total, including Andersen’s vast personal collection.

“Our Sherlock Holmes collection is one of the largest, if not the largest in the world,” said Kris Kiesling, director of archives and special collections at the University libraries.

The volumes are held in two main caverns that protect them from four major threats: temperature, humidity, dust and light. This protection includes filtered ventilation, low-flow fire sprinklers, pressurized halls and chemical detectors used to discern fires before they happen.

While these intricate caverns are closed to the general public, their rare treasures are not. Reading rooms are available during library hours where library workers access the rare collections to retrieve works upon request.

“There’s just something that happens to you when you hold a book that’s over 500 years old,” library curator Tim Johnson said.

The University library system is North America’s 15th largest research library and assists the University in its status as a research university.

“There’s just no way to get across its value in any type of virtual mode. It has an artistic value; it has a tactile value,” said graduate instructor Kevin Mummey, who recently took his students to the library to view 3,000-year-old stone tablets.

“Our hope is that the collections support the research our students do,’” Johnson said.

The collection stands as a valuable supply of primary sources on campus.

“We get a lot of students using the collection in a variety of ways. We probably see between 800 and 1,000 students in the course of an academic year, either through class presentations or working on papers or projects using the collection,” said Marguerite Ragnow , library resources advisor for graduate students.

In addition to research, the library’s collection also stands as a preservation of the art of literature. The value of the rare books extends beyond simply information.

“It’s not just the text in the book but the creator and the art,” said Johnson. His favorite pieces in the collection include “The Kelmscott Chaucer,” regarded by some as the most beautiful book in the world, and a Sherlock Holmes novel that once belonged to Tsaritsa Alexandra of Russia.

The thick stone that encases the rows of rare literature is in place to protect them from their environment, not shield them from the public, for which they are open to daily upon request.

Go Twins!!

Like politics, there won't be many times when I interject my enjoyment of certain sports and teams into this blog, but I can't resist the opportunity to hype my Minnesota Twins. Last night's game against the Detroit Tigers was, truly, one for the ages. I've seen many games in my life and this one has to rank near the top. To use the cliché, both teams left it all on the field. This game is full of highlights and I hope the Twins or somebody in Major League Baseball puts that game on a DVD and offers it for sale. I'd buy a copy in an instant.

I don't know what to expect in the Twins-Yankees series. Its only a best of five series, so there's not a lot of room for mistakes, but I think the Twins will surprise a lot of folks. They've been full of surprises all year; their run through the final stretch of the regular season was an amazing thing to watch (or listen to on the radio, for those of us without cable television).

Every year, come about the time of Spring training, I pull out my vhs recordings of the 1987 and 1991 World Series games, in anticipation of the coming baseball season. Next year maybe I'll have one more game to watch as I get ready for the Twins and a whole new adventure in their new outdoor stadium.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Book TV: Allison Bartlett

Book TV on C-Span has this program related to "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much." The blurb for the show reads: "Allison Bartlett talks about John Charles Gilkey, a rare book thief who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of books, and the rare book dealer who tracked him down and brought him to justice. She spoke at The Booksmith in San Francisco."

Presidential Proclamation

I'm not always sure of what to make of proclamations from official sources, but this one is probably worth noting.

What struck me most is the following: "Over the past decade, we have seen a crisis of authenticity emerge. We now live in a world where anyone can publish an opinion or perspective, whether true or not, and have that opinion amplified within the information marketplace."

Part of what we're about is helping create an informed citizenry. Critical thinking skills and the broad perspective of a liberal arts education are important components to an authentic, civic conversation.

Here's an overview of our own program at the U of M.

From the daily feeds

A couple of things to note from the daily reading of rss feeds:

A review in the NY Times of THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession. By Allison Hoover Bartlett, 274 pp. Riverhead Books. $24.95

An essay by Lewis Hyde, also in the NY Times, on Google, copyright and orphan works.

An obituary of Reinhard Mohn "the entrepreneur who transformed Bertelsmann from a provincial, war-shattered German publisher into a global media giant..."

A report on the New York Art Book Fair

And, from Kevin Driedger's blog, a link to the University of Florida and the inclusion of zombie attacks in their disaster preparedness plan.

Friday, October 2, 2009

ResearchChannel - Libraries, Coffee & Surfing

I haven't had a chance to view this yet, but wanted to pin it to my blog in case anyone else is interested in viewing.

ResearchChannel - Libraries, Coffee & Surfing

Shared via AddThis

Fitzgerald at the Ransom Center

This interesting press release came across my Google Reader on the acquisition of F. Scott Fitzgerald material by the Ransom Center. The last two sentences caught my eye: "The materials will be accessible once organized and housed. High-resolution press images of a selection of the new materials are available."

Which made me wonder about work-flows and processing. I think its very interesting--and smart--that digital images of some of the materials are already available, even though the collection is not yet fully processed. This will help with additional publicity and give folks a sense of what's there. But it is a double-edged sword. Advance PR may mean phone calls and e-mails about access to the full collection. Does this speed up the processing? Does the collection skip to the front of the processing line? Or, if "more product, less process" is in play maybe its not an issue. In any event, I find it interesting that some digitization of materials appears to happen towards the front end of the process.


MinnPost - New alcohol problem for schools: hand sanitizers

The morning reading continues. Like many institutions, the U is actively promoting safe workplaces and plenty of briefings on H1N1 flu. We now have wipes (for keyboards and mice) and hand sanitizers at all of our main work stations. Signs recently appeared in the restrooms instructing us on good hand-washing technique. (Can you count to 20 or sing "Happy Birthday" real slow to make sure you've allowed the soap and hot water to do its thing?) We're developing decision trees and scenarios for "mission critical" conditions in the event of a larger outbreak. Interestingly, the Libraries are not considered "mission critical" in the event the University closes due to the flu.

At the first flu clinic to receive a "regular" flu shot, the line took 45 minutes to snake its way to the awaiting needle. I was there and am now vaccinated. But because of the popularity (or hysteria?) supplies of the vaccine ran low and later clinics were postponed. I'm wondering what it will be like when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available later this month. Masks were available while we were standing in line for those who felt the need, but they haven't shown up yet at our workstations.

This could be a very interesting flu season. So what's it like at your library?

MinnPost - New alcohol problem for schools: hand sanitizers

Shared via AddThis

Student Blogs

Here's another interesting article from the NY Times on student blogs. For those of you interested in blogs at the University of Minnesota, check out this link to UThink.

MinnPost - Book Club Club: Where are the men? Part 2

I'm pondering what the next steps might be for this blog and how I might share things I come across. So I'm playing around. Here's an article that I came across this morning during my daily reading from rss feeds.

MinnPost - Book Club Club: Where are the men? Part 2

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Fridays in Andersen Library

Come join us for...

First Fridays: Virtue & Vice in the Stacks

What: First Fridays: Virtue & Vice in the Stacks
When: Friday, October 2, 2009 • noon - 1 p.m.
Where: 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library
Free and open to the public.

FirstFridays_Oct1.jpg
Diligence
In the early 1920s, the University of Minnesota began a journey of "imperative" need. Two structures were proposed--an auditorium large enough to hold the entire student body and a stadium to house the football program and support physical education. They would be more than signature campus buildings: they would honor the service of a University president and the sacrifice of Minnesotans in the "great war" while rallying the University community in an unprecedented fund-raising effort. Get the inside story on Northrop Auditorium and Memorial Stadium from the staff of University Archives.

FirstFridays_Oct2.jpg
Sloth
The American poet Elizabeth Bishop, in a letter to Marianne Moore, wrote: "I am overcome by my own amazing sloth . . . Can you please forgive me and believe that it is really because I want to do something well that I don't do it at all?" See Special Collections and Rare Books sloth in action.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Politics and the Web: Rep Joe Wilson

I will rarely use this forum to comment on things political. But I wanted to pin this thought to my own board as a way to ponder how we communicate our political thoughts in a web 2.0 world. The thought is this: I find it interesting that Rep. Joe Wilson's web site was down for repair this morning, the morning after he acted beyond the bounds of decorum during the President's speech to Congress last night. Is there truly a problem with his web site, or is this the web 2.0 version of unplugging your phone, or is his site under attack, or something else?

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 76: A Final Word

Minnesota Book Awards, 2001, A Man's Reach. Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

On April 20, 2001 Elmer was recognized by the Minnesota Center for the Book with an Honor Award for his memoir A Man's Reach, edited by Lori Sturdevant. "This Honor Award was created to recognize Minnesota books of unusual achievement or significance that fall outside the ten standing award categories. The Minnesota Book Awards committee is empowered to present up to three Honor Awards each year. A Man's Reach was the first book to receive this special honor since the award's creation in 1999 and is recognized as an important work that spans memoir and history in the retelling of extraordinary moments in the private and public life of Minnesota's leading citizen."

Toward the end of his speech at the Minnesota Book Awards, Elmer made this observation: "I think we're coming to the end of a materialistic age, where money was more important than anything else and the heart of a future is going to be in meetings like this. And in Minnesota, the heart of the culture is right here because it's in the expression of the poetry in the lives of people, the history of politics, the generations that have gone before that should stand as a springboard for future citizenship that will be more appreciative of our government, more respectful of the views of others, dedicated not to private gain but to public service for the welfare of all. That should be the mission of all of us."

This marks the end of the exhibit. We hope you've enjoyed this insight into the life of "Minnesota's leading citizen." We enjoyed the opportunity to share it with you.

Our special thanks to those who helped make this exhibit possible: the family of Elmer L. Andersen, the H. B. Fuller Company, and the Minnesota Historical Society. Special thanks as well to Katie Goetz for her tireless work in digging through the many boxes and files and finding some wonderful treasures; Darren Terpstra for his continuously amazing and delightful creativity and design; Karen Hoyle, Maggie Ragnow, Kathy Allen, and Elaine Challacombe for the initial ideas and assistance; and Kris Kiesling, Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections, for her energizing support, ideas, humor, and so much more. It is a pleasure to count you all as colleagues.

Tim Johnson
Curator, Special Collections & Rare Books

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 75: Elmer and Eleanor

"Eleanor and I developed a way of relating to each other that has suited us well for nearly seventy years: We do not talk about everything. There ought to be a certain mystique about love and marriage. Talking about everything in great detail diminishes the mystery. Not all of life, of art, of music, of anything should be thrown out on the table and torn apart and dismembered. It is too precious. You sense music. You sense art. Some parts of life are better just experienced."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 74: The Marching Song of Life

Elmer, 1980s

"I learned conventional Lutheran theology, the stuff of confirmation class and the catechism. The lessons were simple: faith, trust, service to others. Those ideas have affected my whole life. I trust people, and when I find people I cannot trust, I do not react against them. I just avoid them. I learned at church that every human being has great potential. There is a great deal of good in everybody, and there is potential for evil in everybody. What makes the difference is the environment in which people are placed. In all my relationships, particularly in business, I have tried to place people in situations in which it is easy for them to be at their best."

"To me, religious faith is the marching song of life. It is what appeals to something deep within you that you do not quite fully understand but that holds the potential of making something finer or nobler of you."

"The Lutheran Church taught more than theology. From it I learned a way of life that has stayed with me longer than some church doctrines have. It was a life that required a great deal of people. One was always to be honest, decent, kind, generous, civil. Those strictures were so imbedded in me that I did not think of behaving any other way."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 73: The Kelmscott Chaucer

Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: now newly imprinted. Hammersmith [Eng.] : William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 1896.


425 copies on paper; 13 on vellum. This copy on paper. One of 48 copies bound in white pigskin over wooden boards by the Doves Bindery.

"When I began to think about the next owner of my books, I checked with the University of Minnesota to see whether its collection included a Kelmscott Chaucer. I knew another Minnesota book collector…had one—not bound in pigskin, as mine was, but in heavy board binding. I never told him I had a pigskin-bound copy, because I wanted to spare him the jealousy. I thought he intended to give his Chaucer to the university, but it went instead to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. So, a few years ago, I surprised Austin McLean, then the university's curator of special collections, with a personal visit. I laid the Kelmscott Chaucer on his desk."

This volume is one of the most treasured gifts from Governor Andersen to the University.

University of Minnesota Libraries, Rare Books Flat/v 822C39 IM83b

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 72: I Trust To Be Believed

I Trust To Be Believed. Edited by Lori Sturdevant. Minneapolis: Nodin Press, 2004.

Manuscripts and transcriptions of recorded addresses given by Elmer Andersen from 1949 to 2003 on a variety of topics. Includes comments on the continued relevance of these issues in the 21st century.

University of Minnesota Libraries, Andersen Collection

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 71: What nobler purpose...

Whittington Press broadside for Elmer on the naming of the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota

"What nobler purpose can there be for a University than to gather up the prizes of a culture—preserve them, propagate them, make them available—so that the best of what has gone before can be preserved and built on?"

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 70: His Library

Elmer in his library at home.

"Even in my youth, I did not buy books casually. In my mind, I was building a library. My intention was to read my books, know them well, catalog them, and care for them. I still have the little book in which I recorded every book I bought. I would put a little red-bordered, numbered sticker in each book and then record the number in my little catalog, along with the book's name and author, how much I paid for it, and sometimes, where I got it."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 69: Elmer Loves Books

Minnesota Library Association, Distinguished Achievement Award, 1994

"Recently a high school boy called on us. He said he and fifteen other young people were trying to raise $5,000 for a library fund at a school district some distance from our home. He came because a friend of mine told him, 'Elmer Andersen loves books. You ought to see Elmer.'"

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jerome K. Jerome, on work

I came across this passage while reading "Three Men in a Boat," by Jerome K. Jerome. It had me in stitches (and still does, every time I read it). From Chapter XV:

It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.

You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me: my study is so full of it now, that there is hardly an inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon.

And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn't a finger-mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of preservation than I do.

But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for more than my proper share.

But I get it without asking for it - at least, so it appears to me - and this worries me.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 68: Whittington Press

Whittington Press broadside, from an essay by Elmer, with engraving by Gaylord Schanilec, 1989

"Excellence in book publication is not confined to the nineteenth century. Through a dealer named Jim Sitter, I became acquainted with the work of the Whittington Press in England. Whittington is operated by John and Rosalind Randle, a husband-wife team. I became their eager customer." Later, in order to raise money for the press, the Randles offered their archival collection for sale. "The archival collection included not only a copy of every book Whittington had published but a copy of every variation in binding and paper quality produced. The collection also included manuscript material and correspondence with authors….I bought the collection and gave it to the University of Minnesota."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 67: Arboretum Library

Ampersand Club broadside, talk at the Landscape Arboretum, 1982

"...Then I asked Eleanor, 'Wouldn't it be fun if we could be identified with the library portion of the [Synder] building [at the Arboretum]?' She could not help but concur. I had already started collecting rare books about horticulture. A library is books. I did not wait for the construction of a building to start amassing the books to fill it."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 66: Kelmscott Press

Bieler Press broadside, Kelmscott Press & William Morris, exhibit, 1981

"In everything he did, [Morris] pursued the highest standard of quality. Morris became a printer late in life and established the Kelmscott Press at Hammersmith, England, to print fine books….Kelmscott Press printed 54 items, all of them classics. The Kelmscott Chaucer was the top work of these 54. At one time, I had a complete set of all 54, including Chaucer—not the vellum edition that I so badly wanted, but the pigskin-bound paper version that was published in 1896."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 65: William Morris

Portrait of William Morris by Barry Moser

"As I came to know more about fine printing and fine printers, I learned that William Morris of the Kelmscott Press was among history's best….He had more influence on printing in the world, not only in England but in Europe and in the United States, than anybody."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 64: Erasmus

Portrait of Erasmus

"Desiderius Erasmus, who is my favorite character, was a great scholar of the Reformation. His portrait hangs on our library wall. He wrote a wonderful little piece called In Praise of Folly. Erasmus satirically praises all kinds of folly, including his own. He mentions himself by name and lists his faults. Out of it comes the message that this is life. This is humanity. We have to be tolerant, even as we try to improve. All of us can do better. That is the purpose of life: to try to live better with each other, to try to live better with ourselves, to try to live better with all with whom we come in contact. We must recognize folly because it exists and can point the way toward improvement. You do not fight it. You do not fight life; you enjoy life."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 63: Love of Books

Elmer L. Andersen reading at his desk

"Aunt Lillian may have been the first person to inspire in me a love of books and a desire to collect them."

"Through a long life, a number of constants have grown dearer with time. Among them is the joy I find in books. I have been a book collector my entire adult life."

"The craving to own books, not just read them, did not pass with childhood. As a young traveling salesman in Minneapolis in the fall of 1928, I saved my loose change and then spent it on books. I always wanted nice books, but in those early years, I could not afford new ones. Instead, I scoured through Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries stores for high-quality secondhand books."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 62: Generosity and Love

"I told myself: If you ever are fortunate enough to have some means, be generous with it. Remember that a little generosity makes a big difference to people who do not have much. Just a little caring goes a long way."

"People want to be loved. I have come to think that the greatest force in life is love—not sexual love but love of humanity. If people will believe in the power of love and let it work, it can do wonders. That philosophy has been at the core of all my efforts in business and government."

"Polio was not a deterrent in my life. It might have given my life more vigor, by convincing me that whatever happened could be overcome."

"Society should not be tough on the perpetrators of crime. We should have mechanisms for finding out what is afflicting them and exert the effort to salvage their lives in some way."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 61: Rotary

Rotary Letter, on the 60th anniversary of Elmer as a member, 2001

"In 1941, after I took control of H. B. Fuller Company, Harvey Fuller talked to me about the Rotary Club. He said, 'Elmer, I think you'd like it. It's a group of good fellows, and they stand for what you believe in. I wish you'd let me propose you for the Rotary Club.' I agreed and soon found myself reveling in the Rotary. I just marveled at the good work it did in the community and for its members."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 60: Willard Munger Award

Minnesota Natural Resources Foundation, Willard Munger Environmentalist of the Year Award, 1997

"Munger, nicknamed "Mr. Environment," served his west Duluth district in the Minnesota Legislature for 43 years, starting in 1954, with only one two-year interruption, which occurred when he ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 1964."

"Munger sponsored or advocated nearly every piece of legislation related to the environment in Minnesota during the last half of the century."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 59: Reuel Harmon Award

Reuel Harmon Award, 1997

"The Reuel Harmon Award is an annual recognition of exemplary service and outstanding achievements on behalf of Minnesota’s parks and trails. Reuel Harmon was a founding member of the Minnesota Council of State Parks in 1954, and through its next 30 years of growth and transformation into the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota he was a powerful advocate for Minnesota’s parks and trails."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 58: Princeton Area Community Library

Princeton Area Community Library plaque, 1995

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 57: Myers Memorial Award

Myers Memorial Award, Metro State University, Creative Community Service, 1985

Over the years Elmer received a number of awards in recognition of his service to society. This and the following posts provide a sample of some of those awards.

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 56: Lindbergh Fund

Patch, Charles A. Lindbergh Fund Dinner, with autographs from early astronauts, wives and Anne Lindbergh, 1984

"The Lindbergh Foundation awarded grants to scientists seeking to discover a healthy balance between technology and nature, often through environmental research. The amount of the grant was uniformly $10,580—the price Lindbergh paid for the plane he flew to Paris in 1927." Elmer was the foundation's president from 1982 to 1985, and chairman of the board in 1986 and 1987.

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 55: Apollo 11

Apollo 11 envelope with stamps, July 20, 1969

Elmer attended the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon on July 16, 1969 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His papers include personal photographs taken on the day of the launch and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) still photographs and other memorabilia—including this first day of issue stamp and envelope—from the mission.

Later he worked with the Charles A. Lindbergh Foundation, a group organized in New York in 1976 by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong and World War II flying ace Jimmy Doolittle.

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 54: Persistence on Voyageurs

Letter from the National Park Service in gratitude for work on Voyageurs National Park, 1970

"My experience with Voyageurs, perhaps more than any other, showed me the value of persistence. When you work at something and keep at it, you never lose. A person should not make a commitment easily. But once committed, do not let go. Stay with it, and your work will eventually come to a positive end. I did not let the end of the governorship or Boise Cascade opposition or local resistance or lobbying setbacks deter me. Today, there is a national park to show for it."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 53: Voyageurs National Park

Charles A. Lindbergh and Elmer during the campaign to create Voyageurs National Park, 1969

"It is flattering to have been called the father of Voyageurs Park. I think that I made a difference. But so did many, many other people, more than I could possibly name, who kept the dream alive until it came to fruition. Some of the real heroes were people in the region who opposed their friends or employers to support the park. The park also had help from another real hero—Charles Lindbergh."

"Charles A. Lindbergh's name deserves a prominent place in the annals of Voyageurs National Park. The man who did so much for the development of aviation also did much for his home state, for the cause of wilderness preservation—and for me."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 52: Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh

"Lindbergh and I became close friends quickly. Our bond was grounded in our shared belief that there should be a balance between technology and nature. His ideas about that balance were appealing to me. That first night [of our meeting], we talked about how the advantages of technology always should co-exist with the wisdom that can be found in wildness. He was eloquent on that point, and I was impressed."

"Like most Americans of my generation, I knew some of the high points of Lindbergh's life. I was well aware of his historic 1927 solo flight from New York to Paris, his marriage to Anne Morrow two years later, the kidnapping and death of their first child in 1932, and his opposition to U. S. involvement in the war in Europe in the years leading up to World War II. After meeting him, I made it a point to learn more about Lindbergh."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 51: Native Americans

Girls from Nett Lake Indian Reservation pin Sah-Gi-Ba-Gah Days button on Governor Elmer L. Andersen

"I thought Minnesota's Native American population had been neglected. So, along with the new state director of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, James Hawkins, I toured every Indian reservation in the state. My goal was to see what could be done to lift the standard of living on the reservations. I was surprised to learn that I was the first governor to visit every reservation in the state."

"I wanted the public at large to better appreciate our Indian citizens. I was inducted into the White Earth tribe. I still have the paper bearing my Indian name, given to me by the aged chairman of the band. I prize it because they were accepting me as one of their own, and I think those of us of European descent need to accept Indians as our own. I am convinced that the arm's-length relationship we have now between the native and non-native populations in Minnesota must change. Our societies must be integrated."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 50: Civil Rights

"Concern for civil rights was stirring throughout the nation in the early 1960s. It was a major theme of the first governor's conference I attended, soon after becoming governor. It was in Hawaii, a place chosen because a number of governors were interested in playing golf. I was interested in crafting policy."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 49: Staying Power and Success

"I learned early that success in any activity often depends on staying power—the ability to stay calm, avoid discouragement, and press on."

"You never lose. Every effort you make is a contribution to success. The work you start may be completed at some other time and by some other people. But when you make sincere effort toward a good end, you contribute to its ultimate attainment. When you understand that, you never fail."

"I love selling. I love the interchange with people. A good salesman gains influence on another person's mind. That makes selling quite a serious undertaking."

"A belief that success is inevitable has proven very powerful in my life."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 48: Senator Hatfield

With Senator Mark Hatfield in Washington. (L to R): Elmer, Emily, Eleanor, Senator Hatfield

"Rockefeller, Hatfield, and I argued that it was high time that the governors took a stand on one of the most important issues facing the nation. The United States had to assure basic rights and decent treatment for everybody. We prevailed. In 1961, the nation's governors went on record in support of guaranteed equal rights for all Americans.

That meeting sealed a friendship among Rockefeller, Hatfield, and me. I was a loyal volunteer in Rockefeller's campaign for the presidency in 1964. Hatfield said to me after our 1961 meeting, 'Elmer, anytime you have any project, I'd be glad to join up with you.' We saw most issues the same way. We stayed in touch, and I cheered him on through his years in the U. S. Senate. In March 1996 [sic], a proposed amendment to the U. S. Constitution for a balanced budget was down to one vote in the Senate. The day before the vote was cast, Eleanor, Emily, and I were in Washington and had lunch with Hatfield. He told us he was going to vote against the amendment."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 47: Staying on good terms

Former Governor Harold LeVander presenting Elmer the Minnesotan of the Year award by the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, 1968

"I learned right away: always stay on good terms with people whose ideas differ from yours so that you can work with them tomorrow even if you differ today. Hot topics are unavoidable in the legislature. Success often depends on learning to disagree with civility and keeping on good terms with the other members. Respect their differences. Differ vigorously. Oppose actively. Maintain your own position. But respect their right to their position, and let the procedures, rules, and customs of the senate decide who wins."

"Reporters always have looming deadlines. I thought, the least I can do when they call me is to get back to them as soon as I can. My other rule in dealing with reporters was to answer their questions forthrightly and not beat around the bush. If they ask an embarrassing question, so be it. Answer it, and tell the truth. With those practices, I got along fine with the media."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Apollo 11 Web Site

Just a short break in the midst of my posts from Governor Andersen's exhibit to alert you to a very interesting web site that is tracking, in "real time," the mission of Apollo 11. There's still time to listen to the final "stages" of the mission to the moon, as well as go back later and experience more. Just click here to go to the "We Choose the Moon" web site put together by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 46: Another Try for Governor?

Editorial Cartoon, Jerry Fearing, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1966

"I think if I had announced my candidacy early and worked hard to organize Republican convention delegates in 1965 and 1966, I could have been the party's nominee. Instead, I was a latecomer to the race and ran third in the convention's balloting, behind South St. Paul attorney Harold LeVander and insurance executive John Pillsbury. My old 1949 state senate rival William Randall was also a candidate."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 45: Recount

"After the Most Careful Consideration," March 23, 1963

139 days after the 1962 gubernatorial election, and through the canvassing and recounting of votes, it was determined that Governor Andersen lost the election by 91 votes to Karl Rolvaag. An appeal to the state Supreme Court was still possible. Instead, at a press conference on March 23, Andersen announced his intention to waive his right of appeal. His remarks were transcribed and printed in this pamphlet.

"After the most careful consideration I have decided not to appeal the ruling of the district judge panel. There is no justification for appeal simply because the Supreme Court has already made its position clear on certain categories of irregular ballots and there is no way to judge the remainder so as to reverse the result of the lower court….

To the very many people who have urged me in the most strenuous terms to appeal to the Supreme Court, I may say with equal emphasis, that were there the slightest basis for expecting a reversal of judgment, I would most certainly appeal.

On the other hand, when a competent and fair tribunal, which the district judge panel most certainly has been, renders a judgment that skilled representatives of mine feel cannot be successfully challenged in a higher court, then no one could expect me to appeal in order to gain time or keep possession of this office until the last possible moment...."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 44: Attention to the Party

Republican State Convention program, front cover, 1962

"I did not spend much time or effort working at building a stronger connection to the party or at bringing more people who supported me into party ranks. I consider that a failing on my part. I concentrated so much on getting things done as governor that I did not give enough attention to the party. I came to believe later that a governor must assume responsibility for his party, or both will suffer. In 1962, the Republican Party was divided. It was my job to encourage harmony, find areas of agreement, and attract people who agreed with me into party ranks. I did too little of those things."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 43: True to Convictions

Campaign brochure, front cover, 1962

"I announced on June 8, 1962, just days before the Republican state convention, that I would seek a second term. No one was surprised—least of all the state's active Republicans. But a few of them may have been disappointed. Two years in office had not endeared me to the Republican Party's conservative wing, nor to those who place party loyalty above all other considerations in governing. With them, I had a shaky relationship. I had a habit of appointing people to key positions based on their professional qualifications, not their party connections."

"I was in favor of civil rights legislation and higher spending on education and welfare—none of which appealed to the party's hard-line conservatives. They respected me for being honest and true to my convictions. But they wished my convictions would be a little bit more partisan and not so generous to opposing viewpoints."

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 42: Real Living

Elmer in flight helment

"Life is not an entertainment vehicle. Life is an accomplishment vehicle. Real living is working, doing something and making a difference."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 41: Two Governors

Elmer L. Andersen and Nelson Rockefeller

"On October 25 [1962], my campaign [for governor] was interrupted by events far from Minnesota. I received an urgent call from the White House. President Kennedy had summoned the Civil Defense Committee of the National Governor's Association to a meeting that afternoon, to discuss the crisis that had erupted with the discovery that the Soviet Union had installed thirty missiles in Cuba, ninety miles away from the Florida coast….I was one of the ten members of the Civil Defense Committee, which was chaired by my good friend Nelson Rockefeller, Republican governor of New York. Nelson and I had become something of a team among the governors since my first governors' association meeting. If I was doing something, I wanted Nelson involved. If he was chair of something, he wanted me on the committee."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 40: On Governing

Elmer at the State Capitol, St. Paul

"I see government as the people's partner, a useful tool in getting the people's work done. I hate the impression that some politicians convey today that government dominates people and that we have to minimize government. Government is the way people have of getting together and cooperating to get things done. Of course, government is complicated. This is a big country. Of course, government reflects human weaknesses and frailties and difficulties. People run it. And they need it."

"I was a fighter as a legislator. As governor, I took a more evenhanded approach to some issues. I had my pet projects—the taconite amendment was one—on which I was more active. I also had strong concern about protection of natural resources. But on other matters, I believed legislators should own up to their responsibility to make decisions. I let them work out their differences."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 39: Inauguration

Inauguration Day, 1961. Elmer and Eleanor on their way to the Ball.

"The inauguration involved a swearing-in ceremony, an inaugural address, an informal reception, then dashing home to get dressed for a formal reception in the evening in the capitol rotunda, followed by the inaugural ball at the Prom Center. It was a long, festive day full of activities. The grand march at the inaugural ball was a special tradition. The governor and his lady would make a formal entrance and then lead a march, followed by other couples. In turn, one couple would go left and the other right, and walk around the ballroom until they met as a foursome. Then every foursome would split, one going left, the other right, until they met as a group of eight that would proceed as a unit. It produced a sequence of rotating and churning that was quite a spectacle to watch. We marched and danced until the wee hours of the morning, but I must confess my mind was elsewhere. Dancing was fun, but it was not what I was elected to do."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.