Archives & Special Collections to be closed June 14-18

Archives & Special Collections will be closed to patrons during the week of June 14 - 18. We will be open our regular hours (Mon-Fri, 9AM - 4PM) the rest of the summer.

New database for social sciences: Try out PAIS International

Are you writing a final paper for a class in one of the social sciences? The Library has just subscribed to PAIS International, an online index to journal articles, selected books, government documents, research reports, and much more from 1972 up to the present. (May 2010)

Do You Already Know an Article You Want?

If you already have a reference to a journal article you need, just fill in the blanks in the Library's CitationLinker and let it help you locate that article. This program looks in library databases for electronic versions  or, if there is no digital copy,  prompts you to search for a print copy of the  journal in the library catalog.  Save time -- use the CitationLinker in  your research.

Saturday May 29, 9 am Reunion Program on The Book

The Book: Who Reads It, Who Needs It and Who Cares?  9 am Sat. May 29, Merrill Science Ctr. Paul Ruxin '65, bibliophile, collector and chairman of the board of The Folger Shakespeare Library; Sam Ellenport '65, bookbinder and collector; Ron Gordon '65, graphic designer and owner of the Oliphant Press and graphic designer; and Steve Young '65, rare book team leader at Yale Univ., will address the continuing roles and uses of physical books in an increasingly virtual world of reading.

Amherst Christian Fellowship Fundraiser and Display in Frost LobbyKenyan Woman

The ACF is holding a school supply drive to benefit the Kenya Children’s Fund, a charitable organization which helps provide education to children living in Nairobi, in some of the worst slums in East Africa.  Donations of  pencils, pens, notebooks, calculators and art supplies are welcome, along with necessities such as soap, toothpaste, socks and scarves.  The drop-off point and informational display will be located in the Frost Library lobby until Friday, May 21st, and includes artwork created specifically for this fundraiser.

Student interlibrary loans due May 7

Students, when you finish your theses and research papers, return your books from schools beyond the Five College area.  Not sure which books are interlibrary loans from faraway? You can always tell interlibrary loans by their orange bands. Take interlibrary loans back to the Frost Circulation Desk and leave for the summer with a clear conscience.

Retirement party for Margaret Groesbeck

Please join the Library in celebrating Margaret's many years of service as a member of the Reference Department and more recently as Head of Public Services.  The party will be on Thursday, May 13th, at 4 pm, in the Periodicals Area of Frost. Light refreshments will be served.

Science Library Open 24 Hours During Exams

The Library is pleased to provide 24-hour access to the Keefe Science Library in Merrill during reading and exam period. Keefe will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8th, and remain open until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 14th. Amherst students should use their student IDs to gain access during the overnight hours.

Just in time for final papers: new Literature Resource Center database

The Library has just subscribed to Literature Resource Center, a large online collection of author biographies, critical studies from 360 scholarly journals, book reviews,  complete short stories and poems, and more. Get tips about this database.

Academia as a Commons:  The Promise of Digital Technologies at Amherst College and the Five Colleges -- A talk by David Bollier on Monday, April 26th, 4pm in the Periodicals Area

If academia is a commons -- a system of community stewardship of shared resources -- then the Internet and digital technologies offer unparalleled opportunities for improving scholarly collaboration, innovative research and access to knowledge.  Some of the most powerful tools include free and open source software, Creative Commons licenses, open-access scholarly journals, "open courseware" and "open textbooks," new types of database commons, wikis and collaborative archives, and institutional repositories hosted by college libraries.

Croxton Lecturer David Bollier will speak about the rich potential of these new systems for invigorating the academic commons at Amherst College and the Five Colleges.  He will also consider the many technical barriers, copyright limitations and disciplinary norms and habits that can stifle the development of new types of academic commons. 

Bollier, an author, activist and scholar of the commons, is the founding editor of, the co-founder of the Washington public-interest organization Public Knowledge, and the author of nine books, including, most recently, Viral Spiral:  How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own. 

Copies of Viral Spiral will be available for purchase, courtesy of Amherst Books.

Judging by Their Covers: Packaging, Publishing, and the 19th Century Book Trade

Mike Kelly, Head of Archives and Special Collections, will discuss 19th century developments in packaging and marketing that radically transformed the book trade.  Please join us on Wednesday, April 21st at 4:00 P.M. in the Periodicals Reading Room of Frost Library for the second in a series of talks on book history. 

Challenges & opportunities for academic libraries:
a conversation with the new Librarian of the College

The Friends of the Amherst College Library invite you to a "conversation" with Bryn Geffert, the new Librarian of the College, about the future of academic libraries. The presentation will take place at 4 pm on Friday, April 16, in Pruyne Lecture Hall in Fayerweather. Come meet Bryn Geffert and hear about his vision for this college library.

Problem with EBSCO PDF downloads

Recent upgrades to EBSCOHost databases have resulted in problems with pdf full-text automatic downloads. The purpose of the new PDF Viewer is to “streamline the browsing of an entire issue, or all available volumes and issues, from one screen.”

Windows users using the most recent version of Firefox (3.6.3) with Adobe Acrobat 9 should be able to download and view pdfs.  If you are running Mac OSX 10.4 or higher, and use Firefox as your browser, you will need to download a free PDF plugin in order to view PDFs.

EBSCO is aware of this problem and is working to fix automatic downloads of pdfs. IT is working on updating the public computers on campus. A temporary work-around is to email records to yourself which will attach the PDF.

The Illustrated Bird: still on view on Frost A Level

The exhibition of selections from the Richard L. Soffer Ornithology Collection is still on view in the Archives & Special Collections on the A Level of Frost Library. The show has been held over through the first week in April. Come by to see outstanding examples of bird illustrations from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries.

Coming in April: The Novelists of Amherst

An exhibition of fiction by Amherst College alumni, from Joseph Amiel to David Foster Wallace, and beyond.