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.

What Frost needs is ...

We asked for your suggestions about how we can improve study spaces.  This is what you told us:  March 2010 Frost survey results.  We'll try to update you on progress as it occurs.

Frederick S. Lane '36 Student Book Collecting Competition

The Lane Prize for Excellence is awarded to a student showing considerable experience, knowledge, and ability in the field of book collecting. The competition is open to all undergraduate students enrolled at AmherstCollege on the date entries close. Entries should be left at Archives and Special Collections Department on Level A of the Robert Frost Library. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 2, 2010. Complete rules and additional information are available here.

Book Launch in the Library, Wednesday March 24th, 3:30 pm!Hunt book cover

Please join us to launch the recently published Women in Eighteenth-Century Europe written by Margaret Hunt. The event will be held in the Periodicals Area of the Frost Library, Amherst College at 3:30 pm on Wednesday, March 24th. There will be a short reading by the author, copies of the book will be available for purchase (courtesy of Amherst Books) and light refreshments will be served.

Margaret Hunt is Henry Winkley Professor of History and Political Economy at Amherst College and a member of the History and Women's and Gender Studies departments. She is also affiliated with the UMass-Five College Graduate Program in History.


Copyright License for Course Readings

Amherst College has purchased an academic campus license from the Copyright Clearance Center that will provide pre-paid permissions for copies of many course readings.  Wait! Check to see if your required articles and book chapters are covered by the campus-wide license before you pay to reprint or scan texts. Check  instructions for electronic and print Reserves and for already licensed permissions. Call Margaret Groesbeck (x2098) or Susan Kimball (x8112) for more information about the campus license.

Shakespeare in Love & Hate: Actors From the London Stage in Frost Library, March 4

Come join the visiting Actors From the London Stage for scenes from Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream at 3:30 pm on Thursday, March 4th. The Actors will turn the Periodicals Area in Frost Library into their stage and volunteers into performers. Be part of the fun. Tea and questions for the Actors will wrap up the event in the Library.