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Collaborative Approach to Developing Culturally-Themed Digital Collections: Collaborators' Remarks

Guide to support the ALCTS Presentation given on May 16, 2017.

About our Collaborators

UK Libraries has collaborated with faculty and units within the University such as Arts and Sciences, the Gluck Equine Research Center, and the Confucius Institute. We have also collaborated with outside groups such as the libraries at the Keeneland Race Course, the International Museum of the Horse and the Pyramid Society. Below are comments from some of our collaborators.

İViva México!

Toni Greider of Young Library served as an integral member of the Steering Committee for the Year of Mexico. She was indispensable to the success of project not only as a source (with a great imagination) but as an active participant in setting up our exhibitions. The audio visual and bibliographic components the Year of Mexico, Viva Mexico! formed essential elements of the program, and were especially rich thanks to the help of Toni and the staff of Young Library. We did two major exhibitions that were displayed (beautifully I might add) in the main hall in the display cases. The first semester we had an exposition of huipiles (blouses of indigenous women from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca), mainly from my personal collection and also from two of my colleagues who agreed to share their huipiles. This included attractive explanatory posters which the library designed. The second semester we put together an exhibition of alebrijes, painted wooden animals from Mexico, which also came from various collections of different professors, including the Dean of A&S. These were exquisitely displayed on velvet platforms in the glass cases. Both these exhibitions were photographed and appeared on UKnowledge and have had many hits since. They received numerous positive commentaries. Additionally, Toni found a collection of the flags of the states of Mexico that were hung up in the main hall.

At the same time, we had other audio visuals. The library reproduced a series of photos of the Mexican Revolution which adorned the hallway walking in from the side entrance. In the basement, the library set up a short video which explained archaeological sites of Mexico’a pre-Columbian civilizations that ran continuously on one of the screens in the corner. Gordon Hogg found a fantastic collection of photos of Mexico from the first half of the twentieth century that the library had. The staff scanned them so the photos ran continuously projected onto the panels in the center of the basement. So almost wherever you went in the library, you were surrounded with the history and culture of Mexico. We also had a collection of books on Mexico from Special Collections on display in the hall of King Library. The Year of Mexico, Viva Mexico! would never have been so successful without the collaboration and support we received from Toni and the Young Library staff. Mil gracias! -- Francie Chassen-Lopéz,co-chair of the Viva Mexico, Professor, UK Department

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

In February of 2015, the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) was honored to collaborate with Ms. Toni Greider and the other Young library staff, and Professor Jeremy Popkin from the UK Jewish Studies to present the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit at the W.T. Young Library to the UK campus and communities beyond. This exhibit offered viewers a chance to learn about the thousands of Jews who, during World War II, migrated to Shanghai from Europe to evade Nazi oppression.  This collaboration among the UK Confucius Institute, Ms. Greider, Director of International Programs for UK Libraries, and Professor Popkin, the William T. Bryan Chair of History and faculty member of UK's Jewish Studies Program, allowed for this story to be shared with diverse audiences, many of whom were unfamiliar with this part of WWII history. This example helps demonstrate the Young Library’s central and synergistic role in bringing together UK students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities to engage in academic and cultural events. The team at Young Library is not only responsive to the needs of the numerous units on campus, it is effective in its work with these units to provide the Library’s patrons diverse perspectives and opportunities to gain knowledge of the world and its peoples. -- Kathryn Todd, Coordinator, UK China Initiatives, UK International Center

Year of the Middle East

During the Fall Semester 2014 I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Toni Greider and several Special Collection archivists at the M.I. King Library. I was asked to help the library staff with the translation of some old Persian manuscripts (circa 1500's). This work was intended to be in support of the College of Arts and Sciences Year of the Middle East. During my first meeting with the UK library staff and my visit to the Special Collections Research Center at the M.I. King Library, I became aware of the quality of very precious books, manuscripts, and artworks at UK. I really enjoyed working with the entire staff of our library system at UK, particularly Ms. Greider, and I think this collaborative work gave me a good cross-discipline experience. My translation work was presented at a poster exhibit, which was located at the entrance of the Young Library. Here is the link to images of the manuscripts which were presented at that exhibit: -- K.C. Mahboub, PE, ASCE Fellow, Lawson Professor of Civil Engineering
University of Kentucky

Year of Europe

"I approached Toni Greider in the Summer of 2015 to begin to talk about the possibility of coordinating a year-long film series during the 2015-2016 academic year to complement the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Science’s Year of Europe “Passport to the World” series. What resulted from this collaboration was indeed the film series with eight films, all of which highlighted the Young Library foreign film DVD series and allowed faculty from various units on campus to introduce the films to their fellow colleagues and students. Attendance was strong, with approximately 80% of those in attendance being students (graduate and undergraduate) and 20% either faculty or staff, depending on the film. The underlying theme was immigration. Housing the film series in Young Library was a wonderful idea because it flowed naturally with the decoration of the library entrance with posters made by undergraduate students for the entire year and was complemented in a grand way by the many European flags that adorned the library’s main entrance hall for the entire year as well. The Year of Europe was therefore a permanent presence and served as an inspiration and advertisement for the many events planned and sponsored by the College over the year. This was a rare opportunity to use the actual space of one of the campus’s most iconic and well-used buildings to make a statement about the coming together of students, staff and professors to explore the proposed topic for the entire academic year." -- Susan Larson, Co-chair Year of Europe, now Qualia Professor of Spanish, Texas Tech University