19th Century Diary Digitized

September 14, 2007

University Archives and H.M. Briggs Library Special Collections is pleased to announce the addition of Robert F. Kerr’s Diary to our Digital Content Collection.

Robert F. Kerr, 1904

Robert Floyd Kerr attended Wabash College and later DePauw University, where he graduated in 1877.  After teaching in Indiana for 2 years, he taught English and Mathematics at Hirosaki, Japan in 1879.  Upon his return to the United States in 1880, Kerr taught again throughout the Midwest, settling finally in Brookings in 1885, where he was professor of political economy and Principal of the Preparatory Department.  In 1892, he was ousted from the college and went to Illinois to work but he returned to Brookings in 1898, this time as Librarian and Principal of the Preparatory Department.

The diary covers the period preceding the civil war through New Year’s Eve, 1894.  Begun in 1882, when “time hung more heavily on (his) hands then, than it has ever done before or since,” Kerr begins with family history, then catches himself up in the narrative.  It is a striking window into the personal side of our shared Middle American past.

 The full list of Digital Content can be viewed on the University Archives and H.M. Briggs Library Special Collections Digitized Collections page.  We welcome suggestions for our upcoming digitization projects.

Stephen Van Buren, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian


Finding the Answers in JSTOR

September 7, 2007

Limited historical coverage in cyberspace makes seeking subjects about the early twentieth century challenging using the open web.  Gregor Mendel is no stranger on the Web. But to discover how he was viewed in the biological literature in 1902 can be a real challenge. Getting the scoop on Mendelian genetics is no problem with the JSTOR archive’s excellent coverage of over 450 journals from their earliest issues.  H.M. Brigg Library’s research databases page (http://lib.sdstate.edu/databases/) provides a link to this excellent resource.  The journals included in the archive cover a variety of subjects including arts, sciences, business, health and literature.  Searching can be done across disciplines or by subject collection. This rich resource provides valuable historical coverage on many different subjects.

Mary Caspers-Graper-Acquisitions Librarian


Briggs Library Introduces Ask Us!

September 6, 2007

Briggs Library is introducing another way for you to contact us, and that is through the Ask Us page.  This newly-designed page features all of the important contact information as well as chat and information desk hours.  In the center of the page is a Meebo chat box, which is referred to as a “badge.”  This badge allows you to chat/IM with a librarian whenever the Information Desk is staffed.  The great thing about the badge is that you do not need to log in to an individual IM program.   Instead, you will simply be treated as an unregistered guest, making your ability to get your question answered that much quicker!

If you prefer, we’ve also included our individual IM accounts and their linking information.  We encourage you to add us to your buddy list.  That way, after you login to your IM account, you can ask us a question with a mere click of a button. 

However large or small your question may be, remember that the librarians here at Briggs Library are eager to help.  Please take advantage of this new page.  Also, notice the masthead at the top of the page, this is the future masthead of the Briggs Library website.

Danielle Becker, Reference/Digital Services Librarian