Library Renovations

March 6, 2012

The library is embarking on a remodeling project in our Technical Services area, on the west side of the building.  Remodeling and rearranging staff members’ work areas will provide room so that the Department of International Affairs can relocate here in the fall.

While construction crews are working, you will see items stored around the library and staff members making due with temporary offices.  Many Technical Services staff members are sharing tight quarters in Room 105.

Archives & Special Collections on the library’s upper level has a remodeling project of its own.  This project, scheduled for completion around April 30, will result in improved study space for the Daschle collection and an increased capability for meetings.

Please excuse any mess or noise that results from these projects.  Please let us know at the Library Services Desk if we can help you navigate the library during our “construction season.”

Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian

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Constitution Day/Congress Week

September 9, 2011

This year is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  It’s an appropriate time to revisit the documents and institutions that sustain our country in the wake of a national tragedy like 9/11 and other challenges.  Constitution Day, September 17, and Congress Week, September 12-16, provide us with that opportunity.

Constitution Day celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.  Established by Congress in 2004, Constitution Day stresses the importance of the Constitution as a document that guides our government and protects citizens’ rights.  You can read the Constitution online or come in to the Government Documents office on the lower level of the library for a free copy.

The Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC) created Congress Week to coincide with Constitution Day.  ACSC encourages the study of Congress and its key role in the government as established by the Constitution.  Our own Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study, located within the Special Collections area of Briggs Library, provides a unique resource for the study of Congress.  Here the public can access papers from Daschle’s twenty-six years in Congress.

The staff at Briggs Library encourages you to explore our resources and learn more about the U.S. Constitution and Congress.  The library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, and has been since 1889, so we provide free access to congressional, executive, and judicial publications.  For more information on this program connect to our Government Documents Web page. 

You can also come to the library to see displays on the lower and main levels.  Access our History and Political Science Research Guides.  Search library resources such as our online catalog and databases to get more information.  Also, feel free to contact a librarian about the Constitution, Congress, or any other research interests.

 Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian


Microfilm Disaster Abatement (Nearly) Completed!

October 13, 2010

During the lower level renovations this summer, a plugged drain in the ceiling sent water into a storage room, wetting hundreds of microfilm reels.  We’re happy to report that the microfilm, with the exception of a few requiring conservation, have now been re-boxed, re-labeled, and re-shelved!

Congratulations and thank you to those involved in getting these 1,710 microfilm reels salvaged, back in the cabinets, and ready for use!

Wet microfilm set out for drying and checking

-Laura Plowman, Public Services Library Associate


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