Friday, May 26, 2006

MayDay 2006 – Be Prepared!

On Monday, May 1, the LSU Libraries observed MayDay by providing staff with training in how to use a fire extinguisher. The training was in support of the Society of American Archivists' effort to encourage archivists and other cultural heritage professionals take personal and professional responsibility for doing something simple – something that can be accomplished in one day but that can have a significant impact on an individual’s or a repository’s ability to respond to an emergency or disaster.

Patrick West, of LSU's Office of Occupational and Environmental Safety, led the training exercise, which included hands-on experience with putting out a fire. Staff had a blast (!) and came away with a good feeling that they'd be more comfortable using a fire extinguisher should the need arise.

For more about MayDay, see the SAA website at

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Special Collections Acquires First Edition of Donne's Poems

The LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division has acquired a first edition of John Donne’s Poems. Donne’s poetry was largely unpublished during his lifetime, but hundreds of hand-written copies of his works were passed among his admiring readers. Numerous editions of his poems were published in the decades after his death, but his work fell out of fashion during the Restoration. Most readers and critics in the 18th and 19th centuries ignored his work or derided his poems for being (as Samuel Johnson opined) frigidly ingenious and metrically uncouth. The 20th century brought a reappraisal of Donne’s poetry, and today he is widely recognized as a literary giant of his period. His poems, which range from erotic to devotional, display a complexity of thought and beauty of expression that continue to engage and challenger readers.

The first published collection of Donne’s poems was probably based on one or more manuscripts owned by a close friend. It appeared in 1633, two years after his death. LSU’s newly acquired copy is bound in early paneled sheepskin. An early owner, John Winboult, has written his name several times and made a few neat jottings in the text.

The funds used for the acquisition were generated by the Hauer Rare Book Endowment, bequeathed by Dr. Mary Garrett Hauer and administered by the LSU Foundation.

Friday, May 19, 2006

NOTICE: Williams Center for Oral History and the Civil War Review

Offices for the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History and the Civil War Book Review will be closed from Monday the 22nd of May through Wednesday the 24th. For reference questions regarding materials managed at these offices, please direct inquiries to the Special Collections webform or call (225) 578-6568.