Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

On this appropriately foggy morning, the library tower is shrouded in mist and we are looking forward to an afternoon break of MAKING BUTTONS.

Stop by the library atrium between 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. today to make your own LITS Halloween button!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Haunted Mount Holyoke

By: Kelsey Abney

In Renee Mallett's book “Haunted Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts” she names Mount Holyoke's students as the “most ghost crazy” in the state. While many of the stories in her book are not ones which I have heard during my attendance here, she does feature two of the prominent ghostly theories which the student body often discusses. The first is the fate of Mary Lyon's body. While the grave of Mary Lyon rests on Mount Holyoke's campus, there is significant controversy over whether or not her body is actually there. Popular rumor states that students from Wheaton stole her body so that she could be buried on the Wheaton campus, which she had also helped found.

Mallett also features the common story of the Wilder ghost; The locked dorm room on the fourth floor of Wilder has been the subject of speculation for decades by the Mount Holyoke student body. But this does not outdo her other research, which reveals that at least a few students can attest to having ghostly experiences in both sides of the Mandelles, Torrey, Buckland, and Porter. It is said that in Porter there resides a lady in white, who is often quite friendly to students, but remains there because she was married to Deacon Porter, who spurned her for his love of Mary Lyon. While there is no archival records of these stories, many today on campus can attest to hair raising experiences during their years here. A blog from 5 years ago, gave students the opportunity to submit stories about their ghostly experiences. However, little maintenance has been done to preserve these stories in recent years.   

Don't lose everything or anything !

In the past few weeks LITS has seen a rise in the number of students coming to us with catastrophic losses of computer hard drives and schoolwork. If you're one of those students, we are so sorry to hear about this. And for all of you: have you backed up your work? 

Do you need help figuring out how and where to back up your schoolwork? 

Here are some options for safeguarding your work; we'd suggest picking at least TWO of these methods:

-Need to save a big paper or project NOW? Sending a copy to yourself in email or making a copy on a flash drive are great do-it-now fixes, but don't stop there, email space is limited and flash drives can break.

-Another great do-it-now solution: every Mount Holyoke student has space on Google Drive. Get started backing up your class work at

-External hard drive backup: available from your favorite online retailers and from local computer stores. Here's a guide to selecting one that suits you: (Also useful for backing up all of your photos, music, movies, film and art projects that are too large for email or google drive, etc.)

-Use a cloud storage solution:,2817,2413556,00.asp (Many of these can be set to automatically back up files every night.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Campus?

By: Kelsey Abney

If you found yourself compelled by the beautiful weather this weekend to explore the campus, you may have noticed some of the splendid Mount Holyoke architecture that we highlighted last week on the LITS blog. The first detail which was captured was the picture of two women, gesturing to the scene of a desert island between them. The palm trees are a common theme preserved today in the Mount Holyoke crest, a tip of the hat to when Mount Holyoke was a seminary which actively worked to train missionaries and send them over seas. This can be found on the side of Mary Wooley Hall, more commonly known as Chapin, for the auditorium within. Mary Wooley hall was built in 1916, and was renamed for Mary Wooley in 1945 in order to honor the former president who had served the college from 1900 to 1937.

Mary Wooley was a graduate of Wheaton Seminary, who had continued on to Brown University in 1891 and became the first woman to receive a Bachelors degree from the institution. She remained as a student until 1894, having also earned her Masters degree in history. Before her appointment as the president of Mount Holyoke college, she was the head of the department at Wellesley of Biblical history and literature. She was a great proponent of understanding inequality and the quest to acquire knowledge. She also oversaw major expansion of the college, which includes many of the current buildings which stand here today.

One often photographed building which she oversaw the erection of was Abbey Chapel, where the second architectural feature mentioned in the blog last week can be located. The stone peacock was created as a part of the new gothic facade of the chapel, meant to symbolize the eternal life of Christ. Much of the campus architecture was inspired by the heavy Christian tradition of the school; Much of it will be discussed in the weeks to follow.  Hopefully everybody will want to get some last glances of fall foliage before winder sets in. For your next quest, try to locate this lovely woman, who has observed the comings and goings of the college for many years now. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Come Meet a Book Artist!

What does a spool of ribbon, a pack of miniature postcards and a garland of paper ties have in common? Believe it or not, all of these works are, in fact, books and can be found alongside the more traditional volumes housed in the Mount Holyoke College Special Collections.

Maxims by the Yard - Some in Meter: Spools of Knowledge Vol. I by Angela Lorenz

Angela Lorenz, a book artist based in Bologna, Italy has been creating these imaginative literary works since her undergraduate years at Brown College. The ideas that Lorenz conveys through her work are not confined to printed text; rather they are woven (sometimes literally) into the physical substance of the book. Lorenz’s works have taken many forms, incorporating everything from soap to marshmallows. Readers are invited to participate with the text—opening flaps and puling tabs—lending a tactile experience to what is normally a purely intellectual exercise.

Binding Ties by Angela Lorenz

At 4:30 on Tuesday, October 29, Angela Lorenz will pay a visit to the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections. Come hear about her process and see examples of her work. Treats will be served!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Filipino American History Month

The celebration of Filipino American History Month is a great chance to look at some of the intersections Mount Holyoke College has had with Philippine culture. As a Filipino student working at LITS, it is also a chance for me to share my roots and connections with the two places I fondly call home.

“A person who does not look back to where he came from would not be able to reach his destination.” – Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Filipino revolutionary and national hero

In the fall of 2011, the Philippine Mount Holyoke Alumnae Group in collaboration with MHC's La Liga Filipina coordinated the donation of a collection of Damiana L. Eugenio’s  (MA ’50) books on Philippine Folk Literature to the Williston Library. The collection includes around seven compilations under various themes: the riddles, the legends, the proverbs, the myths, the folktales and the epics. The series can be found in the MHC stacks by searching "Philippine folk literature" in the Mount Holyoke catalog.

Spanning several volumes, Eugenio’s award-winning work has been an invaluable resource for scholars studying the Philippines and comparative folklore. In a book review by Robert Retheword, the collection is recommended for “any individual interested in issues of Filipino world views and value systems, to any scholar investigating myths across cultures, and to anyone who enjoys the insights that a culture's narratives provide.” Before becoming known as the Mother of Philippine Folklore, Damiana Eugenio was one of the first foreign students to receive a college fellowship at Mount Holyoke to study English Folk Literature.

Foreign Student Fellowship Recipients, 1961
(From left to Right are Maria Garcia, Philippine Islands; Ming-Ming Shen, Taipei, Taiwan; Ester Hadson-Taylor, Sierra Leone; and Aliki Saranti, Athens, Greece.) 
Photo from MHC Archives and Special Collections. 

Following Eugenio have been a number of distinguished Philippine/-American alumnae including Gianna Montinola ’80, Co-Founder of Hands on Manila and Trustee of Far Eastern University in the Philippines, Sheila Marcelo '93, CEO and Founder of; Analisa Balares ‘99, CEO and Founder of Womensphere; and Ayesha Vera Yu ’97 CEO and Co-Founder of the Advancement for Rural Kids. As a Philippine alumna-to-be, I aspire to follow in the footsteps of these women who have successfully made both their country and alma mater proud. As a current student, I'm constantly impressed by the diverse success stories of Mount Holyoke students coming from all backgrounds. 

Awareness months such as these are great opportunities to start a dialogue on the significance of diversity and history. This month we also celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. How are some of these events important to you? Share with us below in the comments!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Campus?

In the following weeks, the LITS staff is determined to give students a reason (read: excuse) to ignore homework for a while and explore some different parts of the campus. While the Mount Holyoke campus would not be described as expansive, there are many features which are often overlooked by students and faculty alike. Can you figure out where on campus the objects we have photographed are located? Race to see who can be the first to comment below on the location!

BONUS: Can anybody explain why the emblem of the women features palm trees?

Remembering MLK Jr. at MHC

"I stand here with a great sense of appreciation for all that this great institution has given to the cultural life not only of our nation, but also to the world," said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fifty years ago during his visit to Mount Holyoke College. 

On Sunday, October 20, 1963, the Rev. Dr. King participated in a religious ceremony in the amphitheater by preaching a sermon entitled "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life." It was a sermon he gave and modified throughout his career; indeed it was his audition sermon at First Dexter Baptist Church, according to the King Papers Project at Stanford University.

In 2009 the Mount Holyoke Archives & Special Collections received a gift of a recording of this sermon that had been made by a local minister who attended the service. The recording was then reformatted from audio tape to a digital file and made available to researchers to listen to in the Archives' reading room. 

Today, October 23, at 12:30pm the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life invites the Mount Holyoke community to commemorate Dr. King's visit with a special event in the amphitheater, including the opportunity to hear excerpts of his sermon. 

To hear the complete sermon, visit Archives & Special Collections in Dwight Hall, Monday through Friday, 9:30am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Making history! Wikipedia Edit-a-thon II

Ever heard the saying, "Well behaved women seldom make history?" Perhaps that might be, in part, because not enough women are writing the history. In fact, everyone's favorite crowd-sourced encyclopedia and arguably our easiest access to historical facts, Wikipedia, doesn't have enough women contributing to it.

While it might be the most popular free reference source in the world (it even has a nifty iPhone app!), Wikipedia excludes more women than you'd think. Nine out of ten Wikipedia editors are men! Let's change this number!

LITS is celebrating Open Access Week by hosting its second Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Come, write more women into Wikipedia by editing any page of your choice!

Where: Stimson Room, Williston Library 
When: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013,  4:30-6:00 pm
Worldly benefits: Editorial contributions, historical learning,
delectable snacking, and button making!

The event is open to all students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and friends. Wikipedia novices and experienced editors alike are welcome!

So drop by for however long you can and help women "make history!"

For more information, go to
RSVP at the above link or at our Facebook event page to let us know if you're coming!

#wikiwomen #mtholyoke #7sisterswiki

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doing an Independent Study? LITS can help!

never fear / researchDoing an Independent Study this semester?  Confused or stuck when it comes to finding information sources relevant to your research? Found plenty of articles and books already but having trouble keeping track of all of them? Never fear! LITS is hosting a Research Workshop on Thursday, October 24th from 4:30-5:30 pm in Library room 418 (just off the Reading Room).  The workshop will introduce several research tools including Research Guides for finding information in various subject areas, and RefWorks for managing your bibliography.  RSVP by October 21 by emailing Refreshments will be served!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Ada Lovelace
Today is Ada Lovelace Day! Here at LITS we are excited to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) fields. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), Lord Byron’s daughter and proto-coder extraordinaire, is the frontwoman for this day of recognition. Lovelace is considered one of the first computer programmers. She wrote extensively on the Analytical Engine, the design for a computer proposed by Charles Babbage, a professor at Cambridge. In her writings, Lovelace demonstrated a profound understanding of Babbage’s device and even theorized how future machines could use codes made of numbers, letters, and symbols. She also received credit for the idea of looping. Computers use looping today to repeat the same instructions for a program over and over again.

With Lovelace and her work in mind, today is the chance to share and discuss women we admire in STEM. The history of Ada Lovelace Day emerged from a study conducted by Penelope Lockwood about the importance of gender-matched role models in careers and academic study. You can read Lockwood’s study here.

Today’s the day to spread the word! You can follow Ada Lovelace Day 2013 on or @FindingAda, contribute with  #ALD13 on Twitter, post on Facebook, or share any way you’d like.

We have to ask, who’s your STEM inspiration? Share with us below or on LITS’ Facebook or Twitter pages!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Library hours during Fall Break

The LITS building complex will be open during Fall Break at the following times: 

Friday, October 11, 8 am - 5 pm
Saturday, October 12, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, October 13, 1 pm - 5 pm
Monday, October 14, 8:30 am - 5 pm
Tuesday, October 15, resume regular hours

Please check the LITS Hours webpage for service point hours of operation. 

Have a fun and restful weekend!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness month.

Organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSAM), an organization of private companies that sponsor
NCSAM focuses on a different cybersecurity issue for each week this month.  You can review lots of resources and tips on the NCSAM website.  As always remember LITS will never ask you to confirm your email password -- if you have any questions about your MHC account or passwords please call or email the LITS TechHelpDesk @ 413-538-2660 or
Oct. 1-6, General online safety. Aims to raise online safety awareness among all Americans and reinforce the simple measures everyone should take to be safer and more secure online and their understanding that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
Oct. 7-13, Mobile online safety & security. Highlights the need to maintain a focus on safety and security wherever and whenever we use the Internet.
Oct. 14-20, Cyber education. Highlights the importance of cyber education and workforce development, including the advancement and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.
Oct. 21-27, Cybercrime. Highlights how people can protect themselves against cybercrime and how to get help.
Oct. 28-31, Cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. Highlights the need to take every step necessary to protect our critical infrastructure.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Honors theses at the click of a button?

She's Filled With Secrets: the Mythology of Landscape in the American Western

"We Hid Books in Bags of Sugar": South African Histories in Opposition

Does Height Matter? The Effects of Take-off Elevation on Forelimb Movements during Jumping and Landing in Cane Toads

Intrigued?  These are just a few titles of recent honors work by MHC alums!  LITS can help you discover and access a deep collection of honor theses from on- and off-campus.

Start your search by entering the term "undergraduate honors thesis" (including the quotation marks) into the keyword search box in the MHC Library catalog on the LITS homepage.  Make sure you click the Mount Holyoke College button to refine your search.

This will return all the MHC honors theses available through LITS.  Starting in 2005, many theses are available in both paper and digital versions.  All honors theses submitted to LITS in 2013 are available as digital only.  To access a digital version, just click through the catalog record directly to the Institutional Archive where the these "e-versions" live. Note that online access to some theses are restricted to the MHC community, so you may be prompted to login with your username and password.

If you find a paper copy you'd like to read, head on down to our Archives and Special Collections where they are shelved!  Since the paper copies of theses do not circulate, Archives staff and students are happy to help locate what you're looking for.