Cordell Dictionary Collection Research Fellow

Dr. Miroslawa Podhajecka will complete a one week Cordell Research Fellowship the week of August 20, 2012. Dr. Podajecka is making extensive use of the Ambrogio Calepino dictionaries, which were published for more than 200 years, to chart the development of the Polish dictionary and to trace vocabulary changes.

History professor publishes new book on the Civil War and Reconstruction

Reprinted from ISU News story

For many the Civil War conjures up images of generals and soldiers marching onto battlefields with poised muskets, the dull roar of cannons, and the smell of gunpowder. However, Richard Schneriov and John Jentz paint a different view of the impact the Civil War had on our country’s history against the canvas of Chicago during the mid-nineteenth century.

Bookjacket Image from
Bookjacket Image from

The book, “Chicago in the Age of Capital: Class ,Politics and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction,” argues that civil war’s impact extended beyond that of military conquests in the South to social, political and democratic change in the North.

Following the Civil War capitalism began to emerge as a dominant mode of production within the United States, Schneriov and Jentz argue. Second, the north underwent a revolutionary upheaval comparable to that of the one in the South, as newly formed social movements began to find their footing within U.S. politics. These movements had a profound impact on the nation’s democratic process. Third, within the U.S. class awareness began to emerge among the capitalist and labor classes and reshape politics.

Schneriov said the book was written mainly for other academics and graduate students but some advanced undergraduates may be interested in the book. “People who know a lot about the Civil War era and are interested in the issues of that era may want to read it to broaden their understanding,” Schneriov said. “A lot of people are interested in the military aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This [the book] talks about the social, political and economic aspects.”

Research on the book began in 1986, two years after Schneriov received his Ph.D. at the Northern Illinois University. Schneriov said the authors placed the book on hold before picking it up again in 2004. Jentz and Schneriov worked together closely at the The Newberry Research Library in Chicago. The authors used data from old newspapers, raw census data and other published manuscripts and works at the time to compile a coherent story in support of their arguments.

Schneirov has published three other books, edited three collections, and is a member of the editorial boards of three journals. In 1998, Schneriov’s book “Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97” [AVAILABLE IN THE ISU LIBRARY AT F 548.42 .S35 1998] was awarded the Urban History Association’s prize for Best Book in North American Urban History. Schneirov has taught history at Indiana State University since 1989.

Writer: Ernest Rollins, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, at 812-237-3773



Open Access Research Movement at Princeton

Open Access to research, scholarly articles, etc. is an ongoing ‘hot’ topic. At ISU, Sycamore Scholars is playing a vital role in the process.

Here is a recent article about open access at Princeton:

The movement to make research freely available got a high-profile boost this week with the news that Princeton University’s faculty has unanimously adopted an open-access policy. “The principle of open access is consistent with the fundamental purposes of scholarship,” said the faculty advisory committee that proposed the resolution.

The decision puts the university in line with Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a growing number of other institutions with policies that encourage or require researchers to post open copies of their articles, usually in an institutional repository. Unpublished drafts, books, lecture notes, etc., are not included in the Princeton policy, which gives the university a “nonexclusive right” to make copies of its faculty’s scholarly journal articles publicly available.

“Both the library and members of the faculty, principally in the sciences, have been thinking for some time that we would like to take a concrete step toward making the publications of our extraordinary faculty freely available to a much larger audience and not restricted to those who can afford to pay journal subscription fees,” said Karin Trainer, Princeton’s university librarian. She said they had encountered “no resistance at all” to the idea among faculty members.

The new mandate permits professors to post copies of articles online in “not-for-a-fee venues,” including personal and university Web sites. The faculty advisory committee that recommended the policy said that it will keep faculty members “from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal.”

Authors may request a waiver for particular articles. Addressing fears that the waiver proviso would render the policy “completely toothless in practice,” the committee said that other universities’ experiences showed that journal publishers will often adjust their contracts when an author’s university has an open-access policy. Ms. Trainer said that the policy does not suggest any penalties for authors who do not comply with it.

Career pressure on junior scholars as well as differences in publishing practices among disciplines”mean that some faculty are not in fact going to be in a position to comply with the new policy without asking for a waiver,” Ms. Trainer said. “And we know that.” She added that even faculty members likely to ask for waivers “understood that it was in the overall university’s best interests to have such a policy in place.”

Unlike Harvard, which has established a repository and an upload procedure for researchers to follow, Princeton does not yet have a system in place to help faculty members make their work available. The faculty committee that recommended the policy encouraged the university to establish an open-access repository. “An open-access policy without a ready means for faculty to post their scholarly articles and an equally ready means of retrieval would be of very limited value,” it said. But it also acknowledged that “there are many issues of implementation and resources to be considered.”

Princeton already has a public data-storage archive, DataSpace, but there’s not a lot of material in it yet. The faculty committee said it thought DSpace could be adapted to serve the open-access mandate. “We are still sorting out our options here,” Ms. Trainer said.

Open-access advocates welcomed Princeton’s decision. Lorraine Haricombe, the university librarian at the University of Kansas, said she was delighted by the news. She helped put together the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, or Coapi, to share experiences and open-access strategies. She said the group would invite Princeton to join its discussions. “This shows strong support for what universities do, and that is share their scholarship for the support of the cause and as a public good,” Ms. Haricombe said.

Reposted from Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus RSS feed (9/29/11)

Another Big Read/Fahrenheit 451 Program on April 12 with Jake Jakaitis

Join the last discussion of the Wabash Valley Big Read on Thursday, April 12, at 6pm in the Library Events Area. Jake Jakaitis, Director of Undergraduate Studies in English at ISU, will give a presentation: Adapting Fahrenheit 451. This will include Tim Hamilton’s authorized graphic novel and Francois Truffaut’s film (with film excerpts) adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel. Light refreshments.

Main home of the Wabash Valley Big Read 2012

Next year’s Big Read will be Tom Sawyer.