Learn Music Software at Lynda.com!

Classes are over and summer will soon be here! This is a great time to brush up on your music technology skills. Become a master of Sibelius or Finale. Perfect your knowledge of Pro Tools. Learn about Studio One, Ableton Live, Auria, and Audacity. You can do all of this and more through Lynda.com.

Lynda.com provides high-quality online courses to teach a variety of “software, technology, creative, and business skills.” Through UM’s subscription to this resource, you have free access to courses teaching software for music composition, music editing, music notation, and music production, as well as countless other topics in related fields. Following the completion of a Lynda.com course, you may elect to receive a Certificate of Completion, so that you can share your accomplishment with friends, employers, clients, or colleagues.

For more information, visit Lynda.com.

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day

Come to Richter Library between Noon and 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3rd, for a free comic book*!  To promote the library’s growing Graphic Novel collection the Otto G. Richter Library is participating in Free Comic Book Day.

There will be a variety of single back issues to choose from.  Librarians will be on hand with a suggestion box open for recommendations on future books to purchase and to help match a comic book to each reader.  Richter Library’s collection includes graphic novels from a wide variety of genres and suitable for different audiences.

Free Comic Book Day, the national event, is traditionally celebrated on the first Saturday in May. It began in 2002 as a way to promote reading comics.  Richter Library’s Friday give-away consists of donations from Mac’s Comics and Collectibles, who will be hosting the traditional Free Comic Book Day on May the 4th  at their store.

*While supplies last.

Need Some Oomph? Ask a Librarian!

Gus Letchas from the University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection.

Need a little extra to put your research paper across the line? Subject librarians can help you add oomph to your arguments!

The information desk is staffed 8 am to 5:30 am (that’s right, overnight!) during our 24-7 period, and you can reach us by chat, text, email, and phone during the work day.

We can help you find sources for your paper and data to back up your arguments.

Subject Librarians A-Z

Librarians by Subject Specialty


Teaching with Special Collections

“S-38, PAA refueling stop, Cozumel, island inside Carribean [sic] Sea” [circa 1930]. The eight-seater, 110 mph Sikorsky S-38 was one of Pan Am’s first aircrafts.

Richter Libraries’ Special Collections’ materials ignite curiosities and promote deeper levels of understanding of the historical record. Our librarians are eager to welcome your students as they begin to understand the research potential of these unique rare books, manuscripts, letters, ephemera, fugitive literature, and much more.

So, why teach with special collections materials?

Our collections:

  • remove editorial mediators because they are the primary evidence,
  • inspire new research opportunities, and
  • allow you to introduce a concept or historical event to a class in a creative way.

With the proper attention to security and the integrity of the items, students will be able to touch, read, and study our materials – engaging with the historical record in ways that transcend textbooks.  So, what can you expect from a class in Special Collections at Richter Library? We’ve developed two ways you can utilize our collections for instruction.

1. “One-off” or single class visit connected to a specific topic or overarching theme. This type of class can be arranged with a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice preferred.

2. Multi-visits, with or without student project or assignment. These can be arranged prior to a semester or one month’s minimum notice preferred. We will arrange thematic displays that enhance the topics you intend to cover throughout your course. After your class visits, your students can perform detailed and intimate reviews of the materials in our reading room to forge their own investigations. Past projects and assignments include: student-created artists’ books, annotated bibliographies, and blogs.

For seamless and positive results, we prefer a consultation with you prior to your class visit(s). With your input, our librarians can select materials that best suit your specific instructional needs. You are welcome to lead the instruction, or you can do what many of your colleagues have done and co-teach with our librarians whose breadth of knowledge of the collections make for lively and engaging classes. Our space is limited and we want to create a positive learning experience for your students. For classes of 18 or more students, we request splitting them into smaller groups for their Special Collections visit.

We’ve taught classes for English, History, Anthropology, Art, Architecture, Musicology, Geography, and Business faculty, to name a few. In fact, repeat visits from faculty (such as Profs. Robin Bachin, Renee Fox, and Kate Ramsey) and their students have made for stronger collaborations and more enriched original research by the students we instruct. Beyond our major collection strengths (Carribeana, Floridiana, and 20th/21st century Counterculture “Fringe” materials), our collections also cover a broad range of disciplines ideal for instruction.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a class visit, email Athena N. Jackson, Special Collections Librarian at a.jackson3@miami.edu.

The Special Collections Division

Eureka! – How Using Special Collections Can Enhance Your Writing, Publishing, and Research Skills

Please join us for an engaging round table featuring UM faculty and students, who will share their experiences using the rare, unique and fascinating materials held in the Special Collections Department in Richter Library. Find out about their discovery process, their new-found enthusiasm for primary source materials for their research, and how using special collections can expand academic success.

Find out about the scholarly discovery process, students’ enthusiasm for using primary source materials, and how using Special Collections enhances academic success.

Monday, April 15, 2013, 6 p.m.
Otto G. Richter Library
Third Floor Conference Room

What’s cookin’: Delicious Deceit: the legend behind Pato Yemayá

Guest post by Amanda Moreno, CHC Processing Assistant

The flavors of Africa have played an integral role in the execution of Cuban cuisine since the arrival of West African slaves en masse to the island in the 1700s. Whether its ñame, quimbombó or fufú, African influence is prevalent in both the food and culture of Cuba. Certain foods retain particular significance for practitioners of Cuba’s syncretic religions, as in the orisha offerings of santería. The legend of one such offering and a complementary recipe can be found below.

Yemayá and the duck [1]

Yemayá, a santería orisha associated with the ocean and motherhood, is closely connected to the duck Kuekueye, whom she took as a confidant and entrusted with many secrets. Facing a difficult situation, the orisha asked Kuekueye to present her problem to Olofi, the supreme god in the Yoruba pantheon, and seek a solution. But the duck Kuekueye secretly envied Yemayá, so he purposefully misinterpreted her message to Olofi and the advice the latter gave was not helpful; Yemayá recognized Kuekueye’s betrayal but she forgave him.

Despite Yemayá’s graciousness, Kuekueye did not learn his lesson, alternately exalting and vilifying Yemayá to anyone who would listen and gossiping about her vast riches hidden  on the ocean floor to the point that people conspired to steal them. Elegguá, the orisha guardian, found out and told Olofi, who convened a meeting of the orishas to inform Yemayá of Kuekueye’s treason. The hunting orishas Oggún and Ochosi shook the duck by its wings so hard in an attempt to get him to confess that Kuekueye swallowed his tongue and never spoke again. Olofi sentenced Kuekueye to live with Yemayá until she decided to sacrifice him, eating him and drinking his blood.

And so when Yemayá asks her followers for a duck sacrifice, her children blindfold the bird with a blue kerchief and make sure to pluck out all of its feathers in absolute silence as additional punishment for Kuekueye’s duplicity.

Pato Yemayá [2]

Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs adapted the version of Pato Yemayá described by Natalia Bolívar in her book, Mitos y leyendas de la comida afrocubana (1993). To prepare this dish, you will need the following ingredients:

1 large (6-pound) duck; ½ cup bitter orange juice, or ¼ cup regular orange juice and ¼ cup fresh lime juice; ⅓ cup thinly sliced onion; 2 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press; 1 tbs minced fresh basil, or ¾ tsp dried basil; 1 tbs minced fresh ginger, or ¾ tsp dried ginger; ½ tsp ground cumin; ½ tsp marjoram; ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional); 1 tbs olive oil; ¼ tsp salt; about 2 (11.8 ounce) cans guarapo, or 1 cup sugar dissolved in 2 cups water.

Remove the giblets and fully rinse the duck with cold water.  Cut into quarters and place pieces into a single layer, combining the orange juice, onion, garlic, basil, ginger, cumin, marjoram, pepper, oil and salt and coating the duck and its giblets thoroughly with the marinade. Refrigerate for two to three hours and pat dry, grilling the duck at medium to hot heat while turning it frequently for 20 to 30 minutes until it’s crisp and browned. After pre-heating the oven to 350°F, place the duck, giblets and marinade in a baking dish filled with guarapo; cover loosely in foil and bake for an hour until tender. Remove the duck and fat from pan juices. Boil the juice until most of the liquid evaporates and use the remainder as a glaze.

  • For more on food in santería rituals, see Series 3.1 of the Lydia Cabrera Collection, Manuscripts on Afro-Cuban culture, and listen to Hector Lavoe’s song, “Para Ochun.”


[1] Natalia Bolívar Aróstegui, Mitos y leyendas de la comida afrocubana (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1993), 38-39.

[2] Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs, Eating Cuban (New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006), 25.

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez visits CHC

This afternoon, Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez visited us for a private tour of the Cuban Heritage Collection and an interview session with University of Miami student media. In this picture, Deputy Chair María R. Estorino is giving her an overview of our website, search tools, and digital collections while UM President Donna E. Shalala looks on.  Ms. Sánchez has repeatedly indicated that technology tools and access to information as two of the most important things that Cubans on the island need.  We did our part to answer this call by giving her 10 flash drives loaded with a selection of materials digitized from the CHC’s holdings, including four of the over 100 interviews we have conducted as part of our Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project.

Ms. Sánchez has been on a whirlwind tour of various countries since she was allowed to leave Cuba in February. After stops in Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain, and New York, she arrived in Miami last week and spoke yesterday at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower and at Florida International University.  You can read about her tour in her own words and pictures on her blog Generación Y (or translated into English on Generation Y), on Twitter @yoanisanchez, and Instagram.