Now On View at Richter Library: Hometown Maps


Since 1997 students at the School of Architecture have commenced their program studies in architecture and urban design by researching, analyzing, and interpreting the distinctive characteristics of the places they are most familiar with—their own hometowns. A selection of hometown maps created by students over the course of nearly 20 years is now on view in Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From?, located on the first floor of the Richter Library.

Architecture student Lorena Knezevic's map of Torino, Italy, is one of the 2015 featured works in Hometown Maps.

Architecture student Lorena Knezevic’s map of Torino, Italy, is one of the 2015 featured works in Hometown Maps.

The exhibition includes works by six former and four current students representing various cities and towns in the United States and beyond. The maps are showcased next to an interactive digital map of the world that has been specially created by UML librarians and School of Architecture faculty as a way to view a range of students’ work by location and year, among other aspects.

“These maps engage the students’ awareness about urban planning and the development of towns through the lens of architectural, environmental, and historical features,” says Gilda Santana, who as head of UML’s Paul Buisson Architecture Library has been helping grow the Hometown Maps archive at UM Libraries Digital Collections. Currently it includes around 300 student-created maps dating back to 2004.

At the exhibition’s opening on October 6, Dean of the School of Architecture Rodolphe el-Khoury said the project is an important way of introducing students to the UM architecture program and its big-picture philosophy. “We think of architecture in an urban context and what it brings to the city rather than focusing solely on individual monuments,” he explained.

The maps are hand-drawn, a testament to the program’s continued recognition of traditional drawing skills, while students use a range of tools and resources to support accuracy in their graphic layouts. The UM Libraries Maps Collection has long been a popular resource, and several students this year consulted UML’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab to cull information about their hometowns such as elevation and street data.

With the archive in place, this work has the potential to inform and inspire architecture students down the road. “As each project is presented to the class, the studio learns more about the larger issues of architecture and the environment, geography, and culture, as well as something new about the perspective on place,” Santana says.

Visit Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From at the Otto G. Richter Library, on view through December 2015.

Library visitors can further explore the Hometown Maps archive through the exhibition’s interactive digital display.

Library visitors can further explore the Hometown Maps archive through the exhibition’s interactive digital display. Photo by Brittney Bomnin

Save the Date: Upcoming Events at UM Libraries


The University of Miami Libraries are hosting and co-presenting several events this fall and in the coming year. Please mark your calendars and join us for what promises to be a series of stimulating talks and presentations.

November 18, 2015 | GIS Day

Otto G. Richter Library
Members of the UM community and the public are invited to explore the many real-world applications of geographic information systems (GIS) at Richter Library on Wednesday, November 18, during UM¹s GIS Day, which will feature a keynote presentation by the graphics editor of The New York Times. Sponsored by the University of Miami Libraries and the Department of Geography, GIS Day also will include a series of workshops and panels that highlight some of the many ways GIS can enhance presentations and maximize the impact of research across the scholarly landscape. For more information and a complete schedule of GIS Day events, visit GIS Resources at UM Libraries <>.

November 19, 2015 | Quince Sellos Cubanos Reception

6:30 p.m. | Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
Join us for a reception and conversation with artist María Martínez-Cañas highlighting her exhibition, a portfolio of 15 gelatin silver prints now on view at the library along with the original Cuban stamps that inspired her work. Exploring themes of history, memory, and identity, the limited-edition series was donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection by Alan Gordich in 2014. The exhibition will remain on view through December 2015.

January 14, 2016 | Arva Moore Parks Presents George Merrick, Son of the South Wind

6:30 p.m. | Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
As UM kicks off the 90th anniversary celebrations in 2016, Miami historian and University trustee Arva Moore Parks will present her latest book on Coral Gables’ founder and UM visionary George Merrick. Parks’ presentation at the library, co-sponsored by Books & Books, is in conjunction with the official opening of The Pan American University: The Original Spirit of the U Lives On, an exhibition of historical materials from the Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections reflecting the University’s enduring connection to Latin America and the Caribbean.


Featured events are free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please contact or call 305-284-4026.

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Visioning Studio for the Future Learning Commons Opens at Richter Library

The Visioning Studio for the future Learning Commons is now open on the first floor of Richter Library.  Look for the large open space with the orange stripes brightening your path.

The Visioning Studio offers a place for the UM community to begin trying out different types of spaces, services, and technologies that the UM Libraries might offer in partnership with campus academic service units. Here is a sampling of what you’ll discover in the Visioning Studio this month:

    • Free tutoring provided by the Academic Resource Center begins in the Visioning Studio’s Consultation Hub on September 8 at 5 p.m. The service will be provided Monday – Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The sound in the Visioning Studio will increase accordingly to a collaborative, conversational level during these times.  When tutoring is not occurring, the Consultation Hub is available for open study.
    • Brightspot consultants will be leading user experience interviews and workshops with students and faculty in the Active-Learning Environment during the week of September 8. The goal of this research is to involve our students and faculty in the design of our future Learning Commons. We are grateful to all who are participating!
    • Check out the puzzle station in our prototype BrainSpa, where you can relax and reboot your mind. We are hoping to hear your ideas about other activities you might like to be able to do in the Learning Commons.

Share your vision with us!


Now On View at Weeks Library: Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit

Frank Sinatra cropped

The Weeks Music Library presents a selection of materials from its collections that highlight the profound, multifaceted cultural influence of the artist—perhaps best reflected in the assortment of nicknames including “Chairman of the Board,” “The Voice,” “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and others by which he is still remembered. This exhibition spans his many memorable musical hits as well as his acting achievements, including his involvement in the Rat Pack, and other influential endeavors throughout his life.

Born December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra began his career performing as a big band crooner before finding fame as a popular singer and actor, culminating in his 1953 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.

Though his popularity dwindled somewhat in later years, he stepped back into the spotlight with his 1980 cover of “(Theme from) New York, New York.” After a brief “retirement” in 1971, Sinatra continued performing and touring until his death in 1998.

Infamous for his membership in the “Rat Pack,” his alleged Mafia connections, and his ties to such political notables as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Sinatra remains a beloved and fascinating figure of American popular music and culture.