Now On View at Richter Library: Natural Cuba

Natural Cuba

An exhibition highlighting the island’s vibrant flora and fauna and their historical depictions, from iconic botanical illustrations to stunning wildlife publications to the beautifully colored specimens of the polymita picta, Cuba’s native tree snail. A series of historical photos, books, and other materials preserved by the Cuban Heritage Collection are now on display through Fall 2015 at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion at the Otto G. Richter Library.



Now On View at Richter Library: Quince Sellos Cubanos

Quince Sellos Cubanos

An exhibition highlighting iconic scenes and symbols from Cuba’s past, reimagined by internationally renowned Cuban artist María Martínez-Cañas. A limited-edition series of gelatin silver prints is on view alongside the artist’s thirty-year collection of original Cuban stamps which inspired the work. The series was donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection in 2015. It is on display on the second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.



Join Us for Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960 on September 9

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The University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection
and Florida International University’s Cuban Research Institute
invite you to a presentation of the book

Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960
by Yeidy M. Rivero, PhD

Opening remarks by Jorge Duany, PhD
Director, FIU Cuban Research Institute

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Reception 6:30 p.m.
Presentation 7 p.m.

Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion
Otto G. Richter Library, 2nd Floor
University of Miami
1300 Memorial Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

RSVP to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.
Reception sponsored by the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection

 

The birth and development of commercial television in Cuba in the 1950s occurred alongside political and social turmoil. In this period of dramatic swings encompassing democracy, a coup, a dictatorship, and a revolution, television functioned as a beacon and promoter of Cuba’s identity as a modern nation. In Broadcasting Modernity, television historian Yeidy M. Rivero shows how the television industry enabled different institutions to convey an image of progress, democracy, economic abundance, high culture, education, morality, and decency. After nationalizing Cuban television, the state used it to advance Fidel Castro’s project of creating a modern socialist country. As Cuba changed, television changed with it. Dr. Rivero not only demonstrates television’s importance to Cuban cultural identity formation; she explains how the medium functions in society during times of radical political and social transformation.

Yeidy M. Rivero is Professor of Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She is the coeditor of Contemporary Latina/o Media: Rethinking Production, Circulation, and Politics (2014) and author of Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television (2005). Her scholarship focuses on television studies, race and the media, global media, and Latino/a studies.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-4026 or richterevents@miami.edu with questions about directions and parking.

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Now On View at Weeks Library: Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit

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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.



Libraries and Presidents: From UM to DC

by Jason Sylvestre and Sarah Block

quote-square-Benet2_600x600When Dr. Jay Pearson, UM’s second president, left office in 1962, the University was bustling with a steady surge of students and faculty, new programs and schools, and the construction of many new buildings that he’d pushed for over the course of his tenure. Pearson’s parting achievement, arguably his biggest, was the construction of the Otto G. Richter Library.

The building’s dedication drew hundreds to Brockway Hall, the auditorium upon which the stack tower had just been built, so crowning the space with eight floors of books, which, while before were housed in four temporary facilities throughout the campus, could now be accessed from one building with bookveyors transporting them easily and quickly between floors. A state-of-the-art cataloging system would speed up the process of new books reaching the hands of students, while group and independent study areas provided much-needed academically centered space outside the classroom.

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Archie McNeal, first director of libraries, and Jay F. W. Pearson, second president of the University of Miami, surrounded by books, 1953.

But Pearson it seems knew that the building’s importance was even greater than the sum of its parts—the modern features, or added study space, or the growing collections themselves. “This is the most significant day in the history of our university’s academic growth,” he said in his speech, describing not just a building but a scholarly foundation with a library that would shape the future of the whole campus; something his predecessor President Ashe cleared the way for, and all of its future presidents would be able to build on.

The research university that President Frenk now leads just 50 years later, following so many important milestones through the tenures of Presidents Stanford, Foote, and Shalala, attests to the truth in his statement.

Looking back many years earlier it comes with little surprise that a library, as a place dedicated to the preservation, collection, and access to knowledge, could have such an impact. The Library of Congress, for instance, at the heart of our nation’s capital, is very much a part of the national history it so steadfastly preserves. It is the go-to library for government officials dating back to the time of Thomas Jefferson, who also donated to it his entire personal collection (after the building was nearly destroyed during the War of 1812). Much later, the library even enlightened arguably the most famous national scandal, its checkout history from the White House helping Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigate Watergate, leading to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. One of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, in All the President’s Men, depicts the two reporters famously looking for clues in a pile of books during their visit.

Staircase inside of Richter Library, circa 1962.

Staircase inside of Richter Library, circa 1962.

In National Treasure: Book of Secrets the library is likened to a web of secret passages leading to a universal book of knowledge, something that could only be metaphorically true—but a significant metaphor. For many, a library is characterized as a place of excitement, mystery, and above all, possibility.

Our UM Libraries are connected closely to our history as well because of unique and distinctive collections dedicated to documenting the records of local and surrounding communities, which today draw researchers from around the world. One such collection, the UM Presidential Papers—including records from all of the presidents while in office—mirrors the practice of many U.S. presidents who have made their papers public, and even built entire libraries for them following term.

President Roosevelt, a major proponent in formalizing the establishment of presidential libraries, dedicated his library in 1941. His speech describes the necessary foundation, of hope, on which all libraries stand. “To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgement in creating their own future.”

We at UM Libraries welcome with excitement this new era of our university’s history. Be sure to visit the University Archives to learn more about past presidents and the development of UM.

(left) Student at a computer inside Richter Library, 1985. (right) Students in the Richter Information Commons, 2014.

(left) Student at a computer inside Richter Library, 1985. (right) Students in the Richter Information Commons, 2014.