3rd Annual Free Comic Book Day at Richter


Come by the Richter Library Breezeway on Friday, May 1, from 12  – 2 p.m. and pick up a free comic! We will distribute single volumes (while supplies last) courtesy of Mac’s Comics, as well as coupons to the store. Librarians will be on site with information and samples from Richter Library’s growing Graphic Novels Collection.

Free Comic Book Day is a national event traditionally celebrated on the first Saturday in May. Mac’s Comics & Collectibles will host a Free Comic Book Day event at their store on Saturday, May 2.

UM Libraries wants YOU to READ!

Show your UM pride by getting a READ picture. Pictures are free, fun, and emailed straight to your inbox. You might even get a picture with Sebastian the Ibis!

There will be different templates to choose from (including “Listen” and “Lea” instead of “Read”). You’ll receive your image straight to your email and you also have the option of getting one free 8.5×11 print out from DML.

So drop by and share your UM library love – READ!

Event will be held in the Richter Library 1st Floor:

August 21st         11am – 3pm         
August 22nd        11am – 3pm
August 23rd         12pm – 3pm

Do Not Go Gentle: Poetry of Protest

Do Not Go Gentle: Poetry of Protest
Otto G. Richter Library | The Lynda and Michael Gordon Exhibition Program
Fall Semester 2012 (opening September 17, 2012)

Throughout history, protests have changed the way people think and the way nations govern.  This exhibition explores some important 20th- and 21st-century protest themes through musical scores, contemporary zines, artists’ books, and poems by celebrated protest writers.  By touching on a range of protest from antiwar to human rights, we invite viewers to contemplate these powerful and lyrical messages of hope, peace, and change.

CHC honored by the City of North Miami

The City of North Miami, Florida recognized the Cuban Heritage Collection during a regular city council meeting. Mayor Andre D. Pierre proclaimed October 9, 2012 the Cuban Heritage Collection Day. CHC Chair Esperanza B. de Varona and her assistant Gladys Gómez-Rossié were on hand to receive the proclamation.

As part of the City’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we installed two panel exhibitions in the main lobby of the North Miami City Hall: “Keys to Cuba’s History,” an overview of Cuban history; and “In Search of Freedom,” a display about the Cuban Refugee Program. The exhibitions will be on display through the end of the month.

For more information, please visit the CHC news blog.


UM Libraries Partners with UF

The University of Miami and the University of Florida libraries collaborate to establish a shared collection

The University of Miami and the University of Florida have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Collaborative Academic Library Collection, a shared collection that will be housed in Gainesville for long-term preservation and retention of low use or duplicate library materials.

This new partnership between Florida’s largest public and private academic research libraries will benefit students, faculty and researchers at both universities. The catalogs and finding aids for both universities will include the records for the shared collection.

With the majority of journal resources now being electronic, libraries have an opportunity to reallocate valuable shelving space into more user-focused areas. Academic research libraries across the U.S. are moving less-used materials to off-site facilities in order to accommodate new services that promote scholarly communication and to create spaces that support both group and individual study.

“At the University of Miami Libraries, we are repurposing on-campus library real estate to provide advanced academic technology services that support scholarship,” said William D. Walker, dean and university librarian. “We will also be able to provide better access to print materials that are more frequently consulted.”

The shared collection will be housed in a professionally managed, climate-controlled environment to ensure that materials in the collection are preserved. Both libraries will collaborate to make decisions about the storage, retention and preservation of print materials. Requested materials will be processed with quick turn-around times. By agreement, the facility will accept only one set of each bound journal and only one copy of each edition of a monograph. Each item will be cataloged, bar coded and stored according to size in trays to optimize space. Retrieval will be based on a location using the bar codes on the volumes, trays and shelves. The building will house 800,000 to one million volumes in approximately 35,000 square feet of appropriately conditioned space suitable for preserving and storing for retrieval.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the University of Miami libraries on this initiative. The Collaborative Academic Library Collection will integrate little-used print materials from both collections and ensure preservation and cost-effective access to these materials for faculty and students at both universities, “ said Judy Russell, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida. “Although there is some overlap in our collections, each of us has titles that the other does not, so the shared collection will make more titles available to our users, while reducing duplication.”

The Board of Governors has approved, but not yet funded, a high-density storage facility that, once built, will integrate this collection with other low-use print materials from libraries in the State University System. The new facility will include 1.2 million cubic feet of space and hold 5.2 million volumes plus a processing area. Eventually, there will be four modules that will hold 20.8 million volumes.

Celebrating the Jewish-Cuban experience

By Amanda Moreno, CHC Projects Assistant and Fernando Espino, CHC Student Assistant

Books pertaining to the Jewish-Cuban experience available at the CHC.

The Jewish community in Cuba traces its history back centuries, stretching as far as the first voyage of Christopher Columbus. Popular legend states that three Jewish sailors were among Columbus’s crew, including Rodrigo de Triana, the first man to spot land on the North American continent. [1] During the colonial period, many Spaniards of Jewish descent immigrated to the island. In the late 19th century and through the 20th century, a number of Jews from Eastern Europe and the Middle East migrated to Cuba and established a permanent presence. In 1906, a group of Cuban Jews founded the island’s first synagogue, the United Hebrew Congregation.

We recently processed the Frederick Solomon Papers, which features the correspondence and writings of Dr. Frederick Solomon, an exiled Jewish rabbi active in Havana during the mid-20th century. Dr. Solomon headed the United Hebrew Congregation at Temple Beth Israel, the island’s first synagogue, located in Havana’s Vedado suburb and home to the Centro Macabeo de Cuba. [2] During his time at Temple Beth Israel, Dr. Solomon continued the tradition of conducting services in English, organizing religious services and authoring sermons for his congregation from 1953 to 1960.

A figure of Miami’s Jewish-Cuban exile community is Bernardo Benes. A lawyer, banker and civic activist, Benes played an integral role in the release of thousands of Cuban political prisoners in the infamous 1978 diálogo (dialogue) with Fidel Castro. [3] In 1991, we acquired the Bernardo Benes Papers, with materials added in 2008. This collection documents Dr. Benes’ personal and professional activities with organizations such as the Cuban Hebrew Circle of Miami and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

For more information including a list of books pertaining to the Jewish-Cuban experience available at the CHC and more images please visit the CHC blog and view the full article post.

And in honor of the High Holy Days: L’Shanah Tovah, and have an easy fast!

Voices of the Diaspora: Israel Bichachi

By Fernando Espino, CHC Student Assistant
– for full post visit the CHC blog

Israel Bichachi, Jewish-Cuban entrepreneur and community leader.Today we highlight a Jewish-Cuban voice that forms part of the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project.

Israel Bichachi was born in Placetas, Las Villas on February 17, 1929, into a family of Sephardic Jews from Turkey. Bichachi was brought up speaking Spanish and raised as a Cuban first and foremost. “[In Cuba] you saw a bit of discrimination amongst the young people,” Bichachi explains. “But very little from adults.” While his family was not particularly religious, he remembers the difficulty they faced in finding places of worship, since Cuba had very few synagogues.

When the 1948 Arab-Israeli War broke out, Jews from across the world flocked to defend the young Israeli state. That same year, a young Israel Bichachi eagerly left his home to volunteer in Israel for a few months. “There were Jews from all over the world,” he remembers, speaking of the many volunteer corps he met in Israel. “If you spoke less than five languages, it was considered strange. I would tell people that I only spoke Spanish. Everyone was stunned.”

Bichachi’s return to Cuba was followed by the revolution, and he quickly found himself a target of the new regime. After three stints in a Cuban prison, he and his family knew they would have to go into exile. He spent a year in Israel working in a concrete factory, followed by a few years in New York before finally relocating to Miami. He worked primarily in the garment industry, first as a factory worker, and later as a salesman.

Bichachi would eventually open his own clothing shop, Bichachi Originals in Miami Shores in 1966. He also became a leader in the Jewish-Cuban community in Miami. In 1968, he co-founded Temple Moses, a Sephardic synagogue in Miami Beach, Florida.

Today, less than 2,000 Jews remain in Cuba. Like Bichachi and his family, the majority of this once-thriving community was forced into exile by the Castro regime. His story paints a portrait of the life of a Cuban Jew who, like so many of his countrymen, was forced to make a new life in a new home.

Israel Bichachi was interviewed as part of the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project in Miami Beach, FL on October 12, 2011. To learn more, watch Mr. Bichachi tell his life story.

More from the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project »

Notes From The Conservation Lab: Preserving A One-Of-A-Kind Silk Scarf

by Scott Reinke, Preservation Administrator

I am amazed at the variety of unique materials that are housed in the Cuban Heritage Collection. We recently treated a one-of-a-kind silk scarf decorated with a portrait of José Martí. At first glance, the white silk scarf appeared to have an intricate drawing on it, but upon closer observation, the portrait was actually stitched into the delicate fabric using fine silk threads. The level of skill required to execute this work of art truly astounded me.

The scarf first arrived in the conservation lab stored folded in an archival file folder with creases in the fabric. Conservation Assistant Duvy Argandoña and I discussed our course of action before she began the treatment process. We are not textile conservators and so, for example, would not be able to address the visible brown spots on the fabric, known as foxing. But we did want to complete a conservation treatment that would allow for improved storage and accessibility of this beautiful scarf over the long term.

Using deionized water in the humidification dome, we slightly humidified and pressed the scarf between blotters under light pressure to reduce the creases. We then encapsulated it using an ultrasonic welder. This tool is used to create a sealed envelop out of polyester film that in turn protects the delicate fabric during storage and handling. This step is completely reversible so additional treatments can be undertaken in the future. After completing the treatment process, we used the conservation lab’s low magnification stereo-microscope with a 5 megapixel camera attachment to capture close-up images of stitching. Below, you can see the microscope and some of the detailed images it recorded.

After completing the treatment process, we used the conservation lab’s low magnification stereo-microscope with a 5 megapixel camera attachment to capture close-up images of stitching. Below, you can see the microscope and some of the detailed images it captured.

For more images please visit the CHC blog article

Encapsulated print of José Martí, Cuban Print Collection, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida. Click image to enlarge.


Accessing Richter Library During Construction on Gables Campus

As part of ongoing construction on the west side of the Coral Gables campus, the intersection of Miller Road and San Amaro Drive is now closed. Crews are working diligently over the coming weeks to reopen the intersection for the start of the fall semester. It is recommended to park at the Pavia Garage during construction on the west side of campus. To access the Pavia Parking Garage, please enter through the Campus’ entrance off of Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Please see attached map for details. Should access to the west side of campus be necessary, detour signs are posted in the area to guide traffic in and around the detour. Please avoid detouring through residential neighborhoods. Faculty, staff and visitors approaching from or returning to the west should use the following alternate routes:

Parking and access NORTH of the Miller intersection closure: To access buildings and parking along Memorial Drive, Arboretum, Art Wilder lot, and northern lots near Communication, Frost School of Music, Nursing, and Memorial Classroom buildings, please use S.W. 57th Avenue north to Blue Road, Blue Road east to University, University south to Campo Sano, and San Amaro Drive north of the closure.

Parking and access SOUTH of the Miller intersection closure: To access buildings and parking along Hecht Athletics, Schiff Tennis and University Village, please use S.W. 57th Avenue south to Brescia, Brescia east to San Amaro Drive. Please keep the road closure in mind when traveling along San Amaro Drive on the west edge of campus. Everyone is encouraged to use alternate routes to minimize traffic in residential neighborhoods.

Special Collections Receives NHPRC Grant

The Special Collections of the University of Miami Libraries is the recipient of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant for $153,809. The award allows the Libraries’ Special Collections to complete the processing and enhance access to the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records. The records begin with the Pan Am’s founding in 1927, and provide a fascinating perspective on the growth and development of a modern aviation corporation.

Pan American World Airways, Inc. (Pan Am) Records, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

The entire collection totals over 1,600 boxes of materials, including photographs, correspondence, flight plans, maps, business records, and memorabilia.  This is one of Special Collection’s most requested and used collections; it has been used for the writing of books, articles, theses, screenplays, and popular culture events, such as the recent the television show “Pan Am”. The Pan Am Historical Foundation funds the Dave Abrams and Gene Banning Pan Am Research Grant competition awarded to support scholarly research using the Pan American World Records held by the University of Miami Libraries’ Special Collections.

Pan American World Airways, Inc. (Pan Am) Records, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

The University of Miami received one of the largest grants awarded by the NHPRC this year.  Other award recipients include UCLA, Purdue, New York University, Stanford University, and Duke.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) supports projects to facilitate the use of historical records held by archives and other repositories and to assure their long-term preservation. The Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, is the Chairman of the Commission. Kathleen Williams is its Executive Director. The NHPRC is the sole federal funding agency whose only focus is the documentary heritage of the United States. Established in 1934, it has awarded grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to vital historical documents.