The Michigan State University G. R. Vincent Voice Library digitizes historically significant oral histories from women who served overseas during times of conflict.
Spanning the First and Second World Wars, the MSU Library has committed the attention of our expert technicians and curatorial staff in preserving the collection of members of the Women’s Overseas Service League (WOSL). With support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the principal goal of preserving the WOSL oral history project is to make shareable the personal accounts and hundreds-of-hours-of-sound-recordings from women who have volunteered their recollections, reflections, and ruminations on the dangers and hardships of serving overseas. The collections come from Michigan State University and the University of Texas-San Antonio Libraries.
This project adds to the relative dearth of oral histories related to women’s service during times of conflict. The personal accounts convey lessons of history and afford later generations the opportunity to understand the sacrifices of service through the human voice where the nuance of modesty and courage revealed at a visceral level. We are pleased to make these materials available to a worldwide audience by partnering with the Women’s Overseas Service League whose purpose is sublime: “To keep alive and develop the spirit that prompted overseas service; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; and to foster and promote friendship and understanding between the United States and all the other nations of the world.”
We are delighted to announce the availability of the initial set of digitized recordings. The collection grows regularly and may be found and listened to from the MSU Library catalog. A project website is forthcoming in Spring 2016.
Pictured above: Engineering board used to digitize WOSL cassettes and other recordings in our G. R. Vincent Voice Library.
Blog post by Katie Diamond, Holly Flynn, and Shawn Nicholson.
On Monday, we officially unveiled the Rovi Media Collection, establishing the largest collection of media in the country. This was made possible by the generosity of Rovi Corporation, which donated over 700,000 music CDs, over 160,000 DVDs/Blu-rays, and over 17,000 video games to MSU Libraries.
Rovi Corporation, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, is a leader in the personalized entertainment experience for search and navigation on millions of devices across the globe.
Before we could accept this extensive collection, we had to ensure the Main Library had space for almost a million pieces of media and the hundreds of cabinets they are stored in. The weight of the collection was about 210 tons, which meant that engineers had to assess the load bearing capacity of the building. It took more than 14 semi-trucks to bring the collection to us, and that was only the beginning. Following the delivery, our librarians fast-tracked a massive cataloging effort so users could access the collection.
Videos and music CDs are now accessible to the Spartan community through the MSU Libraries catalog,and to residents of Michigan through MeLCat, the statewide interlibrary loan system. Since our soft launch, we have fulfilled over 5,000 requests! Video games will be accessible in the gaming lab, which will begin construction in late-December on the 4th floor of the library.
The content of the collection spans from the early 80’s to 2014, making it culturally and historically significant in addition to the entertainment value it provides. This media archive will serve as a tremendous resource for Film Studies, the College of Music, and popular culture studies across disciplines. Students in the Serious Games and Game Development specialization programs will be able to research the history of game development and characteristics of popular games, among other topics.
Many of the items are no longer available for purchase, making this collection rare as well as enormous. If you’re interested in checking out these materials, simply go to the library catalog Advanced Search, select “Rovi Media Collection” under location, and search for the title or performing artist you are interested in.
Blog post by Katie Diamond and Holly Flynn, Photograph of Cliff Haka, Library Director, by G. L. Kohuth, Michigan State University
Are you studying late at the Main Library? Statewalk will walk you home!
Statewalk volunteers will walk you from the Main Library to anywhere on campus. They're available 9 pm to 1 am, Sunday through Wednesday nights, in fall and spring semester. Look for the Statewalk table in the 1st floor lobby of the Main Library, just west of the Reference Desk.
Statewalk is a free service offered by MSU's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the National Community Service Fraternity. Thanks, Alpha Phi Omega at MSU!
WDIV in Detroit did a marvelous profile of the Vincent Voice Library on Friday evening!
The piece includes sound bites from poet Robert Frost, boxer Joe Louis, baseball player Ty Cobb, showman Buffalo Bill Cody, and President Theodore Roosevelt - the latter being one of the first voices Robert Vincent ever recorded, in 1912.
There's also a great shot of our Edison Standard Phonograph, in perfect working order more than 100 years after it was manufactured.
We're pleased to announce the publication of Speak Out! The MSU Student Anthology on Civil and Human Rights.
Speak Out! is one of the library's contributions to Project 60/50, MSU's year-long conversation on civil and human rights. Along with the anthology, we've also been an active participant with films, musical performances, and exhibits on relevant resources in our collection.
In the anthology, five student authors reflect on difficult questions and moments in history that have moved, angered, or challenged them:
• Elizabeth Gil, Painting a Fuller Portrait: An Open Letter
• Kyle Goldstein, When is Censorship Justified?
• Sam Mather, Torture and Human Rights
• Kenneth J. Williams Jr., Racial Equality is a Myth!
• Connor Yeck, Eight Moments at Shima Hospital
Get your copy on Amazon.com or at the Main Library Copy Center on 2 West!
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