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We’re going to time travel today…back to 2007…when the SDSU Library presented an exhibit titled “Beyond the Batter’s Box: The Hall of Fame Life of Tony Gwynn.” It was the year Tony Gwynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the library celebrated that event with an exhibit featuring memorabilia, photographs, and awards from Gwynn’s stellar career and his time as a student and coach at San Diego State University. The items in the exhibit were selected and loaned to us by Gwynn himself.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here talking about Gwynn’s career…you probably already know that he was one of the greatest baseball players and a stand-up guy off the field…and if you don’t, there are countless news articles and Web sites where you can read about him. What I want to share is a more personal glimpse of the Tony Gwynn we knew at the library. Below are some photos of the 2007 exhibit and reception in Special Collections. He was then…and will always be…a larger-than-life presence.

Tony Gwynn exhibit
Item from the Tony Gwynn exhibit
Tony Gwynn exhibit
Tony Gwynn exhibit
Tony Gwynn and his wife
Invitation to Tony Gwynn reception with autograph
Tony Gwynn exhibit
Tony Gwynn and young fan at reception
Tony Gwynn speaking
Tony Gwynn

SDSU NewsCenter article about the Gwynn exhibit


Lots of interesting things to see and learn today at the Student Research Symposium. If you didn’t get a chance to attend today, stop by on Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and take a look!

Student Research Symposium
Student Research Symposium
Student Research Symposium
Student Research Symposium
Student Research Symposium

Will Eisner Week posterThis is your chance to learn about one of the greats of the comics world: Will Eisner. The library is celebrating “Will Eisner Week”—March 1- 7, 2014—with a series of events and an exhibit that will not only educate you, but entertain you, and hopefully enlighten you about one of America’s greatest writers and cartoonists.

On February 28, an exhibit featuring examples of Eisner’s work will open in the Reference Services area on the 1st floor of the Library Addition. Included in the exhibit are comics from the Word Balloons series created by SDSU illustration students. The exhibit will run through March 10.

On March 4, filmmaker Neil Kendricks will discuss “A Comic-Book Odyssey: Through the Paper Menagerie of Graphic Narrative to ‘Comics Are Everywhere!’ then Back Again.” Kendricks serves as film curator for San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art and is currently teaching a screenwriting class at SDSU. His documentary, Comics Are Everywhere, is currently in production. The lecture will be held at 2 p.m. in Room LL430.

The documentary Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist will be screened on March 5 at 1 p.m. in Room LL430. The documentary details Eisner’s story and documents the influence his career had on the world of comics.

Eisner created one of the genre’s most lasting characters, The Spirit, whose adventures were first presented in the Sunday newspaper comic book inserts that Eisner produced for select American newspapers every week from 1940 to 1952. After then spending several years running American Visuals Company, which produced instructional manuals in comic book form for business and government, Eisner revived The Spirit in a series of reprints starting in the 1970s. It was also during that decade that Eisner began producing the works that would cement his reputation; a series of “graphic novels,” a term that he helped popularize and that helped bring a new level of seriousness to the comic arts. As an indication of his lasting legacy, the awards given out at Comic-Con International’s annual ceremony to honor the best works in the industry bear his name: the Eisner Awards.

In celebration of Black History Month, the library is presenting several events organized by Gloria Rhodes, the library’s outreach librarian.

An Evening Honoring Nelson Mandela
“An Evening Honoring Nelson Mandela” will be held on Tuesday, February 18, at 7 p.m. in Room LL430/31. The event will begin with a screening of the documentary Amandla: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. The film pays tribute to the role played by protest songs in the nonviolent revolution that brought an end to apartheid. Nomsa Burkhardt will facilitate a discussion following the film. Burkhardt is a dancer, folk singer, and percussionist of Zulu heritage. She was born in Soweto, South Africa, and now lives in San Diego. She is the cofounder of IZINDE, an Afro-fusion band comprised of artists from around the world.
Documentary: Cracking the Codes
A screening and discussion of the documentary Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity will be held in Room LL430/31 on Wednesday, February 19, at 4 p.m. The film, by director Shakti Butler, asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic racial inequity. At the showing, film segments will be braided with shared dialogue facilitated by Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, assistant professor of Africana Studies at SDSU, as well as colleagues from across the campus.
African American Art Exhibition
A tribute to African American art by SDSU African American students will be held in Room LL430/31 on Wednesday, February 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The exhibition will spotlight SDSU African American students and the art that influences their work.

Free parking is available for the event in Parking Structure 1 on College Avenue. We hope you can join us for one or more of these exciting events!

The library has entered into an exciting partnership with the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts to integrate visual and performance arts in the library. “Art Under the Dome” begins today (Nov. 8) at 12:15 p.m. with two performances by SDSU student chamber music ensembles—a string quintet and harp and violin duo (sponsored by the School of Music and Dance). Each performance will last around 10 minutes and are samples of the pieces the students will perform in concerts later in the semester.

“Art Under the Dome” will include performances of music ensembles, theater, and art exhibits. We hope you can join us for these performances and exhibits over the course of the semester!


Let me introduce you to Terl. He’s around 9 ft. tall and comes from a planet far away. For anyone who has seen “Battlefield Earth,” you’ll remember Terl as the alien portrayed by John Travolta.

Terl will be visiting us for a while, as he is on loan from Edward Marsh, the gentleman who donated our newest science fiction collection. Drop by the 2nd floor Love Library display case (just outside of the SCC) and make his acquaintance!

While you’re here, visit the extraordinary science fiction exhibit on display right now in the Donor Hall (1st floor of Love Library). Be here today at 2 p.m. and meet writer Greg Bear, an SDSU alumnus who happens to be a superstar in the world of science fiction! Greg will give a talk about sci fi and sign copies of his latest book, Halo: Silentium.

Here’s Terl, in all his glory:

Strange Data, Infinite Possibilities exhibitIf you’ve been in the library lately, you’ve probably noticed that the walls of the Donor Hall are covered with weird, wonderful graphics and the display cases are full of vintage science fiction books, Star Wars and Dune figurines, and other mementos of imaginary worlds far, far beyond the borders of our galaxy. “Strange Data, Infinite Possibilities” is the latest exhibit created by Special Collections, and it contains items from several of the library’s largest sci fi collections, including the new Edward E. Marsh Collection.

The exhibit features works from many science fiction genres: fantasy, utopian and dystopian fiction, early weird fiction, postmodern, and cyberpunk, to name a few. While the famous and familiar are well represented—Star Trek, Blade Runner, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear, and H.P. Lovecraft—it’s the offbeat little gems that caught my eye. Shouldn’t everyone’s bookcase contain a copy of Judith Merril’s Galaxy of Ghouls, the subtitle of which reads:  A Handy Guide for Vampires and Werewolves of Spells and Sorcery of Switches on Witches of Shape-Stealers and Soul-Swappers of Demons and Damnation?

Science fiction materialsThere’s more to “Strange Data” than just books. The exhibit features pulp fiction, sheet music, and original correspondence from authors such as Isaac Asimov. Ray Bradbury’s unproduced screenplay for The Martian Chronicles and L. Ron Hubbard’s original manual typewriter are on display; both items were part of Edward Marsh’s generous donation. My favorite item in the exhibit is Jeff Wayne’s 1978 concept album The War of the Worlds, which was narrated by Richard Burton and contains the hauntingly beautiful “Forever Autumn,” sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.

Set aside an hour one afternoon or evening and take a look at this exhibit. It’s worth your time.

Survival in Sarajevo ExhibitTwenty years ago this year, the Bosnian-Serb siege of Sarajevo began. Lasting from 1992 through 1996, it is among the longest in modern history. With electricity, water, and food supplies cut off, Sarajevans had to learn to depend on each other. As the siege raged, a group of Holocaust survivors and their offspring turned a synagogue into one of the most effective humanitarian aid agencies operating inside a war zone. This agency, La Benevolencija, brought together Jews and Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholic Croats—people from different ethnic groups who worked together for the benefit of all.

In remembrance and celebration of this anniversary, the Jewish Studies Program and the Department of Religious Studies are presenting “Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats Working Together During the Bosnian War.” The exhibit, which is based on the book by Edward Serotta, will run in the SDSU Library’s Reference Services Area through November 6, 2012.

Survival in Sarajevo ExhibitThe exhibit features 10 aluminum-framed panels that contain images and text on both sides. The history of Jews in the Balkans is covered first, and their story is told through maps, old postcards, and archival photographs. Photographs of the Bosnian war were taken by Edward Serotta, who covered the conflict for Time Magazine, Die Zeitland, and Süddeutsche Zeitung and eventually published them in a book, Survival in Sarajevo. Other panels illustrate how the city survived during the shelling.

For more information about the exhibit and the Initiative for Moral Courage Symposium, please visit the symposium’s Website. Additional photos of the exhibit can be viewed on the library’s Flickr photostream. The exhibit is open during regular library hours.

Magic lanternBefore television and motion pictures—before even filmstrips and slide projectors—magic lanterns entertained and educated people by projecting colorful and fantastic images on walls and screens. From the late 18th century through the early 20th century, showmen and conjurers traveled from town to town, their lanterns strapped to their back, performing in taverns, barns, homes, auditoriums, and churches.

Outside of antique stores and museums, magic lanterns are now scarce, but the San Diego State University Library and Information Access has a sizeable collection of these fascinating devices, as well as more than 4,000 glass slides. Through June 29, 2012, you can experience the marvel of magic lanterns at the library’s exhibit titled “Sources of Wonder: The Homer and Betty Peabody Magic Lantern Collection.” The lanterns and slides on display in the library’s Donor Hall were donated by Betty and Homer Peabody, for whom the collection is named.

magic lantern slide
The exhibit features around 30 professional, toy, and domestic lanterns dating from the late 19th to early 20th centuries and a large sampling of the different types and themes of slides, including caricature and comic slides, narrative slides, medical slides, elementary education slides, travel slides, temperance slides, and advertisement slides. It also includes a case displaying the different types of slides, including mechanical slides, as well as chromolithographic, photographic, and hand painted.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the American Magic-Lantern Theater will perform “A Victorian Valentine Show” on February 14. The show will be held at 7 p.m. in Room LL108 of the SDSU Library, and admission is free.

For more information about the collection and exhibit, please contact Special Collections at (619) 594-6791 or visit the online magic lantern exhibit. For exhibit hours, visit the Hours page on the library’s Website.

Native People's of Mexico exhibit display caseSDSU’s Center for Latin American Studies has created a very nice exhibit that’s currently on display in the library’s Donor Hall. “Native Peoples of Mexico: A Glimpse of the Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya, and Nahua Cultures” is geared toward K-12 level school children, but the photographs and cultural objects have plenty of appeal for adults as well.
Native People's of Mexico exhibit display case
The exhibit consists of “cultural discovery boxes” containing artifacts, such as textiles, games, dolls, and flutes, from Mexico’s four largest ancient, but still vital indigenous communities: the Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya, and Nahua. Stop and take a look the next time you pass through the Donor Hall. It’s a treat for your eyes!

Flickr Photos

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