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mpm1In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans the opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. The African Americans who responded to this call were not sent to the traditional Marine boot camps; instead they were segregated – experiencing basic training at Montford Point, a facility located at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Between 1942 and 1949, nearly 20,000 recruits moved through Montford Point.

Learn more about the Montford Point Marines when Sergeant Major Melvin O. Chestnut (retired) discusses “Fighting for the Right to Fight: A History of the Montford Point Marines” on November 6 at 3 p.m. in Room LL430 of the San Diego State University Library. The lecture is free, and reservations are not required. Sgt. Maj. Chestnut is quarter master, awards/scholarship at Montford Point Marine Association, San Diego Chapter 12 and is a speaker for the national organization.


The Marines who trained at Montford Point went on to serve as members of support units in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Some remained in the Marine Corps and later served in Korea and Vietnam. In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal—the nation’s highest civilian honor—to the Montford Point Marines.

This talk is part of the Veterans and Student Success lecture series of the SDSU Library sponsored by the Aztec Parents. Project partners include the Student Veterans Organization and The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center. Guests are welcomed to join the reception following the talk.


Door to the Financial Markets LabSomething pretty spectacular is taking place this week in one of the old BATS classrooms (LL261) in the SDSU Library.  Created through a collaboration between the College of Business Administration, Wells Fargo, and the SDSU Library, the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory is opening on September 21, and it promises to revolutionize the way professors teach finance and financial literacy.

Inside the Financial Markets Lab

The former BATS classroom, which is down a short hallway on the west side of the Student Computing Center,  contained rows of computers and was used by the campus ITS Department to teach basic computer skills to students, faculty, and staff. The old PCs are gone now, replaced by 12 Bloomberg terminals and the Wharton financial database and augmented by a stock ticker and monitors displaying worldwide financial news.

Inside the Financial Markets Lab The lab will offer students from all over campus the skills that are increasingly required to ensure their competitiveness for the current and future job market. It will function as a library resource as well as a classroom where students and faculty will retrieve, process, and analyze real-time economic and financial data.

More information:
Financial Markets Lab Coming to Library

Harold K. BrownCongratulations to Harold K. Brown, the library’s 2012 recipient of the Monty Award! Brown was honored at an April 14 gala dinner and awards presentation at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.

Brown is a prominent civil rights and community and economic development leader. He is an SDSU alumnus (class of 1959) who later became the first African American administrator at San Diego State University. While at SDSU, he organized the Black Studies courses into the Afro-American Studies Program and, as an associate dean in the College of Business Administration, he established the college’s Center for Community Economic Development.

More recently, Brown was instrumental in establishing the Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection, which is housed in the SDSU Library’s Special Collections and University Archives Department. The collection is an exceptional, full account of the struggles and progress of San Diego’s African Americans as told through unique, digitized personal papers, photographs, and oral histories.

Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Monty Award is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni from each of SDSU’s seven academic colleges, Imperial Valley Campus and Library and Information Access. Distinguished service awards also are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.

If you would like to learn more about Harold Brown or the Collection, please visit the links below.

Harold K. Brown Oral History
Harold K. Brown Papers
SDSU NewsCenter Article on Harold Brown and the Collection
Creating Community Online Exhibit

Physical Plant, circa 1930
SDSU Physical Plant(Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives)

Physical Plant, 2012
SDSU Physical Plant

The Physical Plant Boiler Shop was designed by Howard Spencer Hazen and constructed in 1930 on the northeast ridge overlooking Alvarado Canyon.

The plant contained oil-fired boilers that provided heat to the campus during the winter. Maintenance and repair shops were located in a wing adjoining the boiler room.

The plant underwent repairs between 1935 and World War II, and the western wing of the building was extended in the 1940s as part of a Works Progress Administration project.

The Physical Plant Boiler Shop still contains boilers for heating the campus in addition to housing the Lock Shop. It now is part of a larger physical plant and maintenance complex on the northeastern edge of the campus.

The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series is sponsoring what should be a truly interesting panel on Monday, March 19. At 4 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library, four individuals involved in small press and cooperative publishing will discuss the ins and outs of their trade and take questions on the subject. Later, at 7 p.m., they’ll read from their own works. The panel members are

Chris Baron received his MFA in poetry from SDSU in 1998. He is an editor with San Diego City Works Press and is on the executive board for the Border Voices Poetry Project. He also teaches English and writing at San Diego City College and consults on writing programs at other schools. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals, including Pearl, Aethlon, The Journal of Sports Literature, Sierra Club Press, and City Works. Chris Baron
Tony Bonds has an MFA in creative writing from SDSU. He is the editor for Rainbow Publishers and Legacy Press, which publishes Christian children’s books. He has had short stories published in various online and print magazines, including Thieves Jargon, The Coffee Shop Chronicles, and A Year in Ink, Volume 5. Tony Bonds
Elizabeth Myhr is a managing editor for Marick Press, co-editor of Web Del Sol Review of Books, and online editor of Shining Horns at Raven Chronicles. She is an editor at Calypso Editions, which is an artist-run, cooperative press dedicated to publishing quality literary books of poetry and fiction with a global perspective. Her tasks at Calypso Editions also include online media, social marketing, and managing the day-to-day business. She also works as a freelance editor, and her writing has appeared in several journals including Alaska Quarterly Review and Poet magazine. She is the author of the vanishings & other poems. Elizabeth Myhr
Martin Woodside is involved with content production, finances, and development for Calypso Editions. His poetry chapbook Stationary Landscapes came out in 2009. He studied Romanian poetry on a Fulbright in 2009-10 and is currently translating Romanian poets into English. Martin Woodside

Whether you’re majoring in business, criminal justice, or biology, there’s a lot you can learn from these folks. Chances are, sometime in your future career, you’re going to need or want to publish, and it will benefit you to know what the editors, marketing people, and production people at the publishers of your choice actually do.

David MatlinAuthor David Matlin will read from his recently released novel, A HalfMan Dreaming, on March 14 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library as part of the Spring 2012 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series. The event is free and open to all.

Matlin is a novelist, poet, and essayist and the author of 10 books. His first novel, How the Night Is Divided, was nominated for a National Book circle Critics Award. Prisons: Inside the New America, published by San Diego State University Press, is based on a 10-year experience teaching in one of the oldest prison education programs in the nation. Matlin is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and teaches in the MFA program.

For more information, contact Meagan Marshall at Additional information can be found on Facebook by “liking” The Living Writers Series.

magic lantern showLovers swing over the city on bell clappers, defend an Indian princess from the ghosts of Famine and Fever, battle rampaging billy goats, turn marble statues to living flesh, rescue Maidens-Fair from the Fearsome Fire, and send “Vinegar Valentines” to the people they hate.

It’s all from an age before television and movies, when the Victorians mixed boisterous fun and touching pathos in their Valentine’s entertainment. Now The American Magic-Lantern Theater has recreated a gay nineties “Victorian Valentine Show” that captures the wonder and hilarity of the period. The SDSU Library is presenting two performances—one at 10 a.m. and the other at 7 p.m.—on February 14 to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and the library’s magic lantern exhibit, “Sources of Wonder: The Homer and Betty Peabody Magic Lantern Collection.” The performances, which are appropriate for adults and children 6 and above, will be held in Room LL108, and admission is free.

The show uses an antique “magic-lantern”—the multimedia projector of 100 years ago. The lantern rapidly projects spectacular color slides on a movie screen. The slides, many of them animated, illustrate Victorian Valentine stories, songs, and comedy. They’re dramatized by a costumed showman, singers, musicians, and by the audience, which provides the sound effects, claps, stomps, and joins in chants and sing-alongs.

For more information, email

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.

Just a reminder: Check the library’s Hours page before you come to campus. We’ll be closed December 24-29 and December 31-January 2. Even on the days we’re open, some departments are closed or have abbreviated hours.

We have a lot of exciting things planned for the New Year! Our magic lantern collection will be on exhibit in the Donor Hall beginning January 18, and we’ll be featuring magic lantern performances on February 14. And speaking of February 14, we’ll be having a special Valentine’s Day event! More details next year!

Have a happy and safe New Years! We’ll see you in 2012.

November is National Novel Writing Month, and you have until midnight on November 30 to complete your 50,000-word masterpiece. “OMG,” you say, “How do I even get started?” Here’s a few ways the SDSU Library can help kick start your literary career:

1. Need an idea for a story? Some authors find ideas in current news stories. Our Current Periodicals and Microforms Center has newspapers from around the country and across the globe, as well as magazines such as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, People, and many more. Writers also get inspiration from other writers; check out our selection of novels and short stories located on the 4th floor of Love Library.

2. Now you have your idea, but how do you construct a novel? Below are a few books on writing from our shelves that will help you to organize your thoughts and ideas and structure your novel:

3. The bulk of your novel is written…great! But you have a few paragraphs that seem awkward. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone read over it and offer suggestions? You might find that someone in the library’s new Tutoring Center, located in Room LA1103 under the Dome. The tutors won’t proofread or edit your work, but they can offer suggestions on how to improve your writing and point out where your weaknesses lie.

4. It’s done! Now you have several options. You can share your novel with your friends, find an agent to help you get it published, or publish it yourself. And we have information on that end of the book industry as well:

Good luck! We hope to see your novel on our shelves someday!

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