Brandeis Library & Technology Services

Brandeis Library Collections Temporarily Moving on Goldfarb 1

November 14th, 2017 · No Comments

Over the next four weeks, Access & Commons Services will be temporarily moving collections on Goldfarb 1 to prepare for painting and new carpeting during intersession. Below are the collections that will be moved and their temporary locations.

This plan was developed to ensure all collections remain accessible during the duration of the project. Signage will be put up in empty areas to direct guests to the collections. We hope to have collections back to their locations by early February.

  • New books will be restored to the general collection. New books that arrive from cataloging will be held until the project is done.
  • Recreational Reading books will move to Goldfarb 1 preshelving.
  • DVDs will move to Goldfarb 2 preshelving.
  • Periodicals will move to the last aisle near bathrooms on Goldfarb 1.
  • VHSs will move to on-campus storage and will be retrievable by request.
  • CDs will move to Goldfarb 3 preshelving.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact .

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USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive Access Now Available Through Brandeis Library

November 1st, 2017 · No Comments

The Brandeis Library is pleased to announce that we now have access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. The largest digital collection of its kind in the world, the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains more than 54,000 primary source video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. Interviews have been conducted in 62 countries and 41 languages. Many testimonies contain a complete personal history of life before, during, and after the interviewee’s experience with genocide.

The Visual History Archive began as a repository of Holocaust testimony and has expanded to include testimonies from other genocides:

  • the 1915 Armenian Genocide,
  • the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China,
  • the 1975 Cambodian Genocide,
  • the Guatemalan Genocide of 1978-1983,
  • the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda,
  • and the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic.

Every streaming video in the Visual History Archive is digitized, indexed and fully searchable to the minute. Users can search by keywords that cover experiential group, geographic terms, names, biographical information, religious identity, places of incarceration, flight or resistance details, and find the exact minute in the testimony that matches their search terms. Video transcripts are available for almost 1,900 testimonies, with additional interview transcripts forthcoming.

USC Shoah Foundation partners with other organizations to integrate their testimonies into the Visual History Archive. Partners include Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center, Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, Holocaust Museum Houston, the Armenian Film Foundation, and a consortium of nine Canadian archives.

By registering for a free account on the site, users can login and create projects, save testimonies, and share testimonies with others.

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Open Access, Archaeology and the Digital Humanities at Brandeis

October 24th, 2017 · No Comments

by Helen Wong, Brandeis University B.A. ’19
History and Classical Studies
Jerome A. Schiff Fellow, 2017-2018
Senior Intern, Brandeis Classical Artifact Research Collection (CLARC)


When I first arrived at Brandeis in the fall of 2015, I was looking for a strongly interdisciplinary academic experience. I wanted to be a humanities major, but had always felt drawn to the sciences and didn’t want to give that up completely even as I decided to commit myself to studying History. I realized, after taking a class on methods in archaeological science in my freshman year, that I didn’t really have to choose between the sciences or my chosen field of study. They could coexist and for me, the digital humanities became the perfect bridge between them. As a result of my engaging with the work being done at the Brandeis Digital Humanities Lab, as well as the MakerLab, open access has become a cause I deeply care about because it’s so integral to the work I’ve chosen to do.

One of the best things about studying History is how flexible the approaches to studying it can be, and how the discoveries that result from new methodologies (like those being explored now through the digital humanities) are often groundbreaking and diverse in their outcomes. Even though History is inherently a retroactively analytical discipline, new discoveries are being made all the time. The field lends itself perfectly to the exploration of new ways to display and disseminate information because the past can only be understood if it is accessibleand this is where open access principles become crucial, especially when so much research being produced now is easily distributable online.

My personal advocacy for open access stems from my research experience, which deals mostly with the production and dissemination of 3-D archaeological data. My work focuses on the use of extremely precise 3-D scanning technology to produce analyses of artifacts’ surfaces, providing detailed information on wear patterns, pigmentation, damage, and similar marks of use or deterioration. This kind of data, which is fully digital, extremely accurate to the physical object, and holds a lot of potential in terms of improving both education and research, really needs open access policies in order to function to its maximum potential. The data I produce is firsthand, true-to-source replication of a real, studiable object. Similarly to how literary primary sources are often digitized and made widely available for free so that the general public can access the material and build off of it in virtually infinite ways, 3-D archaeological data is basically primary source material whose potential can only be realized if as many people can access and build off of it as possible. In my work, I see open access as nothing less than necessary.

At the Brandeis Digital Humanities Lab and the MakerLab, there are so many ongoing projects that implement open access as a core principle of their operation, like the OpenARCHEM database, which compiles chemical analyses of the organic contents of ancient vessels; the Homer Multitext Project, which allows analysis of openly available scans of medieval manuscript copies of Homer’s works; and at the MakerLab, multiple ongoing projects post their results online through freely accessible platforms like Sketchfab. Brandeis is a hub of student and faculty open access activity that I am truly glad to be a part of.

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How the Brandeis Library Supports Open Access

October 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

Over the past decade, open access (OA) has become central to advancing the interests of researchers, scholars, students, businesses, and the public—as well as librarians.

The Brandeis Library supports OA through several important initiatives:

Brandeis University is a member of the HathiTrust Digital Library which is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

Brandeis also helps support a variety of open access programs, including Knowledge Unlatched and Reveal Digital. The aim of Knowledge Unlatched is to create a sustainable route to OA for scholarly books. Reveal Digital’s crowd-funding model uses library acquisition dollars to fund the development of digital collections. Collections digitized through Digital Reveal include Independent Voices, a digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines from the latter half of the 20th century and Hate in America: The Rise and Fall of The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

In addition, the library promotes OA through the Brandeis Open Access Fund, which supports scholarly publishing for faculty, staff, and students in established scholarly journals that are not supported through subscriptions.

To learn more about how Brandeis Library supports OA, visit Brandeis University Scholarly Communications.

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What Is Open Access?

October 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Open Access Week, Oct. 23 to 29. Open Access Week is a annual international event sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) that promotes open access to peer-reviewed work as a new norm in research and scholarship.

This year’s theme is “Open in order to…,” which serves as a prompt to move beyond talking about openness in itself and focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context—then to take action to realize these benefits.

So what exactly is open access (OA), and what does it mean for researchers?

An essential part of the research process is communicating the results. The OA movement promotes the idea that all research should be freely available and accessible online once published. However, cost or use restrictions can prevent the full community of potential users from accessing the information.

OA is continuing to gain support as more research funders and policy-makers endorse this new model of publishing. OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.

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