October 28, 2005

Ask the library WHY?*

*...or how? or who? or what?or where? or when?

Library staff have made it easier for library users to get a repsonse to questions or suggestion about the library and its policies.

Print your question, comment or suggestion on the Ask Us Why?* form available in the library and return it to library staff. We will post a reply on the bulletin board in the foyer as soon as we are able.

For on-line reference help visit Ask A Librarian

October 27, 2005

TWU writer/librarian hits Broadway

Earlier this October, Associate Librarian Bill Badke was summoned to New York City, by the publisher of his book, Research Strategies: Finding your Way Through the Information Fog (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.com, 2004). iUniverse.com brought eight of its best-selling authors to New York for a Broadway photo shoot as part of a campaign to promote its publishing efforts, which include Badke's superb book.

The publisher put him up in a hotel in Manhattan's theatre district and arranged for a photo shoot at the Noho Studios on Broadway. Noho is frequented by the likes of Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow. His photographer was the same person who did the “sitting on a bench” poster for Forrest Gump and recently did a shoot with Jessica Simpson. Badke, however, did not meet any celebrities while getting ready for his close-up.

One of the highlights of the librarian's 3-day odyssey in the Big Apple was a wonderful meal at the Tribeca Grill (co-owned by Robert DeNiro). He also spent time exploring Manhattan on foot --covering about ten miles! In his wanderings he learned that:
  • stop lights and "don’t walk" signs merely provide suggestions to New Yorkers
  • that we have better parks in BC than the famed Central Park
  • most people in Manhattan are trying to sell you something.

"All in all," Badke reports, " it was an amazing experience!"

October 05, 2005

Alloway Library’s Ethiopian Manuscripts Impress Scholar

To the unschooled eye, they are mysterious ancient-looking texts: stained parchment neatly inscribed with unintelligible black and red markings. One has axe-hewn wood boards for covers; another has hand painted illustrations of haloed figures. All that was known was that they were from Ethiopia, acquired in the 1950's and 60’s and were properly referred to as codices. With some sleuthing by library staff and the help of Biblical studies scholars, TWU’s Ethiopian codices are no longer exotic curiosities-- they are now destined to make a contribution to scholarship once again.

While visiting TWU in September 2005 for the opening of the Septuagint Institute, Dr. Stephen Delamarter, of George Fox University viewed the manuscripts. He was pleased to discover the texts and able to identify them. The oldest is a fragment of a 17th century Psalter, while others are 20th century liturgical texts containing canonical and non-canonical material. In the past 9 months Delamarter has “discovered” nearly 120 manuscripts in Canada, England and the USA. These represent just a fraction of the thousands that have left Ethiopia as spoils of 19th century war or sold to tourists by people who may be desperate financially and ignorant of the value—both monetary and cultural—of the manuscripts. He pointed out how these unique, handmade documents represent the “national archives of a culture.”

Later this year Delamarter plans to photograph the collections using high-resolution digital imagery and add the images to the Hill Monastic Manuscripts Library at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN where they will be catalogued and accessible to researchers around the world. In addition, the images will be deposited at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa and at TWU's new Septuagint Institute.

Currently, two of the codices are on display on the main level of the library, while other items are kept in the TWU Archives and Special Collections on the library’s upper level.