October Birthday Roundup!

Literary Birthdays!

What better way to celebrate your literary heroes than with a birthday celebration?  Here are some early October birthdays for renowned authors. You can search the Copley catalog for each of these authors’ names to find work by and about them. You can also search the database, Credo Reference, for biographical and critical information. All the biographical information in this piece was provided by Credo Reference Topics Pages; these are a fantastic source for quick, lay-of-the-land, information about a topic, person, place, or phenomenon. All the images below are from ArtStor, a wonderful image database. In our search of authors’ names, we found photographs and paintings of the authors, including self-portraits of a few, and images of their books and manuscripts. When using ArtStor, be sure to create your free account so you can download images for use in your papers and presentations.

Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925) wrote a great deal of historical fiction and essays, and contributed to the screenplay for the 1959 film adaptation of Ben Hur.

Ann Lane Petry (October 12, 1908) became the first African-American woman to write a novel selling over a million copies, in 1946 with The Street.

e.e. cummings (October 14, 1894), an early 20th-century poet, whose first publication was a novelized account of time spent in a French prison during World War I.

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932), an American poet and novelist, passed away in 1963 after sharing with us her Colossus and The Bell Jar.

Join us this month in celebrating the work and lives of some of your favorite authors! If you need help looking into an author or authors, please get in touch with us through our Ask A Librarian page!


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After 9 Months at Copley Library We Checked-In with Millie Fullmer our Acquisitions and Cataloguing Librarian

Here at Copley Library we like to check-in with our new librarians after they’ve had a chance to do their job for a while.  Prof. Millicent Fullmer began at USD in January, 2018 and since then she’s been busy with her library duties. We are glad she took a few minutes to answer a few questions about her job and interests.


What are some of your primary responsibilities as the acquisitions and cataloging librarian?

Purchasing print media on behalf of subject librarians (including my own role as liaison to the Art and Art History Department), collection development work, and budget management. As the cataloger, I work with books that require original cataloging which involves describing an item into our library database using Library of Congress standards and controlled vocabularies. I also do “authority control” work, a process of updating changes to established subject headings eg. “Bible. O.T.” was updated to “Bible. Old Testament.”

Are you working on any special research topics?

Yes, I have focused my studies this year on advocating for visual literacy instruction in the academic library, looking at certain themes including cultural appropriation as a component of visual literacy. I am also co-chair of the Academic Colleges and Research Libraries Task Force on Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

Interesting, do you offer any workshops on visual literacy?

Yes! This October 18th at 12:30 pm I am teaching a workshop titled “Visual Communications: Producing Engaging and Dynamic Research.” You can sign up here.

Fun Question: What was the last book you read or could not finish?

I recently finished Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which is the stuff of nightmares for any librarian. A dystopian novel set in a future society where it is illegal to read or own books and fireman are tasked with burning all evidence of them.

Lastly, if you had to choose just one highlight for your almost first year at USD what would it be?

During Black History Month the library hosted a lively even titled “Black Women of NASA: A Talk by Duchess Harris, Ph.D. The guest speaker is the granddaughter of Miriam Mann, one of the “hidden computers” as depicted in the film Hidden Figures. And I must add any art related event on campus piques my interest.

Thank you for sharing! 

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Copley Library welcomes you to Fall 2018!


Welcome home all new and returning Toreros! Copley Library is here and ready to help you have a successful fall 2018 semester.

Copley Library has many resources and services to help with all your upcoming assignments. Our Online Catalog is a great place to start searching; it allows you to filter search results to find exactly what you need, be it a book or scholarly article. Many textbooks are also on reserve by individual professors or through the Associated Students Textbook Reserves. We also have access to hundreds of subject-specific databases for more targeted searching in your discipline. If the book or article you need isn’t in the Library’s collection, we can borrow it through Circuit or Interlibrary Loan.


 If you need help getting started on your first research paper or class project, stop by the Reference Desk and speak with one of our knowledgeable subject specialists. Our Reference Librarians are also available via chat, email, text, or a phone call. Check out Ask a Librarian for contact information or to find answers to frequently asked questions in our knowledge base. Many of our subject specialists have also crafted detailed Research Guides to help you along the way.

That’s not all! Each semester Copley Library offers lots of great workshops to help develop or hone your research skills, learn to use a specific library resource, and more! Visit the Workshop Calendar to learn more and reserve your spot today.

We look forward to supporting your academic success!

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“Hey, Culligan Man”

Culligan-Truck_1963Have you seen a Culligan® Water truck driving by? Maybe you have a Culligan® Water filter in your home? Or, you know the catch-phrase “Hey, Culligan Man?”                Have you wondered from where the Culligan® name comes?


Culligan Water was founded by Emmett Joseph Culligan, who was also a prominent donor of time and money to the founding of the University of San Diego. In 1979, Culligan’s family donated the personal and business records of Emmett Culligan to the archives at USD. An online guide to Culligan’s collection is now available both at Digital USD and on the Online Archive of California.

Delving into Emmett Culligan’s records provides a look at Culligan as an inventor, entrepreneur, businessman, family man, and devout Catholic. Dated during the time of World War II and the Cold War, contemporary topics of race, war, environment, Communism, Catholicism and prophecies are included throughout these records. Genealogical records, correspondence, and family photographs comprise the bulk of Culligan’s personal records. Of particular significance are the 1919 letters between Emmett and Anna Harrington (later Anna Culligan) during their early courtship, and letters between Emmett, Anna, and their son Tom through the 1940s. These dozens of letters give insight into Culligan’s life in Porter, Minnesota, into early twentieth century courtship, and into Emmett and Anna’s perceptions of world events including World War II.



Emmett Culligan patented this calendar in 1934 to assist with tracking fertility.

Culligan’s professional records document his array of entrepreneurial ventures, primarily his founding of what became Culligan, Inc. Culligan was keenly interested in many topics of water including softening water, water’s impact on health,  desalination of water, and ways of locating water. This is documented throughout the collection by way of correspondence with researchers, colleagues, and government officials, Culligan’s writing and speeches, and invention and patent information. Other interests, projects, and investments pertaining to land, elk, health, and fertility tracking are also included.

Demonstration of Culligan’s ties to both the University of San Diego and his Catholic faith are prevalent throughout these records. Correspondence between Culligan and Bishop Buddy reveals their strong friendship, and Culligan’s involvement with the fundraising campaign for USD.

Not only does this collection provide a visual look at Culligan’s life through his papers, photographs, and artifacts, we have the rare treasure of hearing Culligan speak. With thirty 78 rpm vinyl and lacquer records we can hear Culligan be interviewed about Culligan Zeolite, comment on his Catholic faith, discuss the flying saucer sightings of 1947, and hear Culligan radio jingles of the 1940s.

If you are interested in learning more about Emmett Culligan, or viewing his collection, please contact University Archives and Special Collections at spcoll@sandiego.edu.

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May Day! May Day!

How did you mark the first of May this year? May 1 is a day that has been honored for years by people all over the world, as a way of acknowledging the change of season, and later as a day to honor the fight for workers’ rights.

In Celtic religion, the festivals of Beltane marked the half year, and the change from darkness to light. In later Roman times, Beltane merged with Floralia festivals devoted to the goddess Flora. Copley has a number of books on both ancient Celtic and Roman religions:

Dictionary of Celtic religion and culture by Bernhard Maier

Celtic religion in Roman Britain by Graham Webster

Myths and legends of the Celts by James MacKillop

A companion to Roman religion edited by Jörg Rüpke

Pagan Britain by Ronald Hutton

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Have you ever joined in a May Pole celebration? Another May 1 custom, historians believe this ceremony has its root in fertility beliefs. For detailed instructions, see this article from the April 1, 1909 edition of the Journal of Education

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May 1 is also International Workers Day. In 1886, 300,000 workers across the United States walked out of their jobs in a fight for the eight-hour work day. Read more about it:

May day: a short history of the international workers’ holiday, 1886-1986  by Philip S. Foner


However you mark the passage of time from April to May, remember that Copley has the resources you need to read up on the history and culture of the festivities.



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Faculty Favorites for National Library Week

Last week marked the 60th anniversary of National Library week; a national observance designed to promote library use and support, celebrated by libraries across the country every April. This year Copley Library participated with a “Faculty Favorites” display. Thirteen USD faculty members from across campus told us a little bit about their favorite book. It was wonderful to read all the different responses – from literary classics to inspirational texts, adventure stories, and more. Click the images below to read each participant’s quote and get inspired for your next read!

We also encouraged visitors to tell us their favorites throughout the week in person and via social media. We received over 25 responses from USD students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Highlights from the visitor contributions include Music: An Appreciation, My Own Country, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Power of Nonviolent Action. We will feature details of all the “What’s your favorite?” contributions in an upcoming library display.

Below is a complete list of the Faculty participants and their selections. Click the links to locate and borrow the items from Copley Library or Circuit.

Thank you again to all our participating faculty and library visitors! We look forward to bringing you more Faculty Favorites next April. 

If you are interested in partnering with Copley Library on future events, please contact our Access and Outreach Services Librarian, Chris Marcum, at cmarcum@sandiego.edu.

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USD at the Mingei

Some of the most unique volumes from the University of San Diego Special Collections’ are on display in Balboa Park. The Mingei International Museum exhibition Voluminous Art: Treasures from San Diego’s University Libraries Blog1-Titlelabelhighlights collections from the libraries of UC San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego. The exhibit presents books as art from medieval manuscripts, to 1960s comic books, to artists’ books of the mid-2000s. 19th century texts with intricate bindings and ornamentation, illustrated volumes of flora and fauna, miniature books, and images only seen by UV light are among the many pieces available to peruse. Not only are these books unique works of art, all are part of the vast special collections available to San Diegans and San Diego visitors in local University libraries.

Volumes from the University of San Diego Special Collections artists book collection are prominently displayed throughout the exhibit. These artists books can defy common conceptions of a ‘book’ as a paginated work of text with a cover. They are illuminations of the connection between art, history, culture, and literature.

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On first glance, Justin James Reed’s, 2013, appears to be blank white pages. Turning on the ultraviolet light, though, illuminates the once invisible firefly ink, revealing Reed’s art. Carol Schwartzott’s OLA MOLA: A Brief History of the Kuna Indians uses a unique style of text and art to celebrate the history of the Kuna of the San Blas Islands of Panama. Jana Sim’s Language Mobius shows her process conversation as she learned English. In Oh Give Me a Home, Alicia McKim uses vintage postcards to create three-dimensional scenes which nod to 1950s westerns in film and television.

All of these works, and many more, are on view at the Mingei International Museum through September 3rd, 2018. After September 3rd, visitors to USD can get an even closer look at these works of art by visiting the University Archives and Special Collections.

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