Featured Research Databases at the Weinberg Memorial Library – CQ Researcher Plus Archive, ProQuest Central, and Academic Search Elite (EBSCO)

After meeting with several undergraduate students at the University of Scranton over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to explain some best practices for research when using the following three databases: CQ Researcher Plus Archive, ProQuest Central, and Academic Search Elite (EBSCO).

Before diving into the research process, the first step in the research process is identifying one’s research topic and coming up with appropriate search terms. The next step to conducting research is identifying databases in which to search for articles which are appropriate to the research being conducted. If one is looking for original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news then the CQ Researcher plus Archive database is an excellent place to start. When using this database, one should use key words to look for a well-researched report on their topic. Upon finding a report, it is recommended that one obtain the citation for the report and that they e-mail the citation and the report to themselves. At the end of the report is a comprehensive bibliography of resources used in compiling the report. These resources could provide further insights into one’s topic.

The next recommended database for research on current issues is ProQuest Central. This database provides access to more than 11,000 publications. More than 8,000 of the publications are available in full text. ProQuest Central covers current and international content in over 160 subject areas such as: business and economics; medical and health; news and world affairs; science; education; technology; humanities; social sciences; psychology; literature; law; and, women’s studies. This database can provide thousands of results. The best way to limit your results when using this database and any database is to conduct an advanced search while setting certain limits such as full-text, peer-reviewed, setting the years of publication of articles for your search, and selecting the specific type of resource you are looking for – newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, etc. When you find an article that interests you, it is recommended to read the abstract to determine if the article pertains to your topic. If it does, e-mail the article to yourself with the appropriate citation, and then go back to your results and keep searching.

The final recommended database for research on current issues is Academic Search Elite (EBSCO). This database contains Indexing and abstracts for 3,484 journals with full-text for over 2,000 journals, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. For this database, it is best to set limits when conducting your search, read the abstracts of articles that relate to your topic, and e-mail the articles with the appropriate citations that work for your current issue topics.

The final advice I gave to students that I met with was to feel free to come back to the Library Research Services desk and ask the Library Research Services librarians for assistance with any future research topics and projects that they may have. We are here to help and provide assistance on any research topic or project.

Leaves of Class XIX – October!

Congratulations to Gloria Jablonski of Dickson City who won a 1 ct. t.w. diamond bracelet courtesy of Midori Yamanouchi, Ph.D., a Pet Basket of Gifts (gift certificates from local pet stores and more — $100 value), an adult coloring book basket from the Library Express, a cozy handmade fleece blanket by Annette Kalwaytis, and a Java City gift basket. Gloria also won four reserved tickets to the Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s performance of The Nutcracker at Marywood University (Dec. 26-28) and the following gift card/certificates: The University of Scranton Bookstore ($150), Alexander’s Family Restaurant ($50), and Barnes & Noble Booksellers ($25).

There are still TWO chances to win! Our next drawing for Leaves of Class XIX is November 30, 2017.

To purchase entries online, visit: www.scranton.edu/leaves. To request mailed brochures, contact Kym Balthazar Fetsko – kym.fetsko@scranton.edu, 570.941.7816.

Thank you & good Luck!

Western Penman Journal Collection Now Online

The University is pleased to announce that our substantial collection of Western Penman and American Penman journals has been digitized and is now publicly available online as a part of the Library’s digital collections. The Western Penman can be accessed here and The American Penman here.

Contained within the Library’s extensive Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the journal is one among many penmanship periodicals published during what is known as the “Golden Age” of penmanship, extending several decades before and after the year 1900. Austin Norman Palmer began The Western Penman in 1884. A contemporary and competitor of Charles Paxton Zaner (who would begin publishing his own journal, The Business Educator, eleven years later), Palmer created a simplified method of manuscript writing designed for speed and relying on muscle memory and whole-arm movement. Palmer’s technique contrasted with the more ornate Spencerian script that was the standard of the time. The insistence on speed, evidenced even in Palmer’s habit of closing letters with “Rapidly yours,” aligned perfectly with the growing American obsession with the automobile and his ideas were soon taught in schools across the country. In 1900, Palmer began publishing separate student and professional editions of The Western Penman. In 1906, the publication was renamed The American Penman and ran until 1938, resulting in a total of fifty-five volumes of issues.

The Library’s collection encompasses the entire span of the Penman’s life cycle, although some volumes and issues are missing. While a substantial amount of the Library’s penmanship journals, consisting mostly of the Penman’s Art Journal and the Zaner-Bloser publications, were digitized in 2010 by the Internet Archive as a part of the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative, the Western Penman and American Penman journals remained available almost exclusively in their print editions. In 2017, twenty-two bound volumes were digitized by Backstage Library Works. Our digital collection now contains 519 issues, with a total of 17,119 page images. The master TIFF image files, which are stored in our digital preservation repository, add up to 652 GB.

We extend our warmest thanks to all of those involved in the process of making these journals digitally available! They are sure to offer great value, both historically and artistically, to our Library’s users.

Below are examples representing various elements of the journal: examples of penmanship completed by students at a business school in Michigan, a page of exercises written by penman R. H. Robbins, and an excerpt from a detailed lesson by Palmer concerning his Muscular Movement technique. Palmer wrote that he considered his readers to be an “immense writing class” led by his teachings.


Bike Scranton 2017 Season Ends

The 2017 Bike Scranton Season will end at the University this Friday November 3rd. Preliminary reports indicate a substantial increase in borrowing this year. We are happy to be participants in this green initiative. Plan to join us again next April!

Leaves of Class XIX – September!

Congratulations to Neil Donahue of Scranton who won two tickets to the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City including transportation courtesy of AAA Travel Agency, 2 copies of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow from Carroll & Carroll Booksellers and a CD of the Hamilton original Broadway Cast Recording courtesy of Charles Kratz. In addition, Neil won $150 cash courtesy of Charles Kratz, a wine gift basket (8 bottles) courtesy of Debra Pellegrino, Gretchen Welby, William Varady, and Mary Ellen Pichiarello, a Movie Gift basket from The Dietrich Theater, and a gift basket from The University of Scranton, Division of University Advancement. Neil also won gift certificates/cards from Total Hair Solutions (2-$50), Starbucks ($40 value courtesy of William Varady), Café Classico ($25), Sanderson Street Tavern ($25), Applebee’s ($25), City Market & Café ($25), Gertrude Hawk ($25), Comics on the Green ($20), and The Bog ($15).

There are still THREE chances to win! Our next drawing for Leaves of Class XIX is October 31, 2017.

To purchase entries online, visit: www.scranton.edu/leaves. To request mailed brochures, contact Kym Balthazar Fetsko – kym.fetsko@scranton.edu, 570.941.7816.

Thank you & good Luck!

Pennsylvania Historical Association Reception Tonight

The Pennsylvania Historical Association’s annual conference begins tonight with a plenary session in the Heritage Room that will discuss the World War I exhibit currently on display. WBRE/WYOU-TV featured the exhibit in today’s broadcast, which can be viewed here: http://www.pahomepage.com/news/exploring-the-history-of-scranton/833696618.

The plenary session will take place in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room from 7:30-9:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will remain on display during normal library hours through Friday, December 8th. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570- 941-6341.