Between our WMAR-TV and WJZ-TV Collections, there are about 10,000 U-matic tapes with unique local television content that need to be digitized for preservation--we have started to slowly go through these tapes, starting with the oldest tapes from 1977 and those that are requested by researchers.

In the last few days in Special Collections we have been dealing with some sticky issues with some U-matics that a researcher needs to view. In December of 1982, it seems that WJZ started to use a different, cheaper brand of U-matic. This specific brand is extremely problematic for audiovisual archiving now: the splices that hold the tape to the plastic hubs need fixing for almost every tape, many of the inner workings of the cassette are made of cheap plastic that breaks easily, and the glue that is holding some of these components together has started to seep out, leaving a gooey, sticky substance over certain parts of the tape that can damage the tape and the playback deck.

Our intern Massimo Petrozzi will be spending the day opening up these cassettes and cleaning the glue residue before the tapes are put into the playback deck. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to open a U-matic tape, and most importantly, how to put the tape back together again.

With a lot of hard work and patience, these tapes will eventually be digitized and available online, like this successful U-matic transfer:


Congratulations to Derick Ebert, Baltimore's first Youth Poet Laureate

Congratulations to UB sophomore Derick Ebert who has been named as Baltimore's first Youth Poet Laureate.  According to today's article in the Baltimore Sun, Ebert will perform his work throughout Baltimore (and hopefully here at UB) in the coming year to promote literacy and to encourage and inspire young poets and writers.  His work addresses social issues in the community and the search for identity.

Langsdale looks forward to hearing and promoting more about Derick in the coming year.  Way to go, Derick!


New at Langsdale

Did you know that Langsdale Library offers a list of all of our newest materials? We do! Each month we'll post an update letting you know about a few select titles, but there are far too many to mention here so be sure to check out our comprehensive online list. There is an RSS feed to the list, so you can subscribe and be updated when new materials get listed each month.

New at Langsdale:

Lincoln's greatest case : the river, the bridge, and the making of America
Examines the case of the steamboat Effie Afton, which barreled into a pillar of the Rock Island Bridge in May of 1856, and the role of trial lawyer Abraham Lincoln.

Uncle Sam can't count : a history of failed government investments, from beaver pelts to green energy
"From the days of George Washington through World War II to today, government investments have failed dismally. They not only drain the Treasury of cash but also impede economic growth, and they hurt the very companies they try to support. Why does federal aid seem to have a reverse Midas touch? Simply put, federal officials don't have the same abilities or incentives as entrepreneurs. In addition, federal control always produces political control of some kind. What is best for politicians is not often what works in the marketplace. Politicians want to win votes, and they can do so by giving targeted CEOs benefits while dispersing costs to others. Uncle Sam Can't Count is filled with examples of government failures and free market triumphs"--  Wenger Iesen
Listen to this : Miles Davis and Bitches brew
Listen to This is not just the story of Bitches Brew. It reveals much of the legend of Miles Davis--his attitude and will, his grace under pressure, his bands, his relationship to the masses, his business and personal etiquette, and his response to extraordinary social conditions seemingly aligned to bring him down. Svorinich revisits the mystery and skepticism surrounding the album and places it into both a historical and musical context using new interviews, original analysis, recently found recordings, unearthed session data sheets, memoranda, letters, musical transcriptions, scores, and a wealth of other material. Additionally, Listen to This encompasses a thorough examination of producer Teo Macero's archives and Bitches Brew's original session reels in order to provide the only complete day-to-day account of the sessions.

Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite East coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band.

These are just a few of the many new books and movies at your Langsdale Library. To see the complete listing of new materials check out our list right here! If you want to receive updates when new materials get listed each month, you can subscribe to the list through the RSS feed.


Finishing Your Thesis/Dissertation? Read On!

Congratulations!  You've done all the hard work.  Now let Langsdale help you with the final administrative hurdle.  Once your department has signed off on your thesis or dissertation, you must submit two print copies to Langsdale Library.  Instructions as well as the two required forms are available at the Thesis and Dissertation Submission Page.

If you are writing a doctoral dissertation, you probably know about a departmental requirement to submit a copy to ProQuest.  If you are writing a master's thesis, you may not have heard of ProQuest, as it is a requirement for only a few.  What you may not know is how submitting to ProQuest - requirement or not - can benefit you.
Langsdale subscribes to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text (listed on our Databases page as "Digital Dissertations & Theses"), as do many other universities and research institutions.  You can check it out here. Subscribers can not only search but also retrieve the full text of hundreds of thousands of theses and dissertations.  Even if a researcher is not affiliated with a subscribing institution, s/he can search the abstracts.  And your work will be discovered by the research world!

The instructions on the Langsdale Thesis and Dissertation Submission Page include information on submitting your thesis or dissertation to Digital Dissertations  Even if you are not required to do so, think about submitting anyway.  Anyone can submit their thesis or dissertation to ProQuest, at no charge. 

To get more information from the author's (your!) perspective, go to ProQuest's Authors "Why Submit?" page.  

The members of Langsdale's Technical Services and Content Management Department look forward to seeing you when you bring in your print copies.  Along with the two required forms... 

Questions?   Contact Betty Landesman, Head of Technical Services and Content Management at Langsdale Library, 410-837-4204, blandesman@ubalt.edu.


The Business Plans Handbook is the library ebook of the month

Do you have an idea for a business?  Maybe you want to develop a business plan?  If so, Langsdale Library has a number of resources that could help.  For example, we have information on industry trends, outlooks and barriers to entry in databases like IBISWorld and Mintel Market Research Reports.  Reference USA allows you to find potential customers or competition by letting you search for businesses of a certain type with a state, city, zip code or even a 50 mile radius.  PolicyMap will let you visualize a variety of demographic information on a map.  If you are looking at Baltimore, you might find articles from the Baltimore Business Journal or Baltimore Sun to be of use.

Plus, if you want to write an actual business plan, this month's featured ebook, The Business Plans Handbook provides examples of business plans for a variety of industries.  The video below gives a few more details.


New plan calls for Langsdale Library building to be demolished and replaced

Dateline: April Fool's Day, 2015

In a dramatic turn of events, the plan to renovate Langsdale Library has been scrapped in favor of a plan to demolish the current building and construct a replacement on the existing site. Peter Keating of the renowned architectural firm Francon & Hayes has been chosen to design the new structure.  As Mr. Keating himself has said, you should “choose the builder of your library as carefully as you choose the books that inhabit it,”* and the University of Baltimore has certainly done that with this selection.

At first glance, the plans for the new library may raise some eyebrows. For example, unlike other new buildings on campus, there is only one pane of exterior glass. Mr. Keating explained the decision saying that “windows are less important than the dignity of a building’s fa├žade”.**

In addition, the new building is not so much a single building as a collection of smaller ones. “It turns out that demolishing a building is really expensive. Especially when we have to make sure there is no damage to the Lyric which sits right next to it,” explained Library Director Lucy Holman. Since the demolition of the current building will require the use of most of the funds allocated for the previously planned renovation, Mr. Keating demonstrated why he was chosen to lead this project by devising a brilliant plan to replace Langsdale with an installation of 25 Little Free Libraries on the site. Head of Book and Document Delivery Carol Vaeth, who has installed a Little Free Library at her home, was ecstatic over this plan. The Little Free Library really helps to “create a sense of community. People stop and talk to each other” while browsing the books, she said. 

"little free libraries" by david silver, on Flickr CC by-NC-SA 2.0
Some day, the site of Langsdale could look like this.
Library Director Holman explained that the university hopes to raise funds to provide more than just the 25 Little Free Libraries. A special incentive will be offered to anyone who donates $300 or more, so that we can order additional “Urban Readers”. The $300+ donors, as long as they are able to come to the site of the Langsdale Installation and assemble a little free library for us, will be given the opportunity to engrave their initials on the back. The library expects many members of the UB community to be very excited at the opportunity to participate in this project. “I believe we will have at least 27, maybe even 28 of these things by the time we are done,” exclaimed Director Holman.

* This may not be exactly what Mr. Keating said, but it is reasonably close.
** This is an actual quote, although it may have been said in a slightly different context.

WAIT, DON'T PANIC: This was entry was posted on on April Fool's Day . You can read about the actual renovation plans here: https://theubpost.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/library-insider-3/ 


Maryland Day, March 25th

On November 22nd, 1633, intrepid travelers sailed from the English Isle of Wight on two small ships, the Ark and the Dove,  for a four-month long journey that would eventually land them on St. Clement’s Island in what is now St. Mary’s County, Maryland. 

They became the first English settlers to set foot on Maryland soil on March 25th, 1634.  This date has been formally observed as Maryland Day since 1903, and was made a legal holiday by the Maryland General Assembly in 1916.

Interested in learning more about the settlers of the original 13 colonies?  Check out Langsdale Library’s archival collection of the Order of the Founders &Patriots (OFB), a male lineage society established in 1896.  Just be sure to contact University Archivist Ben Blake (bblake@ubalt.edu) in advance – written permission from the donor society may be required. 

The Granddaddy of Video

The silver reel you see on your right is an example of the first videotape format ever released into the world (as compared to the size of a standard VHS videocassette tape on the left). The name of this format is 2-inch Quadruplex, also known simply as "Quad". The "2-inch" refers to the size of the width of the tape (please see below the open reel brown 2-inch-wide Quad tape versus the 1/2-inch VHS tape encased in a plastic shell, respectively).

CBS was the first on-air user of the 2” Quad machine, to tape-delay the evening CBS News broadcast with Douglas Edwards on Nov. 30, 1956. From that point until the late 1970s, the vast majority of broadcast television was recorded onto this video format.  

In the WJZ-TV and WMAR-TV Collections at the Langsdale Library Special Collections Department, we hold approximately three hundred 2-inch Quad reels from these local television stations. Highlights from the labels suggest that they are masters of several local television broadcasts and even national broadcast news ranging in date from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. However, we can't be entirely sure of the content until the tapes are digitized--an expensive endeavor due to the professional expertise, time, and obsolete equipment needed. According to an estimate by the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Plan, by approximately 2027 these tapes will no longer be physically able to even undergo digitization! Contact specialcollections@ubalt.edu for more information.