New Databases Added To Rice Library

As most of you know, Rice Library is a great source of information when it comes to conducting hours of research for papers. Gone is the time where we search through piles of books for relevant information though. Nowadays, we can conduct research using hundreds of online databases composed of published journals, studies, and papers.

Students know the basics when it comes to online databases and finding relevant information. However, many students are used to just using one or two databases to find information. Rice Library has been adding more and more databases for students to use. These new databases are more subject-based and cater to specific students, making it easier for them to find the information they are looking for. Here are a few of the new databases that Rice Library has added in recent months:

1. Eighteenth Century Collections Online

a. This database is full of useful information from the subjects of history to law. This database has over 200,000 volumes of books, pamphlets, essays, and more. Much of the works that are collected in this database was published in the UK in the 18th century.

b. This database is particularly strong in ancient history, including many editions of Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
c. Also, this database provides ample information about the history of many European countries, such as Scotland, Wales, states of Europe, and Russia, as well.
d. When it comes to sciences, the Eighteenth Century Collections Online provides information about some of the most important discoveries. The science of crop rotation spreading throughout Europe and the stories behind hundreds of inventions, such as agriculture tools, is popular in this database.

2. The Met Opera on Demand

a. The Metropolitan Opera is the home for talented artists, singers, conductors, stage directors, and more.
b. This database gives users access to hundreds of live performances by artists. These artists perform in New York City, and their performances are uploaded to this database.

c. Every year the Met stages more than 200 performances and uploads them onto this database for users to access! You can watch the performances or listen to them via SIRIUS XM Radio.

d. This database is a great source of entertainment and information for liberal arts students.

3. Filmmakers Library Online

a. Attention Liberal Arts Students! This is for you! This database contains hundreds of documentaries of a wide range of subjects. From arts and literature to globalization and multiculturalism, the variety of subjects is very broad. This database is more of a viewing gallery than a reading gallery. Students can access these informational documentaries anytime and find the information they are looking for.

b. Internationally known filmmakers, like Christine Choy, Roger Weisberg, Josh Aronson, David Bradbury, are represented in Filmmakers Library Online.
c. Users can even make their own videos with the video-making tools that this database provides. Users are able to collaborate multiple clips from several documentaries together into one video. This can be very helpful for students who are working on presentations for classes.

As you can see, Rice Library has been adding some very exciting databases for all areas of study. Utilize these databases as much as you can! They contain up-to-date information that some books are unable to give you. Our reference team on the first floor is available many hours of the day to help you find the right database for your paper, as well. Here is a link to the Reference Desk hours:

I hope that these new databases will help you as finals approach in these final weeks!

Read On,

Austin Viano

National Library Week! Why do you love Rice Library?


This week is National Library Week! Every year this week comes around, and it makes us think about everything our library gives us. The theme for National Library Week this year is Lives Change at Your Library. Many people do not realize the amount of lives that can be impacted by libraries. Reading a book, studying a few hours, or getting help at the reference desk can impact your life in a positive way. We asked a few people in Rice Library what they love most about Rice Library and how it has affected their lives. This is what they had to say:


  1. James
  • Senior majoring in History who has worked at Rice Library for several years now

What do you love most about Rice Library?

I love the students here. Working here, I get the chance to meet a lot of students. They crack me up on a daily basis!

How has Rice Library affected your life?

Working here has made me realize everything that libraries have to offer. I am actually going to grad school for library sciences after graduation!

2. Alex Fig

  • Freshman majoring in history education

What do you love most about Rice Library?

There a tons of books available for research. I love how Rice Library stays open late. I basically live here.

How has Rice Library affected your life?

I get no sleep!

3. JoshJosh

  • Sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering

What do you love most about Rice Library?

Study rooms are open late so that is very helpful for group work. I also love the Starbucks in the building!

How has Rice Library affected your life?

Rice Library motivates me to study and be successful in school.

4. Morgan

  • Sophomore who works at the checkout counter at Rice Library

What do you love most about Rice Library?

I love the study rooms. They are a great place to go if you need a quiet study area.

How has Rice Library affected your life?

I work here so I spend a lot of time here. I love my coworkers!

5. Alex

  • Junior who works at Rice Library as an instruction student worker

What do you love most about Rice Library?

I love working here. I have worked here since freshman year so I have spent a lot of time here.

How has Rice Library affected your life?

I have learned a lot about how a library works. I am able to find resources on my own when I need them for classes.

6. Jennifer

  • Jennifer is the Reference and Archives Librarian and has been working at Rice Library for six years

What do you love most about Rice Library?

The people! We have great people working here that would do anything for you. I should say the books because I am a librarian. But the people here are great.

How has Rice Library affected your life?

Rice Library has affected my life in every way imaginable. I have my dream job, in a dream facility, with dreamy collections. Taking the job here changed my life for the better in every way.


As for me, Rice Library has been a big part of my life, the past couple years especially. I began working here last year at the checkout counter and now I am a social media intern. Other than giving me a place to work on campus, it has gave me the opportunity to meet some great people. I have established relationships that will be great to come back to when I visit after I am gone. As for what I love most about Rice Library, I love the resources that it provides. I love the availability of IPads, laptops, and study rooms to students. I believe these resources make a huge difference in our student’s studies every year.


Also, if you have something you love about Rice Library that you would like to share with us stop by the info wall and write it on the big poster! I hope everyone is having a great National Library Week!


Read on,


Austin Viano


A New Crop of Suggestions!!

Hello again, everyone! It’s your Library Director, Marna Hostetler, here with another batch of suggestions from our Suggestion Box. Thank you very much for your feedback! Let’s get started:

1.  “More non-European cartography.”

For this one, I enlisted the help of our Associate Director and Collection Development Librarian, Martha Niemeier. We agree – cartography is such an interesting topic! So very broad and including so many resources – maps, globes, atlases, web sites, GIS, as well as books about maps and map-making.  It covers each continent and world region as well as each country and parts of each country.  Time periods range from the modern to the ancient.  There are the specialties such as terrain, roads, population, tourism, economics, floods, crops, weather, space, oceans, and so on.

We have maps of areas and time periods in the Reference Collection to support course work, and we have a number of resources on all areas of the world in the other areas of the library.  We always welcome suggestions from faculty and students for additional items that support courses.

If you need journal articles, the following databases are good resources for geography research:

These two journals are good for articles on cartography:

  • Cartographic Journal

The library owns 06/01/2003 – 1 year ago in Academic Search Premier

  • Cartographica

The library owns 12/01/1999 – present in Lexis-Nexis Academic


Web sites that provide cartographic information include:

Harvard College Library Map Collection

Google Maps

The World Factbook:  Online access via Credo ReferenceOnline access via PURL


Subjects to search in the catalog include, among others:

  • Cartography
  • Geography
  • Physical geography
  • Topography


To find items in the stacks, these classifications may prove useful, although additional resources are located in other areas:

GA1-1776 Mathematical geography. Cartography

GA51-87 Surveys (General)

GA101-1776 Cartography

GA109 Aerial cartography

GA109.5 Cadastral mapping

GA109.8 Statistical mapping

GA110-115 Projection

GA125-155 Map drawing, modeling, printing, reading, etc.

GA192-197.3 Collections of maps, globes, etc. Map libraries

GA197.5-198 Cartographers

GA260-288 Globe making. Globes

GA300-325 World maps, general atlases, etc.

GA341-1776 Maps. By region or country


Here is a sampling of some of the titles Rice Library owns:

In the Reference area:

In the stacks:


Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this all-encompassing subject.  Get it?!  All-enCOMPASSing?!!  And big thanks to Martha Niemeier for her excellent assistance on this response!!


  1. More study rooms

I agree that more study rooms would be a fantastic addition to our beautiful library building. Let me work on this!

  1. Video cameras that you can rent!

I checked into this and did not find a resource on campus that fits this need, and I’m not sure the library is the best place. I will attempt to identify the appropriate on-campus entity for this idea and will take the idea there. In the meantime, you could use the video feature on one of our iPads.

  1. Coat hooks for the desks, with the walls on them, for people to hang coats and hats

Excellent suggestion! I will add this to my list of purchase ideas.

  1. Better toilet paper

Toilet paper for the entire campus is bought in bulk by Custodial Services, not the library. Sorry…

Interesting Inventions and the Stories Behind Them

There are many things that we tend to take for granted nowadays. We use products every day and some of these products have some pretty cool stories behind them. But did you know that you can learn quite a bit about these inventions through Rice Library? I did some digging and came up with a few interesting inventions that have unique stories of where they came from.

  1. Post-it Notes
    1. Art Fry was a chemical engineer at 3M, a Minnesota based adhesives company. He was in the choir at his church and in order to mark songs in his hymnal he would stick pieces of paper between pages. The
      Art Fry Before Entering the Inventors Hall of Fame

      Art Fry Before Entering the Inventors Hall of Fame

      pieces of paper kept on falling out.

    2. At the same time, one of Fry’s colleagues was researching new adhesives and made a mistake that led to a weak adhesive. It was just sticky enough to stick two pieces of paper together and take back off without ripping either piece.
    3. One thing led to another and Fry got his bookmark for his hymnals and the rest of the world got Post-it notes.
  2. Velcro
    1. De Mestrl, a Swiss engineer, was taking his wife out for dinner one night and he was frustrated because the zipper on her dress was being difficult. Later that night, he was taking his dog out for a walk and noticed cockleburs on the dogs coat and how they fastened into the hair.
    2. He then spent eight years developing the idea into a product that could be made cheaply and efficiently.
  3. Silly Putty
    1. Silly Putty has an interesting start. Two scientists, McGregor and Warrick were researching how to make a synthetic rubber during WWII, as it was low in supply. One failed experiment led to Silly Putty. The substance was so different from what they have experienced before that they decided to keep it around.
    2. Silly Putty

      Silly Putty

      The scientists brought the putty to parties to show to friends because they thought it was neat that it could bounce. A toymaker, Ruth Fallgatter, decided that it could be a product that people would buy.

    3. Peter Hodgson, Fallgatter’s employee, took over the project when Fallgatter got disinterested in it. He proceeded to take the product to conferences and put it in toy stores. Before long, the product was flying off the shelves!
    4. At the time, Hodgson’s death, he was worth $140 million just from the sales of Silly Putty!

These are just a few of the stories behind products that we use every day. Or, in Silly Putty’s case, we used all the time as children. The coolest part about these stories is that there are hundreds more just like them waiting for you to find them in Rice Library. So if you are looking for an interesting product for a paper or product there are multiple sources at Rice Library that can help you!


Read on,

Austin Viano


Van Dulken, Stephen. Inventing the twentieth century : 100 inventions that shaped the world : from the airplane to the zipper . New York Press, 2000. Print.


A Simple Thank You from Martin Luther King Jr.

A thank you letter from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is not a simple paragraph. Rather, King pours his heart and soul into telling you how grateful he is for whatever you did to deserve the thank you letter.  One such letter was recently discovered in a communal studies collection in the University Archives and Special Collections.  Some of the phrasing in this simple thank you note included,

“Without your moral support we would be caught in a dungeon of despair without knowing that many people all over the nation are supporting us in our struggle. By aiding us in this significant way, you are telling the world that the rights of Negroes cannot be trampled in any community without impairing the rights of every other American.”CS 671 MLK letter 2

This was the wording found in the letter sent to Irving Wolfe received from Dr. King in July of 1963. Wolfe was the president of Skyview Acres Co-operative, which was an integrated residential community in New York state.  The communal group was founded just after World War II in 1942.  This co-operative held a block party to raise funds for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  Wolfe had written a letter explaining this, describing how over 400 men, women, and children from across the county turned up to help the event, and enclosed a check with the letter for $567.56.

CS 671 MLK letter 1

Dr. King, SCLC’s first president, could have just sent a simple letter thanking Wolfe for his efforts; he didn’t have to send anything at all as a matter of fact. The fact that Dr. King took the time to detail how important Wolfe’s donation was to his goal of ending discrimination showed the true character of the civil rights leader.  Dr. King notes how much moral and financial support the donation provided, saying that without fund raising efforts like these, the SCLC would be “…unable to work effectively toward its goal of the full integration of the Negro into all aspects of American life.” Dr. King concludes his speech (disguised as a letter) by saying:

“I am confident that if we continue to gain this type of support, this sweltering summer of discontent can be transformed into an invigorating autumn of justice and freedom for all King_Jr_Martin_Luther_093.jpgpeople.”

Students processing archive collections in the History 323 class, Introduction to Archival Theory, found this letter while working through stacks of correspondence.  Student Logan Walters found the letter and said the header on the page, “Southern Christian Leadership Conference” caught his attention so he pulled it out of the pile and saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s signature.  “It is one of those truly enlightening moments in archive work,” said Archives & Reference Librarian, Jennifer Greene.  “History comes to life when you see a real signature and read the actual words put down by a man as wise and poetic as Martin Luther King Jr.”