Monday, September 28, 2015

What Middletown Read Event in Muncie

Stephanie Mathis, Honors 409
(Click to enlarge)

What Middletown Read Event in Muncie
 Carnegie Library News: 

Dr. Frank Felsenstein and Dr. James J. Connolly will provide an insider’s look at the “What Middletown Read” project on Tuesday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library at 301 East Jackson in downtown Muncie.  The two have recently released a book What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City.

A large cache of circulation records circa 1891-1902 from the Muncie Public Library were discovered in 2003 and offer unprecedented detail about American reading behavior at the turn of the twentieth century.  The circulation records were mined for information and additional research was conducted to create the “What Middletown Read” database.  Muncie became known as “Middletown” from the Robert and Helen Lynd sociological studies beginning in 1929.

“What Middletown Read” is much more than a statistical study.  Felsenstein and Connolly researched diaries, meeting minutes, newspaper reports, and local histories to trace the development of the Muncie Public Library in relation to Muncie’s cosmopolitan aspirations.  The authors profiled individual readers and explored children’s reading in relation to schooling and books discussed by local women’s clubs.

Books will be available for purchase, and Dr. Felsenstein and Dr. Connolly will offer book-signings following the program.  Light refreshments will also be served.

The “What Middletown Read” program is sponsored by the Muncie Public Library, the Center for Middletown Studies, the Delaware County Historical Society, Ball State University Libraries and the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library.  The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available downtown.

For more information, please contact the Ball State University Center for Middletown Studies at 765-285-8037.

(More information about the "Where Middletown Readers Were" map is available in Cardinal Scholar).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maps of Mecca, Saudi Arabia Available from Ball State University Libraries

Historical Atlas of Saudi Arabia

Historical Atlas of Saudi Arabia

Atlas of Religion
(Crescent stars denote countries where Islam is the state religion).

Maps in the News:  Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Hajj

The Ball State University Libraries’ Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library includes over 3,000 atlases covering cities, counties, states, and countries around the world, including many in native languages.  Atlases about social topics are also included in the collection.  (Click above images to enlarge).

Maps and other images from atlases can be easily scanned for use in research and learning projects or as visual aids.  Atlases in the collection circulate for 28 days or longer.

For more information, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Maps of Washington, New York, and Philadelphia Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News:  Pope Francis Visits Cities in the United States

President Barack Obama will greet Pope Francis at Andrews Air Force Base when the pontiff arrives from Cuba later today.  The pope will meet with President Obama at the White House, address Congress, speak at the United Nations in New York on global warming, and conduct a mass in Philadelphia during his six-day visit.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) creates unique collections of historic maps available from the Digital Media Repository (DMR).  American Cities Historic Maps features maps of American cities dating from 1855 through 1921 depicting a unique urban view at the turn of the century.  The collection features street maps, topographic maps, park maps, city planning maps, and maps of coastal city harbors.  (The original maps are available in the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library).

This collection includes historic maps of cities visited by Pope Francis.  A map of the National Mall (above, click to enlarge) in Washington, D.C., was published by the Park Commission in 1915.  The map includes existing and planned development on the mall.

Maps of New York included in the digital collection include an 1888 map showing the south part of the city to Brooklyn toward Hoboken, New Jersey.  An 1896 map of New York (above) includes the location of steam and elevated railroads.  The collection also includes a 1907 map of Bronx and a 1914 map of Manhattan that shows the location of post offices and postal districts.

An 1888 map of Philadelphia in the collection was published in the Pioneer Press Standard Atlas.  This map includes radial distances from city hall and Delaware River frontage.

Other map collections in the DMR include historic maps of the Ball State University campus, Indiana historic county atlases, natural resources maps of Indiana, and Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Muncie.  United States soil and topographic maps are also available as digital collections, as well as a collection of historic maps showing changes in the course of the Mississippi River.  New York Times World War I maps and international historic maps are other digital collections from the GRMC.

Users can download maps directly from the DMR in various file sizes.  The maps may be used for research and learning.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Culture Programs at Ball State University

Travel the World Every Wednesday at Lunch:  Ball State University Hosts Weekly International Culture Exchange

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs hosts a Culture Exchange each week were an international student presents information about a country.  Every week a different country is highlighted.  The majority of exchanges provide an overview of the country and its culture with time set aside for a question and answer session.  The presentations are held every Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in the Phyllis Yuhas Room in the Student Center (Room 102).

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and charts and photographs from atlases as visual aids for the culture presentations.  The map posters from previous culture exchanges are available from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar.  Simply type in the name of a country in the search box or choose keywords “map poster” to see the list of posters available for exhibits or use in the classroom or research. 

The Culture Exchange begins next week on September 23 with a presentation about Quebec, Canada.  The program for the rest of the semester:

September 30:  Burkina Faso
October 7:  Afghanistan
October 14:  Israel
October 21:  Trinidad and Tobago
October 28:  South Africa
November 4:  West Bank
November 11:  France
November 18:  Ethiopia
December 2:  Italy

On December 9, a panel discussion of different cultures will take place as the semester finale.

For more information about the Culture Exchange program, please contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422.  For more information about using cartographic resources from Cardinal Scholar, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mapping the Minimum Wage

Using GIS to Map the Minimum Wage

Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York formally approved the increase of the state’s minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour.  This is the first time any state has set the minimum wage that high.

To see what wage level American workers need to support their families, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created an ESRI story map tool called Living Wage CalculatorThe tool maps the difference between minimum wage and the basic cost of living across America. 

Users can choose three types of households: a parent with a spouse and two children, a single parent with one child, or a single adult.  The calculator maps the difference between the cost of living to get by and the minimum wage.  The darker red the county or city on the map, the greater the gap in need. 

For information about using ESRI GIS software to create story maps or other cartographic resources, please contact the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository Collections for Teaching History

Pastimes Online:  Teaching History Using Digital Resources

The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) provides online access to a range of digitized primary source materials, including maps and other cartographic resources, films and video, oral histories, photographs, and publications.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has created lesson plans for teachers to incorporate these digital collections into the study of history.

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are detailed maps identifying the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of cities.  The maps were created for most cities around the country following the Civil War.  The Sanborn Company created more maps at intervals as the city grew, so these maps provide an excellent glimpse into the development and changes of a city over time.

The Muncie Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps in the DMR depict the city from 1883 to 1911.  An online tutorial is available that will explain the symbols, colors, and other markings on the maps. 

Teachers may find these maps to be an interesting tool for studying local history.  A guide to using these maps as part of a history lesson is available from the GRMC in Cardinal Scholar.  Students can be assigned one or more city blocks and note the changes over time.  For example, at the turn of the twentieth century Muncie was a thriving city with opera houses, huge skating rinks, and a new Courthouse.  And in the times before huge discount department stores, numerous shops selling specific products covered the map of downtown Muncie.  And students can note how horse-related businesses transformed to gas stations, tire stores, and, most noticeably, parking lots.

Another unique collection available from the DMR is the Thomas Ryan DiariesThis collection includes four diaries written from 1886 to 1890 by Thomas Ryan, a Muncie teenager.  Ryan wrote in his diaries every day.  He recorded the weather, events at school and around town, activities with friends, and chores and playtime (see excerpt above, click to enlarge).  The GRMC has created a new guide for teachers to use the diaries as part of a history lesson:  Students can read about how Thomas was punished in school, games and toys he played, books he read, and even how much he paid for candy.

Teachers could incorporate multiple related collections to teach history.  Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps could show the shops and schools during the time of Thomas Ryan.  Muncie city directories in the DMR include addresses, photographs, advertisements, and occupations of residents.  Souvenir booklets that include drawings and information about some of the buildings are also available in the DMR.

For more information about the Digital Media Repository, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.  For information about using the lesson plan guides or cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Interactive GIS Map Celebrates the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II

London map, Ball State University Libraries GRMC

Around the World with Queen Elizabeth II

Today, September 9, 2015, at about 5:30 London time, Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest reigning monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria.  Elizabeth has served 23,226 days (nearly 63 years and seven months).  Elizabeth was crowned on February 6, 1952.

To commemorate the occasion, The Telegraph created an interactive map showing the destinations of each of her 265 overseas visits.  The map shows arcs of the trips taken each year and ends with dots marking the locations.  The map was created using ESRI GIS software.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) offers access ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.  GIS software is available on 28 high-end computers in the GRMC and on computers throughout Bracken Library.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Online Maps of the Crisis in Syria

Mapping the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis

The number of refugees escaping from the war in Syria has now surpassed four million according to the United Nations.  The total number of displaced people is roughly 9.5 million to 11.7 million.  Al Jazeera America created an interactive map graphic that uses U.S. Census data to show where 11.7 million people live in areas of the United States.  So locations like New York City and Los Angeles are densely populated, while parts of Texas and the Plains have larger areas where the population reaches 11.7 million. 

Users can type in the name of a city (see Muncie above, click to enlarge), and a map is displayed showing displaced people and refugees divided by age group.  Users can add their location map to the gallery on the site.  The site was created in 2013, but the numbers of displaced people is frequently updated.

As a frame of reference, a related site shows were the population is zero.  Nik Freeman used 2010 Census data to find census blocks with zero recorded inhabitants.  The 2010 Census includes 11,078,300 census blocks, and Freeman discovered 4,871,270 blocks covering an area of nearly three million square miles were uninhabited.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a large collection of Syria maps.  The collection includes tourist maps, maps of archaeological sites, road maps, economic activity maps, land use maps, and population maps.  Four sets of topographic maps of Syria at varying scales are also available.  Newer maps showing administrative divisions and relief show the changing borders of the region, and many of the maps include the Golan Heights.  City maps of Syria are also featured in the collection, including a reproduction of a bird’s eye view map of Damascus from 1575.

The most up-to-date maps of Syria are published by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the GRMC includes hundreds of physical and political maps in this collection.  The collection of CIA maps is also available online in the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository.  Teachers and other researchers interested in accessing a digital gallery of updated Syria maps may contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Holiday Hours at Ball State University Libraries

The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 7.  The GRMC will reopen on Tuesday, September 8 at 8:00 am.