Category Archives: Features

ATLA Staff Visits BETH in Zagreb, Croatia

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

The 46th General Assembly of BETH took place in at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute in Zagreb, Croatia, from September 9-13. BETH brings together national theological library associations and some individual theological libraries from across Europe.

The Institute sits adjacent to the Zagreb Cathedral and was home for four days of discussions about European digital initiatives, tours of Zagreb and the Croatian National Library, and shared meals with new found friends. I was honored to attend BETH and give a presentation about the development of the ATLA Digital Library contextualized within the recent history of the United States’ digital initiatives.

Building an Inclusive Library Through Universal Design

Universal Design
Submitted by Andrew Keck, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN

Building an Inclusive Library Through Universal Design, a recent workshop hosted by Minnesota Theological Library Association (MTLA), included a diverse set of twenty-three guests from area theological, college, university, and public libraries. Carli Spina, Head Librarian for Assessment and Outreach at Boston College, led participants through principles of Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning and how these principles can be applied to library design and programming projects. The workshop consisted of a mix of lecture, discussion, and hands-on activities that asked participants to critically consider the existing spaces and practices at their library.

Testimony: The Joys of Cartographic Cataloging

This article was previously featured in Vol. 25, No. 4 of Theology Cataloging Bulletin (TCB), an ATLA member publication. Testimony is a feature in TCB that gives a place for members of the technical services community to share their stories. We felt this testimony was applicable to the wider community and have since published it below for you.

Submitted by Ann Heinrichs, Metadata/Cataloging Librarian, Paul Bechtold Library, Catholic Theological Union

A Growing Love for Maps

It’s hard to say when my passion for maps began. It seems to have gone hand-in-hand with my passion for seafaring. As a teenager, I was obsessed with tales of great sea voyages. Summer afternoons would find me in the hammock, riveted to my cherished copy of Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Seven Seas, and it was full of nautical charts. I longed to go to sea, and I knew that a sea map would get me where I was going.

A Syriac Source of a Madrasa’s Curriculum in Pre-Ottoman South East Anatolia

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

The purpose of this article is to study the relations between Muslims and Christians in Anatolia during the pre-Ottoman period by observing not only the history of social and religious tensions but also the history of intellectual exchanges. One such exchange is found in the curriculum of a madrasa in Anatolia in the pre-Ottoman period. This list is found in a Syriac historical biography of a Christian Syriac Patriarch named John son of Šay Allah (d. 1496) who attended a Muslim educational religious madrasa in his home town of Mardin in southeast Anatolia.

Luther, Barth, and Movements of Theological Renewal

Submitted by Ginny Landgraf, ATLA Indexer-Analyst 

In June I attended the 2017 Karl Barth conference organized by the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary Library.  Karl Barth (1886-1968), Swiss Reformed theologian, continues to spur lively thought nearly fifty years after his death.

2017 ATLA Annual Conference Wrap Up

Submitted by Denise McFarlin, ATLA Meeting Specialist

The 2017 ATLA Annual Conference, Southern Harmony: The Human Touch in the Digital Age, was held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 14-17. The conference was a tremenous success and attracted a crowd of 300 members, exhibitors, and international guests. With the help of the Local Host Committee, comprised of representatives from Columbia Theological Seminary, Pitts Theology Library-Candler School of Theology-Emory University, Erskine Theological Seminary, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center – The Interdenominational Theological Center, and Mercer University-McAfee School of Theology, we experienced “Southern Harmony “ in every aspect of the conference.

Held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, the location provided everything imaginable within walking distance. It was a mix of premium shopping, a range of dining options from upscale to fast food, and for the young at heart, a carnival. In addition, we had great programming, speakers, and excursions that only complimented our stay. Our Local Hosts did a wonderful job on all of the ideas and events that were prepared for our conference attendees.

“Religious Change, 1450-1700” Explores Impact of Religion and Print on Society

Submitted by Joel Schorn, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

To coincide with the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, the Newberry Library in Chicago is hosting a multimedia project, “Religious Change, 1450-1700,” which traces “how religion and print challenged authority, upended society, and made the medieval world modern,” the project’s website says.

The brick-and-mortar anchor of the project is a gallery exhibition at the library, “Religious Change and Print, 1450-1700” (opening September 14, 2017). This exhibit draws on over 150 objects from the Newberry’s collection to show how people of the time—like preachers, teachers, travelers, writers, and printers—experienced the Reformation and the rapid changes that the interrelationship of religion and print media brought about.

The Future of Early Christian Studies

Submitted by Barnaby Hughes, ATLA CPLI Metadata Analyst

This was my second year attending the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS) in Chicago, held May 25-27, 2017. It’s a rather traditional academic association: most members are male, suited and bearded; papers are typically read; handouts are more common than PowerPoint presentations. Most presenters appear to be graduate students or nontenured faculty, so much of the research is fresh, though somewhat tentative.

Testimony: Using MarcEdit and OCLC Connexion to Enhance Bibliographic Records in a Batch

This article was previously featured in Vol. 25, No. 3 of Theology Cataloging Bulletin (TCB), an ATLA member publication. Testimony is a feature in TCB that gives a place for members of the technical services community to share their stories. We felt this testimony was applicable to the wider community and have since published it below for you.

Submitted by Christa Strickler, Assistant Professor of Library Science, Buswell Memorial Library, Wheaton College

With the tight budgets common to libraries these days, cataloging departments search for ways to add value while streamlining processes. At Buswell Memorial Library (Wheaton College, IL), we’ve developed a method for enhancing our records with contents notes to make them more searchable for our users, then adapted that method to add Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers in preparation for a reclassification project.

Digital Spotlight: Digitization Cost Calculator

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

Planning for a possible digitization project requires cost and time estimates for which there are few good models. Digitization is ubiquitous in libraries, museums, and archives in the 21st century, but due to the variance of institution type, available resources, and experience with digitization workflows, it is difficult to extrapolate metrics that can be reused. The Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group, recognizing the need, has been working to build and refine a digitization cost calculator.

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