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Archives Exhibit: Caroline Henderson's Letters from the Dust Bowl

Nov 19, 2012 by Leslie Fields

Ken Burns' new documentary, "The Dust Bowl," begins with the story of Caroline Henderson, MHC Class of 1901. Henderson farmed a land claim in the Oklahoma panhandle from 1907 until 1966, struggling against recurring droughts, dust storms, extreme blizzards, and other disasters. And yet, through all of these troubles, she and her husband chose to stay on their land. 

Henderson’s firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl years are preserved in the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections through the letters that she wrote to her classmate Rose Alden and to family members, along with other writings that she published in Practical Farmer and the Atlantic Monthly

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Explore Primary Sources from Early American History!

Oct 11, 2012 by James Burke

Did you know that you have access to more than 37,000 books, pamphlets and broadsides from the early years of American history? slavery

You can easily find and download original documents from a wide spectrum of life in 17th and 18th century America.  From social movements, economics, cooking, and foreign affairs to literature, Native American tribes, music, religion, slavery, and witchcraft, these documents cover just about any  topic imaginable!

Starting at the LITS homepage, just click on the link for "E-resources A-Z" and scroll down to Early American Imprints to begin your explorations in primary source materials!


Jorge Knows: Oxford History of Western Music Online

Nov 05, 2011 by Sarah Oelker

In preparation for his debut as conductor of the Western Massachusetts
Mallard Symphony and Tanglewood Waterfowl Chorus, Jorge is busy learning
more about his favorite composers in the European classical music
tradition with the Oxford History of Western Music Online. This online collection is based the five-volume Oxford History of Western Music
by the musicologist Richard Taruskin, and contains all 1.5 million
words of the print edition, as well as 500 images and 1800 musical
examples. The print edition was hailed as a brilliant work of musical
scholarship, full of examples, explanations, and delightful details. 
LITS is excited to bring you access to this interactive online version,
which is as enjoyable as it is excellent.

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Research Help for Independent Study Students

Oct 19, 2011 by Amy Wisehart

Are you working on a thesis or independent study this semester? Need
some research help? Subject specialist librarians are available for one
on one consultations. You can request an appointment online, or contact the subject specialist in your area directly.

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One More Library Research Orientation Session!

Sep 25, 2011 by Amy Wisehart


By popular demand, we are offering one additional library research orientation session on Wednesday, September 28th at 7pm in Library 418. Come to learn more about library research, using the catalog to find books, and accessing online research databases.

This session is geared toward first year students, but all are welcome. Sign-ups are not required but are encouraged. Learn more and sign up online.

Extended Research Help Desk Hours for the Fall!

Sep 22, 2011 by Amy Wisehart


Starting this semester, LITS is offering expanded Research Help Desk hours on Thursdays and Sundays. Thursday evening hours now extend until 11pm, and on Sundays the desk is open 7-9pm in addition to the regular 1-5pm hours. Stop by anytime the desk is staffed for research assistance, or to ask questions about library services or resources.

Remember that you can always email us at, or send a chat during Research Help Desk hours (@litsresearch).

The full Research Help Desk schedule is available in the hours section of the LITS website.

Library Research Orientation Sessions

Sep 09, 2011 by Amy Wisehart

Want to learn more about library research, using the catalog to find
books, and accessing research databases? Come to a library research orientation

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ebrary: 50,000 Online Books!

Nov 23, 2010 by James Burke

ebrary screen

Did you know that ebrary gives Mount Holyoke access to over 50,000 electronic books spanning all academic subject areas?  You may come across an ebrary book by searching through the MHC book catalog or by searching directly on the ebrary page listed on the LITS A-Z E-Resources page.

Within an ebrary book, you can copy and paste text, and print pages and chapters.  If you create an account in ebrary, you can really make these books your own by highlighting, attaching notes to the text, and creating and organizing a personal bookshelf of your annotated ebrary titles.

So the next time you come across an e-book link in the catalog, give it a try!  There's a simple  ebrary quick start to help you get into this extensive collection of books at the library.

Have a restful Thanksgiving Break! Here are the Thanksgiving Break Hours for LITS:

TUE. 11/23,  8am - MIDNIGHT
WED. 11/24, 8:30am - NOON
SUN. 11/ 28,  6pm - 2am (Access with MHC Card between midnight & 2 a.m.)

By the Numbers: 500,000 Books, 7 Students, and 12 Weeks

Aug 27, 2010 by Leigh Mantle

The LITS Great Summer Move is finished!  The collection was spread out to take advantage of new space on the
seventh floor of the Miles-Smith building (due to a 2007 consolidation
project with Archives & Special Collections materials) and all
materials stayed in the LITS complex (Williston, Miles-Smith and Dwight). 

Thanks to our fantastic summer students (Sara, Marian, Faye, Lara,
Zahra, Ifeyinwa, and Fiona) and Access Services Supervisor Ethan Powers,
we moved an estimated half a million volumes this summer and created
more space for the book collection.  Next time you're checking out a
book at the Circulation Desk
be sure to let them know what you think of the new layout and see if
they'll show off those muscles!  If you need assistance locating a book
or would like a copy of the new LITS map, please ask at the Circulation Desk or the Research Help Desk
[Read More]

Networking and conference-going: some tips from LITS

May 20, 2010 by Sarah Oelker

It's spring, and whether it's job-hunting for our graduating students (congratulations!) or professional conference season for faculty and staff, it's a great time to think about meeting people and making professional connections.   

Conferences and events can be intimidating, though - we've all been there!  Here are some tips from LITS staffers about meeting new people in professional settings and at professional gatherings:

  • Set goals for yourself: introduce yourself to five new people per day, or be sure to get to know the people next to you at meals. 
  • If someone else you know will be there, agree that you will be each other's conference buddies, and introduce each other to the people you know.   
  • Sit with people you don't know.  If you suspect you'll be tempted to talk only to your awesome officemate the whole time, agree to conference separately (or mostly separately, if you're going to introduce each other to new colleagues), and offer to share your stories with your colleague on the ride home or the next day.  
  • Within a larger meeting, look for "birds of a feather" meetups for your areas of interest.  Web designers who work at colleges for women?  Psychologists who study children?  Businesspeople who want to run nonprofit organizations?  These are great places to meet like-minded individuals.  
  • Beware of information overload! Bring a folder for handouts, and a zip-top bag or pencil case for business cards to give and receive.  Consider bringing a stapler so you can attach the business card of the speaker or company representative to the handout they gave you.  Write yourself notes so that you will remember later where you met that person.
  • Got business cards?  Online retailers and some office supply stores can print business cards, mini-cards, and even resumes for reasonable prices, often in a few days.  You can even print many of these designs at home.   
  • Keep a notepad handy-- inspiration strikes unexpectedly at conferences.  Set aside time to review your notes after you've recovered from the event, too.
  • Go to "the thing," whatever "the thing" turns out to be: take advantage of the impromptu gatherings and random social events you find out about when you're there.  And don't be afraid to get to know some people in a different specialty than yours-- you might learn something cool! 
  • Tweet, update, and check in!  Tools like Facebook and Twitter, and
    geolocation tools like Foursquare and Gowalla, are great ways to keep
    tabs on a conference on your phone or laptop.  Just remember to stick to
    content that your boss and your grandmother can be proud of.
  • Ask friends and colleagues for their tips.  People you look up to professionally will tell you where they've struggled, and they'll probably have good ideas you can try.

And of course, outside of conferences, there are lots of resources on campus for thinking about building your career.  Did you know that books in the MHC Library Catalog that are marked "MH Career Development Center" are in the Career Development Center in the Jones Building? 

The Career Development Center has lots of resources to help you find the job of your dreams.   One last tip: the academic departments at MHC usually have a link on their websites marked "Internships/Research" that links to a page at the Career Development Center for opportunities in that field.  See what's on the one for your department.

Developing your career can be challenging, but we hope these tips help you to promote yourself and have fun doing it.  

Thanks to LITS staffers David Lambert, Leigh Mantle, Jason Proctor, Mary Stettner, and Alex Wirth-Cauchon for their ideas and kind assistance with this post.