Monday, November 24, 2014

Mark Twain’s birthday

November 30th is Mark Twain’s birthday!

Celebrate Mark Twain's birthday by reading about his life and work.

Biographical Information

Library Services has many resources to help you find biographical information about Mark Twain, such as that his real name is Samuel Langhorn Clemens and that he adopted the pen name Mark Twain after being a steamboat captain on the Mississippi. Mark Twain is "a term from his riverboat days that means 'two fathoms deep' or 'safe water'" (Bloom).

You can also dive into the details of his life by reading his autobiography. The most recent is a 2 volume set that Twain insisted not be published for 100 years after his death.  
Harriet Elinor Smith, ed.
University of California Press, 2010
Call Number: PS1331 .A2 2010
Available at RRC, RVS


Autobiography of Mark Twain. Volume 2
Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith, eds.
University of California Press, 2013
Call Number: PS1331 .A2 2013
Available at HLC, RVS

Literary Criticism

To read literary criticism about Twain’s work, sources like Bloom’s Literature or Literature Criticism Online will have a number of articles about Mark Twain, his characters, and the themes found in his works.

There are many other biography and literary criticism e-Resources, so be sure to visit the Literature and Literary Criticism databases-by-subject page.

Works by Twain

If you prefer to celebrate by curling up with some Twain classics, Library Services has many copies of his work in both print and electronicUse this Titles by Mark Twain link to view titles available through Library Services.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. Mark Twain. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishing, 1999.

Bloom's Major Novelists. Bloom's Literature. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Native American Heritage Month

Austin Community College Library Services has many resources on American Indians/ Native American heritage. Two library subscription databases are devoted exclusively to this topic: American Indian Histories and Cultures and Bibliography of Native North Americans.

American Indian Histories and Culturesreleased September 2013, was developed by Adam Matthew, a London-based database vendor, in collaboration with the Newberry Library in Chicago.


You can find content that spans four centuries, covering American Indian history in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Indian Histories and Cultures incorporates visual resources and unique, primary source material from the Newberry's Edward E. Ayer Collection, one of the world's strongest collections on the topic. This database is cross-searchable with the American West database.

You are invited to Take a Tour to experience what this resource has to offer. American Indian Histories and Cultures may be a good choice for assignments in history, government, sociology, art history, and for topics for writing assignments.  Even if you don't have an immediate research need, this database is a great learning tool, an outstanding information source, and a wonderful place to browse.

Bibliography of Native North Americans is an EBSCOhost database where you can find articles on all aspects of Native North American culture, history, and life from the 16th century to the present. 

More than 260 journals are indexed, covering a wide range of subjects--archaeology, gaming, governance, legends, and literacy--in addition to history. Many articles are full text.  You will also find citations for books, essays, conference papers, and government documents of the United States and Canada. 

Searching this database for "recommended web sites" on Native American studies retrieved Smith, David A. "Internet Resources for Native American and Canadian Aboriginal Studies." American Indian Culture & Research Journal 32.1 (2008): 103-134. Like other EBSCOhost databases, Bibliography of Native North Americans will format citations for you and you can print, save, or email material you want to use.

In Voices of the American Indian Experience, a 2-volume eBook in the Gale Virtual Reference Library collection, you'll find 224 documents tracing the North American Indian experience from creation stories to 2007. The emphasis is on documents created by American Indians, rather than by Europeans. Documents are arranged chronologically for discovery.   
To find a specific subject, you will need to search within the volumes.  Like American Indian Histories and Cultures, this work is a good resource if you need primary sources for your research.

You'll find documents of the famous--Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Black Hawk (see "Black Hawk Discusses the Institution of Slavery, 1833").  You'll also discover  people like Susan la Flesche Picotte, MD, Omaha Indian leader and reformer, and the first American Indian woman to become a physician.  In addition to Native American voices, you'll find captivity narratives, accounts of European expeditions, reports (read "The Smallpox Epidemic of 1639"), missionaries' documents, and government acts and treaties. 

The Gale Virtual Reference Library collection has several other reference works on Native Americans.  An easy way to get to history titles is to click "History" under "Subjects" on the left, or to scroll down the display of books and click the "View All" link with "History."  You can then browse the alphabetical arrangement of books. Other relevant history titles include: 

American Indian History Day by Day

Encyclopedia of Native American History

The Encyclopedia of North American Indian Wars, 1607-1890

First Encounters:  Native Voices on the Coming of the Europeans

Historic Native Peoples of Texas

The Indians of Texas:  From Prehistoric to Modern Times

Treaties with American Indians:  An Encyclopedia of Rights, Conflicts, and Sovereignty

You may also want to browse "Literature" and "Multicultural Studies" in the Gale Virtual Reference Library collection.  

All three of these databases can be found by searching the A-Z List of All Databases (choose "History" under Browse databases by subject for the first two) or by searching the library catalog.

Don't forget to search the library catalog for Films on Demand streaming videos (see "The Sand Creek Massacre:  Seven Hours that Changed American History") and for additional reference works, books, eBooks, videos (view "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," 2007, on DVD), and more.

Finally, visit the Native American Heritage Month Home to see exhibits and collections of material available from the Library of the Congress and other government agencies.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guy Fawkes Day

Here in the United States we observe 9-11 in various ways, flying flags at half-staff, pausing for moments of silence, and so on. But what if the 9-11 conspirators had been caught before any harm was done? How would we observe that?

George Cruikshank's Depiction of Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes Day is a celebration of such a situation--the foiling of the "Gunpowder Plot." On November 4, 1605, Guy Fawkes was captured in a cellar beneath England's Parliament. He was there to detonate thirty-six barrels of gunpowder in order to kill England's Members of Parliament and King James I when they assembled the next day, November 5 ("Guy Fawkes" 124). It would have been much like blowing up the U.S. Capitol with the President, Senate, and House of Representatives all inside!

So every November 5, people in England celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, also known as "Bonfire Night," by parading about with effigies of Guy Fawkes, called "Guys," which they throw onto bonfires ("Guy Fawkes Day" 318). Although other conspirators played a larger role in hatching the plot, Guy Fawkes, caught "red-handed," is the one who gets all the attention.

Treasonous Conspiracy, or Frame-Up?

Some believe that the whole conspiracy was actually a frame-up to make it easy to get rid of people who were a threat to the throne. There are many precedents for this, including one in 1600 that also involved King James. The Earl of Gowrie and Gowrie's brother supposedly tried to assassinate James, but some think that this was a frame-up by the king to get rid of potential rivals. And not just rivals--a debt, too: James owed the Gowries eighty thousand pounds, a fortune in those days. Eliminating the Gowries not only eliminated this debt, but, as a bonus, allowed James to seize their property as well (Greenblatt 340)!

Similarly, some argue that England's government invented the Gunpowder Plot to frame people they considered dangerous. Most historians, however, believe that the Gunpowder Plot was real ("The Gunpowder Conspiracy Trial" 95).

When William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth about a year later, he alluded to the Gunpowder Plot and James I in several ways. In this play, for instance, a Scottish king is assassinated. Likewise, the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot had attempted to kill James, who was Scottish (Greenblatt 337). Also, as Macbeth unfolds, the heirs of Banquo--an ancestor of James--are prophesied to succeed to the throne (Mullaney 41).

A dramatic event like the Gunpowder Plot invites the pursuit of many different avenues of exploration, including the religious, political, and literary aspects of its time and place. Fortunately, your ACC libraries offer a wide variety of resources for delving deeper into history and culture. For more information about Guy Fawkes Day, the Gunpowder Plot, English history, Shakespeare, and related subjects, for example, check out these and other library materials:

Circulating Materials (May Check Out)

The Age of Shakespeare
Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare
Conspiracy Theories
The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (DVD Set--Disc 3: Macbeth)
The History of England
Macbeth (Orson Welles' Production) (DVD)
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Online Sources  (You may need to log in if off campus)

"Conspiracy Theories." -- Article in St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
"The Gunpowder Conspiracy Trial." -- Article in Famous Trials in History
"Guy Fawkes." -- Article in Encyclopedia of World Biography
"Guy Fawkes Day." -- Article in Holidays Symbols and Customs
JSTOR -- Database covering history, literature, and many other subjects

Streaming Videos from Films on Demand

Equivocation: Shakespeare, the King's Man
For All Time (In Search of Shakespeare)
Macbeth: A Critical Guide
Revolution (The British: An Epic Adventure Through the Ages)
The Stuarts
William Shakespeare: A Concise Biography

Works Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became

     Shakespeare. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004. Print.

"The Gunpowder Conspiracy Trial." Famous Trials in History. Elizabeth A.

     Cawthon. New York: Facts on File, 2012. 94-99. Facts On File Library of

     World History. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
"Guy Fawkes." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Ed. Tracie Ratiner. 2nd ed.

     Vol. 27. Detroit: Gale, 2007. 123-125. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

     Web. 17 Oct. 2014.

"Guy Fawkes Day." Holidays Symbols and Customs. Ed. Helene Henderson.

     4th ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2009. 316-319. Gale Virtual Reference

     Library. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.

Mullaney, Steven. "Lying Like Truth: Riddle, Representation and Treason in

     Renaissance England." ELH 47.1 (1980): 32-47. JSTOR. Web.

     23 Oct. 2014.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

LGBT History Month

October is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, and ACC Library Services has many resources that can answer your questions and help you learn about the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

Online Resources

A great place to start looking for LGBT resources is the Library Services Information Guide on Diversity. It contains information on statistics, local and national organizations, library resources, pride information, magazines, and more. Thanks to librarian Teresa Ashley for gathering and making available this and other diversity information. Be sure to check it out!


Just some of the print and e-books ACC libraries have about LGBT history. For even more titles try catalog searches on gay history, lesbian history, gay rights, bisexual*, transgender*, or any other terms you're interested in.

Queer America: A GLBT history of the 20th Century
by Vivki L. Eaklor
Greenwood Press, 2008
from Gale Virtual Reference Library

by Vivki L. Eaklor
New Press, 2011
Call number: HQ76.3.U5 E35 2011
Available at  CYP, RGC, SAC

Lillian Fademan, ed.
Salem Press, 2007
Call Number: HQ73 .G74 2007
Available at EGN, HYS, NRG, RRC, SAC (in-library use only)

Victory : the triumphant gay revolution
by Linda Hirshman
Harper, 2012, 2013
Available at HLC, PIN

A queer history of the United States
by Michael Bronski
Beacon Press, 2011
Call number: HQ76.3.U5 B696 2011
Available at EGN, HYS 

Ebook Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in America
A three-volume survey of more than 400 years of lesbian and gay history and culture in the United States, presented through over 500 alphabetically arranged entries. Coverage includes people, public policy, economics, social issues, identities, and culture, among many others. 

Provides an international overview of key issues in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and fosters a broader understanding of the status of LGBT people in their society.



Library Services has many films related to LGBT history and literature, including award-winning feature films and documentaries. Some searches to try:

Keyword search on gay* limited to films (note: not all of these will be on the topic)
Keyword search on lesbian* limited to films
Keyword search on transgender* or transsexual* limited to films

Here are just a few of the titles available...

PN1997.2 .M555 2009  EGN, HLC, RRC, SAC

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community
HQ76.8.U5 B4462 2010  EGN, HLC

Paris Is Burning 
HQ76.2.U52 N535 1992  DVD EVC
HQ76.2.U52 N535 1992  VH RGC

The Celluloid Closet
"Assembles footage from over 120 films showing the changing face of cinema homosexuality from cruel stereotypes to covert love to the activist cinema of the 1990s."
PN1995.9.H55 R82 2001 EVC NRG RRC

Boys Don't Cry
PN1997.B69 B69 2009  RRC
PN1997 .B71736x 2009  HLC
PN1997 .S863 2005  Disc 5  EVC

Brokeback Mountain
PN1995.9.H55 B76 2006 DVD EVC, NRG, SAC

Need help finding these or other resources? Stop by one of ACC's 11 campus libraries and ask!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Faculty Publications, Research, Exhibitions, and Performances Information Plus Guide

ACC Library Services is pleased to announce the debut of the Austin Community College Library Services’ Faculty Publications, Research, Exhibitions, and Performances Information Plus Guide.  We are excited about showcasing our full-time faculty’s outstanding creative output to the ACC community - as well as the wider world - in an online format.   

Those included in the Guide responded to a call for submissions that went out in May to full-time faculty.  The goal of the Guide is to maintain a dynamic environment; therefore, there will be a second call later this Fall, complete with guidelines and instructions.   

In addition, now that the pilot is up and running, adjunct faculty will also be invited to participate after the first of the year.

The Guide is included in the list of Library and Subject Guides accessible from Library Services’ home page – (choose Information Plus category) or directly from  


It has been featured on the Library Services' Facebook page as well as our Twitter feed.

Although we will be maintaining the Guide within our list of guides, faculty should feel free to link the page with their entry or the guide in its entirety from their online syllabus or CV.

Each year two Guide participants will be featured in READ posters and bookmarks, and the Guide will be advertised via the library’s and college’s social media as well as traditional outlets.
Thank you to all full-time faculty who responded so far and watch for expanded content after the next call for submissions in October.