News & Events

May 2008 Wason Update

Vol. 2 No. 5, May 28, 2008

Trial of Chinese database Duxiu (读秀)

Duxiu is considered as a comprehensive bibliographical index database with Chinese search interface. It covers, and can be searched by, books, periodicals, newspapers, graduate theses, and conference proceedings. In addition, it can perform cross-format full-text searches.  Advanced search is also available.  At present, it contains 2.28 million of books that can be searched by titles only.  For 1.6 million of these books a full-text search is possible.  When users locate a book of interest, they can have free access to the first 17 pages of the book, including table of contents, preface and copyright pages.  When users need to request a particular part of the book or one chapter, the document delivery service is available.  For document delivery the maximum number of pages for one-time delivery can not exceed 50 pages, and no more than 20% of the entire book can be delivered within one week.  The database also has links to some e-books.

From our experience, we find that Internet Explorer is a better browser for searching this database.  The current trial period for Duxiu database will end by the end of June, 2008.  However, we can ask the vendor to extend the trial period if needed. It can only be accessed through Cornell computers because access is based on Cornell IP addresses.  Since it is available for us for trial, it is not incorporated into the Cornell Library Catalog System.

The Database of the Communist Party of China (CPC)

The Database of the Communist Party of China is composed of four sections: publications of the CPC leaders and their writings, documents from the CPC’s national congresses since 1921, resolutions and decisions published in the name of the CPC central committee, and important events and activities of party leaders as well as their political backgrounds.  The archived information is presented in texts, images and audio/video files.  New documents are constantly added to the database.

Users can access the database by directly going to the site with Cornell computers, or from the Cornell Library Catalog System for off-campus users.  From library Catalog System perform a title search for “Database of the Communist Party of China”, and the link there will take you to the vendor’s database site.  This is the fee-based annual subscription.

Beth Katzoff’s Farewell Gift to Kroch Asia

Through her distinguished, multifaceted contributions to Kroch Asia as Public Services Librarian and interim Japanese Bibliographer over the last half-decade, Beth Katzoff has left a clear mark on Cornell University.  Now, as Beth is about to move on to new challenges with Columbia University’s Makino Mamoru Collection on Japanese film, she has given the Cornell academic community yet further reason for gratitude, with a gift of nearly 500 books.  Specializing in the roles of women in wartime Japan, Beth has been able to provide the Wason Collection with many previously uncollected books in this area, including titles such as Wakao Noriko’s 闇の中の女性の身体: 性的自己決定権を考える, Inoue Setsuko’s 占領軍慰安所: 国家による売春施設, and Muto Kazue’s 戦略としての家族 : 近代日本の国民国家形成と女性, as well as some vintage wartime publications for women such as 婦人の友. Also included in Beth’s gift were a sizable number of important studies of feminism in Japan and Shōwa history. We hope that Beth will come back to visit her books often!

Ms. Gussie E. Gaskill – The First Curator of the Wason Collection

In 1920, two years after the founding of the Wason Collection, Ms. Gussie E. Gaskill, a Cornell graduate student in modern European history, was recruited to organize the collection and make necessary purchases. In 1927, when the Wason endowment became available, Ms. Gaskill was appointed as the first Curator of the Wason Collection. She remained in this position for thirty-six years until her retirement in 1963. Over the years Ms. Gaskill kept in frequent correspondence with Mabel Wason who maintained an active interest in the development of the Wason Collection. Mrs. Wason often recommended books she herself had just read for purchasing. Ms. Gaskill studied Chinese; cultivated relationships with librarians, scholars, and book dealers in the U.S., Europe, and China; went to China on book buying trips; and worked closely with the faculty in developing the collection. Ms. Gaskill guided the early development of the Wason Collection, which served to form the firm foundation for its current excellence. Learning that Cornell University Library was searching for a photo of Ms. Gaskill for the commemoration booklet in celebration of the Wason Collection’s 90th anniversary, Professor Sherman Cochran provided his assistance by locating one owned by Professor Michael Kammen of the History Department. This group photo, dated 1922, shows Ms. Gaskill standing with other graduate students in the back row and the faculty of the History Department sitting in the front row.

Faculty and Graduate Students of the History Department, Cornell University, 1922 (Courtesy of Professor Michael Kammen)
Faculty and Graduate Students of the History Department, Cornell University, 1922 (Courtesy of Professor Michael Kammen)

The Backfile of Olin’s JSTOR Journals Transferred to the Annex

Last fall Cornell University Library’s Collection Development Executive Committee set up a task force to look at the feasibility of transferring to the Annex the backfile of JSTOR journals held in Olin Library. In April 2008 the committee accepted the group's recommendations to move volumes published before 2003 to the Annex. The list of over 1,000 titles involved in this removal project is attached to this newsletter for our patrons’ reference.