News and Events

Looking In

Milstein Hall, which opened in 2011, is a 47,000-square-foot building that includes 25,000 square feet of flexible studio space and a 250-seat auditorium. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, the facility also includes two large curtains that are integral to the design of the building. The curtains are designed by Inside/Outside, an interior, landscape, and exhibition design firm based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Looking In provides a close-up view of the Forum Curtain, which surrounds the studio space within Milstein Hall, and the Auditorium Curtain, which can be seen from the outside as surrounding the three vertical glass surfaces along the south, west, and north sides of the facility. The exhibition Threads of History: Textiles at Cornell provides a notable opportunity to feature these curtains and the work of the firm Inside/Outside. More information on the firm, and this project, can be found on the firm’s website. Location of display: Olin Library, adjacent to the Map Collection. To fully appreciate the significance and functionality of the curtains, visitors to this display may also wish to head north across the Arts Quad to view the full-scale curtains in Milstein Hall. Organized by Martha Walker, Architecture Librarian and Coordinator of Collections, Mui Ho Fine Arts Library. Display designer: Craig Mains, Olin Library.

Challenging the Deep: An exhibit celebrating the 150 year anniversary of the H.M.S. Challenger

Humans have explored only about five per cent of our blue planet’s ocean habitat, but even that bit of progress has much to do with a sea voyage launched one hundred and fifty years ago. On December 21, 1872, the HMS Challenger, a re-tooled British naval ship outfitted with some of the most sophisticated scientific equipment of the times, sailed out of harbor at Portsmouth, England. The Challenger’s circumnavigation of the globe lasted 3-1/2 years and founded oceanography and marine science as formal fields of study. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pioneering voyage, Mann has published “Challenging the Deep,” an online exhibit viewable at, drawing from our own collections and those of Cornell University Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections, which hold a copy of the Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of HMS Challenger, the official collection of the expedition’s scientific work.

Library-lending partnership gets a reboot

Since its beginnings in 1999, the reciprocal-lending service among Ivy Plus libraries known as Borrow Direct has grown into an interlibrary collection that’s 90-million-volumes strong. On Dec. 13, Borrow Direct upgraded to a new open-source software system. The Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC) coordinated the launch of the software called ReShare Returnables developed by Project ReShare, a community of libraries, consortia, software developers, and open source advocates.

Fictional civilization leaves behind lasting legacy

Norman Daly spent years chronicling the lost Iron Age civilization of Llhuros – its relics, its rituals, its poetry, its music – as well as the academic commentary it inspired. But the thing that makes Llhuros most noteworthy as a civilization? It never existed.

Making Meaning: CALS 2022 Engaged Learning Photography Exhibition

Cornell students have the good fortune of being able to learn about making meaningful contributions to the world via a wide array of engaged learning internships. What do these interns actually do? “Making Meaning: CALS 2022 Engaged Learning Photography Exhibition,” a new installation in the Mann Library Gallery, provides an intriguing glimpse. Featured are photos taken by students while participating in engaged learning experiences during the past year. Each photo represents a snapshot, a single moment in time capturing the diverse activities, landscapes, research and work accomplished by the featured interns. The images represent engaged experiences across eleven countries, six U.S. cities, and one virtual internship. This exhibit is a collaboration between the Lund Fellows Program for Regenerative Agriculture, the CALS Global Fellows Program, the Department of Global Development  at CALS, and Mann Library. The exhibit is open to the public during Mann’s hours of operation, and students wishing to explore the internship opportunities available at Cornell are particularly encouraged to drop by and check it out.

Social Fabric: Land, Labor, and the World the Textile Industry Created

Social Fabric: Land, Labor, and the World the Textile Industry Created tells the story of the communities affected by the textile and garment industries in the United States and around the world. Spanning nearly 400 years, it includes indigenous communities that lived along the river valleys in New England where those industries first arose, enslaved people and sharecroppers in the South that grew the cotton that fed the mills, women and immigrants that worked in the mills and factories who fought for worker’s rights through unions, incarcerated people that make clothing and textiles in American prisons, and the workers in the Global South that make much of what we use and wear today. As part of the Threads of History exhibition series, Social Fabric connects existing material from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives to selections from the newly acquired library and archives of the former American Textile History Museum as a way to highlight the rich resources related to textiles at Cornell and broaden our understanding of the historical and current impact of textiles and clothing on the US and global economies and social and environmental sustainability. Curated by Marcie Farwell, Gordon and Marjorie Osborne Textile Industry Curator; Dr. Wesley Chenault, Director of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives; Dr. Tamika Nunley, Cornell Departmant of History Associate Professor of History and Sandler Family Faculty Fellow, and Claudia Leon, Undergraduate Public History Fellow. Hours are subject to change. See Rare and Manuscript Collections hours for more detailed information. 

Library exhibit explores fraught history of textile industry

“Marguerite, a former slave,” is all that’s known of the striking image of a woman in a green dress in Cornell University Library’s Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs.

Library events highlight open access research

In celebration of the international Open Access Week, Cornell University Library is holding a series of panel discussions and talks, Oct. 24–28, to promote freely accessible scholarship that advances the work of researchers in all disciplines around the world. “Open Access Week highlights our year-round commitment to open access to scholarly articles and information,” said Debra Howell, director of information technology operations at Cornell University Library. “When knowledge is shared, everyone benefits.” Events include:

Student receives Kheel Center research award

Workers’ issues were always close to home for Yu An Chen’22, the latest recipient of the Kheel Center’s Undergraduate Research Award for outstanding scholarship using materials at Kheel or other archives at Cornell. “I originally applied to the ILR School because my father worked at a noodle factory,” Chen said during a virtual awarding ceremony on Oct. 3. “I was really passionate about understanding workers’ rights and labor justice and what it means from a grassroots level.”

Book: Policymakers are failing ‘climate refugees’

Natural disasters may be impossible to prevent, but much of the devastation that occurs in their aftermath – specifically the forced displacement of people – is driven by government policy and can be averted, according to Maria Cristina Garcia, the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Talk to describe conserving centuries-old Chinese encyclopedia

Famous for building the architectural marvel of Beijing’s Forbidden City in the early-15th century, the emperor Zhu Di (known by his imperial name of Yongle) also ordered the creation of a monument made of ink and paper: a hand-written encyclopedia of all forms of Chinese knowledge, from Confucian philosophy to medicine.

Textile exhibit opens with workers’ songs

Librarians are known to be keepers of quiet. But, on Sept. 23 at 5:15 p.m., Caitlin Mathes and Bill Cowdery are hitting the piano keys and belting out songs to celebrate a new exhibit at the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance at Cornell.

Exhibit calls for textile art

Histories, cultures, and social forces are woven into the clothes we wear and the fabrics decorating our homes, explains Marcie Farwell, the Gordon and Marjorie Osborne Textile Industry Curator of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Archives.

HIV/AIDS exhibit tells story of love and acceptance

Visiting Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in 2017 to see materials related to the history of HIV and AIDS, Michael Mamp was caught off guard by the contents of one box. In the container, part of archives donated by Sylvia Goldstaub and her husband, Bernie, was a jacket that belonged to their son Mark, who died of AIDS-related complications at age 37 in 1988. Alongside it were Sylvia Goldstaub’s white shirt, hat and pants that she’d covered with slogans and red ribbons and wore as a public memorial to her son.