Category Archives: Events

A Spring Arrival

The latest issue of the library newsletter is available! Get up-to-date on the library renovation, new exhibits, and upcoming events. It also includes features on student research habits, the Google Art Project, and challenges faced by mature students returning to school. We hope you enjoy the new issue. A PDF version is also available.


Sicko Silenced: The Perils of Censorship in 21st Century America

Censorship Causes Blindness  by Andréia, on Flickr
CCSU Elihu Burritt Library Presents:

Sicko Silenced: The Perils of Censorship in 21st Century America

March 16, 7:00 pm, Vance Academic Center, Room 105

Join us for a conversation with those who are at the forefront of the censorship battles, followed by a screening of SICKO. The panelists will discuss free-speech and community standards issues as well as the balance between the two. Our panelists include:

Nels P. Highberg, Chair of Rhetoric and Professional Writing and former Director of the Program in Gender Studies at the University of Hartford.

Marcus Hatfield, Reporter from the Journal Inquirer.

Peter Chase, Director of the Plainville Public Library and Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee for the Connecticut Library Association.

Our moderator will be John Dankosky, WNPR News Director and Host, and CCSU Faculty.

SICKO, released on June 29, 2007, is an Independent film that tackles health care issues in America. The facts according to Academy Award winning filmmaker Michael Moore’s research are controversial to some. The recent cancellation of a library screening of the film by the Enfield Town Council prompted Reporter Marcus Hatfield to break the story about the incident. This reminds us that censorship does indeed occur, even in a state with a highly-educated populace such as Connecticut.

This disturbing incident was preceded last November by the National Portrait Gallery’s removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video A Fire In My Belly from the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference And Desire in American Portraiture in response to complaints from the Catholic League as well as incoming House Speaker John Boehner, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s declaration that the video is a form of “hate speech.”


Graduate Thesis Workshop on Thursday, 2/17

Not sure how to start your graduate thesis or are you stuck somewhere in the middle?

Attend the Graduate Thesis Workshop on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Presented by Paulette Lemma, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and

Susan Slaga, MLIS, Reference Librarian, Elihu Burritt Library

Where: Elihu Burritt Library classroom (third floor, Curriculum Lab)

Time: 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm

The workshop will cover:

Selecting a topic

Steps in the thesis process

Oral presentation or defense

Library research (including a brief overview of style requirements)

Refreshments will be served.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Susan Slaga @ 832-2095 or

Space is limited.


Please join us for the Elihu Burritt Birthday Party!

The Burritt Bicentennial event will take place in Special Collections at the library at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8, 2010.

Sherrod Emerson Skinner III, the great-great-great grand nephew of Elihu Burritt will deliver keynote remarks.

December 8, 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Elihu Burritt, New Britain’s most famous citizen.  Burritt is known as  “The Learned Blacksmith”, who from humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s apprentice, went on to become an internationally recognized 19th century pioneer peace activist, abolitionist, self taught linguist, writer and lecturer.  The Elihu Burritt Bicentennial celebration is an excellent occasion to honor the memory of this great man and to revive our community’s pride in this interesting personality.

Materials from the Elihu Burritt Collection will be on display through the month of December.

Birthday cake and Burritt birch soda will be served.


Burritt Celebration Continues Nov. 16

Come join us for a lecture on Elihu Burritt’s role in the anti-slavery movement by Prof.  Robert Wolff. The event will be held in the Special Collections Reading Room at noon on 11/16. Dr. Gilbert Gigliotti will read from Taylor Graham’s book, Walking with Elihu: poems on Elihu Burritt, The Learned Blacksmith, following the lecture.

We also invite you to view material from the Elihu Burritt Collection that will be on display in the library throughout the month of November!


Antarctic Adventures Exhibit

Antarctic Adventures – an exhibit of photographs by Michael Wizevich, from Physics and Earth Sciences Department, will be on display at the Elihu Burritt library during the month of October 2010.

On Monday October 18, noon, Prof. Wizevich will talk about his two expeditions to Antarctica.  The talk will take place in Special Collections, at the Burritt library.  Campus community is cordially invited.

During the 1993-94 and 1995-96 austral summers I was part of two Antarctic expeditions, the first one with the New Zealand Antarctic Program, and the second one with the United States Antarctic Program.  Both projects were in the Transantarctic Mountains and Dry Valley region of Central Victoria Land of the Ross, a sector of Antarctic that is directly south of New Zealand.

About ninety eight percent of Antarctica is covered by ice, but the rugged peaks of the Transantarctic Mountains form a long, exposed spine across the continent.  The mountains are covered with a thick mantle of snow and ice flowing from the central cap of continental ice, the Polar Plateau.  Most of the major valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains are filled with ice streams, except for ice-free “oases” such as the McMurdo Dry Valley region.  All the Dry Valley floors are bare rocky ground, and some valleys contain rare lakes and rivers. The ground is not snow covered because the air is so dry it evaporates more snow than falls.

Our studies required remote camps. Helicopters, the primary transportation for projects located within 100 miles of the bases, brought us to our sites.  Our camps consisted of Scott tents for sleeping quarters – essentially the same as those used by Captain Robert Scott and others in the early part of century – and a weather report tent for work and dining during the drilling expedition.

First Expedition (1993-1994): Ancient Antarctic Environments This expedition studied Devonian age (>400 million yrs. ago) sedimentary rocks at Table Mountain, located at 2170 m (7100 ft) in the Transantarctic Mountains.  Table Mountain is surrounded fabulous views of glaciers (Ferrar, Taylor & Emmanuel) and distant peaks (including Mt. Feather).  Cliff faces in the region contain contrasting rock types; light-colored  sedimentary rocks were intruded by dark Ferrar Dolerite, an igneous rock which originated as liquid magma and filled in the gigantic cracks that formed during the break-up (rifting) of the supercontinent Gondwana, about 200 million years ago.  Ferrar Dolerite and nearby Ferrar Glacier are named after Hartley Ferrar, the geologist on Scott’s Discovery Expedition (1901-04).

Second Expedition (1995-1996): Climate Change in Antarctica

This expedition studied recent (50,000 to 2 million years old) permafrost sediments in two sites within the McMurdo Dry Valleys — Taylor Valley and Miers Valley, and glacial till (20 million?) on Mt. Feather. Because we wanted to keep the core frozen we went early in Antarctic field season, when temperatures near sea level remained below 0° F.  The Mt. Feather location was at nearly 2600 m (8500 ft) elevation.   It was very cold and windy, but the location afforded spectacular views of Beacon Valley and surrounding area.

The sediments were extracted by a gasoline-powered drill rig, developed and operated by Russian scientists.  Later lab studies of the material in the U.S. and Russia analyzed core material for microorganisms.  The objective was to use the microbes in the permafrost layers to reconstruct paleoclimatic history of the area during the last few million years.  Ancient microbes are indicators of past climate in Antarctica because certain microbes thrive under “warm” conditions and others during “cold”.  Since sediment is more-or-less continually being deposited and permanently frozen, we would be able to see a continuous record of past climate (in theory).

Drilling was slow because drilling fluids were not used in order to prevent contamination of modern microbes in the cores.  Keeping the cores frozen and sterile required using a custom-made freezer box in the field and in transport back to the U.S.  The cores are now stored (still frozen) in the Antarctic Core Storage Facility in Tallahassee, Florida.


Elihu Burritt Bicentennial Celebration

Elihu Burritt, also known as “The Learned Blacksmith”, is New Britain’s most famous son.  The Elihu Burritt Library is spearheading the celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth and is planning several events for this fall semester.

Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain  on December 8, 1810.  He became a world citizen, linguist, abolitionist, reformer, peace activist and penny postage advocate.  President Abraham Lincoln appointed him a Consular Agent to Birmingham, England.  Elihu Burritt stayed attached to his hometown, and during his last years of his life become an active citizen.  He died on March 6, 1879 and is buried at the Fairview Cemetery.

The library was named after Elihu Burritt in 1959.  The choice of name was supported by many local organizations and  Robert C. Vance, the publisher and editor of The Herald.

For more information on Elihu Burritt please see the Special Collections/Archives website:

The opening event for the Burritt Bicentennial will take place on Wednesday, September 22 at 11:45 in the Special Collections reading room in the library.

“Elihu Burritt:  Nineteenth-Century Pioneer for Transatlantic Peace, Social Justice, and Human Rights” a lecture by Dr. Wendy Chmielewski.

Wendy Chmielewski is the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.  The Peace Collection holds a significant set of materials on Elihu Burritt.  Chmielewski’s work on the role of women in the U.S. and British nineteenth century peace movements has included exploring the participation of Elihu Burritt as well. She has published several works on the role of women in the peace movement and in intentional/utopian communities form the nineteenth century to the present.  Her most recent publication (2009) is  a co-edited collection of scholarly essays on Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, titled Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy.


“When Humanity Fails” Exhibit April 19-23, 2010

When Humanity Fails

The exhibit “When Humanity Fails”, brought to campus by the Hillel Jewish Student Organization, fills the growing schism that is arising between the dying generation of survivors and the new generation of youth that is struggling to comprehend the depths of evil that abounded in the Holocaust. While Holocaust education has certainly grown in importance, the method by which it is taught focuses on the death and destruction without teaching students about the lessons that can be learned and how their emotional and intellectual responses can be channeled into constructive action and awareness.

When humanity fails exhibit photoWe hope bringing this exhibit to campus will create a more open, informed and tolerant community. More information can be found by contacting Pam Majify at or on the exhibits website

We hope to see you there and at future Hillel programming.


Lecture by Dr. Vijay Prashad on March 17th

Dr. Vijay Prashad will present a lecture entitled “Politics, Natural Disasters, and Reconstruction” on Wednesday, March 17th. Dr. Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History as well as Director and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. The event will be held in the Burritt Library Special Collections Reading Room (Main Level) at Noon. Light refreshments will be served.

The lecture is sponsored by The Office of the Provost and International and Area Studies.