All posts by Sarah

Try out iPOLL!

iPOLL is a great resource to try out if you are looking for current public opinion polls on a national level.

Whether you are curious about the behaviors of the American public or have questions about the latest political polls, iPOLL can help you locate this information!  The information provided by the Roper Center for Public Opinion takes the results and questions from over 150 surveying organizations over the last 70 years, and makes them searchable.

 iPoll is available from the library website:

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.

Nature Photography Exhibit!

An Exhibit of photographic nature art by Connecticut native George Ostertag will be featured at the Elihu Burritt library at Central Connecticut State University during the month of June 2010.

The framed photographic art will include images of wildlife, waterfalls, wildflowers, and scenic views of well-known areas and national landmarks in various parts of the country.

ostertag-12The photographer has had the unique opportunity to capture many spectacular scenes while researching material for more than 23 hiking, outdoor recreation, travel guides, and photography books (for which he is the sole photographer and the co-author with his wife Rhonda Ostertag).  Some of their books, including many second edition copies, will also be on exhibit.

George has put together an extensive photo stock celebrating the American West and, more recently, many Eastern states. Wherever boot and backpack would take him, he took camera and tripod.  Diverse landscapes opened up unlimited photo opportunities with humbling deserts, rich forests, rocky coasts, waterfalls, and high mountains. A geologist by training and naturalist by heart, he finds beauty in all habitats.

His photography has been displayed at numerous galleries and has appeared in many publications.  His images have graced calendars, greeting cards, and postcards, many of which will be on display during this exhibit.
For additional information contact exhibitor Agnes Ostertag at 860 223-3723.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Trial Subsciption Now Available

Trial Access to the AAS Historical Periodicals Collections is available until June 30th. Series 1 covers the period 1693-1820, and Series 2 covers 1821-1837.

The AAS Historical Periodicals Collection presents over 1,500 titles. The collection represents over two centuries of print culture, ranging from early works imported by the colonists to later titles published on American soil on the eve of the Revolution and during the early republic. These periodical collections are the first two in a series of five created from periodical holdings belonging to one of the premier repositories in the United States, the American Antiquarian Society.

“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.

Now on Display: Interpretations

exhibit-interpretations-001Works at the exhibit reflect an effort to create a variety of solutions to the same problem. The eight interpretations of a single theme are offered.

I have always found it fascinating that a group of people can stand in a room and paint the same subject. The result is always a vast array of solutions to a problem.

Art making is about problem solving. What should I paint? What color should go on after blue? What is important in the composition? Am I communicating what I started out wanting to communicate? The entire process is a mystery that evokes input.

The original image is a scene from riverside location in NJ. The composition was of interest because it provided many intimate spaces behind docks and under trees. It is important to give a viewer places to explore on canvas.exhibit-interpretations-002

The Artist:

Josa Weaterwax is a fine and decorative artist who provides artwork and murals for residential and commercial clients.

For more information please visit:

From Her Hands: Latin American Textile Art

“From Her Hands: Latin American Textile Art” opened at CCSU’s Burritt Library on February 1, 2010. This exhibit showcases three Latin American textile art forms handcrafted by women. They are Chilean arpilleras, Panamanian molas and Guatemalan weavings. The exhibit runs through the month of February.

Latin American Textile Art
Latin American Textile Art

Arpilleras are hand sewn of cotton. They are backed by burlap, called ‘arpillera’ in Spanish. These three dimensional appliqué textiles depict the history of Chile and the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in chilling detail. Scenes of torture, interment, and exile are juxtaposed with scenes of grief, loneliness, protest and, ultimately, happiness that the dictatorship has come to an end. The centerpiece is a 29” by 76” quilt portraying a complete history of the country. The display is accompanied by quotes and a poem from Dr. Marjorie Agosín, whose collection is on loan to the library.

Molas are beautifully hand sewn reverse appliqué art created by the Kuna of Panamá. The molas are both sewn and worn by Kuna women and girls. They depict daily life, spirituality and folk tales of the Kuna. Photographs by Dr. Galen Frysinger and information accompany this display, on loan from the collection of Carol Brault.

Guatemalan weavings, the traditional dress of Maya women, are created on a backstrap loom. They demonstrate craftsmanship excellence. The huipil, or traditional blouse, of Santiago de Atitlán is hand embroidered with birds and flowers. Photographs, information and books accompany the display on this subject. It is on loan from the collections of Carol Brault and Dr. Abigail Adams.

Latin American Textile Art
Latin American Textile Art

Dr. Marjorie Agosín, a noted expert on Chilean Arpilleras, will speak in the Library’s Special Collections Room on February 17, 2010 at 4PM. She will discuss the Pinochet regime and its influence on the women who created arpilleras. A slide show and refreshments will accompany the lecture.

Rex Brasher’s Birds and Trees of North America

Rex Brasher’s Birds and Trees of North America is currently on display on the main level of the Burritt Library.

Rex Brasher was an American artist who produced a set of books entitled The Birds and Trees of North America in the 1930’s.  Brasher was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1869, and by the age of 16 he started painting birds in their natural surroundings.  He traveled to every corner of the North American continent and by 1924, after painting thousands of birds, considered his task done.Rex Brasher  Sea Gull

Mr. Brasher purchased a farm in Kent, Connecticut in 1911, where he continued to work.  When his eyesight failed him, two years before his death in 1960, he stopped painting.  Brasher’s work contains 875 painted prints of over 1200 species and subspecies of North American birds. Brasher could not afford to print his work in color, therefore he ordered black and white prints and then, using an airbrush and a stencil, hand colored each plate.

There were 100 sets of 12 volumes of The Birds and Trees of North America produced, including almost 90,000 hand colored reproductions. Burritt library currently exhibits volume 1 out of 12 volumes which are housed at the Special Collections department.