Dalhousie Libraries University Archives Receives $100,000 for the Borgese Collection

borgese announcement

Nikolaus Gelpke, the incoming president of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) and former student of Elisabeth Mann Borgese at Dalhousie, has donated $100,000 to the Dalhousie Libraries University Archives for an ambitions digitization project. Mr. Gelpke, publisher of the German-language periodical mare, The Magazine of the Sea, is funding the digitization of his esteemed teacher’s extensive collection of research and personal papers that are housed in the Dalhousie University Archives.

Nikolaus Gelpke, Michael Moosberger (Dalhousie Archivist), Michael Butler (Director, Halifax IOI).

Nikolaus Gelpke, Michael Moosberger (Dalhousie Archivist), Michael Butler (Director, Halifax IOI).

Elisabeth Mann Borgese is an important international figure who spent nearly twenty-five years working at Dalhousie. In the 1960s, Elisabeth and Arvid Pardo (then Maltese Ambassador to the United Nations), put forward the revolutionary concept that the oceans are “a common heritage of mankind” as part of the negotiations for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although it was not enforced as a principle of International Law for the oceans as a whole, it was codified for the mineral resources of the sea-bed beyond national jurisdiction. In 1972, Elisabeth continued her work in oceans by establishing the International Ocean Institute (IOI).


Elisabeth Mann Borgese (Dalhousie Libraries University Archives)

“Oceans are a priority research area for Dalhousie and the Dal Libraries are pleased to be contributing relevant historical content in this area, thanks to the generosity of marine conservationist Nikolaus Gelpke. Elisabeth Mann Borgese was an important figure at Dalhousie, but she was truly a global citizen, and soon we will be able to share her research on a global level,” said Donna Bourne-Tyson, University Librarian of Dalhousie.

Elisabeth came to Dalhousie as a Senior Killam Fellow in 1979. Initially, she was supposed to be here for a one year stay, but soon after she was made a full professor in the Department of Political Science. During her time at Dalhousie, she taught undergraduate and graduate students and continued to work with the IOI. Among her many awards and honours, she received five honorary doctorate degrees and the Order of Canada. She passed away in 2002. (Source: website, International Ocean Institute – Canada)

“Elisabeth Mann Borgese is known around the world for her work in ocean conservation and management. Her papers in the Dal Archives have attracted researchers from as far away as Germany and New Zealand. Now, with this generous donation from Nikolaus Gelpke, we can begin the digitization process on the boxes and boxes of Borgese’s papers, making them available to researchers everywhere,” said Michael Moosberger, University Archivist with the Dalhousie Libraries.

In all, there are 55.5 metres of material in the collection, meaning that the boxes of papers measure 55.5 metres when laid end-to-end. Additionally, there are fifty-one audio cassettes, forty-seven reel-to-reel audio tapes, three VHS cassettes, and two 16 mm motion picture films.

Digitization in an archival setting is the process of manually scanning primary source material into a digital format and adding metadata to the digital object to provide information about the physical and intellectual makeup of the item. Each digitized item will be uploaded into the Dalhousie University Archives’ online finding aid for the Borgese Archive, so users searching the descriptive entries in the finding aid will be able to access the digital object with just a click of their mouse.

“With Nikolaus Gelpke’s donation, we have budgeted for a year to get as much of the Borgese collection digitized as possible. The digitization of the Borgese collection will contribute to scholarship around the world, and the Dalhousie Libraries are proud to be contributing to that. We owe a sincere and deep thanks to Nikolaus Gelpke for making this project financially possible,” said Michael.

The IOI has an Operating Centre at Dalhousie. It is one of twenty-two worldwide. The goals of the IOI are to:

•             ensure the sustainability of the ocean as the source of life, and to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and,

•             promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus, peace in the ocean and its management and conservation for the benefit of future generations.

Interest in Elisabeth Mann Borgese continues to bring people together. Under the chairmanship of Dr. Douglas Wallace (Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology), personnel from IOI-Canada, Dalhousie University, the German Canadian Association of Nova Scotia and the Consulate of Switzerland in Halifax, are planning to bring the Elisabeth Mann Borgese Exhibit to Halifax in 2015. The exhibit, organized by the Buddenbrookhaus in Lübeck, Germany, displays Elisabeth’s cultural and scientific contributions to ocean governance. The exhibit recently completed a tour of major cities in Germany.

Dalhousie Libraries University Archives’ Elisabeth Mann Borgese Collection Attracts International Researchers

In January, the Dalhousie Archives hosted a researcher who travelled more than 15,000 km from home to access a part of the collection that is central to her work. Prue Taylor is a senior lecturer of law at the School of Architecture and Planning and the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. She was in Halifax to use the Elisabeth Mann Borgese collection held in the Dal Archives.

Prue spent four days going through some of the sixty boxes of Borgese’s papers. “It’s taken a number of years for me to get to Dalhousie. I’m thrilled to be spending some time with this collection of international importance,” said Prue.

Prue’s work on international environmental law, environmental ethics, climate change, human rights theory, and commons governance have led her to the work of Elisabeth Mann Borgese. Borgese is an important international figure who spent nearly twenty-five years working at Dalhousie. In the 1960s, before she came to Dalhousie, Borgese and Arvid Pardo (then Maltese Ambassador to the United Nations), put forward the revolutionary concept that the oceans are “a common heritage of mankind.” This proposal triggered the negotiations for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although it was not adopted as a principle of international law for the oceans as an integrated whole, it was codified for the resources of the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction.


Prue Taylor at DalArchives

Prue Taylor surrounded by file folders of Elisabeth Mann Borgese’s papers in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room in the Killam Library.

Prue and fellow New Zealand scholar Lucy Stroud recently published  The Common Heritage of Mankind, A Bibliography of Legal Writing, which includes legal work available in twelve languages. “For some time, many lawyers and diplomats have held the view that the common heritage of mankind is too utopian and controversial to be used in future international agreements. However, our research for this bibliography demonstrated just the opposite. There is a wealth of interest in the common heritage, much of it buried in legal journals. There has been a renaissance in the common heritage of mankind, and by producing this bibliography we are advocating for and participating in the renaissance,” said Prue.

“Dalhousie’s Borgese collection is a hugely valuable and important collection, and when more people know about it, it will be heavily used. An international audience would be fascinated by what you have here. Elisabeth provided an interdisciplinary approach to the common heritage of mankind. Today, that concept can be applied when we talk about climate change, biodiversity loss, and governance of the commons. It has so many contemporary applications,” said Prue.

“We have a tremendous legacy here, in form of the Elisabeth Mann Borgese collection,” said Michael Moosberger, University Archivist. “Unfortunately, people aren’t doing as much primary research these days, as more and more people rely on electronic resources for all of their research. That can provide quite a disjointed view of things, without real context or analysis. Not doing primary research also removes the joy and the benefit of serendipitous discovery, which can make primary research such a fantastic adventure,” said Michael.


Elisabeth Mann Borgese (Dalhousie Libraries University Archives)

“We’re so pleased that we will soon begin the process of digitizing this collection, thanks to a $100,000 donation from Nikolaus Gelpke, a former Dalhousie student of Elisabeth Mann Borgese. We love hosting international researchers like Prue, but we know that the Borgese collection will reach so many more researchers once it’s available digitally,” said Michael.

Prue Taylor isn’t the first international researcher to come to the Dalhousie Archives to use the Borgese collection. In January 2012, two people from the Lübecker Museen’s Buddenbrookhaus came to examine Elisabeth’s papers in preparation for a major exhibit they were mounting in Lübeck, Germany, the birthplace of Elizabeth Mann Borgese, to mark the tenth anniversary of her death.

Prue’s visit to Halifax was short due to meetings and other obligations in Ottawa, but she certainly made good use of her time and enjoyed her stay. “It’s been a pleasure to spend these past four days looking closely at Elisabeth’s life, work, and correspondence. Michael and all of the archives staff have been so welcoming, delightful, and friendly. I could not have made the discoveries that I have without their expert help,” said Prue.

To learn more about the common heritage of mankind, read The Common Heritage of Mankind: A bold doctrine kept within strict boundaries, by Prue Taylor.

Copyright and the New Fair Dealing Guidelines

copyright and fair dealing 1

Copyright & the New Fair Dealing Guidelines: What the Dal Libraries can do for you and what you can do for your students

Join the Dalhousie Libraries’ Jason MacDonald and Gwyn Pace in this session that will address Dalhousie’s new Fair Dealing  Guidelines and how they affect the use of Blackboard, classroom activities, and the libraries’ eReserve  and Document Delivery services. Services offered by the Copyright Office will also be highlighted. Questions welcome.

Thursday, April 3/12:30–1:30 p.m.
Room 2616, Killam Library

Food for Fines 2014 – thank you!

Steel can

Thank you to everyone who participated in Food for Fines at the Dalhousie Libraries between February 17–March 9. Across our five Dalhousie Libraries, we collected 786 food items and $373 in cash donations. That’s way up from the 339 food items and $155.25 collected last year. This is the first year that the Food for Fines program has been extended from ten days to three weeks.

A total of $1,296.96 in fines were waived in exchange for your food donations. Food items were divided between the Dalhousie Student Union Food Bank, Feed Nova Scotia and the Colchester Food Bank (for donations received at the MacRae Library on the Agricultural Campus).

Across Novanet (all university and college libraries in Nova Scotia), a total of 2,076 food items were collected, up from 1,113 food items collected last year. Cash donations were also up; $727.15 was collected this year, while $308.25 was collected last year. $3912.94 in fines were waived.

Thank you again for taking part in Food for Fines!


Library Collections Snapshot: A quick look at Ebsco eBook Academic

snapshot ebsco1

The Ebsco eBook Academic package is a very large collection of titles (121,417 titles) that the Dalhousie Libraries subscribe to. The content is multidisciplinary, covering topics from Agriculture to World History.

A few broad subject areas and numbers of titles:

  • Fine Arts: 1549
  • History of the Americas: 5886
  • Language and Literature: 20,113
  • Law: 4510
  • Medicine: 8296
  • Philosophy, Psychology, Religion: 14,217

The package is well-used by Dalhousie. Here are the top 20 titles by use:

Title Total uses 2012–Feb 2014
Research as resistance:  critical, indigenous and anti-oppressive  approaches 561
Emerging perspectives on anti-oppressive practice 262
Future forms and design for sustainable cities 247
The United Nations and changing world politics 228
Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy 195
Changing politics of Canadian social policy 180
A survey of Hinduism 156
Colonising Egypt 127
Recognizing reality:  Dharmakirti’s philosophy and its Tibetan interpretations 120
Crisis intervention handbook:  assessment, treatment, and research 120
Handbook of applied social research methods 116
Hindu goddesses:  visions of the divine feminine in the Hindu religious tradition 113
Latin America since 1780 91
Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories 91
Enterprise sales and operations planning :  synchronizing demand, supply and resources for peak performance 86
The economics of happiness:  building genuine wealth 81
Introduction to Healthcare Quality Management 79
Narrative Approaches in Social Work Practice :  A Life Span, Culturally Centered, Strengths Perspective 78
Lowering higher education:  the rise of corporate universities and the fall of liberal education 76
Gendering the nation:  Canadian women’s cinema 75
Refuge denied 75
The essential Dewey:  Ethics, Logic, Psychology 75
Aggregated packages such as this will have a built in redundancy, with some titles already purchased and held by the library. But there are many more unique titles in the collection than duplicates. Cost per title and the wide use of the titles across our spectrum of users makes this database very cost effective.To access the database:http://ezproxy.library.dal.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=e000xnaFor help downloading an ebook to your mobile device from the Ebsco database, please refer to the details at the bottom of this page:

Scheduled Maintenance for Some eResources this Weekend

scheduled maintenance1

On Saturday, March 1, the sciences and social sciences journal database Annual Reviews will have a scheduled maintenance period starting at noon (8 a.m. PST). The work is expected to take up to 16 hours, and during that time Dalhousie Libraries users will not have access to the site.

Taylor and Francis reports that their www.tandfonline.com online platform will be undergoing maintenance. The maintenance window will also start at noon (8 a.m. PST) and last up to 16 hours. During this maintenance window, Taylor and Francis Online will be completely unavailable for the majority of the duration. The TFO- and TFE-specific maintenance pages will be displayed throughout the entire maintenance window.

The EBL platform will be unavailable from 8 p.m. until midnight on March 1 for enhancements and updates to the system.  During this time Dalhousie Libraries users will not have access to the site.


Finally, the NRC Research Press reported that due to maintenance, their website will not be available from Saturday, March 1 at noon through to Sunday, March 2 at approximately 4 p.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience these maintenance periods will cause.

Public Consultation: Library Budget Allocation

budget allocation

The Dalhousie Libraries have been hard at work developing an acquisitions allocation formula that will guide how we will allocate our budget in the future. Three different formulas with various strengths and weaknesses have been developed for consideration by the Dal community, and one of these formulas will become the model that the Dal Libraries will use.

The Dal Libraries are addressing historical allocations of the budget so that resources can be divided equitably across the five libraries. The three allocation formulas are based on elements such as:

• university priorities (operating budgets and research dollars)

• the number of faculty members in each faculty

• the number of students per faculty

• the types of materials needed

• relative purchasing power in each faculty

The plan is to apply the chosen formula in phases, easing into the allocations per faculty. The formula will be assessed and updated regularly to reflect current realities at Dalhousie (enrolments, faculty numbers, etc.).

If you want to learn more about the three budget allocation formulas and to ask questions, we are hosting two public consultation opportunities:


Tuesday, February 25, 4–5 p.m.
Room 226, Chemistry Building (changed from the McCain Building)
Studley Campus

Thursday, February 27, 4–5 p.m.
Room B228, B Building Addition
Sexton Campus

RSVP to marlo.mackay@dal.ca

A session for the Agricultural Campus will be planned for the spring. Stay tuned for details.


Over 5,000 eBooks Added!

more ebooks

photo source: freedigitalphotos.net

The Dalhousie Libraries recently added over 5,000 eBooks in a wide variety of subject areas. These eBooks are from the STM (scientific, technical, and medical) publisher Springer. New titles include:

Tsunami events and lessons learned

Simulations, serious games and their applications

Under a crimson sun

Human environment interactions

Assessment of environmental impact by grocery shopping bags

Crop improvement under adverse conditions

Doves, diplomats, and diabetes

New Springer eBooks can be found using the “Books and More” search from the Libraries’ homepage, or you can browse Springer eBooks and eJournals here: http://ezproxy.library.dal.ca/login?url=http://link.springer.com/


A Reading with Douglas Gibson

Douglas Gibson blog

Update: The video of the Douglas Gibson presentation at Dalhousie is available to view here.

When: Tuesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Special Collections & Archives Reading Room, fifth floor, Killam Library

Douglas Gibson is an editor, publisher, writer, and raconteur. His work as an editor and publisher in Canadian literature is unsurpassed, having edited and published many of Canada’s best-known and accomplished authors.

A storyteller in his own right, Douglas Gibson’s essays have appeared in many Canadian publications. His experiences have also been published in Douglas Gibson Unedited and Stories About Storytellers. He has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for Humour, as well as being named Editor of the Year at Book Expo in 2005.
Don’t miss this chance to see Douglas Gibson tell his stories in person!
This public reading is co-sponsored by the Canadian Literary Collections Project and the Dalhousie Department of English.