“The Chinese and the Iron Road” New Exhibit at the Gleeson Library, March 20 – April 28, 2017

March 20th, 2017 by Jessica Lu No comments »

Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese laborers worked under perilous conditions and at a grueling pace to help finish the construction of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.  Yet, these contributions have been all too often overlooked and neglected in celebrations of this monumental achievement. The laborers’ hard work under low pay was viewed as a looming threat to local laborers.  The hostility toward Chinese immigrants thus escalated, eventually culminating in the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, which remained in effect until 1943.

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On display in the 2nd floor Study Commons area of Gleeson is a new exhibit paying tribute to the Chinese workers who were instrumental in building the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad nearly 150 years ago.  Produced by the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) and the Chinese Railroad Workers Project at Stanford University (CRRW), the exhibit utilizes graphic panels to feature historical and contemporary photos, illustrations, stories of descendants of the workers, accompanied by bilingual Chinese/English text written by Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University (CRRW).

To learn more in depth about this important chapter in American history and the efforts now underway to finally “give voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor… helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West” (CRRW project), please join us for a panel discussion in celebration of the exhibit at Gleeson Library:

Reclaiming History, Reconstructing Lives: Chinese Laborers and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 5:00pm-6:30pm

Gleeson Library 2nd floor Study Commons

Featured speakers:

Sue Lee, Executive Director, Chinese Historical Society of America

Hilton Obenzinger, Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, Stanford University

Paulette Liang, Chinese Railroad worker descendant

Moderated by James Zarsadiaz, Assistant Professor of History, University of San Francisco

 

Light refreshments will be served.  This event is free and open to the public.

Panel program sponsored by Gleeson Library | Geschke Center and the Asian Pacific American Studies Program.

For more information, contact Sherise Kimura (kimura@usfca.edu) or Jessica Lu (zjlu@usfca.edu).


Helen Marot, Progressive Librarian & Labor Activist

March 18th, 2017 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

Helen Marot (1865-1940) was a librarian who worked to improve the working conditions of women.  She helped to establish the Free Library of Economics & Political Science in Philadelphia in 1897.  In my collection of library related postal cards I have a postal card (see above and to the left) that was mailed by Marot from the Free Library of Economics & Political Science on November 23, 1898 to a London publisher.  In trying to find out more about Marot I was delighted to find a well written and researched article about her on Wikipedia. The article has a good description of the Free Library of Economics and Political Science which provided a specialized collection of government publications, labor society reports, magazines, and pamphlets related to economics and political science. Later Marot served as executive secretary of the New York branch of the national Women’s Trade Union League.  Her labor activism included organizing the strike of the shirtwaist makers and dressmakers in 1909.

Helen Marot, Progressive Librarian & Labor Activist

March 18th, 2017 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

Helen Marot (1865-1940) was a librarian who worked to improve the working conditions of women.  She helped to establish the Free Library of Economics & Political Science in Philadelphia in 1897.  In my collection of library related postal cards I have a postal card (see above and to the left) that was mailed by Marot from the Free Library of Economics & Political Science on November 23, 1898 to a London publisher.  In trying to find out more about Marot I was delighted to find a well written and researched article about her on Wikipedia. The article has a good description of the Free Library of Economics and Political Science which provided a specialized collection of government publications, labor society reports, magazines, and pamphlets related to economics and political science. Later Marot served as executive secretary of the New York branch of the national Women’s Trade Union League.  Her labor activism included organizing the strike of the shirtwaist makers and dressmakers in 1909.

Women’s Reproductive Rights Display

March 17th, 2017 by Carol Spector No comments »

group 1Are you excited about Women’s History Month? Are you passionate about women’s reproductive rights? Then we’ve got a display for you! For the week of March 20th, we’ll be presenting a display in the library about female reproductive rights. This library display is a project for our awesome service learning Female Biology class. We’re weaving in both educational facts and social awareness in our display. The topics we touched on in our display includes general information about female reproductive rights, access to proper health care, and finally birth control / contraceptives. Come check it out!

This display is created by the following USF Students: Dom Mitchell, Joy Kim, and Alex Shin

Image credit: https://society6.com/raspberryleaves

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Gleeson Library cordially invites USF students to create library displays on social justice issues near and dear to you. You come up with the idea and design your own signage. The library will supply the space and the books. Sound intriguing? We’d love to hear from you. Please email reference@usfca.edu to collaborate on a student social justice exhibit.

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Spotlight on Trans Women

March 13th, 2017 by varelaariana No comments »

In honor of Women’s History Month and in light of the critiques of the exclusivity of the Women’s March, I created a display next to the Reference Desk about the experience of trans folk, with emphasis placed on trans women of color. The 2017 Women’s March focused on a genital-based feminism where womanhood was linked to possessing the right genitalia, subsequently excluding trans women. The exclusion of trans women from “women’s spaces” has been a reoccurring theme, contributing to the societal violence against trans women. It is important to maintain an intersectional approach when engaging in activism for women’s issues. It is essential to include trans women during Women’s History Month, specifically trans women of color who experience increased levels of violence against their bodies.

Swing by the display, pick up a book, or pick up a reading list.

Editor’s note: This blog post was written by Ariana Varela, a student assistant in the Reference & Research Services Department and the Rare Book Room at Gleeson Library.

 


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