February 23, 2017
by library

A Quick Peek into the History of the Minor Bird

Did you know that Chatham’s literary magazine Minor Bird has flown through a few different iterations since it was first hatched in 1929?  Was your interest in the graphics used for the Minor Bird piqued by the new exhibit, Objects of Study: Selections from the Artifact Collections of the Chatham University Archives,  on view at the Women’s Institute?  Did you happen to see a few eye-catching illustrations of Minor Bird covers from the 1950s and 1960s in the JKM Library Newsletter and wonder if there are any more compelling visuals?  Yes?  Then you are in luck!

We, the staff of the Chatham University Archives, selected a handful of our very favorite Minor Bird covers and we’re thrilled to share them with you here.  And, if your appetite for Minor Bird is still not quenched, you can flip through fifteen years’ worth of literary explorations by Chatham students online through the Internet Archive!

The Minor Bird first appeared as a simple, line drawing in 1929.  This logo was used until 1939.

Minor Bird front cover, June 1936

The line drawing also appeared at the top of each page.

Minor Bird, Spring 1929

After a brief stint under the umbrella of the student newspaper, the Minor Bird emerged in 1949 with a very different look.

Minor Bird front cover, Spring 1949

Several variations on the 1949 theme were used, including this Minor Bird cover from 1950.

Minor Bird front cover, Spring 1950

Lots of change happened in the 1950s and the Minor Bird logo was no exception.

Minor Bird front cover, Spring 1951


Minor Bird front cover, Spring 1952


Minor Bird front cover, January 1955

The Minor Bird covers from the 1960’s are particularly evocative of this expressive era.

Minor Bird front cover, Winter 1967


Minor Bird front cover, Spring 1969


Minor Bird front cover, Fall 1969


Minor Bird rear cover, Fall 1969

The Chatham University Archives include numerous publications by the Chatham community, including additional issues of the Minor Bird, the Sorosis, and Faces & Places.  Stop by the University Archives or contact Molly Tighe, Archivist and Public Services Librarian, for more information.



February 21, 2017
by library

JKM Library Resources on Black Panther Party

Wasn’t Khalid Raheem’s Black History Month Lunch & Learn lecture today so thought-provoking?  Did it make you curious about some of the books, events, individuals, and organizations that played a role in the history of the Black Panther party?  It made us curious and we’re pleased to let you know that many of the topics discussed can be investigated further at the JKM Library.

For one, the JKM Library has available for check-out the George Jackson book, Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson.  Mr. Raheem’s description of Mr. Jackson’s role in the Revolutionary Prison movement was compelling and this primary source resource provides a direct view of the activist’s experiences.  Click here to find the book in the JKM Library catalog.

Huey Newton, whom Mr. Raheem discussed in relation to the effect of imprisonment had on the eventual splintering of the Black Panther Party, is also well represented in the JKM Library collection.  Click here to listen in on Huey Newton’s conversation with Erik Erikson. There are many more volumes in the JKM collections that discuss the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party and the JKM Library staff are always happy to help you find even more resources in our collections.

In fact, we were thrilled to hear Mr. Raheem discuss the Black Panther Party in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia because we have a brand, new resource that makes Pennsylvania history research even easier!  To search through online databases of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (from 1786 – 1985) and the Philadelphia Enquirer (from 1860 – 2001), just click “P” on the Databases A-Z tab and select the newspaper of your choice.  From here, you can find lots of articles about the history of the Black Panther Party in our region.

We’re only scratching the surface of the resources available in this post, so stop by the JKM Library and let us know if you’d like to dig a little deeper.  We’re always happy to help!

Thanks to the Office of Student Affairs for bringing to Chatham such a compelling speaker and social activist!



December 5, 2016
by library

Objects of Study: Selections from the Artifact Collections at the Chatham University Archives on view at the Women’s Institute

Have you ever wondered what kind of stuff we keep in the University Archives?  Been curious if there is anything other than letters, photos, and newspapers being saved as part of the record of the university?  Now is your chance to find out!  A new exhibit, Objects of Study: Selections from the Artifact Collections at the Chatham University Archives, is on view in the lounge of the Women’s Institute. Stop by the exhibit to explore the role played by artifacts and objects in documenting the history of the university and to discover some truly remarkable stories about campus, Chatham alums, and more.

One of our favorite items on view is a copper coffer that was retrieved from the cornerstone of the old Dilworth Hall when it was demolished in 1953.  “Dilworth Hall demolished? But, what’s that building just up the hill from the Carriage House?” you might ask.  That’s actually Dilworth Hall II!  The first Dilworth Hall, Dilworth Hall I, was attached to Berry Hall I.  Here’s a picture of both halls as they appeared in a 1906 issue of Sorosis, the student magazine of the day:

View of Dilworth Hall I and Berry Hall I at PCW in 1906

View of Dilworth Hall I and Berry Hall I at PCW in 1906

Both Dilworth Hall I and Berry Hall I were demolished in 1953 to make way for the upgraded academic buildings we still use today: Braun, Falk, and Coolidge.  Here’s a couple photos of the demolition:

View of Demolition of Berry Hall I and Dilworth Hall I at PCW in 1953

View of Demolition of Berry Hall I and Dilworth Hall I at PCW in 1953

View of Berry Hall I and Dilworth Hall I during demolition with Chapel steeple visible in background

View of Berry Hall I and Dilworth Hall I during demolition with Chapel steeple visible in background

I bet you are wondering what was found inside the copper coffer, right?  Check out this article from The Pittsburgh Press (another relic from a bygone era) and read about the discovery.

Newspaper clipping about PCW time capsule discovery

Newspaper clipping about PCW time capsule discovery

The exhibit, Objects of Study: Selections from the Artifact Collections at the Chatham University Archives , features little known bits of history about Berry Hall I, The Minor Bird, and campus dining.

Intrigued?  Here’s some pics to help wet your whistle:

Alumnae Napkin Rings at from University Archives

Alumnae Napkin Rings at from University Archives

History of The Minor Bird Logo

History of The Minor Bird Logo

Check out the copper coffer and other relics from the history of our university in the Women’s Institute or stop by the University Archives in the JKM Library to further explore our history.

October 31, 2016
by library

Meet JK Mellon, Bookdrop Monster!

14666051_10153768195167084_7287729226844950656_nMeet Chatham’s newest monster friend, JK Mellon! Born at the Eden Hall campus, JK now lives a happy life at the library, where it feeds on returned library items. Library Access Services Aides, Cheyenne, Delenn, and Sophie, created this lovable creature in celebration of the autumn and Halloween season. Come stop by and see JK Mellon for yourself, take your picture with it, feed it the library items you need to return, and give us any suggestions about future decorations!

October 3, 2016
by library

Mountain Day


Olive U. Keck (’24, far left) and four friends pose in front of an automobile on Mountain Day 1923. The festivities took place at the Allen Farm in the Brookside Farms development of Upper St. Clair, southwest of Pittsburgh.

First held in October of 1921, Mountain Day was an annual holiday sponsored by the Athletic Association that gave students and faculty an opportunity to enjoy sports, games, and a picnic outside of the city.

The event was described as follows in the October 23, 1923 edition of The Arrow, the college newspaper: “It was a clear, cold day, and everyone there was in fine spirits. As soon as the picnickers reached the orchard, games of prisoners base, baseball and leap frog were started, and lasted amid much merriment, until lunch time. Lunch was served cafeteria style, and large quantities of wieners, sandwiches, pickles, gingerbread, and all the things that go with a picnic, were consumed by the hungry mob. After lunch a field meet was held, the events were carried off in a most business like manner, under the direction of Marian Frank [‘25]. A standing broad grin, discus throw (a paper plate serving as the discus), a three legged race, blind race and a shoe race, and a tug of war made up the list of events. The tug of war was brought to an untimely end when the rope broke. The Juniors won the meet and received a silver cup, (from Woolworths) with a blue ribbon triumphantly floating from the handle. The Sophomores received a dumbbell from the Gym, as a token of the fifth place in the event. Then came the event of the day—the Hare and Hounds chase. The Seniors and the Sophomores were the Hares, and proved most elusive; as the Hounds, Juniors and Freshman, had great difficulty in tracking them. After the weary racers had collected their belongings, they started for the car, feeling that Mountain Day was one of the college’s pleasantest traditions, and a most successful holiday for everyone.”

The last Mountain Day was held at PCW in the 1950s, but similar events continued to take place at college campuses throughout the country, including women’s colleges Smith and Mount Holyoke.

On Mountain Day 1923, students enjoy lunch on the Allen Farm in the Brookside Farms development of Upper St. Clair.

On Mountain Day 1923, students enjoy lunch on the Allen Farm in the Brookside Farms development of Upper St. Clair.

August 31, 2016
by library

The 24/7 Lab – An Always-Open Study Space

If you need a place to study late at night after the Library closes, or if you need to print out your paper after finishing it at 2:00 AM, check out our 24/7 Lab!

24/7 Lab

24/7 Lab

The 24/7 Lab is a computer lab which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It can be accessed via a door in the glass vestibule which can be opened using your student ID!

Entrance to the 24/7 Lab

Entrance to the 24/7 Lab


After the library closes at midnight (or at 7 PM on Fridays and Saturdays), the 24/7 Lab is extended from the one computer lab room to include Room 103, LCC1, and the large Library lab. This provides a variety of open tables and computer access as well as group study and individual spaces.

Room 103

Room 103





Library Lab 101

Library Lab 101


The nearest bathrooms to the 24/7 Lab are located in the Eddy Theater Lobby.  For your comfort and convenience, the Eddy Theater Lobby will be open. The Eddy doors nearest the Library will remain unlocked as well as the wheelchair accessible entrance on the other side of the building.

Eddy Theater Lobby Entrance

Eddy Theater Lobby Entrance

We hope that the 24/7 Lab proves to be useful to you!  Happy studying and be brilliant!

August 12, 2016
by library

2016 Summer Reading List

The books of the 2016 Summer Reading List are now on display on the first floor of the Library!!

What is the Summer Reading List? Your friendly Chatham University Librarians have been keeping an eye out for interesting, informative, and exciting books over the past year and thought you might enjoy reading some of these as you start your first year at Chatham. Featuring popular nonfiction, as well as some great literature, this list contains something for everyone!  Find the full 2016 Summer Reading List here!

Some highlights of the List include:

Tattoos: philosophy for everyone: I ink, therefore I am / edited by Robert ArpTattoos: Philosophy for Everyone: I Ink, Therefore I Am by Robert Arp

Body art or eyesore, a celebration of individuality, or at very least a conversation piece, tattoos provide fertile ground for philosophical discussion, raising intriguing questions from aesthetics to feminism, from semiotics to the philosophy of the person.

The evolution of a corporate idealist: when girl meets oil / Christine BaderThe Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil by Christine Bader

The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: Girl Meets Oil is based on Bader’s experience with BP and then with a United Nations effort to prevent and address human rights abuses linked to business. Using her story as its skeleton, Bader weaves in the stories of other “Corporate Idealists” working inside some of the world’s biggest and best-known companies.

How to do things with videogames / Ian BogostHow to Do Things with Videogames by Ian Bogost

Until games are understood to have valid applications across the cultural spectrum, their true potential will remain unrealized. How to Do Things with Videogames offers a fresh starting point to more fully consider games’ progress today and promise for the future.

It's easy being green: a handbook for earth-friendly living / Crissy TraskIt’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living by Crissy Trask

It’s Easy Being Green is a handy tool to help you make better choices for the environment. This is what the busy person needs to start making changes today. Get informative, comprehensive and practical information for adopting greener buying habits and identifying earth-friendly products; shopping for green products online; participating in online activism; and learning from over 250 eco-tips for cultivating a sustainable environment.

Half a lifelong romance / Eileen Chang ; translated by Karen S. KingsburyHalf a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang; translated by Karen S. Kingsbury

Shanghai, 1930s. Shen Shijun, a young engineer, has fallen in love with his colleague, the beautiful Gu Manzhen. He is determined to resist his family’s efforts to match him with his wealthy cousin so that he can marry her. But dark circumstances—a lustful brother-in-law, a treacherous sister, a family secret—force the two young lovers apart…A glamorous, wrenching tale set against the glittering backdrop of an extraordinary city, Half a Lifelong Romance is a beloved classic from one of the essential writers of twentieth-century China.

On writing: a memoir of the craft / by Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Stephen King reflects on how his writing has helped him through difficult times and describes various aspects of the art of writing.

Book of rhymes: the poetics of hip hop / Adam BradleyBook of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley

Examining rap history’s most memorable lyricists and their inimitable techniques, literary scholar Adam Bradley argues that we must understand rap as poetry or miss the vanguard of poetry today. Book of Rhymes explores America’s least understood poets, unpacking their surprisingly complex craft, and according rap poetry the respect it deserves.

A short history of nearly everything / Bill BrysonA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

In this book Bill Bryson explores the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer and attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world’s most profound scientific minds, living and dead.

Crazy: a father's search through America's mental health madness / Pete EarleyCrazy: A Father’s Search through America’s Mental Health Madness by Pete Earley

Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written extensively about the criminal justice system. But it was only when his own son-in the throes of a manic episode-broke into a neighbor’s house that he learned what happens to mentally ill people who break a law. This is the Earley family’s compelling story, a troubling look at bureaucratic apathy and the countless thousands who suffer confinement instead of care, brutal conditions instead of treatment, in the ‘revolving doors’ between hospital and jail.

The quartet: orchestrating the second American Revolution, 1783-1789 / Joseph J. EllisThe Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis

From Pulitzer Prize–winning American historian Joseph J. Ellis, the unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. In 1776, thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British. Once victorious, they planned to go their separate ways. The Quartet is the story of the second American founding and of the men most responsible—George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison.

May 6, 2016
by library

App Review: Meetup

Spring semester is over, the weather is (getting) warmer- it’s a great time to explore Pittsburgh and meet new people! The popular social networking site, Meetup, has a mobile app available for both Android and iOS.

Founded in 2002, Meetup provides an online platform to help people organize groups and events off-line. Access to your phone’s GPS data tells the app where you are. There are tons of Pittsburgh meetup groups to choose from. Events are organized around common interests such as hiking, music, art, movies, politics, dancing, foreign language learning, or computer coding. There’s even a meetup group for introverts!

User accounts are free. However, organizers have to pay based on the size of their event or group.

Within the app, you can:

  • Create an account or log in to an existing one. After selecting from a set of general interests, Meetup will begin recommending groups and events to you.
  • Join groups to receive event notifications.
  • Get event details and view profiles of other users.
  • RSVP to events.
  • Receive and manage messages from organizers or other users of the site.

There are four main tabs:

  • An activity homepage featuring a vertical list of upcoming events, recent comments, and new groups that may fit your interests
  • A calendar of upcoming events hosted by your groups, displayed as a vertical list by date and time   MeetupScreenshot
  • A visual tile listing of groups you currently belong to and more groups you may be interested in joiningMeetupScreenshot2
  • Section for reading, composing, and otherwise managing messagesMeetupScreenshot3

It could be easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of groups and events featured on the app, but the design is simple and intuitive. The color scheme and layout remind me of the Gmail app, which many users may already be familiar with.

Message notifications are pushed to your phone’s home screen and can be archived to keep your inbox clean.  The app also links out to other web pages- some organizations on Meetup have their own websites or an event may require the purchase of tickets on a separate site.

I would highly recommend using the Meetup app this summer, especially if you are interested in learning about inexpensive events around town or just want to expand your radius of activity in the city!

May 4, 2016
by library

Meet the JKM Library Staff: Christine Beard


  • Wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up
  • Her favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh is the friendly people
  • Likes to watch bad TV with her teen-aged kids

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I am a  Reference Associate which means I help you find the information that you need when you stop by the reference desk at the library, call or use the Ask-A-Librarian feature.

What made you choose your current profession?

I am still in graduate school earning my Masters of Library Science at the University of Pittsburgh.  I have chosen to become a librarian because I love to connect people with the information that they need.  I was a paralegal for many years and my favorite aspect of that job was researching.  Add that to my lifelong love of books and learning, and becoming a librarian was a no-brainer.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian.  Instead, I have two dogs and two cats.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is teaching people how to find information.  Sometimes that means showing them a new search strategy or a new database.  It’s fun to help them advance their learning and by searching unfamiliar topics,  I learn something new every day!

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library- with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?

I would add an internet free lounge where students could go to concentrate on work without being interrupted by texts or social media.  This would be a room where you could take your laptop, but would be unable to receive any WiFi due to special blocking technology.  It would be great if it had a mix of seating enabling people to work or even just relax.

What do you like to do on your days off?

Not surprisingly I guess, I like to read.  If I have the time, I like to cook long involved meals that dirty every pan in the kitchen and watch really bad TV with my teen-aged kids.

What’s the last thing you checked out? (Brief reviews are appreciated)

The last thing I checked out was Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.  A dense book that starts off slowly, but picks up well in the second half.  Really good character development.  You may not like the characters, but they are written, as is the book, incredibly well.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  This book is a classic because it deftly explores issues of race and justice through the eyes of a child Everyone should read (and reread!) To Kill a Mockingbird  because it helps us to remember the essential kindness of people.

Some of our student workers update the popular reading display and are always looking for recommendations. If you could please list 5 or so of your favorite books that JKM has, that would be great!

 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

A Visit From The Goon Squad Jennifer Egan

Middlesex Jeffery Eugenides

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

My favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh is the friendly people!

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course)

Go to one of the amazing museums, walk along one of the river trails, see a play or a sporting event and have a Primanti’s sandwich with as many fries as you can stuff on there!

Tell us some surprising things about yourself (2/3 would be great):

I start every morning with a diet coke.  Or two.

I played the flute for seven years.  I was never very good, but I enjoyed it!

For two years in college I worked as an international operator connecting US numbers to countries that had outdated equipment. Remember those old pictures of operators with headsets who would plug a cord in a wall to connect a call?  I did that!

April 28, 2016
by library

From May Day to University Day: Exploring Connections Between Chatham Traditions

As part of this year’s University Day celebration, JKM Library and the Chatham University Archives are pleased to present an exhibit titled From May Day to University Day: Exploring Connections between Chatham Traditions.

This exhibition focuses on the history of Chatham’s May Day pageants and other end-of-the-semester festivities, such as Toe Dabbling Day, Buckets and Blossoms, and University Day. Photographs, programs, and ephemera documenting Chatham’s many springtime celebrations, some dating all the way back to the early twentieth century, will be exhibited at the JKM Library and in the lobby of the Women’s Institute. We even have a special presentation of some recently preserved film footage of the 1935 May Day pageant on the main floor of JKM Library!

These materials document both the May Day pageants held on the Chatham campus many times throughout the years as well as other fun campus traditions. Even though May Day is no longer celebrated at Chatham to the extent it was in the past, the tradition continues to this day when the maypole dance occurs on University Day. It’s fun to be part of this long line of maypole dancers, isn’t it?

Students, faculty, and other Chatham community members are welcome to explore “From May Day to University Day,” located at the JKM Library lobby and the Women’s Institute lounge. If you would like to learn more about Chatham’s history, click here for additional information about the Chatham Archives and Special Collections.

Check out some of our favorite May Day photographs from the collections of the Chatham University Archives and the video of the 1935 May Day celebration below!

May Day 1904

One of the earliest photos of the May Day pageant, taken in May, 1904. Here, costumed students perform the Maypole dance on Chatham’s lawn. These dances were viewed as a feminine form of exercise and a way to unify women through the shared experiences of womanhood and higher education.

May Day 1905

A hand-colored glass lantern slide depicts the 1905 Maypole dance. Audience members appear on the balcony of the original Berry Hall.

May Day 1907

Cornelia Bullock, the 1907 May Queen, poses with attendants.

May Day 1909

Student performers dance around the maypole during the 1909 May Day celebration. Onlookers watch from the balcony extending from Berry Hall.

May Day 1912

Those attending the 1912 May Day pageant watch as the students perform P.C.W.’s rendition of Vârful Cu Dor by Carmen Sylva.

May Day 1915

Spectators look down on students as they perform Paskkennodan: The City of Smoke Vapor written by P.C.W.’s speech instructor, Vanda E. Kurst. The celebration occurred on May 15, 1915 at the conclusion of President John Carey Acheson’s inauguration.

May Day 1916

The 1916 May Day pageant occurred near Lindsay House and the Andrew Mellon greenhouse. Students performed Vanda E. Kurst’s rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over 5,000 people attended the celebration!

Victory Through Conflict, 1920

Rather than putting on a May Day pageant in 1920, the P.C.W. community staged an elaborate production titled Victory through Conflict. Above, students Marion Gifford, Mary Jane Paul, and Frances Frederick pose together as Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

May Day 1923

Estelle Maxwell, who attended P.C.W. between 1922 and 1923, appears as an Egyptian princess alongside her attendants during the 1923 May Day pageant.

May Day 1929

Students dress as ghosts and perform a haunting dance during the 1929 May Day celebration titled Persephone: A Greek Festival.

May Day 1935

A distant photo of the 1935 May Day celebration captures Queen Elizabeth and the May Queen sitting side-by-side on their dais. Be sure to view archival film footage from the celebration below and in the lobby of the JKM Library!

May Day 1947

Several maypole dances conclude the May Day pageant of 1947.


What a production! We like to think about the history of the maypole dance every year when we see it performed as part of University Day.  It’s a pretty fun connection to our past, don’t you think?

Be sure to stop by the JKM Library, the lounge of the Women’s Institute, and this blog for more information about the May Day celebrations and how they’ve played into Chatham’s springtime celebrations, like Buckets and Blossoms.

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