Greetings, Ex Libris readers,
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the new year as much as possible.
Last fall, a few of the NBLA staff, namely Audrey Lengel, Chip Calhoun, Sarah Weirich, and myself, completed a migration of the ESVA photo collections. The project required lots of time and attention from all us, and we were so happy to see the photos finally transferred to their new home in our digital repository, Islandora (if you’re interested, you can read more about the migration in this blog post).
In addition to lots of labor, the migration also required that we halt adding to and editing the digitally available photo collections. Basically, with all the data checking and wrangling we were doing, it would have been a nightmare if we were constantly making new versions of said data. So in fall 2019, we made the choice to freeze all photo editing.
Now that the migration is complete, I’ve been able to resume work on adding newly acquired photos to the ESVA collections. Many of these images were generously donated to ESVA in and since 2019, and it is very exciting to make them available.
So for the January photos of the month, I thought we could appreciate a selection of some of my favorite newly available photos.
John and Maureen Midwinter pose with two very adorable dogs in their home in Suffolk, U.K., on August 14, 2019. The portrait forms a part of a collection of images taken in relation to a fiber optics oral history interview series conducted by Michael Duncan on behalf of Optica (formerly OSA).
Sadly, John Midwinter, whose research concerned single-mode fibers, passed away in 2021. Here is an Optica obituary for him which covers his life and work.
I couldn’t find any information on Maureen Midwinter or her dogs, but I hope they are doing well.
This photo depicts David Lockwood, Horst Störmer, Klaus von Klitzing, and Robert Laughlin at the 13th International Conference on the Electronic Properties of Two-Dimensional Systems (EP2DS), held in Ottawa, Ontario from August 1-6, 1999. I enjoy the calming array of blue and gray colors in this photo, as well as the lovely architecture shown behind the physicists. David Lockwood, who donated this image and others from the EP2DS conference, told me the building to the right is the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel, and the tower in the center is the Peace Tower of the Canadian Parliament Buildings. It looks like a beautiful area and after seeing this collection, I’m inspired to add Ottawa to my list of places to one day visit!
This photo is not part of an entirely new collection, but is instead an addition to our ever-expanding Physics Today (PT) collection. Most of the photos seen in the PT collection were used or considered for the publication’s obituary section. When appropriate, my colleague (~shout out to PT’s Chief Copy Editor, Gayle~) asks those sharing photos with PT if they would like their images to go to ESVA, as well. In this case, Kiyoshi Higashijima said yes! And so now ESVA and all of NBLA’s researchers have access to this lovely photo of Toshihide Maskawa, who sadly passed away in 2021. The photo was taken at a party which celebrated Maskawa’s winning of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Although the copyright situation for a collection as unique as this one can be tricky, it is fascinating to look through it and see the wide variety of people and places shown in the photos. If you want to do an even deeper dive, you can usually search Physics Today and find the corresponding articles and/or obituaries that brought the images to ESVA. For example, here is Maskawa’s 2021 obituary.
This group photo was taken at the 1995 Founding Meeting of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists at the University of Texas, Austin. Sekazi Mtingwa shared this collection (as well as the next one you’ll read about) after working with AIP on this lovely oral history interview.
Sekazi Mtingwa, Jorge Lopez, and David Ernst were kind enough to help me identify some of the attendees. If you recognize someone who is listed as “unidentified,” please let me know in the comments below! I would love to properly credit everyone who took part in the founding of NSHP.
In addition to this lovely group photo, the collection contains individual shots of the physicists (and at least one mathematician) throughout the meeting.
In January 2007, outside of Cape Town, South Africa, a group of physicists gathered to plan the establishment of the African Physical Society. Here is a group picture from their gathering, showing (from left to right) Alfred Z. Msezane from Clark Atlanta University, John Akintayo Adedoyin from the University of Botswana, Mmantsae Diale from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Samuel Y. Mensah from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Francis K. Allotey from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, Charles McGruder from Western Kentucky University, Ahmadou Wagué from Cheikha Anta Diop University, Senegal and Sekazi K. Mtingwa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their planning was a success, and from January 11-16, 2010, the inaugural meetings of the society took place! You can also see photos from this meeting in the small, but excellent, collection.
This photo shows Drs. C. Megan Urry and Catherine Cesarsky making the most of a trip to Italy by enjoying prosecco and dinner together. They were part of a group of astronomers who met at the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters, and Arts in Italy during March 2017.
The photo was donated around the time that Meg Urry gave this oral history interview.
NBLA does not have an OHI with Catherine Cesarsky, but I did find this interview on the blog of the European Southern Observatory which is pretty great.
This photo lives in our General Collection! Like the PT Collection, it is also not new, but receives new additions regularly and contains an exciting variety.
That is all for the photos of the month, but I still have a number of collections to make available and we receive new donations often, so there is more to come!