Alumni & The Library

Graduated, but not done learning? The Wisconsin Alumni Association can help with that. Membership in WAA gives you access to online library services that will keep you reading and exploring all through life:

ProQuest Reseach Library offers an index of more than 2,000 periodicals, both academic and general interest, and covering nearly all areas of interest, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, health, and education. Over half of these journals are available in full text, so instant gratification can be yours!

Business your thing? ProQuest/ABI Inform may be more your style. It contains information from thousands of journals and magazines that focus on business issues and conditions (examples include Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune).

If you still can’t find exactly what you need or desire, the Ask a Reference Librarian service is the way to go. Association members have access to a real, live UW-Madison librarian via e-mail who can help locate hard-to-find content, and can even copy and e-mail a limited number of print articles from the library’s collection.

More information and resources for alumni are available here: http://www.uwalumni.com/home/waamembers/libraryaccess/libraryaccess.aspx.

Happy Reading!


Troy Reeves is Listening

The Wisconsin Idea is a big one, and while it means many things to many people, a core principle is sharing our campus expertise with the larger Wisconsin community. Since taking over as Oral History Program lead in June 2007, Troy Reeves has done just that.

The Oral History Project at UW-Madison got its start in 1971 interviewing emeritus professors about their research. In the past 40 years the goals of the program have expanded considerably: faculty, staff, students, and everyone else on campus have a story to tell. Those stories now amount to over 4,000 hours of recorded interviews, and growing!

Collections within the program include:

The U.S. Forest Products Lab Centennial Collection – documents the experiences of current and former employees to balance healthy forests with forest-based economies

The Arboretum Collection – encompassing interviews related to the Arboretum, including Civilian Conservation Corps members who worked there in the 1930s

Women in Science and Engineering – records the efforts of women working in science, engineering, mathematics, and medical fields beginning in the 1920s

Badger Village – recalls the experiences of those who lived in the Badger Village, where married veterans and their families were housed from 1946 to 1951

UW-Madison Teaching Assistants Association Strike of 1970 – preserves the experiences of participants and onlookers in the contentious political clash on campus

The Supplementary Tape Collection – collects and preserves recordings of all types related to the UW-Madison and individuals within it

In 2010, The Oral History Program marked the 40th anniversary of the Sterling Hall bombing with a booth in Memorial Library where Wisconsinites could share their memories of the traumatic day and its aftermath. Excerpts of these interviews are available to anyone online: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/UW/UW-idx?type=browse&scope=UW.SterlingBomb

Troy is a multi-tasker: along with the UW Archives Oral History Program, he leads the campus and community LGBT Oral History Project. He also uses his experience and expertise to train folks at oral history workshops held throughout the state as part of history and library conferences, and leads annual Wisconsin Oral History Day colloquiums—held in Madison, Eau Claire, and Milwaukee.

If you’re looking for a living, breathing example of the Wisconsin Idea in action, Troy’s your man!




UW Digital Collections Center

Want something beautiful? Rare? Fascinating? Chances are the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center has something to delight your aesthetic and intellectual senses.

Founded in 2000, the UWDCC is driven by the principle that the boundaries of the University are the boundaries of the State. Since then, they have created and offered access to digital resources to support the teaching, research, and curiosity of Wisconsinites far and wide.

The UWDCC provides access to rare and fragile materials of broad research value, as well as lesson plans for educators. They also work with individuals throughout the UW System and Wisconsin Public Libraries to preserve unique pieces that document the history of the University of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin as a whole.  And it’s not just text. The Digital Collections Center offers thousands of striking images and even sound recordings.

Most importantly, these resources are free and publicly accessible online! The UWDCC strongly encourages Wisconsinites to poke around, explore, share, teach, and of course, enjoy.


Pat Tuchscherer, coordinator of reformatting for the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center (UWDCC), works in a darkened room in Memorial Library, scanning books from the Kohler Art Library to be made available online. The digital resources include books, journal series and manuscript collections; photographic images; maps; fine art prints; posters; audio; and video. (Photo courtesy of UW Communications)


Deborah Blum…a Dangerous Lady

Pulitzer Prize winning science writer and UW-Madison journalism professor Deborah Blum could be considered a very dangerous woman. Her latest book, “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York” is filled with things that can kill you, from the exotic (radium and thallium) to the everyday (carbon monoxide), to three different types of alcohol which are less than suitable for ingestion. But she uses her powers for good rather than evil, weaving these varied lethal substances into the story of how Charles Norris and his colleagues at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office fought political corruption, pushed the boundaries of medical science, and caught murderers. Not a bad day job.

Blum is also the author of “Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection,” and “Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life after Death,” as well as articles for The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and Slate.

Ready to read? Her books are available at Madison Public Libraries and UW-Madison Libraries:


Links to her other writing can be found on her website:


Enjoy (and keep an eye on what goes into your coffee)!

(The Lady herself, courtesy of PLos Blogs)