Database highlight: LACLI

LACLI provides access to free online resources for Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx, and Iberian studies. This project emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic as an international collaborative effort aimed at sharing digital resource collections across borders, and it is being maintained by collaboration among librarians from the US, Mexico, Brazil, and the UK. It includes a mix of free digital resources in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

Interested in getting started? Find LACLI on the City Tech Library Database list, or head straight to lacli.info.

Begin your research with the search box on the website’s homepage, or browse the list from the “Library” menu. Some of our favorite resources on LACLI include 68 voces, a series of animated films based on indigenous Mexican stories, and the Alfredo Bouret collection at RMIT University, highlighting the work of fashion illustrator Alfredo Bouret.

New Database: Fashion & Race

City Tech Library is thrilled to now offer access to Fashion and Race, a database that provides access to books, articles, written profiles and other resources that support study of the intersection between fashion and race.

To get started, visit http://cityte.ch/fashion or select “Fashion and Race” from the Library’s A-Z Database List. If you are off campus, you’ll first be asked to log in with your CUNY login.

The first step for using this database is setting up your own individual login. You’ll see the following registration screen, and you should log in with your City Tech email address and whatever password you’d like:

Once you’ve set up this login, you can use it any time you access the database.

Interested in learning more? Follow Fashion and Race on instagram or check out their podcast, The Invisible Seam.

Questions? Feel free to ask a librarian!

Database Updates: Archives of Latin American and Caribbean History, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century

Formerly known as Gale World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean, this database has been reorganized as Archives of Latin American and Caribbean History, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. Access it through the Library’s A-Z list of databases, at https://cityte.ch/az. You can head straight to this database at http://cityte.ch/wsl 

What can you find inside? Use this database to explore more than 1.3 million pages of historical material across 33 archival collections from the United States and Europe, including original manuscripts, signed letters, expedition records, reports, maps, diaries, descriptions of voyages, ephemera, and more from sources such as:

  • Brazil’s Popular Groups, 1966-1986
  • ColecciĂłn de Documentos InĂ©ditos Relativos al Descubrimiento, Conquista Y OrganizaciĂłn de Las Antiguas Posesiones Españolas de America Y Oceania. — Madrid : M.B. de Quyros, 1864-1884
  • Conquistadors: The Struggle for Colonial Power in Latin America, 1492-1825
  • Despatches From U.S. Consuls in Havana, Cuba, 1783-1906
  • Latin American History and Culture: An Archival Record, Series 1: The Yale University Collection of Latin American Manuscripts, Parts 1-7
  • Latin American and Iberian biographies
  • Latin American Independence: Nineteenth Century Political and Official Pamphlets
  • Mexican and Central American Political and Social Ephemera
  • Papers of Agustin de Iturbide, 1799-1880
  • US State Department records on Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and more

(See the website for more info)

If you used this database under its former name, Gale World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean, you may be looking for some of the periodicals and reference books included in that database. Those have been moved to Gale’s Dictionary of Literary Biography (http://cityte.ch/litbio) and Gale eBooks (http://cityte.ch/gvrl).

Questions? Feel free to ask a librarian!

New Online Library Resources: Dictionary of Literary Biography and Something About the Author

City Tech library now has access to two new online databases: Something About the Author and the Dictionary of Literary Biography. (Those links will ask you to use your CUNY login if you’re off campus.)

Something About the Author provides access to all volumes ever printed in Gale’s Something About the Author book series, which examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators for children and young adults. This includes content from both the main series (over 200 print volumes) and the Something About the Author Autobiography Series, totaling more than 290 volumes, 20,000 entries, and nearly 30,000 images.

The Dictionary of Literary Biography provides reliable information on authors and their works in an easy to understand, engaging format, while placing writers in the larger perspective of literary history.

Biographies in Encyclopedia Britannica

Did you know that the library provides access to online encyclopedias? Wikipedia isn’t the only encyclopedia on the internet these days; check out Encyclopedia Britannica (http://cityte.ch/brit) as a great starting place for your research. (Remember: if you’re off campus, you’ll be asked to use your CUNYfirst login when clicking on the links in this blog post.)

In addition to giving topic overviews, Britannica is also a terrific source for biographies. Not sure why your professor keeps mentioning Freud’s work in your class? Read a quick biography to figure out what Freud’s deal was. Desperate to find a fashion designer to write a paper about? Browse biographies by profession (click under “known for”); you can even limit by nationality, time period, and gender, and then scan the results for some ideas.

This image shows the Biography Browse screen in Encyclopedia Britinnica. The display includes options to limit results by era, national/cultural association, what they're known for, and gender.

A biography in Britannica doesn’t give you all the info (we’d love to add a few more paragraphs to Aaliyah’s, but it’s a great starting point for context and keyword that you can use for further research.

(BRB, we’re reading all about Hypatia now.)

A quick look at library resources for exploring AI

While AI is an ever-evolving field and new technology is available at an increasingly rapid pace, some of the library’s electronic resources can provide a foundation for talking more about how we use AI and how it impacts our everyday lives. We’ve provided a few starting points below; note that all of the links provided will require you to log in with your CUNY ID if you’re not on campus internet.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a terrific database for overviews on major issues. Their Topic Overview on AI is a great place to start: in addition to a summary of key concepts and the history of the field, they’ve also provided some critical thinking questions.

Are you interested in some of the concrete impacts AI is currently having? A quick search for “artificial intelligence” in eMarketer pulls up very recent reports on ChatGPT and Generative AI for Social Media Marketing or ChatGPT and Generative AI in Media and Advertising, to name a few. These results also include charts compiling recent poll data on impressions and use of AI.

Looking for scholarly publications on AI? One place to dive deeper is IEEE Xplore. Start with a broad search of journal articles, or head straight to a publication specific to the topic — such as IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence.

For help navigating any of these resources or for taking your research on AI further, please get in touch! Chat with us any time via Ask a Librarian.

Spotlight on online resources for International Women’s Day

The library has a wide variety of online resources that celebrate the contributions of women and gender diverse people, and that look at the issues that impact women’s lives. Looking for material to add to your syllabus, sources to cite in your assignments, or just a good read? Check out some of these databases! If you’re off campus, you’ll be prompted to log in with your CUNY login when you click on any of the links below.

Women and Social Movements in the United States,1600-2000 includes primary and secondary sources that help us understand women’s history in the United States, and specifically the contributions that women have made to social movements. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools. In addition to regular search tools, you can browse this collection by person or social movement. And, explore curated sets of primary sources that can support your research or teaching, such Writings by Black Women Suffragists, 1831-1965, which includes more than 1,900 items written by about 150 Black women suffragists.

North American Women’s Drama contains 1,517 plays by 330 playwrights. Written by women in the United States and Canada from Colonial times to the present, many of these works are rare, hard to find, or out of print. Almost a quarter of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays. 

Gale OneFile: Contemporary Women’s Issues provides information on issues that impact women around the globe. I love how Gale OneFile includes a topic finder that helps visualize connections between material included in my search results; clicking on “topic finder” on the home screen takes me to a search box that will provide me with a visual depiction of my search results, for example from this search for “maternal health”:

This image shows the results of a topic finder search for "maternal health" in the database Gale OneFile: Contemporary Women’s Issues. Colored bubles represent different sub-topics, including child health, mental health, medical care, maternal mortality, weekly new research, pregnant women, and public health.

Gale OneFile: Gender Studies includes material about gender studies, family and marital issues, and more. This database also provides the visually-based topic finder; this time, I started my search instead with the Subject Guides and searched for “health,” which helped me find subject guides for Personal Care Products and Wellness Programs. There’s so much to explore in these databases.

Spotlight on: Videos from the Banyan Archive

City Tech Library has access to AVON (Academic Video Online), which features over 66,000 titles across subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and more. We’ve been exploring those lately and wanted to put a spotlight on the Banyan Archive channel.

This thumbnail image for this video collection shows a number of still images from videos in the collection, along with the title "Caribbean Studies in Video: The Banyan Archive"

The Banyan Archive, located in Trinidad & Tobago, has digitized hundreds of hours of film footage spanning decades of events and interviews. You can head straight to their collection at this link. Explore musical performances, dance, documentary, and so much more! Banyan was founded in 1974 and has collected a wealth of video documenting life and culture across the Caribbean.

Excited to explore other video channels on AVON? Here are a few other places to start:

Everything Everywhere All At Your Library

Did you know that the library has tons of streaming video available — and not just to help with your homework? As we gear up for Oscars season, you can revisit Everything Everywhere All at Once through the library collections. Click here to head straight to the film! (If you’re off campus, you’ll be asked to log in with your CUNYfirst ID.)

This is a poster for the film Everything Everywhere All At Once.

This movie is available for streaming through Swank, one of the library’s streaming video databases; you can explore the rest of our Swank subscription at cityte.ch/swank. Or, explore more streaming video through Kanopy and Academic Video Online (AVON). 

Spotlight on: Black Thought and Culture

One of the databases that City Tech Library provides access to is Black Thought and Culture, provided by Alexander Street Press. You can head straight there at cityte.ch/bltc; if you’re off campus, you’ll be asked to log in with your CUNYfirst credentials.

Black Thought and Culture is an amazing place to explore primary source materials. Not only can you read hundreds of issues of the Black Panther newspaper, but this database also includes oral histories from the Columbia University Black Panther Project. Browse by content type and select “oral histories,” and then search “Black Panther” within these results.

Or, if you’re looking for material related to a specific place, browse by location to find primary source material related to black thought and culture in that place. Interested in Black history in Denmark? This database has details on Bobby Seale’s receipt of a peace prize from a Danish high school.

Another great browsing option is by title; selecting Crisis from a list of titles brings us to content from the official magazine of the NAACP, including a transcription of W.E.B DuBois’ report on the 1919 Pan African Congress.