Category Archives: Resources

Why Digitize KKK Newspapers?

Gleeson Library has contributed funds to support a project to digitize and provide open access to Ku Klux Klan newspapers from the 1920s, and we now have early contributors’ access to the newspapers that have been digitized so far.

The project is in its early stages, but is already being used for analysis in national media.

Overview from the project website:

From its birth immediately following the Civil War to its re-awakening inspired by the film Birth of a Nation in 1915 through today’s fractured organizations using the Klan’s name, the Ku Klux Klan has occupied a persistent place in American society.

The Klan’s national newspaper had a circulation larger than the New York Times.

To understand today’s version of American nationalism, we need to go back to the 1920s when the Klan re-emerged as a slick and successful recruiting and marketing engine that appealed to the fears and aspirations of middle-aged, middle-income, white protestant men in the middle of America. At its peak in 1924, Klan paid membership exceeded 4,000,000 and its national newspaper, the Imperial Night-Hawk, had a circulation larger than the New York Times.

The goal of this project is to assemble a comprehensive and hopefully complete collection of KKK newspapers into a fully-searchable open access database.  The collection features national Klan publications (for example: the Imperial Night-Hawk and the Kourier) as well as regional and local Klan produced papers (i.e., Sgt. Dalton’s Weekly, Jayhawker American, and the Minnesota Fiery Cross).  The collection will also include a smaller set of papers sympathetic to the Klan (i.e., The Good Citizen and The Fellowship Forum) and a few important anti-Klan publications (Tolerance and The Record). A complete title list may be found here.

The collection will be hosted on the Reveal Digital platform, which will provide controlled access to funding libraries until the collection moves to open access.

From the Slums and Gutters of Europe
From The Badger American, August 1923. A foreshadow of presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2015? : “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”

Why Digitize KKK Newspapers?

Contributed by Dr. Thomas R. Pegram, Professor of History, Loyola University–Maryland, and author of One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth and Decline of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

The degree to which Klan newspapers drew from ordinary currents in American life in the 1920s is stunning. These newspapers detail the extent to which the Klan movement was anchored in American traditions of fraternalism, sociability, business and civic practices. That makes the appeal to exclusivity, the anti-Catholicism, and the assumed white Protestant ownership of American institutions that are also apparent in Klan newspapers so powerful.

The Klan newspapers of the 1920s are a reminder of how current divisions over immigration, race, and citizenship are deeply embedded in American history.

Sentiments that are now considered radical or located on the fringes of American society actually existed side by side with mainstream American beliefs and practices. Openly bigoted and reckless publications such as Colonel Mayfield’s Weekly contrast in style with more conventional publications such as the versions of the Fiery Cross that appeared across the Midwest, but all Klan newspapers shared the same bedrock beliefs that American democracy existed for only white Protestant Americans. Some, like Chicago’s Dawn offered frank denunciations of ethnic and Catholic Americans that reveal the extent to which American pluralism was contradicted by American tribalism. The Klan newspapers of the 1920s are a reminder of how current divisions over immigration, race, and citizenship are deeply embedded in American history.

Top Image: From The Badger American, March 1924. KKK Newspapers database.


Gleeson Zine Library: a new collection

The Gleeson Library has a new, small (but growing!) collection of zines.  What are zines?  Zines are self published magazines.  They are a great means of self expression for artists, writers, and anyone passionate about a topic.  Zines are created in a variety of ways with drawings, comics, collage, hand written, or typed text.  They are typically produced with a limited number of copies and are often just run off on a photocopier.  Because they are self published they can make a space for marginalized voices to be heard.  Common themes include art, poetry, comics, short stories, memoir, cultural criticism, politics, and social commentary.


The new Gleeson Zine Library is located on the second floor in the big reading room near the front of the Library.  We have zines on a variety of topics with some emphasis on social justice and critical theory.  Anyone in the USF community can check out the zines for 30 days, and they can be renewed up to 3 times.

IMG_2068 (1)

We are planning a few workshops on zine making and are looking for ways to partner with USF classes and groups. Keep a lookout here for upcoming events! We encourage submissions by members of the USF community.

More information at the Gleeson Zine Library Guide

A new look for the database list

The database list at Gleeson Library has a new look! Find it from the home page:
Search > Databases and on the Databases page, click “A to Z List of Databases.” Here you will see the treasure trove of electronic resources.

click to see a larger view

Search by subject

Discover a subject-specific database beyond your old favorites.

click to see a larger view

Search by type

Looking for a particular kind of content? Narrow in on specific types of research studies, data, and other resources.

Click to see a larger view

Search for a keyword

Do you remember part of a title or something about a database’s contents? Use the search box.

Click to see a larger view

** Perhaps you can’t remember what it’s called but you know who publishes it. Give the Vendor menu a try.

The A to Z list augments the research guides created by librarians to assist you in finding resources on your subject. You’ll see the research guides getting spruced up as well over the next few months. Check them out from the home page:
Guides & Tools > Research Guides.

We welcome suggestions via our Email the Reference Department form.

Image: Pasta Alphabet by Sandy

Altmetrics and PlumX: More Ways to Measure Your Scholarly Work

Discussions of measuring scholarly work often revolve around the “Impact Factor” for journals, and counting—in various ways—how many times your work has been cited in other scholarly works (see h-index, for example).

If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling! Citation counts may not be a very useful measure if you’re not publishing in fast-moving STEM fields.

If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling!

Citations as the primary assessment measure for scholarship is something of a historical accident — for decades being not the best, but simply the only way to quantitatively measure scholarly impact.

Today there are growing numbers of alternative metrics, or altmetrics, that can be used to both supplement traditional citation metrics, and measure alternative formats (from the peer-reviewed article) such as books and book chapters, videos, blog posts, slide presentations, etc. Examples of altmetrics include number of article downloads or full-text views in databases; books held in library collections; and view counts of videos.

Altmetrics can also include social media metrics such as tweets and Facebook likes which can help measure the attention a piece of research is getting, or indicate how well it is being promoted.

How To Get Altmetrics for Your Work

Plum Print

Gleeson Library subscribes to PlumX, which is a major provider of altmetrics (as well as traditional citation metrics). The best way to get altmetrics for your work is to make sure you are depositing your work in the library’s Scholarship Repository. You’ll see the “Plum Print” on your work’s landing page, and expanding the Plum Print will display all of PlumX’s metrics for your work. You’ll also see Plum Prints showing up for many works in major databases such as Scopus, CINAHL, and Fusion!

Image: Plum Bowl by Alan Levine

Access to Bound Periodicals

Gleeson Library was busy this summer with construction projects and much has changed! Several USF departments have moved into the library and new study spaces and classrooms have been created. As a result, a few of our smaller collections have shifted into new spaces within the library, but the greatest impact was on our bound periodicals. In order to accommodate the new operational needs of the building, it was necessary to relocate our bound periodicals – roughly 95% of our print periodicals collection – to an off-site storage facility.

Though this relocation of bound periodicals is permanent, Gleeson Library is committed to providing fast and efficient access to these materials. Faculty and students can request specific articles from our periodicals through our document delivery services. Additionally, we encourage faculty and students to search for full-text access to articles via Fusion as there is some duplication of content between our bound periodicals and electronic databases.


A small portion of unbound periodicals remain available in the library. Current newspapers and popular magazines are still located in the south half of the second floor. There is also a small collection of unbound materials that are temporarily located in the northwest corner of the second floor at the end of the H call number range. Once new shelving has been erected, the permanent location of unbound periodicals will be in the northeast corner of the second floor.

Do you have any questions or comments about this change in service? Leave a comment here! You can also talk to us in-person at the library, call us at 415-422-2662, or chat with us online.


Get the score on sports resources at Gleeson

Hey, sport! During a recent reference desk shift, a researcher in the library asked me for statistics about badminton participation. I happily recommended the Sports Market Analytics database (previously known as SBRNet).

SMA gathers in-depth analytics on both professional and hobby sports: Continue reading Get the score on sports resources at Gleeson

Digital Library Collections: Treasures from Around the World

Treasures from library collections around the world are in the spotlight at Gleeson Library, in honor of International Education Week. Stop by the reference desk to see books that feature amazing collections from some of the world’s most fabulous libraries, a beautiful slideshow, and an interactive display of more treasures from international library and archives’ digital collections. For a taste, check out the links below. Happy browsing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How can a library in one country benefit users globally? By providing access to our digital collections, libraries help share our histories, stories, and cultures. Through the digitization and preservation efforts of libraries worldwide, we are reminded that resources previously only available to patrons visiting in person can now be accessed by anyone through the internet.

We’ve created a guide to the collections pictured here, but there are hundreds more. Links to a few portals to the wonders in libraries and archives all over the world are below:

The Commons
Hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives and cultural heritage institutions.

An aggregator of content from many digital contributors in Europe.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Access online collections: view maps & photographs; read letters, diaries & newspapers; hear personal accounts of events; listen to sound recordings & watch historic films

Oxford University Digital Collections
Wide array of materials from the University and associated cultural institutions including the Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, Queen Elizabeth House, and more

Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance
Thirty-one academic libraries surrounding the Pacific have joined together to improve access to scholarly resources.

A Princeton LibGuide of Collected Digital Collections from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal
Guide to Internet portals and digital libraries compiled by expert librarians at Princeton University

The Tibetan and Himalayan Library Collections
Contains audio and video collections, Tibetan texts, 60,000+ images, and maps.

The World Digital Library
Library of Congress project. carried out with the support of UNESCO in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from 193 countries.

Our tribute to International Education Week is a collaboration between Gleeson Library Reference and Technical Services staff: Colette Hayes, Erin Lybrand, Penny Scott, and Debbie Benrubi.