Articles tagged with: display

  • Treasures from the Shickluna Shipyard Dig.

    Back in 2018, a research team led by Brock University archaeologist and maritime historian Kimberly Monk received federal funding to excavate the Shickluna Shipyard site in downtown St. Catharines.  The team’s discoveries and insights form the basis of a stunning new display hosted in the Library and Learning Commons this fall.

    The exhibit is comprised of two parts which, when combined explore the evolving cultural landscape which we refer to as the Shickluna Shipyard site. The Changing Human Landscape on Twelve Mile Creek (displayed at the south entrance to the Learning Commons), sets the scene of the dig and characterizes the sites’ earliest occupants. Uncovering Historic Landscapes at the Shickluna Shipyard: A Multi-Component Archaeological Site is displayed inside the library, and explores the history of the site after 1891.

    Although the on-going project is focused on Shickluna, and the over 60 years of shipbuilding that took place at the site, the exhibit recognizes the breadth of human history that has shaped this landscape over time. The next phase of fieldwork will explore deeper and adjacent contexts. Follow the project, and new developments on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

    Stop by and view the exhibit which runs until October 16.




    Tags: ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Print and virtual collections in support of Indigenous History Month

    In June, we commemorate National Indigenous History Month to recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

    The Indigenous Collection at the south entrance to the Matheson Learning Commons features many new titles including Our Voice of Fire: Memoir of a Warrior Rising by Brandi Morin, Permanent Astonishment by Thomson Highway, and Run as One: My Story by Errol Ranville.

    More print and e-books as well as films by and about Indigenous Peoples in Canada are available in two recently updated Featured Collections via Omni.

    Beyond Library resources, the Brock and wider communities are invited to learn and participate in 20 workshops hosted by Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre. Read more about them and get registration links in this article from the Brock News.



    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Staff picks: our favourite books & films

    Do library workers read all day as the old trope goes? No. But in our off time, watch out. We’re serious about our books.

    This month’s featured collection comprises some of our favourite fiction – old and new, as well non-fiction on topics as diverse as animated film production, indigenous culture, and the enduring mystery of the life, loves, and violent death of one of Canada’s most famous artists.  A sub-collection of our favourites on film includes romance, comedic mystery and even a cold war classic.

    Explore this month’s featured collection of staff picks online and in print next to the Ask Us desk.

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • New exhibit features student artwork to highlight the vital role of pollinators 

    Butterflies, moths, and bees are the feature in latest Brock Library exhibition, located in the Learning Commons display cases. Displaying a number of vibrantly coloured pinned specimens, the exhibit aims to highlight the role pollinators play in sustaining our local ecosystems and encourages onlookers to help promote and protect pollinator populations. 

    The exhibit is curated by Brock Studio Art and the History of Art and Visual Culture (double major) student Mari Brint and Library Engagement Assistant Sara Nixon, displaying insect specimens and artwork prepared and created by Brint.  

    Inside of an exhibit display case. On display are pinned, taxidermy butterflies and moths presented on canvas panels. The background features a colourful field of flowers and interpretive text panels.

    The exhibit features a collection of pinned moths and butterflies prepared by Brock student, Mari Brint.

    Mari has always had an interest in insect taxidermy and bug pinning when visiting museums and butterfly conservation gardens, but only recently took up the practice,After my final studio courses, I felt that I needed to take a step away from my traditional and preferred medium of painting and try something new to branch out and explore new creative mediums. During that time, I discovered the processes involved with preparing moths and butterflies for pinning and display, and began researching the ways in which I can help with the conservation efforts of insects”, says Mari.

    Participating in the Brock University Seed Library is just one way that community members can get involved with pollinator conservation efforts. The Seed Library offers free access to seeds to grow gardens at home, including several varieties of flowers that help sustain pollinator habitats, and subsequently support increasing populations of butterflies, bees, and moths.  

    Anyone can “borrow” from the Seed Library, free of cost. Interested community members can visit the Ask Us Desk on the Main Floor of James A. Gibson Library to browse the seed catalogue to select up to five packets of seeds (per person, per day). Ideally, participants will harvest seeds and return them to the Seed Library after a bountiful season of growing.  

    Growing gardens of pollinator-friendly plants, no matter the size, can help local pollinator populations thrive. “Butterflies and moths are not only a beautiful part of the natural world but one that needs our help in the cultivation and protection of their habitats,” says Mari. 

    To learn about growing your own pollinator gardens, the Library has also curated a featured book collection as a compendium to the exhibit. The Featured Collection, which can be found both online and at the book display case by the Ask Us Desk, offers hardcopy and e-book titles that dig deeper into the topics of pollination, gardening, growing food, as well as our relationships to plants and bugs, and more. 

    There are lots of ways to get involved in protecting our local pollinators here at the Library! Be sure to visit the Learning Commons this spring to view the exhibit, borrow the Plants and Pollinators book collection, and borrow from the Seed Library. 

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Learning Commons, Main

  • Reading Pride Week at the Library

    Brock University 2S&LGBTQ+ Pride Week is just around the corner and we have the resources to support the annual celebration.

    This curated book selection takes an intersectional approach to examining queer life and issues such as race, disability, class and politics. A sub-collection of films features documentaries and drama.

    Wishing everyone a very happy Pride Week!

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Celebrating Black voices and sharing Black stories

    This month, we celebrate African Heritage and Black History by bringing a special spotlight to Black voices and Black stories. February’s Featured Collection book display brings you important, thought-provoking works of Black writers across disciplines and perspectives. You can find our “Celebrating Black Voices and Sharing Black Stories” book display both online, and at our print display next to the Ask Us desk on the main floor of the Library.

    Interested in the work of Canadian authors? Look out for the books sporting the illustration you see above at our print display.

    Two online titles in this month’s Featured Collection deserve a special mention. Brock University Professor Tamari Kitossa’s Appealing Because He is Appalling: Black Masculinities, Colonialism, and Erotic Racism highlights the contradictions of Black men as objects of sexual desire. Those interested in a local focus to Black History can dig into dann J. Broyld’s Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region During the Final Decades of Slavery. Broyld spent a semester at Brock researching in the Archives & Special Collections for this book.

    The Brock community is celebrating Black History Month and African Heritage Month with a full calendar of events and programming. See what’s going on and join in the celebrations on ExperienceBU.


    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Resources for a mindful new year

    Mindfulness and wellness practices invite us to nurture ourselves, and cultivate self-compassion.  Some of the easily accessible resources for the Brock community to live mindfully include:

    • Taking a walk through the forest. The Bruce Trail runs behind the Brock campus.
    • Jotting down what you are thankful for, concerned about.
    • Curling up with a good book and a hot beverage.
    • Taking a Library Yoga session in the comfort of your own room. The playlist is at
    • Thinking of others, helping when you can.
    • Nurturing a new houseplant.

    This month, our print book display and e-book collections are full of strategies and inspiration to help you be the best version of yourself.

    Browse the featured titles now, and note the special sub-collections on the topics of Yoga, Breath, and Movement Practice, Inspiration and Reflection, and Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety.

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Exploring nearly two centuries of photography

    This month’s display in the Learning Commons cabinets features aspects of early photography and contemporary analogue and experimental image making. With the use of images from Brock’s Archives and Special Collections and vintage cameras from the Department of Visual Arts, the display offers a glimpse into early photographic processes from the 19th century and early 20th century.

    The camera originates from an ancient device known as the camera obscura (meaning “dark room”). Light traveling through a small pinhole into a darkened room will project the image on the other side of the hole, upside down – seriously, give it a try! The earliest record is found in the work of Mozi, a Chinese philosopher (470 – 390 BCE). This simple technique is the foundation for all pre-digital photography.

    The arrangement of photographs in the display may seem to present the development of photography as a steady linear progression of advancements with one building on the previous, however this is not the case at all. There were many inventors and entrepreneurs in the 19th century working in different locations who each had a goal of permanently fixing an image made with a camera. The early experiments were costly and time consuming. For example, the first known photograph by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833) in 1827 took several days of exposure in the sun for an image to render permanently. In 1839, Louis Daguerre (1787 – 1851) was the first to share his chemical formula of affixing an image permanently, though it too was costly (using a sheet of copper coated with silver), it only took minutes for it to render an image. An example of a “daguerreotype,” which he named after himself, is on display in the cabinet. As beautiful as these photographs were, it is important to note that these images were one-of-a-kind and not reproducible.

    At the same time, Henry Fox Talbot (1800 – 1877), an English inventor and entrepreneur, was also experimenting with chemical processes though he was focused on reducing the exposure time and creating an image that could be reproduced. In 1840, he found a way that met both requirements in what he called a “calotype” (from the Greek kalos, meaning beautiful). Not only did it take mere seconds for the image to render, Talbot’s use of paper on which to apply his chemical formulation made this a cheap and widely available option. This is the basis on which Talbot would create the negative-positive process whereby multiple copies of a single photograph could be made. This remains the basis of all most analogue photography today.

    By the end of the 19th century, George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, created easy-to-use portable cameras, making photography more accessible. Thus began the era of the amateur photographer. A few of Kodak’s early cameras are on display in the Learning Commons cabinets alongside other 20th century analogue cameras.

    The photograph (which means drawing with light) is created by applying a light sensitive emulsion to a surface (e.g., paper, glass etc.) that changes when exposed to light. Today there is a resurgence in these early photographic techniques as well as interest in new experimental methods of image creation. The hallway cabinets display examples of a variety of analogue methods of image creation with the aid of photosensitive emulsions. Among the methods are the anthotype which use plant-based dyes, lumen prints using silver gelatin coated paper, and the cyanotype, another 19th century discovery, using a mixture of ferric ammonium citrate or ferric ammonium oxalate, and potassium ferricyanide.

    Stop by when you have a moment to check it out.

    Many thanks to Archivist David Sharron for loaning some of the amazing photographs from Brock Archives and Special Collections for the display, Professor Amy Friend from Department of Visual Arts for the loan of cameras and to Dr. Linda Steer also from the Department of Visual Arts for lending her expertise in the history of early photography for the creation of this exhibit. Finally, thank you to my collaborator Charity Blaine for being willing to play and learn together!


    Categories: Learning Commons, Main

  • Local nautical history highlighted in new exhibit

    Note: this post originally published by Jocelyn Titone in Seen & Heard.

    In anticipation of the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Fourth Welland Canal this August, Brock University Library Assistant Sue Sykes has created several exhibits in Library spaces that highlight some facts and history of the canals, their bridges and the ships that have passed through them.  Items were curated from Brock’s Archives and Special Collections, Archives Canada and Sykes’ own personal nautical collection. The Brock Makerspace helped create lithophanes of the Welland Canal flight locks. Items on display from her personal collection include a brass door stop and running lights from the Venitia steam yacht that was once owned by local shipping company Scott Misener Steamships; examples of shipping flags from marine carriers Algoma, Patterson and Great Lakes Towing; a model laker ship that travelled through the Welland Canal; a 1920s photo of the Port of Goderich filled with ships carrying grain; and an artifact from John A. Roebling, the Chief Engineer of the Niagara Falls railway bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

    The displays are located on the main floor of the Library in the Matheson Learning Commons near the Ask Us desk and in Thistle Hall next to the Library’s south entrance. Additional historical information on the Welland Canal can be found in several digital exhibits curated by Brock Archives and Special Collections: Building the Welland Ship Canal, The History of the Welland Canal — All four of Them, and The Welland Canal’s Bridges and Tunnels — The Solution to Traffic Jams for over 100 years. Ship schedules are tweeted daily by the St. Catharines Museum Twitter account, and can be found on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System Bridge Status webpage.


    Tags: ,
    Categories: Archives, Learning Commons, Main

  • Pandemic Pastimes

    In March 2020 none of us could predict what the COVID-19 pandemic had in store, including months of extra time on our hands. Many of us in the library took to crafting, baking, gardening, dancing, doing yoga, hiking and more.

    New creations and hobbies became themes of discussion among our team, boosting morale and keeping us positive. Whether it was bread, cakes, clay or cacti, we all had something that kept us going.

    Our Pandemic Pastimes are now exhibited for you to enjoy.  Stop by to view in the James A. Gibson Library and at the entrance to the Matheson Learning Commons.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons