Library News

Snell Library Reopens Renovated 4th Floor; 3rd Floor Closes

A major stage was completed in the Snell Library Renovation Project on Monday, Nov. 13, when the brand new fourth floor was opened for Northeastern University community use.

Students using the renovated 4th floor of Snell Library
Students study on the newly renovated 4th floor of Snell Library on Nov. 13, 2023.
Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
Students study in the renovated 4th floor of Snell Library

The floor, which closed in January, now features a variety of study spaces and furniture styles to appeal to all types of users. It also includes:

  • reservable group and individual study rooms
  • a large glass-walled silent study space
  • individual soundproof pods for phone or video calls

Acoustic ceiling panels have been added to improve the noise levels and many pieces of furniture are embedded with outlets, both features that have been regularly requested by student users.

With the completion of the fourth floor, renovation work has now moved to the 3rd floor, which closed on Nov. 13. When it reopens, that floor will contain:

  • reservable group and individual study rooms
  • an enhanced graduate study room
  • a digital scholarship research hub
  • expanded research data consultation space
  • additional study space
A student sits behind a laptop wearing headphones on the newly renovated 4th floor of Snell Library

Work on the third floor is expected to be completed in summer 2024. In the meantime, staff offices previously located on that floor, including the Dean of the Library suite, have been moved to the second floor.

The next stage of the renovation project is expected to be completed in the coming days, as work is just finishing up on that lower (basement) level. Stay tuned here or visit the Snell Library Renovation page for the latest information.

Happy Homecoming: 125 Years of Northeastern

A column on the Northeastern Boston campus. It reads 1900s in large lettering on one side and features photos and information about the Automotive School on another side

Automobiles, the World Series, and the Iditarod all have at least one thing in common: Northeastern.

This year, the Archives and Special Collections staff have been doing research and digitizing records to support the observance of the university’s 125th anniversary.

Around the Boston campus, you can still see the signs installed on Founders Day detailing Northeastern’s development and the Boston campus history.

As we approach Homecoming Weekend, here are some features of Husky history to brush up on:

Northeastern’s Automotive School
The Automotive School was established in 1903 as a part of the Evening Institute. Franklin Palmer Speare anticipated that with the rise of automobiles in America, there would be need for related education. Classes offered included automotive engineering, driving lessons, upholstery, and auto repair. It was a high-enrolling school until the 1920s and it officially closed in 1926. The Automotive School even had a jingle written for it: “The Auto-mo-billie-beel.”

Cover of a songbook titled "The Auto-mo-billie-beel: A Song of the Motor Car"

King Husky I
King Husky I was trained by Leonhard Seppala. When Vice President Carl Ell sought out Seppala in 1927, he did so not only because Northeastern needed a mascot, but also because Seppala had already inspired one great tradition: the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. In 1925, Nome, Alaska, experienced an infamous diphtheria epidemic. Teams of sled dogs played an important role in bringing diphtheria serum through extremely harsh conditions. Leonhard Seppala and his team of Siberian huskies carried the serum over 91 miles of the treacherous relay before passing the cargo to the more famous Gunnar Kaasen, driver of the famous Balto, who covered the final stretch of trail and delivered the serum to Nome. The effort made by Seppala and the other teams have since been commemorated yearly by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Black and white image of a husky dog. Kneeling next to him is a man wearing a fur jacket and a student in a winter coat
King Husky I on the day of his arrival at Northeastern on March 5, 1927. He poses with Leonhard Seppala and Ray Todd, member of the Northeastern Student Council.

King Husky was beloved by the students, and Seppala even provided feeding instructions for the care and keeping of King Husky I.

Northeastern and the World Series
Northeastern’s Cabot Physical Education Center now occupies what were the grounds for the first World Series, which took place in 1903 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans. The Americans became the first-ever World Series champions and the event is commemorated with a statue of Americans pitcher Cy Young located between Cabot Center and Churchill Hall.

A bronze statue of Cy Young leaning forward, ready to throw a pitch
Cy Young Statue on the Boston campus. Craig Bailey/Northeastern University
Black and white image of people crowding the field of the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds
People crowd the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds at the first-ever World Series game in October 1903.

Boston Globe Archival Advisory: Highlighting the Dairy Festival

This blog post is the first in a series by members of the Northeastern University Library’s Digital Production Services and Archives and Special Collections teams sharing their favorite images and their role in the Boston Globe Library Collection digitization project.

My name is Kim Kennedy and I’m the Digital Production Librarian in the Northeastern University Library. In our recent push to digitize Boston photographs from the Boston Globe Library photo morgue, I coordinated the work with our vendor Picturae. In four months, they digitized 59 boxes of material. I developed a workflow to perform quality control checks on the digitized items and helped prepare them for upload to our Digital Repository. Most of these images are limited to the Northeastern community while we determine the rights status of the photographs, but a subset has been reviewed and is available to the public.

Some of my favorite images are of the Boston Common Dairy Festival, an annual event in which cows returned to the Boston Common (in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Common was used as a cow pasture by colonists).

Black and white image of three children posing next to a fake cow with a sign that says Milk Products
Roy Magnussen, Greg Gannon, and David Bruno pose with the Dutch Cow, a paper mache cow made by a third-grade class in Raynham, June 6, 1973. Photo by Ed Farrand, Boston Globe Library Collection
Black and white image of two girls feeding hay to a cow
Sandra Lee Nickerson and Vicky Lynn Nickerson of Rockland feed hay to a cow at the 15th annual Dairy Festival on May 30, 1970. Photo by Charles Carey, Boston Globe Library Collection
Black and white image of a girl looking at a bull
The Dairy Festival on June 5, 1967. Photo by Joe Dennehy, Boston Globe Library Collection

Here are some resources to learn more about the Boston Common Dairy Festival:

Boston’s Uncommon Park; Common and Garden Provide Togetherness in 75-Acre Refuge, September 27, 1964, New York Times

An Uncommon Common, August 28. 1994, Boston Globe

The Singing Cowsills to Sing Out for “Cowes” During Boston Common Dairy Festival, June 1969, Vermont Farm Bureau News

What is Inclusive Citation and Why Does It Matter?

As awareness of systemic racism grows on college campuses, one hot topic has been inclusive citation. So, what is inclusive citation, why does it matter, and what can we do about it?

Inclusive citation is about whose work we decide to cite. When we cite, we are situating our own work in the larger scholarly conversation about our topic. When we choose which sources to cite, our decisions influence who is part of that conversation—and who is not. Practicing inclusive citation means making intentional choices to find and cite the work of scholars with varied backgrounds and identities, in order to increase equity and inclusion in your field.

Why does inclusive citation matter? Citation counts are considered a metric of success for scholars, and can heavily influence job offers, promotions, tenure decisions, and more. However, there is a growing body of evidence showing that women and underrepresented minorities are consistently cited at lower rates than men, across disciplines. And the more a scholar’s work is cited, the more they will continue to be cited over time. This inequity makes it harder for people from underrepresented groups to succeed in their field.

How can we practice more inclusive citation? Here are a few ideas to get us started:

  • Analyze your reference list and ask yourself, who am I not citing? Are there other perspectives that I should consider?
  • Find a leading researcher in your field with a marginalized identity, and follow their work on social media.
  • Experiment with different search strategies or sources to bring back different (and potentially more diverse) results.
  • Make diversity of authors and perspectives a factor in prioritizing what research you decide to read.

Want to learn more?

What is inclusive citation? is a short tutorial that details these strategies and the research behind them.

The rise of citation justice: how scholars are making references fairer is an article from Nature that provides an excellent overview of research on citation inequities, efforts to diversify citations, and critical responses.