News from the Reference Desk Category: Mythology

Origins of Winter Holiday Celebrations

Mistletoe, presents, candlelight–all of these and more are part of winter holidays.  The origins of the traditions carried out this time of year are both ancient and modern.  The editors of JSTOR an online resource of academic articles have collected a variety of articles which address aspects of the winter holiday season.  You will learn more about Santa Claus, mistletoe, the lights of Hanukkah, poinsettias,  the winter solstice and other treasured aspects of this time of year.  Take time during this busy season to immerse yourself in the lore of the winter holidays.  May this experience bring you understanding and a greater appreciation of the season.

New and Forthcoming Nonfiction Titles – October 2018

New Books
Almost every day new books arrive at the Library to be processed and then placed on the shelf or in your hands. Take a look at some of the books that have arrived most recently at the Library. Ask for more titles at the Research Services Desk!

Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front and Back
by Mara Altman
Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

Where Did You Get This Number? : A Pollster’s Guide to Making Sense of the World
by Anthony Salvanto
For any American who wants to get a better read on what America is thinking, this book shows you how to make sense of it all.

Bat
by Tessa Laird
Tessa Laird challenges preconceptions about these amazing animals, combining fascinating facts of bat biology, mythology, literature, film, popular culture, poetry and art.

 

Pilgrimage: The Great Pilgrim Routs of Britain and Europe
by Derry Brabbs
Astounding photographs combine with an absorbing text that describes the history and key features of European pilgrimage routes.

How Do We Look
by Mary Beard
From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity.

Flying too Close to the Sun: Myths in Art from Classical to Contemporary
by James Cahill
This is the first book to unite myth-inspired artworks by ancient, modern, and contemporary artists, from Botticelli and Caravaggio to Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.

 

The Wes Anderson Collection: Isle of Dogs
by Lauren Wilford
Wes Anderson shares the story behind Isle of Dogs’s conception and production, and many other insights into their movie making process.

Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy: How My Little Goats Taught Me Huge Lessons about Life
by Leanne Lauricella
Part humor, part memoir of her life with the goats, and part testament to the power of giving back, Leanne provides insight into the lessons she learned from putting her life online for the lives of her animals.

Paper Promises: Early American Photography
by Mazie M. Harris
Due to the fragility of paper photography from the 1840s to 1860s, the works in this catalog are rarely displayed, making the volume an essential tool for anyone wanting a very rare peek into the mid-nineteenth century.

 

1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution and Change
Edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Welcome to 1968 — a revolution in a book. Essays, memoirs, and more by fourteen award-winning authors offer unique perspectives on one of the world’s most tumultuous years.

Tahini and Turmeric: 101 Middle Eastern Classics Made Irresistibly Vegan
by Ruth Fox
Written by experienced recipe developers and bloggers, the recipes are free of time-consuming or complicated techniques and are meant to be served on busy weeknights and during casual gatherings with friends.

The Lego Architecture Idea Book
by Alice Finch
In this example-packed guide, Alice Finch (renowned for her massive, detailed models of buildings from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings) shares her best building secrets for crafting realistic walls, roofs, columns, and decorations using LEGO.

New Web Resource: National Geographic Virtual Library

The Library now subscribes to National Geographic Virtual Library and National Geographic Kids (brought to you by the incredible database company, Gale Cengage). The Virtual Library contains every single page of every issue of National Geographic since it began publication in 1888, all issues of National Geographic Traveler, published since 2010, and over 300 books.

The incredible photography takes on an amazing glow. Take a look at the about the Photo Ark article for proof of that. Every Last One. 

All articles can be saved to your computer, Google Drive, or saved to your folder in a Gale account. You can print them or email them to yourself or others.

The History of Santa Claus

The holiday season is full of traditional events and practices, many of which revolve around the figure of Santa Claus.  But who is this figure?  What is his history?  That story goes back to 280 CE in Myra, an area now in modern Turkey, where Saint Nicholas lived and worked as a bishop. After his death on December 6 in an unknown year, many stories developed about his kindness and generosity, especially to children.  These legends were adopted over the years by people in many areas of Europe where Saint Nicholas is still considered to be the source of gifts.  It is from him that Santa Claus as he is known today emerges with some help from Nordic mythology and the Protestant Reformation among other influences.  An article from National Geographic online gives a detailed description of this transition.  Additional information can be found at the Santa Claus entry on History.com and the website of the St. Nicholas Center.  This far-reaching tale reveals how many cultures have added to the legend of Santa Claus, making him one figure that belongs to everyone.

Britannica Library

britannica libraryThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.