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April 20, 2001

  1. Athanasius Kircher Exhibition Begins April 22 in Green Library
  2. SUL/AIR's Academic Computing and MIT Creating Course Management System
  3. New "Speaking of Computers" for Spring Quarter
  4. SUL/AIR Job Opportunities

1. Athanasius Kircher Exhibition Begins April 22 in Green Library

The Stanford University Libraries is pleased to present the exhibit, The Great Art of Knowing: The Baroque Encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the renowned Jesuit's birth, the exhibit will feature over 50 rare 17th and 18th century editions acquired by Stanford in 1998 from the collection of Ella and Bernard Mazel. The Great Art of Knowing will be on view at Stanford University's Cecil H. Green Library, Peterson Gallery, from Sunday, April 22 to July 22, 2001. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Regarded by many as one of Europe's most inventive and versatile scholars of the Baroque era, Kircher published more than thirty works on such topics as astronomy, magnetism, cryptology, numerology, Egyptology, geology, and music. A contemporary of Newton and Descartes, Kircher was also the creator of one of Europe's earliest and most famous museums at the Collegio Romano in Rome. As a tribute to Kircher, his museum was recently reconstructed in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, and also in an exhibit that opened this winter at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.

Curated by Daniel Stolzenberg, Graduate Student in the History of Science and Early Modern European History at Stanford, and designed by Becky Fischbach, Exhibits Designer and Preparer for the Stanford University Libraries, the exhibit features Stanford's virtually complete holdings of Kircher's published, and lavishly illustrated 17th century editions, along with a host of other related rare books in the history of science.

For additional details about the exhibit, see the Web at:


--submitted by Vanessa Kam

2. SUL/AIR's Academic Computing and MIT Creating Course Management System

Academic Computing has teamed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop an open-source, Web-based learning management system (LMS). Our goal is to address learning problems in courses at Stanford, develop activities that engage students, enhance the instructional methods of faculty, respect the logistical and economic constraints of the course, and build on pedagogically-sound principles. The Stanford LMS, an extension of the current CourseWork system, will initially integrate basic Web-based tools including the currently available CourseWork quizzing and problem set tool, the PanFora Discussion board, a course Eeb page manager, course announcements, section registraton, and an on-line grade book. CourseWork will be integrated with other campus computing systems supporting authentication and authorization through Leland, course reserves and archiving through the library, and student registration and grading through the registrar.

The Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will lead to an open source consortium. Initially, in addition to MIT and Stanford, Dartmouth College, North Carolina State University, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be the core developers for the system.

For a recent article describing OKI's plans for this open source course management system, see the Web at:


For more information about the OKI project, see the Web at: http://web.mit.edu/oki/

For Stanford's implementation of its OKI system, go to:


You can also find articles about some of the tools that are already in use (CourseWork and panFora) in several articles at the beginning of the spring issue of "Speaking of Computers" at:


--submitted by Charles Kerns

3. New "Speaking of Computers" for Spring Quarter

The Spring Quarter issue of "Speaking of Computers" is now being distributed. Produced by the Academic Computing group within SUL/AIR, this newsletter provides information about campus computing and technological activities and resources.

Libraries' staff may be particularly interested in the Library Resources section of the newsletter, which includes information about new or updated electronic, library-related resources and services. For example, this issue contains articles on cross references in Socrates, the digital delivery of interlibrary loan materials, and a variety of electronic resources in the humanities and sciences.

You can access "Speaking of Computers" on the Web at:


If you would like a printed copy, or if you want to subscribe to "Speaking of Computers", please send mail to pubs@netserver.stanford.edu. (Those who already subscribe to "Speaking of Computers" should be receiving a copy of the new issue through ID mail within a week.)

--submitted by Eleanor Brown

4. SUL/AIR Job Opportunities

SUL/AIR has the following new open positions this week:

Serials Receiving / Maintenance Specialist (04/16/01); REQ# J011072
Library Specialist (04/16/01); REQ# J011070

For a complete description of these jobs and a list of all current SUL/AIR jobs, visit the Human Resources Web site at:

Human Resources Web site.

Please send future submissions to SUL/AIR News to:

SUL/AIR News is an electronic publication of Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources issued weekly. Copy deadline is 12:00 NOON Wednesday for publication on the following Friday. Submit items for publication to sulairnews@forsythe.stanford.edu .
Editor for SUL: Sarah Williamson, sarahcw@sulmail.stanford.edu
Editor for AIR and HR: Eleanor Brown, eabrown@leland.stanford.edu