Getting paranormal in the library: X-Files Sources

Do you want to believe? If you’re half as excited as I am about the new season of the X-Files, you’ll want to investigate… and what better place to do that than the library? (With the lack of windows in the Wells Library you can almost believe you’re in the basement of the Hoover building.)

All good researchers know that a good place to start investigating is to go directly to the source. Thankfully, the CIA recently published a list of their OWN X-Files, including real CIA documents, divided into “Top 5 CIA Documents Mulder Would Love to Get His Hands On” as well as a list for Scully. Included is a guide for How To Investigate a Flying Saucer (I know what I’M doing this weekend). They also link to their extensive FOIA UFO Collection which really makes you wonder why Mulder and Scully never used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They probably could have used a librarian. Visit the CIA site here:

If you want to dig deeper into spooky government documents, check out the US Declassified Documents Online Database. It includes such gems as CIA files on allegations that conspiracy was involved in assassination of President Kennedy.


But that’s not all! You might remember the Monster Map from our collection, featuring such X-Files stars as the Chubacabra and the Jersey Devil.

map of monsters in America

Image © Hog Island Press. Reproduced with permission. Map found at

We also recently acquired The Official Map of the X-Files, made by Chris Carter himself! You guys, I’m so excited to have this in our collection. Get more information from the IUCAT record:

A lot has changed since The X-Files first aired in 1993, and mapping technology is no exception. Open Source web mapping companies such as Mapbox and CartoDB have been making their own X-Files maps to celebrate the new season. I highly recommend them for general interest, but also as examples of the different ways you can use maps and GIS in your research. It just so happens that we’re offering several workshops on CartoDB this semester, so check them out if you want to learn to make your own X-Files map!

map of UFO sightings and x-files locations

Click the image to view the live map at CartoDB

map showing locations of x-files episodes

Click the image to view the live map at Mapbox

If that’s not enough for you, the Herman B Wells Library has even more X-Files related resources. Try searching IUCAT for X-Files to discover more!

The truth is out there. The library can help you find it.

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Map your travel photos in 5 easy steps!

I take photos of rainbow umbrellas when I travel. It started at a temple in Nepal, where I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of two women with a rainbow umbrella looking out at the Himalayas. Now I notice rainbow umbrellas everywhere, and besides a summer of Eastern European travel photos that were wiped from my camera, I have photos from many of the countries I’ve visited.


women with rainbow umbrella

My first rainbow umbrella, outside Kathmandu, Nepal.

All that to say, I have a Facebook album of travel photos  just calling out to be made into a map. I bet you do too! Thankfully, there’s a tool that allows you to easily map photos directly from your Flickr, Facebook, or Picasa account. It even works with YouTube videos! Really, there are many ways to stick your photos on a map, but I’m a fan of ESRI Storymaps because it’s simple and allows you to add a fair amount of descriptive text to your photos.

Here’s an example of a map I made of my rainbow umbrella photos:

screenshot of map

Check out for more examples.

Ready to make your own?

  1. You’ll need to start with a collection of photos online. You can integrate directly from Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, or YouTube. We’ll be using Facebook for this example. It’s easiest if your photos already have location information (in Facebook, go to you photo and choose “edit”, start to type in the location, then choose from the menu), but they don’t have to.
  2. Create an ArcGIS free public account:
  3. Head over to the StoryMaps App list and choose the first option, Map Story Tour. App website screenshot
  4. Choose the Facebook icon and follow the steps to connect to your Facebook account. You can make a public map of your photos even if the album is only shared with friends.StoryMaps screenshot
  5. Import your photos, and assign locations to each of them if you haven’t already done so. You can also reorder the images, add titles, and descriptions. Customize the look of your map under the “Settings” tab, and by changing the basemap.

You just made a map!

Mapping travel photos is a fun example, but this tool is also useful for academic projects and research. Check out Erika Jenn’s excellent map on Audubon’s Birds for an example:

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Drive Safely This Winter!

As the weather gets colder, it’s important to remain focused and safe when driving.  If you are traveling over the holidays, or planning a getaway at some point this winter, be sure to refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s helpful tips!

For a quick review of the basics, you may also want to print out this information sheet compiled by the NHTSA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For more safety resources, as well as information on these U.S. government agencies, check out the Government Information collection here in GIMMS!

Be safe out there – and remember: Prepare, Protect, Prevent.




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GIS Workshops at the Library

Welcome back students! This Fall Semester 2015 we have an exciting lineup of GIS and mapping workshops for you. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Comment with suggestions for future workshops!

GIS flyer Fall 2015

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ET2: Home of IU’s Student Employee of the Year!

Each Spring, the National Student Employment (NSEA) coordinates a Student Employee of the Year selection process to recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who work while attending college.  Student employment offers students the ability to develop skills relevant in any career path, and better preparation for the job market upon graduation.  The IU Career Development Center (CDC) in conjunction with the NSEA designated this week (April 13-17, 2015) as National Student Employment Week.  The purpose of this week is to increase public recognition of student employment by acknowledging the contributions student workers make in the multitude of roles they fill.

ET2 would not be able to function without student workers.  I honestly believe our student workers accomplish more than the majority of students working in Public Services.

We currently employ 22 students.  We have been very fortunate to employ many of them all four years they have attended IU.  I feel privileged to have known and worked with these dedicated students.

I want to list our students here:

  • Aimi Mohd Razif
  • Dhriti Katanguri
  • Erika Hedges
  • Grace Showalter
  • Ilise Kundel
  • Ireri Perez
  • Jessica Lopez
  • Kaitlyn Treadway
  • Kaylie Qualls
  • Kevin Hoeper
  • Laura Slabaugh
  • Magen Nail Melton
  • Malissa Renno
  • Markus McClain
  • Meridith Wright
  • Ryan Randall
  • Seraphima Mixon
  • Stefani Ruzic
  • Sumant Raichur
  • Todd Goushaw
  • Varsha Vadaga
  • Wade Robbins

I especially want to recognize the contributions of the following undergraduate students during this past year:

  • Aimi Adibah Mohd Razif
  • Grace Showalter
  • Ilise Kundel
  • Kaylie Qualls
  • Kevin Hoeper
  • Malissa Renno
  • Sumant Raichur

Congratulations goes out to our own Malissa Renno, who was named IU’s Employee of the Year!

Keep up the good work, people!

~ Kimberly Horne

Malissa Renno Earns IUB Student Employee of the Year

Malissa Renno Earns IUB Student Employee of the Year

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Government Documents GONE WILD!

I realize that government information isn’t the most exciting topic for most people, but once in a while a document comes along to challenge the stuffy stereotype of the Federal Government. I bring you…

The US Forest Service Cocktail Construction Chart

cocktail chart

Click image for full size

Here we have blueprints for your favorite cocktails (if you’re 21+ of course) created by the Forest Service. Why does this exist? Hint: It’s not because Smokey Bear  threw a party.

Esquire has a good article on The Real Story Behind the U.S. Forest Service Cocktail Chart.

If you want to see more interesting and weird government documents, come up to the 2nd Floor of the East Tower! Of special interest is our collection of posters from the U.S. Government, as well as the United Nations. They range from warning about steroid use, to acid rain, to celebrating International Women’s Day. Some of them are currently showcased on our Earth Day display.

Poster warning about steroid use

An example from our poster collection


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Hoosier Hysteria—the local version of “March Madness”

We at ET2 are certainly not immune to the madness that happens in March, so let’s look at some basketball-related items. IU Libraries hold both some basketball-related resources you might expect & some pretty surprising ones!

Indiana Collection and Microformats

We have many more basketball-related studies from the 1950s to the 1980s than you’d imagine, from histories like James Dale Woudstra’s “The History of Men’s Basketball in the Netherlands” to Edgar Ole Larson’s “Emotional Responses of College Basketball Players” to Paul M. Maaske’s “The Effect of the Practice of Shooting at Small Baskets on the Accuracy of Shooting in Basketball.” We have these on microformats, so come use our microform readers and scanners to help you can catch up on these social, psychological, or technical aspects of the game.

Of course, we also hold many books and print materials. Here are a few you might enjoy:

Getting Open

Getting Open: The Unknown Story of Bill Garrett and the Integration of College Basketball by Tom Graham and Rachel Graham Cody. Indiana Collection copy, Public Health Library copy
Pop quiz: who is the Jackie Robinson of college basketball? This book details not only the experience of Bill Garrett, the player who broke the Big Ten’s color line, but also the roles played by his teammates, coaches, and even Herman B Wells in integrating college basketball starting here at IU.

Hall of Fame : Home of Indiana Basketball Excitement! : New Castle by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Indiana Collection copy
The Indiana collection holds documents of all sorts, and this one is one of the folded single sheet pamphlets you might be used to seeing in travel and tourism stands.

The Champs ’81 by Bob Hammel, Larry Crewell, and with contributions from the Herald-Telephone’s sports and photography staffs. Indiana Collection copy
Published by The Herald-Telephone and the Indiana University Press, this photo-packed book shows the 1980-81 team’s trajectory to that year’s victory.

Somebody Stole the Pea Out of My Whistle: the Golden Age of Hoosier Basketball Referees by Max Knight. Indiana Collection copy
It’s easy to overlook—or just revile—the role that referees perform in games, but this book draws from interviews with more than twenty refs who share their best stories.

Other IU Libraries Collections

Going beyond the Indiana Collection housed in ET2, the IU Libraries more generally holds quite a bit on the game. Here’s a small sampling of ones that caught our eye.

Pioneers of the Hardwood

There’s also a television version of this. Have you seen it?

Pioneers of the Hardwood : Indiana and the Birth of Professional Basketball by Todd Gould. Wells Research Collection and Wells Undergraduate Core Collection copies
The Senior Producer for public television station WFYI in Indianapolis, Indiana, Gould shows how local teams like the Indianapolis Olympians and the Fort Wayne Pistons—you probably know their later Detroit incarnation—led the way in professional basketball as we’ve come to love it.

The Little Book of Basketball Law by Melissa Altman Linsky. Law Library copy
Have you ever wondered about the legal rights of season ticket holders, or the legal implications of spectator injuries? How about whether professional basketball players have legal rights to their names? Linsky’s book covers all of these topics and more.

Basketball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Paint edited by Jerry L. Walls and Gregory Bassham, with a foreword by Dick Vitale. Public Health Library copy
This collection of essays covers a lot of ground from whether the decline of small-town basketball can tell us about the change in communitarian feeling to how we might confront strategic cheaters in pickup basketball games. This collection is one of few items that also has a partial focus on women’s basketball, with an essay called “She Got Game: Basketball and the Perfectly Developed Woman.”

Give and Go: Basketball as a Cultural Practice by Thomas McLaughlin. Public Health Library copy
Focusing primarily on pickup basketball, this English professor at Appalachian State University writes chapters ranging from how basketball reflects postindustrial culture to how it relates to practicing masculinity and from how basketball is represented on television and in film to how it has its own sets of ethics.

When Mexicans Could Play Ball: Basketball, Race, and Identity in San Antonio, 1928-1945 by Ignacio M. García. Online version
San Antonio’s Sidney Lanier High School basketball team, the Voks, became a two-time Texas state championship team under their head coach William Carson “Nemo” Herrera. García uses interviews, newspaper articles, and stats from the games to write what the author says is methodologically a “risky proposition for a historian.”

All the Moves: A History of College Basketball by Neil D. Isaacs. Herman B Wells Undergraduate Core Collection and Public Health Library copies
Published in 1975, this is a worthwhile book for committed basketball fans. It does make you wonder who will write the history of the following decades.

Hysteria on the Hardwood: a Narrative History of Community, Race, and Indiana’s “Basketbrawl” Tradition by Kelly R. Eskew. Online version
In addition to published documents, IUCAT also sometimes contains scholarship produced by IU graduate students. This 2012 Master’s thesis by an IUPUI History student looks at the social and historical context for the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s 1964 decision to suspend the entire Muncie Central High School athletics program for a year after a bloody brawl at the end of a basketball game.

Finding More

As you might expect, the IU library system has oodles more on basketball. The subject heading “basketball” brings up more than 1,000 items! IUCAT’s Advanced Search will let you dial in just the ones you want. For instance, if you’re looking for movies, you can look them up by format (DVD or Videocasette). If it’s raining and you don’t want to go outside, you can even look by location, such as “Bloomington RPS Libraries – Eigenmann.”

In IUCAT these are clickable links that grab more specific results from left to right!

Once you’ve found something you like, you can use that to find similar things. Near the bottom of the record you’ll see a section called “Subject headings” with a bunch of red links. Not only can you click on those, but they’re actually links that combine to narrow down in scope as you move from left to right. If you were to click on “Basketball” you’ll see all 1,061 things we currently have. When there are other words in the same line, for instance “Basketball–Rules,” you can click further to the right of the double hyphen and get just the something on that combination of subjects. If you click on “Rules” in “Basketball–Rules” you’ll currently get 27 results. Similarly, “Basketball–History” currently has 38 results, and “Basketball–Social aspects” currently has 40 results.

Post by Ryan Randall

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Monster Map!

Hey all you folklorists, Bigfoot hunters, and people who just want to believe… we have the map for you! We recently purchased this amazing map of Monsters in America by Hog Island Press.

map of monsters in America

Image © Hog Island Press. Reproduced with permission. Map found here.

Have you ever heard of the Beast of Busco? I hadn’t, but apparently people claimed to have seen a 500 pound snapping turtle in a pond in Churubusco, Indiana (near Fort Wayne). For more information about strange creatures, myths, and oddities in Indiana come visit the Indiana Collection on the 2nd floor of the East Tower, where we have books like Oddball Indiana!

You are also welcome to stop by and view the map! If you’re interested in some of the other monsters pictured here, Frank Jacobs of Big Think’s map blog: Strange Maps, has compiled a great list of monster descriptions! Check it out at

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Google Earth Pro is now FREE!

Great news, map nerds! Google recently announced that they are making Google Earth Pro (previously costing about $400 a year) free. FREE!

The major benefits of Google Earth Pro over regular Google Earth are that it’s much easier to upload and analyze your own data, including shapefiles and GPS data. You can export and print at a higher resolution, and they’ve added the cool feature of measuring polygons (in case you want to figure out how large your neighbor’s pool is, etc).

Download Google Earth Pro to check it out!

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Free Access to New York Times

It’s the beginning of the month and you’ve already hit your 10 free article limit? Don’t panic! Now you can get free unlimited digital access to the New York Times with your IU email. Just go to to activate your account. If you need help, check out the FAQ.

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