On This Day In History--January 4th: Jacob Grimm was born in 1785


Jacob Grimm, eldest of the famous storytelling duo The Brothers Grimm, was born on January 4th, 1785 in Hanau, Germany. He and his younger brother Wilhelm were mythologists, linguists, and authors of hundreds of folktales. They also collected and revised many traditional German folktales, believing the stories to be great expressions of German culture and literature.

Some of their most famous works include stories that are still highly popular and well-known today, like Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Though many versions of their stories exist today, the original Grimm fairy tales contained common themes of violence and brutality. For instance, at the close of the original Snow White, the evil queen is forced into iron shoes and made to dance until she drops dead. Seen as inappropriate for children, their stories weren't very popular when they were first published, but the brothers worked to make them more child-friendly as they produced newer editions, and their popularity grew.

Many of their stories can be found in AADL’s Fairytales and Folklore collection, including ones that have been re-written, re-told, or re-interpreted by other cultures. Some, like Snow White, Cinderella, and Rapunzel have been made into popular movies, as well as operas and ballets. The Grimm Brothers and their lives were the subjects of a fantasy film in 2005.

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Two Tales "Dark and Grimm"

On This Day in History--January 3rd: J.R.R. Tolkien was born in 1892


Author of the incredibly popular Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3rd, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He died in Bournemouth, England on September 2nd, 1973.

While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. Tolkien's works painted detailed, colorful images for his readers and his dedication to detailed imagery and his extensive imagination led him to create an entirely new world, now famously known as Middle-Earth. He also constructed fictional histories, detailed legends and intricate languages for his world.Tolkien, who has won countless awards throughout and after his lifetime, was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972. In 2008, The Times newspaper ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945" and Forbes magazine ranked him the 5th top-earning dead celebrity in 2009.

Tolkien Week, an annual event that celebrates the works and legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien, will take place from September 22nd to September 28th in 2013. The Lord of the Rings series was later adapted into three popular films: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of The King. More recently, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was released as the first of a new three-part film trilogy. Follow the links, and you'll find many of Tolkien's books and films in AADL's collection!

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Locus Magazine Announces Winners of Poll for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels

On This Day in History--January 2nd: Isaac Asimov was born in 1920

One of the world’s best-known science-fiction writers and a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, Isaac Asimov was born on January 2nd, 1920 near Smolensk, Russia. Through his dedication to writing and to science he helped to elevate science fiction from pulp magazines to a more intellectual and respected genre.

One of the most prolific writers of all time, he wrote or edited more than 500 books, on subjects as varied as chemistry, biology, the Bible, Shakespeare, modern history, as well as books for preschoolers and college students. He received dozens of awards in his lifetime including six Hugo awards, 3 Nebula awards, and a posthumous induction into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. He even had an asteroid and a crater on Mars named in his honor. Asimov was also a member and Vice President of Mensa, though he found little enjoyment in it, feeling his fellow members were too arrogant about their high IQs. Asimov died in New York, New York on April 6th, 1992.

His more popular works include the Foundation trilogy, Pebble in the Sky, The Stars, Like Dust, and I, Robot, which was adapted into a film of the same name in 2004. Follow the links and you'll find them in AADL's collection!

Related Posts:
Locus Magazine Announces Winners of Poll for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels

New York Times Historical

The New York Times is available online to library users all the way back to its first issues from 1851. Over 150 years of historic news coverage is available at your fingertips, digitized and fully searchable. Select ‘Page View’ to see complete newspaper pages as they originally appeared in print, or select ‘Full-text PDF’ to see only the article you choose.

Access to all our reference databases and resources is available at every AADL branch and from outside the library with a valid library card. To access New York Times Historical, go to the Research page and from the Newspapers tab, click on New York Times Historical.

Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012: Tips for Voters

-Don’t forget to bring your photo ID to vote. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID will be required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
-Peak voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Voters who want to avoid long lines are encouraged to vote during midday hours.
-Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are standing in line by 8 p.m. then you are eligible to vote.
-In-person requests for absentee ballots will be accepted at the City Clerk’s Office, 2nd floor of City Hall, until Monday, November 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed on Election Day. Polling places located within schools are open.
-Signs will be posted at all polling locations to assist voters.

View your sample ballot, check your polling location and much more at Michigan Votes.

Washtenaw County election results are televised on Community Television Network’s CitiTV Channel 19 beginning at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012—after the polls close—and will continue throughout the night.

Arlington Cemetery's Gravesites Now Searchable

Arlington National Cemetery recently launched a searchable database that will help people "find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history" with apps for Apple products, Android, Blackberrys, as well as a desktop version.

Arlington's website says, "The Army photographed 259,978 gravesites, niches and markers using a custom-built smart phone application and instituted a rigorous process to review each headstone photo with existing cemetery records and other historical documents. The end result was the creation of a single, verifiable and authoritative database of all those laid to rest at Arlington that is linked to the Arlington's digital mapping system."

Both Sides Now: The Statewide Ballot Proposals on CTN

The League of Women Voters will examine the pros and cons of the six statewide ballot proposals as well as the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti ballot proposals on CTN, Community Television Network, beginning Wednesday, October 10. Viewers can also stream the program on demand from links on the CTN homepage.

The LWV also helps sponsor Vote411.org, the online election source that lets voters build their own ballot with an online voters' guide. Type in your address to see the races on your ballot. Candidates' positions can be compared side-by-side, and you may print out a "ballot" indicating your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.

To double-check your voter registration status, your polling location, view your sample ballot and much more, visit the State of Michigan's Michigan Votes web site.

SIRS Discoverer Deluxe

SIRS Discoverer is a research database designed for students in grades 1-9. It is packed with interesting and informative articles organized by topic, complete with photographs and maps. The articles all list their Lexile score so you can pick the articles that match your reading level. It even has a whole section devoted to the US election! Use SIRS Discoverer to find information for school projects, or explore the subject headings to find ideas for paper topics.
Access to all our reference databases and resources is available at every AADL branch and from outside the library with a valid library card. To access SIRS Discoverer, go to the Research page and from the Student Papers category, click on SIRS Discoverer.

Signal of Liberty

The Signal of Liberty was Ann Arbor's prominent abolitionist newspaper, running from 1841-1847. The paper has been digitized and made available online. This wonderful resource can be browsed by either articles or images. The Signal of Liberty had a primary goal of spreading facts on the issue of slavery to readers in the Midwest and remains an excellent primary source for research.

This resource can be accessed by visiting signalofliberty.aadl.org or through the AADL website by going to the Research page, clicking Local History, and then selecting Signal of Liberty.

Muzzy Language Learning for Kids


The library has a new children's language learning database called Muzzy. Currently there are 8 different languages to choose from: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian. You can use it at home or at the library. The Muzzy animated story and games are a captivating way for kids to learn another language. It was originally a BBC program so those from Europe may recognize it. Learn more about this database here. We also offer the Muzzy multilingual series (it includes a choice of learning English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish) and the separate traditional Chinese language learning version for checkout.

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