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Berg Fashion Library

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Barbie doll?

Or where the phrase “blondes have more fun” came from?

Are you curious about the history of Soviet Russian clothing or want to read about Japanese street and youth fashion?

Any of these questions and more can be explored in the Berg Fashion Library, a new award-winning online resource now available in the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library. Access is available with your Calgary Public Library card in the Arts & Music, Encyclopedias and History & Geneology pages of the E-library.

The Berg Fashion Library contains in-depth content spanning several disciplines from anthropology, art history, fashion, cultural criticism, history and sociology.

Images from the Berg Fashion Library image bank:

Traditional Japanese bridal clothingTraditional Japanese bridal clothing Japanese street fashionJapanese street fashion

Content includes:

  • Lesson plans for teachers and lecturers free of charge
  • Full text collection of Berg Fashion E-books
  • Links to E-journals
  • Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress & Fashion which includes articles and over 2000 searchable images
  • Extensive colour image bank
  • Classic and modern writings on fashion
  • Browse feature to search by themes, period, place, textiles and materials and much more.

What you can do:

  • Save articles, images and searches
  • Print and email content
  • Share via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

You can also view selections of vintage clothing patterns taken from the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). The Commercial Pattern Archive database contains patterns from 1868 to 2000, and although the Berg Fashion Library only highlights a small selection of images from this database, it is a good place to start for those of you who want to recreate that 1960s Mad Men inspired outfit you've always dreamed of.

MissesMisses" and Women"s One Yard ApronsMisses' and Women's One Yard Aprons

Happy Canada Day

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Wow – is it nearly July already?! Happy Canada Day, to one and all!

Have you ever taken the time to browse through the Canadian section of our e-library? Check it out and get access to an encyclopedia about Canadian history, a news archive containing decades’ worth of articles from hundreds of Canadian publications, historical news from the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, listings of associations and governmental offices, and much more.

Did you know that the Calgary Public Library offers programs (and online resources!) for newcomers and those preparing to write Canadian citizenship exams? We also maintain reference collections of Canadian laws and government documents.

Find out more about your great nation by visiting your local library branch. But not on July 1st or 2nd, when all branches will be closed. See you on July 3rd!

Going Solo, by Eric Klinenberg

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I like living alone. I can do whatever I want, without feeling judged; I can exercise my supreme authority to do everything later; the choice of music is always mine, and there’s never someone else using the bathroom when I’m in the mood for a soak. Yes, I want to watch the same DVDs over and over again, and I don’t want to have to justify it! In this vast universe, there are 613 square feet over which I’m the dictator. And it’s fabulous.

So of course when I was browsing our new books, Going Solo appealed to me. Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg is an investigation into why so many adults are choosing to live alone, in cities all over the world. This phenomenon represents a huge shift from just decades ago, when most adults lived with at least one other person. Are singletons isolated weirdoes to be pitied? Klinenberg argues that they may actually be happier and even more engaged in community life than their married counterparts.

I’m only on page 44, but it’s really interesting so far. Perhaps I’ll read some more of it when I get home from work tonight. Or, I’ll opt instead to change into my PJs and dance to 90s pop music, or cook a nice risotto at midnight, or go through everything in my closet and try to create new outfits, until I get bored of that and start listening to podcasts. Or painting my nails. It’s my place and I live alone – we’ll see what this dictator is in the mood for...

Black History Month: The Big O

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

No, not that Big O. I mean Obama. As in Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America.

With only about 10 months remaining until the next American presidential election, it’s time to put Obama’s accomplishments into perspective. Has he managed to clean up Bush’s messes, or has he only exacerbated existing problems? Will his contentious health care reforms prove to be beneficial for the average American, or not? Is the world safer with Obama at the helm, or is Obama merely a pawn in corporate America's game? No matter where you stand on the political issues, it’s undeniable that Obama is a groundbreaking, historic figure.

Imagine: it was only decades before Obama ascended to presidency that Rosa Parks was being asked to move to the back of that fateful bus. Now, read that sentence again.

Check out some of these titles and learn more about America's first black president:

Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of a President, by Justin A. Frank

Obama and the Middle East, by Fawaz Gerges

Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves and Letters of the First Postmodern President, by Jack Cashill

The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad, by Tariq Ali

And don't forget that Obama is an author, too! Check out The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father.

February is Black History Month. Learn more at your local library branch!

After America, by Mark Steyn

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Mark Steyn is too conservative for me. Or, is it that I’m too liberal for Mark Steyn?

I’m reading his new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and although he mocks and critiques many things that I think are crucial, I’m enjoying the experience of having views to which I don’t subscribe spelled out in a cogent and articulate way. Steyn is an uncommon combination of erudite and cheeky, and I find myself smirking, even when I disagree with him.

When I picked up the book and saw that its back cover has a glowing endorsement from Ann Coulter (insert gagging noise here) I was sure that I should just put the book down and move on. But the amateur philosopher in me knows that in order to understand my own views, I need to understand others’ views, too. I need to listen to the people who differ from me, in order to gain a better and more nuanced understanding of the views that I do hold.

So, dear reader, I encourage you to select a book whose author you don’t like, appreciate or understand. Challenge yourself to read both sides of a debate.

We’ve got books about all the contentious stuff: politics, religion, sex, war, and so on. Ask our librarians for a recommendation!

Bob’s Your Uncle

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Okay, I don’t have an uncle Bob. My uncles are Gavin, Colin, Allan and John.

I work in Research Plus, where we get all sorts of questions about genealogy. Customers want our help in tracking down their birth parents, or their great aunt’s obituary, or the name of the guy who lived beside their parents’ house, in 1952.

Do you have a question related to genealogy? Visit the 4th floor of the Central Library, where our well trained staff will help you find old city directories, newspaper clippings, high school yearbooks, family histories and more. Or check out the basement level of the Central library, for newspapers on microfilm. Or, contact Research Plus, and for a fee, we’ll do the work for you!

Check out our program guide for free genealogy programs, and read our Community History and Family Heritage blog, too!