Category Archives: Information


This bronze statue, Runner from the Garden of the Villa of the Papyri, is an example of the artifacts found at the site of Herculaneum.  More than 450 artifacts of this nature, including casts of the volcano’s victims, room-sized frescoes, and precious jewelry, will be displayed as part of The Field Museum’s Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption exhibition from Oct 22, 2005 to March 26, 2006.  For more information, call (312) 922-9410.
Photo Credit: © Mimmo Jodice

Are you traveling to Chicago over the next few months and looking for something interesting to do? How about visiting the Field Museum and checking out their new exhibit on Pompeii?

The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in southern Italy, were buried in the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The story of what happened that day and why the two cities experienced different fates is told in this exhibit. Along with a variety of artifacts, you will learn what happened and why. Vesuvius has erupted 3 dozen times since 79 A.D. Today over 2 million people live in an area that could be affected by another eruption. Do we know if another eruption is coming? If you are interested in Ancient history, volcanoes, geology, archaeology or simply in a human story of a natural disaster (complete with human casts), you should see this exhibit.

The Field Museum has put together information about the exhibit on their web page at The Todd Library also has some resources you may want to see before or after your visit to the museum. Check it out!

Pompeii ed. By Filippo Coarelli DG70.P7P66 2002
Pompeii: public and private life by Paul Zanker DG70.P7 Z3613 1998
Rome and Pompeii (video) DG63.L5 1994
AD79: one day in time (video) DG70.P7 1979
Last days of Pompeii by Edward B. Lytton PR4912.L998 L2
Volcanoes in human history by J.Z. de Boer and D.T. Sanders QE522.B637 2002
Melting the earth:history of ideas on volcanic eruptions by Sigurdsson QE522.S5481 1999
Furious earth by Prager QE534.2.P73 2000
Why the earth quakes by Levy and Salvadori QE522.L48 1995
“Consumed by the Volcano’s fiery wrath” by Pringle. Discover Nov2005 p. 73
“Pompeii in North America” by Holden. Archaeology Sep/Oct2005 p.55
“Pompeii’s burial not its first disaster” Science news 11/27/04 p.350
“Pompeii’s ruins rise to tell tale of horror” Chicago Tribune 10/18/05
“Visiting ‘Pompeii’ and finding clues to disaster” Chicago Tribune 10/20/05

Library Research Gets Results

In October, local Sugar Grove resident, Spencer Rees, came in to Todd Library for help on a Christmas present he was making. He was trying to make a model of the Hunley, the first successful American attack submarine from the Civil War, for his brother who is a huge Civil War buff. Our search found several books and articles, including a National Geographic article, and a web site for Friends of the Hunley. In less than 30 minutes, Mr. Rees sat down with pencil and paper and his research, and made several sketches to help him with his model making.

Today Mr. Rees brought the finished model to the library to show us the end result of the research. In several weeks, he had produced a beautiful wood replica of the Hunley. Mr. Rees explained to us the parts of the submarine and showed us how the 8-man crew sat. The submarine was only 4 feet high, and the men sat and used hand cranks to propel it. He told us how its torpedo was shot and how the sub was found after 150 years. He really did his research!
Rees with Hunley Model

Mr. Rees thanked the library, saying he never could have made the model without the help he received here at the Todd Library.

If you would like to find out more about the Hunley, see the following resources from Todd Library:

Campbell, R. Thomas. “The david meets the hunley” Civil War Times Illustrated 41:32(8) March 2002.

Friends of the Hunley.

Lipscom, F.W. Historic Submarines. 1970. (V857.L56)

Middleton, Drew. Submarine, the ultimate naval weapon : its past, present & future. 1976. (V210.M52)

Oeland, Glenn. “The H.L. Hunley: secret weapon of the Confederacy.” National Geographic p. 82(20), July 2002.

Microsoft® Office 2003 Research Pane

The Todd library now offers the ability to search our library catalog directly from within most Microsoft Office 2003 applications. To activate this new feature you will need to install our Research Service. To install the research service you will need to download the file listed on our Research Tool page. Once you have downloaded the file to your computer, double click on the file to launch the installer and follow the directions provided on screen by the installer.

To use the service you will need to access the research pane in a Microsoft Office 2003 application. First select the “Task Pane” option from the “View” menu. Once the task pane is displayed you will need to switch to the Research pane by selecting the drop-down at the top of the task pane. After you have switched to the Research pane you will need to select “Todd Library: Online Catalog” from the drop-down box located below the search box. You may now perform keyword searches of the Todd Library Online catalog any time from your Office 2003 Application.

Firefox Search Plugin for Library Catalog

Add the Todd Library Online Catalog to your copy of Mozilla Firefox
Now you can add the Todd Library Catalog to your browser’s search box to quickly search for materials. To add the search functionaliy you first need to be running the Firefox web browser. Next you need to visit the library website, and look for the link “add the Todd Library Catalog” located under the large picture on the welcome pages. Once you clik the link you will be asked for permission to add the plugin to your browser. Click OK and the plugin will be installed. Now in the upper right corner of the firefox browser you can select the Todd Library Catalog any time you need to do a fast search of our library catalog. If you want to know more about how we created this tool continue reading below.

HowTo add search functionality to FireFox.

There really isn’t all that much to the creation of a plugin for firefox. It is actually much easier than it looks. You basically need three files. One is the graphic, one is the Javascript for performing the install, and the other is the plugin file for FireFox. The functionality for searching with FireFox is actually the same as it is for the netscape / Mozilla sidebars however I was unable to get the results formatted quite right for those browsers so for the moment I am leaving it as just a FireFox addin. Your results may vary.

Step One: Decide where on your website the files will reside. I created a separate directory called “Mozilla” to house all of the files to make maintaining them much easier. This path will be needed in later steps so make note of it. (Mine is:

Step Two: Create your image. The image can be a .gif or a .png formatted image. I myself prefer the .png format because that format has had less copyright problems over the years and is much nicer to work with. The image must be no larger than 16 x 16 pixels. This size just happens to be the same size as a favicon.

Step Three: Create the .src file. Using the instructions and example found at: deepdocs/quickstart.html#firstplugin create a file with the name of your choosing, I used catalog.src You probably want to make it unique to your library. If everyone names their plugin catalog.src we will only be able to add one catalog at a time.

Step Four: Modify the example .src file to fit your library. The following items will be unique to your library:
(Note: there is a automatic generator that I did not find out about until after I wrote all of this, located at that should help create the .src file)

  • Examine the <search> tag in the .src file there are a number of elements in it that need to be altered to fit your environment.
  • You should not need to change the version element, so leaving it at 7.1 should be fine.
  • The name and description elements should be self explanatory.
  • In the action=”” element you will need to place the search URL for your catalog. This is the URL your search form submits information to. Take a look in your catalog for the <form> tag, the action element on that page, and the action element in your plugin will most likely be the same. URL Parameters, Items following a ? and separated by & should be included using the <input> tag. I will go into more detail on this later.
  • Change the ‘method=”Get”‘ element to match the method element in your catalogs <form> tag. This controls how information is sent to your library catalog.
  • Change the ‘searchForm’ element to point to the regular page your patron would visit to start a new search in your catalog.
  • After the closing > for the <search> tag you will see a couple of <input> tags listed in the example. These tags are basically the same as any input you would pass along to the catalog via the URL parameter including the text the user wishes to search on. In the case of Web2 we have to specify a few additional items such as “setting_key” and “servers” in order for the search to work correctly. To do this, there needs to be a separate <input> tag for each parameters. If you are at ll familiar with creating forms in HTML this will be easy. The one key item is the tag in which the users search information belongs in. This tag contains the element “user” instead of the ‘value=””‘.
  • The next tag you need to modify is the <interpret> tag. This tag contains the information Mozilla needs in order to interpret your results. In my case I left the example alone, and inserted the various comment tags into the appropriate places in the HTML for Web2. I found this easier than figuring out preexisting unique strings returned by Web2.
  • Finally you will need to make a couple changes to the <browser> tag. This tag contains the exact URL of this file on your web server, as well as the location of your icon file for this tool. This is where you need to insert the path you decided upon back in step one. Edit the update element to point to your .src file, and the updateIcon to point to your .png or .gif image. These elements tell Mozilla where to go to re-download the plugin when the number of days specified by “updateCheckDays” has passed. This allows you to make changes to your plugin and have them automatically update on the patrons browser w/o them having to re-install.

Step Five: Insert the installation Javascript into a test web page. I use the <include> tag to help keep the function code from making my website a mess. The Javascript is located here: deepdocs/installing.html#server
You will need to modify a few lines to point them to the correct URL path for your plugin.

Step Six: Test your plugin, and make changes as desired. When everything works the way you want it, visit step 8.

Step Seven: Insert the installation Javascript into your website. I use the <include> tag to help keep the function code from making my website a mess. The Javascript is located here: deepdocs/installing.html#server

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Enhanced Interlibrary Loan services

The Todd Library is pleased to announce the addition of a new feature to our web site. The new feature entitled “Manage my Account” is located in the Interlibrary Loan section of our web site. Using this new feature our patrons can check the status of their pending Interlibrary Loans; Request renewals of current ILL’s; view a list of current items on loan and even add a due date reminder to most personal calendar programs.