Subject of the Month

A monthly display featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.

Book, Magic, Stories, Fairy Tales, Fee

Royalty free image from Pixabay

All the Subject of the Month Guides from 2019.

Why Have a Subject of the Month Guide?

For years, the display in the Purdy/Kresge Library highlighted books from the print collections on a unique topic every month.  However, the WSU Library System has a rich collection of eBooks, Online Journals, and Databases, too.  In addition, there is an electronic universe of high-quality, freely available online resources that includes websites, videos, and blogs.  This Research Guide for the Subject of the Month was developed in an effort to gather these resources together and make them available to a wider audience -- reaching students, faculty, and the online community at large.

Royalty free image from Pixabay

Interested in other Subject of the Month Guides throughout the years?

Check them out!

2012                                               2018

2013                                               2019

2014                                               2020

2015                                                      2021

2016                                                       2022



January-June 2019

january subject of the month: tarot

Selector: Maria Nuccilli

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Sign image for Feb 2019 Subject of the Month

Selector: Clayton Hayes

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s theme for 2019's Black History Month, Black Migrations, emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the twentieth century through today.

Detroit owes a great deal to the Great Migration of Black southerners but, once here, Black Detroiters were given little freedom as to where and when they could migrate within the city itself. Racially restrictive housing covenants (legal until 1948) and hostile white neighborhood associations kept blacks from moving into white neighborhoods, while urban renewal programs bulldozed entire black neighborhoods with little or no compensation to residents.

Check it out here!

Postcard of Ellis Island, c. 1930

Ellis Island, NYC Postcard circa 1930 from the Library of Congress

Selector: Michelle LaLonde

Immigration is very much in the news today--and has been a controversial issue throughout American history. This research guide will explore voluntary immigration to the United States, its history, and the law regarding immigration.

The guide will also cover related concepts, including the process of people choosing to leave their own nation ("emigration"), the involuntary moving away by large groups of people from their home countries ("refugees"), and humanitarian laws allowing refugees to migrate to other countries ("asylum"). This guide will also provide some comparison to immigration-related laws and policies of other nations.

Check it out here!

Urban Farming in Detroit with Fisher BuildingSelector: Brooke Lowe

"Urban agriculture can be defined shortly as the growing of plants and the raising of animals within and around cities. The most striking feature of urban agriculture, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system: urban agriculture is embedded in -and interacting with- the urban ecosystem.

Such linkages include the use of urban residents as labourers, use of typical urban resources (like organic waste as compost and urban wastewater for irrigation), direct links with urban consumers, direct impacts on urban ecology (positive and negative), being part of the urban food system, competing for land with other urban functions, being influenced by urban policies and plans, etc. Urban agriculture is not a relict of the past that will fade away (urban agriculture increases when the city grows) nor brought to the city by rural immigrants that will lose their rural habits over time. It is an integral part of the urban system."

Check it out here!

Photo of the Mackinac Bridge over the Straits of Mackinac.  Photo by Rhonda McGinnis

Selector: Rhonda McGinnis

"Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered"

Gordon Lightfoot "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

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Image of green grass, a sunflower, blue skies, and the sun

Selector: Cindy Krolikowski

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July-December 2019

Photo of sculpture and people on campus of Wayne State University

Library homepage slideshow photo credit: PunkToad on Flickr

Selectors: Veronica Bielat and Serena Vaquilar

This month we celebrate Creative Detroit and the creativity of our city's artists in all media. Explore our vibrant poet community, view our university art collection, learn about the lives and works of celebrated artists.  

Our guide includes information about the many art activities and venues you can explore in the city of Detroit. We invite you to enjoy the City's cultural riches.

Check it out here!

photo of mountains with trees and a river

Selector: Karen Liston

The waning days of summer before the school year starts is the perfect time to renew your mind!  The collection for this month includes journeys, destinations, and experiences that explore various approaches and cultural paths to spirituality, enlightenment, and tranquility.  Relax and Enjoy!

Check it out here!

Photo of Labor Day Parade Detroit 1937

Selector: Alexandra Sarkozy

Did you enjoy an extra day off in September this year? Thank a labor union! This month's Subject of the Month focuses on the labor movement in the United States. The labor movement is responsible for current workers' rights like sick time and the eight hour workday, removing children from dangerous industrial work, and for lifting many people out of poverty into the middle class. 

Recent scholarship has also explored the intersections of the labor movement with feminism, the environmental movement, and social movements for racial justice. The labor movement has a especially rich history in Detroit, where the United Auto Workers and the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement, among others, worked for liberation from capitalist exploitation through union organizing, policy discussions, collective bargaining, political action, strikes, and other solidarity activities.

Check it out here!


Selectors: Beth Applebaum, Jan Bissett, Ella Hu, Alexandra Sarkozy, Wendy Wu

  This Subject of Month guide provides you information on the history and use of tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine, and marijuana and their related issues, help you understand America’s mind-altering history, and find health information and facilities to treat drug abuse and addition, and link you to the WULS books for your further reading and exploring.

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Selector: Elizabeth Clemens

The Vikings were seafaring people originating from the lands currently known as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They raided and settled in broad expanses of Europe and Asia from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries, a turbulent time period generally referred to as the Viking Age. Although largely remembered for their ferocious raids and martial expertise, the Vikings were also exceptionally skilled craftsmen, traders, and explorers. 

They established settlements throughout the Baltic coast, Russia, Normandy, England, Ireland, and the North Atlantic Isles that had lasting cultural impact. Always with an eye on the west, they explored the North Atlantic, setting up temporary colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland and creating a permanent settlement in the last uninhabited country in modern Europe: Iceland.   

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Selectors:  Special Collections Team - Jan Bissett, Richard Buboltz, Rachael Clark, Alison Greenlee, Ella Hu, Cindy Krolikowski, Amelia Mowry, and Monique Oldfield

"Slow Loris",  Plate No. 1, Chinese Natural History Drawings 

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