Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dorm Beautiful

Photograph of the expensively decorated dorm room of Gail Borden '26
Long before the Dartmouth Plan created a sense of general chaos for student housing, dorm rooms could be a multi-year commitment. If you really wanted to, you could move into a room and stay for several years. Since rooms were only marginally furnished, students could adorn them with any furniture they could afford. For some students with the ways and means, customizing their rooms became an obsession that denoted their class status. These were gentlemen in the making!

A photo of an article in House Beautiful showing the decor of a Dartmouth student dorm room.Case in point, young Gail Borden ‘26, moved into a new room his sophomore year and didn’t leave until he graduated. Heir to the fortune of Borden Dairy, he opted for one of the most expensive spaces on campus. 20 Massachusetts Hall was a corner room with a separate bedroom and its own sink and toilet. But it was a mere shell before Borden started decorating: leather-bound furniture, book shelves with rare and finely printed books, an overhead lantern, what looks like a kind of wet bar (it was the ‘20s though…), and a Navaho rug on the wall. It was such a stunner of a room that the popular House Beautiful featured it in an article about the fine decorating tastes of several Dartmouth students. Under Borden’s care, 20 Mass became “the fitting room of a connoisseur of fine books and a very well-read student of literature.” The maple desk is 100 years old and the mahogany drop leaf table was picked up at a local antique shop. The hanging lantern is a Paul Revere. For you book lovers who read our blog (we know who you are), he has a 17th-century Holinshed on his shelves as well as his personal copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer! Don’t we all?

To see pictures of Borden’s room as well as hundreds of others, ask for Iconography 851. To see the issue of House Beautiful, ask for DC History NK2117.B4 W348.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Activist Librarian

Laing's resolution as it appears in the Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1945We started this blog way back in September 2009. Our first blog post was on Naked Lunch, and we were excited to see it get a few dozen hits over the course of a month. Since then, we have blogged 872 times, and last week our total page views shot over 500,000. We saw it coming, and about six weeks ago, we started a betting pool among library staff: the closest guess to the date we hit half a million would win a blog post in their honor. We had a tie, both Julie McIntyre in Library Acquisitions and Joe Montibello in the Digital Library Technology Group guessed August 2nd. Today's post is in their honor.

For Julie and Joe, we look back at a time when Assistant Librarian Alexander Laing took steps to make Dartmouth a more inclusive, open environment. For many years, Dartmouth had a quota on how many Jewish students it would admit. It was a policy that many people on campus found abhorrent but one that was supported by President Ernest Hopkins. When Hopkins announced his retirement, Alexander Laing tried to take advantage of the moment to nullify the policy as John Dickey assumed the presidency. In a resolution brought before the faculty on November 26, 1945, he asked the faculty for something that sounds so simple:
To reaffirm its respect for that portion of the Charter of Dartmouth College which forbids the exclusion, by the Trustees of the College, of 'any Person of any religious denomination whatsoever from free and equal liberty and advantage of Education or from any of the liberties and privileges or immunities of the said College on account of his or their speculative sentiments in Religion and of his or their being of religious profession different from the said Trustees of the said Dartmouth College.'
The resolution went on to affirm the right of the College to assign quotas for geographical distribution or legacy students, but reject any that were based on religion or race. But it was not so simple to the faculty. They were unwilling to impinge on the new President's authority, and punted on the resolution. In a classic bureaucratic move, they referred it to the Committee on Admissions and the Freshman Year.

The full story is a complicated one. You can read more about the resolution and its reception in Laura Barrett's 2017 MALS thesis, "Defining Dartmouth: Exclusion and Inclusion at Dartmouth College 1917-2017." To see the resolution, ask for the Minutes of the Faculty Meeting, Dean of Faculty Records, Box 4227. You'll find it on page 112.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Medical Journey

George Rice was a member of Dartmouth's class of 1869 and one of the first African-American students to enroll in Dartmouth in the 1800s. Rice came to Dartmouth from a preparatory school in Massachusetts. The son of a steamship steward, Rice knew before he arrived in Hanover that he wanted to become a physician someday. Given that minorities were few and far between on Dartmouth's campus even in 1869, it's hard to imagine the hurdles and challenges that Rice faced over a hundred years earlier.

Eventually, he would graduate and move to Paris to begin his medical education after being rejected by Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons because of his race. In 1874, he graduated from the University of Edinburgh with the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Master in Surgery. Rice went on to practice medicine for over fifty years in Great Britain, primarily in Sutton, Surrey. He served as the public vaccinator for Sutton, Cheam, and Carshalton until the year before his death in 1935.

To learn more about George Rice, or to explore other stories of minority students from Dartmouth's past, come to Rauner and ask to see the alumni files of any of the college's past graduates.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Great Day

Women students disembarking from bus on the GreenIn 1967, the student-run Committee on Freshman Reading organized a day-long event to bring women from nearby colleges to Dartmouth for a series of book discussions. Based on a small exchange of students from Colby the past December, the event was far grander, bringing nearly 400 women to campus for the day. 72 books were chosen ahead of time, and small groups coalesced over each title in "an informal and relaxed atmosphere." All were invited to dinner, then an evening of events that included a free movie, a hockey game, and a variety show in the Studio Theater. The point was to socialize with members of the opposite sex, but in an environment where intellectual engagement superseded the usual partying of the big date weekends like Winter Carnival or Green Key.

Discussion group in Dartmouth classroom
Despite the alarming headline in The D, "Four Hundred Girls Invade College," the students seemed to approach the day with maturity--reading their Ibsen and Agee and participating in the discussions. The Alumni Magazine was a little less respectful, focusing on the novelty of women on campus and describing the visitors as being "as attractive as they were intelligent." The photographs from the day are a treat, showing an early co-education moment in Dartmouth's history.

Dartmouth student giving directions to a visiting student
The images are all digitized and you can find them in the Photo Files.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Legendary Hero of the Battle of Yashima

A painting of Japanese samura on foot and horseback from within the Nara Ehon
Nara was the first permanent capital of Japan and an important site of cultural development for the Japanese people. The Nara Period, lasting from 710 to 794 CE, saw numerous advancements: the first minting of coins, the establishment of Buddhism as a permanent and state-encouraged religion, and the creation of the first written Japanese literary and historical texts. Subsequent generations of Japanese people looked back on the Nara period as a cultural touchstone and a defining moment in the history of their country. As a result, numerous legends and heroes from that period became enshrined in Japanese literature, and one popular genre was the Nara Ehon, or the Nara picture books. These hand-painted manuscript codices traditionally told the tale of a hero or event from the Nara period or some other legendary moment from Japan's past. Their creators used gold and silver lavishly, as well as a stunning palette of beautiful and bright colors that make the scenes and characters come alive on the page.

Here at Rauner, we have a sumptuous example of a Nara Ehon that is titled Yashima. Our manuscript
A painting of Japanese samura on foot and horseback from within the Nara Ehon, including a decapitated warrior.
was made in the 17th century and tells the story of Sato Tsuginobu. Tsuginobu was a soldier who served in the army of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, himself one of the most famous samurai warriors in the history of Japan. During the naval Battle of Yashima on March 22, 1185, Tusginobu leapt in front of his master, Yoshitsune, and was killed by an arrow meant for the samurai leader. The two-volume story is a masterpiece of Japanese artwork and calligraphic skill that manages to impress even if the language is foreign to its reader.

To see this lovely book, come to Rauner and ask for Codex 002093.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Number by Colors

page showing relationship of anglesYou all know about coloring by numbers. The numbers in the various spaces of a picture cue you into what colors to use, and in the end you get a beautiful image. What we have here is not quite the reverse of that, but still a case of using color coding to execute complicated math to arrive at a number!

Two-page spread showing rows of colored symbolsThis is Oliver Byrne's The First Six books of the Elements of Euclid expertly printed (and it was a tough job!) by William Pickering in 1847. Instead of letters and symbols for shapes, lines and angles, Byrne broke down Euclidean geometry into a color coded schema. Imagine the printer's patience and skill to get the registration right--probably only surpassed by the patience and skill of the reader who tried to learn geometry this way.

Simple proof illustrated with colored shapes
To learn your Euclid by colors, ask for Rare QA451.B99 1847 (while you're at it, take a look at the 1482 edition, Incunabula 52).

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Life Made Tangible

Botany class picture from Marine Biological Lab, 1929As a female student who has just finished my first year at the College, the evolution of the role of women in academia—especially at Dartmouth—is particularly fascinating to me. During my time as this summer’s Historical Accountability Student Research Fellow here at Rauner, I’m examining the stories of the very first faculty members here at Dartmouth and hope to tell their stories the way they deserve.

Hannah Croasdale was Dartmouth’s first tenured female professor, a member of the Department of Biological Sciences specializing in algae and desmids, a type of algae found in circumpolar regions. While an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, she spent her summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The experience shaped her life in uncountable ways, and she returned to Woods Hole summer after summer to teach courses there, long before she was permitted to do so at the College. Special Collections has a photo album filled with images from her time there. This album paints a rich and exciting image of the summers that fueled a passion that easily could’ve lost its spark, given the trying nature of the career that ensued. Its pages are filled with pictures of Hannah and her friends and instructors sailing boats, collecting samples, and breaking for lunch on the beach. Underneath each photo, Hannah’s tiny script leaves a caption—sometimes the stuff of an inside joke lost to memory—and details the figures in each photo. The care that went into producing it, with each photo glued individually, shows how important it was to her that these memories be properly archived.

Candid shots of Hannah and classmates collecting algae, Wood Hole, 1930The book shows her attachment to it in tangible ways, too. The binding is markedly lighter than the cover, so it was likely kept on a shelf in prominent view. The edges of the pages appear burned, which could be from the fire she suffered at her Norwich home in 1989. It can be assumed, then, that the book was rescued from the fire. This photo album doesn’t just chronicle the summers she spent at Woods Hole but appears to have been a part of her entire life—some other important events it witnessed just didn’t leave a physical mark on the pages or spine.

It is sometimes easy to let timelines get blurred in history, especially when looking at black-and-white images that have flattened reality into two tones. If we look at this book and then look at samples of algae collected on those trips out to sea, the hours spent laboring over this passion begin to be more fathomable. Holding samples of algae Hannah collected at Woods Hole almost 90 years ago, still impeccably preserved on the page and labeled with her familiar handwriting, makes her joy for biology as contagious now as it must have been when she taught her Phycology course at Dartmouth.

Algae sample from Woods Hole, 1929
Both of these artifacts are a part of the Hannah Croasdale Papers manuscript collection, and there are hundreds of other documents, letters, Christmas cards, algae samples, slides, and photos that only begin to round out the life of an incredible educator and scientist. In the same way, combing through the entire life of this important figure, boiled down into four boxes and roughly two hundred files, feels surreal. It is noteworthy not only what she chose to keep, but also what is missing.

You can look at algae specimens Hannah collected and the rest of her manuscript collection by coming into Rauner and requesting MS-882.

Posted for Caroline Cook '21, recipient of an Institutional History Student Research Fellowship for the 2018 Summer term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowships provides full funding for a Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic elucidating issues of inclusion and diversity on campus. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Failure of Execution

Woodcut showing corpse draped over a table with half of its head removed to expose brainThis poor guy has had half of his head sliced off. It looks like an executioner swung about eight inches wide and missed the neck, but still did the crucial job. But, that is not what is going on here. This is an image from Charles Estienne's De dissectione partium corporis, an anatomy text from 1545 that was meant to rival Andreas Vesalius's famed De humani corporis fabrica of 1543. The image here shows the structure of the brain in rather dramatic fashion.

If you look a little closer, you'll notice an odd square around the top of the head. The effect is more pronounced in other illustrations in the book. You can really see it here:

Woodcut showing female anatomy with clear marking of inserted woodblock
It turns out that Estienne was dissatisfied with the woodblocks for the book, and had portions of them recut to emphasize crucial anatomical detail. The result is a woodcut inside of a woodcut. He clearly saw the original as a failure of execution--on the part of the woodcut artist.

We are lucky enough to have first editions of both of Estienne and Vesalius. To see them ask for Rare QM21.E82 and Rare QM25.V4.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Seeking Perfection from Dross

An alchemical drawing labeled Prima Figura
Well before J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone brought alchemy and Nicolas Flamel back into the public consciousness, this pseuod-scientific pursuit had already enjoyed a milennia-old tradition of serious study and experimentation. Alchemy was hardly a European endeavor, either; the Muslim world, India, and East Asia all have stories and individuals about alchemical discovery and exploration that reach back for thousands of years. Ultimately, in the West, alchemy as a viable science fell by the wayside in the late modern period, when the scientific method won out. Still, a distinction between alchemy and chemistry wasn't established in Europe until the early 1700s, and alchemy experienced a 19th-century rebirth as an occult science.

An alchemical drawing labeled Secunda FiguraHere in Special Collections, we have an interesting manuscript codex of various alchemical and astrological tracts that we believe dates from the 17th century. The volume of collected writings has a note in it stating that the book was removed from the Jesuit library at Naples at the confiscation of their property in 1767. Numerous influential authors related to alchemy or its vilification fill the pages of the book, including Ramón Llull, Thomas Aquinas, and Albertus Magnus. The book is mostly handwritten text but there are some beautiful hand-drawn diagrams and illustrations scattered throughout.

To come explore these mysterious markings and scrawled secrets from the dawn of science, come to Rauner and ask to see Codex 001937.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Early Sustainability

The Commons Complaint - title pageIn 1611, after spending four years traveling around England, Arthur Standish published The Commons Complaint in which he laid out two "special grievances." The first was the deforestation of England - "the generall destruction and waste of Woods in this Kingdome." The second complaint was the lack of food - "the extreme dearth of victuals."

Standish lays out the wood issue in pretty stark terms:
Little respect is taken but by your Majesty, for the posterity and prosperity of your Kingdom: to many destroyers, but few or none at al doth plant or preserve: by reason thereof there is no Timber left in this Kingdome at this instant onely to repaire the buildings thereof an other age, much lesse to build withall.
He concludes his opening statement with the ominous "no  wood no Kingdome."

His solution is surprisingly modern. He recommends that new trees be planted and cared for and harvested in a sustainable manner:
And that all such persons as have at this instant their grounds furnished with wood, in such sort as is required, might bee also enjoyned hereafter to plant and preserve so many trees and so much wood, as hereafter they shall fell or waste.
Standish then lists some objections to his proposal and his counterarguments and solutions to those objections. He then goes into detail about the food problem and proposes four common sense. remedies. He again makes it plain that sustainable solutions are much preferred over short term quick fixes.

Ask for Rare Book SD 601 .S82 C6 1611 to read the rest of Standish's solution to the wood problem and his proposals for dealing with the lack of food.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Prophetic Visions on the Fourth of July

Dartmouth Gazette article on 1800 July Fourth celebrations in HanoverIn 1800, Dartmouth students celebrated the Fourth of July in patriotic fashion. They formed a procession and marched to the President's house where they were joined by the officers of the College and members of the community. This group then paraded to the meeting house for the Reverend Professor Smith's "Address to the Throne of Grace." But then the real fireworks began when a member of the junior class rose to give his spirited oration. George Washington had died just six months earlier and, after mourning his loss, the orator expounded on the virtues of the new nation built on a strong foundation of liberty, reason and science, vowing that "Columbia stoops not to tyrants."

With all of the hyperbole of a small town newspaper, The Dartmouth Gazette reported on the day's speaker with glowing praise:
The Oration, although composed on very short notice, would have done honor to grey headed patriotism, and crowned with new laurels the most celebrated orator of our country.
Wow, a junior in college the most celebrated orator in the county? It turns out it was a prophetic moment for the Gazette: the orator was young Daniel Webster who would indeed become the most celebrated orator of his generation!

You can read his oration (you have to imagine his fiery delivery) by asking for DC Hist E286.H24. To see the newspaper account, ask for DC Hist LH1 .D3D255 Vol. 1.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Sorrows of Young Werther


Title page of Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther in German and printed in 1774This year marks the 200th anniversary of the first printing of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. We've blogged previously about our first illustrated edition of the novel, which is always available for perusal here in Special Collections. To celebrate the publication of this ground-breaking work, we soon will install an exhibit about Shelley's most famous title in the Class of 1965 Galleries. To whet your appetites, this post will focus on one of the works of literature that Frankenstein's monster found in the pockets of his creator's abandoned coat.

Along with Milton's Paradise Lost and Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Greeks and Romans, the monster also finds a small epistolary novel titled The Sorrows of Young Werther.  This semi-autobiographical novel was written in 1774 by a young man named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who would later go on to write Faust. The narrative follows the trials and tribulations of an emotional artist, Werther, who becomes trapped in a love triangle and eventually commits suicide to allow his love interest and her husband to live in peace. The novel elevated Goethe from obscurity to stardom overnight and was central to the Sturm und Drang literary movement in Germany that espoused a sort of proto-Romanticism.

The influence of Goethe and the Sturm und Drang movement clearly had an influence on the
First page of Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther, written in German and published in 1774.
Romanticists of the early 19th century. Shelley's inclusion of the text as a seminal influence on the education of her fictional monster draws a direct connection between the two groups of writers. Frankenstein's monster finds a kinship with the titular character of Goethe's protagonist; he is similarly rejected by the ones that he loves and is left alone to suffer. However, the monster pursues a different recourse than Werther, choosing to seek revenge for his rejection instead of self-destruction. Admittedly, the monster does end his own life amongst the frozen ice floes of the Arctic, but only after murdering all of the people that were loved by his creator.

We have a first edition in the original German of this lovely little book. To take a look, come into Rauner and ask to see Rare PT1973 .A2 1774.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Follies of the Lobster-Boy

Title page of Zechariah Mudge's book The Lobster-Boy
One of Rauner's most fascinating little collections is the the Class of 1926 memorial collection, which was established in 1960 by the Dartmouth Class of '26 to honor its deceased members. Currently totaling nearly three thousand volumes, the collection consists of examples of illustrated books published throughout the New England states during Dartmouth's first century, 1769-1869. The collection is filled with wonderful little pamphlets and books that run the gamut of topics, from biography to natural history to almanac. However, one of the most prolific genres in the collection is what can best be described as didactic children's literature. Numerous pamphlets, tracts, and little books attempted to convey moral tales that emphasized middle-class religious values to a young readership.

A hand-colored engraving of the Nolan's yacht on fire and a boy reacting to the scene from the door of a house.One of my personal favorites is a book by Zachariah A. Mudge (1813-1888), an American Methodist Episcopal clergyman who was also a prolific writer. Mudge wrote more than a dozen books on various subjects, secular and religious, in addition to being a pastor in Massachusetts and an editor of a religious periodical called The Guide to Holiness. Mudge seemed to have a particular passion for writing moral tales intended to instill respect, self-discipline, and moral duty in the hearts of young children. For example, some of Mudge's book titles include The Fisherman's Daughter, The Soldier's Son, The Boy in the City, and The Forest Boy. For some of his children's stories, he found a willing partner in the American Tract Society, which was (and still is) a conservative evangelical publishing organization. The ATS's Boston office published several of Mudge's texts for children, including The Fisherman's Daughter in 1865 and The Lobster-Boy.


An engraving of Frank Nolan leaning out of a small boat to steal lobsters from a lobster-trap in the bay along with a partner in crime.
Mudge's Lobster-Boy; or, The Son Who Was A Heaviness To His Mother, is perhaps my most entertaining discovery from the didactic children's literature genre, if only for the alternate title alone. Another reason I love our copy of the book is because it is dedicated on the flyleaf to a boy named Willie from his teacher, R. M. Gage, presumably with the hope that the young lad will heed the cautionary tale that lies within. The protagonist of the story is a young boy named Frank Gage whose drunken abusive father sends him out to harvest "a full dory of lobsters" or receive a beating upon his return home that night. Faced with a nearly impossible task, Frank soon falls in with the wrong crowd and begins to steal lobsters from other fishermen's lobster-pots. The story follows a predictable course, with Frank eventually confessing his multitude of sins and feeling better for having done so (and gaining the respect and affection of his family in the process). Along the way, his father commits to sobriety, the family loses its fishing boat (or 'yacht'), and they discover that their "peace in Christ is not dependent upon prosperity."

To flip through this fascinating window into conservative Christian thought during the 19th century, come to Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see 1926 Collection M834L.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Webster Hall Thronged

Last lines of letter from Booker T. Washington showing signatureDoing some research for a reference question this week, we ran across a headline in The Dartmouth from April 1908 that caught our attention: "Webster Hall Thronged to Hear Booker T. Washington." Since we reside in the venerable old Webster Hall, it was inspirational to think of him addressing the student body here in the building that had just recently opened. It took a while to build Webster Hall because it was interrupted by the need to rebuild Dartmouth Hall after it burned. But, it was seven years earlier, at the laying of the cornerstone of Webster Hall, that Booker T. Washington was again on campus to receive an honorary doctorate. So, he was here, at least on this site, twice!

The signature above is from the thank you letter Washington sent to President Tucker after the honorary degree was conferred:
You cannot appreciate how very deeply I am moved by reason of the fact that Dartmouth College has seen its way clear to confer upon me the degree of Doctor of Laws.  I cannot in the slightest degree feel I am worthy of such a distinguished honor, but I wish to assure you and your trustees that that I am deeply grateful for this recognition and that I shall accept it and try to make my work in the future for the upbuilding of the race prove that no mistake has been made. I count it as an honor as well as a great privilege to be one of the alumni of one of the oldest, most conservative and useful institution of learning in our country.
To see the letter, ask for MS 901557.1.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Juneteenth and the First African-American Novel

portrait engraving of William Wells Brown
Today is the annual celebration of Juneteenth, a mash-up of "June Ninteenth," which marks the day that two thousand Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to promptly announce that emancipation had arrived. General Gordon Granger read aloud the following words, among others, to a crowd that had gathered to listen to his report from the federal government: "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free." In 1997, over a hundred and thirty years later, the United States Congress formally recognized the celebration. Just this year, Apple Computers added the day to its iOS calendars as an official US holiday.

Title page of Clotelle, 4th edition, 1867Because Texas history isn't really our forte, we don't have any documents from that historical and momentous event. However, we do have a novel that shows the dramatic impact of emancipation, reflected in revisions made to the book by its author after the close of the Civil War. Clotel; or, The President's Daughter, was written by William Wells Brown and first published in London in 1853. Brown was himself a runaway slave who was living in Europe at the time; he was fairly well known in the United States because of his wildly popular autobiography, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave, which was published in 1847. Brown had left the United States in 1849 to lecture in Europe about the evils of slavery, the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 made his return to the U.S. a risky prospect. He eventually returned to the American continent in 1854 after his freedom was purchased by wealthy benefactors in England.

Frontispiece from Clotelle, showing a room of wealthy white men seated around a table and an African-American standing on the table.Brown's Clotel, which later became Clotelle, was the first novel published by an African-American. In it, Brown relates the experiences of many African-American slaves in the United States, doubtless influenced and informed by his own life. As such, the novel changes and grows with each edition. The first American edition, printed as a dime novel in 1864, was titled Clotelle; A Tale of the Southern States. The fourth and final edition, which we have here at Rauner, was published in 1867 and is titled Clotelle; or the Colored Heroine. In the first edition, Clotel is chased through the streets of Washington D.C. by slave catchers and ultimately kills herself by jumping into the Potomac River from the Long Bridge. However, the ending to the fourth edition evinces some of the hope and joy that some of the onlookers must have felt in Galveston on June 19th upon learning of their emancipation. In the last edition of the novel, Clotelle marries her lover Jerome in the United States (instead of in France, as in previous editions) and then becomes an army nurse and travels to Andersonville Prison in Georgia to care for Union prisoners of war.

To see our edition of Clotelle, come to Rauner and ask for Rare PS1139.B9 C5 1867. To read William Wells Brown's autobiography, ask for Rare E444 .B88.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Death's Dominion

Listing for the week of August 29 to September 5, 1665.We were lucky enough to acquire a kind of miraculous survival of the Great Plague: ten of the weekly death tallies issued in London during 1665 as the plague ravaged the city. They list all deaths within the city and their causes. Turning from one week to the next, you can watch the classic epidemic curve play out in hard numbers as they were presented at the time.

The listing is harrowing--from 2,012 plague deaths the week of July 25th, to 6,978 death during the last week of August. When you factor in how many people lied to avoid quarantine, the total death toll is staggering. At the bottom of each weekly list, looking almost like an advertisement, there is a note on the price of bread dictated by the Lord Mayor. Imagine what the scene must have been as the epidemic spread and an increasingly proportion of the city's inhabitants fell ill or died. Basic services broke down. The Lord Mayor's assize of bread was an attempt to regulate the price of a basic human need that was becoming scare in nightmarish cityscape where price gouging threatened the already suffering populous. A penny bought a nine and a half ounce wheaten loaf; white loaves cost an additional half penny.
Close up showing assize for bread and weekly plague death total of 6,978
These broadsides give an immediacy to books like Defoe's Diary of a Plague Year published over fifty years later. To see them, ask for Rare HB1416.L8 D5.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Costumes of the East

The frontispiece of The Oriental Album by H. J. Van-Lennep
One of our favorite genres of book at Rauner is the costume book, which is usually a collection of images that display the various forms of dress that people wear from all over the world. Although the historical accuracy of these images can often be suspect, they are fascinating to explore, if only to get a sense of how American or European culture perceived other races and peoples over a hundred years ago. At Rauner, we have a beautiful first edition of The Oriental Album by Henry Van-Lennep, who was a missionary to Turkey and other parts of the Ottoman empire for twenty years (1840-1860). Although Van-Lennep was born to European merchants in Smyrna, he was educated in the United States, and so he returned here in 1861 to transform the many drawings that he had made of the Turkish people while abroad into a printed book.

The result was The Oriental Album, published in New York in 1862. There are twenty
A chromolithographic print of a Turkish woman without her veil and a young child
chromolithographic prints in this oversized album, each purporting to represent a different common figure or type of person in Turkish or Ottoman society. Each image is accompanied by paternalistic, moralizing, and sometimes incorrect descriptions of the individuals that are represented. For example, for the image of the "Turkish Woman (unveiled)," Van-Lennep says that "the custom of ages and the requirements of the Koran have produced in the female sex a strong sense of real shame, which does not allow them to let any part of their faces appear besides their eyes."

Despite the inaccuracies and questionable representations of the Ottoman Empire and its people, Van-Lennep's Oriental Album was one of the few large chromolithographic works created during the 1860s in America and is still considered by some to be the best American costume book created during the 19th century.

To flip through Van-Lennep's book of beautiful images, come to Rauner and ask to see Rare DR432 .V3 1862.

Friday, June 8, 2018

50 Years Ago...

Budd Schulberg and Jimmy Breslin among a crowd in the kitchen of the Ambasador HotelThe Class of 1968 is back on campus now to lead the class of 2018 into Commencement. Fifty years ago this week, they were deep in their final exams and preparing for Senior Week. But another Dartmouth alumnus, Budd Schulberg '36, was in Los Angeles following Robert Kennedy's run for the Democratic nomination for President. That week he witnessed the second earth shattering assassination of the year.

This photograph taken by Harry Benson, shows the chaos in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel on the night of June 5th, 1968. The distraught man in the center with the white hair is Schulberg. Off in the right hand corner is Jimmy Breslin, who had written the famous account of JFK's funeral that was centered on the grave digger.

Schulberg and others writers had just met with Bobby on the night of the California primary. They were standing nearby when he was shot and were among the first people to rush at Sirhan Sirhan. As you would imagine the event had a lasting effect on Schulberg and he wrote about it several times.

To see the photograph and read Schulberg's thoughts on Bobby Kennedy, ask for MS-978, Box 25.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dartmouth Blues

A portrait photo of Hildreth, most likely as a college senior.
With commencement only a few days away, we happened to stumble upon some images of a past graduation ceremony inside an alum's personal photograph album. Charles L. Hildreth was a member of the class of 1901 who grew up in Westford, Massachusetts. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he attended Harvard Law School and became a practicing attorney in Lowell, Massachusetts, for many years before dying there at the age of eighty-eight.

What makes Hildreth's photographs truly remarkable is not merely the
A group of men and women standing near Bartlett Tower.crispness of the images, but also that they are all cyanotypes. A cyanotype is an image made by employing a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print; engineering blueprints are probably the most familiar example of the process. We have a few examples of these fascinating images here at Rauner, and Hildreth's are some of the best of them. The image of men and women wearing their turn-of-the-century finest while crowded near the stump of the Old Pine, for example, is a fascinating look into the fashion of the time. It's hard to believe that they were wearing so many layers at that time of year.

A group of men and women listen to an orator on the lawn in front of Dartmouth Hall.
Another image, one of my favorites, shows a group of people gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall with Rollins Chapel in the background. On the steps of Dartmouth Hall, initially unremarkable, stands what appears to be a studio camera, complete with black hood for the photographer to hide behind. While two men fuss with the camera, the crowd listens to an orator perform. These are only two of the many remarkable cyanotypes from the album; there are also some fantastic images of the bonfire tower, both before and after being set ablaze. To turn the pages of Hildreth's book, come to Dartmouth and ask to see Iconography 1574.




Friday, June 1, 2018

Larger than Life

Photo of Augustus Saint-Gaudens looking into the camera and smoking a cigar
Recently, we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. They borrowed several documents from our Augustus Saint-Gaudens papers to round out an exhibit on the American sculptor--the first major display of his work in New England in over thirty years. When our materials came back to us after several months away, it provided an opportunity to reflect upon the accomplishments of one of the most important American artists of his generation.

Initial sketch of Standing Lincoln monument, including dimensionsSaint-Gaudens is perhaps best known for his bronze bas-relief on Boston Common, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial. However, we were reminded today of another influential work that Shaw completed in 1887 at the age of thirty-nine: Abraham Lincoln: The Man. Often referred to as Standing Lincoln, Shaw's massive 12-
foot statue stands on a pedestal in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Saint-Gaudens was specially selected to cast the giant monument, a fitting choice in part because the artist held the late president in high esteem and had been at his inauguration. The initial sketches that Saint-Gaudens made of the monument evince his attention to detail, all the way down to the pedestal decorations.

initial sketch of small detail for monument pedestal base
The influence of Standing Lincoln on both the public and other artists was significant. Numerous replicas were made and now stand in places as far-flung as London and Mexico City. Smaller replicas were cast by Saint-Gaudens' widow, Augusta, after his death and now reside in art museums all over the country. The local significance of this statue is also worth mentioning: Standing Lincoln was the first monument completed by Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire, where one of his friends had lured him with the promise that the area had "many Lincoln-shaped men." Saint-Gaudens would become so enamored of Cornish that he decided to establish his studio there. Saint-Gaudens' presence attracted like-minded artists that included important figures like the painter Maxfield Parrish and the American novelist Winston Churchill. The regular but informal gathering of these artists every summer eventually morphed into an extended social network that would come to be called the Cornish Colony. Today, the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is the only national park system site in the state of New Hampshire (other than our portion of the Appalachian Trail).

To explore the Augustus Saint-Gaudens papers, come to Rauner and ask for boxes from ML-4.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The World in Your Hand

Title page showing globeI pulled this book off the shelf just because it was so cute: a book less than 4 1/2 inches tall boasting "Atlas" from 1601 on the spine. I expected a few fold out maps, but I found the whole world compressed between the pages. It is based on a pocket atlas issued by Plantin in 1590--it might even use the same plates. Each page opening gives you a short textual description on the verso and an engraved map on the recto.

Map of AfricaMost of Europe gets detailed treatment, but all of the Americas (North and South) are relegated to one map--the same is true for Africa. What is the purpose of an atlas like this? It can't get you anywhere, and it doesn't have enough information or detail to give you a good sense of any of the places depicted. Maybe it was some kind of power thing--a statement of ownership or dominance. Or, just a quick reference guide for the geographically confused.

Two-page spread showing text and map of Zelandia
To judge for yourself, ask for McGregor 131.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

In the Still Watches of the Night

Color pencil sketch of bowlYou wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration--an idea that may be gold, or may just seem good when you are semi-conscious. Usually we just forget them, but can pretend in the morning that they were genius.

In 1935, Maxfield Parrish sketched out, both textually and literally, one of these moments in a letter to his son Max, who was trying to earn a little extra money as a carver:
I awoke in the still watches of the night and thought a body might turn an honest penny at some arts and crafts show by buying one of those big maple wood bowls at a hardware store and carve the rim and color it, somewhat like the scheme of color of the pohengles. And he might put on some kind of savagely ornamented handles too. I simply mention it. No, it needn't look anything like the object portrayed below.
At the bottom of the page, Parrish sketched a beautiful bowl in color pencil. Parrish worked the carriage of his typewriter to frame it in the left margin--an artist at work.

This is just one example of some the of materials we had out for a class earlier this week that had been studying Van Gogh's lavishly illustrated letters. The highlight was Andrew Wyeth's blueberries.

To see the Parrish sketch, ask for ML-62, Box 6, Folder 8.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sparring with Mailer

On November 23, 1952, Budd Schulberg wrote a review of Picture by Lillian Ross for the New York Times Book Review. Ross, who was a New Yorker writer at the time, had written five articles for on John Huston’s filming of The Red Badge of Courage which she turned into a novel—the subject of Schulberg’s review.

In his review Schulberg was critical of Ross’s attempt at impartiality to the subject matter- Hollywood and its movers and shakers. However, he conceded that the book presented “Hollywood’s more heroic attitudes as well as its more foolish and familiar ones.” Among the many book reviews Schulberg did during his lifetime, this one does not stand out in any particular way, except that it provoked a verbal sparring with another writer, Norman Mailer.

Mailer, in a letter to the editor of the New York Times Book Review rebuked Schulberg’s review of the book accusing him of being more “concerned with reviewing his attitude to Hollywood than Miss Ross’ book.” Mailer also felt that “Mr. Schulberg was doing his piece in such a way as to offend not a single important person in the Hollywood community.”
Three weeks later, Schulberg responded. Acknowledging a brief acquaintance with Mailer, he reminds him that in years past such a “calculated insult like your letter to the Times” might have led to a different response. However, Schulberg felt that “words seem to be the only weapons handy to the occasion” pointing out that Mailer was impugning his honor rather than his judgment and that he would normally “have classified your letter as the crack-pot kind I usually choose to ignore.” He continues that he was “struck by the callowness of your assumption that our differing opinions of Miss Ross’s book reflected your courageous honesty and my craven insincerity. This reeks of the black-and-white self-righteousness that makes clear thinking so difficult these days.” Schulberg than proceeds for another page and a half to defend and analyze his review while dissecting Mailer’s arguments. “I hasten to add, however, that I am not accusing you of having written it [the letter] in order to worm your way into the good graces of Miss Ross or The New Yorker.”

Norman Mailer did not lose any time responding to Schulberg as a week later he wrote another letter, this one directly to Schulberg in which he apologized for not having sent his initial letter directly to the latter, arguing that the reason for that was that he could not bear “a certain kind of book reviewing” and that it was more important to him “that the editor hear it for whatever my two cents are worth than the critic.” He continues to admonish Schulberg accusing him of doing something “which as an author rather than a critic is unforgiveable.”
Whether a book is good or terrible the labor put into it deserved the respect of treating the book as something in and of itself rather than as a tumbling board for the reviewer. I mean, look Budd, really and truly who gives a damn how many times you read the book, how you discussed it with your family… . The fact of the matter is that you spent, as I remember, what with chatting and synopsis, about three quarters of your review before you could get to judgement, and I don’t have to tell you that a writer reads his review for the judgement.
After a short treatise on “Impartiality and tact,” Mailer eventually gets to an apology.

Now for slandering you. All right, I did and there are nine chances in ten that I was wrong and hasty, and for those nine chances I owe an apology. But why in the devil must you feel that I must assume that you are pure and incorruptible. Who is?... Where I erred and where I do feel ashamed is imputing a vulgar conscious motive to you – I would have resented it just as much…. I feel I was wrong in writing the letter the way I did, and I think you were wrong in writing the kind of review you did. Let’s leave it this way.
We are currently re-processing some of Budd Schulberg’s correspondence. If you want to read the verbal sparring in its entirety ask for MS 978, Box 33, Folder 7.

Here is the original book review by Budd Schulberg, "What Makes Hollywood Run?"

Friday, May 18, 2018

Seeing Las Vegas

Photomontage of Las VegasThere has been a great deal of excitement on campus around the Library’s acquisition of the Mario Puzo Papers. Of course, Puzo is most well-known for writing the novel The Godfather and its subsequent screenplays, but his papers also reveal that he was a prodigious writer who worked across a range of literary forms. Alongside The Godfather material, drafts of scripts for superhero and disaster movies, a young adult novella, pithy works of cultural criticism, and memoiristic essays are also present in the collection. Puzo’s Inside Las Vegas (1977)—a sort of love letter from the author to the City of Sin (he was a self-described “degenerate gambler”)—appears to be a particularly unique publication in Puzo’s oeuvre. This is due to its inclusion of a corresponding photo essay that documents, in both black and white and color, the spectacle of life on the Vegas Strip.

Candid shot of showgirl in dressing roomThe striking photographs in Inside Las Vegas are both journalistic and artistic in nature. Black and white portraits of working show girls and newlyweds are depicted in a documentary style with compositional precision. Cityscapes, printed in color, are littered with bright lights and at times border on abstraction. Original prints of many of the book’s images (as well as others that were not selected for publication) can be found in Puzo’s papers.

While Inside Las Vegas as a whole offers revealing insights into Puzo’s vision of Las Vegas, taken separately, the photographs themselves have broader relevance to important currents in the history of photo journalism. John Launois, Michael Abramson, and Susan Fowler-Gallagher, the photographers responsible for the images in the book, were represented by Howard Chapnick at the famous New York City Black Star photo agency. Black Star was founded in 1935 in New York City by Earnest Mayer, Kurt Safrasnki and Kurt Kornfeld, Jewish emigres who had fled Nazi Germany and brought with them their knowledge of the increasingly popular format of photojournalism and the extended photo essay. Safranski, in particular, had previously worked at Berliner Ilustrite Zeitung (BIZ), the weekly German publication that is often considered the pioneer of photojournalism.

Posed shot of couple outside of a wedding chapelBlack Star quickly became the gold standard in commercial photography throughout a substantial portion of the twentieth century. Life magazine, founded just a year after Black Star in 1936, was one of the agency’s earliest and most important clients, and other notable clients would include The Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times, Time and Newsweek. In major outlets such as these, Black Star photographers helped to bring some of the most iconic images of the mid-twentieth century to the broader American public. They were responsible for documenting the historic events that have come to define the era: the assassination of JFK, the march on Selma, the fall of the Berlin Wall, just to name a few. Even Andy Warhol, who often repurposed journalistic images and symbols of pop-culture, used an image from a Black Star photographer in his Race Riot (1964) (it reproduced Charles Moore’s Life magazine photographs of black protestors being attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963).

John Launois, one of the photographers who worked on Puzo’s Inside Las Vegas book, also documented Malcolm X's pilgrimage to Egypt, and shot the recognizable images of a young Bob Dylan on his motorcycle which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1964. Michael Abramson, also a contributor to Inside Las Vegas, was a Chicago-based photographer who documented the black night club scene in the '70s and '80s to critical acclaim. His work is now found in the permanent collections at the Smithsonian and the Chicago Art Institute, among others.

While the Mario Puzo papers provide researchers a valuable new archive for examining “obvious” topics, such as literary depictions of Italian Americans, it may also open doors to more unexpected finds. A brief investigation into the esteemed Black Star photographers who collaborated on Mario Puzo’s Inside Las Vegas suggests something of the high status that Puzo had achieved in the publishing world by 1977—eight years after the publication of The Godfather, and five years after Godfather II won a best picture Oscar. But this collection may also offer unexpected riches for scholars and researchers such as those interested in this important group of midcentury photojournalists.

You can ask for MS-1371 to see more. As soon as the finding aid is ready, we will post a link here.