Reblogged from Erik Kwakkel
Remarkable premodern bookmarks
These images show unusual bookmarks from medieval and early-modern times. They are made of stuff that was simply laying around: a leaf from a tree (now hardened), a pin used for fixing clothes, and a piece of straw picked up from the ground. I love these bookmarks for two reasons. One is that they are showing how practical readers half a millennium ago were. Need a little something to mark where you stopped reading? Just stretch out your arm and grab something - as we would today. The other reason why I love it when I encounter things like this in premodern books is the sheer contrast the make-shift bookmarks create: precious old books are not supposed to be filled with pieces of plant and metal! And yet they are. Even more so, while they are perhaps alien objects to our modern eyes, they have become historical: a dried leaf has turned into an object that needs to be catalogued simply because it is found stuck in between 500-year-old pages. Lucky bookmark.
Pics: the leaf I encountered in an incunable in Zutphen’s chained library called De Librije (pic my own); the pin I saw in a document kept in Maastricht, Regional Archives, Collection 18.A Box 834 (pic my own); the straw is from Auckland Libraries, MS G. 185 (pic from this blog).
Reblogged from Special Collections University of Iowa
Like our site? You’ll probably like some other Special Collections’ sites too! Here is a reminder that there is a list of Special Collections that are on Tumblr. Check out Special Collections content all over Tumblr. And if you are a Special Collections and you aren’t on the list, let me know and I will update it.
See the list.
This is a great list of other Special Collections and Archives that have tumblrs. (We’re on it too!) If you’re looking for other examples of how SCAs are run and promoted, as well as what collections they maintain, you can spend some time browsing through all of their archives.
Reblogged from Our Presidents
70 years ago today, Jan. 16, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied invasion force in London as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force.
-from the Eisenhower Library
We’ve been busy working on a new exhibit for the Spring Semester on a WWII diary of an American Soldier. Stay tuned for progress photos and facts about the final years of the war!
Unfortunately Dr. Corrin passed away in 1985, long before I personally made it to Goucher (before I was born actually). But, that being said this is news to me. Most of Dr. Corrin’s personal science fiction collection was donated to other universities and libraries after he passed since we didn’t have the readership to keep the materials. What we have left is a very small remnant. I’m going to hunt around for any information on this, because I’d be really curious to see if we can locate his work.
If I do find anything, I’ll post on here!
We have a new historical factoid for our sign this week!
Porgy and Bess is arguably one of the more controversial operas in American music. Set in South Carolina, the opera focuses on the love Porgy has for Bess and the obstacles he has to overcome to be with her. Gershwin chose to employ the entire cast with classically-trained African American singers for both the Boston performances and the Broadway performances which at the time was groundbreaking. Despite its allegations of being labeled racist for its depiction of African Americans, Porgy and Bess has gone on to be one of the most consistently performed operas around the world.
We’re fortunate enough to own original scores of two of the songs from Porgy and Bess. Additionally we have a vast collection of musical scores which can help with additional research. Stop in this week to look at selections of our musical score collection!
New Year, New Sign!
We’re open at the Special Collections and Archives, and we welcome everyone to come inside and ask us about our collections and our programs.
We’re located on the 4th floor of the Athenaeum.
We’re having an Open House TODAY! Stop by between 12 and 4pm to get a closer look at our Jane Austen Collection, our Early American Print Collection, and our Digital Library.
There is a special focus on our Alumnae/i, with 1920’s Goucher scrapbooks, yearbooks from the honored Alumnae/i classes, and student-newspapers from Goucher.
Come stop by!
"Primitive Dances of the Orient" from The American Dancer, August 1927
Often when we have student researchers working on papers with racial stereotypes as their topic, we often let them sift through our dance magazines. Along with descriptions of creating a riveting “Black Face” performance, there are often examples of racial stereotyping of Asians, Muslims, and Latino/as.
Often these dance magazines were used by theater directors, dance choreographers, and dancers (and enthusiasts) to stay informed and updated on the trends in the business. Art such as this were usually commissioned by the magazine and hand-drawn before being reproduced for mass distribution (the artists’ signature is found on the middle right of the page as “Payzant”. Charles Payzant did much of the cover art and supplementary art for The American Dancer).
This page caught my attention as I was helping a student look for evidence of racial stereotypes of black women in the Jim Crowe era.
The descriptions, from top to bottom:
The Cambodian girls are exponents of an ancient technique which has never changed in the slightest detail nor costume in many centuries. Owned by the Kind and retained for his sole entertainment, the Cambodian ballet has only gone on tour once or twice in their history. Every motion of the arms in their dances commemorated a certain Indo-Chinese legend and not only do their movements follow the rhythm of the music, but every joint of fingers and toes is controlled in perfect harmony.
Ability indeed is exemplified by these stilt dancers of Kweihwating! It is a rare feat to induce sticks to cavort about as one could on human legs, yet these dancers of Norther China garb themselves in fantastic head-dresses, false beards, painted faces, and various humorous disguises to celebrate their New Year. The height of artistry is conceded to by their wierdness and the native who can out do his neighbor in agility as well as makeup is voted a dancer par excellence!
These official dancers in Tibet wear strange masks representing legendary Tibetan characters and are accompanied by a somewhat primitive orchestra, consisting merely of a drum and cymbals. They perform their dances at fixed intervals in the Dalain Lama’s palace at Lhassa.
All misspellings are intentional and from the print.
This is a death threat letter addressed to Dr. Van Meter (a co-founder of Goucher College) from the Black Hand Society from 1913 (100 years ago this past month!). The Black Hand Society was a group of extortionists from Southern Italy with very little formal education, that immigrated to America in the late 1800’s. By 1900, they had established operations in most major cities with Italian communities including Detroit, NYC, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
They threatened individuals who they knew to be wealthy, demanding money be dropped in a specific place at a specific time. In this letter, they demanded the 500 ”gold notes” be dropped at Maryland and 24th which is one of the entrances to the old Goucher campus in Baltimore.
We have no record of whether or not Dr. Van Meter went through with this, but he did not die at the hands of this Black Hand Society, so we are guessing that he probably did. Pretty neat find in the SC&A, this job never gets old, does it?