Special Collections & Archives Blog

During February 2014...

Letters in Lead: Moveable Type and the Books It Created

Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:45 am

letters in lead heading 1

The invention of a practical method for printing with moveable type was a watershed event in European history. From Johannes Gutenberg’s first metal types in the mid-15th century to letterpress printing of today, printers and type designers have practiced their craft to create texts that are both legible and beautiful.

baskerville milton

A 1759 edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost by the famous printer and type designer John Baskerville.

Letters in Lead, the current exhibit in the ZSR Library Special Collections and Archives Reading Room (room 625), features examples of type and other materials of printing. The ZSR Preservation Lab houses a small 1906 job press and a large supply of type font. Examples of type and other equipment from the ZSR Press are included in the exhibit.

type drawer

One of many cases of moveable type from the ZSR Press collection

The exhibit also features volumes from the ZSR Rare Books Collection, tracing the development of printing and book design from pre-Gutenberg manuscripts to 20th century illustrated books.

manuscript book of hours

Page from a 14th century manuscript Book of Hours

Letters in Lead will be on exhibit February through April 2014. Visitors are welcome any time during Special Collections and Archives open hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and other hours by appointment. For more information please contact Special Collections at 336-758-6175 or via our query form.

The ABC’s of Special Collections and Archives: C is for…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:23 am

C is for…

Casa Artom Scrapbooks

Casa Artom is a house, purchased by WFU in 1974, facing the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The two-story house was built in the 1820s and is located between the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and Ca’Dario. The house is named for Dr. Camillo Artom, a faculty member at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and his wife Bianca, a teacher of Italian and native of Venice. Wake Forest University students and faculty reside in Casa Artom while participating in the semester in Venice or other study-abroad programs.

Students at Casa Artom

Students at Casa Artom

The Casa Artom Scrapbook collection consists of 14 bound scrapbooks, including originals and facsimiles, in which students and other visitors have written their thoughts and reminiscences about their time at Casa Artom. Guests of the house are invited to sign scrapbooks during their visit as a way to record their time spent in Venice.

Page from Casa Artom scrapbook

Page from Casa Artom scrapbook

The scrapbooks range in dates from 1974 to 2007. You can find both photographs and original drawings by students and faculty in the scrapbooks. For more information, check out the Casa Artom Scrapbooks finding aid.

C is also for …Choate Family Papers

Excerpt from the Choate Family Papers

Excerpt from the Choate Family Papers

This collection of papers from the Choate family living in Alleghany County, North Carolina consists primarily of correspondence between William Thomas Choate (1832-64) and his wife, Martha (Fender) Choate (1836-97), during his service as an officer in Company I, 61st Regiment North Carolina State Troops during the Civil War. His letters are concerned with camp life, the Battle of Antietam, casualties, sickness in his company, and the need for food and clothing from home. His wife’s letters are mostly about the family and neighbors, deaths in the family and neighborhood, sickness, running the family farm, care of livestock, and her wanting William to come home. Other correspondents include William Choate’s brothers, friends, relatives and others. For more on the Choate Family Papers look through the finding aid and visit Special Collections to see the microfilm.

And C is for…Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Title page from Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Title page from Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. She was born in London in 1810 and died in 1865. She’s known for works such as Ruth, The Life of Charlotte Bronte, North and South, and Cranford.  Her novels offer readers details on the lives of many strata of English society including the very poor.  She framed her stories as critiques of contemporary attitudes and generally emphasized the role of women.

Biographical information on Gaskell

Biographical information on Gaskell

Cranford was a popular novel during the 19th century. First published in 1851 in serial in the magazine Household Words, Cranford is one of the best known novels of Elizabeth Gaskell. It was published in eight parts in Charles Dickens’ journal from 1851 until 1853. Cranford is different from the other novels by Elizabeth Gaskell in that it is the depiction of a small English village and is concerned with the everyday occurrences in the lives of mainly older ladies, rather than the story of a great social problem threatening the lives and security of the characters. Special Collections and Archives has two copies of this wonderful novel. Special Collections’ older copy was published in New York in 1892 and is a part of the Charles L. Smith collection. The second copy was published in London in 1935 and is one of 500 copies printed at the University Press, Oxford. To read one of these copies in the Rare Books collection, visit the Special Collections and Archives reading room.

And don’t forget to look out for D…

This ABC’s of Special Collections blog post was written by student assistant Brittany Newberry.

The Old Gold and Black Now Keyword Searchable

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:33 pm

The following is a guest post by Corrine Luthy, a graduate intern with Wake Forest University’s Special Collections & Archives.

Searchable PDFs of some issues of Wake Forest University’s student newspaper, the Old Gold and Black, are now available!

Beginning in January, issues of the Old Gold and Black are being converted into a keyword searchable PDF format and uploaded to replace existing copies, which were not keyword searchable. What this means for users of the collection is that as new copies steadily replace old copies in the digital collection throughout this semester, they will be able to search more and more of the Old Gold and Black by keyword.

The progress of this project can be followed using the keyword searchability progress chart accessible from the Old Gold and Black collection page. The chart, pictured below, shows which issues are currently keyword searchable. As of today, issues from 1916 (when publication began) through 1931 are discoverable through a keyword search.

Keyword searchability progress chart of Old Gold & Black digital collection as of February 11, 2014

Keyword searchability progress chart of Old Gold & Black digital collection as of February 11, 2014

Perhaps you are looking for information about basketball teams throughout Wake Forest’s history, or mentions of his or her grandfather who was a student at WFU, or advertisements for Hudson-Belk Stores.  The following provides a simple outline of how to search the collection by keyword.

Searching the Old Gold and Black digital collection

Search for a term using the “Search This Collection” box on the Old Gold and Black collection page. Below is a general search for “basketball.”

Collection search box for Old Gold & Black Digital Collection

Collection search box for Old Gold & Black Digital Collection

The search returns issues of the Old Gold and Black containing the keyword for which you searched. Depending on the research mission, and because keyword searchable issues are being added by date, you may want to sort the results by issue date in ascending order.

Search results for Old Gold & Black digital collection

Search results for Old Gold & Black digital collection

From the search results page, select an item to view in more detail.

From the search results page, select an item to view in more detail

From the search results page, select an item to view in more detail

Searching within a particular issue of the Old Gold and Black

We selected the December 4, 1925 issue to view. From the item page, click the “Download” button to view an issue within your web browser or download to your PC.

From the item page, click the "Download" button to view an issue within your web browser or to download it to your PC

From the item page, click the “Download” button to view an issue within your web browser or to download it to your PC

To search for a term within that issue, press the Ctrl + F keys to open the search box of your web browser (in the top right corner of the screen).  Below, a search of the December 4, 1925 edition for “basketball” returned five results, which are highlighted within the document.  You can navigate to each instance of the word “basketball” using the up and down arrow buttons on the search box.

Keyword search within an issue of the Old Gold & Black

Keyword search within an issue of the Old Gold & Black

As always, if you have any questions about accessing this digital collection, you may contact Special Collections & University Archives.


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