This is Paige, a Special Collections student assistant and Senior here at WFU. Paige has worked in Special Collections since her freshman year. We rely on Paige to do any number of things in our department including writing blog posts, processing collections, and reference desk shifts. In this picture, Paige is rehousing and updating a University Archives finding aid in preparation for a larger appraisal and processing project of our Manuscript holdings. Paige has processed many collections and has been extremely helpful as we plan for the future of Special Collections and Archives. Paige is one of our many seniors graduating this Spring. Thanks to all of our student assistants for their hard work in making Special Collections and Archives successful!
D is for…
Founded in 1951 by Liam Miller and his wife Josephine Brown, the press operated in Dublin until Miller’s death in 1987. It was founded as a way to provide a publishing outlet for Irish poetry. It heavily featured the work of Irish artists. The scope of the press grew to include prose literature by Irish authors as well as a broad range of critical works about Irish literature and theater.
The founder, Liam Miller, was born April 24, 1924 in Mountrath, Ireland. He was educated in Ireland at Ballyfin College and University College Dublin, where he studied architecture. In addition to his role with the Dolmen Press, Miller was very active in the Dublin community. An avid philatelist, he served for many years on the Irish Department of Posts and Telegraphs’ Philatelic Advisory Committee. Passionate about live theater, Miller helped revive the Abbey Theatre and the Abbey’s Peacock Theatre. He became director of the Lantern Theatre, and frequently used his architectural skills to design and create sets for the Lantern’s productions. An authority on Yeats and Irish theater, he wrote and spoke frequently on these topics.
This collection consists of information relating to the publications and printing jobs of the Dolmen Press, the administrative and financial documents of its operation, and the design work and personal papers of Liam Miller. For more on the Dolmen Press and its founder, Liam Miller, check out the Dolmen Press finding aid and visit the Special Collections and Archives research room for a more in depth look at the this extensive collection.
D is also for…Duke Tobacco Company Cigarette Cards
In the late 19th century, colorful cigarette cards were an ideal way to advertise the use of tobacco, an increasingly popular and widespread diversion in the U.S. The earliest cards using single images dated from 1877. Over time as popularity escalated, series of images were produced to promote the sale of cards to collectors and traders. Cartophily, or the hobby of collecting cards, was born.
The early success of cigarette cards led many companies to adopt this new advertising method. Subjects ranged from U.S. Presidents to cowboys to baseball. With the use of color lithography and mechanized printing, mass production of the cards was possible. The digital images in this collection represent cigarette cards dating from 1888. One series, “Terrors of America,” depicts young boys in various pursuits. Another series, “Shadows,” depicts a variety of people with caricatures in their shadows. The cards were issued as advertisement for Duke Brothers and Company, Durham, N.C., and packed in Duke’s cigarettes. For more information on these cigarette cards see the finding aid for the Duke Tobacco Company Cigarette Cards and visit the Special Collections and Archives research room to view them.
And D is for…Le terze rime di Dante
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) or simply known as Dante, was a major Italian poet. He is known for his work The Divine Comedy and is known as il Sommo Poeta (The Supreme Poet) in Italy and is considered the Father of the Italian Language. The rare books collection’s copy of Le terze rime di Dante was published in 1502 in Italian. It was published in Venice by Aldus Manutius or Aldo Manuzio, who founded the Aldine Press. It’s the first small format edition of Dante, all earlier editions are in folio. This copy has bookplates of John Ruskin, F. Hayward Joyce, and John Saks and the label of William Salloch on back free endpaper. To look at and see more of Dante’s works please visit the Special Collections and Archives research room. You can learn more about Dante, Minutius, and Aldine Press by reading a post by Megan from last year.
Get ecstatic for E…
This ABC’s of Special Collections blog post was written by student assistant Brittany Newberry.
The following is a joint post by Megan Mulder (Special Collections Librarian) and Chelcie Rowell (Digital Initiatives Librarian).
History of Alexander’s Feast
The 18th century edition of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast has one of the most interesting provenances of any book in Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s Special Collections department.
The work is based on an ode in commemoration of St. Cecilia’s day by English poet John Dryden (1631-1700). Dryden’s “Alexander’s Feast” tells a story from the life of Alexander the Great, in which the conqueror and his soldiers enjoy a drunken feast in celebration of their victory over the king of Persia. The bard Timotheus provides entertainment, and his poetic and musical skill inspire Alexander and his men to a frenzy of revenge against the conquered city of Persepolis. Dryden’s poem is more cautionary than celebratory, as the “power of music” is used for morally questionable ends.
Nonetheless, Dryden’s poem was a great critical success when it was first published in 1697, and it was apparently still popular enough nearly 40 years later for George Frideric Handel (1685- 1759) to choose it as the inspiration for a new musical work. Handel’s Alexander’s Feast was well received at its 1736 London premiere and was performed many more times during the 18th century. Published versions of Handel’s score began to appear shortly after its first performance.
Wake Forest’s copy of Alexander’s Feast was likely published around 1750. Its first recorded owner was William Hawes (1785–1846) an English musician who eventually became master of choristers at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
At some point the book made its way to a Stuttgart bookseller and was purchased by the famous German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847). Mendelssohn signed the front endpaper and the title page, and he also annotated many pages of the score. The notes may well have been for a performance at the Aachen music festival in 1846, which featured an appearance by the famous singer Jenny Lind.
After Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, the book’s provenance again becomes murky. But it was, at any rate, purchased from a rare books dealer in 1958 for the Wake Forest University library. For the past 50 years the volume has been part of the Rare Books Collection at Z. Smith Reynolds Library. It is an interesting object for students of music history. But in the absence of a large collection of related materials at Wake Forest, it has not been well known to Mendelssohn scholars. So Special Collections librarians were pleased to learn of an opportunity to contribute to a project at the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Leipzig. This project, which began in 1959, is working to publish the complete works of Mendelssohn.
Digitization of Alexander’s Feast
In order for ZSR’s Alexander’s Feast to be included in the Leipzig Mendelssohn project, we needed to digitize the entire book. We wanted to do this in such a way that users of the digital surrogate would experience the materiality of the book—the physical organization and details—in addition to being able to read the text.
Capturing digital images of each page of Alexander’s Feast presented a familiar challenge for the Digitization Lab at ZSR. We wanted to make sure that we created a faithful digital representation of the physical object. To this end, we cropped the images of the front cover and back cover such that all four edges are visible. Additionally, we cropped the images of interior pages such that the gutter is visible on the right side for images of verso (left) pages, while the gutter is visible on the left side for images of recto (right) pages. Our goal is to provide viewers as much context about the physical object as possible within the constraints of the hardware and software that we use for digitization.
A best practice for the digitization of special collections materials is to create both a preservation copy and an access copy. In the case of Alexander’s Feast, we created a high-resolution TIFF file of each page of the volume, including the front cover, the marbled endpapers, and the back cover. The advantage of preservation copies is that they’re flexible; they allow different kinds of access copies to be generated as the needs of viewers, as well as the constraints of the systems that present these materials to viewers, both evolve.
The access copy of Alexander’s Feast, available in our Digital Collections, is a single PDF that incorporates all of the pages of the bound musical score.
Future Uses of Alexander’s Feast
Wake Forest’s copy of Alexander’s Feast has been cataloged and available to researchers for decades, and Special Collections has provided digital files and photocopies of relevant pages to remote researchers on request. But its inclusion in the Mendelssohn project will situate the material within the context of Mendelssohn’s career and may bring the item to the attention of international researchers. If this occurs, we will be able to provide remote researchers with high-quality digital images of the book’s pages.
In addition to broadening accessibility, digitizing special collections may enable new paths of inquiry, especially in the digital humanities community. Digitizing sheet music presents tantalizing opportunities. For instance, imagine an interface that displays a moving bar indicating the place in time on the sheet music alongside an audio or video recording of a performance.
Do you have an idea for a digital humanities project that could build upon digitized music scores? Contact us!
The Gertrude and Max Hoffmann Collection is enjoying the limelight once again. An article by ZSR Special Collections Librarian Megan Mulder about the collection is featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Performance!, the publication of the Performing Arts Section of the Society of American Archivists.
The entire publication is available in PDF format here. Don’t miss the cover photo of Max, Gertrude, and their photogenic cat!
Gertrude Hoffmann was a dancer, choreographer, and manager of her own dance troupe; her husband Max was a ragtime composer and musician. Their papers, now part of ZSR’s Special Collections, include music manuscripts, photographs, posters, correspondence, and other materials– many of which are now available as digital collections. The Performance! article describes the Hoffmanns’ colorful careers in early 20th century vaudeville and on international tours, and also explains how the collection came to reside at Wake Forest.
For more information about the Hoffmann papers at ZSR Library, please contact Special Collections and Archives.
We are so excited about the story published in Wake Forest Magazine on Friday! Read all about our discovery of a Philomathesian banner and our plans for it in the future in Kerry King’s article “Finding A Piece of History.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
As always, if you have any questions about accessing this digital collection, you may contact Special Collections & University Archives.
In December of 1786 a young country poet from the west of Scotland traveled to Edinburgh. Robert Burns hoped to drum up support for a second edition of the collection of poems that he had recently published by subscription in Kilmarnock. On 6 December Burns wrote to a friend
I have now been a week in Edin[burgh] and have been introduced to a great many of the Noblesse.—I have met very warm friends in the Literati… [Letters of Robert Burns, 2nd edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985) 61A]
Shortly thereafter he joked to another friend that
I am in a fair way of becoming as eminent as Thomas a Kempis or John Bunyan; and you may expect henceforth to see my birthday inserted among the wonderful events, in the Poor Robin’s and Aberdeen Almanacks… [Letters 62]
Burns could hardly have imagined that his birthday—January 25—would indeed be celebrated far beyond Aberdeen. Robert Burns Night is commemorated all over the world with food, speeches, and song in honor of the man now widely known as the national poet of Scotland.
In 1786, however, young Robert Burns was an obscure country poet. The son of a tenant farmer from the southwest of Scotland, Burns always had a talent for poetry and song. He also had a fondness for women, which may have led indirectly to the first publication of his poems. A few months before his trip to Edinburgh, Burns was making plans to emigrate to the West Indies, in part to escape the demands the family of a woman who had recently borne his out-of-wedlock twins. Before quitting Scotland Burns decided to publish a collection of poems based on the traditional dialect and songs of his native land. The very modest volume, titled Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, was printed by John Wilson in Kilmarnock in July 1786, its production paid for by Burns’s friends and supporters.
In October 1786 Burns approached Wilson about the possibility of a second edition, which would include some new poems. But, as Burns recounted in another letter, the printer insisted on an advance of £27 for the paper
[B]ut this, you know, is out of my power; so farewell hopes for a second edition ‘till I grow richer! An epocha, which, I think, will arrive at the payment of the British national debt. [Letters, 53]
Before leaving the country, Burns decided to make an attempt at finding patronage in the much larger city of Edinburgh, where, he had heard, copies of the Kilmarnock edition had been well received. He was indeed eagerly received by the Edinburgh aristocracy, and he quickly secured the patronage of the Caledonian Hunt –an exclusive social club for Scotland’s wealthiest men—for the second edition of his Poems.
Much of Burns’s stay in Edinburgh was taken up with preparations for this second edition, which included some new poems not found in the Kilmarnock edition. Writing to one of his partrons in March 1787, Burns records that
I have today corrected the last proof sheet of my poems and have now only the Glossary and subscribers names to print. . . . Printing this last is much against my will, but some of my friends whom I do not chuse to thwart will have it so. – I have both a second and a third Edition going on as the second was begun with too small a number of copies.—The whole I have printed is three thousand. [Letters, 90]
The average edition size at the time for a work of poetry was under 1000 copies, so an edition of 3000 copies was clear evidence of Burns’s ascendant fame. And the 46-page list, printed at the beginning of the volume, of names and tiles of subscribers provided incontrovertible evidence that the literary elite of Scotland had given their approval.
Robert Burns was a gifted poet, but he also had the advantage of appearing at the right time. The antiquarian movement of the 18th century had brought about great interest in the literature and material culture of the distant past. And in Scotland, antiquarianism had a decidedly nationalistic bent. English language and culture had been encroaching in Scotland since the union of the two kingdoms in 1603, and Burns’s poetry provided a direct link to traditional Scottish folkways and dialects. Burns himself embraced his identity as a national poet, writing in 1787:
The appellation of, a Scotch Bard, is by far my highest pride; to continue to deserve it is my most exalted ambition.—Scottish scenes, and Scottish story are the themes I could wish to sing… [Letters, 90]
Among the new poems included Edinburgh edition was “The Brigs of Ayr”—a dialogue between old and new bridges over the river Ayr– dedicated to his friend and longtime patron John Ballantine. The desire to see this poem in print was a motivating factor in Burns’s publishing a second edition. In 1786, despairing of being able to raise money for a second Kilmarnock edition, Burns wrote
There is scarcely any thing hurts me so much in being disappointed of my second edition, as not having it in my power to shew my gratitude to Mr. Ballantine, by publishing my poem of The Brigs of Ayr . [Letters, 53]
Burns’s ode to haggis was likely responsible for this rather off-putting concoction (offal, onions, and oatmeal boiled in a sheep’s stomach) being enshrined as the national dish of Scotland.
The glossary included in the Edinburgh edition of Burns’s Poems preserves distinctively Scottish words and pronunciations. But the fact that even his fellow Scots needed a guide to the language attests that the dialect was rapidly disappearing from everyday use.
The Edinburgh edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect made Burns’s reputation. It also gave him financial security, at least temporarily. On the eve of its publication Burns wrote that
I guess I shall clear between two and three hundred pounds by my Authorship; with that sum I intend, so far as I may be said to have any intention, to return to my old acquaintance, the plough, and, if I can meet with a lease by which I can live, to commence Farmer. [Letters, 90]
Burns did indeed go back to farming, at least for a while. He married the mother of his twin children and fathered several more children. Eventually he took on a job as an excise officer in Dumfries. But he continued to write poetry and continued to take an active interest in the study and preservation of Scottish culture. One of his best known poems, “Tam o’Shanter,” was published in a volume dedicated to the preservation of Scottish buildings and monuments.
Burns died suddenly in 1796 at the age of only 37. But enthusiasm for his poetry never flagged. Memoirs, tributes, and collections of his works were published, and the 1859 centennial of his birth was the occasion for many celebrations.
Since then the tradition of commemorating Burns Night on January 25 has spread throughout the world. Robert Burns would no doubt be delighted that his writings have brought the songs and poetry of his beloved Scotland to a global audience.
ZSR’s copy of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect is from the Charles Babcock collection. It is particularly interesting as an artifact because it has never been altered or rebound. With its original printer’s cardboard binding and untrimmed pages, the book is exactly what an 18th century reader would have purchased from an Edinburgh bookseller.
The following is a guest post by Corrine Luthy, a graduate intern with Wake Forest University’s Special Collections & Archives.
Hi! I’m Corrine Luthy, an intern in the Special Collections and Archives department here at ZSR for the Spring 2014 semester. I am a graduate student in my second semester at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Library and Information Studies program. Although there are no concentrations within the program, I have a strong interest in archives.
I have been working in ZSR’s Special Collections and Archives department since October, becoming acquainted with the equipment and the staff and gearing up for some projects I will be working on this spring. I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to gain this hands-on experience while earning academic credit for my work. With the guidance of Tanya Zanish-Belcher (Director of Special Collections and Archives) and Chelcie Rowell (Digital Initiatives Librarian), we identified specific projects that I will lead, and we developed learning objectives that I will complete. I am excited that at the conclusion of my internship, having led these projects and completed these learning objectives will help me to build a strong portfolio.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in English from East Carolina University. Of course, my love for the written word and information access drew me to library school. But my interest in archives comes most immediately from my work as an editor and staff writer for a small community newspaper in northeastern North Carolina before returning to graduate school. There, I witnessed the real need for a usable and organized information organization system on a regular basis. The newspaper served not only as a historical record for the community, but for ourselves as well. Working at a print publication, I also became more aware of the contrast (and sometimes tension) between print and digital formats, some of the effects of the shift from one to the other, and the need for digital preservation. These are trends that I will be fortunate enough to explore more during my time at ZSR.
The projects that I have begun working on under Chelcie’s supervision hold a special interest for me. This semester I will be working with PDF files of digitized issues of Wake Forest’s student newspaper, the Old Gold and Black, making them keyword searchable for users of the library’s digital collection. I will also be working to create a digital exhibit with materials from the Secrest Artists Series.
I’m hoping to contribute to the digital community of Wake Forest by helping the library create and improve collections that capture the spirit of the university and make its digital materials more accessible and usable. I will be documenting my progress, thoughts, and learning as a ZSR intern and MLS student on my personal blog and portfolio website, Shelf Life. Anyone interested is invited to follow along. I hope to see you around ZSR!