Who’s Who in RBSC: Dan Johnson

Dan JohnsonWith his excitement barely contained, Dan Johnson reveled in what a great addition this would be for RBSC—a map of Middle Earth annotated by J. R. R. Tolkien himself! Dan went on to explain that this map was recently discovered stuck in the renowned illustrator, Pauline Baynes’ personal copy of The Lord of the Rings and that it promises to be an important piece of Tolkien ephemera. “If only we had a Tolkien collection to justify pursuing this,” he lamented.

Dan’s enthusiasm and appreciation for the Inklings is among his many literary interests. He studied English literature, earning his BA from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN, and then went on to earn an MA from Wake Forest University. He is currently researching the supernatural in the 18th century. Part of this research examines the work of Charles Brockden Brown, the first major American novelist and Gothic fiction pioneer. He is finishing his dissertation, “Visible Plots, Invisible Realms,” en route to earning his PhD in English literature at Princeton University. All the while he is learning the ropes of the library world as the new English Literature and Digital Humanities librarian for Hesburgh Libraries.

Having come to Notre Dame in August, Dan quickly immersed himself in getting to know the collections, faculty, and students. Within the first couple of weeks, he was meeting with English students and faculty, and preparing classes that featured rare materials, including the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He pulled out multiple editions of The Ancient Mariner and along with Professor Yasmin Solomonescu guided the students through Coleridge’s marginal glosses, talking about the book as artifact.

Tightly integrated with Dan’s interests in American and British literature from the 18th and 19th centuries is his fascination with how technology can enhance research in the Humanities. Dan founded and manages a digital archive of texts and digital humanities projects related to 18th- and 19th-century British and American literature called Scholar’s Grotto. This includes his own project, a scholarly edition of The Relief; or, Day Thoughts (1754), a parody and critique of graveyard poetry by Henry Jones, the “bricklayer poet.”

Dan is quite excited about enhancing RBSC’s literary collections. He has acquired two significant additions: a 1725 edition of Shakespeare’s works edited by Alexander Pope and the 1818 second edition of The Family Shakespeare in Ten Volumes edited by Thomas Bowdler. Both of these will be featured in his upcoming Shakespeare spotlight exhibit in RBSC—this will be the first exhibit Dan has ever curated. It will coincide with RBSC’s hosting of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s touring exhibit that will bring a First Folio of the bard’s plays to each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Dan will also lead guided tours of both exhibits and invites everyone to brave the snow and come out to learn about Shakespeare.

 


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Upcoming Events: December and January

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 24, 2015, through January 5, 2016). We remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

In January, RBSC will be host to the exhibit First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Notre Dame marks the official first stop of the First Folio national tour and exhibit. Shakespeare at Notre Dame, along with faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, and members of the distinguished Shakespeare residency company Actors from the London Stage will also host the “Folio Fridays” Lecture Series, performances, workshops, and special displays throughout the month of January to complement this momentous occasion.

The exhibit will open on Wednesday, January 6 with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Recent Acquisition: Loome Catholic Modernism Collection

by Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian

The Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired the Thomas M. Loome Collection in Catholic Modernism, which comprehensively covers books on Modernism in Catholic thought, with over 1500 volumes. The modernist movement, from the late 19th into the 20th century, concerned theological, philosophical, and methodological insights applied to the Church’s engagement with the modern world. The controversies generated by this debate by many European and American Catholics led to censure, papal encyclicals, and excommunications. The themes resonated and were in many ways resolved in the course of Vatican II, and can certainly be said to be relevant to the global church today.

The printed works cover output from Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, but also include primary works for Modernism in the Netherlands, U.S., Switzerland, and Austria. Most of these printed works were published during the years 1895-1912, but also include subsequent studies and monographs on Modernism and individual Modernists.

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1893 manuscript (MSE-MD 3824-063) and 1928 letter to Gwen Green (MSE-MD 3824-104), both written by Friedrich von Hügel.

In addition to books, the collection includes manuscript material from several principal thinkers, including George Tyrrell (letters) and Friedrich von Hügel (correspondence with other thinkers and relatives). Thomas Loome, the compiler of the collection (and former owner/bookseller of Loome Theological Books, Stillwater, MN), has written widely on modernism, and the collection includes his extensive research notes, reprints, copies of archival sources, and correspondence concerning his research and the debates.

The Loome Catholic Modernism Collection monographs are housed in Rare Books and Special Collections, and can be found in the ND Catalog with the keywords “Loome Catholic Modernism Collection.” The manuscript and archival materials are being processed, and are accessible for use in the Special Collections reading room. Contact the department for more information about using the collection.

 


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Thanksgiving and football

by George Rugg, Curator, Americana

Thanksgiving Day was instrumental to the growth of American football. A season-ending game between the previous year’s top two college teams was first scheduled for Thanksgiving in 1876. In 1880 the contest was moved to New York, where it evolved from game to social event, inaugurating the city’s winter season.

1893-11-30-Yal_vs_Princeton-116-117_f16

By the time the 124-page “memento program” shown here was published, in 1893, the Thanksgiving game was attracting 40,000 people and earning the participating schools (in this case, Yale and Princeton) upwards of $10,000. It was also providing ample fodder for the dozens of New York dailies, whose exhaustive coverage brought college football to broad new constituencies. Many faculty and trustees had misgivings about all this attention, about the loss of old Thanksgiving traditions, and about students’ postgame celebrations in the city; these factors and others led to the abandonment of New York after 1897.

Football-shaped programs were published with some frequency in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the case of this 1893 Yale-Princeton Thanksgiving program, the rectos of each leaf contain athletic and school information of various kinds, while the versos contain decidedly upscale advertisements.

 


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Who’s Who in RBSC: Natasha Lyandres

nlyandresLetters written by and to Lady Byron—these are among the many rich surprises Natasha Lyandres has found in Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) since she joined the department in Fall 2013 as Head of Special Collections.

Before joining RBSC, Natasha studied Art History at Moscow State University and then earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University. She has held positions as Special Projects Librarian for the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University, Reference Librarian for the Joyner Library at East Carolina University, and Head of Acquisition Resources and Discovery Services at Notre Dame.

The main focus for her, according to Natasha, is working with her staff to make RBSC collections more visible and accessible to students, faculty, and researchers. This involves processing collections and making them discoverable in the library’s online catalog and on the department’s website. She and her staff also make the intellectual content of their collections understandable to specialists and non-specialists alike by providing descriptions on the RBSC website, talking to individuals, teaching classes in RBSC, and co-teaching courses with campus faculty.

Natasha is also curator of Russian and Eastern European collections. She continually searches for rare and unique materials that support the existing collection strengths and the research interests of Notre Dame teaching faculty. Among her recent acquisitions are avant-garde Russian and Polish rare books, materials by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky, both recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature, as well as documents about extraordinary lives of their interesting but less well-known contemporaries. Currently, she is working with the department’s manuscript processor, Ken Kinslow, to finalize the processing of and finding aid for the Elizabeth Markstein papers she acquired.

When asked if there is an item she dreams about acquiring for RBSC, Natasha replied without hesitating, “Kazimir Malevich’s On New Systems in Art: Statics and Speed—this is a phenomenal work by one of the most important artists of the twentieth century!” Natasha’s interests extend beyond art and manuscripts. She is currently immersed in The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio by Andrea Mays. This page-turning read is setting the stage for the upcoming exhibit RBSC is hosting, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, January 6-30, 2016. Notre Dame is the sole Indiana site to host the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national traveling exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Natasha’s parting words returned us to the department and its staff. Admitting that she really enjoys working with the breadth of RBSC’s collections, she said in no uncertain terms that the highlight for her is “working with the people first and foremost because of the knowledge they possess about so many different things and because they are all so enthusiastic about what they do.”

 


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Commemorating Civil War Veterans

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

Americans celebrate November 11th as Veterans’ Day. It commemorates Armistice Day—November 11, 1918—when, at the eleventh hour that day, France, Great Britain, and the United States (the Allied powers) and Germany signed an armistice that ended hostilities of the Great War (1914 – 1918). After World War II the United States officially designated November 11th as a day to remember veterans of all wars. However, its WWI origins remain in the Arlington National Cemetery ceremony, which includes a wreath placed on the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11 am.

Letter, Thomas Francis McGrath to his mother, January 20, 1863 and Veteran’s Badge, Dedication of NY State Monument, Antietam, September 17, 1920.
Letter, Thomas Francis McGrath to his mother, January 20, 1863 (MSN/CW 1001-16), and Veteran’s Badge, Dedication of NY State Monument, Antietam, September 17, 1920 (MSN/CW 1001-44).

Hesburgh Libraries’ Rare Book and Special Collections department holds many unique or rare items by soldiers about war remembrance. The Civil War (1861-1865) created a lot of soldiers who, even as they fought, reflected and recorded. Thomas Francis McGrath (1839 – 1922) traveled from Ireland to enlist in the 69th New York Infantry, a part of the Irish Brigade. In an 1863 letter to his mother, he contrasted Irish and Irish-American soldiers who died fighting for the United States, “that land, which gives a home . . . to the . . . oppressed of all nations,” with Irish men who lost their lives in the British army, fighting “under a Foreign Flag . . . for a government that robs his country and banishes her sons to a distant land.”

Carte-de-visite Portrait of Lt. James C. Woodworth, 1865, and 25th Massachusetts Infantry annual reunion ribbon, October 17, 1899.
Carte-de-visite portrait of Lt. James C. Woodworth, 1865 (MSN/CW 1014-16), and 25th Massachusetts Infantry annual reunion ribbon, October 17, 1899 (MSN/CW 1014-31).

James C. Woodworth (1839 – 1900) served in the 25th Massachusetts Infantry. He kept an 800-page diary of his wartime experience and collected miniature tintype portraits of soldiers in his company (an opening of which is this blog post’s lead image, MSN/CW 1014-15). After the war both McGrath and Woodworth attended soldiers’ reunions until the end of their lives; McGrath appeared at a monument dedication at Antietam in 1920, when he was in his early eighties, and two years after the end of World War I.

 


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Spotlight Exhibit: The Evgeniia Ginzburg and Antonina Axenova Collection

November 2015

This month’s spotlight exhibit features materials from the recently acquired archive of Evgeniia Ginzburg, the most famous woman prisoner of Stalin’s GULAG, and Antonina Axenova (Ginzburg’s adopted daughter).

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Evgeniia Ginzburg in her Moscow apartment, 1968.

Evgeniia Solomonovna Ginzburg (1904-1977) was a journalist and teacher who wrote an acclaimed autobiographical account of her 18-year journey through the Stalin GULAG. Ginzbrug’s epic story, which has been translated into many languages, was published in English in two volumes: Journey into the Whirlwind (1967) and Within the Whirlwind (1981). To this day her work remains one of the most significant and widely-read women’s memoirs about life and death in the Stalin camps.

Born in the Kolyma camps in 1946, Antonina Pavlovna Axenova was adopted by Ginzburg in 1949. Axenova later became a theater and movie actress. She has also worked tirelessly collecting materials to preserve the memory and legacy of her mother.

The exhibit is timed to coincide with a visit to Notre Dame by Antonina Axenova and the filmmaker, Mario Damolin, who premiered his new documentary film about Evgeniia Ginzburg entitled Tightrope Walk on November 5 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

More than 7 boxes constitute the archive which consists of documents, letters, photographs, and some manuscripts relating to Ginzburg’s arrest and her life in the camps as well as materials about Axenova’s professional life. The finding aid is near completion and will be accessible to researchers in the near future.

The exhibit is curated by Ken Kinslow, Manuscripts Processing Librarian, and is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through December 11, 2015.

Upcoming Events: November and December

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

Thursday, November 5th at 3:00pm | “The Meaning of the Troubles” – Ian McBride (King’s Cross London)
Thursday, November 5th at 4:30pm | “The Long War” – Ruán O’Donnell (University of Limerick)

Both of the November 5th events are co-sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Brian J. Logue Fund for Northern Ireland.

Thursday, November 12th at 4:30pm | “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: Eclogues – Jonathan Combs-Schilling (Ohio State) and Fiore andDetto d’Amore – Christopher Kleinhenz (Wisconsin-Madison)

Co-sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

 

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Thanksgiving Break (November 26-27) and for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 24, 2015, through January 3, 2016). We remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

Recent Acquisition: Rare Biography of Pope Paul IV

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

BOO_003873354-000ad_eWe’ve recently acquired Antonio Caraccioli’s De vita Pauli Quarti Pont. Max.: collectanea historica (Coloniae Ubiorum, 1612), a rare biography of Pope Paul IV, whose pontificate spanned May 1555-August 1559.

Although his reign took place during the period of the Council of Trent (1545-63) and thus the “first wave” of the Catholic Reformation, he did not call or preside over any of the council’s sessions; however, he did address the problem of clerical corruption in Rome. Born Gian Pietro Carafa, he is reputed to have had a rather harsh and unyielding disposition and is probably best known for strengthening the Roman Inquisition and introducing the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). This work is held by only two other North American libraries.

BOO_004173426-002Also recently acquired is an interesting and rare incunable, Johannes Marchesinus’ Mamotrectus Super Bibliam, published in Venice by Johannes Rubeus in 1498. The work was originally written near the end of the 13th century and, as a guide to the Latin Vulgate consisting of nearly 1300 separate articles, was an extremely influential Franciscan school text in the education of clergy throughout the late Middle Ages.

The first printed edition was issued in Mainz (Germany) by Peter Schoffer in 1470; only three other North American institutions hold the version we have just acquired.

 


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Spotlight Exhibit: Building the Yeats Collection

October 2015

This month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian, and features 6 volumes from 32 recently acquired books written by W. B. Yeats or associated with the Yeats family.

Spotlight-Oct-YeatsW. B. Yeats (1865-1939) was a leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival. One of the greatest poets of his time, he was also a major force behind Ireland’s national Theatre, the Abbey, and had a great and lasting impact on Irish culture and literature. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Visiting professor John Kelly alerted the Library to the availability of the Yeats collection of American scholar and bibliographer Milton McClintock Gatch. In all, 32 volumes from the Gatch Collection have been added to the Hesburgh Library.

This adds significantly to the already rich Yeats Collection at the Hesburgh Library. Besides editions of books by W. B. Yeats, the Library holds a collection of Abbey Theatre Programmes, a Cuala Press collection (the printing press of the Yeats sisters) and a considerable collection of books illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.

The exhibit is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through October 30, 2015.