National Hispanic Heritage Month 2017

We join the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.


Sergio Sánchez Santamaría
by Erika Hosselkus, Curator, Latin American Collections

Sergio Sánchez Santamaría is a printmaker, illustrator, and muralist who was born in Tlayacapan, Morelos, Mexico. Also trained in Mexico, Sánchez Santamaría has exhibited his work throughout Latin America and Europe, in the United States, and in Japan and China.

Among Sánchez Santamaría’s collections of linocut prints is a small volume called 500 años, México, printed at the San Jerónimo workshop in Tlayacapan. The 14 impressions comprising this piece offer a visual history of Mexico, from the age of the Mexica (Aztecs) to the late twentieth century. A jaguar and feathered serpent are among the engravings representing the nation’s indigenous past. Also portrayed are major figures historical figures such as national hero and president, Benito Juárez (in office 1858-1872), and the best-known female intellectual of the colonial era, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Rare Books and Special Collections holds the second of the six copies of 500 años, México produced by Sánchez Santamaría. Depicted here are two images from this copy.

A feathered helmet identifies this figure as an eagle warrior – a member of an elite corps within the formidable Mexica military.
A feathered helmet identifies this figure as an eagle warrior – a member of an elite corps within the formidable Mexica military.
Emiliano Zapata, hero of the Mexican Revolution, is depicted with his signature bandolier over his shoulder.
Emiliano Zapata, hero of the Mexican Revolution, is depicted with his signature bandolier over his shoulder.

Both prints illustrate the deep relief and heavy ink on cartridge paper characteristic of Sánchez Santamaría’s work. The style and the subject matter of his work tie him to the Taller de Gráfica Popular, a well-known artists’ print collective formed in 1937 that produced artwork designed to promote and advance the causes of the Mexican Revolution.

Sánchez Santamaría’s work often treats topics in Mexican history and popular culture. In 2016 he released a series of linocuts entitled Personajes de Morelos depicting figures central to the history of his home state. This collection was also printed in Tlayacapan. Rare Books and Special Collections holds copy fourteen of this collection, along with an actual linocut created by Sánchez Santamaría, shown below.

This image and linocut – number fourteen within this collection – depicts Zapatista colonel, Cristino Santamaría. According to Sánchez Santamaría, Cristino Santamaría, a musician and leader of the Banda Brigido Santamaría, fought alongside Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution. Santamaría’s face is obscured by his oversize sombrero, from under which his trumpet emerges. He is flanked by two figures wrapped tightly in traditional serapes. The print’s heavy lines contrast boldly with the white cartridge paper background.

Close examination of the linocut reveals something of Sánchez Santamaría’s technique. Cuts are of varying depth, to achieve different sorts of impressions. Outlines of the figures and blue pen shading can also be discerned.

Front covers of the Personajes de Morelos portfolio (left) and 500 años, México (right).

Along with these two collections, Rare Books and Special Collections holds copies of: Los chinelos,” a series of 11 linocuts featuring “chinelos,” the masked, bearded figures that feature prominently in festivals in Morelos, especially Carnival; Cuaresma en la region Cuautla Morelos, a collection of Easter-related prints, and; Kamasutra de exlibris mexicanos.

 


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

A Ga-lorious 4th of July

by Sara Quashnie, M.L.I.S. Candidate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

In this print, “Ye two Ga-lorious 4ths,” a Civil War soldier playfully and ironically compared Independence Day observations in 1861 and 1862. Drawing upon his own military experience, the artist compared the way he (and perhaps how he believed his family and friends) idealized military service with the grim realities of army life.

Henry Bacon, the young soldier who created the sketches in this lithograph, enlisted in the 13th Massachusetts Regiment of the United States Army a few weeks after July 4, 1861. Severely wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run, he was discharged on December 19, 1862.

While in the army Bacon sold drawings to Frank Leslie’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper, a popular publication in the North that fed the public’s voracious appetite for war news including, for the first time, images.

In seven paired images, Bacon mocked his own (and others’) illusions about wartime military service and perhaps also the experience of peacetime service. In “Ye Escort” and “Ye Patriot,” Bacon poked gentle fun at the toy-soldier appearance of a peacetime soldier on escort duty in contrast to the practical, informal, and even patchwork attire of an active soldier “Patriot.”

In a pairing that evoked Independence Day by mentioning “Fire Works,” Bacon contrasted the lofty ideals of “Liberty and Union” (references to ending slavery and secession) with a prosaic military camp fire. He also included an ironic note comparing viewing fireworks with the experience of facing artillery fire.  Another pairing, between “Ye Bewildering Vision” and “Ye ‘Rational’ Reality,” compared a copy of the Declaration of Independence placed upon a richly laden table, with torn and battered “Marching Orders” on the ground beside spartan military rations of “hard bread,” and a canteen of water. Noble rhetoric about saving the Union complemented Independence Day celebrations, but it contrasted starkly with the hardships of military life.

After his discharge Bacon moved to France to study painting and remained in Europe for the rest of his life.

 


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Memorial Day

To honor all who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Memorial Day, originally celebrated as Decoration Day, began after the Civil War. John A. Logan, a general in the Union Army and Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Civil War veterans, issued General Orders No. 11. Logan designated that the graves of those who died fighting to defend their country be decorated on May 30, 1868. Almost 100 years to the day later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law, Public Law 90-363, the Uniform Holiday Bill, establishing the official observance of Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), an American journalist and poet from New Brunswick, New Jersey, served in the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard during the First World War. He fell victim to a sniper’s bullet during the Second Battle of the Marne on July 30, 1918. His poem, “Memorial Day,” appeared in his second volume of poetry, Trees and Other Poems, published in 1914 by George H. Doran and Company.

Women’s History Month: A Woman’s Sardonic Eye

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

To honor Women’s History Month we are highlighting a new acquisition by a cartoonist who turned her sardonic eye on women and men in the WWII workplace.

Dorothy Bond drew on her working life in Chicago offices to create sarcastic, witty cartoons, which she turned into nationally syndicated comic strips after WWII. In 1940 Bond, a divorced mother of two, began working as the civilian executive secretary for a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. The result was this self-published Life with the Navy by Navy Nora, a wry, biting, and affectionate look at office life during wartime. Bond dedicated it to “those unsung heroes and heroines who work in shore establishments for the finest Navy in the world – the United States Navy.”

In one cartoon (seen here), Bond mocked male self-importance and tweaked gender expectations by portraying a female secretary’s hesitation to interrupt a group of men in conversation. While she delayed, Bond revealed the men’s mundane discussion—about clothes (where to buy the cheapest, best-quality overcoats). In the panel opposite Bond caricatured the government’s wartime production expectations and the gendered labor market it exploited. While the young woman secretary doubled down, using two typewriters simultaneously, her male superiors merely observed and rationalized her work speed-up.

Bond made a career of capturing, in drawings and words, the absurdities and gender politics in American offices. After publishing two more cartoon books about women and office work, she became a nationally syndicated cartoonist with a daily panel called The Ladies in 1945. From this success Bond created a comic strip that she dedicated to secretaries, Chlorine, Champion of the Working Girl. Her post-war office humor included cartoons like, “Whatever It Is, No!” and “Out Looking for a Man. Back at ___.” Bond continued to publish cartoon books on timely post-war topics like Life with the Boss (1947) and Your First or Second Baby? (1956), and later in her career, broke into advertising.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

African American History Month

“Paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society” – We join the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Museum to observe African American History Month.

 

African Americans and Populism
by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

In this 1894 poster, the Democratic Party of Georgia felt the warm breath of third party competition on the back of its neck. The unnamed “Third Party” was the People’s Party of the United States, also known as the Populists.

The Populists were established in 1892 by a coalition of famers in the South and Midwestern plains states who believed that eastern banks and railroads, supported by government policies, exploited them with expensive credit and transportation. They were joined by industrial workers who criticized the major parties for being controlled by corporate and financial elites. In the 1892 election Populists won three governorships and 15 Congressional seats. It was the period’s most significant political insurgency.

In Georgia, the Populist wave had captured the allegiance of so many white Democrats by 1894 that the balance of political power had shifted to African Americans. If they swung their support from the minority Republican Party to the People’s Party, Democrats would lose control.

Panicked Democrats cravenly released broadsides like this one, which attempted to browbeat African American voters away from the People’s Party by threatening less public support for their children’s education. Despite such heavy-handed tactics, many African American farmers in Georgia supported Populism, as black farmers did across the South.

Georgia Democrats grimly hung onto power by mobilizing white voters against “Negro supremacy,” intimidating black voters, and outright vote fraud. Although Populism’s appeal had increased in rural states like Georgia in 1894, nationally the party lost ground. By the 1896 presidential election, the Democratic Party shrewdly absorbed part of the Populist’s platform and the agrarian revolt was checked.

Special Collections invites everyone to visit during African American History month to view or conduct research on materials such as the 1894 poster featured above. For more information, please contact us.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Thanksgiving Humor by Mark Twain

Recalling his youth growing up in Hannibal, Missouri, Clemens recounts hunting with his uncle and cousins. A lousy shot, the young Clemens wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of deceitful mamma-turkey. Read on to find out what happened.

gen-boo_000566732_v114-057 gen-boo_000566732_v114-058

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known as Mark Twain, authorized Harper’s Magazine to print his “Hunting the Deceitful Turkey.” This short piece was an excerpt from the manuscript he had been working on, “My Autobiography (Random Extracts of It).”

Ghosts in the Stacks

by Sara Weber, Special Collections Digital Project Specialist

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Traditional Scottish Prayer

“What do you have in Special Collections?” is a question we are asked quite regularly. While we don’t have any ghosts (that we know of), we do have books that contain ghost stories. Whether a central character intended to frighten the reader or a convenient plot device, ghosts appear in a variety of works of fiction. Listed here are a selection of such stories to be found in our rare books.

One of the earliest recorded ghost stories is that told by Pliny the Younger in his Letters, written in the early 2nd century AD. He repeats a story he has heard told of an Athenian phantom “in the form of an old man . . . with a long beard and bristling hair” [Book 7, Letter 27]. boo_000525765-178_179 boo_000525765-180_181

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” from The sketch book of Geoffrey Crayon, gent, by Washington Irving (London: J. Murray, 1821).

“The Ghost and the Bonesetter” by Sheridan Le Fanu, first published in 1838 in the Dublin University Magazine (Dublin, Ireland: William Curry, Jun., and Co.; and London: Simpkin and Marshall).

A Christmas Carol (London: Chapman & Hall, 1843) and The haunted man and the ghost’s bargain (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848), both by Charles Dickens. Although a tradition that has nearly disappeared, telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve was popular during the Victorian era.

A night in a haunted house: a tale of facts, by Edward Tracy Turnerelli (London: Ward & Lock, 1859).

“The Phantom Coach” by Amelia Edwards, first published December 1864 in the Extra Christmas Number “Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy” issue of All the year Round, a Victorian periodical edited by Charles Dickens (London: Chapman and Hall, 1859-1895). Many 19th century ghost stories were initially published in magazines.boo_000809099-v12-18641201-34_35 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-36_37 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-38_39 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-40_41

Irish wonders: the ghosts, giants, pookas, demons, leprechauns, banshees, fairies, witches, widows, old maids, and other marvels of the Emerald Isle, by David Rice McAnally (London: Ward, Lock, 1888).

Some Chinese ghosts (Boston: Roberts brothers, 1887) and In ghostly Japan (Boston: Little, Brown and Co. 1899), both by Lafcadio Hearn.l_hearn-covers

“Tom Daly and the nut-eating ghost” from Tales of the fairies and of the ghost world, collected from the oral tradition in South-west Munster, by Jeremiah Curtin (London: D. Nutt, 1895). boo_001924558-054_055 boo_001924558-056_057

M. R. James’s Ghost stories of an antiquary (London: Penguin Books, 1937) and More ghost stories (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1959). James’s first and second collections of ghost stories, these were originally published in 1904 and 1911, respectively. penguins-mrjames

Gods, goblins and ghosts; the weird legends of the Far East, by Bertha Lum (Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1922). 

Madam Crowl’s ghost: and other tales of mystery, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by M. R James (London: G. Bell and sons, ltd., 1923). 

Happy Haunting to you and yours from all of us in Notre Dame’s Special Collections!

P.S. If you’re curious about ghost stories here on campus, check out Notre Dame Magazine’s article “Haunt thee, Notre Dame?” from the Autumn 2009 issue.

Reproducing Independence Day

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

Vicksburg, Mississippi’s most famous Independence Day, July 4, 1863, marked the surrender of its Confederate forces to Union Major General U. S. Grant during the American Civil War. After a 47-day siege of the city, which sat atop a high bluff on the Mississippi River, Grant accepted a negotiated truce from Vicksburg’s Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton on July 3. He surrendered the next day. This victory marked a turning point in the war. The Confederacy lost control of the Mississippi River as well as access between the eastern Confederacy and the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy of Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. At nearly the same moment, Union forces defeated Confederates at Gettysburg, a loss for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia that decisively checked Confederate encroachment northward.

1863-07-02-VicksburgMS_Daily Citizen_a

1863-07-02-VicksburgMS_Daily Citizen_bJ.M. Swords, publisher of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen, fled the city but left the July 2, 1863 edition partially finished on his press. Occupying Union soldiers completed it with an addendum dated July 4. Paper supplies in the besieged city, however, were long depleted so they printed the newspaper on what they had—wallpaper. Swords had earlier resorted to the same measure, creating so-called “wall-paper editions” on June 16, 18, 20, 27, 30, and July 2.

The last line of the July 4 note proved correct: the paper became a valuable curiosity. More than 30 reproductions have been identified, including this one. The Library of Congress holds two originals and two reproductions and offers guidance on identifying copies. Although of little monetary value, reproductions nevertheless are significant historical documents. They surfaced very soon after the war, probably as souvenirs at soldiers’ reunions.

Although many copies of its famous Fourth of July newspaper exist, after its defeat and surrender the city of Vicksburg did not officially celebrate Independence Day until 1945.

 


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Memorial Day: Stories of War by a Civil War Veteran

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

When Congress declared the last Monday in May a national holiday in 1968, it standardized the many different ways that Americans had remembered our war dead since the Civil War (1861-1865). Defining “Decoration Day,” as Memorial Day was first known after that war, became part of a larger cultural and political conflict about how to remember the Civil War itself.

Wikimedia-Bierce_from_The_Letters_1922-croppedWriter, poet, journalist, and veteran Ambrose Bierce shaped this post-war conversation. As a nineteen year old he joined the Ninth Indiana regiment and served nearly the entire conflict. Bierce later settled in California as a journalist and writer, contributing social criticism and satire to the San Francisco Examiner and other publications.

Of the many former soldiers who put their wartime experiences into literature, Bierce probably had seen the most combat. It never left him. By the 1880s, when American culture was awash in sentimental and nostalgic literature about the Civil War and slavery, Bierce’s stories stood apart. He despised war sentiment and, as one historian put it, “never stopped recollecting the corpses.” (David Blight, Race and Reunion, 2001, p. 248) Bierce’s realism about war’s horrors, most notably expressed in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and “Chickamauga,” was nearly unrivaled in his generation and distinguished him from other writers until after World War I.

BOO_000581369-005

In addition to the finely-produced first edition of collected short stories featured here, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, Hesburgh Library holds every first edition work by Bierce, thanks to the generosity of two university benefactors, John Bennett Shaw and Walter Trohan.

BOO_000581369-021

For more about Ambrose Bierce, and where most of this post’s content comes, see, David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2001). See also S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, Ambrose Bierce: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999).

 


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.