Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Bible: A Memoir (Wednesday 10/1 @ 7 pm (@ Hoole, of course!)

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 1, 2008, Melissa J. Delbridge will discuss and read from her memoir, Family Bible (UIowa Press, 2008). The event will take place at the Hoole Special Collections Library located on the 2nd floor of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall on The University of Alabama campus (500 Hackberry Lane).

A native of Tuscaloosa and UA alum, Melissa Delbridge has published essays and short stories in the Antioch Review, Southern Humanities Review, Third Coast, and other journals. She is an archivist in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. Delbridge lives with her family in Orange County, North Carolina, where she spends her leisure time letting the dogs in and out, making pickles, plotting vengeance, substantiating rumors, and working on a novel.

Her book, along with many, many others are a part of the Hoole Library's Alabama Collection - as she is an Alabama native.

Please join us for what will certainly be a great event. This is part of the UA Libraries' lecture series and is co-sponsored by New College.

“Delbridge knows sorrow like she knows the rhythm of her own heart. . . . Fans of Carson McCullers won't want to miss this one—witty, tragic, and relentlessly wise.”

—Booklist, starred review

Monday, September 29, 2008

1968: The Year that Changed the World

Exhibit poster for 1968: The Year that Changed the World
- inspired by Thomas Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968)

A new exhibit from the collections of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library is now available -- 1968: The Year that Changed the World is an opportunity to reflect on this important time through the lens of the materials in the Hoole Library. Forty years after 1968, we still look upon that year as a pivotal one in the worlds of politics, culture, art, music, literature, and life.

Through our print collections, sound recordings, and more, this exhibit offers some insight into life both on the UA campus and in the world during 1968.

1968 Corolla (Detail) of Afro-American Society

1968 brought Robert Kennedy to campus as part of the Emphasis program in March of 1968, just three months before he was assassinated. 1968 was the year the first African-American student association was established on campus, and this year marks the 40th anniversary.

Assorted buttons - detail from 1968 Corolla

The exhibit is far-reaching, looking at art, music, literature, campus life, culture, war, and many of the things that were on the minds of students and others 40 years ago.

Soundtrack of the 1968 musical, Hair!

The exhibit also features some materials currently on loan and donated by UA alum Janet Stevenson, who was a student at The University of Alabama in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We even have her Fall 1968 calendar on display! This exhibit also features a few of the many, many LPs from the collection of UA History professor John Beeler, who was quick to loan some of the most important albums of 1968 to include in the exhibit.

Lumpy Gravy by Frank Zappa (1968)

To get a sense of campus life in 1968, come to see the exhibit! And if you want a real blast from the past, be sure to visit our digital collections which feature the 1968 Corolla as well as a full array of the talks and the program from Emphasis '68.

This exhibit was developed with graduate student, Audrey Coleman from the department of American Studies. Please join us in commemorating the 40 year anniversary of such an important year. We hope to have an event in December to "let the sunshine in".... stay tuned. Peace.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stark Paget '27 and the Song of the Crimson Tide!

This sweet-faced young man was named Stark Paget. He passed away in 1934 at the young age of 37. He suffered from severe food poisoning, and died at the home of his mother, Mrs. Lucy Paget in Troy, Alabama.

Paget was born in 1897 in Searight, Alabama, the son of J.E. Paget and Lucy Thomas Paget. He spent most of his youth in Andalusia. He came to The University of Alabama in 1923, after serving in the Quartermaster Corps in WWI and attending Auburn University for a short period of time.

Cover, Song of the Crimson Tide by Stark Paget

Though he has been gone a long time, Paget's legacy remains --a legacy of music. During his short life, he had a career as an auditor and stenographer for several companies, but he also was a pianist, appearing on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit in Alabama and Florida. He was a gifted singer and musician, but also a composer as well. He was very active in the UA Glee Club. And he composed a song that was popular regionally, called "The Kappa Sigma Dream Girl", which was dedicated to The University of Alabama chapter of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He was perhaps best known for composing the then widely known and performed song, "Song of the Crimson Tide", which was published by the Supe Store in 1930, and performed by Paget and the Glee Club on the opening of their then new location in the Union Building (now known as Reese Pfifer Hall)

Page 1, Song of the Crimson Tide

This song is not as widely known as the 1926 song, Yea Alabama! by Lundy Sykes, perhaps it will make a resurgence....

Cover, Rammer Jammer Magazine, May 1926, announcing the "new official song, Yay, Alabama"

This photograph of Stark Paget, along with his biographical information and this rare piece of sheet music (which the Hoole Library did not have until now!) was donated recently by Mrs. J.W. Hamiter of Andalusia, whose grandmother was Stark Paget's sister. These were given to us by Janice Fink, editor of the UA Alumni Magazine, who often receives materials like this and they know to pass them on to us. It is a greatly appreciated effort that helps us to preserve and document the history and culture of the University, the community, and beyond. These materials are now part of the Hoole Library's collections.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cotton Dethroned!

98 years ago today, on September 3, 1910, the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) was first discovered on Alabama soil. The unbelievable devastation the boll weevil caused to cotton crops throughout the South was the catalyst for diversifying agriculture in Alabama, ultimately dethroning "King Cotton" in favor of other crops like peanuts, soybeans and timber.

The book featured here is one of many from Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books that feature cotton as a design element, decoration, ornament or motif. Here are a few more for your perusal... some very realistic, some beautifully stylized. To look at over 5000 more books and lots more, visit PBO!

An impressive, albeit strangely wonderful statue dedicated to the boll weevil stands in Enterprise, Alabama.