Sweden, Norway, Lapland and northern Finland
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sweden, Norway, Lapland and northern Finland
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Our amazing volunteer manuscript processor James shared this cool little item he came across while processing the Mabel Smythe-Haith papers. Everyone loves a big fancy decree, deed, or diploma -- something with seals and stamps and stuff. Pretty cool. What’s even cooler? Mabel Smythe-Haith herself.
Mabel Smythe-Haith, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, was a brilliant student – leaving home to study at Spellman College in Atlanta at the age of fifteen. She left Spellman in her senior year, graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She went on to receive a Master’s degree in Economics from Northwestern and a PhD from University of Wisconsin.
Dr. Smythe-Haith was married to Hugh H. Smythe while he was an ambassador to Syria from 1965-1967 and ambassador to Malta 1967-1969. President Johnson appointed her the US envoy to UNESCO in Paris, France, in 1964. She was the U.S. ambassador to the United Republic of Cameroon concurrently with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea from 1977-1980. She worked with Thurgood Marshall on the preparations for Brown v. Board of Education. After a distinguished career as a U.S. ambassador and civil rights advocate, Ms. Smythe-Haith served as Melville J. Herskovits Professor for African Studies at Northwestern. Additionally, she was awarded two honorary law degrees and other academic honors. She later worked as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs until 2000. She passed away in Tuscaloosa in 2006. There are additional papers at the Library of Congress, and the Mabel Smythe-Haith papers at the Hoole Library will be open to researchers shortly. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
So last week was Cuba Week at The University of Alabama. Here's a little Memories of Cuba (Week) binding for you to enjoy....
by Janan Ewan
Boston, R.G. Bager, 1908.
pba01177, from the Hoole Alabama Collection
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
by Grace Duffie Boylan
Binding design by Blanche McManus (Signed binding: B.Mc.M)
New York, E.R. Herrick, 1898.
pba02560, from the Richard Minsky Collection, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
Monday, October 11, 2010
Among Hoole's many fascinating treasures is this slim manuscript volume - eight pages of hand written text, which came to us as part of the T.P. Thompson Collection. The detail above gives us the words for rain, wind, sun, moon, star, earth, mountain, and stone -- first in French, then in Choctaw.
Written about 1885, this "Vocabulaire de la langue des Indiens Choctaw (lac Ponchartrain) Louisiane" is in the hand of Abbé Adrien Roquette, who was also known by many as "Chahta-Lma", Choctaw for "Like a Choctaw" -- a beautiful sentiment. This name was bestowed upon him by the Choctaw people as a sign of belonging and respect. In hindsight this can be viewed in many ways -- but the simplest notion of all is to see this expression as a reflection of everyone being connected as people -- to say that you are one of us. A pure expression of belonging and connection.
This manuscript volume has been digitized, and is available as part of our digital program here.
The original item is part of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. To read more about Abbé Roquette, there is a 1913 biography available via Google Books.
No matter our language or our differences, we are one people. On one great, beautiful terre... yakni...earth...
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Yesterday, we lost one of the great elder statesman of the American cinema, Tony Curtis. Among his many great films is one that was written by Alabama author and University of Alabama graduate, William Bradford Huie. Huie's book, Hero of Iwo Jima was turned into the 1962 film starring Tony Curtis about Marine Corporal Ira Hamilton Hayes, one of the men who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Huie, in his role as war correspondent and reporter, wrote numerous memorable pieces, including several about his experiences and the experiences of others during World War II and its aftermath.
We will celebrate William Bradford Huie in November and through the Spring 2011 semester, with an exhibit, a film screening, and several other events based on his life and work. Visit http://www.as.ua.edu/wbhuieat100/ and http://wbhuieat100.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
One of the many wonders of working with rare books is the magnificent things you find within -- like these amazing marbled end papers. This is just a taste of what I came across today working with Confederate Imprints and Alabama collection materials from the mid-19th century. Enjoy!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Yesterday marked the 169th anniversary of the birth of the pioneer educator and reformer, Julia Strudwick Tutwiler. Born in Tuscaloosa on August 15, 1841, she brought higher education for women to Alabama, and worked tirelessly for prison and other social reform. She is considered a pioneer and activist far before her time. She even wrote the the song, Alabama, which was adopted as the Alabama state song on the 100th anniversary of her birth in 1931.
Many, many reminders of Miss Julia's legacy remain, though the one seen here has since been replaced. This photograph, taken in 1950, is of the "old" Tutwiler Hall, which has since been replaced with a second Tutwiler Hall, located just across from Bryant-Denny Stadium on Bryant Drive. We have many more dormitories on campus these days -- beautiful new buildings with a river view and new amenities. But it is always interesting to look at where we have come from.
And with that, we not only celebrate the birthday of Julia Tutwiler, but we welcome all the new students and returning students to The University of Alabama!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
90 Degrees in the Shade by Clarence Cason,
published in 1935 by the University of North Carolina Press
On the page between the half title and title page, there is a photograph of a group of men in their shirtsleeves, sitting at a table under an old tree on a few metal chairs and an old barrel. There's a dog on the ground, looking into the distance, panting. They are probably playing cards. Under the photograph, the caption states, "Air-conditioning cannot be a grand success in the South for the reason that the honest natives of the region recognize the natural summer heat as a welcome ally in that it makes the inside of houses and offices agreeably uninviting, if not actually prohibited territory."
Our weather and our constitutions have changed remarkably since then. Air conditioning is not only welcomed, it's outright required.
Clarence Cason, in his 1917 Corolla (UA yearbook) portrait.
He taught at the University of Minnesota, then in 1928 he was hired by The University of Alabama to develop a journalism school. He published, mentored, and in the early 1930s, he began to compile his essays on the south. This was to become his book, 90 Degrees in the Shade. Tragically, and despite the love and encouragement of his colleagues and friends, Cason took his own life just days before the book's release. It is said that it was his overwhelming fear of how his book was to be received by his fellow Southerners became too much for him to bear.
Cason's legacy lives on at The University of Alabama, with the Clarence Cason Award, established in 1997 to honor exemplary non-fiction over a long career.
The Hoole Library holds several editions of the book, including the first edition shown above. To take a look at portions of the book in Google Books' version of 90 Degrees in the Shade, it is online here:
And to read a fascinating article by literary scholar, Phil Beidler about Cason and his contemporary, Carl Carmer (author of Stars Fell on Alabama, published in 1934), entitled, Yankee Interloper and Native Son: Carl Carmer and Clarence Cason: Unlikely Twins of Alabama Expose click here. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to get a sense of aspects of life in Alabama in the 1930s.
Friday, July 30, 2010
But just because we can, here is the article as it appears on the Hoole website!
Originally published in Alabama Heritage, Winter 1993 (No. 27)
It is sweet and noble to die for one’s country.
The dedication of the memorial window may have represented the zenith of the cult of the "Lost Cause" in west Alabama. The ceremonies took place in front of the newly constructed Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library (now Carmichael Hall), where the window was originally located. The audience consisted of the university community, Tuscaloosans, officers ofthe United Daughters of the Confederacy, and seven elderly Confederate veterans who had been University of Alabama cadets during the Federal invasion of April 1865.
The audience's enthusiasm was whipped into a feverous pitch by speeches, including one by former governor B. B. Comer (also a former university cadet), and by patriotic songs sung by the varsity glee club. These included "We're Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground" and "The Bonnie Blue Flag." According to reporters, toward the end of the program "the Glee club sang the song that these veterans had patiently waited for—Dixie! They leapt gallantly to their tottering feet and the old, wild rebel yell rose lustily, terribly from their feeble throats. After this outburst," the window was unveiled, the setting sun illuminating its rich hues.
"Drapery glass" was used to create not only the color but the texture of the knight's flowing robe. This technique, invented by Tiffany, required the glassblower (protected by asbestos gloves) to toss a glob of molten glass on an iron table, where he kneaded and folded the red-hot mixture like bread dough until the desired loops and streaks were formed.
The extraordinary depth and luminosity of the knight's attire, including the shirt of chain mail that extends below his breast plate, were achieved by sandwiching or "plating" several layers of differently textured and colored glass on top of one another. These built-up areas are visible on the back of the window.
To achieve the effect of dappled light shining through foliage in the background, Tiffany used "mottled glass" and a few touches of "confetti glass." These types of glass, perfected in the Tiffany studios, were made by throwing various chemicals (for a mottled effect) or broken glass scraps (for a confetti effect) into the molten glass. As was usually the case, actual paint was used only to define the noble features of the knight, but even here the designer incorporated plated glass to achieve the glow of living flesh.
The production of a Tiffany memorial window was labor intensive, requiring hundreds of hours of work and a high level of craftsmanship. For these reasons, large windows cost several thousand dollars, a hefty sum in 1925, when glass workers received three dollars a day and their supervisors were paid twenty-one dollars a week.
The University of Alabama window cost $5,000, but Tiffany studios gave the U.D.C. a $1,700 discount. Even with the discount, the organization found it necessary to pay off the sum in installments.
In 1939 the Alabama window was removed from the old Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library on campus and installed in the present main library, which bears the same name. This year , in a move partially funded by the U.D.C., the window will be relocated once again, this time to the new collections building on the east side of the University of Alabama campus, where it will grace the walls of the William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library*.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Negative by Dr. George R. Raw, from the Perkins Family Papers, 1813-1928.
This photograph, taken on the grounds of Bryce Hospital in 1899, is an example of the photographs in the Perkins Family Papers. The photographs in the collection are from the 1890s and 1900s, and contain two photographic albums with 209 images, 72 loose photographs, and 121 glass negatives. The life of Julian C. Perkins, his wife Mary (Mamie) Kennedy Perkins, their children Edwin, Brook, and Julian, and their extended families is well documented in this photographic collection compiled by their son Edwin. There are also photographs of The University of Alabama (Woods Hall and President’s Mansion); photographs of Tuscaloosa and surrounding area around 1890; John Robinson’s Circus arriving to Tuscaloosa; Tuscaloosa Street Fair; some parts of Birmingham around the same time period; and Meridian, Mississippi.
This image, along with much of the photographs from this collection is accessible through our digital collections.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Published in New York by MacMillan, 1903.
From the Richard Minsky Collection,
W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama
Signed binding, "CX", in green ungrained cloth with gold, black, red, and white stamping on front and spine. No decoration on back. Cream endpapers. Top gilt.
Book is illustrated by Philip R. Goodwin and Charles Livingston Bull.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The crack of the bat is certainly a sound that many associate with summer. And what better way to celebrate that than with a little poem. But not just any ordinary poem…but with the legendary and beloved baseball poem, “Casey at the Bat”.
Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat”, despite being memorized by generations of American kids, is considered to be a modern literary mystery, its origins clouded with a bit of intrigue about where the poem came from, and just who wrote it.
“Casey” first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner in 1888, and it was first made popular that same year by the actor, comedian, and baseball fan, DeWolfe Hopper. Hopper made it a national sensation when he declaimed it in a New York theater in August, 1888 in front of his beloved New York Giants on the day his dear friend (and Hall of Fame pitcher) Tim Keefe had his nineteen game winning streak stopped.
Hopper went on to recite it countless times on the Vaudeville circuit, on radio, and even as a short film in 1923. It also became famously attributed to Victorian baseball legend Mike “King” Kelly, but Kelly was not the author, but rather like Hopper, recited the poem (poorly, in fact) before audiences. With Kelly and Hopper, by the turn of the 20th century, “Casey” had become part of the modern American cannon.
Our beloved “Casey” first appeared in a hard cover book fourteen years later, 1902, in the volume, A Treasury of Humorous Poetry: Being a Compilation of Witty, Facetious, & Satirical Verse Selected from the Writings of British & American Poets. Dedicated to one of America’s greatest satirists, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and edited by Frederic Lawrence Knowles, it was published by Dana, Estes & Company. Knowles inclusion of “Casey” was logical, but unfortunately, the poem was misattributed to one “Joseph Quinlan Murphy”, an error which was soon corrected, by striking Murphy’s name from the author index in front of the book and properly crediting Thayer in the poem index at the rear. The copy featured here is the original uncorrected printing and is part of Hoole Special Collections Library’s Rare Books collection.
Today we are more than reasonably sure that Thayer was in fact the author of “Casey”. Thayer graduated from Harvard in 1885 and was hired by William Randolph Hearst as the humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, a post he held from 1886-1888. On June 3, 1888, Thayer signed his name as “Phin” to the very last piece he wrote for the Examiner, a poem entitled “Casey,” adding to the confusion over who actually wrote the poem. It is also said that Thayer denied having written the poem for some time, than later recanted.
(Corrected 1919 edition from Google Books)
At his Harvard class reunion in 1895, Thayer recited the poem himself, lending further credence to his place as the author of this beloved poem.
“Casey” lives on in many forms, an American legend, memorialized in a 1927 movie, Walt Disney cartoons, and a commemorative postage stamp, as well as books, and ballads that respond to “Casey” by numerous authors. The following are just a few noteworthy performances of and homages to “Casey at the Bat”, by Hopper, Disney, James Earl Jones, and Jackie Gleason.