January 29th, 2015

Farm Life

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Santo Domingo collection.

hey beatnikHey Beatnik! this is the Farm book by Stephen Gaskin is a tutorial on all things hippy and counterculture.  Gaskin, founder of “The Farm” in Tennessee, was a famous leader in the Haight-Ashbury circles of San Francisco and eventually became a green party presidential candidate in 2000.  This book, published a few years after the founding of The Farm, is a guide to living independently and at one with nature and community.  Some sections describe practical tasks such as farming and spiritual midwifery while other sections describe more intangible goals such as community harmony and love.  Gaskin even goes as far as to offer construction and building advice as well as including nutrition charts and information in order to ensure that the vegetarian lifestyle is properly addressed.hey beatnik

Some of the advice in this book is surprising given the context.  In the section on healing, a discussion of the importance of spiritual health and telepathic healing is paired with the caveat that “if something is mechanically wrong with your bod, go see a doctor.”  Generally a book about feeling good and living in harmony, there is enough practical advice in this book that it works as a guide to successfully setting up and maintaining a commune.  Filled with pictures of life on the farm, this book is an interesting insight into hippy culture of the 1970s.Hey beatnik

Hey beatnik! : this is the Farm book by Stephen and the Farm / Summertown, Tenn. : Book Pub. Co., ©1974 is available in Widener’s collection.  Several other books by Stephen Gaskin are also in the Santo Domingo Collection including Amazing dope tales / Berkeley, Calif. : Ronin, 1999, The caravan / [New York] Random House [1972], and Cannabis spirituality : including the 13 guidelines for sanity and safety / New York : High Times Books, 1996.

Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

January 22nd, 2015

Will the real Lewis de Claremont please stand up?

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Lewis de Claremont is credited as the author on several occult books from the early 20th-century including Legends of Incense, Herbs, and Oils.  The image of an “artist’s conception of Lewis de Claremont in tunic and turban with Spirit Guide” appeared as the frontispiece in his books.  Henri Gamache another author from that time published The Magic of HerbsProtection Against Evil and Harm, and The Master Key to Occult Secrets.  What is interesting is that apparently neither one of these men were real, both were supposedly a nom de plume of a man named Young.  The story goes that Young turned over the copyright and publication rights to Joseph Kay, of Dorne Publishing, to clear up a debt.

What makes it more confusing is that at one point Joseph Kay under the name of Joseph Spitalnick claimed authorship, but the fact that some of the De Claremont books were previously published under a different house clearly disproves his claim.  There is still yet another theory that has been posited which comes from Ed Kay, son of Joseph, who says that Henri Gamache was actually a college educated young Jewish woman who worked for Joseph and wrote books for him.  Regardless of who authored this text it says volumes about popular interest in the early 20th-century.

Legends of Incense, Herbs, and Oils instructs the layperson on certain herbs and oils and how they are related to magic and the occult.  Of course the author helpfully directs the reader on where they can purchase these items or recommends that they consult another one of his books for clarification or proper usage.  Capitalism at work!

IMG_0039 IMG_0040

Legends of incenseherb & oil magic by Lewis de Claremont. [New York] : Dorene Pub. Co., c1938 can be found in Widener’s collection.  

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.

January 21st, 2015

From the Library of Sarah Orne Jewett: A gift from Celia Thaxter


The following is the third in a four-part series on books from the library of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) and her family.

Presented to Jewett in 1885, this copy of Celia Thaxter’s Poems contains 22 original watercolor sketches by Thaxter, depicting flowers, birds, spiders, and seascapes. Best known for her poem “The Sandpiper,” Celia Thaxter was, like Jewett, a celebrated author and a talented watercolorist, and both drew inspiration from their native coastal Maine. Later editions of Thaxter included a preface by Jewett. Thaxter’s home on Appledore Island was a gathering place and literary salon for many luminaries of the day, including Emerson, Longfellow, and Whittier, and certainly Sarah Orne Jewett.

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January 20th, 2015

The game’s afoot!

Sherlock 1This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo collection.

Today’s feature demonstrates the Santo Domingo Collection’s diversity of genres and formats. While clearly literary in nature, Sherlock Holmes: consulting detective is not a work of literature. Rather, it’s a game based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, in which players reveal sequences of clues and attempt to be the first to solve the case. (If no one can do so in a timely manner, Holmes himself solves it, resulting in failure for all players.)

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January 15th, 2015

A Theory of Communication

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Santo Domingo collection.

CounterblastCounterblast by Marshall McLuhan is a unique book with insights into human interaction with new technologies and media.  A Canadian communication theory philosopher, McLuhan investigates the way new media has changed the world, with an interesting focus on television and mass visual media.  This printing was designed by Harley Parker, a Canadian artist and designer, who often worked with McLuhan in the area of art and technology.  Full of mind-bending illustrations, Counterblast is as interesting for the content as the unique images that enhance it. Counterblast

McLuhan’s philosophy, that communication technology influences the organization of society, became incredibly popular during his life time, and his most famous work Understanding media (1964) caused a sensation in the intellectual world.  Counterblast, originally written in a shorter form in 1954, discusses the changes that communication technology causes, that are later addressed in Understanding media. One of the many interesting quotes in Counterblast explicates the impact of television: “TV children have lived several lifetimes by the time they enter grade 1, just as they have travelled farther by the age of 7 than their grandparents ever travelled.  The TV adult returns to grade school in order to make possible several new careers for himself.  Acceleration of information movement can have, as one of its consequences, a multiplicity of jobs for everybody.”

CounterblastMcLuhan is well represented in the Harvard Libraries and many of his books can be found in the catalog.  The Santo Domingo Collection copy of Counterblast [by] Marshall McLuhan, designed by Harley Parker is inscribed by McLuhan to his friend D’Arcy Hayman, an artist and writer also interested in communication technology.


Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.


January 14th, 2015

From the Library of Sarah Orne Jewett: Who is C.H.B.?


The following is part of a series on books from the library of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) and her family. Best known for her novels and stories set in Maine, including Deephaven (1877) and The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), Jewett’s papers and family library came to Harvard in 1931, the bequest of her nephew Dr. Theodore Jewett Eastman. Cataloged upon arrival more than eighty years ago, the catalog records for the books now at Houghton have benefitted from a recent review project, and along the way many interesting discoveries made.

The Jewett family library comprised mainly 19th-century works, but the family collected older books too, notably a philosophical lexicon by Armand de Belvézer, titled De declaratione difficilium terminorum and printed in Basel, in 1491 (Inc 7521.5 (B)). An inscription on the front flyleaf reads “Bought from the Royal Library at Munich in October, 1876. C.H.B.”

Untitled-2    Untitled-3

So who is C.H.B. and what is his connection to Sarah Orne Jewett? Discovering the identity of C.H.B. became possible when an identical inscription was found in another 15th-century book, also at Houghton but not from the Jewett library, a 1475 edition of Nicolas de Hannapes’s Exempla Sacrae Scripturae (Inc 2508). Houghton accession records show the de Hannapes was once owned by Harold N. Fowler, a Harvard professor of Greek and archaeology, whose wife, Helen Bell, was a cousin of Sarah Orne Jewett and the daughter of Charles Henry Bell (1823-1893). Charles Henry Bell was a historian, lawyer, and politician who served New Hampshire as U.S. Senator and Governor. His main collecting interest was Americana and not early European books, but we do know that Bell spent 1876 and 1877 on a grand art and architecture tour of Europe, including Germany, where we surmise he bought at least two incunabula (books printed before the 16th century).  It is reasonable to suppose these books were inherited by, or given to, Helen and Harold Fowler, but how exactly the de Belvézer came to be in the Jewett family library is not clear. The simplest explanation is that Mrs. Fowler simply gave the book to her famous cousin, Sarah Orne Jewett. Certainly the splendid library in the Jewett homestead in South Berwick, Maine, would have seemed a fitting home for it. The de Hannapes evidently remained with the Fowlers. Helen Bell Fowler died in 1909, and in 1944, as accession records show, Harold Fowler sold it to Houghton Library.


Top image: Bookplate for books from the Theodore Jewett Eastman bequest, 1931.

Other three images: Armand, de Belvézer, active 1326-1334. De declaratione difficilium terminorum. Inc 7521.5 (B).

Thanks to Bibliographic Assistant Noah Sheola for contributing this post.

January 12th, 2015

Harvard Library Bulletin

HLB logoThe new year is getting off to a good start. Three issues of the Harvard Library Bulletin will be mailed to subscribers in the next few weeks and this will go a long way to getting it up to date.

Volume 24: Number 2 (Summer 2013) includes three articles. Michael Winship is the author of “‘Yours for Freedom’: John P. Jewett Writes to Charles Sumner;” Liz Maynes-Aminzade is the author of “Literary Fetishes: The Brontë Miniature Books;” and Melissa Banta is the author of “Conceptual Constructions: Preservation of Harvard’s Brontë Juvenilia.”

Volume 24: Number 3 (Fall 2013) contains the catalogs of the exhibitions which took place in the spring of this year at Houghton Library and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This number also includes articles by Paul Corneilson, Managing Editor of the Collected Works of C.P.E Bach, Christoph Wolff, Director of the Bach-Archiv, Leipzig and David Schulenberg, author of the recently published The Music of C.P.E. Bach.

Volume 25: Number 1 (Spring 2014) contains G. Thomas Tanselle’s 100th George Parker Winship Lecture “A Bibliographer’s Creed.”

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to read more broadly, then might we respectfully recommend these issues to your attention? They make fascinating reading in a wide variety of pertinent topics.

Harvard Library Bulletin, Volume 25: Number 1 (Spring 2014)

This post was contributed by William P. Stoneman, Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts and Editor, Harvard Library Bulletin.

January 9th, 2015

Bright, shiny things

As I was cataloging a box of social dance scores in the Ward Collection last night, I ran across an odd little score which looked to me like some kind of early photocopy from the 1960s, back when some copies had a strange glossy coating which didn’t really look like the emulsion of a true Photostat. (I apologize in advance, as many of these scans are very difficult to see, due to the faded quality of the print, and the glossy surface of the pages.)

*2008TW-2095 (65) cover

*2008TW-2095 (65) cover

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January 8th, 2015

Mustachioed villan?

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

KIC_Image_0001Or perhaps a giant winged insect?  As always the truth lies in the interpretation of the viewer.  Bruce Connor was a renowned American artist who worked in a variety of media including film, collage, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and the inkblot images seen here.  Michael McClure is an American poet, novelist, and playwright who was a key member of the Beat Generation.  This beautiful volume which combines the inkblot style illustrations of Conner with McClure’s text was printed in letterpress and is considered to be an important piece of San Francisco bookmaking.  Signed by both men this copy is number 33 and is accompanied by an original ink drawing by Conner.


At the young age of 22 Michael McClure gave his first poetry reading at the famous Six Gallery event in San Francisco where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl.  He is considered to be an important member of the 1960s Hippie counterculture.  McClure is often said to have been a role model for Jim Morrison and encouraged him to explore his poetry. He also wrote the song “Mercedes Benz” which Janis Joplin famously sang.  Houghton has some of McClure’s poetry typescripts and proofs like Jaguar Skies and Rebel Lions in the New Directions collection entitled Manuscripts and Proofs of New Directions Books, 1937-1997.  


The adventures of a novel in four chapters / by Michael McClure ; illustrated by Bruce Conner. [California?] : Hine Editions, [1991?] (San Francisco : Limestone Press). PS3563.A262 A38 1991 can be found in Houghton Library.  

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Ryan Wheeler, Rare Books Cataloger, for contributing this post.

January 1st, 2015

New on OASIS in January

Finding aids for four newly cataloged collections have been added to the OASIS database this month:

Processed by Irina Klyagin:
Lincoln Kirstein Correspondence, 1905-1995 (MS Thr 1045)

Processed by Ashley M. Nary:
Correspondence, Signatures, and Other Materials from Notable Theater, Art, and Literary Personalities, 1718-1972 (MS Thr 1046)

Processed by Bonnie B. Salt:
James Prince Papers, 1784-1821 (MS Am 800.1)

Samuel Dunster Collection of Papers by and about the Dunster Family, 1720-1876 (MS Am 777)

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