July 23rd, 2015

A Spiritual Guide

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

EnlightenmentCharles Berner offers his road to spiritual freedom in the short, pamphlet-like book, Enlightenment.   Illustrated by Peter Max, this book has detailed instructions, including a sample schedule for a day of Enlightenment Intensive at the Institute of Ability, for how most people can achieve enlightenment.   Although Berner mentions different ways to gain spiritual fulfillment, his specific path to enlightenment involves “presentation” or the technique of continual interaction with other people.   This is a rather different approach than the more common personal spiritual journeys that are often espoused by gurus.   This guide uses the question “Who Am I?” as the basis for the journey.  The participants work with a partner or a group to pursue self-inquiry.Enlightenment

EnlightenmentCharles Berner was the founder of the Enlightenment Intensive program,   a specific technique for achieving enlightenment that he taught participants at the Institute of Ability.  On his website he explains, “For three days 18 hours a day the participants are focused on contemplating the Truth of themselves. Each aspect of the intensive is designed to support the process. A unique technique, a structured, non-distracting environment, regular nourishing meals, and experienced staff all add to the ability to experience the Truth of oneself. This is a powerful technique. Charles Berner said, ‘I have tested this technique and I have compared it to other methods of enlightenment. This technique is about 50-100 times more rapid in producing enlightenment experiences than the classical techniques.’”  This program is taught with an enlightenment master who is there to help inspire, guide and can discern when the participants have achieved their goal.  Berner outlines the 8 stages of enlightenment, and explains that although there are different degrees of enlightenment, there is only one kind.

Enlightenment, part of the Santo Domingo Collection, can be found in Widener Library’s collection.

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

July 21st, 2015

The Beats Go On

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

Published in 1952, John Clellon Holmes’s lightly-fictionalized autobiographical novel Go was the first literary depiction of the Beat generation – Kerouac’s On the Road was extant, but only in typescript. On the Road was among the works that would later eclipse Go’s success, but Holmes’s novel establishes several of the themes that would occupy many of his contemporaries. Its characters, all versions of Holmes’s friends, are given over to drugs, petty crime, dissipation, free love, and general hedonistic indulgence; Holmes’s alter ego must navigate between this alluring demimonde and the stability of his marriage.

A New York Times review for Go, dated November 1952, makes clear that the cultural influence of the Beats has yet to manifest. The review’s author encloses in quotations the words “mainliners”, “kick” (in the sense of kicking a drug habit), and the phrase “beat generation”, in the course of explaining this little-understood slang to the reader. Though the characters in Go are glosses on the now-famous Beat writers with whom Holmes socialized at the time, Go slightly predates their literary celebrity. Thus the review refers to characters such as “Pasternak, who writes a presumably good novel, or at least one that gets sold”, “Stofsky, a homosexual and literary whirling dervish”, and “Hart, a frantic character from out of town”, without identifying them as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady. (Kerouac had published his first novel, The Town and the City, two years prior.) Later that month in the Times, Holmes would publish an article titled ‘This is the Beat Generation’, bringing the phrase (borrowed from Kerouac) into the public vocabulary.

This copy of the 1977 Appel edition of Go bears the autographs of several in this social circle: Holmes, Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, and Peter Orlovsky. (Huncke also appears in Go as “Albert Ancke” – perhaps the most transparent dramatization of all.)

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Go: PZ4.H753 G6 1977; HOLLIS number 1288278

New York Times review: M., G. (1952, Nov 09). The ‘kick’ that failed. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/112420774?accountid=11311

Holmes article: Holmes, Clellon. (1996, Apr 14). This is the beat generation. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/109618274?accountid=11311

Thanks to rare book cataloger Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.

July 20th, 2015

Russian prints from the Nathalie Ehrenbourg-Mannati collection

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One hundred Russian lubok prints, or lubki, acquired by Houghton in 1961 from the collection of Nathalie Ehrenbourg-Mannati, were recently cataloged as part of our hidden collections cataloging initiative.

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July 17th, 2015

REEL WRITING podcast series

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Reel Writing: Poems and prose off and on the tape reel, brought to you by Houghton Library and the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, is a podcast series by Virginia Rose Marshall. Virginia is a recent graduate of Harvard University and one of the 2015 recipients of the Houghton Library Undergraduate Fellowship. Three episodes are now available for your listening pleasure:

No. 1: A Country Affair Sherwood Anderson and David Foster Wallace at the fair
No. 2: The Other End of the Line …on which there is a poem
No. 3: Recalling the Stacks wherein we go underground at Houghton

July 16th, 2015

Let’s take a bite out of crime!

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


The collection has a large number of French translations of books that deal with crime and criminals in the United States.  Chicago : ville du crime or Rattling the cup on Chicago crime was written by Edward D. Sullivan, who was also a newspaper columnist.  Sullivan’s book explores his opinions about criminals and corruption in Chicago during the early 20th-century and the attitude of the American public towards criminals. He states that the modern criminal is careful and typically protected by a larger “organization.”

One chapter details the rise of Al Capone describing the bootlegging operations and the gradual pervasive corruption that infected the city.  The writing throughout is clearly skewed by Sullivan’s own experiences as a middle-class educated white man, but nonetheless it does show a specific point of view within the historical context.  The content is very sensationalist which makes sense since tabloid journalism was very popular around this time.

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Le gang et la débauche aux Etats-Unis : ennemis publics no. 1 is the French translation of the original title Here’s to Crime, which was cataloged by us back in the fall.  The author Courtney Cooper also had quite a flair for the dramatic both in his writing and his life experiences.  The title to his book is a direct response to the slogan “Crime Does Not Pay” which he considers to be “drivel.”  Before he was a newspaper reporter and author Cooper worked for a traveling circus as a clown and eventually became the general manager.  His connection to the circus continued throughout his lifetime and he was the chief publicist for Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus when he died.  Cooper was also quite an authority on crime and wrote several books and many articles dealing with corruption and drugs.  He was a supporter of the early days of the FBI and apparently J. Edgar Hoover was equally impressed with his knowledge of crime in America.  It is believed that he was a close friend of Hoover’s.

All of these volumes can be found in Widener’s collection:

Chicago : ville du crime / Edward Dean Sullivan ; Trad. de l’anglais par André Vialis. Paris : La Nouvelle société d’édition, [1931].

Le gang et la débauche aux Etats-Unis : ennemis publics no. 1 / Courtney Ryley Cooper ; adapté de l’anglais par Ch. de Richter. Paris : Editions de France, [1939].

Here’s to crime / Courtney Ryley Cooper. Boston : Little Brown and Company, 1938, [c1937].

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

July 10th, 2015

The Bon Ton Skillig List

Here is a recently cataloged “Skellig list” broadside from the city of Cork, Ireland. A Skellig (or Skillig) list is a poem pairing up local bachelors and unmarried women, giving the subjects false names; but they were easily identifiable to local residents, given their age and physical descriptions (flattering or insulting), how long they have been unmarried, street of residence, and other personal details. The couples are supposed to take themselves to the island Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast and be married; Lent came ten days later on the Skelligs and gave the couples more time, as marriages were supposed to take place before Lent. Skellig lists were composed and circulated or posted for public viewing on Shrove Tuesday in Cork, Kerry and elsewhere. The humor in the (anonymous) Skellig lists “consists of associating the most probable and improbable persons.1” “Skillig” is a variant spelling of “Skellig” in this form of poem.



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July 9th, 2015

Exploring Advertising

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

What ifAlthough the marketing and branding world was very different in 2002, Jean Jacques Evrard and Brice Auckenthaler still present interesting and relevant insight in their book What If? Insights into brand trends and the birth of new target sectors. The book is a collection of articles previously published in the Belgian magazine PUB and the French magazine Point De Vente.  Each article offers insight into product branding and new ways people were implementing this information.  What ifIt is an interesting topic still since with the excess amount of data collected in the internet age, the way we follow trends is changing.  Although little of the information can be used as an exact roadmap on how to market, it serves as a motivator for outside-of-the-box thinking and finding inspiration in unusual places.

Jean Jacques Evrard is very active in the marketing world, as one of the co-founders of the Pentawards, a Belgian design award competition based on design; he is influential on the look of products today.  What ifPentawards also currently prints books on packaging design.    Brice Auckenthaler is also a prolific marketing presence and has published many books on the idea of innovation.  Both show their eye for the unique and a flare for design in this collection of articles.

What ifWhat If? Insights into brand trends and the birth of new target sectors is in the Santo Domingo Collection available at Widener Library.  Several other books by Jean Jacques Evrard such as The 19th century in Belgium : architecture and interior design / Jos Vandenbreeden, Françoise Dierkens-Aubry ; photography Christine Bastine and Jacques Evrard and Art deco & modernisme / texte de Pierre Puttemans, photographies de Christine Bastin et Jacques Evrard are available in the Loeb Library at the Graduate School of Design.

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

July 7th, 2015

Ginsberg for sale

Sanders 1

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

The Beats continue their expansion onto Houghton’s shelves by means of Santo Domingo Collection accessioning; Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) is the most recent author to attain fuller representation in our catalog. Ginsberg books in the collection range from the slightest volume of early poetry to the most sumptuous facsimile reissue of Howl, and, as is typical of Santo Domingo, rarities abound.

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July 2nd, 2015

The Drug Bug

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

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The Drug Bug was an idea born through Allan Palmquist’s work with millions of Pennsylvanian high school students in 1970.  At the time Palmquist was the Promotional Director at the Teen Challenge Training Center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania.  Teen Challenge is a Christian organization that helps teens particularly those dealing with addiction.

The book was written with Frank M. Reynolds, an ordained minister and Executive Director of the Teen Challenge Training Center who worked closely with David Wilkerson who started Teen Challenge.  Wilkerson wrote the foreword for The Drug Bug and his name may be familiar for we featured him in a previous post entitled The Best Selling Preacher.

cov1_0008  The book details various groups that are curious about drugs or experimenting with them already and gives brief sketches of presumably true stories.  There are short Question and Answer sections which come from graduates of the Teen Challenge program.  It reads a bit like promotional material for this Christian organization, which is still in operation today.

To get a glimpse of society’s reaction in the early days of widespread youth drug addiction you can find The drug bug / by Al Palmquist and Frank Reynolds ; foreword by David Wilkerson. Minneapolis : Dimension Books, 1970. HV5824.Y68 P34 1970 in Widener’s collection.

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

July 1st, 2015

New on OASIS in July

Finding aids for 11 newly cataloged collections, as well as a preliminary box list for one new acquisition, were added to the OASIS database this month.

Processed by Irina Klyagin:
Costume Designs for French Opera, Theater and Music-Halls, circa 1890-1940 (MS Thr 1137)

Theodore Komisarjevsky Costume and Set Designs, 1918-1936 (MS Thr 1143)

Costume Designs for French Music-halls, 1910-1962 (MS Thr 1134)

Processed by Jennifer Lyons:
Modern American Theater Programs, 1919-2006 (MS Thr 1138)

Processed by Ashley M. Nary:
American and British Theater Programs, 1925-2007 (MS Thr 1136)

Processed by Bonnie B. Salt:
Foxcroft Family Papers, 1745-1842 (MS Am 3034)

Green Family Letters and Other Papers, 1753-1838 (MS Am 3036)

Jeremiah Fogg Papers, 1773-1853 (MS Am 3038)

Jacques Prévost de la Croix Genealogical Papers, 1698-1782 (MS Can 69)

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Papers Concerning Settlements on the St. John River, 1766-1786 (MS Can 75)

Letters Sent to the Boston Museum, 1864-1891 (MS Thr 1139)

The following collection has a new preliminary box-list now on OASIS:

Processed by Melanie Wisner:
Jane Freilicher Additional Papers, circa 1938-2014 (MS Am 3029)

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