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A Beatnik Refuge

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

Greenwich VillageGreenwich Village by Fred McDarrah is a history of the New York City neighborhood from its inception as Old Green Village through the 1960s.  A detailed account from its time as a Dutch Colony to its incarnation as a refuge for counterculture and beatnik poets, McDarrah paints a picture of one of the most beloved parts of New York.  An introduction by David Boroff explains the importance of keeping history alive in New York and laments the destruction of other historical neighborhoods.  Filled with black and white photos of city streets and the people who inhabit them, Greenwich Village shows the cultural context of the 1960s.Greenwich VillageGreenwich Village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Fred McDarrah was an American staff photographer for the Village Voice and an author of several books on the beat generation.  Several of his books are available in the Harvard Library collection including New York, N.Y. : a photographic tour of Manhattan Island from Battery Park to Spuyten Duyvil / Fred W. McDarrah, Kerouac and friends : a beat generation album / Fred W. McDarrah, and Beat generation : glory days in Greenwich Village / Fred W. McDarrah, Gloria S. McDarrah.  Greenwich Village. With an introd. by David Boroff / Fred W. McDarrah is in the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection available at Widener Library.

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

Medicine for the masses

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

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Ever wondered where to buy first aid supplies, medical equipment, or prescriptions if you lived in 19th-century Europe?  Look no further than Guide Medical, translated as a Medical Guide to aid recovery in case of accidents or illness : instructions on performing medical prescriptions.  Authored by H. Finck who owned a shop in Geneva, Switzerland this catalog gives us a glimpse into the buying habits of people in this time period.  

Finck, a German apothocary took over the original shop from a French pharmacist and in a few short years took it from a modest corner store to one of the largest pharmacy’s in Switzerland.  KIC_Image_0007 KIC_Image_0003

In addition to having the traditional items such as medical supplies and patent medicines Finck also carried perfume, sponges, and even had an American soda-water fountain.  Apparently the shop was quite modern for the time with lights set in walnut wood and windows that were glass cased so that you could see the whole interior of the shop from the outside.  A counter ran around the shop on three sides with various dispensers, along with a beautiful glass show case for various types of bottles for purchase.  Finck was really marketing to both the medical professional and the casual consumer which is probably what made him so successful. This is very evident in the image that describes how one would get the appropriate measurement for socks.

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Guide médical pour faciliter les secours en cas d’accidents ou de maladie : instructions sur l’exécution des prescriptions médicales / par H. Finck, pharmacien.   Genève : Imprimerie Ch. Zoellner, 1895.  RC86.8.F49 1895 can be found at the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School in Longwood.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Joan Thomas, Rare Book Cataloger at Countway for contributing this post.

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

Page_sucker_numero_un_skull.jpgLudovic Burel’s book Page_Sucker_Numero_Un_Skull.JPG is a collection of pictures of skulls.  From humorous pictures like skulls on socks and action figures to scientific photographs, this book shows every kind of skull imaginable.  Although there is no text written by the author, the pages that really stand out are about the killing fields of Cambodia and destroyed villages in Palestine. Juxtaposed with the lighthearted pictures of keychains and decals, these tragedies stand out all the more.  Although there is no explanation from the author, the message is clear. Page_sucker_numero_un_skull.jpg

 

 

Much of Ludovic Burel’s work deals with photographs he finds, often of anonymous subjects on the web.   Although he does give citations in the back of the book, it reads much as though one had performed a google image search, offering up a huge collection of photos that are related but without much initial context.  The title of the book, “page sucker” is the name of a website extractor software which Burel uses to compile 208 images of skulls collected online via a single keyword (‘Skull’).  Burel presents the images as he found them, with little or no modification, as though it was an archeology project of the web. Page_sucker_numero_un_skull.jpg

 

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Page sucker_numero un_skull.jpg / Ludovic Burel.  Paris : tux-tv.net, 2002 is available in the Fine Arts collection.  Available at Widener Library is another of Burel’s works Archives du biopouvoir : Marseille, 18e-20e siècles / présentées par Philippe Artières & Ludovic Burel.

 

 

 

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

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

IMG_0031  The Maniac pictured here is a reprint of the original 1909 edition which claims to be an account of madness from a patient’s point of view.  Mahlon Blaine is the actual illustrator of The Maniac though he used the name G. Christopher Hudson among other pseudonyms throughout his career.  Little is known of the real life of Blaine mainly because he seemed to change his story about his origins and life according to his mood.  Apparently he did work for a variety of clients including publishers, pornographers, and even Hollywood movie producers.  

What is known is that Blaine created the original covers for John Steinbeck’s first two novels Cup of Gold  Cup of Gold 1 and To A God Unknown God Unknown 1
both of which can be found in Houghton and are pictured here.  Blaine also designed the endpapers for To A God Unknown.  God Unknown 3 (2)Blaine and Steinbeck met in 1925 on the steamship Katrina where they became friends.  Later on when Steinbeck wrote Cup of Gold the publisher contacted Blaine hoping his recognizable style would draw readers to this new author’s work. 

The Maniac is written anonymously and the author refers to herself as a “Human Document” and urges the reader to use her narrative as an instructive text on madness.  Today this would most likely be termed a psychotic break or the descent into schizophrenia.  The illustrations in the text reflect many perspectives within a single image with layers of multiple scenes depicted.  This was a technique that Blaine had used in previous work, but the context seems particularly appropriate in this case.  The captions don’t provide much insight into what is happening in the image but seem more like a title of a work.

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The maniac / illustrated by G. Christopher Hudson. New York : Books for the Few, 1941 RC516.T38 1941 can be found at the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School in Longwood.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Joan Thomas, Rare Book Cataloger at Countway for contributing this post.

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

Though Jewett had published stories in magazines beginning in 1868, Deephaven (1877) was her first book, and its publication signaled her debut as a notable American author. Her pride is evident in the words inscribed on the front flyleaf: “Not to be lent. Sarah O. Jewett. April 1877. This is the first copy of Deephaven that was printed, and it is my own. I don’t wish to lend it – there’s another which can be lent in the bookrack on my table.” Jewett was wise to keep a lending copy on hand, for it happens that the “bookrack” copy has not been identified; likely it was lent out and never returned. Visitors to Houghton Library may consult Jewett’s personal copy, but in accordance with her wishes (and library policy generally), we will not lend it out.

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Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. Deephaven. AC85.J5554.877d.

Thanks to Bibliographic Assistant Noah Sheola for contributing this post.

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.

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

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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 Herbs, Protection 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!

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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.

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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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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.)

Continue Reading »

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.

 

soj_1764_48_letterThe following is the second in a four-part series on books from the library of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) and her family.

Published by the Paris firm of Edwin Tross in 1871, this volume of poetry by Louise Labé belongs to a limited edition of 500 copies, and is distinguished by the remarkable typeface used. As the publisher’s introduction explains, the text is set in a cursive typeface called Civilité, cast from the original matrices owned by the Elzeviers in the 16th century and passed down through the generations. Tross goes on to explain that he had long wished to use this typeface, and accordingly chose an author contemporary with its design. This copy was owned by Sarah Orne Jewett, and contains a tipped-in letter to Jewett from Harvard Professor of Modern Languages Ferdinand Bôcher (1832-1902), relating how he bought the book and had it specially bound for her.

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Labé, Louise, 1526?-1566. Oeuvres de Lovize Labé. SOJ 1764.48.

Thanks to Bibliographic Assistant Noah Sheola for contributing this post.

 

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.

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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.  

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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.

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The following is the first in a four-part 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.”

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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.

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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.

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

All gone

At the end of every year, while preparing for the new one, people are often struck with nostalgia.  This feeling, not just for the past year, but of past eras, is evoked in David Seidman’s book All Gone: Things that aren’t Anymore.  Written at the end of the 20th century as fears about the new millennium were ramping up, Seidman showcases the gadgets and cultural icons that are representative of that time period and gives a glimpse into the meaning of that nostalgia.  Spanning topics from food and drink to law, government and politics, All Gone is a catalog of important events in the 20th century.  Accompanied by black and white photographs, this book is perfect end of year reading.All gone

Even items as seemingly trivial as wristwatches and spectacles get a section.  Seidman gives a short history of the watch, from the past models that required winding to the newer quartz watches that could be outfitted with anything from a calculator to a calendar.  On the more serious side, Seidman discusses the politics of the Cold War and the devastation of apartheid.  One really interesting chapter goes in to high-speed transportation, not just steam locomotives and trains, but also a discussion of NASA and Skylab, as well as different types of airlines that are no longer around are included in this chapter.    Although many think of air travel in the 1960s and 1970s as expensive and very fancy, as early as the 1980s budget airlines started popping up with no frills cheap flights.

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David Seidman is an expert on pop culture and often writes for newspapers and journals on the topic.  All gone: things that aren’t there anymore  / by David Seidman.  Los Angeles : General Pub. Group, 1998 is available in Widener Library’s collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hypnotic huckster

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

IMG_0001In his book Practical lessons in hypnotism & magnetism, L.W. DeLaurence states that “Occult force” is simply personal magnetism that if well developed is able to control man, woman, child or beast at will.  If a person possesses this occult force they can then project thoughts, desires, and even habits into the minds of those that have no knowledge of this mental science.  DeLaurence saw a hypnotist on stage and decided to take it up himself, so he took a grand total of one lesson and then began touring around the country doing lectures and exhibitions.

DeLaurence was a pretty shady character even within the IMG_0002 world of spiritualism and occult.  His publication of The Key to the Tarot: Oracles Behind the Veil was a blatant almost word for word plagiarism of Arthur Edward Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot : being fragments of a secret tradition under the veil of divination.  He was able to do this due to a loophole in the US copyright law at the time.  He also established DeLaurence, Scott and Company which sold spiritual amulets, candles, herbs, and other items.  Carolyn Morrow Long’s book Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic, and Commerce includes a detailed section about DeLaurence.

According to Long he was the subject of a mail order fraud investigation in 1919 where the prosecuting attorney seemed determined to expose him as a fake.  When DeLaurence was asked about the products he sold he admitted that they lacked any spiritual qualities and that the candles came from a nearby church, the amulets from a jewelry manufacturer, and the herbal remedies from a pharmaceutical company.  Transcripts show that he was given two weeks to remove the “fradulent and objectionable claims” but there is no final outcome noted, nor is there a police record of DeLaurence.

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To brush up on your own personal magnetism take a look at Practical lessons in hypnotism & magnetism : giving the only simple and practical course in hypnotism and vital magnetism which starts the student or practitioner out upon a plain, common sense basis–prepared especially for self-instruction / by L.W. DeLaurence. Chicago : De Laurence Co., c1937 which can be found in Widener’s collection.

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

On the Money

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

This edition of Jules Boissière’s Propos d’un intoxiqué has featured before in this space – see this post for a copy formerly owned by its illustrator, Tsuguharu Foujita. This copy, however, warrants revisiting the title.

Every page of this 240-volume book has been covered with original illustrations in crayon and watercolor, depicting personages, creatures, iconography, and scenery of Southeast Asia. On most pages, these embellishments are limited to the margins, but chapter breaks as well as the front and back matter offer larger canvases. The artist is Fred Money (1882-1956), a French painter and illustrator in the Post-Impressionist tradition. Money (a pseudonym for Raoul Billon) supported his work as a painter of landscapes and still lifes with commercial work, illustrating advertisements and novels – his work appears in books by Alexandre Dumas and Pierre Louÿs, among others.

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Per the edition’s limitation statement, the volume’s copy number indicates that it was originally issued with several states of Foujita’s illustrations. These are entirely absent, leaving only the extra-illustrated text. It also provides no clues as to provenance: whether it was commissioned, and if so, by whom, is a mystery.

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Propos d’un intoxique: PQ2603.O37 P76 1929x (C).

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

 

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

Liber nullLiber Null, a book by Pete Carroll, was originally written as a sourcebook for the magical organization, Illuminates of Thanateros.  It includes spells and magical exercises ranging from mind control to transmogrification.  Liber nullA warning at the beginning of the book states “Liber Null contains a selection of extremely powerful rituals and exercises intended for committed oculists who are aware of the extent of their own state of being.”  Not for the magical novice, this book discusses intense rituals that are akin to sensory deprivation that should not be tried if the reader has any health issues.  Much if the IOT magic discussed in Liber Null is from the darker side of magic and is devoted to the black arts.Liber Null

Illuminates of Thanateros, or IOT, was founded in 1978 by Pete Carroll and Ray Sherwin as a hierarchical organization based on the Greek gods of sex and death and the idea of chaos magic.  Related to the Zos Kia Cultus and Thelmic Magick, Carroll combines both traditional magic with new forms of thought and focus.   Although he debunks astrology, he grounds his new system in similar terms.  Carroll, who studied science in college, attempts to demystify magic much like Aleister Crowley.  Liber nullHowever, chaos magic lives up to its name, creating a realm where everything can contradict itself.  As Carroll says in Liber Kaos, “Chaoist magic is characterized by it’s cavalier attitude to metaphysics…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liber Null : an I.O.T. publication in class 4,3 and 2 comprising liber MMM, liber LUX liber NOX millenium, liber AOM by Pete Carroll ; illustrations, Andrew David can be found in Widener Library’s collection.  A later publication that includes both Liber Null and the related text Psychonaut is also available here: Liber Null & Psychonaut Peter J. Carroll; BF1611 .C38 1987.

 

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

Urdu Punch

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

Punch, the seminal British satirical magazine, is credited with popularizing the use of ‘cartoon’ to mean a comic drawing, rather than a preliminary sketch for a painting or tapestry. During the time of the British Raj, a number of publications throughout India adopted Punch’s model of political cartoons and satirical commentary; the first of these was The Oudh Punch (also cited as The Awadh Punch), an Urdu magazine founded in 1877 and based in the northern city of Lucknow. Many others, such as The Delhi Punch and The Punjab Punch, followed suit. They employed the sardonic devices of the original Punch to skewer and criticize British imperial leadership; nonetheless, a British author, Archibald Constable, saw fit to produce this selection of cartoons with English explications, putting the cartoons forward as a cultural curiosity, and as evidence of the Indian sense of humor.

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A selection from the illustrations which have appeared in the Oudh Punch from 1877 to 1881, then, is an interesting window into its period: original illustrations with Urdu text  are accompanied by Constable’s English notes, which provide political and cultural context, and a general introduction and postface. Constable regards the cartoons with the optimistic authority of the colonialist; their original authors may have offered differing descriptions. The volume’s inclusion in the Santo Domingo Collection is on the basis of one of its plates: “An opium den in Lucknow”, which depicts the range of users from intoxication to catatonia; the Oudh Punch himself draws back the curtain on a prostrate opium eater.

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A selection from the illustrations which have appeared in the Oudh Punch from 1877 to 1881: NC1718.O8 1881.

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

Myths of London

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

London walkaboutAlthough at first glance London Walkabout by Andrew Collins looks like a typical pamphlet for a tourist it actually is much more unusual.  Subtitled “Your guide to discovering the myths and legends of ten mystical sties in and around the City of London, accessible in one easy walkabout,” this pamphlet promises a whole lot more than a standard tour.   The ten sites include: the Tower of London, the London Stone, the Temple of Mithras, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Ludgate Hill, the Church of St. Martin’s-within-Ludgate, St. Bride’s Church Fleet St., the Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West Fleet St., the Temple Church and St. Clement Danes Aldwych.London walkabout

Each site has its own section which includes basic historical facts as well as myths and stories about the supernatural occurrences at the site.   A list of famous ghosts at the Tower of London, an explanation of the Dianic Cult at St. Paul’s Cathedral  and a section on psychic work at the Temple Church are some of the more intriguing stories told.  Essentially arranged in a geographic line, Collin’s gives a walking guide that takes about 5 hours to complete and can be done entirely on one’s own.  Details of what to look for at each site are included with the stories as well as pictures of each site for historical comparison and identification.

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Andrew Collins, a prolific writer on the supernatural and occult, leads you through each site with unusual insights and history.  Still an active writer today, he also does book tours and signings for his many mythological texts.  Several of his books are available at Widener including Beneath the pyramids : Egypt’s greatest secret uncoveredThe Cygnus mystery : unlocking the ancient secret of life’s origins in the cosmos and The knights of Danbury.  London walkabout /by Andrew Collins, Wickford : Earthquest, 1984 (1986 [printing]) is also available at Widener Library.

 

 

 

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

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.
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Death.  Typically depicted as a skeleton with a sickel, one might suppose that if this card appeared in a tarot reading that you should prepare for an untimely demise, but it rarely signifies a physical death.  Tarot card readings are a highly subjective topic depending on what you believe, but according to A.E. Waite, a recognized authority on the occult and tarot, the Death card usually means an end to a cycle or a transition into a new stage in your life.

Le Taro sacerdotal : reconstitué d’après l’astral et expliqué pour ceux qui savent déja published in 1951 consists of 22 beautiful lithograph cards, most of which are hand-colored with watercolors. The cards consist of an iconographic image with a corresponding description of the archetype below it, one of the exceptions being Death.  

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You can see that the style of the description scripts vary according to the image.  Again according to Waite the Hermit represents guidance, introspection, solitude, and seclusion.  The Hanged Man is based on a pittura infamante, a shameful image of a traitor being punished in a manner common at the time in Italy.  Waite suggests the Hanged Man is associated with sacrifice, passivity, contemplation, and inner harmony. 

The illustrator of these cards, Lucien Laforge, is also known for his illustrative work in magazines including LinkLa Charrette : “Charrie” Aujourd’hui which was a short lived serial publication in 20th-century France.  Courtesy of the JMSD collection we have the very last issue no. 24 in Widener and it is possible we may uncover more as we continue to catalog.

Hoping to find more information about Laforge I discovered the Database of Modern Tarot Art.  Adam MacLean, who is an enthusiast for alchemical texts and symbolism, is creating a database from his own collection of tarot decks.  They are currently sorted by geographic regions though there is also a keyword search function.  The description of the entries vary depending on the information MacLean has on the specific deck, but it is a pretty robust database with at least two images from the deck for each entry.   

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Le Taro sacerdotal : reconstitué d’après l’astral et expliqué pour ceux qui savent déja / Lucien Laforge [and] André Godin : prints, 1951.  MS Fr 606 can be found at the Houghton Library.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Susan Wyssen, Manuscript Cataloger, for contributing this post.

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