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The Life of Jesus?

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

Img0002Léo Taxil was actually the pen name for Gabriel-Antoine Jogand-Pagès, a man born in Marseille who was educated by Jesuits in the mid 19th-century.  He became extremely disillusioned with the Catholic faith during his time among them and eventually became known for his anti-Catholic writings of books like La vie de Jesus.  The volume was originally published in 1882 by his own house, Libraire Anti-Clericale, and our copy is from 1900.

The volume points out from Taxil’s perspective the errors, inconsistencies, and false beliefs in a satiric style about the life of Jesus.  It has direct quotes from the Gospels along with Taxil’s critiques.

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La Vie de Jésus par Leo Taxil, dessin de Pepin : [affiche] / [Pepin] - 1This color poster is presumably promoting the volume and appears to take Taxil’s criticism and disdain of the Catholic Church even further if you look at the image compared to the title page of the volume.  The comic illustrations in the text are by someone named Pépin and enhance this critical viewpoint.

Taxil is also famous for what is known as the Taxil Hoax.  The Hoax centered on Taxil’s fake conversion to the Roman Catholic religion after a long history of anti-clerical publications.  After this conversion he began publishing materials accusing Freemasons of being in league with Satan by making up eyewitness accounts of their participation in satanic rituals.  The amazing part is that this hoax went on for a little over ten years from the point where Taxil apparently underwent his “conversion” until he confessed on the front page of Le Frondeur, a Parisian newspaper, in 1897.  Taxil later stated that he made up such grotesque accounts to mock the Freemasons, but to his surprise people took his outlandish and outrageous statements as truth.

What is even more unbelievable is that even in present day the information and accounts from Taxil’s books are used in other anti-Masonic writings as authentic proof, even though Taxil admitted that he made it all up over 100 years ago!  It would appear that the zeal of persecuting Freemasons completely erased any need for checking the authenticity of their source material.

If you want to read the original French text of La vie de Jésus /par Léo Taxil ; dessins comiques par Pépin. Paris : Librairie Anti-Clericale, [©1900] BT304.95.T39 1900 it can be found in Historical Collections at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager and Nell Carlson from Andover-Harvard Theological Library, for contributing this post.

Observer-ing the 60s

Img0013 This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Color supplements to established newspapers were first produced in the 1960s and are believed by many to have changed the face of newspapers.  Many thought that a color magazine would cheapen the journalistic integrity of the Observer, a British publication, but economic realities soon forced them to join the crowd.  The Observer began producing color supplements in 1964 amidst a new world of prosperity and possibility which seemed easily attainable with the great machine of advertising behind it.   The first issue was 64 pages, 30 of which were in full color and half of the magazine featured advertisements for products like cars, sofas, whiskey, anti-wrinkle creams, and dishwashers.  This particular issue of the Observer supplement is from December 3, 1967 and really seems to speak to the chaotic nature of this time period when the younger generation often appeared to the older as a riot of symbols and images.

Img0015Within this issue “Poster Power” was an article that explored how the new artists of the Underground adopted the disposable poster as their medium of expression.  This particular scene was staged by Peter Blake, a painter, and Jan Howarth, and you can’t help but be struck by the diversity and variety of the posters.  They are in essence trying to capture the spirit of the ’60s by displaying the artistic choices of the people involved and the emerging pop art movement of the day.  If one wanted to know about the music scene this article about Jimi Hendrix chronicles his performances in England and his “dangerously” wild spirit.

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To get a closer look at the other color articles or get a sense of popular advertising from the 1960s look for Observer [London : s.n.,1964- c1987] which can be found in Widener Library.

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

 

Hi-Brew Beer

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

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Interested in brewing your own “special beer”?  Then this book could be for you!  Beer making has been going on for thousands of years and the Unknown Brewer, who is brewmaster of Hi-Brewers decided to share his knowledge with the world back in the early 80s, to great success (according to the editor), but when they went to reprint more copies there was pressure from the government so the book was in a holding pattern for 14 years until they found a printer.  During that time U.B. revised the book into this current edition.

The book includes three parts : Setting up, The Recipes, and Brewing Tips.  Setting up describes history, ingredients, equipment, cleanliness, and marijuana.  The recipe section describes such types of beer as Potted Porter, Pot-Pale Ale, Double Headed Buzzer, and Headwiser.

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The recipes move from simple to more complex as you progress throughout the book.  It also contains handy labels with easy perforation so that one can rip them out and then affix it to the beer bottles once you have made the beer of your dreams.

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Marijuana beer : how to make your own hi-brew beer /as told to Ed Rosenthal by U.B.Oakland, CA : Quick American Archives, c1996 can be found in Schlesinger Library’s collection.

 

Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Erin Ellingham at Schlesinger Library, 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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I came across this French volume the other day and assumed it was about some sort of military hero, but as I took a closer look at the cover of the book I noticed that he was apparently a Swiss officer, a Swiss diplomat, a French officer, and a vagabond??  So who was Hans Ormund Bringolf?  Clearly my interest was piqued though I couldn’t find much reputable information only vague theories and scant biographical sketches.  From these sources a picture emerged of a man who seemed to go in out and of military service while having a number of sketchy dealings.

Bringolf was first in the Swiss military cov1_0018 while studying the law and earned the nickname “Lieutenant Blessed” because he had been declared prematurely dead on several occasions while on maneuvers, presumably due to his recklessness.  After earned his law degree he joined the Swiss Diplomatic service during which time

cov1_0017 he forged some checks and was expelled in 1904.  To avoid prosecution he went to America where he was a commander of a U.S. police contingent in the Philippines, though he was later jailed for fraud in Peru.   After he was released he went back to Germany where he pretended to be Baron von Tscharner, was found out and served another prison sentence.  During World War I he served in the French army in Serbia where he earned another nickname “The Lion of Manastir” cov1_0020 for his audacious behavior on the front.  This supposedly inducted him in the Legion of Honor.  However it wasn’t long before he was caught up in more fradulent actitivies.

Eventually he settled in Hallau where he wrote his memoir, this version was edited by Blaise Cendrars and translated by Paul Budry.  It would be interesting to see how Bringolf presents himself in this book for it seems more likely that a description of him as “criminal” is more apt than vagabond.  To explore his interpretation of his life story you can find this volume in Widener’s collection.

cov1_0016 Feu le lieutenant Bringolf. [Traduction de Paul Budry. Version de Blaise Cendrars]. Paris, Au sans pareil, 1930.

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

 

Tracts of Zion

Zion 3Cataloging was recently completed on a collection of tracts and other publications by John Ward (1781-1837), the Irish mystic who later rechristened himself Zion, and whose career as a prophet was distinguished by an idiosyncratic reading of scripture. Ward’s early life was spent as a shipwright and shoemaker, attended by relative disinterest in religion; he experienced a conversion, however, upon his discovery of the works of the recently-deceased prophet Joanna Southcott, which he began to preach.

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

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Frans Balthazar Solvyns was born in Antwerp in 1760 and for the early part of his career was a marine painter capturing the likenesses of ships, ports, and harbor views on canvas.  He departed for Calcutta in the 1790s where he then worked as a journeyman artist working for the upper-middle class restoring works of art, decorating carriages, and other pursuits.  He traveled during this time throughout the Indian subcontinent and came up with the idea to create a series of etchings documenting the inhabitants.  The etchings covered professions, castes, typical dress, transportation, and festivals to name just a few.  The original etchings were published in 1796 in A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings: Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos in Calcutta.  It was a financial failure probably due to artistic tastes of the time which were said to find the color of the etchings too somber and monotonous.  However they did appeal to the London publisher Edward Orne who published a pirated version without the permission of Solvyns.  Orne’s version was mainly dedicated to the costumes or modes of dress and the plates were redesigned in warmer colors.  Our particular volume is one of Orne’s pirated editions published in 1807 titled The costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings with descriptions in English and French, taken in the years 1798 and 1799.  Here are a few of the plates that I found particularly interesting.

A Hooka-Burdar or Hooka Purveyor was responsible for making the chillum, or pipe, keeping the hookah in order and attending the master whenever they were dining.  The hookah itself could be made in various materials and adorned according to the wealth of the owner.  Often it was covered with precious jewels such as rubies, diamonds, or emeralds and the base was most commonly made out of silver, gold, metal, or glass.

  A Syce or Groom was described as being assigned to a single horse who would then run next to said horse and when they stopped he would secure the horse’s head with his rope.  In his hand you will see a piece of horsehair that is attached to a piece of wood with which he would be tasked with preventing the flies from “fretting the horse.

KIC_Image_0011This woman’s status is simply identified as a Woman of Inferior Rank.  The description that goes with the plate reveals other details about women in general stating that when a woman is widowed she is no longer allowed to wear colors on the border of her clothes nor ornaments, except for a necklace made of wooden beads, her head is shaved, and she becomes a virtual servant in her household.  According to the Hindoo laws she is unable to marry again and by subduing her passions and attraction she is reduced to a state of servility.  The author helpfully reveals the difference for European women by stating “Happily this odious interdiction, and not less odious custom are unknown to the fair daughters of Europe, who are unrestrained in the exercise of their charms and are ever free to confer those blessings that constitute the happiness of men.”  Since this particular plate has none of these characteristics as her dress has a color border, she is wearing jewelry, and head is not shaved, I have to conclude this is just a woman of inferior rank but not a widow.

The costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings with descriptions in English and French, taken in the years 1798 and 1799. By Balt. Solvyns. London, E. Orme, 1807.  GT 1460.S6 1807 F can be found at the Fine Arts Library.  

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

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.

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.

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

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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 sloan “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.

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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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.

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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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.

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

DMTPeople have always been fascinated with the idea of a soul.  One researcher, Rick Strassman, took this interest to the extreme and performed government approved research using the psychedelic drug N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, also known as the spirit molecule.  A short acting and highly powerful hallucinogenic drug, DMT is both synthesizable from the plant ayahuasca as well as being naturally occurring in the pineal gland of mammals.  The study follows 60 human volunteers taking this drug and the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule details their personal experiences during the experiment.  Strassman undertook this study due to his interest in the pineal gland as a potential biological locus for spiritual experiences.  Although the study was ended in 1995, Strassman believes it was very successful and gathered a wealth of biological and psychological information from it.  Rick Strassman is a currently practicing psychiatrist in New Mexico.  In 2014 he published a second book on the topic, DMT and the soul of prophecy: a new science of spiritual revelation in the Hebrew Bible.DMT

Interest in his study was strong and in 2010 a documentary with the same title, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, came out.  The movie follows the same experiment as the book and interviews many experts, including Strassman, on the topic of the powerful psychedelic drug DMT and its potential for unlocking human spirituality.  For further information on this topic, there are also many books on the plant ayahuasca, taken by native people in the Amazon, in the Santo Domingo Collection.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule is available at Widener Library in the Santo Domingo Collection.  DMT and the soul of prophecy: a new science of spiritual revelation in the Hebrew Bible is also available at Harvard in the Andover Theological Library.

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

Morbid beauty

Morgues 4This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 

Of the many altered states of consciousness chronicled in the Santo Domingo Collection, death may be merely the most permanent; as a subject often circumnavigated out of discomfort, fear, superstition, or propriety, it takes its place alongside sexuality and drug use. This striking volume, Morgues, confronts death directly, though not without a sense of beauty.

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Road Trip in the 2 CV!

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

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Introduced by Citroën at a Paris motor show in 1948 the 2 CV remained in production up until 1990.  Originally designed with practicality in mind the initial goal of the 2 CV was to carry a dozen eggs over a bumpy field without cracking any of the eggs.  Similar in appearance to the VW Beetle the 2 CV projects a sort of whimsical charm.

There were a number of 2 CV drivers that journeyed across the world including Henri Lochon and Jacques Cornet.  In 1953 they set out to conquer the Americas and Africa.  En 2 CV : chez les primitifs : Indiens Tarahumaras de la Sierra Mexicaine chronicles Lochon’s time among the Tarahumaras in Mexico.  Interestingly Cornet ended up having to return to France before they reached their first base camp so Lochon carried on with his friend Eric Waubert for this particular leg.  The book describes the adventures and challenges in the 2 CV as well as observations about the Tarahumaras, who were the indigenous peoples.  cov1_0014Though I’m not sure it is an “exceptional psychological document” as the jacket proclaims it does contain information about the social customs and ceremonies of the Tarahumaras.  Clearly Lochon was interested in their culture and shares information about their beliefs throughout the trip. For example he notes that according to tradition the females choose their own husbands.

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cov1_0010En 2 CV : chez les primitifs : Indiens Tarahumaras de la Sierra Mexicaine / Henri Lochon. Lyon : E. Vinay c1956. F1221.T25L63 1956 can be found in Widener’s collection.

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

Nourishing Words

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

Whole GrainsWhole Grains is a book edited by Art Spiegelman and Bob Schneider that is composed entirely of quotes.  Even the introduction is just another collection of quotes without any explanatory prose.  The book is made up of four sections, “Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills,” “Earth Ship,” “Alienation Blues,” and “White Light” and the quotes come from every place imaginable.  One page in the “Earth Ship” section has a quote from each Steve McQueen, Walt Whitman, Ronald Regan, the Whole Earth Catalog and a sign in a park in Barcelona.  Although the book does include quotes from both Spiegelman and Schneider, for the most part, it is other people’s words curated by them.Whole Grains

Art Spiegelman was deeply involved in the underground comix movement and worked with famous cartoonists such as Robert Crumb and Bill Griffith.  He published many works including the comic anthology Raw.  He also wrote comics for The New Yorker in the late 90s and early 2000s. Both of his parents were Holocaust survivors and several of his works deal with this.  His most critically acclaimed piece is Mous which deals with the Holocaust and his family history.  Whole Grains is dedicated to his mother after her suicide.  Bob Schneider is also a comic author and screenwriter who currently writes for McSweeny’s.

Whole Grains: A Book of Quotations is in the Santo Doming Collection available at Widener Library.  Other books by Spiegelman such as Co-mix: a retrospective of comics, graphics, and scraps and Maus : a survivor’s tale are available in Harvard’s collections.

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

Tableaux

While cataloging American Civil War broadsides, I found this playbill advertising Wesley’s War Tableaux, to be presented in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Lyceum Hall from February 23-25 [1863]. Moving panoramas were large painted scenes on rolls of canvas, framed by a proscenium to hide the mechanism; they were unwound from one roll to another, to create the illusion of movement and the progression of time, and were often accompanied by music.  They became popular public spectacles in the early to mid- 19th century, with touring productions traveling around Europe and America; toy moving panoramas were produced for the home. Subjects included exotic locales, historical events and elaborate rural and urban scenes, such as Henry Lewis’ remarkable Mississippi River panorama. Dioramas included additional figures for a more three-dimensional effect.

The diorama for this spectacle was designed by Truman C. Bartholomew and Preston Wesley. Bartholomew was a scenic artist of note in Boston; in addition to providing scenery for Boston theatres, he produced a Bunker Hill panorama in 1838, and other moving panoramas between 1848 and 1863, depicting such scenes as the Battle of Lexington, a tour of Scotland, and the Kennebec River.  In 1857, with a partner, Chase, he created a three-dimensional “mechanical mirror” of naval battles of the War of 1812, “with 7,000 moving figures in six separate scenes.” [1]

This production, also known as Wesley’s Grand War Picture, has been enhanced with a new attraction:  “Dioramic view of the Merrimac, Monitor and Cumberland … the Merrimac is seen to approach upon her work of destruction in moving water, and the Cumberland actually sinks beneath the waves, before the eyes of the audience.” Other tableaux featured Army battles, the Baltimore Riot featuring the “Bloody Sixth” of Massachusetts, the attack on Fort Sumter; and also “The Negro Regiment at Hilton Head and other scenes in regular order up to the present time,” probably the company of former slaves that became the First South Carolina Volunteers.

The playbill proclaims: “Land and naval engagements are portrayed with a vividness mocking reality. The roar of artillery, the clash of musketry are heard! The advancing armies and their desperate contests are seen, and the fearful work of blood is presented with terrible distinctness!”  This sensationalism probably elicited a strong reaction in the spectator; local regiments were still engaged, and the terrible battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg were only months past.  For more background on panoramas, dioramas and cycloramas, see the Harvard Fine Arts Library’s copy of  Illusions in motion: media archaeology of the moving panorama and related spectacles by Erkki Huhtamo (Cambridge:  MIT Press, 2013).

[1] Arrington, Joseph Earl. “Lewis and Bartholomew’s Mechanical Panorama of the Battle of Bunker Hill.” Old-Time New England  (Fall 1961, vol. 52, no. 186): 50-58. Web. 4 March 2015.

Portland [Maine] : J. S. Staples, printer, [1863?]. US 102.8.5 (27).

Thanks to cataloging assistant Dana Gee 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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Whether you think of sideshow banners as art or advertisement there is no denying their “wow” factor.  Freaks, geeks & strange girls : sideshow banners of the Great American Midway is an anthology of perspectives on the history of the sideshow including its social aspects with accompanying sideshow banner art.  cov1_0001Many might argue that perhaps it isn’t the most positive side of humanity that we did (and still do) pay money to see representations of the grotesque or as society would put it bluntly- freaks.  You might be tempted to think that people in a sideshow were exploited and abused and certainly some probably were, but you can also look at it as a time that the marginalized were able to embrace themselves and become self-sufficient when many were locked away from the world.

What if you were born with no arms and still wanted to be able to earn a living during this time?  Let’s look at the example of Martha The Armless Wonder.  cov1_0004Martha Morris was a featured attraction at Coney Island, as well as the traveling Freak City Show of the 1920s.  She would write with her feet and type with her toes to demonstrate her amazing dexterity.  She was also in the 1932 film Freaks which was highly controversial and a financial failure.  Some critics believed it exploited the people featured in the film who were real stars of sideshows but did it exploit Martha?  According to her family Martha loved the movies and was presumably proud to be in a film.  It does raise an interesting question about where is the line between exploitation and empowerment?  To learn more about the people that worked in sideshows you might be interested in American sideshow : an encyclopedia of history’s most wondrous and curiously strange performers by Marc Hartzman. 

Freaks, geeks & strange girls : sideshow banners of the Great American Midway. Randy Johnson, Jim Secreto, Teddy Varndell ; contributions from Glen C. Davies [and others].  Honolulu, Hawaii : Hardy Marks Publications, ©1995 can be found in Widener Library.

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

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

1960sThe 1960s is one of the most iconic decades in American history.  Instantly recognizable fashion, civil rights protests and legislation, Pop art, and the space race are all hallmarks of this decade that people aren’t quick to forget.  The Hulton Getty Picture Collection 1960s, is a compilation of some of the most memorable moments in the 1960s in striking black and white photographs.  The book includes sections entitled movers and shakers, Conflict, Protest, Entertainment, The Arts, Pop, Fashion, Youth, The space age, Sport, Children, Guilt and grief, All human life.  These photographs capture the joy of the 1960s as well as the sorrow; pictures of the most recognizable faces in fashion, art, and music are included as well as pictures of natural disasters, murderers and protests.  Each section is preceded by a brief description of the themes of the pictures and notable moments are described.  One of the most unique aspects of this book is the text is presented in English, German and French.1960s

The Hulton Getty Picture Collection is one of the best collections of photography and photojournalism.  It includes photographs from the 19th and 20th century, often with a focus on socially significant topics and images.  This book on the 1960s is no exception, a truly international collection ranging from armed conflict in Asia and Africa to British and American movie stars, the Hulton Getty collection documents a wide variety of topics but focuses on iconic and dramatic images that tug at the emotions and mind.  The Hulton Getty is a collection comprised of the former Hulton Press Library, a British photo agency, Keystone View Company, formerly located in Pennsylvania, and other notable photographers.  The Hulton Getty Collection has since grown to include other collections and is now the Hulton Archive.

The book, The Hulton Getty Picture Collection 1960sis available in the Santo Doming Collection at Widener Library.  Readers interested in more Hulton Getty images can check out The Irish century and An independent eye: a century of photographs both also available at Widener.

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

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