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

We return to the occult in this week’s feature from the Santo Domingo Collection. Today’s author is Austin Osman Spare, an English artist, writer, and occultist active in the first half of the twentieth century. While Spare’s finely-wrought illustrations recall the Art Nouveau conventions popular during his formative years, their imagery is more sexual, monstrous, and grotesque in nature. Spare was also an occultist with an idiosyncratic philosophy of consciousness and desire; he used automatic writing and drawing, among other techniques, to limn out his ideas. Among those drawn to Spare’s work was Aleister Crowley, who invited Spare to join his magical order, the A∴A∴; the two had a falling out not long afterward.

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Ghost Detective

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

 

There are many spin-offs of Sherlock Holmes, and some excellent ones from the early 20th century are Jean Ray’s Harry Dickson, le Sherlock Holmes Americain.   This series of pulp dime-novel’s originally started in Germany 1907 and continued until 1911.  It underwent several  different translations and versions and the one in the Santo Domingo Collection is one of the more interesting ones.

Hired to translate the originals, Jean Ray, a noted Flemish author, became tired of the stories and began writing new ones under the same series without signing them.   These new stories mimic the length and illustration style of the originals but the stories tended to be more in the fantasy genre since Ray was a horror author. 

Widener has several more of Jean Ray’s works which can be found here:  Le grand nocturne : Les cercles de l’épouvante, Les derniers contes de Canterbury, and Œuvres complètes.

 

Two volumes of Harry Dickson’s adventures can be requested from Widener:  Ray, Jean, 1887-1964, author. La maison des hallucinations. Paris : Messageries Hachette and Une fumerie d’opium parisienne. Amsterdam : Roman-Boek-en-Kunsthandel.

 

 

 

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

Whodunit and howdunit?

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

Alexandre Lacassagne was a French physician and criminologist in the 19th-century.  He founded the Lacassagne School of Criminology which was based in Lyon, France and focused on medical jurisprudence and criminal anthropology.  He quite famously gave evidence in several criminal trials including that of Joseph Vacher, also known as “The French Ripper” who had a scarred face, an accordian, and a trademark white rabbit-fur hat.  Vacher attempted to claim insanity from a rabid dog bite, but Lacassange testified that he was sane, thus he was found guilty and executed by guillotine in 1898.

Lacassagne specialized in toxicology, was a pioneer in bloodstain analysis, and was an expert in identifying specific bullet markings from guns.  This particular volume of Précis de médecine judiciaire explores various aspects of medical jurisprudence and includes these color plates that illustrate the appearance of organs due to specific conditions or perilous circumstances.  For example the plate on the left is an example of the state of the thoracic organs in a case of suffication accompanied by the image of a furrow of the neck resulting from a hanging.  The other plate displays the difference between two sets of lungs in an infant, one which is able to breath normally and one which does not.

To learn more about the early days of forensic medicine check out Précis de médecine judiciaire / par A. Lacassagne. Paris : G. Masson, 1878. RA1051 .L12 1878  which 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.

Pacifist rats

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

By the controversial nature of its subject areas, the Santo Domingo Collection naturally includes a wealth of banned, censored, or otherwise suppressed literature. Ronge-maille vainqueur, a text by the French novelist Lucien Descaves and illustrated by Lucien LeForge, is one example. This edition, published in 1920, includes a facsimile of a manuscript note from Descaves explaining that while the manuscript was produced in 1917, its publication was “forbidden by the censors” for the subsequent three years.

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

Witches have always fascinated people, from the magical tales of Merlin to the Salem Witch trials, to the current trend of magic and vampires in popular culture.  Written by Colin Wilson and illustrated by Una Woodruff, Witches is an intricately and beautifully illustrated history of witchcraft.  A comprehensive guide from primitive sorcery up through modern witchcraft, Wilson touches on everything someone could want to know about witches. 

Next to sections on well-known witches such as Aleister Crowley, The Templars, and Jayne Mansfield, Wilson gives insight on research into magic and spells such as the witches’ salve and possession.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using research from Albert Hoffman and Richard Shultes, Wilson explains the hallucinogenic results that experimenters found when searching for witches’ salve to make them fly.

Both Woodruff and Wilson have worked extensively on magic and witchcraft related projects.  You can find Introduction to the Faces of Evil by Wilson and Amarant: the flora and fauna of Atlantis by a Lady Botanist, edited and compiled by Woodruff.

Witches / written by Colin Wilson ; [illustrated by] Una Woodruff.  Limpsfield, Surrey : Paper Tiger, c1981.  BF1563 .W572 can be requested from Harvard Depository.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Superb specimens

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

Herbarium for pharmaceutical students was produced by Alban Edward Lomax, a 19th-century pharmacist that hailed from Liverpool, England.  An herbarium is essentially a collection of preserved plant specimens typically arranged by a specific nomenclature and classification.  There isn’t a great deal of information about Lomax though I was able to find some interesting facts in the Journal of Botany : British and Foreign from 1894.  According to the journal Lomax lived a fairly secluded life that was consumed with botanical pursuits.  Many of his specimens were collected through exchanges with other colleagues both in America and in Europe.  It is thought that his personal herbarium was purchased by the University of Liverpool upon his death at the age of thirty-three.

This particular volume is quite rare and we were unable to locate any other copies in libraries in the United States.  The individual leaves are in beautiful shape and include about 80 plant specimens such as cannabis, opium poppy, fennel, and black alder. Ancient herbalists believed that the leaves of the black alder cured cancer of the face, throat, and tongue, though today it is more commonly believed to reduce breast inflammation for nursing mothers. 

Check out other specimens in the Herbarium for pharmaceutical students / A.E. Lomax, Liverpool. Liverpool : A.E. Lomax, [probably between 1881 and 1894] which can be found at the Botany Libraries.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, Gretchen Wade, Judith Warnement, and Chris Robson of the Botany Libraries for contributing to this post.

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

This 1882 volume of Poe’s poetry and essays, accompanied by biographical information and commentary on the poems, is a fine example of the publishers’ cloth bindings of its period. In response to broadening literacy and therefore increasing demand, publishers in the early 19th century began producing books with reinforced cloth bindings; in earlier generations, publishers had provided only loose sheets or plain boards intended to be bound by the owner. As these cloth bindings became the norm, publishers adapted their bindings to the styles of the times, producing ornate decorative cloth, enhanced with stamping in blind and in various colors, a wide array of grain patterns, and various illustrative techniques. Such covers both attracted buyers and justified their position alongside the fine leather bindings of previous generations.

The Poe volume is ornate indeed, decorated elaborately in gilt and black over a green pebble-grained field. The filigreed panel in the center of the front cover gives as much prominence to Moxon’s popular poets, the series to which the book belongs, as to the author himself.

The poetical works of Edgar Allen Poe. London : Ward, Lock, & Co., [1882?] AC8.P7524.B882p.

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.

Sometimes you come across something so gruesome that even though you want to look away, you can’t.  Le Musée des Supplices certainly fits that description.  A book that gives the history of torture written by Roland Villeneuve, a French parapsychologist interested in demonology and the esoteric, Le Musée des Supplices, is split into sections including ones on executioners and their instruments as well as torture in film and literature.  Some of the illustrations are in vivid color and depict such torture tactics as crucifixion and the flaying of skin.

Villeneuve includes both the torturing of humans as well as fighting and killing demons such as vampires in this book.

He also discusses death and resurrection as well as torture in religious practices such as self-mutilation.   This book is certainly not for the faint of heart.

 

Although many of the illustrations are violent and graphic, there are some which depict torture in a symbolic way, such as L’extase de Sainte Theres d’Avila by Bernini.

More works by Villeneuve such as Dictionnaire du diable which can be found at Widener Library and Histoire du cannibalisme at Tozzer Library.

 

 

 

Le Musée des supplices / Roland Villeneuve, Paris : Éditions Azur : C. Offenstadt, 1968.  HV8593 .V56 1968  can be found at Widener Library.

 

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

Fuzz against Junk

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

Most likely we have all heard the slang of the word “fuzz” to describe a police officer.  There appears to be little reliable information to back up the supposition that people indeed used the word during the 60s or if it just crept into popular usage because people “thought” that is what people called the cops.  In any case this volume Fuzz against junk : the saga of the narcotics brigade was written by Akbar Del Piombo and is a satire about narcotics usage and the police.  Akbar is actually the nom de plume for Norman Rubington, who was more well-known as an artist.  Rubington’s collages and manuscripts can be found at the Beinecke Library at Yale under the Norman Rubington papers, 1951-1990.  After leaving Yale in 1943 for the Army Corps of Engineers, Rubington received training in map-making, mosaic overlay from aerial photos, and photo interpretation for military intelligence.  He also continued to sketch and paint and gained success as an artist after serving his time in the military in both Europe and America before he turned to book illustration.

Rubington started creating collages from 19th-century engravings and produced a set of satirical works including Fuzz against junk.  It is believed that this unique style of animation was the forerunner to Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Look at more of these amazing collages in Fuzz against junk : the saga of the narcotics brigade /Akbar Del Piombo ; pictorials by Rubington. 2d American ed. New York : Beach Books, Texts & Documents, 1969. PS3507.E528F82 1969 located in the Hollis catalog.

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

L’Incal

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

Julio Santo Domingo collected books across many forms; among them is the graphic novel. Pictured here is one of the great collaborations in French comics: L’Incal, written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean-born French filmmaker, actor, and author, and illustrated by artist Jean Giraud under his celebrated pseudonym Moebius. Jodorowsky will be familiar to film enthusiasts as the writer and director of the acid Western El Topo and the spiritual-psychedelic The Holy Mountain, among other features. Moebius, in addition to his seminal work in science-fiction and fantasy comics, contributed designs and storyboards to films including Alien and The Fifth Element. From 1981 to 1989, the two produced the six-volume Incal, a story which introduces Jodorowsky’s science-fiction “Jodoverse” and centers on the tribulations of John DiFool, a shabby private detective caught up in an interplanetary struggle for possession of the titular Incal, an alien artifact.

L’Incal incorporates the metaphysical, the psychedelic, the comic, and the absurd into a grand space opera. DiFool, a base and reluctant hero, represents the tarot Fool; other characters assume the roles of other cards. The story introduces factions such as the Technopriests and the Metabarons, each further detailed in its own later series; L’Incal itself received a prequel in another six volumes, Après l’Incal, published from 1988-1995. The volume featured here is a compendium of the six original Incal volumes, published in 1995 by Les Humanoïdes Associés.

L’Incal. Paris: Humanoïdes Asssociés, 1995. PN6747.J63 I5313 1995x

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

The heavily annotated books seen here belonged not to a famous mathematician or physicist but to the English literary critic and poet William Empson (1906-1984), best known for his first book, Seven Types of Ambiguity: A Study of its Effects on English Verse (1930), which established Empson, seemingly overnight, as one of the most important critics of his generation. As a poet Empson combined the staid vocabulary of modern science with classical forms of rhyme and meter, to startling effect. He taught literature in Japan and China in the 1930s, and worked for the BBC during the Second World War before accepting an appointment as professor of English at the University of Sheffield, England, where he taught for over twenty years.

William Empson’s papers and personal library, comprising over 60 boxes of manuscripts and more than 800 books, are now among the collections of Houghton Library. As might be expected, the books are mainly 20th-century literature and criticism, though popular mysteries are well represented too. What is striking about the collection is the profusion of mathematical equations on the flyleaves and endsheets of so many of the books, in particular the more recreational reading. Some further background on Empson gives some context to these markings. As a youth Empson excelled in mathematics, earning scholarships first to Winchester College and later Cambridge University. Clearly Empson viewed his books’ endsheets as a convenient notepad on which to exercise his mathematical mind.  He may have begun using his books in this way during the war, when rationing made paper scarce, though the habit evidently persisted for decades after.  Whether the equations are in some way intellectually related to the books’ texts is an intriguing possibility.

 

A frequent visitor to American universities, William Empson twice read at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, in 1960 and in 1973. The recordings, which include his best loved poems, can be heard here.

To browse William Empson’s library in HOLLIS, do a keyword search with the terms William Empson former owner.

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.

 

A surprising discovery when opening up the book Predicting the Future: An Illustrated History and Guide to the Techniques is who the author is.  Although not a particularly famous person, Albert, S. Lyons is a surgeon.  His extensive knowledge of the history of medicine, and how that intertwines with what is now thought of as occult practices inspired him to write this book.

 

 

 

This book includes sections on astrology, numerology, tarot, handreading, I ching, tea-leaf reading and dreams.  In fact, with the help of another surgeon, Han-yu Shen, he has contributed a new translation of the I ching. 

 

Each section not only includes a history, but also a guide to some of the practices such as tarot card readings and how to do numerology.

 

 

 

Lyons chose to focus on predicting the future because of the importance of the prognosis to a medical patient.  Even in modern medicine, although doctors no longer focus as much on prediction as they do on diagnosis, knowing what is going to happen is always on the front of a patient’s mind.  If you are interested in Lyons’ other works, you can find Medicine: an illustrated history at Widener Library.

 

Predicting the future : an illustrated history and guide to the techniques / Albert S. Lyons ; with a literal translation of the I ching by Han-yu Shen and Albert S. Lyons. ;  New York : H.N. Abrams, 1990. BF1751 .L96 1990 F can be found received at Widener Library.

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

La Danse Macabre

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

Eros, it should now be obvious, is intrinsic to the Santo Domingo Collection; it follows that Thanatos can’t be far behind. This lavish volume by Éditions Kra is entitled La Danse Macabre, and consists of twenty images by the Art Deco illustrator Yan Bernard Dyl, with accompanying text by French novelist Pierre MacOrlan. Together, they describe death as it insinuates itself into all aspects of human experience. The vignettes pictured here are on gambling games and cocaine; among the other topics are lies, nightmares, sexual pleasure, and God.

Pierre MacOrlan. La danse macabre. Paris: Édité par Simon Kra, 1927. FC9.M2382.927d.

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.

These oddities, from fancy drawn,

May surely raise the question,

Will DARWIN say- by Chance they’re formed,

Or ‘Natural Selection?’

Edward William Cooke originally published Grotesque Animals : invented, drawn, and described in 1872, this version is a reprint from 1975.  Cooke was an English landscape and marine painter who was raised among artists including his father and uncle who were both line engravers.

 

 

Cooke himself was a gifted engraver and published a series of books with plates related to shipping when he was only eighteen, you can see an example from one to your left. The Fine Arts Library has one of these volumes entitled Sixty five plates of shipping and craft, drawn and etched by E. W. Cooke.  Seeing his more typical subject consisting of ships only makes these drawings of strange creatures even more jarring and shows a more fantastical side of his personality.

I was struck in particular by the image below, it drew to mind the terrifying creature from Pan’s Labyrinth that had eyeballs in its hands and consumed children for food.  To see more “invented” animals look at this volume in the Fine Arts Library.  Grotesque animals : invented, drawn, and described / by E.W. Cooke. London : Longmans, Green, 1975.

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

As part of an ongoing effort to provide access to Houghton’s rich broadside collections, a three-month cataloging project was completed last fall. Funded by the Ruth Miller Memorial Philanthropic Fund, which has provided long-time support of Houghton’s effort to reduce its number of “hidden collections,” cataloger Hyo Lee processed an eclectic group of about 500 mostly nineteenth-century American broadsides. Many were the gift of George Lyman Kittredge (1860-1941), the distinguished folklorist and Harvard professor of English. The broadsides were printed mostly in the northeast, but include a number of California imprints. The group includes ballads, popular songs, and poetry on diverse topics, including crime and murder, shipwrecks, fires, patriotism, and politics. Many of the broadsides document local history through announcements or programs of public gatherings. Among these, a significant portion pertain to New England local church history, but concerts, readings, popular entertainments, and local festivals are also covered. Among the many advertisements are a number issued by New England resorts, some including menus. Other broadsides document the Civil War era, including the War itself and the national debate over slavery and abolition.

1.Paolilli, Antonio.  L’America nun fa’ pe’ me! Providence: A. Paolilli’s Music Co., c1921.  American Broadsides 771.

2. Grand thanksgiving fete and festival, given by the officers of the garrison of Fort Pulaski, GA, November 27th, 1862. Programme. [Georgia?: s.n., 1862].  American Broadsies 888.

3. Baptist Meeting House (North Attleboro, Mass.).  Rules for renting pews in the Baptist Meeting House, North Attleborough. [North Attleboro, Mass. :s.n.,1855].  American Broadsides 867

4. Mount Holyoke. Worcester, Mass.: Edward R. Fiske & Son, printers, [ca. 1870?].  American Broadsides 1145.

5. Queen, Jas.(James),1824-approximately 1877.  Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, Philadelphia … [receipt for donation]. Philadelphia: T. Sinclair’s Lith.,[ca. 1860?]. American Broadsides 1150.

6. Rocky Point (Hotel : Providence, R.I.).  Rocky Point Hotel, J.C. Parks, proprietor, bill of fare, dinner. August 28th 1869… Providence, R.I.: Providence Press Co.,1869.  American Broadsides 1155.

7. Astonishing to all! And no charge if not satisfied! : Madame Morrow is, without exception, the most wonderful astrolgist [i.e. astrologist] in the world, or that has ever been known… New York: Isaac J. Oliver, steam printer, 32 Beekman-St., [1857?].  American Broadsides 1162.

8. Fourth week of the celebrated Bohemian Troupe! of glass blowers!  Boston :J.H. & F.F. Farwell, printers, U.S. Mammoth Job Office, 5 Lindall Street,[between 1855 and 1877].  American Broadsides 1171.

In addition to the broadsides shown here, a selection of Civil War-era broadsides cataloged as a part of this project will be on display in Houghton Library’s Chaucer Case (located on the ground floor) during the month of February.

Thanks to rare book cataloger Elaine Shiner for contributing this post.

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

Today’s feature is Etidorhpa, or The end of the earth, a fantastical novel by pharmacologist John Uri Lloyd, written in the hollow-earth mold of Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the earth. The title is, as observant readers will have noticed, the reverse of ‘Aphrodite’, calling to mind also Samuel Butler’s satirical fantasy Erewhon, which also concerns a fictional realm. Our protagonist, calling himself only I-Am-The-Man, dictates his bizarre adventure to the narrator, Llewyllyn Drury: he is kidnapped by a secret society, whose agent alters his appearance and escorts him through a series of fantastic subterranean lands, accessed through a cave opening in Kentucky. As it transpires, the secret society is in contact with a race of eyeless, humanoid beings dedicated to preserving knowledge for the future enlightenment of mankind. Philosophical debate and declamations on the human condition punctuate the adventure as the troglodyte reveals to I-Am-The-Man spiritual and cosmic truths.

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Now on display in the Theodore Roosevelt Gallery, located in the lower level of Lamont Library in Harvard Yard, are selections from the photographic series Theodore Roosevelt – “How I Love Sagamore Hill” by New York artist Xiomáro. Xiomáro was commissioned by the National Park service to photograph the interiors of the president’s “Summer White House” at what is now Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.

Xiomáro’s photographs show the house in a historically rare condition:  the 23-room mansion, usually full of furnishings and mementos, was nearly vacant as part of a three-year, $7.2 million structural rehabilitation. Xiomáro’s photographs do not solely focus on TR, but also draw attention to his wife, children and servants to give a sense of what life was like in the household.  “Even though the rooms are nearly vacant, the photographs reveal the imposing character of America’s 26th president and the more intimate domestic nature of his family,” explained the artist.  “Some of these nuances are overwhelmed by a room’s furnishings or inaccessible to visitors behind velvet rope barriers.”

Xiomáro is a nationally exhibited artist whose work has been covered by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur and other media outlets.  He is known for using photography to draw attention to historical sites where American figures lived and worked to pursue their vision.  Other projects with the National Park Service include Old Mastic House at Fire Island National Seashore (home of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and the farmhouse and art studios at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut (home of both J. Alden Weir, a founder of American impressionist painting, and Mahonri Young, a sculptor of the Ashcan School).

The 26 photographs featured in the exhibition will remain on view from January 26 to December 31, 2014.  A limited edition photo eBook, based on the series, can be downloaded for free at www.xiomaro.com.  Lamont Library hours can be found here. For more information, contact the curator.

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

 

The Day-Glo Designer’s Guide offers insights into the way that Day-Glo colors have been used in both art and advertising. Although Day-Glo is common today, the process wasn’t discovered until 1934 by Robert and Joseph Spitzer. While playing around in their fathers’ drug store, they discovered the interesting aspect of some medicines that glowed under black-light. From this initial finding they went on to create the Day-Glo corporation and to manufacture colors that glowed in regular light as well. The Day-Glo-Designer’s Guide gives a helpful background history on the discovery as well as the uses Day-Glo colors were soon put to, both artistically as well as practically.

This book gives stunning examples of both advertisements as well as artwork that utilized the paint. One notable example is Bert Stern’s Marilyn Monroe series, photographs of Monroe that have been silk-screen printed using Day-Glo inks.

 

Also included are examples of newspaper and magazine ads, music posters and record albums, as well as sales and packaging products.

 

 

For those readers who hope to use Day-Glo in their projects there is a section on design tips about getting the most out of fluorescent colors as well as several supplemental color charts in a pocket at the end.

 

The book The Day-Glo Designer’s Guide ;  Cleveland, Oh. : Dayglo Color Corp., c1969. Fine Arts FAL-LC XCAGE NK1548 .D39 1969 F can be found at the Fine Arts Library.

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

Alice’s Alice

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

This recently-cataloged volume from the Santo Domingo Collection appears to be an unexceptional 1932 printing of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: the book’s illustrated covers have faded, and its acidic paper stock has gone from white to tan. Alice’s encounter with the hookah-smoking caterpillar would justify this title’s inclusion in Santo Domingo’s collection, but what makes it a collector’s item is on the illustrated front endpaper: the autograph of Alice Hargreaves (née Alice Pleasance Liddell), for whom the story of the fictional Alice was originally written.

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

Trephination is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the membrane that surrounds the skull in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases.  Often referred to as a “burr” hole it relieves pressure beneath the surface.  Hieronymus Braunschweig was a German physician and surgeon in the mid 15th-century who authored several treatises on surgery and anatomy including Dis ist das Buch der Cirurgia which has an engraving depiciting trepanation that we see here.  Countway has an edition by Brunschwig in their Rare Books collection, Dis ist das Buch der Cirurgia : Hantwirckung der Wund Artzny / von Hiero[n]ymo Bru[n]schwig. Strassburg : Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, 4 July 1497.

By the 20th-century self-trephination was championed by many as a way to increase “brain blood volume” including a Dutch librarian named Bart Huges.  Though Huges attended medical school at the University of Amsterdam he was reportedly refused a degree due to his advocacy of marijuana use.  In 1965 Huges drilled a hole in his own head with a Black and Decker power drill to increase his “cerebral metabolism.”  His theory was that when mankind began to walk upright, our brains drained of blood, and that trephining allows the blood to better flow in and out of the brain, causing a permanent “high.”  To date there is no scientific proof to back up his theory.  He wrote about trephination and other thoughts which have been translated in this edition of The book with the [hole] : autobiography.  There is indeed a hole punched throughout the entire volume.

 

 

 

The book with the [hole] : autobiography / by Bart Huges ; translation and elaboration by Joe Mellen and Amanda Feilding. Amsterdam : F.I.T, 1972. RD529 .H89 1972 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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