Feed on
Posts
Comments

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

The private life of sherlock holmesAlthough fan fiction is cropping up everywhere now and seems to be a new fad, it has actually been around for quite some time.  Fictitious characters have often inspired imaginative readers who go on to write their own stories.  Sherlock Holmes is no exception, though the extent of the genre and the seriousness with which people pursue it might be unusual.   Much of the stories about Sherlock Holmes are written as though he was a real person, and there are even “historical” sites devoted to him.  One such author is Vincent Starrett, a Holmes enthusiast who wrote The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes in 1933.  Written as a biography, it takes into account both the fictional character of Holmes and describes further exploits and adventures, while also discussing Arthur Conan Doyle and the writing and publishing of these stories.

Subcutaneously my dear watsonAnother way in which authors have interacted with fictional characters is to examine the full cannon of stories about them and analyze character traits or actions.  One example is Subcutaneously, My Dear Watson: Sherlock Holmes and the cocaine habit by Jack Tracy.  Inspired by the pastiche The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer, Tracy studies the use of cocaine in the Sherlock Holmes tales and describes how it impacts the detective and his relationships.  It is an interesting read for Holmes enthusiasts as well as those interested in late 19th century attitude toward cocaine and drug use.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes by Vincent Starrett and Subcutaneously My Dear Watson by Jack Tracy are from the Santo Domingo Collection. Several other books about Sherlock Holmes both by Arthur Conan Doyle and others can be found in Harvard’s collections.  Some examples include, The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes by Adrian Conan Doyle, Arthur’s son, and Sherlock Holmes: the unauthorized biography by Nick Rennison.

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.

cat  Massachusetts is known for many things- ridiculously high taxes, fanatical sports teams, and this year “historic” winter storms.  What I was unaware of until now were the seemingly crazy laws that exist in our history until I started flipping the pages of this book.  Why would one limit the height of a dog to 10 inches and that of a cat to 48 inches?  The idea for Comics in the Law came from the popularity of the radio broadcasts of “Freak Laws” by Lyman Cook on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and Station KMOX in Saint Louis, Missouri during the 1930s.  Cook was a member of the Missouri Bar and the book is a compilation of these bizarre laws often accompanied by hilarious illustrations.  Here are a few gems I noticed that refer to our great state of Massachusetts.

santaWhat’s wrong with Christmas?  When the Puritans came over to America they also brought their dislike of festivity with them and commemorated Christmas by praying, reflecting on sin, and working instead of resting.  In 1659 the Massachusetts Bay Colony even went so far as to charge a five shilling fee for anyone caught celebrating.  This law lasted a long 23 years but it took almost another two hundred before the state declared Christmas to be an official holiday in 1856.  It can best be summed up by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote “We are in a transition state about Christmas here in New England. The old Puritan feeling prevents it from being a cheerful hearty holiday; though every year makes it more so.”

wife  Apparently a man cannot refuse to marry a woman simply because she has a bad disposition. This was upheld in a case tried in Suffolk County between Anna D. Van Houten vs. Asa P. Morse in 1894.  She claimed breach of promise of marriage against him and the jury returned a verdict supporting her.

If a man and a woman enter into an engagement to marry…or that there was a want of affection on her part, or an incompatibility, resulting from disparity of age, difference in character and dispositions, and other causes, will not justify him, as matter of law, in breaking the contract.

To learn more about bizarre laws across the country look for Comics in the law, by Lyman E. Cook … [Chicago,Universal publishers, c1938] which can be found in Widener’s collection.

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

Hallucinex 1This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 

Today’s featured item from the Santo Domingo Collection is L’internationale hallucinex (Le Soleil Noir: 1970), a collection of writings by French, American, and English countercultural authors in the form of a series of pamphlets. The collection announces its subversive intent on its case: “Revue – tract à détruire” is printed next to a collage of a knife stabbing an eye. Contained within are texts and images by William S. Burroughs, Claude Pélieu, Jeff Nuttal, Ed Sanders, and others. Distinguishing this copy is an original screen printing of a comic strip by illustrator José Sánchez, rolled and housed in a second compartment of the volume’s slipcase. The print is numbered 13/100, suggesting that one hundred copies of L’internationale hallucinex were thus issued.

Hallucinex 2

Hallucinex 3

L’internationale hallucinex: HN18.I6 1970a; HOLLIS number 5401109

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.

Symbolists and DecadentsMany volumes in the Santo Domingo Collection are about fine art, some exploring the limits of social acceptability whereas others recount more commonly seen art.  Symbolists and Decadents by John Christian gives an interesting and thorough examination of the art movement of symbolism.  In the introduction Christian explains symbolism in art, stating “The term symbolist and decadent art is virtually impossible to define, so different in temperament, scope and achievement were the artists concerned.  The only real common denominator was an approach to subject matter, a belief that a picture is neither simply an arrangement of lines and colours, nor a transcript from nature, but that behind a picture lies another order of meaning.”  With this definition in mind, he explores several famous artists ranging from Odilon Redon to Paul Gauguin to Pablo Picasso.

Orpheus by Odilon Redon

Orpheus by Odilon Redon

The Mill by Edward Burne-Jones

The Mill by Edward Burne-Jones

Each painting is accompanied by a short paragraph of description and explanation about the artist and why the piece has been included in this collection.  Christian does not limit himself to one physical collection but references paintings held in a variety of museums and galleries.  The explanations are short and easy to read, there is no need to be an art historian yourself to enjoy this book.  The extensive introduction places the movement in historical context while highlighting some of the more famous artists involved.  Symbolists and Decadents is available in Widener Library’s collection.

For those interested, John Christian is also a renowned Edward Burne-Jones scholar and his book on the artist, Edward Burne-Jones : the hidden humorist, is available at the Fine Arts 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.

KIC_Image_0002

Poltroon Press put out the volume Pshaw! 1975-2005 : 30 Years of Poltroonery to “celebrate thirty years of existence.”  Poltroon is a small press from Berkely, California that is still printing today.  The volume includes some of their most memorable ephemera reproductions along with brief explanations of their history and usage.  Here are a few of my favorites.  KIC_Image_0003

The Canine Wine label was born on a night when one of the authors was drinking terrible wine with their friend Nancy who exclaimed “This wine is not fit for dogs!”  Thus the concept of Wine for Dogs was born and they printed up a few wine labels including the Weimaraner Rhine Whine pictured.

Mädchen in Uniform was printed by the press in 1976 with 50 original copies.  It features a poem by Bernard de Ventadorn and a paper doll of a woman with various military outfits, including a pink purse.  Bernard was a master troubadour from the Middle Ages, his poem is reproduced with a translation which reads,

she’ll do badly if sheKIC_Image_0007
dont summon me to
where she undresses,
there at her command
near the bed, or at the
edge, I may remove
her well-fitted shoes,
on my knees & hum-
bled, if it shld please
her to offer me a foot.

 

 

 

 

There is also a beautiful visual representation of Miss Flite’s birds from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House.  For those unfamiliar with the tale Miss Flite kept a collection of caged birds which she planned to release when a judgement from the Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit was reached.  One of the many ironies is that the lawsuit goes on for so long the birds keep dying and need to be replaced.  It is a common interpretation that the caged birds represent the people who have been trapped by the lawsuit and their names represent the many ideas and ideals associated with it like Joy, Hope, Madness, Cunning, Folly, and Ashes.

KIC_Image_0008

To explore more of the amazing reproductions of the original ephemera and learn about the Poltroon Press you can find this volume in Houghton Library.

Pshaw : Poltroon Press, 1975-2005. [Berkeley, Calif. :Poltroon Press,2006]. Z232.P795P74 2006.

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

Eupantophone 1This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 

Henri Austruy, born in 1871, was an attorney and editor of the journal La nouvelle revue from 1913 to 1940, when occupying Nazi forces shut the journal down. 1940 is also the approximate date of Austruy’s unrecorded death, which may have been at the hands of the same forces. During his editorship, Austruy also produced several idiosyncratic works of turn-of-the-century science fiction and fantasy, which used alternate histories and imagined futures to lampoon and allegorize contemporary society. These novels, underappreciated in their time and nearly unknown today, include L’ère “Petitpaon”, ou, La paix universelle (1906). In it, Austruy satirizes his bellicose civilization by describing a near-future world utterly at peace; less than a decade after its publication, Europe would be engulfed in war.

Continue Reading »

Skills for Kids

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

DiscoverAlthough most of the items in the Santo Domingo Collection are geared towards adults there are some great exceptions.  Discover Skills for Life is a teaching tool for elementary schools that addresses wide ranging topics from building self-esteem to decision making and relationship skills.   Also included is a chapter on becoming informed about drugs in which the authors explain different types of drugs in order to differentiate medicine from illegal drugs as well as describing tobacco and alcohol.  One section in this chapter is about challenging the myths about alcohol.

DiscoverThe first myth is the idea that only hard liquor is harmful, the second is that only large amounts of alcohol can hurt people.  This one is answered specifically for children since they cannot handle as much alcohol as an adult can.  The final myth is that alcohol is the best way to have fun.  The handbook explains that this is not true and that there are many other ways to have fun such as skateboarding, reading, hiking, fishing and visiting a relative.

DiscoverThere are also discussion questions at the end of each page.  Some of them are more casual such as “what favorite ways of having fun do you have?” whereas others are more pointed and specific like “why do many cocaine abusers quickly become dependent on the drug?”  The first and last chapters of the book are much more lighthearted, addressing communication, giving up worries, and positive self-talk.  Although the book is clearly geared towards children and doesn’t provide a lot of specific information, it is interesting to see how these difficult subjects are address when elementary students are the primary target.

This book, Discover Skills for Life is available in the Santo Domingo Collection 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.

from the belly of the whale

One of the many pleasures of working with this collection is the amazing graphic nature of the cover art on books, newspapers, and magazines that we encounter on a daily basis.  After seeing the success of Scanning Key Content, a Harvard Library Lab project that aims to scan selected content at the point of cataloging, we decided to implement a pilot project for JMSD materials being cataloged for Widener.

 

 

black candle canada's first book on drug abuse

reconstruction in china

Scanning of covers will aid in the discovery of the materials in our catalog particularly for items that have multiple publications, editions, or other variant printings.  There is also a strong potential for research value since the cover can reflect popular sentiments of the time, topics, or even a relationship between the author and creator of the cover art.

We are especially interested in providing better access to serial publications which can often be difficult or confusing to locate in the catalog.

petit parisien  tiger beat

We are happy to report that we successfully cataloged and scanned about 500 items from Widener’s collection of JMSD materials.  The image links are available to view in the cataloged records for both Hollis Classic and Hollis+.  In Hollis Classic the links are located on the same page as the bibliographic record.  In Hollis+ you can view images in either the View Online tab or if you are in the Details tab go to the links on the right hand side of the page (near the image of the bookplate).

drugs and the other self

This would not have been possible without the very generous assistance and support of our colleagues involved in the Scanning Key Content project: Karen Nipps, Debbie Funkhouser, Amy Benson, Nell Carlson, and Corinna Baksik.  Thanks to everyone and we will keep scanning!

From the belly of the whale / by Clinton White. Plainfield, N.J. : Logos International, 1972, ©1970. 

The black candle / by Emily F. Murphy “Janey Canuck.” Introd. by Brian Anthony & Robert Solomon. Toronto, T. Allen [1973].

Reconstruction in China ; a record of progress and achievement in facts and figures … Shanghai, China united press, 1935. 

Le Petit parisien. Paris [France] : Verdien, 1876-1944.

Lloyd Thaxton’s tiger beatHollywood, Calif. : New Asbury, [1966-]. 

Drugs and the other self : an anthology of spiritual transformations. Edited, with an introduction, by Chaman Nahal. New York : Harper & Row 1971. 

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

Poussieres 3This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 

Today’s volume from the Santo Domingo Collection is a chronicle of social and intellectual life in nineteenth-century France, and its provenance establishes an acquaintance between two prominent figures thereof. Jean Lorrain (1855-1906, given name Paul Duval) was a prolific author of the Decadent movement, alongside such others as Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud; the Decadents claimed Charles Baudelaire as their inspiration and sought to rattle the complacent middle class with shocking imagery and unabashed artifice. The Decadents – a term of critical scorn co-opted by the movement’s practitioners – were associated with drug use, drinking, sexual perversity, and moral corruption.

Continue Reading »

A Guide to Hipsters

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

The HipstersThe Hipsters, a book by Ted Joans, is a collection of collages of paintings that depicts Greenwich village and the types of people that lived there.  He explains many types from the Folknik to the Hipper-than-thounik. The folkniks “carry musical instruments and long loose flowing hair as they sit on the steps of the hip folklore music shop or every Sunday gather at the Washington Square circle. (Notice the sad three meals-a-day look and the folknik who has been fingered out by Commissioner of Parks Newbold Morris for playing in the square that Sunday he banned folknik singing.”  The HipstersThe hipper-than-thounik “is the overread writer or painter of sorts who speaks as an astute authority on every subject, even sex, which she knows only from books.  For she considers herself so hip that sexual activity is strictly for squares.  Thus the hipper-than-thounik is a sicknik.”  Also included is a three act play made up of Act 1: That Day, Act 2: That night or nite scene, and Act 3: The Flight. Fleeing, Splitting.The Hipsters

Ted Joans is a notable African American poet, jazz artist and writer.  His works often include themes of Black Nationalism although he was also closely linked with the Beat Generation as The Hipsters exemplifies.   Joans considered himself a surrealist, a point of view clear in The Hipsters.  He was deeply involved with the movement, and for a time was close with Salvador Dali as well as André Breton.The Hipsters

Several of Ted Joans books are available at Widener Library including Black pow-wow: jazz poems, A black manifesto in jazz poetry and prose, All of Ted Joans and no more : poems and collages by Ted Joans ; introduction by Ilizabeth D. Klar.  The Hipsters is in the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection and accessible 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.

If you have been reading this blog consistently then you probably know that we never quite know what we might come across as we unpack a box from this collection.  A case in point would be this volume Email & pub by Pascal Courault and François Bertin.  Published around 1993 it charts the history of a hundred years of French enamel plate sign advertising.  The book actually has an enamel plate attached to the cover with the title mimicking the advertising for the French “bouillon kub.”

IMG_0046 IMG_0047

I have to say I am kind of charmed by the enamel sign advertising probably because it seems like a throwback in this age dominated by digital advertising.  Below are a few of my favorites.

IMG_0049First we have a vintage French jam ad on an enamel sign from Confitures Bannier.  Apparently in the late 1800s and early 1900s aspiring artists would often create these signs to supplement their incomes.  Which explains why many of the signs show a high level of artistic skill, not often synonymous with contemporary advertising.  Throughout the book there were a number of products that seemed to dominate this advertising space including chocolates, milk, cheese, and of course beer!

The three beer signs below are from 1925, 1950, and 1930.  La Perle Biere or Pearl Beer was first put into production in 1882 by Pierre Hoeffel and it continued until the 1970s when it ceased production of beer.  However in 2009 the great, great grandson of Hoeffel, Christian Artzner, revived the family tradition and Perle is currently brewing beer to this day.
IMG_0051

Patent medicines and other medicinal products were also a large market for these signs as we can see for Pastilles Madon.  It appears to be a type of cough drop remedy that was quite effective… at least according to the sign which states the gentleman’s cough was “gone within hours!”

IMG_0050

To learn more about the rise and….spoiler alert! the decline of enamel sign advertising you can find this volume in the Fine Arts Library’s collection.

Email & pub / Pascal Courault, François Bertin. Rennes : Editions Ouest-France, [1993]. NK6511.S53 C68 1993

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

Anti-Opium

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

Today’s feature from the Santo Domingo collection is both a rare volume and an artifact of the fraught history of the opium trade in China. Convened in the 1890s, the Anti-Opium League was part of a movement on the part of American and British Protestant missionaries in China to generate public sentiment against opium and to advocate for its prohibition, partly by gathering evidence of its harmfulness. The publication shown here, The greater year of anti-opium, was written by League member Stephen Leech and issued in 1909. It reflects optimism on the part of the League that governmental steps toward prohibition were in motion. The publication succeeds a prior one, The great year of anti-opium, and the change in title reflects Leech’s perception of an accelerating pace of anti-opium activity. The report consists of a recounting of that activity, as well as accounts of changing public opinion toward opium in China’s various provinces and other pertinent data. An illustration documents the destruction of a collection of opium paraphernalia.

Anti-opium 1

This anti-opium movement was born not only of moral concern but also of a sense of national responsibility – England had for decades dealt in a lucrative opium trade from colonial India to China, and had gone to war with China to ensure that it persisted. Amid rising criticism, the British Government convened the Royal Opium Commission of 1895; it concluded that opium was unharmful and that the Chinese people were concerned for their economy rather than their health. This was another of many setbacks in combating not only the deleterious effects of opium in China, but also European complicity in the trade. It wouldn’t be until the mid-twentieth century that the practice was largely eradicated in China.

Anti-opium 2

Accompanying this copy of the report is a typescript presentation letter; the presenter and recipient are named but not presently identified. The letter indicates that this copy is one of only two printed on brilliant yellow silk; the other, apparently, was presented to the Emperor of China.

Anti-opium 3

The greater year of anti-opium: HV5816.A58 1909x; HOLLIS number 14285968

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Greenwich Village

 

 

 

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.

KIC_Image_0001

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.

KIC_Image_0005

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

 

Page_sucker_numero_un_skull.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

IMG_0032 IMG_0033

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.

ac85_j5554_877d_cover

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.

ac85_j5554_877d_title

ac85_j5554_877d_inscription

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.

IMG_0037

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!

IMG_0039 IMG_0040

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

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

ac85_j5554_zz883t_p_12_13

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.

Continue Reading »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »