Archive for the ‘Found in Archives’ Category

Coffin, Plank, Cramps: Printing in the 19th Century

Coffin, Plank, Cramps; Printers' Grammar Brooke's Press, Printers' Grammar
Ornaments02, Printers' Grammar Spit and Wheel, Printers' Grammar
Gallows and Sockets, Printers' Grammar
Specimen, Printers' Grammar

Enjoy this sampling of “the coffin, plank, and cramps” as well as other somewhat creepily-named parts of a 19th century platen printing press in honor of #pagefrights month. These engravings (and many more) depicting typography specimen, diagrams of type cases, ornaments, and more are located in The Printers’ Grammar, printed in London by C. Stower, 1808. Come view the book in person in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library!

I leave you now with the book’s curious epigraph:

Aided by thee – O Art sublime! our race

Spurns the opposing bonds of time and space,

With Fame’s swift flight to hold an equal course,

And taste the stream from Reason’s purest source;

Vice and her hydra sons, thy powers can bind,

And cast in Virtue’s mould the plastic mind.

-The Press, John M’Creery, 1803

Night in New Orleans

NightNewOrleans_Flickr_00 NightNewOrleans_Flickr_01
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Night in New Orleans (Rice-Mitchell Pub., Co., 1911)

Call no.: F379.N54 R5x

This recent acquisition by Special Collections & Archives features striking night scenes of downtown New Orleans in the early 20th Century. The black and white photomechanical reproductions of photographs feature aerial views of iconic streets and businesses near and around the French Quarter, all illuminated by windows, streetcars, and beautiful electric signs.


Today’s #pagefrights is this ferocious looking wolf (or is it a werewolf!?) from the 1949 Wolf yearbook.

#PageFrights is a month-long social media celebration of Halloween, library & archives-style.


Today’s #PageFrights comes from the New Orleans Opera Association Archives. Pictured below is a program cover for a 1975 production of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.

Les Huguenots program cover

For more like this, come to the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives and view our exhibit, Encore! Encore! Bravi! Presenting the New Orleans Opera Association Archives.

#PageFrights is a month-long social media celebration of Halloween, library & archives-style.

Jefferson Parish LWV Collection

With the U.S. Presidential Election coming up in under a month, it’s only fitting that the League of Women Voters of Jefferson Parish collection is currently being processed in the Special Collections & Archives at Loyola University New Orleans.

The collection features national and local pamphlets and publications, information on causes important to the League of Women Voters (nationally and locally), and much more.

One of the pamphlets from the Jefferson Parish branch of the Leave of Women Voters, “Who’s Who in Government”, lists members of the National Government, State Government, and Local Government, along with ways to contact each member. This photo is from the Summer 1997 mailing.

The League of Women Voters provided a pamphlet for teachers and students on how to actively watch and what to take note of in a Presidential Debate. With the third, and final, debate coming up next Wednesday, October 19th, this pamphlet might be helpful in understanding the importance and purpose of the debate.

Posted by student worker Samantha.

#AskAnArchivist recap

Thank you to all who participated in last week’s event, #AskAnArchivist Day! A recap of Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives contribution to #AskAnArchivist Day is available here.

If you missed #AskAnArchivist Day, never fear! At Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives, every day is #AskAnArchivist Day. If you have questions or concerns, we welcome you to contact our staff or visit the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

This digitized photograph and thousands like it belong to the Loyola University New Orleans Photographs Collection and are available to view online here.

Collection Spotlight: John P. Clark Papers

The John P. Clark Papers is a fascinating collection consisting primarily of correspondence and publications. These materials include correspondence with political thinkers and book publishers, independently published political pamphlets and zines, and serial periodicals such as “Our Generation”. The collection also contains a small number of flyers, microfilm reels, and reel-to-reel audio recordings.

While searching for a selection that is representative of the collection, we came across some correspondence between John Clark and friend David Koven stretching over 25 years and found Koven to be a VERY interesting subject. Following the links embedded in Koven’s brief bio below to gather some context.

Koven was “born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, USA 1918; railroad worker, sailor and electrician; painter and photographer; in his youth a member of the Young Communist League; broke with communism and became a pacifist in 1936; turned to anarchism during the Spanish Civil War, when he got involved with the anarchist Vanguard Group; with Audrey Goodfriend one of the founders of Why? (1942-1947), continued as Resistance (1947-1954); moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s, where he became active in Kenneth Rexroth’s anarchist group; editor of The Needle in 1956; in 1958 with Audrey Goodfriend and three other families cofounder of the libertarian Walden School in Berkeley which still exists; one of the founders of and contributors to Pacific Radio Station and one of the most active members of the Vietnam Day Committee” (David Koven Papers, Finding Aid Biographical Note, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam).

Here’s a glimpse into Box 2, Folder 12, of Collection 57.




And as an added bonus a sneak-peek at an intro to a jambalaya recipe Koven gathered while visiting Clark and Louisana in the 1980′s… but you’ll have to come visit us to get the full recipe and check out all the other fascinating correspondence in Collection 57.


Win a NOOA Student Pass!

Win a college student pass for the New Orleans Opera’s 2016/2017 Season

A Seek and Find Questionnaire & Giveaway to support

the Encore! Encore! Bravi! Exhibit Introducing the New Orleans Opera Association Archives

Print this post out to enter or get an answer sheet in Special Collections & Archives.

  1. Answer all 6 questions correctly.
  2. Fold & Place your answer sheet in the designated box in Special Collections & Archives.
  3. Wait until October 5. We will call/email you if you’re a winner!

Though you’re already a winner, anyway…

The Special Collections and Archives Department is located on the third floor of the Monroe Library. Start your search inside the Introduction Case near the third floor elevator. Continue to the Display Window. From there, make your way inside the Booth-Bricker Reading Room and enjoy scanning each of the remaining three cases for more answers.

There is one question for each case, one question from the display window timeline, and one question from the exhibit title poster. Don’t hesitate to ask our staff for assistance! Good luck! And happy hunting!


  1. How long is the exhibit “on view”?
  2. There are 7 programs on display in the introduction case. List the titles of three operas from those programs.
  3. On the timeline poster in the Window Display above the introductory case – what notorious soprano had a brief nude scene in the 1973 production of Thais?
  4. From the stage design case – give the name and year of at least one of the set design sketches or photographs in the case.
  5. From the Faust cue sheet found in the supporting roles case – in Scene 2 (The Kermesse) what is the FIRST light cue?
  6. In the photos of “Performance for Students” May 1979 – one of the students may have fallen asleep… True or false?

Letterpress in the Archives: “Citizens’ Bank & Trust of Louisiana” 1916


There is no reason to doubt that it was the Citizens’ Bank that gave the name “Dixie” to the South. The origin of that word has never been positively determined, but the tradition that gives the credit to the Citizens’ Bank is certainly stronger than any of the other claims advanced. When the country was flooded with wild-cat money and counterfeiting was so common as to cast suspicion on nearly every species of paper money, the notes of this bank commanded respect throughout the great valley, and, in fact, everywhere in the country, and its ten-dollar notes were the standard of value. These notes in ante-bellum days were printed in the French language, and instead of bearing the numeral in English, they bore the French word “dix.” It became common when one was passing down the great river to trade at the Southern metropolis for him to say that he was going South to acquire some dixes. Thus it happened that the lower stretches of the river became known as the land of the dixies, or “Dixie land.”

“Citizens’ Bank & Trust of Louisiana”, New Orleans, 1916, p. 11

As the new project assistant in Special Collections & Archives here at Loyola, I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing the stacks as I better acquaint myself with the collection. Since my academic background is in printmaking and book arts, I naturally gravitate towards the rare books on our shelves, and I am continuously fascinated by the bindings and material qualities of these old books. Today I would like to share with you this small letterpress-printed pamphlet: “Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana,” New Orleans, 1916.

A modest book at first glance, “Citizens’ Bank..” is a lovely example of early twentieth century letterpress-printing. Although there is no press information on the title page of this pamphlet, there are clues in the tactile quality of the book that reveal how it was printed and what materials were used. It is sewn with a silky cord, and a knot tied on the spine of the book allows the pamphlet to close flat.  It is composed of a high-quality mould-made paper, which is evident in the paper’s strong, visible fibers and deckled edge, as well as watermarks that are visible when certain pages are held up to bright light. If you were to lightly brush your finger along the text of this book, you’d notice a texture, an imprint, which occurs because of the amount of pressure applied in the printing process. At close inspection you’d see that some of the text is over-inked in places, which creates a small puddle around individual letters. I could go on and on about the letterpress process, but instead I’ll refer you to this resource if you’d like to learn more.

This book was letterpress printed on high quality paper because its materials were likely intended to reflect the history of a wealthy institution: the Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana. Its brief 31 pages outline the history of the bank, and the book serves as a well-crafted advertisement for the financial institution. You can view more images of this book (and many more) on our tumblr, or come in for a visit on the third floor of Monroe Library!

Special Collections Internship report

This internship report was written by music major Gloria Cosenza, Special Collections & Archives intern


Gloria Cosenza with photos of Norman Treigle (directly behind Gloria) and her grandfather Arthur Cosenza (right) at Pascal's Manale, 2015. Image courtesy of Gloria Cosenza.

Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired.

Boethius (AD 480 – AD 524) is a philosopher best known for his treatise, Consolation of Philosophyand the most notable of his ideas is The Wheel of Fortune. However, he is most important to me because of the philosophy within his manuscript De institutione musica. Boethius identified what he considered “the threefold classification of music”. Musica mundana is the music of the spheres (planets and universes), which is soundless to the naked ear but can be felt more or less like goose bumps or butterflies in your stomach. Musica humana is the harmony sounded in between the physical and spiritual human body – the vibration and sound of OM in yoga is an example of this harmony. Musica instrumentalis is understood on the most basic level as instrumental music produced by something under tension (i.e. strings, wind, water, or percussion). The quote above is taken from this ancient manuscript.

I recognize music as a driving force in my life – as one I have run from and now a force with which I attempt to coexist. Music is the reason I decided to finish my undergraduate degree at Loyola, and my Cosenza family legacy with the university begins (and will soon end) with the art of opera. Arthur Cosenza, my operatic baritone of a grandfather, spearheaded the Loyola Opera Workshop in 1964. His instructor status at the university allowed for his sons (my dad and uncle) to earn – free of charge – not only their undergraduate degrees in English and Accounting, but also their law degrees. It was in the law classrooms of the Broadway campus where my parents met and fell in love. One of the reasons they fell in love was because of their shared passion for the arts.

[My mother recalls reading in Time magazine of Arthur’s work (before she ever met my father) with the New Orleans Opera Association during their 1972 opera season. The infamous season when soprano Carol Neblett, performing the role of Thais, revealed her nude self to an unsuspecting crowd in the Act I finale of the opera!]


Arthur Cosenza (standing, right) rehearsing with Loyola Opera Workshop singers Carl Kauffman (left) and Judith Fischer (middle), and accompanist Eugenie Passera. Image from the Loyola University Archives.

I am the third of four children my parents have together. My oldest sister graduated summa cum laude with degrees from Loyola in Mass Communications and political science. Since I am not married, and my youngest sister is graduating from LSU, I will be the last Cosenza with a degree, as a “Cosenza”, from Loyola.

The operatic sound is one of the many frequencies, which makes up my own musical chemistry. We listened to operatic recordings on vinyl; my grandfather would occasionally sing; and eventually, I saw my very first live performance when I was about nine years old. I experienced the opera at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts with my grandfather while he was still the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Opera Association. The production was The Ballad of Baby Doe, and I ate too many chocolate covered raisins. Truthfully, my first heartfelt operatic experience was many years after my first opera, but several months after my grandfather passed away. Up late studying for a high school geography exam and strung out on caffeine, I was playing music I found on an old computer. Puccini’s “O Mio Babino Caro” sung by Maria Callas started to play, and I cried. I played it a few more times in order to witness myself emoting through a classical piece of music. I was sure the aria’s text was of overcoming hopelessness and sadness, but alas it is not. Though sometimes I still cry when I hear that recording, in spite of the text – just because it makes me think of Arthur.

Arthur Cosenza

Arthur Cosenza. Image from the New Orleans Opera Association Archives.

“If they don’t let me in, I won’t go anywhere else.” That’s what I told my parents when I decided to audition for Loyola’s School of Music. I was a twenty-three year old yoga teacher/nanny/full time employee at Whole Foods Market in Baton Rouge, “with a dream”. The Loyola voice faculty made a strange decision, and they accepted me into their program. I have been studying classical voice and the art of operatic performance for over three years now. This summer I was given the opportunity to study the business of opera, and specifically the business my grandfather ran for almost 20 years at the New Orleans Opera Association. During my internship, I worked as an associate of the Special Collections and Archives department on the third floor of Monroe Library. My project for the summer was to layout a timeline based on the history of the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) in correlation to the one hundred boxes which make up the NOOA collection. On the first day, I was briefed on basic rules and practices of keeping and working in archives. I learned the layout of each collection and what kinds of information these collections had to offer in way of research aids.

Learning the basics of managing and maneuvering an archive seems to me a legitimate library science skill that I could use to persuade employers looking to hire someone for a basic library position or any position that would require book keeping or basic organization/ attention to detail qualities. I eventually created a digital timeline using software called TimelineJS.


Click image above to go to timeline

Granted the software was very easy to use, it will be a great tool for future presentations and possibly an element to a kind of portfolio I might put together to impress employers. The last, important skill I learned while working as an intern this summer was how to work with new personalities. I pride myself in having known and worked with many different kinds of people, and this summer I met a couple of new attitudes I was otherwise not familiar. I regretfully admit that I am a people pleaser, first and foremost; but I feel like I made headway into reasons why being a stand up, reliable worker is the most important and usually the easiest way to gain anyone’s affection or approval. I don’t need to be “nice” or “cute” in order to be an asset to the team. What a team wants more than anything – for the sake of the individuals and the project at hand – is a clever, focused, confident worker. All of my colleagues have offered themselves as references for future job opportunities I may have. These women are eager to see me succeed in whatever I do, and they are some of the smartest, empowered, good-humored women I have met. I believe we will stay friends for quite some time.

The first day of my internship was May 23, and though I stopped working twenty hours a week on August 1. I am still working with the team, though they could only take me on at ten hours a week instead of twenty to meet their budget. On August 23, I will have been with SC&A for three months. I am not sure I can articulate all of the amazing new ideas I’ve had in such a short time. These new ideas range from how the past can shed light on a successful future for the opera as a thriving art form in New Orleans, to the necessary facets of my own projects as an up and coming artist in the world – and how I can make a thriving career for myself as a performing artist. I kept a notebook while working in the archives. This notebook is full of lists of things to do for the exhibits and places where I can find what I need, etc. However, in and throughout my notes, I have scribbles of marketing ideas for myself – equipment I need to purchase, ideas for a kind of press package, thoughts on head shots, possible day jobs for when I graduate, lists of repertoire I need to learn, quotes and special places of beautiful photos of my grandpop. One of the most amazing parts of this New Orleans Opera Association project was reading about how all of these famous musicians made it to the top. I picked up on a few key points that have kept me thinking forward into my own future. The first is passion for the music and for the art of performance – a passionate dedication to beauty, precision, and honesty when making opera. Second, there is a teacher who believes in the student or artist. It seems strange that dependence does in fact exist especially in a world where individualism is strong and we believe that the individual can do whatever he or she puts their minds to… But the truth is, with an art such as voice, a quality teacher is a necessary for the progress of the vocalist – a teacher who believes in the student’s possible career and a teacher who can articulate breathing technique, freedom of muscles, sound and creative expression. The third quality is diligence. I think diligence encompasses perseverance at a steady pace, thorough and quality preparation, and a promise to live up to his or her vocal talent. By this I mean, never taking for granted the natural vocal gift that exists, taking good care of it and looking forward to expressing it.


Gloria working in the archives, summer 2016. Image courtesy of Gloria Cosenza.

One of my music business advisers strongly recommended I register for the internship course within the music industry curriculum. He has always told me that if I am going to try for an operatic performance career that I will need some kind of a back up plan in order to supplement my income. This summer I learned that though my grandfather had a unique vocal talent and stage presence, he was also an incredible businessman. Because he was a performer, he was able to communicate with many different kinds of people and those people wanted to be around him. All summer I read of how he had never imagined he would spend fifty years of his life stage directing and managing a professional opera house. He loved opera and everything else happened from that passion. Where my own career is concerned, I believe I have a significant chance of making a living as a singing actor. If this is not the case, I will remain content as long as I am surrounded by music and according to Boethius I always will be.