Archive for the ‘Found in Archives’ Category

Whitfield and the Lomaxes

John and Alan Lomax’s musical recordings of their trip to Southern Louisiana in 1934 gathering songs for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress have recently been made available online. This is a fascinating website that is entertaining as well as a user-friendly research tool. The attractive database is searchable by song indexes, interactive maps, as well as by performers’ names and parishes.

While looking around in our collections for related material, I came across a volume written by Irènè Thérèse Whitfield who collaborated with the Lomaxes during their research in Southern Louisiana.

Louisiana French Folk Songs published in 1939 was Irènè Thérèse Whitfield master’s thesis while studying at LSU. In 1934 during Irene’s research, her dean informed her of the Lomaxes (Alan was only 18 at the time) project and in turn helped establish a reciprocal relationship that benefited everyone involved. This association significantly privileged Whitfield in the successful completion of her groundbreaking book through the use of the sound recordings Lomax had made on a 300-pound portable recorder during their expeditions. While Irene’s local knowledge aided the Lomaxes in their work.

Picture of the recording equipment in the trunk of John Lomax’s car.

Here are a few selections found on the www.lomax1923.com website as well as in Whitfield’s book (click on the link or the index card to have a listen).

Jolie Blonde, from page 81.

Madame Fardueil, from page 86

Je veux me marier, from page 87

J’ai passé devant ta porte, from page 88

There is also a film by Alan Lomax about the culture of the bayous of Louisiana that is available for viewing in its entirety on Folkstreams: A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures called Cajun Country (1991).

Here is the trailer for Cajun Country via YouTube

A new study of the 1934 trip Traditional music in coastal Louisiana: the 1934 Lomax recordings by Joshua Clegg Caffery (who is also the author of www.lomax1934.com/find the time to watch the lecture at the bottom of the page – it’s fascinating) was recently published and will soon be available for checkout from the Monroe Library.

In the meantime, these other materials related to Lousiana music and folk culture are currently available at Monroe Library for further research:

Alan Lomax: selected writings, 1934-1997

Cajun and Creole music 1934 [sound recording]: the Lomax recordings

Acadian folk songs by Whitfield, Irène Thérèse

Accordions, fiddles, two step & swing: a Cajun music reader

Buying the wind: regional folklore in the United States

Louisiana French folk songs is available for research Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30 at the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives

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Additional online resources used:

Cajun Folklife, by Ryan Brasseaux

Lomax in Louisiana: Trials and Triumph, by Barry Jean Ancelet

A History of Folklife Research in Louisiana, by  Frank de Caro

10 years of Facebook at Loyola

10 years ago today, The Maroon made its first mention of a brand new social network called (the) Facebook.

At that time, the URL for the site was the awkward “Thefacebook.com” and the fledgling service had only been launched 9 months previously at Harvard. Initially Facebook was targeted solely at universities. A “.edu” email address was a necessary component for creating an account, and users posted their course schedules on their profiles. When Loyola joined the network in 2004, only 171 other institutions were connected. Now, anyone over the age of 13 is eligible to sign up for an account, and there are reportedly over 1 billion users worldwide.

In 2004, though, some students were still skeptical. One student wasn’t sure if Facebook would catch on like instant messaging had, and another argued that “The time you spend on Thefacebook.com is time you could spend drinking or talking to people in person.”

In other news, while “poking” may not be at the forefront of Facebook’s innovations anymore, it is still available.

The November 4, 2004 issue also contained an article about a brand new New Orleans pizza place called Slice–Loyola will recognize it as the flagship restaurant for the Carrollton Hall pizzeria.

These articles and others like them can be found in the digitized Maroon collection in the Louisiana Digital Library.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

#howtotuesday: Imagine a Presidency

In this election day edition of Found in the Archives we take a look at My First Days in the White House.

Many people dream of becoming President of the United States, but few write a detailed “account” of their first 100 days in office before they announce their candidacy. Huey P. Long did.

At the time of his assassination, Long was serving as a United States Senator from Louisiana, after having served as Louisiana’s Governor from 1928-1932.  Widely considered to be a potential candidate in the 1936 Presidential elections, Long had penned his imaginings and the volume was quickly published after his death in September 1935. The forward reads:

This volume is presented as a prophecy by its Author, the late Huey Pierce Long, wherein he endeavored to portray what he would have done had he become President and how he would have conducted the national government; setting forth his impressions of what he believed would be the reaction of the people referred to and the public, generally.

In the book Long imagines detailed conversations between himself and many prominent figures as he cajoles them into joining his cabinet and realizing his vision.  In the passage below John D. Rockefeller Jr. joins the team.

Turning to Aldrich, I inquired:

“Do you believe Mr. Rockefeller would accept the chairmanship of a committee of business men, bankers and industrialists to draft me a plan to carry out my Share Our Wealth program?”

“I believe so, Mr. President,” replied Aldrich, “But I should like to confirm that by telephone.”

I indicated the telephone on my desk.

“Call him now,” I said.

In a few minutes Aldrich was relating our conversation to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., at his home in New York City. From his replies it was obvious that Mr. Rockefeller was accepting the chairmanship. When Aldrich hung up the phone, he turned around and said:

“Mr. President, Mr. Rockefeller will serve as chairman of your committee.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “His services will allay fear throughout the business world.”

The volume features many triumphant illustrations by Cléanthe, picturing the Presidency that never was:

My First Days in the White House is available for research Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30 at the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Louisiana Historical Records Survey

WPA; "LSU Stadium Dedication; Hopkins speaking (side)", 11/28/1936

Last week, staff from the Monroe Library watched a webinar titled “Needles in the Haystack of History: How to Use the WPA Historical Records Survey.” The webinar discussed the Work Projects Administration Historical Records Survey (WPA HRS), a discovery tool for government records from the 1700s through the early 1940s. The webinar included presentations by librarians from the University of Missouri, Troy University, and the University of Kentucky, which is now a Center of Excellence for the WPA. You can view the slides from the webinar by clicking here, selecting “Slide Presentation” on the right, and clicking “View.”

The WPA was a New Deal agency aimed at employment of American workers public construction and arts and literacy projects. The Historical Records Survey was originally part of the WPA Federal Writers’ Project and dealt with surveying and indexing records held by state, county and local archives.

Documents produced by the Louisiana Historical Records Survey include directories of churches in Louisiana and inventories of manuscript and archival collections around the state. The project was conducted from 1935-1943, so the holdings of various archives around the state will have changed substantially. However, the WPA HRS publications provide some valuable information, including demographic and population statistics, bureaucratic processes, vital statistics, and cemetery and newspaper indexes. Publications such as the American Imprints Inventory: Bibliography of the Official Publications of Louisiana 1803-1934 provide information about where various publications were housed at the time and may provide clues to contemporary researchers trying to track down public records.

Some WPA HRS publications are digitized and available through the Hathi Trust Digital Library, including the Directory of churches and religious organizations in New Orleans, Calendars of manuscript collections in the Department of Archives, Louisiana State University (No. 1: Taber Collection), and Inventory of the records of World war emergency activities in Louisiana, 1916-1920. A full list of Louisiana Historical Records Survey publications in the Hathi Trust is available here. Hathi Trust also has digitized publications from many other states.

Special Collections & Archives at Loyola also has a number of publications which can be viewed Monday – Friday from 9am-4:30pm. The list of holdings is here.

For more information check out the University of Kentucky’s WPA Guide, or contact Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives staff.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

French Quarter Findings

Old Absinthe House (1904)- From "Early Views of the Vieux Carre"

Many of us often find ourselves in some portion of the French Quarter, whether that be browsing the French Market, grabbing some beignets, or venturing down Bourbon. The French Quarter was the original heart of New Orleans, and the Special Collections archives have a few books that show the Vieux Carre in it’s early days.

Toulouse Street at Bourbon (1904)- From "Early Views of the Vieux Carre"

This image of Toulouse at Bourbon and the above image are from "Early Views of the Vieux Carre, New Orleans," featuring scenes by William Woodward. The publication is presented by the Issac Delgado Museum of Art, located in City Park.

It looks very different now from the good ol’ days of the early 1900′s!

"On Chartres Street- Horse and Wagon Days-In 1905" from "French Quarter Etchings" by William Woodward

View of St Louis Cathedral from Chartres on Bastille Day, 1905- from "French Quarter Etchings" by William Woodward

When you walk down one of the many historic streets of the Quarter today, you can still see that it has retained most of it’s historic charm, and even recognize some of the scenes from over one hundred years ago that are still here today. You can still take a horse and carriage ride down some sections of the Quarter, and the St. Louis Cathedral is still a highly visited and recognizably New Orleans location.

The Old Absinthe House (1904)- Seen from Bourbon- From "Early Views of the Vieux Carre"

Can you see the streetcar tracks in the foreground of the above image? In “Early Views of the Vieux Carre,” it states that these tracks carried the streetcar named “Desire.”

You can come view these books and more in Special Collections, Monroe Library 3rd floor, Monday-Friday 9:30am-4:30pm.

Blog post by Maureen Kelly, a Special Collections work-study student.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

#howtotuesday: Gardening

George Washington Cable (1844-1925) is well known for his writing depicting Creole life in nineteenth century New Orleans (most notably Old Creole Days and The Grandissimes). Less well known, perhaps, is his penchant for gardening, and his 1914 book The Amateur Garden. Illustrated with many photographs of home gardens, Cable’s book asks such important questions as “Where to Plant What?”

Hence the initial questions – a question which every amateur gardener must answer for himself. How much subservency of nature to art and utility is really necessary to my own and my friends’ and       neighbors’ best delights? For – be not deceived – however enraptured of wild nature you may be, you do and must require of her some  subserviency close about your own dwelling.

Cable offers additional advice and encouragement to the amateur:

“Muffle your architectural angles in foliage and bloom”

And from Cable’s own garden:

“Some clear disclosure of charm still remote may beckon and lure”

The entire book The Amatuer Garden has been digitized and made available on the Internet Archive.

More recent gardening help can be found in “Gardening in New Orleans: A Publication of the New Orleans Gardening Society”.

Published in 1952, this volume walks the home gardener through all manner of foliage, including chapters on ferns, flowering vines, and azaleas, just to name a few.

Encourage your green thumb and come in to Special Collections and Archives to view these books for yourself!

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Halloween At Loyola

It is that time of year again! Ghouls, witches, and vampires return to our campus for another year of Halloween festivities. Halloween is the perfect time to go out in the city, watch scary movies, eat large sums of candy, and dress up in the wackiest or scariest costume. No plans for Halloween because you have an exam? Not this year! Halloween is on a Friday! Take full advantage of it.  Not sure how? In need of ideas? Maybe 1986 or 1998 Loyola students can inspire you. In 1986, Loyola students spent Halloween at parties, decorating the residences halls, trick or treating, or handing out candy to the underprivileged from the resident halls. In 1998, students trick or treated, ventured to the French Quarter to show off their costumes, went to haunted houses, participated in a pumpkin carving contest, drove around playing tricks on friends, attended scary movie screenings, or attended a seminar on paranormal research. Hope one of these ideas spark your interest and have spooktacular Halloween!
The Wolf 1986 page 90

The Wolf 1986 page 91

The Wolf 1998 page 58

The Wolf 1998 page 59

Blog post by Nydia Araya, a Special Collections work-study student.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Identifying Microscopic Fungi

When I was looking through our stacks for a special volume to blog about, I came across Mordecai Cubitt Cooke’s Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi.

I was initially impressed by the illustrations…

Then, I found written imagery that showed signs of an eccentric at work, which peaked my interest…

Made curious, I did a little research… and found a man with a truly fascinating life!

M.C. Cooke did not have much in the way of a formal education but wrote hundreds of articles and books on botany and mycology. Collected roughly 46, 000 specimens, contributed over 20 years of service to museum collections, while editing journals and founding societies.

Mordecai, was a busy guy!

Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi, is viewable in its entirety at the Internet Archive online, or by visiting the Special Collections and Archives anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 4:30.

1960s Midterms

It’s the middle of the semester, and for many of you that means midterm exams. Take solace in the fact that Loyola students have been working hard at their exams for over 50 years…

Uh-oh…

Wait, wake up!

Persevere! (And stay awake). Fall Break is just around the corner!

These photos and many more are available in the Loyola University Photographs Collection in the Louisiana Digital Library. Some of our favorites are currently on display in Special Collections & Archives in our Candid Campus exhibit. Stop by between 9 and 4:30pm, Monday – Friday to check it out.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Memorial Monday, September 26, 1881: New Orleans mourns a president

On Monday September 26, 1881 our 20th President James A. Garfield was laid to rest in Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio after complications from a gunshot wound took his life.  Though the disillusioned Federal office seeker Charles J. Guiteau had attempted to assassinate Garfield on July 2, 1881, it is widely believed that the gunshot wound would not have been fatal and had the medical care of the 1880’s truly understood the correlation between germs and infection.

Though one of the most lavish funerals to date was held in Cleveland, other cities around the country also held funeral rites. New Orleans was one of these cities.

In A history of the proceedings in the city of New Orleans, on the occasion of the funeral ceremonies in honor of James Abram Garfield, late president of the United States, which took place on Monday, September 26th, 1881 these funeral rites are presented in detail.

This volume contains a comprehensive account of the day’s proceedings as it recounts the many ceremonies presented throughout the city. Including transcripts of speeches, sermons, and detailed descriptions of the funerary decorations and the various processions.

One religious service was held at Seaman’s Bethel. A congregation that was located at 2218 Saint Thomas Street, a location that is still in religious service to this day.

In his memorial sermon, Rev. Dr Andrew Jackson (A.J.) Witherspoon, a former Confederate chaplain and founder of church, offered to his congregation of seamen the potential for Garfield’s death at “reuniting North and South, East and West”. His address surmised that Garfield’s goal as president could now be realized in his death  -–to bring peace to a post-civil war United States.

One impromptu river procession, The River’s Homage to The Dead President, recounts the gathering of tugboats adorned by black and white drapery, with whistles eerily echoing as they traveled from Morgan’s Ferry to Canal Street.

This volume is housed in the Special Collections and Archives of the Morgan Library.

There are full text scans available through Internet Archive and Google Books.