Archive for the ‘Student Post’ Category

A Night at the Opera

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On February 10th, at around 7:30 p.m., I walked into the Mahalia Jackson Theater. I gave the staff my ticket, and walked in. It seemed a little bland at first, but I got a a soda at the bar and made my way to my seat. It was in the center, in the middle of the large auditorium, so it was perfect. They called for the start at 7:55, and then, the curtains rose at around 8:10 after announcements. That’s when a man hobbled to the center of the stage, and started to break out into song about a demon barber.

The New Orleans Opera Association performed Sweeney Todd last weekend, and I had the chance to go see it. After scanning the pamphlets for months, I must admit, I was curious to see the opera for myself.

Although they missed out a chance to make it a dinner theater, it was still amazing. The voices were extremely talented, the set was wonderful, and how they managed to make blood spurt 10 feet into the air still confuses me. If anyone is not familiar with the story, I apologize. It is exactly what it sounds like. The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, slit throats with a razor in order to fulfill his thirst for revenge. They inconspicuously managed to put a device on the victims and make blood spurt, even getting some on the orchestra, before making the chair seat drop and the body fell through the floor and into the basement, where they were ground up for meat pies. That thankfully was just props.  The show totaled up to 3 hours, with a 20 minute intermission, and it was 11 when I got out. Even though I was absolutely tired, ready to peel my makeup off and curl up in some blankets, I had such a wonderful time.

For anyone that hasn’t gone to see the New Orleans Opera, I highly recommend you go. They’re currently in their 74th year, so if there’s any year that you should go, it’s the next. They have numerous performances planned until then, so if you want to have a night of pure talent and have your mind blown, give them a visit!

We also have an exhibit on the New Orleans Opera Association in Special Collections & Archives and  pamphlets in our digital collections if you are curious to learn about their history.

-This blog was written by student worker Miranda

Protests Throughout Loyola’s History

Loyola University New Orleans is no stranger to the idea of protests. Over the years, students have participated in protests on campus, in New Orleans, and even in Washington, D.C. There have even been a few protests against Loyola at times.

In 2001, in the wake of 9/11, a group of Loyola students traveled to Washington D.C. (pictured above) “to represent Louisiana in an anti-war rally.” The editorial piece comments on – but is “neither condemning nor condoning” – the irony that the protesters were speaking against both the government and the United States as a whole, yet were seeking to prove how the attacks on September 11th had inspired the citizens to embrace patriotism.

Again in 2002, Loyola Law Professor William Quigley joined a small group of protesters on St. Charles Avenue against the “looming war on Iraq” shortly after returning from a trip to Iraq with the organization Voices in the Wilderness. He then had a panel discussing his trip and is quoted saying, “Seeing these people, I saw they are just like us.” He said that many of the people he spoke with on his trip were fearful of the upcoming war with the U.S.

Also in 2002, a group of about 100 protesters congregated outside of the Loyola University Law School campus to express their disapproval of Loyola’s invitation to Kim Gandy to speak on campus. Gandy, an alum of the Law School, was president of the National Organization for Women at the time and was vocal about her pro-choice stance on abortion.

In 2011, three Loyola students made their way to Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life (pictured above). The Loyola Maroon newspaper featured an article voicing opinions of students on both sides of the issue. Margaret Liederbach was pro-life, but had some issues with parts of the movement as a whole, stating, “By restricting the movement to a religious – and primarily Christian context, we lose sight of the fundamental humanitarian issue at hand.” Ashley Nesbitt and Tori Buckley who take the pro-choice stance said, “The reasons a woman might choose abortion are endless; regardless, it is unfair for a single individual to decide whether abortion is the right decision for other women.”

Most recently, on January 21, 2017, people from all over the nation came together in Washington D.C. to protest President Donald Trump on the day after his inauguration. Several students from Loyola made the trip to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. The Loyola Maroon also published an opinion piece written by one of the students in attendance at the march, and Special Collections & Archives is collecting march-related materials.

These are just some of the times Loyola has been involved in protests, whether locally or nationally, throughout its history.

Written by student worker Samantha.

Recent Undergrad Theses from the Digital Archives

Whether it’s for the Honors program or a senior capstone project, many Loyola students undertake the feat of writing a thesis towards the end of their undergraduate careers. They serve as an interesting look into the research and interests of Loyola’s diverse student body. These theses eventually make their way into Loyola’s Special Collections and Archives, where they’re added to the Electronic Theses Digital Archive.

Devon Vance, a 2012 graduate in music performance, wrote a thesis entitled Occupational injuries of the classical horn player for her honors thesis. She writes in her abstract:

  • “Injuries in musicians, though common, are also commonly kept quiet in the musical community. Fear of losing a gig or being seen as unreliable or weak can end careers… This guide presents information on the causes of many musicianship injuries, how they affect the player’s ability to perform, and how they can be treated and largely prevented. Information is the key to getting help for those musicians suffering from occupational injuries, spreading awareness to the rest of the musical community about these hazards of playing, and to gain acceptance and understanding for these musicians because injuries are common and are not always a result of the player’s negligence. Educating teachers and instructors is one way to spread awareness and to work to prevent these injuries from ever happening. After all, as music educators, we should educate the student on all aspects of playing, including correct posture and comfort to give the student the best chance at success because music is more than just what comes out of the bell of the horn, music is also what goes into the mouthpiece of the horn.”

Rebecca Urquhart, a 2016 graduate in environmental science, was mentored by professor Craig Hood on her honors thesis entitled Seasonal Bat Ecology at Jean Lafitte Park. In her thesis, which discusses the species and activities of bats in Jean Lafitte Park, she writes:

  • “There is currently not enough data confirm lunar philia or phobia of bat activity at the park… Sites that both had more activity occur on full moons did not always share this high activity on the same month. In April, for example, there was more activity occurring during the full moon at the Education Center and the exact opposite at the Coquille Bridge site. This phenomenon reversed in May, with more activity occurring during a new moon at the Education Center and more activity occurring during a Full moon at the Coquille Bridge site. The inconsistencies in activity could be due to obstruction of the moon by cloud coverage and other weather events. The activity is also not associated with one particular species, there are general trends of high or low activity across all species at these sites during the lunar phase observations. Several years of complete monthly activity will be needed to confirm or deny the hypothesis of bat activity at the park being affected by the lunar cycle.”

For her 2016 honors thesis, psychology student Madeline Janney wrote a book for young readers entitled Tonight We’re Having Red Beans and Rice. Pages from the book are pictured below:

Sociology and Women’s Studies graduate Lauren Poiroux wrote an honors thesis entitled What’s Your Type?: Romantic Partner Selection In Loyola University Men. She describes her research process as follows:

  • “In order to find my sample, I used a method of gathering participants called convenience ‘Snowball’ sampling. Essentially, I asked someone to participate in my study, and after the interview, I ask the participant to give me names of others to contact to be interviewed. The hope with procuring my sample in this way is that it places some responsibility on the participant to find willing participants, which helps to ensure randomness, which ensures a more unbiased study. Through this method, I was able to interview 10 Loyola men, all who interviewed for at least thirty minutes, though the majority had interviews over an hour. All of the men were current Loyola students, with an age range between 20 and 22. All of the men I interviewed were white, which could perhaps be a result of the sampling method. This certainly places a skew on the data, making it not as generalizable to the entire population. Future studies should look at men of other racial backgrounds…”

The Electronic Theses Collection can be found here in its entirety, and other digitized collections from Special Collections and Archives can be found here.

Posted by student worker Maureen.

Photos of the Danna Center

I digitized about 100 photos from the Department of Student Involvement as my first project as a Special Collections intern. Here is a small sample of some of them.

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This Photo depicts a bar and restaurant that existed when my mom went to Loyola located at the current spot of Satchmo’s.

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This Photograph depicts what the cafeteria in the Danna Center used to look like over 30 years ago.

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This photograph depicts a former dessert shop in the Danna Center.

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This photograph depicts what used to be in the spot of the One Loyola Room right in front of the bookstore.

Blog by Student Intern Benjamin.

Gloria’s Top 5 archives picks

The Special Collections and Archives department at Monroe Library is a safe place for history according to literature, correspondence, and documentation. On Loyola’s campus, there are several galleries, and many individual buildings that display art and framed history on the walls in the hallways; but on the third floor of the Monroe Library is a condensed and magical museum of information. If my introduction has not enticed you to explore the archives, maybe my “Top 5 Favorite Collections in the Archives” list will.

5. Germany’s Wild Medicinal PlantsThis collection is digitized, but in order to view the actual book in its entirety, you can request to see it via the in person in Special Collections. It is a collection of antique illustrations of each wildflower and their medicinal properties. The images are beautiful.

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4. The Samway Book Collection – Patrick Samway, S.J. has donated a large portion of his personal book collection to Special Collections & Archives. Made up of almost 3,000 books primarily by Southern writers, I find his particular collection of William Faulkner literature most interesting. On the shelves is at least one of every piece written by William Faulkner; but for most, there made be 6 to even 12 different editions. One title in several languages, print editions, different cover art, etc. For the right kind of person, this is an impressive and fascinating collection of Faulkner literature!

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3. The Marguerite Piazza Papers – A small collection donated by the family of Ms. Piazza, I discovered it while organizing the New Orleans Opera Association exhibit. Ms. Piazza graduated from Loyola in what we called the golden Age of Opera Education. She was one of the first to graduate from the Vocal Performance department in opera studies. However, her life after Loyola was lived among the stars of Hollywood. Known for her talents as a vocalist, dancer, and actress she was stunningly beautiful and very popular. Her personal life was just as interesting. While going through her collection, it’s easy to get lost in her story (previously blogged here).

Piazza aboard American Airlines flight to Memphis after receiving the "Golden Stocking Award" from the hosiery industry for having the most glamorous legs in American, 1956.

2. John Kennedy Toole Manuscript – Yes, this is one of the Toole’s manuscripts – wrapped in a beautiful archive safe box and tied with a brown piece of yarn. There is no definitive “first manuscript” for A Confederacy of Dunces. However, this manuscript was, “donated by Lyn Hill Hayward, a longtime friend of Walker Percy’s, and described by her as the manuscript given Percy by Thelma Toole”.

1. First Edition Copy of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel – Sylvia Plath’s posthumous Ariel was initially published in 1966. This printing is part of the Robert Giroux Collection. Giroux was vice president and partner of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., and his book collection contains many first editions and signed copies of works by 20th century American writers.

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Posted by student worker Gloria S. Cosenza

12-3-1947: A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway

Prior to its opening night on Broadway, the Tennessee Williams play had a brief stint at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, but eventually made a home at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City from December 3, 1947 – December 17, 1949. The stage production starred Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois.

In 1978, Susan Snowden Palmer sat down with Tennessee Williams in Atlanta, Georgia during the rehearsal of his play Tiger Tail. The interview was published in issue 1, volume 6 of the New Orleans Review.

In the interview, Williams discusses his experiences with the various adaptations of his plays. The focus of the interview is on Tiger Tail, but he goes into detail about what gets censored in film adaptations versus stage adaptations and how different each individual adaptation is unique. Williams acknowledges that he has no way of knowing whether or not his then-new play will live up to the successes of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie, but he didn’t seemed too worried.

Read the full article and interview from the Loyola University New Orleans J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library Digital New Orleans Review Collection (pg 31-33) or the New Orleans Review digital archive (pg 28-30).

To see more of the New Orleans Review digital collection check the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives and to see more from the New Orleans Review, including recent web features and to purchase the most recent issues, go to the New Orleans Review website and Twitter.

Posted by student worker Samantha.

Madama Butterfly

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If you were bored 54 years ago, you could have gone and seen Madama Butterfly at the New Orleans Opera this time of year! It’s an Italian opera centered around romance and honor. The synopsis from this website is posted below,

“This tragic tale revolves around the young Japanese geisha, Butterfly. She is to be married to Pinkerton, an American Officer on assignment in Nagasaki. Butterfly is young and naive, and fully believes her marriage to Pinkerton to be true and everlasting, while Pinkerton intends on marrying an American when he returns home. Butterfly waits for Pinkerton to return, having had a child by him that he does not know about. He returns, but with his new American wife, intending to take the child back to America. Rather than live in shame, Butterfly agrees to give up her child, but intends to kill herself out of honor. She kills herself to save the honor of her family, and for love.”

The last performance by the New Orleans Opera was in 2013, so it is quite possible to see it once again on their stage in the future. Even though it isn’t playing now, you should still check out the New Orleans Opera, because they have a bunch of amazing performances coming up.

If you would like to see this pamphlet from 1964, it is located in the New Orleans Opera Association Archives in Special Collections & Archives. We are also currently digitizing all of the programs in the collection; so far, you can see programs from 1943-1963 in the New Orleans Opera Association Archives in the Louisiana Digital Library. You can ALSO see more items like this in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives in our current exhibit, Encore! Encore! Bravi! Presenting the New Orleans Opera Association Archives.

Happy holidays!

This blog was written by student worker Miranda.

My Louisiana

Special Collections has a new item on the shelf! My Louisiana, with music by Henri Wehrmann and words by Russell McGuire, is one-half of a two-song set that was recently added to the archives.

The other side is a song named after our city.

To keep this item safe on the shelf, Special Collections & Archives Project Assistant Sara White made this enclosure for the item:

More information about Wehrmann, a noted engraver, musician, and teacher, can be found in this book. Wehrmann’s papers are also held by the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University.

To see this item, come visit us Monday – Friday from 9:00 – 4:30 on the third floor of the Monroe Library in Special Collections & Archives.

This blog was written by student worker Maureen.

Drawing Loyola’s Jesuit and Musical Identities

Check out these drawings from the 1940s! The probable artist is Alex A. Bucher, who graduated from Loyola with a degree in Music Education in 1947.

These drawings give a new meaning to the term “sacred music!”

What do you think? How would you design a logo for College of Music & Fine Arts today?

These drawings are in a collection that is currently being processed in  the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives. Also, be sure to check the Montage Events calendar for upcoming CMFA events!

This blog was written by student worker Maureen.

Le Scarabée D’or

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Even though Halloween is over, there’s still time to appreciate things on the creepier side! These are a few pictures from a French copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug printed in 1892. This story was one of the most popular ones during his lifetime, and was submitted for a writing contest in the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, for which he earned the grand prize of $100 dollars, or about $3,230 today. Not only that, but this popularized the idea of cryptography, because the plot is based around an epic treasure hunt, which contains a rather complex cryptogram, with an explanation on how to crack it. So if you like mysteries with a couple chills down your spine, maybe you should check it out!

Call No. PS2615 .R822

This item and more can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library.

Blog by student worker Miranda Renzi.