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.

Angelica_archangelica

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!

faulkner-mosquitos

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.

Plath_Ariel_1

Posted by student worker Gloria S. Cosenza

Fake News

fake-news

The news is full of reports of fake news these days. How can you spot fake news? What criteria or tools can help you? Who should you ask for help? The Monroe Library can provide you with the answers to these questions and more. For more info, see our research guides on Fake News and Evaluating Web Pages, or contact your library liaison for help.

Book Repair: Syr Perecyvelle of Gales // Kelmscott Press

SYR_P_spread

Today I completed a series of minor repairs to one of the most fascinating books in our collection, Syr Perecyvelle of Gales. This book was printed in the late nineteenth century at William Morris’ Kelmscott Press, which was famous for its emphasis on hand-craft in bookmaking. You can read more about this book here. If you’re interested in the full scoop on how I completed a resewing and spine repair on this lovely book, please follow this link to Special Collections & Archives’ Tumblr.

Weather in New Orleans

Loyola University PhotographyLoyola University PhotographyLoyola University Photography

If you live in New Orleans, you know that the weather can change drastically day to day, especially in the winter. I’ve compiled a few photos from our Loyola University Photographs collection to illustrate the weather one might experience in a single week in January. Happy Monday, everyone! Stay warm! (or dry, or cool, depending..)

National Bird Day

To celebrate National Bird Day, this very special #feathursday is brought to you by the majestic Snowy Owl. You can find this beautiful bird and many others in the fully digitized volume John Gould’s 1873 Birds of Great Britain in the Louisiana Digital Library.

Happy New Year!

2017 is here! Happy New Year 9and almost Carnival) from Special Collections and Archives!

New Orleans Directory ads, 1852

NOLA_directory_CircusStNOLA_directory_wallpapersNOLA_directory_UpholsteryNOLA_directory_medicinesNOLA_directory_bookbinderNOLA_directory_yellowMonumentsNOLA_directory_DblAdNOLA_directory_BooksellerNOLA_directory_Title

Here’s a little holiday treat for lovers of New Orleans history and typography. I’ve been making enclosures to preserve our collection of New Orleans Directories, and have enjoyed that these books are all interspersed with type-set ads of many colors. You can glean much about the culture of the time period from these ads. (i.e. the note about a hospital for slaves at the bottom the first ad depicted.) This particular book, Cohen’s New Orleans and Lafayette Directory, 1852, was printed in the office of the Delta Daily newspaper. As you can see, letterpress printers in the nineteenth century would often show off the type in their shops by using every single typeface available when setting ads and title pages. Fun fact: the engraved image facing the title page depicts the first mayor of New Orleans, A.D. Crossman (1846-1854).

On This Day in 1884, Cotton Centennial

The World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans, 1884-85

December 16, 1884 marked the opening day of The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. The Cotton Planter’s Association chose to commemorate the first recorded shipment of cotton from the United States to England, which happened in 1784, at the World’s Fair that year in New Orleans.

Special Collections & Archives has several books commemorating the Exposition. The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans, 1884-85 describes the opening ceremony and exhibits in the fair. Each state in the U.S. (of which there were 38 at the time), the 7 territories (Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming), and 17 foreign nations (of which the Mexico exhibit was particularly lauded) had its own exhibit, and there were also dedicated  exhibits on the government, education, women, people of color, the railway, horticulture, art, and livestock.

Catalogue of the art collection describes the art on display at the exhibition and includes prices.

Finally, Map of the city of New Orleans showing location of exposition grounds and all approaches thereto by land & water shows the exhibition’s locations around the city as well as drawings of some of the exhibition buildings. Special Collections & Archives’ copies are very fragile, but the map is digitized and available online in David Rumsey’s Map Collection, Harvard University’s Digital Maps Collection, the University of Milwaukee’s American Geographical Society Library – Maps Collection, and Wikimedia Commons (shown below). Most of the exhibition took place in what is now Audubon Park.

There are many more items related to the Cotton Centennial in the Louisiana Digital Library, including LSU’s  New Orleans Centennial Exposition Stereoscopic Views collection.

A Louisiana "Swamp Angel," G. & S. Building, from New Orleans Centennial Exposition Stereoscopic Views, LOUISiana Digital Library, Baton Rouge, La.

You can view the three books detailed above in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives, Monroe Library, Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm.

Sounds of New Orleans Opera

We’ve blogged previously about the newly processed New Orleans Opera Association Archives and our exhibit, Encore! Encore! Bravi! Presenting the New Orleans Opera Association Archives many times now, but did you know you can also HEAR historic recordings of the New Orleans Opera?

Thanks to the generosity of the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Special Collections & Archives has recordings of excerpts from three NOOA performances available on Soundcloud and youtube:

These represent only a small fraction of the audiovisual materials available in the New Orleans Opera Association Archives. The collection contains ~500 reel-to-reels and ~100 visual media (VHS, Betacam, and more) that are in danger of deterioration. Contact archives@loyno.edu for more information about our digitization program.

Christmas at Loyola

It’s holiday season at Loyola! Enjoy these photos (some with a little embellishment from our resident gif-makers) of Christmas at Loyola in years past.

Marquette Christmas Lights

Students assembling nativity scene, 1959

Student Christmas choir, 1950s

Santa and children on a school bus, 1950s/1960s

1950s Christmas gathering

Santa "shhh"ing kids on Loyola of the South bus, 1950s/1960s

Children carol singing in manger, 1950s

Carol singing in the Marquette Hall horseshoe, 1950s

Snow at Marquette Hall manger

These photos and many more like them can be found in the University Photographs Collection in the Louisiana Digital Library. And check out our many animated gifs on Giphy!