Posts Tagged ‘Found in the Archives’

Tiny texts, powerful prayers.

Today we glimpse into one of the smallest objects in Special Collections & Archives, a miniature volume measuring a mere 12 cm (4 13/16 in.). The devotional text entitled “Prières au saint sacrement de l’autel pour chaque semaine de l’année: avec des méditations sur divers psaumes de david” or “Eucharistic Prayers for Every Week of the Year with Meditations on Diverse Psalms of David,” was published in Tours, France in the year 1848.

The book contains four small, engraved illustrations, each measuring only 6.8 x 4.4 cm (2 11/16 x 1 3/4 in.).

Until approximately the 1870’s creating book illustrations required two steps: first, an artist produced a composition or design on paper; subsequently, an engraver transferred the desired picture to wood or cooper for printing. Therefore, beneath each illustration within the 1848 publication are the inscriptions “L. J. Hallez del.” and “A. Oleszczynski sc.” identifying Louis-Joseph Hallez, a French author and illustrator, as delineator or designer of the composition and Antoni Oleszczynski, a Polish engraver best known for his work as a portraitist, as sculptor, or in this case, engraver of the image.

Without further ado, below is a transcription of this week’s Eucharistic Prayer (as translated into English by Rachel Masters):


Only Son of God, who are one with your Heavenly Father, who want your disciples to be one with you, all formed of the same blood, who yourself have opted to unite with this blood, we present here the same earthly bread outside, the same heavenly bread within, so that you are in each of us, and each of us complete in you, and together a single body with you! Oh! How can you suffer amongst your brethren, amongst your children, even amongst your members, such fatal divisions? Sacrament of peace, sacrament of union, will you handle the matter of our wars and our discords? It is not just, Lord, that you descended from the cross to convert those who do not believe in you; their hardness is an obstacle to make them see your miracles. The miracle to do, Lord, for them and for us, is in their heart and in ours. Covert these hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, these hearts of flesh into hearts of spirit, and filled with your spirit, and then, Lord, we will worship you together at your alters and in your church, as your Angels worship you in heaven.

This and many other miniature books are available for viewing in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday-Thursday, 9:00-4:30.

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

Found in the Archives: The rise and demise of Kittums the Cat

Kittums the cat may not mean much to the New Orleans of 2012, but he was a pretty famous figure at the turn of the century.  So famous, in fact, that entire articles were written about his life in the Times Picayune.  His obituary was three times the length of a standard human obituary today.   And most importantly, his likeness was fixed at the center of a local baseball team’s group photograph in 1908, which somehow found its way to the Loyola University Special Collections & Archives.

This photograph, found in a small collection of early 20th century New Orleans sports memorabilia, features oval images of fourteen men, the words: ‘Parker-Blakes, 1908,’ and one little black cat.  After a quick search of the historical Times-Picayune database on the Monroe Library website, we discovered not only the history of this baseball team, but also a little something about Kittums, their feline mascot.

The Parker-Blake Baseball Team was a commercial baseball team in New Orleans at the turn of the century.  The team was comprised of druggists from the Parker-Blake Company, established in New Orleans in 1903.  The company was headed by Arthur D. Parker, brother to one-time Louisiana governor John M. Parker (1920-1924) and Thomas N. Blake, both of New Orleans.  In 1904, the company formed a baseball team which took over for another commercial team known as the Baldwins.  By 1908, the team was at the head of their league.  Unfortunately, the company was purchased by the Mckesson and Robbins pharmaceutical distribution company in 1929, effectively ending the baseball team.

So what about that cat? According to his obituary in the Times Picayune on May 3, 1909, Kittums was adopted by the company’s treasurer after his original owners passed away. In no time at all, Kittums “lorded it over everybody in the big drug house, from the office boy right up the scale…”(Times-Picayune, 3 May 1909, p. 15). Parker-Blake adopted Kittums as their company mascot, using his image for the annual company feast where “there was a unique programme and menu card folder” in which “Kittums’ picture had first place on the top sheet, and the whole reverse side was devoted to verses setting forth Kittum’s identity, and claiming qualities for him any cat would be proud to own” (Times-Picayune, 29 December 1906, p. 2). At these same gatherings, Kittums was the subject of whole speeches by management to the extent that “a stranger casually dropping in, and hearing the talk would have inclined to the belief that Kittums, instead of being a stray black cat, was the boss of the whole shebang” (Times-Picayune, 29 December 1906, p. 2).

In the spring of 1909, after five years at Parker-Blake, this beloved cat who “was known almost as extensively as the firm was known,” passed from this life (Times-Picayune, 3 May 1909, p. 15).

“Fate was kind and yet cruel to Kittums. Kind in that it turned his errant footsteps in the direction of the Parker-Blake hospitable doors, and cruel in that it meted out to him such an awful end. Kittums was practically born with a silver spoon in his mouth and, as years rested upon him, his days became golden, but the exit was under the pounding, grinding wheels of a trolley car, and when Mr. Johnston picked Kittums up from the side of the track, Kittums was only a crushed and mangled mass” (Times-Picayune, 3 May 1909, p. 15).

For more info about the Parker-Blake Baseball Team, Kittums, or to explore more weird and wacky items, contact Special Collections & Archives at or drop by Monday-Friday between 8:30-4:45.

-Katie Kuhl, Bindery Specialist/Special Collections Assistant

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

Kittums in the Times-Picayune, 05-03-1909 Page: 16