Posts Tagged ‘#Library Lagniappe’

Weather in New Orleans

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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..)

Found in the Archives: Estrays


Today we take a glance at a thin volume of poetry. Estrays was first published in 1918 and then again edited and in hardcover in 1920. It is populated with poetry composed by the poets: Thomas Kennedy, George Steele SeymourVincent Starrett, and Basil Thompson.


Below is a selection of a poem that that is both representative of the collections’ title and themes (estray : stray); The Quest, by Thomas Kennedy.


You can browse either edition Monday – Friday from 9:00-4:30  in Booth-Bricker Reading Room inside the Special Collections & Archives at Loyola University New Orleans.

Stay tuned for LOYNOOA

Stay tuned for an upcoming first-floor exhibit by the Special Collections & Archives team: “LOYNOOA: Loyola University and Opera in New Orleans.” In conjunction with “Encore! Encore! Bravi! Introducing the New Orleans Opera Association Archives” exhibit on view now in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library, we will soon be hanging numerous posters outlining the history of opera at Loyola. Thanks to extensive research conducted by student intern Gloria Cosenza, the exhibit will showcase notable alumni, instructors and events since the inception of the College of Music at Loyola University New Orleans. The show will be hung in the next week on the first floor of the library, across from the library’s music collections.

Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence, June 1887

Today, in celebration of Lafcadio Hearn’s birthday on June 27th,  we are highlighting pages 5-7 of Letter 24 from our Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence collection. This collection primarily consists of letters written between the years 1840-1896 from Hearn to Page Mercer Baker, a New Orleans newspaper founder, reporter, and editor.

The Lafcadio Hearn was a reporter, writer, wanderer, and world traveler. Born in Greece, he spent a difficult childhood in Dublin Ireland, and England. Hearn then emigrated to the United States, living in Cincinnati, New York, and New Orleans, to eventually be laid to rest in Japan. He is a truly fascinating literary figure known not only for his writing about the underbelly of life, African American culture, Japanese ghost stories, and the macabre but also for his life spent as an outsider and traveler.

The letter was written in the month of June in 1887 days before he traveled from New York City to Trinidad aboard the Barracouta on an assignment for Harper’s Magazine. The resulting article “Midsummer Trip to The West Indies” appeared in the July 1888 issue of the magazine.

Hearn’s excitement for traveling south towards the climate of New Orleans is obvious as found in the prose of his letter:

“I think I will feel when the steamer cuts the line of parallel with N. O.”

As the letter progresses, Hearn continues writing Baker, conjuring lands beyond his beloved city New Orleans and towards a new landscape that he will encounter as he travels further and closer to the lungs of the world:

“I will see New Orleans colors for awhile: – then stranger and weirder colors, and new sky, – unknown lights of another world. And it will be very hot, – as if one were getting closer to the breath of the world….”

(Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence Collection, Letter 24, pages 5-7)

Below you will find a full transcription of these last 3 pages of the letter wherein Hearn writes to Baker of life and the transcendent qualities of light:

I am writing as usual in a hurry. One day more, Then South. I will pass you by again, and not see you, – but I think I will feel when the steamer cuts the line of parallel with N. O. Then, a few days more and I shall be more than a thousand miles south of you. All the way the sky will deepen it’s blue. – I will see New Orleans colors for awhile: – then stranger and weirder colors, and new sky, – unknown lights of another world. And it will be very hot, – as if one were getting closer to the breath of the world…. After all, I cannot say I feel glad at going. The sensation of belonging to nowhere, – of instability; – nothing solid or certain in life or work or effort, – always comes on one prior to seeking a strange latitude. You understand, as by some sudden revelation, what a monstrous whirl of dust and light all life is, and that you are but one atom of the eddy, – may be laid here, there, anywhere, – to rest a little, to struggle a little, or to shine a moment in the light; but sooner or later all the motes float into the darkness and the silence forever. Before, it will be some consolation to have seen what makes life and thought, – Light, in the most splendid aspect it can offer to human eyes.

Please don’t show my letter to anyone, outside Toledano and Prytania corner, – so that I can write to you just as I want

Always with love to you,

Lafcadio Hearn


You can find this letter in its entirety along with others in our Digital Library or come and view the complete Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence collection in person Monday through Friday 9:00 – 4:30 in the Special Collections & Archives located on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library.

Bonus Info: Follow these links to enjoy a fascinating 2-part radio documentary produced by RTE Lyric FM in Dublin, Ireland and learn more about Hearn’s life and work.

Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque

Today we take a look at volume 2 of a 2 volume set Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque.

We are sharing with you the 2nd volume, since volume 1 is much more fragile. Luckily it has been digitized and is available via Rice University’s The Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA) and through the Internet Archive.


This book was compiled and written by Professor George Mortiz Ebers and translated by Clara Bell. Ebers was a German Egyptologist and writer (1837 –1898). Clara Bell (1834–1927) was a translator best know for her translation of the 90-volume work  The Human Comedy by Honoré de Balzac. Heavily illustrated, with over 400 images, with gilt edges. It is a large book at 387 pages and measuring 12 1/4″ x 15″ making the digitization of it a joy not only of access but for its ease of use.



Today we offer you a selection of images (all of the artists are credited at the front of each volume) from the book with corresponding links to modern images, additional information, and locations of the sites.


Located here. Also, a modern day image of the temple. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Image of Sekhmet statues near the Temple of Mut in Karnak, located here.







Come check out this or one of our other rare books housed in the Special Collections & Archives at Monroe Library Loyola University New Orleans, M-F 9-4:30.

The Anatomy Of Melancholy

First published in 1621, The Anatomy of Melancholy was subsequently repeatedly expanded by its author Robert Burton (an Oxford don who also worked in the Oxford Library) 6 more times during his lifetime. His work in the library is informative in that The Anatomy of Melancholy is a book of many books, filled with citations, quotations, and interpretations of various specialists.


Robert Burton is pictured (above) holding a book.

Burton, as described in A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, was “subject to depression of spirits” and wrote the book as an “antidote” for his own melancholy. A su generis work that covers much more territory than to just anatomize melancholy (though it is a dissection of it), it is a book that seeks to explain human emotions, and is a compendia of printed knowledge and science of the time.

It is composed of three parts:

First Partition = Causes of Melancholy

Second Partition = The Cure of Melancholy

Third Partition = Love Melancholy and Religious Melancholy


The book is rooted in the dominate Greek Medicine theory of Humoralism. Within this theory, melancholy (clinical depression) is attributed to black bile, one of the Four Humors.

The Four Humors and their corresponding qualities:

Blood = Sanguine = Spring = hot and moist

Yellow Bile = Choleric = Summer = hot and dry

Black Bile = Melancholic = Autumn = cold and dry

Phlegm = Phlegmatic = Winter = cold and moist

Galen of Pergamon theories on the Humoral System of medicine influenced Western medicine for over a century. His theory of the Four Humors consisted of a holistic system that drew upon the Platonic philosophy of the relationship between the mind and the body. These fluids ran all through the body and where all thought to be present in the blood. For instance, if you poured a person’s blood into a glass, it would (theoretically) separate into these four fluids. These fluids and their corresponding temperaments (mind-body connections) need to be in balance for health, while disease occurs when they are out of balance. Treatments like blood letting, purging, vomiting, and food sought to bring the humors back into equilibrium.


Burton wrote, and rewrote, The Anatomy of Melancholy as a treatment for his own struggles with depression. The fact that he revised and expanded the work with six published editions is a testament to his obsessiveness regarding the process and the need to “write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy”.

We have two different editions here in the Special Collections and Archives and you can also find it online in full-text. It is a fascinating book that is satirical and serious and of a time when scholars wrote and read across the disciplines of science, medicine, and philosophy.

And here’s a little something extra: A BBC Radio IN OUR TIME  broadcast on the book.


Today, we at Library Lagniappe want to offer you some little-known poetry.

Adrian D. Schwartz was a historian and a poet who lived on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain he was seemingly a prominent man in St. Tammany Parish often showing up in the local newspaper.

He most likely didn’t make his living from writing, but a little bit of research implies that he might have wanted to.

Two books of poetry were published in 1914 & 1915, with publications regarding the history of St. Tammany Parish being published some 40-50 years later, in 1953 and 1963.

The only volumes we have in our collections are one book of poetry (reviewed HERE in 1920) and a sesquicentennial publication for St. Tammany Parish. Both of these are available in our Special Collections & Archives.

Here is a selection of two fall-themed poems from our copy of his Roses of Shadow; The Dream-mender; Wild pear and Maize.




Come read this and many other Monroe Library SCA poetry books,  Monday-Friday 9-4:30.


Robert Hayne Tarrant was originally born in South Carolina and came to New Orleans as a young man where he became a well-known impresario, bringing artists such as Anna Pavlova, Geraldine Farrar, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Isadora Duncan Dancers to the stage.

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Tarrant was considered handsome and described as having a dramatic persona. He was also a stylish man, once being named the “Best Dressed Man In New Orleans” in a New Orleans Item contest.

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He was a subject of fascination for Orleanians, with the local conversation surrounding him being divided between his colorful dress, the artists and performers that he brought to town, and the various lawsuits he was involved in.

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The most famous of these lawsuits pertained to the handling of the proceeds for The French Trades Ball. The ball was a fundraising event conceived by Tarrant and seven prominent New Orleans socialites over lunch at Antoine’s for the rebuilding of the French Opera House previously lost to a suspicious fire in 1919. The successful and well-publicized event went sour when the socialites did not receive the monies raised from Tarrant.

The local newspapers covered the case frequently, often as front-page news. The reports often included courtroom high jinks surrounding Tarrant’s outfits (his cravats where of particular interest). The case of the “Seven Suing Socialites” v. Tarrant stretched on for years (with Tarrant counter-suing) and went all the way to the Louisiana State Supreme Court were Tarrant eventually lost the case.

Click HERE to read a full-page article with photos detailing a surprise raid by the New Orleans Police that befell Tarrant’s home on April Fool’s Day, 1923. The tone of the writing is sensationalistic, with the police chief citing Tarrant’s “dramatic temperament” as an indicator of the possibility of a hidden wall-safe!

A local interest in Tarrant continued until after his death at the age of 83 in 1965, including the contents of his will being written about in the local paper. He was a life-long bachelor and has no gravesite, having requested his remains be scattered on his sisters grave in Houston, Texas. He was a fascinating character in the history of the City of New Orleans and this collection gives researchers a glimpse into not only Tarrant’s work and life but also into a particular aspect of New Orleans’ entertainment landscape and social-life from 1912 to 1930.

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To view the Robert Hayne Tarrant Papers and other special collections, please visit the Special Collections & Archives Monday-Friday from 9:00-4:30.

And for an extra little something, click HERE to hear the great soprano Rosa Ponselle sing Pace, pace mio Dio!

FAST FACTS: Monroe Hall Rededication

In celebration of our newly improved Monroe Hall and in preparation for its rededication on Thursday the 8th at 12:30 PM we offer you some FAST FACTS about the building:

  • Monroe Hall was originally the brainchild of Rev. Francis Benedetto, a physics department chair and CEO of the local WWL radio and television stations. Our Loyola University Physics Department Collection consists of correspondence between Benedetto and the world-renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Victor Hess.
  • Monroe Hall is named after J. Edgar Monroe, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist, who gave generously to Loyola University New Orleans and other Catholic institutions. Click HERE for access to our Monroe Collection.
  • Monroe Hall houses both the sciences and the arts at Loyola, with approximately 40% of all the courses taught being conducted within its walls.
  • Monroe Hall’s 1960’s original avant-garde design was by modernist architect, Ismay Mary Mykolyk and debuted as a cutting-edge science complex intentionally designed with windows resembling portholes so as to look like a boat.


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The collections linked above can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Monroe Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30.

The Complete Angler, Or Contemplative Man’s Recreation

Izaak Walton was a British Biographer and author most recognized for his work The Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man’s Recreation: Being A Discourse On Rivers, Fish-ponds, Fish, and Fishing.


The book is written as a dialogue between an angler, Piscator, a hunter, Venator, and a falconer, Auceps. It also includes, quotations, poems, songs, as well as illustrations of country life, fishing, angling gear, and fish.



This book is not a straightforward “how-to” manual but instead an example of seventeenth-century genera mixta (mixed genre), where Walton weaves the text together pulling from a myriad of traditions. There is also an element of political allegory running through, that can be concisely illustrated by the pun found between the words angler and Anglican.


First published in 1653, Walton revised the work for over 25 years with five revised editions. We have his last edition which includes part two of the volume containing Charles Cotton’s fly-fishing and fly-making segment. Our copy was published in 1815 and is the second edition published by Samuel Bagster in London.


Here is one of the songs, aptly titled The Angler’s Song. The song lyric is by Walton and was set to music by Henry Lawes (not to be confused with Longfellow’s poem of the same name).


Click HERE to listen to a recording of the song on YouTube.

To check out this volume and other volumes from the seventeen-century, please visit the Special Collections & Archives on the third floor of Monroe Library Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.