Posts Tagged ‘Special 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

Goodbye!

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.

Loyola, Legacy, & You at Alumni Weekend

Last weekend, Special Collections & Archives hosted Loyola, Legacy, and You, a course on our collections, digitization work, and personal archiving, for participants in Alumni Weekend. Alumni found themselves in yearbooks and commencement programs, searched the digitized Maroon, browsed University Photographs,  and watched videos like this one of the first ever Loyola Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.

Alumni left with a personal archiving starter kit including instructions for Preserving Your Personal and Family Archives, Preserving Your Digital Memories, and determining the lifespan of your storage media.

Links to the resources shared in the course can be found on the Loyola, Legacy, and You Research Guide. We had a blast sharing stories with the alumni who came–thank you!

Happy National Limerick Day!

National Limerick Day is observed annually on May 12, the birthday of Edward Lear (1812-1888). Lear is best known for his nonsensical poetry, prose, and limericks.

In celebration, we invite you to enjoy a sampling of Edward Lear’s whimsical poetry and accompanying illustrations as they appear in The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear.

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Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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

Collection Spotlight: Ecology Center of Louisiana, Inc., Papers

The Ecology Center of Louisiana, a private, non-profit organization headquartered in New Orleans, collected and disseminated information on Louisiana’s environmental problems and emphasized public participation in resolution of those problems. The Ecology Center, most active between 1970 and 1983, was founded in 1969 around a kitchen table by a group of environmentally conscious citizens. Among them was J. Ross Vincent, a research chemical engineer from Wilmington, Delaware, who would go on to lead the Center for more than a decade.

Center services included a monthly newsletter, lectures and panel discussions on environmental subjects, assistance to schools and teachers in the development of environmental curricula, Louisiana’s first recycling program, an environmental library and hot-line, radio and television programs and lobbying of city, state and federal government representatives. Over time, the Ecology Center became an established resource called upon for expertise and guidance by environmentalists, politicians, business people, students and interested citizens.

Run by a board of directors made up of community members, the Ecology Center was assisted by a professional and volunteer staff and a Board of Advisors, which included the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, two U.S. Congressmen, an Assistant State Attorney General and various other government officials. During one of its busiest periods in early 1971, there were 146 people associated with the Ecology Center, including 131 paying members and 101 active volunteers. To fund its activities, the Center depended almost entirely on the support of its members and on private contributions from concerned citizens and businesses.

Issues and events on which the Center had an impact include limiting the use of the fire ant pesticide Mirex, the first Earth Day celebration in Louisiana, the implementation of the Federal Clean Air Act in Louisiana, public awareness of issues for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, environmentally conscious urban planning, air pollution, construction of a deep draft oil terminal off of the Louisiana coast, the Waterford Nuclear Power Plant in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, public parks, water and air quality management, and regional transportation planning.

Scope and Content

The arrangement of the Ecology Center of Louisiana papers is largely based on the inventory of creator, J. Ross Vincent. However, a portion of the original subject files was integrated in the interest of cohesiveness. Papers document the activities of the Ecology Center through founding records, correspondence, articles and newsletters on environmental issues from its founding in 1969 until 1987 when J. Ross Vincent, the Center’s president and co-founder moved out of state. The predominant topics of conversation involve environmental issues affecting the state of Louisiana, the support for or opposition to environmental legislation and litigation, and the seeking or dispensing of environmental information.

Papers demonstrate that the Ecology Center was able to establish credibility with government agencies, the business community, organizations of concerned citizens and the public regarding environmental issues that directly affected the state of Louisiana and its inhabitants.

Other than general administrative papers and correspondence, papers are predominately divided by environmental subjects, including Air Pollution, Chemicals, Water Pollution and Coastal Zone Management, Land Use, Transportation, Solid Waste, Energy, Law and Litigation and Organizations, Conferences and Newsletters. Within each of the subjects, there is additional correspondence between the Ecology Center and concerned citizens, environmentalists and politicians. The collection includes information on a broad range of important environmental issues, as well as evidence of efforts by the Ecology Center and the impact of the Center to effect some change for the betterment of the environment.

Finally, the collection includes publications collected by and related to the organization.

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Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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

Happy Birthday, J.M. Barrie!

J.M. Barrie, best known as the author and creator of Peter Pan, was born on this day in 1860. Pictured is our 1st edition copy of Barrie’s lesser known 1891 work The Little Minister.

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Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Knowledge of the World by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Knowledge of the World

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Atlanta: Nexus Press, 1998.

(Edition of 200)

Knowledge of the World consists of 200 loose-leaf artist cards featuring color reproductions of work produced by prolific Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (c. 1923-2014).

Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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

Library Transformation

It’s National Library Week, and in Special Collections we’re taking a cue from our colleagues at the Othmer Library and using the theme of Transforming Libraries to show how our library buildings have transformed. For starters, the first library on campus was the Bobet Library in Marquette Hall.
BOBET LIBRARY, MARQUETTE HALL – 1913

  • Cost: $12,000
  • Size: 1,989 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 50,000
  • Architects: DeBuys, Churchill & Labouisse
  • Dedicated to: Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Bobet

Bobet Library, 1913

Construction of Marquette Hall was completed in 1912, and the Bobet Library on the 2nd floor was dedicated the following year. At the time of the construction of the Bobet Library, Albert Biever, S.J. (founder of Loyola) was president, and James J. O’Brien, S.J. became head librarian. An article published in The Daily Picayune on 13 July, 1913 entitled, “Old Treasures of Loyola’s New Library” stated: “Loyola in her new development is young and formative, but behind its growth is strength and in its development there is purpose…A tour of the university is delightful, but one would better not start from the library. It is a room to induce bibliomania – and the world might go by.”

MAIN LIBRARY – 1950

  • Cost: $800,000
  • Size: 36,711 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 250,000
  • Architects: Wogan, Bernard & De La Vergne
  • Dedicated to: Students & Alumni killed in WWII

Main Library, 1960s

Construction of the new library building commenced in 1947, and was situated between Bobet and Marquette Halls. Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel delivered the dedicatory blessing upon completion of the building on Palm Sunday, 1950. The proceedings were aired by WWL-Radio. Students helped to move the books from Bobet Library to the new Main Library. A quote by poet Paul L. Callens, S.J inscribed over the Main Library entrance reads, “The monuments which learned men have built for us throughout the ages you will find accumulated in these books.”

Main Library construction

Main Library book display

Main Library

J. EDGAR AND LOUISE S. MONROE LIBRARY – 1999

  • Cost: $20,000,000
  • Size: 148,480 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 500,000
  • Architects: The Mathes Group
  • Dedicated to: J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe

Monroe Library, 2016

Groundbreaking ceremonies commenced in November 1996 for the new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library by co-chairs of the capital campaign, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin and Michael J. Rapier. Other university and community dignitaries assisted in the ceremony. Construction began that month, and continued through completion of the building in October 1998. Library faculty and staff worked with Covan movers to transport the collection from the Main Library to the Monroe Library. The new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library opened its doors for patrons on January 11, 1999.

Monroe Library Computer Lab, 2003

Monroe Library Reference Desk, 2003

Monroe Library Learning Commons, 2008

Monroe Library Snowflake, 2008

More information about the library’s history can be found in our new Loyola University New Orleans Library History Collection.

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How have libraries transformed YOU?

Collection Spotlight: Dawson Gaillard Papers

Dawson Ann Forman Gaillard Keefe was born on September 25, 1938, in Marietta, Georgia, and grew up in Monroe (Ouachita Parish), Louisiana, graduating from Neville High School. She earned a B. A. in Social Studies and English at Louisiana State University (1959) and both a Master’s (1965) and Doctorate in English (1970) from Tulane University. Gaillard was a member of the faculty of Loyola University New Orleans from 1968 to 1983, and served as chair of that department from 1974 to 1977. She also edited the New Orleans Review from 1973 to 1979.

She worked as copy manager for the LSU Press from 1979 to 1981 and wrote the copy for the advertisements and book jackets of Confederacy of Dunces and other titles.  Gaillard authored a book entitled Dorothy L. Sayers (1980) on the English mystery writer and (with colleague John Mosier)  co-edited a groundbreaking anthology of short fiction, Women and Men Together (1978).

Her battle with multiple sclerosis contributed to her eventual departure from academic and professional life, and on October 1, 1985 she died in an accident at her home in Metairie, Louisiana.  The annual Dawson Gaillard Writing Awards are held in her honor at Loyola University, recognizing student work in the categories of expository writing, creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and script.

The Dawson Gaillard Papers consist primarily of the personal and professional writings of Dr. Dawson Gaillard. These include…

Her personal diaries from 1951 to 1985:

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Academic work and research papers written as a student and teacher:

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Samples of her copyediting work from LSU Press, and a small amount of original nonfiction, fiction and poetry: Gaillard-Superbug

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Also included is research related to the 1927 murder trial of Ada LeBouef and Dr. Tom Dreher, including two audiocassette tapes of interviews conducted by Gaillard with Murphy Dreher, Tom Dreher’s nephew, and Mrs. Waleer Hamlin, the wife of Ada LeBouef’s lawyer.

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The Dawson Gaillard Papers are available for viewing in Special Collections & Archives Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.