Posts Tagged ‘Special Collections & Archives’

Jean Cocteau illustrations

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We’re really enjoying Jean Cocteau’s color lithograph illustrations from a pair of books that recently migrated to Special Collections & Archives from our public stacks: Jean Cocteau: Théâtre illustré par l’auteur, books I and II,1957.

You can view these books in their entirety in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the third floor of Monroe Library at Loyola University!

Extract from the Reconstructed Constitution of the State of Louisiana

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“Extract from the Reconstructed Constitution of the State of Louisiana,” 1868, a slightly tattered treasure from our Collection of New Orleans Miscellany .

The seated man in the center of this document is Oscar Dunn, the first black lieutenant governor of the U.S. Senate elected in 1868. In the late 1800s, a monument in Dunn’s honor was slated to be erected in New Orleans, yet after his untimely and mysterious death, the monument was never created. You can listen to this man’s inspiring, yet tragic, story on this episode of “TriPod: New Orleans at 300.

#Feathursday !

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This week’s #feathursday post is brought to you by Diderot’s Encyclopédie.

We at Special Collections & Archives hope you enjoy the plumage and the remainder of your week!

Collection Highlight: M. Aguilar sets

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Occasionally I come across a few rare gems in our public stacks that I carefully rescue to be catalogued in Special Collections. Last week, I gathered many multi-volume sets in series of Spanish theater and poetry published by M. Aguilar in the 1940s-50s. What caught my eye was the hint of color on the top edge of one of the books, and when I pulled it from the shelf I gasped at the bright, intricate stencil that looks to have been airbrushed along the textblock’s head, tail and fore-edge. Some have faded over time along the head, but the edges that have not been exposed to light in some time are as bright as ever. The books vary in size and are all cased in soft leather dyed in various colors. Many feature whimsically illustrated end-sheets as you open the cover, and each has a sepia toned portrait of the author facing the book’s title page. A classy and surprising series indeed! You can now access these books in the Reading Room of SC&A, on the third floor of Monroe Library.

Clamshell Boxmaking

via GIPHY

Checkout our Special Collections & Archives Tumblr post to view a brief photo documentary of the clamshell box constructed for a large oversized leather volume, Door Locks, Knobs, Padlocks, etc. Hooray for box-making and book preservation!

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..)

New Orleans Directory ads, 1852

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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).

Collection Spotlight: Gulf Restoration Network Archives

Interested in learning more about Louisiana’s waterways and their environmental history? The Gulf Restoration Network Archives are a great place to conduct such research. The Gulf Restoration Network was formed in 1994 by environmental groups, conservationists and activists in New Orleans dedicated to the study of ecological sustainability along the Gulf of Mexico.  From the collection finding aid: (The Gulf Restoration Network) has focused on three areas of work: fostering sustainable management of fisheries; stopping polluted run-off that results in the Gulfs Dead Zone; and opposing Corps of Engineers policies that destroy wetlands. It reports on its work in the quarterly newspaper GRN NEWS, which includes the insert Fish Tales. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and dates roughly between 1995 and 2001. It consists mainly of correspondence, grants and proposals, and sign-ons and comments. It also contains considerable materials related to the Dead Zone, fisheries and Corps of Engineers projects.

Featured below is one of many spiral-bound reports affiliated with the GRN archives. This particular report is dated from September 1973 and addresses the economic and environmental impacts of industry along Louisiana’s waterways.
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Learn more about this collection in the SCA Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the third floor of Monroe Library!

Night in New Orleans

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Night in New Orleans (Rice-Mitchell Pub., Co., 1911)

Call no.: F379.N54 R5x

This recent acquisition by Special Collections & Archives features striking night scenes of downtown New Orleans in the early 20th Century. The black and white photomechanical reproductions of photographs feature aerial views of iconic streets and businesses near and around the French Quarter, all illuminated by windows, streetcars, and beautiful electric signs.

Letterpress in the Archives: “Citizens’ Bank & Trust of Louisiana” 1916

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There is no reason to doubt that it was the Citizens’ Bank that gave the name “Dixie” to the South. The origin of that word has never been positively determined, but the tradition that gives the credit to the Citizens’ Bank is certainly stronger than any of the other claims advanced. When the country was flooded with wild-cat money and counterfeiting was so common as to cast suspicion on nearly every species of paper money, the notes of this bank commanded respect throughout the great valley, and, in fact, everywhere in the country, and its ten-dollar notes were the standard of value. These notes in ante-bellum days were printed in the French language, and instead of bearing the numeral in English, they bore the French word “dix.” It became common when one was passing down the great river to trade at the Southern metropolis for him to say that he was going South to acquire some dixes. Thus it happened that the lower stretches of the river became known as the land of the dixies, or “Dixie land.”

“Citizens’ Bank & Trust of Louisiana”, New Orleans, 1916, p. 11

As the new project assistant in Special Collections & Archives here at Loyola, I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing the stacks as I better acquaint myself with the collection. Since my academic background is in printmaking and book arts, I naturally gravitate towards the rare books on our shelves, and I am continuously fascinated by the bindings and material qualities of these old books. Today I would like to share with you this small letterpress-printed pamphlet: “Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana,” New Orleans, 1916.

A modest book at first glance, “Citizens’ Bank..” is a lovely example of early twentieth century letterpress-printing. Although there is no press information on the title page of this pamphlet, there are clues in the tactile quality of the book that reveal how it was printed and what materials were used. It is sewn with a silky cord, and a knot tied on the spine of the book allows the pamphlet to close flat.  It is composed of a high-quality mould-made paper, which is evident in the paper’s strong, visible fibers and deckled edge, as well as watermarks that are visible when certain pages are held up to bright light. If you were to lightly brush your finger along the text of this book, you’d notice a texture, an imprint, which occurs because of the amount of pressure applied in the printing process. At close inspection you’d see that some of the text is over-inked in places, which creates a small puddle around individual letters. I could go on and on about the letterpress process, but instead I’ll refer you to this resource if you’d like to learn more.

This book was letterpress printed on high quality paper because its materials were likely intended to reflect the history of a wealthy institution: the Citizens’ Bank & Trust Company of Louisiana. Its brief 31 pages outline the history of the bank, and the book serves as a well-crafted advertisement for the financial institution. You can view more images of this book (and many more) on our tumblr, or come in for a visit on the third floor of Monroe Library!