Friday, June 23, 2017

Posh Pooh

Picture showing the box, cover, and glassine covered book jacket for the deluxe editionWhen Winnie-the-Pooh came out in 1926, the English publisher issued an inexpensive copy for mass sales while the American publisher tried to make a splash with a boxed, signed limited edition copy for the discerning connoisseur of children's literature. We are lucky enough to have fairly pristine copies of each edition.

It is hard to imagine what the buyers of the deluxe copies were thinking. Obviously, they didn't have kids--a glassine cover would last about 30 seconds in the hands of any self-respecting six-year-old, and few children would be impressed by Milne and Shepard's signatures on the limitation page.
Map of "100 Aker Wood" that appears on the endpapers of the first English edition
But more to the point, it lacks the awesome endpaper maps of the "100 AKER WOOD" that serve to remind readers of each of the stories while allowing them to mentally traipse around the trees "WHERE THE WOOZLE WASNT" with a frightened Pooh and Piglet. We will grant that the illustrations in the deluxe edition are better printed but they hardly seem worth the forbidding preciousness of the book and the absence of the maps. Give us a good tattered Pooh that we can thump down the stairs, not one that has to be handled with kid gloves.

To see them, ask for Rare PZ7.M64 W12 and PZ7.M64 W12 1926.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wild Flowers

Cover and original envelope to Wild Flowers of the White MountainsTwo weeks ago we blogged an herbarium lovingly constructed by a 19th-century missionary. This week, we have a similar object, but one assembled by a clever entrepreneur rather than a passionate collector. Wild Flowers of the White Mountains, published by the Chisholm Brothers in the 1890s, is a selection of wild flower specimens "gathered from Points of Interest in the White Mountains." This particular copy was sold for 50 cents and was a gift to "Margaret" in September of 1891. At that point, many of the flowers in the book would not have been in bloom, so we know the tourist that gave this to Margaret was not the collector. He or she bought this as a souvenir to send to a loved one.

Specimen of wild columbine collection on Mt. Washington
We have a second copy of Wild Flowers of the White Mountains. It must have been assembled at a different date because the specimens it contains are different. On days like today when "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air," we are thankful for these relics of the 1890s.

To see our copies of Chisholm's Wild Flowers, ask for White Mountains SB439.C44.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

International Archives Day

French passport for Marcelle RobertLast week, we joined archives and archivists all over the world in celebrating International Archives Day 2017. The theme of this year’s IAD was “Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism,” which gave us the perfect reason to mine our collections for a good immigration story.

Signed statement of Marcelle Robert's marital status
Marcelle Robert was born in Angoulême, France, in 1902. When she met and married American Chester Dwight Perry in 1925 and planned her move to the United States, it was at a time of increasingly stringent regulations on immigration. Congress had passed the Immigration Act of 1924 only a year earlier, imposing strict nationality quotas on immigrants from European countries and barring Asian immigrants entirely. But as an affidavit prepared by the American Consular Service in La Rochelle, France, shows, Marcelle breezed through the immigration process thanks to her marriage to an American. She was granted “non-quota immigrant” status, exempting her from the hurdles that other immigrants faced and even allowing her to bypass Ellis Island upon arrival in the United States. Marcelle had only to offer up her French passport under her unmarried name to prove her identity, and she was essentially on her way. She settled with Chester in New York and gained her citizenship in 1928.

The immigration landscape has grown undeniably more complicated since Marcelle’s journey of nearly a century ago, but the role of archives in documenting human migration around the globe remains the same. The debates, the laws, the stories of individual immigrants — you’ll find them all in the archives.

For more on Marcelle, ask for the Marcelle R. Perry papers, MS-1067.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Preparing for War: Commencement, 1917

line of students at commencement, some wearing military uniformsThe 1917 Commencement was a far different affair than what we will celebrate this year. One hundred years ago, the United States had just entered the first World War and the campus was becoming part liberal arts college, part military training camp. Dartmouth students were already well represented at the front in the ambulance corps, but members of the graduating class of 1917 were gearing up for active battle by drilling on the Green. For many, military uniforms replaced the traditional cap and gown at Commencement.

Students performing military drills in front of Webster HallThe most dramatic display of military preparedness on campus, though, was on the athletic fields. In the Spring of 1917, the War Department’s Students Army Training Corp Program at Dartmouth dug an intricate system of trenches on the fields under the leadership of Captain Louis Keene of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Photos of campus make it look like an active war zone rather than a bucolic small town in New England.
Students digging trenches on campus

The campus photos from World War I are among the last batch being scanned and put online from our Archival Photofiles. You will be able to see them all online soon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dutiful Penmanship

First page of Nelson's letterAt a glance, this letter might seem like an off-putting mess of illegible scrawl, but you’d have to forgive the author; by the time he wrote it, he'd lost his dominant arm (and one of his eyes) to naval engagements during the Napoleonic Wars. Its humble appearance perhaps also belies the truly illustrious nature of its composer. Addressed to Admiral Sir John Knight requesting additional frigates for the British fleet and stressing the importance of maintaining good relations with North Africa, it was penned by the greatest British naval commander of all time, Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson.

The letter is dated to September 30, 1805, and was dispatched from HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship, from which he commanded the British fleet. Less than a month later, Nelson would be dead, shot on the deck of the Victory at the legendary Battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon’s French and Spanish forces. Trafalgar was an astonishingly decisive victory for the British, affirming their dominance of the sea and crippling Napoleon’s navy - and his dreams of an invasion of Britain - permanently. While the strategy Nelson chose to employ against his enemy was not entirely novel, it was the combination of his decisive action, boldness, and willingness to trust in the effectiveness and discipline of his captains that defined his virtuosity of command.

However, the win was to come at a heavy price. A little over an hour after he raised the famous signal
Second page of Nelson letter which includes his signature."ENGLAND EXPECTS THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY" and opened the engagement, Nelson was shot by a French sniper. He died three hours later, long enough to hear of his victory over the French.

It's almost difficult to wrap your head around just how popular Nelson was at the time of his death (even Churchill after WWII doesn’t match him) and how keenly his loss was felt. Considered by many to be the embodiment of the fundamentally British nature, coupled with a life packed with adventure, heroism and scandal, it may come as no surprise that Britain went Nelson-crazy after the death of the admiral. Taken in context, this letter becomes more than a nest of scribbles, more even than a request for frigates and food. As a part of the material culture surrounding the life of Britain’s greatest naval commander, it joins the ranks of the "Cult of Nelson", giving the viewer a tangible link to the essence of what it means to be British, and to be a hero.

To examine Nelson's penmanship for yourself, come to Rauner and ask for Ticknor 805530.1.

Posted for Whitney Martin '17.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

So Pretty!

We don't have much to say about this item, except we can't believe how pretty it is. It has been kicking around in the collections for a long time in our uncataloged realia collection. We have been sorting through boxes of stuff this past year to see what treasures might be hidden away. Mainly we are finding things that people once thought were really important relics, but that have since become a little less than inspiring. We are also we are finding some gems and cataloging them.

Definitely jumping up toward the top of the list of awesome finds, is this herbarium of plants from Syria lovingly assembled by William Bird, a missionary from the Class of 1844. He had a decorative flair and wasn't afraid to make a statement with his samples.


It is cataloged and on the shelf now, so you can see it by asking for Codex MS 003273. It is well worth your time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Survival

Inscription by A. Greely in his copy of "Arctic Voyages"We have a lot of books and manuscripts that are remarkable survivals. How they managed to make it through time and space and land safely in a library is a wonder in and of itself, but we just acquired a new item that endured an arctic expedition that only a handful of people lived through.

The Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-1884, (also known at the Greely Expedition) set out to establish a scientific observation station. It all started out smoothly enough, and they even established a new "farthest North." But things fell apart when relief ships were unable to reach the station and they had to flee to the south in hopes of rescue. Stranded with only minimal provisions at "Camp Clay," they slowly starved to death, and some resorted to cannibalism. Only six of the crew lasted long enough to be rescued.

We have a rich cache of materials related to their ordeal including David Brainard's diary from the last months of the expedition. The newly added item is Adolphus Greely's copy of The Arctic Voyages of A.E. Nordenskiöld, 1858-1879 (London: Macmillan and Co., 1879) that he brought along on the journey. That it was carried safely home is astounding. As Greely notes:
This volume... was one of the few books in our library at Camp Clay, Grinnell Land, during the winter of 1883-1884. It shows marks of usage in keeping with the vicissitudes experienced by the loyal soldiers of the American army, and the faithful Eskimos of Greenland, who formed my command.
There is some marginalia, and the front cover is detached, but, all in all, the book did well. To see it, ask for Stef G625.L477 1879.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Monetary Policy for Dummies

Cartoon description of Tarrifs and their impact on economyIn his 1657 Lettres Provinciales, French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal quipped: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” This pithy expression captures the genius behind The Story of Bretton Woods (a topic we covered ourselves less graphically a few weeks ago). Equipped with 20 illustrated pages and simple vocabulary, this WWII-era pamphlet informed American children about the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. The conference’s express purpose was to create a stable financial order for the postwar world. Explaining these ideas at any length is notable, but this pamphlet’s concision sets it apart.

cartoon depiction of economic warfare
For five cents per copy, parents could educate their children about “the kind of world we make for them now.” Yet, we suspect The Story of Bretton Woods had an ulterior motive. Stocked with the twin virtues of brevity and clarity, it could effectively mobilize the voting age population to support the conference’s legislation. We are uncertain whether the pamphlet targeted adults, but its educational value is clear 70 years later.

"Cover to Bretton Woods is no Mystery" depicting a baby reading a newspaperTo see The Story of Bretton Woods, ask for ML-3, box 108, folder 6. As bonus there is another example of Bretton Woods simply explained for lay people, Bretton Woods is no Mystery.

Posted for Drew Leonard '19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bursting the Dartmouth Bubble

Image of title "A Dialogue written for commencement. D. College August 22, 1804. By Stephen Farley& Avery Williams."When Dartmouth was a young institution and still situated in a "wilderness" without easy access to Boston, New York, or even Lebanon (let alone radio, television, movies, or the internet), you could image the "Dartmouth bubble" would have been a lot worse than it is today. When you came to campus in 1800, there really wasn't much of anything you could do outside of the tiny town of Hanover. But, we have an amazing bit of evidence from 1804 that the students were looking outwardly and applying their education to the broader world. That year two graduating seniors wrote and performed, as part of their commencement ceremony, a blank verse work entitled "A Dialogue on the Revolution in St. Domingo between Toussaint and Dessalines."

Page one of the hand-written "Dialogue" from 1804.
What? Two guys in the boonies of New Hampshire portraying Haitian revolutionaries just as Haiti is establishing its independence? What? They hadn't been to Haiti on an FSP and didn't even have the internet to help them with their research? Such a very cool bursting of the Dartmouth bubble!

You can see the original by asking for DA-43, Box 3112. We also have an easier-to-read transcription prepared by Errol Hill in 1989 at DC Hist F1923.F35.

Friday, May 19, 2017

One Genius Too Many

Title Page of Book, reading "An Historical, Physiological and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts, and other Magical Practices. CONTAINING An Account of the Genii or Familiar Spirits, both Good and Bad, that are said to attend Men in this Life; and what sensible Perceptions some Persons have had of them: (particularly the Author's own Experience for many Years.) Also of Appearances of Spirits after Death; Divine Dreams, Divinations, Second Sighted Persons, &c. Likewise the Power of Witches, and the reality of other Magical Operations, clearly asserted. With a  Refutation of Dr. Bekker's World Bewitch'd; and other Authors that have opposed the Belief of them. By Jonh Beaumont, Gent. Praestat aliqua probabiliter nosse de rebus superioribus & Caelestibus, quam de rebus inferioribus multa demonstrare. Arist. Moral. 9. London: Printed for D. Browne, at the Black Swan without Temple-Bar; J. Taylor, at the Ship in St. Paul's Church-Yard; R. Smith at the Angel without Temple-Bar; F. Coggan, in the Inner-Temple Lane; and T. Browne without Temple-Bar, 1705.
We've recently acquired an interesting text that was authored by an equally interesting individual. John Beaumont was an English physician and geologist who was an early member of the Royal Society, a learned society for science that was founded in 1660 and is still in existence today. Beaumont lived in a small town in southwestern England called Ston Easton, within the county of Somerset. Many of his geologic interests centered around the exploration of limestone caves near his home, and he wrote several letters to the Royal Society that provided information about his discoveries. Robert Hooke, the Society's Curator of Experiments and the author of Micrographia, encouraged Beaumont to pursue further study of the natural history of Somerset.
an engraving that shows An Evil Genius on the left, who looks like a bearded man wrapped in an animal skin; and "2 Good Genii" on the right, both holding what appear to be cornucopia and wearing laurel garlands. The left-most of the two appears to be a young child while the right-most is a bearded man.However, despite his interest in rocks and stones, Beaumont's true fascination was focused upon more ethereal subjects. In 1705, at the age of fifty-five, Beaumont published An Historical, Physiological, and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Withcrafts, and other Magical Practices. In particular, Beaumont was interested in discussing what he calls genii, or familiar spirits. Distinct from our modern understanding of jinn or genies, which have their origins in Arabian and Islamic mythology, Beaumont's concept of genii is more in keeping with ancient Roman religion. For ancient Romans, a genius was a sort of guardian angel or spirit that served as a personal protector for every individual. Our current use of the term to indicate someone of exceptional ability or talent derives from the early Romans' attribution of the accomplishments of great individuals to their extraordinarily powerful genius, or guiding spirit. 
An engraving captioned "Jews going out in the Moonshine to know their Fortune". The image is of four men holding palm fronds and gesticulating at a shining moon that is half-hidden behind some clouds.For Beaumont, the existence of genii was more than an abstract theoretical notion; in his book, he identifies himself as someone who had the dubious gift of "second sight," whereby he was able to see a vast multitude of spirits all around him at all times. Beaumont states that "this gift is very troublesome to those that have it, and they would gladly be rid of it; for if the object be a thing that is terrible, they are seen to sweat and tremble, and screek at the Apparition." Over a three-month period, Beaumont claims that he was attended night and day by two spirits, who spoke with each other and a number of other spirits who came calling at his bedroom door. The spirits were dressed in "Womens Habit, they being of a Brown Complexion, and about Three Foot in Stature; they had both black, loose Network Gowns, tyed with a black sash about their Middles, and within the Network appear'd a Gown of a Golden Colour, with somewhat of a Light striking thro' it; their Heads were not drest with Topknots but they had white Linnen Caps on, with Lace on them, about three Fingers breadth, and over it they had a Black loose Network Hood."
Beaumont's experience with these genii naturally caused him some consternation, given his predisposition towards natural science, and so he attempts towards the end of his text to provide rational hypotheses for the existence of these spirits as well as providing examples from Judeo-Christian theology. Ultimately, you'll have to be the judge of whether he makes a convincing argument or not. Come to Rauner and ask for Rare BF1445 .B4 1705.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Theater of Cruelty

Engraving depicting a scene of violence. A monk is shown being hung while a fire is built to burn bodies.The Reformation spurred a lot of books decrying the evils of Catholicism. Our collections are full of diatribes against Popish forces along with plenty of graphic illustrations of Protestant martyrs. The propaganda on both sides ran freely, but our collections seem to revel in the anti-Catholic. That's why we were pleased to pick up a counter reformation depiction of atrocities committed against Catholics--specifically focused on the plight of English Catholics as Great Britain flip-flopped between Protestant and Catholic power in the 16th century.

Richard Verstegan's Theatrum crudelitatum haereticorum nostri temporis (Antverpiae: Apud Adrianum Huberti, 1592), does to English Protestants what Foxe did to the Catholics. Together they will shake your faith in humanity, if not your faith. Come in and take a look by asking for Rare BR1600.V4 1592. For the other side, check out Foxe's Book of Martyrs by asking for Presses D334f.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cocaine and Cuckoldry

An image of the front cover of David Garnett's first published book Dope Darling (written as Leda Burke). The image is of a young woman staring blankly out at the reader.
While answering a reference question for a researcher who couldn't visit us in person, we had the good fortune to encounter this little gem hiding among the other and seemingly more respectable volumes on our shelves. Although the author's name is Leda Burke, this little book was actually the first published novel of author David Garnett, who went on to write dozens of books including the prize-winning Lady Into Fox in 1922 and Aspects of Love in 1955. Garnett was a late addition to the Bloomsbury Group, a collective of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers, and artists that were especially active during the first half of the 20th century. The set's list of impressive members included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster, among others. Most of the male members of the group knew one another from their time in university; they either attended Trinity or King's College while at Cambridge, and a significant number of them were members of the Cambridge Apostles, an exclusive intellectual society that was originally founded in 1820 by a student who went on to become the Bishop of Gibraltar.

The title page of Lady Into Fox" "Lady into Fox / By/ David Garnett / Illustrated with wood engravings by / R. A. Garnett / London / Chatto & Windus / 1922." There is a small woodcut of a man leading a woman by the hand as they go through a gate.
Garnett's entry point into the Bloomsbury Group was Duncan Grant, the cousin and sometime lover of Lytton Strachey, himself one of the founders of the Group. The two men met at a Christmas party hosted by Strachey in 1914; they soon became lovers and ran off to work a fruit farm together as conscientious objectors during World War One. In a scandalous but very Bloomsburian twist, Garnett would later go on to marry Grant's daughter Angelica, whose infant baptism he had attended as a young man of twenty-six. Angelica herself was a product of an affair between Grant and Vanessa Bell, the nominal wife of Bloomsbury artist Clive Bell and the sister of Virginia Woolf. Keeping track of it all tends to make one's head spin.

The title page of Nonesuch Press's "Love Poems of John Donne": Love Poems / of /John Donne / With some account of his / life taken from the writings / in 1639 of Izaak Walton / Soho / The Nonesuch Press / 30 Gerrard Street / 1923"For the book lover among us, though, we have reason to appreciate Garnett for more than his skill with a pen. He also ran a bookshop with Francis Birrell, unsurprisingly named "Birrell & Garnett," near the British Museum on Gerrard Street. It was in the basement of the bookshop that Garnett and his friends Francis Meynell and Vera Mendel founded the Nonesuch Press. The Press's first book was a volume of John Donne's Love Poems, printed in 1923. The Nonesuch Press was prolific for the next few decades and eventually came under the control of George Macy, founder and owner of the Limited Editions Club, before shuttering its windows for good in the 1960s.

Any blogpost that involves the Bloomsbury Group is liable to run on at length, given the myriad fascinating individuals who were a part of its heyday. We will restrain ourselves for now, but we encourage you to come in and and see our first edition of Dope Darling, also known as Val 827 G187 P5, which was given to us by the Friends of the Dartmouth Library. You can also look at our first edition of Lady Into Fox, which is Rare PR6013.A66 L3. To see the first Nonesuch Press printing of John Donne's Love Poems, also here at Rauner, ask for Presses N731do.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Starry Messenger

Frontispiece to Galileo's Dialogo showing three characters in 17th century Italian robes in heated discussion Italian mathematician, astronomer, engineer, and philosopher Galileo Galilei played an incredibly vital role in the scientific revolution of the 17th century, especially through the publication of Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems). This work rigorously examines the astronomical observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy and seeks to answer the question of the true position of Earth amongst other celestial bodies in the universe – fixed at the center, or orbiting elliptically around the sun.

Although we take for granted that the latter has become established as the best-supported astronomical model for our solar system today, Galileo’s defense of heliocentric theory during the Roman Inquisition was met by enormous opposition from the Catholic Church and the papal administration. Found “vehemently suspect of heresy” for his Dialogue critiquing the geocentric view held by the Church via literal interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Galileo was forced to recant his support for heliocentric theory and condemned to house arrest for the remainder of his life.

However, his trial catalyzed an enormous scientific movement, which grew to champion empirical observation and experimentation in the pursuit of new knowledge, abandoning blind faith in the philosophies and idealizations of Greek and Roman antiquity.

The dialogue features an impassioned debate between three fictionalized characters as they critically analyze the merits and shortcomings of both hypotheses, providing diagrams, calculations, marginal notes, and an enormous wealth of conversational rhetoric to support their respective views.

Join the Dialogue by coming to Rauner to thumb through Galileo’s prose! Ask for Val 520 G133d.

Posted for Jerrel Catlett '18.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Case Study in a Fully Functioning Government

Situated remotely in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the Mount Washington Hotel opened its doors in July, 1902, boasting that it could accommodate "a family of eight hundred." Families could travel by rail or motor roadway to spend their summers in the White Mountains, “an ideal environment” that boasted weather “cool enough to enjoy outdoor exercise practically every day throughout the season.” Yet only three decades later, the Mount Washington Hotel experienced severe financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. Then, shortly after the United States entered the World War II, the hotel closed for several years. It reopened in 1944 under new ownership, but its future was uncertain.

It was in this context that an unusual group requested rooms for some 730 guests in the summer of 1944. But unlike most visitors, “mountain interests” were not of “first importance” to this group. Rather, these were delegates of 44 Allied nations gathering at Bretton Woods for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. The express purpose was to construct the post-war international monetary system. In the words of New Hampshire Senator Charles Tobey, “We lived together for a little over three weeks, as we hammered out the Bretton Woods Agreements into shape. There before us was the world in miniature…”

As a delegate of the United States to the Bretton Woods conference, Senator Tobey was determined that international cooperation would serve two purposes in the post-war world. First, immediate financial assistance and lowered trade barriers would “create conditions in which” people living in war-torn communities across the world could “be secure, and prosperous and free.” The financial difficulties during the interwar period, brought on by the Great Depression and compounded by protectionist trade barriers, obstructed economic security. People whose basic needs were not met looked inward toward leaders who would protect national interest at the expense of global peace. Multilateral institutions could achieve this end. The World Bank lent money to nations afflicted by war and poverty for reconstruction, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set stable exchange rates for member states to coordinate monetary policies and prevent “economic war [from engulfing] the world.” Second, international cooperation and American engagement would underwrite global security for future generations. Along with other multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Bretton Woods system gave teeth to the lofty idea of “permanent world peace.”

At the conference, Senator Tobey and the architects of the Bretton Woods system were trying to avoid the mistakes of the First World War that failed to prevent the current global conflict. American leaders believed they could not “withdraw within" as they had after World War One. A new era of global politics would require American engagement rather than immediate retrenchment. Also, Senator Charles Tobey and other delegates to the Bretton Woods conference remembered when the United States Senate did not ratify the League of Nations charter nearly three decades earlier. American leaders recognized that President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, signed the charter’s death warrant in excluding Republicans from the negotiating process. In reaching out to leadership from across the aisle, President Franklin Roosevelt hoped to avoid this fate. Senator Tobey, a long time Republican, was instrumental in achieving his party’s approval of the Bretton Woods system. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau confirmed this view when he wrote to Senator Tobey before the bill went before the Senate floor: “I know that your enthusiastic support of the Bretton Woods proposals will serve to promote non-partisan consideration… I fully appreciate the enormous efforts that you have made to keep this legislation from becoming a party issue.” Senator Tobey indicated his ready cooperation toward this achievement when he proclaimed, “The battle for the future of our whole generation is being fought in the Senate of the United States - the battle against both political and economic isolation.”

To learn more, ask for ML-3, Box 108. And for more goodies from Tobey's papers, see our blog post on Crackpots and Cranks.

Posted for Drew Leonard '19

Friday, April 28, 2017

Your Next Travel Dictionary: The All-in-One Guide for the "Speedy Learning of the Italian Tongue"

Frontispiece to Florio's Queen Anna's New World of Words. Floio is depicted in Elizabethan clothing in an oval frameIf you’ve ever wondered how to say “mouthful” in Italian, you might want to consult John Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, a hefty Italian-English dictionary written in 1611. There you’d be delighted to find that the 17th century Italians called it a “boccata,” which Florio translates as:
A mouthful, a mouthing. Also a word used when one is about to tell a thing and knows not what it is, or that a scholar would feign read his lesson and cannot, and we by some sign or voice would let him know that is out, and says he wots not what, we use to say Boccata, as in English, Tush, yea in my other hose, jump as Germans lips, and such other phrases.
What a mouthful! In defense of Florio’s verbosity, this definition is a significant improvement from the 1598 edition, which includes “you are as wise as a Waltam’s calf” as an acceptable alternative to “mouthful.” I hesitate to recommend the 1598 edition in fear that, if you did in fact call someone as wise as a Waltam’s calf, you might be accused of being behind the times. To avoid the unpardonable blunder of outmoded usage, the updated 1611 edition is the only way to go—and, what’s more, it comes with a complete guide to Italian grammar, which Florio borrowed (plagiarized) from his father! If it’s good enough for Queen Anne and the English cosmopolitan élite, it’s good enough for you. If you weren’t wondering how to say mouthful in Italian, Queen Anna’s New World of Words has 74,000 other fascinating Italian words, translated into beautiful, albeit long-winded, English.

John Florio, son of a Protestant Italian émigré during the Roman Inquisition, was a linguaphile, polyglot, translator, and high-profile language instructor who lived in London. His English translations of Montaigne’s Essays and Boccaccio’s Decameron from French and Italian are canonical, and his groundbreaking bilingual dictionaries confirmed his status as cultural mediator. He considered himself an Italian, though he never set foot on what today would be considered Italian soil. He snobbishly turned his nose up at English culture (not recommended for beginning travelers), which he considered barbaric and uncouth. Italian, in Florio’s day, was a sort of lingua franca, an all-access-pass to European culture and courtesy. Florio penned two dictionaries, two language pedagogy books (also recommended), and numerous translations, marking the beginnings of Italian language acquisition as a symbol of status and refinement in England. His dictionary is said to have influenced Shakespeare, who set many of his plays in Italy. Some scholars even suggest that Florio was Shakespeare’s ghostwriter—a rumor I encourage you to spread. Within the 700 pages of Florio’s tome (pocket-size edition not currently available), you’ll find risqué words collected from the Index of Forbidden Books, curse words, insults, numerous words to talk about dogs, food words (buon appetito!), idioms, and cultural insights: everything you need to keep your Italian hip… in a Baroque way. So the next time you need to say “mouthful” in Italian, check out Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, or just point and gesture like all the other tourists.

Quote from "To All Readers" section of the preface. "To be a Reader, requies understanding; to be a Critike, judgement. A Dictionarie gives armes to that, adn takes no harme of this, if it mistake not. I with thee both, but feare neitehr; for I stil rest Resolute. John Florio"
Ask for Rare PC1640.A2 F6 1611.

Posted for Joseph Waring '18

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Audubon's Prospective Patrons

The cover page of Audubon's Birds of America prospectus: "Under the particular patronage and approbation of his most gracious majesty. Birds of America, from drawings made during a residence of twenty-five years in the United States and its territories by John James Audubon, citizen of the United States...
Tomorrow marks what would have been John James Audubon's 232nd birthday. Our copy of the famous naturalist's Birds of America, which once belonged to Daniel Webster, is the only item in our collection that is on permanent and prominent display in the Rooke Reading Room. Still, while the beautiful images of birds that fill this set of books are indisputably his most popular and memorable achievements, we here at Rauner hold another Audubon item that is a rarer bird than his well-known magnum opus. In 1826, Audubon had arrived in England to look for an engraver for his avian images. At that time, he began to give thought to the creation of a prospectus in order to advertise his book and acquiring dedicated subscribers to each successive number of plates. Audubon's plan was to create five numbers of five plates per year, for a total of twenty-five birds annually. Ultimately, he would issue four hundred and thirty-five plates over the span of eleven years.

Page 14 of the prospectus, listing numerous subscribers to the publication beginning with George IV and Charles X.At present, there are one hundred and twenty known surviving copies of Aubudon's Birds of America. However, the prospectus is itself much scarcer. An old source, Waldemar Fries's The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago: American Library Association, 1973), states that at the time of its printing there were only sixteen known extant copies of the prospectus, which was published in six editions over the course of several years. Rauner's copy is not one that Fries lists so it must have surfaced some time between 1973 and 1993, which is when its online catalog record was created. Our version is the fourth edition, or Edition D, which wasn't dated but most likely printed in early 1829 after ten numbers, or fifty plates, and been printed and distributed. In the back of the prospectus, Audubon lists the current subscribers who include King George IV of the United Kingdom and King Charles X of France, as well as numerous university libraries such as Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Oxford.

To see Rauner's copy of the fourth edition of Audubon's prospectus, come in and ask for Rare Book QL674 .A9 1827a. To see Audubon's Birds of America, walk into the Reading Room and take a look in the glass display case. For a special treat, come by on Friday mornings when we turn the page to reveal the new bird for the week (we call it the Friday Fowl).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wheelock's Demise

Image of Eleazar Wheelock. He is older, with grey hair and has on a dark cloth shirt with a white tie. Historians agree that Eleazar Wheelock met his end on April 24, 1779, but that’s about where agreement ends. Some record his age as 68 and others as 69. Most simply skip over the details and only report the date.

David McClure, the most contemporary of the writers, in his 1811 Memoirs of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelcok, D.D. Founder and President of Dartmouth College, is the only historian to provide any detail. He notes that at the beginning of April 1779, Wheelock’s health went into rapid decline. From there McClure paints an almost perfect bedside death where Wheelock, surrounded by family, declares that he does not fear death, repeats the 23rd Psalm, and expresses a desire to “depart and to be with Christ.” He records Wheelock’s last words, as “Oh my family be faithful unto death.” He then notes that Wheelock “expired without a struggle or a groan. The peace and joy of his mind, in the moment of death, impressed a pleasing smile on his countenance.”

Image of handwritten title page to Dewey's notebookThis is how death was supposed to play out in the 18th century, particularly for a devout man of the cloth like Wheelock. But is this really how he died? Until earlier this year, we had no reason to think otherwise, but recently a staff member discovered an alternative account while researching deaths in Hanover. This alternative account was recorded by William Worthington Dewey. According to Chase’s History of Hanover and Dartmouth College, Dewey arrived in the area at the age of two years in 1779 when his father, Benoni Dewey, came here to run the blacksmith shop. William W. Dewey appears to have run a temperance house for a period of time, built several local houses and may have been a farmer. In addition to these varied trades, he also had a strong interest in local history that tended toward the macabre. During his lifetime, he compiled a set of notes of deaths in Hanover and the surrounding area. One of the first death’s he discusses is that of Eleazar Wheelock. Dewey’s description of Wheelock’s last moments was clearly gleaned from his father. Here is his father’s account:
His decease was instantaneous. About 9 O Clock AM He was at my Fathers shop in apparent good health & took from thence an article for a Goldsmiths use & went & deposited it on the western side of the common & without stopping took a borrowed saddle & carried to another house some forty rod distant & carried it to the attic && returning on the stairs remarked that he was faint & dropped down & never breathed afterwards – A very few minutes only intervened from the time he that left our house & the news of His decease.
Handwritten notation of above quotation on Wheelock's death from Dewey's notebook.
This rendition of Wheelock’s final moment stands in stark contrast to that given by McClure, but has, in its simplicity, the ring of truth. Unfortunately, until we discover another account that conflicts with or verifies one or the other of these versions, we will never be able to determine what actually transpired.

To read William Worthington Dewey’s account of Wheelock’s demise, or to just read his interesting account detailing the deaths of Hanover residents between 1769 and 1859, come to Rauner and ask to see MS-1264, Box 1, Folder 2: "List of deaths in the vicinity of Dartmouth College, including likewise the hamlet usually called Greensborough from AD 1769 to 1859"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Magnificent Map

Map of Bermuda showing coastlne and divisions of the island into plots.At the height of the mid-17th century Golden Era of the Dutch Republic, a distinct cartographer by the name of Joan Blaeu surpassed the work of all his contemporaries (such as Janssonius and Frederick de Wit) by releasing the stunning Atlas Maior – an eleven-volume exploration of earth’s geography as it was known to Dutch merchants in the 1660s.

Blaeu’s impressive magnum opus adopts the typical stylistic aspects of Baroque-era excess and ornamentation. Its 594 hand-painted maps and illustrations, ostentatious two-foot vertical dimension, and effusive Latinate braggadocio amounted to the most expensive and physically largest book of the entire seventeenth century (with a modern equivalent price of about $18,000).

detail of Bermuda map cartouche shown Neptune holding his trident and an ship over a verbal description of the map.I analyzed the eleventh volume (the Americas) for a final project in Italian 23 (17th Century Italian literature), translating parts of Blaeu’s Latin text. Notable subjectivities and mercantilistic slants are evident both in the physical, cartographic representations of America as well as in his anthropological, textual descriptions: Blaeu had close ties to the Dutch West Indian Company and the lucrative business they conducted through what many modern commenters would consider exploitation of indigenous people.

The map of Bermuda offers a neutral example of such subjective distortion of reality. The shockingly accurate coastline of the fifteen-mile-wide Atlantic island is portrayed as lying a mere stone’s throw from the idealized American east coast, with “Virginia,” “Cape Cod”, and “New England” separately dragged hundreds of miles from their true position for conceptual emphasis of the island’s general relative location. A quaint juxtaposition of cartographic realism and subjective idealization results.

To see it, ask for volume 11 of Blaeu's Geographia, Rare G1015.B48 1662.

Posted by Paul Maravelias ‘17

Friday, April 14, 2017

From Bondage to Conscription

Letter; Blanchard to Bartlett; June 13, 1782; first pageOn June 13, 1782, James Blanchard, who had served in the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment as quartermaster and paymaster from 1776-1781, wrote to Josiah Bartlett, then a member of the New Hampshire State Supreme Court. In the letter Blanchard replies to Bartlett's request to have one of his slaves conscripted into the revolutionary forces: “in your instructions to me you empowered me to enlist him in the New Hampshire Line.”

The enlistment of slaves during the Revolutionary War was not unusual. New Hampshire enacted a law in the fall of 1777 that allowed owners to enlist their slaves as substitutes for themselves or their relatives or in return for their enlistment bounty. However, by the end of 1777, Congress, in an attempt to appease southern slave owners, discouraged this practice. On the loyalist side, Lord Dunsmore, the royal governor of Virginia had enacted a law in April 1775, that promised slaves owned by rebels their freedom if they fought on the side of the British. 

Blanchard was not happy about Bartlett’s request “of doing a thing that I had always reprobated others for.” Instead he tells Bartlett that he should sell him because Blanchard believed the slave “had a propensity for stealing.” Throughout the letter, the name of the slave is not revealed. However, in a postscript he is referred to as Peter, which is interesting because two years later there are two additional letters from Blanchard to Bartlett regarding the escape of a slave named Peter. In those insistences, Blanchard, tasked by Bartlett to recover said Peter, relays a saga that involves Peter being illegally sold by some shadowy characters to a man “at Livingston Manor … by the name of Alkenburg (a Tory),” and then declaring himself a free man. Blanchard informs Bartlett that during the course of his investigation, he had a “very considerable expense in employing men to look for the black dog,” and that he plans to sue the Tory and the other men involved, one of whom he calls “an itinerant horse Jockey.”

Letter; Blanchard to Bartlett; April 12, 1784; first pageLetter; Blanchard to Bartlett; May 8, 1784; first page

Unfortunately, we may never know what happened to Peter, but Blanchard became an advocate for veterans, serving as agent for several veterans pursuing claims against Congress. Josiah Bartlett, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, became the 4th Governor of the State of New Hampshire.

Blanchard's letters to Bartlett are contained in a small but rich collection of letters that are part of MS- 181, the Josiah Bartlett papers. Other correspondents include Bartlett’s co-signer of the Declaration of Independence William Whipple, as well as John Langdon and Nathanial Peabody.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Learning Your Lessons

Image of an Axe on the ground illustrating the rhyme of "A"We always thought the New England Primer was the most morbid of alphabet books--at least of the ones that were meant for children. But, we just bought one printed here in Hanover in 1811 that gives it a run for its money. Where the New England Primer uses "In Adam's fall, we sinned All" to illustrate A, The Royal Alphabet, Embellished with Cuts, Designed for the Amusement and Use of Little Children (Hanover: Charles Speare, 1811) offers the following charming rhyme:

"The Axe which traitors often dread
And husbandmen employ;
Will sure, in time cut off the head
Of every naughty boy."

Image of Christ being crucified on a cross to illustrate X.
X focuses on the crucifixion of Christ, but at least offers future hope. What lessons are being taught here? Surely more than the alphabet. One wonders what Hanover kids thought of it in 1811.

To see it, come in and ask for 1926 Coll R6878.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Fogg and Steam

The cover of Fogg and Steam by Frank Coldfelter, showing a steam locomotive coming through a snowy mountain pass.
We owe the title of our post today to a book of the same name written by Frank Clodfelter in 1978 about the railroad artwork of Howard Fogg, Class of 1938. Fogg was born one hundred years ago today on April 7th, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. An only child, Fogg and his family soon relocated in 1920 to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he first became entranced by steam locomotives moving down the old Lackawanna Railroad, before he finally settled outside of Chicago in 1923.

Fogg entered Dartmouth in the fall of 1934 as a member of the class
A portrait of Howard Fogg in his WWII aviator flight gear with "J. L. Fogg Jr. 42J" printed across the bottom in white lettering.
of 1938 and graduated with a degree in English. After his sojourn in New Hampshire, he went back to Illinois to earn a degree from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts with the intention of becoming a political cartoonist. However, while still in art school, Fogg sold his first train painting for $25. Soon after, he abandoned his aspirations of political cartooning and took a job with the Union Pacific Railroad, all the while painting and selling watercolors of trains in his spare time. He then found employment as an apprentice engineer with Baldwin Locomotive Works, although his stay there was brief: in 1941, Fogg was drafted into the military, became a second lieutenant in the Army Air Force, and flew seventy-six missions as a fighter pilot in World War II.

One of Fogg's paintings of a steam locomotive coming through a snowy pass (the image was used on the front of a Christmas card).During the war, Fogg married Margot Dethier; after moving to Summit, New Jersey, they had three sons while Fogg's true career began as the company artist for the American Locomotive Company (Alco) in 1946. At that point, Fogg began an impressive run of prodigious output, averaging nearly thirty railroad paintings a year for decades afterward. He and his family later moved to Boulder, Colorado, where Fogg would continue to pursue his passion for trains by becoming a very successful and well-respected freelance artist. He died on October 1st, 1996, in his adopted town of Boulder, Colorado. He was one of five honorary members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a designation that underscored the high regard which working railroaders had for his dedication to detail and accuracy in his paintings.

To leaf through Fogg and Steam, come to Rauner and ask for Alumni F688f. To read more about Howard Fogg's time at Dartmouth, ask for his alumni file. We would like to thank Jeff Ashworth '71 for bringing Fogg and his 100th birthday to our attention. For more about the captivating art of Howard Fogg '38, he recommends Ronald C. Hill and Al Chione's The Railroad Artistry of Howard Fogg, published in 1999. To read more about Fogg's experiences as a fighter pilot during World War II, read Richard and Janet Fogg's Fogg in the Cockpit, published in 2011.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adrift in the Soviet Era

Image of four scientists on a mount of ice holding up two flags. On flag has Stalin's image on it.In May of 1937, four Soviet scientists and their faithful dog were set down on the ice in the Arctic Ocean with supplies (five tons of food!) and an insulated tent in an endeavor to better understand drifting ice and the dynamics of Arctic waters. After 274 days and innumerable measurements of water and air temperatures, wind speeds and water depths, they were picked up by icebreakers over 2,800 kilometers from where they started.

Four photos montaged to show an icebreaker coing to retrieve the scientistsThroughout their drift, they took photographs and these were turned over to one of Stalin's favorite designers, Alexander Rodchenko, and fellow constructivist artist Varvara Stepanova. In their hands, the photographs were transformed into photo montages that sought to accent the heroic qualities of the expedition and celebrate it as "A Feat Worthy of the Age of Stalin." They managed to make what must have been an extremely boring expedition (over nine months of drifting on the ice) into a dynamic, exciting event. You can see it all in their Podvig, Dostoinyi Stalinskoi Epokhi: Fhotoseriya (Moscow: Soyuzfoto Fotokhudozhnik, 1938).

Photo montage of the arrival home of the scientists. It shows a train, hogs on the platform and a Soviet official adressing a crowd.
We haven't cataloged this yet, but when we do, we will add a link to the catalog record here.
UPDATE: to see it, ask for Stef G630.R8 P638 1938