Cage 33

“Nice book”… not really what you think when you see an image of Angela Lorenz’s “Cage.” But that is because it is not a book. Obviously, it is a serial: volume three of her Light Verse Magazines.  This homage to John Cage’s 4 Notes in 33 Variations is housed in a vanilla tin with the other four volumes of Magazines. The pins (33, naturally) spell out C A G E (4 letters, naturally).  Turn the handle and it sings out a discordant variation for your aural pleasure.

Each volume of Light Verse Magazines is its own elaborate homage to some event or artifact that caught the artist’s attention. There is a fan that emerges from a fake cigar imprinted with the titles of books read in cigar factories; a poem written on paper folded to look like fossils; another poem printed on paper to form a ginkgo tree leaf in a test tube; and a paper construction of a “Sunday Stone.”

We currently have a small exhibit of some of Angela Lorenz’s work (including Binding Ties) to accompany the installation of her Victorious Secret in the Brickway Gallery in Baker-Berry Library. Both will be on display through Fall term.  After that, you can see “Cage” and Light Verse Magazines by asking for Presses L867lolig.

Where in the World?

Can you look at an image of a place and say where it’s from? Do different places have such distinct characteristics that you can identify them? Look at the image below. It shows locations from 4 different spots on Earth. Can you name the areas? Give it a try!

Where in the World?

To see a larger version of the images, visit the Evans Map Room.

Images courtesy of the U. S. Geological Survey. Poster courtesy of Peter Allen.


Palladio’s Progress

Andrea Palladio is best known for his 1570 I qvattro libri dell’archiettvra, or Four Books of Architecture. It brought the theories of the Roman architect Vitruvius into the modern world, reshaped Renaissance architecture and profoundly influenced neo-classicism.

We recently acquired an important precursor, Palladio’s L’antichita di Roma (Venice, 1565). It is essentially a guidebook. It tells the history of Roman buildings and guides the readers to notice certain features. The act of writing it surely helped Palladio define his views of architecture and develop his architectural principles that would come to dominate the era.

Bound with the Palladio is an Italian translation of Mirabilia Romae also printed in 1565. But the fly leaves are also interesting. The binder used some scrap paper from the shop: left over printed indulgences. The indulgence was issued by Bernhardino Cirillo, the Archibishop of Loreto, to raise money for additions to the hospital at Santo Spirito in Saxia. The book as a package nicely wraps up the pilgrim’s experience of Rome. It  contains the standard guide to historical sights, with the contemporary commentary by Palladio, but also an example of one of the indulgences which many pilgrims would have purchased during their visit.

Webster Hall, with its soaring Palladio-inspired interior and windows, is the perfect setting to enjoy these books.  Ask for Rare DG805.I63 1565 and Rare NA2515.P25 1570.

A View From the Cheap Seats – Round Two!

A hiker friend of mine came up with the label “View from the Cheap Seats” one day while a group of us were sitting atop South Doublehead mountain, gazing from the ledges down over a wooded valley to the distant village of Jackson, feeling like we  were all sitting at the top of the cheap bleacher seats in a ballpark watching life pass on by. 

Franconia Notch from both sides

The Franconia Notch area was once home to the iconic New Hampshire figurehead hanging from the cliffs of Cannon Mountain known as “The Old Man of the Mountain”.    Unfortunately, the Old Man crumbled and finally tumbled down into the valley below back in 2003.  Ah, gravity.  The two hikes I will highlight in this entry start from the same parking area (Cannon Mt. Tramway) but ascend opposite sides of Franconia Notch. 
The first hike, to the Old Man’s former hangout, is Cannon Mt. which features a tramway to the top of the ski slope, as well as a viewing tower for all season adventurers.  My journey travels about ¾ of the way to the Cannon Mt. summit (4100 ft.), the last ¼ being a far easier hike,  completed in perhaps a half hour.  
The Kinsman Ridge Trail

The Kinsman Ridge Trail (part of the Appalachian Trail) begins on the western side of the notch, climbing steeply almost immediately through the hardwoods after leaving the Tramway parking lot.  The trail parallels, and at one point joins, the ski trails for much of the upper part of the 1.5 mile hike (approx. 1.5 hrs.). This steady, rugged climb enters into the scrub pines after veering away from the ski slopes eventually leading to a side-path which I feel offers the most spectacular view of the Notch and Franconia Ridge.  The photo’s I offer support this opinion far better than I ever could with words .

The left side of Franconia Ridge looking east.
The top of the former Old Man in the Mountain Head.

The right side of Franconia looking southeast.

Old man with a beer!

The second hike ventures to the summit of Mt. Lafayette (5260 ft., 6th highest in NH) and is a much longer, fairly difficult climb on both the Greenleaf Trail and the Old Bridal Path, which intersects at the Greenleaf cabin, for a total hike of 3.8 miles, at least 3 hrs.  This hike is more suited to avid climbers out for a day-long event and should not be viewed as a casual day-hike. 

Below Eagle Cliff.
The Eagle Cliff Pass looking west to Cannon Mountian.

Crossing under I-93 to the eastern side of the notch, the trail follows alongside the highway until an abrupt left turn leads one up a rather steep, rocky incline via switchbacks to Eagle Pass at 1.5 miles.   This spot offers fine views to the west across the Notch to Cannon Mt. while passing thru a natural cleft between Eagle Cliff and one of Lafayette’s western buttress’. After making your way through the boulders in Eagle Pass, the now more moderate trail skirts the long western buttress for a bit more than a mile through the hardwoods until reaching the Greenleaf Hut at the junction with the Old Bridal Path (trailhead of the Old Bridal Path is accessible a mile or so south of the Greenleaf trailhead). At the hut, hikers can enjoy a rest, a candy bar and a glass of cold lemonade offered at a small cost. Leaving the Greenleaf Cabin on the Old Bridal Path one descends into a small swale and skirts a small pond prior to a moderate and rather treeless climb to the summit of Mt. Lafayette (1.1 miles) .

From the cabin looking towards Mr. Lafayette.

This area can be dangerous in bad weather conditions as there is no protection other than seeking shelter under boulders in make-shift caves  (an experience I have unfortunately had during a quick moving summer thunderstorm,  one not enjoyed at all and definitely not advised).  Live and Learn.

Mt. Lafayette Summit looking west to Franconia notch.
I hope these photo’s give the viewer a real sense of the mountainous regions above treeline here in NH.  

Mt. Lafayette Summit  south along Franconia Ridge.

By Brian Markee

By Bread Alone

For those of you who have ever struggled with the rise on your sourdough or battled with making the perfect baguette, a study of Sylvester Graham’s Treatise on Bread and Bread-making (Boston: Light & Stearns, 1837) may be in order. Published in 1837, Graham’s treatise was the first book of its kind solely focused on the subject of bread and bread making. Graham, though best known for being the inventor of the Graham cracker, advocates strongly for the consumption of bread in the daily diet. “There are probably few people in civilized life,” he writes, “who…would not say that they consider bread one of the most, if not the most important article of diet which enters into the food of man.”

Split into eight parts, the treatise covers topics such as bread’s long history, its properties, varieties, fermentation, and of course, the fine art of preparation. Because Graham believed strongly that the best bread makers were wives and mothers, his treatise was so controversial that heated bakers threatened to riot whenever he spoke. During a time in Britain where most recipes were passed down through word of mouth, Graham’s Treatise on Bread and Bread-making takes the reader through a journey of the entire bread making process; from harvesting the wheat, to developing a strong yeast, and the first real technical instructions as to how to craft the best tasting breads. Want a sweeter, richer bread? Use fresh ground meal. A wholesome daily bread? Forgo the barley and prepare coarsely ground rye mixed with Indian meal. Though in age of pre-packaged baked goods and fast acting yeasts some of Graham’s ideas may indeed seem obsolete, much can be learned from his precise history and attention to detail.

Come and take a look at the 1837 publication and view other tips Graham has for bread makers by asking for Rare Book TX 769 .G68.

On Trial Now: Natural Standard, an Alternative Therapies Database

The Natural StandardNatural Standard, a database assessing herbal medicine, supplements, and other complementary and alternative therapies, is now available as a trial through September 20, 2013. Connect to

Natural Standard describes itself as founded by healthcare providers and researchers to provide high-quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative medicine including dietary supplements and integrative therapies. Grades reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition.  It is impartial; not supported by any interest group, professional organization or product manufacturer.

The evidence grading system is explained at

Other sources of information about alternative therapies include free sites such as Medline Plus,, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Office of Dietary Supplements, as well as comprehensive drug information resources from the Biomedical Libraries such as UpToDate, Clinical Pharmacology Online, DynaMed, and Micromedex.

Please provide feedback on Natural Standard to Peggy Sleeth, Associate Director for Information Resources.

A Child’s Garden of Drafts

Our manuscript collections are full of first tries. Drafts of novels, stories and poems abound. Many never got beyond the initial draft, others seem to have been born fully decked out and ready for the publisher. Here are two very different examples. The first is a short story from Frances Hodgson Burnett, an inspired writer if there ever was one. Her draft of “The Plain Miss Burnie” from 1911 almost matches the final published version in Munsey’s Magazine. There was no need to leave space for changes because revision would be almost unnecessary.

On the other end of the spectrum is Robert Louis Stevenson’s draft of the poem “Historical Associations” which appeared in A Child’s Garden of Verses. It is written out on paper that he reused. Whole stanzas are crossed out, and the ordering changes within the draft then again in publication.

Come see the contrasting styles by asking for Codex Ms 003180 and Codex MS 002473.

For other interesting drafts see Aldous Huxley’s introduction for Edna St. Vincent Millay and Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad.

$300 Reward

We just acquired a simple document that says so much. This broadside from 1857, printed in Washington, D.C., for a slave owner in nearby Prince George County, Maryland, offers a reward for the capture of the runaway slave Lewis. At first glance, you are struck by the paucity of details concerning Lewis’s appearance: his height, “about” 5′ 5″; his “stout and full” face; and his slowness of speech. It would be difficult for anyone to make a positive ID from such a description, but it speaks to how the owner could not see Lewis as a person with unique characteristics.

But it is the details of the reward that caught our attention. Issued well after the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted, the reward is graded to match the potential difficulty of recovering Lewis. The full $300 reward is contingent on his retrieval from a free state–a capture within Prince George County only warrants a $50 reward. Set next to a broadside posted in a free state warning fugitive slaves of the presence of a slave hunter (that we blogged last year), this document helps illustrate the decisive nature of the Fugitive Slave Law, an act originally designed as a compromise to preserve the union.

When we have it cataloged, we will add the call number.  In the meantime you can see it by asking for it at the desk.

Kresge Reference: Extreme Makeover

If you’ve been perplexed by the stacks of books, the constant rearrangement, and the rainbow of green, yellow, and red slips in Kresge’s Reference Collection, here’s the scoop.

Change comes to Kresge Reference

Change comes to Kresge Reference

Based on new patterns of information availability and use, as well as input from Kresge’s new grad student Library Advisory Board (K-LAB), we’re reconfiguring our old-school reference collection to be more in step with the times.

Three shelving units of multi-volume sets, encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries are being downsized to one, with books and book sets being considered either for discard (if obsolete or superseded by online versions) or moving into the regular book stacks, where they can be discovered more readily by people browsing in those locations.

Coming soon – new study tables and perhaps another rolling whiteboard? Vote (on the whiteboard)!

Take Our Poll

Chinese Comics

Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) became an international bestseller, selling nearly two million copies worldwide and translated into over 20 languages the year it was published. Pirated editions appeared in China, along with a stage play. When the American film of All Quiet on the Western Front was produced the following year, there was an effort to ban it in China because of a perception that its antiwar message would undermine national resistance to Japanese aggression. This is the cultural context for one of Rauner Library’s newest acquisitions, Lianhuan huatu xixian wu zhansi, or “The Cartoon-Illustrated All Quiet on the Western Front,” published in Shanghai in the 1930s.

Despite the government’s official intolerance of antiwar messages, there was some cultural resistance in urban areas of China during the 1930s. The visual arts were also flourishing in Shanghai during this time, and comics, or lianhuanhua, were enormously popular, particularly for younger and less educated readers. The lianhuanhua were sold at street bookstalls, and were issued serially, like many comics today. Readers could rent installments as they came out, rather than purchase copies. After a full run of a comic was completed, the publishers issued a box for the collection. Serialized comics usually don’t survive well, because of the cheapness of their production and materials, and because they were often handled by many readers. Our copy of Lianhuan huatu xixian wu zhansi is in excellent shape, and came to us in its original box. Several of the parts, or fascicles, are stamped “Made in China,” suggesting that the copy was exported to other markets, which may account for its preservation.

After the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, the comics industry in Shanghai came to an end. Some comics magazines survived as war propaganda, but Remarque’s story of young soldiers who face the futility of war was likely less popular.

This item is not yet cataloged, but ask at the Rauner Reference Desk for it by name.