Students’ Civil War Research on Display in Rauner Library

Students in Professor Colleen Boggs’s “Civil War Literatures” senior seminar this spring used a wide range of materials held in Rauner Special Collections Library to extend their study of literature beyond poetry and prose of the era. Their work has culminated in three exhibitions currently on display in Rauner.

“‘We love to tie our exhibit spaces to student projects,’ says Special Collections Librarian Jay Satterfield. ‘It offers students a whole new way to present their research. Student-curated exhibits offer a real-world challenge by demanding that students communicate their ideas to the general public in a meaningful way. This is something that many people in the academic world find very difficult but is so essential to what we do.'”

Read the full article, published 6/12/15 by Dartmouth Now.

And an Even More Colorful New Year!

These covers are just too good. We couldn’t resist a follow up to the Christmas posting. Pears’ Soap issued its own holiday annual to compete with the London Illustrated News called Pears’ Annual.  The front cover was always a stunning holiday image and the back cover a suitably themed advertisement for Pears’ Soap. In this case, the cover shows an infant 1894 ringing in the New Year and bidding the old 1893 farewell. A dead boar and fowl evoke the feasting of the season and the holly references Christmas.

The back cover shows the wonders of Pears’ Soap with an image of an old man (could it be the same old man representing 1893 on the front?) invigorated and and pleased by his cleanly shaven chin. “Shaving a Luxury!” exclaims the headline.

Ask for Sine Serials AP4.349 and have a great 2015!

A Colorful Christmas

The Christmas tree, colorful packages, cards, the big family dinner… you know the schtick. You’ve seen it in the movies, heard it in so many Christmas carols, and perhaps even lived it. But how did that simple feast day from Medieval times turn into such a big deal?  Was it, as Lucy Van Pelt claimed in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a result of a Big Eastern Syndicate?

The British Royal Family probably had more to do with it than any Syndicate. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria gathered their large family around a Christmas tree each year and celebrated with a feast. The public learned about it from the colorful annuals issued at the time. We have just finished cataloging an enormous collection of Victorian and Edwardian illustrated annuals. The color saturated chromolithograph covers did for Christmas what Norman Rockwell’s Life covers did for the American Dream: richly and romantically illustrated it for middle class aspirations.

For some examples, ask for The Illustrated London News (Sine Serials AP4.I3) or Pears’ Annual (Sine Serials AP4.P349)

Aboard the Dartmouth

In late November 1773, the Nantucket whaling ship Dartmouth sailed into Boston harbor. Her cargo was tea, brought back from England after sailing there with a load of whale oil. At the time, much of the population of Boston had gotten a tad irritable about British taxation and duties on tea, so the Dartmouth was not allowed to unload her cargo. A few days later she was joined by the Eleanor, also loaded with tea and similarly detained in the harbor unable to unload. On December 15th, the Beaver arrived, and became the third ship that would, the next day, play a role in one of the pivotal events in this country’s fight for independence.

We all know what happened to that tea in Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.

However, I had forgotten from my American history lessons of long ago that one of the Boston Tea Party ships was named Dartmouth. She was the first ship built in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1767 for Francis Rotch of Nantucket, and was named for a section of Bedford. Sadly, the Dartmouth was lost at sea on the Atlantic during the summer of 1774.

There have been other ships named Dartmouth, including a brig built by J. N. Harvey in 1768 and listed in Lloyd’s register of shipping for 1776. It was this vessel that caused some confusion over the rigging when Ruth Edwards was researching the Boston Tea party ship Dartmouth for a commission she had been given by the Class of 1907. The class gave the painting of the Dartmouth to the College in 1967 in honor of its upcoming bicentennial.

During World War II, an oil tanker, the Dartmouth, and a victory type cargo ship, the Dartmouth Victory, were launched. About the same time, two liberty cargo ships were launched: the Samson Occom and the Eleazar Wheelock. I suspect there are other ship with Dartmouth connections, but the vessels carrying the name of Levi Woodbury, Class of 1809, and Secretary of the Navy, are too numerous to go into here.

Ask for Iconography 1368 to see the “Tea Party” Dartmouth.

Oh, No!

We have quite a few examples of books and ephemeral material that served as propaganda during the First and Second World Wars. But this one caught us a little off guard. Published in 1939 in Warsaw, L’armée et la marine de guerre Polonaises, looks like a typical 1930s show of military muscle. For the most part, it is images of tanks, airplanes, heavy artillery and troops training. But, timing is everything, so the image of Poland’s bicycle brigade stands out. It proudly shows rows of Polish infantry sitting astride bicycles tricked out with rifles in the handlebars.

Published just months before Germany invaded from the West and the Soviet Union from the East, the bicycle brigade is now emblematic of just how ill-prepared Poland was to face either military force. It took just five weeks for the Germans and Soviets to seize and divide Poland.

To see the book, ask for Rare UA829.P7 K63 1939.

Misappropriation

In 1941, Budd Schulberg ’36 published his first novel: What Makes Sammy Run? As a child of the studios (his father had been head of Paramount), and a frustrated screenwriter, he unleashed a torrent of criticism on Hollywood in his novel about the rise of Sammy Glick. The novel became a bestseller in the United States and has often been pointed to as the great American novel about Hollywood.

Schulberg knew he was taking a risk when he published the novel. It was destined to offend many of the most powerful people in Hollywood. But he did not anticipate that the novel would become fodder for the Nazi propaganda machine. Sammy Glick, the novel’s offensive, back-stabbing anti-hero, was Jewish. The Nazis picked up the story and produced a translation edited to highlight the offenses of Jews in Hollywood and portray Sammy as the quintessential American Jew. Then they published it serially in the popular Berliner Illustriere Zeitung where Schulberg’s words were turned against the Jewish people.

Ironically, Budd and his brother Stuart were later employed by the U.S. military to splice together film footage to be used against Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg. Their work was made particularly effective by their juxtaposition of Nazi propaganda with scenes of atrocities. For Schulberg, the appropriation of Nazi propaganda must have been a particularly sweet form of personal revenge.

To see how Sammy looked in 1942 Berlin, ask for MS-978, Box 6, Folder 4. And, as a reminder, our current exhibition, Budd Schulberg and the Scripting of Social Change, runs through January 30, 2015 in the Class of 1965 Galleries. And, for more on Schulberg, see these postings from August 9, 2011 and November 4, 2014.

Seen and Unseen: Picturing Race, Gender, and the Enemy in WWI Posters

Seen and Unseen: Picturing Race, Gender, and the Enemy in WWI
Exhibit in Baker Library Main Hall–September 24 to December 19, 2014
Curators’ talk with Winnie Yoe ’14 and Sara Trautz ’15–Friday, October 3, 4:00pm

Seen & Unseen poster

World War I propaganda posters primarily promoted the war, recruited troops, and raised money for the war effort. With these aims, it is not surprising that they did not reflect many aspects of the war effort or many of the people involved. This exhibition examines several of the subjects ignored by these propaganda campaigns. By exploring the five themes of masculinity, women, the enemy, victims, and race, the exhibition draws attention to the disconnect between reality and what is depicted in these posters. To fill in the missing picture, the posters are juxtaposed with other images from World War I. By offering a closer look at messages embedded in World War I posters, this exhibit challenges viewers to think critically and ask questions about images of war.

Seen and Unseen: Picturing Race, Gender, and the Enemy in WWI Posters was organized by Winnie Yoe, Homma Family Intern, and Sara Trautz, Mellon Special Project Intern, at the Hood Museum of Art. They would like to thank the Hood Museum of Art, especially their supervisors Katherine Hart and Amelia Kahl. In addition they would like to thank Dennis Grady of the Dartmouth College Library for the exhibition design; Laura Barrett, Director of Education and Outreach, Dartmouth College Library; Margaret Darrow, Professor of History, for her expertise on World War I; and Bruce Hunter for giving them access to his extensive collection of World War I artifacts. Most of the posters are reproductions of works in the Hood Museum of Art collection.

Baker Library Main Hall: September 24 to December 19, 2014

Made possible by the generous support of the Harrington Gallery Fund

Friday, October 3, 4:00pm
Join Winnie Yoe ’14 and Sara Trautz ’15 for a gallery talk on their installation Seen and Unseen: Picturing Race, Gender, and the Enemy in WWI Posters.

Learn about and explore other exhibits in the Library here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/exhibits/

A Head Full of Steam

If you’ve ever traveled across the Connecticut River between Orford, New Hampshire, and Fairlee, Vermont, then you did so on the Morey Memorial Bridge. The steel span, finished in 1938 and now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was named for Samuel Morey, a resident of both Orford and Fairlee who was instrumental in the construction of the river locks between Connecticut’s Windsor Locks and Olcott Falls in New Hampshire (now the site of the Wilder Dam).

However, Samuel Morey is perhaps better known today, at least around these parts, as the man who should rightfully be called the inventor of the steamboat as we now know it. Although Robert Fulton is generally regarded as the proper holder of that title, he instead should be credited with making the steamboat a commercially viable concept. Morey had built and successfully operated a steam-powered paddleboat in the early 1790s, more than a decade before Fulton’s Clermont sailed up and down the Hudson between Albany and New York City in 1807. In fact, some historians speculate that if Morey had been a better businessman, his name would be synonymous with the steamboat, and not Fulton’s. The financier for Fulton’s “invention,” Chancellor Robert Livingston, had originally approached Morey with an offer of $7,000 to use his invention. When Morey refused, Livingston turned to Fulton instead, and the rest is history.

The Samuel Morey papers at Dartmouth bear testimony to Morey’s early inventive endeavors. They contain numerous United States patents for various inventions related to the use of wind and steam power and provide a veritable who’s who of Founding Father signatures, from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson all the way up to Andrew Jackson. One of Morey’s first patents, filed in 1793, involves a wind-powered cooking spit. One of his last is concerned with an improvement of the “decomposing and recomposing of water in combustion with spirits of Turpentine,” filed in 1833.

To see Morey’s patents and other papers, ask for Rauner MS-150.

After the Fact

Hindsight is always 20/20 and that applies to prophecy as well. It’s funny how a prophecy “never accurately printed before” 1685 manages to capture the the entirety of an event that happened in 1530. So it is with the complete story of Cardinal Wolsey and his ill-fated and never completed trip to York which appears in our copy of Mother Shipton’s Prophesie: with Three and XX more, all most Terrible and Wonderful, Predicting strange Alterations to befall this Climate of England (London: printed for W. Thackeray, at the sign of the Angel in Duck-Lane, neer West-smithfield, [1685]). The title page depicts the event, with Mother Shipton, in all of her ugliness, featured prominently in the center.

The editor or, more likely, author of our copy has helpfully provided historical notes and explanations of many of Mother Shipton’s utterances, including anecdotes relating to King James, an anonymous Lord Mayor, and battles between Scotland and England. We’re also provided potential confirmation of another prophecy with the note that “There is a Child not many years since born at Pomfret, with three thumbs.”

In addition to Mother Shipton’s words of warning, the book also includes an additional twenty-three foreshadowings of the past and future. We are treated to “A Prediction of Richard the Third” as well as several entries that could be read as lightly veiled political opinions on the succession of James II after the death of Charles II in 1685.

Ask for Rare Book BF 1777 .M66 1685 to read the “prophesies” yourself.

Shrouded in Mystery

Maria Magdalena, Duchess of Tuscany, was born into the Hapsburg family. The daughter of Archduke Charles the II and niece to Maximilian II, she married well. Her husband was Cosimo II de Medici. Her Book of Hours, perhaps originally prepared as a wedding gift, became for her a kind of album of miniature art and relics. The book is filled with miniatures she received as gifts from other royal families in Europe.

But what makes this so special is an extraordinary bit of cloth lovingly embroidered onto folio 172. On the back it is described in Latin, translated, “The Holy Cloth saved in Turin, in which was bound the body of Jesus Christ, as an example of its holy contact with the same, having been a gift to the most serene Mary, given by Fernando, Duke of Mantua.” What this really is, we don’t know. Likely it is a piece of cloth, painted with blood to look like the complete Shroud of Turin in miniature. But, could the cloth actually be a bit of the Shroud–a relic taken from it, then painted to represent the whole? Almost surely not, but the information on the back is inconclusive and these were the people with the connections, wealth and power to secure relics. That Maria treasured it as a relic is unquestionable.  Either way, it is an amazing bit of mystery.

To see it, ask for Codex MS 608940.