New Acquisitions

Understanding North Korea through Stamps

Online Collection: https://luna.lib.uchicago.edu/north-korean-stamp-collection 

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fifth Floor
Dates: September 23 – December 23, 2019
Visitors without a UChicago ID can enter to see the exhibit by obtaining a visitor pass from the ID and Privileges Office in Regenstein Library during its hours


Stamp on the 20th anniversary commemoration of Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong-il's elevation to Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army

위대한 령도자 김 정일 동지 를 조선 인민군 최고 사령관 으로 높이 모신 20돐 기념 / The 20th anniversary commemoration of Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong-il’s elevation to Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) / Widaehan yŏngdoja Kim Chŏng-Il Tongji rŭl Chosŏn Inmin’gun Ch’oego Saryŏnggwan ŭro nop’i mosin 20-tol kinyŏm

The East Asian Collection at the University of Chicago Library acquired more than 2,000 North Korean stamps this year, each of which has been digitized and accompanied by a wide range of in-depth data to form the first digital collection of its kind developed by any library worldwide. Compiled from 19 stamp books on 30 individual sheets, the North Korean Stamp Collection spans more than five decades, from 1962 to 2017, as well as a striking variety of subject areas. During the fall quarter, this stamp collection will be displayed on the Fifth Floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library. In cooperation with the Visual Resources Center (VRC), the stamps will also be accessible via an online Collection with identifying information such as Korean and English titles, description, publication, year and Juche as well as keywords.

Stamp depicting the 90th anniversary of the One Thousand-ri Journey for national liberation

위대한 수령 김 일성 동지 께서 광복 의 천리 길 을 걸으신 90돐 기념 / The 90th anniversary of the One Thousand-ri Journey for national liberation / Widaehan suryŏng Kim Il-sŏng Tongji kkesŏ Kwangbok ŭi Chʻŏlli Kil ŭl kŏrŭsin 90-tol kinyŏm

Introducing the North Korean Stamp Collection carries great symbolic meaning in terms of the expansion of Korean Studies. Due to the country’s long history of dictatorial rule and closed borders, information on North Korea has remained limited to much of the outside world. Through the many images found in the collection, even (everyday/non-specialist) library users will gain an easy opportunity to come into visual contact with the shifting politics and culture of North Korea, not to mention changing perspectives on subjects ranging from natural resources to tourist attractions and day-to-day life.

In the decades following North Korea’s issuing of its first stamp in 1946, these printed items were limited to postal usage. After 1970, however, production increased greatly as stamps turned into profitable items for export to both Asian and European countries.

Stamp depicting rhododendron

진달래 / Rhododendron mucronulatum / Chindallae

There are a number of notable points in the Collection. For those interested in North Korean politics, the propagation of ideas and theories appears diversely throughout the years, on stamps displaying shifting slogans, mottos or educational comments about the Korean Worker’s Party (조선노동당). Here, we can see how North Korea promotes views on important historical figures and events by adapting them to effectively communicate with other countries. Amongst the commemorative stamps found in the Collection are such events as the UN International Year of Peace, national anniversaries of the People’s Republic of China and the 25th Anniversary of July 4th North-South Joint Statement. Not all items are strictly political however, as the animal collection includes images of a Poongsan dog (풍산개), a traditional Korean dog breed, dinosaurs, and a red-bellied turtle. Also on view are all important locations found in the capital of Pyongyang, such as the Central Zoo and memorial structures such as the Triumphal Arch, National Theatre, Future Scientists Street, and Seven-story pagoda of Hyeonhwa Temple (현화사 7층탑). Elsewhere, we also see selected masterpieces of European painting are displayed alongside traditional Korean works dating back to the 16th century. 

Interested researchers and students who want to see the stamps in person are more than welcome to visit the East Asian Collection  at the Joseph Regenstein Library.  Contact Jee-Young Park at jeeyoungpark@uchicago.edu to make arrangements.

Stamp depicting the Battle of Hansan Island

한산섬 앞 바다 싸움 / Battle of Hansan Island / Hansansŏm ap pada ssaum

Collecting North Korean Stamps for the University of Chicago Library

Two of the main research areas in the History Department at the University of Chicago are the Korean War and North Korean studies. Korean Studies professors and graduate students strive to broaden their understanding of North Korean politics, economics, education and religion. As I worked to build collections that would support their research, while collecting materials about North Korea, I was able to acquire one North Korean stamp album by chance. I expected the stamps would focus primarily on politically related subjects. However, the subjects in the stamps show a more diverse view of everyday North Korean society. Seventeen stamp albums (1,700 stamps) were acquired from China, and 300 early stamps came from a private collector in Germany. This private collector was a sailor who was on overseas ships and collected stamps and money from different countries. These acquisitions have been compiled, digitized and developed to provide Korean Studies scholars at the University with a valuable resource.

Stamps depicting the traditional Korean Bongsan masked dance

봉산 탈춤 / The traditional Korean Bongsan masked dance / Pongsan t’alch’um

Project Team

Many colleagues from the Library and the VRC were involved in the digitization of North Korean Stamp Collection. Korean Studies Librarian Jee-Young Park curated the project. At VRC, Associate Director Bridget Madden and Assistant Director Kat Buckley, assisted by student workers, managed the scanning of the 2,000 images and uploaded them to LUNA. Korea Foundation Visiting Librarian Intern Jisu Yeom and EALC graduate student Ethan Waddell did in-depth meta-development work. Other colleagues from the Library provided advice about the acquisition from Germany, copyright issues, and final LUNA site review.

 

UChicago Library receives 2,700 vintage photos by Vivian Maier

Gift creates largest institutional collection of acclaimed photographer’s prints

A person smiling

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The University of Chicago Library has received more than 2,700 vintage prints by celebrated photographer Vivian Maier, few of which have ever been published or displayed.

Collector John Maloof made the donation to the UChicago Library, where they will be preserved and made accessible to researchers in the Special Collections Research Center. The gift includes more than 1,200 black-and-white and 1,400 color prints that Maier made, ranging from her travels around the world to her street photography in Chicago that has received widespread critical acclaim. Because Maier chose to make the prints herself, the collection provides a rare glimpse into her creative process and the photos to which she was drawn.

“This exceptional collection will give researchers and students a more complex understanding of Vivian Maier as a unique figure in 20th-century photography,” said Brenda L. Johnson, library director and University librarian. “We are so pleased that, with the receipt of this magnificent gift from John Maloof, the UChicago Library has the largest collection of Maier photographs held by any museum or library—and the only large collection of Maier’s work that is open to all interested researchers.”

Man working on billboard featuring woman

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

Maloof first discovered the significance of Vivian Maier’s work after purchasing the contents of several storage lockers in 2008 from an auction house, eventually building a collection of more than 100,000 of Maier’s negatives and prints. The Academy Award-nominated documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which Maloof co-wrote and co-directed, depicts his exploration of Maier’s life and work.

Maier was born in New York City in 1926. She spent much of her early life traveling the world before finding a home in 1956 in Chicago, where she worked as a nanny to support her photography. It was only after her death in 2009 that Maier’s work was displayed in museums and galleries to widespread acclaim.

New window into Maier’s creative process

The photo shows a standing man with a cane and another man's face through a window

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

While six major photography books and two biographies about Maier have been published in recent years, much of her work remains unknown. Whereas most recent prints of her work have been made by collectors, Maloof’s gift offers a more direct and personal glimpse into the photographer’s work.

Capturing everything from landscapes to still lifes to candid shots of actors and actresses, the vintage prints demonstrate a variety of subjects and compositional approaches that show the breadth of Maier’s interests. In addition to the prints—which range in size from 2 by 2.5 inches to 11 by 14 inches—the collection also includes cameras, papers and other personal items.

“The vintage prints John donated to the Library were made by Vivian Maier herself in her own darkroom, or printed for her by photo processors at her direction,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center. “Researchers examining the collection will be able to see some examples of how she evaluated and edited her own work, which images she decided to enlarge or reprint, and which ones she chose to crop.”

The prints will provide researchers an opportunity to consider what makes Maier’s work distinctive, said Prof. Laura Letinsky, a photographer who teaches in UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts and serves as its director of graduate studies. She added the collection provides an opportunity to think in depth both about Maier’s influences and her point of view. For example, her depiction of women was one aspect that immediately stood out to Letinsky: “Street photographer Garry Winogrand’s pictures of women are sexy—Maier’s are not.”

People sitting in front of Tailleur

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

Seeing a concentrated group of Maier’s works rather than a small curated selection, Letinsky said, will help students better understand the level of commitment required in photography, as well as how the medium has evolved since the mid-20th century.

“I would talk about the difference in the way people see the world in this era versus our Instagram era now,” Letinsky said. “I’d want them to see the physicality of it.”

The archive also includes examples of items Maier collected: seven still cameras and three movie cameras, plus a variety of lenses, attachments and cases; ring binders and plastic display holders filled with newspaper and magazine clippings; luggage, a travel itinerary, postcards, address books and other ephemera.

This is the second gift Maloof has given to the UChicago Library, following his 2017 donation of 500 Maier prints. After seeing the interest those prints generated among scholars, students and the public, Maloof realized that he needed to give more to build an “effective study collection.”

Maier’s work joins collections of a range of female photographers held by the UChicago Library, including photo-secessionist Eva Watson-Schütze, documentary photographer Mildred Mead, anthropologist Joan Eggan and literary photographer Layle Silbert.



The copyrights in the photography contained in this press release are owned by the Estate of Vivian Maier. The Estate grants a limited license to media and press to reproduce the attached images in articles concerning Vivian Maier and/or John Maloof’s donation of vintage prints of Vivian Maier’s work to the University of Chicago.  Hi-resolution versions of images may be used in connection with print versions of articles only.  For electronic and online publications, the reproduced images may not exceed 1500 pixels on the longest side and 72 dpi.  Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or exhibition could result in liability under the Copyright Act.  Publication of any of these images requires accompanying use of this notice: “Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.”

Media contact: Colleen Mastony, cmastony@uchicago.edu, (773) 702-4254

This story is published on the University of Chicago News site.

Photograph of part of a face (including an eye with glasses) behind part of a stop sign

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The cartoonists’ guide to law

The D’Angelo Law Library’s new collection of illustrated legal codes offers insight into statutes and society

Lyonette Louis-Jacques examining "Code pénal"

Lyonette Louis-Jacques examining “Code pénal”

At first glance, the cartoon in the French law book on Lyonette Louis-Jacques’ desk in the D’Angelo Law Library seems almost funny, in a banana-peel-pratfall kind of way.

For starters, there’s actually a banana peel in the picture, two slippery slivers making their mischief beneath the foot of a well-dressed redhead. She’s knocking her elbow back protectively as she tumbles—skirt lifting, purse flying—into the man beside her. Like a domino, he’s pitching forward, his hands thrust outward and his chapeau tossed upward.

Comedy, right? Except the scene is meant to depict involontairement un homicide, which means that someone is about to die—and someone else is unintentionally at fault. It seems likely that the man is the one mortally doomed; his lurch has propelled him toward a third pedestrian—and directly into the sharp tip of a walking cane. Worse, the instrument has dislodged his eye, which is now impaled on its tip like a campfire marshmallow.

drawing of a man's eye being poked out by another man's cane and a woman falling

“It took me a while to realize that this guy’s cane was poking through this other guy’s eye,” Louis-Jacques, the D’Angelo Law Library’s foreign and international law librarian, said recently, her finger grazing the page. “There’s so much going on here.”

So much, in fact, that the accident’s cause—and the proper distribution of blame—is unclear, which seems both puzzling and appropriate for a drawing that is accompanied by a French description of involuntary manslaughter and the accompanying criminal penalties.

This, of course, is part of the intrigue.

The book, published in Paris in about 1929, is an illustrated copy of the French criminal code by the early-20th-century cartoonist Joseph Hémard, who was popular at the time—and Louis-Jacques, who was drawn to the visual and humorous mode of interpreting law, had worked particularly hard to find it. It now resides in the D’Angelo’s new and growing collection of illustrated law books. The Code pénal, like other Hémard books that she’s acquired—including the Code civil, an illustrated French civil code published in 1925, and the Code général des impôts directs et taxes assimilées, a lengthy, illustrated French tax code published in 1944—is rife with nuance, social commentary, and a depiction of the law that transcends language and culture.

Title page with drawing of woman with tablets“It’s a way of telling stories about the law and opening up people’s minds,” said Louis-Jacques, who became interested in the genre when she saw a rare books display featuring some of Hémard’s work at a conference. “The illustrations are humorous, and sometimes they’re scandalous, and often they’re thought-provoking.”

She loved the idea that the illustrations might start a conversation or pique a student’s interest in an area of law, and she was intrigued by their ability to express both the happenstance of the human condition and the complexity of law.

Take, for instance, the scene with the skewered eye. Assuming the tumbling man is the one to expire, who bears responsibility for his death? The woman, for clumsily pushing him into the cane? An unknown, or unseen, banana-eater, for dropping the peel? The man with the cane, for brandishing his walking aid so recklessly?

“Look at this guy’s nose,” Louis-Jacques said, pointing to the cane-bearer’s flushed face and reddened nose. “Is he drunk? Is that why he’s unaware? And look at the woman—who’s responsible if she dies?”

And what if the scene is meant to be understood in reverse, with the cane, rather than the peel, setting everything in motion? What if the cane has propelled the injured man backward, into the woman and toward the banana peel? And what if the man with the cane is actually drunk? What if he only appears to be drunk? What if they’re all drunk?

“These illustrations do more than show the code,” Louis-Jacques said. “They take it a bit further; they show an understanding of how complicated the law can be.”

Which is what makes them such a welcome addition to the library’s collection, said D’Angelo Law Library Director Sheri Lewis.

“Understanding the story behind a legal question is essential for interpreting and applying the law,” Lewis said. “While law books are filled with such stories, they very rarely include illustrations that depict the legal situations discussed. These rare books offer a unique and colorful way for a reader to connect with the law. We are delighted to have them in our collection.”

So far, the D’Angelo’s collection of cartoon-illustrated law books is small—there are only about a dozen—because finding them isn’t always easy.

“They aren’t always described in a way we can easily call up,” Louis-Jacques said. “They aren’t usually listed as ‘Cartoon-illustrated law codes.’ There is the subheading ‘Caricatures and cartoons’, but that is rarely added to law books in the library catalog unless expressly requested.”

Law books, she added, aren’t generally illustrated so it’s easy to overlook the illustrations unless they are well integrated into the text, as the Hémard books are.

Drawing of one man chasing another

Right now, the collection is anchored by the Hémard volumes, although Louis-Jacques has also acquired a French traffic code, the Code de la route, and a French tax code, the Code des impôts, both published in the late 1950s and illustrated by Albert Dubout, as well as more recent volumes like Le nouveau code pénal illustré (The New Illustrated Penal Code), which was illustrated by Francis Le Gunehec and published in 1996. There’s also a 1944 volume illustrated by Hémard and authored by the celebrated French writer Honoré de Balzac, titled the Code des gens honnêtes, ou l’art de ne pas être dupe des fripons (roughly translated as the Code of Honest People, or The Art of Not Being Tricked By Swindlers).

 “That’s not a law code—it’s a behavior code aimed at gentlemen of the time,” Louis-Jacques said. “Balzac wrote it in 1845 and then Hémard illustrated it in 1944. There were only 800 copies made and the D’Angelo has one of them.”

There are many others Louis-Jacques hopes to acquire—an illustrated Brazilian penal code and an illustrated French tourism code among them—and she enjoys blending her language and research skills to hunt for the volumes, waiting to see if one ends up listed on a library sale or an estate auction.

Eventually, she hopes to create an exhibit that offers additional context for the volumes, including historical information about the illustrators and the time periods in which they were published. She’s curious whether Hémard’s own biases and prior experiences—and even his lack of legal training—might have influenced his interpretation of the law and his artistic choices.

Drawing of man reaching for woman held back by another woman

The works, she notes, make the law accessible by appealing to universal themes. In the Code civil, there’s a cartoon depicting a woman trying hard to keep a man from running toward another woman; one doesn’t need to read French to recognize the depiction of marital infidelity. In the tax code book—the volume for which Hémard was most famous—a worried-looking man runs from a judge.

“This is tax law in France, but there are the same sort of issues and the same sort of attempts to avoid paying taxes,” Louis-Jacques said with a laugh.

And then there’s simply the ability of the books to lure one into thinking about the law.

Louis-Jacques held up a plain book and a copy of the Code pénal, which features on its cover a colorful cartoon of a man with an axe in his head pointing at a man with a smoking gun who appears to be fleeing winged creatures, one of whom is carrying the scales of justice.

“If I showed you both of these,” she said, displaying both, “which one are you more likely to open?”

Originally published by the University of Chicago Law School

Courses inspire student to collect, donate rare books to UChicago Library

Bob Connors with his books

Bob Connors, a retired tax attorney and Graham School student, recently donated his collection of nearly 600 rare books to the University of Chicago Library. (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

Graham School sparks 70-year-old Bob Connors’ quest to find works dating to 15th century

Bob Connors flips open the heavy leather covers, thumbing past yellowed, worm-holed pages more than five centuries old. A few feet behind him, boxes pile up along the wall.

This collection of rare books started with a simple idea. As a student at the University of Chicago Graham School, Connors was reading texts considered the bedrock of Western Civilization. Why not find the oldest copies he could get his hands on?

An open book

The oldest book in Connors’ collection is a 1475 edition of Augustine’s Confessions, printed in Milan by Johannes Bonus. This incunable title is notable for its unusual text type, light and delicate. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

What began as a hobby for the retired tax attorney grew into a years-long odyssey—one that sent him down a rabbit hole of auctions and book dealers. Inspired by his studies, the collection of nearly 600 books is remarkable in both breadth and depth: rare editions of famous authors like James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald; oversized 15th- and 16th-century volumes with original oak covers and brass clasps; and the oldest of the lot, a 1475 copy of Augustine’s Confessions.

Connors is now 70 years old. Last October, he was diagnosed with cancer. He began to think: Of all his possessions, there was one set in particular worth preserving.

“I had all these books that I collected and I valued,” said Connors, sitting in his suburban Oak Park home. “And I guess part of it is, at this point, I’m into legacy. What will be left behind? And I knew that if I didn’t do something with these books, they would be thrown out. And I couldn’t let that happen.”

He decided to donate them to UChicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center, where they now live as the Robert S. Connors Basic Program Collection.

The name is a nod to the curriculum that nurtured in Connors a fascination with the history of the printed word. Since 1946, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies has offered the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults to encourage reading and engaging with the “Great Books.” One proponent of this approach was former UChicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins, who argued that it kept one’s “intelligence on the stretch.”

“Great books teach people not only how to read them,” he wrote in 1952, “but also how to read all other books.”

An irreplaceable collection

Elizabeth Frengel, the curator of rare books at the University of Chicago Library, had expected a small collection, perhaps around two dozen books.

The dolphin-and-anchor printer's device in a book held by Connors

Bob Connors holds one of his many Aldines—books printed by Aldus Manutius’ 16th-century press. Known for producing smaller, more accessible books, Manutius adopted a distinctive dolphin-and-anchor printer’s device. (Robert Kozloff for the University of Chicago)

When they first met, Connors brought with him copies of classic British literature such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot, enough to reveal he had “a good eye as a collector.” Then he and Frengel started talking about the Aldine Press, an early 16th-century publisher that printed smaller, portable books that were more feasible for students and scholars to acquire. The ready accessibility of these books transformed the nature of reading—and, many argue, extended the reach of the Renaissance.

“As a group, it’s irreplaceable,” said Frengel, who oversees the University’s approximately 340,000 volumes dating back to the 15th century. “If we weren’t able to make this collection available to researchers, that would be a sad loss. You couldn’t easily recapture that sort of scholarly value.”

The donation included 11 “incunabula.” Taken from the Latin word for “swaddling clothes,” the term denotes books published in Europe between 1455 and 1501. These works, along with some 16th-century publications, illuminate the history of printing and provide insight into the evolution of the book as a material and technical object.

“The books are not going to be things that sit on a shelf and nobody really uses,” said Fred Beuttler, a Graham School associate dean who was one of the first UChicago employees to see Connors’ collection. “We’re going to make them accessible to faculty and graduate students.”

On April 9, the University will recognize Connors in a ceremony, joined by his family and members of the UChicago community.

‘More fun than golf’

The books’ new home represents a fitting coda to Connors’ journey. While working downtown in the early 1980s, he called the University of Chicago on a whim and asked about part-time course offerings.

“It was the leading university in area,” Connors said. “If I was gonna be taking classes, I might as well take it from the best.”

Whoever picked up the phone pointed him to the Graham School’s Basic Program. On the first day of class, Connors found out that he was entering the first part of a four-year sequence. His relationship with the Graham School would last even longer.

Connors received a certificate from the Basic Program in 1985, but the classes wore on him. A new job had taken him an hour north of downtown Chicago, and the evening commute back into the city left him struggling to stay awake during discussions.

So he took a break, focusing on his career until he approached retirement. He enrolled again in 2006, signing up for a course on the Roman historian Tacitus. The discussion-based nature of the classes, he said, prompted him to read more closely than he ever would on his own. Along the way, he picked up an interest in collecting.

“Something I thought would be more fun than golf, I guess,” he said.

Connors’ love for books has always been clear. Meggie, the younger of his two daughters, still remembers their nightly reading sessions—a few pages of Little House on the Prairie, or a chapter of Little Women. She doesn’t consider herself a history buff, but her father’s occasional spiels about his collection revealed his passion.

“He really latches on to information,” she said. “Especially with these books, he could remember every single detail about them.”

That impulse hasn’t waned. Even now, Connors hopes not only to continue his studies, but to keep searching for books to acquire.

Frengel understands the urge. Many of Connors’ oldest books contain hand-written notes in the margins, unique to each of their previous owners.

A manicule in a book's margin

Drawn in book margins by hand, manicules were popular among Renaissance readers as a way to mark important passages of text. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

“Collecting these kinds of books give you perhaps a more insightful understanding of how culture is transmitted—how our cultural myths, our stories, our histories are passed down to us,” she said. “You can probably access almost all of these texts online for nothing, because they’re not copyrighted. But the material object puts you in touch with that history in an entirely new way.”

Connors has compared his books to an art collection—better shared than hidden away. Though he has read translations of many, there are several that he appreciates simply as historical artifacts. They would serve little purpose locked up in someone’s basement.

“They’ve been around for a long time,” Connors said. “I’m hoping they’ll be around for a good long time further when they’re cared for by the University Library. They really belong there.”

A University of Chicago news story

Robert G. Schloerb Honorary Exhibit

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois
Dates: March 5–31, 2019

“I recently had that feeling of power in a man who was working for peace. He has been maligned many times. He has been called a dreamer. His methods of striving for peace may not be right, but he works with a faith that God is working for peace. He believes that selfishness and national greed and hatred are ultimately self-defeating. The universe is against such policies. So, although he suffers and is rejected, he retains power and poise.”

Rolland W. Schloerb, God in Our Lives (New York; London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), 114.

Ten books have been added to the Religion Collection at the University of Chicago Library in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb (JD, ’51) on the occasion of his 95th birthday (March 5, 2019). An exhibit to commemorate Mr. Schloerb is on display in the Fourth Floor Reading Room of the Regenstein Library during March. Patrons will be able to peruse or check out the books added in Mr. Schloerb’s honor. Anne K. Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies, selected these titles to reflect Mr. Schloerb’s exceptional support of the Divinity School, especially its Ministry Program. The books reflect the broad interdenominational and global breadth of the Ministry Program and its commitment to integrating academic rigor and public discourse.

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Robert Schloerb and Mary Schloerb have a longstanding partnership with the University and the Divinity School, including decades of generosity and service. Through a generous gift, they created the Rolland Walter Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, in honor of Robert’s father, to support ministry students at the Divinity School. Rolland W. Schloerb (quoted above) served as pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church, now Hyde Park Union Church, from 1928 until his death in 1958. Sara Lytle, the current recipient of the Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, studies Buddhist studies and pastoral care, with particular interests in gender/sexuality, mental health, and death/dying. In addition, Robert and Mary Schloerb contribute to the Divinity School’s Annual Fund and the Baptist Theological Union International Ministry Fellowship. This fellowship supports travel for two Divinity Students, annually. Recent recipient Jair Pinedo traveled to Mexico, where he examined issues of immigration and migration, specifically as relates to children in migrant families. Co-winner Yitzhak Bronstein, studied intentional communities in Israel and how these communities transform the societies they inhabit.

Robert and Mary Schloerb have supported initiatives in the Biological Sciences, the Hospitals, the Law School, the Library, and the Oriental Institute. Robert Schloerb served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1994, and currently is a trustee emeritus. He is a current member of the Baptist Theological Union Board. His and Mary’s youngest son John serves as the current Vice President of the BTU Board. Robert Schloerb is also a life member of the Library Council, Oriental Institute Council, Divinity School Council and Medical Center Council. Mary Schloerb is a current member of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Chicago Lying-In Board. She has served on the Women’s Board and Oriental Institute Council.

We thank Mr. Schloerb and his family for their continued commitment to the University of Chicago community. These books represent that ongoing commitment as they too will support current and future Divinity School students.

Archives of two giants of economics

Gifts of the papers of George Stigler and Harry G. Johnson will expand our understanding of economics at Chicago

George Stigler in front of Rosenwald Hall and a headshot of Harry Johnson

George Stigler (left) and Harry G. Johnson (right). Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

The University of Chicago is world renowned for the “Chicago School of Economics” and the 30 Nobel laureates in economic sciences who have been UChicago faculty members, students, or researchers. Yet, among historians of economics, definitions of the “Chicago School” continue to be debated.  Three recent gifts to the University of Chicago Library—the papers of Nobel laureate George Stigler, PhD’38, the papers of international trade expert Harry G. Johnson, and funding to organize the Johnson papers and create an online finding aid—will expand scholars’ understanding of the many ways Chicago has shaped the field of economics.

The University of Chicago Library is home to collections of more than 30 economists and 21 Nobel laureates, including seven Nobel Prize-winning economists:  Gary Becker, Ronald Coase, Robert Fogel, Milton Friedman, Merton Miller, Theodore Schultz, and George Stigler.   “These three generous new gifts will enable scholars to explore the history of economics in new ways,” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian.  “They strengthen our University Archives and demonstrate the Library’s ongoing commitment to being a vital center of University of Chicago history and the home of Nobel Prize winners’ research.”

Nobel laureate George Stigler’s papers

Draft of Nobel Prize speech, "The Process and Progress of Economics" with edits

Draft of Nobel Prize speech, with black handwritten edits by George Stigler and red printing by Stephen Stigler, November 29, 1982. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Frequently thought of as one of the leaders of the “Chicago School,” George Stigler came to the University of Chicago as a graduate student in 1933, received his PhD in 1938 and returned to Chicago as a professor from 1958 until his death in 1991.  He was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences “for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets and causes and effects of public regulation” and was hailed by the Journal of Law and Economics as “a towering figure in the history of law and economics” and the first to win a Nobel Prize for work in the field.

Stigler is widely known for developing the “Economic Theory of Regulation,” which argues that political and economic interest groups use the coercive and regulatory powers of government to shape laws and regulations that benefit them.  He also shaped the education of a generation of undergraduates as the author of The Theory of Price, a textbook on free market economics that places its subject in historical context.  He initiated the study of the economics of information as a field, arguing that knowledge is costly to acquire and that consumers and businesses therefore must make decisions about how much information to acquire, as they do with goods and services.

Handwritten letter from Milton Friedman to George Stigler

Letter from Milton Friedman to George Stigler, August 23, 1946. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

George Stigler’s son Stephen M. Stigler also became a faculty member at University of Chicago.  Currently the Ernest DeWitt Burton Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Statistics and the College and member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, Stephen donated his father’s papers to the University of Chicago Library, where they are available for research in the Special Collections Research Center.  A long-time supporter of the Library, chair of the faculty Board of the Library from 1986 to 1989, and chair of the University of Chicago Library Society from 2011 to 2014, Stephen said the papers clearly belonged here: “I never had a thought that they’d go anywhere else because the University of Chicago was such an important part of my father’s life.”

The papers include 70 linear feet of research and teaching materials, correspondence with economists such as Milton Friedman, photographs, and ephemera. Stephen Stigler anticipates that scholars may be particularly interested in some of the short, unpublished pieces that explore economic issues and, in some cases, politics.  “He was very interested in politics—not politics as something to push forward, but he thought when people voted a certain way or acted a certain way politically, they were furthering their own interests, and that’s not always obvious from what they did,” Stephen explained.  “People sometimes do what could at first glance look foolish, and you wonder why they did it, but if you study it enough, you can find that there is a rational story you can tell to explain what they’re doing.  You learn a lot about human behavior in the process.”

International trade expert Harry G. Johnson’s papers

Harry Johnson with others seated around a table with plates and cups

Harry G. Johnson (second from left). Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

A contemporary of George Stigler’s, Harry G. Johnson came to the University of Chicago in 1959, holding the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professorship in the economics department from 1969 until his death in 1977. He was extraordinarily prolific, writing 19 books and 500 scholarly papers and editing 24 volumes before his early death due to a stroke at age 53.  Focusing primarily on international economics and economic theory, he played a leading role in the development of the Heckscher-Ohlin model of international trade.  He was known for articulating the connections between the ideas of major postwar economic innovators and, according to biographer D. E. Moggridge, defined the vital issues that “set the profession’s agenda for a generation.”  An influential editor of the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Political Economy, the Manchester School, and Economica, Johnson was considered so important to the field that Nobel laureate James Tobin called the third quarter of the 20th century “the age of Johnson.”

A large group of people standing on a staircase, including Harry G. Johnson

Attendees at the International Economic Association South-East Asia Refresher Course in Economics, Singapore July – September 1956, Nanyang Siang Pau Photo Graphic Department. Harry Johnson (first row, far right). Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Professor Johnson’s papers were donated to the University of Chicago Library by his children, Karen Johnson and Ragnar Johnson.  The 100 linear feet of materials include research and teaching papers, correspondence, and photographs. An additional gift, from David Levy, AM’70, PhD’79, will support the in-depth work of organizing the papers into an archival collection that will be ready for research. Additionally, an online finding aid, or guide, to the organized papers will provide a clear understanding of the contents of the collection.  “The power of the University Archives can’t be fully appreciated without finding aids,” said David Levy, a professor at George Mason University specializing in economics and the history of economic thought.

Professor Levy recalls his UChicago graduate school days enthusiastically. George Stigler served as the chair of his thesis committee, and Johnson acted as an additional reader.  “Every time I would talk to Harry, he would remind me that his first article was on David Ricardo, and my dissertation was on David Ricardo,” he said. Levy was particularly proud when, after a painful meeting with the committee, Johnson showed confidence in him by citing a paper he wrote in The Two-Sector Model of General Equilibrium.

Folded newspaper showing article on "The consequences of Keynes" on top of folder

Harry G. Johnson, “The Consequences of Keynes,” Times Literary Supplement, February 7, 1975. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Levy expects his gift will help future scholars better understand Johnson and his impact.  “Harry is one of the most important teachers at Chicago, but he’s not considered ‘Chicago School,’ which is actually sort of a problem for the history of ideas.  He’s not noted for free market advocacy,” Levy said. “Harry helped make the distinction between Keynes and Keynesians. He would combat myths wherever he saw them.  From my point of view, that’s his greatest contribution.”

A conference on “The Legacy of Chicago Economics” held at the University of Chicago in 2015 made it clear that the common perception of the “so-called Chicago School” has changed over time. At its origins in the 1930s, economics at the University of Chicago was not focused on promoting a single point of view or ideology, but rather about “finding an approach to studying economics.”  The gifts that make the archives of George Stigler and Harry G. Johnson part of the Library’s collections have the potential to change future researchers’ understandings of what the “Chicago School” was and how the University of Chicago—in the broadest sense—influences the future of economics.

Library receives medals, papers of Nobel laureate James Cronin

The University of Chicago Library has received the medals and academic papers of Nobel-winning physicist James Cronin, SM’53, PhD’55, the late UChicago scientist who made defining contributions to physics and astronomical observation.

James Cronin at chalkboard

James Cronin at the chalkboard. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Cronin’s children, Emily Cronin Grothe and Daniel Cronin, donated six medals that recognize his extraordinary achievements, including the 1980 Nobel Prize Medal for Physics and the 1999 National Medal of Science. His widow, Carol Cronin, donated his professional papers, including lab reports, articles, lectures, speeches, teaching materials, correspondence and other items.

The two gifts join archival collections at the Library’s Special Collections Research Center containing the papers or medals of 20 other Nobel laureates, including UChicago-associated physicists Niels Bohr, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Arthur H. Compton, Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Albert A. Michelson, Yoichiro Nambu and Eugene Wigner.

Nobel Prize medal in a gloved hand

James Cronin’s Nobel Prize Medal. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. The Nobel Prize medal design mark is the registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

“I am deeply grateful to the Cronin family for their invaluable gifts to the Library,” said Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian. “Making James Cronin’s papers and medals available to researchers and students not only helps us to understand the achievements of the past—it also fuels the rigorous inquiry of faculty and the transformative education we provide students. That is why the University of Chicago Library is committed to being the home of Nobel Prize winners’ research.”

Cronin earned his master’s degree and PhD in physics from UChicago in the 1950s. While conducting research in the 1960s at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he and colleague Val Fitch studied subatomic particles coming off collisions between protons and atom nuclei and found the first example of nature’s preference for matter over antimatter. It was the first observation of a mystery that had baffled scientists for decades, and the breakthrough would earn them the Nobel Prize in 1980.

This finding was later used to provide support for the Big Bang theory, explaining why the explosion would produce more matter than antimatter—leaving remnants that would eventually became stars, planets and human life.

Studying the origin of cosmic rays

Cronin joined the UChicago faculty in 1971 as University Professor of Physics. He soon shifted course to study the origin of cosmic rays: mysterious, highly energetic particles that strike the Earth from elsewhere in the cosmos. To search for them, he co-founded the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina—a massive international collaboration to build a system of giant water tanks spread over an area ten times the size of Paris. It took its first readings in 2005, and just last year discovered extragalactic origins for some of the cosmic rays that strike Earth.

James Cronin (left) with apparatus and colleagues

Photo of James Cronin (left) with apparatus and colleagues. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Cronin saw himself as part of a long lineage of UChicago physicists. In 2001, he organized a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of Fermi’s birth and edited the book Fermi Remembered. Published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004, it explored the enduring significance of Fermi’s work.

“In his first year as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Cronin studied with Enrico Fermi and developed a great respect for him,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center. “When he was working on the Fermi centennial and publication, Cronin came to Special Collections frequently to do his own research in the Fermi papers. He examined all of Fermi’s original laboratory notebooks and located key letters and documents from Fermi’s career.”

Emily Cronin Grothe, LAB’78, said the University of Chicago Library was the right home for her father’s medals and papers.

“Our family has a long history with the University of Chicago, with my grandfather, father, mother, uncle and daughter all receiving advanced degrees from the institution,” she said. “Given that, and how proud my father was to be associated with the University and its remarkable approach and achievements in science, my brother Dan and I never wavered in our commitment to house my father’s papers and medals with The Library.”

Selected medals, awards and honors of James W. Cronin, including (left to right) the 1976 Franklin Institute John Price Wetherill Medal, the 1977 United States Department of Energy Ernest Orlando Lawrence Memorial Award Medal, the 1999 National Medal of Science, the 1999 Collège de France Service Medal, the 1980 Nobel Prize Medal for Physics, and the 1999 French Légion d’Honneur Chevalier Medal. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library. Photo by Jean Lachat. The Nobel Prize medal design mark is the registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation.

Featured gifts to the Library

Art deco print by Edouard Benedictus

Edouard Benedictus. Nouvelles variations, soixante-quinze motifs décoratifs en vingt planches. Gift of Jerome V. Frazel, AB ’83, and Nancy H. Wilder in honor of Joanne K. Frazel and Frank and Margaret “Peg” Hickey

The University of Chicago Library greatly appreciates gifts of books, archives, manuscripts, photography, electronic media, and art that create invaluable research and learning opportunities for our scholarly community. In 2016-17, the Library was honored to receive donations in a wide range of fields that strengthen our collections. In addition to the notable John Maloof Collection of Vivian Maier, a selection of these rare and unique items include the following:

  • Edouard Benedictus. Nouvelles variations, soixante-quinze motifs décoratifs en vingt planches.  Paris: Aux Éditions Albert Lévy, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, [1928].  A set of 20 art deco prints of decorative motifs in the original portfolio.  Two were featured in the summer 2017 exhibition Art in the Stacks: Selections from Special Collections. Gift of Nancy H. Wilder and Jerome V. Frazel, AB ’83, in honor of Joanne K. Frazel and Frank and Margaret “Peg” Hickey
  • More than 100 volumes, mainly 16th- and 17th-century works from a personal research library on Renaissance history and culture. Gift of Michael Murrin, the Raymond and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
  • Sanskrit puranas; 160 volumes of traditional printed books; 18 boxed volumes of books printed in manuscript format, called pohti; 18 books in manuscript format wrapped in fabric, the traditional way of holding unbound texts together. Gift of Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions

    Cyrus Leroy Baldridge. Portrait of Caroline Singer Baldridge, ca. 1952. Oil on canvas. Gift of Michèle and Bronson Hall in memory of Frances and J. Parker Hall, Jr., PhB ’27, University of Chicago Treasurer, 1946-1969

  • The Lawrence Okrent Collection. Approximately 27,000 aerial photographs by Lawrence Okrent of Chicago and the surrounding region, dating from 1985 to 2015; approximately 5,500 (ground level) architectural photographs by Lawrence Okrent of significant sites and buildings in Chicago and the region, dating from 1968 to 2015; approximately 2,200 postcard images of Chicago subjects, dating from about 1910 to 1965; and approximately 700 corner cards: commercial envelopes with imprints of Chicago Business logos (including many with architectural content), dating from about 1880 to 1950. Almost all of the images in the collection are digital in origin, or have been digitized from the original film images. Gift of Lawrence Okrent
  • Historic collection of materials related to the Hall family, including a letter sweater and other student memorabilia of University of Chicago Treasurer James Parker Hall, Jr., PhB’27; historical monographs and fine arts books including La Fontaine and Lemarié, Fables, and Villon and Hubert, Oeuvres; and illustrated books by Cyrus Leroy Baldridge and Caroline Singer with a framed oil portrait of Singer by Baldridge. Gift of Michèle and Bronson Hall in memory of Frances and J. Parker Hall, Jr., PhB ’27, University of Chicago Treasurer, 1946-1969

We thank all of our donors who contributed special gifts last year.

University of Chicago Library receives vintage Vivian Maier prints

Nearly 500 photographs to be available for research at Special Collections

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The University of Chicago Library has received a gift of nearly 500 photographic prints made by Vivian Maier, the master 20th-century street photographer known for her striking images of life in Chicago and New York City.

The prints, given to the University by collector and filmmaker John Maloof, will be preserved and made available for research purposes by the Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The new collection is comprised of vintage prints that have never been published or exhibited to the public, along with one of Maier’s cameras and some of her personal effects.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

“This collection of prints will help researchers and students to understand Maier as a working photographer,” said Daniel Meyer, director of the Special Collections Research Center. “As a new discovery in 20th-century American photography, Vivian Maier’s work also offers fresh insights into the viewpoints and graphic styles of her contemporaries.”

The UChicago collection is the first of Maier’s work to be held by a research institution, allowing scholars to study her photography and creative process in the city that was her home.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

Maier’s work became known to the public less than a decade ago. Maloof in 2008 found himself with a trove of more than 100,000 photographs after purchasing the contents of several of Maier’s storage lockers at auction. His investigation into Maier’s life and work was told in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which Maloof co-wrote and co-directed.

Maier was born in New York City in 1926. She spent much of her early life traveling the world before finding a home in 1956 in Chicago, where she worked as a nanny to support her photography. It was only after her death in 2009 that Maier’s work was displayed in museums and galleries to widespread acclaim.

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

“Vivian Maier herself is unique as a photographer because of her personal story and the remarkable quality of her work,” said Brenda Johnson, Library director and University librarian at UChicago. “Seeing these prints will help viewers to step back into Maier’s time and place and to explore her perspective.”

Maloof donated the prints to the University to allow for researchers to better explore Maier’s printing process and understand how her work evolved. “There’s more here that she physically created with her hands—that can be studied—than has ever been open to the public,” Maloof said. “This is what made her tick, who she was as an artist.”

Maier’s work will join collections of a range of female photographers held by the UChicago Library, including photo-secessionist Eva Watson Schütze, documentary photographer Mildred Mead, anthropologist Joan Eggan and literary photographer Layle Silbert.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The prints in the Maier collection represent the range of subjects she captured from the 1950s to the 1980s. Included in the collections are images of recognizable political, religious and cultural figures, along with the intimate street portraits of anonymous men, women and children. The collection has images—often captured curbside—of John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra, among others. While past exhibitions of Maier’s work have typically featured large-format prints made from negatives by collectors, the UChicago holdings are comprised of prints made by Maier through commercial photo labs or in her own darkroom.

“A lot of the work in this collection has her process visible,” Maloof said. “She’s printing in different ways, she’s cropping in different ways, and you can see her hand in the process. You can study that, and I think that could be important for people to research.”

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The Maier collection is currently being processed and is expected to be made available to researchers by the end of the year.

Maloof plans to donate additional photographs made by Maier to the UChicago Library.

Press Inquiries and Images

Note: The copyrights in the photography contained in this news release are owned by the Estate of Vivian Maier. The estate grants a limited, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive license to media and press to reproduce the attached images in articles concerning Vivian Maier and/or John Maloof’s donation of vintage prints of Vivian Maier’s work to the University of Chicago. High-resolution versions of images may be used in connection with print versions of articles only. For electronic and online publications, the reproduced images may not exceed 1,500 pixels on the longest side and 72 dpi. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition could result in liability under the Copyright Act.

Publication of these images requires use of this notice: “Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier.  All rights reserved.”

To obtain images and for other press inquiries:
Andrew Bauld, News Officer for Arts and Humanities
News Office
773-702-8378
Reserved for members of the media.

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier. Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

New online resource: Black Freedom Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Mississippi Subversion of the Right to Vote

Cover of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) pamphlet published in Atlanta, 1965

Researchers at the University of Chicago now have access to Black Freedom Struggle in the Twentieth Century, a collection of digital primary sources consisting of government documents, organizational records, and personal papers. The resource, which consists of four modules, includes major collections of civil rights records from the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush presidencies; the Martin Luther King FBI file and FBI files on locations of major civil rights demonstrations; and the records of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA); Records of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Also included in the collection are the personal papers of Mary McLeod Bethune and Charles A. Barnett.