Feature Story Brenda Johnson named Library Director and University Librarian

Brenda L. Johnson, an internationally respected leader in the field of library science, has been appointed Library Director and University Librarian, Provost Eric Isaacs announced Oct. 16. Her five-year term begins Jan. 1, 2015.

“The Library plays a key role in the life of faculty and students at the University of Chicago,” Isaacs said. “Brenda’s expertise in supporting both physical collections and the proliferation of digital resources, along with her history of collaboration and innovative thinking, make her an outstanding leader for this important enterprise.”

Brenda Johnson

Brenda Johnson

Johnson currently serves as Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University, Bloomington—a position she has held since 2010. She succeeds Judith Nadler, who retired in June after nearly five decades of service to UChicago.

Before coming to Indiana University, Johnson was University Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She spent more than 20 years at the University of Michigan, where she served as Associate University Librarian for Public Services, a position with responsibility over that institution’s 19 libraries.

She is active in the national and international library community through service and leadership on a variety of executive boards and committees, such as the board of governors of HathiTrust, the board of directors of CLOCKSS (a digital repository for web-based scholarly publications), the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Library Directors Group, the board of directors of Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment), and the Association of Research Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Steering Committee.

Johnson has become a nationally and internationally recognized voice on topics such as the rapid pace of change in information discovery and dissemination, the development of multi-institution “collective collections,” and research and learning environments, as well as the need for library transformation that fosters scholarly engagement and support. Her recent international speaking engagements have taken her to London, Shanghai, Kyushu and Yokohama, Japan.

“The University of Chicago Library is a unique and influential institution among academic libraries,” Johnson said. “I am truly honored by the opportunity to lead it through a time of transformation for all libraries, and eager to collaborate with faculty, students and staff to ensure its vitality in the years to come.”

Diane Lauderdale, professor of Health Studies, is chair of the Library’s faculty board and chaired the search committee that recommended Johnson for the position of Library Director.

“Brenda Johnson is an experienced library director and well-respected leader in the international academic library community,” Lauderdale said. “She will bring to the University of Chicago a deep understanding of collections, public and technical services and new technologies. We have an outstanding collection and staff here, but like all university libraries, face challenging decisions in the next few years about our physical and digital collections. The search committee felt confident that Brenda had the experience, insight and vision to lead our library to an even higher level of excellence.”

At a time of change for libraries nationwide, the University of Chicago Library has flourished as a center of intellectual inquiry recognized throughout academia and a dynamic learning environment for UChicago students. With its 11.9 million volumes, noted collections in a broad range of fields, including global resources and commitment to keeping its collection on campus, the Library has become a destination for scholars and a model for other institutions worldwide.  

The Joseph Regenstein Library and the adjoining Joe and Rika Mansueto Library are located in the heart of the Hyde Park campus—a testament to the Library’s continued importance to scholarly and campus life at the University, Isaacs said.

The Mansueto Library is the most recent addition to the library system. Mansueto houses cutting-edge facilities for book preservation and digitization, as well as a high-density underground storage system with the capacity to hold 3.5 million volume equivalents. The library was designed to fulfill scholars’ needs for easy access to print resources at a time when many other research universities are moving their collections to off-site storage.

The library is named in honor of Joe Mansueto, AB’78, MBA’80, and Rika Yoshida, AB’91, who gave a $25 million gift to the University in 2008. Architect Helmut Jahn designed the facility’s iconic glass dome, which encloses a light-filled reading room and an underground storage system that descends 50 feet below ground.

Alice Schreyer, Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections, has been leading the Library on an interim basis since Nadler’s retirement. She will continue in that role until Johnson’s arrival.

A University of Chicago news release

Special Collections Closing Early October 14

The Special Collections Research Center will close early, at 3:00pm, on Tuesday, October 14, for a special event. We will resume our normal hours Wednesday, October 15.  We regret any inconvenience caused.

SCRC Opens at 10:30 on Friday, September 12

The Special Collections Research Center will open at 10:30 Friday morning, September 12.  We will return to our usual opening time of 9:00am on Monday, September 15, and regret any inconvenience caused.

Robert Maynard Hutchins Papers available for research

A youthful Robert M. Hutchins in 1929

A youthful Robert M. Hutchins in 1929

The Robert Maynard Hutchins Papers are now available for research.

This collection is distinct from the Office of the President, Hutchins Administration Records, and includes material pertaining to Hutchins’ research, writing, and speaking; material relevant to his professional activities; correspondence; subject files; personal ephemera; honors and awards; annotated books; and photographs and audio recordings. The  bulk of the material dates between 1921 and 1977.

The correspondence series represents the largest portion of the collection. Hutchins corresponded with an impressive number of 20th-century luminaries including Saul Alinsky, Steve Allen, Pearl S. Buck, Albert Einstein, T. S. Eliot, Hubert Humphrey, Oscar Hammerstein II, Aldous and Laura Huxley, Charles and Anne Lindbergh, Benjamin E. Mays, Thurgood Marshall, Edward R. Murrow, Paul Newman, the Rockefeller family, Earl Warren, Frank Lloyd Wright, William O. Douglas, Adlai Stevenson, Thornton Wilder, and many more.

En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I

Exhibition Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Dates: October 14, 2014 – January 2, 2015
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. while classes are in session.  Consult hours.lib.uchicago.edu for Special Collections Research Center holiday hours.
Price: Free and open to the public

Curators: Professor Neil Harris and Dr. Teri J. Edelstein

Associated Web Exhibit: lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/enguerre

André Hellé, Alphabet de la Grande Guerre 1914–1916

André Hellé. “Batterie/Charge.” Alphabet de la Grande Guerre 1914–1916. Paris: Berger-Levrault, [1916]. On loan from a private collection.

Description: On the centenary of the Great War’s commencement, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I explores the conflict through French graphic illustration of the period. The exhibition presents themes essential to a deeper understanding of the war in France: patriotism, propaganda, the soldier’s experience, as well as the mobilization of the home front as seen through fashion, humor, and children’s literature.

Like no other conflict before it, the Great War was a war of images.  Its scale, duration, and intensity were brought home to the public by media and technologies that, in some cases, were well established, but in others seemed novel and even startling.  Films, photographs, lithographic posters, illustrated books, prints, postcards, many in huge quantities, were part of an international propaganda effort that had few parallels before or since.  It offered special opportunities to artists with established reputations and rich possibilities for those just beginning their careers.

French artists, young and old, responded to patriotic appeals with ardor.  Many served at the front, were wounded, taken prisoner, or died as a result of battle.  The totalizing impact of World War I meant, however, that civilian loyalty had to be nurtured continuously during the conflict, and dramatic appeals made to every segment of society.  The identification and cultivation of specialized markets for illustrated books, magazines, and print portfolios—the subjects of this exhibition—encouraged artists and publishers to develop wartime projects of some consequence. Purchasers displayed their loyalty to the cause by buying and, in some cases, displaying the art.

Bonfils, "Sur Mer"

Robert Bonfils. “Sur mer.” La manière française. Paris: Librairie Lutetia, [1916]. On loan from a private collection.

Odette Champion, “Modes de printemps: Berlin-Vienne-Constantinople.”

Odette Champion, “Modes de printemps: Berlin-Vienne-Constantinople.” Fantasio. Paris: Félix Juven, [1915]. Gift of Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein, The University of Chicago Library.

En Guerre concentrates upon a group of illustrators who became intimately involved with wartime themes. Building upon market transformations and economies of scale, they proceeded in many cases to recast their own art, and prepare the way for the new schools of illustration that would develop in the 1920s and 30s. These in turn carried the French illustrated book to new heights. Three points of origin merit special attention. First is the burgeoning world of illustrated magazines, often polemical, satiric, and sexually graphic in their comprehensive coverage. Some, like La vie parisienne (1863), had been founded many decades earlier, but others, like Le rire (1895), L’assiette au beurre (1900), and Fantasio (1906), were of more recent vintage. The war itself would generate still more journals of this kind, notably La baïonnette (1915). 

This flowering of illustrated journalism served as nursery, laboratory, and gymnasium for a whole generation of illustrators and caricaturists–Andre Hellé, Jacques Touchet, Joseph Hemard, Gus Bofa, Gerda Wegener, Georges Delaw, among many others. Simultaneously acerbic, mordant, irreverent, sentimental, cynical, the magazine illustrators were well suited to the task of wartime commentary. Some of them would inspire the work of comic strip artists in later decades, and many would be active creators of limited edition French illustrated books in the the future.

Schaller, En Guerre

Charlotte Schaller. En guerre! Paris: Berger-Levrault, [1914]. On loan from a private collection.

The second spawning ground for wartime visual culture was the French fashion industry. Two notable portfolios, Les robes de Paul Poiret (1908) by Paul Iribe, and Les choses de Paul Poiret (1911) by Georges Lepape, have become seminal moments in the development of Art Deco graphics. Preceded by a host of fashion-oriented magazines and portfolios, they were followed shortly by new illustrated journals and portfolios, which did much to reestablish French primacy in the world of grande luxe, facing as it did some newly aggressive competition from Germany and Austria-Hungary. Lucien Vogel’s creation of Gazette du bon ton in 1912 was probably the most notable of these, alongside Modes et manières d’aujourd’hui, also appearing the same year. These exquisitely printed, limited edition productions featured the pochoir designs of Georges Lepape, Charles Martin, A. E. Marty, George Barbier, Robert Bonfils, Guy Arnoux, and many other artists who would become active producers of wartime illustration and notable creators of postwar illustrated books. The mobilization of high-style illustrators on behalf of the national effort constitutes one of the more dramatic episodes in the history of French fashion design, and the exhibition will highlight ways in which costume, dress, and the “high life” were exploited in the interests of distinguishing French taste from that of the enemy. La baïonnette, Fantasio, and other periodicals were filled with their work.

Lefevre, Sur le pont

Louis Lefèvre. “Sur le pont.” Rondes glorieuses. [S.l.: s.n., n.d.]. 1ière série. On loan from a private collection.

The third arena, which En Guerre will examine in some detail, involves the French children’s book. Here there was a long and rich history to draw on, especially in the 19th century: Gustave Doré, Job, and Boutet de Monvel, were prominent. World War I saw some extraordinary productions, meant to inform, proselytize, and instruct children about the great conflict. Scholars in France and the United States have recently been examining this literature. Its size and variety are impressive. In some ways the wartime harvest appears eclectic. Established artists like Hansi and Joseph Pinchon (creator of Becassine) coexisted with newcomers like Charlotte Schaller, André Hellé, Henrietta Damart, and Val-Rau. Some would go on to considerable fame, while others languish in obscurity. What is most arresting here is the mobilization of children in this total war, using books (and toys) to involve them in the military effort, stimulate their patriotism, and socialize them to the loss of family and loved ones.

While these three areas will receive special attention, the exhibition will also note the work of artist-illustrators like Raoul Dufy, J. E. Laboureur, Fernand Léger, and André Lhote. Many of them served at the front and presented the story of the poilu, the French soldier, or focused on the dress and behavior of allied soldiers–American and British particularly. Their creations highlight the contribution of artists to the war effort.

Organized by Professor Neil Harris and Dr. Teri J. Edelstein for the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library, the exhibition features more than one hundred and thirty examples of the colorful work of French illustrators, En Guerre reaffirms the persuasive role that art can play in servicing or challenging political and military power.

Commemoration of the centenary of the Great WarThis exhibition has received the designation of the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War.

Harris & Edelstein, En Guerre

Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I, Chicago: The University of Chicago Library, 2014.

 

Associated Catalogue

Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I.   The University of Chicago Library.  156 pp. with more than 100 full color illustrations. Distributed by The University of Chicago Press.

Logos of the Insitut Francais and French Embassy in the United StatesSupport for this publication was provided by the Smart Family Foundation, Inc.; the University of Chicago Library Society; the France Chicago Center of the University of Chicago; the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Martha Fleischman; the Institut Français in Paris and the Cultural Service at the Consulate of France in Chicago; and an anonymous donor.

About the Curators

Neil Harris is the Preston and Sterling Morton Professor of History and Art History Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, Capital Culture: J. Carter Brown, the National Gallery of Art, and the Reinvention of the Museum Experience, published by the University of Chicago Press. Teri J. Edelstein is an art historian and museum professional. Her scholarly work has focused on the intersection of high art and popular culture. Most recently, she was editor of and contributor to Art for All: British Posters for Transport, Yale University Press. Together, they have written The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age, published by The University of Chicago Press.

Use of Images and Media Contacts

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news. 

Download high-resolution images. (This will take several minutes.)

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519, or Susie Allen at sjallen1@uchicago.edu or 773-702-4009.

Exhibits Feature Story Scholarship as a living process

Exhibition shows UChicago researchers in mid-thought in Mexico

Researching Mexico: University of Chicago Field Explorations in Mexico, 1896-2014 is on display in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery through October 4, 2014. An associated web exhibit is available online. Co-curator Seonaid Valiant, UChicago History Ph.D. Candidate 2014, explains how her dissertation research and other academic experiences influenced her approach to creating the exhibition.

Has field work in Mexico been particularly important to University of Chicago faculty? Why focus a Special Collections exhibition on this subject?

The relationship between the University of Chicago and Mexico has always been incredibly significant—particularly for the social sciences—but that relationship isn’t as well known as it could be. For more than a hundred years, University of Chicago professors across many disciplines have developed important, ongoing working relationships with the people, academic institutions, and government of Mexico. As a result, the Special Collections Research Center has developed collections of fascinating documents and artifacts that have been donated by professors over the years.

Howard Taylor Ricketts, Mexico City, 1910

Howard Taylor Ricketts, Mexico City, 1910

For many scholars, Mexico afforded opportunities and adventures—particularly for researchers in the field—that were unavailable elsewhere. Telling the personal stories of these researchers and scholars highlights how passionate, interesting, and dramatic the life of the mind can be. Howard Taylor Ricketts’s tragic story, for example, demonstrates how this work can be both crucially important and dangerous. Invited by the Mexican government in 1909 to research the cause of a typhus outbreak in Mexico City, Ricketts worked with Mexican doctors, nurses, and government officials to confirm the source of the problem. He succeeded, but not before he contracted a fatal case of typhus. We included the funeral ribbon placed on his coffin by the Mexican government to show how his sacrifice was recognized.

Were some of the faculty members featured in the exhibition important to your development as a graduate student?

Curating this exhibition was a way of connecting my own work back to that of my predecessors and highlighting the tradition of Mexican scholarship at the University. For example, Friedrich Katz, whose papers are part of the exhibition, was my mentor when I first entered the History Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. When I knew him, near the end of his life, he was a world-renowned and well-respected scholar of the Mexican revolution, but as I sorted through the unprocessed boxes that contained his papers, I was fascinated to discover correspondence detailing his struggle, as an ambitious academic, to leave East Germany. He finally found a home at the University of Chicago, where he could pursue scholarship without the threat of anti-Semitism and censorship. After the publication of his biography of Pancho Villa in 1998, Katz was named an honorary citizen of the state of Chihuahua and awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican government.

How is the exhibition connected to your dissertation research?

In my research, which is focused on foreign archaeologists battling with Mexican government officials at the turn of the 20th century, I explore how scholastic ideas develop and travel among scholars informally before transitioning to more formal discourse and then finally to publication. I trace these ideas through the discussions, friendships, and rivalries that scholars have had with each other and with government officials. That has made me particularly attuned to the idea of scholarship as a dynamic process, inflected by personal relationships and private lives, and academic discourse as something that has to be actively constructed.

Redfield family

Redfield family in Mexico, 1929

In keeping with this interest, many of the items selected for this show represent the research process rather than final publications. One of the goals of the exhibition is to give the public a glimpse of scholarship in action and to present it as a living process. The papers and artifacts created by these professors during the course of their field work give us access to their reflections and preparations in various phases of their work. In the exhibition, we’ve aimed to capture these thinkers in mid-thought, before their final conclusions have been drawn, and to present their intellectual achievements as emerging from a process of engagement with the raw materials of their research. Research notes, correspondence, and diaries give a more intimate, nuanced portrayal of each scholar’s development and place their intellectual work in a fuller context.

For example, the letters from the anthropologist Robert Redfield to his wife, Margaret Park Redfield, interweave thoughts about his work in Chichen Itza in 1932 with family concerns and show how important his wife’s role as confidant and sounding board was as he began to develop his scholastic plans in an informal way.

How did you come to co-curate the exhibition, and what made you interested in doing so?

I was delighted when Kathleen Feeney, Head of Archives Processing and Digital Access in Special Collections, invited me to co-curate the exhibition with her. Kathleen knew that I was already familiar with many of the relevant collections, both because of the research I had conducted for my dissertation and because of the work I had done there as a graduate student archives processing assistant in Special Collections. One of the things that drew me to study history was the excitement of working directly with documents and artifacts in archives. Curating this exhibition with Kathleen, I knew, would give me a chance to share some of my favorite items and the stories that went with them, as well as my passion for the materials and the mission of Special Collections.

Which are your favorites?

The Frederick Starr notebooks, the corridos in the Robert Redfield papers and the lantern slides in the Adolf Carl Noé papers. These, along with the diaries, linguistic note cards, letters, and portraits in some of the other collections, tell a larger story about the freedom of investigation that University of Chicago scholars have consistently found in Mexico.

Chiapas animals and index card

Toy animals used to identify indigenous words, circa 1950s

Did you make any new discoveries as you curated the exhibition?

Curating Researching Mexico brought home for me how important it is for today’s scholars to be able to work directly with archives and original artifacts associated with their predecessors. Many of the most interesting items on display were only discovered in the process of preparing for the exhibit, by methodically investigating the Special Collections holdings.

For example, we were surprised to uncover the collection of toy animals that now forms one of the exhibition’s most unusual displays. In their field work, the linguists in the Chiapas Project asked native indigenous language speakers to identify these toy animals in their own languages. Finding the animals and the lists of translations not only delighted us but helped us to understand the process that the researchers used to collect words one at a time, finally gathering enough materials for textbooks in Tzeltal, Yucatec, and Quiche.

In bringing unseen materials like these to the public eye, we want to hint at the unexpected connections and discoveries that can be made through archival research and encourage students and scholars to examine primary sources in archives for themselves. Finding these little-known stories can be a thrilling experience, and preserving and sharing them with other scholars, academics, students, and the public is an important part of the work of the University.

Requesting SCRC Items During Catalog Transition

The University of Chicago Library will be implementing a new catalog beginning August 1 through mid August. Although we do not anticipate disruptions to service in Special Collections, we may experience delays in requesting or retrieving materials during the transition period. If you plan to visit Special Collections during this period, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your visit.

Special Collections Closed July 4-5

fireworksThe Special Collections Research Center will be closed Friday, July 4, and Saturday, July 5, in observation of the Independence Day holiday.  We will resume our normal hours on Monday, July 7. 

Exhibits Researching Mexico: University of Chicago Field Explorations in Mexico, 1896-2014

Exhibition Location: Special Collections Research Center, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Exhibition Dates: June 30, 2014 – October 4, 2014
Associated Web Exhibit: lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/researchingmexico

Brent Berlin with informant

Brent Berlin with informant, photograph, undated. Norman McQuown. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

University of Chicago scholars have traveled to Mexico since the late 19th century, pursuing research subjects ranging from archival investigation of revolutionary leaders, to documentation of indigenous communities and languages, to the search for the cause of a deadly strain of typhus.

Drawn from the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center, including the papers of Friedrich Katz, Robert Redfield, Norman McQuown, Manning Nash, Howard T. Ricketts, Sol Tax, Frederick Starr, and others, this exhibit presents correspondence, diaries, photographs, sketches, recordings and objects generated and collected by these scholars in the field, as well as holdings from the Rare Books and Manuscripts collections that continue to support study of Mexican history and culture.

Presented in conjunction with the University of Chicago’s Katz Center for Mexican Studies, this exhibition will mark the meeting in Chicago of the XIV Reunión Internacional de Historiadores de México from September 18-21, 2014.

Curators: Seonaid Valiant and Kathleen Feeney

Exhibition Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Saturdays: 9:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m. when University of Chicago classes are in session.

 

 

Investigando México: Estudios de Campo en México realizados por la Universidad de Chicago, 1896-2014

Corrido broadsheet

Corridos, broadsheets collected in Mexico, circa 1920s. Robert Redfield. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Galería de Exhibición, Centro de Investigación de Colecciones Especiales
Junio 30, 2014-Octubre 4, 2014

Docentes de la Universidad de Chicago han viajado a México desde finales del siglo XIX, buscando temas de investigación que involucran desde los archivos de líderes revolucionarios, documentación sobre comunidades y lenguas indígenas, hasta el origen de una cepa mortal de tifo. Derivada del material reservado en el Centro de Investigación de Colecciones Especiales, incluyendo documentos de Friedrich Katz, Robert Redfield, Norman McQuown, Manning Nash, Howard T. Ricketts, Sol Tax, Frederick Starr, entre otros, esta exhibición expone correspondencia, diarios, fotografías, apuntes, grabaciones y objetos generados y reunidos por estos académicos en su campo de estudio, así como también material proveniente de la colección de Libros y Manuscritos Especializados, mismos que continúan apoyando el estudio de la historia y cultura mexicana.   

Esta exhibición, presentada conjuntamente con el Centro Katz de Estudios Mexicanos de la Universidad de Chicago, marcará el inicio en Chicago de la XIV Reunión Internacional de Historiadores de México, que se llevará a cabo del 18 al 21 de septiembre de 2014.

Curadores: Seonaid Valiant and Kathleen Feeney

Exposición abierta: Lunes-Viernes, 9:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sabado: 9:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m. cuando las clases de la University of Chicago están en session

Use of Images

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.  Email Rachel Rosenberg (phone: 773-834-1519) or Joseph Scott (phone: 773-702-6655)  to request high-resolution images.

Para información o preguntas en español, dirijase al Centro Katz al: 773-834-1987 o mexicanstudies@uchicago.edu.

Pottery, Circa 1900. Frederick Starr. Papers.

Pottery, photograph, circa 1900. Frederick Starr. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

doctors and nurses in Typhus Ward

Doctors and nurses in Typhus Ward, Hospital Generale, Mexico City, photograph, circa 1910. Howard Taylor Ricketts. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Redfield family in Mexico

Redfield family in Mexico, photograph, August 1929. Robert Redfield. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Chart from Totanac Literacy Project

Chart from Totonac Literacy Project, circa 1939. Norman McQuown. Papers. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

The Life and Times of Pancho Villa cover

Friedrich Katz, “The Life and Times of Pancho Villa.” Stanford University Press: Stanford. 1998.

Peñafiel facade

Antonio Peñafiel (1830-1922),
“Monumentos del Art Mexicana Antiguo…”
Berlin: A. Asher & Co. 1890. Rare Book Collection. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Committee to Frame a World Constitution Records Re-housed

Committee to Frame a World Constitution PosterContinuing our collections news, one of our more frequently used collections, The Committee to Frame a World Constitution Records, has been re-housed into new, more usable containers.  This collection, which documents efforts to formulate a world constitution in the post-War era, includes correspondence, administrative and financial records, manuscripts submitted to Common Cause, and drafts of the World Constitution itself.  Robert Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, Robert Redfield, Richard McKeon, and other University of Chicago faculty and administrators were involved in the effort. The re-housed records also incorporate additional materials not included in the original finding aid.

Stephen A. Douglas Papers available for research

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas

The Stephen A. Douglas Papers are once again available for research.   The collection has been reprocessed to incorporate additional materials. Most of these additions were to Series II: Political, Series III: Personal, and Series IV: Oversize. There are also new Lincoln items within the collection. 

Feature Story Homer mystery script contest winner and results

By Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, & Special Collections and Curator of Rare Books

Daniele Metilli, an Italian computer engineer and software developer, is the prize winner of a contest to identify the script used for handwritten annotations in a rare 1504 Venice edition of Homer’s Odyssey in Greek, held by the University of Chicago Library. The contest featured a $1000 prize for the first person to identify the script, provide evidence to support the conclusion, and execute a translation of selected portions of the mysterious marginalia. Coordinated by the Library’s Special Collections Research Center, the contest was sponsored by M.C. Lang, who donated his extensive Homer collection to the University of Chicago in 2007.

Mr. Metilli is currently enrolled in a digital humanities course and aiming for a career in libraries and archives. Working with Giula Accetta, a colleague who is proficient in contemporary Italian stenography and fluent in French, Mr. Metilli identified the mystery script correctly as the system of tachygraphy invented by Jean Coulon de Thévénot in the late 18th century.

Two runners-up reached the same, correct conclusion: Vanya Visnjic, a PhD student in classics at Princeton University with an interest in cryptography was the second contestant to identify the script and provide translations. Gallagher Flinn, PhD student in linguistics at the University of Chicago, also submitted correct identification and translations.

Based on the mix of French words with the script and a legible date of April 25, 1854, Mr. Metilli and Ms. Accetta began with the assumption that it was a system of French stenography in use in the mid-19th century.

Two images showing the mystery script. One illustrates how French and shorthand notations are mixed together in the annotations, the other shows the date of April 25, 1854 written in French in the margin.

At left: Mixture of French and shorthand notations. At right: Date written in the margin.

After rejecting several 19th-century French stenographic systems, they found a chart comparing one of them to the “tachygraphie” system invented by Jean Coulon de Thévenot (1754-1813) and published in Méthode tachygraphique, ou l’art d’écrire aussi vite que la parole (1789). They found an 1819 edition revised by a professor of stenography, N. Patey, online and, armed with two contemporary French translations of the Odyssey – one published in 1842, the other in 1854-66—began their work.  

Image showing examples of stenography and tachygraphy to compare the two shorthand systems.

Excerpt from a table comparing stenography and tachygraphy.

In Thévenot’s system, inspired by the shorthand system of Tironian notes that are said to have been invented by Cicero’s scribe and used into the Middle Ages, “every consonant and vowel has a starting shape, and they combine together to form new shapes representing syllables,” Mr. Metilli writes. “The vertical alignment is especially important, as the position of a letter above or below the line, or even the length of a letter segment can change the value of the grapheme. This explains why most notes in the Odyssey shorthand are underlined, the line being key to the transcription.”

Below are two examples of the translations submitted by Mr. Metilli and Ms. Accetta, together with their explanation of the methodology they used:

    

An image of the shorthand note that turned out to read “l’enfanta”

L’enfanta

“The note seems to refer to the underlined verb τέκεν, which is on the same line and can be rendered in French as enfanta, ‘gave birth.’ We immediately recognized the last two letters of the word as the syllables fan-ta. We then identified the first syllable as an l and the second as an an, representing the French phonetic value for en. The word can thus be transcribed as l’enfanta, meaning ‘she gave birth to him.’”

An image of the note that turned out to read que recherchaient tous les princes dans les entours” together with the letter-by-letter deciphering.

“K-R-CHAI-R-CHAI-TOU-LAI-PRAIN-S-DAN-L-AN-TOU-R-S, or “que recherchaient tous les princes dans les entours”

 “This note is on the same line as the underlined Greek sentence τὴν πάντες μνώοντο περικτίται, meaning ‘whom all the neighboring princes wooed,’ Using the table provided by Patey we could identify all the shorthand letters: The sentence clearly reads ‘que recherchaient tous les princes dans les entours,’ which is an exact French translation of the Greek words. This is our best match for now and it gives us the certainty that the method we employed is correct.”

Mr. Metilli and Ms. Accetta are continuing to work on the annotations, hoping to discover some clues to the mystery of the author or an explanation for why they only exist in book 11 of the Odyssey.  Mr. Metilli is posting and updating his report on his website.

Most projects that use rare books, archives, or manuscripts from the Special Collections Research Center’s collections do not generate such worldwide excitement, but each one contributes to learning and scholarship. M.C. Lang donated his Homer collection to the University of Chicago because he wanted it to be used by students and researchers.  A group of graduate students and faculty members produced a catalogue of the collection that formed the basis for an exhibition, now available online. Their work illustrates the potential of this collection and many others in Special Collections.

As Mr. Metilli observed, social media and electronic resources made it possible for him “to identify the shorthand and translate the first fragments in a few hours on a Thursday night. If I didn’t have access to online sources such as Google Books, the Greek Word Study Tool of the Perseus Digital Library, and the French corpora of the CNRTL, I probably wouldn’t have won. What great times we live in!” It was also, for him, another confirmation of his desire to work in libraries or archives. “Where else would I find such wonderful mysteries to solve?” he wrote.

Mr. Metilli, Mr. Visnjic, and Mr. Flinn all expressed appreciation to the donor for providing the opportunity to work on such a fun puzzle.  We hope you enjoyed the puzzle, too!   

 

Contest Closed: mystery script identified in rare edition of Homer’s Odyssey

File_2382A researcher has identified the script used for annotations in the 1504 edition of Homer’s Odyssey held by University of Chicago Library. We will announce the results in a few days.

Thanks to all the linguists, classicists, and other amateur detectives who responded to our call for assistance. We hope you enjoyed working on the puzzle.

Identify mystery text, win $1000

Example of Mystery Text

Example of Mystery Text

Calling all historians of cryptography and stenography, Sherlockians (see “The Dancing Men”), and other amateur detectives!  The collection of Homer editions in the Special Collections Research Center – the  Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana(BHL) – includes a copy of the rare 1504 edition of Homer’s Odyssey that contains, in Book 11 (narrating Odysseus’s journey into Hades) handwritten annotations in a strange and as-yet unidentified script.  This marginalia appears only in the pages of Book 11 of the Odyssey; nowhere else in the volume.  Although the donor of the BHL is suspicious that this odd script is a form of 19th-century shorthand (likely French), he acknowledges that this hypothesis remains unsupported by any evidence offered to date.

The donor of the BHL is offering a prize of $1,000 to the first person who identifies the script, provides evidence to support the conclusion, and executes a translation of selected portions of the mysterious marginalia.  In addition to the photographs in this post, the volume is available to consult in person in the Special Collections reading room.  Please visit the Special Collections website for information about requesting items to get started. The contest is open to all, regardless of University of Chicago affiliation. Please direct submissions to the contest, or questions, to Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences and Rare Books Curator, or Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian.

Mystery Text

Mystery Text

Homer. Odysseia. Venice: Aldus, 1504. PA4018.A2 1504 vol. 2

 

Free Public Lecture in Honor of “Imaging/Imagining” Exhibition

Join us for a special event in celebration of our recent exhibitionimaging2 “Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation” 

Thursday, April 17th at 5pm

Lecture: “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging”
Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street, room 122

Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, author of X-Ray Vision: The Evolution of Medical Imaging and its Human Significance, will explore the exhibition’s themes in a free public lecture. Dr. Gunderman is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

imaging4

Free. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Gallery will be open immediately after for viewing.

Exhibits Feature Story Imaging/Imagining the Human Body

Imaging Imagining exhibition - 3 images of handsThree-venue exhibition at the University of Chicago examines anatomical representation from artistic and scientific perspectives throughout history

March 25–June 20, 2014

A multi-venue exhibition curated by two physicians at the University of Chicago explores the history of anatomical representation and the evolving relationship between the arts and medical science. On view from March 25–June 20, Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation is jointly presented in three parts by the Special Collections Research Center (The Body as Text), Smart Museum of Art (The Body as Art), and The John Crerar Library (The Body as Data) in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The exhibition includes over 60 works in a variety of media—drawings, rare manuscripts, sculptures, engravings, and radiographic images—dating from the Renaissance to today. It features both imaginative depictions of the human figure made by artists as well as scientific images of the body, and traces the interplay of artistic and medical imaging throughout history.

“In popular perception, the artist depicts the human figure for aesthetic or expressive purposes, while scientific images of the body lay claim to objective representation,” write the curators, Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. “In fact, the story of anatomical representation is far more complex.”

As Imaging/Imagining reveals, early anatomical illustrations required close collaboration between anatomists and artists, illustrators, and engravers. These images reflected scientific conventions but were also weighted with aesthetic, social, political, and religious meaning. As anatomical images became more medicalized, the disciplines diverged. Following the advent of the X-ray at the turn of the twentieth century, the divide widened as new imaging technologies allowed medical practitioners to visualize the body as never before. At the same time, modernism and abstraction radically transformed artistic practice, which had for centuries emphasized the centrality of the well-drawn figure. Today, modern medical imaging continues to inform artists’ perceptions of the body while still relying in part on the subjective hand of an expert to manipulate and reinterpret layers of data into a visual form.

“A project like Imaging/Imagining transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries in a way that enriches our understanding,” said Julie Marie Lemon, Program Director and Curator of the Arts|Science Initiative in the Office of the Provost at the University of Chicago. “The exhibition is an example of the sort of sustained dialogue the Arts|Science Initative seeks to foster between artistic and scientific forms of inquiry within the University and beyond.”

The exhibition’s themes will be explored in greater depth through several public programs, notably the talk on Thursday, April 17 at 5 pm, “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging” by Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Exhibition Sections

Imaging/Imagining runs concurrently across three venues, each with a dedicated section that contributes to the larger themes of the exhibition.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Text

March 25–June 20, 2014
Special Collections Research Center, Joseph Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street
Monday–Friday, 9 am–4:45 pm; Saturdays, 9 am–12:45 pm (when University of Chicago classes are in session); closed Sunday

The Body as Text explores the history of anatomical representation from the Renaissance to the turn of the twentieth century. It features illustrated anatomic texts, like Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica and Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, that map the body’s complex systems and functions, as well as prints, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and radiographs. The objects on view are drawn from the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center and the Smart Museum of Art.

Together, the works prompt viewers not only to examine the intent of the image makers and the intended function of the image but also to explore our contemporary understanding of the human body in the context of a broad history of anatomical representation and scientific progress.

The Body as Text is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian, Special Collections.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Art

March 25–June 22, 2014
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday until 8 pm; closed Monday

The Body as Art gathers images of the body from a range of historical periods and considers the extent to which they conform to established representational conventions or seem instead to reflect the artist’s own observations or expressive goals. It features works drawn from the Smart’s collection and the holding of the Special Collections Research Center. Highlights include figurative etchings; sculpture by Edgar Degas, Henry Moore, and Jacques Lipchitz; a cubist portrait by Jean Metzinger; prints by Otto Dix; and a sketchbook of watercolor drawings by Ivan Albright.

This section of the exhibition asks visitors to consider the enduring role of figure drawing in academic art study; the relation between artistic and scientific abstraction; the depiction of bodily suffering in wartime; and what art and medicine have to offer each other in the pursuit of accuracy, humanity, and empathy, when it comes to representing the body.

The Body as Art is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives.

The Body as Art is made possible by Smart Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Data

March 25–June 20, 2014
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue
Monday—Saturday, 9 am–4:30 pm; closed Sunday

The Body as Data examines the data revolution of modern medical imaging that has transformed anatomical representation and how we view the body. This data revolution occurred when the basic concepts behind x-ray technology combined with the capabilities of computers. The result is imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans that produce vast amounts of data which is then processed into modern anatomical representations.

These images often claim scientific neutrality and are viewed with a clinical gaze, yet they are more than objective and unaltered pictures of the body. They represent the body broken apart into bits of data that are then manipulated to produce a myriad of visually interpretable images. These images have in turn informed artists’ perceptions of the body and further pushed the boundaries of how we view the human form.

The Body as Data is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine in collaboration with Stephen Thomas, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, and Adam Schwertner, fourth year medical student at the Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago.

Related Programs

Family Day: Ultrasounds, Exquisite Corpses

Saturday, April 5, 1–4 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Drop by the Smart for an afternoon of family-friendly art activities. Combine ultrasounds with the ultimate Surrealist parlor game to make exquisite corpse drawings from ultrasound images of your internal structures. The ultrasound machine will be operated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and co-curator of the exhibition Imaging/Imagining.*

Free. All materials provided. Activities are best for kids ages 4–12, accompanied by an adult.

*The purpose of the ultrasound demonstration at the Smart’s Family Day is educational only. The ultrasound machine is not being used for any medical or diagnostic purpose.

The Body in 3D

Thursday, April 17, 3–5 pm
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue, Kathleen A. Zar Room

Drop by Crerar Library and watch a 3D video tour of the human body including the brain and other internal organs. Using images captured with contemporary medical scanning technologies this looping film will run every 5-10 minutes. 3D glasses will be provided.

Lecture: “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging”

Thursday, April 17, 5 pm
Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street, room 122

Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, author of X-Ray Vision: The Evolution of Medical Imaging and its Human Significance, will explore the exhibition’s themes in a free public lecture. Dr. Gunderman is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Free. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

How to Draw Hands

Thursday, April 17, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

The human hand is notoriously hard to draw. Learn some tricks and techniques during a fun and supportive sketching session.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.

Drawing the Body with the Body

Thursday, May 15, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Enjoy a performance by Mordine & Co. Dance Theater and take part in a gesture drawing and sketching program. The dance, choreographed by Shirley Mordine, is inspired by works on view in Imaging/Imagining. Performing Artists: Simone Baechle, Danielle Gilmore, Joseph Hutto, Emily Lukasewski, Michael O’Neil, and Melissa Pillarella.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.

About

Imaging/Imagining is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. It is presented by the Special Collections Research Center, Smart Museum of Art, and The John Crerar Library in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Images (from left to right): Detail from Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, 1858, Rare Book Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

Walker Evans, Untitled (Two hands), n.d., printed by the Chicago Albumen Works in 1980, Gelatin silver print. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Arnold H. Crane, 1980.107.

X-ray of a hand holding a feather duster from Walter König’s 14 Photographien mit Röntgen-Strahlen, 1896. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine, The University of Chicago Library.

Media Images

Download high-resolution images on Dropbox.

Media Contacts

C.J. Lind, Associate Director, Communications, Smart Museum of Art, 773.702.0176, cjlind@uchicago.edu

Rachel A. Rosenberg, Director of Communications, The University of Chicago Library, 773.834.1519, ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu

2014 Platzman Fellowships awarded

The Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library is pleased to announce the recipients of the Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2014. 

Established by bequest of George W. Platzman (1920-2008), Professor Emeritus in Geophysical Sciences at the University, the fellowships are named in memory of George’s brother Robert Platzman (1918-1973), who was Professor of Chemistry and Physics and worked for the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago during World War II. The Platzman Fellowship program provides funds for visiting researchers whose projects require on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily but not exclusively materials in Special Collections. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program, as are projects that cannot be conducted without onsite access to the original materials, and where University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research.

Additional information on the Platzman Fellowship program is available on the Special Collections web site:  http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/about/platzmanfellowships.html

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship Recipients for 2014

 D. Trevor Burrows, PhD candidate, History, Purdue University; drawing on the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council Records, student organization records, and faculty papers for a study of “Social Reform and Religious Renewal: Religion and Student Activism in the Long 1960s”

Ben Glaser, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University; examining the Poetry Records, Harriet Monroe Papers, and William Vaughan Moody papers, for a project on “Modernism’s Metronome: Metrical Vestiges, Historical Prosody, and American Poetry, 1910-1930”

Jordan Grant, PhD Candidate, History, American University; researching the William H. English Papers, Stephen A. Douglas Papers, and Lincoln Collection for a study of “Catchers and Kidnappers: Slave-Hunting in Early America”

Camden Hutchison, PhD candidate, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison; consulting the Henry C. Simons Papers and other faculty collections for a project titled “The Efficiency Norm and U.S. Legal-Economic Policy, 1969-1992”

Karina Jannello, PhD candidate, History, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina; reviewing the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Cultural Cold War in the Southern Cone: Intellectuals, Magazines, and Publishing Networks in the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, 1950-1970”

Brian Lefresne, PhD Candidate, Literary Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario; researching the Alton Abraham Collection of Sun Ra for a dissertation titled “Sun Ra at the Crossroads of Jazz and Performance”

Martin Nekola, PhD, Political Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; examining the Archive of the Czechs and Slovaks Abroad for materials on a study of “Czechs in Chicago”

Melanie Newport, PhD candidate, History, Temple University; researching the American Civil Liberties Union, Illinois Division Records and faculty papers for a project on “Cook County Jail and the Local Origins of Mass Incarceration, 1836-1995”

Daniel Royles, PhD, History, Temple University; consulting the ACT UP Chicago Records for a study titled “Don’t We Die Too? The Political Culture of African American AIDS Activism”

Adam Smith, Senior Lecturer, History, University College London; examining the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a project titled “The Stormy Present: Conservatism in American Politics in an Age of Revolution, 1848-1876”

Leif Tornquist, PhD candidate, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; reviewing the Shailer Mathews Papers for a study titled “Evolving the Divine: Eugenics, Embodied Perfectionism, and the Evolutionary Theology of Shailer Mathews”

Tobias Warner, Assistant Professor of French, University of California-Davis; consulting the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Role of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Shaping the Politics of Language in African Literature”

Michael Woods, Assistant Professor of History, Marshall University; to research the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a book titled “Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy”

Stephen A. Douglas Papers Temporarily Unavailable

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas

The Stephen A. Douglas Papers are currently being re-processed and thus are not available for research. Please contact Special Collections before planning a visit to use this collection, or with any questions you may have about the project.  We anticipate the collection being ready for use again on June 1, 2014.

Norman Maclean Papers available for research

Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean

Author and University of Chicago professor Norman Maclean’s papers are available for research in the Special Collections Research Center.  Raised in Montana, Maclean earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1940 and taught English until he retired at age 70. He then began writing, and  achieved national fame for works he wrote after his retirement, including the novel, A River Runs Through It. The collection includes correspondence, administrative and teaching materials from the University of Chicago, materials related to the creation and publication of his writings, and an array of additional materials. Maclean died in 1990. 

Maclean’s distinguished teaching career at the University of Chicago began when he accepted a graduate assistantship in English at the University in 1928. He was promoted to instructor in 1930. Maclean earned his Ph.D. in English literature in 1940 with a dissertation on lyric poetry, and was made an assistant professor in 1941. He was promoted to associate professor in 1944, and attained a full professorship in 1954.

Maclean’s gift for teaching was recognized multiple times throughout his career. He won a teaching award early on in 1932, and was awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1941 and again in 1973. Quantrell recipients are nominated by students and the award is a high honor for faculty. Though tough, Maclean’s courses were popular among students. His demand for excellence was tempered by a keen sense of fairness and a generosity of spirit toward the students he mentored. In 1962 he was installed as the William Rainey Harper Professor of English Literature, a position he held until his retirement in 1972.

Upon retirement, Maclean embarked on a second career as a writer. He eased into authorship with two well-received critical essays published in 1952, and a handful of autobiographical and witty essays published in the early 1970s. His most significant work of fiction, A River Runs Through It, was published in 1976 by the University of Chicago Press – the first work of new fiction ever published by the Press. A River Runs Through It consists of a novella of the same title and two short stories. The book was a critical success, a popular bestseller, and a contender for the 1977 Pulitzer Prize. Multiple filmmakers and production companies vied for the film rights to the book, and it was eventually adapted for film in 1992 under the direction of Robert Redford.

The University of Chicago named an undergraduate dormitory for Maclean — Maclean House — in 1991. Every year, residents celebrate “Maclean Day,” during which the House president gives a speech that celebrates Norman Maclean and the House community. In 1997 the University’s alumni association established the Norman Maclean Faculty Award which recognizes emeritus or senior faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and student life on campus.

 

 

Special Collections Online Request System to Experience Temporary Outage on 2/14/14

SCRC request pageThe online request system for Special Collections will be unavailable beginning at 9p.m. CST on Friday, February 14th, 2014. The outage should last about two hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

To contact the Special Collections Research Center, please use our webform found here: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/ask/SCRC.html

Not sure how to make requests online? View our tutorials on the Library’s YouTube channel.

A Rare Valentine’s Treat

Historic Valentine

Historic Valentine

 

In love? Lovelorn? Bibliophilic?

The Special Collections Research Center on Wednesday, February 12th is the place to be. Join us for a Blind Date with Books; an event in celebration of Valentine’s Day featuring a rare book and archival materials display, a blindfolded book test, and light refreshment.

The event will be held in the Special Collections Research Center (on the first floor of Regenstein Library) from 2-4pm. All are welcome.

And in the meantime, discover your literary love profile with our quiz:
http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/using/literaryloveprofile/

The Homeric Library: Translations, Editions, Commentaries

When: Friday, February 14, 2014,  9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122A-B
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: A colloquium cosponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the University of Chicago Library
Homer - George Chapman title page

Title page. George Chapman (1559?–1634). The Whole Works of Homer. . . . London:
Printed for Nathaniell Butter, [1616]. Rare Books Collection. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Speakers will present approaches to Homer’s texts highlighting the research potential of the University of Chicago Library’s Homer collection, which stretches from the 15th century to the 21st. This colloquium is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Texts” at the Special Collections Research Center, and the publication of “Homer in Print: The Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2013).

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Guided Tour of the Exhibition

10:30 – noon
Glenn Most, University of Chicago and Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
“How Many Homers?”

Sophie Rabau, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
“Exploring the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana: On the Trail of a Spurious Line”

1:30 – 4 p.m.
David Wray, University of Chicago
“Quarreling over Homer in France and England, 1711-1715″

Larry F. Norman, University of Chicago
“On Not Knowing Homer: Translation and its Discontents”

Tiphaine Samoyault, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
“Homerinfant: On Translations and Retellings of the Odyssey for Children”

This colloquium is free and open to the public.

Cost: Free
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685
More info: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/exhibits/
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787. Information on Assistive Listening Device
   

Special Collections Closed January 20

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2014, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will resume our usual hours on January 21.

Special Collections Closed Monday, January 6

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed on Monday, January 6, due to severe weather conditions. We will re-open and follow our normal hours of 9:00am-4:45pm on Tuesday, January 7.

Exhibits Feature Story Homer in Print: Transmission and Reception

Homer - George Chapman title page

Title page. George Chapman (1559?–1634). “The Whole Works of Homer. . . . ” London:
Printed for Nathaniell Butter, [1616]. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Title: Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Works

Dates: January 13 – March 15, 2014

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Price: Free and open to the public

Curators: Alice Schreyer, Catherine Uecker, and Catherine Mardikes

Description: For almost 3,000 years, the Homeric epics have been among the best-known and most widely studied texts of Western civilization. Generations of students have read the Iliad and the Odyssey to learn Greek or to study Greek mythology, history, and culture, or for the sheer enjoyment  of the stories themselves. Concepts such as heroism, nationalism, friendship, and loyalty have been shaped by Homer’s works. Countless editions, translations, abridgements, and adaptations have appeared since the invention of printing, making Homer accessible to students, scholars, and general readers.

The Iliad comic book

Cover. “The Iliad.” New York: Gilberton Company, 1950. Classics Illustrated, no. 77. Illustrated by Alex A. Blum. Walter C. Dopierala Comic Book Collection. The University of Chicago Library.

Homer in Print puts the spotlight on the text itself, not as an object of literary or linguistic analysis, but rather as the product of a particular time, place, editor, printer, publisher, or translator. From the very first printed edition of Homer through the 21st century, every editor of a Greek edition must decide what sources should be consulted and whether notes are needed to achieve the goal of the particular edition. Translators face a host of additional choices: Will they produce a prose or verse translation, if verse then in what poetic form, and will they aim at fidelity to the words and meter or to the spirit of the “original” (however that is defined). The way each translator answers these questions reflects available sources, literary principles, and individual preferences.

The study of Homer has been part of the core curriculum at the University of Chicago since the first year of classes in 1892-93, and from its earliest days the Library built a collection strong in Greek editions, commentaries, translations, and scholarly literature. In 2007 M. C. Lang donated the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana to the University of Chicago. He had formed the collection, consisting of 187 separate items, with the goal of tracing the transmission of the text in printed form. Homer in Print draws on this splendid gift as well as Homeric works acquired before and afterwards to tell this story.

Among the editions and translations in the exhibition ranging from the 15th century to the 21st are the earliest printed edition of Homer; editions and translations aimed at scholars, students, children, and other specialized audiences; scholarship; and finely printed, illustrated, and graphic editions. Together they illustrate the profound influence of the Homeric poems on classical studies, the history of printing and print culture, textual editing, translation studies, and the development of English language and literature as well as their enduring appeal to this day.

 

First page of the Odyssey

The first page of Alexander Pope (1688–1744). “The Odyssey of Homer.” London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, 1725–26. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago.

Associated Publication

A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library. Edited by Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer. Published by the University of Chicago Library. Distributed by University of Chicago Press.

 

Associated Web Exhibit

Visit lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/homerinprint

 

Associated Event

Colloquium Title: The Homeric Library: Translations, Editions, Commentaries

When: Friday, February 14, 2014

Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Description: This colloquium will explore the paths through Homer’s poetry opened by the University of Chicago Library’s Homer collection, which stretches from the 15th century to the 21st. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the University of Chicago Library in conjunction with the exhibition Homer in Print at the Special Collections Research Center.

Speakers include Glenn Most, University of Chicago and Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa; Larry Norman, University of Chicago; Sophie Rabau, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; Tiphaine Somoyault, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; and David Wray, University of Chicago.

 

Use of Images

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.  Email Rachel Rosenberg (phone: 773-834-1519) or Joseph Scott (phone: 773-702-6655)  to request high-resolution images.

The Iliad in Greek, 1497-1599?

A passage from “The Iliad” printed in Greek. Johann Herwagen (1497–1559?). “Homeri Ilias et Vlyssea. . . .” Basel: Apud Io. Hervagium, 1535. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 

Cover of Lattimore Iliad

Dust jacket. Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906–1984). “The Iliad of Homer. . . .” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.