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.

Library publishes ‘Homer in Print’ catalogue

Homer in Print: A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library, is now available for consultation or check out at the Library and for purchase from the University of Chicago Press.

Homer in Print cover

Homer in Print cover art. Jacket design by Jerry Kelly, using a roundel by Bruce Rogers from his 1932 edition of the Odyssey.

Homer in Print traces the print transmission and literary reception of the Iliad and the Odyssey from the 15th through the 20th century. Over 175 mini-essays provide new details of each included edition’s textual, intellectual, and publishing history. Three long-form essays contributed by scholars Glenn W. Most and David Wray, and collector M. C. Lang,  place these editions within a wider context, exploring their role in ancient and modern philology, translation studies, and the history of printing. An extensive and strikingly illustrated testament to the power and popularity of Homer over the past 500 years, Homer in Print is an essential text for students and teachers of classics, classical reception, comparative literature, and book history. This volume, a product of new research and sharp scholarship, evidences Homer’s ability to captivate the imaginations of poets, editors, and readers throughout the centuries.

Edited by Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer and published by the University of Chicago Library, the Homer in Print catalogue and the collection it documents provide the foundation for the upcoming exhibition Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Works, on view at the Special Collections Research Center from January 13 to March 15, 2014.

Special Collections Thanksgiving Hours

Special Collections will be closed November 28-Dec. 1 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume our normal hours of 9:00am-4:45pm on Monday, December 2.

Circulation Request System Down Time Nov. 29

The Circulation Request system for the Special Collections Research Center will be unavailable from midnight until 2:00am on Friday, November 29, 2013. During this time, users will not be able to place requests.

2014 Robert Platzman Memorial Fellowship applications now open

The University of Chicago Library invites applications for short-term research fellowships for the summer of 2014. Any visiting researcher residing more than 100 miles from Chicago, and whose project requires on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily archives, manuscripts or printed materials in the Special Collections Research Center, is eligible. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program. Applications in the fields of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century physics or physical chemistry, or nineteenth-century classical opera, will receive special consideration.

Awards will be made based on an evaluation of the research proposal and the applicant’s ability to complete it successfully.  Applicants should explain why the project cannot be conducted without on-site access to the original materials and to what extent University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research.  Up to $3,000 of support will be awarded to help cover projected travel, living, and research expenses.  Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged.

The deadline for applications is February 22, 2014.  Notice of awards will be made by March 15, 2014, for use between June 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014.

For more information please see our website about the Platzman Fellowship program.

Our website also contains a list of last year’s recipients and their projects.

Exhibits Feature Story ‘A different way of learning about history’

Christopher Dingwall with album covers

Ph.D. candidate Christopher Dingwall explores race and consumer culture as a curator

The exhibition Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art runs through January 4 in the Special Collections Research Center. Rachel Rosenberg interviewed Christopher Dingwall, a Ph.D. candidate in History, to learn about his first experience as a curator and the exhibition itself.

Tell me a bit about the exhibition.

Jazzin' the Cotton Town Blues

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917. John Steiner Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

Images of African Americans have appeared on a wide range of consumer goods throughout the twentieth century, from Aunt Jemima’s pancakes to the Air Jordan basketball shoe. But these images did more than sell things. The exhibit explores how commercial art capitalized on—and gave powerful form to—widely held racist attitudes among white Americans throughout the twentieth century. It also illustrates how many corporations and designers, white and black, used graphic design to envision the place of African Americans in American society—from the nadir of Jim Crow racial segregation to the advent of the Civil Rights Movement.

With racial imagery, American advertisers and consumers gave social meaning to the mass produced things of modern consumer culture. Particularly for African American entrepreneurs and artists, the graphic design of race could be used as a powerful tool to claim their place as consumers and as citizens in American society.

What got you interested in this subject originally?

It comes out of my dissertation, Selling Slavery: Memory, Culture, and the Renewal of America, 1876-1920. There I explore how images of slavery get commodified, mass produced and consumed. I’m asking why slavery became a way to sell movies, postcards, food products, and very modern cultural products.

The exhibit came out of my curiosity about what happens next, after 1920. In a way, it’s an epilogue to the dissertation I’m currently writing, but curating the exhibit is a different sort of intellectual challenge and involves different ways of thinking about how I’m using objects and how I’m going to try to explain them to audiences. It’s a way for me to explore a different kind of scholarly communication directed at a public audience rather than scholarly, academic readers.

Did your ideas about the subject evolve much as you worked on it?

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Yes. Originally I thought that the exhibition would focus on racial memorabilia and would present a narrative of how racial imagery evolved over the twentieth century. The Special Collections staff was pretty keen on the idea, and Dan Meyer, the Director of the Special Collections Research Center, gave me other suggestions for collections to look at. He pointed me to sheet music and record albums, the archives of Chicago printing company R. R. Donnelley & Sons, and the Yoffee Ephemera Collection, which includes records, games, playing cards, and little figurines.

So my focus expanded from racial memorabilia to how race works in consumer society more broadly. The different collections I saw spoke to different ways that race worked and different kinds of dynamics between graphic designers, corporations selling these images, the products they were selling, and where the products were used in the home. In the end, although each part of the exhibit advances a history that moves forward through time and shows changes, particularly in the role of African Americans as consumers and designers, I decided that each section of the exhibit should focus on a different kind of relationship between the image, its makers, and its ultimate consumers.

Can you tell me about some of the imagery in the exhibit?

One thing that fascinated me was how the advertisements represented blackness in abstract forms to different effects. In blackface minstrelsy, white men impersonated African Americans by blacking their faces with burnt cork, which allowed them to turn blackness into an object of hate and profit, but also to project onto it all kinds of fears and anxieties facing white working men in the new industrial age. The blackface mask was so powerful that advertisers adopted it as an image to sell modern industrial products toward the end of the nineteenth century.

But blackness could be abstracted in other ways to project different visions of African American life. Take, for instance, the albums produced by African American entrepreneur Henry Pace for Black Swan Records in the 1920s. “Black Swan” was an allusion to a nineteenth-century black opera singer Elizabeth Greenfield, and the image of a swan on the records became a sign that signified musical talent and heritage. A more modern example would be the Nike Air Jordan jump man. A silhouette of Michael Jordan holds a basketball in mid-air. It coded blackness as physical prowess, but also transcendent flight, escape.

Obviously, some of the images on display here have been and continue to be especially painful for African Americans. Have you given special thought to how you want to address and analyze those images in the exhibit?

Mcintyre, "Humility in the Light of the Creator"

Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. Humility in Light of the Creator. DS-419. Chicago: Delmark, 1969. Modern Jazz Series.
Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Zbigniew Jastrzebski.

Yes, absolutely. That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I don’t want to show these images gratuitously. They come from a dark time in American history when this was a part of everyday life. But I think to leave it at that would be a huge mistake because we are not yet over this history. The blackface images are not just some bygone, antiquarian caricature; they were here at the heart of the birth of our modern mass culture, and we are still dealing with that legacy. But these images change. African Americans protested, revised, and transformed the imagery and changed the terms by which images of race could be figured in consumer culture.

I’m trying to show this material in a way that provokes thought about how race is still a big part of consumer culture. I hope that, after you see this exhibit, you can go outside and see a sign or a billboard with an African American figure on it and ask yourself how it plays on the same kind of tropes, feelings, and associations that were used in earlier racial imagery in American design, as well as how the imagery has changed.

So you have important educational objectives for visitors to this exhibition. Are there other ways you expect to use your curatorial experience in your teaching?

Right now I’m a preceptor and supervise history seniors as they write their BA essays, and I’ll be teaching a course of my own in the spring. I hope to bring these students to Special Collections to show them the range of materials available there: books and printed material but also things that you wouldn’t expect a library to have, albums and three-dimensional objects, consumer goods. They offer a different way of learning about history.

Visit the associated web exhibit at lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/raceanddesign

SCRC Circulation Request System Down 11pm Oct. 18th

alertsymbolThe Special Collections Circulation Request system will be unavailable due to server maintenance for approximately one hour tonight,  from 11:00 PM to 11:59 PM CST on Friday, October 18th.  We regret any inconvenience caused.

Exhibits Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art

Exhibition: Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art

Dates: October 14, 2013 – January 4, 2014

Kenny Burrell cover illustration by Andy Warhol

Kenny Burrell. BLP-1543. New York: Blue Note, 1956. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Reid K. Miles; illustration by Andy Warhol.

Description: Images of African Americans have outfitted myriad mass-produced consumer goods in the twentieth century, from Aunt Jemima’s pancakes to the Air Jordan basketball shoe. How has graphic design shaped the relationship between the politics of race and mass consumption? How have African American entrepreneurs and artists used design to shape their own images of “the race”? Drawing from collections of food packaging, print advertisements, children’s books, album covers, and toys, this exhibit traces the vexed history of racial design, from stark racist caricature to the productions of black-owned advertising firms. It explores how graphic design capitalized on racist attitudes; it also illustrates how for many corporations, designers, and consumers, graphic design was used to envision and transform the place of African Americans in society. As a market force and aesthetic style, graphic design emerged as a material and often intimate activity that wove race into the fabric of everyday life.

Curator: Christopher Dingwall, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, University of Chicago

Price: Free and open to the public

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

Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Associated Event

Conference: Invisible Designs: New Perspectives on Race and American Consumer Capitalism
Dates: October 24-25, 2013
Location: Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Invisible Designs aims to gather faculty and graduate students from the humanities and social sciences whose work explores new directions in the study of race and American consumer capitalism. We are particularly interested in approaches to the material and visual “design” of race in consumer goods, from household goods to corporate brands to Hollywood films. Recently, such approaches have illuminated otherwise “invisible” cultural logics and historical processes that have woven racial difference into the fabric of American life. Ultimately, we believe that racial design comprises a common and rich field and has begun to have a significant impact on the way many scholars think about the American consumer economy.

For more information and to register, visit invisibledesigns2013.sites.uchicago.edu.

Use of Images

These images from the exhibition 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.

Items from "Race and the Design of American Life" exhibition.

Items from “Race and the Design of American Life” exhibition. Left: American Negro Exposition Official Program, 1940. Center: Zanzibar Brand Bitter Almond Flavor, 1924. Golden Shred Eraser, 2002. Right: Back cover from A Century of Negro Progress Exposition Program; Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Paul Lawrence Dunbar. When Malindy Sings. 1903.

Paul Lawrence Dunbar. When Malindy Sings. 1903. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues.

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917. John Steiner Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Aunt Jemima’s Album of Secret Recipes

Aunt Jemima’s Album of Secret Recipes, 1935. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy.

 

Mcintyre, "Humility in the Light of the Creator"

Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. Humility in the Light of the Creator. DS-419. Chicago: Delmark, 1969. Modern Jazz Series. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Zbigniew Jastrzebski.

 

Take a historic campus tour from your couch

Beginning of historic campus tour

Beginning of historic campus tour

A new online tour of the University of Chicago campus allows visitors to view select campus residence halls and classroom buildings as they were in decades past, while simultaneously seeing that location as it appears today.  The campus tour, created by Special Collections staff and using the social media site HistoryPin, features dozens of images from the Special Collections Research Center’s Photographic Archive.  Each image is then mapped to a current-day Google Street Map location.  Viewers have the option to use the “fade” control to fade the historical image into the background or bring it forward. 

This historic campus tour is the second such virtual tour created in Special Collections, the first being a tour of iconic sights of Chicago, inspired by the postcards in the Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia.  The Chicago city postcard tour was curated by the Special Collections archives and manuscripts unit staff, and  launched at the same time the exhibition, “Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs!” opened in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery.  The physical exhibition runs July 22- October 5, 2013.  View the postcard tour  online.

Exhibits Feature Story ‘Souvenirs’ exhibition closes Oct. 5

Professor’s collection recalls University’s strong relationship with growing city

At gift shops and events around the country, Americans are inundated with souvenirs. Postcards, playbills and ticket stubs are so ubiquitous that many toss them without a second glance.

Souvennir parasol from the 1933 Chicago World Fair

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress. Hyde Park Historical Society Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

What if we could learn from these small pieces of memorabilia? What if old-time souvenirs collected around a particular theme could give us a close-up glimpse into an historical time and place?

That’s just what the Special Collections Research Center’s newest exhibition, Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia, delivers. The collection is themed around the World’s Fairs of 1893 and 1933 and the contemporaneous University of Chicago, and it includes everything from souvenir pillows to a Columbian Exposition spittoon.

The inspiration for the exhibition came from a gift from Janel Mueller, Professor Emerita of English Language & Literature. But the person responsible for the impressively detailed collection of souvenirs is her late husband, Ian Mueller, who for decades taught in the department of philosophy. He had a passion for collecting ephemera related to the University and the World’s Fairs.

“It was a lot of fun when this collection came in,” said Eileen A. Ielmini, one of the exhibition’s curators. “Professor Mueller collected from the sheer joy of it.” The enjoyable pieces, she said, showed “an unexpected side” of Ian Mueller, who is better known for his academic research on Plato and Aristotle. In addition to the Mueller souvenirs, the archivists featured other Chicago memorabilia, including pieces from the Hyde Park Historical Society Collection.

Three souvenir plates

Chicago souvenir plates. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

The exhibition is part of a program called “Discovering Hidden Archives Treasures,” which features little-known gems from the Special Collections Research Center. Co-curator Kathleen Feeney said, “With this series, we hope to bring out items in the collections that visitors wouldn’t necessarily expect to find.” The exhibition is especially timely as 2013 is the 120th anniversary of the 1893 World’s Fair and the 80th anniversary of the 1933 fair. Feeney noted that this exhibition highlights the long and vibrant relationship between the University and the city.

The exhibition makes judicious use of modern technology to showcase its vintage treasures, including a slideshow projection of Mueller’s collection of various postcards. One especially interesting item is the famed woodcut artist Charles Turzak’s wordless book, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography in Woodcuts. Turzak created the book’s artwork in the midst of curious visitors to the 1933 fair. Though the exhibition has the original book on display behind glass, its illustrations are accessible for easy viewing on an iPad screen.

Spittoon from 1893 World's Fair

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

The University’s connection to the 1893 fair is highlighted in a designated display case as well as throughout the exhibition. One notable item in the case is a small notebook filled with former UChicago professor Frederick Starr’s handwritten field notes of his observations at the 1893 World’s Fair. Starr, one of the University’s first anthropologists and a preeminent scholar of his day, had traveled the world observing cultures in South America, Asia and Africa before turning his ethnographic attention to his own city for the largest gathering it had ever seen.

The educational focus of many souvenirs—pamphlets with names like “The Story of the Rolled Oat”—reveal the hopefulness and sense of progress embodied by the World’s Fairs, which celebrated advancements in technology, food production and medicine. The collection also shows visitors how little has changed since 1893 and 1933. “These souvenirs, bits of ephemera, are still being produced in very similar forms today,” Ielmini said.

The curators noted that the historical content and focus on the University’s relationship with the greater city of Chicago should appeal to a large audience of Chicagoans, including Hyde Park residents and campus visitors, as the next academic year gets under way. 

In addition to Ielmini and Feeney, other contributors are co-curators Ashley Locke, Laura Alagna, Brittan Nannenga, and Judith Dartt, and exhibition designer Joe Scott.

A University of Chicago news release

Photographic Archive Featured on WBEZ

whitecity

Lee Bey at WBEZ has featured our Photographic Archive — read the full story: http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-08/places-and-spaces-courtesy-university-chicago-photo-archives-108468

Special Collections Opens at 10:30am August 23

The Special Collections Research Center will open at 10:30am on Friday, August 23. We regret any inconvenience caused.

Special Collections closed August 17

alertsymbolDue to building-wide electrical work, the Special Collections Research Center will be closed August 17. As a result of this necessary closure, the only Saturdays SCRC will be open in August are the 3rd and our last Saturday of the summer, August 24, 9:00am -12:45pm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Exhibits Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia

Exhibition: Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia
Dates: July 22 October 5, 2013

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress. Hyde Park Historical Society Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

Souvenirs can come in all shapes and sizes; they can be simple or complex, tasteful or tacky. This exhibition will present various souvenirs created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition, and the City of Chicago. It draws on collections throughout the Special Collections Research Center, catalyzed by the Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia.

At the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Visit the associated web exhibit.

Use of Images

These images from the exhibition 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.

 

Chicago souvenir pillows

Chicago souvenir pillows. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

Chicago souvenir plates

Chicago souvenir plates. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

 

“Recipes for Domesticity” Exhibition in the News

Coffee Arabica plant

Colored engraving from Alexandre Martin’s Manuel de l’amateur de café… Paris: Audot, 1828. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine. The University of Chicago Library.

The Chicago Tribune recently featured the Special Collections Research Center’s exhibition, “Recipes for Domesticity: Cookery, Household Management, and the Notion of Expertise,” in the Wednesday column written by Bill Daley.

As the review notes, there are only a few days left to visit the exhibit in person. The Special Collections Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9am-4:45pm, and Saturdays mornings when University of Chicago classes are in session, 9:00am-12:45pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public. If you cannot visit in person, the exhibit has an online component Recipes for Domesticity web exhibit

The exhibit has also been featured on WBEZ as a podcast, also available online. WBEZ podcast of Recipes for Domesticity gallery talk

Closing Tour for Seminary Co-op Documentary Project Scheduled for July 13

When:

Friday, July 13, 2013 –12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Where: Regenstein Library, Special Collections Exhibition Gallery
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description:
Seminary Co-op wooden staircase

The wooden staircase that led you in and out of the sub-basement, which was added to the bookstore in the mid 70’s. Photograph: Jasmine Kwong.

Take a tour of the exhibition The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project: Capturing the Bookstore’s Distinctive Character and History with curators Jasmine Kwong, AB’06 and and Megan E. Doherty, AM’05, PhD’10.

Celebrating over 50 years at the center of the University of Chicago’s and Hyde Park’s intellectual and cultural life, the renowned Seminary Co-op Bookstore has moved up from its legendary basement location and into a newly transformed space designed by Chicago Architects Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry. The exhibition presents documentation of the Co-op’s history through a selection of photography, interviews, artifacts and memorabilia.

This tour is free and open to the University of Chicago community and the public. Registration is required.

Register:

http://rooms.lib.uchicago.edu/events

Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685

 

 

 

 

Special Collections Request System Downtime

The SCRC Circulation Request System will be down for server maintenance on Friday, June 21st at 8pm for approximately one hour.

Special Collections Exhibition Gallery temporarily closed June 20-21

The Special Collections exhibitions gallery will be closed on June 20th and June 21st for construction work related to the Library’s new multipurpose room. The gallery will resume its normal hours on Monday, June 24th, at 9:00am. We regret any inconvenience caused by this closure.

Feature Story Jazz Age ‘Chicagoan’ lives again online

The Chicagoan—a Jazz Age magazine fashioned after The New Yorker—enters a new era today as the University of Chicago Library launches a website that makes digitized copies of nearly every issue available online for the first time. Thanks to an agreement with Quigley Publishing, the magazine can be used freely by individuals for research and educational purposes.

Drawing of one of the Art Institute lions with its tongue out looking at a man and his dog

Art Institute lions on the cover of the Chicagoan, dated September 22, 1928

First published in 1926, the Chicagoan came on the scene just 16 months after the initial appearance of the New Yorker and was inspired by its editorial content and design. Fighting stereotypes of Chicago as a city dominated by crime, the Chicagoan promoted its home as a vibrant and sophisticated center of culture.  It sported modern cover art, literary and performance reviews, and other features that “translat[e] into prose and picture the gusto and glamor of this good town”—as its own advertising proclaimed.

The Library’s new Chicagoan website, which reproduces the magazine’s complete run from 1926 to 1935, minus a few missing issues, provides an opportunity to delve into this wealth of material on the literary, cultural, artistic, athletic and social milieu of Jazz Age Chicago. Visitors to the site can browse digitized images of the magazine’s vibrant covers and lively interior pages, can read full issues from cover to cover, or can use the site’s search feature to look for the names, places, or topics of their choice.  Such access will allow scholars as well as general audiences to sample the magazine or to readily discover stories, facts and images of Chicago’s cultural history for a wide range of purposes.  

“As an online, searchable resource the Chicagoan facilitates new avenues of study and the ability to zoom in and out on images, while preserving the original print volumes from excessive handling,” observed Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, & Special Collections and Curator of Rare Books.

For example, browsers may notice that the Art Institute and its iconic lions are featured twice on the magazine’s front cover.  On September 22, 1928, a standing, cartoonish lion winks and licks its lips at the sight of a bowler-hatted, bespectacled gentleman in a black suit carrying a small white dog.  On July 20, 1929, sun-drenched lions lie sedately on their pedestal in the foreground, while the orange shadow of the Tribune Tower and another of the city’s skyscrapers complete the scene behind them.  Searching for “Art Institute,” one can find, among more than 100 results, a humorous article from August 27, 1927, declaring the “distraught city athrob” over its inability to name the museum’s famous lions. The targets of the humor include Chicago’s politics, religious life, and policing:

From the first hint of the [lion naming] predicament . . . everything from mass-meeting to silent prayer has been tried and tried again.  The first mass-meeting was broken up by the police, who called the assembly a “red” congress and quieted its roars with tear bombs and the shillelagh.  The last prayer meeting dissolved when T. Lucus Piddle said “darn” after three hours of unavailing effort at his counterpane.  Still no name.

A drawing of the corner of the Marshall Field's building with the clock prominently featured and the heads of people standing outside

A Chicagoan cover featuring the clock on the Marshall Field’s building

Those wanting to study coverage of Chicago institutions in the 1920s and 1930s will find a wealth of additional examples. Searches for the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium, for Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott, for Soldier Field, Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park yield numerous results. A visitor entering University of Chicago in the search box will uncover more than 100 separate references throughout the 12 volumes of the magazine.  Snippets of text and markers guide the user to the pages where they will find their highlighted search term.

The road from forgotten magazine to rebirth in digital form involved several key individuals and events. Ceasing publication without warning in 1935, the Chicagoan slipped out of its city’s collective memory until the late 1980s, when University of Chicago Professor Neil Harris discovered a nearly complete run of the magazine while browsing the stacks of the Regenstein Library. Fascinated by the Chicagoan’s powerful cover designs, clever cartoons, insightful articles and fanciful art, Harris, now Preston and Sterling Morton Professor of History and Art History Emeritus, studied the magazine in detail, researched its history, and edited a book, with the assistance of Teri J. Edelstein, that reintroduced the Chicagoan to the world in 2008.

That book, The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age features a lengthy introduction by Harris that explores the magazine’s ambitions and historical context, before presenting carefully selected excerpts of the original magazine and one complete issue. Published by the University of Chicago Press, the book has been hailed as “top shelf” by the New York Times and as “a lush tribute,” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which declared that “Harris does a wonderful job of situating the magazine in the urban cacophony of 1920s Chicago.”

Harris hoped that the book would spark further research into the Chicagoan and its legacy, and the Chicagoan website is designed to facilitate such research. “I’m delighted that a full version of the Chicagoan will now be available online,” he said.  “First, because it offers access to a range of talented artists, critics, and writers. Second, because readers and researchers will have so powerful an index at their disposal. And third, because it relieves me of a guilt trip, having granted just a few of the contributors new life by including them in the book. Posterity can now make its own judgments based on the entire cast of characters.”

Staff members using the Zeutschel scanner in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

The Zeutschel scanner in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library‘s Digitization Laboratory (pictured) was used to scan bound copies of the Chicagoan in a face up position. (Photo by Jason Smith)

The digitization of the Chicagoan was enabled by the generous gift that University of Chicago College alumnus Patrick Spain, BA’74, made in memory of his wife Barbara M. Spain.  Mr. Spain works in the technology industry and founded or cofounded and led four successful Web-based companies: Hoover’s, Inc., HighBeam Research, Newser and First Stop Health. He has been a member of the University of Chicago Library Society Steering Committee since 2004 and is particularly interested in how technologies can make rare and hard-to-access printed material available in digital format to a larger number of people.

The opening of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library’s Digitization Laboratory in 2011 also enabled this work. The Laboratory’s new Zeutschel overhead scanner allowed the Library to scan bound volumes in house, in a face-up position, for the first time. The Zeutschel’s software was able to digitally adjust page images of the bound issues of the Chicagoan to compensate for the curvature at the volumes’ inner margins. This created clear images for readers.

Library staff worked with Bill Quigley, grandson of the original publisher, to secure permissions and with the Center for Research Libraries, the Chicago History Museum, and the New York Public Library to secure scans of issues missing in its collection. The Library is actively seeking the remaining missing issues for digitization and posting on the website, and is interested in acquiring print copies of any of its missing or damaged issues.

While the hunt for the last few issues goes on, researchers and readers around the world are invited to begin their own search for historical treasures among the digitized pages at chicagoan.lib.uchicago.edu. Their investigations will reinvigorate the 20th-century Chicagoan by applying a 21st-century perspective.

International Association for Cultural Freedom Series III Temporarily Closed

Series III of the International Association for Cultural Freedom (IACF) papers will be temporarily unavailable for research beginning Monday, June 3, 2013. The series will be closed in order to allow the materials to be re-housed and the boxes renumbered. The series will be available for research again on September 1, 2013. Please contact us with any questions.

Exhibition tour of ‘The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project’

When:

Thursday, May 9, 2013 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Regenstein Library, Special Collections Exhibition Gallery
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description:
Seminary Co-op wooden staircase

The wooden staircase that led you in and out of the sub-basement, which was added to the bookstore in the mid 70’s. Photograph: Jasmine Kwong.

Take a tour of the exhibition The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project: Capturing the Bookstore’s Distinctive Character and History with curators Jasmine Kwong, AB’06 and and Megan E. Doherty, AM’05, PhD’10. 

Celebrating over 50 years at the center of the University of Chicago’s and Hyde Park’s intellectual and cultural life, the renowned Seminary Co-op Bookstore has moved up from its legendary basement location and into a newly transformed space designed by Chicago Architects Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry. The exhibition presents documentation of the Co-op’s history through a selection of photography, interviews, artifacts and memorabilia.

This tour is free and open to the University of Chicago community and the public. Registration is required.

Register:

http://rooms.lib.uchicago.edu/events

 Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685

 

 

 

 

Special Collections Research Center acquires comic artist R. Crumb’s Jazz Trading Cards

The Special Collections Research Center has acquired a second printing copy of artist R. Crumb’s “Early Jazz Greats” trading cards, first printed in 1982 for Yazoo Records.  The set includes 36 cards featuring original images by Crumb and short biographies of early Jazz musicians, including both household names and relative unknowns.  Crumb’s love of early Jazz music comes through in his artwork, often reproduced from black and white photographs of the period.  The set includes a number of musicians with ties to Chicago like Benny Goodman, Roy Palmer and Junie C. Cobb.  Crumb followed this set with “Heroes of the Blues” and “Pioneers of Country Music”, and the set joins a number of works by Crumb in the Special Collections Research Center.

Cover of Early Jazz Greats

Benny Goodman Trading CardRoy Palmer

Butler-Gunsaulus Collection now available online

The autograph letters, documents, and engravings of the Butler-Gunsaulus Collection have been digitized and are available online via the collection’s finding aid. Presented to the University of Chicago Library in 1910 by Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus, a preeminent collector of rare books and manuscripts, the source material concerning historic persons and events was amassed primarily by Chicago businessman Edward Burgess Butler. Though a number of the papers are of European origin and date from the sixteenth century forward, most were produced in America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Among the collection’s Civil War documents is, “Special Requisition of drugs and medicines for the use of the sick of the 2nd Regiment, Missouri Volunteers and of those of the other regiments remaining at the hospital, Boonville Fair Grounds, July 2, 1861,” shown here. Morphiae sulfatis and Aethiops antimonialis are but two of the drugs herein requested by Union Army surgeon Ernst Schmidt, medications needed to treat casualties of the First Battle of Boonville. During that engagement, which occurred two weeks earlier, seven of the Union forces were injured, and five were killed outright or mortally wounded. Confederate troops, moreover, sustained similar losses.

The requisition carries the signature of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, whose victory in Boonville, at first glance, seemed insignificant. The aftermath, however, proved otherwise as Federal troops secured and retained control of the Missouri River, and supporters of secession were driven from the region.

Exhibits The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project: Capturing the Bookstore’s Distinctive Character and History

Exhibition: The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project:  Capturing the Bookstore’s Distinctive Character and History
Dates: April 22 – July 13, 2013

Co-op General Manager Jack Cella squeezes in next to old mechanical bellows, long since defunct but of perpetual interest to customers.

Co-op General Manager Jack Cella squeezes in next to old mechanical bellows, long since defunct but of perpetual interest to customers. Photograph: Megan E. Doherty.

Celebrating over 50 years at the center of the University of Chicago’s and Hyde Park’s intellectual and cultural life, the renowned Seminary Co-op Bookstore has moved up from its legendary basement location and into a newly transformed space designed by Chicago Architects Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry. Curators Jasmine Kwong and Megan E. Doherty present their documentation of the Co-op’s history through a selection of photography, interviews, artifacts and memorabilia.

At the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Saturdays: 9:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Visit the project website for associated stories, photographs and audio interviews.

Use of Images

These images from the exhibition are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with the 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 iconic green and red spines of the Loeb Classical Library

The iconic green and red spines of the Loeb Classical Library greeted customers upon entering the store. Photograph: Megan E. Doherty.

 

Seminary Co-op wooden staircase

The wooden staircase that led you in and out of the sub-basement, which was added to the bookstore in the mid 70’s. Photograph: Jasmine Kwong.