“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.

Exhibits Recipes for Domesticity: Cookery, Household Management, and the Notion of Expertise

Illustration from Cassell's Household Guide, Being a Complete Encyclopaedia of Domestic and Social Economy... London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, [187-] Vol. 2. Rare Book Collection. The University of Chicago Library

Illustration from Cassell’s Household Guide, Being a Complete Encyclopaedia of Domestic and Social Economy… London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, [187-] Vol. 2. Rare Book Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition: Recipes for Domesticity: Cookery, Household Management, and the Notion of Expertise
Date: April 22 – July 13, 2013

How does one roast a fawn or properly set a dinner table for twelve? For centuries, people have been documenting and decoding the vast array of knowledge associated with domestic life, assembling cooking and household guides to assist with the tasks of daily living. Not merely collections of recipes and how-to instructions, these guides also document cultural  patterns and give insight into the development of modern-day kitchen and cooking practices. This exhibition, drawn primarily from the Rare Books Collection, provides a sampling of European and American cookbooks and domestic manuals from court chefs of the 15th century to cooking icons of the 20th century.

Curator: Julia Gardner, Head, Reader Services, Special Collections Research Center

At the 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

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.

 

Le Pastissier Francois

Engraved title page from François Pierre de La Varenne’s Le pastissier françois… Amsterdam : Chez Louys & Daniel Elzevier, 1655. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 

Man drinking coffee, coffee pot, coffee plant

Engraving from Philippe Sylvestre’sTraitez nouveaux & curieux du café, du thé et du chocolate… The Hague: Adrian Moetjens, 1685. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 

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.

 

 

 

2013 Platzman Fellowships awarded

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 2.15.42 PM

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce the recipients of the Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2013. 

The Platzman Fellowship program provides funds for visiting researchers whose projects require on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily materials in the Special Collections Research Center. 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.

 More information on the 2013 Platzman Fellows, including titles of their projects, 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 2013

Shuhita Bhattacharjee, doctoral candidate in English, University of Iowa

Nancy Walbridge Collins, research fellow and lecturer in international affairs, Columbia University

Kevin Donnelly, assistant professor of history, Alvernia University

Melinda Gough, associate professor in English and cultural studies, McMaster University

Jamie Kreiner, assistant professor of history, University of Georgia

Christopher La Casse, doctoral candidate in English and American literature, University of Delaware

Joseph Martin, doctoral candidate in the history of science, technology, and medicine, University of Minnesota

David Olson, doctoral candidate in history, Boston University

Hunter Price, doctoral candidate in history, Ohio State University

Melissa Renn, senior curatorial research associate, Harvard University Museums

Andrea Scionti, doctoral candidate in history, Emory University

David A. Varel, doctoral candidate in history, University of Colorado

Wil Verhoeven, professor of American culture and cultural theory, University of Groningen

Saul Noam Zaritt, doctoral candidate in Jewish literature, Jewish Theological Seminary

 

 

Feature Story Faculty, Library collaborate on Collegium projects

Library contributes expertise, collections, technology, and spaces to support Neubauer Collegium global, humanistic research

How can the methods of “big science” contribute to the humanistic understanding of music, speech, and other audio expressions? How will an online, interactive environment allow scholars to explore a complex corpus of texts?  What does it mean to be a scholar at war?

In a major milestone, the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago has selected an inaugural cohort of 18 ambitious faculty research projects that tackle these and other complex questions through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Through its research initiatives and robust program of visiting Collegium Faculty Fellows, the Neubauer Collegium will unite scholars in the common pursuit of ideas of grand scale and broad scope, making the University of Chicago a global destination for top scholars engaged in humanistic research while also pioneering efforts to share that research with the public.

Seethaphone label

Vairla (kamachu) maralukonnadira. [Bangalore, India]: Seethaphone, [n.d.] In Kannada language. Seethaphone Company made gramophone records popular and accessible to the middle classes through their very low prices. The company was in business from 1924-1957.

The Neubauer Collegium was founded in June 2012 and is named in honor of Joseph Neubauer, MBA’65, and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer. Their $26.5 million gift to the University is among the largest in support of the humanities and social sciences in the institution’s history.

Together, the 18 projects engage teams of faculty from 17 departments in the humanities and social sciences, as well as the Chicago Booth School of Business, the Divinity School, the Law School, the Pritzker School of Medicine, and the Oriental Institute—teams of faculty who had fewer opportunities for serious, sustained collaboration before the establishment of the Neubauer Collegium. The University of Chicago Library is collaborating with faculty on three of these inaugural projects by providing staff expertise, access to current collections and resources, services as a repository, and technical support. 

“The Library is proud to be collaborating with UChicago faculty and their international colleagues to support groundbreaking research and teaching efforts with worldwide impact,” says Judith Nadler, Director and University Librarian. “We’re very pleased to be working with faculty to develop cutting-edge technical approaches to advancing humanistic research.”

Further, the Library is supporting collaboration with the Neubauer Collegium by providing Regenstein Library’s Room 203 as temporary office space for the Neubauer Collegium, as well as five faculty studies for use by associated visiting scholars. 

The three Neubauer Collegium projects that the Library is participating in directly include Audio Cultures of India: New Approaches to the Performance Archive; A Worldwide Literature: Jāmī (1414-1492) in the Dar al-Islam and Beyond; and Iraq’s Intelligentsia Under Siege: 1980-2012.
 

Audio Cultures of India: New Approaches to the Performance Archive

Principal Investigators

Philip V. Bohlman, Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Music
Kaley Mason, Assistant Professor, Department  of Music
James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia
Laura Ring, Cataloger and Assistant Southern Asia Librarian

Gramophone Co poster

A poster by the Gramophone Company from a private collection. Circa 1910s. Printed Calcutta?

Project Summary

An exploration of how the methods of “big science” might elucidate and facilitate the humanistic understanding of music, speech, and other audio expressions, the one-year Audio Cultures of India project will deploy data mining and computational pattern analysis techniques more common to the physical and biological sciences to produce a sound history of modern India. Drawing on vast digital corpora already hosted at the University of Chicago Library, this project will bring together faculty, students, and staff from music, anthropology, the Computational Institute, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Library to identify and experiment with new methods for using scientific technologies to process large digital humanities databases. The dense performative culture that characterizes India will receive special attention in an attempt to develop a comparative framework for understanding historical interrelations in the aural world—a sound history of modern India.

Library Involvement

Over the past few years the Library’s Southern Asia Department has developed a special collecting focus on early audio materials from the South Asian subcontinent. Previous initiatives have resulted in presentation of extremely rare audio recordings from the Linguistic Survey of India via the Digital South Asia Library as resources open for scholarly use at dsal.uchicago.edu/lsi/; presentation of The Record News at dsal.uchicago.edu/books/trn/; creation of a collection of early gramophone records at the Roja Muthiah Research Library in Chennai, India; and assistance in development of the Archive of Indian Music in Bangalore, India. In addition to collecting, preserving and providing access to its vast and growing collection of audio resources from India, the Library will maintain a website that will disseminate the results of two workshops associated with the project.
 

A Worldwide Literature: Jāmī (1414-1492) in the Dar al-Islam and Beyond

Primary Investigator

Thibaut d’Hubert, Assistant Professor, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

Project Collaborator

Alexandre Papas, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) / Centre d’Études Turques, Ottomanes, Balkaniques et Centrasiatiques (CETOBAC), Paris

Jāmī, Tuḥfat al-aḥrār

Courtesy of the BnF – Jāmī, Tuḥfat al-aḥrār, Bnf supp. persan 547, fol. 17.

Project Summary

This one-year seed project aims to develop and articulate a long-term research agenda that would fill a massive lacuna in modern scholarship on transformative intellectual trends in the post-classical Muslim intellectual tradition by studying the reception of the works of polymath ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī (1414-1492), one of the most widely read authors in the Eurasian continent between his lifetime and the early modern period. Ambitious in its theoretical aims and grounded in creative philological approaches, this project endeavors to provide answers to crucial questions largely neglected by Islamic historiography. Seed funding will afford the principal organizers the opportunity to develop a coherent plan that would bring visiting scholars to campus to catalyze a cross-disciplinary conference and prepare a digital collection and searchable corpus of Unicode texts comprising Jāmī’s works along with the Indian commentaries published by Naval Kishore in the nineteenth century.

Library Collaboration

The Library’s James Nye and Laura Ring are collaborating with  Professor d’Hubert on the development of the online interactive corpus of Jāmī’s South Asian commentaries to support the teaching and research activities of the project. The corpus will include rare lithographed editions. Scans of the original books and searchable Unicode versions of the texts will be linked to assist scholars in studying the paleographic and codicological features of the originals, as well as other philological features highlighted by computer-generated analytical tools. Introductory notes on the value and nature of each text written by project participants will also be included. 

Such an online, interactive environment will allow scholars to creatively explore a complex corpus of texts, the conventions of which remain to be systematically analyzed. It will also give project participants the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to introduce the larger public to a highly codified, immensely rich, and barely known commentarial tradition.

The Library’s leadership of the Digital South Asia Library has provided a rich base of practical experience for collaborating in preparation of the Jāmī corpus. The Southern Asia Department’s close linkages with the British Library, National Library of India, and other international libraries holding early editions of Jāmī’s works will enable the collection of copies of all required texts.
 

Iraq’s Intelligentsia Under Siege: 1980-2012

Primary Investigator

Tom Ginsburg, Professor, Law School

Principal Research Assistant

Matthew Schweitzer, undergraduate, The University of Chicago

Project Collaborators

Iza Hussin, Professor, Political Science
McGuire Gibson, Professor, Oriental Institute and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Saad Jawad, Senior Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics
Catherine Lutz, Director of the Costs of War Project, Brown University
Daniel Meyer, Director, Special Collections Research Center
Dahr Jamail, Producer, Human Rights Department, Al Jazeera

Project Summary

Three decades of war and external pressure in Iraq have led to the decimation of its university system and its intellectuals. What does it mean to be a scholar at war? Is humanistic inquiry during wartime possible? How has this downfall of Iraq’s domestic university-level intellectual class—professors and university researchers—affected the country’s social, military, and political spheres? These questions form the core of a yearlong analysis of Iraq’s intellectual landscape since the start of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980, carrying the narrative through the sanctions period and 2003 invasion to the present day. The destruction of Iraq’s academic class has been an underreported yet grave phenomenon that holds serious implications for the country’s—and the region’s—future. This project represents an effort to capture this history through first-hand accounts, by interviewing Iraqi university professors and research in Iraq and in diaspora, to establish an audio archive of these stories at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center, and to publish an analysis on the demise of Iraq’s intellectual class.

Library Contribution

Research undertaken by this project will create a broad-ranging body of historically important documentation. These unique materials will have continuing significance as a record of the experience of Iraqi intellectuals and as an invaluable resource for future scholarship and policy analysis. In order to preserve and extend access to the project’s original content, the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library will house the printed transcripts of more than 100 oral histories collected from Iraqis and western policymakers. Special Collections will also accession and preserve in the Library’s digital repository the digitally recorded interviews and other electronic materials collected by the project. 

Supplemental print and digital files documenting the development of the project will be added to this archive as the research and writing proceeds. Once the project’s programs and research are completed and the published book has been issued, the archive of the Iraqi intellectuals project will remain as a permanent historical resource. The personal narratives gathered from Iraqi professors and western officials will support investigations by future researchers, teachers, and students. In addition, these unique records will enhance the University’s Middle East collections, one of the premier collections in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies in the world, and facilitate collecting of additional materials on modern Iraq and the Iraq War.
 

Global Impact

“The Library is so many things for us at the Neubauer Collegium,” says David Nirenberg, Director of the Neubauer Collegium. “It is a beacon that attracts our fellows and collaborators from all over the world.  Its collections rank among our most important research instruments. And it is also a key partner in making the results of those researches available globally. How fitting that, throughout these first years of the Neubauer Collegium’s existence, we call the Library home.”

“The University of Chicago Library has long served as a meeting ground for international scholars,” says Nadler, “and participation in the Collegium allows us to continue this tradition of providing resources and spaces while collaborating in the development of new approaches to cross-disciplinary scholarship.”

Exhibits Make-a-zine event at the Logan Center on March 7

Make-a-zine event posterMake-a-Zine at the Logan Center
Thursday, March 7
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Room 028

Learn to make your own zine at the University of Chicago Library’s Make-A-Zine event at the Logan Center.  We’ll supply the zine-making materials, you supply the creativity. Experienced zinesters and newbies are welcome.  A copy of each zine will be deposited into the Library’s Special Collections Research Center (where the rare books, archives, and manuscripts are housed).

Refreshments will be served. While registration is not required, RSVP’s are appreciated.

This event is held in conjunction with My Life Is an Open Book: D.I.Y. Autobiography, on exhibit now through April 13, 2013 in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact Debra Werner 773-702-8552.

Careers in Libraries for Humanities PhDs – panel discussion Feb. 20

The University of Chicago Career Advancement office and the Joseph Regenstein Library are co-sponsoring a panel discussion on Careers in Libraries for Humanities PhDs on February 20 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

The program will be moderated by:

Alice Schreyer
Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Special Collections and Curator of Rare Books
PhD Emory University, Department of English

Featuring panelists will include:

Julia Gardner
Head of Reader Services, Special Collections Research Center
PhD University of California, Riverside

David Larsen
Head of Access Services & Assessment
PhD University of Chicago, Divinity School (History of Christianity)

Catherine Mardikes
Bibliographer for Classics, Ancient Near East, and General Humanities
PhD University of Chicago, Department of Classics

Sarah G. Wenzel
Bibliographer for Literatures of Europe and the Americas
MA University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, French Studies

The program will be held in the Special Collections Research Center Classroom in the Joseph Regenstein Library. Career Advancement Student Preparation Programs are open to all University of Chicago students and alumni. If you are interested in attending or if you have any questions, please call the Career Advancement office at 773-702-7040.

Changes to the Children’s Book Collections In SCRC

mothergooseFor decades the University of Chicago Library’s historical children’s books were located in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children ( better known as “EB”).  The nearly 5,000 books that formed the core of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children were collected by Chicagoan Henry C. Friedman. His collection was purchased by Encyclopaedia Britannica (whose then- president, William Benton, was a member of the University’s Board of Trustees) and donated to the University of Chicago in 1946 to provide resources for research and teaching of children’s literature in the Graduate School of Library Service.  Over the years, many individuals have made gifts to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children, which has grown to over 12,000 titles. 

The Special Collections Research Center has established a new collection with the name Historical Children’s Books (HCB), in order to distinguish the original EB/Friedman gift from the subsequent additions. A Special Collections project is under way to separate the books collected by Harry Friedman using the original inventory of his collection. These books will remain in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children and all others will be moved to the new HCB collection.  This process will take several months and Special Collections Research Center staff will be happy to help users locate materials during this transition period.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Special Collections (schreyer@uchicago.edu), Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian (cuecker@uchicago.edu), or Julia Gardner, Head of Reader Services (juliag@uchicago.edu).

Go on a Blind Date With Books in Special Collections

The Quiver of Love

The Quiver of Love

Are you in love with books? Come to the Special Collections Research Center’s  “Blind Date With Books” event on February 13, from 4:00-6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Learn about how early books were made, and try your hand at folding a folio to make a copy of the first Shakespeare folio.  Engage in the ultimate blind date with a book, trying to identify books while blindfolded.  And be sure to take a look at the rare books and manuscripts on display, all focusing on elements of love, romance, and heartbreak, from medieval through contemporary times.

The Special Collections Research Center is located on the first floor of Regenstein Library.  Anyone needing an accommodation to attend this event should contact Julia Gardner 773-834-0627.

Exhibits Feature Story Women’s zines make life an open book

‘D.I.Y. Autobiography’ exhibition highlights new collections of Chicago zines

The zine Taenia Pisiformis, or, Our Tapeworm, or, The Most Grossest Three Months of my Life has earned a special place in the heart of Sarah G. Wenzel and in the winter exhibition she curated, My Life Is an Open Book: D.I.Y. Autobiography.

Cover of "Taenia Pisiformis, or, Our Tapeworm"

Kristen Romaniszak, “Taenia Pisiformis, or, Our Tapeworm, or, The Most Grossest Three Months of my Life” 2005. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

“It’s the form that makes Our Tapeworm my favorite,” says Wenzel, the University of Chicago Library’s Bibliographer for Literatures of Europe and the Americas and one of the founders of the Library’s new zine collections. Created by zinester Kristen Romaniszak, Our Tapeworm has long, narrow pages that mimic the shape of the eponymous parasite at the story’s center. The item’s comics format, focus on personal experience, and apparent production process—hand-drawn and hand-lettered pages photocopied and stapled together—make it typical of a number of the zines on display in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery from January 14 to April 13, 2013.

Zines, as the exhibition explains, are self-published, hand-made, self-distributed, non-commercial works.  Primarily produced in small print runs on inexpensive photocopier paper, they tend to be idiosyncratic in topic, appearance, or both.  

The range of topics covered by zines is large. Some cover music, others activism, and a great many explore personal life. My Life is an Open Book focuses on perzines (personal zines) produced by women from the 1990s to the present and acquired by the Special Collections Research Center over the last two years, as a decision was made to build new Chicago-focused zine collections at the Library.  Exhibition cases explore the physical form and production of zines, life writing, family ties, communicating narrative wordlessly, and “seeing ourselves as others see us.”  Accompanying the zines are other items from Special Collections, such as Michel de Montaigne’s Essays, which provide historical precedent for these contemporary autobiographical works.

The birth and history of zines is tied to the availability of inexpensive photocopying.  Although the term zine was inspired by science fiction fanzines of the 1940s and after, as Wenzel explains, contemporary zines were first created in the 1970s and took off in the 1980s as part of the punk counterculture.  The first punk zines, Wenzel says, were “very male—focusing on punk culture, music and radical causes.” These were soon followed by a wave of women’s zines emerging from punk women’s riotgrrl culture. Women’s voices have been prominent in zine culture ever since.

Why collect zines?

Some might be surprised to find an academic research library such as the University of Chicago’s collecting zines, but to Wenzel, who began collaborating with the Special Collections Research Center to do so two years ago, they are a logical extension of collection development work that was already underway. 

Buzz #3 cover

Corinne Mucha, “Buzz. No. 3: Stories of Superpowers, Smiling Sloths, Inferior Aliens, and Clocks that Stretch Time, Among Others” 2009. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

“We started collecting poetry chapbooks,” Wenzel says. “Sometimes the line between chapbook and zine is thin. And zines are a terrific record of what’s happening below the surface of contemporary publishing. We can use them to understand what is happening with outsider art and alternative publishing. During a period when it has become harder and harder to publish commercially, they seem particularly important.”

 “We’re interested in documenting Chicago publishing, and zines are a vibrant manifestation of a publishing tradition that is flourishing in Chicago,” explains Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Special Collections. The Special Collections Research Center is already the home of graphic arts, printing, and publishing collections such as the archives of Chicago-based printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company and of Harriet Monroe’s renowned Poetry magazine.

Wenzel now collects every zine with a Chicago connection that she can, through a standing order with Chicago’s well-known comic and zine store Quimby’s and by attending events such as the Chicago Zine Fest, which will hold its 4th annual event at Columbia College on March 8 and 9.  She also occasionally acquires zines from outside Chicago that she finds particularly aesthetically interesting.  And Schreyer is involved as a member of the Caxton Club in organizing this year’s Caxton Club/Newberry Library Symposium on the Book, which will focus on “Outsiders: Zines, Samizdat, and Alternative Publishing” on April 6.

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor Hillary Chute and others in the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality have already expressed interest in the Library’s growing zine collections, and Wenzel imagines that, over time, they will be useful to those studying sociology, politics, autobiography, underground publishing, and history. Chute, who had an opportunity to review the nucleus of the collection before it was cataloged, responded that “What I’ve seen of the collection does a great job of aggregating Chicago-focused work in a way that is a real representative sampling, and shows the range of different formats and themes.”

As Chute notes, several themes are prominent in the collection, including music, activism, and archiving. “Especially for zines about Chicago history, the activist-oriented work is fascinating and conveys real information, too; these are historically and socially relevant,” Chute wrote. “The activist zines that also have a historical bent—or actual pamphlets from earlier periods—are particularly compelling and will be of interest to a range of students.”  

Artistic intentions

Although zines are self-produced in small runs and do not look like traditional literature or art books, the featured zinesters in the exhibit consciously choose to create stories and visual narratives that provide interesting artistic opportunities, that connect personal lives with broader themes, and that engage audiences in artistic or critical dialogues with their work.

“I look at stories as a found object—something I can manipulate and disguise in order to make something new” explains Corinne Mucha, whose exhibited zines include Buzz, I Hate Mom’s Cat: and Other Tails, and My Alaskan Summer.  “While my work may still have some ‘tell-all’ qualities, I’m not really interested in the confessional nature of autobio comics. Writing stories about your life is another way of taking control of them. . . . It’s another kind of magic trick—an old tire torn apart, twisted up to look like a snake.  It’s not a tire anymore, but it’s not really a snake either.  It’s something else entirely, and whatever personal experiences the reader brings to the table can help make it something new.” 

Zine cover: The Fish & the Monkey

Marian Runk, “The Fish and the Monkey,” 2009. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Another featured zinester in the exhibition, Marian Runk, writes that she chooses her form to take advantage of “the power of the specific to indicate the universal,” as well as the zine’s ability to engage her audience.

 “I am drawn to incorporate cartooning—essentially a process of simplification and reduction—into my work,” Runk explains. “As the details of a face or environment are reduced, so the opportunity of the viewer to identify with a character or locale may increase.  I seek to further bridge the distance between my work and diverse audiences by focusing on the basic unit of one person relating to another, which when multiplied and placed into context, begins to get at the narrative of a place or community. . . . Whether by aversion or affinity, I hope to move my audience beyond mere visual pleasure and into the realm of emotional and critical engagement.”

Events celebrating the exhibition

To celebrate the exhibition, raise awareness of the new zine collections among researchers, and give zinesters and audiences an opportunity to engage one another directly, the Special Collections Research Center will be hosting an opening event on February 22, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and then readings by zinesters including Grace Tran, Danny Resner, and Carrie Colpitts at 6:30 p.m..  This event is free and open to the public.

On February 27, Hillary Chute will speak to the Library Society at the Special Collections Research Center, offering a brief history of different contemporary forms of autobiographical practice, from zine-making to autobiographical comics to photography and filmmaking.  Professor Chute will assess the rise of formats like comics and zines to address the self, offering a history of their emergence, and suggesting how they conceptualize the self, as well as how they are taking their place in the academy.  Prior to Chute’s 6:45 p.m. lecture, Sarah G. Wenzel will give a 5 p.m. tour of the exhibition.  The lecture and tour are free and open to the public.

On March 7, librarians will host a Make-a-Zine workshop for UChicago students from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in room 028. Refreshments will be served.

Associated web exhibit

A great many images from the zines on display in the gallery can be seen in an associated web exhibit.

Exhibits Zine Exhibit in the News

A review of the latest Special Collections exhibition, My Life is an Open Book: D.I.Y. Autobiographyappears in the most recent issue of The Chicago Maroon.

Alice Bucknell’s article, “In Reg, zine but not herd,” can be found on the Maroon‘s website here: http://chicagomaroon.com/2013/01/17/in-reg-zine-but-not-herd/

My Life is An Open Book is on view from January 14 to April 13, 2013, in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, which is located in the Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday: 9:00am – 4:45pm; Saturdays: 9:00am – 12:45pm, when classes are in session.

 

 

 

New collections ready for research

Archivists in Special Collections and their trusty student assistants have been hard at work processing archival and manuscript collections. The following five collections have brand new guides for your researching pleasure. The collections are small, but full of interesting material for lovers of late 19th and mid-20th century history. Happy Researching!

Material from the U.S. Government War Exposition, 1918 Collection.

United States Government War Exposition, 1918. Collection

Did you know that the U.S. government hosted public events during WWI to showcase how our boys were fighting “over there?” How would you like to visit a trench in the middle of Grant Park or try out the food being served to soldiers? This collection contains memorabilia from a Chicago exhibition in 1918, and includes ticket stubs and turnstile counts of visitors.

John L. Balderston Collection.

In 1945, four individuals who had worked on the Manhattan project formed a committee and wrote a letter to 154 public figures asking for their opinions about the possibility of the creation of a world government.  The collection includes over a hundred letters from prominent intellectual, political, and entertainment figures of the mid-1940s.

Andrew Lindblad Collection

More World’s Fair memorabilia! This collection contains guidebooks, postcards, and photographs from the 1893 and 1933 fairs.

Adolf Leo and Elizabeth Oppenheim Papers

Follow the lives of two Jewish intellectuals as they try to escape Nazi Austria and Vichy France. The collection contains official emigration documents and correspondence from the couple’s 3-year-long efforts to come to the United States.  (Spoiler alert: they escape!)

Lois Jansson Papers

Have you read or seen A River Runs Through It? Author and U of C alumnus, Norman Maclean, also wrote a book about the deadly 1949 Mann Gulch wildfire in Helena, Montana called Young Men and Fire. Lois Jansson’s husband, John Robert Jansson, was the district ranger on duty during the fire. Maclean interviewed Bob Jansson for his book. The collection contains copies of correspondence between the Janssons and Norman and John Maclean, as well as Jansson family histories.

Developing assignments that use the Library: workshop

Have you found that your students aren’t using the academic sources you expect for their assignments? Do your students seem to lack basic library research skills?

A photo of a course in the Special Collections Research Center.

Library research assignments can engage students. Photo by Dan Dry.

Developing Assignments that Use the Library

Friday, January 18th
2:30 – 4:00 pm
Regenstein Library, Room 207

In this program, University of Chicago librarians will highlight ways you can integrate library research instruction into your courses to promote the acquisition of the skills necessary to complete research assignments. We’ll demonstrate ready-to-go online tools that can be integrated into your Chalk site, and discuss the different types of in-class instruction the Library can provide.

At the end of the session, we’ll work together to create some sample assignments designed to help students learn how to use the Library’s collections and online resources. 

Presenters:
Julia Gardner, Head of Reader Services, The Special Collections Research Center
Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach, Regenstein Library
Debra Werner, Librarian for Science Instruction and Outreach, Crerar Library

Faculty, instructors and graduate students interested in teaching are welcome to attend.   Registration is recommended.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact Rebecca Starkey at 702-4484 for assistance.

Whitman manuscript now digitized

Walt Whitman signature, from letter to his publisher.

The original manuscript of Walt Whitman’s “The Bible as Poetry,” bound with related pieces of Whitmaniana, is now online.  The manuscript includes a letter sent from Whitman to his publishers,  Jeannette Leonard Gilder and Joseph B. Gilder, part of which is shown to the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bulk of the manuscript consists of Whitman’s edits to his work, as seen in this example.  The complete essay was published in The Critic in 1883.

 

My Life is an Open Book: D.I.Y. Autobiography

Exhibition: My Life is an Open Book: D.I.Y. Autobiography
Dates:  January 14 – April 13, 2013

A significant form of expression in the punk cultures of the 1980s and 1990s, contemporary zines continue to provide an important platform for authors­—or zinesters—in a distinct genre.  As part of a feminist punk rock subculture known as riot grrrl, women zinesters became prominent in the 1990s; women are an integral voice in the zine community.

Politics, music and autobiography are standard zine topics. Known as ‘perzines’ (personal + zine), autobiographical zines form an increasingly large percentage of contemporary zine publishing. Drawn from a developing collection within Special Collections, the zines on display are perzines primarily produced by women.  Representing the 1990s to the present day, topics range from extremely frank accounts of physical and psychological trauma to playful pictographic series. Additional materials outside the zine genre have been selected to provide some historical context to these do-it-yourself autobiographical works.

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, January 19 – March 16 and April 7

Curator: Sarah G. Wenzel, Bibliographer for Literatures of Europe & the Americas, The University of Chicago Library

Web Exhibit: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/mylifeisanopenbook/

Related Events

February 22, 2013, 5:30 p.m.:  Exhibition Opening.  Readings by Carrie Colpitts, Danny Resner, Grace Tran, and Corinne Mucha beginning at 6:30.  Special Collections Research Center, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

February 27, 2013: 5 p.m. Exhibit tour by curator followed by 6:45 p.m. lecture by Professor Hillary Chute on “Forms and Formats of Autobiography” sponsored by the Library Society. Special Collections Research Center, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL Registration encouraged.

March 7, 2013, 5 p.m.:  For University of Chicago students:  Make-a-zine.  Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL

March 8-9, 2013: Chicago Zine Fest, Columbia College, Chicago IL

April 6, 2013: The Caxton Club/Newberry Library Symposium on the Book presents “OUTSIDERS: Zines, Samizdat, and Alternative Publishing,” exploring the world of the alternative press with experts from around the country.The Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL.  www.caxtonclub.org

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.

Corrine Mucha, “Buzz. No. 3: Stories of Superpowers, Smiling Sloths, Inferior Aliens, and Clocks that Stretch Time, Among Others” 2009. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 

Meredith Stern, “Glamour Girl #2,” 199?, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

 

The Fish and the Monkey

Marian Runk, “The Fish and the Monkey,” 2009. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

 

Kim Fern, “Fern #10,” 1995. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

 

Woman saying "I Made This Zine at Work"

Carrie Colpitts, “I Made This Zine at Work,” 201?. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Special Collections holiday closure dates

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed the following dates during the Winter Interim:

December 24-25, 2012
We will be open 9:00am-4:45pm December 26-28.

January 1, 2013
We will be open 9:00am-4:45pm beginning January 2, 2013. Saturday hours (9:00am-12:45pm) will resume January 12, 2013.

Feature Story ‘Swiss Treasures’ exhibition closes Dec. 14

Liber Psalmorum

Liber Psalmorum, Medieval Bible in Latin and German, ca. 1200. Courtesy of Martin Bodmer Foundation in Cologny (Geneva)

Situated in the heart of Europe, Switzerland has long been a center for Biblical studies and transformative contributions to Judeo-Christian culture. The exhibition Swiss Treasures: From Biblical Papyrus and Parchment to Erasmus, Zwingli, Calvin, and Barth explores the importance of Swiss religious influences across a range of traditions and historical personalities. Papyri, parchments, first editions, early printings, and modern manuscripts represent treasures in Swiss institutions that link these and other religious thinkers to the philosophical, theological, and political movements that have shaped the modern world.

The rare historical treasures on display from September 21 to December 14 in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery have been gathered from seven distinguished Swiss archives and libraries: Basel University Library (Basel), State and University Library (Fribourg), Abbey Library of St. Gall (St. Gall), Central Library (Zurich), the Martin Bodmer Foundation (Cologny), Karl Barth Archive (Basel), and Library of Geneva (Geneva). The exhibition also displays a rare volume from the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library.   

Among the manuscripts shown in the exhibition are texts of the Psalms from the Epistle of Jude (fourth century); fragments of the world’s oldest Vulgate version of the Gospels (fifth century); and leaves from one of the few remaining examples of a Samaritan Pentateuch (ca. 1495-96).

Novum Instrumentum

Novum Instrumentum Omne, first printed Greek New Testament edited by Erasmus, 1516. Courtesy of Basel University Library – Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität Basel

Among the printed texts on display are an early printed edition of the Talmud (1578); the first New Testament to be printed in Greek (1516); and the first printings of Bibles in German and French, which were based on the original Hebrew and Greek and overseen by the reformers Zwingli (1530) and Calvin (1535). Some of the rare books on exhibit feature illustrations that are among the finest examples of Swiss printing in the sixteenth century.

The exhibit also displays archival treasures from the twentieth century, including a handwritten draft of the Barmen Theological Declaration (1934), a testimony to the anti-Nazi struggle within Protestantism from the hand of one of its leaders, Karl Barth.

This unique display of rare historical treasures from Swiss institutions was brought together to mark the joint annual meetings in Chicago of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion, held in November 2012.