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Archive for the 'Houghton Library' Category

Cautionary tales

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring recently cataloged items from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. As Nazi occupation expanded into France, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), the avant-garde dramatist, actor, poet, and theorist of the Theatre of Cruelty, was committed to a mental hospital in Rodez. There he came under the care of […]

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More Blanchot!

Since the archive of French philosopher and author Maurice Blanchot arrived at Houghton Library in 2015, exploration of the papers by Harvard students and by scholars from around the world has been intense. When a number of important Blanchot manuscripts appeared on the market in April this year, there definitely was interest in adding them […]

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 This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Inspired by Election Tuesday and in light of Massachusetts Ballot Question 4 I thought it might be interesting to look at a few ephemeral examples of the legalization of marijuana I recently uncovered within the collection.  For those […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Measures to legalize recreational marijuana are on five state ballots this year, including Houghton Library’s home state of Massachusetts. The Santo Domingo Collection naturally includes significant historical matter supporting the movement to legalize, but it also offers […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Among the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library took a particular collecting interest in his second Sherlock Holmes novel, The sign of the four. The novel’s opening lines, here quoted from the […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Among recently-cataloged volumes in the Santo Domingo Collection is this small gathering of works by Sax Rohmer (1883-1959), an English novelist whose signal creation is the villainous crime lord Dr. Fu Manchu. Born Arthur Henry Ward, Rohmer […]

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Upon the death of the Scottish philosopher, novelist, historian, and mathematician Thomas Carlyle in 1881, a portion of his personal library was left to Harvard – the only public bequeathal in Carlyle’s will. The annual report of the President and Treasurer of Harvard College for that year quotes the relevant passage, which reads in part: […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. This collection has been especially rich with volumes by Charles Baudelaire who though most famous as a French poet was also an art critic, essay writer, and translator of Edgar Allen Poe.  La Fleurs du Mal, […]

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The volume pictured here, C.K.C. – his book, chronicles the efforts of a little-known activist to establish international limitations on the opium trade. Charles Kittredge Crane (1881-1932) dedicated himself singly to this cause, which culminated in three League of Nations conventions held in Geneva: the first and second back-to-back in 1924 and 1925, and the third […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. The arrival of the Beat Generation generated controversy, conversation, and in some cases literature; for some onlookers, though, it was mostly a source of opportunity. Hence Beatnik, which promises “an uncensored, unexpurgated exposé of the ‘Beat Generation’”, […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. The influence of drugs on literary output is in evidence throughout the Santo Domingo Collection, but the volume pictured here wears that influence with unusual prominence: pictured on the publisher’s book-cloth binding is a cluster of opium […]

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Witches Sabbath

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Tableau de l’insonstances des mauuais anges et demons was published in 1612 and shines a light on the European witch trials of the 16th and 17th-centuries.  It was written by Pierre De Lancre, a magistrate, who […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Patent medicines have been treated before in this space; these are specious remedies, containing any number of drugs and adulterants, that flourished in the 1800s, before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 mandated ingredient lists and curbed […]

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Houghton Library has acquired the archive of French writer, literary theorist, and philosopher Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) from his daughter, Cidalia Blanchot. Christie McDonald, Smith Professor of French Language and Literature at Harvard University, said, “I am thrilled by Houghton’s acquisition of this important archive.  Scholars will have unprecedented access to material that will give us […]

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Cataloging work continues on Harvard College Library’s recently acquired collection of over 20,000 zines. Zines are non-commercial, non-professional and small-circulation publications that their creators produce, publish and either trade or sell themselves. For access to the collection, contact the Modern Books & Manuscripts department. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is just one example of a typically mainstream, family-friendly […]

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The following is the fifth part in a series on books from the library of Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) and her family. Houghton Library is home to many author’s libraries or portions of libraries—Bronson Alcott, William James, Thomas Carlyle, the Dickinson family, John Keats, and more. Houghton “inherited” a number of these author libraries from […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Giorgio Samorini is an ethnobotantist and psychedelics researcher who has published a great deal on sacred plants and psychoactive compounds.  This hand-produced report appears to be documentation written by Samorini along with the color photographs from visits […]

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Tracts of Zion

Cataloging was recently completed on a collection of tracts and other publications by John Ward (1781-1837), the Irish mystic who later rechristened himself Zion, and whose career as a prophet was distinguished by an idiosyncratic reading of scripture. Ward’s early life was spent as a shipwright and shoemaker, attended by relative disinterest in religion; he […]

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The Beats Go On

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Published in 1952, John Clellon Holmes’s lightly-fictionalized autobiographical novel Go was the first literary depiction of the Beat generation – Kerouac’s On the Road was extant, but only in typescript. On the Road was among the works that would later eclipse […]

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Here is a recently cataloged “Skellig list” broadside from the city of Cork, Ireland. A Skellig (or Skillig) list is a poem pairing up local bachelors and unmarried women, giving the subjects false names; but they were easily identifiable to local residents, given their age and physical descriptions (flattering or insulting), how long they have […]

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