Feed on

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

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Plantas que curan y plantas que matan written in Spanish by Arias Carbajal certainly makes a splashy impression with its pulpy cover.  The title translates to “plants that cure and plants that kill” and includes both theoretical and practical information regarding medical botany for curing various diseases.  In one section I discovered hierba de los gatos or catnip.  Img0011The text counsels that it can be used for nerves, headache, suppression of menstruation, scurvy, and people suffering from general weakness (whatever that means).

Since the 1700s catnip tea has been used for many mild ailments including nervous conditions, stomachaches, hives, and even the common cold.  More familiar with catnip as a stimulant for actual cats I was curious if people today still use catnip for any of these ailments.  I discovered that people still brew up catnip tea though there appears to be little hard scientific evidence that these problems are being cured by the catnip.  During the 1960s it was apparently smoked for the euphoric effects many claimed to experience and most people agree that it can be a good insect repellent when used in an oil form.  Img0012

On the other end of the spectrum we have the very poisonous tartago or spurge.  Native to southern Europe, northwest Africa, and throughout most of Asia the seeds, flowers, leaves, and roots are all poisonous and because the plant produces latex it can cause skin irritation when handled.  One animal that appears to be immune to the toxin from spurge are goats who sometimes eat it.  But watch out if you are going to milk your goat because the toxin can still be passed along in the goat’s milk!


Plantas que curan y plantas que matan :tratado teórico práctico de botánica medicinal para la curación de todas las enfermedades /por el Prof. Pio Arias-Carbajal, ex-medico de S.M. Mexico : [publisher not identified], [date of publication not identified] can be found at the Botany Libraries.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, Gretchen Wade, Judith Warnement, and Chris Robson of the Botany Libraries for contributing to this post.







Psychic TV

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



On Easter Sunday in 1984, English experimental video art and music group Psychic TV conducted a performance at the Massachusetts College of Art. Physic TV members Genesis P-Orridge and John Gosling were interviewed after this performance, an interview in which they were questioned about the various influences for their art, which included a focus on occultism, serial killers, and bondage, and body modification/mutilation. The performance in Boston included “a tape loop of Aleister Crowley chanting to evoke demons,” backing video featuring PTV members having their genitalia pierced, and “other assorted bondage and discipline films,” along with footage of Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and Roman Polanski. It was paired with a sister event in Reykjavik, Iceland on Good Friday, and Physic TV members hoped that there would be a noted “psychick” influence between the two.



Genesis P-Orridge would continue Psychic TV through the present day, with some breaks in-between. Born in Manchester, Genesis founded the music and performance collective COUM Transmissions in 1969, which evolved into industrial band Throbbing Gristle in 1976. As with the Psychic TV performance previously described, Throbbing Gristle used disturbing and controversial imagery in their performances, including photographs of Nazi concentration camps. Their hope to provoke the audience into extracting themselves from the mainstream and thinking individually earned them an association with the rising anarchist punk scene. Throbbing Gristle disbanded in 1981, with Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson moving on to form Psychic TV. It has since had two revivals, from 2004-2010, and from 2011 to the present day.


The pamphlet pictured here includes the transcription of the post-Massachusetts College of Art Easter Sunday performance interview with Genesis P-Orridge and John Gosling, in which the pair discuss their goals for their performance group, the often controversial influences upon their art, and the way the English government has attempted to silence dissenting voices. Accompanying the pamphlet is an audio cassette tape containing audio from the interview.


To learn more about Physic TV and Genesis P-Orridge’s other projects, visit their website here. The Psychic TV interview pamphlet and accompanying audio cassette can be found in Widener’s collection: Boston: John Ze’Wizz, 1984.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

Poster Swank

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



For some 40 years, Poster Auctions International has been holding auctions at Rennert’s Gallery in New York City for their collection of rare vintage posters. This collection spans art noveau, art deco, and modern pieces of poster art. Each auction is accompanied by a beautifully crafted auction book, with a hardbound cover and glossy color pages featuring images and details about available posters.



Poster collecting emerged as a popular and expensive endeavor sometime in the 1960s and 1970s, with focus being placed on the work of a handful of 19th century French artists such as Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, and Jules Cheret. As the market and demand for posters has expanded, new collector categories have developed: Mid-Century Modern reflected in post-WWII designs, war propaganda posters from the first half of the 20th century, and travel posters from around the world. Along with those in the Art Nouveau style, war propaganda posters are particularly popular. During the First World War, the United States produced some 2,500 poster designs, with 20 million posters printed, in the span of two years. The power of the poster was recognized and reimagined by the Bolsheviks, and became a staple of war efforts around the world. Other poster styles evolved throughout the 20th century, including Art Deco influenced by the sleek aesthetic of the jazz age, the ‘50s Style using whimsicle design to appeal to broad audiences, and International Typographic Style (or Swiss Style) which was highly structured, orderly, and corporate. Read more about the history of the poster here.



Many of the posters crafted between 1880 and 1930 were printed through a method called lithography, which was replaced by photo offset and silkscreen processes after the Second World War. Printing processes can account for the value of certain posters, along with their connection to the original artist, the popularity of said artist, the subject depicted, along with the rarity and condition of the poster itself. The auctions held by Poster Auctions International include posters from nearly all of the eras discussed here. The auction and Rennert’s Gallery are a staple of New York City, demonstrated by an auction they held two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks where proceeds went to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.


To learn more, poster catalogs published by Poster Auctions International can be found in the Fine Arts Library collection.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

The Drug Demon

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



Published in 1940, Narcotics: Destroyer of Mind and Body or The Drug Demon warns Americans about the dangers of drug addiction “found not only in the large cities…but also in towns, villages and isolated spots.” The author goes on to draw a parallel between the lies children are told about fairy tales and Santa Clause and about addictive substances. Children grow up to realize these myths are false, and therefore believe the warnings they have been given about alcohol, tobacco, and other substances are also false. The author resolves that young people will inevitably be corrupted by cocaine, opium, etc., “unless material facts proving all the attendant evils are laid before the people.”

The Drug Demon pamphlet goes on to present statistics about drug use in America, citing user increases of 10% annually, noting the commercialization of medical uses of strong drugs such as opium, and calling for new national laws “that will take care of the unfortunate already afflicted.”



The remainder of the pamphlet tells four stories of drug use gone terribly wrong. First addressed is marijuana, which the author calls “one of the most harmful drugs known,” followed by a myriad of violent crime stories linked to the drug. Second, two stories on the dangers of cocaine. The pamphlet is capped off with a summary of the effects of opium, along with an excerpt from Thomas De Quincy’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

The illustrations within are at once cartoonish and haunting, creating a pamphlet surely meant to terrify the reader out of any curiosities about drug use.


To learn more The Drug Demon can be found in Widener’s collection: Chicago: Max Stein, 1942.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

Is that a dewberry?

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Going for a hike in France?  Be sure to bring your favorite pocket atlas!  
Atlas de poche des plantes des champs, des prairies et des bois : a l’usage des promeneurs et des excursionistes was probably a popular reference tool for hikers in late 19th-century France which describes flowers and plants that one might find in the woods.  We discovered Series 1 and 2 within the Santo Domingo collection and the Botany Libraries already have Series 4 in their collection.  The two guides contain gorgeous colored plates and helpful information about location, physical description, and other fun facts about the plants.  For example let us look at Rubus caesius otherwise known as the European dewberry which can be found in forests or areas with rocky basic soil.  It can grow in a light amount of shade up to 2 meters high with prickly stems that are bluish-grey.  The shrub grows a wild fruit of a bluish black (the dewberry) that flowers from June to September.

Img0008Liseron des champs also known as field bindweed or the “Virgin’s dress” comes from the morning glory family.  A climbing or creeping plant it can also grow up to 2 meters high.  Though the trumpet shaped flowers are physically pleasing to the eye it is known as a nuisance weed that chokes out cultivated plants.  This invasive plant can be difficult to get rid of because the seeds remain viable for up to twenty years in the soil and one single plant can produce a whopping 500 seeds.

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Red valerian has a number of different names such as kiss-me-quick, fox’s brush and my personal favorite- Jupiter’s beard!  It can be found in rocky locations at low elevations with a high alkaline content in the soil. Both the leaves and roots can be eaten, in salads or soups, but whether they are actually tasty seems to be in question.  Although red valerian is sometimes reported to have medicinal properties it is probably due to a confusion with true valerian or Valeriana officinalis.  This type of valerian has been used as a sedative, migraine treatment, pain reliever, and antiseptic.  But most fascinating is the use of valerian in medieval Sweden where it was put in a groom’s wedding clothing to ward off the “envy of elves.”

Atlas de poche des plantes des champs, des prairies et des bois : a l’usage des promeneurs et des excursionistes. Série 1 / par R. Siélain. 3e Édition. Paris : Paul Klincksieck, 1895. FL 40 Si52a Series 1 1896

Atlas de poche des plantes des champs, des prairies et des bois : a l’usage des promeneurs et des excursionnistes. Série 2 / par R. Siélain. Paris : P. Klincksieck, 1896. FL 40 Si52a Series 2 1896

Both of these series can be found at the Botany Libraries.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, Gretchen Wade, Judith Warnement, and Chris Robson, Cataloger from the Botany Libraries for contributing this post.

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Actuel may just be the magazine equivalent of a cat with nine lives. This French publication has seen some three iterations, beginning as a jazz and alternative music review in 1967. Taken over by Jean-François Bizot in 1970, Actuel became a staple of the underground press in France. After a trip to the United States, where he witnessed firsthand the music, people, and substances of the Counterculture Movement, Bizot returned to Paris. A journalist at L’Express, Bizot realized that an article in that publication could not cover all that he had witnessed in the States. Further propelled by the civil unrest in France in May of 1968, where massive demonstrations and strikes were accompanied by the occupation of factories and universities, leading to a freeze of the French economy and widespread concerns of civil war, Bizot was inspired to begin a French underground publication.



And so began the second life of Actuel. The magazine covered everything from drugs to film to feminism, and introduced artists like Robert Crumb to a French audience. Bizot used the platform to lend voices to ecologists, feminists, gay-rights activists, and anti-racism campaigners. The magazine married the works of Rimbaud and Baudelaire with the music of Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa. Its pages were loud and colorful, rarely printed in black and white, and with a layout that would be repeated by underground newspapers and zines for decades to come. After 58 issues in a five-year run, this second rendition of Actuel shuttered its doors.



However, Actuel would have yet another reprisal. In 1979, Bizot and the other members of his original editing team came together to produce a more modern and streamlined version of Actuel . This magazine was big and glossy, with material aimed at the youth of the 1980s, with an emphasis on quality reporting, travel, and photography. Unlike its underground press predecessor, this new Actuel was a mainstream hit, with some 400,000 subscribers by the mid-1980s. With some breaks and restructurings in the process, this final version of Actuel ran until 1994, when Bizot started a new publication, Nova. Bizot passed away in 2007.



To learn more about the life and work of Jean-François Bizot, his obituary is available at The Independent.  Issues of Actuel can be found in Widener’s collection: Paris: Jean-François Bizot, 1970-1975 and Paris: Actuel, 1979-1994.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

Flying carpet

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Img0021 Richard Halliburton was an American adventurer, journalist, and travel writer who may be best remembered as swimming the length of the Panama canal and only paying 36 cents for his toll.  He apparently caught the travel bug while in college at Princeton.  For a time he left school to travel as a seaman sailing from America to Europe.  Though he did return to finish his studies Halliburton decided upon graduation to travel the world and write about it so he could make a living.  The Flying Carpet chronicles his adventures with aviator Moye Stephens whom he hired to fly them across the world in an open cockpit biplane.


They left on Christmas day in 1930 and it took them 18 months and 34 countries.  Halliburton’s book was a best-seller at the time and included fascinating anecdotes of the places and people he met during this adventure.  For instance in Timbuctoo he encountered the Tuareg, a tribe that requires all men be veiled, while the women, who go about unveiled, are in control of all social life.  Img0022

There is also a fascinating chapter about their time in the Imperial Prison in Teheran.  As it turns out it wasn’t because they committed any crimes, but that they wanted to see what life was like inside, so they appealed to the Shah.  After establishing that they wanted to live as prisoners for a few days, thereby getting to know the “Persian scene” their request was granted.  Inside the prison they encountered many types of people including an older gentleman named Babadul, pictured on the right side of the photograph with Halliburton in the middle.  Apparently Babadul was a quite bothersome bandit and was serving a life sentence for killing a tax collector, only being spared death by his advanced age.


After covering 33,660 miles Halliburton and Stephens ended their trip in Manila Bay before taking the S.S. President McKinley back to San Francisco.  Halliburton continued to write extensively on other travels and topics mainly through newspaper commissions, including the Boston Globe.

In 1939 Halliburton undertook his last adventure sailing a Chinese junk from Hong Kong to San Francisco.  The Sea Dragon set out in March and three weeks later they encountered a typhoon and Halliburton was lost at sea.

 The flying carpet / by Richard Halliburton. Garden City, N.Y. : Garden City Pub. Co., 1932. G440 .H25 1932. can be found in Widener’s collection.  


Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post. 

Free love, free land

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



Free love and communal living dominated the Counterculture Movement throughout the United States, nowhere as widespread as in San Francisco, California. Young people fled to the Haight-Ashbury district in the late 1960s and early 1970s, seeking to escape capitalism and the Vietnam War, changing American society in the process. In 1966, word in the Haight spread that a “Digger ranch” was forming further north in Sonoma County. Folk musician Lou Gottlieb had purchased land in the area, and was offering to share the land to any and all people interested in a communal lifestyle.

The Morning Star commune existed in Sonoma County from 1966 to 1973, at one point housing over 100 people on the 31-acre property. Residents of the commune called their lifestyle choice “voluntary primitivism.” They committed to growing their own organic food, much of which was sent to the Diggers in San Francisco. Residents practiced free love and often roamed the land in the nude, prompting various complaints from their neighbors. A 1967 Time Magazine article about the commune led to a population boom, and drew the attention of local authorities.

Beginning in 1967, local authorities began searching and raiding the property, sending Gottlieb cease and desist orders, citing unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. Allegedly, federal authorities also began visiting the commune, searching for draft evaders. For the next several years, Gottlieb and the other residents of Morning Star would repeatedly face shut downs, including the bull dozing of their shelters in 1971.



After half a decade of fighting for the open land movement, Gottlieb abandoned Morning Star for India. He deeded the property to “God,” a final act which would go all the way to the state Supreme Court and cost Gottlieb nearly all of his life savings. The courts would finally deciding that deeding land to a higher power was impossible, especially considering no one would be available to pay property taxes.

To learn more, The Morning Star scrapbook:’n the pursuit of happiness can be found in Widener’s collection: Occidental, California: Friends of Morning Star, 1973.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

How to Kiss Right

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


This collection includes a lot of erotica, particularly from the 19th-century, but it also includes a lot of sex humor books including this one titled How to do sex properly by Bruce Aiken, Bridgid Herridge and Colin Rowe.  It reveals a fascinating glimpse of popular attitudes towards sex in the 1980s.  This satiric take on subject relies heavily on illustration most often using stuffed teddy bears throughout the text.

Img0004 They cover topics such as “learning to kiss right” by recommending that one’s eyes can be open or closed and suggesting a tilted head if your nose is too big.  They also counsel making a practice mouth with your hand.   Img0009

Another hilarious section outlines possible hiding places should you be caught “doing it.”  The dotted lines denote the various options which include A. Outside on ledge.  You should first have checked that there is a ledge.  B. Hanging from ledge.  Not recommended for long periods.  C. Under rug.  Try not to sneeze.


And if you are trying to keep things exciting they recommend role play.  Img0007You can see these bears are enacting an Arabian Nights theme. To read about what other mischief these bears could be up to you can find How to do sex properlyby a “team of experts,” or Bruce Aiken, Bridgid Herridge and Colin Rowe. London : F. Muller, 1982 in Widener’s collection.  

The authors apologize in advance if they cause any offense to the reader or “distress” to the bears.



Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post. 

Search & Destroy

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



Launched in 1977, Search & Destroy was the first punk rock and new wave publication to emerge in San Francisco. Created by V. Vale, who began publishing the zine through his employer, City Lights Bookstore, Search & Destroy was initially funded with $200 in contributions from Allen Ginsberg and City Lights co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti as a way to document the growing punk movement in the Bay Area. While the scene in New York City was already being noticed by the rest of the country, Vale found little coverage of punk on the west coast.


Vale’s vision for the magazine was inspired by Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, which was filled with art and in-depth interviews. Vale, like many of the players at the onset of punk, frequently referenced the Dada and Surrealist movements. He also included interviews with authors that inspired rising musicians, like William Burroughs and J.G. Ballard. Search & Destroy featured artists who would become legends of this moment in music history – Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Jello Biafra, and the list goes on.


The zine itself allowed for the political to enter the conversation—Vale and his team are credited as experts in getting artists to discuss their own politics, and also ran a semi-regular “Politics of Punk” column. Vale distributed the zine across the country, no doubt having a hand in the D.I.Y. zine culture that would become synonymous with punk rock for the next several decades.

To learn more, the complete run of Search & Destroy can be found in Widener’s collection: San Francisco: City Lights, 1977-1979.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.


This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


If you are looking for “classic tobacco accoutrements” this volume of Smokerama is just the ticket!  In today’s anti-smoking climate it may seem hard to imagine that smoking was once considered a sophisticated and glamorous habit and accessories for smoking were just as important as the cigarettes themselves.  For example cigarette dispensers were quite popular and all of the various models had their own clever mechanism for dispensing.  You would only have to depress this dapper gentleman’s spotted bow-tie and a cigarette (stored horizontally inside the head) would appear at his lips.  Or if you wanted to be a bit more whimsical you could enjoy this Ronson penguin “Pik-a-Cig” which was both a dispenser and a lighter.  Simply press the lever and a cigarette rolls to the bottom where it can be retrieved by the penguin and lit with the attached lighter.


Another big favorite from the thirties were these stylized bellhops who helpfully carried these bags of cigarettes.



Book matches have historically been used for messages that advertise restaurants, bars, political campaigns, and other special events.  But during World War II book matches were utilized by many propaganda writers who created some memorable slogans such as “Make it Hot for Hitler.”  These Strike ’em Dead matches contained a row of Adolf matches dressed in army uniforms just waiting to be stuck dead when lit.

Img0011Women were also not left out of the occassion as tobacco companies began to target their business at the turn of the century.  In a bid to get more women to buy cigarettes they included these illustrated silks (really satin inserts) in packs of cigarettes, hoping that this prize would encourage their smoking habit.  These were associated with the more expensive cigarettes and consisted of flags, comic images, and women.  The companies also made larger sizes of these “silks” that could be obtained as long as they had evidence of the purchase of cigarettes.

To read more about America’s favorite pastime you can find this in Widener’s collection. Smokerama : classic tobacco accoutrements / Philip Collins ; photography by Sam Sargent. San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c1992.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.

Sign of four 2This 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 Ludlow’s third edition of the George Newnes edition (left), serve to explain why:

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle, and rolled back his left shirt-cuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist, all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks. Finally, he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the velvet-lined arm-chair with a long sigh of satisfaction.

‘Which is it to-day,’ I asked, ‘morphine or cocaine?’

He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume which he had opened.

‘It is cocaine,’ he said, ‘a seven-per-cent. solution. Would you care to try it?’ (1892 Newnes edition, pages 1-3)

The scene progresses into a disagreement between Holmes and Watson on the advisability of the former’s drug-taking: Holmes sees the cocaine as an escape from the intolerable dullness of life between cases, while Watson fears for his Holmes’s health. (In a later story, The adventure of the missing three-quarter, Watson describes having weaned his friend off of his narcotic habit.)

Here we have much of the substance of Sherlock Holmes’s reputation as a drug user. Part of the study of drugs in literature, however, is the study of their absence. Among the Ludlow Library’s holdings are multiple abridgments from which all reference to drugs has been expunged. The one pictured below is an illustrated 1960 Hart Publishing edition intended for younger audiences. It opens on a fabricated scene-setting paragraph, and moves into a revised version of the argument mentioned above. Holmes again proclaims his disdain for mental stagnation, but declines to mention any recreational means of avoiding it.

Sign of four 3     Sign of four 4

Finally, a curiosity that hints at the depth of the Ludlow Library’s collection. The third version of The sign of the four pictured here is faithful, one assumes, to the original text, but is printed entirely in Pitman shorthand, one of the two shorthand systems most popular in the early twentieth century. Both systems used symbols to represent phonemes rather than words (such that the symbols for rye and wry would be identical). One distinguishing feature of Pitman is that pairs of unvoiced and voiced consonants, such as p/b or t/d, use the same marks, but are differentiated by their thickness. To the uninitiated, only numerals and punctuation marks are decipherable. A volume like this could have been used for practice in translating shorthand back to written English, or simply read for pleasure. The Santo Domingo collection augments an already-considerable Doyle collection at Houghton: this volume is only one of two Pitman shorthand editions held here.

Sign of four 6   Sign of four 7

Newnes edition: EC9.D7722.892sc

Hart abridged edition: EC9.D7722.960s

Pitman shorthand edition: EC9.D7722.Ez930s

Thanks to rare book cataloger Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Damien Hirst is a world-renowned (and criticized) English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector, said to be the wealthiest living artist from the United Kingdom. In his I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, Hirst collected depictions of his art work and displayed them alongside visual narratives of his life and process, using photographs, graphic images, pop-ups, and other 3D elements to create an interactive experience.


Arguably Hirst’s most famous work is the 1991 The Physical Impossibilities of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, in which a 14-foot tiger shark was suspended in a glass tank full of formaldehyde. Part of a series entitled Natural History, which depicted a variety of animals in preserved in formaldehyde, Physical Impossibilities has drawn the most interest and criticism. In 1993, the original shark had to be replaced due to an imperfect preservation process, leading to the decay of the body. Both sharks used in the artwork were caught soley for the purpose of the project. See the piece in action below:

To learn more, I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now can be found in the Fine Arts Library collection: New York: Monacelli Press, [1997].


Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

I put a spell on you

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Img0026Today I encountered our old friend L.W. DeLaurence who you may remember was featured in an earlier post called the Hypnotic Huckster where DeLaurence gives advice and practical lessons in hypnotism.  He was quite a scoundrel and involved in numerous shady dealings.  However in this instance we are looking at The great book of magical art, Hindu magic and East Indian occultism ;and, the book of secret Hindu, ceremonial, and talismanic magic : in one volume.


Written for the “exclusive use of true and faithful chelas (disciples) in the Hindu Magic, Indian Occultism…” the volume details what you might expect for such a tome- talismans, witchcraft, alchemy, and cabalistic magic, but it also contains a gallery of famous occultists and magicians where I found this image of a man named John Dee.  Img0008Dee was an astronomer, mathematician, astrologer, and occult philosopher from the 16th-century in England.  During his lifetime he amassed one of the largest libraries in England and his role as a scholar served as an entree into Elizabethean politics. He was Queen Elizabeth I’s scientific and astrological advisor and even chose her coronation date.  Dee also enjoyed the patronage of Francis Walsingham and William Cecil.  After a few political missteps and his dissatisfaction with his political influence at court he began to turn more towards supernatural knowledge and began to scry using a crystal ball to contact spirits and angels.  These supernatural pursuits were always conducted under an intense Christian piety where fasting, purification, and prayer were included.  During this time he encountered a man named Edward Kelley (also pictured in our volume) Img0009 who convinced Dee of his supernatural success speaking with angels.  Dee and Kelley embraced a nomadic lifestyle of traveling throughout Central Europe while conducting these “spiritual conferences” with angels, most notably for nobility like Emperor Rudolf II in Prague.  At one point Kelley stated that the angel Uriel had commanded that they share all possessions, including their wives, which Dee complied with apparently never doubting the veracity of Kelley’s claim.  However soon after their “wife-sharing” Dee returned to England while Kelley stayed on and became the alchemist to Emperor Rudolf II.  Dee’s wife delivered a son after they returned to England whose paternity still remains a mystery.  To learn more about the magical arts you can find The great book of magical art, Hindu magic and East Indian occultism ; and, the book of secret Hindu, ceremonial, and talismanic magic : in one volume / by L.W. de Laurence in Widener’s collection.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.

Manchu 1This 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 published a handful of short stories before the first Fu Manchu book, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu, catapulted him to literary success in 1913. He would ultimately write thirteen Fu Manchu books, which were variously adapted into film, radio, television, and comics, assuring the character’s status in the halls of fictional villainry.

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Vultures of vice!

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



True Detective Mysteries, called True Detective starting with its October 1939 issue, was a magazine about crime and criminals published for over 70 years. Beginning in 1924, it was often regarded as the first true crime magazine, launching the pulp magazine genre. It was jump started by American publisher Bernarr Macfadden , often labeled as an eccentric health enthusiast claimed to have buried part of his fortune in steel boxes across the United States.


Initially publishing fictionalized accounts of true crime, the magazine soon saw merit in reporting straightforward accounts of police investigation and the closing of particularly gruesome or sensational cases. This course of action was a hit, inspiring some 200 titles in the pre-World War II era, with True Detective itself reaching a circulation of two million. With our modern view of pulp as somewhat lurid, readers may be surprised to know that high end true crime magazines like True Detective initially turned away from hypersexualized crime stories, and were popular across the board, garnering support from J. Edgar Hoover himself.



In the post-war era, True Detective and its competitors moved further into the realm of the taboo, with stories becoming increasingly graphic both in language and the photographs used to illustrate them. At the height of the counterculture movement, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, True Detective joined its cohort in a new and extremely graphic focus on violent sexual crimes. Covers reflected what many remember of pulp today—terrified, nearly naked women often bound and gagged, fighting for their lives against shadowy criminals. These extremes did not hold reader interest, however, and by the 1980s this once booming genre was reduced to two publishers and eleven titles. Although interest in true crime did not wane during the 1980s and 1990s, the genre moved on to film and television, and True Detective ceased publication in 1996.


With true crime experiencing new popularity through podcasts such as Serial and television programming like Making a Murderer and The People vs. OJ Simpson, it is interesting to compare these new forms of investigation with their counterparts from nearly a century ago. Click here for a more detailed account of the rise and fall of True Detective magazine. To see inside more issues of True Detective and other pulp magazines, see the Pulp Magazine Archive hosted by the Internet Archive.

To learn more and see physical copies of True Detective, visit Widener’s collection: New York: Macfadden Publications, [1924-].

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

Summer loving

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Img0020 Flower children, hippies, acid freaks, drop outs, college students, political activists, middle-class tourists, and even some military personnel, all of them were there in San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967.  The Haight-Ashbury district commonly known as the Haight was one of the main origins of the hippie subculture movement.  Hunter S. Thompson aptly named it “Hashbury” and it became a community based on drugs, sexual freedom, music, and other counterculture ideals.  L’Aventure Hippie is a French text that takes a look at the rise and fall of the hippies.  The visuals within the volume consist of posters, photographs, comics, and albums just to name a few.  In particular psychedelic rock music was just about entering the mainstream during this time and bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin were extremely popular.  Their appeal was magnified by the fact that they only lived a few streets away from the Haight.

Img0019This Summer of Love that exploded in popularity quickly soured as the area couldn’t accommodate the incredible influx of people.  Soon overcrowding, drug problems, homelessness, hunger, and crime were afflicting the area.  These issues combined with the natural departure of people (many of them college students) led to the Haight staging a mock funeral known as “The Death of the Hippie” that fall.

As Mary Kaspar put it- We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, don’t come out. Stay where you are! Bring the revolution to where you live. Don’t come here because it’s over and done with.

L’aventure hippie / Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Pierre Delannoy ; préface de Jean-Pierre Galland ; postface de Noël Godin.3e éd. Paris :Éditions du Lézard, [2000] can be found in Widener’s Collection.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manger, for contributing this post. 

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


The Santo Domingo collection contains plenty of material about various smoking paraphernalia, but Build This Bong has some extremely creative diagrams for building said paraphernalia. Taking a light hearted yet technical approach to the subject, author and illustrator Randy Stratton teaches readers of varying skill levels how to build bongs and hookahs from common household object like apples and cantaloupes to more complicated builds using hardware store supplies and Plexiglas.


Homemade drug paraphernalia has been a common staple in drug cultures around the world, and Stratton hones in on this with a discussion and design for a bamboo bong like those “first encountered in Vietnam in the late 60s and early 70s.” Bongs were introduced to America through the cultural exchange which occurred during the Vietnam War, the name evolving from the Thai word “bhang.” The artistic culture around bong and hookah design has evolved since their introduction to the United States, with designs including pop culture signifiers and advanced glass blowing techniques transferring their significance into the art world. Some of these functional art pieces sell for thousands of dollars.


Depicted here are some of Stratton’s most ambitious creations for beginners, including bong designs using a honey bear, a rubber ducky, a coconut, and a tea kettle.


To learn more, Build This Bong can be found in Widener’s collection: San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2007.

Thanks to Irina Rogova, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

Acupuncture Anesthesia

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.Img0044

In the 1950s Chinese physicians in the People’s Republic of China began to wonder if acupuncture, which was typically used to treat pain, could actually be used to prevent pain during surgical procedures, which led to what we refer to here as acupuncture anesthesia.   The volume Acupuncture Anesthesia was published by a division of Pfizer Pharamaceuticals during a closed-circuit symposium in 1974.


Most of the illustrations that are pictured in this volume come from the film “Acupuncture Anaesthesia” produced by the Shanghai Film Studio, which was telecast during the symposium.  The stills shown to the left are from a craniotomy using acupuncture anesthesia.  First they prepare the patient, then the neurosurgeon drills a burr hole before removing the bone flap, and the final image is after the surgery where they are testing cranial nerve function. Img0048 Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel and vary in both length and thickness.  According to this volume one metal has never been proved superior to another so stainless steel is typically used because of the low cost.  Besides a straight needle other types are often used by acupuncturists as well.  In the image below are a few other examples, the triangular shaped points are used for releasing blood and the round needles for massage.  One that I had never seen before is the mallet which has seven small needles clustered in the head and is typically used for children in a rapid, tapping movement.   Img0047

To learn more about our views of acupuncture in the 1970s you can find Acupuncture anesthesia.  New York : Pfizer, 1974. RD85.A25 A18 1974 in Countway’s collection.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Joan Thomas, Rare Book Cataloger at Countway for contributing this post. 

Carlyle 1Upon 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:

…I do therefore hereby bequeath the books (whatever of them I could not borrow, but had to buy and gather; that is, in general whatever of them are still here) which I used in writing on Cromwell and Friedrich, and which shall be accurately searched for and parted from my other books, to the President and Fellows of Harvard College, City of Cambridge, State of Massachusetts, as a poor testimony of my respect for that alma mater of so many of my Trans-Atlantic friends, and a token of the feelings above indicated towards the Great Country of which Harvard is the Chief School.

As the will explains, Harvard was in receipt of only the books Carlyle acquired for research for his Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, and his History of Friedrich II of Prussia. Carlyle popularized the “Great Man theory”, a 19th-century belief that the lives and actions of the eponymous great men are the principal shapers of history; and it was under that belief that he wrote on the lives of Cromwell and Frederick the Great. Carlyle’s books would later be transferred to Houghton Library, where they reside today. Work was recently undertaken to enhance the cataloging of these volumes and to better describe their provenance, prompting a new look at a long-standing collection.

“A certain symbolical value the bequest may have, but of intrinsic value as a collection of old books it can pretend to very little,” Carlyle claimed in his will. To a modern reader, however, the research value of the books has little to do with their rarity, and everything to do with Carlyle’s extensive annotations, which give us a portrait of a rigorous, cantankerous, and highly opinionated reader in active conversation with his texts. The example pictured here, from a 1758 biography of Frederick II’s grandfather, Frederick I, reads as follows:

There is nothing absolutely in this Book but blundering stupidities and misinformations; except what is copied (stolen) from poor Dilworth, I can recollect nothing deserving another character. T.C. (1858)

Carlyle 2

Such vehement disagreements pepper the margins of many of these volumes. At other times these annotations, too voluminous for endpapers and margins, are pasted in on sheets and scraps of paper, or tucked into envelopes. Part of the enhancement work done on these catalog records was to identify volumes with these annotations and inserted manuscript notes, and to provide reference images, particularly of the manuscript material, as part of the Scanning Key Content project. An example of the results may be seen here: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/006108565/catalog

Carlyle collection: Carl 3 – Carl 288

Thanks to rare book cataloger Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.

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