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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)

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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.

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


At the height of the Vietnam War, a time often remembered for the vigorous anti-war protests from young adults, particularly college students, Diane Divoky edited an anthology collection of pieces from underground high school newspapers from across the United States. From a time that holds the Kent State shootings as the result of young people striving to have their voices heard, to find a just society and avoid being forced into war, How Old Will You Be in 1984? pulls out the voices of those young people, collecting them into a barrage of protest.


Underground newspapers were neither new nor rare in 1969, as the counterculture movement depended upon the circulation of radical ideas to remain buoyant. Most often, high school teenagers were not the source of these papers. Yet in this text, Divoky unearthed a collection of newspapers functioning outside of the structure of the education system. Within them, high school students were able to analyze and antagonize the systems they found oppressive—whether it be their parents, teachers, school administrators, the police, or the federal government. They questioned the very systems intended to keep them safe, the war being fought for their future, and whether the hysteria around drug use and hippies was really worthwhile.


Divoky notes in her introduction that the student voices found in these papers varied greatly from the ones found in school administered newspapers and assignments. Here, teenagers were able to speak freely and with the overwhelming emotion that comes with adolescence: “Gut reactions, awareness, vibrations are the surest signs of reality in a world where rhetoric is phony, and ‘reason’ and ‘common sense’ become the weapons of the defenders of the status quo.”

Whether they discussed hair length and dress codes, or the desegregation of their schools and the prospects of being drafted, student voices in How Old Will You Be in 1984? speak to a very particular moment in time.

To learn more, How Old Will You Be in 1984?: Expressions of Student Outrage From the High School Free Press can be found in Widener’s collection: New York: Discus Books, 1969.

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

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

 Benzedrine for Breakfast is the autobiography of Noreen Price, who lived quite an unconventional life.  Born in South Africa by accident because her Dutch mother missed the boat while visiting relatives there.  Noreen was schooled in a French convent and spent time in several different countries while growing up.  Raised as a debutante in the 1930s she briefly dabbled in modeling and after two marriages, lots of champagne, mink coats, and caviar her life took a turn that most would not expect when she became a smuggler.
Img0014 At loose ends after her second marriage ended she met a man named Johnny and began to smuggle cigarettes from Tangier into Spain at a decent profit.  With her daring methods her organization was soon operating out of North Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and even into England.  Eventually Noreen was caught and sentenced to a year of prison in the Holloway Jail as well as a thousand pound fine.  Her description of her time in prison is filled with stories of her trying to exploit the system, descriptions of how dull it was on the inside, and her attempts to get back in the smuggling game in prison.  The writing style is very entertaining and you can see from the captions that accompany her photos that she had a droll sense of humor.
To learn more about her exploits you can find Benzedrine for breakfast / Noreen Price and Peter Jackson. London : Robert Hale Limited, [1963] in Widener’s collection.
Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project for contributing this post.

Write Me In!

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


Dick Gregory is an African American comedian, political activist, humanitarian, and nutritional consultant. His political comedy was groundbreaking for its take on race relations and other social injustices during the civil rights movements of the 1960s. He first became interested in comedy during his time in the military, and then moved to Chicago to continue his career. Performing for primarily black audiences while working day shifts at the post office, Gregory made a name for himself through his satirical political and social criticism. In 1961, he was hired at the Playboy Club at the request of Hugh Hefner, propelling him into the national spotlight. At the height of his career, Gregory out-earned the likes of Frank Sinatra, used his celebrity and close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. to focus national attention on the injustices of segregation, marched with Gloria Steinem in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, and went on a hunger strike during the Iran hostage crisis.

This 1968 text, Write Me In!, marked Gregory’s very serious foray into political office. He ran for president as a write-in candidate for the Freedom and Peace Party, and received 1.5 million votes. Considering Hubert Humphrey lost the election to Richard Nixon by some 510,000 votes, Gregory had a massive impact on the election. The book outlines his political platform, with heavy focus on racism in America, the war in Vietnam, corporate greed, foreign policy, and civic duty, just to name a few. Interspersed are “humor interludes,” reminding the reader of the comedic talent which launched Gregory into the national spotlight to begin with.


At the age of 83, Gregory still regularly performs and participates in social activism. A Kickstarter funded documentary on his life is expected in the Spring of 2017. Find him on Twitter @IAmDickGregory.

To learn more, Write Me In! can be found in Widener’s collection: New York: Bantam Books, 1968.

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

Watch out for Vipers

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



Manual medico-legal des poisons… is a curious French text that appears to be primarily about the legal aspects of poisoning.  It also includes instructions on how to treat snakebites, the bites of rabid animals, as well as victims of anthrax, poisoning, drowning, and asphyxiation.



Img0040This color illustration of a viper is accompanied by a very specific description of the snake’s characteristics.  The text states that a viper has a triangular head that is wide and flat with two oblong black spots which originate between the eyes and form the letter V.  Typically two feet long and about an inch wide their fangs are long and hollow which enable the snake to inject venom into their prey.  The venom is produced by glands located at the back of the snake’s upper jaw. When the snake’s mouth is closed, the fangs recede into a thin membrane and fold against the roof of the mouth.
The text also describes quite lyrically the symptoms if one is bitten by a viper which includes a “sharp pain and burning, which like a flash of fire, slips and spreads across the member and to the internal organs; congestion and tension occurring at a rapid pace…pulse becomes small, uneven; you experience anxiety, weakness, difficulty breathing, cold sweats; the eye becomes cloudy, reason is misplaced; often vomiting occurs, sometimes bilious…”  Luckily instructions on how to treat the bite follow these symptoms.
This only other illustration in the volume is this particularly sad dog suffering from rabies.  The text alerts the reader to the fact that the bite of an animal, in particular the saliva, can pass this acute disease to others.  As with the viper further instructions follow about what to do if you happen to be bitten by a rabid dog.


For more information about the legal aspects of these poisonings the Manuel médico-légal des poisons : précédé de considérations sur l’empoisonnement, des moyens de le constater, du résultat d’expériences faites sur l’acétate de morphine et les autres alcalis végétaux; suivi d’une méthode de traiter les morsures des animaux enragés et de la vipère /Rédigé … sous les yeux de Chaussier, par E. de Montmahou.Paris : Chez Compère Jeune, Libraire, 1824. QK100 .M79 1824 can be found in Countway’s collection in Longwood.


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

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


Tuli Kupferberg’s 1001 Ways to Live Without Working is a handbook, political satire, and collage all-in-one. Nestled between the actual 1005 point list are newspaper advertisements, photographs of protest, slave sale notices, and other pieces of historical media used to turn the list into a multimedia protest artwork. Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, called Kupferberg “a pioneer of list-making as art.” His style is reminiscent of French detournement, an art form where expressions of capitalist and media cultures are appropriated into new art forms used to mock and critique these very cultures. Detournement in the United States is well illustrated by Barbara Kruger’s photography. A heavy critique of American capitalism, Kupferberg’s 1001 Ways juxtaposes struggles of the working class (“have lots of doctors bills so you don’t have to pay any income tax”) with newspaper advertisements claiming a path to phenomenal wealth (“a money miracle can come to you, too!)


Founding member of the first Beat generation band, The Fugs, Kupferberg continued to create anarchist multimedia art in New York City until his death in 2010. Kupferbeg is forever memorialized in Allen Ginsberg’s Howl as the man “who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer.”
As for those tips to live without working, the text includes such helpful suggestions as “be 1 year old” (#810), “keep on living with your parents” (#830), “invent a new political party” (#845), and “live on an iceberg” (#269). There are also direct comparisons between material culture and starvation along with a correlation between American capitalism and fascism.

To learn more, 1001 Ways To Live Without Working can be found in Widener’s collection: New York: Grove Press, 1967.

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

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

 Img0056The Gypsy’s first issue was published in London in 1915 and contained short stories, essays, poems, illustrations, sonnets, and prose.  In their foreword the editors of the magazine acknowledged that many people would criticize their endeavor in light of the fact that half of the world was presently at war, but they firmly believed that it was the duty of an artist to express their ideas whenever they occurred.  It appears that The Gypsy only published two issues.

Alan Odle, an English illustrator, contributed a lot of the artwork contained in The Gypsy.  Odle never achieved a great level of fame in his lifetime and is mainly remembered as the husband of Dorothy Richardson, a British author and journalist.  His style is described as a precursor to surrealism with most of his images being quite grotesque as well as subversive.

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Widener has a few volumes in their collection which feature his illustrations including Candide; or, The Optimist by Voltaire.  Published in 1922 you can see that his style is a little cleaner and less intricate then the work he did for the Gypsy though it still clearly contains a sense of the grotesque.

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Odle also contributed his work for a number of James Hanley volumes including this frontispiece for The Last Voyage.  Only 550 copies were printed and signed by the author and this one is no. 12.  Odle’s work on the frontispiece displays a style that leans more heavily towards surrealism.

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To explore more of Odle’s work in publications of The Gypsy, you can find the two issues in Widener’s collection.

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

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


A History of Pharmacy in Pictures, a depiction of the history of the pharmaceutical profession through oil paintings, was first conceived by pharmacist and journalist George A. Bender before the Second World War. He was inspired be a series of photographs showing the history of surgery produced by Davis & Geck in the 1920s.  Despite this early conception, it would take Bender somewhere around a decade to comprise the series of oil paintings.  In 1947, Bender became editor of Modern Pharmacy, a publication of Parke-Davis & Company, once the oldest and largest pharmaceutical company in America, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2000.  Two years into this position, he was finally granted approval for a project then entitled  “Pictorial Interpretations of Pharmacy Through the Ages.”  Though his original intention was to use the the photographic reenactment technique that Davis & Geck used, Bender eventually hired Robert A. Thom, a painter.  The two worked together for nearly a decade to research the history of pharmacy to create historically accurate paintings.  Thom traveled to Europe in 1953 to visit sites he would depict in person.  Although it took Thom about a month to create each painting, approximately half a year of research went into each of the 40 works of art.  Bender and Thom covered some 250,000 miles in the span of their 8 years of research for the paintings.


The paintings were originally published in Modern Pharmacy, then turned into window displays, and eventually shown in a variety of museums including the Smithsonian, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Hôtel des Invalides in Paris.  Pharmacists bought prints of the paintings for display in their establishments.  Although the paintings begin “before the dawn of history,” and cover medical practices in Babylon, Egypt, China, Persia, and Europe, the focus of most paintings lies with pharmaceutical developments in the United States.  This pamphlet contains all 40 paintings in black and white, along with paragraph descriptions of the time period and practices they portray.

Click here learn more about the development of this project, along with its portrayal of the pharmaceutical profession in the United States.  To see the paintings in color, please see a presentation by the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University here.

To learn more, A History of Pharmacy in Pictures can be found in Countway’s collection: Detroit, Michigan: Parke, Davis & Company, 1960.

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

Home grown

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


Touted as Europe’s first dope magazine, Home Grown’s first publication was in 1977 and presented an “enlightened and informative, as well as entertaining, attitude to dope and related subjects – views and approaches not expressed by the popular press and other media.”  The content of the magazine ranges from articles about drug legalization and arrests, poetry, comics, stories, photographs, book reviews, articles about growing pot, and much more, but what fascinates me the most are the advertisements found in the pages.

Img0054 Img0056  Portobello Road in London was apparently the place to purchase “Clothes to get high in!”  Curious to know whether the shop still exists today I found a blog that revealed that the area around Portobello was quite famous for record shops.  The Hindukush shop which sold Indian textiles was apparently open until 1988 when it became Vinyl Solution, a secondhand record store.  The variety of headshops that are represented is also quite interesting.  You have more esoteric ads, space-age ads, and of course who can resist a smoking leprechaun? Tokin’ & Tootin’ indeed!

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You can find images of the covers of the first ten issues in Hollis.  Home grown : Europe’s first dope magazine. London, England : Alchemy Publications, 1977-, is part of Widener’s collection.

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

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


During the blossoming of the counterculture movement of the late 1960s, San Francisco saw the formation of an anarchist collective: the Diggers.  Taking inspiration (and their name) from the 17th century English Protestant radical group which believed in agrarian socialism and called for the cultivation of common land, 20th century Diggers sought an end to capitalism, calling first for “free streets” and soon after, a “free city.”  Working out of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, the Diggers used theater and performance art to protest capitalism and promote their initiatives.  These included daily free food services in Golden Gate Park, multiple free stores, and a free medical clinic for the influx of young people moving to San Francisco during the decade.


This Digger newspaper, believed to be from the summer of 1967, contains writing and artwork for the cause.  The first page includes a goal for a Marx-inspired free society, instructions for making a fire bomb, a remembrance of Malcolm X, and reminders about the winter solstice.  The paper also contains several poems, including a eulogy for Bob Dylan, and a list of free services and communes in cities from New York to Moscow.

Although San Francisco never became a free city, Digger influences remain within the larger culture of American and international activism.  Their establishment of free stores and free clinics became the model for such institutions across the country.  They are also credited with popularizing whole wheat bread, which they baked in coffee cans for their free bakery.  Like many leftist movements of the 1960s, the Digger movement has also been criticized for a sexist division of labor, where women were expected to take on practical tasks such as meal preparation and men controlled event planning and decision making.



A digital archive of the Digger movement can be found here.

To learn more, Free City can be found in Widener’s collection: [San Francisco], [Free City], [196?].

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

Magnificent vellucent!

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, The Flowers of Evil, is one of his most recognized works of prose-poetry and is about the changing nature of beauty in the newly modern and industrialized city of Paris in the 19th-century.  This volume of La Fleurs du Mal was published in 1900 and has an extraordinary binding. My colleague at Houghton, Ryan Wheeler, did some investigation about the binding while he was cataloging it and turned up some fascinating information.  Apparently the binding process is known as vellucent, developed by the binder Cedric Chivers of Bath, England.  An artist would paint the original illustration onto the boards, and then a thin, translucent layer of vellum was laid over that, so that everything but the gilt is under the vellum’s surface, including the mother-of-pearl.  Img0006  Img0012On the cover you can see gilt around the creature’s head and on the spine, and on the back cover both the woman’s hair-bow and the sliver of a moon are mother-of-pearl.  The illustration on the cover continues around to the spine so that we can see the arm reaching toward the flowers and the depiction of his wing is carried over onto the back cover.  We are fairly certain that H.G. Fell is the illustrator and apparently he collaborated with Chivers on many other volumes.  And if the binding isn’t impressive enough the volume also has a surprise fore-edge painting.  A fore-edge painting is completely invisible when the text block is closed, but if you fan the pages in a certain direction, an image appears, in this case a skeleton.


You can watch a video of the skeleton appearing on this volume below:

To discover the secret skeleton for yourself you can find this volume in Houghton Library’s collection.  Les fleurs du mal par Charles Baudelaire ; précédées d’une notice par Théophile Gautier. Paris : Calmann-Levy, 1900. FC8.B3247.900f. 

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Ryan Wheeler, Rare Book Cataloger, for contributing this post. 

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


“Everywhere the hands, heads, eyes, arms and legs of millions are manipulated through abominable choreographics of obligations, restrictions, responsibilities, laws; life itself becomes inside out, upside down, flattened to the pastel walls of bureaucratic insensitivity—what is there left, in all this, of human freedom?”

So begins the preface of Surrealism & Revolution, a brief anthology of meticulously typed-out texts from surrealist and Dada writers, artists, and revolutionaries such as Max Ernst and Leon Trotsky, interspersed with line drawings inspired by surrealist art (and one image replicating a painting of Hieronymus Bosch, often credited as the original surrealist).


The goal of this collection was to introduce surrealism and its revolutionary capabilities (claimed by Franklin Rosemont in the preface) to the United States, where Rosemont states that surrealism has been “systemically lied about by academicians and journalists,” but the youth of America have discovered it nonetheless and will “soon leave the schools, churches & government buildings of this country smouldering in ashes.”  Franklin and his wife, surrealist artist Penelope Rosemont, founded the Chicago Surrealist Group in 1965 after a meeting with the movement’s founder, André Breton, in Paris.  The Rosemonts have gone on to create art and publish extensively about surrealism and other radical political movements, becoming directors of the subversive literature Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company in the 1980s.  Read an interview with Penelope Rosemont here.


This ZTANGI & Solidarity Bookshop copy from Chicago of Surrealism & Revolution joins its counterpart from the Wooden Shoe in London at Harvard.

To learn more, both issues of Surrealism & Revolution can be found in Widener’s collection: the Santo Domingo Collection copy, [Chicago], Ztangi, [1966], along with the previously held copy, London, Wooden Shoe; Coptic P., [1967].

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

A Yogi’s thoughts


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

This colorful volume is the work of Peter Max, a German artist, who dedicated this book to the brothers and sisters of the Integral Yoga Institute.  The founder of the Integral Yoga Institute was Satchidananda Saraswati, an Indian man who was a religious teacher, spiritual master, and master yogi.  Peter Max apparently asked him to come visit New York City in 1966 and soon thereafter Swami Satchidananda moved to America and started the Integral Yoga Institute, which still exists today.

Swami Satchidananda first gained public attention as the opening speaker in Woodstock in 1969.  He was a spiritual guru to numerous celebrities and musicians as he sought to bring understanding among all religions of the world.  Woodstock-710x380

The text that accompanies Max’s artwork is credited as coming from Swami Sivananda, another Hindu spiritual teacher and proponent of yoga.


Img0047Max’s illustrations are very visually striking with extremely saturated colors that are paired with Swami Sivananda’s words…

“You may wrongly think that you have kept your thoughts in secret.  The thoughts of anger, lust, greed, jealousy, revenge and hatred produce impressions on your face.”

Thought. [With the words of Swami Sivananda, Himalayas].  Editorial assistance by Arjuna (Victor Zurbel). New York, Morrow, 1970 can be found in Widener’s collection. 

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


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 in 1931.

These conventions came at a time when opium and its derivatives were only recently under regulation in the United States. In the first years of the twentieth century, American access to opium was common, albeit restricted to pharmaceutical channels. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 technically enacted new taxes on opiates rather than criminalizing them, but in practice diminished supply and stigmatized use in a manner tantamount to prohibition; where addicts were once prescribed limited doses of drugs, they were now facing mass incarceration.

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


Blackie, Fullerton & Co. was originally a bookselling firm founded in Glasgow in 1809 by John Blackie Sr., Archibald Fullerton, and William Somerville.  They specialized in the sale of books in monthly or quarterly installments, mainly by subscription.  Two years after its founding, the firm began publishing its own materials.   In 1831, it became a family business after Fullerton and Somerville’s retirements, taking on John Blackie Jr. as a partner and renaming itself to Blackie & Son.  The company amalgamated with a printing company run by a younger son of John Blackie Sr., and in 1890 was renamed Blackie & Son Limited.  The company opened operations in India, Canada, and Australia in the first half of the 20th century, and continued to publish until 1991.


Spurred on by compulsory education for children aged 5 to 13 in England and Wales made possible by the Elementary Education Act of 1870, Blackie & Son Ltd focused much of its attention on educational texts and other books for children.   Along with reimaginings of classic literature for schools like Little Women and Wuthering Heights, Blackie & Son Ltd produced a Boy’s Annual and Girl’s Annual, filled with short stories and illustrations of adventure.

This installment, believed to be from 1929, most likely made it into the Santo Domingo collection because of stories like “Hashish” by Walter Rhoades, about an English sailor on a Malaysian rubber plantation.  The protagonist gets in with the wrong crowd and finds himself being smoked out of his hiding place with charcoal and hemp, which “would act very much like opium, and send you off.”


The University of Glasgow holds the business records of Blackie & Son Ltd in their archive.  See the finding aid here.

To learn more, Blackie’s Boys Annual can be found in Widener’s collection.  London: Blackie & Son Limited, [1929].

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

Beatnik 1

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’”, “profusely illustrated with candid action photos”.  Inside is a series of accounts, all by the publisher, Heater Wall, of the Beats’ debauchery and disillusionment. “BEATNIK BABE BURNED! COOL PARTY PINCHED!  BEAT BATTERS BATTY BROAD! SEX SILLY SIRENS SAPPED! DELOUSE DOPE DIZZY DAMES!” blares the headline of one article, giving the reader a sense of the writing’s lurid flavor.

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Father of criminology

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

Img0026Cesare Lombroso was an Italian physician and criminologist who founded the Italian School of Positivist Criminology.  Lombroso’s theory of anthropological criminology was a mix of the concepts of Social Darwinism, physiognomy, psychiatry, and degeneration theory.  Essentially he believed that people inherited criminal behavior and that these “born criminals” could be identified by specific physical anomalies.  For example he thought that a sloping forehead, ears of unusual size, asymmetry of the face, excessive length of arms, and asymmetry of the cranium signaled a return to a more primitive man reminiscent of the apes who couldn’t grasp the expectations and rules of modern society, which led them to criminal behavior.


He reached these conclusions from years of doing postmortem exams and anthropometric studies on a combination of criminals, the insane, and “normal” individuals.  Lombroso thought that specific types of criminals such as murderers, rapists, and thieves could each be identified by a specific characteristic.  His research methods were very clinically descriptive, but not a great deal of statistical comparisons of criminals versus non-criminals or any social effects on criminal behavior.

Lombroso published L’uomo di genio in 1899 in his native Italian and our French translated version of L’homme de genie is from 1909.  Translated into English both titles are known as The Man of Genius.  In the volume Lombroso states that artistic genius was essentially a form of hereditary insanity.  These fold-out plates that are at the end of the text explore the size and shape of skulls and brains, as well as signatures of these “men of genius. “

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This volume can be found in Widener’s collection.

L’homme de genie / par Cesare Lombroso ; traduite sur la VIme ed. italienne par Fr. Colonna D’Istria agrege de philosophie et M. Calderini et precedee d’une preface de Mr. Ch. Richet Professeur a la faculte de Medecine de Paris. Paris : Felix Alcan, 1909.

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

Jesus Junk

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


The Daily Planet publication appears to be somewhat of a mystery.  It is clearly a reference to the famed Daily Planet newspaper from the Superman franchise, but I couldn’t find any further information about the title.  Published in California, presumably in the 1970s, we have two issues from 1971.  The content of both issues is vastly different, though the connecting thread seems to be satire of any popular news or topic of the moment.  For instance the October 1971 issue heavily mocks religion, in particular Christianity.

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There is an extensive article regarding Billy Graham, which mocks his fame and fortune, presumably made on the back of saving souls according to the author.

Img0025 And if you are in the market for Jesus merchandise there is a two-page spread regarding various Jesus products from statues to games to a collapsing cup (for holy water only!)


To learn more the Daily Planet can be found in Widener’s collection. Daily PlanetSan Mateo, California : Daily Planet.

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

Dreams 1

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 poppies. In case the reader isn’t horticulturally inclined, the title of the work is Dreams, or, Lessons from the poppy fields. (The title on the cover is Dreams, by a dreamer; bibliographic research identifies the dreamer as author Nettie Elizabeth Bryson.) Perhaps surprisingly, the text itself makes no explicit mention of opium or its effects, but the dreamlike narrative, treading a path somewhere between philosophy and melodrama, bears the poppy’s mark as well.

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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 was part of a royal commission sent out by Henry IV to “cleanse” the area of witches.  The volume is divided into six books or “discourses” in which De Lancre describes his own experiences in the Basque region of France, as well as details from original trial records which were destroyed in the 18th-century.  The volume also contains one of the more detailed accounts of the Witches Sabbath that survives.  What exactly is a Witches Sabbath?  Essentially a meeting of witches where they honor their relationship with Satan, which is displayed in this lovely engraving located within the second discourse of the volume.

Img0024I decided to take a closer look at some of the images in the engraving.  We can see a depiction of Satan who is seated in a gilded chair and has taken on the shape of a goat with five horns (one of which is lit presumably for the Witches Sabbath).  Img0025

Beneath the image of Satan we can see this depiction of a sorcerer who is arriving to the Sabbath on a goat with children he has abducted, which will then be offered up to Satan.  It also states that once the Sabbath is over these same sorcerer’s who came on brooms and beasts will take to the air to excite storms and tempests elsewhere in the world.


There is also an image that might more traditionally fit our perception of witches gathered around a cauldron.  They are making a strong potion (or poison) that will kill men.  You can see one witch holds snakes and toads in her hand to throw into the pot while the third dutifully works a bellows on the fire, which is obviously fueled by human skulls.

Look out for witches, especially on flying goats!

Tableav de l’inconstance des mavvais anges et demons, ov il est amplement traicté des sorciers, & de la sorcelerie / Pierre de Lancre. Paris, N. Bvon, 1612.  FC6.L2293.612ta (B)

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Ryan Wheeler, Rare Book Cataloger at Houghton for contributing this post.

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