Feed on


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

People often inquire about the wide variety of materials, both format and subject matter, from the Santo Domingo Collection so I thought it might be interesting to those who regularly read the blog to give you a peek from behind the scenes.  So where did all of these materials come from?  The majority of our boxes were shipped from Geneva and arrived in Cambridge after a long journey over the Atlantic via boat, presumably in a shipping container.  They then cleared customs and were whisked to our off-site storage facility.  Recently I came across some evidence that customs definitely did examine our cargo.  Apparently they didn’t know that we affectionately call it the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll” collection or I’d be seeing a lot more of this neon green U.S. Customs tape.

We then call back boxes of materials for cataloging from our off-site storage facility.  You can see what a typical delivery looks like after the dedicated couriers bring them to our workspace.  IMG_3620

Often we have no idea what will be inside a box, sometimes it could be a beautifully bound 19th-century volume, an art book, or you know a fly-swatter!

IMG_3622 IMG_3621

Here is just a small fraction of the materials that have come out of those boxes and will be processed in the coming months.  So stay tuned!


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

Patent 1This 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 fraudulent claims of panacea. Here are two pamphlets that demonstrate some of the many promotional tactics of the 19th-century snake-oil salesman.

Continue Reading »

Story of Eleonore

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

Img0003L’homme considéré dans l’état d’aliénation mentale : ouvrage divisée en trois livres … is a 19th-century French volume about the state of insanity, which starts off with a frontispiece of the beautiful Eleonore.  As the text accompanying her visage reveals Eleonore is a “folie tranquille” or a woman who is not overtly insane (by our modern standards), but coldly and cleverly plotted to discredit her husband.

It doesn’t appear that the author, Charles Dunne, had a very high opinion of women.  He goes on to state that English women are exceedingly more badly behaved than their counterparts on the Continent, partly because they’re so prudish and repressed.  However Dunne claims that once those prudish barriers are down the English women can be wild so caution is advised.


Apparently Dunne was a Surgeon of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, as well as part of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris.  He authored several texts on insanity and participated in a few courtroom dramas where it appears they were either drawing on his expertise with insanity or he was being attacked by opposing counsel.

You can find a digitized version of the Brand’s lunacy case; a full report of this most interesting and extraordinary investigation, including copious animadversions on the principal actors in this drama … the late Lord chancellor, Mr. Sugden, and Mr. Dunne’s reply to councellor Austen, extracts from the author’s “Observations on insanity.” of which he was a principle player in Harvard’s catalog as well as at the Law School.

L’homme considéré dans l’état d’aliénation mentale : ouvrage divisée en trois livres … par le docteur Charles Dunne … Paris : Chez Dentu … ; Bruxelles : Chez Lecharlier …, MDCCCXIX [1819] RC340 .D92 1819 can be found at the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School in Longwood.

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

Cannabis cooking!

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

cooking_m      art_science_cannabis

Stuffed mushrooms a la cannabis, shrimp wiggles, wacky cake, majun, pot loaf, cannabis chocolate icing and boston bean pot are all recipes that can be found in the numerous volumes that have recently been added to Schlesinger from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.



Wondering what exactly is this majun?  Majun is concocted from hemp, leaves, nuts, honey, and spices forming a type of sweetmeat. The author Glen Martin advises that you probably won’t feel the effects right away but the amount is quite substantial and one should only use mediocre weed for the recipe, saving the better types such as Oaxacan or Colombian for a pipe.

IMG_0022_aOr perhaps you would like to sample the “Wacky Cake” from Supermother’s Cooking with Grass.  Simply sautee the grass in oil for about half an hour and let it cool, then proceed with cooking the cake via Supermother’s instructions.

Maybe something savory is more to your liking?  Then the volume Cooking with Pot could be just the ticket with a Boston Bean Pot recipe.


Cooking with marijuana / by Evelyn Schmevelyn. Seattle : Sun Magic Publ., 1974.

The art and science of cooking with cannabis: the most effective methods of preparing food & drink with marijuana, hashish & hash oil by Adam Gottlieb. [New York] : High Times ; [San Francisco] : Level Press,c1974.

Majun : sweetmeat of hemp / by Glen Martin. Berkeley, CA : Turkey Press, ©1976.

Supermother’s cooking with grass. San Rafael, Calif. : Sunshine Manufacturing & Import Co., ©1971.

Cooking with pot. [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1970?]

All of these titles and many other cookbooks that incorporate marijuana can be found in Schlesinger Library’s collection.

Thanks Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Erin Ellingham from Schlesinger Library for contributing this post.

Police Bulletin

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

Img0011 Img0013

The publication Bulletin de Police Criminelle was a weekly publication distributed to specific police stations throughout France beginning in 1907.  These bound copies come from the Chalon-sur-Saône police station which is located in the Burgundy region of France.  The weekly bulletins, which are of course in French, appear to serve as both a research tool and a tracking system of crimes and criminals throughout the country.  We don’t currently have the entire run of the publication, but we do have issues that span a good 29 years with the most recent being no. 1523 from 1936.  The individual issues are annotated (most likely by various police personnel) with short notes regarding arrests and other relevant details.  At the back of each bulletin is a section that gives updates about the status of the criminals featured in earlier issues.  The first few suspects in each bulletin have photographs to aid in identification, but there are also just text descriptions without any visuals.

Img0015 The description of relevant facts varies probably depending on what information was available at the time.  Some of the general facts that most entries have include a description of the crime, the name of the Judge that issued the arrest warrant, Img0017any accomplices or places they may be hiding out in, and often a physical description or distinguishing marks that could aid the police in capturing a suspect.  The bulletins would also occasionally feature descriptions or alerts about stolen jewelry and objects.


Bulletin hebdomadaire de police criminelle. Paris : Ministère de l’intérieur, 1907-; No. 1 (1907)- can be found in Widener’s collection.  

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

True French crimes

Img0007 This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


I recently discovered two issues of a weekly French Police newspaper aptly titled Police Hebdo published in October of 1947.  The publication appears to cover extremely sensationalized information and news about various crimes and criminals both in France and around the world.  The articles from this issue seem to focus mostly on drug crime and organized crime.


For example it reports that Operation “Stop” won the first round among the drug gangs.  There is an entire two page spread Img0008

Img0006about J. Edgar Hoover’s (referred to as E.J. Hoover) work against organized crime in America primarily detailing information about Al Capone.  And the Americans are credited with helping French police stop a counterfeit scheme dealing with U.S. dollars.  To read all about it you can find Police Hebdo. Paris : Societe parisienne d’edition, 1947-1948.  in Widener Library’s collection.

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



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 a deeper understanding of his work.”

Continue Reading »

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 comic that can be reinterpreted in zines according to the authors’ views. Although Schulz’s comics portray interactions between children and animals, they are not all apolitical. Kathee Terrell, the author of “A Million Birthdays”, includes several Peanuts comics in her zine, including a shortened version of one from 1970 where an uncharacteristically timid Lucy Van Pelt is interrupted while attempting to explain the contemporary feminist movement to Snoopy.

Image 1

An original Charles Schulz comic included in issue #5 0f the zine “A Million Birthdays.”

Other feminist authors have incorporated the series and its female characters into their own zines. In Rebecca’s zine, entitled “Lusy’s Angry”, she describes Lucy van Pelt’s strengths as a character, and her admiration of the friendship between fellow Peanuts characters Marcie and Peppermint Patty.

Image 2

The back and front wrappers of the zine “Lusy’s Angry” (Issue #1)

This friendship also inspires a comic strip in the second issue of a zine called “L’il Princess.” In this comic, Marcie and Patty are seated at their desks in their classroom. In the Schulz’s original work, this is often a setting for Patty to complain about school and to fail at answering her teacher’s questions. But here, a much more jaded Peppermint Patty recites “Resumé”, a Dorothy Parker poem about logistical problems with suicide.

Image 3

Comic in the zine “L’il Princess”, with text written by Dorothy Parker

Of course any characters as popular as Charlie Brown, his friends, and more particularly his dog Snoopy, become commercial as well as artistic symbols. MetLife gained legal rights to use Snoopy and others in advertisements in 1985. Nearly a decade later, at least two small press publications also made use of the Peanuts characters, parodying both the company and its advertisements. The first issue of the zine “RTFM”, includes John S. Sizemore’s story about the disappointing lives of older Peanuts characters, as told to the narrator by Charlie Brown, now an insurance agent who spends his days smoking and reminding his clients that “if someone cuts down a tree and it falls on your RV, it’s not an act of God.” (Sizemore, 27) The plaque on his desk, of course, features a MetLife slogan.

Image 4

Charlie Brown working for MetLife in the story “Welcome to Middle Age, Charlie Brown!”, written and illustrated by John S. Sizemore

The Realist was a satirical magazine which often included rewritten versions of popular comics. In its 127th issue, three Peanuts comics were reformatted to criticize MetLife. The first relates a conversation between Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt and is a criticism of the concept of life insurance in general. But the next is a very obvious reference to a real instance of deceptive marketing earlier that year, when MetLife was successfully sued for deceptive sales practices by policyholders in Pennsylvania. The third comic again references the fall-out of that scandal, including the loss of jobs for key executives.

Image 5

Comics included in the 127th issue of “The Realist”, published and edited by Paul Krassner

Rebecca. Lusy’s Angry. San Francisco: n.p, n.d. Print.
Princess, Liz. L’il Princess. Columbia, MD: n.p, 1995. Print.
Terrell, Kathee. A Million Birthdays. Willoughby, OH: n.p, 2004. Print.
Sizemore, John S. “Welome to Middle Age, Charlie Brown!” In RTFM (Read the Fucking Manual) (ed. Robert L. Thornton). Rockville, MD: n.p, 1994. Print.
Krassner, Paul. The Realist. Venice, CA: n.p, 1994. Print.

Thanks to Anna Ryerson, an undergraduate student at Mt. Holyoke, who worked in the Modern Books & Manuscripts department this past summer, for contributing this post.

Heister’s wedge

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


Heister’s mouth-wedge was a popular tool used in dentistry in the late 19th and early 20th-century.  The purpose of the tool was to keep the mouth wedged open in case a mouth-prop slipped, though one had to be careful not to break the teeth.  As you can see the author was a big fan of the Ferguson gag because of its “good long handles” to provide plenty of leverage when opening the mouth.  These illustrations come from Anaesthesia in dental surgery published in London in 1903.

According to the author, Thomas D. Luke, this was the first work of its kind that displayed the various types of anesthesia combinations used in operative dentistry.  Luke gives brief descriptions of anesthesia usage, methods of application, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of equipment.

Img0031 Img0032

These two illustrations depict the administration of ethyl chloride.  Apparently ethyl chloride in dentistry was quite new at this point in time and was a pretty good option, at least as good as nitrous oxide according to the author.  The volume was almost complete when ethyl chloride really came onto the dentistry scene and Luke considered it to be such an excellent and valuable option that he revised the text to include it.  It is still used today as a local anesthetic and a potent inhalation anesthetic.  


Anaesthesia in dental surgery by Thomas D. Luke London : Rebman, Limited, 1903. RK510 .L95 1903 can be found at the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School in Longwood.

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



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 the Widener Library Treasure Room and, as staff time has permitted, the Rare Book Team has been doing “clean up” on these collections, making sure that all the volumes are represented in HOLLIS, and updating the records to make the books more easily findable.

The most recent project was the Sarah Orne Jewett library, a Treasure Room legacy with its own classification, SOJ. Houghton has been in discussion with several other New England repositories, including Historic New England and the University of New England, about a collaborative digital project centered on Jewett’s manuscripts and correspondence; knowing more about the Jewett library might be helpful.

The books came to the Harvard College Library in 1931, the bequest of Sarah Orne Jewett’s nephew Theodore Jewett Eastman. The books were classed “SOJ” and a handwritten shelf-list made. Or that was what we assumed!

During his work on the Jewett library, Library Assistant Noah Sheola discovered that many books that were part of Eastman’s bequest were not listed in the SOJ shelf-list. It appears that the shelf-list may not have been created until after 1935, and that before that date many books were given Widener classification numbers and placed in the Widener stacks. Some of these were later transferred to Houghton, and some no doubt remain in the Widener stacks. Sheola was able to track down a few with the help of an article that appeared in the Colby Library Quarterly that describes the Jewett family library in some detail. See Bowditch, Mrs. Ernest (1961) “The Jewett Library,” Colby Quarterly: Vol. 5: Iss. 12, Article 6

A search of the annual report of the College Library for 1931-1932 revealed that the Eastman bequest numbered 5,561 volumes and 1,008 pamphlets. A search by Harvard University Archives reference staff uncovered  “A list of books from the Bequest of Theodore Jewett Eastman that bear the marks of ownership of Sarah Orne Jewett” (UAIII, a typescript of 57 pages and about 1,100 titles, compiled in 1933. About 300 Jewett books can now be found at Houghton; 180 of the books are classed SOJ, the rest were classed and re-classed over the years. Most of these are to be found in the AC85.J5554 range, the Houghton class for Jewett, but some found their way into STC (pre-1640 books), or Inc (pre-1500 books), or were classed under their respective authors.

Most, but not all, of the Jewett books had records in HOLLIS, but few records indicated Jewett’s ownership. Each record was edited to provide copy-specific information and, most importantly, added entries supplied so that one can now search HOLLIS for “Sarah Orne Jewett, former owner” in All Items—Keyword—Author and find the books.

This accounts for some 300 of the 1,100 books identified as belonging to Sarah Orne Jewett in 1933. The remainder, considered less important by the Harvard librarians, were returned to the Jewett House in South Berwick, Maine, on “permanent loan.”

Contributed by Leslie Morris, from information supplied by Noah Sheola.

Self-Made Woman

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


“Is it worth sacrificing a man of your own and children to be a successful business woman?”

Originally published in 1932 this is the 1940 fourth printing of Self-Made Woman.  The novel presents Cathleen McElroy as an unmarried thirty-year-old who is a successful businesswoman in New York City.  Torn between two men she must ultimately decide if the game of love is more important than her business career.  Most likely this novel wasn’t published to seriously explore the working experience of woman in the earlier half of the 20th-century, but it does show how popular fiction echoed societal norms of the time.

Baldwin was an American romance and fiction writer that published around 100 novels which typically focused on a woman juggling a career and family.  She was extremely successful and got her start writing for women’s magazines that produced romance novels in six-part serials.  Time magazine listed her as one of the new “highly paid” woman romance writers of 1935.  Many of her novels were made into films including Wife vs. Secretary that starred Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.  wife_v_sec She even wrote a column for Woman’s Day from 1958 to 1965.

It’s interesting to note that almost 80 years after this novel was written these questions still dominate the female experience.  In 2015 does a woman have to choose between a successful career and having a family?  The popularity of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In : Women, Work, and the Will to Lead would indicate these issues are still alive and well. I’d argue that there has been a shift from having to choose career or family to the challenge of having it all.  No problem right?

Self-made woman / by Faith Baldwin. New York : Triangle Books, 1939 can be found in Schlesinger Library’s collection.

Thanks Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Erin Ellingham from Schlesinger Library for contributing this post.

Spirit of the mushroom

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 to the Sahara in 1988 and 1989.  We believe that it is a singular copy.  These two photographs appear to be of the same figure depicted on the stone, but the one of the left was taken in 1964 and credits Lajoux, while the color one is presumably from this current expedition of Samorini’s at the In-Aouanrhat site in Tassili, Algeria.  The art is apparently an example of an ethno-mycological cult where they worship of the spirit of the mushroom.  You can see that under the photos he writes, “Note the mushroom-like motif on the legs and arms of the anthropomorphic figure.”  And then on the close-up, “Particular of the masked head, with another probable mushroom-like motif inside the structure of the mask.”

It seems probable that this documentation that was gathered by Samorini was then used to produce his article- The Oldest Representations of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in the World (Sahara Desert, 9000-7000 B.P.).

Other photographs include various figures found around the site holding vegetals.  On the cover of the report Samorini has inscribed it to Marlene Dobkin de Rios, a very famous anthropologist who investigated the use of psychedelic substances in cultures across the world.  She believed that healing practices, art, and cosmological views were all affected by psychedelic substances.  One of her later publications can be found at Harvard The psychedelic journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios : 45 years with shamans, ayahuasqueros, and ethnobotanists.

Sahara ethnomycologic & ethnobotanic documentation : manuscript, circa 1990 can be found at the Houghton Library.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Susan Wyssen Manuscript Cataloger, for contributing this post.

HER story

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

Women's Heritage Calendar and AlmanacUsually people purchase calendars because they have interesting or pretty pictures but the Women’s Heritage Calendar and Almanac is a different case.  Explained perfectly in the introduction page, they state “History – never HER story.  That’s what this Women’s Heritage Almanac/Calendar is all about.”  Women's Heritage Calendar and AlmanacThis calendar is full of interesting facts and pictures all related to women’s history.  Each day of the month comes with a blurb about something that happened in the women’s history movement on that day.  Many birthdates of famous women are used for these facts but also discoveries of female scientists and historic events are included.  One great mention is on November 2nd the text reads, “Women have been suffering from being misinterpreted for centuries…”let them eat cake” is a good example.  Marie Antoinette knew cake was bread…did you? Born in 1755.”Women's Heritage Calendar and Almanac

Co-founded by Judith Meuli and Toni Carabillo, the Women’s Heritage Corporation and its art firm affiliate Graphic Communications Consultants, focused on publishing women’s history and biographies of famous women.  They also worked extensively with the National Woman’s Organization (NOW) both serving on the national board of directors and holding other leadership positions.  The Papers of Toni Carabillo and Judith Meuli, ca.1890-2006 (inclusive), 1950-2005 (bulk) are located at Schlesinger Library which include information about NOW and the Women’s Heritage Corporation.Women's Heritage Calendar and Almanac

The Women’s heritage calendar and almanac.[1st ed.] [Santa Monica, Calif.] : [publisher not identified], [1970] can be found in the Schlesinger Library collection.


Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, and Erin Ellingham from Schlesinger Library, for contributing this post.

The Life of Jesus?

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

Img0002Léo Taxil was actually the pen name for Gabriel-Antoine Jogand-Pagès, a man born in Marseille who was educated by Jesuits in the mid 19th-century.  He became extremely disillusioned with the Catholic faith during his time among them and eventually became known for his anti-Catholic writings of books like La vie de Jesus.  The volume was originally published in 1882 by his own house, Libraire Anti-Clericale, and our copy is from 1900.

The volume points out from Taxil’s perspective the errors, inconsistencies, and false beliefs in a satiric style about the life of Jesus.  It has direct quotes from the Gospels along with Taxil’s critiques.

Img0007 Img0005

La Vie de Jésus par Leo Taxil, dessin de Pepin : [affiche] / [Pepin] - 1This color poster is presumably promoting the volume and appears to take Taxil’s criticism and disdain of the Catholic Church even further if you look at the image compared to the title page of the volume.  The comic illustrations in the text are by someone named Pépin and enhance this critical viewpoint.

Taxil is also famous for what is known as the Taxil Hoax.  The Hoax centered on Taxil’s fake conversion to the Roman Catholic religion after a long history of anti-clerical publications.  After this conversion he began publishing materials accusing Freemasons of being in league with Satan by making up eyewitness accounts of their participation in satanic rituals.  The amazing part is that this hoax went on for a little over ten years from the point where Taxil apparently underwent his “conversion” until he confessed on the front page of Le Frondeur, a Parisian newspaper, in 1897.  Taxil later stated that he made up such grotesque accounts to mock the Freemasons, but to his surprise people took his outlandish and outrageous statements as truth.

What is even more unbelievable is that even in present day the information and accounts from Taxil’s books are used in other anti-Masonic writings as authentic proof, even though Taxil admitted that he made it all up over 100 years ago!  It would appear that the zeal of persecuting Freemasons completely erased any need for checking the authenticity of their source material.

If you want to read the original French text of La vie de Jésus /par Léo Taxil ; dessins comiques par Pépin. Paris : Librairie Anti-Clericale, [©1900] BT304.95.T39 1900 it can be found in Historical Collections at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager and Nell Carlson from Andover-Harvard Theological Library, for contributing this post.

Observer-ing the 60s

Img0013 This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Color supplements to established newspapers were first produced in the 1960s and are believed by many to have changed the face of newspapers.  Many thought that a color magazine would cheapen the journalistic integrity of the Observer, a British publication, but economic realities soon forced them to join the crowd.  The Observer began producing color supplements in 1964 amidst a new world of prosperity and possibility which seemed easily attainable with the great machine of advertising behind it.   The first issue was 64 pages, 30 of which were in full color and half of the magazine featured advertisements for products like cars, sofas, whiskey, anti-wrinkle creams, and dishwashers.  This particular issue of the Observer supplement is from December 3, 1967 and really seems to speak to the chaotic nature of this time period when the younger generation often appeared to the older as a riot of symbols and images.

Img0015Within this issue “Poster Power” was an article that explored how the new artists of the Underground adopted the disposable poster as their medium of expression.  This particular scene was staged by Peter Blake, a painter, and Jan Howarth, and you can’t help but be struck by the diversity and variety of the posters.  They are in essence trying to capture the spirit of the ’60s by displaying the artistic choices of the people involved and the emerging pop art movement of the day.  If one wanted to know about the music scene this article about Jimi Hendrix chronicles his performances in England and his “dangerously” wild spirit.

Img0017 Img0018

To get a closer look at the other color articles or get a sense of popular advertising from the 1960s look for Observer [London : s.n.,1964- c1987] which can be found in Widener Library.

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


Hi-Brew Beer

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


Interested in brewing your own “special beer”?  Then this book could be for you!  Beer making has been going on for thousands of years and the Unknown Brewer, who is brewmaster of Hi-Brewers decided to share his knowledge with the world back in the early 80s, to great success (according to the editor), but when they went to reprint more copies there was pressure from the government so the book was in a holding pattern for 14 years until they found a printer.  During that time U.B. revised the book into this current edition.

The book includes three parts : Setting up, The Recipes, and Brewing Tips.  Setting up describes history, ingredients, equipment, cleanliness, and marijuana.  The recipe section describes such types of beer as Potted Porter, Pot-Pale Ale, Double Headed Buzzer, and Headwiser.

The recipes move from simple to more complex as you progress throughout the book.  It also contains handy labels with easy perforation so that one can rip them out and then affix it to the beer bottles once you have made the beer of your dreams.


Marijuana beer : how to make your own hi-brew beer /as told to Ed Rosenthal by U.B.Oakland, CA : Quick American Archives, c1996 can be found in Schlesinger Library’s collection.


Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, and Erin Ellingham at Schlesinger Library, for contributing this post.

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

cov1_0018 cov1_0017 cov1_0020 cov1_0019

I came across this French volume the other day and assumed it was about some sort of military hero, but as I took a closer look at the cover of the book I noticed that he was apparently a Swiss officer, a Swiss diplomat, a French officer, and a vagabond??  So who was Hans Ormund Bringolf?  Clearly my interest was piqued though I couldn’t find much reputable information only vague theories and scant biographical sketches.  From these sources a picture emerged of a man who seemed to go in out and of military service while having a number of sketchy dealings.

Bringolf was first in the Swiss military cov1_0018 while studying the law and earned the nickname “Lieutenant Blessed” because he had been declared prematurely dead on several occasions while on maneuvers, presumably due to his recklessness.  After earned his law degree he joined the Swiss Diplomatic service during which time

cov1_0017 he forged some checks and was expelled in 1904.  To avoid prosecution he went to America where he was a commander of a U.S. police contingent in the Philippines, though he was later jailed for fraud in Peru.   After he was released he went back to Germany where he pretended to be Baron von Tscharner, was found out and served another prison sentence.  During World War I he served in the French army in Serbia where he earned another nickname “The Lion of Manastir” cov1_0020 for his audacious behavior on the front.  This supposedly inducted him in the Legion of Honor.  However it wasn’t long before he was caught up in more fradulent actitivies.

Eventually he settled in Hallau where he wrote his memoir, this version was edited by Blaise Cendrars and translated by Paul Budry.  It would be interesting to see how Bringolf presents himself in this book for it seems more likely that a description of him as “criminal” is more apt than vagabond.  To explore his interpretation of his life story you can find this volume in Widener’s collection.

cov1_0016 Feu le lieutenant Bringolf. [Traduction de Paul Budry. Version de Blaise Cendrars]. Paris, Au sans pareil, 1930.

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


Tracts of Zion

Zion 3Cataloging 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 experienced a conversion, however, upon his discovery of the works of the recently-deceased prophet Joanna Southcott, which he began to preach.

Continue Reading »

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


Frans Balthazar Solvyns was born in Antwerp in 1760 and for the early part of his career was a marine painter capturing the likenesses of ships, ports, and harbor views on canvas.  He departed for Calcutta in the 1790s where he then worked as a journeyman artist working for the upper-middle class restoring works of art, decorating carriages, and other pursuits.  He traveled during this time throughout the Indian subcontinent and came up with the idea to create a series of etchings documenting the inhabitants.  The etchings covered professions, castes, typical dress, transportation, and festivals to name just a few.  The original etchings were published in 1796 in A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings: Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos in Calcutta.  It was a financial failure probably due to artistic tastes of the time which were said to find the color of the etchings too somber and monotonous.  However they did appeal to the London publisher Edward Orne who published a pirated version without the permission of Solvyns.  Orne’s version was mainly dedicated to the costumes or modes of dress and the plates were redesigned in warmer colors.  Our particular volume is one of Orne’s pirated editions published in 1807 titled The costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings with descriptions in English and French, taken in the years 1798 and 1799.  Here are a few of the plates that I found particularly interesting.

A Hooka-Burdar or Hooka Purveyor was responsible for making the chillum, or pipe, keeping the hookah in order and attending the master whenever they were dining.  The hookah itself could be made in various materials and adorned according to the wealth of the owner.  Often it was covered with precious jewels such as rubies, diamonds, or emeralds and the base was most commonly made out of silver, gold, metal, or glass.

  A Syce or Groom was described as being assigned to a single horse who would then run next to said horse and when they stopped he would secure the horse’s head with his rope.  In his hand you will see a piece of horsehair that is attached to a piece of wood with which he would be tasked with preventing the flies from “fretting the horse.

KIC_Image_0011This woman’s status is simply identified as a Woman of Inferior Rank.  The description that goes with the plate reveals other details about women in general stating that when a woman is widowed she is no longer allowed to wear colors on the border of her clothes nor ornaments, except for a necklace made of wooden beads, her head is shaved, and she becomes a virtual servant in her household.  According to the Hindoo laws she is unable to marry again and by subduing her passions and attraction she is reduced to a state of servility.  The author helpfully reveals the difference for European women by stating “Happily this odious interdiction, and not less odious custom are unknown to the fair daughters of Europe, who are unrestrained in the exercise of their charms and are ever free to confer those blessings that constitute the happiness of men.”  Since this particular plate has none of these characteristics as her dress has a color border, she is wearing jewelry, and head is not shaved, I have to conclude this is just a woman of inferior rank but not a widow.

The costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings with descriptions in English and French, taken in the years 1798 and 1799. By Balt. Solvyns. London, E. Orme, 1807.  GT 1460.S6 1807 F can be found at the Fine Arts Library.  

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

A Spiritual Guide

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

EnlightenmentCharles Berner offers his road to spiritual freedom in the short, pamphlet-like book, Enlightenment.   Illustrated by Peter Max, this book has detailed instructions, including a sample schedule for a day of Enlightenment Intensive at the Institute of Ability, for how most people can achieve enlightenment.   Although Berner mentions different ways to gain spiritual fulfillment, his specific path to enlightenment involves “presentation” or the technique of continual interaction with other people.   This is a rather different approach than the more common personal spiritual journeys that are often espoused by gurus.   This guide uses the question “Who Am I?” as the basis for the journey.  The participants work with a partner or a group to pursue self-inquiry.Enlightenment

EnlightenmentCharles Berner was the founder of the Enlightenment Intensive program,   a specific technique for achieving enlightenment that he taught participants at the Institute of Ability.  On his website he explains, “For three days 18 hours a day the participants are focused on contemplating the Truth of themselves. Each aspect of the intensive is designed to support the process. A unique technique, a structured, non-distracting environment, regular nourishing meals, and experienced staff all add to the ability to experience the Truth of oneself. This is a powerful technique. Charles Berner said, ‘I have tested this technique and I have compared it to other methods of enlightenment. This technique is about 50-100 times more rapid in producing enlightenment experiences than the classical techniques.’”  This program is taught with an enlightenment master who is there to help inspire, guide and can discern when the participants have achieved their goal.  Berner outlines the 8 stages of enlightenment, and explains that although there are different degrees of enlightenment, there is only one kind.

Enlightenment, part of the Santo Domingo Collection, can be found in Widener Library’s collection.

Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »