December 1st, 2016

Mag Dog’s i

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

img0007 img0008

Today’s post features an artist named Richard Stine and his book Smile in a Mad Dog’s i.  Stine self-published this first edition in 1974 with 4000 copies.  Inspired by the receipt books that newsboys used to carry in the 1950s he used two metal rings to bind the loose pages.  Stine also liked the idea of being able to add pages in the future though he never actually did it.  According to Stine he spent $9000 to publish it, at the time his entire life savings.  There is another edition that was published in 1976 by Carolyn Bean Associates.  I really enjoyed his text and drawings so I choose a few of my favorites to share below.  To learn more about what Stine is up to these days you can check out his blog Zen Dogs Blog.

img0010 img0011 img0012 img0013

Smile in a mad dog’s i : drawings / Richard Stine. Ojai, Calif. : Richard Stine, [1974]. NC1429.S66 A4 1974 can be found in the Fine Arts Library’s Collection.

Thanks to Donna Viscuglia, Cataloger, and Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.

November 28th, 2016

The Gift of Ben Franklin

A recent project seeking to improve and reclaim legacy cataloging data uncovered this artifact of colonial American history, recorded in Houghton’s card-based shelf list but absent until now from our online catalog. This copy of Votes and proceedings of the House of Representatives of the province of Pennsylvania, the first of three volumes printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin and his partner David Hall, was Franklin’s gift to his British ally Peter Collinson, and is inscribed as such in Collinson’s hand. Collinson (1694-1768) was a botanist and Fellow of the Royal Society; he facilitated the communication of Franklin’s theories of electricity to the Society. Franklin and Collinson corresponded regularly on topics scientific, political, and otherwise, and it stands to reason Franklin would wish to share with his friend this record of the ongoing development of his province’s political identity. A letter from Collinson, dated January 27, 1753, acknowledges Franklin’s gift of Votes and proceedings, apparently among a number of other volumes:

I have now to Thank you my Dear Friend for yours of December 2. The Packett with all the Books is come safe to hand. I am extreamly obliged to you for your Kind Present of your Votes which are very Entertaining to observe the progress of your Settlement.*

Following Franklin and Hall’s three volumes of Votes and proceedings, Henry Miller went on to publish three more, covering the remainder of the colonial period. Lost to history is the means by which this particular copy came into Harvard’s possession – the date and source of acquisition were not recorded on the item itself, and we have only a note that it received a library binding in 1893.

*Full text of letter available online here: ( Original in the archives of the American Philosophical Society.

Votes and proceedings…: Pa Doc 1.5* (B)

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

November 23rd, 2016

LIGHTS, [camera], action!

Sometimes, working with the vast resources of the Ward Collection brings up more questions than it answers. Recently while scanning some libretto volumes for “key content,” I ran across some intriguing illustrations in Le theatre italien de Gherardi, a collection of 55 comedies and scenarios performed in Paris by the Comédie-Italienne (one of the precursors of the Opéra-Comique) from 1681 until 1697, at which point the troupe was expelled from Paris. The illustrations are remarkable in many ways, but what struck me most was the use of candles. Almost every image had candles hanging from the ceilings, directly over the stage itself.

TS 8000.61 v. 4

TS 8000.61 v. 4

Keep reading →

November 17th, 2016

Sinner man

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

Img0045 “Here, in this taut, fact-crammed volume, you’ll be taken into the fifteen most infamous vice centers of the entire hemisphere, you’ll see for yourself how crime flourishes within each city.”  America’s cities of sin is an anthology of articles from popular 1940s and 50s magazines targeted for men.  It is a fascinating look at public sentiments of the time regarding drugs and sex.  The text of the articles is taken without abridgment from the serial publications of Male, Stag, and Eye.  The editor, Noah Sarlat, states that these three magazines turned the spotlight onAmerican sins including crime, prostitution, gambling, and drugs by writing exposes that informed the public.


Hooked is another anthology that takes articles exclusively dealing with drugs from Challenge for Men Magazine and Man’s Magazine.  Editor Phil Hirsch compiled a number of articles with extremely sensational titles such as

“I Peddled Dope for Houston’s Cops!”

“Pep Pill Junkie” and

“$500 a day Habit.”  If you have been reading these posts regularly it may not surprise you to learn that we have already processed a few of the original issues of Man’s Magazine which can be found in Hollis+.  The covers of all of these publications are designed to snag the viewer with pulpy images which are accompanied by incendiary statements about sex, drugs, and death.

mans_mag_1 mans_mag_2

These delightfully lurid and sensational covers are not all that different from popular tabloid journalism of today.  The following titles can be found in Widener’s collection:

America’s cities of sinselected and with an introduction by Noah Sarlat. New York : Lion Books, 1951 

Hooked / compiled by Phil Hirsch. New York, Pyramid Books [1968]

Man’s magazineNew York : Almat Publishing Corp., 1962-

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

November 8th, 2016

Election day is upon us!

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

img0002Inspired by Election Tuesday and in light of Massachusetts Ballot Question 4 I thought it might be interesting to look at a few ephemeral examples of the legalization of marijuana I recently uncovered within the collection.  For those who do not know Question 4 is a measure that would allow the use, cultivation, possession and distribution of recreational marijuana for individuals at least 21 years old with certain regulations similar to alcohol.  If you currently live in Massachusetts and are wondering to yourself “Didn’t we already vote on pot?” you are correct.  In addition to the use of medical marijuana the current law on the books in Massachusetts, enacted in January 2009,MGL c.94C, s.32L says that you can possess one ounce or less of marijuana and if you get caught by the cops you will face a $100 fine and they will seize your pot, but no other criminal or civil penalties would apply, in essence decriminalizing marijuana of a certain amount.  As I looked to the collection I realized that we have the actual posters and other ephemera which display some of the history of marijuana legalization.


Both of the images above are from a Legalise Pot Rally in 1967 which took place in Hyde Park in London with about 5,000 people.  It was a peaceful demonstration with attendees being warned by the cops “not to trample the tulip beds.”  You can see film footage of the “flower children” attending.  The push to make marijuana legal never succeeded and it remains illegal to this day in England.


In California only a few years later in 1972 Proposition 19 was the first ballot measure in the history of the United States which attempted to legalize marijuana.  It would have removed penalties in the State of California for persons 18 years of age or older for using, possessing, growing, processing, or transporting marijuana for personal use.  The measure was defeated with 66.5% voting against it.  The grassroots organizations that supported it were incredibly passionate citing scientific research that pots wasn’t dangerous and government experts who agreed that enforcement of criminal penalties was costing a fortune in taxpayer dollars.

img0005 img0006

They also argued that it was ruining the lives of ordinary people who may have just smoked a joint and were now serving years in prison for such a minor offense.  You can see this fervor and activism reflected in the posters and petitions in the collection.  Of course opponents pointed to how dangerous and unpredictable marijuana was and worried that decriminalization would encourage drug abuse and damage society.

California tried again in 2010 with another Proposition 19 which legalized various marijuana-related activities, allowed local governments to regulate these activities, permitted local governments to impose and collect marijuana-related fees and taxes, and authorized various penalties.  Again it failed with 53.5% of Californians voting no.  Undaunted there is yet another measure this year, Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalizing the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana.  Individuals over age 21 would be allowed to possess, cultivate and sell marijuana; the state would regulate commercial activities related to commerce for recreational use; a 15% excise tax and an additional $9.25 per ounce of flower or $2.75 per ounce of leaf would be collected; and possession and cultivation of certain amounts for personal use would be legalized statewide.  Will California finally fulfill the hope of all of those people that first tried to decriminalize marijuana in 1972?  And will Massachusetts regulate and tax marijuana usage?

Your vote decides.

Check out another special post which explores anti-drug crusaders.

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

November 8th, 2016

Moloch speaks: why I’m voting yes on 4

moloch-2This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Measures to legalize recreational marijuana are on five state ballots this year, including Houghton Library’s home state of Massachusetts. The Santo Domingo Collection naturally includes significant historical matter supporting the movement to legalize, but it also offers the following thundering dissent. Pictured here are two works by Robert James Devine, a reverend who published several vehement tracts warning of the drug’s lethal dangers in the first half of the twentieth century. Devine draws parallels between marijuana and Moloch, the ancient Ammonite god: both are false idols, and both demand the sacrifice of children. Lending potency to this metaphor is J.N. Curry’s cover illustration of The Moloch of marihuana, in which devilish drug peddlers fling hapless figures onto the burning hands of Moloch’s brass statue, while a scholar, a policeman, and other complacent citizens avert their gazes.


The text is a series of news items, anecdotes, and relations of Devine’s own crusading efforts against marijuana; throughout, those who smoke it suffer murderous or suicidal urges, accidental deaths, and other such grim fates. Devine asks: “If it has the power to drive cattle ‘loco’ or crazy (who has not heard of a ‘locoed steer’?) or to make an elephant “run amok” – what will it not do to adolescent youths?” (25) (Here he may have conflated marijuana with the swainsonine-producing “locoweed” family of plants, which can cause neurological damage in cattle that graze on them.)

Perhaps unable to improve on artwork so striking, Devine repurposed his cover image of dread Moloch for a second publication, Assassin of youth!: marihuana. This volume is largely an expanded and rearranged edition of Moloch of marihuana, and includes a frontispiece picturing several “reefers” or “muggles” and a marijuana leaf for the vigilant reader’s edification.


Of the many degradations he describes in its pages, Devine at one juncture exclaims:

After listening to such a sordid story freely given by a mere boy of fifteen nonchalantly describing (from behind prison bars) his gamut of debasing escapades, I felt that I needed to wash out my ears and eyes; indeed my whole being cried aloud for an internal bath. (39)

Collected with these works is this unattributed poster, an enlargement of the Moloch image block-printed in several colors of ink, probably decades later. Whether it hung on the wall of a supporter or an opponent of the drug is left to conjecture.


Moloch of marihuana: HV5822.M3 D48 1938

Assassin of youth!: HV5822.M3D48 1943

Moloch of marihuana (poster): AB9.C9374.975m

Thanks to bibliographic assistant Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.

November 7th, 2016

But wait, there’s more: Many faces of Hawaiian Butterfly

Our recent Hidden Collections sheet music project has continued to produce treasures from the Historical Sheet Music Collections of Houghton and the Harvard Theatre Collection. (Yes, as Susan Sarandon would say in Bull Durham, we need a nickname.) We have now identified 29 different issues of Hawaiian Butterfly. Even as familiar with the vagaries of special collections as I am, have never seen quite this many variants of one song publication.

Sheet music 159 (CC)

Sheet music 159 (CC)

Keep reading →

November 3rd, 2016

Living on Love

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

Img0047Ever wondered how you can live like a hippie in the 1960s?  The hippy’s handbook : how to live on love could be just what you need.

This tongue in cheek guide tells you how to save money on rent- hint live in a a 10-person commune with a $60 per month rent.  To save on laundry just don’t wear underwear, if you want to buy beads that is a one time expenditure of about $3 and you can simply pick flowers yourself.  How can you save on food costs?  They recommend implementing economy measures such as “sleep late so you can skip breakfast; writers who are doing hippy stories will be happy to interivew you over lunch ; wait tables- provides an income plus all you can eat free : go home for a meal once a week (your parents will be happy to see you even if they don’t act it) ; free food from digger stores can cut food bills to almost nil.

There is even a handy fashion guide for both men and women within its pages.

Img0048  Img0049

Do you possess hip-hugger pants, a flowered shirt, tattoos, long hair and a beard?  If you a man that said yes and can borrow a flute you are good to go!  The women’s outfit appears both dos and don’ts, telling her to NOT wear lipstick or a bra but to definitely include ankle bells, silver rings, beads and of course a micro skirt.

The volume also includes a glossary of common words used by hippies such as:

BOO n. marijuana

ELECTRIC adj. having psychedelic powers; as in electric banana or electric Kool-Aid

UP TIGHT adj. in a state of extreme anxiety.

To learn more and see a few digitized pages you can find The hippy’s handbook : how to live on love / by Ruth Bronsteen. New York, N.Y. : Canyon Book Co., c1967 in Widener’s collection. 

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

November 2nd, 2016

New on OASIS in November

Finding aids for six collections have been significantly updated or newly added to the OASIS database this month:
Processed by: Michael Austin

Daniel Aaron papers, circa 1774-2015 (MS Am 2951)

Processed by: Adrien Hilton

Franz Liszt letters, 1848-1886 (MS Ger 323)

Theodore Roosevelt Senior letterpress copybooks, 1869-1878 (MS Am 3067)

Additions to the John Updike papers, 1940-2009 (MS Am 1793)

Processed by: Jen Lyons

W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan collection (MS Thr 1333)

Processed by: Melanie Wisner

Albert Murray papers, circa 1939-2003 (2016M-14)

October 20th, 2016

Don’t Eat That Mushroom!

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

Mushrooms- they are cheap and legal, but how do you ensure that you don’t eat the wrong one?  Hallucinogenic Mushrooms contains information on identification, buying and eating mushrooms, different species, current laws, as well as poisonous mushrooms in Britain.


This handy guide counsels that there is no one test to figure out if a mushroom can be safely eaten.  A common myth is that poisonous ones will blacken a spoon, while edible mushrooms peel easily, and “magic” mushrooms turn blue after they are uprooted.  Be warned this publication states that None of these tests can be relied on!


They suggest that you should go with an experienced identifier until you know your stuff.  And getting a comprehensive fungi guide such as Collins Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools is a good idea or if you are looking for “magic” mushrooms they recommend A Guide to British Psilocybin Mushrooms (both can be found in the Botany Libraries for reference.)  Img0032Once you have your identification books with you it will be easier to identify fungi in the field.  The physical features of the mushroom hold the key, step one is to look at the cap and observe its shape and color, then determine if the surface is shiny or dull and if there are lines.  To get a look at the flesh break off a bit, smell it, and note the color of the gills and how they are attached to the stem. What shape and color are the stem?  Are there rings on it?  Is there a bulb at the bottom?  Always make sure that it is a mature specimen because a great deal of fatal cases of mushroom poisoning happen when people pick a mushroom before it is fully developed because characteristics revealing its poisonous nature may not yet be present.

Mushroom poisoning can be observed as quickly as 20 minutes after eating or as late as 40 hours, the later it takes symptoms to show the more serious the situation because the poison has had time to circulate within the body.  Medical advise should be sought immediately even if you begin to feel better because is a characteristic of the poison to have periods of recovery followed by eventual demise.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms : a Release guideImg0029 / written by the Release Collective ; illustrations by Grant.  London : Release, 1979 can be found in Widener’s collection.

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

Next Page »