October 22nd, 2013

You shall not Pass!

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

Lowell Thomas was an American writer, traveler, and broadcaster that is often known as the person who made Lawrence of Arabia famous.  This graphic depiction of an Afghan man is from the dust jacket of Beyond Khyber Pass into forbidden Afghanistan a book by Thomas about his travels and observations in the 1920s of Afghanistan.  Beyond Khyber Pass was no easy feat to write since it took Thomas two years just to gain access to the country itself for as he states in the book “…our chances of getting to Kabul seemed to be considerably less than those of a camel’s passing through the eye of a needle.”  Just as they were about to give up hope the intervention of his Majesty Amanullah Khan, Amir of Afghanistan meant success for their endeavor.

Historically Khyber Pass was an important trade route and once an integral part of the Silk Road, which connected East to West and was highly significant in the developing civilization of China, Europe, and India.  Khyber Pass goes through the Spin Ghar mountains that connect Afghanistan and current day Pakistan, which at the time was British controlled India.


As the title indicates Thomas travels beyond the pass and explores the country and notoriously isolated people of Afghanistan.  The journey throughout the book is filled with both engaging writing, as well as reproductions of photographs taken by both Thomas and his companion Harry Chase.  To learn more about this fascinating cultural exploration look at Beyond Khyber Pass into forbidden Afghanistan. Illustrated with many original photographs taken by Harry A. Chase and the author. New York, Grosset & Dunlap [1925].

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

October 22nd, 2013

Where can you purchase a handsome notecard for $2?

Houghton Library Note Cards

Houghton Library, that’s where!

10 new notecards added in the lobby carousels

Staff, Readers, Fellows and Friends… in your travels through the Houghton collections, please keep images (this can be images of text too) in mind as possible candidates for future notecards. Dark images tend to not reproduce well and we try to pick images that have already been digitized. Please send suggestions to Monique Duhaime at  Duhaime at fas.harvard.edu.

Enjoy and thank you!

October 21st, 2013

New Digitization July-September 2013

Sapho : souvenir program, 1900. MS Thr 712 (87)Here are the complete works and collections we’ve digitized in the last three months. Highlights include programs from the Ballets Russes, a 16th century manuscript map of the Mediterranean, and the typescript of a play by Henry James.
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October 11th, 2013

It’s a dog’s life

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

  Stephen Huneck was not only an American author but a carving artist, painter, and furniture maker.  Originally from Sudbury, Massachusetts he began working in wood when he lived in Rochester, Vermont.  He was ostensibly discovered when an art dealer bought a carved angel out of the back of his truck for $1000.  After a near death experience with respiratory distress syndrome he began work on the Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.  An homage to dogs the chapel has both human sized doors and a dog door, as well as carved wooden dogs on the pews and stained glass windows of dogs.  My Dog’s Brain is about his beloved black lab Sally, which recounts a glimpse into the psyche of a dog and how she spends her days.      Huneck credited his recovery after his near death experience to his dog, as well as the process of making the woodcuts for the book.  

Tragically Huneck committed suicide in 2010.  Art pieces of Huneck’s can be found at the Smithsonian and the Museum of American Folk Art.  To look at more of the gorgeous illustrations the book can be found through the Fine Arts Library.  My dog’s brain / by Stephen Huneck.  New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking Studio, c1997. NE1112.H86 A4 1997 .

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Leo Evangelista Cataloging Specialist at 625, for contributing this post.

October 11th, 2013

Contributing Data for Greater Understanding

Lower edge, markings of the Franciscans of San Cerbone, Lucca, WKR 21.6.3On Monday of last week Dr. Cristina Dondi, one of the contributors to the six-volume Catalogue of Printed Books in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library (Bod-Inc), principal investigator of Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI), and, Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL), spoke at Houghton library on her current research and on Thursday she gave a workshop using materials drawn from the Library’s collections.  This series of lectures and workshops on early books and manuscripts is funded by Houghton Library, the Harvard University Program in Medieval Studies and the Harvard Law School Library’s Special Collections.  One of Dr. Dondi’s examples in the workshop was especially exciting as an indication of how Harvard Library material can contribute to a larger and collective understanding of the spread of early printing through an analysis of prices, trade and use.  We are grateful to volunteer John Lancaster who has been entering  Harvard data into MEI and we are pleased that Dr. Dondi has agreed to allow us to use her remarks in this blog. Keep reading →

October 9th, 2013

Liquid Courage

“Liquid courage” takes on a particularly tame form in German dance folios dating to the Weimar Republic. Tea steeps in the titles of social dance serials such as Zum 5 Uhr Tee (To Five O’Clock Tea), Zu Tee und Tanz (To Tea and Dance), Zum Tanz-Tee (To the Dancing Tea), and Tanztee und Tonfilm (Tea Dance and Sound Film). Though they whistle for attention in the Ward Collection as titular tropes, Tanztees initially brewed as genteel German social events in 1920’s and 1930’s.

Tanztees tended to occur in the early afternoon, sustained by light refreshments and light-on-the-feet foxtrots. These folios take inspiration from and cater to the attendees. Nevertheless, their gorgeous covers reveal the restraint of the Tanztee, even as they pay it homage. Tanztees dance into the domestic sphere, yet illustrators challenge its boundaries with repeated references of the exotic and explicitly non-domestic spaces.

2007TW-2077 (28) Cover
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October 8th, 2013

In Memory of Eleanor Garvey

Eleanor Garvey memorial booklet (cover)Houghton Library has published Eleanor M. Garvey: Friends, Family, and Colleagues Remember Her, a booklet reprinting the texts of recollections read at a memorial service for Ms. Garvey earlier this year. Ms. Garvey, retired Philip Hofer Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts at Houghton Library, passed away on February 11, 2013. Anyone who would like to have a copy of the booklet may request one by contacting the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Houghton Library and providing a mailing address. Contact information is: Hope Mayo, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138; or  mayo at fas.harvard.edu.

Eleanor Garvey memorial booklet

October 7th, 2013

Be our guest, be our guest…

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

Description of the Retreat, an institution near York, for insane persons of the Society of Friends is a volume by Samuel Tuke who was a Quaker and mental-health reformer in early 19th-century England.  Tuke believed in this new concept of moral treatement of the insane in which the treatment focused on rewarding good behavior.  The text is quite fascinating and touches on information about what types of rooms patients had, their medical treatments and even their diet.

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October 4th, 2013

Houghton Library Visiting Fellowships

Houghton LibraryEach year Houghton Library awards a number of short-term visiting fellowships in support of scholarly use of our collections. Fellows will also have access to collections in Widener Library as well as to other libraries at the University. Preference is given to scholars whose research is closely based on materials in Houghton collections, especially when those materials are unique; fellowships are normally not granted to scholars who live within commuting distance of the library. Each fellow is expected to be in residence at Houghton for at least four weeks during the period from July 2014 through June 2015 (these do not have to be consecutive weeks). The stipend for each fellowship has been raised to $3,600 (note that the website may not yet reflect this recent change). The deadline for applications is 17 January 2014.

For further information, consult the Houghton Library website.

Fellowships to be Awarded in 2014-2015

  • Beatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship in the Visual Arts of the Theatre
  • W. Jackson Bate/ Douglas W. Bryant, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Fellowship
    Successful applicants must either be an ASECS member in good standing or be willing to become a member in order to receive this fellowship.
  • William Dearborn Fellowship in American History
  • Rodney G. Dennis Fellowship in the Study of Manuscripts
  • The Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellowship
  • Eleanor M. Garvey Fellowship in Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Houghton Mifflin Fellowship in Publishing History
  • Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for the Study of Dr. Samuel Johnson and his Circle
  • Joan Nordell Fellowship
  • Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography
    This fellowship is available to assist scholarly research in descriptive bibliography at Houghton Library and carries a stipend of $3,000 per month, up to twelve months (maximum $36,000).  Fellows are expected to be in residence at Houghton Library for the duration of the fellowship.
  • Howard D. Rothschild Fellowship in Dance
  • John M. Ward Fellowship in Dance and Music for the Theatre

[Thanks to William Stoneman, Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts, for contributing this post.]

October 2nd, 2013

New on OASIS for October

The jubilee, an interesting game; exhibiting the remarkable events, from the accession of His Majesty, King George the Third, to the 25th of October, 1809. MS Eng 1749 (7) Finding aids for seven newly cataloged collections, and a preliminary box list for one recent acquisition, have been added to the OASIS database this month, including theatrical ephemera, correspondence of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, and a collection of 19th century board games and playing cards.
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