Update of Item of the Month (August 2009) Women’s Magazines and Fashion in 19th Century Spain collection

Women’s Magazines and Fashion in 19th Century Spain – A Snapshot of the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers Collection

In 2009 I wrote my first Item of the Month regarding our holdings of Spanish women fashion magazines and our intention to digitize a selection of the collection to increase its access. Two years later we have completed this project successfully. Today many researchers from Spain have been downloading these unique titles. In the last two years some titles have been downloaded over 1,000 times! This numbers showcases the great popularity that this project have generated. We are proud to have made accessible this cultural heritage of the people of Spain and open up the opportunity to many other users (such as Spanish language teachers, women studies scholars, etc.) to experience these outstanding titles.

Below I am re-posting the information I wrote in 2009 with update information regarding where to find these digitized titles. Enjoy!

Marisol Ramos
Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections

Archival collections are fascinating not only for their content but for the context of their creation and acquisition. The Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers is no exception. This unique collection of Spanish magazines and newspapers is just a tiny part of the huge book and periodical collection that was assembled by renowned Spanish bibliophile Juan Perez de Guzman y Boza, Duque de T’ Serclaes. Born in 1852 in the town of Jerez de los Caballeros, the Duke was well known by antiquarian booksellers in Spain for his exquisite taste and voracious appetite for all types of Spanish books and publications. His ability to find and acquire unique and rare materials was legendary and it was not uncommon to find specialized bibliographies of Spanish materials citing that the only copy available was in the hands of the Duke*. Toward the end of his life, the Duke collection was in deposit at the National Library in Spain, but after his death in 1934, his collection was sold in lots by his heirs. In the 1970s the Special Collections Department at the Wilbur Cross Library (the predecessor to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center) acquired this collection of periodicals and newspaper through H.P. Kraus Periodicals.

Today, this collection is housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The variety of magazines and newspapers amassed by the Duke of T’ Serclaes include a great variety of literary magazines, general interest magazines (literature, sciences, and politics), religion, women and fashion magazines, and other subjects. The collection spans three centuries (18th to early 20th century) of Spanish life, culture and politics. The bulk of the collection falls between the 1800-1840, which reflects major events in history of Spain (the Napoleonic period and the Wars of Independence in Spain).

Of great interest is the wide selection of women magazines written by men to appeal to a female elite audience. Ranging from literary and general interest magazines, full of short historical stories, poems, and good advice for both men and women about the proper behavior of ladies at any age, to beautiful colored and engraved fashion magazines with the latest news of Paris fashion, with music sheets of polkas and other music specifically composed for the magazines and patterns for needlework, these magazines are a window to understand the Romantic Period in Spain.

A selection of these women magazines (20 titles) were digitized in 2010 and now available through the Internet Archives. To see the complete listing of title digitized visit, http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/collections/spanwomen.htm

For more information regarding the Spanish Periodicals and Newspaper Collection, contact Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.

*See Hartzenbusch, D. Eugenio. Apuntes para un catalogo de periódicos madrilenos desde el año 1661 al 1870 and Gomez Imaz, Manuel. Los periódicos durante la Guerra de la Independencia (1808-1814).

December 2011 Item of the Month: The switchboard that launched the first public telephone company in the world

Blueprint for George Coy’s switchboard, 1878

On April 27, 1877, George Willard Coy attended a demonstration at Skiff’s Opera House in New Haven, Connecticut, of an exciting new invention — the telephone — given by inventor Alexander Graham Bell.   Coy, a Civil War veteran and manager of the New Haven office of the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company, was fascinated by the possibilities of this invention.  In November 1877 he was awarded a Bell telephone franchise for New Haven and Middlesex counties and spent the next two months getting partners and financial backing.  On January 28, 1878, the New Haven District Telephone Company, in a rented storefront office in the Boardman Building at the corner of Chapel and State Streets, opened for business with 21 subscribers, each of whom paid $1.50 per month for the service.  It was the first telephone exchange in the world.

Prior to this time the first telephones were used privately on lines that allowed allow two people on each end to communicate over very short distances.  George Coy invented the first switchboard, which, according to a writing done by the Southern New England Telephone Company (the successor to the New Haven District Telephone Company) “consisted of a wooden panel about three feet wide and two feet high, with a little shelf at its base on which the operator’s telephone rested when not in use.  Across the top were four circles of contacts which resembled clock dials, each contact connected to a subscriber’s wire.  In the center of each circle was a metal arm like the pointer of a clock, which could be connected with any one of the eight contact points…”  Apparently Coy had to improvise in constructing the switchboard by using wires from ladies’ bustles.

This blueprint is one of several Coy made after the initial installation of the switchboard, in an effort to patent the design.  More information about George W. Coy and his switchboard can be found in the records of the Southern New England Telephone Company, a collection that was donated to Archives & Special Collections in 2003, the 125th anniversary of the founding of the company and the creation of the switchboard.

November 2011 Item of the Month: Picture Book Manifesto


Picture Book Manifesto

Mac Barnett, a children’s book writer from Oakland with seven picture books and three novels to his credit, wrote the Picture Book Manifesto at the suggestion of one of his former professors. The Manifesto was published as an advertisement in the November issue of the Horn Book. Speaking to Sally Lodge for Publisher’s weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/49276-mac-barnett-spearheads-a-picture-book-manifesto-.html), Barnett explains, “I think there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on now about the picture book and its place in the market and in our culture…you hear nay-sayers who think the picture book is over, and too often the pro-picture book response is that everything is fine, that the picture books are inherently magical. And great books are a kind of magic, but kids don’t need to be told that: they already know.”  The proclamation was designed and executed by Carson Ellis and is signed by 20 other picture book creators, including Brian Biggs, Sophie Blackall, Laurie Keller, Jon Scieszka, and Lemony Snicket. The intended audience is everyone in the children’s literature world, including librarians, parents, writers, illustrators, editors, and publishers. Barnett hopes that publication of the Manifesto will spark conversations about picture books and how to make them more original and thoughtful, with a vitality that will make kids want to read.

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

September 2011 Item of the Month: Ten Years after 9/11

This month marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most difficult times in the history of the United States.  Every American was touched, in one way or another, by the multiple tragedies experienced that fateful fall day.    Christopher Shays, Connecticut Congressman representing the 4th district, became involved with individuals and organizations soon thereafter as a co-founded of the 9-11 Caucus (http://maloney.house.gov/911caucus/index.html)  and worked with colleagues in 2005 to change rules to “bring Congressional oversight in line with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.”  His involvement with multiple 9/11 activities is documented in his papers which are housed in Archives & Special Collections. 

-Betsy Pittman, Curator of Political Collections

August 2011 Item of the Month: Indigenous People Artists’ Books at the Dodd Center

Artists’ books have been around for a long time. Beautiful objects of art where all aspects of book making are explored and cherished: the inks, the fonts, the papers, the wrappings, the construction materials, the techniques (collages, 3-D, woodblock printing), etc. A tradition started in Europe at the end of the 18th century, today this is a worldwide phenomenon and indigenous peoples from all around the world are using their traditional practices to create artists’ books that blend the traditional with the modern, and the uniquely indigenous with other country’s traditions in bookmaking, printmaking and papermaking.

The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center’s Archives and Special Collection have an extensive collection of Artists’ Books from around the world but it wasn’t until recently that we started acquiring books created by indigenous people either in their own workshops or in collaboration with non-indigenous artists. Featured in this Item of the Month is the works of Taller Leñateros, located in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico and TALLERCONTIL from Matagalpa, Nicaragua in collaboration with artist and printer Eckhard Froeschlin from Germany.

Taller Leñateros describes itself as:

“A publishing collective operated by contemporary Mayan artists in Chiapas, Mexico. Founded in 1975 by poet Ámbar Past, the Workshop has created the first books to be written, illustrated, printed, bound (in paper of their own making) by Mayan people in over 400 years. Among its multiple objectives are those of documentation, praise and dissemination of Amerindian cultural values: song, literature, plastic arts, and the ancient Mesoamerican tradition of painted books.

The Leñateros’ rescue of old and endangered techniques such as the extraction of dyes from wild plants, contributes to the conservation of Native American languages, and benefits the ecology by recycling agricultural and industrial wastes, transforming them into art and beautiful books.” (1)

TALLERCONTIL was established in 1998 in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Edition Schwarze Seite, who published their works, reported in their literature and I quote from the Vamp and Tramp Bookseller website:

“The idea for this project came during a visit to the theater artist Pablo Pupiro and Ernesto Soto in 1997 in Wuppertal [Germany]. It has since been promoted within the framework of the partnership with the city of Matagalpa / Wuppertal. During the first graphic workshops in 1998, a group formed that has since been renamed as “TallerContil.” Participants and group members are not professional visual artists, but interested and talented people from other, and sometimes with several professions: theater people, teachers, agricultural technicians, mechanics, students.

“Based on personal contacts and the Wuppertal-Matagalpa city sisterhood, the project started with woodcut printing under the poorest circumstances. Now, the project group TALLERCONTIL owns an etching press and a Hollander beater, both built in Matagalpa. The studio has advanced to producing etchings, single-sheet book art, unique books and a mould- made paper production.” (2)

Indigenous artist’s books are not only enjoyable as pieces of art but they can be studied to understand indigenous techniques applied to the creation of these books. The study of these objects offers an opportunity to see the ways that indigenous people adapt their techniques with other culture’s printing techniques, and how collaboration emerge between them and artists from Germany, the United States or Japan. But beyond looking as these objects as works of art, studying these artist’s books allow social scientists to introduce students to concepts such as globalization–these objects are created for the world market not the local economy; indigenous empowerment–indigenous women participate in these workshops as a different way to earn money and self-esteem; and language preservation, since indigenous languages such as Mayan are used for the short stories and poems printed in these books.

We invite you to come and visit the Dodd Center for a closer look to these amazing books.

Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections

Resources Cited

(1) Taller Leñateros: About Us, http://www.tallerlenateros.com/ingles/index_ing.php

(2) Description of Wuppertal / Matagalpa Project Bookworks at the Vamp and Tramp Bookseller website, http://www.vampandtramp.com/finepress/e/edition-schwarze-seite.html#wuppertal

Links of Resources

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center’s Artists’ Books Collection, http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/collections/artistsbooks/artistsbooks.htm

The Woodlanders’ Gazette (Summer 2007), Taller Leñateros, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. This newsletter includes images and an audio clip with a sample of the songs of the Bolom Chon that are included in the CD that accompanied the book, http://www.tallerlenateros.com/gaceta_web/eng/gazette.htm

Graphic Arts Exhibitions, acquisitions, and other highlights from the Graphic Arts Collection, Princeton University Library (Blog) Entry on Edition Schwarze Seite, http://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2010/12/edition_schwarze_seite.html

Anne Buessow and Eckhard Froeschlin Website (in German), http://www.froeschlin-buessow.de

For a history of Artist’s Books check this article from the Yale University Library, Special Collection, http://www.library.yale.edu/arts/specialcollections/abhistory.html

July 2011 Item of the Month: United States Department of Agriculture #11 (190) Negative No. 29123-B and #10 (190) Negative No. 29127-B

In 1914 Congress created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA which included the work of boys’ and girls’ clubs established to support rural youth and to introduce new agricultural technology to the community.  The clubs were formalized nationally as 4-H (Head, Heart, Hand and Health) Clubs. By 1922, “health took hold in the 4-H program with a health contest in which State Leaders were invited to have their youth select the boy and girl from their delegations whom they deemed healthiest. These candidates were thoroughly examined by physicians from the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund, a health foundation. The idea of presenting a farm boy and a farm girl as the ‘healthiest in the United States’ had an appeal that fired journalistic imaginations and won headlines….the health contest produced more newspaper and magazine space than any other single feature – and in spite of its defects- the contest focused attention on the importance of health to boys and girls. The contest waned after World War II, and the remaining programs in health seemed ‘vague and disparate’.” (From the National 4-H Headquarters Fact Sheet)

The lantern slides of Winners in Girls’ and Boys’ 4-H Club Health Contest, 1923 are part of the Albert E. Wilkinson Collection, Cooperative Extension Service Records.  Wilkinson began serving as Extension Vegetable Gardening Specialist in 1930 and performed the extension duties of the Horticulture Department at the University of Connecticut. Explore the collection guide for the Cooperative Extension Service Records.

Kristin Eshelman, Curator of Multimedia Collections

June 2011 Item of the Month: Railroad Men and their Magnificent Machines

1881, Housatonic Railroad locomotive and crew

Charles Dickens, in his 1842 book American Notes, wrote about an excursion he took by train from Boston to Lowell, Massachusetts.  He describes his trip in this way: “[The train] whirls headlong…clatters over frail arches, rumbles upon the heavy ground, shoots beneath a wooden bridge which intercepts the light for a second like a wink, suddenly awakens all the slumbering echoes in the main street of a large town, and dashes on haphazard, pell-mell, neck-or-nothing, down the middle of the road…there – on, on, on – tears the mad dragon of an engine with its train of cars; scattering in all directions a shower of burning sparks from its wood fire, screeching, hissing, yelling, panting; until at last the thirsty monster stops beneath a covered way to drink, the people cluster round, and you have time to breathe again.”

Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Railroads came on the scene in the United States in the early 1830s and immediately took hold of the national psyche, changing concepts of speed and time and providing limitless possibilities of the movement of agricultural products, goods of industry, and people to all points across the country.  The railroad was the means that brought the Industrial Revolution to the United States, ushering in the modern world we know today.  To the people of the 19th century, the railroad was a dream, a miracle, a danger, and the most marvelous thing they had ever seen.

The Railroad History Archive has many thousands of photographs.  Most focus on locomotives and scenes of the New Haven Railroad, the predominant railroad line in southern New England from 1872 to 1968.  We have photographs of railroad stations and other structures, railroad yards, passenger cars and dining cars.  We have photographs of railroad bridges, railroad tunnels, and railroad trestles.

But few photographs are as evocative as the one above, where railroad men pose with the nation’s new obsession.

May 2011 Item of the Month: Ruth Plumly Thompson’s 1939 “Oz” Book Donated to NCLC

Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz (Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1939). By Ruth Plumly Thompson, illustrated by John R. Neill.

Following the death in 1919 of L. Frank Baum, the author of the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson was hired by Baum’s publisher to continue the Oz series. Ms. Thompson of Philadelphia wrote one Oz book a year from 1921 to 1939 when Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz was published by Reilly & Lee. The phrase “The Wizard of Oz” was added to coincide with the release of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, by MGM the same year. The illustrator is John R. Neill, who illustrated many of Baum’s Oz books after Baum and the original illustrator of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, W. W. Denslow, parted ways after a dispute over royalties.

Neill wrote three Oz books after Thompson resigned from writing the series in 1939. This story contains the original characters, Dorothy Gale, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion and of course the Wizard of Oz. Jellia Jam (“Jamb” in the original Baum) is the Wizard’s “pretty little serving maid” who does not appear in the movie version. The Soldier with Green Whiskers and Nick Chopper join everyone for a dinner party at the Wizard’s home so the Wizard can show off his new inventions, two Ozoplanes named Ozpril and Oztober. The Soldier, Tin Woodman, and Jellia board the Oztober and through the Soldier’s bad luck, take off through the roof on a long adventure.

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

March 2011 Item of the Month: Photograph from the Romano Human Rights Digital Photograph Collection

A child laborer picks cocoa pods in the Ivory Coast. Photograph by U. Roberto Romano, 2006. 
Image from the Romano Human Rights Digital Photograph Collection, Thomas  J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.

Photograph by U. Roberto Romano, 2006.

The West African country of Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, with over 40% of the world’s production. Despite the signing of the Cocoa Protocol in 2001, child labor is still rampant in the cocoa industry, often involving the illegal trafficking of children from Mali and Niger to work in the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast. Children as young as seven work in the fields, facing dangerous tasks of cutting down cocoa pods with machetes and carrying heavy loads. Most children are never paid for their work.

American photographer and documentary filmmaker U. Roberto (Robin) Romano has documented human rights issues for advocacy organizations around the world including GoodWeave, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The International Labor Organization, Stop The Traffik, The Hunger Project, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Council on Foreign Relations and Antislavery International.

Romano’s most recent film, The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010), co-directed with Danish journalist Miki Mistrati, documents the continued allegations of trafficking of children and child labor in the international chocolate industry, despite a voluntary protocol to end abusive and forced child labor on cocoa farms by 2005.

However, in 2005, the cocoa industry failed to comply with the protocol’s terms, and a new deadline for 2008 was established. In 2008 the terms of the protocol were still not met, and yet another deadline for 2010 was set. Meanwhile, child labor in the cocoa industry continues.

For more information, see the International Labor Rights Forum’s information on child labor in the cocoa industry.

Human rights documentation is a focus of the Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. More information about the Romano Papers and other human rights collections can be found on the Dodd Center’s website.

Romano’s film, The Dark Side of Chocolate, will soon be available at the University of Connecticut Libraries as part of the Human Rights Film Collection, which contains approximately 500 films on an array of human rights themes.  An annotated listing of films is available on the UConn Libraries’ website.

–Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights and Alternative Press Collections

February 2011 Item(s) of the Month: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance

Explore the Harlem Renaissance through the poetry, novels and music that emerged between 1917 and 1934, a period in American history characterized by an “unprecedented mobilization of talent and group support in the service of a racial arts and letters movement,” according to historian and author David Levering Lewis.  First editions by Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Jessie Fauset, Rudolph Fisher, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, and George Schuyler, as well as original pamphlets, periodicals, audio recordings and reference sources are now available at the Dodd Research Center.  The rich collection of materials was recently donated to Archives and Special Collections by Ann and Samuel Charters.

Among the recordings in the collection are record albums featuring poets reading their work and a rare Black Swan recording of Marianna Johnson singing “The Rosary” and “Sorter Miss You”, accompanied by the Black Swan Symphony Orchestra recorded between 1921 and 1922.  Black Swan Records, established in January 1921 as a subsidiary of the Pace Phonograph Corporation, was the first record label owned and managed by African-Americans and issued material recorded exclusively by African-American musicians.  Board members of the Pace Phonograph Corporation included W. E. B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson.  The record label was named after the opera singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, nicknamed “the Black Swan”.  The Black Swan catalog included European classical, jazz and blues.  Fletcher Henderson served as the house accompanist.  In March 1923 the Pace Phonograph Corp. was renamed the Black Swan Phonograph Co.  This was the last year any new records were issued, although Pace reissued Black Swan recordings through 1926.

Listen to the Black Swan recording of soprano Georgia Gorham singing ‘A Little Kind Treatment (Is Exactly What I Need)’ with Maceo Pinkard, composer, issued between May 1921 and June 1922:

A Little Kind Treatment

Melissa Watterworth, Curator of Literary, Natural History, and Rare Books Collections

January 2011 Item of the Month

The Student Voice

Documentation of the University of Connecticut comes in a variety of formats, styles, voices and completeness.  Documentation of the regional campuses can be even more difficult.  Some of the hardest  to document are the experiences and voices of the students who have passed through the many “doors” of the University, especially those not at Storrs.  On campus for a relatively brief time, students are at the core of the University and yet they tend to take the documentation of their activities and experiences of their college experience with them when they leave.   As a consequence, the little that is left behind is even more valuable–like the student newspaper.   Thanks to a recent transfer from the Waterbury campus, the University Archives now has in its collections numerous student publications dating from the 1940s (extension courses were offered at the Waterbury YMCA in 1942).  It will take a bit for the Archives to sort through the materials but there are four or five different student newspapers alone that will illuminate the interests, concerns and activities of the students on the Waterbury campus throughout its history.  Let’s hear it for the student newspaper!

The University of Connecticut Begnalight, March 1947

December 2010 Item of the Month

Moon Bear (Title page illustration)

Ed Young, a children’s book author/illustrator and winner of many prestigious awards including a Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po:  a Red Riding-Hood Story from China, two Caldecott Honor Awards, and two nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, has added to his Papers held in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  Mr. Young was born in Tientsin, China and raised in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he was interested in drawing and storytelling from an early age.  He moved to the U.S. in 1951 to study architecture but quickly changed his focus to art.  Mr. Young has illustrated over eighty books, many of which he also wrote. 

The 19 beautiful collage illustrations for his 2010 book, Moon Bear, written by Brenda Z. Guiberson and published by Henry Holt, are new to the NCLC and were deposited following his recent appearance at the 19th Annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair.  Moon Bear is the story of one moon bear, or Asiatic black bear, as she goes through the annual cycle of hibernation, awakening, foraging, and procreation.   In the author’s note, Ms. Guiberson describes the tragic plight of thousands of Asiatic black bears who are imprisoned in tiny cages on bear farms throughout Asia.  For over 3,000 years bears were hunted in Asia for their gall bladders and bile, thought to cure disease.  Laws enacted in the 1980’s took steps to ban bear hunting but wild bears are still caught and farmed.  

Moon Bear (pg. 6/7 illustration)

Several organizations are working to create sanctuaries where sick bears can be treated and rehabilitated, such as Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Center in China.  For more information, go to http://www.animalsasia.org.  A portion of the proceeds of each book is donated to this worthwhile organization devoted to ending animal cruelty and restoring respect for animals throughout Asia.  Mr. Young says in his dedication:  “To Integrity, ‘the Spiritual Bear,’ so that we may reclaim green humanity lost to unharnessed ‘wants’ disguised as our needs.”

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection