Exhibitions Update: The Everyman’s Library

EverymansLibrary4A new Burns Library exhibit, The Everyman’s Library: Volumes from the Collections of the John J. Burns Library is now on display in the Margaret E. Ford Tower through December 31, 2014. The Everyman’s Library (EML) was first conceived in 1905 by the publisher Joseph Malaby Dent and editor Ernest Rhys. The goal of EML was to create a collection of 1,000 volumes of classic literature that would appeal to every type of person, from students, scholars and professionals to the everyday working man. They would be divided into different categories, originally thirteen in total and have corresponding design attributes. The key to this endeavor was to make the books affordable, and they were originally available for the very low price of one shilling. The name “Everyman” comes from the medieval play of the same name in which the character Knowledge says the following to the character Everyman:

Everyman, I will go with thee
and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go
by thy side.

This 1910 edition of Warren Hastings: A Biography is an excellent example of the beautiful title page that editions of EML had until the mid 1930’s. It was designed by Reginald Knowles and is inspired by the works of William Morris, a 19th century artist who founded the Kelmscott Press. Each of the thirteen subject areas of EML had a different design and quote. This quote (for biography) is by John Milton. This volume is from the Williams Collection.

This 1910 edition of Warren Hastings: A Biography is an excellent example of the beautiful title page that editions of EML had until the mid 1930’s. It was designed by Reginald Knowles and is inspired by the works of William Morris, a 19th century artist who founded the Kelmscott Press. Each of the thirteen subject areas of EML had a different design and quote. This quote (for biography) is by John Milton. This volume is from the Williams Collection.

The library began publication in February 1906 and four years later 500 volumes had already been published. Through two world wars and a depression, the series finally published volume 1,000 in 1956. In 1988 the publishing company J.M. Dent was sold and eventually the Everyman series was re-launched in the early 1990s. Though very different from the early editions of 1906, you can still buy Everyman’s Library books through Alfred A. Knopf in the United States and Random House abroad.

This exhibit has two purposes; first to show the changing styles of EML throughout the many decades it was in print, and second to show the variety of collections at the Burns Library that contain volumes of the series.

This 1911 edition of A Tale of a Tub: The Battle of the Books and Other Satires by Jonathan Swift is an excellent illustration of the paste-downs used by EML from 1906-1934. Like the title page and spine, it was designed by Reginald Knowles. It features a quote from the medieval morality play Everyman. The woman pictured is the character Good Deeds, and the quote was said by her sister, Knowledge. This edition is from the Irish Collection.

This 1911 edition of A Tale of a Tub: The Battle of the Books and Other Satires by Jonathan Swift is an excellent illustration of the paste-downs used by EML from 1906-1934. Like the title page and spine, it was designed by Reginald Knowles. It features a quote from the medieval morality play Everyman. The woman pictured is the character Good Deeds, and the quote was said by her sister, Knowledge. This edition is from the Irish Collection.

EML went through four distinct styles from 1906-1968. Style I lasted from 1906-1928 and is perhaps the most recognizable. It contained a gilt floral decorative spine, as well as ornamental title pages and paste-downs. Style II from 1928-1934 kept the title pages and paste-downs but had a less ornamental gilt spine. Style III from 1935-1953 was the simplest design yet, featuring no floral design work, and only the title at the top of the spine, and “Everyman’s Library” at the bottom. The title pages featured an ornamental device for each of the categories and the paste-downs were a repeating pattern of swirls. Both were designed by Eric Ravillious. Style IV from 1953-1968 represents the biggest change. These editions are slightly larger than the previous ones and feature all new designs for the binding, paste-downs, and title pages. The binding is similar to the previous style in that it contains the title at the top of the spine, but “Everyman’s Library” has been replaced by an overlapping, cursive “E” and “L”. The paste-down was the same overlapping “E” and “L” found on the spine, but in a repeating pattern. The title pages were the simplest yet. They had no distinguishing feature other than a printer’s device of a dolphin wrapped around an anchor.

From the Irish collection to the Liturgy and Life Collection, the personal libraries of authors Rex Stout and Flann O’Brien, copies of the EML can be found in all of the major collections in the Burns Library.

The Everyman’s Library: Volumes from the Collections of the John J. Burns Library is on display in the Ford Tower at the Burns Library through December 31, 2014.  The exhibit is open whenever the Burns Library is open.  Check the BC Libraries hours page for the Burns Library’s open hours.

AndrewAndrew-Isidoro Isidoro, Library Assistant, Burns Library

 

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George Sandys, the Ethnographer: A Man Before His Time

George Sandys (1577 – 1644) was an English traveller, colonist and poet.

George Sandys (1577 – 1644) was an English traveler, colonist and poet.

George Sandys was the seventh and youngest son of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York for the Church of England. Sandys’ Relation was a seminal work at the time, detailing the culture of the Ottoman Empire as well as the ecumenical Christian festivities in Jerusalem for Easter. Sandys was also a poet and noted translator of Classics. His interests in both Classics and poetry contributed to the structure of his writing as did his upbringing in a noted Protestant family. Sandys went on to become treasurer of The Virginia Company and was a member of the council of state and his majesty’s council for Virginia.

Hellespont map from <i> A Relation of a Journey begun an: Dom: 1610 </i> by George Sandys, London, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hellespont map from A Relation of a Journey begun an: Dom: 1610 by George Sandys, London, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The well-educated readers of Sandys’ Relation, nobles and churchmen, would be well acquainted with France and Italy if not from travel then from considerable reading. By beginning his account in Paris and then Venice, Sandys drew in the readers with something familiar. From there on out, the reader would be fixed in a familiar framework and, as such, able to better comprehend the foreign. This mechanism of familiarization is present throughout much of the book, with Sandys using classical allegory and myth as a means of connecting his readers to an otherwise entirely foreign area.

"Part of Africa" map from <em>A relation of a journey begun an: Dom: 1610</em> by George Sandys, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

“Part of Africa” map from A relation of a journey begun an: Dom: 1610 by George Sandys, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The fold-out map from the beginning of Sandys’ travels is both typical for the time and notable for its idiosyncrasies. Quite naturally the regions travelled by Sandys are expressed in greater detail, but there is something to be said for the gaps in the map, the “silences.” Bastions of Christendom, and the Holy Land, are represented in great detail; regions where Islam is prevalent are sketched in with minimal detail. This is likewise the case for the perceived backwaters of Christendom. The North and East of Europe, spreading into Asia, remains comparatively sparse. Some of the perceived idiosyncrasies are simply matters of convention for the day. The moniker “Part of ____” appears at first to be an insult to the Africans and the Arabians. This, however, is a common usage in contemporary maps of this era, demonstrating a lack of detail on the regions considered beyond the scope of the map’s focus.

On the left, "Constantinople Pillar" and on the right, "Man in Turkish Dress" from <i>A relation of a journey begun an: Dom: 1610</i> by George Sandys, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

On the left, “Constantinople Pillar” and on the right, “Man in Turkish Dress” from A relation of a journey begun an: Dom: 1610 by George Sandys, 1627, 03-3544 General Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The accompanying images aid greatly in the analysis of the map. These brief images provide insight both into what the artist actually saw, as well as what they perceive. The image of the Turkish man is an honest attempt at capturing the perceived exoticism of the “Orient” but also serves as a caricature of sorts. These types of images reinforce, and in some cases establish, the corpus of literature describing the people of Asia and the Middle East.  Likewise, the landscape drawings capture the perceptions of George Sandys.  The details that he chooses to emphasize or de-emphasize give insight into his perception of the relative importance of facets of his journey.

  • Nicholas Cochran-Caggiano, BC Class of 2014

The images and content in this blog post are from the exhibit Ordering the Unknown:  The European Mapping Tradition from 1600 to 1860, which is now on display in the History Department, Stokes 3rd Floor South.    This exhibit was curated and organized by Professor Sylvia Sellers-Garcia’s Spring 2014 Making History Public class, in collaboration with the Boston College University Libraries.  

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Exhibitions Update: Commitment to Craftsmanship

 

CommitmentfullsizeA new Burns Library exhibit, Commitment to Craftsmanship:  Conservation Bookbindings by Mark Esser, is now on display through January 16, 2015.   This exhibit is designed to introduce Boston College students to bookbinding and book conservation, explores the training Mark received, his background as a teacher at the North Bennet Street School (NBSS), and showcases some of the conservation bindings that he produced as Book Conservator for the John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections.  Mark Esser was Rare Book Conservator in the John J. Burns Library at Boston College from 1994 until 2008. He began his training in bookbinding in 1979 at the Harcourt Bindery in Boston. He then worked in the Conservation Bindery at the Newberry Library in Chicago while studying privately with David Brock. Esser apprenticed with William Anthony from 1982 to 1986, first at Anthony & Associates in Chicago and then at the Conservation Department of the University of Iowa Libraries. He now works privately.

Mark Esser drills a binder board while preparing the boards for lacing-in, from <a href = "https://archive.org/stream/bostoncollegemagsp2000bos#page/n21/mode/2up"> Construction Worker</a> by Anna Marie Murphy, <i>Boston College Magazine</i>, Spring 2000, p. 20-21.

Mark Esser drills a binder board while preparing the boards for lacing-in, from Construction Worker by Anna Marie Murphy, Boston College Magazine, Spring 2000, p. 20-21.

In 1986, he developed the curriculum and was the first instructor for the hand bookbinding program at the NBSS in Boston, teaching the course until 1994. NBSS offers intensive, hands-on training in traditional trades and fine craftsmanship, helping students to achieve meaningful livelihoods. The exceptional programs, master faculty and inspiring community have encouraged individual growth, technical mastery, and commitment to excellence, attracting students from all over the world. NBSS was founded in 1885 by Pauline Agassiz Shaw. Mark was an outstanding teacher; his students work in renowned institutions, including: Harvard University Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, University of Delaware, Maryland State Archives, the Boston Athenaeum, the Library of Congress, the Huntington Library, and the American Antiquarian Society.

Mark was greatly admired at Boston College for the finely crafted bindings he created. The Guild of Book Workers also recognized his exceptional skills, featuring his work in key exhibitions such as their 80th Anniversary show. The Guild was founded in 1906 to “establish and maintain a feeling of kinship and mutual interest among workers in the several hand book crafts”. The Guild provides members with workshops, training, and exhibit opportunities.

<a href="http://bc-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo_library/libweb/action/dlSearch.do?institution=BCL&amp;vid=bclib&amp;onCampus=true&amp;group=GUEST&amp;loc=local,scope:(BCL)&amp;query=any,contains,ALMA-BC21328035200001021"><i>An Historical and Political Discourse of the Laws &amp; Government of England.</i> </a> Mark Esser's binding of this book closely resembles 17th and 18th century bindings in the Burns Library's collections. The brown-colored calfskin leather was sprinkled with black pigment to give an overall subtle pattern on the surface. The burgundy-colored lettering piece with gilt titling is also an authentic element.

An Historical and Political Discourse of the Laws & Government of England. Mark Esser’s binding of this book closely resembles 17th and 18th century bindings in the Burns Library’s collections. The brown-colored calfskin leather was sprinkled with black pigment to give an overall subtle pattern on the surface. The burgundy-colored lettering piece with gilt titling is also an authentic element.

In 2013 Designer Bookbinders of the United Kingdom declared Mark a Distinguished Winner in its International Bookbinding Competition. Designer Bookbinders, as described on its website, was “founded over fifty years ago, and has by means of exhibitions and publications, helped to establish the reputation of British bookbinding worldwide. Its membership includes some of the most highly regarded makers in the fields of fine bookbinding, book arts and artists’ books.”

 

Mark continued the work of his Boston College predecessor and former student, Marilyn Heskett, by training interns in the Bookbuilders of Boston internship program.  Bookbuilders of Boston, founded in 1937, has a membership representing all facets of the book industry: editing, design, production, manufacturing, and marketing. This organization has created a scholarship fund to support, encourage, and promote publishing related education. Participating schools, such as Boston College, award the scholarships to students who plan to pursue careers in the industry.

Committed to Craftsmanship:  Conservation Bookbindings by Mark Esser is on display at the Burns Library through January 16, 2015.  The exhibit is open whenever the Burns Library is open.  Check the BC Libraries hours page for the Burns Library’s open hours.

Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator, John J. Burns LibraryBarbara Adams Hebard, Conservator

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Michael H. Leary Letters

Letter from Michael Leary to Nellie Desmond, Box 1, Folder 18, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Letter from Michael Leary to Nellie Desmond, Box 1, Folder 18, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Being called upon to help decipher bad handwriting is an occupational hazard for the staff of the Burns Library, home to hundreds of linear feet of correspondence written by thousands of individuals – political and religious leaders, literary figures, bank clerks, undertakers, criminals, saints, et al. – and used by researchers here at the Heights and around the world.

Sharing these unique resources with our researchers is done in a variety of ways. Some visit the Burns Library, working for days – or even weeks – in our Reading Room, studying material from our manuscript collections. We share items from our collections via digital copies, and both our Reference and Archives & Manuscripts staff regularly scan and email copies of portions of our collections to those who request them. We also refer researchers to a growing repository of already digitized material. A few examples of these are William Butler Yeats’s notebook containing the first draft of his play written in 1884, Love and Death; the abstract of the log book of a voyage of the Frigate United States (1842-1844); and a letter written to King John III of Portugal in 1552 by Saint Francis Xavier.

Letter from Michael Leary to Ellen (Nellie) Desmond, Box 1, Folder 10, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library.

Letter from Michael Leary to Ellen (Nellie) Desmond, Box 1, Folder 10, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library.

Primary source material like letters often illustrate events and relationships more profoundly than secondary sources can. Although many of the letters and other documents at the Burns Library are written by well-known people, some of the most compelling letters in our manuscript collections are those written by “ordinary” people, and some of the most interesting of those are written when such people find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. The Boston College University Libraries have digitized an entire collection of such documents:  The Michael H. Leary Letters (MS.1986.043). Michael H. Leary was an Irish-American from Boston, Massachusetts and soldier in Union Army during the Civil War. This collection is composed of correspondence from Leary to Ellen (Nellie) Desmond, mostly written from Virginia. The collection begins in 1861 while Leary was stationed in Washington D.C. and continues through 1863. The final letters Leary wrote from a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The letters provide accounts of Leary’s life in the Ninth Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War as well as his desire to reunite with Nellie.

The best way to access a digitized collection (Leary Letters included) is to find it through Holmes. Links within a collection’s record will bring the researcher to its catalog record and finding aid. It is via the finding aid for a collection that you will find links to any digital objects which represent its content. A finding aid is a document that describes the materials in context and includes information about their provenance, a biographical or historical note about who created or collected the material, a description of the scope of the material (size, subjects, media), statements about organization and arrangement, and an inventory of the material itself. Finding aids are often linked to the listing in Holmes.  Although new ones are added frequently, some finding aids are available only in the Burns Library.  To request more information, call the Burns Library at 617-552-4861 or e-mail us at burnsref@bc.edu.

Envelope, Box 1, Folder 46, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Envelope, Box 1, Folder 46, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

One key advantage to studying a digital copy of a document is the way in which it allows the researcher to examine closely a physical object. There is often much to be gleaned from the appearance of a letter – the paper itself, the handwriting and spelling, and the way that a document has fared over time. Examining the address leaf or envelope can also add to one’s understanding of the contents of a letter. The Leary letters, for example, are written on Union Army stationery, which, although not unique, is interesting to see. In order to view an example, go to the online finding aid for the Leary Letters; click on the link next to the item you wish to view – in this case, folder 46. Once the page opens, click on the thumbnail of the envelope, then choose “item 17” to see one example of an envelope from the Leary Letters.

At the time the Leary Letters were digitized, only a few details were known about Michael Leary, most of which were gleaned from secondary sources on the subject of his military service. Prior to their digitization I had not taken the opportunity to study the collection, but I suspected that some research might answer several basic questions about Leary and Desmond, including the question of whether they were able to build a life together after the war. In an attempt to see what could be added to the biographical sketch in the collection’s finding aid, I utilized ancestry.com; americanancestors.org; the Historical Boston Globe database; city directories; and the Burns Library’s University Archives.

  • American Ancestors is the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Members have access to databases which include records of Massachusetts births, marriages, and deaths.
  • Nine Boston city directories can be accessed via Tufts University’s Digital Collections and Archives resource Boston Streets: Mapping Directory Data

The following resources are available through the Boston College University Libraries:

  • Ancestry.com is widely known as a resource for genealogy, but is also an invaluable tool to discover other information about United States citizens, including where they lived and with whom, employment and salary information, and additional detail about immigration and naturalization, military service, etc. Last fall, based on a faculty request, History Bibliographer Elliot Brandow announced that the Boston College University Libraries had acquired an institutional membership to Ancestry.com. When asked for feedback recently, Professor Jim O’Toole assured me that those working in BC’s History Department are enthusiastic (his word was “overjoyed”) users of this resource.
  • The Historical Boston Globe database is a good place to find obituaries (another excellent source of personal information). And, if the person whom you are researching ever made it into the news – for reasons good or ill – you may discover it there. For example, after learning the names of the Leary children, it came to light that two of their sons attended Boston College – thus possibly explaining how it is that Burns came to own the letters (a detail either unrecorded by early library staff, or lost to time).
  • The University Archives at the Burns Library provided more detail about the lives of the two Leary children who attended Boston College (although the sources I used from it are not yet digitized, they may be used by researchers at the Burns Library).
Letter

Letter from Michael Leary to Nellie Desmond, Box 1, Folder 16, Michael H. Leary Letters, MS.1986.043, John J. Burns Library.

Based upon research using the above resources, we now know that Michael H. Leary was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 7, 1837 to Dennis and Anne Leary. Ellen A. (Nellie) Desmond, was born in Ireland in 1840 to John and Ellen Desmond. After their courtship through the early 1860s, while Michael was serving with the Union Army, Michael and Nellie married and lived in Boston. They were the parents of six children, five of whom lived to adulthood: Annie G. (1865-1941); John H. (1866-1890); Mary Ellen (aka Mary G.) (1868-1960); Lucy (1869-?); James Francis (1871-1932); and Henry Aloysius (1875-1927). Michael’s occupation in various records is given as printer, laborer, and junk dealer. The family lived at a variety of addresses in Boston proper and South Boston. Nellie died in Boston of pneumonia at age 50 on December 30, 1890. James and Henry attended Boston College and both became Jesuit priests. Annie and Mary did not marry, and lived together in Watertown, Massachusetts. Their father lived with them there after their mother’s death. John, who also did not marry, died just a few months before his mother in Boston at age 24.

Knowing their names and dates is almost meaningless, though, compared to what you will learn about them and their world by reading their mail. And, don’t worry – Michael’s handwriting isn’t all that bad!

Burns staff members look forward to answering questions about our collections and how to access them. Information about the Archives and Manuscript collections at Burns can be found in the Archives & Manuscripts section of the Burns Library Research Guide.

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History Students Create Maps Exhibit with Burns Library Books

Map of Boston College's Chestnut Hill Campus

Map of Boston College’s Chestnut Hill Campus

Maps are all around us. A map of campus orients the visitor to Boston College; an old map of Boston hangs in a gilt frame; and, increasingly, a map on a handheld device points to a coffee spot, a concert hall, or a way home. In their ubiquity, maps are paradoxically more limited. We are so used to seeing those aerial views of roads and highways that it begins to seem that this, and only this, is what maps are. They show traffic routes from above; they show how to get from one place to another.

Professor Sylvia Sellers-Garcia and her Spring 2014 “Making History Public” students pictured in front of the Burns Library’s Ford Tower.

Professor Sylvia Sellers-Garcia and her Spring 2014 “Making History Public” students pictured in front of the Burns Library’s Ford Tower.

The “Making History Public” class of Spring, 2014, set out to challenge this conception. Continuing the collaboration between the History Department and the Boston College Libraries, this course was the fourth of its kind. A course on early books began the program in 2012-2013; since then,  students have worked on the American history as seen through comics and the history of Boston Common. Our class, taught at the Burns Library as the others were, aimed to anchor a historical topic in the Burns collections and emerge with a substantive exhibit made up of high quality reproductions of Burns Library materials and student authored exhibit text about these particular materials.

From the start, our course attempted to broaden the conception of maps and mapping. The current notion of cartography is precisely that – current. It emerges from a set of historical circumstances. As such, it stands to reason that maps were not always conceived in the same way; people in other time periods and other cultures imagined the map differently. Our early readings stretched the idea of mapping by considering alternate conceptions, past and present. In pre-Columbian Meseoamerica, we learned, maps were less about navigation and more about narrative: they recounted history in pictorial form.

“An Hidrographical Draught of Mexico as it Lies in its Lakes” from v. 3 of <i>The General History of the Vast Continent and Islands of America</i> by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, translated by John Stevens, London, 1725, Williams Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College. This map is part of the Fall 2014 "Making History Public Exhibit“ in Stokes Hall 3S.

“An Hidrographical Draught of Mexico as it Lies in its Lakes” from v. 3 of The General History of the Vast Continent and Islands of America by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, translated by John Stevens, London, 1725, Williams Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College. This map is part of the Fall 2014 “Making History Public Exhibit“ in Stokes Hall 3S.

A present-day cartographer in North Carolina, we discovered, has mapped his neighborhood by where dogs bark, or where streetlights shine, or where jack-o-lanterns are placed. And maps of the early modern world, we realized, depicted places that seemed both familiar and distorted: familiar because they set the foundation for the maps we most use today, but also distorted in what they included and omitted, what they chose to emphasize, what assumptions informed the map in the first place. Maps, our class concluded, are always distortions to some degree. They cannot include everything and they always have a point of view.

Very quickly, the students in “Early Maps and Distant Places” realized that all of the maps we were considering at the Burns Library were made by Europeans. Why was this? Answering the question required exploring many difficult (and in some cases unanswerable) questions about empire, colonial history, and intellectual traditions. Sometimes the distortion is not even on the map, but it becomes visible considering maps as a collection. This is the case with the materials our class curated. We began with the notion of an exhibit demonstrating how maps from all different times and places make different kinds of arguments. Instead, we found an unexpected – and very instructive – constraint. All the maps we had on hand were in the European tradition, and they made very similar arguments. The resulting exhibit, Ordering the Unknown: The European Mapping Tradition from 1600 to 1860, considers how European cartographers of this era used maps to organize, classify, and lay claim to parts of the world imperfectly know to them. (Obviously these parts of the world were very well-known to others.) The argument these maps make, loosely summarized, is that the world can be ordered and made known. However dangerous, however strange, however distant, the intellectual tools made evident on the map, so goes the claim, are up to the challenge.

Detail of Dublin from <em>The Traveller's New Guide through Ireland</em>, Dublin, 1815, Irish Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.  This map is part of the Fall 2014 "Making History Public Exhibit“ in Stokes Hall 3S.

Detail of Dublin from The Traveller’s New Guide through Ireland, Dublin, 1815, Irish Collection, John J. Burns Library, Boston College. This map is part of the Fall 2014 “Making History Public Exhibit“ in Stokes Hall 3S.

Though the direction of the exhibit caught us by surprise, the unalloyed pleasure of poring over old maps did not. Our hours spent in the wonderful Burns Library Reading Room led us to uncover every manner of cartographic treasure. There were far too many to include in our exhibit! Thanks to the invaluable guidance of Burns Library Senior Reference Librarian/Bibliographer Justine Sundaram, we found fantastic maps of all kinds in the Burns Library’s Williams, Irish and General Collections. Thanks to the inexhaustible resources suggested by O’Neill Library Senior Reference Librarian/Bibliographer Elliot Brandow, we understood precisely where the maps came from. And thanks to the imaginative work of  MTS Photographer Chris Soldt  and Bapst Library Exhibits Specialist/Senior Library Assistant Kevin Tringale, the maps we found will be available for all to see. The exhibit curated by the students of “Early Maps and Distant Places”  is now on display in the History Department, Stokes Hall, floor 3, South. Please stop by to visit our exhibit and enjoy our cartographic findings!

To learn more about past exhibits curated by “Making History Public” students, view the BC Libraries exhibit listings.  For more in-depth information about these exhibits, read Professor Virginia Reinburg’s  article about the Books around the World: 1400-1800 and this article about Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s exhibit featuring the Kane Comic Collection.

For more information about the  Burns library, visit libguides.bc.edu/burns. You can also like the Burns Library on Facebook, follow the Burns Library on Twitter, view Burns Library Collections on Flickr, and subscribe to the Burns blog.

Professor Sylvia Sellers-GarciaSylvia Sellers-Garcia, Assistant Professor,                                Boston College History Department

Posted in Exhibits & Events, Featured Collections & Books, HS600 Posts, Rare books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Common Cause: David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery

Over the summer, the archivists at the John J. Burns Library have been processing the papers of David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery. Goldstein and Avery spent their lives as campaigners, even if what they campaigned for changed dramatically over the course of their lives. When they met in the 1890s at Boston meetings of the Socialist Labor Party, David Goldstein was a twenty-something Jewish Socialist and member of the Cigarmakers’ International Union, a recent transplant to Boston from his childhood home of New York; Martha Moore Avery was a forty-something widow with a Unitarian background, who had joined the SLP as a reaction against Nationalism. They were dedicated supporters of the socialist cause, with Avery making a living as a public speaker for the party, and both  holding “free-speech meetings” where the rights of the workers were made paramount.

Buttons, undated, David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery Papers, MS.1986.167, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

But with the new century came new ideals: after the prominent socialist George Herron left his wife and family (for a younger woman) and cited socialism’s “free love” as justification, Goldstein and Avery began to push for more religious moral instruction in the Socialist Labor Party – despite stern refusals by the party’s leadership. By 1903, both had left the Party. Avery converted to Catholicism that year, with Goldstein following suit two years later in 1905. From that point on, their lives were dedicated to campaigning for a different cause. After working together to write Socialism: The Nation of Fatherless Children, they founded the Catholic Truth Guild (later Campaigners for Christ), and lectured on the virtues of marriage, family, and religion – and the perceived evils of women’s suffrage, divorce, and Communism. Avery would later go on to help found the Philomatheia Club at Boston College, a women’s auxiliary devoted to Catholic education, and Goldstein would tour the country lecturing until his audience dried up with the Great Depression.

David Goldstein lecturing from a Catholic Truth Guild automobile outside Mission Dolores in San Francisco, California, circa 1928-1929, David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery Papers, MS.1986.167, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery Papers document more than half a century of the lives of these two campaigners, in writings, artifacts, scrapbooks, and photographs. Their letters chart the shift in the pair’s ideologies, from their Socialist Party days right through their Catholic campaigns. Goldstein’s letters and scrapbooks tell the story of his travels across America. Notes and programs from their lectures demonstrate a willingness – even an enthusiasm – to use controversies of the day to highlight the virtues of Catholic teachings. Meanwhile, photographs from Goldstein’s tours show off the custom-made lecture cars he drove from city to city, the tools of the trade of a master showman.

Telegram from “Josef Stalin,” 1952, David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery Papers, MS.1986.167, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

While Goldstein’s focus in the later part of his life seems to display a singularly conservative zeal, occasional items also show Goldstein as a more complicated man. Even after his break with Socialism, he maintained his membership in the Cigarmakers’ International Union; indeed, despite his anti-Socialist stance he remained staunchly pro-union, trying to fight the growth of Marxism within the working class by substituting Catholic social teachings. And he was certainly not a man without a sense of humor: one item from his collection is an (almost certainly fake) telegram from Josef Stalin detailing how reading Das Capital gives him a headache(!). Overall this collection is a wonderful resource for the study of turn-of-the-century American Socialism, from two of its greatest proponents-turned-critics, as well as for the study of early nineteenth-century evangelical Catholicism and those who espoused it. This collection will be completely processed and available to researchers later this fall. Please contact the Burns Library for more information, either by phone at 617-552-4861 or by email at burnsref@bc.edu.

  • Richard Burley, Burns Library Archives Student Assistant.

Sources:

Campbell, Debra. “A Catholic Salvation Army: David Goldstein, Pioneer Lay Evangelist.” Church History 52.3 (September 1983): 322-332.

Campbell, Debra. “Goldstein, David.” American National Biography Online (February 2000). Access Date: Thu Sep 04 2014. http://www.anb.org/articles/08/08-02189.html.

Goldstein, David. Autobiography of a Campaigner for Christ. Boston: Catholic Campaigners for Christ, 1936.

Phelps, Connie. “Avery, Martha Moore.” American National Biography Online (February 2000). Access Date: Thu Sep 04 2014. http://www.anb.org/articles/08/08-01771.html.

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Circle in the Sun

Burns Library staff gathering for a photo on the front steps of our building.

Burns Library staff gathering for a photo on the front steps of our building.

To celebrate the first day of the fall semester and my first day as Burns Librarian, Burns Library staff members gathered last Tuesday for a group photo on the steps of the Ford Tower. It took us a moment to set up the shot and strike a pose in the bright and rather hot late summer sun, and the focus was still a little off, but pictured left to right, are: (front row) Christine McIntosh, Justine Sundaram, Amy Braitsch, Lydia Murdy, Elizabeth Sweeney, Kathleen Williams; (middle row) Xaviera Flores, Barbara Adams Hebard, Jack Kearney, Adrienne Pruitt, Shelley Barber; (back row) David Richtmyer, Michael Burns, David Horn, (yours truly) Christian Dupont, and Andrew Isidoro (not pictured Fr. Philip Kiley, SJ). If you’re curious to know who of us does what at the Burns, feel free to take a peek at our staff listing.

The Boston College Memorial Labyrinth, located on the Burns Library's lawn, is dedicated to the 22 Boston College alumni lost in the 9/11 tragedy. It is a copy of the 13th-century labyrinth laid in stone on the floor of the nave of Chartres Cathedral.

The Boston College Memorial Labyrinth, located on the Burns Library’s lawn, is dedicated to the 22 Boston College alumni lost in the 9/11 tragedy. It is a copy of the 13th-century labyrinth laid in stone on the floor of the nave of Chartres Cathedral.

After a couple of digital shutter clicks, we threaded our way through the Memorial Labyrinth on the lawn adjacent to our building. I have long loved labyrinths, and have walked through them in various churches and cities. I had even walked our labyrinth on previous visits to campus, but most often alone, rapt in private meditation. So it was an especially moving experience for me to join my new colleagues in tracing out the winding pathway, the chain of our footsteps doubling back as we passed by one another in sometimes hushed, sometimes laughing contra dance lines—our gyrations drawing us closer, then farther, then finally into the center where we stood for a moment and faced each other in a ring around our Boston College seal and motto, “Ever to Excel.” How happy and enriched I feel to share this bond with the BC community, and with what joy I look forward to serving students, faculty, visiting researchers, alumni, and the global public in my new role as Burns Librarian.

For more information about the Burns Library’s collections, services, and programs, please contact us by phone at 617-552-4861, via e-mail at burnsref@bc.edu, or visit our website at libguides.bc.edu/burns.

Photograph by Lee Pellegrini.

Photograph by Lee Pellegrini.

Christian Dupont                                                                                   Burns Librarian and                                                                   Associate University Librarian for Special Collections

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