November 29, 2012: the 100th Anniversary of the Great Fire

Thanksgiving Dance ends in fire; a modern University rises from the ashes.

Photo taken by Edwin Powell. This photograph shows the Barracks engulfed in flames on the night of November 29, 1912. By morning, two of the school’s most valued structures were completely lost, and students found themselves with no place to live on campus.
~University of Maryland Print File, Acc. 6377
© Lee Pennington

 

The University of Maryland remembers the events that occurred on this night, 100 years ago, permanently changing the course of its history.

Follow “live” reporting of the #fire1912, starting tonight, @UMDArchives or University Archives at the University of Maryland Facebook!

Read events leading up to and during the fire on the anniversary blog. Understand the aftermath of this devastating night, and how the Maryland Agricultural College used this as an opportunity to redefine its identity.

Check out the online exhibit the Great Fire, Maryland Agricultural College, 1912

What would happen if the college burned down? It’s been an item of speculation among students for 115 years. Read this poem from the 1897 Reveille yearbook.

Read an article at CBS Baltimore featuring University Archivist Anne Turkos!

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For more information about the Great Fire, Maryland Agricultural College, and University of Maryland history, contact the University Archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Featured Novelist from Special Collections: Gertrude Stein

Nanowrimo bannerNaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – occurs annually every November. Each week this November, we wrote a post to celebrate the life of a novelist represented in the University of Maryland Special Collections. This is our last post for 2012, but we encourage any readers to continue their research of these fantastic writers–whether that research takes place in the Special Collections at Hornbake Library, or curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good novel, is entirely up to you!

This week’s novelist is Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946). Novels by this prolific author include Three Lives, The Making of Americans: Being a History of a Family’s Progress,
and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Stein also wrote A Novel of Thank You, an exploration of the author’s process of writing a novel, and essay Composition as Explanation to explain the theory behind her writing.

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, with American flag as backdrop. 1935. Carl Van Vechten, photographer. Carl Van Vechten Collection, Library of Congress. (from Credo Reference)

About Gertrude Stein:
(From ArchivesUM and The Poetry Foundation)

  • Stein was born in Pennsylvania and lived in both California and Baltimore; however, her writing career began in Paris.
  • During Stein’s college years at Harvard Annex/Radcliffe College, she studied psychology under William James and published two research papers in the Harvard Psychological Review.
  • Stein had significant connections to the art world, and her home in Paris regularly hosted modernist writers and painters. Pablo Picasso is a frequent visitor and correspondent.
  • In The Collected Essays and Occasional Writings of Katherine Anne Porter, Porter describes Stein’s writing as  “a great spiral, a slow, ever-widening, unmeasured spiral unrolling itself horizontally. The people in this world appear to be motionless at every stage of their progress, each one is simultaneously being born, arriving at all ages and dying. You perceive that it is a world without mobility, everything takes place, has taken place, will take place; therefore nothing takes place, all at once.”

Resources about Gertrude Stein:

Papers of Gertrude Stein and Her Circle, Special Collections, Hornbake Library, UMD

First Appearances Collection, Special Collections, Hornbake Library, UMD

Caricatures of Mina Loy, Marsden Hartley, and Gertrude Stein, from the New York Tribune, November 4, 1923. From the Djuna Barnes Papers, Special Collections, Hornbake Library, UMD

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers. American Literature Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Collection. American Literature Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

 

Searching UMD Libraries’ Digital Collections Using BASE

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), sponsored by the library of the University of Bielefeld in Germany, is an electronic index to more than 37 million digital objects in over 2300 repositories around the world, including over 15,000 items from UMD Libraries’ Digital Collections.  BASE provides not only an alternative method of searching and browsing our digital collections, but also the opportunity to search our collections simultaneously alongside those of many other, similar repositories.  At the same time, because BASE’s scope is limited to collections in academic libraries and other scholarly repositories, and because it allows for the searching and delimiting of results on the basis of detailed metadata, it makes possible more targeted searching than generalized search engines such as Google.  To search BASE, go to http://www.base-search.net/.  To search or browse UMD’s collections on BASE, go to http://goo.gl/7PcXl.

Featured Novelist from Special Collections: Jack Hoffenberg

Nanowrimo bannerWriting: “the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” –Jack Hoffenberg

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – occurs annually every November. Join us each week as we celebrate the life of a novelist represented in the University of Maryland Special Collections!

This week’s novelist is Jack Hoffenberg. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Hoffenberg served in the military and worked as an advertising executive before relocating to California in the 1950’s and writing ten novels, including:

  • A Thunder at Dawn
  • Sow Not in Anger
  • Anvil of Passion
  • The Desperate Adversaries
  • 17 Ben Gurion
  • A Time for Pagans
reviews of the desperate adversaries

Reviews of the Desperate Adversaries. From the Jack Hoffenberg Papers at the Special Collections, University of Maryland.

About Jack Hoffenberg:
(from the Jack Hoffenberg Papers: Historical Note)

Hoffenberg spent ten months with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, riding in patrol cars and working with homicide, narcotics, burglary, and vice crews, to gather information for The Desperate Adversaries.

He attended Baltimore City College, the University of Maryland, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

He served three terms as president of the West Coast chapter of P.E.N. (Poets, Editors, and Novelists) International.

Hoffenberg was devoted to sports throughout his life–first as an athlete and then as a spectator. He took time from his arduous writing schedule to enjoy professional football and baseball games.

As a young man, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps and served as an officer under General Frank A. Evans in the U. S. Constabulary in “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s Haiti for three and one-half years. A Thunder At Dawn is based on his military experiences in the Caribbean. He returned to military service during World War II, serving in the U. S. Army in Italy; at war’s end, he left the army as a major.

Hoffenberg’s award from P.E.N. From the Jack Hoffenberg Papers at the Special Collections, University of Maryland.

Resources:

Jack Hoffenberg Papers, Special Collections at University of Maryland Libraries
De drugmagnaten, translation of A Time for Pagans, Special Collections at University of Maryland Libraries