Take a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole this Fall

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland will be hosting the exhibition: Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

Alice Postcard

This exhibition explores Lewis Carroll’s creative genius. It begins with early editions of his most famous books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and includes Carroll’s other fictional, poetic, photographic, and mathematical works. The exhibition celebrates the worldwide and timeless appeal of Carroll’s legacy by showcasing how artists and illustrators from Tenniel to today have envisioned the Alice books. It highlights numerous foreign language illustrated editions, artistic bindings, unusual ephemera, and the role of Alice in popular culture over the past 150 years.

The exhibition will run from October 2015-July 2016 in the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery, located in Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland, College Park. For more information, please visit www.lib.umd.edu/Alice150.

Labor History Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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Hornbake Library

Friday, May 1, 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Join a community interested in promoting labor history by editing the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Part celebration and part workshop, Edit-a-Thons are organized around a single topic as a means to build awareness and community.  We’ll draw content from labor-related collections at the University of Maryland, including the recently acquired AFL-CIO Archives. No editing or technical experience necessary. All participants will receive complimentary issues of Labor’s Heritage journal. As part of a nationwide effort, other libraries with significant labor collections will also participate.

Event details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/UMDLabor

This event is followed by:

AFL-CIO Archive Reception & Tour, 4:30 – 6:00 pm

George Meany

George Meany

Join us for a unique opportunity to view the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive, a prestigious archive originally at the National Labor College. These rich archives provide a unique history of the labor struggle in the United States and internationally. See behind the scenes in the archives stacks: labor cartoons, buttons, pins, and memorabilia.  Civil Rights and Labor items will be on display in the Maryland Room. In addition, view labor-related materials, including photographs, censored newspaper articles, posters,  and magazines, from the Gordon W. Prange Collection, the largest archive in the world of Japanese print publications from the early years of the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949.

https://hornbakelibrary.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/civil-rights-and-labor-in-the-united-states-in-poland-and-in-south-africa/

https://prangecollection.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/labor-studies-related-materials/

American Archive of Public Broadcasting Launches New Website

AAPB_Logo_Color_1Line A new website, americanarchive.org, provides the public with access to a collection of American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s. These audio and video materials, created by more than 120 public broadcasting organizations across the country, have now been digitized and preserved, and will be a resource for scholars, researchers, educators, filmmakers and the general public to delve into the rich history of public broadcasting across America. We proudly contributed to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The website will initially provide access to 2.5 million inventory records created during the American Archive Content Inventory Project. The records will provide information about which public media video and audio materials have been digitized and preserved in the AAPB, indicate which video and audio files are available for research on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and highlight the participating stations. Contributing stations’ histories, information about significant productions and resources for participating organizations will be available online.

The collection includes interviews and performances by local and national luminaries from a broad variety of professions and cultural genres. Just a few examples of the items in the collection include:

  • Iowa Public Television’s interview with Olympic runner Jesse Owens, recorded in 1979, the last year of his life;
  • KUSC’s (Los Angeles) broadcast of commentary by George Lucas on the original three Star Wars movies;
  • Twin Cities Public Television’s recording of a 1960 interview with presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey; and
  • WGBH’s 1967 interviews with then-California Governor Ronald Reagan.

Between April and October, WGBH and the Library of Congress will continue development of the AAPB website. By October, video and audio content will be accessible for the public to stream on the website’s Online Reading Room. Curated collections of video and audio by scholars and the AAPB staff will focus on topics of historical significance.

More information is available on the American Archive blog at americanarchivepb.wordpress.com

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New Exhibit: Highlights from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Archives

Do you work an eight-hour day? Get paid overtime? Have a safe workplace?

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You have unions to thank for all of those, and many other, changes to labor law. The University of Maryland is the official repository of one of the most influential labor unions in United States history, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBCJA).

Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to see a display of some interesting materials from the collection.

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The exhibit highlights union activities and important moments of union history, including photographs of the influential 1963 Reesor Siding strike, which became one of the bloodiest labor conflicts in Canadian history. You can also see Carpenters marching in 1947 with spears and shields to protest the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.

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Photographs in the exhibit featuring the Reesor Siding Strike and the Taft-Hartley Act Protest

Not everything the Brotherhood did was so militant, however. President Dwight Eisenhower was the guest of honor at their 75th anniversary party in 1956, where he lit the candles on a cake adorned with tiny hammers and saws. The union also held conventions where its members discussed union goals and policies. And, when union carpenters were too old to work anymore, the union cared for them in their old age at the Carpenters Home in Lakeland, Florida.

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Ribbons on display worn at various conventions

To learn more about the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the role it has played in American history since 1881, stop by the exhibit. Then use the collection to further your research about the union’s efforts toward anti-Communism, an eight-hour workday, open shops and many other issues. Learn about the various professions of the members of the UBCJA, from carpenters, house-framers and lumberjacks to furniture makers, wharf builders and pile drivers.

All of the 700 linear feet of UBCJA correspondence, meeting minutes, official union publications, photographs, blueprints and film recordings are available for your perusal in the Maryland Room. These materials are currently being processed, with the support of the UBCJA, in order to make them more accessible to researchers.

Contact a curator to find out more!

Edgar Allan Poe in Special Collections

This Halloween we are celebrating the acquisition of a first edition copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Here are illustrations from a few of the many Poe books we have in Special Collections. Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to see some of these and other spooky rare books!

Edgar Allan Poe. 'The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe' New York: Putnam, [c1902]

Edgar Allan Poe. ‘The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe’ New York: Putnam, [c1902]

"Bon-Bon," Edgar Allan Poe. 'The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe' New York: Putnam, [c1902]

“Bon-Bon,” Edgar Allan Poe. ‘The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe’ New York: Putnam, c1902. Illustration by T.S. Coburn.

'Metzengerstein' Edgar Allan Poe.  'Tales of Mystery & Imagination' With 16 aquatints by William Sharp. New York: Garamond Press, 1941.

‘Metzengerstein’ Edgar Allan Poe. ‘Tales of Mystery & Imagination’ With 16 aquatints by William Sharp. New York: Garamond Press, 1941.

Edgar Allan Poe. 'The works of Edgar Allan Poe' Frontispiece painting by Arthur E. Becher. New York, P. F. Collier, 1903

Edgar Allan Poe. ‘The works of Edgar Allan Poe’ Frontispiece painting by Arthur E. Becher. New York, P. F. Collier, 1903

Edgar Allan Poe. 'The Raven' Easthampton, Mass.: Cheloniidae Press, 1986.

Edgar Allan Poe. ‘The Raven’ Easthampton, Mass.: Cheloniidae Press, 1986.

Edgar Allan Poe. 'The Raven.' Illustrated by Gustave Doré. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884.

Edgar Allan Poe. ‘The Raven.’ Illustrated by Gustave Doré. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884.

'The Fall of the House of Usher' Edgar Allan Poe.  'Tales of Mystery & Imagination' With 16 aquatints by William Sharp. New York: Garamond Press, 1941.

‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ Edgar Allan Poe. ‘Tales of Mystery & Imagination’ With 16 aquatints by William Sharp. New York: Garamond Press, 1941.

To see more illustrations from these and other books, visit us on Flickr. And be sure to come to Halloween at Hornbake on Thursday, October 31!

‘How We Might Live’ Features Morris & Co. Wallpaper Sample

July’s Featured Object of the Month

How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris, an exhibit highlighting the life and work of English designer and author William Morris (1834-1896), will showcase a new Morris-related item every month.

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Visit the Maryland Room Gallery in July to view a sample of Morris & Co. wallpaper, featuring Morris’s ‘Fruit’ pattern, sometimes referred to as ‘Pomegranate’, designed by William Morris and produced by Morris & Co. starting in 1866.  This pattern is characteristic of Morris’s use of nature in his decorative designs.  Many of his wallpaper and fabric designs were based on plants he observed in his garden or on walks through the English countryside.  ‘Fruit’ features peaches, oranges, lemons and pomegranates set against a blue backdrop.

‘Fruit’ wallpaper was used in both the dining room and morning room of Morris’s beloved Kelmscott House at 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, where he lived from 1879 until his death in 1896.  A small roll of this original wallpaper, from which this sample is taken, was discovered in the summer of 1966 .

“I cannot allow that it is good for any hour of the day to be wholly stripped of life and beauty; therefore we must provide ourselves with lesser (I will not say worse) art with which to surround our common workaday or restful times; and for those times, I think, it will be enough for us to clothe our daily and domestic walls with ornament that reminds us of the outward face of the earth, of the innocent love of animals, or of man passing his days between work and rest as he does” -William Morris, Some Hints on Pattern-Designing, 1881

Do you find yourself inspired by Morris’s designs? You are in luck, ‘Fruit’ wallpaper is still being sold by Morris & Co. today.  Not bad for a design that is nearly 150 years old!

‘How We Might Live’ Features Tennyson’s ‘Maud’

Featured Object of the Month- June

How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris, an exhibit highlighting the life and work of English designer and author William Morris (1834-1896), will showcase a new Morris-related item every month.

In June, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Maud: A Monodrama, written by Lord Alfred Tennyson in 1855.  This edition of Maud was printed by the Kelmscott Press at the request of Macmillan & Co. in 1893.  The accompanying announcement states that this edition, bound in white vellum, was limited to 500 copies, at a cost of 42 shillings net, or roughly $250 dollars today.

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Many Kelmscott Press books, including this copy of Maud, were bound in vellum with colored ribbon ties.  The ribbons are not simply decorative, but intended to keep the vellum binding secured tightly to avoid potential bowing or curling of the edges.  The green cardboard slipcase, most likely commissioned by the publisher, was made specifically to house the Kelmscott Maud.

View all the featured items of the month from How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris online.

William Morris, Walter Crane, and Socialist Art

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Walter Crane

Walter Crane (1845-1915) was a well-known painter, book illustrator, and socialist. He was heavily influenced by the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as his study of Japanese wood-block color printing.  His decorative work and illustrations often featured garden themes, bold lines, and detailed imagery.   Along with  Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott, Crane was one of the premiere illustrators for children’s books in the nineteenth century. His trandemark style was also influential in the burgeoning Arts & Crafts movement in England.

Crane was introduced to fellow artist William Morris (1834-1896) in 1870, and the two later became close friends and collaborators. Crane’s illustrations most notably appear in the 1894 edition of The Story of the Glittering Plain printed by Morris’s Kelmscott Press.

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‘Story of the Glittering Plain’ by William Morris. Illustrated by Walter Crane. Kelmscott Press, 1894.

Both Morris and Crane were ardent socialists.  They joined the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), the first organized Marxist groups in England, in 1884. Frustrated by SDF leadership, Crane left the SDF to join Morris’s new organization, the Socialist League.

Like Morris, Crane believe that art should become a part of everyday life.  For both men, art provided a meaningful and creative force in society, and it should be shared by all classes.  Crane scowled at what he viewed as the commercialization and mass production of “false art” for profit.  He used his own artistic talent to create illustrations that brought beauty to the Socialist cause.  According to Henry Hyndman, leader of the SDF, the impact of Crane’s art was undeniable:

“Nobody, not even William Morris, did more to make Art a direct helpmate to the Socialist propaganda. Nobody has had a greater influence on the minds of doubters who feared that Socialism must be remote from and even destructive of the sense of beauty.”

Crane designed many of the header images that appeared on pamphlets for the Socialist League and Hammersmith Socialist Societ, each Socialist organizations started by William Morris.  Crane also designed a membership card for the Socialist League. The card features Crane’s illustration of a blacksmith, which was purportedly modeled after William Morris.  Do you think  the bearded worker bears a resemblance to Morris?

Socialist League Membership Card

Socialist League membership card designed by Walter Crane

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Socialist League header designed by Walter Crane, taken from ‘Chants for Socialists’ by William Morris

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Hammersmith Socialist Society header designed by Walter Crane, taken from ‘Useful Work Versus Useless Toil’ by William Morris

Look for additional Crane illustrations in How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris exhibit now on display in the Maryland Room Gallery in Hornbake Library.

William Morris Built the Foundation for Historic Preservation

Kelmscott Manor

Morris preserved his beloved summer home, Kelmscott Manor, using non-invasive techniques.

Did you know that May is National Preservation Month? We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to recognize the work of William Morris (1834-1896), one of the pivotal figures in the early preservation movement in the West. Many people know Morris for his role as a designer, printer and socialist, but this opinionated Englishman was also a preservation activist, founding the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in the UK in 1877.

Morris began his crusade to protect old buildings after observing the invasive restoration techniques in use by architects and restorers of the 19th century. He held restorers responsible for what he called the “reckless stripping” of buildings resulting in the destruction of their original characteristics. The SPAB came to be called “Anti-Scrape” for its insistence that historic structures be preserved without altering their original structures. Of course, restorers themselves thought they were improving structures by replacing decaying elements with new materials.

For Morris, beautiful, authentic architecture provided a benefit to society. He felt that individuals had a responsibility to preserve these structures without changing them. Do you believe we have a social responsibility to save historic buildings? If so, do you approve of Morris’s no-change approach, or are you in favor of the restoration approach?

‘How We Might Live’ Features Medieval Woodcut Illustrations

How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris, an exhibit highlighting the life and work of English designer and author William Morris (1834-1896), will showcase a new Morris-related item every month.

Visit the Maryland Room Gallery in May to view Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century, printed by the Kelmscott Press.  William Morris was a collector of early printed books.  He was particularly fond of illuminated manuscripts and illustrations.  Printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1898, Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century features 35 reproductions of illustrations, 29 of which were chosen by Morris to appear in an annotated catalog of his library.  Plans for the catalog ultimately fell through with his death in 1896.  You can read more in Sydney Cockerell’s forward and view all the illustrations in the digitized version of Some German Woodcuts of the Fifteenth Century.

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