Visit Hornbake Library and explore three exhibit cases inside the Maryland Room which showcase the publishing career of Japanese publisher Takejiro Hasegawa.
Hasegawa used national exhibitions and world’s fairs to promote his publications. He began his career during the Meiji period beginning in 1868 when Japan rapidly industrialized & adopted Western ideas & practices. He ran a thriving business importing products from the West including books. By 1884, he decided to become a publisher, focusing on educational books written by Westerners living in Japan.
Hasegawa published a series of Japanese folktales in English, French, German and other European languages and in the Western manner reading from left to right with attractive illustrations. Initially he published these folktales to help Japanese learn Western languages and was later motivated to sell books in Western markets. Hasegawa used national exhibitions and world’s fairs to promote his publications. Included in the exhibition are images from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago where Japan spent lavishly to showcase itself with a Japanese temple, tea garden, and exhibits. One of every six Americans visited the Chicago exposition to see the 65,000 exhibits spread across 633 acres of fairgrounds.
Several of Hasegawa’s publications are on view in the exhibit cases and you can read the full text of the fairy tale Momotaro displayed on the adjacent iPad. The world’s fair publications are from the University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives collections and Hasegawa’s fairy tale books are on loan from John Schalow, former UMD Libraries Special Collections cataloguer who curated this exhibit.
While Djuna Barnes is most known for her fiction writing, she also had significant ties to the women’s suffrage movement. Djuna’s connection to the women’s suffrage movement started at a young age. Djuna’s grandmother, Zadel Gustafson Barnes, was a writer, journalist, and poet. Zadel wrote profiles of well-known suffragists such as Frances E. Willard and participated in the National Woman Suffrage Association’s International Council of Women. Zadel was also active in the temperance movement, which was closely tied to the women’s suffrage movement.
Despite Djuna’s familial connection to the women’s suffrage movement, she had no qualms about occasionally mocking it. In an August 1913 article Djuna portrays the suffragists as making ridiculous statements such as “cleanliness is next to women suffrage.” These depictions portray suffragists as foolish caricatures. Djuna continues this approach in her 1913 article, “70 Suffragists Turned Loose.” Djuna engages with negative stereotypes of suffragists, such as portraying them as figures who emasculate and intimidate men. However, some of Djuna’s criticism is about the perceived conservatism of some suffrage leaders such as Carrie Chapman Catt. Djuna portrays Chapman Catt as admonishing aspiring suffragists for the length of their dresses and preparing them for speeches in front of audiences from “the factory world.” Djuna criticizes Chapman Catt’s focus on respectability politics and her classism, showing a willingness to engage in more nuanced critiques of the suffrage movement.
The suffrage movement had many national leaders, but it could not have functioned without local figures such as Rebecca Hourwhich Reyher. Hourwhich Reyher was the head of the National Women’s Party’s Boston and New York offices.
To learn more about Rebecca Hourwhich Reyher, take a look at the Ferdinand Reyher papers and the Faith Reyher Jackson papers. Ferdinand Reyher, Hourwhich Reyher’s ex-husband, was an author and journalist. Faith Reyher Jackson, Reyher and Hourwhich Reyher’s daughter, was a dancer, author, and master gardener. Both collections contain materials related to Hourwhich Reyher. For example, the Ferdinand Reyher papers contain a letter from the famous suffragist Alice Paul.
Now that summer break has arrived, many of us are looking for book recommendations. If you’re stumped, check out some of the favorite books of famous women that you can find in Literature and Rare Books.
Amongst the most influential books in Literature and Rare Books’ collections is Mary Wollstonecrafts’ Vindication of the Rights of Women. Vindication of the Rights of Women was an essential work for many suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Garret Fawcett even wrote the foreword to the centenary edition of Vindication of the Rights of Women. Other writers such as George Eliot and Virginia Woolf have praised Wollstonecraft and her work.
Another work that influenced Susan B. Anthony was Elizabeth Barret Browning’s epic poem Aurora Leigh. Aurora Leigh describes a woman writer and her attempts to find love and fulfillment in her work. Reading Aurora Leigh inspired some of Anthony’s thinking regarding how women balance marriage and independence.
If you’re looking for a whole series of books to read you can browse The Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection of Girls’ Series Books’ collection of Nancy Drew Mystery Stories books. You can also check out our online exhibit on Nancy Drew and other Girls’ Series Books. The Nancy Drew series was a childhood favorite of several notable women such as Gayle King, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sonia Sotomayor, who loved reading books where a smart young heroine was at the center of the adventures.
The Djuna Barnes papers finding aid has recently been updated with an inventory of the extensive Barnes Library, which is comprised of over 1000 titles owned by author/artist Djuna Barnes. The library’s highlights include first editions of Barnes’ works like Ryder, Ladies Almanack, Nightwood, and The Antiphon. The Barnes Library also includes unique items such as books from the 18th century, books with annotations by Barnes, a copy of Shakespeare’s works that Barens was given for her 16th birthday, and presentation copies of works from other notable authors such as Charles Reznikoff . These items and more, can be found under the Inventories/Additional Information heading in the finding aid or by searching the online catalog!
The Katherine Anne Porter papers finding aid has recently been updated with an additional series on the Katherine Anne Porter Library, which is comprised of over 3800 titles owned by author Katherine Anne Porter. The Katherine Anne Porter Library includes presentation copies of works from authors such as Glenway Wescott and books inscribed to Katherine Anne Porter from writers like Marianne Moore. The collection also includes unique copies of Porter’s works such as a copy of L’Arbre de Judée on vellum or a copy of Ship of Fools with Porter’s handwritten revisions. These items, and more, can be found under the Inventories/Additional Information heading in the finding aid or by searching the catalog!
One popular way that people observe Women’s History Month is by reading works written by women. If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate women in literature why not learn more about women in publishing?
One woman who took part in the publishing industry was Kathleen Tankersley Young. Young was an African-American poet and editor at the time of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1929 Young, in collaboration with Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler, published Blues: A Magazine of New Rhythms. Blues was a literary magazine that contained contributions from noted modernists such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. Blues can be found in the Serials series of the Authors and Poets collection.
In 1872 William Still published The Underground Railroad, a book describing the accounts of African Americans who had escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad. Still, an influential leader in the abolitionist movement, provided first hand assistance to hundreds of people escaping slavery. The Underground Railroad is notable because it is the only first person history of the Underground Railroad written and published by an African American.
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
U.S. Constitution. Amendment XV, Section 1. 1870
Last year marked the 150th Anniversary of the 15th Amendment. As one of the last amendments passed during the Reconstruction Era, some lawmakers intended for the 15th Amendment to guarantee voting rights for U.S. citizens regardless of their racial or ethnic identity or a “previous condition of servitude.” In the years immediately following the ratification of the 15th amendment, voter registration and political participation among black men increased dramatically. This trend lasted only a few years before politicians were able to enact laws that “legally” disenfranchised black men. Poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses limited the ability of many black men and poor people to continue to participate in elections.
The artifacts gathered here reflect sentiments about the 15th Amendment throughout time.
Annual Report of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (1870)
In this final annual report, members of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society reflect on the organization’s 36 years of work towards ending the system of slavery. In their report, they declare their success in their mission, discuss the decision to disband and acknowledge that the fight for sustained equal rights under the law was not over. On voting, they observed:
“Bravely, in the face of imminent peril have they addressed themselves to the performance of their duties. The record of the first election in Virginia where colored men used the ballot, tells the story of many such elections throughout the South. One who witnessed it, reports that on the evening previous to the election, “these loyal-hearted new citizens, devoted themselves in their place of worship, to the high duty before them, with prayer, and the grand old psalm, ‘Before Jehovah’s awful throne;’ then separated to meet at sunrise, and appear in body at the polls.” One hundred men, without a foot of land of their own, and with notices in their pockets, by the old slave-masters, threatening to turn them shelterless from the soils ; there they stook, in the face of the oppressor, and voted for Free Schools, Free Speech and Equal Taxation.” (6)