Social activism has historically been an important catalyst for change. In the US this was never more true than during the golden age of student activism lasting through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. This was a time of historical movements taking place at highschools and on University campuses across the country. Specifically in the context of the civil rights movement, Universities became microcosms of progressive, rebellious societies stimulated with political discourse. Politicians, and influential guest speakers flocked to these Universities to preach their message, and students listened in droves.Continue reading
The ABCs of Katherine Anne Porter: U is for…
University of Maryland!
On June 28, 1966 Katherine Anne was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland. Unable to attend the official commencement ceremony, Porter was presented the degree in her home. She wore full graduation regalia and celebrated with champagne! Porter was enamored by the attention and deference shown to her from UMD and by October of the same year she had agreed to donate her papers to the Libraries.
While Porter lived in nearby Washington, D.C in the 1960s, and later relocated to a College Park suburb, she did not have an strong ties to the University of Maryland. She was born in Texas, and spent much of her life traveling. writing, and teching classes at a variety of colleges and universities. She was, however, a well known and respected Modernist author and literary woman. UMD was not the first university to inquire about Porter’s papers. University of Texas, Howard Payne, Library of Congress and a few others asked, but it never happened for one reason or another.
“Its all pure feeling,” Porter said of the decision in a press conference. “[UMD] is a very beautiful, active, and effective kind of university. It grows and keeps growing.”
As part of the agreement to accept her literary archive, the University of Maryland agreed to set up a room dedicated to Katherine Anne Porter. Porter hand picked what she wished to donate and sent the items to the university a few boxes at a time over a period of years. She was inspired by her time at the University of Virginia where she saw clothing and household items that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson and chose to similarly donate personal items that would be displayed in the Katherine Anne Porter room, along with her expansive literary archive and personal papers that would be housed in the Literary Manuscripts division of the Special Collections Library.
The accessioning process for the new collection was complex and sometimes frustrating for those involved, but through hard work and patience, the Katherine Anne Porter Room was officially opened on May 15, 1968 and her literary archive was opened to researchers. Porter herself would serve as a docent of the Katherine Anne Porter room in its original location in McKeldin so she could be close to her papers and chat with anyone who dropped. She wanted to share her knowledge and for her collection to be used and enjoyed by students.
The Katherine Anne Porter papers continues to be used be researchers and students visiting Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library. The Katherine Anne Porter Room is open by appointment for visitors looking to explore Porter’s book collection and artifacts.
You can view digitized letters from Katherine Anne Porter in the online exhibit Katherine Anne Porter: Correspondence from the Archives, 1912-1977.
Browse the finding aids to the Katherine Anne Porter papers and visit us in person to learn more about the partnership between University of Maryland and Katherine Anne Porter. Contact us to learn more!
Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.
New Exhibit – Artist Books: A Book In Any Other Form Would Still Be Read
There’s a new exhibit on display in the Special Collections reading room in Hornbake Library and we’d be excited for you to come check it out!
Our new exhibit titled Artist Books: A Book in Any Other Form Would still be Read, highlights wonderfully unique examples of artists’ books from the Literature and Rare Books collections in Special Collections and University Archives.
Artists’ Books are unique creations that challenge what we typically think of as a book. Usually produced in limited runs or as one of a kind creations, these books straddle the line between traditional codex and works of art. Artists’ books can be more tactile in nature, experimenting with fabric, paper, binding structure, printing technique, and typography. Their use of materials and creative expression make a profound impact on the experience of “reading,” often requiring the books to be touched and moved to experience their full artistic impact.
The book as an art object is a product of the 20th century, taking inspiration from earlier movements such as Dada, Constructivism, and Futurism. The topics covered vary widely, spanning alphabet books, activism, reinterpretation of literary works, and personal expression. The experimental form and timely subject matter adds important perspectives that can be absent from traditional forms of literature.
There are no set characteristics to define an artists book. In our collection, we broadly consider an artists’ book to be any piece that isn’t mass produced and where the book is the art medium. This can include book sculptures, pop-up books, puzzles, cards, letterpress objects, and more.
Some of the books featured in the exhibit include a partially constructed tower from artist Werner Pfeiffer’s book Out of the Sky, which is a tribute to the victims of 9/11. There are also several books from Abstract Orange Press, a local press run by Lauren Emeritz which produces letterpress prints and artist books. Some of her books include the bright and colorful Corita Rules! and a green paper sculpture interpretations for Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. You’ll also be able to see several alphabet books which find new and interesting ways to display letter.
To explore this exhibit, visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library. Contact us to learn more about Special Collections and University Archives at UMD!
Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.
Victoria Vera is a student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at UMD and a graduate student assistant in Literature and Rare Books Collections, Special Collections and University Archives.
Items on display in the exhibit include:
Hand Carved Alphabet designed and printed by Lauren Emeritz, 2016. Hand Carved Alphabet mini-book Designed and printed by Lauren Emertiz, 2016. Hand Carved Numbers mini-book Designed and printed by Lauren Emerita, 2017. Leaves of Grass By Walt Whitman, designed and printed by Lauren Emeritz, 2019. Declaration of Human Rights Designed and printed by Lauren Emeritz, 2020. Corita Rules! designed and printed by Lauren Emertiz, 2022. Alphabeticum By Werner Pfeiffer, 2006. Out of the Sky By Werner Pfeiffer, 2006. The Twelve Alphabet: 27 letterforms from twelve point type & ornament By Jennifer Farrell, 2021. The Spectrum A to Z By Karen Hanmer, 2003. A to Z: Marvels in Paper Engineering, 2018. You Don’t Say By Alfred L. Copley, 1962. Help From Heaven By Seymour Adelman, 1984. Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain & Perfect Pronunciation, 1936. Typewriter Birds By William Jay Smith, 1954. Agathons Book of Dreams By Emil Goozaiow, 2020. Momento Mori By Susan Lowdermilk, 2004. Lotus Harbour By Carolyn Shattuck & Victoria Crain, n.d.
New Exhibit: The Joy of Cooking in Special Collections
It’s the holiday season and we have cooking on the mind in Special Collections at UMD! For many, our relationship with food stems from a desire not just to sustain ourselves, but also to find comfort within and to bring comfort to others. Food helps us understand who we are by reflecting our heritage, talents, or personality. What we cook and eat can provide a glimpse into how adventurous, nostalgic, creative, communal, organized or practical we truly are. Eating and cooking gives us the opportunity to create and share memories, especially when exploring recipes passed down over generations. Even when we cannot be with our loved ones, aromas and flavors can evoke nostalgia and connect us with our past.
A new exhibit in the Special Collections & University Archives reading room, The Joy of Cooking in Special Collections reflects our human desire to share a meal, find joy, and explore who we are through the experience of cooking and eating. On display are cookbooks, recipes, and other items from Special Collections and University Archives that highlight the joy of cooking.
Included in the exhibit are personal recipes and annotated cookbooks from the literary archive of American Author Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980). Porter loved to cook and was inspired by her world travels to experiment in the kitchen. A native Texan, she spent time in Paris, Mexico, Washington D.C., and New York among other locations across the word. Her recipes for classic holiday dishes include turkey stuffing, eggnog, beef bourguignon, and roasted goose, perfect for a throwback holiday feast!
Porter collected a wide variety of cookbooks from the classic to the strange, often writing notes and substitutions over the original recipe, or simply writing “this” next to the recipes she wanted to cook. Her archives include both typed and handwritten recipes, sometimes featuring personal reminiscences about her favorite dishes. Porter was known to craft her own recipes and send samples off to friends, including her highly requested hell broth-a fermented pepper sauce made with dark rum, cognac, and three pounds of mixed hot peppers. You can read more about Porter in the kitchen in our ABCs of KAP blog post.
Also on display are cookbooks from the rare books collection and Maryland collection, the latter featuring regional recipes to the state of Maryland including regional favorited such as Old Bay, crabs, and oysters. Many regions have their own culinary traditions and local residents often pride themselves on loving those food items that are most closely connected with their hometown. Maryland embraces its connection to seafood, especially Maryland Blue Crabs, and the increasingly ubiquitous Old Bay spice which pops up in both sweet and savory treats, as well as beverages.
Cookbooks from the rare book collection range from medieval cooking with medicinal herbs to regional dishes from across the world. Some early cookbooks combined domestic medicine with cooking and other household skills, so the savvy reader could review a copy of A Treatise of Domestic Medicine (1888) to find a remedy for rickets as well as a dozen or so fish recipes to cook for the family.
Some rare book dishes may seem unfamiliar today, such as beef tongue toast, boiled pigeon, or mock turtle soup. The format may also seem unusual, with the ingredients not listed separately at the top and the instructions condensed in one paragraph. The recipes within however, are glimpses into the culinary past and can inspire nostalgia for a home cooked meal.
The exhibit also highlights cooking in postwar Japan from the Gordon W. Prange Collection. On August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally to the United States and Allied Powers, ending World War II. In the aftermath, thousands of U.S. military and civilian personnel and their families moved to Japan to oversee the rehabilitation of the defeated nation. Materials from the Gordon W. Prange Collection highlight how the “American dream” was represented by these communities and how in turn, the Japanese people envisioned their own dreams as they rebuilt their lives. These highly illustrative and colorful cookbooks each tell a story of food and community in this unique post-war environment.
The exhibit is on display in the Maryland Room thru December 23, 2022. Visit us or contact us to learn more.
Special thanks to Prange Collection Coordinator Motoko Lezec and Katherine Anne Porter Graduate Student Assistant Mattie Lewis for their inspiration for this exhibit!
New Exhibit: Mysteries, Monsters, and the Macabre
Fall is coming to campus! Leaves will be changing color, there will be a crisp cool breeze and longer nights, and Halloween is right around the corner! To help you get into the mood for the spooky season visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to explore our latest exhibit in Special Collections and University Archives titled Mysteries, Monsters, and the Macabre.
Mysteries, monsters and the macabre have plagued our minds for millennia. Medieval creatures lurking in the depths of the sea. Ghastly gothic tales of murderous guilt. An unexplainable 15th century code rumored to provide the key to immortality. Memorializing the dead with plaster casts. A curious purple vampire with a compulsive urge to count all he sees. These are a few of the intriguing stories you’ll uncover when literature, folklore, and history converge in the Special Collections exhibit Mysteries, Monsters, and the Macabre.Continue reading
Exhibition Extended: Get Out the Vote
We are excited to announce the extension of our gallery exhibition Get Out The Vote: Suffrage and Disenfranchisement in America through August 2023. Get Out The Vote highlights the history of suffrage in America and specifically the fight for the right to vote for women and African Americans.
With the upcoming midterm elections, we hope that Get Out The Vote will inspire visitors to exercise their right to vote as well as illustrate the history of the expansion and contraction of voting rights. Get a sneak peek by visiting the online exhibition.
To learn about voting in early Maryland, the work of grassroots organizations, the unsteady progress toward greater enfranchisement, and more, visit us Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm in the Hornbake Library gallery. To visit outside these hours or inquire about a personalized tour, contact us!
Post by Clio Reid, volunteer
McGill University, 2023
New Exhibit: Rare Book Pollinators
We’re celebrating the bees, birds, bats, and butterflies that help feed our planet with a selection of works on our favorite pollinators from the Literature and Rare Books Collection with a new exhibit in the Maryland Room.
Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. Flowers rely on their surrounding environment to move pollen from one flower to another, this can include wind, water, birds, insects, butterflies, bats, and other animals that visit flowers. Animals or insects that transfer pollen from plant to plant are called “pollinators”.
Hummingbirds and butterflies are important in wildflower pollination, while plants in tropical and desert climates depend on bats for pollination. Bees are vital for agriculture, helping to pollinate a multitude of crops including apples, melons, and pumpkins.
Did you know? 1 in 3 bites of food you consume every day exists solely because of pollinators. Coffee, chocolate, avocados, almonds, bananas, tequila (agave), apples, kiwi, strawberries, lemons, and more!Continue reading
New Exhibit: The Revolution Will be Printed – Graphic Arts as Activism
The Revolution Will be Printed: Graphic Arts as Activism is a celebration of printed works that drive social change through celebration, critique, and creation. To kick off this exhibit, I am thinking about artwork created for two different printed newspapers in Hornbake’s holdings, El Malcriado and the AFL-CIO News that cover the Delano Grape Strike.
In protest against poor pay and working conditions, over 800 farmworkers agreed to strike and walked off their jobs in the grape fields of Delano, California in September 1965. The strike leaders were Filipino members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC). They reached out to the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) for support. The NFWA membership, whose leaders included César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, voted in overwhelming favor of striking. The AWOC and the NFWA then became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) union.
El Malcriado was established by César Chávez as the unofficial newspaper of the UFW (United Farmworkers of America) in 1964. It was titled after a rallying cry from the Mexican Revolution and was printed first in Spanish and then in English as well (1910-1920). The woodcuts, engravings, and pen-and-ink drawings for El Malcriado continue a Mexican-American (Chicano/a/x) graphic arts tradition.
This cover by Frank Cieciorka brings together cultivation and cultural heritage. Agricultural labor is brought back to ancient practice through the prominence of maize and the integration of Mesoamerican sculpture and architecture. Cieciorka is also known for the woodcut print of the fist that graced countless posters and buttons at demonstrations throughout the 1960s.
New Exhibit: A Tale of Fine Wenches: the Women of The Ladies’ Almanack
“Now this be a Tale of as fine a Wench as ever wet the bed…”Ladies Almanack, 1928
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating Djuna Barnes’ female focused comedic satire Ladies Almanack!
Ladies Almanack was published in 1928 while Barnes was living as an expatriate writer/artist in Paris. She originally wrote it to entertain her partner Thelma Wood, who had been hospitalized. As such, the bawdy humor and absurdist parody almanac is full of inside jokes and references to Barnes’ and Wood’s lesbian (with the exception of Mina Loy) social circle of fellow modernist writers, artists, socialites, and literary women.
A new exhibit in Hornbake Library A Tale of Fine Wenches: the Women of The Ladies’ Almanack puts the spotlight on Djuna Barnes and the real women who inspired uproarious drama within Ladies Almanack. On display are a selection of items from the Djuna Barnes papers, including books, photographs, and correspondence that explores the relationships between these women, varying from platonic to romantic.
Ladies Almanack features a plethora of particularly scandalous women, whose unique vices reference various women, including Natalie Clifford Barney, Mina Loy, Jane Heap, Margaret Anderon, and Gertrude Stein. Characters also appear based on Romaine Brooks, Janet Flanner, Solita Solano, Elisabeth de Gramont, and Dolly Wilde. Together, these women represent a thriving literary and artistic community living in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s.
These women often met at Natalie Clifford Barney’s Parisian salon, which at the time was a popular place among writers and authors to discuss literature and art. Barnes characterizes Barney’s Almanack persona as an aged proprietor of the feminine arts, emphasizing her role as a mentor to the many women who visited her salon. Among these women, Djuna Barnes and Thelma Wood, and Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap were romantically involved. Barnes and Wood’s tumultuous decade-long relationship inspired Barnes’ novel Nightwood, and Anderson and Heap co-edited The Little Review, a literary magazine infamous for featuring works by prominent modernist writers and the first appearance of James Joyce’s Ulysses in a serial format.
To explore more, visit Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library to view the Djuna Barnes papers and works by other modernist writers.
If you have more questions about items in Hornbake’s collections contact us!
New Exhibit: 100th Anniversary of James Joyce’s Ulysses
We’re celebrating the centennial of the publication of James Joyce’s seminal modernist novel Ulysses (1922) with a new exhibit featuring materials from Literary Special Collections at UMD!
A new exhibit on display outside the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library highlights the first appearances of Ulysses serialized in the literary magazine The Little Review and the subsequent obscenity trial that led to the branding of Ulysses as a banned book.
The Little Review was an avant-garde American literary magazine founded by Margaret Anderson that rand from 1914 – 1929. It developed into a highly influential literary magazine, publishing the works of many notable modernist artists including Djuna Barnes, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Elsa Von Freytag Loringhoven, and T.S Eliot. The motto printed on the front covers reads “Making no compromise with the public taste.”
In March 1918, The Little Review began publishing excerpts of James’s Joyce’s Ulysses. The magazine continued the serialization of the lengthy novel, breaking up chapters, or episodes, into smaller installments for several years. The first 13 episodes, and a portion of episode 14 appeared in The Little Review before the trial halted publication. The July 1920 issue of The Little Review featured Ulysses chapter 13, the “Nausicaa” episode, which came under fire for it’s highly metaphorical description of sex and masturbation. It was at that time the editors of The Little Review, Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, were charged with distributing obscene material. Joyce went on to publish his full length novel in 1922 due to the efforts of publisher Sylvia Beach in Paris.
In August of 1920, one month after the appearance of the “Nausicaa” episode in The Little Review, John Sumner of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, issued a warrant to the the editors of The Little Review, Anderson and Heap, claiming the magazine violated the Comstock Act of 1873 due to the episode’s obscenity. Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap commented throughout the trial in the magazine:
“Mr. Sumner seems a decent enough chap . . . serious and colourless and worn as if he had spent his life resenting the emotions. A 100 per cent. American who believes that denial, resentment and silence about all things pertaining to sex produce uprightness.”jh “Art and the Law”, The Little Review. Vol. 7, no. 3, p. 7
In February of 1921, Anderson and Heap, were found guilty of circulating obscene material; forcing them to discontinue publishing Ulysses and pay a $100 fine total ($50 each). In the September 1920 and January 1921 issues of The Little Review, Anderson and Heap continued to voice their support of Ulysses and James Joyce. In “An Obvious Statement (for the millionth time)” Anderson writes: “James Joyce has never written anything, and will never be able to write anything, that is not beautiful”.
Explore more editions of James Joyce’s Ulysses and additional Modernist authors that appeared in The Little Review in our literary special collections.