Alice Goes to the Movies!

CarolMarsh1.pngAlmost everyone has seen Disney’s famous 1951 film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and fans of Johnny Depp are sure to have seen him starring as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation. But did you know that since 1903, over 35 films and television programs have reinterpreted Alice?

Hornbake Library is excited to announce a three-part film series- Alice Goes to the Movies. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see early Alice films and learn about how they were saved from the passage of time. David H. Schaefer, longtime Lewis Carroll collector and Alice film expert, will be sharing some of the highlights of his Alice film collection and discussing the process of restoring and digitizing them.

Join us on April 7th from 4:30-6:00pm in Hornbake Library, Room 0302H for our first film night. Dr. Schaffer will be opening the film series with a brief introduction titled “Did Lewis Carroll ever see a motion picture?“.  Afterward, munch on popcorn as we watch the two earliest, silent film adaptations of Alice from 1903 and 1910. We’ll wrap up the night with the 1933 cartoon Betty in Wonderland, where director Dave Fleischer sends Betty Boop to Wonderland via the subway.

Alice at the Movies Flyer

All are welcome – unless you are the Queen of Hearts! Whether you are interested in learning about film preservation or are one of many Alice fans, you are certain to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure in Wonderland. Directions and parking information can be found online.

Don’t forget to visit our Alice 150 Years and Counting: Legacy of Lewis Carroll exhibit, currently on display in Hornbake Library, to explore all things Alice. If you are a film/theater/music fan, don’t miss the exhibit AHall1lice in the Performing Arts, now on display in the Lowens Reading Room at the Peforming Arts Library. This companion exhibit features unique Alice film items, like this book of previously unpublished Walt Disney illustrations. Visit our online exhibit and take a look at some of the illustrations inside this and other Alice items on display!

 

 

Women in the Book Trade

While we normally think that women were not allowed to participate in skilled crafts in early America, the book trades appear to have been an exception.  In colonial and revolutionary Maryland, both Anna Catherine Green of Annapolis and Mary Katherine Goddard of Baltimore were printers who oversaw the complicated processes associated with the production and distribution of printed information in the form of books, newspapers, political broadsides, pamphlets, almanacs, and various types of printed ephemera such as forms, tickets, and advertisements.  After 1800, fewer women operated as independent printers, which was an indication of changing social norms for the role of women and a changing economy that concentrated power in the hands of a few publishers.  However, women continued to participate in some aspects of the book trades, specifically type founding and book binding.  The casting, sorting and packaging of tiny pieces of lead type for printing required patience, a steady hand, and attention to detail.  Similarly, sewing the gatherings of leaves that formed books, required great manual dexterity.  Many woman had the basic eye-hand coordination required in these trades, because sewing, embroidering and other needle skills were expected activities for young females.

A recent gift to the Rare Books Collection in the University of Maryland Libraries is confirmation of women’s continued participation in the book trades.  Published in Philadelphia in 1837, the Panorama of Professions is essentially a textbook that introduced school children to the common trades of Jacksonian America.   Readers got a brief description of each trade, including an engraved illustration.  Teachers using this text also could assign students to answer the test questions for each section, located in the back of the book.  The images for the type founders and bookbinders show men and women at different aspects of the work.  Men are doing the more dangerous work of pouring hot lead to cast the individual pieces of type, while women are assigned the post-production processing activities.  Men associated with bookbinding are shown rounding the text block, attaching the boards, and preparing the leather covers; while woman are sitting at the sewing frames assembling the loose sheets into actual books.

Since primary education in America mostly was coeducational even in the early 19th century, one can assume that these images were meant to show that a young girl could aspire to a profession.  By including women as paid employees in a type foundry or bookbindery, the author and publisher of the Panorama of Professions preserved evidence that women had some opportunities as independent economic actors.  Both trades likely were considered preferable to service jobs or working in the dangerous textile mills that were at the vanguard of the Industrial Revolution.  This revolution eventually spelled the end of manual crafts such as bookbinding and type founding, and with it, the opportunities those professions had for women.


Doug McElrath is the acting head of Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland. He has had a long term interest in the history of the book in Maryland.

 

Spotlight on Wonderland: The March Hare

alice-module2-aaiw1984Tenniel_29

March is here, and so is the madness! Time to butter our pocket watches and drink too much tea, as our good friend the March Hare has been known to do. When Alice first meets him, she sits down at his large tea party without being asked, much to his irritation. In a rather passive aggressive way, he makes Alice aware of her breach of etiquette.

“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all around the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.

“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.

“Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily.

“It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare.”

Touche, you snarky little hare. On top of this, he and the Mad Hatter eventually try to stuff the poor sleepy little dormouse into a teapot.

tumblr_nqo1w5uhkj1uv0b7xo2_r1_500

What do you think of the March Hare’s manners? How do they stack up among the mad characters in Wonderland?

Did You Know:

  • Tenniel drew straw in the March Hare’s hair to show that he was mad. In England, hares were thought to go mad in Spring. Straw was a symbol of madness.
  • In The Nursery Alice, Carroll wrote, “that’s the March Hare with the long ears, and straws mixed up with his hair. The straws showed he was mad–I don’t know why. Never twist up straws among your hair, for fear people should think you’re mad!”
  • The March Hare’s house, often seen in the background of illustrations of the Mad Tea Party, features chimneys shaped like rabbit ears and a roof thatched with fur.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to explore the White Rabbit and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

Shorthand1My favorite item from the Alice 150 exhibit is a small, bright yellow booklet – a transliteration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Pitman shorthand. This version of Alice was printed in 1965 and is written in New Era Pitman, a style of shorthand soon to go out of fashion with the introduction of the “shorterhand” Pitman 2000 in 1975.

Pitman shorthand utilizes a set of symbols that represent phonetic sounds. These sounds are then strung together to create a words, phrases, and punctuation. Reading shorthand is sort of like playing the game Mad Gab, but a LOT harder.

Let me clarify that I do not know how to read shorthand. It does, however, have a very distinct visual appearance that I recognized instantly when I saw this version of Alice. I’d seen this strange language before.

Back in 2014, we digitized a few Brooke Family letters from Special Collections that contained mysterious notes written in shorthand.

We harnessed the power of the internet via Twitter and Tumblr to try and translate them, but so far haven’t been able to read the notes. They remain an archival mystery…

I’m hoping to teach myself stenography one day. Perhaps I’ll start with Chapter Five, Advice From a Caterpillar:

 

Visit the Alice 150 and Counting exhibit in Hornbake Library to view more curious versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or explore our online exhibit.


Audrey Lengel is an intern for Hornbake Library’s ‘Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll’ exhibit. She is graduating this December with her Master of Library Science from UMD’s iSchool and is interested in library outreach. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy from Temple University.

IMG_5455

New Exhibit: The AFL-CIO Merger

The AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of trade unions, represents over 12.5 million workers. Before 1955, the AFL (American Federation of Labor) and the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) were separate, competing organizations. The two organizations chose to merge in 1955 in order to strengthen the labor movement and eliminate competition between different unions and workers. This mini-exhibit, on display in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library, tells the story from the formation of the joint Unity Committee to the December 5, 1955 merger in commemoration of AFL-CIO’s 60th anniversary.

In 2013, the AFL-CIO gifted UMD their entire archive, over 6 miles of documents. The documents, photos, and artifacts on display are all from the AFL-CIO collection. To learn more about what’s in the AFL-CIO collection, go online to go.umd.edu/laborarchives or contact us.

Volunteer Opportunities in Special Collections and University Archives

Looking to gain experience working in a special collections library or archival repository? Special Collections and University Archives is host to volunteers and field study students looking to build up their resumes. They work closely with  library staff to make accessible some of the University’s most valuable research collections.

Current volunteer/field study opportunities include:

Archival Processing, Thomas Kahn papers

Thomas Kahn was Director of the AFL-CIO International Affairs Department. Responsibilities will include:

  • Develop processing plan for 130 linear feet of unprocessed records.
  • Assemble metadata by inventorying boxes.
  • Make recommendations regarding preservation needs and series descriptions.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Labor History LibGuide

LibGuides are online subject guides used by the University of Maryland Libraries to provide greater access to materials in our collections. Responsibilities may include:

  • Develop content for a new LibGuide on a topic such as: child labor, labor legislation, membership records, union proceedings, etc… by using existing print guides that are out of date. Content will need to be updated.
  • LibGuide should include information we have in the University of Maryland Archives’s labor collections on the chosen topic as well as resources at other labor archives and bibliographic resources.
  • There is a possibility to create more than one guide and/or write corresponding blog post and/or selecting materials and writing captions for mini-exhibit in Maryland Room.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Research Copyrights For Photos Used In Labor’s Heritage Journal

Journal was edited and printed by the George Meany Memorial Archive, 1989-2004. Responsibilities include:

  • Prepare journal for digitization by researching copyright information of photographs and terms of use. Student will review unprocessed boxes of administrative files as well as gain information from existing institutions’ websites.
  • Draft letters of inquiry for supervisor to review and send to obtain additional information as needed.
  • Student will gain insight into how publications are developed, initial research required, the importance of documenting rights for authors and photographic images used in publication.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Legacy Metadata Conversion

Collection information for the AFL-CIO Archive is located in multiple locations: retired database tables, printed finding aids, spreadsheets, and obsolete e-documents.  In the Winter of 2016, some of this metadata will be migrated into ArchiveSpace. However, it will be partially incomplete. Responsibilities include:

  • Convert legacy metadata/finding aids into EAD for ArchiveSpace.
  • Gain experience using ArchiveSpace by adding missing collection information to existing records while learning about legacy and obsolete metadata formats.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Special Collections Reference Experience

Gain experience with handling reference in a special collection library. Responsibilities include:

  • Serve on the Maryland Room Reference Desk.
  • Rotate in various subject areas within special collections handling outside reference queries.
  • Evaluate reference strategies and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • There is the possibility to assist the Researcher Experience Team, a Special Collections and University Archives staff team, with special projects.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Amber Kohl, Special Collections Services Coordinator

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech to AFL-CIO

In 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and leader of the civil rights movement, spoke at the AFL-CIO’s Fourth Constitutional Convention. Though the early labor movement had a complicated history with race relations, by the 1960s the AFL-CIO and the civil rights movement had fully embraced each other in solidarity. President George Meany introduced King as “a courageous fighter for human rights” and “a fine example of American citizenry.”

mlk

In his speech, King commented on the similarities between the labor movement and the civil rights movement:

“Negroes in the United States read this history of labor and find it mirrors their own experience. We are confronted by powerful forces telling us to rely on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.”

“Our needs are identical with labor’s needs, decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

Dr. King also drew attention to the need for solidarity between the two movements: “The duality of interests of labor and Negroes makes any crisis which lacerates you, a crisis from which we bleed.”

King asked two things of the AFL-CIO in his speech: root out racial discrimination in labor unions and provide financial assistance to the civil rights movement. King’s message did not fall on deaf ears: he received a standing ovation from the delegates.

Read Dr. King’s full speech online

Watch a clip from Dr. King’s speech (starts at 15:33)

Read more about the labor movement’s relationship with the civil rights movement