Ecology Action Center records in Special Collections

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

Ecology Attention Center (EAC) Collection

Materials from the Ecology Action Center (EAC) Collection (click to enlarge).

This image shows selections from the Ecology Action Center Collection, one of a group of records about local and IWU environmental organizations. The EAC collection is comprised of 8 linear feet of administrative and non-for-profit business development information as well as historical information and publications pertaining to Operation Recycle (estab. 1971 by ISU Professor Derek McCracken) and the Ecology Action Center (EAC, estab. 1994).

The Ecology Action Center, created in and based out of Normal, Illinois, continues the education efforts of Operation Recycle which was officially disbanded in 1998, by providing the community with tours, workshops, classes, earth-camps, fairs, and many other events.

This items displayed in these posts are just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

 

 

 

Medieval (and other) manuscripts in Special Collections

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

Our collections include 12 medieval manuscript leaves and three manuscript books from the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. A two volume set of the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, the first bound facsimile edition of the Old and New Testaments, is also available.

Click to enlarge

[Pictured] A Buddhist manuscript in Pali (shown here in two parts), dating from the 19th century, is at the back of the shelf. The matted leaves are from
(L) a Bible in Latin, on vellum, with contemporary glossing. England, ca. 1220.
(R) a Bible in Latin, on vellum, with decorated initials and marginal penwork, including a scribe’s use of the pointing finger. The text is from Zachariah. Italy, Bologna, ca. 1280.

This display holds just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

Medieval manuscripts in IWU’s Special Collections

The Ames Library is pleased to participate in IWU’s “A Year with The Saint John’s Bible”! The first volume completed for The Saint John’s Bible project, Gospels & Acts, will be a featured part of many campus activities and presentations in Spring 2018. From June – December 2018, we will have the Pentateuch Heritage Edition.

Illuminated initial letter Q

16th Century illuminated Q

The original is on vellum and was created in using traditional medieval techniques of calligraphy and illumination. Illinois Wesleyan’s Special Collections holds 11 vellum leaves of medieval manuscripts (see more images below) and one bound folio of liturgical music created in that same era.

Manuscripts, meaning documents created by hand, are part of the historical evolution of books and one of the many book arts traditions used to enhance the way we convey information. Some manuscripts like The Saint John’s Bible are illuminated, or decorated, also by hand and hand bound.

The Special Collections vault in Tate Archives & Special Collections on the library’s 4th floor holds these and thousands of other unique items that curious minds are welcome to explore.

Exhibit with maps, real & imagined

1882 Atlas

1882 Atlas

 

A recent donation is on exhibit in The Ames Library, just past the entry level rotunda, now through the end of January.

The volume complements our manuscript and monograph collections on John Wesley Powell and the American West. The atlas is large–approximately 2′ wide when open–and has many colored maps, created by the ever-authoritative US Geological Survey.western-pt-of-plateau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other maps on display are “real” renditions (we can and should debate the depiction of reality in any author’s work), intended for serious illustration of travel narratives like

birbeck_notes

This foldout map in Birbeck’s 1818 “Notes on a Journey…” is separated at the top fold but complete.

Morris Birbeck’s 1818 Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois, or in educationally-minded works like Thomas Harrington’s 1773 A New Introduction to the Knowledge and Use of Maps.

The latter volume is from the Book Arts Collection part of Special Collections that celebrates the artistry used in making books, not for art’s sake but for many elements of the craft that are almost incidental to what we understand of the purpose for books today.

atoz

Others in the exhibit are intentionally imagined landscapes, used to navigate a story, as in Lars Arrhenius’s A-Z. Interestingly enough, the book had its origin in a large-scale exhibition. The volume in Ames is from our  Artists’ Books Collection and is used in an avant-garde literature course.

 

Two others on display are autobiographical in nature, by book artist and fine press printer Andrew Huot, and represent his explorations of self-discovery: Navigation and Exits West.

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These works and more are available year round for anyone interested in exploring the many varieties of material culture in Tate Archives & Special Collections on The Ames Library’s 4th floor!

Rare treats

October 22-24, 2014 marked a unique series of events for IWU students, staff, faculty and the wider community. With funding from the Mellon Foundation-sponsored series titled Re-centering the Humanities*, The Ames Library hosted a visit by University of Iowa professor Florence Boos and noted book collector Jack Walsdorf. The topic that brought them here was their shared interest in and knowledge of 19th-century English designer, writer, philosopher and founder of the Kelmscott Press. Walsdorf and Boos are current and past-presidents of The William Morris Society in the United States. Links to a press release and follow up story are included at the end of this post.

Overall,110 students in seven classes, 66 guests in three public campus events and 25 participants in an event held at the McLean County Museum of History were beneficiaries of the expertise our guests shared across our community.

In the classrooms, our students heard about Morris’s influences in design elements for architecture, clothing, home furnishings and more. Our guests addressed these topics in a frame that conveyed the stark conditions of life for people in Victorian Era England, with all the excesses and blight brought on by the Industrial Age, and drew a line to contemporary issues. Environmentalism, labor issues, equity of speech and free expression of ideas are concerns in society today and were issues that Morris and his peers engaged with in their society.

Mr. Walsdorf loaned us more than 60 items from his personal collection on Morris. Some were used by students during the classroom visits and many more were displayed in the library, in varying combinations, from October 17-November 14. One class also made a follow up visit to Tate Archives & Special Collections where they were able to view selected Morris works up-close and to handle Kelmscott proof sheets loaned by Walsdorf.

The library exhibit carried the title “Boundless Spirit: The Words, Works and Legacy of William Morris.” This image gallery contains selections from the class visits, campus and community events.

* Other campus events in this series can be viewed at https://www.iwu.edu/grants/recenteringhumanities.html. On campus viewers will also be able to access the original grant proposal on this page.

On October 13, University Communications’ distributed a press release that is available at https://www.iwu.edu/news/2014/events/10-william-morris.html.
[Note: The permanent IWU News archives is located http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/news/. Stories are harvested and collected there annually to prevent loss of information due to website changes.]

Anna Lowenthal’s Argus story about these events was published on October 31, 2014 and is available at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/u?/iwu_argus,38360

New acquisitions in the sciences

A “herbarium,” a plant specimen book, was recently discovered in a lab in CNS. This book has significance for IWU’s history: it was compiled by Alfred O. Coffin, the second African-American to graduate from IWU. Coffin received an M.A. in 1888 and a PhD. in 1889 from IWU’s non-resident degree program.

Alfred. O. Coffin--image taken from "An Historical Sketch...[and] Record of the Alumni" (1895)

Alfred. O. Coffin–image taken from “An Historical Sketch…[and] Record of the Alumni” (1895)

A. O. Coffin signature

 

 

Plant speciman page

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, a text that belonged to former Biology faculty member (1958-1978) William M. Darlington was also donated this winter. It bears an inscription dated 1898 and contains notations on plant varieties.

These two volumes and other material related to the sciences are now on display in The Ames Library. The exhibits, titled “The Sciences in Special Collections” will remain in two exhibit cases on the entry level until the end of January. After that, as is the case with all archives and special collections holdings, they will be available for use in Tate Archives & Special Collections on the library’s 4th floor.

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre and film history collection

A recent donation to IWU’s Special Collections from Emeritus Theatre Professor Jared Brown contains primary sources, including recordings and transcripts of over 150 interviews, he used in the publication of four books:
The Fabulous Lunts: A Biography of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne (1986),
Zero Mostel: A Biography
(1989),
Alan J. Pakula: His Films and His Life (2005), and
Moss Hart: A Prince of the Theatre (2006).
A complete collection description is available in the finding aid for the Jared Brown Collection of Biographical Sources.

Summer fun

Due to a combination of professional development time (thanks, Karen!) and vacation days, I recently spent two weeks at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for a class on letterpress printing. The class took place at the home of The Soybean Press in the Printing Services building. Soybean Press is a cooperative effort of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, The Graduate School of Library and Information Science, The University of Illinois Press, Facilities and Services Printing Department, and the School of Art and Design.

Some of the equipment we used and prints I created are in the gallery of images below. I’ll have these prints and more on display at this fall’s Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works Celebration. Additionally, my copy of the broadsides my classmates and I compiled into a folio with the theme of “State of Illinois” will be added to IWU’s Special Collections holdings of Artists’ Books. These books explore the many ways people interpret the idea of “book” as well as what constitutes suitable content for such vessels.

FYI, our Artists’ Books are a small part of a larger collection containing examples of changes in printing techniques and other types of book art throughout history. For now, suffice it to say that while I’ve always felt it was true, I now have the ink stains to prove I Love Type! (The blog at that link is not related to my class but the sentiment is 🙂 )

I started summer classes long before they were offering credit for them, but next summer I will have completed enough credits for the UIUC Certificate of Special Collections Librarianship. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll ever stop taking classes there, especially now that I’m hooked on book arts!

IWU and war-time activities

Memorial Day seems like a good time to highlight military-related documents held at IWU. Students, alumni, faculty and administrators have served in all U.S. wars since IWU’s founding. Diaries, correspondence, service records and recollections are held in both our archives and special collections.

Examples of these documents include service applications of the WWII-era Nurse’s Cadet Corps, alumni responses to a post-WWII survey of activities, correspondence from WWII soldiers to IWU student Nell Carmichael, correspondence and sketches from alumnus and Professor of Art Fred Brain to his family during WWII, index of WWI veterans plus photocopied clippings of articles related to their service, Nursing Superintendent Maude Essig’s WWI diary, and administrative meeting notes and student reporting on war-related activities on campus and abroad.

We lack significant documentation on the WWII-era S.A.T.C. and welcome donations related to this group’s purpose and activities on campus. Some dilligent researcher’s eyes may uncover details on this and other student groups’ efforts in existing documentation, and all our records are open and available for that work. Leave a reply (below) to contact me about arranging a visit!

French texts

Special Collections holds a number of volumes in French. One part of these holdings was described at the time of donation as “French Socialist Literature,” but topics vary and include literature and politics with dates ranging from the early-1800s to mid-1900s. Selected titles follow:

Clerget, Pierre. La Suisse au XXe Siecle: Etude Economique et Sociale. Paris: Colin, 1908.

Duffeyte-Dilhan, J. Aux Femmes: De La Beaute Physique et Morale. Paris: Janet, 1857.

Francis, de Sales, Saint. Lettres de Saint Francois de Sales: Addressees a des Gens du Monde. Paris: Techener, 1865.

Gide, Charles. Les Societes Cooperatives de Consommation. Paris: Colin, 1910.

Janin, Jules Gabriel. Un Hiver a Paris. Paris: Curmer, 1843.

Kern, Alfred. Le Bonheur Fragile. Paris: Gallimard, 1960.

Lesseps, Ferdinand de. Souvenirs de Quarante Ans Dedies a Mes Enfants. 2 vols. Paris: Nouvelle Revue, 1887.