In my last blog post, I mentioned that archivists frequently discover information about their collections serendipitously while working to find the answer to reference questions. Another way we learn new and sometimes surprising things about the records we house is from the researchers who work with them. Recently, a researcher examining Georgetown College financial records mentioned that an expense book from the early 1800s contains a recipe for spruce beer. And indeed it does, along with recipes for preparing calf's entrails and feet and dressing calf's head. Clearly the College, as financially challenged as it was in its first decades, fully embraced the concept of nose-to-tail cooking long before that concept had a name (other than being frugal). But spruce beer? I had never heard of that. I do find the occasional gin and tonic refreshing in the summer, however, and the idea of a spruce-based drink seemed no odder than a juniper-based one. And a little research showed that spruce beer has a long history (due apparently to its high vitamin C content and scurvy-preventing properties) and is still produced today.
I provide the recipe for adventurous souls who might be tempted to try it:
(Click image to enlarge)
To make Spruce Beer
Take 10 Gallons Water, 1 Gallon Molasses, 1 Gill Spruce, 1/2 pint Yeast & Some Hops & Ginger Boiled. mix all together in a large tub. then put it in a Cask leave the Bunghole open so as it may work over. let it stand in the Cask for 24 Hours. then Bottle it off and in 24 Hours its fit for use.
NB Keep the Bottles in a cool Cellar or the [word missing?] will be apt to fly.
You can email me for the step-by-step instructions for preparing calf's entrails, instructions which if you follow them and then add drawn butter and parsley before serving will, apparently, make them fit for use . . .
--Lynn Conway, University Archivist
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Marchande Endormie [Market Woman, Asleep] 1923 John W. Winkler 188 x 113 mm Gift of Carol Johnson and John Aronovici 1111.1.5564 (Click to enlarge)
A private moment captured by master etcher Winkler, who stood in a Paris street sketching straight onto the printing plate with a needle.
In a quirky game of cataloging “telephone,” our copy of this print was labeled as “Marchande Endorme,” a simple typographical error. The record went into our database, however, as “Marchande Enorme,” which seems an unwarranted editorial comment. The record has now been corrected.
--Christen Runge, Assistant Curator, University Art Collection
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Travel experiences can be captured in a myriad of ways, as seen in this series of armchair travels through manuscripts collections. Scrapbooks and writings in journals and letters provide wonderful perspectives on faraway places; however, these might be rivalled by views through the camera lens.
Take a look at some of the stunning images of Saudi Arabia offered by Dorothy Miller’s photographs!
Dorothy Miller arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1947 to work in the law department of the oil company Aramco. She became interested in photography after meeting chief Aramco photographer Tommy Walters in Dhahran, in 1949. Eventually, Miller learned to do her own developing, and by 1959 had garnered enough attention for her hobby that she decided to take an intensive six‐week professional photography course at the Brooks Institute in San Francisco.
Miller returned to Aramco in 1967 as treasurer. Her passion for photography unabated, she continued to take hundreds of stunning photographs ranging from Aramco staff and facilities to the people and countryside of Saudi Arabia. Locations depicted include Abquaiq, al‐Khobar, Dhahran, Dammam, Hofuf, and Qatif. Miller retired from Aramco and returned to the U.S. in 1977. Since then her photographs have been exhibited at Georgetown University Library in 2007 and at the Saudi Aramco Heritage Gallery in Dhahran in 2008. (Click images to enlarge.)
There are also in-person recountings by inveterate travelers such as Clarence L. Chester, back in the day when it was a popular pastime both to travel for pleasure and to share the experience via public talks. In 1907 and 1908, Chester’s travel talks on his experiences in Panama and the Isthmian Canal drew much admiration, and presumably, interest at the clubs where he presented. According to the pamphlet issued by the Lyceum Bureau, New York City (circa 1907): “Travel is always considered the finishing course in one’s education. But as the majority of people do not have time to do all the experiments they wish to study about in the sciences, so neither do they have time to do the necessary amount of traveling requisite to complete their education. It is here where the Lyceum steps in and brings the outside world to the people.” According to another notice, no one was more suited to do this than Chester, whose presentations were illustrated with “pictures taken by himself and…used as photographic aids to the word painting of the speaker”. He was so “thoroughly imbued with his subject, his language so graphic, his description so picturesque, and his incidents so real, one journeys with him everywhere he leads, thoroughly content and always interested." [Clarence L. Chester – “Travel Talks Illustrated” promotional publications, 1907-1908, in Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection, GTM170101]
I hope you have enjoyed these vicarious summer travels, and that you may find the time for a trip to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, where your own journeys of adventure and discovery await.
--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist
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On July 1, 1898, Theodore Mosher, a captain in the 22nd U.S. Infantry during the Spanish-American War, commanded Company G as it entered the Battle of El Caney in Cuba. He was badly wounded in the fighting, and lost consciousness. He did not regain consciousness until a few days later, when he awoke in a field hospital close to the site of the conflict.
Mosher soon realized that some army supplies he had taken with him into battle were missing. Specifically, he had lost a field glass and its case, which had been the property of the Signal Service. A field glass is a binocular device used to view distant objects. Mosher made a good faith effort to find the glass and case, but could not locate them.
The Americans won the Battle of El Caney against Spanish soldiers. On the same day, the first of July, the Americans also won a victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill, in which Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders made their famous charge. The Spanish troops in Cuba laid down their arms on July 17, 1898.
On March 7, 1899, months after the war had ended, Mosher wrote a letter from the Portland Hotel in Washington, D.C. to E. O. C. Ord II, 1st Lieutenant and Acting Signal Officer of the 22nd U.S. Infantry at Ft. Crook, Nebraska. Ord had issued the glass and case to Mosher on April 12, 1898. Mosher attached a letter in triplicate claiming that neither he nor Ord should be held accountable for the loss of the items because they had been lost in the heat of combat. He called the loss “an incident of battle.” (Box 4, Folder 24, Ord Family Papers 2). Unfortunately, the outcome of Mosher's appeal is not documented in the Ord Family papers.
E.O.C. Ord II was the son of Edward Otho Cresap Ord (E.O.C. Ord I), a Union general in the American Civil War. The elder Ord won the battle of Dranesville, Virginia early in the war. He was also present with General Ulysses S. Grant at the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House. The younger Ord was a longtime soldier like his father.
As any archivist will tell you, one of the joys of our profession is that while looking for information to answer research questions, we frequently uncover entirely unrelated material that proves far more interesting than what we are actually seeking. I recently experienced this when I came across a bundle of clippings about Harry Costello, Law 1913, while searching for football statistics in the University Archives.
I certainly recognized Costello’s name, as he is considered by many to be Georgetown’s greatest football player, despite weighing only 138 lbs. and standing only 5 feet 7 inches tall. Legendary coach Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner noted of him that for his inches, he was one of the greatest players that ever lived. Known to classmates as Nine Point Harry, Costello was the Georgetown quarterback for three seasons. In addition to his passing abilities, he was an outstanding dropkicker and punter.
But what I learned from the clippings was that Costello was also renowned for telling colorful stories about his playing days and subsequent career as a coach and reporter. One of his favorites was an account of waking up in a room at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. and discovering Huey P. Long in the neighboring bed. Long, who referred to himself as The Kingfish, served as U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1932 to 1935. He and Costello bore a physical resemblance and a taxi driver who picked Costello up at the Occidental restaurant after a night of drinking mistook his passenger for Long and delivered him to the Mayflower where staff repeated the mistake and took him to “his” suite. After presumably awkward introductions that morning, Costello used chairs in the hotel suite to demonstrate various football offensive and defensive formations to the Senator. While it is obviously impossible to authenticate this story (and with a story this good, I really didn’t even want to try), it is perhaps telling that Costello became director of publicity for the Athletics Department at Louisiana State University in 1935, an appointment Costello was given to say was secured by Long.
ProQuest, one of our major providers of Library research databases, experienced a large power outage late Monday afternoon. Many ProQuest-supplied databases are unreachable, giving 504 ("Gateway Timeout") errors, or not recognizing Georgetown login credentials such as IP authentication. The outage is affecting universities around the world.
We do not have an estimate for when access to ProQuest databases will be restored at this time. Affected databases include:
Accounting and Tax
American Periodicals Series Online (1740 to 1940)
Atlanta Daily World—1931-2003
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Baltimore Sun Historical
Banking Information Source
Bibliographies for Current Events
Chicago Tribune Historical
Cleveland Call & Post—1934-1991
Computer and Information Systems Abstracts
Dissertations & Theses
Hoover's Company Profiles
International Bibliography of Art
International Index to Music Periodicals
Latin American Newsstand
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)
Los Angeles Sentinel—1934-2005
Los Angeles Times Historical
New York Amsterdam News—1922-1993
New York Times Historical
Norfolk Journal & Guide—1921-2003
Pharmaceutical News Index
Policy File Index
ProQuest Asian Business
ProQuest Career and Technical Education
ProQuest Civil War Era
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
ProQuest Education Journals
ProQuest European Business
ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
ProQuest History Vault: Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1990
ProQuest History Vault: The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Organizational Records and Personal Papers
ProQuest International Newsstand
ProQuest Legislative Insight
ProQuest News & Newspapers
ProQuest Political Science
ProQuest Research Library
ProQuest Science Journals
ProQuest Social Science Journals
ProQuest Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War
Theses and Dissertations (ProQuest)
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal Historical
Washington Post Historical
Women's Magazine Archive
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
ProQuest E-books (Ebook Central) and affiliated websites seem to be OK at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Electronic Resources Updates
Summer armchair travels continue with two perspectives on visits to Rome. In reading these accounts, I’m reminded of the lasting effect that travel to new places can have on the mind and spirit.
A reminiscence by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, of a visit as a young girl with her mother, probably at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1851-1926) was born in Lenox, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody. Lathrop received her education in London, Paris, Rome and Florence. She married author George Parsons Lathrop in 1871, and both converted to Roman Catholicism in 1891. After the death of their son, Francis, at the age of five, Lathrop separated from her husband in 1895. She attempted unsuccessfully to follow in her father’s footsteps as a writer. Eventually Lathrop discovered her true calling in caring for others. She founded St. Rose’s Free Home for Incurable Cancer in New York City, established under the auspices of the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, a religious community created by Lathrop. St. Rose’s ceased operations in 2009. In 2003, Edward Egan, Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York approved a movement for Lathrop’s canonization and she was given the titled “Servant of God” in the Catholic Church.
Here are excerpts from the manuscript about her visit to Rome:
We entered Rome after a long, cold, wet journey that was enough to disillusion me…It was a solemn-faced carriage load that shook & shivered into Rome that night. My next keen remembrance is of a perpetual rice pudding…We used to say: “Oh, this everlasting rice pudding!” No one knows how much such a simple thing can do; but it can make Rome tame.” (p.1)
The great arches of triumph…seemed to me too premeditated & unnecessary. Not so the Colisseum [sic], haunted by wild beasts, [where] lions leapt in hobgoblin array from the cavernous entrances… (p.3)
The circular form of the ruin is full of eloquence – what would be grace in a smaller structure is tragedy in so immense a sweep, which melts into vagueness, or comes momentously upon you, or swirls before you in a retreating curve…(p.4)
The tomb of Caecilia Metella, & other tombs beyond the walls, gave me my first impression of death that really was death...I believe I never should have been half an heretic for some years of my life, if it had not been for the effects of those down-dragging Roman tombs…(p.4)
Photograph of the Roman Forum and Colosseum reproduced from Transformation, or, the Romance of Monte Beni, Volume One (Leipzig: B. Tauchnitz, 1860). Click to enlarge.
In contrast, here is an account written by a mid-20th century traveler, Ned O’Gorman, when he visited Rome in 1956:
There will never be any way to explain Rome. Christ and Nero, Pallas Athene and Saint Peter meet there. The spirits of all the gods have equal rights in Rome, though one may love one God more than another. No God is fool enough to take it all for his own. It is an eternal city and eternal is an adjective for all the gods to share. Rome is a surfeit of everything: children, soldiers, sailors, monks, women, cats, diplomats, cars, tourists, students, Popes, saints, demons, martyrs, princes, pretenders, palaces, beggars, movie stars, beatniks, poets, painters, and mothers. Rome has nothing to do with time; each epoch still possesses the city, each mystery cult, each sacred sentiment and myth, weaves in and out of light and darkness…(pp.15-16)
I love the impenetrable forms of her interior life and the secrets of the streets that turn on themselves and open like shelves of dark colored glass on fountains and plains of crested shadows. Nothing in Rome grows worn with remembrance. When I return to a market, to a flight of steps, to a courtyard, to a hillside, to a junction of a temple and its enfolding sacral light, a new order of feeling visits me… (p.146)
Rome leaps in and out of time. Light, water, stone, air, and flowers cloister the nerves and burn through to the soul proclaiming the triumph of beauty and man over the demon and death. The cloister envelopes the imagination. The vortex leaps into silence. The mind is pushed against the tides of feeling, is swept away by a fancy of, say, Borromini or Bramante, who took stone and bent into a grain of air, angelic and aquatic, that sweeps the flesh and mind with a lush, erotic joy. Rome, the prismatic barque (p.147)
Kantar Media, provider of Ad$pender (Adspender) and other databases, is unavailable until further notice. We have been advised by the vendor they are working on restoring service as soon as possible. We regret the incovenience.
The University Art Collection is a teaching collection, and as such it holds a number of original matrices of varying materials which have been incised by the artist, inked and then printed. Depending on the technique, whether carved into (intaglio) or drawn on the surface (planographic), matrices can be made from metal, wood, stone, or synthetic surfaces.
By far the oldest in the collection is this intriguing copper plate engraving depicting Saint Benedict, possibly from the 17th century. The robed saint kneels in prayer, his eyes directed heavenward, in an outdoor setting before a book and crucifix. Behind him a monk in an opening above suspends a bucket from a rope and below that appears a bird with outstretched wings.
Benedict of Nursia lived from 480 to circa 570 CE and established twelve monastic communities in the mountains of Subiaco in the Lazio region east of Rome. The primary one is the magnificent Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino set on a rocky hillside. The sanctuary was severely damaged by Allied bombs during WWII and later rebuilt to remain a popular destination for visitors and clergy alike. Benedict is primarily recognized for the highly influential set of precepts known as “The Rule of Saint Benedict,” which set forth how monks should live and administer their communal monasteries. Written in seventy-three chapters, these rules helped the spread of monasticism in the west, thereby establishing civilization and culture throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and beyond. St. Benedict was canonized in 1220, and in 1964 was named a patron saint of Europe by Pope Paul VI (together with two others, Saints Cyril and Methodius).
Benedict dwelled for three years as a hermit in a mountainside cave. During his isolation he was fed by a monk named Romanus who lived in a monastery above the cave. The copper plate engraving shows a monk lowering food to Benedict via a bucket on a rope, and the bird below it may be a reference to the raven that miraculously saved Benedict when a jealous monk tried to poison him with tainted bread. To save Benedict from death, it is believed that God sent a raven to swoop down and remove the tainted loaf before Benedict could consume it.
The inscription below the image includes a quote from Psalm 54, which generally praises God as protector and sustainer of life. The date of March 21 inscribed below that is believed to be the date of Benedict's death resulting from a high fever. The feast day of St. Benedict is celebrated on two different dates in the Eastern Orthodox Church (March 14) and in the Anglican Church (July 11). The plate is signed in the lower left by one Michael Hayé, a French artist about whom little is known. We do not own a printed impression of this plate and are in hopes of finding more information about its context and history; whether it was created (most likely) as a plate for an illustrated volume, and if so in which volume the image might have appeared. If you have any information that might help in this regard, please get in touch with me!