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Sam Apperious 1903On April 18, 1903, a baseball game was scheduled between Harvard and Georgetown at Georgetown. Team rosters for the game include the names of Samuel H. “Sam” Apperious, Georgetown’s captain, and William Clarence Matthews, the Harvard starting shortstop, both of whom were from Alabama. Apperious, a catcher and later a center fielder, played for Georgetown between 1900 and 1904. He was seen as one of our best prospects and it was reported that the Boston Americans, an American League baseball club, tried to sign him. That team would win the 1903 World Series. And Matthews was even more highly considered; The Boston Post cited him as the best infielder in Harvard’s history. 

Apperious and Matthews did not, however, meet on Georgetown’s athletic field. In what ranks among the least proud moments in Georgetown athletic history, Sam Apperious refused to play. Why? Because Matthews was African American. The Washington Post noted in an article printed the following day:

Georgetown’s Captain and catcher, Samuel Apperious, took no part in the game. He was a resident of the same town from which Matthews  . . . comes, and he declined to mix . . .

In fact, a number of Georgetown players threatened to boycott the game but all backed down except Apperious after Harvard insisted that Matthews play or they would pull out. Harvard won the game, 3 runs to 0. 

Apperious also sat out later games against Harvard, in May 1903 and in 1904. In September 1904, he was appointed Graduate Coach of the Georgetown team. Soon after, seemingly unaware of the irony involved, he explained to The Washington Times that, when putting together a team, "the choice of men must be wholly on the man’s worth for the position for which he is trying."

--Lynn Conway, University Archivist

College Journal Article

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Detail from St. James of Hope [Canto 25 of Paradiso in Dante's Divine Comedy]


St. James of Hope [Canto 25 of Paradiso in Dante's Divine Comedy]
Original watercolor by Salvador Dalí
Wood block engraving and printing by Raymond Jacquet and Jean Taricco
Wood engraving
ca. 1960
330 x 254 mm

Gift of Denise and Alan Gross

This animation is 37 seconds long, but in real life it takes a lot of time to make one full-color print.

Each single sheet of paper is run through the press once for every color of ink used—in this case, thirty-three colors. As the inks build up on the paper, the image emerges and clarifies into a scene from Dante's Divine Comedy, illustrated by Salvador Dalí.

Dalí made 100 watercolor illustrations for the Divine Comedy from 1951 – 1960; after that, two master wood engravers took another five years to create the 3,500 wood blocks necessary to reproduce the watercolors as prints.

The Booth Family Center has a complete set of Dante's text and Dalí's printed illustrations for the Divine Comedy. Our special edition also contains several progressive proof sets: single-color impressions (one color per sheet) from each of the different blocks needed for a particular image. The thirty-three sheets for St. James of Hope were scanned and combined in Adobe Photoshop to make the animation above.

Christen Runge, Assistant Curator, University Art Collection

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On April 11th Georgetown welcomed director Martin Scorsese to campus for a screening of his new film Silence, based on the novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. The Director of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Dr. John Buchtel, was fortunate enough to not only attend the screening and talk with Scorsese, but was also able to bring several items from the Library's Special Collections to show the director. During Dr. Buchtel’s preparation for this meeting, he brought to my attention the fact that Georgetown University awarded Endō an honorary degree in 1987. Rather than have this fact remain known to only a few people at the University, it seemed appropriate to share the details of that award with the greater Georgetown community. Below you will find a copy of Endō’s honorary degree citation and photographs from the Graduate Honors Convocation ceremony held on May 23, 1987. The other honorees at the Graduate Honors Convocation ceremony for that year were Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, Helen Varney Burst, Yakov Malkiel, and George Thomas Scharffenberger.

--Ann Galloway, Assistant University Archivist

Endo Honorary Degree Citation

Shusaku Endo receives honorary degree from Georgetown

Shusaku Endo with Georgetown University president

Shusaku Endo et. al. at honorary degree ceremony at Georgetown University


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Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, is remembered for his progressive domestic policies and his brash actions on the international stage.  He is also known for his love of the natural world and for conservation projects large and small.   Roosevelt was called the “Great Conservationist.”  He was a renowned outdoors man.  A letter written by Roosevelt to Rev. Richard H. Tierney, S.J., a Jesuit priest, on November 17, 1914, provided evidence for Roosevelt’s belief in the stewardship of the natural world.  Specifically, Roosevelt shared his interest in birds. The letter is preserved in the Presidential Autographs collection.  That particular collection includes documents signed by presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan, and it contains other letters written by Theodore Roosevelt, too.

Theodore Roosevelt 1914 LetterIn his letter sent to Fr. Tierney in 1914, Roosevelt indicated his desire to naturalize the black thrush and the skylark on Long Island, New York, and would like to see more bobolinks there.  After making a reference to his article about English birds, Roosevelt noted that he wrote about the birds around his country estate of Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island, in his autobiography.

At Sagamore Hill, Roosevelt spent many hours studying birds both by reading books about them and by observing them in their natural environment.  He learned to recognize a plethora of birds by sight and sound.  He also enjoyed studying birds at various locations during his famed travels and hunting excursions.  As suggested by his letter to Fr. Tierney, Roosevelt was knowledgeable about the birds of England.  In fact, Roosevelt spent time bird-watching in England.  

The recipient of Roosevelt’s letter, Rev. Richard H. Tierney, S.J. (1870-1928), was a noted editor of the Jesuit magazine America, which was published in New York City.  Founded in 1909, the magazine provided religious and political commentary for contemporary American society.  The periodical is still published today.

In 1911, America moved its headquarters to 59 East 83rd Street in New York City.  Roosevelt sent this letter to Fr. Tierney’s attention at that address.  Fr. Tierney was the periodical’s third editor-in-chief from 1914 to 1925.  Prior to his arrival at America, Fr. Tierney was a professor of philosophy at the Jesuit seminary in Woodstock, Maryland.  The Booth Family Center for Special Collections houses the extensive America Magazine archives.  Correspondence, notes, clippings, and other materials in the magazine’s archives document Fr. Tierney’s tenure as editor-in-chief.

This letter from 1914 reflects Theodore Roosevelt’s passion for birds and his conservation ethic.  Theodore Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919 at Oyster Bay.

--Scott Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

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Throughout much of human history, women provided often unpaid support and been the unrecognized mainstays to what was perceived as the greater work of men. Back in the day, a woman’s workplace was in the home, where she labored with little or no recognition and certainly without pay. Over time, women have broken out of traditional roles to find employment outside of their homes, and increasingly, even to become entrepreneurs forming their own innovative businesses.

The women’s archives at the BFCSC include personal papers of some these courageous and creative women who earned their livings and were engaged in world politics and women’s rights issues as journalists, writers, diplomats and business owners.

Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) founded the famous bookshop and lending library, Shakespeare and Company, in Paris in 1919. The bookshop was a literary hub between the world wars for artists and writers including Sherwood Anderson, Simone de Beauvoir, Stephen Vincent Benet, T.S. Eliot, Andre Gide, Ernest Hemingway, Wyndham Lewis, Archibald MacLeish, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Paul Valery, Thornton Wilder, and William Carlos Williams.

John L. Brown Papers 1, GTM.Gamms167

Anna M. Brady (1901-1999) was a journalist and veteran correspondent on Vatican affairs. Based in Rome for 29 years, she covered the conclaves that elected Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II; as well as all sessions of Vatican II and the early subsequent synods. During her Vatican II years, she was dubbed “dean” of the Vatican Press Corps and was a welcomed member of the daily press corps briefings at each session. Brady was the only woman ever permitted to travel on the papal plane to accompany Pope Paul VI on his first five pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Bombay, Fatima, the United Nations in New York, and Istanbul.

Anna M. Brady papers, GTMGamms330

Clinch Calkins (1895-1968), was a novelist and poet. Her most critically acclaimed book was Some Folks Won’t Work (1930), a seminal document on the Depression, based on 300 individual case histories of the effects of unemployment. Published a year following the Wall Street Crash, the book  received accolades on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, and brought Calkins national attention along with an invitation from Harry Hopkins (advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt) to work with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). Calkins travelled across country reporting on socioeconomic conditions and ghost-writing for Hopkins.

Clinch Calkins papers, GTM000622

Carmen Callil (1938- ), is an Australian critic, publisher, writer, and founder of the Virago Press dedicated to publishing female authors.

Antonia White – Carmen Callil papers, GTM120607

 Clare Boothe Luce with Chiang Kai Shek and Wife in Burma

Clare Boothe Luce. Photograph with Chiang Kai Shek
and wife in Burma, 1942
(Clare Boothe Luce Photographic Collection, GTM.Gamms265, 2:26a)

Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was an editor for such well-known magazines as Vogue in 1930, and the Condé Nast magazine Vanity Fair from 1929 until 1934. Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed her as ambassador to Italy from 1953 to 1957. Throughout her life, Luce was involved in many humanitarian organizations including the American Friends of Captive Nations, American Security Council, International Rescue Committee, and U.S. Committee for Refugees, among others.

Clare Boothe Luce Photographic Collection, GTM.Gamms265

Lisa Sergio

Photograph of Sergio at railway station. Undated.
Credit: Hans J. Knopf Pix Incorporated, New, York.
(Lisa Sergio Papers, GTM.Gamms172; 14:51) Reproduced from original

Lisa Sergio (1905-1989) was a radio news commentator who fled Mussolini’s regime and emigrated to the U.S., where she worked for over five decades as a radio commentator and television host for major broadcasters such as ABC and NBC. She also lectured extensively on human rights, women’s rights, the detrimental effect of war, and promotion of peace.

Lisa Sergio Papers, GTM.Gamms172

Norah Tracey (1903-?  ), was a bespoke milliner and dressmaker who worked independently from home.

Norah Tracey papers GTM861201


Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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As of March 1, all AWS services are running normally and service providers have recovered from the outages. Systems should again be running normally. Please contact if you experience any problems.

Posted: 03/01/2017, 9:03am ET


Ongoing problems with Amazon Web Services (AWS) have caused ongoing problems for a wide number of websites, including those running library systems and electronic resources. Please be aware that you may experience slow connection times or error messages while AWS resolves this issue. We are aware of the AWS issue affecting access to the following electronic resources (not a comprehensive list):

  • ProQuest databases, including
    • ABI/Inform
    • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
    • ProQuest International Newsstand
    • ProQuest Research Library
    • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

You may also experience slow connection times and reduced services with the following library systems:

  • Databases A-Z
  • Research & Course Guides

We will update this information as soon as it is received by the library.

Posted: 02/28/2017, 4:00pm ET

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Electronic Resources Updates
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Springshare reported an outage of their LibGuides platform at 12:50pm ET. This has rendered our Databases A-Z list and Research & Course Guides inaccessible.

During this outage, databases can still be reached through OneSearch and George, while journal-level links can be found in OneSearchGeorge, and the Journal Finder
Springshare is working on this issue. We will send an update when we have confirmed a restoration in service.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at


Posted 02/28/2017, 1:10pm ET

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Electronic Resources Updates
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Curiosity Engraving

Engraving: “Curiosity” by E.G. Dunnel,
painted by N. Diaz, no date,
Cherished Memories,
a 19th century woman’s scrapbook (GTM170130)


The vast quantity and infinite research potential of primary sources can be daunting so that it is often difficult to know where to start. Selection of a primary source or archival item may be the first action, followed by deciding what to write about it. It is often necessary to assess the research potential of an item before defining the research topic. Sometimes it’s easier to start with the item, if only because you like it!

Selecting an item for research involves an assessment of its research potential. Considering the following criteria can help to identify a promising item.

  • Legibility – Can you read it?
  • Contextual value – Does the content provide information about and insight into the item. Could a narrative or backstory be construed?
  • Multiple perspectives – How many angles could you approach to writing about the item? Can you identify multiple related subjects? Example: For an item created by a 19th century woman, related subjects can include women’s history, literacy, civil rights, work or occupations.
  • Availability of secondary sources for further research (e.g., related published articles, books providing additional information on the context and subjects of the item).

Next, define a research topic or question.  Good ones are typically specific and narrow. If the topic is broad, the amount of information available will be difficult to synthesize into a finite project. Developing a good research topic can be challenging; however, instructors, librarians and archivists can offer invaluable assistance here because they are familiar with pertinent information resources, and are likely to have helped other researchers with a similar area of interest. When defining a research topic, it helps to

Identify parameters of the topic – Narrow the focus of the topic by

  • Subjects
  • Geographical location(s)
  • Dates

Find archival/special collections that match the topic

  • Library research guides (arranged by topic or course) – help to identify both primary and secondary sources and often provide guides and tools for conducting research.
  • Consult with librarians and archivists.

Find help on researching primary sources in the Special Collections guide on Archival Research.

Read more about researching primary sources in the “Making Sense of Evidence” series at

Look out for more of my blog posts on researching with manuscripts.

Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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Students have been celebrating Mardi Gras at Georgetown for well over 100 years. Traditionally, the celebration consisted of dramatic entertainment, a masquerade ball, and a dinner. The festivities lasted well into the night.

College Journal 1876The first printed reference to these celebrations can be found in the March 1874 edition of the Georgetown College Journal, which describes that year’s festivities (sometimes described as Carnival or Shrove-Tuesday). It is likely, though, that these celebrations took place for many years before this first mention in the Journal. Each year a committee of students was constituted to handle the planning of the event, which included arrangements for costumes, sets, music and decorations as well as food and printed programs. The programs included a wealth of information about the night’s festivities, from performers down to the appetizers served at dinner.

The earliest program in the University Archives dates to 1876 and can be seen below. A recap of the evening was published in the April 1876 issue of the Georgetown College Journal. To learn more about Mardi Gras at Georgetown contact the University Archives!

--Ann Galloway, Assistant University Archivist


Mardi Gras Program Cover

Mardi Gras Program Page 2

Mardi Gras Program Page 3

Mardi Gras Program Page 4

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Libraries, Archives, Museums, and other cultural institutions hosted #ColorOurCollections again this month to draw attention to some of the many wonderful images found in books, manuscripts, works of art, or just doodles found in the margins.

Try your hand at coloring some of our cultural heritage collections. Imagine yourself in a scriptorium inside a European monastery, guided by only candlelight, working side by side with other scribes and artists. Print our pages and share them whenever you want. We’ll be happy to see your creative work! Just tag your image with #gtownlibrary to be included in our curated collection.

--Ethan Henderson, Rare Books Curator

Alice and the Knight




Chartier first page

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Rare Books