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.
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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)
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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!
--LuLen Walker, University Art Curator
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Around this time of year I start thinking about planning a vacation – something that involves travel to a new place, and preferably to another country. However, the necessary resources (among them, time and funds) are sometimes lacking. Recently, it occurred to me that years as an archivist have enriched my life in some unexpected ways – one of these has been vicarious travel! At the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, I’ve had the privilege to read many wonderful and beautifully written travel accounts to both well-known tourist destinations and more far-flung places. The following is the first in a series of posts profiling some of my favorite travelers’ experiences, as recorded in their diaries and writings.
Embark on a summer holiday with Glady’s Hinckley-Werlich (1891-1976), who traveled frequently in the Far East during the 1950s and 1960s:
A native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Hinckley-Werlich was the daughter of portrait artist Robert Hinckley and Eleanora O’Donnell Hinckley. She made her Washington debut in 1909 and in 1923 married McCeney Werlich, the European representative of American Locomotive Company. When her husband joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1925, Gladys Werlich accompanied him on travels through various diplomatic posts, including Costa Rica, Latvia, Paris, and Poland. After her husband’s death, Werlich continued to travel extensively until 1972, keeping detailed journals on her trips to Africa, China, Egypt, Europe, Japan and Russia.
Gladys Hinckley-Werlich’s travel journal for the Far East. (Click to enlarge.)
The entry for August 27-28, 1956 in her travel journal for Hong Kong, reads:
It is 93 degrees in Hong Kong & humidity is awful. Nevertheless everyone was milling around with the feeling of urgency as we were only there from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. the following day. I took the bus which included a launch trip through the floating islands of sampans. Surprisingly little odor & lunched at the Tai Pak restaurant, a copy of an old Chinese palace…I was in many taxis and rickshaws even for tiny distances on acc[ount] of the awful heat…
(Hinckley-Werlich Family papers, GTM801103; Box 12, Folder 6)
Tour Egypt with one of the first women in the U.S. Foreign Service:
Winifred Weislogel (1927-1981) began her career as an office assistant at the Council on Foreign Relations, which gave her a “foot in the door” to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1956. Over the next 17 years, assignments took her to cities around the world including Geneva, Tripoli, Benghazi, and Tangiers. Weslogel was the first woman in the U.S. Foreign Service to be offered language training. Weislogel’s papers consist of correspondence to her parents replete with rich descriptions of her experiences abroad as a diplomat.
Following is a letter excerpt about a holiday taken to Egypt during a posting in Morocco in 1963:
…I did the usual tourist things like riding a camel at the Pyramids, visiting King Tut’s tomb at Luxor, etc…My little bit of Arabic went a long way as when I rode the local ferry across the Nile and discovered in talking with Egyptian passengers that many had relations in Libya or their parents had come from there during the Italian occupation. The farther I progressed up the Nile the nearer the dialect was to Cyrenaican Arabic; I made out quite well in the Sudan…The Nile south of Aswan was a surprise. I expected the valley to be green either side of the river but instead sand came right down to the river’s edge. Very rarely there was a little plot of green with a few houses. Of course the entire area will be flooded when the new dam is completed; it will take about 8 years for the waters to back up to Wadi Halfa but the town is doomed to melt away…I never have experienced such heat and such thirst in my life. I floated up the Nile on gallons of Blue Nile beer which seemed like elixir. In midday we would lie in our deck chairs and pant…
(Winifred Weislogel papers, GTMGamms273; Box 1, Folder 21; typed letter dated Tangier, Morocco, November 1963, p.2)
--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist
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On 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
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Header Image caption:
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
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
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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.
In 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.