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Time lapse of Milky Way from

John Glenn (1921-2016), a trailblazing astronaut, was the first American to orbit the Earth.  In 1959, Glenn was selected as one of the “Mercury Seven,” the men who became America’s first astronauts.  On February 20, 1962, Glenn orbited the Earth three times in his spacecraft Friendship 7.  A year before, Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, the first person in space, had orbited the Earth once. John Glenn is remembered as a national hero for his groundbreaking mission.

In 2019, there is great interest in the history of the U.S. space program as July 20, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first-ever walk on the moon.  The Booth Family Center for Special Collections holds a number of photographs of John Glenn.  This post presents five of those images documenting Glenn’s career.

John Glenn

Undated signed photograph of John Glenn sent to Tonita Ridgway Martin, a long-time resident of Georgetown who collected manuscripts and autographs of notable people, including American astronauts.  From the Tonita Ridgway Martin papers, box 2 folder 41.

John Glenn

Signed photograph of John Glenn, inscribed to J. Graham Parsons, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 1961 to 1967.  The photograph was taken just after Glenn’s return to Earth after his famous space voyage on February 20, 1962.  Glenn inscribed this particular photograph to Parsons on May 13, 1966.  Glenn had visited the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden in 1966.  From the J. Graham Parsons papers, box 4 folder 43.

John Glenn

John Glenn pictured on the cover of Time magazine on March 2, 1962.  Glenn signed the cover.  From the Frank Dahlhaus collection, box 1 folder 3.  Frank Dahlhaus donated his collection of Time magazine covers to the Booth Family Center.

John Glenn

Undated photograph of John Glenn (left), American astronaut Scott Carpenter (center), and Michael Amrine (right).  Amrine was a prominent American writer on scientific issues, especially atomic energy.  From the Michael Amrine papers, box 33.1 folder 10.

Photograph dated 1959 of American astronauts John Glenn and Walter Schirra, Jr., inspecting samples of materials to be used in the nose of a space capsule.  The materials to be used had to withstand temperatures over 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  Photograph by Michael Amrine.  Michael Amrine papers, box 33.1 folder 10.  The Michael Amrine papers contain more photographs of John Glenn in box 33.1 folder 10.

This post about John Glenn complements one written by Ann Galloway in 2016 highlighting a visit Glenn made to Georgetown University on January 11, 1963.

In 1964, Glenn retired from his space career to enter the corporate world and politics.  Glenn was elected a U.S. Senator from Ohio in 1974.  He subsequently won reelection to that post three times.  In 1998, Glenn, at age 77, traveled again in space on the space shuttle Discovery.  On this last mission, he took part in experiments investigating the effects of aging responded to the microgravity environment in spaceflight.

Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

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Detail from scrapbook cover

June, 2019

In 19th-century England, scrapbooking was a popular pastime for women of means. The craft has most often been associated with women and domestic matters from this era when the role of women was centered on care of family and home. This perspective persisted at least through the mid-20th century.

The Victorian propensity for memory saving (from alba amicorum to memento mori), and fondness for classifying and preserving information and experiences in albums, Wardian cases, and such, significantly contributed to the legacy of collecting. After all, this was the era of the Great Exhibition in London (in 1851) which was a showcase on the grandest scale for not only innovations but trophies and memorabilia of all kinds.

Scrapbooks were often keepsake albums for a woman’s own sketches and verses; as well as for those drawn and written by friends and others. As examples of material culture, scrapbooks remind us that history is made and lived by actual individuals. They invite sensory experience and unfiltered interpretation. With each century, there has been an increasing loss of the ability to use the full range of our perceptive senses, especially with the ubiquity of mass media telling us what to see, think, and feel. Items collected and preserved in such keepsake albums provide a 3-D insight into the habits and times of the individuals who crafted them.

There is a scene in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre that is a wonderful illustration of the connection between fiction and reality, when Jane’s stepsisters Eliza and Georgiana ask her to contribute sketches to their keepsake albums:

They both seemed surprised at my skill. I offered to sketch their portraits; and each, in turn, sat for a pencil outline. Then Georgiana produced her album. I promised to contribute a water-colour drawing: this put her at once in good humor. ..."  (Chapter 21)

Here are two gems from the women’s collections at the Booth Family Center:


19th-century Cherished Memories Album

Woman’s 19th-century scrapbook: “Cherished Memories” (GTM170130). An example of a pre-printed scrapbook belonging to Miss Teresa Doherty. Includes associations to Irish author Mary Sadlier.

 19th-century woman's scrapbook cover

poem from woman's 19th century scrapbook

Sketch from woman's 19th century scrapbook

Woman’s 19th-century scrapbook (GTM150615). A scrapbook belonging to a British woman, containing cut silhouettes, paste-in watercolors and pencil sketches regarding a European tour and her trip to South America.

Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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April 18, 2019

Mary Nimmo Moran is one of the most famous female etchers in history. Less well known is Washington D.C. artist Minnie Briggs Raul, who used the same medium. Although their artistic styles are noticeably different, they both utilized their extraordinary talents in the field of printmaking.

In 2018, Mary Rice, great-niece of Minnie Briggs Raul, donated a large number of her original prints, poems, correspondence, and newspaper clippings which span the many years of Raul’s success. Donald N. Briggs, Mayor of Emmitsburg, Maryland and grandson of Minnie Briggs Raul (1886-1955), donated fourteen of the artist’s etched copper plates, which correspond to the prints generously given by his cousin, Mary Rice.

When I was hired as the Curatorial Intern for Georgetown’s Art Collection, I had the privilege of sorting through this extensive donation of prints and other archival materials in order to catalog them for Georgetown’s records. Coinciding with this cataloging project, I was reading a few articles on Mary Nimmo Moran (1842-1899) for my American Landscape class, as part of my Museum Studies Masters Program.

I was immediately struck with comparative notes in my brain about the two female artists: although they were from different time periods, something about their styles just resonated with me, and I wanted to know more about them. As I dove deeper into my research into their respective lives and oeuvres (bodies of work), I noticed how although they stylistically contrast, Mary and Minnie showcase the spectrum of female printmaking abilities. Mary’s hard, bold lines and Minnie’s soft, graceful curves encompass a wide range of artistic skills and styles, and this made me really excited to write this comparative analysis.

Another connection was my mom’s Aunt Annie, a watercolorist in Texas.  As soon as I unpacked the Minnie Briggs Raul collection I was immediately drawn to the similarities between them. Aunt Annie loved the Texas wildflowers and birds much like Minnie loved the D.C. wildflowers and birds, and they expressed this love through their art.

Although Aunt Annie and Minnie Briggs Raul used different creative media, their artworks are both delicate and pleasant to look at. However, Mary Nimmo Moran’s work strikes the viewer in a more emotional vein. They also differ in a conceptual sense. Mary Nimmo Moran evolved within the nineteenth-century Hudson River Landscape School of painting, which is evidenced in the panoramic scenery she depicted throughout her career, and she was strongly encouraged by her husband, the successful landscape painter Thomas Moran. As the daughter of noted horticulturist William Dennis Pyles, Minnie showed a talent for drawing wildflowers and trees from an early age, at their home in Camp Springs, Maryland.

These relationships stylistically shaped Mary and Minnie, and the influences are shown through their meticulously crafted artworks. While Mary Nimmo Moran employed the Hudson River School’s approach of depicting more wild, sublime scenery, Minnie Briggs Raul utilized her horticultural background and undertook small (but beautiful) artistic studies of individual flowers, trees, and birds.

Moran's Gardiners Bay

Moran, Mary Nimmo
Gardiner’s Bay
1881, etching

Mary Nimmo Moran initially began experimenting with etching through the encouragement of her husband. She is best known for her poetic, moody etchings of East Hampton landscapes, drawn from life, as she and Thomas built a home studio there on Long Island, where Mary created her artworks. A contemporary critic of Nimmo Moran stated that her prints “would never give away her sex,” due to her being stylistically more masculine than other female printmakers at the time, using deep lines, dynamic compositions, and thorough shading to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. As the first woman inducted into the New York Etching Club and the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in London, Mary Nimmo Moran is considered a pioneer of female engravers.

Raul's French Marigold

Raul, Minnie Briggs 
French Marigolds
1943-1955, etching

While Nimmo Moran was one of the first women inducted into multiple artistic societies, Minnie Briggs Raul both founded and was the Vice President of the Society of Washington Etchers in the 1930s, and was involved in many other artistic clubs in the District. She spent a lot of time in the countryside of the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV), where she drew native wildflowers, trees, and birds. Her artistic style is characterized by free-flowing natural forms, delicately fashioned compositions, and bright but soft colors, extremely different from Mary Nimmo Moran’s powerful lines. Her husband Harry Lewis Raul was a noted sculptor and the Art Curator for the Department of the Interior Museum from 1938 to 1958, and they were reportedly extremely supportive of each other’s artistic endeavors, much like Mary Nimmo and Thomas Moran.

Minnie was also a noted author, known as the “poet-etcher of Washington.” She wrote many poems that correspond with her etchings, many of which are now in Georgetown’s collection. She published Go Lovely Road in 1949, a small illustrated book visually detailing and describing wildflowers of the Holy Land, and in 1951, she created an eighteen-week series of etchings and accompanying articles about specific but well-known trees in the DMV region and throughout the country.

Raul's The Four O'Clocks

Raul, Minnie Briggs
The Four O’Clocks
1943-1955, etching

Mary Nimmo Moran undoubtedly paved the way for Minnie Briggs Raul in the artistic context.  She broke the glass ceiling for female artists in the male-dominated field of etching, and Minnie Briggs Raul continued to broaden the field for women printmakers. In a way, Mary, Minnie, and my mom’s Aunt Annie are all connected through their overt love of nature. It is so beautiful that three very different women from very different time periods can be so connected through their depictions of the natural world around them.

--Frances Williams, University Art Collection Curatorial Intern

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Items from Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection
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Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection

On April 11th, Lauinger library will be hosting the author, George Saunders, who will give the Annual Casey-McIlvane Memorial Lecture on the intersection of Catholicism, Buddhism, and writing. Saunders most recent book, Lincoln in the Bardo, is a text deeply indebted to religious themes found in Christian and Buddhist theology such as sin, salvation, dukkha, and samsara. Saunders uses the historical event of President Lincoln's midnight visit to the fresh grave of his son, Wille, along with an invented cast of ghostly residents of the cemetery, to beautifully explore these themes. In play-like dialogues, the reader is confronted by questions which stand at the heart of Christianity and Buddhism, questions regarding permanence, the good life, and ultimate truth. 

For those interested in dialog between Christianity and Buddhism, the Woodstock Theological library has a great number of books worth checking out.  God, Mystery, Diversity, by Gordon D. Kaufman, Zen and the Birds of Appetite by Thomas Merton are particularly fruitful. For a larger list of books related to Saunders, Literature Liaison and Reference Librarian, Melissa Jones, has created a book display on the third floor as well as a webpage for further reading.

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Detail from Aaron Copland letter

April 5, 2019

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was a major American musical composer in the twentieth century.  During his long career, Copland produced a wide array of compositions, including ballets, choral music, film scores, operas, and orchestral music.  The Lawrence Gilman papers contain a remarkable letter from Copland to Lawrence Gilman (1878-1939), an important music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune. In it Copland pondered the relationship between musical composers and their critics.

Aaron Copland letter

The letter, dated May 3, 1932 was mailed from the First Festival of Contemporary American Music at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs.  Copland began the letter by Newspaper article reporting on "feud" between critics and composersreferring to a newspaper clipping (see right, click image to enlarge) reporting on the festival.  The author of the clipping suggested that there was a “long-standing feud” between composers and critics.  The article printed a quote from Copland: “I consider newspaper criticism to be a menace.  We would be much better off without it.”

Writing to Gilman, Copland said that the clipping in question “cannot go uncommented upon.”  He wrote that the purpose of the conference was not to attack critics but to make the composer/critic interaction “more vital and more important,”  and that “the composer needs the critic (just as much as the critic needs the composer).”  Copland lamented the fact that Gilman did not attend the event.  He argued that modern American composers now seek more positive reviews from their critics.  In the postscript, Copland granted Gilman permission to publish this letter.  The composer also stated that his own works had generally been praised by critics.

Lawrence Gilman contributed to American musical criticism in many ways.  He worked as a music critic for Harper’s Weekly from 1901 to 1913, the North American Review from 1915 to 1923, and the New-York Herald Tribune from 1923 until his death in 1939.  He also annotated program notes for the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

American music was changing in the 1930s, as musicians adapted to new forms of technology such as film and radio.  In addition to composing musical works, Copland was an author of articles and books on music.  As this letter to a noteworthy music critic indicates, Aaron Copland sought to improve the relationship between composers and their critics.

--Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

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Susan B. Anthony Signature

In celebration of Women’s History Month 2019, you are invited to view a new online exhibition honoring women who have led efforts to end violence and social injustice through peaceful means. This year, I profile twelve extraordinary women from the women’s collections at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. As writers, journalists, artists, and humanitarians each contributed and participated in the ongoing effort to promote a more just and peaceful world.


Susan B. Anthony

Photograph of Susan B. Anthony. Undated. (Janet Richards papers, GTM540129, Folder 9:1)



Dorothy Day

Photograph of Dorothy Day. Undated. (Gallery of Living Catholic Authors, GTMGamms472, Folder 13:40)



Katherine Biddle

Photograph of Katherine Biddle. Undated. (Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection 2, Gamms430, Folder 1:17)



Eleanor Roosevelt

Photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt. Undated. (Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection 1, Gamms345, Folder 18:11)


--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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UPDATE 2/5/2019: Find Full Text @ GU buttons are working again in Web of Science. If you continue to encounter problems, we recommend (1) clearing your browser cache and (2) contacting ER&S at

Find Full Text @ GU button "Find Full Text @ GU" buttons appear in many Library databases, including Web of Science. Clicking the button should take you into HoyaSearch, where you can either obtain the full text from one of our online journals, or place an interlibrary loan request.

Unfortunately, the buttons are not working properly in Web of Science -- they direct into HoyaSearch, but then the page "hangs" or shows "dancing diamonds." We are working with Clarivate, the vendor, to resolve this issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Other databases are not affected and our "Find Full Text @ GU" buttons should work properly elsewhere. If you notice problems in other databases, please email

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In honor of the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, we're republishing a blog by Amy Phillips. 

Today's feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas is often associated with the Dominican friars because Aquinas himself was a member of the order and stands out as one of the greatest scholastic thinkers of the 13th century. In the 19th century, however, it was the Society of Jesus that led the revival of Scholasticism and a renewed interest in the work of Thomas Aquinas. Pope Leo XIII's encyclicalAeterni Patriswas issued in 1879 and called for a renewal in the study of philosophy. Jesuits were already at work in establishing a Thomistic orientation in their own education and scholarship. In 1850 the Jesuits founded La Civiltà Cattolicaa scholarly journal devoted to philosophy, especially the promotion of Scholasticism.

Page from Ad primam secundae D. Thomae tractatus quinque theologici

Though engaged in this revival, Jesuits weren't committed to Thomas Aquinas in the same ways. Interpretations and applications of his philosophy varied widely among the Jesuits. One approach to Aquinas was known as Suárezianism. As the term suggests, this was a method or school that followed the Jesuit philosopher of the 16th century, Francisco Suárez (1548-1617). Though Suárez was trained in scholasticism, he developed his own philosophy that departed from Aquinas and which is often referred to as a "second Scholasticism." The Jesuits of the 19th century who revived Aquinas, balanced his work with that of Suárez, other philosophers, and socio-political phenomena of the time, such as the ascendancy of democracy. Thus, their Suárezianism was the approach of expanding or, sometimes, refining Aquinas's ideas, which could not always accommodate intellectual and cultural developments in the 19th century. Woodstock Theological Library has many rare copies of books authored by Francisco Suárez. Shown here is his Ad primam secundae D. Thomae tractatus quinque theologici published by Jacob Cardon of Lyon in 1628. It was edited by Baltasar Alvarez, S.J. (1533-1588) who was trained in theology and philosophy by Dominicans in Ávila. He is best known for being the spiritual director of Teresa of Ávila.

entry authored by Amy E. Phillips, Rare Materials Cataloger for WTL on 1/27/2017

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Detail from photo of a conference at the national Institute of Panama

Esther Neira de Calvo (1890-1978) was a prominent Panamanian educator, women’s rights advocate, politician, and diplomat.  The extensive Esther Neira de Calvo papers, housed here at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, document her extensive work as an advocate for women’s rights as well as her interactions with leading American women’s rights crusaders, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Esther Neira de Calvo was born in Panama and studied at the Institut Pedagogique de Wavre-Notre Dame in Belgium, College of Mount St. Vincent, and Columbia University in New York. During her career in Panama, she served as Inspector General of Education (1923-1927), director of Panama’s Normal School for Women (1927-1938), and head of the Lyceum, a university preparatory school for women (1938-1945). In her native country, she also founded the National Society for the Advancement of Women (1923) and the Women’s Patriotic League (1945). As an elected delegate in 1945 to the Third Constituent Assembly, she contributed to the drafting of a new national Panamanian constitution, which was enacted in 1946.  She moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States (OAS) from 1949 to 1965.  The following year, the government of Panama appointed her Ambassador, Alternative Representative to the OAS.  She held that position from 1966 to 1968.

Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) was an important leader in the American women’s rights movement. In 1900, she replaced Susan B. Anthony as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Owing to her efforts and those of her fellow suffragettes, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment in 1920 granting American women the right to vote in political elections. Moreover, Catt was instrumental in the creation of the League of Women Voters. After World War I, Catt participated in the peace movement.

photo of a conference at the national Institute of Panama

The Esther Neira de Calvo papers contain a photograph depicting both Catt and Neira de Calvo in Panama (box 6a, folder 23). In the image, dated Tuesday, March 13, 1923, Catt stands at a podium addressing the crowd at a conference at the National Institute in Panama. Catt spoke about feminism in her address titled “For the Women of Panama.”  This speech was a follow-up to the Pan-American Conference of Women held in Baltimore in April 1922, which Neira de Calvo had attended as a delegate of Panama.  In the photograph, Neira de Calvo, the President of the National Society for the Progress of Women, is seated to Catt’s right at the head table. Christine Bradley South, the wife of the U.S. Minister to Panama, is seated to Catt’s left. The man at the head table is most likely Minister South.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, worked actively for equal rights for women throughout her lifetime. She served in the League of Women Voters on the Legislative Affairs Committee. She is also known for her work with the United Nations, and she helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Roosevelt often traveled to visit leaders around the world.

photograph of Neira de Calvo with Eleanor Roosevelt

The papers also include a photograph of Neira de Calvo with Eleanor Roosevelt (box 7a, folder 116). In the picture, dated October 10, 1941, Neira de Calvo shakes hands with the First Lady, who awards her an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, for her achievements in women’s education. The event took place at an Inter-American convention. At that time, Neira de Calvo was Director of the Women’s Lyceum in Panama and Delegate of Panama to the Inter-American Commission of Women.

As demonstrated by these two photographs, which are 18 years apart, Neira de Calvo’s work on behalf of women’s rights spanned decades. She tirelessly advanced her goals. In the process, she met and cooperated with some of the leading luminaries of women’s rights in the twentieth century.

—Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

January 15, 2019

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O'Reilly Media has launched a new platform for Safari Books Online (also called O'Reilly for Higher Education), which is now available in HoyaSearch. The new platform contains over 40,000 books, plus videos, learning paths, and O'Reilly Conference videos. The book title list contains over 98% of the most popular titles from the classic Safari collection.

What's Changing
The collection is moving to a completely new platform, featuring new searching and reading functionality. You'll notice some of the following major points:
  • Unlimited simultaneous users (a change from the 10 simultaneous users on the old Safari platform)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication for users (not through EZproxy), permitting users to automatically create reading lists, set language preferences, and subscribe to email updates without manually creating an account. Users will be asked to enter their Georgetown email address before being directed to the familiar Georgetown NetID login screen.
    • Note: This change eliminates access to walk-in users.
  • Access to video and text-based "Learning Paths," or curated modules on concepts and technologies, previously unavailable in the classic Safari.
Classic Safari
O'Reilly Media will be sunsetting the classic Safari platform for Georgetown users on January 19, 2019. At that time, all titles directly linked to the classic platform will cease working - O'Reilly is not providing redirecting services. URLs will need to be swapped out for those pointing to titles on the new platform. O'Reilly is not providing a shortcut for recreating URLs from the old platform to the new. Between now and the sunset date, the classic Safari will be available in HoyaSearch in parallel with the new Safari.
Access and Linking
Access to the new Safari Books Online package is available now in HoyaSearch. Links to the classic Safari Books Online platform in the Databases A-Z list will be swapped out at the close of the Fall 2018 semester. 
Direct links are possible on the new Safari platform. As the new Safari platform uses SSO authentication, the proxy URL should not be added. To link to a specific title in the new Safari platform, the characters "/?ar" must be added to direct users through the SSO system. For example, a book with the following URL:
should be provided to users as 
This information has also been included in the library's FAQ system.
We recognize that this is migration affects a significant, high-use collection of materials in the middle of the academic year. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the E-Resources & Serials Unit at
Posted 20 December 2018, 14:13 ET
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