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Detail from Montevue Diary

June 12, 2020


"Belle Reade, on the crazy ward, will soon give birth.
She is much afraid that she will at that time loose [sic]
her mind again.  She asked very earnestly that a priest
baptize the child & have it sent to an asylum.  She
is not capable of taking care of it.  She is a good Catholic
& was to Communion lately.  Inquiries ought to be made
as soon as possible, whether she was delivered,
as she must then be most likely in a very crazy mood -
& the officials will not bother about the child."

When I began my position as the Archivist for the Maryland Province Archives (MPA) at Georgetown University, I did not expect to find many women in the collection.  The MPA documents the presence of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in North America from the 17th through 20th centuries.  I knew it would be a fascinating collection, but I also assumed that most of the figures I would meet would be male.  I thought that I might encounter women in religious orders, or that I would read here and there of a woman who had provided excellent service to the Church.  I did not, however, expect to find Belle Reade, a vulnerable woman on the cusp of motherhood and on the margins of society.

Cover of Montevue DiaryDuring my first week at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, I stumbled upon four bound items labeled “Diaries of Montevue.”  Dating from the 1890s, these station diaries chronicled the experiences of Jesuit novitiates serving the Catholic inmates at Montevue Asylum in Frederick, Maryland.  Inserted into one of these volumes was a loose page titled “Information about Montevue,” dated June 21, 1897.  It contained the brief account of Belle Reade, above.  Reade, who may have suffered from postpartum depression after a previous birth, seems to have been so worried about her state of mind after her impending delivery that she begged for her infant to be taken away.  [On left: Cover of “Diary of Montevue, 1893-1896.”  (Box 111, Folder 2, GTM 119, Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.  Please note that the collection is currently being reprocessed; this citation conforms to the collection’s unrevised finding aid.)]

Reade was not the only woman at Montevue with a complicated relationship to maternity.  The document also relayed the stories of “Mrs. Penna, a county ward,” and “a negress, named Rosie.”  Mrs. Penna’s daughter, Daisy, was in a children’s asylum in Baltimore.  “She would like to hear about her now & then,” the diarist wrote, though whether or not her desire was honored went unrecorded.  The fate of Rosie, the mother of twins, was clearer.  Though a Catholic who had ensured that her children were baptized, she was also described as “more than half-crazy.”  As a result, it was determined that “the children ought to be sent to an asylum, as the Board will not allow her to keep them.”  Whether she wanted to or not, Rosie would have to give up her children.

Founded in 1870, Montevue was a county-run complex that served as an almshouse for the poor, workhouse for detainees, and asylum for those perceived to have mental illnesses.  It had separate wards for whites and for African Americans, along with a “tramp house” located behind the main building.  It would, without a doubt, have been a difficult place to give birth and care for an infant.

Even so, the Frederick Jesuits recognized that poor women should have some say in whether or not their babies would be removed from them and sent to an “infant asylum” – or orphanage – in in Baltimore.  The document went on to explain, “About sending children to an asylum, the best plan is to get the consent of the mother.”  In the cases of Mrs. Penna and Rosie, however, this consent was “not required” – perhaps due to their mental health, extreme poverty, racial status, or a combination of all three.

Insert page 1 from Montevue Diary

Insert page 2 from Montevue Diary

Front and back of “Information about Montevue,”
June 21, 1897, inserted into the diary.

Apart from their brief appearances in the MPA, I have not discovered much more about these women.  Belle Reade is mentioned three more times in the Montevue Diaries, in earlier entries from 1895, indicating the woman’s longstanding, or at least intermittent, presence at Montevue.  On January 21, she was “very sick after child birth.” On February 16, she was “removed from the pauper [ward] to the ward for the insane,” presumably the experience that had made her so afraid of a subsequent birth.  Though this suggests a link between childbirth and a vulnerable mental state, the diarist also conceded that “her insanity is more of stubbornness than anything else.”  On February 23, a priest named Father Pendergast made arrangements for Reade’s baby to be “sent to infant asylum at Baltimore.” Her first child, as well as her second, had almost certainly been removed from her care.

We can learn a great deal from the Maryland Province Archives – about the history of American Catholics, about Jesuit slaveholding, about the ways in which Georgetown itself profited from the slave trade and from the labor of enslaved people.  And, as I learned when I began my job, we can find mothers who confronted, willingly or not, separation from their children.  It is certainly true that many, if not most, archival documents from the 19th century were created by those in positions of power.  Even so, by reading closely, we can learn about the experiences of those who had all but fallen out of society’s precarious social safety net.  Though Belle Reade, Mrs. Penna, and Rosie may have never created their own documents – and though we may never know what happened after they left Montevue, if they ever did – the MPA ensures that their lives and their struggles need not be entirely forgotten.

--Cassandra Berman, Archivist for the Maryland Province Archives

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Detail from Home Baseball Game

May 5, 2020

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections owns a board game called the “Home Baseball Game,” made by McLoughlin Brothers in 1900.  It is somewhat unusual for an archival repository to own a board game. Nonetheless, this artifact reflects the fact that American children and adults have customarily enjoyed playing board games, including those involving baseball, the national pastime.

Detail from Home Baseball GameThe board game kit includes several components. The cover of the game has a color image of a batter and a catcher. Wearing a matching striped shirt and hat, the batter is right-handed. His pants are cropped just below his knees. The catcher wears a facemask and chest protector. This particular cover of the game is a bit dirty.

The main wooden board displays bases along a diamond and space for the outfield. The positions of the nine defenders are listed on the board. Wooden pieces are used as the players on both sides. It is interesting that the second baseman’s position is directly on second base, not in between first and second bases. Such an alignment would work well as a shift against a modern-day, right-handed pull hitter. The final part to the game is the spin wheel, which players spin to determine the outcome of each at-bat.

McLoughlin Brothers, a long-standing company based in New York City, produced children’s books and board games.  At the turn of the 20th century, Americans played and watched baseball avidly across the nation. Amateurs and professionals alike played the game with passion.  Baseball organizers created the American League in 1901. The American League champion Boston Americans defeated the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903.  The National League had originated as the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1876.

In the age of baseball video games, this board game may seem old-fashioned. However, children across the country enjoyed using their imaginations to simulate baseball games by using this game.

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Another set of the 1900 Home Baseball Game exists at the New-York Historical Society. It is not known how the Booth Family Center acquired its set.

This blog post was intended to celebrate the opening games of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, now postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

--Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

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Detail from Chism poem

April 21, 2020

In addition to University-produced records which convey an “official” version of events on campus, the University Archives preserves student-produced documents and publications which can show campus life from a very different perspective. This blog post highlights one of my favorite examples of this—a poem written by a student from Louisiana named Warren Chism during the 1867-1868 academic year. I am drawn to this item because of its content and also because of its form.

The content speaks to the quality of food on campus—and I imagine that complaining about that topic is something of a tradition on most university campuses. At Georgetown, we can trace complaints back at least to 1812, when our founder John Carroll commented that while our meals were good in substance, he feared our cook was deficient

When we look at the form of the poem, we can see from the creases on it that it was cross-folded down to a much smaller size. This and the fact that the phrase Open. Read and Pass On is written on the back indicates that it was passed, presumably surreptitiously, around a Georgetown classroom or study hall.  And apparently, a student to whom it was passed strongly agreed with the sentiments in it because the words Hurrah for Chism were added in a different hand, perpendicular to the words of the poem.

Back of Chism poem

A second, later, addition comes in the form of explanatory notes at the bottom. These are signed F.B. and dated May 28, 1899.  While the full name of the writer is not given, the handwriting is very familiar to me.  Father Francis Barnum became Georgetown’s Librarian at the end of the 19th century. He was the first person to attempt to systematically organize material in the University Archives and was an inveterate note-writer, dispersing written explanations, descriptions and reflections throughout the Archives collection. I always feel a connection to him as a fellow Georgetown archivist when I see his handwriting (even if we are separated by the span of more than a century) and know that I am going to learn something from what he says. Barnum's notes are inevitably accurate; in this case, he had been a student at Georgetown from 1866 to 1872 and would have been familiar with both Walter Chism and the food that was served.

Chism poemChism’s poem reads:

Come rally round your flag boys*
And strike for better grub
We’ve stood it long enough boys,
But now we’ll make the rub.

Let it cost us what it might boys
Let it cost us what it may
We can’t live without eating boys
No not a dar –ned day.

If the “petition” is not heeded boys,
We’ll all dine out in town,
But we can’t live without eating boys,
And we won’t eat John Brown.

* The first line of the poem may have been influenced by the first line of the Civil War song Battle Cry of Freedom, which was also known as Rally 'Round the Flag.  Its opening lines are: Yes we’ll rally round the flag, boys, we’ll rally once again, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

[Father Barnum’s notes:]

This was written in 1867-1868 by Warren Chism La
The food had become wretched, and all hands were on the verge of revolt. A petition was gotten up and things improved a little.
“John Brown” was the name given to a horrible kind of dry hash which was served regularly.
“Open read and pass” was the customary formula on all general notes which were circulated around the study hall.
This was given by B. Camalier in Apr. ’99 while on a visit. He was a fellow student of Chisms and preserved this memento.
Poor Chism was shot by his overseer down in La. He was a brilliant fellow and a general favorite

F.B.
May 28, 1899

--Lynn Conway, University Archivist

 

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Detail from suffrage march

March 4, 2020

An archivist’s job is never finished. Just when I thought I’d done a pretty good job rooting out all of the material regarding women’s rights advocacy in the manuscripts collections here, I was delighted to make some new discoveries. In time to celebrate Women’s History Month and the centenary of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, I’m sharing my latest finds with you in this month’s blog. Of course, this is an open invitation to come see these wonderful items in person at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

Suffrage Procession, 1913

Woman's Suffrage Procession, 1913
(Janet Richards papers GTM540129, Box 2, Folder 6.1)
Click image to enlarge

Substantial correspondence from the leading suffragists who founded the National Woman’s Party are included in the James Brown Scott papers, GTM660503 (Box 48). James Brown Scott (1866-1943) was an American authority on international law and an advocate of women’s rights.

Edith Houghton Hooker (1879-1948), American suffragist and social worker. She was a leader of the suffrage movement in Maryland in the early 20th century and was posthumously inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. She also happens to be maternal aunt of actress Katharine Hepburn.

Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), American feminist, socialist, and suffragist. She was among the principal leaders and strategists of the campaign for the 19th Amendment. As a leader of the National Woman’s Party, and together with fellow suffragist Lucy Burns (1879-1966), Paul organized activist events such as the Woman Suffrage Procession in 1913, the first organized march for women’s rights in Washington, D.C.; and the Silent Sentinels protest at the White House in 1917.

Doris Stevens (1892-1963), American suffragist, women's legal rights advocate and author. She was the first female member of the American Institute of International Law and first chair of the Inter-American Commission of Women.

Women’s rights leaders also appear in the Janet Richards papers, GTM540129. Janet Richards (1859-1948), was a Washington, D.C. journalist, advocate of women's rights and education, and intrepid traveler. She was a friend of suffragists Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Clara Barton (1821-1912). Her personal papers include letters from both suffragists; as well as photographs of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C.

 Anna Shaw

Anna Shaw. Signed photograph. No date.
(Janet Richards papers, GTM540129, Box 9, Folder 8)

Anna Shaw (1847-1919) was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, immigrating with her family to the United States in 1851. Shaw devoted her life to the cause of women's rights despite earning a medical degree from Boston University, in 1855. She became a great orator on women’s suffrage and the longest-serving president (1904-1915) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

Other collections containing women’s right’s advocates include:

The papers of Esther Neira de Calvo (1890-1978). She was a prominent Panamanian educator, politician, and diplomat. The extensive collection of personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, speeches, and awards, provides a fascinating perspective on 20th century Panama and Inter-American cooperation, especially relating to women’s rights. Notable women in Neira de Calvo’s circle of acquaintances include Carrie Chapman Catt, Maria Ossa de Amador Guerrero, Matilde Obarrio de Mallet, Gabriela Mistral, Eva Peron, and Eleanor Roosevelt (see Esther Neira de Calvo papers GTM071217 and blog post by my colleague Scott Taylor,  “Esther Neira de Calvo: Women’s Rights Advocate”).

Two letters from British suffragette Beatrice Harradan (1864-1936), are included in the Sir Newman Flower papers (GTMGamms300, Box 1, Folder 3).

Beatrice Harradan

Beatrice Harradan letterBeatrice Harradan letter

Beatrice Harradan. Letter and signed photograph. Incomplete date.
(Sir Newman Flower papers, GTMGamms300, Box 1, Folder 3)

Records of the National Council of Catholic Women may be of interest. The organization was founded in March 1920, under the auspices of the U.S. Catholic bishops in recognition of the accomplishments of Catholic women’s organizations during World War I.  NCCW provided U.S. Catholic women a unified voice, a national service program, and the ability to reach out to each other through a national organization. Emphasis was given to the education of Catholic women so they could exercise their newfound civic duties granted by their right to suffrage in 1920 under the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (National Council of Catholic Women records, GTM840321). For more information about the history and activities of the NCCW, go to the website https://www.nccw.org/.

Woman's suffrage ephemera
Woman's suffrage ephemera

Woman's suffrage ephemera

Women’s suffrage printed ephemera, circa 1910
(Janet Richards papers GTM540129, Box 2, Folder 6.2)

And finally, check out these related resources:

RightfullyHers  National Archives celebrates the centenary of the 19th Amendment with an exhibition of records, artifacts and photographs.

Inherownright.org  In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920 showcases Philadelphia-area collections highlighting women’s struggles leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment. In Her Own Right is a pilot project executed by members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL), with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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Detail from Kress photo of Georgetown waterfront

February 7, 2020

Photograph album of Charles KressThis unassuming photo album hides some remarkable images of Georgetown from the early 1900s. The penny is included for scale. Recently acquired by the University Archives (gift of Stephen Fernie, 2019), the album belonged to one Charles Edward Kress, who entered Georgetown College in 1904 and departed in 1906 without graduating. Alongside Georgetown images are a few of his hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A selection appears below; if you want to see more of the collection of almost 100 photos, you can make an appointment to browse through the album in our Paul F. Betz Reading Room.

Click the images to enlarge them.

--Stephanie Hughes, Communications and Projects Coordinator, Booth Family Center for Special Collections

Georgetown waterfront in Kress photo album

"View along the Potomac, and the inspiring towers of Georgetown in the distance."

 

Georgetown College boys bathing in the Potomac

"Bathing in the Potomac."

 

Dormitory room at Georgetown

"Room, Georgetown University."

 

Photo of canoeing on the Potomac

"Canoeing on the Potomac."

 

Bridge over the Potomac at Georgetown

"Another view of the bridge at Georgetown."

 

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Detail of Brede Place

January 21, 2020

American writer Stephen Crane (1871-1900) lived from 1899 to 1900 at Brede Place, a manor house built in Sussex, England in the 14th century. Prior to moving to that location, he earned widespread attention for such classics as the novels Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and The Red Badge of Courage (1895), the poetry collection The Black Riders (1895), and the volume of short stories The Open Boat (1897). During his short life, he published a wide array of literary works in various formats. His biographer Paul Sorrentino described Crane as the “most innovative American writer of the 1890s.”[1]

As his work was warmly received in England, Crane and his companion Cora E. Taylor moved into Ravensbrook Villa in Oxted, Surrey in 1897.  Later, while Crane was covering the Spanish-American War in 1898 as a journalist in Cuba, Cora negotiated with Moreton Frewen, the owner of Brede Place in Sussex, England, to rent the home. Many private individuals had lived in the house over the centuries, but it had been recently uninhabited. Stephen and Cora rented the home in February 1899, and Stephen wrote furiously during his time at the house.  He produced a remarkable number of works during this period, including a full novel, stories, and newspaper articles.

At Brede Place, Stephen and Cora entertained many of the leading luminaries in English literature, including Joseph Conrad, Henry James and H.G. Wells.  However, Stephen’s past financial debts and his battle against tuberculosis and malaria had followed him to Brede Place. His health failing, he traveled in 1900 from Brede Place to a tuberculosis sanatorium at Badenweiler, Germany, where he died on June 5, 1900.

Ames W. Williams (1912-1991), who wrote Stephen Crane: A Bibliography in 1948, donated his personal papers to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.  In his gift, he included a set of photographs of Brede Place. One of those photographs is in Box 4 folder 128 of the Ames W. Williams Papers.  A note on the back of the photograph indicates that Crane wrote in the room above the entrance.   Williams made the photograph in December 1943.  This photograph measures approximately 7 ½” x 9 ½”.

Brede Place

11 more photographs of Brede Place are found in Box 1 folder 20.5,  five of which appear below. These photographs measure about 3” x 5”.  One of the photographs of the entrance to the house matches the photograph in box 4.  It appears that the larger photograph was reproduced from one of the smaller photographs.   Therefore, all of the photographs of Brede Place in the Ames W. Williams papers seem to date to December 1943.  Williams presumably made the photographs himself.

Brede Place  Brede Place

Brede Place

Brede Place

 

A fire ravaged Brede Place in 1979.  A restoration project from 1979 to 1983 rebuilt the house, and private individuals own the home again. The photographs of Brede Place from 1943 in the Ames W. Williams papers provide important visual evidence of the house before it was largely destroyed by fire.  The site remains the place of a brief but creative phase of Stephen Crane’s short life.

--Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

 

[1] Paul Sorrentino, Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 2014), 362.

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Detail from gingerbread recipe

November 1, 2019

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”-- Hippocrates

The season of sharing food (and ailments) is upon us, which inspired me to search “recipe” in our archival database. The latter obligingly yielded comestible results which it gives me pleasure to share with you along with the following “food for thought” —

Food and recipes for its preparation offer many insights about people because eating and drinking habits are markers of cultural difference. Food influences virtually every aspect of human life and as such provides the opportunity for a fascinating study of a “total social phenomenon."

Remedy for tertian feverA perusal of a historical recipe book may divulge much information: how food was prepared back in the day, what ingredients were available, methods of preservation (pickled, salted, canned, etc.). Family cookbooks often included recipes for ailments and household maintenance, which offer insight into lifestyle and contribute to our understanding of contemporary agriculture, economy and industry. (Click the image at left to see an 18th-century recipe for a cure for "Terzana," or tertian fever. The second part is the last page of a longer remedy of an unnamed ailment. (John M. Yoklavich collection of Italian Manuscripts GTMGamms102, Box 1 Folder 6.)

In the spirit of a season that in many cultures brings people together to celebrate their relationships with one another over food, you are invited to stop by to “sample” these delectables and make your own connections to the past.

Recommended fireside reading: Pilcher, Jeffrey M. The Oxford Handbook of Food History. Oxford University Press, 2012. Call # TX353.094 2012

Recipes for the hungry

❖     Recipes for Christmas cooking by Ann Batchelder (1885-1955), author of Ann Batchelder’s Cookbook (1941, revised 1949), containing 500 recipes for classic American meals. A native of Vermont, Batchelder was food editor for Ladies' Home Journal. (Lisa Sergio papers GTMGamms172, 1:6)

Batchelder Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes by Ann Batchelder (Click image to enlarge)

❖     Loughborough family recipe book, circa 1800s. A typical 19th-century album of cookery and household recipes including several for dye-making.  (Loughborough family papers GTMGamms274, 3:52)

❖     Richards family recipe book, circa 1800s. (Janet Richards papers GTM540129, 8:2-8:2.1)

❖     Early 20th-century recipe book (Tonita Ridgway Martin papers GTMGamms340, 4:4)

❖     Three 18th-century Italian recipes. The first, "Ricetta per fare l'Elisir Vite," is a recipe for an "elixir of life" containing aqua vitae, a strong Swedish alcohol. The second, "Ricetta Per comporre il Vino aromatico Wermut," is a recipe for vermouth. The third appears to be a recipe for making a sort of pie, perhaps an 18th-century version of pizza. (John M. Yoklavich collection of Italian Manuscripts GTMGamms102, Box 1 Folder 4

An elixir of life:

elixir of life

Making vermouth:

Vermouth recipe

A pizza recipe:

Pizza Recipe

Pizza Recipe

Remedies for the ailing

In addition to the tertian fever remedy above...

A fragment of the original 16th-century holograph manuscript of a recipe for preventing contraction of the plague. Louis Bossu published a description and transcription of the manuscript in 1913, entitled, "La Prophylaxie de la Peste en Barrois vers l'An 1500.” (William A. Zimmerman collection GTMGamms152, 1:3.  Printed booklet is available in the Rare Book Collections, Call # 92A5.)

Plague remedy

Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist


 

 

 

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Lupins

October 7, 2019

Here are some spooky manuscripts to get you in the spirit of Halloween this season!

And you thought the Library was boring!

  • Accounts by American journalist Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961) of psychic phenomena on the death of her husband and artist Maxim Kopf; as well as a séance with psychic medium Arthur Ford, September 1958. Lisa Sergio papers GTMGamms172 Box 2 folder 37
  • References to psychic phenomena in two letters from Rev. Rowland F. Nye to journalist and radio broadcaster Lisa Sergio, regarding a spiritual message from the latter’s friend Ann Batchelder, September 1956. Lisa Sergio papers Box 1 folder 4
  • Search “Ghosts” in the  Shane Leslie papers GTMGamms163  to find 33 results! Lots of letters from people recounting ghostly experiences. Check out these items: Manuscript: “Ghosts I have known,” Box 39 folder 16; Notebook re ghosts, Box 39 folder 17
  • The diaries of British writer Wilfrid Hugh Chesson (1870-1953) are filled with entries describing planchette sessions, examples of automatic writing, and accounts of his dreams. Wilfrid Chesson diaries GTMGamms335

Chesson spirit writingChesson diary entry showing spirit writings from planchette sessions.
Wilfrid Chesson diaries, GTMGamms335, Box 1 Folder 2.
Click to enlarge.

  • Mesmerism and animal magnetism in 19th-century America. Not a lot of details but interesting that such things are mentioned in the letters of some educated women. Franklin B. Sanborn papers GTMGamms229
  • Cornucopia of supernatural stuff relating to the preternatural interests of Montague Summers (1880-1948), British author of books on ghosts, werewolves, witches, vampires, fairy curses, the Black Mass, and more. He believed!  Montague Summers papers GTM110501

Montague Summers
Photograph of Montague Summers. Montague Summers papers, GTM110501.

Les Lupins engraving by Maurice Sand

“Les Lupins” engraving by Maurice Sand, for the book Legendes Rustiques (1858), by his mother, French author Georges Sand (1804-1876). Montague Summers papers, GTM110501, Box 13, Folder 5.

--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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Time lapse of Milky Way from nasa.gov

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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Manuscripts