Archive for the ‘Acquisitions and Collections’ Category

Something’s Brewing in Special Collections…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

It’s not too late to sign up for Lager for Libraries, a beer tasting and fundraiser for the LSU Libraries that will be held tomorrow, June 5, from 6-8 p.m. at Tin Roof Brewing Co. in Baton Rouge. And if you’re interested in beer’s history as well as sampling some new brews, here are a few things from Special Collections you should have a look at…

Sehr nützlicher Tractat von Bier-Brau-Recht (“A Very Useful Tract on the Laws of Beer Brewing”) was published in the German city of Regensburg in 1722. Its author, Johann Otto Tabor, was a law professor who wrote about regulations regarding the production and selling of beer. He also included an interesting chapter on beer’s history and its consumption by the Egyptians and Romans. (Special Collections also owns a Babylonian cuneiform tablet from ca. 4,500 B.C., which is possibly a receipt for grain used to make beer.)

Hops were being used to add flavor to beer at least as early as the eleventh century. They were first imported to England around 1400, but it wasn’t until the sixteenth century that they were grown there. John Ray, in his Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes (1597), wrote that “The flowers [of hops] are used to season Beere or Ale with, and overmany do cause bitternes thereof, and are ill for the head.” However, he also noted that “The manifold vertues in Hops do manifestly argue the holesomnesse of Beere above Ale; for the Hops rather make it a Phisicall drinke to keepe the body in health, then an ordinarie drinke for the quenching of our thirst.”

And yet rather than “keeping the body in health,” beer sometimes made people very sick. The French scientist Louis Pasteur looked into this problem in the 1860s, discovering that bacteria in beer, wine, and milk was what caused it to spoil. His Études sur la Bière, published in 1876, contains his findings, as well as recommendations for a better brewing process.

Special Collections also has a few unusual items related to the history of beer in Louisiana. One is a recipe for “bière creole.” Written in French and probably dating from the early nineteenth century, it claims to be a cure for syphilis.

Another item is an advertisement card for New Orleans Mead, a form of root beer that “is free from all injurious substances” (i.e., alcohol). Made with spices, herbs, roots, and honey, such drinks were popular in the nineteenth century when temperance activists blamed beer and other alcoholic beverages for all kinds of social problems from poverty to domestic abuse.

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Special Collections is in the early stages of building a collection of materials related to beer and brewing, with a focus on the history and culture of brewing in Louisiana. Stay tuned for more, and if you have suggestions for materials to collect, let us know!

Hill Documents Featured in New Book

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Louisianians (or Luisianeses) and Their Hill Documents Featured in Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012

A recent publication by the U.S. Government Printing Office offers further glimpses into how Louisiana and its citizens (Luisiana and Luisianeses in Spanish) have figured in the Hispanic contribution to American history. The third volume in a series on women and minorities who have served in the House and the Senate, Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 was published by the U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian and Office of the Clerk, toward the end of 2013. Deriving part of its vast amount of information from two collections housed at LSU Special Collections, the reference book presents biographical profiles of 91 Hispanic members of Congress in chronological order through 2012. Along with an introduction and appendices, four general essays set various periods of Congressional service in historical context: the era of U.S. continental expansion (1822-1898), the age of U.S. colonialism and global expansion (1898-1945), the Civil Rights era (1945-1977), and recent legislative trends and power sharing among Hispanic Americans in Congress (1977-2012).

Hispanic Americans in Congress

Among the 91 Hispanic members of Congress examined in the study, two hail from Louisiana: Ladislas “Doc” Lazaro (1872-1927) and Joachim Octave “Joe” Fernández (1896-1978). In compiling the essay on the former, editors drew heavily from LSU’s Ladislas Lazaro Papers (Mss. 1113, 1149). For the latter, they quoted from a Paul Maloney oral-history interview in the T. Harry Williams Papers (Mss. 2489, 2510), which is also in LSU’s Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections.

LazaroAs only the second Hispanic representative in Congress (after Californian Romualdo Pacheco, who served from 1879 to 1883), Lazaro was also only the second Hispanic member eligible to chair a committee. Born on the family plantation near Ville Platte, Lazaro descended on his mother’s side from the Ortegos, one of Ville Platte’s founding Hispanic families. After attending the forerunner of Holy Cross High School in New Orleans, he graduated from Louisville Medical College (Kentucky) in 1894. “Doc” Lazaro practiced medicine in Washington, Louisiana, and was chosen by his colleagues to serve as first vice president of the state medical society in 1907. A Democrat, he was propelled into national office in 1912 as a supporter of Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive platform. Serving as U.S. representative from 1913 to 1927, Lazaro tended to the agricultural interests of his Louisiana district, focusing on protective tariffs and improving farmers’ access to markets through waterway and railway projects. Lazaro advocated for the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway, voted against Prohibition, and opposed a string of measures granting women the right to vote on the grounds that states would be yielding too much power to the Federal Government in the process. By the early 1920s, he was the longest-serving Hispanic member of Congress to that point. Late in the 69th Congress (1925-1927), Lazaro died of complications from an abscess following abdominal surgery. Hispanic Americans in Congress draws considerable information for the Lazaro article from speeches, campaign pamphlets, and letters in LSU’s Ladislas Lazaro Papers.

FernándezNative New Orleanian “Joe” Fernández was the grandson of a Spanish immigrant merchant and son of Octave Gonzales Fernández, who served in the Louisiana State House of Representatives and died in office in 1921. Attending neither high school nor college, Fernández worked as an expert on shipping fees and storage tariffs. The same year as his father’s death, he was elected to the Louisiana State Constitutional Convention. He then won election to the Louisiana Legislature, serving for much of the 1920s. Endorsed initially by the New Orleans Democratic machine, Fernández switched his allegiance to Huey Long in 1930. He served as U.S. representative from 1931 to 1941, his workload centered on assisting individuals with issues such as pension adjustments, benefits, and military discharges. He also concentrated on acquiring land for local projects involving levees, bridges, streets, and public buildings. Throughout the 1930s, he introduced a series of bills to establish the Chalmette National Historical Park and sought to revive the Algiers Naval Station. His political career having become intertwined with that of Huey Long, it began to decline following the Kingfish’s assassination in 1935. After leaving Congress in January 1941, Fernández served in active duty as a U.S. Naval Reserve lieutenant commander until 1943. Following retirement from politics, Fernández worked as a tax consultant and passed away in New Orleans shortly before his eighty-second birthday.

Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 was launched as a web exhibition at http://history.house.gov/ that is current through the present Congress. The online exhibit includes the additional 11 Hispanic-American representatives and senators who reported to Capitol Hill for the 113th Congress, and it will be updated to reflect future changes. Hispanic Americans in Congress is available through the U.S. Government Printing Office, which will produce a free, downloadable e-book version from its site within the month.

An Astronomical Acquisition

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Big Fights in Special Collections

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

(By Hans Rasmussen)

Most boxing fans remember New Orleans as the site of the famous Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán “No Más Fight” in the Superdome on November 25, 1980, but in the late nineteenth century, the Crescent City stood as one of the major centers of American prizefighting, long before the rise of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  Three artifacts in the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections remind us of these rowdy early days of boxing in America and its first great heavyweight champion, John L. Sullivan.

John L. Sullivan Ex-Champion of the World

Although widely popular, prizefighting was banned almost everywhere in the United States in the late nineteenth century.  Instead, fights were held in legal no-man’s-lands like offshore barges, coastal islands, and even in more tolerant Havana, Cuba.  One championship fight in 1896 was waged on a sandbar in the Rio Grande to evade both Mexican and Texan authorities.  In the months before a match, fight promoters would instruct fans to gather in a particular city around a certain date where they would purchase train tickets for a surreptitious journey to a secluded venue known only to the promoter.  John L. Sullivan of Boston won his heavyweight championship in one of these “fight-and-dash” bouts, a nine-round, eleven-minute trouncing of the out-of-shape and outmatched champion, Paddy Ryan, on February 7, 1882 (rounds were untimed and unlimited under the London Prize Ring Rules that governed bare knuckle prizefighting, ending only when a man was knocked or thrown to the turf).  Fight enthusiasts had gathered beforehand in New Orleans to board trains for the match held at a hotel in Mississippi City, Mississippi, on the coast near Gulfport.

Jake Kilrain Broadside

The Jake Kilrain vs. John L. Sullivan Championship Prize Fight Broadside (1889) advertised another flagrantly illegal bout, as the instructions to fight fans made abundantly clear.  Again, New Orleans became the gathering place for members of “the Fancy” eager to see Sullivan defend his title against Jake Kilrain in the last bare knuckle heavyweight championship bout in American history.  Evading militia in both Louisiana and Mississippi, the trains departed New Orleans for a hilltop in the pine forest near Richburg, Mississippi, just south of Hattiesburg.  There on July 8, 1889, under a scorching summer sun, Sullivan outlasted Kilrain for 75 rounds over two hours, sixteen minutes, to remain champion.

Jake Kilrain

Three years later, Sullivan defended his title against “Gentleman Jim” Corbett at the Olympic Club in New Orleans, remembered here with the John L. Sullivan and James J. Corbett Grand Glove Contest Ticket (1892).  The first heavyweight championship fought under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules—the rules of modern boxing mandating the use of gloves, three-minute rounds, and a ten-count—the bout was a legal one because it was a gloved contest rather than a bare knuckle prizefight.  Without the need to dodge authorities, the match was held in a new arena lit by electric lights and holding ten thousand spectators bearing event tickets (rather than train tickets) like this one on September 7, 1892.

Grand Glove Contest Ticket, 1892, September 7

Sullivan had not fought since beating Kilrain in 1889 and had clearly reached the end of his career.  Eight years younger than the champ, Corbett wore down Sullivan for an easy knockout in the twenty-first round, giving the “Boston Strong Boy” his first and only defeat of his career.  A round-by-round account of the fight appeared in Life and Battles of James J. Corbett, the Champion Pugilist of the World (1892), a laudatory popular account of Corbett’s life and boxing career published by Richard Kyle Fox, editor of the National Police Gazette, the leading men’s sporting magazine of the day.

Corbett Champion Pugilist of the World

The broadside and ticket are in the LLMVC Ephemera Collection Subgroup VI.  Richard Kyle Fox’s Life and Battles of James J. Corbett, the Champion Pugilist of the World (New York: R.K. Fox, 1892) is in Hill Memorial Library, call number: GV 1132 .C7 F7 (LLMVC).

To learn more about John L. Sullivan, the New Orleans sporting scene, and the world of late-Victorian boxing, see:

Michael T. Isenberg, John L. Sullivan and His America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988) in Middleton Library GV 1132 .S95 I84 1988

Dale A. Somers, The Rise of Sports in New Orleans, 1850-1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1972) in Hill & Middleton Libraries GV 584.5 .N38 S6

 

Revolutionary War Documents Discovered in Special Collections

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

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Fifty-seven original letters and other signed documents related to the American Revolution have been discovered in the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections. The materials include documents signed by or sent to several members of the Continental Congress, three signers of the Declaration of Independence (Samuel Huntington, George Read, and Benjamin Harrison), and other politicians, diplomats, and military leaders, including Generals Henry Knox, Arthur St. Clair, and Benjamin Lincoln, Washington’s second in command, who formally accepted the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781.

Michael Taylor, Assistant Curator of Books for the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections, discovered the materials. He says that an unidentified collector added them to a large set of facsimile reproductions of Revolutionary War manuscripts produced by the American bibliographer B. F. Stevens in the 1890s. The original documents went unnoticed, Taylor believes, because they were interspersed among the 2,107 document facsimiles, which were published in 24 volumes as B.F. Stevens’s Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773-1783. The collector also added more than four hundred engravings to the volumes, depicting individuals and events associated with the Revolution.

“In the 19th century, people often ‘extra-illustrated’ books by inserting prints, letters, autographs, newspaper clippings, and anything else that supplemented the text,” Taylor says. He adds that the materials are a good example of how people collected “relics” of the Revolution. “Some of the letters are interesting in themselves, but I think they are more interesting as a group. How did the people who fought the Revolutionary War go from being ordinary men and women to national icons? How did America create its own mythology? These materials can help teach students about that process.”

Press copy of a document produced for Benjamin Franklin, ca. 1782

Taylor notes that even mundane items in the collection shed light on America’s founders. His favorite document is thought to have been made for Benjamin Franklin, probably by one of his secretaries. Known as a press copy, it was a precursor of the photocopy. “The paper is highly absorbent and as thin as tissue paper,” Taylor explains. “When it was pressed against a letter that had been dampened, it soaked up some of the ink, producing an exact copy.” The technique was invented in England around 1780 by James Watt, who is best known for his work on the steam engine. Franklin, a famous inventor himself, was among the first to use it. The document in LSU’s collection (a passage copied out by hand from a contemporary news magazine, the Maryland Gazette) has a watermark indicating that the paper was made by James Watt.

“This is just one example of the many exciting surprises that Special Collections staff and our visiting researchers find almost every day when working with our collections,” Jessica Lacher-Feldman, Head of Special Collections, commented. “Whether for teaching, research, student and faculty recruitment, or just personal curiosity, the library is a remarkably rich resource that benefits the university, the broader community, and in fact the world. While the collections are processed, and guides are available, the collections are not usually described to the item level.  Exploring and researching a specific collection can yield great things that might be of special interest to the researcher based on their topic, interests, and background.  We plan on digitizing this small group of documents and making them available online through the Louisiana Digital Library in the near future.”

The LSU Libraries Special Collections, in Hill Memorial Library, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at (225) 578-6544 or by email at jlacherfeldman@lsu.edu

Audubon Day May 3rd! Fly on By!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Audubon_scoop!

The LSU Libraries will host a special viewing of the famed double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America (London, 1827-1838).  The viewing will be held in the McIlhenny Room of Hill Memorial Library on the LSU campus, on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 10 am until 2 pm, and is free and open to the public with a reservation.

In addition to the viewing of Birds of America (and a few selected illustrated rare books), this year during Audubon Day, visitors will have the opportunity to view the new travelling exhibition which will be of interest to Audubon and bird enthusiasts. “I Remember: An Art Show of Environmental Significance,” produced by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Task Force in partnership with LSU Libraries’ T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. The exhibition features oral histories, photographs and original art depicting individuals who work, live, and play in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.  Archival materials from LSU Libraries Special Collections complement “I Remember.”  A full description of the exhibition is available here: http://exhibitions.blogs.lib.lsu.edu/?page_id=798

A renowned masterpiece of natural history art, the Birds of America records the rich bird and plant life Audubon saw and drew first-hand when he lived in Louisiana in the 1820s. The edition is known as the “elephant” folio because of its large size, with each of its 435 pages measuring 39 by 27 inches. Publication took eleven years, from 1827 to 1838. LSU’s copy of the Birds was purchased with a grant from the Crown Zellerbach Foundation in 1964, and it has been shown in various venues over the years.

In 2007, it was determined that LSU’s copy could no longer be shown safely due to structural damage to the bindings caused by their large size and other problems with individual plates.  In 2008, the Coypu Foundation made a donation of $99,000 to enable conservation of this work by Etherington Conservation Services.  Over the course of more than a year, the work was painstakingly completed. The final volume returned to the library on December 28, 2009. Thanks to the Coypu Foundation, one of the Libraries’ greatest treasures is now restored to fine condition and can again be shared with our community.

As part of the Audubon Day festivities, participating artists Lane Lefort (photographer) and Marian Brister Martinez (painter) will be on hand in the exhibit gallery to discuss their work currently on display as part of the “I Remember” exhibition. A representative from Marsh Dog will be available to talk about the company’s nutria-based dog food products, and its founding as a creative economic solution to address coastal wetlands loss.

CWPPRA is federal legislation enacted in 1990 that is designed to identify, prepare, and fund construction of coastal wetlands restoration projects.  Since its inception, 151 coastal restoration or protection projects have been authorized, benefiting over 112,000 acres in Louisiana.

For more information on CWPPRA, visit lacoast.gov.

It is with pleasure that the Hill Memorial Library shares these remarkable volumes with the community. Audubon Day events are free and the public is welcome, but reservations are required and space is limited.  Viewings of the folio volumes are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 noon, and 1 p.m. Only 40 people can be admitted for each showing.  Parking is readily accessible in the Indian Mounds lot, directly behind Hill Memorial Library.   To request a reservation, visit the Libraries’ Special Collections website at http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/audubon or call 225-578-6544 during business hours.

As an additional related lagniappe, on Sunday, May 4th, the day after LSU Libraries Special Collections’ Audubon Day, Bike Baton Rouge will lead a Vélo des Oiseaux (bird ride) under the guidance of Professor Phil Strouffer, ornithologist and ecologist at the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources.

The group will meet at 4th Street and Spanish Town Road (the State Museum) at 8.00 AM, Sunday, May 4th. They will ride to the Capitol lakes to see what birds are active on the little lake across from the Governor’s mansion then head to the lake on the north side of the Capitol to see what’s there. From the Capitol we’ll head to the Levee Path and LSU. They will stop along the way where bird life is acitve. They may continue all the way down to the eagle nest by Farr Park. From the Levee they will come back to town via the University/City Park Lakes. Expect at least two and a half to three hours for the ride, though not continuous riding. Anyone under the age of 12 is required by law to wear a helmet. Bring water and a snack to share with others. Binoculars are useful though there will be a spotting telescope on hand.

 

May I Have This Dance? Nineteenth-Century Louisiana Dance Invitations

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

In his book Sketches, Historical and Descriptive, of Louisiana (1812), the Northern traveler Amos Stoddard observed that dancing was one of the most popular pastimes in Louisiana. It was a place where men and women were “particularly attached to the exercise of dancing, and carry it on to an incredible excess. Neither the severity of the cold, nor the oppression of the heat, ever restrains them from this amusement, which usually commences early in the evening, and is seldom suspended till late the next morning. They even attend the balls not infrequently for two or three days in succession, and without the least apparent fatigue. At the exercise the females, in particular, are extremely active, and those of the United States [Louisiana was still a territory] must submit to be called their inferiors.”

Dancing was still a popular social activity later in the nineteenth century. In this post, we feature a selection of dance invitations from the J.M.B. Tucker Family Papers. Mr. Tucker, a judge, and his wife Caledonia lived in Natchitoches, near Louisiana’s western border with Texas. Their daughter Callie was born in 1858. Many of the invitations date from the 1870s and 1880s, when Callie was a young woman, and shed light on the social life of rural northwest Louisiana.

Invitation to a “hop” given by the Natchitoches String and Brass Bands at Lacoste Hall, October 1879:

Invitation to Natchitoches Brass Band Hop, December 1871:

Invitation and dance card to the Calico Ball, December 1879:

Grand Mardi-Gras Ball, given by the Natchitoches Brass Band and Acme Baseball Club, 1882:

Grand Ball and Supper for the benefit of the Touro Infirmary of New Orleans, “under the auspices of the Hebrew Ladies’ Society,” January 1881:

King’s Ball / Festivities of the Grand Pa-Di-Shah of the Princes of the Orient, February 1899:

Humorous Maps of Europe in 1870

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “map”? Most of us would probably think of road maps. There are, however, many different kinds of maps, ranging from maps of historical events and time periods to maps of plant and animal habitats, maps of the moon and stars, and even maps of places that exist only in our imagination. Our latest blog post features two humorous maps from the Rare Book Collection.

Since at least the eighteenth century, artists have used Europe’s geographic features to evoke national characteristics (or, more often, cultural stereotypes). Good examples of this are the two maps shown here. They were published in Berlin during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a brief but bloody conflict in which the German kingdom of Prussia defeated France and sowed the seeds of resentment that eventually led to World War I.

Humoristische Karte von Europe im Jahre 1870 (version 1)

The French emperor, Napoleon III, was unpopular and received no aid from other European countries, some of which thought the war might work to their advantage. England is shown here as detached and aloof, with its “slave” (Ireland) on a chain. Sweden and Norway watch from afar with binoculars. Russia is sharpening a blade and eyeing the Balkans, which, although mostly Slavic, were still part of the Ottoman Empire (represented by a man with a hookah). Italy is characterized as one of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s revolutionaries, crushing the pope in Rome. Austria, recently defeated by Prussia, lies flat on its belly watching the scene unfold, while Prussia grabs the French by their coattails.

 Humoristische Karte von Europe im Jahre 1870 (version 2)

A second, related print makes the same point. England turns a blind eye to the conflict. Spain and Turkey sit idly by, smoking. A corpse-like Austria-Hungary is being kneed in the chest by a husky German soldier, while the Balkans wake up with a yawn (symbolizing the move towards independence from Turkey) only to find Austria’s rear end in their face! Neutral Switzerland is a locked, snow-covered chalet.

These maps are part of a large collection of caricatures related to the Franco-Prussian War. Need a topic for a research paper or creative project? Have a look (and a laugh) at this collection! It is cataloged as Sammlung von Caricaturen, Illustrationen, und Bilder zur Geschichte des Krieges und der Revolution von 1870-1871 (Rare DC291 .S3 Flat) and De Berlin à Paris: A Collection of Prints, Sketches, Caricatures, &c., formed in Berlin during the Period of the Franco-German War, 1870-71 (Rare DC291 .D4 Flat). See also the library’s guide to published materials on the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune.

Collection Spotlight: The Papers of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Dupuy Anderson

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

WWII-portraitWorld War II veteran, dentist, civil rights activist. Dr. Dupuy Anderson’s biography reads like that of many African American civil rights leaders of the mid-20th century. That common history, however, does not diminish his extraordinary contributions and accomplishments, and his papers, now available for research in Hill Memorial Library, provide an important resource for the study of that chapter of Baton Rouge and indeed American history.

Anderson graduated from McKinley High School, Baton Rouge’s earliest African American high school and anchor of the city’s black community for much of the 20th-century. He received a B.S. degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, and a D.D.S. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. Anderson enlisted in 1941 and served with the U.S. Army Air Force, rising to the rank of major. He participated in the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, ran for mayor of Baton Rouge in 1960 (when African Americans did not run for such offices), and filed suit to desegregate the undergraduate division of Louisiana State University. As a result, his daughter Dr. Freya Anderson Rivers was one of six African-American undergraduates to integrate LSU in 1964. Dr. Anderson passed away in 1999.

campaign-letterThe papers, which were donated by Dr. Rivers last year, date from 1935-1996 and include personal photographs, speeches and printed items from his run for mayor-president and correspondence, printed items, and other documents related to his community service, professional activities, and involvement in education and social issues and desegregation of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System and LSU. A full description of the collection is available online. Oral histories conducted with Anderson and Rivers in the 1990s under the auspices of the T. Harry William Center for Oral History are also housed in Hill Library.

Photography Into Print: Jewell’s Crescent City Illustrated of 1873

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

 

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Join us at Hill Memorial Library on Tuesday, February 25th at 5:30 pm for a talk by Gary Van Zante on his work with Jewell’s Crescent City Illustrated of 1873.

The talk will offer a unique look at New Orleans and his exciting upcoming project with LSU Press using the manuscript of Jewell’s Crescent City Illustrated of 1873 from Hill Memorial Library.

Since its publication in 1873, Jewell’s Crescent City Illustrated has been a primary source for the architectural, urban and commercial history of New Orleans. Illustrated with wood engravings of buildings accompanying profiles of commercial firms, it is an outstanding example of the commercial booster book that became an important document of city building in nineteenth century America.

Jewell’s also offers valuable evidence of nineteenth century engraving practice and the printing trade, notably in the rare survival of the publisher’s prospectus now in the Hill Library collections. The prospectus provides the source for the illustrations by prominent New York engraver William Orr in over a hundred original (and in most cases unique) photographic prints by New Orleans photographer Theodore Lilienthal.

Van Zante’s talk explores the origins of Jewell’s, especially the relationship between the nearly century-old practice of wood engraving and the new technology of photography.

vanzante_flier
Gary Van Zante is Curator of Architecture, Design and Photography at the MIT Museum and Director of the Wolk Gallery at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT since 2002, he has curated exhibitions ranging from sixteenth century architectural graphics to contemporary design practice and photography. These include exhibitions of the work of Joel Tettamanti, Margaret Morton, Gabrielle Basilico, Angus Boulton, Stanley Greenberg, Cervin Robinson, among other contemporary photographers. His exhibition Berenice Abbott: Photography and Science, An Essential Unity, opened last November at the Multimedia Museum Moscow. He has organized over 50 exhibitions in a nearly twenty five year curatorial career.

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From 1994 to 2002 he was head of the Southeastern Architectural Archive at Tulane University, where he also taught in the preservation program of the School of Architecture. He is the author of New Orleans 1867: Photographs by Theodore Lilienthal (Merrell Publishers, London) and recently collaborated with James O’Gorman on a catalogue of New Orleans architectural drawings, to be published by Pelican Press early next year. He is a director of the Society of Architectural Historians.

 

 


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