You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

Many congratulations to NCLC donor Katie Davis, for her well-deserved School Library Journal Trailee Award given annually at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference for the video trailers that best promote books for children and teens.  “Book trailers raise awareness about the big power of little books to reach readers,” said Davis after learning that she had won. Davis, who also illustrated the book that she co-authored with her husband Jerry Davis, thanked “all those nice little chickens (and people!) who voted” for her entry. In the category of Publisher/Author Created for Elementary Readers , the trailer tells the story of Little Chicken’s Big Day, when Little Chicken goes with his mother to do errands and gets lost.  The School Library Journal web site has more information about the Trailee Awards including winners in other categories, such as Grace Lin’s Award in the Student Created for Elementary Readers category for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown, 2009; Trailer by the members of the Bookie Woogie Book Blog).  Grace Lin appeared at the 2011 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and we hope to see her again soon.  Congratulations, Katie and Grace!

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, NCLC

Satirical lyrics for "This Land is Their Land"

The booklet these lyrics are from, discussed in a blog posting I did on January 19, is a complex work, in many ways posing more questions than providing answers.  I asked our readers to analyze the lyrics and think about the intent of the authors.  Here is some more information to inform you about this item:

There is no published date for the book but from some lyrics it appears that it was published in 1947.

The lyrics in the booklet are highly satirical of the conflict between those in power, both polititians and others in control by virtue of wealth or ownership of businesses, and workers.  The lyrics are very bitter to those who own Cadillacs (a very fancy and expensive car, especially in the 1940s), are landlords, are on Wall Street and in Hollywood, as in the song “This Land is Their Land,” or to the President (at that time Harry S Truman), implying that he is playing golf while workers suffer, as in the song “The Right to Suffer Blues.”  Burning Tree is a reference to an exclusive golf club in Greenwich, Connecticut.

There are references to publications of the Communist Party, including The Daily Worker, and the Socialist Workers Party, who published Labor Action.

The lyrics to “The Right to Suffer Blues” has an interesting play on the word “putts,” with a note to those who speak Yiddish that it means “to hit the ball.”   It actually is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Yiddish word “putz,” which means a stupid person.

This primary source conforms to the Connecticut Social Studies Curriculum Framework for high school students, particularly Strand 1.1, grade level expectation 7 — compare and contrast various American Beliefs, values and political ideologies.

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

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Here are some pages from an odd little booklet in the Alternative Press Collection.  Examine these lyrics and try to devise the intent of the songs.  As you look at the pages of the “songbook” ask yourself these questions:

Who may have written these lyrics?  Do you really think it was people who were someone’s bosses?

What year was this booklet created?  What was happening in the world at that time?

Is this written as a satire or do you think the writers meant for the reader to take them at face value?  Who do you think the audience for these lyrics was?

What change do you think the writers of the lyrics hoped would take place?

Who is J. Edgar Hoover and why would the songbook be dedicated to him?  In the song “The Good Old Party Line” there are references to “’41,” “Willow Run,” and “Chiang Kai Chek.”  What do these mean?

I will add some information about the booklet in a post in a few days.  In the meantime, analyze this document and ask a lot of questions of it.  Let me know if you have other questions, or what your comments may be.

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collection

Many students had already gone home, so as of January 18, 1916, Connecticut Agricultural College suspended classes until February 2. Then, on January 30, the suspension of classes was extended, and the college would not reopen before February 9. It was determined that final exams would not be given for the winter term – the college was then operating under a system of three semesters. Final grades for the semester were based on a student’s class average, and anyone who had a 60 or below (out of 80), could take what was called “a free condition exam”.  More than 1200 cases of scarlet fever were reported in Connecticut in 1916. Twenty nine resulted in death.

 

–Mark J. Roy, University Communications (retired)

Women’s Magazines and Fashion in 19th Century Spain – A Snapshot of the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers Collection

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In 2009 I wrote my first Item of the Month regarding our holdings of Spanish women fashion magazines and our intention to digitize a selection of the collection to increase its access. Two years later we have completed this project successfully. Today many researchers from Spain have been downloading these unique titles. In the last two years some titles have been downloaded over 1,000 times! This numbers showcases the great popularity that this project have generated. We are proud to have made accessible this cultural heritage of the people of Spain and open up the opportunity to many other users (such as Spanish language teachers, women studies scholars, etc.) to experience these outstanding titles.

Below I am re-posting the information I wrote in 2009 with update information regarding where to find these digitized titles. Enjoy!

Marisol Ramos
Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections

Archival collections are fascinating not only for their content but for the context of their creation and acquisition. The Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers is no exception. This unique collection of Spanish magazines and newspapers is just a tiny part of the huge book and periodical collection that was assembled by renowned Spanish bibliophile Juan Perez de Guzman y Boza, Duque de T’ Serclaes. Born in 1852 in the town of Jerez de los Caballeros, the Duke was well known by antiquarian booksellers in Spain for his exquisite taste and voracious appetite for all types of Spanish books and publications. His ability to find and acquire unique and rare materials was legendary and it was not uncommon to find specialized bibliographies of Spanish materials citing that the only copy available was in the hands of the Duke*. Toward the end of his life, the Duke collection was in deposit at the National Library in Spain, but after his death in 1934, his collection was sold in lots by his heirs. In the 1970s the Special Collections Department at the Wilbur Cross Library (the predecessor to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center) acquired this collection of periodicals and newspaper through H.P. Kraus Periodicals.

Today, this collection is housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The variety of magazines and newspapers amassed by the Duke of T’ Serclaes include a great variety of literary magazines, general interest magazines (literature, sciences, and politics), religion, women and fashion magazines, and other subjects. The collection spans three centuries (18th to early 20th century) of Spanish life, culture and politics. The bulk of the collection falls between the 1800-1840, which reflects major events in history of Spain (the Napoleonic period and the Wars of Independence in Spain).

Of great interest is the wide selection of women magazines written by men to appeal to a female elite audience. Ranging from literary and general interest magazines, full of short historical stories, poems, and good advice for both men and women about the proper behavior of ladies at any age, to beautiful colored and engraved fashion magazines with the latest news of Paris fashion, with music sheets of polkas and other music specifically composed for the magazines and patterns for needlework, these magazines are a window to understand the Romantic Period in Spain.

A selection of these women magazines (20 titles) were digitized in 2010 and now available through the Internet Archives. To see the complete listing of title digitized visit, http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/collections/spanwomen.htm

For more information regarding the Spanish Periodicals and Newspaper Collection, contact Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.

*See Hartzenbusch, D. Eugenio. Apuntes para un catalogo de periódicos madrilenos desde el año 1661 al 1870 and Gomez Imaz, Manuel. Los periódicos durante la Guerra de la Independencia (1808-1814).

The Lyman Viaduct under construction, July 4, 1871

 
It’s hard to gauge just how high the Lyman Viaduct is until you click on the photograph to get a larger view and look closely at the bottom.  See the man and the horse (or maybe it’s a mule, it’s hard to tell)?  Then compare them to the enormity of the trestle, then under construction.  Amazing, isn’t it?
 
At 1100 feet long and 137 feet high, the Lyman Viaduct iron railroad trestle was built 1872-1873 to span the valley of Dickinson Creek near Colchester, Connecticut. Named after David Lyman, the man who built the New Haven, Middletown & Willimantic section of the Air Line Railroad, the trestle was a major link in a railroad line that was billed as the fastest route between Boston and New York City. 
 
In 1912, as trains became heavier and the railroad became concerned about the stability of the trestle, the Lyman Viaduct was filled in with sand and gravel. It is now part of the Air Line State Park Trail, on the Rails-to-Trails network.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August 1986.
 
The Lyman Viaduct is a technological marvel, showing the great lengths Americans went to to take advantage of the most powerful mode of transportation of the time.  By the early 1900s almost every town in Connecticut had a railroad line easily accessible, enabling travel among the towns and cities as well as across the nation. 
 

This primary source conforms to the Connecticut Social Studies Curriculum Framework for Grade 8 students, particularly Strand 1.5 — weigh the impact of America’s Industrial Revolution, industrialization and urbanization on the environment.

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

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