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Archive for November, 2012

Maritime Recipes and Cure-Alls for the Adventurous Chef

Friday, November 30th, 2012

C.P.R.CO. S.S. Princess May wrecked on Sentinel Is. Alaska; Andrews (Clarence L.) Photographs; Photo by W.H. Case; PH001_1320b

Should you be suffering from a complaint of the liver, please consider the following recipe from the Ships Log/Cookbook of the H. M. Packet Swiftsure, 1820*:

Cure for the Liver Complaint:

Take of the female or red stemed dandelion one quarter of a Peck, three or four large heads of Garlick, one pound of loaf sugar, one gallon of spring water.  The above boiled down to half a gallon, strained off, and then add one pint of strong vinegar-

Take a wine glassful three or four times a day – An effectual cure for the Liver complaint.

Other recipes include Calf’s Foot Jelly (for those with a spare calf’s foot lying around), Indian Pickle, Very Fine Sausages, and Mrs. Green’s Milk Punch (which should probably be called Mrs. Green’s Rum Punch, since it consists of 4 quarts of rum and 3 pints of milk).  For this and 50 other maritime recipes, see the Swiftsure Ship log and recipe book (B 118) in the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

*Warning: Special Collections and University Archives is not an approved medical provider.  Please do not consume this concoction without first consulting a physician and/or salty sailor previously cured of the liver complaint with said concoction.  However, should you know what a complaint of the liver would be in modern parlance, please comment and let us know.

–Austin Munsell, Collections Coordinator

Becoming a Comics Journalist: Joe Sacco’s Visit to Special Collections and University Archives

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Joe Sacco is a comics journalist whose work is based on intensive on-the-scene research and interviews, close observation, and dramatic graphic representation.  Many of his books deal with war and conflict. One U.S. publisher, Macmillan, has called him “the world’s greatest cartoon reporter.”

Sacco is shown in these photos signing copies of his book Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995, in the Special Collections and University Archives classroom. The students in this Freshman Seminar, “From Gothic Script to Graphic Novel,” taught by James Fox and Marilyn Reaves, were assigned this book for a reading and drawing project. Sacco graciously agreed to come down from Portland to meet with the class and answer their many questions about wartime journalism, publishing, creativity, drawing, his career path, his involvement with the people and places in his books. He is an eloquent speaker and deep thinker; it was a lively and inspiring interchange.

Sacco has won several major book awards for his work:

Palestine: American Book Award (1996)

Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995: Eisner Award for Best Original Graphic Novel (2001)

Footnotes in Gaza: A Graphic Novel: Oregon Book Award (2012)

These and other books by Joe Sacco are held in Special Collections and University Archives. Journalism, published this year, is a collection of shorter pieces on conflicts around the world. His most recent book, with Chris Hedges, entitled Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, examines poverty in several regions of America. It was a pleasure having him visit the University of Oregon Library.

–Marilyn Reaves, Assistant to the Director

Student Worker Highlight: Cecilia Tran

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Special Collections and University Archives could not function without the amazing student workers who assist the staff on a daily basis on numerous projects including paging materials for researchers, fulfilling scanning and photocopying requests, and processing collections, among numerous other requests. Throughout this school year we will be highlighting these students each week to showcase their interests and some of their favorite collections in our repository.

What is your Major/Minor? I’m majoring in Sociology, minoring in Political Science and earning a certificate in the Substance Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP) offered here. If you’re unfamiliar with what SAPP is, it “provides academic course work in the areas of alcohol and drug prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.” I’m doing this program because there isn’t a criminology major offered at the University of Oregon.

What is your career goal? I have no idea what I want to do with my life but I know I want to work with crimes and/or crime victims. I used to want to be a Crime Scene Investigator but as I got older and my tolerance for blood fell, I knew that wasn’t the career path for me. I’m not sure if I want to be a counselor or work specifically with crime cases, but I know that criminology/criminal justice is a field I want to be involved in.

Why do you like working at Special Collections and University Archives? I like working at Special Collections and University Archives because everything is so historical and interesting. I had no idea a place like that even existed and it’s really awesome that I get to look at diaries and manuscripts written from so long ago and it’s amazing how communication have changed since then. It’s just really cool looking at old documents like that because that isn’t something that is popular anymore.

What is your Favorite item or collection in our repository? Since I’m still relatively new, I haven’t seen a lot of what Special Collections and University Archives has to offer but I definitely think looking at letters from hundreds of years ago and reading how people wrote to each other and the condition that the paper they wrote on is in is so fascinating to me. Sometimes people unaffiliated with the University of Oregon come to read these letters and want to transcribe them and I have no idea how they can even read it because it’s written in beautiful cursive that’s very difficult to read but it’s amazing that they want to take time out of their lives to research and devote their time to this.


Inspirational class

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

poem about an egg James Fox, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, and Marilyn Reeves, Assistant to the Head, teach a Freshman Seminar each year, From Gothic Script to Graphic Novel (LIB 199):  “The book is both a physical object and a transmitter of culture. We will examine the history and art of the book, from handwritten manuscript to graphic novel.  Students will have hands-on practice in writing historical scripts, making a book, designing a decorated initial on parchment, setting type and printing, and creating their own graphic sequences. A bookbinder, calligrapher, fine-press printer, book collector, and graphic novelist will give students an opportunity to view the book from many perspectives and deepen their understanding of its evolution.” This year Joe Sacco, noted comics author and journalist, was a guest lecturer.  Sacco won the 1996 American Book Award for Palestine, and acclaim for Safe Area Goražde.

In addition to being enthralled by the eminent graphic novelist, the students in this class have way too much hands-on fun, learning calligraphy, binding their own book, and researching medieval manuscripts. The subject of a recent class was egg tempera, a technique used from ancient Egypt times through to the invention of oil painting in the 1500s. Egg tempera is very durable, fast drying, and perfect for detailed work. Basically, you mix pigment, water and egg white.

After learning how to concoct and apply egg tempera a student named Mary felt compelled to acknowledge the experience in this lovely combination of calligraphy and poesy on the class whiteboard. Thanks, Mary!


Oregon Trail Diaries: Journeys to the Northwest

Monday, November 12th, 2012

During this fall term, students in Professor Marsha Weisiger’s HIST 466 course, The American West, were assigned to read original diaries documenting journeys to the Pacific Northwest in the nineteenth century, housed in Special Collections and University Archives.

Special Collections and University Archives is the repository for over 100 overland trail journals and several sea journeys to the Pacific Northwest, many of which are original documents. Professor Weisiger’s students are to read three journals and compare their differences and similarities among the three experiences, with particular focus on issues such as class, race, gender, and ethnicity.

The diaries documenting journeys to the Pacific Northwest (the Oregon Trail is the predominate route represented among the diaries) are described in the Special Collections and University Archives’ subject guides here.

To the left is the first page of Abigail Scott Duniway’s diary written in 1852 to document her family’s migration over the Oregon Trail (Abigail Scott Duniway Papers, Coll. 232B). The finding aid to the Duniway Papers can be found here and the fully digitized diary can be found here.

Linda Long
Manuscripts Librarian

Clay Tablets

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Special Collections and University Archives has a set of three ancient clay tablets that are now on display in our exhibit space on the 2nd floor of Knight Library outside of the Paulson Reading Room. These items were gifted to the archives by the Library Staff Association, University of Oregon Libraries. They are listed as one of the 100 treasures within the Special Collections and University Archives, as noted in this book: “100 Treasures Celebrating 100 Years: An Exhibition for the Centennial of the University of Oregon Library.”

Clay was used in ancient times as a writing surface. After fashioning clay into tablets or cones, characters were imprinted on wet clay using a writing utensil made from a reed, called a stylus, and then the tablets were dried in the sun or baked in a kiln. Tablets baked in the sun could be reconstituted and reused by soaking the dry clay in water. Some baked in a kiln to become hard and durable. The tablets held in Special Collections and University Archives are examples of the latter.

One of the tablets is shaped like a cookie and is an account of a business transactions, documenting shipments of reeds. The two cone shaped ones are religious, being temple dedications. The tablets are of interest to students in classes on archaeology or any class that involves ancient writing systems.

Bruce Tabb
Special Collections Librarian

Student Worker Highlight: Chas Cassidy

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The Special Collections and University Archives could not function without the amazing student workers who assist the staff on a daily basis on numerous projects including paging materials for researchers, fulfilling scanning and photocopying requests, and processing collections, among numerous other requests. Throughout this school year we will be highlighting these students each week to showcase their interests and some of their favorite collections in our repository.

What is your major/minor? My major is Russian studies, with an emphasis in Russian history. I’m intrigued by the ethical and philosophical implications of Communism, especially in relation to premeditation and personal actualization. I am considering a minor in either folklore or creative writing, both of which work with individual experience within larger social and thematic systems.

What is your career goal?  When I am older, I would like to be an archivist. I discovered this passion for records and historical documentation while working at Special Collections and University Archives: first hand, I have seen archival sciences bring together a diverse group of people who share the common goal of higher thinking.

Why do you like working  at Special Collections and University Archives? I love Special Collections because it feeds my natural affinity for retrospection and provides a positive work environment. The atmosphere is progressive. Down time is valued and respected. We are a repository of deep knowledge in an era that prioritizes instantaneous information. The people I work with are ethical, aware, and forward-thinking, and I am always learning from them.

What is your favorite item or collection in our repository? Choosing a favorite item is so difficult — so little time, you know. I think the SWORP (South West Oregon Research Project) collection is of special interest, as it utilizes original materials to explore Native experiences throughout Oregon. The documentation of indigenous languages and the re-examination of colonialist history is critical, especially now, when these narratives are so in danger of being diluted or lost to a monolithic American future.

Native American Heritage Month

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Siletz Tribal Royalty at campus Pow Wow, date unknown.

The month of November is celebrated as Native American Heritage Month across the United States. During this time we honor and celebrate the importance of the indigenous peoples of this continent who have lived on these lands since time immemorial and who continue to thrive across the country today. Some basic background information about the history of Native American Heritage Month can be found here.

Various archive repositories, both local and national, are honoring the beauty of Native American archive collections. National repositories in Washington, DC have a created a web portal devoted to collections, exhibits, as well as resources for teachers. At the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives we are honored to be the stewards of various Native American collections that represent the breadth and scope of the tribal communities across Oregon and the greater Northwest. We honor their history and beauty that resonates in the past, present, and future generations.

For a comprehensive list of our Native American collections, see our Tribal Legacies project. The database presents a first step in providing extended access to materials pertaining to Native American ethnography and history in the University of Oregon Libraries. The digital collection brings together information from UO Libraries’ documents, maps, photographs, and manuscript collections.  We previously highlighted this database when we celebrated Native American Day in September; more information can be found here .

Knight Library is also pleased to host an exhibit honoring Jim Thorpe, November 12th through January 31st:  “The Greatest Athlete in History! An Exhibit Honoring Jim Thorpe.” Before Ashton Eaton, Dan and Dave, and Bruce Jenner, there was Jim Thorpe. This exhibit honors the life, legacy and contemporary issues associated with this multi-talented Sac and Fox sports and cultural icon, locating him firmly within Sac and Fox and Native American historical contexts. The exhibit can be seen on the first floor of Knight Library directly in front of the Circulation Desk.

In addition, across the University of Oregon campus there are numerous events being held in honor of Native American Heritage Month. You can see a full list compiled by the Native American Student Union here. The majority of these events will take place at the Many Nations Longhouse on campus.

Please join the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives in the important celebration.

Jennifer R. O’Neal
Corrigan Solari University Historian and Archivist

Gallery of Archival Horrors

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The Smithsonian put together a photo show of preservation problems in their collection, as part of their celebration of Halloween and of Archives Month. Check it out: When Bad Things happen to Good Collections

When Susan B. Anthony Tried to Vote

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Given the Oregon Suffrage Centennial and today’s election, here’s a wonderful summation by Doug Linder (2001) :  The Trial of Susan B. Anthony for Illegal Voting

“Susan B. Anthony is not on trial; the United States is on trial.”–Matilda Joslyn Gage

Don’t forget, if you want to explore primary sources on Oregon women and politics, we have Abigail Scott Duniway papers among others, and through an LSTA grant from the Oregon State Library, we recently posted finding aids to the  Gretchen Kafoury papers and the Nancie Fadeley papers. Through the end of this year, we’ll be completing description of materials related to the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus, and NOW. Stay tuned!