In my role as manuscripts cataloger, I get to experience the joy of encountering new and different material every day. A recent acquisition that came across my desk was a handwritten manuscript compiled by William Hustler for Jane Fell (the two wed in 1796), titled Salmagundi: A Miscellaneous Combination of Original Poetry Consisting of Amatory, Elegiac, Sonnets, and Other Palatable Ingredients.
This year, Stanford Classics turns 125, and to celebrate, we have put together an exhibit examining its early history. While small and undistinguished early on, the department quickly produced scholars of distinction. Today it is a major center of American classics, and a world leader in the study of ancient Greece and Rome. Still, the century and a quarter that intervenes between us and its foundation is often a sort of ever-advancing black box—that is, we seldom have an institutional memory that extends any further back than the recollection of the faculty's most senior member. Earlier outlines of the department's history are therefore simply lost. This exhibit hopes to shed some light on that earlier place and time.
We are pleased to announce that Freya Channing has joined our Department as the Rare Books Copy Cataloger! Please join us in welcoming her to the fold. She will begin her new position on May 1.
Freya is already familiar to many of us as she has been working in Special Collections as the Processing Assistant on the Helen & Newton Harrison Papers for the past year and a half. Prior to that her work experience has included other archival processing projects, processing and describing printed ephemera, cataloging art books, and a wide variety of digital projects including metadata creation and cleanup. Freya has a B.A. from Mills College and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.
Stanford University Library’s Department of Special Collections has completed processing for two major collections: the Helen and Newton Harrison Papers and the William Hewlett Papers. The two projects were supported with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, respectively.
A guest post from one of our Road & Track project archivists, Beaudry Allen:
There is always something unexpected to find when processing a collection. You do not have to be a car aficionado or even know the first thing about cars to at least have a slight remembrance of the car in film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While the memories evoked by the car may be its ability to fly or float in water, the car was based on the legendary Brooklands cars of Count Louis Vorow Zborowski. Zborowski was a famous 1920s English racing driver and automobile engineer known for building his own race cars, some of which were called “Chitty Bang Bang.” Ian Fleming was influenced by Zborowski’s engineered car and its eccentricities when he wrote the famed children’s story of the same name. When the 1968 film adaptation started, mock-ups were built in the Edwardian-style. They actually worked, but apparently in the style of the day the cars only had brakes on the rear wheels, which meant that there were no brakes if you went in reverse. So the car may not be safe for the road today - but certainly one for memory lane.
The Road & Track collection is currently being processed, but a portion of the archive is available. A preliminary guide is available here:
Next week, from Feburary 1-February 5, archives are joining the adult coloring craze with #ColorOurCollections, providing coloring pages made from materials held within their special collections. We're joining in while simultaneously celebrating some newly released digitized material from the José Guadalupe Posada collection, circa 1875-1913.
The University Archives is pleased to announce that it has digitized a remarkable manuscript, "Carry On," written by James M. Robb ('31), a WWII POW who survived the Bataan Death March. The manuscript, written while Robb was a patient at the Bilibid prison-hospital in the Philippines, was buried in a canister under floorboards in a building in the prison by Warrant Officer Earl G. Schweizer, who is referred to often in the manuscript and who was apparently a good friend of James's in the camp.