Blog topic: Manuscripts
When Mexican graphic artist José Guadalupe Posada died in 1913 he could not have imagined that his satirical calaveras or skulls would become such a ubiquitous presence around Halloween, which happens to coincide with Mexico’s Day of the Dead or Día de muertos, mistranslated as Día de los Muertos and horrifies language purists.
The Stanford University Libraries received a collection of documents and manuscripts from the conductor, pianist, composer, and music editor, Jacques-Louis Monod. He was born at Asnières-sur-Seine, France on 25 February 1927 and, as a child prodigy, began his education at the Paris Conservatory in 1935. He studied composition principally with René Leibowitz, who was a major influence on his work, and also with composers Olivier Messiaen, Bernard Wagenaar, Boris Blacher, and Josef Rufer.
Some of the significant acquisitions in music acquired last year are highlighted here. A more complete list may be found on the Music Library’s web page. We are grateful to our endowed fund donors whose contributions made most of these purchases possible.
Expositions and world fairs were responsible for creating a lot of popular music, as the collection recently added shows. The sheet music provides a fascinating view of these events, from the colorful cover art, to the stories and descriptions contained in the lyrics. The 1893 Chicago, 1904 St. Louis, and 1915 and 1939 San Francisco fairs are especially well represented. The collection includes more than 20 songs from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Fair held in San Francisco. Some of them are Romanoff Caviar, Meet Me in Frisco and We’ll Go to the Fair, That’s How They Spent Their Honeymoon, 1915 Rag, Frisco You’re a Bear. The earliest example in the collection is The Exhibition Quadrille, its cover shows a lithograph of the Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.
2017 marks the 10th year of the Gustave Gimon Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Stanford Libraries, during which time 22 scholars outside of Stanford have had the opportunity to use the materials in the Gustave Gimon Collection of French Political Economy. The Gimon collection, acquired by the library in 1996 and named in honor of the donor's father, Gustave Gimon, a hero of the French Resistance, contains almost 1000 items documenting the development of political and economic ideas in France from the 16th-19th centuries.
Among the rare materials held in the East Asia Library's special collections, the Tao Pai-chuan papers are a unique resource for studying Taiwanese history and politics. Tao Pai-chuan 陶百川 (1901 - 2002) was a scholar and politician who served as an advisor to several prominent figures in the Republic of China government, including the presidents Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui. In 2010, his family donated a number of his personal documents and a set of his collected writings to the Stanford East Asia Library.
It was my distinct pleasure to offer a window into Stanford Libraries’ rare music collections to students in the “Why Music Matters” course from the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute, and performers in the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Chamber Music Course. We gathered in Special Collections for an up-close examination of manuscripts and early print materials, dating from 1942 (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) all the way back to the 12th century (a sacred chant fragment).