At a glance

Special Collections & University Archives

Exhibits

Opening April 6: Beasts & Books

Poster illustration from Monstrorum Historia by Ulysse Aldrovandi, (Bologna: 1642). Stanford University Libraries Special Collections, Barchas Collection QH41.A4 F vol. 6

A new exhibition in Stanford’s Green Library, curated by Stanford Ph.D. candidate in history Mackenzie Cooley with contributions by undergraduate students in her fall, 2014 course, “History/Femgen 29S: The Animal Other: Humans and Animals in Western History,” explores the interdependence between humans and animals through the lens of book culture. The exhibition of rare books and manuscripts from the Stanford University Libraries' Special Collections will be on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda, Green Library Bing Wing, April 6 through August 22, 2015.

Presented thematically in historical perspective, the exhibit considers diverse aspects of humans’ recorded encounters with and thinking about animals. Among the topics explored and illustrated are monsters of the deep as depicted in sixteenth-century maps; medieval bestiaries and Christian theology, natural history in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods; animals in the New World; horsepower and equine training; bullfighting, masculinity and the culture of hunting; animals as metaphor in the fables of Aesop; Descartes and the “beast-machine;” ethics of consumption of animal flesh; and animals in children’s literature.

The exhibition draws out changes in the nature of animal-human relationships as Western society shifted from domesticity into a post-domestic world, and shows how human knowledge was written onto animals, literally and metaphorically. While medieval manuscripts recorded knowledge on parchment, animals metaphorically functioned as “the other” — the non-person, against which the characteristics of personhood and humanity were defined. Through natural histories, philosophers grappled with the diversity of the natural world, questioning and reaffirming what (if anything) made human beings special within it. By collecting and analyzing animal bodies, humans have continued to define their purpose and uniqueness within the world.

Notes Paula Findlen, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University, “The exhibition invites you to think about the long history of beasts in books from antiquity to the present day. It explores the wealth of rare materials in Stanford University Libraries related to this subject, selecting some of the most interesting items that permit us to trace this theme between history, science, fiction, graphic illustration, and lived experience. There will always be beasts in books. How and why animals haunt our imagination and challenge our understanding of our world – and our place within it in relation to them – lies at the heart of this delightful and thought-provoking exhibit.”

Viewing hours are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Green Library closures vary with the academic schedule. To confirm library hours, call 650-723-0931 or go to http://library.stanford.edu/libraries_collections/hours_locations.html

NOTE: Visitors without Stanford ID must register with a government-issued ID at the entrance to Green Library before entering the building.

For a map of campus and transportation information, go to www.stanford.edu/home/visitors/maps.html

 

"Movements for Change" EXTENDED through March 18, 2015

 

Poster features a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. shaking hands with civil rights activist Annie Devine, surrounded by press and supporters during a break in the Meredith March Against Fear. Canton, Mississippi, 1966.

Photographs of key moments in American civil rights history and farm worker organizing of the 1960s and 1970s by Watsonville, California photographer Bob Fitch are on exhibit in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Stanford's Green Library from September 30, 2014 through March 18, 2015. The exhibition, Movements for Change: The Bob Fitch Photography Archive at Stanford Libraries, marks the Libraries' acquisition of the Fitch archive of close to 275,000 images for use by students and scholars, and celebrates the people whose lives and work Fitch documented.

In 1965, Bob Fitch was an Anglo seminary student at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California when he read James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time as a class assignment. The experience moved him to pursue work as an activist rather than to minister from the pulpit. He purchased used professional camera equipment and began to photograph, working first with Glide Church in San Francisco and then as a volunteer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta from 1965 to 1968. In the South he worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, documenting civil rights activities and serving as a wire service-“from camera click to stamp lick”- for the African American press, which could not risk sending their own correspondents into the field. Along the way, he deepened his commitment to social justice activism and his appreciation of the people who make up movements for change. 

He continued to photograph for the next fifty years, documenting the work of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, the Vietnam War draft resistance movement, and Ron Dellums's first congressional campaign, among many other social justice-related subjects. Most recently, Fitch photographed Luis Alejo's 2010 campaign for California State Assembly.

Iconic Fitch photographs from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s are displayed in Movements for Change: The Bob Fitch Photography Archive at Stanford Libraries. The exhibit offers a window into the work of a lifelong photographer who views himself as “an organizer who uses a camera to tell the story of the work.” Some of the images, such as that of Martin Luther King Jr. in his office (used as a basis for the King memorial in Washington, DC), of Coretta Scott King comforting daughter Bernice on her lap at her husband's funeral, and of Dorothy Day passively resisting armed police from a folding stool, will be familiar to many. Other lesser known images, of African American voter education and registration efforts, marchers and hecklers along the route of the Mississippi Meredith March, the King family in the days immediately following King's assassination, United Farm Workers organizing, the Vietnam War draft resistance movement may alternately surprise and move those who view them.

Viewing hours are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Green Library closures vary with the academic schedule. To confirm library hours, call 650-723-0931 or go to http://library.stanford.edu/libraries_collections/hours_locations.html

For a map of campus and transportation information, go to www.stanford.edu/home/visitors/maps.html

NOTE: Visitors without Stanford ID must register with a government-issued ID at the entrance to Green Library before entering the building.

 

On view summer 2014

After Hours Exhibit Poster

 

After Hours: Creative Pursuits of Stanford University Libraries Staff

Creative people are everywhere, including in the library, as demonstrated by the exhibit “After Hours: Creative Pursuits of Stanford University Libraries Staff,” on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Stanford’s Green Library from June 26 through August 27, 2014. 

The exhibit features almost fifty works of art and artisanship created by more than thirty staff from all corners of the organization, in media as widely varied as the job titles of their creators. In addition to traditional fine art techniques of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography, the show includes mixed media sculpture, stone carving, ceramics, collage, textiles, costuming, and creative writing. Each artist contributed a brief statement about the how and why of their creative process to accompany their work in the show.

Among the works on display are charcoal-on-paper gesture studies by Ray Heigemeir, (Public Services Librarian, Music Library), aquatint etchings by Sarah Newton (Conservation Assistant, Preservation Department), wet plate collodion photographic prints by Richard Webber (Associate Director, Enterprise Systems and Programming), a pair of quilts abstracted from a photograph of a Mountain View alley by Amy Hodge (Science Data Librarian, Branner Earth Sciences Library), and a roman capital alphabet, hand drawn and V-cut from limestone using a mallet and chisel by David Brock (Conservator, Conservation & Preservation).

Map Cow This Is, a large-scale watercolor painting on plywood by Everardo Rodriguez (Library Specialist, Latin American Collections), superimposes a map of the United States on the image of a calf and uses a play on the words “mad cow disease” to comment on the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq during the War on Terror. Safety Zone, a fleet of painted model ships by Angela Tsai (Technical Administrative Assistant, Library Director’s Office), employs the metaphor of dazzle camouflage to explore and convey issues of racial and cultural assimilation.

Repurposed materials are the stuff of several pieces in the exhibition, including Pozitizer 3, a mixed media sculpture by Bruce Lundquist (Senior Designer, Stanford University Press), which he says “arose out of a box of odd pieces of hardware, a conversation with an eccentric rock hound about the powers of various stones, and an affinity for stacking things.” Altered books figure in collages by Justine Withers (Data Control Specialist, Technical Services), and in the diorama Mask of the Red Death—an homage to the Edgar Allan Poe story—by Laszlo Jakusovszky (Operations Manager for Media and Microtext). Junk Jewelry Box & Brooch by Becky Fischbach (Exhibits Designer, Special Collections)is assembled from salvaged copper sheeting, weathered bottle caps, and plastic mesh.

Computer graphics come into play in “Custom Orthotics Changed My Life,” a work of slideshow fiction in the form of a short movie produced using Keynote and QuickTime by Rich Holeton (Director, Academic Computing Services).

Exhibit cases are illuminated Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open; hours vary with the academic schedule. To confirm library hours, call 650-723-0931 or go to http://library.stanford.edu/libraries_collections/hours_locations.html

For a map of campus and transportation information, go to www.stanford.edu/home/visitors/maps.html

NOTE: The exhibition is free and open to the public; first-time visitors and those without Stanford ID must register at the entrance to Green Library before entering the building.

On view February 3 — June 15, 2014

 Image from the Dragmaticon, Italy, c. 1450-1499. Stanford University Libraries MSS Codex M0412

The Circle of the Sun: Secular Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts

The Circle of the Sun, the second of a pair of exhibitions of Western European manuscripts and fragments, will open in the Peterson Gallery, Green Library, Stanford University on Feb. 3. The exhibition draws on Stanford's medieval and early modern manuscript holdings, including a number of recent acquisitions, to show how secular learning was recorded and transmitted in complex networks and communities of textual production and interpretation.
 
From antiquity, scholars divided knowledge into res divinae (sacred) and res humanae (secular). The 2012 exhibit Scripting the Sacred featured religious writings, many of which were splendidly illuminated. The Circle of the Sun examines the seven liberal arts in cathedral schools and universities; the rise of professions in law, medicine, and commerce; and the emergence of Scholastic philosophy, history, vernacular literature, and Renaissance humanism.
 
Today, manuscript studies is a highly interdisciplinary and increasingly digital field for which paleography, the study of old writing, remains a fundamental tool. Paleography was first used scientifically to detect forgeries in diplomatic documents; its principles were later applied to related academic disciplines such as epigraphy, textual criticism, and codicology, which are also discussed in the exhibition.
 
Highlights of manuscripts on display, dating from the ninth through seventeenth centuries, include complete codices of ancient works by Ovid, Vergil, and Cicero; illustrated astronomical and legal texts; a portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer; medieval poetry; and fragments of rarely seen treatises on Latin lexicography, etymology, and allegory. Visitors will also see a selection of Roman writing implements, coins and inscriptions as well as goatskins prepared as parchment by a modern artisan.
 
The Circle of the Sun is co-curated by Sarah Temmer Weston, Class of 2014, English and Art History and David A. Jordan, assistant director for library development and associate curator for paleographical materials. Curated tours lasting approximately 45 minutes are available to classes and community groups (suggested maximum of 12-15) by appointment with David Jordan at 650-723-3866 or dajordan@stanford.edu.
 
Exhibit cases are illuminated Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open; hours vary with the academic schedule. To confirm library hours, call 650-723-0931 or go to http://library.stanford.edu/libraries_collections/hours_locations.html

For a map of campus and transportation information, go to http://www.stanford.edu/dept/visitorinfo/plan/maps.html

NOTE: The exhibition is free and open to the public; first-time visitors and those without Stanford ID must register at the entrance to Green Library before entering the building.