Emma at 200

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AP3 L34 v. 44 | The Ladies Magazine (London: Printed for G. Robinson, 1813)

From June 18th to 21st, nearly 100 graduate students, professors, secondary educators, and Jane Austen fans of all ages converged on Chapel Hill to partake in a weekend celebrating the 200th anniversary of Emma. Headed by UNC Professors Inger Brodey and James Thompson of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Jane Austen Summer Program (JASP) has now completed its third year and is quickly becoming a June tradition for Janeites from near and far.

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JASP attendees viewing books on exhibition in the Grand Reading Room, Wilson Library

While many of the festivities occur off campus at the Friday Center for Continuing Education, the 2015 program kicked off by introducing attendees to some of the fascinating resources on campus with an exhibit selected from the Rare Book Collection of the Wilson Special Collections Library. “Emma, at Home and at Play,” curated by UNC graduate students Rachael Isom and Ted Scheinman and displayed in Wilson’s Grand Reading Room, included a variety of items designed to offer textual, cultural, and historical entry points for guests, as they approached the events and discussions of the weekend.

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PR4034 E5 |Jane Austen. Emma: A Novel (London: John Murray, 1816) | The first edition of Emma, as it appeared in the JASP exhibition.

Comprised of seventeen items from the Rare Book Collection, this exhibit took shape around three approaches to Austen’s novel: the first-edition text of Emma and its illustrated afterlives, books allusively woven into Emma’s daily life, and contemporaneous cultural artifacts that offer a more detailed entry into that lifestyle.

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PR4034 .E5 1909 | Jane Austen. Emma (London: Dent; New York: Dutton, 1909) | This 1909 edition of Emma includes illustrations by C.E. Brock.

The first segment of the exhibit contained the 1816 Emma (which actually appeared in December 1815), the first of Austen’s novels to be published by John Murray, as well as two twentieth-century New York editions illustrated by C. E. Brock (1909) and Fritz Kredel (1964). Rounding out this section was a mid-twentieth-century critical work by R. W. Chapman, an object of especial interest because of its former ownership and annotations by C. S. Lewis.

The second section invited JASP attendees to consider the books that might have constituted Emma’s library at Highbury by showing examples of texts alluded to in the novel. Prolific eighteenth-century writers Oliver Goldsmith, Ann Radcliffe, and Thomas Gray were joined by lesser known authors of educational texts and Gothic novels to show the various reading interests of Emma, Harriet Smith, and other characters.

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AY13 .L23 | The Ladies’ Annual Journal, or, Complete Pocket-Book (London: Scatherd and Letterman, 1819)

The final section grouped together books contemporary to Austen. From fashion plates in The Lady’s Magazine to sheet music by J. B. Cramer, cookbooks and pocketbooks to a unique family scrapbook, these items presented visitors with a sense of the larger social setting of Austen’s Emma. Perhaps guests could imagine Jane Fairfax playing one of Cramer’s sonatas or Mr. Woodhouse flipping through Mrs. Glasse’s Art of Cookery looking for the perfect gruel recipe. Thus, as JASP attendees returned to the text, they could take with them pieces of the culture in which it was written and set by Austen.

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AP3 L34 v. 44 | The Ladies Magazine (London: Printed for G. Robinson, 1813)

In its first year as a Jane Austen Summer Program event, the exhibit was well-received by attendees. Naturally, Austen fans were particularly excited to see a first-edition of Emma, but one guest also remarked that the display as a whole was “well-organized and informative.” Many also commented on the “beautiful” Grand Reading Room venue and look forward to more opportunities to visit Wilson Library.

One such opportunity awaits at next year’s Jane Austen Summer Program, which will feature a special exhibit inspired by Austen’s 1814 novel Mansfield Park. The event, slated for the weekend of June 16–19, 2016, will be open to the UNC-Chapel Hill community as well as to the program’s attendees. For more information, please visit www.janeaustensummer.org.

Rachael Isom is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC. Her research focuses particularly on the intersections of religion and literature in women’s poetry of the Romantic and early Victorian periods. She also serves as Assistant Editor of the Keats-Shelley Journal and works as a Project Assistant for the William Blake Archive.

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Waving the Flag—in 1910

Flag

On the 4th of July, many will be waving the U.S. flag.

In 1910, when sixteen-year-old poet Christina Moody was publishing, it would have been the 46-star one, like that above. We post the flag of Christina’s era on this national holiday, along with pages from the African-American girl’s rare book of poetry, Tiny Spark. Her only known publication, the small volume of varied verse has attracted scholarly and critical attention in recent decades. The two facing poems below have a special resonance today because of recent tragic events that have brought flags to the fore. The poems encourage us to think deeply about symbols and identity, and what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America, as we commemorate the day when our nation was founded.

Christina Moody, Tiny Spark (Washington, D.C., 1910) / PS3525.O47 T5 1910

Christina Moody, Tiny Spark (Washington, D.C., 1910) / PS3525.O47 T5 1910

Portrait and p14

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Happy International Day of Yoga

Baḥr al-ḥayāt (Hamd-i mawfūr wa thanā-yi nā-maḥsur haḍrat-i  ṣamadī-ra.) India: 11 Rabi I, 1130 (12 February 1718). PK3791 .A46 1718

Baḥr al-ḥayāt (Hamd-i mawfūr wa thanā-yi nā-maḥsur haḍrat-i
ṣamadī-ra.) India: 11 Rabi I, 1130 (12 February 1718). PK3791 .A46 1718

Today, in honor of the First International Day of Yoga, we look at the dynamic history of the practice of yoga and how it has transformed through time and cultures. A book with some of the earliest illustrated yoga poses—the Baḥr al-ḥayāt—resides in the Rare Book Collection and offers an example of how treatises on yoga spread to the Islamic world through translations written between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries.

Untitled (Persian, sunasana), from the Baḥr al-ḥayāt

Untitled, from the Baḥr al-ḥayāt (1718).

The history of the Baḥr al-ḥayāt shows how yogic teachings moved from east to west as the practice, traditionally passed down orally, was written down and translated. The RBC’s copy of the Baḥr al-ḥayāt comes from a 1563 Persian translation of an Arabic version of the Amritakunda (“The Pool of Nectar”), which was a treatise on hatha yoga written in either Sanskrit or Hindi in the twelfth century. The Baḥr al-ḥayāt in UNC’s Rare Book Collection was written and illuminated in 1718, its illustrations likely copied from earlier Persian translations like this early seventeenth-century version from the Chester Beatty Library.

Through its many loose translations into Persian, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, and Urdu, the text of the Baḥr al-ḥayāt morphed in different ways, as one might suspect. Early Arabic translators of the Amritakunda drew parallels between Indic and Arabic spiritual practices in order to make yoga more accessible to Muslims. In fact, in Persian and Arabic translations, the asanas (yoga postures) were referred to as mantra chants or ascetic practices instead of physical poses. Translators also added quotations from the Koran and hadiths to the text. To Muslims studying the translations, the teachings of the Baḥr al-ḥayāt probably would have seemed to mesh well with their own faith.

Uttanakurmasana (Persian, vajra)

Uttanakurmasana, from the Baḥr al-ḥayāt (1718).

Like the text, the illustrations of the RBC’s Baḥr al-ḥayāt were also likely copied from older versions and reflect changes over time. The varying appearance of successive copies was likely due to differences in regional artistic style. The illustration above, from the RBC’s Baḥr al-ḥayāt, is much simpler than the one here, from the earlier Baḥr al-ḥayāt in the Chester Beatty Library.

the Baḥr al-ḥayāt (1718).

A yogi with his pet in the Baḥr al-ḥayāt (1718). Not much has changed!

We wish you an enjoyable June 21st, whether celebrating the fathers in your family, the summer solstice, or now, thanks to a United Nations General Assembly resolution, yoga!

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Commemorating Waterloo

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the battle in which Napoleon was at last decisively defeated. Now remembered primarily as a conflict between England and France, the Battle of Waterloo took place south of Brussels in present-day Belgium and included armies from Prussia, Austria, Hanover, Nassau, the Duchy of Brunswick, and England. This Seventh Coalition formed expressly to defeat Napoleon after his return to power during the Hundred Days following his exile on Elba. The Battle of Waterloo ended Napoleon’s rule and two decades of war across the continent of Europe. A precursor to the World Wars of the twentieth century, the Napoleonic Wars brought issues of imperialism and nationalism to the fore, inaugurating modern warfare as they changed the face of Europe.

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“View from Mont St. Jean at the Battle of Waterloo,” from Thomas Hartwell Horne, An Illustrated Record of Important Events in the Annals of Europe, During the Last Four Years… (London, 1816) | D308 H81 1817

The Battle of Waterloo is also significant in its immediate incorporation into popular imagination. Only days after news of the victory reached British soil, the battle was already being heralded as one of the most important events in history. Commemoration of the battle began within weeks, bolstered by eye-witness accounts from returning soldiers–many more of whom were literate than had ever been the case in previous wars.

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M. De Beauchamp, An Authentic Narrative of the Campaign of 1815… (London, 1815) | Hoyt 235

Accounts of the battle took advantage of modern media. Portraits of the generals and principle agents of the battle appeared frequently, creating a cult of celebrity around the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon in particular. Maps, memorials, charts, and dramatic scenes all sought to deliver to the British reader an authentic experience of the battle and its particulars.

Literary reactions to the battle also abounded. Newspapers and journals of the day printed patriotic poetry affirming Britain’s supremacy in the wake of the victory. Leading writers, regardless of their political affiliations, joined the chorus. Sir Walter Scott was among the first to try his hand. His highly publicized Field of Waterloo figured itself as a philanthropic gesture; the proceeds were to fund relief efforts for returning soldiers.

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John Booth, The Battle of Waterloo… (London, 1815) | Hoyt 237

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Walter Scott, The Field of Waterloo (Edinburgh, 1815) | PR3513 F5 c.2

William Wordsworth, long troubled by the threat to European culture and history represented by the chaotic ruin of Napoleon’s campaign, published an ambitious Pindaric ode titled Thanksgiving Ode, January 18, 1916 to commemorate the battle–an effort that met with mixed reviews due to his reluctance to praise the Duke of Wellington, whom he was known to dislike.

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A sonnet included with the first publication of Thanksgiving Ode | William Wordsworth, Thanksgiving Ode, January 18, 1816 (London, 1816) | PR5869 .T43 1816

Robert Southey’s contribution, The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo, participated in the emerging tourist culture that surrounded Waterloo and other sites of the wars. Southey’s visitation to the scene of the battle provides a template for the literary traveller, who can follow in the poet’s footsteps on a pilgrimage of his own. That Southey’s poem was used as a kind of guide book is apparent in the Rare Book Collection’s copy, which is bound together with an actual travel guide to Belgium, published in the same year.

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Robert Southey, The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (London, 1816) | PR5464 P6 1816

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The Battle of Waterloo… (Manchester, 1816) | Hoyt 368

The primacy of the battle did not fade as the nineteenth century wore on. It remained a watershed moment in the British cultural consciousness. Eye-witness accounts of the battle continued to emerge throughout mid-century, including Fanny Burney’s posthumously published narrative in her Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay (1842) and Robert Gleig’s popular Story of the Battle of Waterloo (1848). William Makepeace Thackeray’s fictionalized version of the battle provided emotional crisis for the heroine of his much-read novel Vanity Fair (1847).

Models and panoramas of the battle provided another avenue for commemoration. Panorama paintings first began to appear in the 1780s but gained wide popularity during the nineteenth century as a pre-cinematic immersive experience for those who could not afford to travel to historic sites. Guides, prints, pamphlets, and other ephemeral publications produced in conjunction with panorama displays can help us recreate the space of the panorama, if not the experience.

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Great National Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo, Painted by Chevalier Philip Fleisher (London, 18–) | Hoyt 1147

Patrons interested in learning more about the history of Waterloo may consult the Rare Book Collection’s Hoyt Collection of French History. The collection includes over 5,000 valuable books and documents related to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

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Happy Birthday W. B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Frontispiece portrait of W. B. Yeats  by John Butler Yeats in Mosada: A Dramatic Poem (Dublin, 1886) / Yeats PR5904 .M67 1886, superv'd

Frontispiece portrait of W. B. Yeats by John Butler Yeats in Mosada: A Dramatic Poem (Dublin, 1886) / Yeats PR5904 .M67 1886, superv’d

The Rare Book Collection joins in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats by posting this portrait of him from Mosada: A Dramatic Poem, his first separately published work.  The drama had appeared in the June 1886 issue of the Dublin University Review; the twelve-page pamphlet in wrappers, a reprint by Sealy, Bryers, and Walker, followed in October. As William Michael Murphy notes in his book Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), it was W.B’s father, a painter, who “insisted on including as [the pamphlet’s] frontispiece a pencil portrait by himself of the author, preferring this to ‘a picture of some incident in the play,’ as had been planned at first. In the sketch Willie wears a fuzzy beard, which his father had urged him to grow.

“The volume had little sale. Papa and Willie gave copies away liberally. One reached the hands of an English Roman Catholic priest who had recently come to Dublin, Gerard Manley Hopkins.” (p. 146) As Murphy recounts, the great poet politely refrained from expressing his negative opinion of the work to the elder Yeats.

The RBC’s copy of Mosada is one of three identified by bibliographer Allan Wade as bound with a thicker paper, unlined. While we cannot boast a provenance for our copy that includes Gerard Manley Hopkins, former owners known to us are New York editor and noted folk art collector Cyril I. Nelson and renowned British bookman Anthony Hobson.

This first separate publication is one of the rarest items in the RBC’s extensive Yeats Collection, a gift of the Hanes Foundation as the University Library’s five millionth volume. The RBC continues to add to the Yeats Collection as opportunities present themselves.

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Enlightened Timekeeping

Almanach des bergers pour la Seconde Année Républicaine… (Paris: 1793) / QB807 .A46 1793

The vibrant covers of the Almanach des bergers stand out among the Rare Book Collection’s acquisitions of the year so far. This almanac dates from the second year of the French Revolutionary Calendar (1793–1794), which would mark time for the French Republic through the end of 1805.

Almanacs like the Almanach des bergers were marketed to the lower and middle classes, especially farmers who relied on the books’ predictions of meteorological events for planting and harvesting crops. When the National Convention created a completely new calendric system during the French Revolution, almanacs replicated and explained the new calendar. These almanacs were then printed in a large number and made widely accessible.

The Revolutionary Calendar was devised methodically, with a focus on the marking of time as it relates to the movement of the earth around the sun. This kind of organized structuring of the natural world was typical of the Age of Enlightenment (ca. 1650-1780). Months were renamed corresponding to the harvest cycle and were reformatted to contain three weeks of ten days each (décades). Five feast days occurred at the end of the year, and a leap day was observed once every four years. The Revolutionary calendar omitted the excessive feast days of the Gregorian calendar (see our earlier post) and strictly regulated the French citizen’s work week.

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Page 35 of the Almanach des bergers showing the phases of the moon during Pluviôse, the fifth month of the revolutionary year, which started around January 20 and ended around February 20

Besides delineating the past—the ère vulgaire—from the present, the new calendar also incorporated contemporary values into the measurement of time. The calendar was based on the natural world, dividing time into even segments of ten, and it created a more rigorous work schedule. The author of the Almanach des bergers, thought to be  one Taillardat, draws many parallels to the ancient Greek calendar, and suggests that perhaps the ancient Greek calendar was the inspiration for beginning the revolutionary calendar year in autumn. The new calendric system was regarded as politically neutral, as it was based on reason and the natural world, even though it was established by a very political group and acted as a tool to control the citizen’s schedule. The wide distribution of almanacs could even be compared to the distribution of political propaganda.

The Revolutionary Calendar was short lived. It fell out of favor during the reign of Napoleon, when concerns of inconvenience to international commerce prevailed. The Gregorian calendar, still in use today, was reinstated on January 1, 1806. The Almanach des bergers is an artifact of a brief but important period in the history of French culture, a sign of the French Revolution’s impact on the daily lives of French citizens.

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Honoring Alumni Collectors: Bernard J. Flatow, in memoriam

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Pedro de Medina, Libro de grandezas y cosas memorables de España (Seville, 1549) / Flatow DP64 M44 1549 superv’d

This past Saturday, Wilson Library  opened for alumni reunions on campus. And in the Grand Reading Room, a display from the Rare Book Collection demonstrated the diverse collecting interests of UNC graduates.

Among the titles exhibited was an early geographical and historical guidebook to Spain (left). Written for the young prince who would become King Philip II, the volume also includes information on Spain’s exploration of the New World. The RBC’s copy came to UNC in 1985 as part of the Bernard J. Flatow Collection of Latin American Cronistas. Mr. Flatow (B.A. 1941), who received an honorary degree in 2013, passed away on May 1st.

The map of the “Nuevo Mundo” (above) is an appropriate image to represent the breadth of Bernard Flatow’s life activities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Carolina and became a diplomat in the world of business and public relations. In the 1950s, Flatow worked in Bolivia as director of public relations for one of the largest tin mining companies in the world and then for The Texas Company and Sinclair in Colombia and Venezuela. He later handled public relations in Latin America for Pepsi Cola and 20th Century Fox.

With these contacts, he started exchange programs: one bringing 54 Mexican professionals in 21 areas of study to Chapel Hill; one between Venezuela and Kenan-Flagler Business School; and another with specialists in physical therapy and rehabilitation of the blind, between Mexico and the UNC School of Medicine.

Flatow was a member of the Mexican Institute of Culture, and his collection of seventy-six rare books pertaining to the early history of European contacts with the New World is housed in the RBC.

This writer recalls a delightful luncheon with Mr. Flatow and Prof. Kathryn Burns in July 2011. He told wonderful stories of his time in Latin America and his pursuit of rare books there. The best story we heard, however, was about how his passion for the Spanish language began.

When in high school in New York, Flatow was a dedicated member of the tennis team. The sport took a lot of practice time, and he figured if there were one course he could safely neglect, it would be Spanish. He ended up getting a poor grade, and his father, reviewing his report card, told him that he wanted to see an “A” the next time.

So, Flatow took to learning the language with real vigor, attending gatherings at the Pan American Club in New York City. It was filled with businessmen with Latin American concerns, and Flatow was the only teenager there. They took him under their wing. Eventually Flatow found his way to UNC-Chapel Hill, and studied Spanish with Prof. Sturgis E. Leavitt.

At the end of the 2011 luncheon, Mr. Flatow generously presented the Rare Book Collection with a gift in honor of Prof. Leavitt: Exposición que hace un peruano al virey Lacerna, a cerca del verdadero estado político de la América en la presente época (Santiago de Chile: Imprenta Nacional, 1822) Flatow F1412 .P47 1822.

In addition to an honorary doctor of laws degree, Flatow’s UNC awards include the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal and the Board of Trustees’ William Richardson Davie Award.

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Juliana Powell Earns Student Employee Award

image001The Rare Book Collection is proud to congratulate Juliana Powell, Class of 2016, on winning the 2014–2015 Library Student Employee Appreciation Award. Recipients of the award are chosen by SLAB, the Student Library Advisory Board, a dynamic group comprised of graduate and undergraduate students who broadly represent the academic programs and overall diversity of the UNC student body.

Juliana has worked in the Wilson Library as a student employee since 2012. Her wide-ranging intellectual interests, which span from Japanese language and culture to biology and medical sciences, are matched by an assiduous work ethic. Juliana’s primary duties include paging and reshelving books in the Rare Book Collection, as well as special projects.

We asked Juliana to contribute her thoughts on her work at Wilson, and to tell us about her favorite volume handled during her time as a research and reference associate. She had this to say:

“There are undoubtedly numerous collections that I could comment on, including C.S. Lewis’s personal, annotated library, as well as the Wordsworth collection with its winsome bindings and Type-A cataloguing system. I have collected antique books with my mother since I was a child, namely children’s books that include first editions of Maurice Sendak’s work and Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness. Although there are few children’s books in the Rare Book Collection, Wilson’s copy of The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey is a children’s book with illustrations similarly styled to the work of the aforementioned authors. The nature of the book and that of Gorey’s previous work ranges from innocent to nothing less than sombre, and I was captivated by this light-hearted, yet, anomalous story. For me, the following verses summarize a genuine reaction towards life, and it has taken my fastidious self years to realize that I am not capable of being in control of every aspect of my life. In the grand scale of a metaphor, however, expecting the doubtful guest and knowing when to surrender concerns is an equally anomalous story in and of itself.”

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,
There was no one expected—and no one in sight.
Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,
Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.
All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,
Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.
It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,
So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey is call no. PS3513 .O614 D6

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey is call no. PS3513 .O614 D6

Thank you Juliana! For more information on the awards, see the UNC Library News Blog.

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Book History Students Visit the RBC

This semester the Rare Book Collection was thrilled to host a visit from graduate students in Dr. Ryan Shaw’s INLS 550: Reading the History of the Book course. We gave them a tour through material book history, heard about their researches in RBC’s reading room, and let them get up close and personal with some excellent teaching examples from the Collection. Books and other items were laid out at different stations, exposing students to topics such as the transition from manuscript to print, the differences between hand-press and machine-press books, binding styles and practices, paper, typography, format, early indexing systems, and non-Western book traditions.

Up close with Ms. 98

Up close with Ms. 98

The students examined a Latin manuscript of Spanish origin, written in 1173 in north Castile or Navarre. This manuscript, on parchment, features rubrication, pricked margins, and an ornamental initial.

Rare book research librarian Emily Kader described the process of making paper by hand and showed the students an example of a watermark with the help of a light sheet.

A volume from the Incunabula collection showed the students an early example of a concordance. This book was meant for use by the clergy and contains explanations of difficult words in the Bible. It also features capital spaces left by the printer, here filled in by hand in red, a tradition held over from medieval manuscript culture.

 

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Emily Kader explained the concept of bibliographic format showing a bound octavo volume alongside an unbound pamphlet made up of one sheet of paper, that had been printed and folded into an octavo gathering.

A 1584 edition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses provided the students with an example of a book containing an early modern index.

A nineteenth-century manuscript containing Islamic prayers, decorated with vivid pigments and gold leaf allowed the class to see a traditional type of Arabic binding. This style of binding features a flap that extends from the back cover, folds over the book’s fore edge, and tucks under the front cover of the book.

 

 

 

 

Graduate student Kathleen Monahan helped the students navigate the Liber Chronicarum, better known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, of 1493. The students examined the book’s woodcuts and were able to locate an image depicting Pope Joan.

The Nuremberg Chronicle provided early modern readers with an illustrated history of the world as it was known in Europe in the fifteenth century.

The students compared different styles of binding, here with two copies of the same edition, one bound by a former owner in pigskin, the other bound by a former owner in calf.

The students also examined a volume from the RBC’s Victorian Bindings Collection, a fine example of the late nineteenth-century innovation of decorated publisher’s bindings.

We welcome classes with relevant interests to visit the Rare Book Collection and integrate its holdings into their curricula. Teachers and students who are interested in using the RBC for teaching or research can get in touch with us at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu

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April 1968

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McClure, Michael. Grahhr April grharrr April, [Buffalo: Gallery Upstairs Press, 1968] | PS3563.A262 G72 1968

Rough winds may shake the darling buds of May, but the rumbling grahhr of April is what gets us shaking in the Rare Book Collection. We offer for your consideration this broadside from the Beats Collection. The poem is one of several written and performed by controversial Beat poet Michael McClure during the mid-1960s to feature prominent onomonopiac transliterations of beastly speech. Much of McClure’s poetry explores the animistic meatiness of human bodies, abandoning social codes in favor of raw experience.

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Detail from McClure, Michael. Grahhr April grharrr April, [Buffalo: Gallery Upstairs Press, 1968] | PS3563.A262 G72 1968

The poem’s aggressive juxtaposition of elements of vitality and mortality echo the tumultuous events of April, 1968, a watershed month in the history of the United States that saw the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and mounting public protests against the Vietnam War.

Large in format (54 x 73 cm), the broadside arranges McClure’s poem symmetrically along a vertical axis, mirroring words and punctuation. The bright, calligraphic red script draws the eye to the visual arrangement of words, distracting from their syntactic meaning. In the background is a stock image of a lion in blue. Blown large and grainy, the lion confronts the reader with his animal and his printed presence, simultaneously an icon of nature and of manufacture.

McClure was well known for his public readings—Keruoac’s Dharma Bums includes a fictionalized account of his performance at the 1955 San Francisco Six Gallery. Those interested in hearing this poem vocalized are encouraged to consult the catalog for a 1968 recording on vinyl where McClure appears alongside fellow Beats Allen Ginsburg, Lew Welch, and Aram Saroyan, amongst others. McClure also recorded a filmed version in 1966 where he reads the poem aloud to a cage of lions.

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