April 2015 Archives

Handout for a 1994 community fair in Winslow Augustine Park, New Haven

Manuscripts and Archives recently completed work on a collection of records created by the Greater New Haven Coalition for People (MS 2007). The Greater New Haven Coalition for People was founded in 1981 as an umbrella group of different community agencies and organizations that were concerned about the effect of budget cuts on programs here in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Soon it evolved into a grassroots organization that focused on organizing and addressing a variety of issues that impacted the low and middle income residents of the city. Some important issues to the group include conditions and safety of public housing, health care and low-cost prescription medication availability for low-income patients, especially those who are uninsured, public transit safety and availability, and programs for children and adolescents.

In 1994, Coalition for People focused heavily on the last item. As they often did fundraising and work with other community organizations, they were included in a Request for Proposals for advanced youth leadership training programs by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The Community Foundation had been developing these programs with groups like the Coalition for People for the past two years and wished to provide funding and direction for another year. The focus of the 1994 programs was on younger adolescents in the Fair Haven and West Rock neighborhoods. The core curriculum was focused on such things as “Communication (Individual/Group), Planning and Problem Solving, Cognitive/Academic Support, Conflict Resolution/Mediation, and Diversity/Cultural Awareness.” Other aspects of the program included placing participants with mentors, a neighborhood event planned by the participants and special recreation trips.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven specifically named Coalition for People to lead the program for the West Rock neighborhood. Coalition for People devised a complete program that was approved and put into action in the summer of 1994. This program was called the West Rock Youth Leadership Program.

In this document from a March 16th meeting, you can see the Coalition brainstorming many aspects of the Leadership Program, including possible community events, recreation, placements for participants, and what they expected from the staff they hired for the program.

Planning for the West Rock Youth Leadership Program.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 10.

Planning for the West Rock Youth Leadership Program.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 10.

This draft of the program’s schedule gives you an idea of what they were planning for the adolescents.

Proposed schedule for the West Rock Youth Leadership Program.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 3.

The program was just as much an opportunity for parent involvement as for involvement by the teenagers. Coalition for People regularly sent updates to parents, asking for their help with events and initiatives by the program.

Letter to the parents.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 2.

For the mentorship aspect of the program, the Coalition worked hard to get a large variety of businesses to participate, as can be seen from this list of prospective mentors.

Prospective mentor list.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 9.

Part of the program was planning a community event for the neighborhood. The members of the program chose to host a community fair, with games, food, and tables with representatives from different groups that could provide resources for the community. The adolescents in the program sent out this letter to groups to ask for help.

Letter for the community fair.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 5.

The Community Fair came together on August 27, 1994. By then, the 20 teenagers who participated had gotten a chance to observe, ask questions, and work with role models, take classes, and enjoy day trips that could be as simple as going to the local water park to trips to other cities to see what their museums offered. It is clear that the Coalition had worked hard to help these teenagers. It is equally clear that these teens had a lot to offer.

Flier for the community fair.

From MS 2007, Box 19, Folder 5.

Researchers wishing to work with the Greater New Haven Coalition for People Records can view the finding aid here. Researchers can also visit our website for more information on visiting Manuscripts and Archives and using our collections.

Post on April 8, 2015 - 1:43pm |

April 6, 2015

The Big Data of Chinese Biography: The CBDB project

Peter Bol, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning & Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Hongsu Wang, CBDB Project Manager, Harvard University

Wednesday April 22
1:30-3:30 pm
Room 218
Sterling Memorial Library

Sponsored by the East Asia Library and Council on East Asian Studies

Post on April 5, 2015 - 8:00pm |

April 2, 2015

Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery are acquiring the Meserve-Kunhardt Collection, one of the nation’s great photographic collections and the definitive assemblage of portraits of Abraham Lincoln.

“With this remarkable acquisition, Yale has secured its place as the premier institution for the study of American photography from the Civil War to the Gilded Age,” says Yale University President Peter Salovey. “I am delighted that faculty, students, and scholars from around the country and around the globe will have the opportunity to study this collection, learn from it, and share that knowledge.” 

Amassed by Frederick Hill Meserve (1865-1962) with the help of his daughter Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt (1900-1978), the collection contains more than 73,000 items, including 57,000 photographic prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides. These materials document American history from the Civil War through the end of the nineteenth century and record the emergence of photography as a distinctive cultural practice.

Among the jewels of the collection are photographs of Abraham Lincoln, including an 1863 Alexander Gardner imperial albumen portrait and Mathew Brady’s “Cooper Union” portrait.  

"Our family and the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation have preserved the collection for more than a century. The Beinecke Library will now broaden access to students and scholars and preserve it for centuries to come," says Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation.

The collection’s significance also lies in the tens of thousands of portraits of American politicians, army officers (of both the Union and Confederate forces), writers, actors, singers, scientists, African-Americans, and Native Americans. A daguerreotype of Susan B. Anthony hints at the great number of women whose portraits appear in the collection.

“The Meserve-Kunhardt Collection is a magnificent prize for Yale to attain,” says David Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University. “It consists of unmatched Lincoln material and much else.  Scholars of America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially of photography, will find a dazzling array of material for their research.”

The collection includes examples of works from most photographers who were active in nineteenth-century America, including Alexander Gardner and his circle, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and Mathew Brady.

“The opportunities presented to research, exhibit, publish, and teach with this vast trove of historical images are boundless, and will surely attract legions of students, faculty members, artists, and public scholars to engage actively with these materials for many generations to come, “ says Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery.

In 1897 Frederick Hill Meserve began an effort to illustrate his father’s Civil War diary. He accumulated the collection over the next six decades.  Since its inception, the collection has been preserved by five generations of the Meserve and Kunhardt families.

“It is not an exaggeration to describe this collection as one of America’s first and richest national portrait galleries, but that description doesn't encompass the many rare, often unique, images of Civil War battlefields and views of Washington, D.C., New York, and other American cities,” says Laura Wexler, Professor of American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. “This archive not only chronicles life in nineteenth-century America, it traces the emergence of photography as a distinctively modern medium of record and of art.”

The Meserve-Kunhardt Collection complements Yale’s already significant collections of American photography. The Beinecke Library, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Yale University Archives house internationally recognized holdings in photography of the American West and pictures of Native Americans and African Americans. The Beinecke Library is privileged to have copies of two of the most important albums of Civil War photography, Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War and George Barnard’s Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign.

The library also houses deep collections of important contemporary American photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Robert Adams, David Plowden, Eve Arnold, and Inge Morath.

“We are excited to welcome this one-of-a-kind collection, which complements Yale’s already significant collections of American photography,” says George Miles, the William Robertson Coe Curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana at the Beinecke Library. “Yale University is one of a small number of institutions that possesses the facilities and technical expertise to both care for this remarkable resource and make it accessible for teaching and scholarship.”

The collection is the subject of an upcoming HBO documentary, “Living with Lincoln,” which chronicles how five generations of the Meserve-Kunhardt family have shared the “glorious burden” of collecting, preserving and documenting a vital archive relating to Abraham Lincoln.  The documentary debuts Monday, April 13, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, exclusively on HBO.

The acquisition was made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Rice Family Foundation.  The collection is expected to come to Yale in the fall of 2015 and portions of it will be available for research by the summer of 2016.  While the majority of the collection will be housed at the Beinecke Library, a selection of large-format, formal portraits and other images will become part of the Yale University Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is one of the world's largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts and is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. Its robust collections are used to create new scholarship by researchers from around the world.

Post on April 1, 2015 - 9:55pm |

April 2, 2015

Friday, April 10, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at Linsly-Chittenden Hall (LC), 317, 63 High St., New Haven, CT 06511

Andrew Abbott, Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at University of Chicago

The keynote address by Andrew Abbott entitled “The Futures for Library Research” will be given at the "Library as Laboratory: A Symposium on Humanities Collections and Research". Abbott has published several important books and articles in the history of the social sciences and the professions. Most recently, he has published a thought-provoking guide to library and internet research (Digital Paper: a Manual for Research and Writing with Library and Internet Materials, Chicago: 2014). His 2011 article on the interrelated changes in disciplinary practice and library growth in the twentieth century detailed the ways in which librarians and researchers have often worked at cross-purposes even as the production of scholarly work and collections exploded.

The symposium will include presentations on the use of our collections in historical perspective, a discussion of what circulation and browsing data tells us about how collections are used, and the results of an ethnographic study of the research practices of current graduate students. The day includes a panel discussion with faculty and librarians on the challenges and opportunities of humanities library research in the 21st century. The main audience for this symposium includes Library staff, Yale faculty and graduate students, as well as interested scholars in the region.

Post on April 1, 2015 - 9:43pm |

April 2, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2:30 pm, Bass Library LO1A

What is the actual historical relation between close reading and non-close or "distant" methods of textual analysis? This talk by Yohei Igarashi, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, demonstrates that I.A. Richards's inaugural theories of close reading were shaped by his era's statistical analyses, particularly the genre of the frequency-based word list. Recovering an important chapter from the history of literary studies that has eluded digital humanities discourse, this talk hopes to enrich our understanding of the digital humanities as well as close reading by looking to the former's pre-digital history. All are welcome.

Post on April 1, 2015 - 9:38pm |

April 2, 2015

We are happy to announce about new ILL service for copies of articles from Ōya bunko. As you many of you know, the bunko holds many treasures of post war popular magazines which are rarely held in academic libraries and hard to access. If you can identify citations of articles fromWeb Oya database and send the citation to me, we will be happy to get the articles if the magazines and journals are not held at Yale.

About Ōya bunko 

About Web Ōya (https://www.oya-bunko.com/)

Web Oya is an online database of the index from the Ōya Sōichi Bunko, which is well known for its strong collection of popular weekly, general interest, and women's magazines. Web Oya lets you search titles, keywords and people (as authors or subjects) of popular magazine articles from 1988 to 1995.

Although the database is rapidly and continuously adding contents from magazines published in 1868 to 1987, for full coverage of the collection, please consult their print version in the East Asia Library Reference Room (SML 219). Please note, we can only obtain articles which you find in the online database version, not the print version of index. 

Post on April 1, 2015 - 8:00pm |

Flier on the "dangers" of Judge Anthony J. Scirica

Recently in Manuscripts and Archives, work was completed on the Edward R. Becker Papers (MS 1929). Judge Becker was a Yale Law School alumnus who served in two federal courts, the District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania and Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. He was renowned for his due diligence on cases and his voluminous opinions that could range up to hundreds of pages. He was referred to as the “101st senator” by friend Arlen Specter for the amount of influence he had on legislation, especially with his work on compensating victims of asbestos. He was also devoted to many civic causes, especially those involving the preservation of Philadelphia’s history and making it accessible to all. While all of this is apparent in his papers, I couldn’t help but notice something else engaging: Becker and his colleagues’ sense of humor.

For instance, Matsushita v. Zenith Radio Corp was one of Judge Becker’s cases when he was with the District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania, and the one that made his reputation as an expert in antitrust law. It was a very lengthy case for the court, starting in 1974 and finally reaching a judgment in 1981. After working with it for so long, I’m sure Becker and the other judges were getting rather tired with it. That might explain how a court order was written for “a period of relaxation” in the form of a softball game between the plaintiffs and the defendants, with the only instances of inclement weather allowed to stop the game being “blizzard, volcanic eruption, small pox epidemic, or invasion of the body snatchers.”

First page of the "Softball Order" memorandum

First page of the “Softball Order” memorandum. (MS 1929, Box 9, Folder 6)

The second page of the "Softball Order" memorandum.

Second page of the “Softball Order” memorandum. (MS 1929, Box 9, Folder 6)

Humor was not only reserved for court business. The judges delighted in making digs at each other as can be seen in their memorandums and related documents. In this October 20, 1995 memo, Judge Becker had sent out a memo with a wanted poster attached picturing a fellow judge, Anthony J. Scirica, saying he had seen him in the lobby and how “this guy worries me.”

Judge Becker expressing his "worries" about "this guy Tony."

Judge Becker expressing his “worries” about “this guy Tony.” (MS 1929, Box 16, Folder 1)

The "dangers" of Judge Scirica.

The “dangers” of Judge Scirica. (MS 1929, Box 16, Folder 1)

Judge Becker was not the only one with a sense of humor. Another correspondent known only as “Bernice” from Washington D.C. told him about her frustration with her day being lifted by his jokes. She was no slouch at cracking jokes either as demonstrated by the puns that keep the note going.

Note to Judge Becker with political puns.

Not only full of puns, but an excellent primer in political figures. (MS 1929, Box 2, Folder 6)

The Edward R. Becker Papers is now available for research and the finding aid can be viewed here. You can also visit our website to learn more about our collections and services, including how to request materials located in our finding aids.

Post on April 1, 2015 - 11:42am |