April 2017 Archives

April 27, 2017

Kay Swift

The Gilmore Music Library has a new exhibition, “Tomorrow’s Overture is Always Best”: The Music of Kay Swift, curated by Emma Hathaway TD ’17, who has been writing her senior essay on Swift. The exhibition runs from April 25 - October 10, 2017. It is also available online.

Kay Swift (1897-1993) was the first woman to compose the complete score of a successful Broadway musical (Fine and Dandy, in 1930). She is also known for her close association with George Gershwin.

On Thursday, April 27 at 4:30 PM, Emma Hathaway will give a short talk, and perform some of Swift’s songs. The event will take place in Seminar Room 101B, upstairs in the Music Library. It will be followed by a reception. 

Post on April 27, 2017 - 8:53am |

April 26, 2017

Join us for an event on 5/4 from 9:30-11:00 am in Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Avenue) that explores the increasing necessity of capturing and preserving the documentation of cultural heritage, scientific data, and activist movements.

In this time of heightened social activism and mounting environmental uncertainty, many librarians and archivists have extended their practices beyond standard institutional procedures, taking on more forward-thinking approaches in order to capture and preserve documentation of cultural heritage, scientific data, and activist movements. Threats include loss of ephemeral materials, “silences” in historical documentation created by gaps in collecting, and the erasure of information through either lack of foresight, purposeful deletion, or accidental destruction. As more librarians and archivists take measures to protect information that is at risk--including the histories and data of underrepresented groups from across the ideological spectrum--this event will give voice to information professionals who are working to navigate the complexities inherent in their collecting and descriptive decisions. Panelists will be given time to share their personal experiences, visions for the future, and concerns about preserving data in a time where threats of climate change, encroaching governmental policies, and professional accountability affect the memory work being done both by individuals and institutions.

Panelists: Jarrett Drake, Digital Archivist, Princeton University; Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager, University of Cincinnati; Bethany Wiggin, Director, Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities

Breakout sessions with panelists:
2:00-3:00 p.m. Room C122, 344 Winchester, Beinecke Library, co-sponsored by the Yale Archival Reading Group
2:00-3:00 p.m. Rooms 38/39, 121 Wall Street, Beinecke Library, co-sponsored by the Standing Committee on Professional Awareness

Coffee to follow breakout sessions.

Post on April 26, 2017 - 12:11pm |

April 28, 2017

Beyond the 'Juicy Quotes Syndrome': Digital Oral History and the Politics of Secondary Analysis

April 28 at 12:00pm in Bass Library, L01

This presentation responds directly to the policy and cultural shift towards “data sharing” in the humanities and social sciences. Funding agencies in North America and Europe are now committed to the promotion of a culture of sharing of qualitative interview data.  This shifting perspective has proven to be controversial in some disciplines, especially where group authority and identity rest on fieldwork rather than on the secondary reuse or analysis of “other people’s data.” The presentation will consider the ways in which recorded oral history interviews with survivors of mass violence can be ethically shared, combined, and creatively reused.
This talk is open to the public and entire Yale community. Participants are welcome to bring their lunches.
Co-sponsored by the ​Yale Digital Humanities Lab and Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. 
Steven High is an interdisciplinary oral and public historian with a strong interest in transnational approaches to working-class studies, forced migration, community-engaged research, oral history methodology and ethics, and living archives. He is a professor of History and founding member of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University.

Post on April 20, 2017 - 12:12pm |

April 26, 2017

The Library Map Prize is awarded to a Yale College senior for the best use of maps in a senior essay or its equivalent. Essays submitted for consideration must be supported by one or more maps. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to submit. This year's deadline is Wednesday, April 26 at 5:00pm. The prize is an award of $500.

Essays may be submitted by seniors or their faculty advisors. The winning student must agree to grant the library a non-exclusive right to post his or her essay on EliScholar.

For more information about the award, please visit the Yale University Library webpage.

Post on April 20, 2017 - 9:01am |

April 21, 2017

The Digital Humanities Lab is excited to announce a new round of Seed Grants to support digital humanities research over the summer and fall semester. These grants may be used to hire a developer, create a digital corpus, or host a workshop.
Yale graduate students and faculty are eligible to apply. Applications should be emailed to dhlab@yale.edu by Friday, April 21. For more information, please visit our Seed Grants page.

Post on April 13, 2017 - 10:06am |

April 12, 2017

Intro to XSLT in Three Parts

April 12 from 3:00-5:00pm in Bass Library, L01

This workshop will provide a basic overview of XSLT as a declarative programming language. The instructor will demonstrate an iterative process of investigating, updating, and reviewing a TEI file with the assistance of XSLT. Every participant will gain hands-on experience transforming an XML document with the oXygen XML Editor, using a supplied XSLT stylesheet, and writing a very simple XSLT stylesheet from scratch. The workshop will conclude with a couple of different methods for publishing TEI online.

No prior encoding experience is required but basic knowledge of XML will be helpful. Participants are encouraged to install the oXygen XML Editor prior to the workshop in order to follow along with the exercises.

The workshop is open to all Yale students, faculty, and staff; no registration is required.

Co-organized by the Classics Library, the YUL Department of Areas Studies and Humanities Research Support, the Yale Digital Propertius Project, and the Yale Digital Humanities Lab



Mark Custer is an Archivist / Metadata Coordinator at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. From 2011-2012, he worked as the Encoding Archival Description Manager at the Smithsonian Institution. Before that, he worked at East Carolina University (ECU), where he helped manage the TEI records and encoding workflows of ECU’s digital library. He earned a BA in English Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an MLIS from Syracuse University.

Post on April 11, 2017 - 1:00pm |

April 10, 2017

On view until April 28, an exhibit at Sterling Memorial Library highlights the research of four exceptional Yale students. The research of Helen Price (Davenport College ‘18) examines the early years of coeducation within Yale College. Price developed her display from research she conducted for Professor Jay Gitlin’s course Yale and America, taught through the Department of History. 

By 1965, seventy-five percent of U.S. colleges were coeducational. Recognizing that Yale was arriving late to a national trend, the school announced that women would be admitted to Yale as undergraduates starting in the the fall of 1969.  In many ways, however, the university was largely underprepared for the inclusion of women. The first class of female undergraduates had to overcome obstacles in academics, athletics, and housing, and Price examines each of these issues and describes how the women reacted and sought change. “Archival research showed me that...the first female undergraduates were pioneers rather than victims,” says Price.  “[These women] showed tremendous ingenuity and resourcefulness in paving a way for themselves.” Her display also highlights the notable contributions of several extraordinary female students who attended and graduated from Yale College during the initial years of coeducation.

Throughout her research, Price relied on various materials held by Yale Library’s Manuscripts and Archives, including student questionnaires, letters and memos from the university administration, local news articles, and photographs. Price also acknowledges librarian Bill Landis (Manuscripts & Archives) as particularly helpful and supportive throughout her process. To learn more about Price’s research, stop by her display in the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibits Corridor!

By Hilary Purrington

Post on April 10, 2017 - 11:23am |

April 7, 2017

The Long Trail March - West & Co.

In the second of our Gilmore Insights blog post series, Music Librarian for Reference and Instruction, Suzanne Lovejoy, discusses one of the most popular and enduring songs of World War I, "There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding". Suzanne outlines the history of the song, including its connection to Yale, and the wealth of collection materials both in the Music Library and throughout Yale University Library related to it. Suzanne has been at Yale since 1993 and during that time has become an invaluable asset to students, faculty and other researchers working with our collections, notably our special collections. So without further ado..over to Suzanne. 

“There’s a long, long trail a-winding  / Into the land of my dreams / Where the nightingales are singing / And a white moon beams.
There's a long, long night of waiting / Until my dreams all come true / Till the day when I’ll be going / Down that long, long trail with you.”

Although these lyrics may seem uncharacteristic for a war song, they are from the chorus of one of the most popular and enduring songs of World War I.  And the song had its origins here at Yale, in Connecticut Hall, when Zo Elliott (YC 1913) Stoddard King (YC 1914) collaborated on it so that they might attend, all expenses paid, the Zeta Psi banquet in Boston in the spring of 1913.  The “lugubrious ditty” (as King styled it) went over well – the Zetes stopped throwing bread, listened attentively, and joined in the final chorus.  A Boston publisher in the audience encouraged them to publish it, and so King shopped it around several New York publishers, but no one was interested.

Early copies of the song, correspondence relating to it, and several documents pertaining to it are included in the Zo Elliott Papers, MSS 18, in the Gilmore Music Library.  Further documentation can be found in articles written by Elliott in later years, in contemporary newspaper accounts available through several full-text subscription databases, including ProQuest Historical Newspapers and the Times Digital Archive, and through Yale class histories and obituaries in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of Sterling Memorial Library. Then there are the many recordings of the song, in the Collection of Historical Sound Recordings and the Music Library Recordings Collection, in archives and digital sound archives elsewhere, in subscription audio databases such as Music Online from Alexander Street Press and Naxos Music Library, and on YouTube.  Additional copies of the sheet music may be found in the Music Library’s Vocal Sheet Music Collection and in the World War I Collection in Manuscripts and Archives.

Following graduation, Zo Elliott attended Trinity College in Cambridge, playing the song on his neighbor’s piano at parties, occasionally accompanied on the violin.  Eventually, Claude Yearsley of the small publishing firm West Ltd. in London heard it and, with half the publication cost covered by Elliott’s mother, brought it out early in 1914. Yearsley worried for some months whether he would ever recoup his investment.  Eventually the problem became keeping up with demand. 

Elliott told how the song first attracted widespread attention when “a boatload of Canadian soldiers sang it coming down the Thames from a Sunday outing.” Soon it was picked up by others, and British Tommies marched off to war with it and sang it constantly, waiting in the trenches and going “over the top.”    

Wartime Accounts 

One remarkable account from the Times of London concerns the transport vessel Tyndareus, which struck a mine and began sinking in February 1917, off Cape Agulhas, South Africa.  A battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was on board and was called to assembly after the accident.  They stood in formation and remained in order, even as the propeller rose out of the water and doubt ensued whether help would arrive in time.  “As soon as the roll had been called, and the order ‘stand easy’ given, someone started ‘The Long, Long Trail,’ and in a few seconds the whole of the gathering, from end to end of the ship, had taken up the refrain of the latest marching song.  Then came the old favourite ‘Tipperary,’ and for half an hour afterwards, while an ominous incline of the deck towards the bows became more and more noticeable, chorus after chorus swept along the lines, while both the X, and the Y, were racing to the rescue.”  Rescue ships arrived in time and all hands were saved.

The English poet John Masefield, in his acceptance speech for the honorary LL.D. awarded by Yale in June 1918, told the following: “One day, during the Battle of the Somme, I passed down one sector of the British line.  The boys were singing, and they were singing a song written by a Yale man: ‘There’s a long, long trail a-winding to the land of my dreams.’ That is the most popular song in the British army today.”

One of those at the Somme was an Englishman serving in the Canadian Field Artillery, Lieutenant Coningsby Dawson. In one of his letters from the front, dated Oct. 18th​, 1916, he wrote:

We've fallen into the habit of singing in parts. Jerusalem the Golden is a great favourite as we wait for our breakfast—we go through all our favourite songs, including Poor Old Adam Was My Father. Our greatest favourite is one which is symbolising the hopes that are in so many hearts on this greatest battlefield in history. We sing it under shell-fire as a kind of prayer, we sing it as we struggle knee-deep in the appalling mud, we sing it as we sit by a candle in our deep captured German dug-outs. It runs like this:

"There's a long, long trail a-winding…." [He quotes the complete Chorus.]

You ought to be able to get it, and then you will be singing it when I'm doing it.

The Song Comes to the United States

Americans learned “There’s a Long, Long Trail,” too, as it was published in the U.S. by Witmark and Sons in 1914, but it didn’t become widely popular here until 1917.  The American publisher changed the song, reharmonizing the verse from minor to major, and transforming it into a ballad rather than a marching song.   Several early examples of the American version can be heard in recordings available online.  The Victor recording by tenor James Reed and baritone J. F. Harrison from September 1915 is one of the earliest American recordings (Alexander Street Press; YouTube).  A second recording, also for Victor by the Irish tenor John McCormack, recorded on June 7, 1917, surely helped popularize the song with Americans  (available on Alexander Street and YouTube). 

Following the American declaration of war, the song was used as a recruiting tool, as when Canadian Highlanders came marching down Broadway in New York in July 1917; in fundraising concerts sung by classical artists such as Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Enrico Caruso, Alma Gluck, and McCormack; in vaudeville shows; within concerts prior to film showings; and spontaneously by great crowds at gatherings.  Elliott’s fellow recruits sang it at the Officer Training Camp in Plattsburgh, where many Yalies went following enlistment. “I remember the remarkable sensation of hearing my tune start with the big fellows up front, pass through my own squad, reach the end of the column, and then be taken up by the next company.” The song, played by military bands, accompanied the men embarking on ships bound for France and those lucky ones who disembarked following the war.

Zo Elliott’s term as an officer in training lasted only five weeks – he was discharged on medical grounds and spent the summer in New York.  But he was successful in re-enlisting as a private in the Signal Corps, and encountered soldiers singing the song at Camp Vail in New Jersey.  Stoddard King, who had returned to Spokane, Washington, following graduation, and was married with two children, registered on the first day of the draft, June 5, 1917.  His registration card can be seen online.  He served in the Washington National Guard from May 1918 to November 1921.  King and Elliott collaborated on several other songs before King’s untimely death in 1933, though none achieved the popularity of “There’s a Long, Long Trail.” Elliott continued studying and writing music, his last effort being an opera based on the life and legends of Billy the Kid titled “El Chivato.” He died in 1964.


The song has lived on through the decades following the war. It has appeared in film soundtracks from 1929’s The Unholy Night to 2008’s Leatherheads, frequently uncredited.  It got another lease on life during the Second World War, in For Me and My Gal with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly in 1942 and in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo from 1944.  Younger audiences have learned the song from television shows such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (as heard by Snoopy, the WWI flying ace), M*A*S*H, and The Waltons, and in more recent series that look back to the “Great War” such as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and The Crimson Field.

Many notable recording artists have also performed the song over the decades: singers Gracie Fields, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few; popular groups such as Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers and The Kings Men; and military groups such as the British Legion Choir, the Band of the Scots Guards, and the US Marine Band.

Awards and Recognition

Yale awarded the Francis Joseph Vernon Prize for Poetry to Elliott and King in 1918, the first time ever to a popular song.  The award went to “a work by Yale men that best represents the spirit and ideals of Yale."  But Elliott also recalled other recognitions that meant a lot: the band playing “Long, Long Trail” and other songs as British troops marched over the Rhine following the Armistice; Coningsby Dawson’s letter quoted above; and the honor having a copy of the manuscript placed in the Hall of the Allies at the Army Museum in the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, along with a letter praising the song from a close friend, Dan Keller, who had died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The accounts above document what singing and hearing this song and similar songs meant to the troops enduring a long and savage war: the song served as more than a pastime to while away the long hours of waiting; it became a means to quell the fears of imminent destruction, to relieve the tensions of battle and horrible living conditions, to feel solidarity with one’s buddies while working and marching, to express the hope of returning home to loved ones, and occasionally to share a moment of common humanity with the enemy.

It seems appropriate to close this piece with words Elliott wrote in an essay titled “What Music Has Meant to Me.”

Every year that I am in France, I try to go up to the Argonne.  Sometime I hope that someone will write what those fields are saying.  The earth is singing there of loyalty, and courage, of longing for Mothers, and of sweethearts, and sons and daughters.  The cuckoo can be heard in the early morning, as the mist rises from the fields, but there is something deeper.  There are the voices of ghosts too, and they seem to be saying “Come pardner, give us a Song.”

Suzanne Eggleston Lovejoy

With thanks to Judith Schiff, Richard Boursy, and Jonathan Manton.

Post on April 7, 2017 - 4:29pm |

April 7, 2017

Look at birth on a cosmic scale through the research of two Yale Astronomy labs, from simulations of the young universe to the formation of stars in our galaxy. Shedding Light on the Dark Universe, the new media exhibit at the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI), explores how numerical simulations and high performance computing can help illuminate the structure of the universe. The exhibit runs through October 6 in the CSSSI 24-hour space on the concourse level of the Kline Biology Tower (219 Prospect Street).

Post on April 7, 2017 - 4:07pm |

April 7, 2017

Photographs have had a home in the book format since the earliest days of photography. However, the interest in and study of the ‘photobook’ as a form is a more recent phenomenon. The definition of a photobook is still fluid in critical discussions, and perhaps it is this lack of rigid characteristics that makes the art form so interesting to collect and study. This new exhibition, opening on April 10 at the Haas Family Arts Library, highlights the work of the Arts and Beinecke Libraries to collect photobooks in a wide variety of formats and explores how the collecting practices of these two libraries intersect and complement each other. Together, these two collections offer a broad historical context in which to examine and critically engage with this emergent form.

The Arts Library has been collecting books by photographers for decades as part of its mission to document trends in the art world to support teaching and research at Yale. Furthermore, the Arts of the Book Collection actively collects the book arts in all formats, including books that use photography. The Beinecke Library has a long history of collecting original photography, particularly related to the American West. More recent acquisitions expand the scope of Beinecke’s photography collections to focus on women photographers in the Peter Palmquist Collection and contemporary photobooks in the Indie Photobook Library/Larissa Leclair Collection.

The exhibit will be on view until May 26.

Post on April 7, 2017 - 4:03pm |