Edwardian Flirtations for Valentine’s Day

Edwardian flirtations 1A charming glimpse into frivolous Edwardian  literature and society is the small chapbook (a cheap publication intended to be thrown away) titled New Book of Flirtations: No. 18. Containing the Language of Postage Stamps All the Secret Signs, Insinuations, Invitations and Captivations, Also the Art of Flirting with Cane, Fan, Handkerchief etc. Also The Language Of Flowers And Autograph Album Verses, published in 1913. This little book gives the reader some very detailed instructions and insights for young ladies and gentlemen in matters of the heart.
This little magazine details the motions and meanings of flirting with your handkerchief. For e.g., drawing a handkerchief across your eyes means that I am desirous of an acquaintance. While twirling the handkerchief in the left hand means “I wish to be rid of you”; flirting the handkerchief over the right shoulder means “follow me”. To flirt with a pencil, one twirls the pencil in the left hand to say ‘I wish to get rid of you’, drawing the pencil across the cheeks means ‘I love you’; placing the pencil on your right shoulder means ‘you may speak to me’. For students who regularly use pencils for writing, be cautioned that holding a pencil between the teeth means that you are “too willing”. There are many other forms of silent flirtatious communication that are detailed in this volume such as with a glove, parasol, or fan. Further pages include poetry, matrimonial suggestions, the cure for bashfulness, language of jewels, etc.
Among these teasing little tidbits is also a page of step by step instructions on how a gentleman should kiss a lady.

If you are curious as to the other forms of 1900s flirtation and dating advice, the volume is held at the University of Tulsa’s Special Collections in McFarlin Library and is available to view Monday-Friday 8-5pm.

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Joyce’s 134th birthday!

February 2, 2016 marks the 134th birthday of James Joyce. Irish novelist and poet James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) is considered by many to be one of the most important Modernist author, and one of the most important authors ever published in the English language.  Apart from his numerous publications, he was also a prolific correspondent.  The University of Tulsa holds many of his papers, letters and ephemera.

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is renowned for its extensive Joyceana holdings, including the Harriet Shaw Weaver library, the Paul & Lucie Léon collection of James Joyce (Coll. No. 1984.005), and various correspondence and important editions of the author’s works contained in other collections.

From the Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce collection

From the Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce collection

The Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce collection is the center of the Joyce holdings in the Department of Special Collections and consists of more than 200 volumes. It includes work by and about Joyce. All first editions of Joyce’s writings published during his lifetime are included except for Finnegans Wake. (However, this work is represented in the Edmund Wilson library by a copy heavily annotated in his hand.) Also present are numerous subsequent editions and translations of Joyce’s writings (there are 18 different editions of Ulysses, for example) and various critical studies that had been given to Weaver by other publishers and authors.

James Joyce correspondence is an artificial collection, pulling together portions of several separate acquisitions to be housed with the Joyce material in the Paul and Lucie Leon/James Joyce Collection. Includes 30 pieces of correspondence comprised of handwritten letters, postcards and calling cards from James Joyce to Leon Paul Fargue, Mrs. Richard Hughes, Mlle Raymonde Linossier, Armand Petitjean, Sean O’Faolain, Charles Ogden, and Niall Sheridan.

In total, the department houses over 700 items by or about Joyce, from first editions to artists’ books, literary criticism, and periodicals. All the collections may be accessed upon request during business hours – Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.

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Daniel Teoli photography book of Bikers’ Mardi Gras

Special Collections has recently acquired a book of photographs by Daniel Teoli, a social documentarian. The book is titled Bikers’ Mardi Gras, and it features motorcycle clubs and enthusiasts celebrating Mardi Gras throughout the United States between the years 2012 and 2015.

The images depict the internal culture of bikers at parties and gatherings, and range from portraits to candid shots and pictures of modified and carefully-crafted motorcycles. A large number of the photographs depict nudity or sexual acts.

Photograph © Daniel D. Teoli Jr. – License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Special Collections has two other artists’ books by Teoli:

Teoli’s photography challenges mainstream notions of societal boundaries and frequently forces the viewer to confront uncomfortable images and realities that are often ignored or that remain unconsidered.

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New in Digital Collections: January 2016

Special Collections added new materials to our digital collections site in January.

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George Orwell, a literary genius

This week, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives celebrates the literary works of George Orwell. He may be thought of as a serious thinker with a prophetic vision. Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903 in eastern India, the son of a British colonial civil servant. He was educated in England and, after he left Eton, joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. Soon after the success of his novel, 1984 (1949), Orwell died on January 21, 1950.

George Orwell, one of England’s greatest writers, began his writing career as a journalist. This style is seen in his books. George Orwell has a very direct, journalistic style. He employs allusions and extended metaphors to represent the meaning behind entire books. His style is very dry and direct with little unnecessary imagery and unintended flowery descriptions. This does not mean that the scenery in the piece isn’t described well, it is just not overly poetically described. For example in the book 1984 he states lines such as “He took his scribbling pad on his knee”. He doesn’t try to recreate the look of the entire pad and doesn’t describe how the character flourishes it with a wave of his hand and then smoothes the paper. He doesn’t use fanciful metaphors and flowery language to depict specific scenes. Such is not necessary and is not his writing style. This is extremely important when transmitting Orwell’s theme because he is describing such a world. Most of his books are very pessimistic and in the case of 1984 the world is one where there is no freedom of thought and complete totalitarian control. This succinct writing style transmits the meaning of the theme of the piece.


Reviews on the back cover of a first American edition of 1984

Orwell’s imagined world of Oceania in the year 1984 is scary enough, just looking at the facts he provides, but Orwell’s style contributes to this world’s bleakness. We learn about 1984’s world through dull, matter-of-fact explanations – which subtly drives home how dull and matter-of-fact daily life is for Oceania’s people.

Not wishing to embarrass his family, the author published the book under the pseudonym George Orwell. George Orwell’s name itself has become an adjective -“Orwellian” – meaning an oppressive system.  Other popular usages such as ‘Doublethink’ and ‘Big Brother’ testifies his lasting impact on the language .


An interesting find was a facsimile of the extant manuscript of 1984 . This facsimile reproduces all details that survived the preliminary drafts. The facsimile [PR6029. R8 N49 1984 Oversz] gives us a demonstration of Orwell’s process of perfecting language and thought.

Manual edits on the manuscript

Manual edits on the manuscript

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives has several first editions of Orwell’s famous works Shooting An Elephant[PR6029.R8 S5 1950 Wilson] and Nineteen Eighty-Four[PR6029.R8 N49 1949].

animal farm1

First Canadian edition of Animal Farm

[PR6029.R8 A7 1946] is a first Canadian edition of Animal Farm, “which according to publishing sources, was issued here only after popular success of the American edition and the book club thus suffered poor sales and was probably pulped in the post-war years – this would seem to account for its scarcity” reads an inscription on the book.


Animal Farm was also adapted into a motion picture. [PR6029.R8 A79 1970 Connol Undrsz]  is the strip version of the Halal and Batchelor film Animal farm by George Orwell. The film of Animal Farm was so popular, that many regional newspapers ran it as a strip cartoon serial.

comic strip

The Strip Version of Animal Farm

Each book is available at the University of Tulsa McFarlin Library Special Collections during regular business hours.


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Barbara Santee archive of Oklahoma women’s reproductive rights

This past summer, Special Collections acquired the archive and library of Dr. Barbara Santee, who has spent the last 40 years working to improve and maintain women’s reproductive rights through activism in the state of Oklahoma. She served as the Executive Director for NARAL’s Oklahoma affiliate, has volunteered as a clinic escort, and studied here at the University of Tulsa.

During her time spent at rallies and throughout campaign efforts, Santee began to collect buttons and pins with pro-choice slogans, eventually displaying them in unique ways, including hats, vests, t-shirts, and even straw place mats. The buttons date from the 1980s through the 2000s, and show the priorities and issues that reproductive activists had on their minds at the time.

The central piece of the button collection, however, is a long denim skirt with over 300 buttons and pins attached to it. It’s quite heavy, weighing between 8 and 10 pounds. You can see the pieces she collected on the mannequin in this 2013 photograph, along with her place mats on the table:

Reproductive rights activist Barbara Santee at the Oklahoma Capitol with her reproductive rights button collection, as displayed on a mannequin. Some of her buttons are seen here.

Reproductive rights activist Dr. Barbara Santee at the Oklahoma Capitol with her pro-choice button collection, as displayed on a mannequin. Some loose buttons are seen here with the photo.

The total number of buttons and pins cataloged and processed so far is 881. Among other rally and campaign ephemera are slogan stickers and metal bracelets with the names of women who died from illegal abortions.

We are continuing to process this collection for public research use and display.

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Special Collections find: Buffon’s animals


My recent find, in the University of Tulsa’s Special Collections shelves, is a small translated edition of Buffon’s Natural History. This small volume’s complete title is “Buffon’s Natural History: containing a full and accurate description of all the animated beings in nature. In four parts. Quadrupeds—birds—fishes—reptiles. Illustrated with two hundred engravings”. This work was published by Milner and Sowerby in 1854.  This volume was intended for cheap mass publication. The Milner and Sowerby publishing house was one of the most influential in the production of affordable copies during the Industrial Revolution. Many other influential works were reprinted and edited by Milner and Sowerby to create cheap publications for the consumption of the middle and lower classes. This Victorian edition of Buffon includes many small detailed engraving of animals, which accompany corresponding text.

Georges-Louis Leclerc, count de Buffon, was an 18th century French aristocrat and naturalist. Buffon was commissioned to catalog the natural history collections owned by the French monarchy, however he went on to incorporate all known aspects of nature. He began work on his magnum opus Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, in 1749. Buffon was only able to complete 36 of the proposed 50 volumes. The Count de Lacépède completed eight more volumes, making the total number of volumes for the first edition 44. Later editions were often edited, abridged and consolidated into thematic groupings.


These early works about natural history are interesting to read from a modern perspective. Buffon and later editors did not write in the dry empirically scientific style we are familiar with today. Buffon intentionally added philosophical ideas and opinions, associated with the organisms, to the known scientific data. Buffon’s observation that the African lion is more ferocious than the North American lion, because of geographic climate, seems a bit limited. He describes the peacock as having “the plumage of an angel, the voice of a demon, and the stomach of a thief.” This rather poetic portrayal would not be included in any modern scientific descriptions. According to Jean Piveteau, an editor for the Encyclopedia Britannica, Buffon wanted to interest the reader and keep the text from becoming too monotonous.

Buffon-1854-giraffe Buffon-1854-peacockBuffon-1854-sea porcupine


Neubrug, Victor E. The Popular Press Companion to Popular Literature. Popular Press, 1983. 132-133. Ebook. 21 Jan. 2016. https://books.google.com/books?id=HCmx6ddbCMUC&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq=milner+and+sowerby+publishers+history&source=bl&ots=jMzMdq_nCe&sig=TqBfRKmv_1h8x7i_7Z9JnJMBXD0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd3Lev1rvKAhVHvYMKHQOuCsEQ6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&q=milner%20and%20sowerby%20publishers%20history&f=false

“Georges-Louis Leclerc, count de Buffon”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 20 Jan. 2016 <http://www.britannica.com/biography/Georges-Louis-Leclerc-comte-de-Buffon>.

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TU vs. Loyola – Digitized 16mm footage of basketball games

Attention all Golden Hurricane basketball fans!

Loyola University recently digitized a collection of 16mm reels showing basketball games with many universities, including the University of Tulsa.

Our two games, played in January 1963 and December 1964, have been put online for viewing at this link. The footage plays without sound or commentary.

If you’d like to view the entire collection of 16mm footage against other schools, including some that have not yet been identified, you can view them here.

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The Clansman: Controversy and Context

Originally published in 1905, Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s novel is actually the second book in a trilogy about the post-Civil War era. The general plot follows the character of Augustus Stoneman as he attempts to reconstruct the South. Stoneman believes he can keep the Republicans in power by gaining the Southern black vote. Stoneman urges Southern blacks to revolt against the Southern whites, and assists with stripping Southern whites of their property. These actions inspire the rising of the Klu Klux Klan’s re-emergence.

PS3507.I93 C8 1905

PS3507.I93 C8 1905

The novel was preceded by The Leopard’s Spots and followed by The TraitorThe Clansman is the most well-known because of the popularity of the play which Dixon co-wrote and the film The Birth of a Nation, which was released in 1915. Dixon co-wrote the screen play and co-produced the film.

Reception of the novel, play, and film was volatile. Dixon’s motive in writing the trilogy, and specifically The Clansman, was to influence Northerners to maintain racial segregation. The NCAAP attempted to get the film Birth of a Nation banned with limited success. Many believe that the film was the real impetus for the re-creation of the Klu Klux Klan in 1915.

PS3507.I93 C8 1905

PS3507.I93 C8 1905

The Special Collections department has recently acquired a copy of The Clansman. The book’s inscriptions indicates that it is a 1905 first edition printing. However, of note, is the inclusion of photos from the photo play. The book is available for public viewing during Special Collections regular hours, which are 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday.


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Congratulations to Jenn Donner

Jenn Donner

Jenn Donner

Ok-ACRL, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries, has named Jennifer Donner, one of our Special Collections Librarians, as a member of its Board of Directors. The Board plans the annual conference and handles any chapter business that might come up throughout the year. They meet once a month (either online or in person) to discuss chapter matters. This is a two year appointment (2016-18).

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