H.M.S. Crusader – Wireless Telegraph Signal Log

McFarlin Special Collections is home to several different collections relating to World War I.  The objects in these collections range from photographs to maps to sheet music.  One intriguing item in the collection relating to WWI is the wireless telegraph signal log from the H.M.S. Crusader.  This was a tribal class destroyer stationed in the English Channel and the North Sea from 1914-1916.  The ship won the Battle Honour for its work off the Belgian Coast defending against German naval forces.  The construction of the ship was completed in October 1909.  Its life as a naval ship was short-lived as it only saw action in World War I and was sold for scrap metal in 1920.  However, its legacy lived on in two other ships built later on which both carried the same name: H.M.S. Crusader.

The logbook in Special Collections has entries from 23 October through 2 November 1914, almost 102 years ago.  One of the beginning pages of the book sets out the instructions for how to keep the logbook properly.  One of these rules was that the captain of the ship was to check the log once a week to ensure that it was being properly kept.  Each entry contains the date and time of the transmission, which ship sent the message and which ship the message was sent to, any notes about the transmission, and the message itself.  These messages typically consisted of sightings of the enemy ships or just simple directions to the naval officers such as the entry on October 24th that states “Please make targets as simple as possible.”  This logbook can be seen at Special Collections on Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm.

Instruction page for logbook. Entry. Entry Entry

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Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books

The University of Tulsa Special Collections and Archives is well known for its collections of American and British Literature. Our department is fortunate enough to carry multiple editions of manuscripts. We house many editions of John Milton’s (1608 – 1674) famous epic poem, Paradise Lost. This blank verse poem depicts the Fall of Mankind through the biblical story of Satan’s temptation on Adam and Eve that banned them  from the Garden of Eden. Paradise Lost argues that separation from God parallels the sinful nature of man.


One of our earliest editions of Paradise Lost is the fourth edition, A Poem in Twelve Books, published in 1688. It was published twenty years after the first edition in 1667. This edition was one of the earliest subscription publications, which included the first illustrated edition and first folio edition. It was printed on fine quality paper adorned with sculptures in London by Miles Flesher, for Richard Bently, at the Post-Office in Russell-Street, and Jacob Tonson at the Judge’s Head in Chancery-lane near Fleet Street.

In 1688, due to the Glorious Revolution between the Whigs and Tories, Milton began to gain notice again. Milton was praised for his commitment to the republic. Jacob Tonson wanted to publish Paradise Lost in high quality print to praise Milton’s poetry and show the piece in its best form. Milton modeled Paradise Lost’s twelve books after Publius Vergilius Maro’s (Virgil) Aeneid. The illustrations in the fourth edition are dedicated to John Baptist Medina and Bernard Lens. The remainder are dedicated anonymously. Milton’s stance on a chapter’s topic is dictated through each book’s illustration.


I am always fascinated by what I can find in Special Collections and Archives. The staff of the University of Tulsa Special Collections and Archives department invites our guests to visit us and take a look at our materials.


  • http://liblamp.uwm.edu/omeka/SPC2
  • http://library.utulsa.edu
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The Nuremburg Chronicle at TU

Nuremburg Chronicle

One of the prize volumes in the University of Tulsa Special Collections and University Archives is a copy of the Latin edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle, or Liber Chronicarum, printed on July 12, 1493. This large tome is one of the early printed books called incunabulum, books printed before 1501[1]. This book covers the history of the known Christian world from the Biblical creation to the late 15th century. It was written by Hartmann Schedel who was a humanist scholar and a medical doctor in Nuremberg Germany. Schedel based much of his text on many known medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The Chronicle is divided into 11 parts; the different ages of the world starting with Biblical creation story. Both a Latin and a German edition were commissioned with many accompanying woodblock illustrations and several maps incorporated into the text.  The University of Cambridge, which owns several copies of the Nuremburg Chronicle, states “The beauty of the illustrative apparatus, the skilful production and the elegant mise-en-page of the both the Latin and German editions of the text account for the ‘enduring value’ of the Nuremberg Chronicle…”[2] TU’s copy is one of the most popular items viewed by students and other visitors to the Special Collections. This volume is currently on display for the exhibition “A Brief History of Printing and Publishing” in the Special Collections Reading Room Hall on the 5th floor of the McFarlin Library.

[1] “Incunabulum.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.

[2] http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/PR-INC-00000-A-00007-00002-00888/1

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New acquisition: Daniel Teoli book of 1970s culture in Hollywood and LA

Special Collections has recently acquired a book of photographs by Daniel Teoli, a social documentarian. The book is titled Portfolio: Peering into the world of 1970s Hollywood and LA.

The black and white images are primarily from street photography, and focus on people who have been marginalized by society. This includes a wide variety of locations and various types of people, from customers at a dive bar to sex workers and the homeless. Many of the photographs feature nudity and are not suitable for viewing by minors.

Mexican reflections









Kid eating candy on a scale

Special Collections has three 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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William Blake’s Engravings of Dante’s Inferno

The University of Tulsa Special Collections and Archives is fortunate to have a collection of books related to art.  These volumes range from artist’s books (books made by hand by the artist themselves) to biographies.  One of these books, Blake’s Illustrations of Dante is part of the Kay and Roger Easson Library of William Blake.  This book was published by The Trianon Press in Paris for the William Blake Trust in 1978.  Seven prints made from Blake’s engravings, a short history and descriptions of the engravings, and preliminary sketches are enclosed within the book.  These engravings not only have an interesting subject matter but also a fascinating history.  Blake’s friend John Linnel suggested to the artist that he should make engravings for Inferno while he was completing his work on the Illustrations of the Book of Job.  Blake worked on these engravings on and off during the last three years of his life.  By the time of his death in 1827, Blake had managed to complete 102 large sketches and watercolors inspired by the poem along with “copperplate versions of seven subjects chosen by Blake” that were mostly finished.  Following an argument with Blake’s wife over the payment for the engravings, Linnel was able to create prints from the plates.  The original set of prints in the collection of Sir Geoffrey Keynes were used to make the facsimiles in this book.

The full print shown here is of “The Circle of the Thieves” from lines 33-70 of Dante’s poem.  This image is made from one of the mostly finished plates and there are sketches and other engravings from early versions of the plate.  The image showing 4 sketches on one page are early versions of other prints from the book.  This work’s display of an artist’s process and changes in works over time illuminates the long process of arriving at a final work of art.

“The Circle of the Thieves” from lines 33-70 Preliminary sketches of engravings

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New Collection: Laura E. Hudson Petroleum and Geology Teaching Aid

This week the University of Tulsa Special Collections and Archives received a new collection from Laura E. Hudson. This collection consists of 115 handmade illustrated petroleum and geology flash cards. These cards were used by the Amoco Oil training center in Tulsa Oklahoma, between the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. The flash cards are 12.75” x 8.5” and were used by instructors for training new incoming geologists and engineers that were new hires by the Amoco Oil Corporation.  The cards include quizzes, graphs, questions, chemical compositions, equations, interesting facts, etc all related to the study of Petroleum engineering. One of the facts listed on a card is “Petroleum is found in rocks from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene (very old to very young geological age rock).” If anyone is interested in viewing these cards they may be viewed on request in our Reading Room. The Special Collections is open Monday – Friday 8am-5pm.

Petroleum flash cards

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The Joyce of Cooking

Joyce of Cooking

Due to TU Special Collection’s vast amount of materials in the James Joyce collection, I find it only fitting that I introduce a cook book about James Joyce’s Dublin. The Joyce of Cooking written in 1986 by Alison Armstrong is an Irish Cookbook based on Joyce’s life and work related to a city he loved. Armstrong reviewed many of Joyce’s novels to create recipes based on the dishes described within his pages. She wrote this cookbook because of food’s strong connection to an individual’s life, especially in relation to memories. In the forward by Anthony Burgess, he states that “great writers love life, this being their subject-matter, and life is food as well as lust, hate and other innutritious things that come between meals.” Our department houses numerous cookbooks that are definitely worth a peek.

The Joyce of Cooking Table of Contents:

  1. For Starters
  2. Fat Soups
  3. Weggebobbles & Fruit: Vegetarian, Nutarian, Fruitarian Literary Aethereal Dishes
  4. Meats & Inners Organs of Beasts and Fowls
  5. Eggs & Fish
  6. Salads, Sauces & Relishes
  7. Sweets of Sin & Other Trifles
  8. Breads, Cakes & Good Pastry
  9. Off the Drink & On the Drink
  10. Lotions & Home Remedies
  11. For Breakfast, Dinner & Supper: Menus for Joycean Celebrations
  12. Epic Gastronomy

Pages 169 and 190 are pictured below:



This cookbook includes a brief excerpt of each recipe in Joyce’s novels, which shows Armstrong’s well-thought and unique spin to each dish.

I hope you enjoy!

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The London Illustrated News

London Illustrated News

The University of Tulsa Special Collections and Archives has many different texts, manuscripts and artifacts. In the collection is a series of bound newspapers, titled The London Illustrated News (LIN). This publication was established in May 1842 and continued in varying form until the early 21st century. The LIN was one of the most successful newspapers to be published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of this success is owed to the LIN’s founder Herbert Ingram who had previously noted the public preference for news accompanied by images and caricatures.  The LIN hired many artists to work on the paper.  The London Illustrated News was the “first periodical to make extensive use of woodcuts and engravings and the first to use photographs”.1

As the paper continued to succeed and expand, it included stories not only about English social life but also more detailed stories about the arts, world news, literature, etc. The first issue from May 14, 1842 exhibits news stories covering the destruction of the city of Hamburgh by fire, brief Parliamentary proceedings, a very gruesomely detailed account of a Railway accident near Paris, war in Afghanistan, a steamboat explosion in the U.S., Paris fashions, theater productions, and most prominently Queen Victoria’s Masked Ball. Two full pages are dedicated to describing the costumes and festivities of the royal party. Eight illustrations accompany this story depicting the guests arrayed in costumes. Victoria was dressed at Queen Phillippa and Albert as Edward III.  The reporter notes that many of the costumes worn by the ladies and gentlemen attending the royal couple were chosen by the Queen herself, mostly characters representing noble or royal ancestry.

London Illustrated News - Queen's Ball

This early 19th century newspaper provides an illuminating view of Victorian society.  From a modern perspective this style of news is very different from our familiar digital snippets. The text in the LIN is much smaller and the stories themselves are longer and use more formal language but the information presented does cover a wide range of popular subjects. The TU Special Collections houses bound copies dating from 1842- 1886 consecutively and several later unbound issues.

  1. “Illustrated London News.” Britannica Academic.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 8 Nov. 2010.http://academic.eb.com/levels/collegiate/article/42144. Accessed 16 Sep. 2016.

2. Bailey, Isabel. “Ingram, Herbert (1811–1860).” Isabel BaileyOxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. David Cannadine. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 16 Sept. 2016 <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/14416>.

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Testing the blog platform.

Remebarance of the greatest war of history | Malta Souvenir

Remebarance of the greatest war of history | Malta Souvenir

As I have to test this, I might as well give us something to look at.

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Collections Find- Civil War Era Children’s Primers

Civil War Primers

      After being away from the Collections all summer it was nice to be able to peruse the Special Collections stacks again. I can always discover something new when looking through the bookshelves and archive boxes. This week I discovered two Children’s reading primers from the 1860s. What struck me about these two small volumes was the clear juxtaposition of Civil War loyalties being exhibited to young students. One primer is titled “The Union Pictorial Primer” and the other is titled “The Confederate First Reader”.  Seeing these two primary education textbooks, printed only two years apart, has vividly illustrated the depth of separation between the North and the South. It should be noted that the Union Primer is designed for very young readers while the Confederate Reader is geared for slightly older students.  From my own modern perspective, and being so far removed from the historical event, seeing these books side by side has added a greater reality and insight into the Civil War.

The Sanders Union Pictorial Primer: Introductory to the Union Readers by Charles W. Sanders, A.M. was published in New York in 1866. On the publication page verso, this primer was “entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866”; one year after the end of the war. The Union Primer text has several pro-Union features. The images on pages 12, 32, 44-45, and 47 all have references to the war and Union victory. On page 12 Children are dancing in front of a white robed female warrior figure holding the Union flag and the word “UNION” spelled out over her head, representing victory. Behind the victory figure is a Steam ship, train, farmer, and governmental building. The idea behind depicting these particular images is to be representative of the progress and prosperity that has come from the North winning the Civil War. Page 32 depicts a one-legged soldier dressed in a Union uniform. This page instructs young readers to be compassionate to the wounded soldiers. This image instills in in young readers the idea to be kind to all individuals in need but to also be particularly considerate to those who have fought for the North.

Union Primer

Pages 44 and 45 depict a large group of children at a picnic/festival. In the center background a ground of girls dance around a Union flag. The text accompanying this images references play and having a good time and eating a feast. The image on the opposite page shows the group leaving the picnic in a carriage with the Union flag being held aloft. The text references the fun day and then returning to their “Sweet Homes”. The flag in these images represents Union victory and this victory has made it possible for the children to have a day of enjoyment with games, good food and then the ability to go “home, sweet home”. On page 47 a parade of victorious Union soldiers are shown marching in front of a governmental building, which is adorned with Union flags, and cheering crowd. The text states the men have had a hard time at war and are now returning home. This image is descriptive of the collective excitement at the Northern victory and teaches young students to praise and accept the Union victory.

Union Primer

      The Confederate First Reader containing selection in Prose and Poetry as Reading exercises for the young children in the Schools and Families of the Confederate States was published in Richmond Virginia in 1864. On the publication page verso, it states that this particular volume was “entered according to the Act of Congress of the Confederate States in the year in 1864”, one year before the end of the war.  After reading through the preface and table of contents I did not discover anything that seemed overtly pro-South except for an advertisement on the back cover: “Now Ready, The Army Songster. Dedicated to the Army of Northern Virginia. The best collection of Songs published in the South”. The Confederate First Reader is mostly comprised of excerpts from Aesop’s Fables, Bible stories, and various short poems. This book is intended for students reading at a higher level than that of the Union Primer. I would be curious to see a pictorial primer from the Confederate side. This could provide a better comparison of ideologies presented to children during and right after the Civil War.

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