The staff at Special Collections is very excited to announce the addition of a new special collections librarian, Jenn Donner. Jenn received a Bachelor’s degree in History from Lake Superior State in Michigan. After her Bachelors she worked to receive two graduate degrees. She earned her first Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. Afterwards, Jenn moved to Tulsa where she earned her Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Jenn has been a volunteer at special collections for the last year. She spent her volunteer hours working on reclassifying our many rare books and performing data entry on the museum database TMS. We are so lucky to have her join our staff full time this week.
Please join us in welcoming Jenn Donner as our new special collections librarian.
The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to announce the display of the piece titled Peoria Avenue #7 by TU faculty member Mark Lewis. Professor Lewis, a graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute … Continue reading
The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is sad to announce that adored British author Doris Lessing passed away peacefully at her home in the early morning hours of Sunday November 17th. Lessing, who produced fifty-five works, including poetry, operas, and short stories, was 94 years old.
Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for her life’s work in 2007. She was the eleventh female, and the oldest individual, to be awarded the prize. Lessing’s works focused on society, Southern Africa where she was raised, colonialism, race, and women’s role in society. Her most famous book, The Golden Notebook, is heralded as being a great classic of feminism. Born in what is now Iran her family later moved to Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Many of her works stem from her experiences in Africa, and the effects of empire on nation states. Until the age of fourteen she was educated at a Catholic girl’s school. She left home to work as a nursemaid at fifteen. While working she was introduced to literature that focused on society, politics, and reform. This period of her life was reflected in her works as an adult. Lessing’s first works were sold to magazines; by the time of her death over fifty of her novels had been published.
To read more on Lessing click here and here.
In 1891, Dr. Samuel Kennedy and his brother, Dr. James Kennedy, came to the Oklahoma Territory, which had recently opened for settlement, and set up a medical practice in the fledgling Village of Tulsa. The young doctors became the pioneer physicians and surgeons of the area, investing great amounts of time and energy in both their practice and the growing city of Tulsa. Samuel Kennedy married a woman of partial Osage ancestry, Agnes Lombard, and with her had seven children. The brothers retired from their highly successful practice in 1901, but continued to help grow and improve their adopted home town. Samuel entered the oil business after the discovery of black gold in the Tulsa area, acquiring an Osage lease with his partner, W.A. Springer.
Special Collections acquired a scrapbook from Dr. Samuel Kennedy’s family in 1990 which contains newspaper clippings, photographs, and published ephemera documents. This extensive trove of early Tulsa history primarily focuses on the activities of Dr. Kennedy and his family, but also includes carefully preserved obituaries of Kennedy’s friends and business contacts, news about the fledgling oil industry, and developments in downtown Tulsa. Dr. Kennedy and his son, Col. Joe E. Kennedy, painstakingly created the scrapbook, producing a fascinating summary of Tulsa in its formative years.
Posted in Acquisitions, Collections, General, History, News, Uncategorized
Tagged acquisitions, Books, collections, history, manuscripts, photographs, Tulsa
The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, and McFarlin Fellows will hold a dinner on November 7th, in honor of leading British writer, historian and biographer Patrick French. French will be giving his lecture, “On the Trail of V.S. Naipaul: a Biographer’s Life.”
French’s award winning books, which have been translated into multiple languages, have received several honors including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize, and the Hawthornden Prize. His 2008 release, The World Is What It Is: the Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul was selected a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book of the Year. His most recent novel, India: a Portrait (Vintage Departures), explores society and the political environment of India since the advent of independence in 1947.
His other works include Tibet, Tibet, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division, and Younghusband. French has lectured internationally and at many universities and organizations across the United States including Harvard University, the Rand Corporation and the American Enterprise Institute.
The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives takes great pride in taking part in this event, which promises to be a fascinating evening.
The history of race relations in Tulsa is extensive. Events ranging from the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921, which resulted in the obliteration of one of the wealthiest African-American communities in the United States at the time, to the recent controversy regarding the name of Brady Street and Wyatt “Tate” Brady’s relationship with the Ku Klux Klan, have profoundly marked the history of Tulsa. Although it was a dark time in our city’s history, the University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, in its mission to be the most effective and efficient research tool it can be, holds a wide variety of materials related to Tulsa’s racial struggles.
Among our holdings, our patrons can find the Ku Klux Klan Papers, consisting of two major accessions: a ledger containing membership records for the Tulsa Klan chapter for the years 1928-1932 and ephemera which includes: pamphlets pertaining to the organization, structure, and rituals of the Klan; typescript and carbon copy typescript of an acceptance speech given by a newly elected Exalted Cyclops [i.e., Chief Officer] for the Klan #2, Realm of Oklahoma (c1936); membership applications; robe and supply requisitions; and mimeograph copies of eleven official Ku Klux Klan documents dating from 1924-1927; sheet music for the song “The Bright Fiery Cross,” and materials relating to the Robert D. Hudson Chapter of the Inns of Court’s 17 January 1995 meeting.
Another piece of the KKK’s history in Tulsa is an undated Alvin C. Krupnick photograph of a Klan rally. Believed to be from some time in the 1920s, it shows a group of horse-mounted Klansmen, riding in a nighttime parade. A number of unrobed, unidentified men are also visible in the image. Although badly damaged, the image shows a common occurrence in the South of the 1920s, and gives viewers a glimpse into a dark but very important part of the past.
The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to announce the opening of an exhibit featuring the works of Anna Kavan. The exhibit will be shown in the Sherman Smith Family Gallery at the Zarrow Art Center located at 124 East Brady Street. The show opens tomorrow Friday November 1st during the First Friday Art Crawl in the Brady Arts District from 6-9.
Anna Kavan was a famous British writer who published novels and short stories. She was born Helen Emily Woods, and later married and added the surname Ferguson. She published her first six works under her Ferguson name. After being institutionalized for a heroin related break down she changed her name to Anna Kavan, after one of the characters in her novel Let Me Alone.
“The first six of her novels gave little indication of the experimental and disturbing nature of her later work. Asylum Piece, a collection of short stories which explored the inner mindscape of the psychological explorer, heralded the new style and content of Kavan’s writing.”
Drawn from our collections, the exhibition focuses on thirty-six paintings created by Kavan. The works are divided into three thematic genres- self-portrait, artistic influences, and dreams. Together they provide insight into this enigmatic British writer’s life.
Based upon her formal training at the Central London School of Arts and Crafts in “design theory,” Kavan’s technique places each current painting in the context of earlier pieces. It mirrored her creative approach to first experience a relationship, emotion, or life situation then make a work of art that marked that experience. She considered these memorials a justification for having lived.
Please join us tomorrow evening to experience these pieces and connect to an author and artist lost to time.
Posted in artwork, Collections, Events, Exhibits, News
Tagged Anna Kavan, art, collections, events, exhibit, Literature, university of tulsa, Zarrow Arts Center
In celebration of Halloween this Thursday the Department of Special Collections and University Archives would like to showcase the spooky works of famous pulp fiction author H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was an American modernist author who achieved posthumous fame for his influential works of horror fiction. During his life he was relatively unknown and only published in “pulp” magazines. He was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. There, at the young age of eight, he began writing his tales of horror. By the age of 31 Lovecraft had his first published work in a professional magazine. And at 34 he was a regular contributor to “Weird Tales” magazine. Unfortunately, Lovecraft had very little economic success and died in poverty at 46. “Critics attitude to Lovecraft was long colored by his publication in cheap magazines, low esteem for the horror genre in which he wrote, and his unique style which was often condemned as simply bad”. However, in 2005 Library of America published a collection of Lovecraft’s works. This collection shows that Lovecraft is now regarded as an important author and one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century.
Our department houses the collection of Lovecraft’s works published by Library of America. These works tell frightening accounts of haunting, murders, and other things that can only be characterized as weird. Each book also has its own unique illustrations that are as strange as the stories they represent.
So this Halloween Special Collections honors modern literature’s king of horror. To see these and other frightening tales visit our department, located on the fifth floor of McFarlin library, open 8am to 5pm.
And to read more on H.P. Lovecraft visit his digital archive here.
The Department of Special Collections and University Archives will be closed this Friday October 25, 2013 from 8 am to 12:30 pm. We are sorry for any inconveniences this closure causes and appreciate our patrons’ understanding.
12 Years A Slave is a movie set to hit theaters this month. The movie is based on the true life story of Solomon Northup. Northup was a free black man living in the north until one day he was tricked, captured, and eventually sold to a plantation owner in the Deep South. Northup would live as a slave for 12 years and would eventually record his experiences in his memoir 12 Years a Slave. This movie is already being regarded as one of the top selling movies of the year and the many actors in the film have been given future Oscar nods.
Here at Special Collections we house multiple slave narratives, including Northup’s memoir. For those interested in seeing this amazing movie, you should come by our department and see these narratives. Most of the narratives we collect are written from the first hand experiences of freed slaves. These stories illuminate a regretful part of America’s history. Our department believes it is important to collect this portion of history so that future generations can learn from the past to change the future.
So before you hit the theaters take a little time to visit Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin library. While here you can learn a little more about the slave trade, America’s past, and the experiences that these brave souls endured.
To learn more about the upcoming film visit this website. And to search our catalog for slave narratives click here.
The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is open Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm.