On Tuesday, October 4, two sections of Mrs. Marangoni’s Exposition and Argument class were introduced to Special Collections and the resources that our department offers. During the visit, Marc Carlson explained the purpose of Special Collections and some general rules about handling rare materials. The students then viewed materials that related to two of their class readings, T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Stevie Smith’s fiction.
Eliot’s poem contains the lines, “It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen.” These lines can be confusing to contemporary readers who have never encountered a magic lantern, which is an early type of image projector. Special Collections fortunately possesses a magic lantern in our Bob McCormack collection, which we acquired in 2008. Mr. Carlson demonstrated how to operate the magic lantern and projected the images from a number of slides for the students.
In addition to the magic lantern demonstration, Mrs. Marangoni’s students were also able to view some of the material contained in our Stevie Smith collection that is available for those who wish to research this author. The Stevie Smith display included a lock of Stevie Smith’s hair, the manuscript of her Novel on Yellow Paper, two of her manuscript notebooks, photographs featuring Stevie Smith, and a selection of her drawings.
Access to the rare materials in Special Collections is just one of the unique advantages that a University of Tulsa education offers.