Europe, 1914: The Beginning

poster for blog

To commemorate the centenary of the Great War, McFarlin Library Department of Special Collections and University Archives will be hosting a number of exhibits from 2014-2018 focusing on different aspects of the war.

The first exhibit in this series “Europe, 1914: The Beginning” gives a general overview of the events that caused entire nations to become embroiled in a massive military undertaking they thought would be over by Christmas. No one could have known that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary on Sunday, June 28, 1914, would lead to the deaths of at least 16 million people.

This exhibit will run from July 1 to September 30, 2014. Everyone is invited to come visit the exhibit and learn more about the history behind the beginning of the Great War. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is open from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. It is free and open to the public.

Posted in Collections, Exhibits, General, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Closed Friday, July 4, 2014

Special Collections will be closed on Friday, July 4, 2014, in observance of Independence Day. We will resume regular business hours on Monday, July 7, 2014. Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Posted in Events, General, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated 100 Years Ago Saturday

Franz and wife getting in carThis Saturday marks the 100th anniversary of the day Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were fatally shot in the streets of Sarajevo, the capital of Serbia, by Gavrilo Princip, one of six nationalist assassins. The Archduke and his wife had been visiting Sarajevo to observe Serbian military maneuvers and to preside over the opening of the State Museum’s new facilities. In a tragically coincidental turn of events, Ferdinand and Sophie elected to ride from Sarajevo’s Town Hall to inspect the troops in an open car because Sophie’s low birth often kept the pair apart at most official events. Historian A. J. P. Taylor writes that:

“[Sophie] could never share [Franz Ferdinand’s] rank . . . could never share his splendours, could never even sit by his side on any public occasion.  There was one loophole . . . his wife could enjoy the recognition of his rank when he was acting in a military capacity. Hence, he decided, in 1914, to inspect the army in Bosnia. There, at its capital Sarajevo, the Archduke and his wife could ride in an open carriage side by side . . . Thus, for love, did the Archduke go to his death.” (The First World War: An Illustrated History – 1963, page 13)

The murders led directly to the start of the First World War. Serbian military officials had supported the assassins and stood behind the attack, and when Ferdinand’s father, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia, the small Balkan nation rejected the demands. The Emperor then declared war on Serbia, an action which embroiled nearly all of Europe in war overnight. All the great powers, Britain, France, Russia, etc. were connected to one another through a series of complex alliances and treaties which promised protection in the event of war. Austria-Hungary’s declaration of hostility was the spark which ultimately kindled the deadliest conflict the world had yet seen.

In remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, Special Collections will be displaying a series of exhibits commemorating the various stages of the war as their anniversaries roll around. The first of these exhibits, entitled, “Europe 1914: The Beginning,” will examine the first months of the conflict, beginning with the Archduke’s assassination. The exhibit will run from July 1st to September 30th.

Posted in Exhibits, General, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bloomsday Irish Pub Crawl and Special Collections Exhibit

10451710_761975443823274_9076854759561162634_nBloomsday is just around the corner! This Monday, June 16th, the festivities will kick off in earnest with an authentic Irish pub crawl from 6:30 to 10:00 pm in the area of Downtown Tulsa surrounding the Guthrie Green. While enjoying the evening’s many sights and sounds, be sure to come by and see Special Collection’s James Joyce exhibit at the Zarrow Center which will be open for public viewing from 6:30 to 10:00 as well. Items in the exhibit include a 50th Anniversary poser from TU’s James Joyce Quarterly magazine; a 1907 map of Dublin, Ireland; a holograph schema for Ulysses; and Joyce’s library card among other items.

Posted in artwork, Events, Exhibits, General, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Friday Exhibit and Bloomsday Celebration

Each year on June 16, people around the world celebrate one of the greatest works of modern literature: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Set on a single day in 1904 Dublin, the book follows in careful detail the rather uneventful life of Leopold Bloom, an Irish-Jew and advertising salesman whose wife is planning an affair. Bloom rises, eats breakfast, wanders the city, attends a funeral, reduces the son of a friend after a fight with a British soldier, and finally goes home to fall asleep in the bed where he can still detect the imprint of his wife’s lover. In Joyce’s hands, these otherwise unremarkable events take on mythic import as Bloom becomes a modern-day Odysseus, the Greek hero whose cunning and courage brought him safely home across a sea of dangers. Ulysses is thus a book about the terrors and triumphs of everyday life as well as the individual acts of heroism found in the simple act of living.

The book is known for its rigorous yet moving honest. Its sexually explicit passages led the U.S. government to ben Ulysses in 1920, a decision that remained in place until a 1933 ruling declared it a work of art. We now celebrate Joyce and his humane vision of the world each year on Bloomsday.

For 50 years, The University of Tulsa has been a vibrant center for the study of Joyce thanks to its publication of the James Joyce Quarterly and the rich holdings of TU’s McFarlin Library. To celebrate this anniversary, we have assembled an exhibition of rare materials that tell the story of Joyce’s life and his masterwork. This year, TU joins Guthrie Green and the George Kaiser Family Foundation to host Tulsa’s first-ever Bloomsday celebration. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on June 16, there will be readings from the book, live music, and an Irish pub crawl through the Brady Arts District.

This exhibition is made possible by the James Joyce Quarterly, Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, and the Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education.

This evening the Zarrow center will be holding its First Friday exhibition from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The featured material for this exhibit will be a first edition Ulysses from McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Visitors will also be able to view this rare piece of literature on Bloomsday.

Posted in Events, Exhibits, Guide to Literary and Related Materials, News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Acquisition: Spenser’s Minor Poems

Special Collections is pleased to announce the acquisition of a beautiful collection of poems: The Minor Poems of Edmund Spenser. Published by Ashendene Press in 1925, the book contains The Shepheardes Calender, Compaints, Daphnaida, Colin Clovts Come Home Again, Amoretti, Hymnes, and other of the famous author’s most important and enduring short works. The word “minor” in the title refers only to the length of the book, rather than to this landmark book’s literary significance. One of only 200 copies, this well-preserved piece of literature makes an excellent addition to the other Edmund Spenser holdings in Special Collections.

Posted in Acquisitions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Closed for Employee Appreciation Week and Memorial Day

TU-primary-logo-horizontal-tifSpecial Collections will be closed on May 23rd for The University of Tulsa’s Employee Appreciation Week. We will also be closed on May 26th in honor of Memorial Day.     Regular hours will continue before the 23rd and will resume after the 26th.

TU staff, we applaud you!

Veterans and service members, we thank you!TU-primary-logo-horizontal-tifTU-primary-logo-horizontal-tifTU-primary-logo-horizontal-tifTU-primary-logo-horizontal-tif

Posted in Events, General, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Exhibit in Special Collections

A Stranger from Paradise:  The Divine Vision of William Blake

An exhibit featuring selected facsimiles from the Kay and Roger Easson Library of William Blake.

William Blake (1757-1827)—English poet, printmaker, and painter—was largely unappreciated and misunderstood during his lifetime.  A mystical luminary, once regarded by some to be insane, Blake is now considered an important figure in the history of the Romantic age and one of the greatest contributors to English literature and visual art.

The University of Tulsa holds a beautiful and well-rounded library of Blake materials, collected by Professors Roger and Kay Easson, and generously donated to McFarlin Library Department of Special Collections in honor of Dr. Winston Weathers, a former member of the TU English faculty. The Easson Library of William Blake includes facsimile editions of Jerusalem, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and The Book of Thel, to name a few.   Blake’s works are of particular interest to students engaged in the study of book history and graphic design because his illuminated books seamlessly unite illustration and text on the book page.  The Easson collection also features a number of first edition texts that include original Blake engravings, notably Robert Blair’s The Grave: A Poem and William Hayley’s Ballads: Founded on Anecdotes Relating to Animals.  Edward Young’s The Complaint, and the Consolation; Or, Night Thoughts is a particularly exquisite piece. Night Thoughts, originally published in the 1740’s, remained popular during Blake’s lifetime; as a result, Blake was contracted by the publisher, Richard Edwards, to produce a series of engravings to illustrate the text.  Blake created—through his imaginative engravings—his own commentary on the poem.  The University of Tulsa is pleased to hold such an edition of Night Thoughts illustrated with Blake’s engravings.

All are invited to view this selection of Blake holdings from the Easson Library, now on Page from Blake's "Jerusalem"exhibit in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, 5th floor, McFarlin Library, beginning May 12th through June 21st, 2014.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

 I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

William Blake

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harper Lee agrees to ebook version of To Kill a Mockingbird

American novelist Harper Lee has announced that she has entered an agreement with HarperCollins to release her Pulitzer-prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird in e-book and digital audiobook formats.

In a rare public statement released through her publisher on April 28th, 2014, Lee said: “I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.” The announcement coincides with the author’s 88th birthday.

To Kill a Mockingbird is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. Critic J. Crespino explains the novel’s impact by writing, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in the United States with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets.

First published in July 1960, Mockingbird has sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and that total is climbing by more than one million copies a year, according to HarperCollins. The novel was also adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name that featured an Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to have among its holdings two first-edition copies of To Kill a Mockingbird in pristine condition. We invite the TU community to come and visit us and take a look at a text that for almost six decades has been considered one of the masterpieces of American literature.

Posted in News, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Collections’ Woody Guthrie Manuscript on Exhibit

The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to be collaborating with the Woody Guthrie Center in the exhibit of the original typed manuscript of Woody Guthrie’s only novel House of Earth. The manuscript, on display from March to July 2014, is part of the Woody Guthrie Manuscript Collection (1976.017), was completed by the author in 1947.

House of Earth was published from a manuscript housed in McFarlin Library’s Special Collections, and was edited and published by historian and author Douglas Brinkley and actor Johnny Depp. House of Earth is a semi-autobiographical novel, describing the lives of a young couple attempting to survive the Dust Bowl in an adobe house. Guthrie finished the novel in 1947, and while it was never published, he did try to get it made into a film, directed by Irving Lerner.  It is probable that the University of Tulsa acquired the text from Lerner’s estate sometime between 1976, when the filmmaker died, and 1984 when Special Collections made a copy of the manuscript was made for Harold Leventhal, Guthrie’s agent and manager.  This copy is likely what formed the basis for the published novel.

Guthrie, better known for his profound impact in the folk music scene and whose artistic influence permeates the works of singers and songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and, of course, his son Arlo Guthrie, wrote House of Earth as a reflection on his experiences in late-1930’s Dust Bowl America. The novel follows two farmers in tune with their land, Tike and Ella May Hamlin, espousing the benefits of adobe houses against the brutal West Texas weather to great resistance from the lumber companies in town, establishing the novel as both a slice-of-life narrative of Dust Bowl United States and a political allegory of Guthrie’s views. Brinkley’s and Depp’s mission to publish Gurthrie’s only novel led them to our very own McFarlin Library’s Special Collections in order to begin the process of editing the work for its eventual publication and distribution.

Along with the novel, the Woody Guthrie Center will also exhibit original artwork created by Woody Guthrie in the late 1940s (featured in the published novel) and the original 1934 government pamphlet on building adobe structures.

Posted in Collections, Events, Exhibits, History, News, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment