The Charles King Library

General Charles King

General Charles King (1844-1933) was an American author who spent most of his life in the military. A graduate of West Point, he served in the Army until he was wounded at the Battle of Sunset Pass during the Yavapai War. Later in life he served as Brigadier General of Volunteers during the Spanish-American War where he helped out after the Spanish surrendered. During the Philippine-American War, he led a brigade during the Battle of Manila and the Battle of Pagsanjan. Once he returned Wisconsin, he stayed active in the Wisconsin National Guard and helped train troops during World War I.

Charles King published over 60 books and novels relating to military life, western adventure, and frontier and pioneer life. While he had published quite a bit before 1893, he lost much of his royalties when the bank he used failed. He then lost most of his books and papers in a warehouse fire. This pushed him to come out of his retirement back into the military, hence his involvement with the Volunteers from Wisconsin. He also began writing and publishing again in his non-military free-time.

In 1963, C. E. Dornbusch published a bibliography of Charles King’s books from the National Library of Australia. Many of the books in the McFarlin Library Special Collections can be found in the bibliography and have written markings to indicate if they are listed in the bibliography or if they are undocumented by Dornbusch. All of these books, including the C. E. Dornbusch bibliography can be found by searching the Charles King Library.

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Kent Frizzell Wounded Knee papers

Recently The University of Tulsa College of Law made a pastoral announcement concerning the passing of Kent Frizzell, retired Professor of Law, and Director of the National Energy Law and Policy Institute from 1977 to 1995.

Frizzell also served as United States Under Secretary of the Interior from 1975 to 1977, and as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources from 1972 to 1973.

Special Collections and University Archives was honored to receive Frizzell’s papers, photographs, and other materials related to the Wounded Knee Occupation in South Dakota in 1973. During this period he served as Chief Government Negotiator in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General (Land and Natural Resources Division, U. S. Department of Justice) and later as Solicitor, U. S. Department of the Interior.

These historical papers and photographs are available for viewing in the Special Collections Reading Room from 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Kent Frizzell, seated at third from left.

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The History of Tulsa High School Newspaper


The University of Tulsa Special Collections and University Archives houses more than just books. When looking through our oversize collection this week, I came across a folder titled Tom-Tom and, of course, I was curious as to what was inside. I quickly realized that Tom-Tom was a school newspaper published by students of Tulsa High School and Banknote Printing Company during the early 1900s.

The first edition of Tulsa’s newspaper Tom-Tom was published in 1909. It was given top ratings by the Oklahoma Inter-Scholastic Press Association and has been ranked nationally many times since 1926. Tulsa High School modeled their school paper, also called Tom-Tom, in its form. At first the school paper came out once a month but, in 1918, a class was formed specifically to distribute the paper. The name of the school paper later changed from Tom-Tom to Tulsa School Life. In 1939, the paper began to discuss news from all three Tulsa High Schools.


Tulsa High School opened in 1906. It was located on Boston Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Street. In 1913 Tulsa High School became the third school in Oklahoma to attain accreditation. In 1917 Tulsa High School became Tulsa Central High School when it opened a new school at Sixth and Cincinnati. The north half was opened in 1917 and the south half was later added in 1922. In the second volume of Tom-Tom, one student writer describes the transition between schools:

“we have entered a new building where the beautiful is all about us, [with] all the    things that the student could possibly wish for…”

Around 5,000 students attended the new school between tenth and twelfth grade. It was not until the construction of Tulsa’s freeway and the cost of downtown parking that the school decided to move its location outside of downtown. Tulsa Central High School moved to a forty-seven acre lot and campus was opened in 1976. The Old Central High campus now serves as the headquarters for the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). The building was recognized by the Tulsa Foundation of Architecture as a historic Tulsa landmark.



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New and Improved! World War I pamphlets collection

Just a few of the pamphlets available for use.

Just a few of the pamphlets available for use.

In our ongoing efforts to make searching our collections more user-friendly, the World War I pamphlet collection has been updated with more searchable words to make it easier to do research. Looking for something that was published by the Commission for Relief in Belgium or how the food supply was affected by the war? Now you can search for this information and much more relating to World War I by typing in a variety of keywords into the McFarlin Library catalog. Come look at one of the 678 World War I pamphlets available from Special Collections.

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World War I Victory Gardens

WWI Victory Gardens

Many Americans are familiar with the idea of the Second World War encouraging home ‘Victory Gardens’. These have been referenced in many films, documentaries, novels, and WWII memorabilia.  This week I learned there was quite a bit of encouragement and participation in ‘Victory Gardens’ during the First World War. Victory Gardens appeared early on in the war, but several governmental approved pamphlets were published by the National War Garden Commission in 1919. These brief informative writings detailed the importance and means of starting Victory Gardens and then preserving the harvested goods.

Even though the armistice was concluded in November of 1918, the United States government was still encouraging participation in starting and maintaining Victory Gardens to aid in production of food. More Victory Gardens enabled the prices of fruits and vegetables to stay at moderate levels and more produce could be sent to troops still overseas and as war relief for devastated Europe. Not only civilians but also the military camps and bases in the U.S., assigned plots for agricultural production.   After growing the produce, the participants were urged to can and preserve the foodstuffs. Printed guides were also sent out to inform the public on the best and most efficient ways to preserve various types of products.

The Special Collections has two of these World War I  Victory Garden pamphlets, War Gardening and Home Storage of Vegetables and Home Canning & Drying of Vegetables & Fruits both published in 1919. These two booklets are the “Victory Edition” and on one cover the propaganda slogan “The Kaiser IS canned—can food” is visible. The pamphlets include information on the most productive garden organization, tools and tips, prevention of insects and disease, a schedule for when to plant certain seeds, and how to store specific harvested crops in different areas and save seeds for the next year’s garden.

WWI victory garden propaganda


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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.


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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, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.


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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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