February 24, 2011

New URL for Special Collections Blog

The Binghamton University Libraries' Special Collections Blog is moving. The new address is http://library2.binghamton.edu/news/specialcollections/ and the new feed is http://library2.binghamton.edu/news/specialcollections/feed/ Please update your feeds and bookmarks.

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February 10, 2011

Seamen’s Church Institute is Cool Site for February 2011

Photo: Seamen's Church Institute

Years ago, hundreds of ships manned by hundreds seafarers carried cargo from around the world what was once the busiest port in the world. Greeting the seafarers was the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), a 177-year-old maritime service organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church that handled their needs while in port and at sea.

“Because of this,” said SCI Associate Archivist John Thayer, “the story of SCI is inseparable from the story of the modern seafarer, as well as the story of the development of downtown Manhattan and the Port of New Jersey.” Thayer and his team recently completed a major digitization of some 12,500 items from SCI’s archive collection, the beginning of a project to share the Institute’s collection of historic artifacts that record the development of New York and maritime commerce.

Explore this rich history of mariners by going directly to SCI's Database. You can search with an intuitive Keyword and learn to navigate throughout the database with various hyper-links. You can also move up and down the "tree" browse exploring the multi-level structure: record group, series, sub-series, file, and item.

Learn about other holdings and finding aids in the SCI Archives from the SCI Website.

Photo: Seamen's Church Institute

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Abraham Lincoln : His Book is Featured Book for February

Abraham Lincoln : his book; a facsimile reproduction of the original with an explanatory note by J. McCan Davis is our featured book for February 2011.

Part of the Howard Collection, this diminutive book holds facsimiles of newspaper clippings of Lincoln’s speeches on the subject of Negro equality, pasted by him in a small pocket memorandum book, with manuscript notes and a letter.

In his opening explanatory note, J. McCan Davis writes: "This book - the only one now or ever extant of its illustrious authorship - owes its existence to the political campaign of 1858, when the opposing candidates for United States Senator from Illinois were Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Doughlas. The issue was slavery - whether, as Mr. Lincoln [who, at that time, did not advocate emancipation] contended, it should be restricted to the states in which it already existed, or, as Judge Douglas advocated, it should be permitted to invade the new territories if agreeable to the people thereof.

To see this fascinating tome, please visit Special Collections, on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room) and ask for Special Collections Howard -- E449 .L72 1909. Or call Special Collections at (607) 777-4844 for more information.


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February 09, 2011

Special Collections book featured in Inside BU

The Book of Common Prayer, with its disappearing fore-edge painting of the ruins of Byland Abbey, North Yorkshire, is stored in the Special Collections section of the Glenn G. Bartle Library.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen

Book reveals rare fore-edge painting

Beth Kilmarx, curator of rare books at the University Libraries, was going through the Special Collections closed stacks one afternoon last December when she came across an unusual looking book.

Kilmarx noticed that the book’s fore-edge, the side opposite the book’s spine, was a shade darker than the other edges.

“I saw the discolored gilt edge,” Kilmarx said, “and when I bent the leaves to find the cause of the coloring, I saw the painting!”

Read the rest of the article here

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February 03, 2011

Gillan wins award!

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is recipient of 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers


Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. She will be presented with this award – along with John Grisham, Elizabeth Nunez, and recipient of the Editor’s Award, Jonathan Galassi -- at a Poets & Writers’ benefit dinner on March 2.

The Writers for Writers Award was established by Poets & Writers in 1996 to recognize authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Past recipients of the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award include: Edward Albee, Judy Blume, Mary Higgins Clark, E.L. Doctorow, Junot Díaz, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wally Lamb, Walter Mosley, Susan Sontag, and Amy Tan. The Editor’s Award was established in 2009, and has been awarded to Daniel Halpern and Pat Strachan.

Read more here.

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January 25, 2011

Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War

Most Americans have learned the essential narrative of the American Revolution: Our Founding Fathers led proud Patriots to fight against British rule and ultimately prevailed. Rarely mentioned are the thousands of Tories, or Loyalists, who supported the British and fought to remain in their American homes as loyal subjects of the crown. Historian Thomas B. Allen contends the American Revolution was as much a civil war as it was a rebellion against the British.

Speaker Biography: Thomas B. Allen is the author or coauthor of more than 30 books on subjects ranging from espionage to exorcism. But his primary interest is history, especially military history,an interest that recently produced Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War, which he wrote with his son, Roger MacBride Allen. The book was cited by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and selected by Voice of Youth Advocates Magazine as one of the best nonfiction books of 2009. Another recent book, published jointly by the National Geographic Society and the International Spy Museum is Declassified: 50 Secret Documents that Changed History, a History Book Club selection.

SPEAKER: Thomas B. Allen
EVENT DATE: 11/30/2010
RUNNING TIME: 51 minutes

This program was presented at the Library of Congress. View the event here

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Spring 2011 Hours


Binghamton University Special Collections and University Archives Spring 2011 Hours:

Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Weekends

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January 07, 2011

North Star Country is Featured Book for January 2011

Daguerreotype, Cazenovia Fugitive Slave Law Convention, August 22, 1850. Held at the Madison County Historical Society. Frederick Douglass is seen in group photograph on cover of North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom by Milton C. Sernett

This is the story of the remarkable transformation of Upstate New York's famous "Burned-over District," where the flames of religious revival sparked an abolitionist movement that eventually burst into the conflagration of the Civil War.

Milton C. Sernett details the regional presence of African Americans from the pre-Revolutionary War era through the Civil War, both as champions of liberty and as beneficiaries of a humanitarian spirit generated from evangelical impulses. He includes in the his narrative the struggles of great abolitionists - among them Harriet Tubman, frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Beriah Green, Jermain Loguen, and Samuel May - and of many lesser-known characters who rescued fugitives from slave hunters, maintained safe houses along the Underground Railroad, and otherwise furthered the cause of freedom both regionally and in the nation as a whole.

Sernett concludes with a compelling examination of the moral choices made during the Civil War by upstate New Yorkers - both black and white - and of the post-Appomattox campaign to secure freedom for the newly emancipated.

(Text from back cover of North Star Country)

If you would like to view this book, please visit Special Collections located on the Second Floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room) and ask for Local History E445.N56 S47 2002. There is also a copy of this book in the circulating stacks.

Elmira prison camp that was originally a Union military depot and rendezvous station. It was establishd in May 1864 and occupied the so called Barracks 3. It was enclosed by a twelve-foot plank fence and housed 11,916 prisoners, of whom 2,994 died. From a postcard that shows prisoners in line for dinner (from the Chemung County Historical Society).

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