Coming to Voice is Special Collections’ Featured Book for September 2014

Coming to Voice 3

Front Cover: Rally on October 18, 1996, to protest the use of pepper spray by public safety officers during a Student Assembly Meeting the week prior. Photo by Evangelos Dousmanis.

As the academic year begins, Binghamton University Special Collections has chosen Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments, edited by Kelly Kinney and Sean Fenty, as its the featured book for September 2014.  This textbook serves as the basis for Binghamton’s most popular first-year writing course, WRIT 111.

Committed to providing highly motivated students an outstanding education grounded in the liberal arts, the First-Year Writing Program is a central component of the Binghamton University Writing Initiative.  Its mission is to foster in students the academic and civic literacies essential for success at the University and beyond, and the program is a recipient of the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Certificate of Writing Program Excellence, an award developed to honor top writing programs across the country and around the globe.

WRIT 111 and Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments focus on salient social issues important in the civic and academic spheres, and both the course and this textbook reflect Binghamton University’s mission to nurture in students an active engagement in the most pressing matters of our time.

Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments is now a part of the Binghamton University Archives Collection.  To see the book, come to Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.

Back cover: Students protesting investments in South Africa in front of the Administration Building in 1985.

Back cover: Students protesting investments in South Africa in front of the Administration Building in 1985.

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Special Collections to be closed on Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sorry-Were-Closed

Binghamton University Libraries and Special Collections will be closed on Thursday, August 21, 2014 for a staff retreat.

We will re-open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 22.

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The Meaning of Art is Special Collections’ Featured Book for August 2014

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In honor of August being Art Appreciation Month, The Meaning of Art by Herbert Read is our featured book for this month.

One of the greatest art critics in Britain to specialize in abstract art of the early and mid-20th century, Herbert Read won a number of medals for bravery during World War I. His experiences in this conflict, including the death of his brother, turned him into an anarchist and lifelong pacifist. He held a range of posts within the art world: curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum; professor of fine arts at Edinburgh University, and editor of the scholarly Burlington Magazine. He was a prolific writer on different types of art, including painting sculpture, stained glass and ceramics. His most famous book is probably The Meaning of Art (1931), which was followed by Art Now: an Introduction to the Theory of Modern Painting and Sculpture (1933) and Art and Industry (1934).

Since its first appearance in 1931, Read’s The Meaning of Art and its introduction to the understanding of art has established itself as a classic of its kind. In this volume, he endeavors to provide a basis for the appreciation of pictures and sculptures by defining the elements which go to their making. He persuades the reader to consider such fundamental terms as ‘beauty,’ ‘harmony’ and ‘pattern’ so as to make sure that the reader uses these words with precision in their judgements. Read also examines the complicated mental processes involved in the contemplation of works of art.

Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968)

Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968)

A large part of this book is devoted to a compact survey of the world’s art, from primitive cave drawings to Jackson Pollock, an exposition designed to show the persistence of certain principles and aspirations throughout the history of art, and to summarize the essence of such movements as Gothic, Baroque, Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and Tachism. Readers who follow this progressive and concise analysis will find it a valuable and stimulating guide to the visual arts.

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Jean Renoir Writing. By Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Basil Barlow Collecition

The Meaning of Art is part of the The William Klenz Library and Music Collection. To see this book, come to Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.

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Chronicling America’s Historic German Newspapers and the Growth of the American Ethnic Press

Scranton Wochenblatt. Courtesy of Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. Image provided by: Penn State University Libraries.

Scranton Wochenblatt. Courtesy of Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. Image provided by: Penn State University Libraries.

Extra!  Extra!  German Immigrants in the United States

Were Germans the most influential group in the ethnic press?  For a time, yes!  In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Germans came to the United States in droves.  For decades, Germans were the largest non-English-speaking immigrant group in America.  Between 1820 and 1924, over 5.5 million German immigrants arrived in the United States, many of them middle class, urban, and working in the skilled trades, and others establishing farming communities in the West.  Their numbers and dedication to maintaining their language and culture made Germans the most influential force in the American foreign-language press—in the 1880s, the 800 German-language newspapers accounted for about 4/5 of non-English publications, and by 1890, more than 1,000 German newspapers were being published in the United States.

Germans were the first non-English-speaking group to publish newspapers in America.  At least until the First World War, these newspapers were critical for maintaining German American identity.  For many German immigrants, the emphasis was on the first part of that identity—they were Germans first, and sought to become Americans without relinquishing their German-ness.  The group established a pattern that other immigrant groups followed later.  They came to America, settled into cultural enclaves, and constructed microcosms of their society in the new country. Maintaining their language and printing newspapers in their native language was critical to that process.  Some of the many German-language newspapers published in the United States may now be found in Chronicling America.

Read more here

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New exhibit in Special Collections: The Tilly Losch Collection: Downton Abbey as seen through the Archives

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle

Curator of Rare Books, Beth Turcy Kilmarx, and Special Collections Assistant, Mary Tuttle, have created a fascinating exhibit highlighting items from The Tilly Losch Collection, which is held in Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections.

Tilly Losch was born in 1904 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. Tilly begin her career in dancing at the age of 15, dancing in the Vienna Ballet and at Burgtheater, until meeting Max Reinhardt in 1927 and Corky B. Cochran soon after, who helped expand her dancing and choreography to productions in the United States and Europe. Tilly danced with Fred Astaire on Broadway, and gained minor roles in films after moving to Hollywood, including The Garden of Allah (1936), The Good Earth (1937), and A Duel in the Sun (1946). In her time recovering from tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Switzerland, Tilly learned to paint, and was fairly successful in her art career, with many gallery showings and even having one painting being purchased by the Tate museum in London. Tilly was married twice; her second marriage was to Lord Henry George Alfred Marius Victor Herbert, the sixth earl of Carnarvon and owner of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), more affectionately known as “Porchey.” They divorced in 1947, though remained amicable and in close contact for the next three decades.

This exhibit includes personal memorabilia of Tilly Losch, including various pieces of correspondence and photographs, as well as several of her paintings and sketchbooks. Some of her notable acquaintances include Fred and Adele Astaire, Cecil Beaton, Marlon Brando, Winston Churchill, Cole Porter, and Orson Welles.

Tilly Losch Exhibit Photograph

Tilly Losch donated her papers and paintings to the Binghamton University Libraries as it also houses the Max Reinhardt Archives. The collection spans 30 linear feet and consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, as well as legal documents, banking records, personal memorabilia, diaries, press clippings, photographic portraits, and publicity photos. The Tilly Losch Collection also includes a large number of loose sketches, sketchbooks, and over 500 of her paintings, many dealing with autobiographical themes. The materials span the years 1910-1975, though the majority of the collection represents materials accumulated during the years she lived and worked in America: roughly from the 1930s to the time of her death in 1975.

The exhibit is located in Special Collections on the second floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library, and can be viewed 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Friday throughout the summer.

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Novelist finds his place as a modern myth-maker

Alexi Zentner, assistant professor of English at Binghamton University, stands along Cayuga Lake in Ithaca. Zentner's latest novel, The Lobster Kings, will be released May 27. Photo by Jonathan Cohen

Alexi Zentner, assistant professor of English at Binghamton University, stands along Cayuga Lake in Ithaca. Zentner’s latest novel, The Lobster Kings, will be released May 27.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen

By Rachel Coker

The Lobster Kings, Alexi Zentner weaves a story that feels at once perfectly realistic and like a legend borrowed from another era. The novel, published this month by W.W. Norton, arrives just three years after Zentner’s critically acclaimed debut, Touch.

Zentner, an assistant professor of English who joined Binghamton University’s faculty in 2013, describes his style as mythical realism, an idea related to (but separate from) the tradition of magical realism established in Central and South America.

“I try to work the myth through the fabric of the entire story,” he says. “I’m not interested in using myth or magic as a showy parlor trick. I hope what I’m doing is something new and different.”

The Lobster Kings is new and different on a number of levels. The novel, which pays homage to Shakespeare’s King Lear, centers on the relationship between an aging man and his three daughters, one of whom is named Cordelia. But it’s also an entirely modern tale featuring meth dealers and a female ship captain who hopes to stop them before they wreck her hometown. There’s homicide, a rape, the legacy of a world-famous painter and stormy seas, too.

Read more here

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Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Celebrates International Archives Day!

Iraqi Kurds living in the mountains, 1960s and is from the Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library & Museum Collection.

Iraqi Kurds living in the mountains, 1960s. Image is from the Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library & Museum Collection.

Did you know that the 9th of June was International Archives Day? All around the world, archives and special collections professionals unite their voices on the 9th of June to make people understand why it is important to support archives and the profession.

Read more about International Archives Day here

To celebrate this important day, Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections has submitted a photograph from the Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Library & Museum Collection to be included in a virtual tour through archives around the world!

See our image here

You can also browse through photos from other international collections here 

Happy International Archives Day to all!!

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The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature is Special Collections featured book for June 2014

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To celebrate LGBT Pride Month, Special Collections’ featured book for June is The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature: Readings from Western Antiquity to the Present Day edited by Byrne R.S. Fone.

From the Epic of Gilgamesh to the poems of Allen Ginsberg and gay literature of the 1980s and ’90s, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature draws together hundreds of texts from Western literary history that describe experiences of love, friendship, intimacy, desire, and sex among men. Spanning more than two millennia, from ancient Mesopotamia to the late twentieth century, this anthology brings together the best-known texts of gay male writing such as the poetry of Martial and Walt Whitman, and excerpts from E. M. Forster’s Maurice, as well as from lesser known works such as nineteenth-century English homoerotic poetry and selections from two early American novels of homosexual love – Joseph and His Friend and Imre. In The Columbia Anthology readers become acquainted with the early bonds of male companionship found in Homer’s writings on Zeus and Ganymede, and with the homoerotic poetry of Catullus and Juvenal. From Shakespeare’s Sonnets to the philosophy of de Sade, to the political writings of Edmund White, this anthology traces a multifaceted tradition.

As a landmark to the enduring spirit of gay writers, this collection is an essential addition to the library of anyone searching for the historical foundations of gay identities. With its excellent annotations and suggestions for further reading, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature will also serve as an invaluable resource to students and scholars in need of a guide to a massive body of literature that has long been hidden, ignored, or misrepresented. (Amazon.com)

Byrne R.S. Fone is professor emeritus of English literature at the City College of New York. He is a recognized pioneer in the field of Gay Studies and has written several books in the field including: A Road to Stonewall: Homosexuality and Homophobia in British and American Literature and a study of Walt Whitman: Masculine Landscapes: Walt Whitman and the Homoerotic Text. He has edited the largest and most comprehensive anthology of gay literature, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (our featured book for June) and in Homophobia: A History he examines the history of homophobia over a period covering almost two millennia.

This book is from our Alumni Authors Collection located in Special Collections. It is also part of the The Byrne Fone Collection of Gay Studies, a gift to the Binghamton University Libraries received in 2009.

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Special Collections to be closed Thursday and Friday

Binghamton University Special Collections & University Archives will be closed on Thursday, June 5 and Friday, June 6.

We will re-open on Monday, June 9, at 10:00 a.m.

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Spring Commencement videos available online

Binggraduation

Twenty-one speeches were delivered throughout the course of nine Commencement ceremonies held on campus this past weekend. Watch them all online.

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