Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

Langston’s Dream

Manuscript drafts of  “Montage of a Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes  (JWJ MSS 26 Langston Hughes Papers Finding Aidadditional images from the Langston Hughes Papers)

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Gone Fishin’

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on June 24, 2010

“Lee Wulff: ‘Each fly is a dream we cast out to fool fish'”
a new exhibition
on view 25 June through 16 September 2010 at Beinecke Library

The name Lee Wulff holds a position of particular honor in all of American sport fishing. Catch and Release, a standard fishing practice today, was pioneered by Wulff. Where to put your flies and gear?–in the fishing vest that Wulff designed and sewed himself in 1931. While Lee Wulff may be best known for fly fishing, he captured fish by all means possible. From native brook trout to enormous bluefin tuna, he successfully fished for nearly everything with fins. We may think that Wulff was ahead of his time, but in a very real sense he was exactly of his time.
In his long career, Lee Wulff (1905-1991) balanced broad-ranging interests and talents. Fly fisherman, fly tier, conservationist, poet, scientist, artist, naturalist, pilot, writer, and film-maker cover some, but by no means all of his endeavors. His inquisitive nature and inexhaustible energy propelled him into remote regions of the world, on the ground and in the air. During his tenure operating fishing camps in Canada, he witnessed the depletion of that once abundant species, the Atlantic salmon, due to overfishing, timber harvesting, and the encroachment of civilization. Whether flying in his floatplane to remote areas of Newfoundland, wearing his waders with his fly rod by his side, or leading a party of high-ranking US generals on a much-needed fishing trip before the Normandy Invasion, Lee devoted a substantial portion of his time to salmon fishing and salmon conservation. His legacy is carried forward today by scores of sportsmen and sportswomen, as well as scientists, naturalists, political figures, and academics, all striving to protect Lee Wulff’s beloved Atlantic salmon.

More information about the exhibition: Wulff Exhibition News Release

Image: [Lee Wulff releasing an Atlantic salmon in the Grimsa River, Iceland], Lee Wulff Papers, UNCAT MSS 802.

Student Research in Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on June 22, 2010

Rachel Wilf, Yale Class of 2012

“Social Change through Science: Homosexual Activism Influencing the Kinsey Report”

Following the startling success of his first two studies of human sexual behavior, sexologist Alfred Kinsey began research for a third book, never published, focusing on what he called the “heterosexual-homosexual balance.” Kinsey relied heavily on the personal testimonials of gay men in the course of his research, including William “Bill” Miller, a gay model and artist living in New York. Miller’s correspondence with Kinsey, located in the Christian William Miller Papers (YCAL MSS 298), reveals an intimate and mutually beneficial relationship between the two men.

Miller provided Kinsey with contacts within the gay community as well as a wealth of information about gay life, from detailed sexual histories to catalogs of relevant artistic and literary works. Kinsey, in turn, provided Miller with a platform for enacting social change. Miller’s letters reveal that he (and several of his friends who assisted Kinsey in a similar manner) were anxious to achieve greater social tolerance of homosexuality. Miller’s friend Monroe Wheeler (Monroe Wheeler Papers, YCAL MSS 136) wrote that he participated in the study with the goal of “help[ing] humanity take another long stride toward the understanding and tolerance which will one day bring peace to this planet.” Miller’s correspondence with Kinsey, rich in historical detail, serves as a window to understanding the motivations and aims of early gay activists in America.

Rachel Wilf’s essay, written for Professor George Chauncey’s Topics in Lesbian and Gay History course, Spring 2010,is available as a PDF file here: “Social Change through Science: Homosexual Activism Influencing the Kinsey Report.”

Image: Envelope addressed to Christian William Miller by artist Paul Cadmus

To locate related manuscript collections at Yale, search the Yale Library’s Finding Aid Database; to locate images from this collection, search the Beinecke’s Digital Library; search Orbis, the Yale Library catalog, to find related books, journals, and other printed materials.

Social Change through Science: Homosexual Activism Influencing the Kinsey Report

Rascal, Villain, Coward,

Posted in Beinecke Library, Modern General Collection by beineckepoetry on June 17, 2010

“Plan for the improvement of the art of paper war” from: The American museum; or, Universal magazine, 1787 May.

Do You Know Who I Am?

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on June 14, 2010

A selection of unidentified persons from the Edmund Wilson Papers:

Two elegies

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on June 10, 2010

Two moving poems written to mark the passing of two young sisters in New Hampshire in 1814.
“[An Elegy], Composed on the sudden deaths of Lydia Page Sanborn . . . and Rebecca Sanborn . . .”
by John Paige, Jun. – with a second elegy by Elder Joseph Badger.

Lost in the Woods

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on June 7, 2010

Singular Sufferings of Two Friends, who had lost themselves in an American Forest, York, England, C.Croshaw, Coppergate, [c.1801]
A chapbook telling the tale of two travelers who become lost in upstate New York while searching for honey. This narrative, which ends thankfully with both men  – and their plump canine companion – intact, is a pirated excerpt from St. John de Crevecoeur’s Voyage dans la haute Pensylvanie et dans l’état de New-York (1801), and is put to use to illustrate to British readers the dangers, rather than the appeal, of the beckoning North American frontier.

Age of Innocence

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on June 3, 2010

The Anna Catherine Bahlmann Papers Relating to Edith Wharton are now available for research; a descriptive guide to the papers is online:  Anna Catherine Bahlmann Papers Relating to Edith Wharton, YCAL MSS 361.

The papers feature correspondence and personal effects relating to author Edith Wharton, including over 130 letters to Bahlmann from Wharton, dating from Bahlmann’s employment with the Wharton family in 1874, as Edith’s German language tutor, to 1915. The letters document a significant, long-standing relationship and shed light on Wharton’s personal and literary affairs; early correspondence in the collection dates from Wharton’s adolescence and reveals aspects of her development as a reader and writer.

In addition to the Wharton correspondence, there are single and small groups of letters between Bahlmann and family members, friends, and acquaintances, including William Morton Fullerton and Henry James. Bahlmann’s personal effects include legal and financial documents, notebooks, and writings, as well as material relating to Wharton. Other materials relating most directly to Wharton include clippings, documents on her work during World War I, photographs, and postcards. Photographs consist of studio portraits of people and images of Wharton’s residences. There are photographs of Wharton, Bahlmann family members, and friends, including Mary Cadwalader Jones. Wharton residences include “Reef Point” in Bar Harbour, Maine and the estate (“The Mount”) in Lenox, Massachusetts. (MF)

Related Collections: Edith Wharton Collection (YCAL MSS 42); Wharton Collection Image Guide; other related materials can be found by searching the Library’s Finding Aid Database and Orbis, the Library’s catalog for books and printed materials.  Images from the collections are available through the Beinecke’s Digital Library.

Image:[Cabinet photograph: Sita, A[nna] C[atherine] B[ahlmann], Isuna, Marietta], Havana (Cuba), ca. 1870; [Photograph of Edith Wharton ca. 1889-1890]

Canvassing for Suffrage

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on June 1, 2010

A booklet with printed slips (one of which is filled in) used by canvassers for the Society of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in the England, circa 1911.