Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

And what if ‘no birds sing’?

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 24, 2012

September 27 marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, a provocative work that explores the consequences of the overuse of pesticides on the natural environment. The book’s publication incited the ire of the chemical industry and triggered a federal investigation into the misuse of pesticides, which resulted in Congressional hearings in 1963 and the tightening of chemical pesticide regulations.

Silent Spring was originally serialized in the The New Yorker in June of that same year.

Rachel Carson received the Audubon Medal, from the National Audubon Society, for Silent Spring, among other recognitions. She died of cancer on April 14, 1964. A national wildlife refuge on the coast of Maine is named for Carson (

A guide to the items in the Rachel Carson papers, YCAL MSS 46, which include the 1958 letter from Olga Huckins, who writes that aerial DDT spraying “killed about a dozen of my darling half-tame birds” and is said to have been the impetus for Silent Spring, can be found here:

Items from the collection that have been digitized are available here:

Images: Cover of first edition of Silent Spring; covers of New Yorker magazines, June 1962; letter from Olga Huckins to Rachel Carson, Jan. 27, 1958. From the Yale Collection of American Literature, Rachel Carson Papers, YCAL MSS 46,  Box 43, Folder 814.


This Week at the Beinecke

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on September 17, 2012

Arnold Rampersad
“Reflections on Nationalism & Literature”
Tuesday, September 18 | 4:00 PM
Arnold Rampersad is one of the nation’s premier biographers and has authored books on W.E.B. DuBois, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Ralph Ellison, and the definitive biography of Langston Hughes. He is a fellow of the MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.Co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies 
Robert Day
“Where I Am Now”
Wednesday, September 19 | 4:30 PM
Robert Day will read from his new book, Where I Am Now. The Kansas native is an award-winning author and highly regarded professor, and a vivid storyteller. Day’s short fiction has been awarded two Seaton Prizes, a Pen Faulkner/NEA prize, and Best American Short Story and Pushcart citations.Co-sponsored by the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders 
David Lida
“Mexico Noir”
Thursday, September 20 | 4:00 PM
Journalist David Lida has made Mexico City his home since 1990, and will read from his forthcoming novel. In 2006, Lida began conducting investigations for defense lawyers whose Mexican clients are facing the death penalty in the U.S. Lida retraces their lives, looking for mitigating circumstances in the hopes of convincing the prosecution to take death off the table. This work has taken him to the most downtrodden places in Mexico—from starving agricultural villages to cities plagued by the drug war.


Marilynne Robinson Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 14, 2012

The Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of Pulitzer-prize winning author and essayist Marilynne Robinson. A description of the collection can be found online: Marilynne Robinson Papers, YCAL MSS 609.

The collection consists of writings, correspondence, other papers, and audiovisual materials. Writings include published works including Housekeeping, Connie Bronson, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, Gilead, and Home, as well as unpublished fiction and student writings. Correspondence includes family, personal, and professional correspondence, and fan mail. Other papers consist of printed material, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous papers.

Robinson has been acclaimed for the poetic way in which she explores the “Big Themes” of religion, the soul, and the significance of mankind through both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1980),was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and won the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award for Best First Novel. Gilead, the fictional autobiography of small-town Congregationalist pastor John Ames, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Robinson’s 3rd-person retelling of the events in Gilead, Home, won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (UK). Robinson has also published four books of non-fiction, Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989); The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998); Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness From the Inner Self (2010); and, most recently, When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays.

Ms. Robinson graduated magna cum laude from Pembrooke College, the former women’s college at Brown University, in 1966, and received her PhD in English from Washington State University in 1977. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected her a fellow in 2010. She has been writer-in-residence or visiting professor at a number of universities, including the University of Kent, Amherst, the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets, and Yale University. She currently teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and delivers occasional sermons at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City.

–Charlotte Parker, Y’2013

Funny rhymes!

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on September 10, 2012

Ye Comical Rhymes of Ancient Times, Dug Up Into Jokes For Small Folks (New York: Hurd & Houghton, circa 1864)

Laughing! Out! Loud!!!

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Next Stop . . . Planet Hershel

Posted in Beinecke Library, Modern General Collection by beineckepoetry on September 4, 2012

A late 18th century guide to astronomy listing the most recent observations.
Included in the list of known planets is a then-recent discovery, a planet named “Hershel” –
what is today known as Uranus. Discovered in 1781 by the German polymath, Sir Frederick William Herschel,
the planet was first known as “The Georgian Star”, for Britain’s King George III.
Due to the King’s lack of popularity in France, that country used the name “Hershel”.

Prévost, de S. A. L’astronomie Mise a La Portée De Tout Le Monde: Contenant Un Traité De La Sphère, Un Traité D’astronomie & Un Traité D’uranographie. A Saint Maixent: Chez François Lainé, Imprimeur, 1792.

Papagallo, Struzzo, and Bubola

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on August 29, 2012

Images of birds from a compilation of engraved plates:

Eillars, Giovanni. Varii Et Diversi Uccelli Cavati Dal Naturale Et Intaglate [“sic”] in Rame … Dno Francisco, Dni Marii Piccolominei Filio, Joan. Eillars D. D. S.l: s.n, n.d..

which may be variant or copied plates from a more widely-known work:

Olina, Giovanni Pietro. Vccelliera, ouero, Discorso della natura, e proprieta di diversi vccelli : e in particolare di que’ che cantano, con il modo di prendergli, conoscergli, alleuar gli, e mantenergli. E con le figure cauate dal vero, e diligentemente intagliate in rame dal Tempesta, e dal Villamena / opera di Gio. Pietro Olina.
In Roma : Presso M. Angelo de Rossi, 1684.

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Façade (troisième partie)

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on August 13, 2012

More portraiture by Pierre et Gilles, of an artfully made up Iggy Pop, an assortment of club-goers –
and a characteristic shot of Karl Lagerfeld.

Façade (deuxième partie)

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on August 10, 2012

More images from Façade – five glam shots for an article titled “Are You Bionic” styled and shot by Pierre et Gilles!

Façade (première partie)

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on August 8, 2012

Pages from Façade, a magazine published approximately twice yearly in Paris between 1976 – 1983.
Taking inspiration from Interview Magazine, Façade covered cultural high life in france, documenting night clubbing, music, fashion, and general fabulousness.

The first example shows an article about Guy Cuevas Carrion a Cuban-born writer who morphed into one of the trendiest DJs during the disco years, holding court at Club Sept in Paris. He also recorded several singles, including the legendary “Obsession

[Please alert the editors of Room 26 if anyone makes a mix of the songs listed in the interview!]

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Georgia O’Keeffe — New Acquisitions

Beinecke acquisitions offer insights into public and private life of Georgia O’Keeffe

Recent acquisitions by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library shed light on the life and work of artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The collections document O’Keeffe’s public face and the business of showing and selling her art, and also her private friendships, casual observations, and unguarded moments. Several of the acquisitions include not only letters and manuscripts, but also photographs of O’Keeffe and her friends and family. These photographs depict her residences at Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch as well as many other settings (a beauty parlor, while hiking, shopping, driving, and boating). The artist’s legacy was managed and promoted for two decades by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, whose records document the distribution of O’Keeffe’s assets and the perpetuation of her artistic legacy.

The new additions complement Beinecke’s holdings relating to O’Keeffe and to other American artists. Beinecke continuously adds to its exciting collection, which consists not only of vast and comprehensive collections relating to O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, but also numerous small collections and individual letters, manuscripts, photographs, works of art, and books.

The lives and work of American artists and arts communities are well documented in Beinecke’s Yale Collection of American Literature, especially at points of intersection between literature and the visual arts. Activities around Alfred Stieglitz’s important photography and art galleries, 291 and An American Place, and his influential publication Camera Work, as well as conversations and exchanges among artists and writers in the Southwest are documented in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe Archive; the archive includes work, correspondence, and writings by artists Anne Brigman, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand, Edward Steichen, and others.

The recent O’Keeffe acquisitions include:

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to the Girard family, 1957-1983 (YCAL MSS 209)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Alan Priest, 1950-1961 (YCAL MSS 271)

Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation records, 1950-2006 (YCAL MSS 342)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Betty Pilkington, 1952-1976 (YCAL MSS 344)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Edith Evans Asbury, 1957-1986 (YCAL MSS 363)

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz letters to Erma Stix (uncataloged)

Related collections at the Beinecke include:

Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 (YCAL MSS 85)

Flora Stieglitz Straus collection of Stieglitz family papers, 1860-1999 (YCAL MSS 89)

Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe collection, 1893-ongoing (YCAL MSS 104)

O’Keeffe at Abiquiu (YCAL MSS 263)

Angna Enters and Louis Kalonyme papers, 1919-1960 (YCAL MSS 430)

These collections are available for research. Researchers may contact the Beinecke Library Reference Staff for further information. Selections from Beinecke’s collections are included in the recent publication of letters by O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, available from Yale University Press.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is open for research year-round and visitors can plan their research or read about fellowship opportunities online. (LC)

Ansel Adams, [Photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe, seated, writing a letter, in Yosemite, California],
1938 Sept 11, Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe Archive (YCAL MSS 85).


Posted in Beinecke Library, Cary Playing Card Collection by beineckepoetry on July 30, 2012

Avilude, or Game of Birds, (Worcester, West & Lee, 1873) – a complete game of the card game, including the original box, and play intructions.

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A Home in Dutch Flat, California

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on July 24, 2012

The Seven Wonders of The World

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on July 20, 2012

. . . and a sale on China, Glass and Linen Goods.

Postcards given away by Arnstein & Bonn, a dry goods merchant at 3rd Avenue and 56th Street

Now We Are Five . . .

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on July 18, 2012

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Cabinet of Curiosities.
Thanks to all of our readers, supporters, commentors, detractors, correctors, oglers, ogres, and friends.

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New Research in Beinecke Collections

Beinecke Library archivist Matthew Mason has identified the photographer of an important photograph documenting Sigmund Freud’s 1909 visit to Clark University; though the image is well known, until now the photographer has been unidentified. Mason’s essay can be found online here:  “Providing Context: Schervee & Bushong Group Portrait Photograph of Sigmund Freud and Participants in the Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 1909,” in Views, July 2012, Volume 26, Number 2.

An excerpt:

In September 1909, G. Stanley Hall, the president of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, invited Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud to deliver lectures on the discipline of psychoanalysis at Clark’s Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference…The event drew widespread media interest in psychoanalysis and attracted public recognition to Freud’s work. For the lecture, Freud earned an honorarium of $750 (approximately $18,000 when adjusted for inflation for 2012), as well as an honorary doctorate from Clark University…At one point in the conference a photographer created a group portrait of forty-two participants. He was from the studio of Herman Schervee and John Chester Bushong, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Schervee and Bushong operated their photographic studio from 1900 to 1923…The photograph includes a “who’s who” of pioneers in psychiatry and psychology, including Freud, Jung, Ferenczi, William James, Franz Boas, and others. Additionally, the group includes war criminal Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen, who served as the prison doctor in the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II. A catalog record describing the print at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is available at

Conference participants pictured:
First Row (left to right):
Franz Boas (1858-1942)
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927)
William James (1842-1910)
William Stern (1871-1938)
Leo Burgerstein (1853-1928)
Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
Adolf Meyer (1866-1950)
Herbert Spencer Jennings (1868-1947)

Second Row (left to right):
Carl Emil Seashore (1866-1949)
Joseph Jastrow (1863-1944)
James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944)
Edward Franklin Buchner (1868-1929)
Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen (1882-1950)
Ernest Jones (1879-1958)
Abraham Arden Brill (1874-1948)
William Henry Burnham (1855-1941)
Alexander Francis Chamberlain (1865-1914)

Third Row (left to right):
Albert Schinz (1870-1943)
John Augustus Magni (born 1861)
Bird Thomas Baldwin (1875-1928)
Frederic Lyman Wells (1884-1964)
George Mather Forbes (1853-1934)
Edwin Asbury Kirkpatrick (1862-1937)
Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933)
Edmund Clark Sanford (1859-1924)
James Pertice Porter (1873-1956)
Sakyō Kanda (1874-1939)
Hikozō Kakise (1874-1944)

Fourth Row (left to right):
George Ellsworth Dawson, 1861-1936.
Samuel Perkins Hayes (1874-1958)
Edwin Bissell Holt (1873-1946)
Charles Scott Berry (1875-1960)
Guy Montrose Whipple (1876-1941)
Frank Drew (born 1860)
Jacob William Albert Young (1865-1948)
Louis N. Wilson (1857-1937)
Karl Johan Karlson (born 1877)
Henry Herbert Goddard (1866-1957)
Henry I. Klopp (1870-1945)
Solomon Carter Fuller (1872-1953)

Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on July 5, 2012

A new guide to the Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers is now available online: Guide to the Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers (YCAL MSS 424); a brief description of the collection is available in Orbis: Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers.

Donald Windham (1920-2012) was an American novelist and memoirist; Sandy Campbell was an American actor and publisher of the Stamperia Valdonega in Verona press. The Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers include writings, correspondence, photographs, artwork, and other papers by or relating to Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell and to their circle of friends, including writers and artists such as Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Carl Van Vechten, Paul Bowles, George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Carson McCullers, Marianne Moore, Christopher Isherwood, E. M. Forster, and Joseph Cornell, among many others.

The Donald Windham – Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale were established in 2011 to honor the literary legacy of Windham and Campbell; prizes will be awarded annually  and will recognize both established and promising English language writers in fiction, non-fiction, and drama. The first awards will be announced in 2013. For more information about the prizes, visit: The Donald Windham – Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes.

Images: Donald Windham, Florence, 1950; Sandy Campbell, Siena, 1950 (YCAL MSS 424, Box 35).

Eve Arnold Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on July 2, 2012

A new guide to the Eve Arnold Papers is now available online: Guide to the Eve Arnold Papers (YCAL MSS 611); a brief description of the collection is available in Orbis: Eve Arnold Papers.

Eve Arnold, American photographer and photojournalist, was born in Philadelphia on April 21, 1912, and died in London on January 5, 2012. She joined with Magnum Photos in 1951, became an associate member of the photographers’ collective in 1955, and in 1957 its first female full member in New York. Arnold traveled around the world photographing events, politics, personalities, society, and material culture in locations including Afghanistan, Africa, Cuba and the Caribbean, India, Europe, Egypt, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom. She also documented American celebrity culture through her images of film stars Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and others at work, play, and home, and was the official photographer on more than 35 movie sets, most notably The Misfits, a 1961 American drama directed by John Huston. Eve Arnold photographed groups as diverse as the1952 American Republican National Convention, Malcolm X and his Muslim followers, and Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre dancers. Arnold wrote more than a dozen books including her autobiographical work In Retrospect (1997), and produced and directed a film, Behind the Veil (1972), which examined harem life in eastern Arabia.

The Eve Arnold Papers contains her photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, transparencies, diaries, film production files, correspondence, writings by and about Arnold, printed materials, and ephemera that document her career as a member of the Magnum Photos cooperative. In addition, the collection contains audiovisual materials including motion picture film, videocassettes, sound recordings, and computer media. (SM)

Image: Eve Arnold, photograph of Silvana Mangano at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, undated (copyright Estate of Eve Arnold).

“How Will You Look This Summer?”

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on June 22, 2012

Issues of Strength and Health magazine from the late 1930s/early 1940s – with some back cover ads.

A Barrel full of Rhymes

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on June 19, 2012

A curious object – a small wooden barrel housing a strip of linen printed with Alphabet rhymes.Circa 1880.

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Travel My Way . . .

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on June 15, 2012

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