Friday, February 17, 2017

A Dreadful Penny Dreadful

typorgraphical cover of The Dreadful Fate of Sir J. Franklin. It is a simple pamphlet on yellowing paper.When Sir John Franklin and his crew disappeared into Arctic waters in search of a northwest passage, it set off a massive hunt that lasted years. Expeditions from the United States and Great Britain failed time after time to find any trace. In 1854, nine years after Franklin set sail, John Rae discovered evidence of the demise of Franklin and his crew and sent the news back to England. It caused a sensation.

The search had captured the popular imagination, and the public still held out hope that the ships were in safe harbor, so Rae's bad news did not sit well. But there was one industry that was fully prepared to spread the news: the publishers of "penny dreadfuls." These inexpensive little publications reveled in the sensational and rushed to print the details they could glean from more respectable sources--sources that cost more and appealed to a different social stratum.  The Dreadful Fate of Sir J. Franklin (London: Saunders, Bros, 185_) describes the "melancholy termination" of Franklin's expedition. Included was this quote from Rae's official report:
From the mutilated state of many of the corpses and the contents of the kettles, it is evident that our wretched countrymen had been driven to the last resource--cannibalism--as a means of prolonging existence."
Just what the medium begged for. To read the sad tidings, ask for Stef G660.D72.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dartmouth Chocolates

Image of Dartmouth Chocolate adversitement showing a well dressed man in an overcoat with a hat carrying a box of chocolates. There are two women, also well dressed clinging to his arm. Each woman holds a Dartmouth pennant.For Valentine's Day we offer you some Dartmouth Chocolates from Smith and Sons of White River Junction. From the cover of this 1912 promotional pocket calendar included with the chocolates, they seem to have an almost magical power. This Dartmouth Man's one-pound box has attracted a Gibson Girl for each arm. Is it him, or the chocolates they are after? To be safe, better get the chocolate!

The text inside the pocket calendar promises that you can exchange six them for a full size poster of the image, "one of the most beautiful things Mr. Clarence Underwood ever painted." We only have two...

image of a round hard candy with Dartmouth College and a D worked into the candy in greey.
Inside our chocolate box is a little mystery. A piece of hard candy with "Dartmouth College" and the Dartmouth D worked into it. We're not sure why it is there, but it still looks edible.

To take a look ask for Realia 140.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Basilisk in Rauner

Wood cut image of a basilisk. The basilisk is a very long serpent with an arrow coing out of its mouth and a crown on its head.This year's Winter Carnival theme is "Dartmouth College of Icecraft and Blizzardry." Rauner is hosting an open house this evening (Friday, February 10) from 6:00-7:00 with plenty of old books and manuscripts, and even a very Dartmouth sorting hat. It will get you in the mood for a magical weekend.

What you may not know is that there is a Basilisk in Rauner. It is not down in the cavernous depths below the building, but on the second floor in the Rare collection. It is not very threatening to staff--none of us have been eaten, yet. Generally it stays politely within the covers of Conrad Gesners's Icones animalivm qvadrvpedvm viviparorvm et oviparorvm (Tigvri: excvdebat C. Froschovervs, 1560). There are some other cool beasts lurking in the pages--all very real to Gesner.

Wood cut image of three dragons. The one dragon is a snake-like serpent, another has wings and is in flight, and a third has wings and is rearing up. Wood cut image of a hydra. The hydra is serpent like with seven human-like heads each wearing a crown.

Come in this evening to see Rauner's Basilisk, or you can ask for Rare QL41.G372 anytime.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Off-Coloring Book

Coloring book style picture of two children in battered clothes standing by a trash heap. the caption reads "Welcome to my world"
There is something so disturbing about this book. It is an artist's book meant to make you uncomfortable and it succeeds. It is about Jean Genet, so by nature it is a bit on the raunchy side, but no worse than lots of things in our collections. What is so jarring is the juxtaposition of the theme, Genet's debauched lifestyle, and the medium, a children's coloring book.

Some things just should not be colored in--they are better in black and white and kept far away from the innocence of a box of Crayolas! Come in and take a look at Chip Duyck's Let's Play! Coloring and Activity Book based on the life of Jean Genet. It brings new meaning to adult coloring books!  Ask for Presses P595dule.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

When Two Worlds Meet

East Asian and Asian-American students have been the most rapidly growing minority groups at Dartmouth College since the mid-20th century. However, archival records on the communities' experiences are scarce; it was only around the 1970s that these students began to organize collectively around their shared ethnic and cultural identities. 

At Rauner, we are currently displaying an exhibit, "When Two Worlds Meet," which provides perspective on East asian and Asian-American student experiences on campus by looking at the archival records of some of the very first students of Asian descent at Dartmouth. To contextualize these students' experiences at Dartmouth, the exhibit also presents glimpses of larger historical conversations between East Asia and the West. These conversations include attempts by East Asians to document and communicate their cultural heritage and life experiences to Western audiences. The other side of the conversation consists of Western perceptions and interpretations of East Asian civilizations, whether accurate or not.

Several of the books published by Homer B. Hulbert, who was
featured in our last blog post, are included in this exhibit. An illustrated travel log of China written by a Dutch traveler, various pamphlets and publications from the Japanese internment camps during the World War II, and wartime propaganda graphic novels from China are also featured in the exhibit. The exhibit will be installed from now through March 17th in Rauner Library's Class of 1965 Galleries on the mezzanine floor of Webster Hall.

To read more about this exhibit online, visit the Exhibitions at Rauner webpage.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Portrait of a Senator

Daniel Webster sitting in a chair with his legs crossed, looking at the viewer. There is a large globe in front of him to his left and over his right shoulder is a writing desk with a pen and other accessories on it.
The national news these days has some of us thinking about the power and long history of the United States Senate. In particular, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's concerns about the Emoluments Clause reminds us of another constitutionally-minded lawyer who previously sat in her seat when our current government was less than forty years old. Daniel Webster, the 19th-century lawyer and politician, is arguably one of the most famous sons of Dartmouth. A member of the class of 1801, Webster was a masterful orator who successfully argued before the Supreme Court on several occasions and was deeply respected for his eloquence among his fellow senators. His speech in response to Robert Hayne of South Carolina, delivered before the Senate in 1830, has been recognized as one of the best
A black-and-white salted paper photograph of an elderly Daniel Webster.
ever given within that august body. He also had a reputation for being a rallying figure for political opposition to President Andrew Jackson, who rode an uprising of populist sentiment into the White House in 1829. Nearly a century after his tenure ended, Webster was recognized by the Senate in 1957 as one of the greatest senators in the country's history.

An engraving of Daniel Webster looking off to his left.Given Dartmouth's connection to Webster, including the fact that Rauner Library is in Webster Hall, it's not surprising that we have a strong Webster collection. Silk socks, a top hat, a pocket watch given by him to someone else, and a set of wine glasses and accompanying decanter all reside here at Rauner. We also have his handwritten notes from the Dartmouth College Court Case; a number of fascinating original letters to and from him; and his personal but incomplete copy of John James Audubon's Birds of America.

Perhaps the most exhaustive collection of material related to Webster at Rauner, however, is the numerous images that we have of the man. It's safe to say that we have more impressions of Daniel
A silhouette cut-out of Daniel Webster in profile facing left.
Webster than any other dignitary or individual associated with the college. What is most fascinating about this gathering of likenesses, moreover, is how each of them is different from the other, sometimes in very striking ways. Still, the unmistakable gravitas of the Massachusetts senator seems to be present in every instance. Although a great statesman, Webster's legacy has been tarnished somewhat by his desire to maintain national unity by any means necessary, including his support of the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A little more than a decade later, despite Webster's questionable decision to sacrifice the moral imperative in order to appease the Southern states, the country inevitably descended into civil war.

There are too many Webster images to list them all here (more than a hundred!), but you can start by coming to Rauner and asking for Iconography 933, Iconography 944, Iconography 1429, and Iconography 1649.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Homer B. Hulbert

A portrait of a white man with well-combed hair and mustache, wearing a suit.Yesterday marked the 154th anniversary of the birth of Homer B. Hulbert, Class of 1884. Little had anyone known then that this second child of a Congregational minister in New England would become fluent in the Korean language -- fluent enough to pen scholarly articles and books -- and fight for the independence of a small country on the other side of the planet. How did Hulbert come to learn about the small country unknown to most Westerners at that time and become so attached to it?

After graduating from Dartmouth in 1884, Hulbert decided to become a minister like his father and began his studies at Union Theological Seminary. That same year, Gojong, king of Korea, asked the U.S. government for three Americans to teach English to the children of the Korean royal families. John Eaton, who worked for the Department of State and was a close friend of Hulbert's father, asked whether one of the Hulberts would be willing to go. Unlike his reluctant brother, Hulbert enthusiastically agreed to join the crew, even though he didn't know much about the country other than a brief mention of it during his geography class at Dartmouth. With two other American missionaries, he departed to Korea in 1886, where he worked at Royal English School in Seoul until 1891.

A page from a book, written in classical Korean alphabets. The words are written vertically, from top to bottom. There is a divider in the middle of the page.
During his time at Royal English School, Hulbert sought to make up for the lack of scholarly resources and felt an urgent need to publish a textbook written in Korean. At the end of that effort came the publication of 사민필지(Saminpilchi), or Geographical Gazetteer of the World, in 1889. In the preface to the book, Hulbert notes that, nowadays, it's not sufficient for a nation to manage and understand only what lies within their physical borders. An efficient governance under the new order requires nations to constantly interact with different states. Therefore, leaders of a nation ought to understand the culture, customs, history, and geography of different countries in order to thrive. The first chapter explains the concept of the planet Earth. The following chapters each introduce a continent and countries within that continent. Colored maps are attached to each chapter to provide a visual aid to the text.

Circle-shaped atlas of the Earth in a white background. The oceans are in sky blue color, African continent in green, Asia in yellow, Europe and Australia in pink.
An atlas within Saminpilchi
Towards the end of the preface, Hulbert highlights that he wrote this textbook in Korean to make this information available to a greater portion of the Korean population. In fact, the publication of this textbook in Korean language was unusual in that, despite the existence of the Korean language, scholarly works in Korea to that date were written exclusive in traditional Chinese characters. The Korean language, Hanguel, was perceived as a language for the lowly and common people, whereas traditional Chinese was thought to be the language of the upper class and of scholars. Hulbert had a different opinion. In The Korea Review, an English-language magazine produced by American missionaries and teachers in Korea, he published several articles praising Hanguel for its intricacy and scientific mechanism. His appreciation of Hanguel evolved into a passion for Korean folklore and traditional literature, and he translated several Korean folktales into English, including Omjee the Wizard.

Cover of the book Omjee the Wizard. An old man with white beard and purple turban is at the top right corner of the cover, looking down into an orange and yellow carpet with red fringes. Within the carpet are creeks and green leaves where little children with fairy wings are running around.
Omjee the Wizard
Hulbert expressed a deep interest in the history of Korea as well. In The History of Korea, which was published in both English and Korean, he covers the time span ranging from 2300 BCE, when the first nation-state was founded in the Korean peninsula, to the 14th century CE. Another history book he penned, The Passing of Korea, presents a detailed analysis of various aspects of Korean society leading up to Japanese control of Korea during his own lifetime.

Cover of an traditional Korean book, bound by tiny ropes. The title is on the top left corner of the cover, written vertically from top to bottom in black.
The History of Korea
Initially, Hulbert thought it would be inevitable for Korea to fall under foreign control and, in that case, he preferred Japanese control to that of the Russians. However, after the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, Hulbert changed his stance as he realized that Japan would never grant Korea the political autonomy that it had promised. The Treaty served as a turning point for Hulbert as he began to involve himself politically on Korea's behalf. In November 1905, he delivered Korean Emperor Gojong's letter to the Secretary of State, in which the king pleaded fruitlessly with the U.S. government to halt Japanese aggression. However, Hulbert was not discouraged by the U.S. government's disinterest and continued his advocacy for Korean independence.  In 1907, he assisted confidential emissaries from Korea to the Second International Peace Conference in The Hague. Hulbert tried to create an opportunity for the Korean delegates to speak at the Conference, but they were prohibited from entering the hall. Upon learning about Hulbert's attempt, the Japanese Empire increased its scrutiny of foreigners in Seoul, which eventually led to Hulbert's expulsion from Korea in 1907.

Even after his exile form Korea, Hulbert didn't cease his efforts and continued to contribute articles to various American magazines and newspapers about his adoptive nation. After more than forty years away, Hulbert finally got a chance to return to Korea in 1947, when the first president of the Republic of Korea, Syngman Rhee, invited him back. In August of 1949, he arrived back at the country he had been longing to return to for decades. Shortly after, his return, Hulbert died and was buried in Yanghwajin foreigners' cemetery in Seoul. After his death, Hulbert has continued to live in the memories of Koreans; he was conferred the Korean Order of Taiguk in 1950 and, in 2013, he was selected as an "independence activist of the month." One reason for his persistent presence in Korean culture is because, until World War II, colonial aggression in East Asia was the least of concerns for Westerners. Within such a context, Hulbert's opinions and actions stand out as a special case worthy of remembrance.

Rauner holds several of Hulbert's works. To see Saminpilchi, ask for Alumni H877p; The Korea Review, Alumni H877k; The History of Korea, H877h for English H877hi for Korean; The Passing of Korea, H877pa and Omjee the Wizard, Alumni H877o.