What are the chances! After looking through two archival collections, I discovered two photographs of donkeys! One photograph is of Alice Baldwin, Pomona College class of 1913, standing next to a "burro" in snow. This photograph is from the Alice Baldwin Papers. The papers contain diaries, letters, photographs, and mementos from Alice's time at Pomona College.

Alice Baldwin with donkey 1000 x 838.jpg

The second photograph comes from the E. C. (Edwin Clarence) Norton Papers. Norton was the first dean of Pomona College from 1888 to 1926. This photograph was taken during a trip to Delphi in January 1905. The Norton papers contain his speeches, church programs, and Amherst College alumni news.

EC Norton papers_donkey - 1000 x 784.jpg

Who would have known that we have two donkey images from the early 1900s from these Pomona College affiliated individuals!

Within the last six months, two patrons from New York have requested copies of Mary Louise Booth letters, the founding editor of Harper's Bazaar. The letters are from the William McPherson Papers. One of these letters was written by journalist and world traveler Thomas W. Knox. In it, he asks Booth if she received his article "Round the world in a curry dish" that he mailed to her.

Thomas W Knox letter to Miss Booth 2000 x 1619.jpg

Perhaps the interest of the two patrons stems from the magazine's 150th anniversary in 2017. Happy upcoming 150th anniversary, Harper's Bazaar!

Volvelles are one of the oldest forms of movable parts in books. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, volvelle is from medieval Latin volvella or volvellum, most likely from the Latin verb volvĕre, "to turn." The OED defines volvelle as "an old device consisting of one or more movable circles surrounded by other graduated or figured circles, serving to ascertain the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the state of the tides, etc." In Early Modern times, volvelles were used especially to illustrate principles of navigation and astronomy. These "movable circles" were generally constructed of paper and attached to the book page using thread or, sometimes, glue. "Because of the precision required to record accurately certain types of data--charting a lunar eclipse, measuring nautical distance or calculating a mathematical equation, for instance--such disciplines were believed to be well served by the volvelle's capacity for both rigorous alignment and reliable precision." (Helfand, Jessica. 2002. Reinventing the Wheel. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, pp.18-19.)

The Claremont Colleges Library Special Collections has several examples of volvelles in Early Modern texts and at least one 2014 publication. Here are images of volvelles from some of those texts.


Joannes Regiomontanus
[Venice]: Bernhard Maler (Pictor), Erhard Ratdolt, and Peter Löslein, 1476


Breue compendio de la sphera . . .
Martin Cortes
[Seuilla], [1551]


La Cosmographia de Pedro Apiano
Peter Apian
En Anvers, por Iuan Bellero al Aguila de Oro, 1575

Apian's volvelles are quite complex, each having several different movable parts.


Delineacion de lo tocante al conocimiento del punto de longitud del globo de tierra, y agua, y de la causa de las crecientes, y menguantes del mar
Juan González de Urueña
En Madrid: Por Diego Miguel de Peralta, impressor y mercador de libros ..., año 1740



Diderot Decaptioned
Charles Hobson
[San Francisco, California]: [Pacific Editions], [2014]

In Diderot Decaptioned, notice that, different from the Early Modern volvelles, these volvelles are under the page and turn to reveal different captions for each image.

This Fall, inspired by our colleagues in ILL, Special Collections mapped all the places in the world where our patrons outside of Claremont reside, study, and conduct their research. These patrons are using our online request system, Aeon, to ask for scans of materials held in our collections. For the most part, traveling to Claremont to conduct their research in person is not an option for these patrons, and so access is facilitated by digitizing the materials they have identified as vital to their research. The files scanned for patrons can be uploaded directly to their Aeon accounts, providing convenient access and the ability to download and save the files for future reference.

View Mapping Patron Requests in Aeon in a full screen map

Special Collections has provided digitized materials for patrons in 171 unique locations around the globe, the majority of which are in the United States, and among those, the majority are in California. The farthest a patron's Aeon request has traveled is 9,963 miles, from Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Clicking on the map above will open it in a new page, allowing you to then click on each marker to see the specific location from where patrons requested Special Collections materials.

Visualizing where our patrons are in the world allows us to see the role we play in providing access to the resources that make their research possible. Whether we are supporting patrons reaching out to us from behind their computers around the globe, or patrons walking through the doors of the Reading Room, it is always satisfying to know that researchers are aware of and are using the resources we strive to make accessible.

Citrus_in_the_Sky3-sm.jpgFred Allen, one of the most popular comedians from the Golden Age of American radio, once quipped, "California is a fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange". As it turns out, Claremont, California is an especially fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange crate label!

This summer, Special Collections presents In the Limelight: California Citrus, an exhibition centered on the history of the citrus industry in the Claremont area, curated by Grace Rodriguez (CMC 2015). Our inspiration stems from the recently-acquired Oglesby Citrus Label collection, which consists of over 80 labels as well as several books related to label collecting and history. The most aesthetically dazzling and unique are on display, and originate from growers and packinghouses within the Claremont and Pomona area. The labels are supplemented with various other texts, photographs, and ephemera from our extensive collections including, but not limited to, paper citrus wrappers from Valentine Peyton (a prominent orange grower in La Verne), aerial photographs of Claremont covered in orange groves (circa 1939), and various issues of the California Citrograph, the industry's official trade publication from 1915 to 1969.


In the Limelight stages citrus as the protagonist in Southern California's rapid development during the early 20th century. Our exhibition also accentuates the orange's role in selling the "California Dream" to people from across the country and even around the world.... Citrus crate labels were not just selling fruit! They are a juicy resource for anyone interested in advertising and marketing history, artistic styles of the period, representation of California and its people (native or non-native), and so much more.


The exhibit is located outside of the Special Collections Reading Room, in the 2nd floor Honnold foyer. It may been viewed at any time during the Library's summer operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-7pm, and Saturday, noon-7pm). If you have any questions or want to see more of our collections, the Reading Room is open to the public during the summer on Monday through Friday, 1-5pm. You can also reach us by email (spcoll@cuc.claremont.edu) or phone (909-607-3977).

Special Collections recently purchased two collections of letters. One collection contains letters by Sergeant Wilfred D. Carnes to his family while serving in World War II from 1943-1945. You can listen to his journey from training camp in Missouri and Kentucky, to awaiting shipping details in California at the Presidio in San Francisco, to befriending a wallaby in Australia, to his move to Dutch New Guinea, and his last stop in the Philippines.

The second collection of letters is written by George Peck to his girlfriend (and later) wife, Mary Ridenour during his time with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1940-1941. He begins his journey with training in Upland, California and then travels to Seattle, Washington where he boards a ship bound for Ketchikan, Alaska. His camp then moves to Metlakatla, Alaska where his job was surveying. You can hear his observations of the natural environment and see the various illustrated Alaskan letterheads.


Bowdler5.jpgThe Family Shakespeare. In One Volume; in which nothing is added to the original text, but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family. 8th ed. By Thomas Bowdler. London: Printed for Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1843.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to bowdlerize is "to expurgate (a book or writing), by omitting or modifying words or passages considered indelicate or offensive; to castrate." The word bowdlerize derives from the name Thomas Bowdler, who revised Shakespeare's plays to modify or remove content he thought would be unsuitable for reading in a family setting. Several editions of The Family Shakespeare were published in the first half of the 19th century.

Bowdler's preface to the first edition, published in 1807, is also included in the Special Collections edition published in 1843. In that preface he explains,

"I can hardly imagine a more pleasing occupation for a winter's evening in the country, than for a father to read one of Shakespeare's plays to his family circle. My object is to enable him to do so without incurring the danger of falling unawares among words and expressions which are of such a nature as to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty, or render it necessary for the reader to pause, and examine the sequel, before he proceeds further in the entertainment of the evening."

Here are examples of Bowdlerization:

Romeo and Juliet: Mercutio, Act II, Scene 4

Shakespeare, 2nd folio:
"for the bawdy hand of the Dyall is now upon the pricke of Noone"

Bowdler, Family Shakespeare:
"for the hand of the dial is now upon the point of noon"

Othello: Iago, Act I, Scene I

Shakespeare, 2nd folio:
"I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your Daughter and the Moore, are now making the Beast with two backs."

Bowdler, Family Shakespeare:
"I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now together."

Special Collections holds hundreds of items by and about Shakespeare. Included in the collections are two editions of The Family Shakespeare, the one-volume 1843 edition in the Lindley Collection, and an edition in six volumes, published in 1853, in the Philbrick Collection.

marginalia milton001.jpg

Some Account of the Life and Writings of John Milton, derived principally from documents in His Majesty's State-paper office, now first published. By the Rev. H.J. Todd. London, C. and J. Rivington [etc.] 1826.

This book is notable because of the amount of marginalia, clippings, and manuscript notes about Milton added to the book by the original owner, Reverand W.D. Macray (1826-1916.), distinguished librarian and historian. While not technically extra-illustrated (there are no engravings or other images), the Rev. Macray augmented the book by pasting within its pages slips of paper on which are written facts, impressions, and other notes about Milton that comment on Todd's text. Examining the book gives us a good idea of how the Rev. Macray conducted research. Macray served the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, as an editor and scholar for most of his life. He was chaplain at several of the colleges at Oxford before becoming rector at Ducklington in Oxfordshire where he served for more than 40 years.

Special Collections' copy is part of the Lindley Collection. The Francis Haynes Lindley Memorial Collection was donated to Honnold Library by Walter Lindley and F. Haynes Lindley, Jr. in memory of their father, Francis Haynes Lindley.

The development of our holdings in Special Collections is driven by our ongoing efforts to enrich the research and learning opportunities of the students, faculty, staff, and community members of the Claremont Colleges. As such, the expansion of our collections is measured by far more than extent, but by the depth and breadth of information, experiences, ideas, histories, and artistic and cultural expressions that they hold. Over the past months Special Collections has acquired books, archival collections, photographs, diaries, personal effects, and other materials that meet this measure. A selection of these materials is on display in the Special Collections exhibition gallery by the north entrance of the library from June 16th - August 29th.

internement camp.jpg

Those interested in Asian-American history may be drawn to our collections from the Japanese Internment camps of the 1940s and a collection from a former member of the US Armed Forces once interned in the camps. The Angela Davis papers tell not only the story of a remarkable woman, but touch on the history of the Claremont Colleges, and of race relations in this country. Artists' books such as Cracked, Diderot Decaptioned, and our books with fore-edge paintings offer inspiration to budding artists not only through the beauty they hold within their covers, or along their edges, but in reflecting what a creative mind can produce.

fore-edge book.jpg

"Staying Alive: What's New in Special Collections" holds so much more for the inquisitive mind than what is named above. Needless to say, so do the other collections held in Special Collections. We invite you to browse our holdings using the Blais catalog, and the Online Archive of California, along with the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, where a number of our collections are also digitized. For anyone new to Special Collections, in just a few clicks, you can register as a reader and request materials you might want for a research paper, conference presentation, article submission, or just to satisfy your curiosity.

In response to the accomplished and innovative scholarship found at the Claremont Colleges, Special Collections continuously seeks to add new materials which diversify our collections. This often means finding ways to ensure that the voices of those who have been marginalized throughout history and silenced in the telling of history are represented. Our newly acquired Social Movement Collection speaks to this goal. In this vein, we welcome contributions from the Claremont Colleges community; be it by putting us in touch with former and current members of community organizations, or offering us a collection you may have. This allows us to help keep the organization's cultural heritage alive. Interested parties should please contact Lisa Crane, Western Americana Librarian, Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library at (909) 607-0862 or lisa_crane@cuc.claremont.edu.

Photos by Tanya Kato

We are so pleased to have this gorgeous publication, which was recently donated to Special Collections by Claremont Heritageclaremont modern book001-001.jpg


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Drawing of woman crossing style, text reads: Rather an Unbecoming Style.

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