May 2009 Archives

For Memorial Day, a World War I poster from our collection of world war posters: "Knowledge Wins...Public Library Books are Free". This is one of several posters commissioned by the American Library Association. This particular poster was designed by Daniel Stevens, an American illustrator originally from Philadelphia, who was best known for his depiction of Western Americana scenes.

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During WWI, ALA created the War Service Committee, which established more than 30 libraries at training facilities and other encampments for soldiers.

In 1904 an intrepid young married couple, Robert and Alice Jennings, drove a covered wagon from the city of Los Angeles to Yosemite. They had taken the trip at least one time before, and on that earlier Yosemite trip, they rode by train to Fresno then traveled by stagecoach to Yosemite.

Robert and Alice Jennings both graduated from Pomona College in 1900 and were married soon after. Their grandson, Robert A. Jennings, and his family recently gave to Pomona College two accounts of their 1904 Yosemite trip: a diary and a photo album. While the photo album records views of the trek to Yosemite that no longer exist--a dirt track created by wagons through Tejon Pass; the gargantuan grapevine that gave its name to that area, the "Grapevine"; unpopulated canyons--the diary tells of the extremes of the landscape and of the weather but also of the fun that the couple had on their journey.

Alice Jennings in the covered wagon, drawn by "Samanthy" and "Jim":

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At Wawona Point:

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Monday July 18th, diary entry for the Wawona visit:

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The Jennings' photo album and diary of their trip to Yosemite in 1904 can be viewed in person at Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.

Among the Libraries most frequently used collections by faculty and students is our superb collection of medieval and renaissance manuscripts, excellent sources for teaching medieval life and thought. Notable in our collection are several beautiful books of hours, compilations of prayers and texts intended for lay people, especially women, to follow and worship during the liturgical season.

Crispin 21 was copied after 1471, as Pope Sixtus IV is mentioned in an indulgence. This manuscript is composed of parchment leaves of beautifully calligraphed text, ornately decorated initials and pen work. The text includes a calendar of feasts, Hours of the Virgin, Long Hours and Short Hours of the Cross, Psalms, prayers, and the Office of the Dead. In the image below you can see that the binding is 15th century; the central image blind-stamped on both front and back is the Virgin and Child. The clasps are original as well. In the late 19th century the manuscript's spine was rebacked in morocco by Zaehnsdorf, one of Europe's notable fine custom binders, which you can see along the spine of the volume.

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Pictured here are leaves 10-11, the beginning of the Hours of the Virgin:

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The Crispin Collection of exquisite examples of early bookmaking and fine binding was given to Honnold Library by Dr. Egerton Crispin during the 1950s and early 1960s. Nearly fifty Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, including 12th century sermons, 13th century Bibles, 14th and 15th century books of hours, missals, psalters and antiphonals are among the contents of the Crispin Collection.

Denison Library on the Scripps College campus, and the library at the Claremont School of Theology also hold significant collections of medieval and renaissance manuscripts. These collections are cataloged definitively in Dutschke and Rouse, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Claremont Libraries (University of California Press, 1986), call number Z 6621 .H5814 1986