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.

Censoring Shakespeare

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.

Scholar’s copy of John Milton

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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.

Staying Alive: What’s New in Special Collections – Summer 2014 Exhibit

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.
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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.
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“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
Photos by Tanya Kato

Special Event: Sanctuary Movement talk

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Solidarity in the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement: Maria Guardado and Darlene Nicgorski reunite to tell their stories 30 years later
Oct 23 4:30-6:00 PM
Founders Room, Honnold/Mudd Library
About the speakers:
Maria Guardado is probably the foremost Salvadoran activist in the United States. She began her political activism in 1966 when she worked on her first presidential campaign in opposition to the government in El Salvador; for the next 15 years she worked on behalf of several causes in El Salvador including the teacher’s union and a campesina organization. In January 1980 she was targeted for her activism and captured by paramilitary forces and tortured. She fled El Salvador and received political asylum in the United States in 1983, assisted by members of the Sanctuary Movement. Now living in Los Angeles, Maria continues her life as a political activist and poet, working with countless organizations fighting for immigrant rights and other progressive causes. A documentary about Maria, Testimony: The Maria Guardado Story (2002), has won numerous awards. She also is a renowned poet; her first CD, “Poemas”, was released in 2013.
Darlene Nicgorski was a leader in the Sanctuary movement for Central American refugees in the United States in the early 1980s. She was a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis for nearly 20 years during which she worked on behalf of Latin American refugees in Guatemala and Mexico then in Arizona where she became involved with the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America, which assisted refugees fleeing political unrest and persecution in Central America to find sanctuary in the United States. She was arrested for her activities and was a defendant in the Arizona Sanctuary Trial of 1985-1986. She has been much in demand as a spokesperson for the Sanctuary movement since her arrest, and has received numerous awards and recognitions. She donated her papers about the Sanctuary Movement to Special Collections in 2011. Darlene Nicgorski and her partner currently reside in Claremont.
Darlene gave her Sanctuary Movement papers to Special Collections, and they are available for study and research. The finding aid is online at the Online Archive of California.

Crispin MS 31

Crispin MS 31 is a 14th C English manuscript copy of Sermones Quadragesimiles; Distinctiones Theologicae by Jacopo de Voragine. It is interesting to us because it comprises 261 leaves of handmade paper plus 69 leaves of vellum, which is fairly atypical for this period. de Voragine was a Genoese Dominican monk who was an prominent writer most known for chronicling the lives of the saints in the Golden Legend, one of the most popular Medieval works. Special Collections has an early printed copy of Golden Legend in the Michael Wilson Collection–the 1527 edition printed by Wynken de Worde.
Crispin 31 is decorated with several fanciful drawings and flourishes within and around the text. Below are just a few.
leaf 190 verso:
Crispin 31 190v
leaf 127 recto:
Crispin 31 127r
leaf 183 verso:
Crispin 31 183v

Food for Thought: A Taste of Special Collections in Farming, Dining, and War

I recently had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Bidwell on my very first Special Collections exhibit. In deciding on a “Summery” theme, we came up with food and found an abundance of relevant provisions throughout our collections to put on display. An initial survey of materials pointed to a number of subtopics we could present, such as agriculture, dining, cooking, the politics of food, food and population control, cultural dietary customs, and food relevant to California. Realizing we would have to limit our selection to what would fit in the cases, we chose to focus on farming, dining, and war.
The materials on display span three centuries, highlight multiple cultures, and range from books and pamphlets to posters, cutlery, and even a teapot. Along with drawing from our general collection of books, the exhibit showcases materials from a number of collections, including some that can be accessed through the Online Archive of California. These include the American Missionaries and Educators in China Collection, the World War Poster Collection, and the William McPherson Papers. Other represented collections include The Claremont Colleges Archives, the Nordic Collections, and the William Smith Mason Collection of Western Americana.
If you’re looking for a recipe, perhaps something prepared at the Pitzer Grove House, or something new to you, like sparrows brains (from Venus in the Kitchen), you will find it in the exhibit. You can also take a stroll down memory lane in Los Angeles or San Francisco as you read about local favorite restaurants, where you could have had a meal for under $6.00 and who was serving the best sushi.
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Working on this exhibit, I was reminded of the wealth of information the library has to offer. It was also a nice change from my usual reading for school and I had fun flipping through books on the proper diet for a criminal and how dates came to be grown in California.
The exhibit will run until August 30, 2013. Please consider yourself our guest, come by and enjoy this feast of food for thought.