Roughly a dozen folks came to our opening today, but we had a rather lively game of Trivia, some excellent cider and pumpkin bread (if I may say so), and dicoursed on how many themes in Trinity’s history seem to recur every few years! Look for this event again in a few weeks during Family Weekend and Homecoming!
The Watkinson Library invites the campus community to our opening during Common Hour (12:15-1:30) on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015. We will have light refreshments, and the event for the hour will be a running game of Trin-Trivia, a game devised by Head Curator Rick Ring to test your knowledge (and teach you a little something) about Trinity College history.
This week saw a rare happening in the Watkinson: two presentations using the exact same materials for separate classes at separate institutions!
On Monday night, profesor Scott Gac (Trinity) brough his HIST 354 class in to look at materials related to slavery in the Watkinson, which included a set of slave shackles recently donated to us, two manumission documents, and two bills of sale for slaves.
On Tuesday night, professors Bryan Sinche and Sarah Senk (University of Hartford) brought the students in a Senior Capstone Course to look at the very same items, with the addition of published slave narratives and publications of the American Colonization Society–including our very fragile issues of The Liberia Herald.
I’d like to give a shout-out to our wonderful NERFC Fellow Amy Sopcak-Joseph, a PhD candidate (History) at UConn, who gave a well attended lunch-time talk in the Watkinson on Tuesday entitled “Before Pinterest, Oprah, and Vogue: Godey’s Lady’s Book in the Nineteenth Century.” In her own words:
Have a question about how to style your hair? Need a recipe for something healthy? Want recommendations for interesting new books? Or where you should buy new clothes and shoes? Twenty-first century American women have the answers to these questions and more at their fingertips. In the nineteenth century, most women turned to one source for all of these items: Godey’s Lady’s Book. Published by Louis Godey in Philadelphia from 1830 to 1877, this monthly magazine arrived in the homes of hundreds of thousands of women to answer these needs, and more. This talk explores how Godey adapted his marketing of and the advertisements in his Lady’s Book to women’s changing tastes prior to the Civil War. The ads in the magazine initially encouraged far-flung readers to purchase more reading materials, while Godey enticed readers with fiction by famous authors. By the 1850s, readers received fashion plates sponsored by retailers, could order fashionable goods directly from Godey, and could even purchase Godey-branded sewing needles. At the same time, Godey advertised his magazine as “Useful, Ornamental, and Instructive,” promising women recipes, clothing patterns, and tips for healthy living that would save them money.
[Associate Curator Sally Dickinson attended a recent event opening the Wadsworth Atheneum after a long period of renovation. Some of our books are featured in their exhibition.]
The evening began with a walk up the red carpet to the Wadsworth Atheneum’s opening celebration for its “museum family.” The cause was the completion of a 5-year renovation and reinstallation of its impressive collections of European art. Shown here is the Watkinson’s contribution to the Cabinet of Art and Curiosities: Konrad Gesner’s Historiae Animalium (1617,) Johann Gottfried’s Newe Welt und Americanische Historien (1655) and Joannes Jonstonus’s Historiae naturalis (1657). The books were selected by Atheneum curator Linda Roth. A personal favorite is the engraving of a unicorn. The gallery was visually arresting. Picture natural history specimens, painting, and decorative arts informing one another. The installation (puffer fish mounted about the door, drawers of manuscripts and portraits, etc.) was as remarkable as the art itself. This show is one not to miss. Link to the New York Times review.
[Posted by Peter Rawson, Associate Curator of Archives & Manuscript Collections]