Staff Spotlight: Lauren Zuchowski Longwell – University Archivist

We’ve hired several new staff in the Small Special Collections Library in the past year, and we’re delighted to introduce you to our wonderful new colleagues. In previous weeks, we met Whitney Buccicone, Kim Cull, Stacey Lavender, and Rose Oliveira. This week, meet Lauren Zuchowski Longwell, our University Archivist. 

Lauren Zuchowski Longwell started in August 2020 as the University Archivist at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. She previously worked at Loyola Marymount University, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Norton Simon Museum of Art (all located in Los Angeles). When she is not hard at work preserving university history, she enjoys spending time outside, baking, and reading.

Lauren Zuchowski Longwell, University Archivist

Lauren Zuchowski Longwell, University Archivist

What was your first ever job with books or libraries?
I almost always had a book in my hands as a child, but my first job working with books was at the Museum of Contemporary Art bookstore in Los Angeles. I loved it, but it turns out I spent a lot of money during my shifts and wasn’t great at selling things! I started library school while working there and never looked back.

What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).
I was deep into the Beanie Baby craze and even learned to sew so that I could make my own. I also collected CD singles (sparked by my deep love of the song MMMbop) and had an impressive collection of stickers showcasing Lisa Frank and fuzzy animals. My collecting as an adult is less influenced by the 1990s. I collect vintage Santa decorations, board games, fabric from places I’ve traveled, and lots and lots of books!

Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?
My husband, daughter, and I have been exploring different hikes in the area. We have loved exploring Mint Springs Valley Park and venturing into Shenandoah. We also like to visit different wineries nearby—my one-year-old is a big fan of pulling up grass and people watching while we sample some wine so it’s a win-win! Our favorite so far has been Pippin Hill.

Tell us what excites you about your job?
I love that I’m constantly learning on the job, and I can’t wait to delve deep into UVA’s history! My position gives me the opportunity to meet so many different people across Grounds, and I am really looking forward to working with different groups to ensure that their history is preserved in the University Archives. I’m looking at you, student groups!

Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.
The UVA specific lingo! I think I’ve finally gotten into the habit of saying “Grounds” instead of “campus.” Next up is to eliminate freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior.

If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose?
This is a tough one! My top choice would have to be Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. I’d love to see the areas that aren’t included in the tours! It would also fulfill my lifelong dream to swim in their two phenomenal pools. My runners-up would be the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum or The Met Cloisters but I keep thinking of more as I type…I’ll stop myself here.

Staff Spotlight: Rose Oliveira – Accessioning Archivist

We’ve hired several new staff in the Small Special Collections Library in the past year, and we’re delighted to introduce you to our wonderful new colleagues. In previous weeks, we met Whitney Buccicone, Kim Cull, and Stacey Lavender. This week, meet Rose Oliveira, our Accessioning Archivist

Rose Oliveira, Accessioning Archivist

Rose Oliveira, Accessioning Archivist


Rose Oliveira is the Accessioning Archivist at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. She began this new position in June of 2020. She previously worked at the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Rose and her intrepid cat Euri ( short for Euripides) enjoy reading books, writing letters, and adventuring in the outdoors.

What was your first ever job with books or libraries? 

Growing up in Naugatuck, Connecticut, the Howard Whittemore Library was my second home. But my first job working in libraries came in my library program when I got a graduate assistant job at the Tufts Digital Collections and Archives. My first job working with books was in Seattle. I worked at the University District’s Half Price Books. I never had the pleasure of working with a better cast of characters (and I do mean characters). It certainly helped me on my way.

What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).

Actually, I was not much of a collector as a child unless you count Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books. I had a lot of those! Because I have done a lot of moving, I keep my collections very curated and small. But I do collect friends’ zines from the Pacific Northwest.

Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?

Hard question…but probably Blue Hole. Growing up by the water, I knew that I would miss the ocean when I moved to Charlottesville. I was determined to find as many swimming holes as safely as I could during COVID. Blue Hole was the first one I found. I like that it’s close, an easy hike, and a great place to swim.

Tell us what excites you about your job? 

SO MANY THINGS!! I love the creativity and problem solving that is required in understanding and mapping out a new position. I love being able to create the initial records that provide access to users more quickly to the truly amazing collections we bring in. I love working with a great team of people on accessioning digital materials and making them available to users. And, I truly love working with my colleagues; they make the library flourish and do incredible things in their varied roles.

UVA Library staff unloading a truck

Rose with colleagues accepting delivery of a recently donated collection.

“I truly love working with my colleagues; they make the library flourish and do incredible things in their varied roles.”

Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.

Well, I came into the library and UVA at a very unusual time, so everything is different than what I expected. However, I am impressed with how adaptable and flexible everyone (staff, students, faculty) has been in such extreme changes.

If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose? 

Another hard question. Probably the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Specifically when the nasturtiums are in bloom in the spring. It has both botanical features and amazing art to be inspired by all weekend long. The courtyard is magical; I would love to frolic and read and write there. They also have a great library that is available for browsing that I would enjoy being locked in with for the weekend.

Staff Spotlight: Stacey Lavender – Project Processing Archivist

We’ve hired several new staff in the Small Special Collections Library in the past year, and we’re delighted to introduce you to our wonderful new colleagues. In previous weeks,  we met Whitney Buccicone and Kim Cull. This week, meet Stacey Lavender, our Project Processing Archivist!

Stacey in her home office

Stacey in her home office

Stacey Lavender is our Project Processing Archivist, arranging and describing a variety of collections. Previously she was at Ohio University, where she worked first as a Digital Projects Librarian and then later as the Special Collections Librarian for manuscript collections. Stacey is originally from Houston, a city she loves everything about except the weather, and went to graduate school in Michigan, where she found out she loves snow.

What was your first ever job with books or libraries?
One summer while I was in high school I got a job at the local public library, mostly reshelving books. I don’t remember much about it, except that it was my first time working an 8-hour day and I felt very grown up taking 15-minute breaks in the staff lounge. At the time I never imagined I’d end up working in a library as a profession, but it must have planted a seed in my mind, because here I am!

What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).
Books! One year for Christmas my grandmother gave me a collection of my dad’s childhood books and I was absolutely delighted to have a full bookshelf that was ALL MINE. I’m still haphazardly adding to that collection, and I have approximately zero self control in any bookstore. I also collect postcards. I buy them at every museum I visit, and any time I travel they’re my souvenir of choice. I keep some of them taped to the wall in my office at home, and rotate them in and out. I’m also a total sucker for pretty vintage glassware.

Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?
I’ve been having a great time exploring local places to hike, especially the parts of the Rivanna near our house and the trails around Monticello. My husband and I bring our pup, Bogie, and watch him wade in the water and (unsuccessfully) attempt to catch butterflies. We’ve also been exploring local restaurants as much as we can with the pandemic, by getting takeout a couple times a week. We get croissants and coffee from Petite MarieBette every Friday morning, which I would highly recommend as a way to kick off your weekend a little early.

Stacey's dog Bogie at the beach

Stacey’s dog Bogie at the beach

Tell us what excites you about your job?
Working with the materials! I’m an inquisitive (read: nosy) person and I love learning about people and their lives through their collections. I frequently tell people I became an archivist so I could read other people’s mail, which is mostly the honest truth. I also love thinking about the practice of arrangement and description and how to meet the needs of our users, be they students, faculty, staff, or the community at large.

Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.
Well I certainly didn’t expect to spend most of my first 6 months working from home! I have been continuously amazed at how my colleagues here have adjusted and adapted to the rapidly changing situation caused by the pandemic. It’s been such a hard time, but it’s been heartening to see how everyone in Special Collections has come together to keep meeting the needs of our users as well as we possibly can.

If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose?
Oooh this is a hard one! I think maybe the Met. I’ve only been there once, and sadly I got sick while I was there and had to leave after only an hour. That interrupted visit still haunts me, so it’s the place that comes to mind first. Plus it’s definitely big enough to keep you busy for a weekend!

Staff Spotlight: Kim Cull – Rare Book Project Cataloger

We’ve hired several new staff in the Small Special Collections Library in the past year, and we figure it is time to introduce you to our wonderful new colleagues. Last week, you met Whitney Buccicone. This week, meet Kim Cull, our Rare Book Project Cataloger!

Kim Cull and her dog, Elliot

Kim Cull and her dog, Elliot

Kim Cull is the Rare Book Project Cataloger working primarily with the McGehee Miniature Book Collection and the Shirley Plantation Collection. Before coming to the University of Virginia, Kim was the Cataloging and Metadata Librarian at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee. When she is not hard at work cataloging fun miniature books or slightly charred Shirley books, she enjoys cuddling up with her dog Elliot and eating cookies.

What was your first ever job with books or libraries?
My first ever library job was in the serials unit at Wells Library at Indiana University during my time in graduate school. Along with another student, I shelved periodicals, sorted mail, and checked in ‘PR’ serials, or serials published in Western languages. I got to work with some wonderful people and see some really fun art journals.

mugs on a shelf

She really does love a good mug!

What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).
I grew up in a family of collectors, so I have collected my fair share of objects. The first thing I vividly remember collecting was Pokemon cards (Gen 1). My brothers and I would go to a comic book store or Toys R Us and use our allowance money to buy packs of cards just hoping to get the limited edition cards. Now, I am a proud owner of a mug collection. I also collect books like most librarians, but I love a good mug.

Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?
Carter Mountain Orchard is one of my favorite discoveries in Charlottesville. I love visiting orchards and picking apples, berries, flowers, or whatever is available. The view on top of the mountain is gorgeous too! Also, who doesn’t love a warm apple cider donut in the Fall?

Tell us what excites you about your job?
I mean, the materials I work with are pretty awesome. I love old things; they make me feel sad (bonus points if you know where that quote comes from!) The absolute best part of my job though is working with fabulous people. When I found out I got the job, the first thing I did was cry because I am privileged to work under someone who has been cataloging for 50 years.

Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.
Truthfully, I did not expect to love it here as much as I do. Everyone I encounter is so nice and friendly. When I started working here, I figured I would work really hard and learn as much as I could in the two years given to me and then move on to the next adventure. Now, I am hoping that my next adventure can be put off for just a little bit longer.

If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose?
Either the James Whitcomb Riley house in Indianapolis, Indiana because it is a gorgeous preserved Victorian house or Newfields/Indianapolis Museum of Art because the Lilly House and the gardens are so much fun to explore.

Staff Spotlight: Whitney Buccicone – Head of Technical Services

We’ve hired several new staff in the Small Special Collections Library in the past year, and we figure it is time to introduce you to our wonderful new colleagues. Over the next few weeks, you’ll meet five new members of our Technical Services team! First up: their intrepid leader: Whitney Buccicone, Head of Technical Services. 

Whitney Buccicone, headshot

Whitney Buccicone, Head of Technical Services

Whitney Buccicone is the Head of Technical Services in the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was the Special Collections Cataloging Librarian at the University of Washington (2016-2019) and held multiple paraprofessional positions at the Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington (2006-2016). Her job duties include managing the team responsible for the workflows focused on Acquisitions, Cataloging, Archival Processing, and University Archives. The Technical Services team is also formulating a plan for the reparative work needed to ensure that all collections at the Small Library are properly described and enhanced to reflect history, including the voices normally hidden due to white supremacy.

What was your first ever job with books or libraries?
I worked in a small Christian bookshop in my hometown in Goshen, Indiana. I loved the books but hated selling them (I’ve been a book hoarder from a young age!). After that, I had a part-time job over the summer in the public library. I started working at the Lilly during my junior year at Indiana University and didn’t look back.

What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).
Books. It’s always been books. Now, I collect comics, graphic novels, and any sci-fi/fantasy novels written by women, especially Black and Indigenous authors. I also collect succulents and kitchen tools.

Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?
Rivanna Trail is so much fun! I also love walking the Downtown Mall and popping into any of the bookstores where I promise myself that I won’t buy anything (it’s a lie). I’m a big BBQ aficionado so checking out new places is a fun pastime.

Tell us what excites you about your job?
I have the best group of employees that a boss could ask for. Each of them has skills that make them excellent at their jobs and I couldn’t imagine doing this job without any one of them. They love challenges and always step up when I need them. Way to go, team Tech Services!

Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.
What brought me here was how, during my interview, every staff member came across as user-focused. Since coming here, I found that at every level of the Library and on Grounds. We are here for our patrons and students — it’s our focus and our pride.

If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose
The Field Museum in Chicago. I want to drink hot cocoa with Sue the T-Rex!

 

 

 

Small Special Collections Library: Re-Opening Update

We are open for in-person research appointments, online reference assistance, and instruction sessions for the UVA community.

We are open for in-person research appointments, online reference assistance, and instruction sessions for the UVA community.

For the safety of our community, the Small Special Collections Library will be re-opening on Tuesday, September 8 with the following precautions in place: 

  • Our building and reading room is open only by appointment to UVA ID holders.
  • Our exhibitions are closed. Find a trove of past exhibitions online: explore.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/

To make an in-person research appointment (available only to UVA ID holders), please visit cal.lib.virginia.edu/appointments/small.  Research appointments will be available:

Monday 1:00-5:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am-12:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:00-5:00pm
Thursday 1:00-5:00pm
Friday-Sunday CLOSED

Researchers are limited to one 4-hour appointment or two 2-hour appointments each week. Registration and material requests must be made prior to your appointment in order to allow adequate retrieval time. Per University Policy SEC-045, face coverings are to be worn at all times while in the Library. A personal water bottle is permitted and must be left outside of the reference room. All other food and drink must remain outside. 

Harrison/Small entry stairwell

Researchers are limited to one 4-hour appointment or two 2-hour appointments each week. Registration and material requests must be made prior to your appointment in order to allow adequate retrieval time.

We are conducting both in-person and remote Special Collections sessions for UVA classes during the fall 2020 semester. For more information or to schedule a session, please visit: https://www.library.virginia.edu/services/class-visits-and-instruction

At this time we are able to offer online reference assistance, but we are prioritizing the needs of the University of Virginia students, faculty, and staff. We will not be able to respond to reference requests from those outside the UVa community until December 1, 2020. For more information about our current online reference assistance guidelines and response times, visit: https://small.library.virginia.edu/services/reference-request/

Services to provide high-resolution digital scans of Special Collections materials are limited. If you have the information for the item you need scanned, proceed directly to the Digitization Services Request Form.

Documenting the pandemic: how to donate Covid-19 related materials to the University Archives

During these trying times, a great many faculty have come forward with the idea of students documenting their lives during the pandemic. Here at the Small Special Collections Library, we welcome all donations of these materials.

To guide you through the donation process, we have created the following checklist:

  1. Contact Whitney Buccicone (wb8hb@virginia.edu), Interim University Archivist.
    1. Whitney will send you a copy of the Deed of Gift and its explanation document.
  2. Complete Deed of Gift and send two signed copies to Whitney using the address below.
    1. These must be paper copies, signed in pen, due to Virginia regulations.
    2. These can also be signed and sent digitally to Whitney’s e-mail address.
  3. When ready, mail in the journal or other pandemic-related materials.

Address for two signed Deeds of Gift and materials to donate:

Whitney Buccicone, Interim University Archivist

℅ Small Special Collections

170 McCormick Rd

Charlottesville, VA 22904

Due to the continuing concerns over the pandemic, no materials will be allowed to be dropped off in-person until our building is reopened. Materials can be donated anonymously but a Deed of Gift must be completed to have these materials available for research use.

If you are a faculty member interested in donating your students’ materials to Special Collections, please reach out to Whitney Buccicone directly.

Thank you!

Signed with a Kiss: Linnie’s Love Letters to Guy, 1944-1945

This week, we are pleased to share a guest post from archival processor Ellen Welch, who, from time to time, shares her processing discoveries with colleagues over email. Posting on the blog for the first time, Ellen shares a collection that provides a glimpse of wartime love-letter conventions in the 1940s.

You are so fine and true and the swellest husband on earth. You just have to come home to me. I’ll wait for you always. Be a good sailor, dear, and take care of yourself for you are precious to me.

Detail of one of Linnie’s letters, signed with her name, numerous “x” marks, and a bright red lipstick kiss. (MSS 15588)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read your parents’, grandparents’, or great grandparents’ love letters from World War II?  Here at Special Collections, we have many collections of letters from wartime. The latest addition is a collection of 1944-1945 love letters written by Linnie Ethel Davis to her boyfriend (and then husband) Guy Elwood Webb, a sailor in the U.S. Navy. The couple were married when he visited her on leave in Richmond, Virginia in May 1944. Linnie’s letters show her complete devotion to Guy, her constant worry for his safety, and her desperate desire to have him safely at home. She reassures him of her love and encourages him to be strong and learn as much as he can while he is there and tells him that he will back home soon. “You are the sweetest, noblest, finest, darling, sweetheart a girl can have,” she writes; she loves him “more than anything in the whole wide world.”

Linnie’s letters reveal the sacrifices of the “home front”: she makes and sends him care packages and saves most of his monthly earnings for their future. Instead of going out with other young people after work, she goes straight home in case he telephones–and works overtime in order to pay for those long-distance calls. She tries to be brave by not crying in front of anyone, even family. The letters briefly mention air raids, gas rations, and the absence of any young men in town.

Some of Linnie’s many letters, now available for researchers (MSS 15588)

 

 

Linnie makes a scrapbook for Guy and fills it with cards from him, newspaper clippings about the war, commercial naval photographs, and postcards from his time in Hawaii. The letters describe her making the scrapbook–and the actual scrapbook is also part of the collection. We follow him from boot camp in the Great Lakes, Illinois to continued service in Haywood and Shoemaker, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii. Linnie writes, “Tis hard being married to a sailor. You never know where he is or where he is going.”

One assumes from the collection that he made it home safely, as the letters stop after he sends a telegram that says that he is departing San Francisco for home in 1945. Indeed, they were reunited, and remained together even after death, as can be seen by their shared gravestone in Richmond, Virginia.

Guy’s final message to Linnie (MSS 15588)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Ellen!

McGregor Grant Project Concludes

On November 5 high-resolution scans of John Lawson’s A New Voyage to Carolina (London, 1709) were added to the U.Va. Library’s digital repository and made publicly accessible through Virgo, the Library’s online catalog. This brought to a successful close our six-year effort to improve access to the world-renowned Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History.

Virgo record for John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina (London, 1709) with image viewer.

First, some background. On the day that Alderman Library was dedicated in June 1938, U.Va. received a truly transformational gift: the Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History. Initially formed by Detroit philanthropist Tracy W. McGregor, the McGregor Library was then, and remains, one of the nation’s foremost collections of rare books documenting the discovery and settlement of the New World, and the pre-1900 history of North America and the United States.

Some of the mid-16th century imprints in the McGregor Library (photo by Eze Amos)

Since 1938 the McGregor Fund of Detroit, Mich., has partnered with the U.Va. Library to provide for the superb library collected by its founder, Tracy W. McGregor. The McGregor Fund’s first benefaction was the magnificent McGregor Room in Alderman Library, built expressly to house the McGregor Library and to serve as a Special Collections reading room. Other major McGregor Fund gifts have included the recent McGregor Room renovation; a substantial acquisitions endowment for the McGregor Library, which has quintupled in size since 1938; a series of publications based on the collection; and the annual Tracy W. and Katherine W. McGregor Distinguished Lecture in American History.

In 2013 the McGregor Fund offered to finance a major initiative to expand public access to the McGregor Library. We proposed a two-pronged approach involving the rarest and most significant works in the 20,000-volume McGregor Library: 1) prepare and make freely accessible online high-resolution digital images of these works, and 2) improve their discoverability in Virgo and other bibliographical databases by upgrading their catalog records. The McGregor Fund generously provided an initial grant of $245,000, awarding an additional $70,000 in 2017 so that we could expand the project’s scope.

Key members of Team McGregor include: Sam Pierceall, Imaging Specialist and Project Coordinator; Adam Newman, student supervisor; and Christina Deane, Manager, Digital Production Group (photo by Eze Amos)

McGregor Grant Project work began on January 13, 2014, and ten days later the first scanned book was posted online: Amerigo Vespucci’s account of his third exploratory voyage along the Brazilian coast, published in Strasbourg in 1505. Since then the skilled student and professional staff of the U.Va. Library’s Digital Production Group have digitized a total of 136,067 pages from 547 rare McGregor Library works. Now researchers anywhere in the world may freely access these volumes by calling up their Virgo records, to which the images are linked. The books can be read using the Virgo image viewer or downloaded in PDF form. Concurrently project cataloger Yu Lee An substantially enhanced the Virgo records for 2,051 McGregor Library books—fully 10% of the entire collection.

Some of the 547 rare McGregor Library works that were digitized and recataloged during the project.

The volumes selected for scanning and recataloging are not only the McGregor Library’s most significant works, but also those most heavily used for research and instruction. Mindful of our obligation to preserve these books for future generations, we can minimize wear and tear on these priceless works by offering more viewing options to infinitely more readers. Moreover, the digital images have been archived permanently so that the volumes should never need rescanning.

On View Now: What Lies Beneath (Visit if you dare…)

Curated by the Small Library’s Reference Team, What Lies Beneath: The Macabre and Spooktacular of Special Collections, takes a deeper dive into the catacombs of UVA’s archival netherworld. Leaving no page unturned nor manuscript box unopened, curators Anne Causey, Regina Rush, and Penny White have ferreted out the frightening and ghoulish side of Special Collections. The resulting exhibition is designed to whet the appetite of ghoul seekers young and old.

Ever want to see our stacks in person? Our exhibition poster might change your mind. Or you might want to pick one up to take back to your dorm–weirdo!

Would you believce that’s a real spider on the wall? Ok, ok, we admit, it’s a facsimile of a spider.

Located just a stone’s throw away from West Range #13—the purported room of the University of Virginia’s masterful matriculate of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe—lies a subterranean treasure trove of historical and literary scholarship.

Poe’s raven gets top billing, of course.

Yes, that’s a real raccoon coat and tail (More Cooning With Cooners, SK341 .C6 K83 2011-Marion DuPont Scott Sporting Collection); a leather book edged with shark teeth by fine binder Gabby Cooksby (Fantasy & Nonsense: Poems, PS2702 .T77 2001-Clifton Waller Barrett Library, James Whitcomb Riley Collection); and a miniature book bound in black calf suede and leather with colored leader onlays and shaped into the head of a hound by fine bookbinder Jarmila Sobata (The Hound of the Baskervilles: Conclusion & Retrospection, McGehee 05222 -McGehee Miniature Book Collection).

Did you know there are more than 3,000 species of spiders roaming around North America? We even have a few right here in the stacks, including The Spider written by Luide Woelflein and illustrated by Tomo Narashima (PZ92 .F6 D52 1992e) from the Brenda Forman Collection of Pop-up and Moveable Books.

No Halloween exhibition at this university would be complete without paying homage to the former Hoo and reigning Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Books, including miniatures (The Tell-Tale Heart, 2015, on loan from private collection and Poe, Master of Macabre, McGehee 01687 -McGehee Miniature Book Collection) and pop-ups (The Raven: A Spectacular Pop-Up Presentation of Poe’s Haunting Masterpiece, PS2609 .A1 2016b -Robert & Virginia Tunstall Trust Fund) are but a small sampling of Poe-influenced holdings. The broken windowpane on view in the exhibition—rumored to be from Poe’s Room 13 on the West Range—has the following verse etched into its glass: “O Thou timid one, let not thy/ Form rest in slumber within these/ Unhallowed walls,/ For herein lies/ The ghost of an awful crime.”

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the short-lived Commonwealth of England following the defeat of King Charles, died of natural causes in 1658. Upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1661, Cromwell’s body was exhumed and subjected to a posthumous execution: he was hanged, beheaded, and his body thrown into a pit. His head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685. This plaster cast is a copy from one of several death masks created(by pouring plaster or wax over the deceased’s face shortly after death)following Cromwell’s death in 1658, prior to his grim exhumation. (MSS 5368-a-Gift of Charles C. Abbott).

 

Come meet James Steele, the Revolutionary War soldier who lost his head and lived to tell about it. Have a Dance with Death…or, perhaps, you may want to sample an embalming recipe that’s simply to die for. As you explore this exhibition, we hope you will go, in the words of Edgar Allan Poe,“deep into that darkness peering…wondering, fearing, doubting,dreaming dreams no mortal dared to dream before.”Come and See…If You Dare!

What Lies Beneath is on view in the First Floor Gallery of Harrison/Small through December 21, 2019.