#LibraryOfCongress; #ChroniclingAmerica; #NDNP; #StCroixAvis; #NEH
Washington/Canadian-Media: Chronicling America (ISSN 2475-2703), historic newspapers online collection, added the first newspaper the St. Croix Avis, from its 50th contributor, the University of the Virgin Islands, Library of Congress (LoC) reported.
Image credit: National Endowment for the Humanities
Chronicling America is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Nearly every week new newspaper pages from NDNP award recipients are added to Chronicling America and provides users with useful coverage of newspapers available in the database at a given time.
St. Croix Avis covers a particularly tumultuous time in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1867 it was struck with hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami at the time when rumors of the impending sale of the U.S. Virgin Islands to the United States.
“The journals of Denmark are discussing the reported proposition of the United States for the purchase of the island of St. Thomas . . .There was something almost ludicrous in the diplomatic mystery with which these Seward-like preliminaries were conducted, ” St. Croix Avis reported.
Image :“To the Editor of the ‘Saint Croix Avis,'” St. Croix Avis, November 4, 1867.
Image credit: LoC
The Avis also encouraged charity for its “Sister-Island” of St. Thomas: “The number of lives lost cannot as yet be fully ascertained—reports, however, fix the number at 300 persons, principally sea-faring men . . . We trust, and sincerely hope, that the influential part of this community will hasten to circulate a subscription-list, to aid the sufferers of this dire calamity.”
While islanders were still reeling from the hurricane, a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit in November 1867. “Two very severe shocks of Earthquake, one immediately after the other occurred . . . The frightened people rushed out of their houses, quickly after the occurrence, and then beheld the troubled seas, which had receded soon after the shocks, coming furiously, mountain-high, and dashing on the shore . . .” (St. Croix Avis, November 18, 1867).
The 1867 tsunami was one of the largest in recorded history in the Caribbean, and aftershocks from the earthquake continued throughout the month.
By December 1867, uncertainty about the treaty for the sale of the Islands to the United States, and concerns about the reintroduction of slavery, was published by the Avis in its editorials.
“As to the folly, that if the Americans were to purchase this Island, that Slavery would ever be re-established here. No! The Americans are too honorable, too just, and too generous ever to be guilty of such a crime.”
The following year, sale was put on hold for another fifty years.
The Avis published articles and advertisements in a mix of Danish and English.
#LibraryOfCongress; #JapaneseRareBook; #DigitalCollection; #AsianDivision; NINJAL
Washington/Canadian-Media: Launched in December 2020, the Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, currently contains 35 titles in more than 270 volumes, twenty-five of which are rare books newly digitized, while the remaining ten titles were first scanned and made available online several years ago, Library of Congress (LoC) reported.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
Only recently, these collections were assembled as a collection and configured for viewing on the Library’s updated platform for digital content, some of which contain rare and beautifully illustrated works of classical Japanese literature that have drawn attention from scholars around the world.
Two unique editions of the famous 11th-century work “The Tale of Genji,” which is attributed to Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978–c. 1014), a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court in Kyoto (then known as Heiankyō ) are of particular interest.
One of the two sets of “The Tale of Genji” held by the Asian Division is illustrated with woodblock print edition produced in Kyoto in the mid-17th century.
The main text in 54 volumes, also includes six additional volumes consisting of commentaries, a genealogy, an index, and an extra chapter written by a later, unknown author.
A scene from the chapter “Wakamurasaki” (Lavender) in which Genji, who has left the capital in order to recuperate from an illness, consults with an ascetic mountain priest. Image 5 of Volume 5 in [Genji monogatari] [源氏物語], 1654, Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, Asian Division of LoC.
The other set of “The Tale of Genji” is a manuscript edition that dates to the early 16th century, which was unknown to scholars until the LoC acquired it in 2008.
The Asian Reading Room of LoC which housed the manuscript edition was visited by several specialists in classical Japanese literature between 2010 and 2012, to carefully survey and document it as part of a project led by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL). NINJAL website reveals the results of their work in both English and Japanese. Although just three of the 54 volumes in this older set have been currently digitized, plans are underway to digitalize all the volumes.
An innovative display method making use of these three digitized volumes is adopted by the staff at NINJAL to allow readers to view the team’s expert transcription of the handwritten manuscript alongside the original text or superimposed over it.
A scene from a Nara ehon edition of the Japanese folktale “Hōmyō dōji” (Marvelous Dharma Child) a Buddhist story with roots in South Asia. Image 10 of Volume 3 in “Hōmyō dōji” ほうみやう童子, early 18th century, Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, Asian Division of LoC.
Also present in the digital collection are four examples of Nara ehon, or “Nara picture books,” a style of manuscript book adorned with hand-painted color illustrations produced between the late 15th and early 18th centuries. Among the titles are “Hōmyō dōji” ほうみやう童子 (Marvelous Dharma Child), “Shigure” しくれ (Autumn Shower), “Shizuka” 靜 (The Tale of Shizuka), and “Soga monogatari” 曽我物語 (The Tale of the Soga Brothers).
These unique editions were studied by Professor Elizabeth Oyler, a specialist in premodern Japanese literature both online and in person in the Asian Reading Room. More information about “Shizuka” and “Soga monogatari,” is provided by consulting her article “Japanese Cultural Treasures at the Library of Congress: Digitization of the Rare Books Collection,” which appeared in October 2007 issue of the open-access “Journal of East Asian Libraries.”
The recently digitized materials in the collection enable readers to discover a number of books in classical Chinese including texts first produced in China that were later reprinted or hand- copied in Japan, often with notes and annotations added.
Also included are works by Japanese authors writing in classical Chinese, or kanbun 漢文 (Chinese writing) as it is called in Japan.
Regardless of origin, recently digitized materials encompass a broad range of topics: Buddhist sutras; Chinese rhyme dictionaries; Confucian critiques of Christianity; military arts and strategy; world geography; and writing implements, among many others. The diversity of these works reflects the widespread importance that classical Chinese played as a written lingua franca for transmitting ideas and culture across East Asia prior to the 20th century.
Found in these materials is an interesting example of Japanese scholarship, a partial set of a lightly illustrated 1643 book titled “Hochū sōkikan” 補註相驥鑑 (A Guide to Judging Horses, Annotated), based on the 1639 work “Sōkikan” 相驥鑑 by Kurosawa Sadayuki 黑澤定幸 (d. 1671). Kurosawa, was a samurai who worked as a caretaker of horses (umaazukari 馬預) in direct service to the Tokugawa shogunate, the central military government that ruled Japan from its seat of power at Edo (Tokyo) between 1603 and 1868.
Kurosawa, in this book, compiles a comprehensive guide for evaluating the quality of a horse based on its appearance a practice also known as horse physiognomy, by drawing on a variety of historical Chinese texts and other sources to provide information on raising and caring for horses, with detailed sections on anatomy, diseases, and medical treatment. Also featured in this book is an introduction by Kurosawa’s former teacher, Hayashi Razan (1583–1657), a famous scholar who served as a tutor to four shoguns.
An anatomical chart of a horse, with relevant parts of its head identified. Image 28 of Kan 1 in “Hochū sōkikan” 補註相驥鑑 (A Guide to Judging Horses, Annotated), 1643, Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, Asian Division of LoC.
A richly illustrated study of bamboo by Okamura Shōken 岡村尚謙 (d. 1837) called “Keien chikufu” 桂園竹譜 (A Genealogy of Bamboo by Keien) is yet another newly available title of note in which Okamura was a doctor and natural scientist who served as an official physician to the lord of Takaoka domain in Shimōsa province, now part of present-day Chiba prefecture. The “Keien” in the title refers to Okamura's pen name. Besides, scientific descriptions of the bamboo plant, the work documents historical and literary references to bamboo and contains numerous color illustrations.
A scene of bamboo. Image 21 of Kan 1 in “Keien chikufu” 桂園竹譜 (A Genealogy of Bamboo by Keien), c. 1828, Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, Asian Division of LoC.
These few brief highlights would encourage interested general readers and specialists to explore the Japanese Rare Book Digital Collection, which is the latest effort by the Asian Division to make its collection materials more accessible to worldwide audiences. It follows two earlier releases, the Japanese Censorship Collection in April 2018 and the Ainu and Ezochi Rare Collection in April 2020.
#LibraryOfCongress; #BehindTheBook; #NewEventSeries; #AmericanPublishing
Washington, Library of Congress/Canadian-Media: Library of Congress would present Robert Gottlieb in Conversation with Robert A. Caro and Nan Talese in Conversation with Margaret Atwood, in Behind the Book, a New Event Series, Library of Congress (LoC) reports said.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
Behind the Book, a New Event Series, provides a behind-the-scenes view of the world of American book publishing, the editors, designers, publicists, agents and publishers who make the books that win prizes and endure.
Image credit: Library of Congress
The first virtual event in this occasional series will begin on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., with a focus on Great American Editors featuring legendary editor Robert Gottlieb -- a former editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster and former publisher of Alfred A. Knopf, as well as former editor and publisher of The New Yorker -- in conversation with one of his best-known writers, Robert A. Caro, author of the critically acclaimed biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson.
The authors Gottlieb has worked with are like a “Who’s Who” of famous writers: Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing, John Cheever, John le Carré, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Graham, Barbara Tuchman, Nora Ephron, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. The program will feature tributes to Gottlieb from President Bill Clinton, radio host Diane Rehm, journalist Charles McGrath and literary agent Lynn Nesbit.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m., the focus on Great American Editors continues with Nan Talese, a senior vice president of Doubleday and editorial director of her eponymous imprint, in conversation the internationally celebrated novelists, Margaret Atwood. Talese has been a leading editor at Random House, Simon & Schuster and Houghton Mifflin and has edited such literary stars as Pat Conroy, Deirdre Bair, Ian McEwan, Jennifer Egan, Antonia Fraser, Barry Unsworth, Valerie Martin, Thomas Keneally, Mia Farrow, Barry Unsworth, Peter Ackroyd, Louis Begley and George Plimpton.
Programs in this new series will premiere on the Library's Facebook page and its YouTube site (with captions). These presentations will be available for viewing afterward at those sites and on the Library of Congress website at loc.gov/collections/event-videos/.
Additional programs in the Behind the Book series will be announced as they are scheduled, with the next being announced in January 2021.
As the world’s largest library built in 1800 in Washington D.C., LoC offers access to the creative record of the United States, and from around the world, both on-site and online, and is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
While maintaining one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world, LoC also bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics.
#LoC; #PromotingPoetry #HangingPoemsInCherryTrees #AprilNationalPoetryMonth
Washington/Canadian-Media: Rebecca Newland, a Fairfax County Public Schools Librarian and former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress (LoC) in one of her earliest Teacher’s Corner posts in 2015 wrote about short poetry activities to use at the beginning of class, also sometimes referred to as “bell-ringers" with an aim to promote engagement with poetry among students and illustrated the post with "Hanging poems in cherry trees.”
Rebecca Freeland. Image credit: LinkedIn
While recently revisiting that post she was once again inspired by the idea of poems in trees, which she interpreted as surrounding students with poetry in both expected and unexpected places waiting for them to discover.
Hanging poems on a cherry tree. Woodblock print by Toyonobu Ishikawa, 1741. Image credit: Library of Congress
In order to make students consider poetry as a way to connect with others and a means of self-expression and promote their engagement, Rebecca said that it is essential for the students to have more opportunities to see, hear, and read poetry regularly.
Some possibilities to promote poetry to students, continued Rebecca include teaming with the librarian to create a display of poetry books and novels in verse and placing these displays in areas other than the library such as a main hallway display case, a table in the cafeteria, or on a counter in the main office, create a bulletin board of covers in a hallway with arrows pointing toward the library where books can be found, post the favorite poems of the teacher outside classroom doors for students to see as they enter or for passersby, host a class or school-wide poetry cafe, read a poem at the beginning of every class and provide a visual of the poem for students who prefer to read and listen at the same time, encouraging students to choose a short poem a day to be read during the morning announcements. Engaging options can be found at Poetry 180 as well as the Poetry Foundation which posts a Poem of the Day, to put a poem at the end of community-wide emails for which classes can take turns choosing poems for inclusion; the poems could reflect a monthly theme or correspond to special calendar days with a link to discussion prompts for families who would like to read and engage with these poems at home.
Rebecca Concluded by saying that these and other possibilities should be explored throughout the school year as well as during National Poetry Month in April.