Pictures for the Season

Christmas family scene by Pauline BaynesA small display of original art for Christmas and the winter season painted by Pauline Baynes is on view through December in the Special Collections Instruction Gallery, Sawyer Room 408, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Baynes (1922–2008), a prolific artist and designer, is best known as the illustrator of the “Narnia” books by C.S. Lewis and of works by J.R.R. Tolkien. Her archive and working reference collection are in the Chapin Library and available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room. The art now on exhibit was made in the 1950s and 1960s mostly for Christmas numbers of magazines, such as Holly Leaves and the Illustrated London News, or for Christmas cards, and was recently acquired on the Pauline Baynes Archive Fund. – WGH

The Fourth of July

On Tuesday, July 4th, at 1:30 p.m. actors from the Williamstown Theatre Festival once again will give a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, the September 1776 British reply to the Declaration, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Also to be read, for the first time at the annual Chapin Library event, will be selections from the July 1852 speech by Frederick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”.

The actors this year will be Hiram Delgado (appearing in The Model American), Jessica Hecht (The Clean House), LeRoy McClain (Where Storms Are Born), Laila Robins (The Model American), and Bernie White (The Clean House).

Weather permitting, the Williamstown Theatre Festival actors will speak from the loggia of Sawyer Library (the west balcony of Stetson Hall at Williams College). In case of rain, the event will be held in the atrium of Sawyer Library. Admission is free.

The Chapin Library’s collection of original Founding Documents of the United States is on permanent display in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406). The Library will be open on July 4th from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., and again after the readings from 2:00 to 3:00. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Also on display at this time in the Special Collections galleries are two exhibitions on the Geosciences, marking 200 years of teaching Geology at Williams College; treasures from the Chapin Library; and Audubon’s Birds of America in the original double elephant folio edition. – WGH

Season’s Greetings

baynes_sleigh_ride_small_cardThe staff of Special Collections (College Archives and Chapin Library) in the Williams Libraries send all of our readers Season’s Greetings and best wishes for the coming year. We are presently closed for Williams College’s winter break, but will re-open on January 3, 2017.

Shown is Winter Sleigh Ride, a Russian scene drawn by Pauline Baynes (1922–2008) and reproduced on a greeting card sold in aid of the British Diabetic Association, from the Pauline Baynes Archive administered by the Chapin Library. The Archive was bequeathed by the artist for the education of Williams students, research by scholars, and enjoyment by the artist’s many admirers.

The Federalist No. 68

federalistThe recent presidential election, in which the winner of the popular vote did not also win a majority of potential votes in the Electoral College, has revived interest in no. 68 of the Federalist papers published in 1787–88 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in favor of the proposed federal Constitution.

No. 68, written by Hamilton, addresses the means of electing the President. He argues that electors, chosen for the special purpose, would be “most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations”. Such men (at the time, it was only men) would be “most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice”. This would also “afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder”, which is to say, it would avoid mob rule. Nevertheless, the electors would represent “the sense of the people” who, in effect, delegate to a smaller body their right to elect a leader.

The question of how to elect the President and Vice-President caused great difficulty to the framers of the Constitution. They did not want the Executive chosen by Congress, which could lead to undue influence on the President by lawmakers; and they did not want the executive officers chosen by state legislatures, in whom the framers lacked confidence. Election directly by the people was rejected, as it would give the most populous states an unfair advantage over the least populous; and at any rate “the people” were thought unable to judge candidates well who were not known locally, given the breadth of the country. The framers expected that the candidate with the most electoral votes would be declared President, and the runner-up would be Vice-President, but if the votes were dispersed by state (as seemed likely) the final choice would fall to the House of Representatives.

In the event, the creation of political parties soon changed the nature of the electoral system. In the election of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, from different parties, tied in the Electoral College, the election was decided by the House – on the thirty-sixth ballot. The Constitution was amended to prevent this from happening again, but the Electoral College has remained controversial, and calls to abolish it in favor of direct election by the people are heard today as they have been since before the Constitution was ratified. Most famously, the Anti-Federalist “Republicus” asked in 1788: “Is it then become necessary, that a free people should first resign their right of suffrage into other hands besides their own, and then, secondly, that they to whom they resign it should be compelled to choose men, whose persons, characters, manners, or principles they know nothing of? And, after all (excepting some such change as is not likely to happen twice in the same century) to intrust Congress with the final decision at last? Is it necessary, is it rational, that the sacred rights of mankind should thus dwindle down to Electors of electors, and those again electors of other electors?”

Once again we are reminded that history holds lessons for the present day, and the words of the founders of the United States, and of their critics, are still worth reading. Many books and documents from the time of the framing, ratification, and amendment of the Constitution are in the Chapin Library at Williams, including two copies of the first collected edition of The Federalist (1788). These and other important materials are available in the Special Collections reading room in Sawyer Library (Room 441) or on display in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406). – WGH

Shown is the title spread to volume 1 of George Washington’s copy of The Federalist, given him by Hamilton and Madison.

African Folk Tales

dinkins_african_folk_tales_coverCarl F. Liss, Williams Class of 1953, has kindly given the Chapin Library a scarce children’s book, African Folk Tales written by Pauline E. Dinkins, M.D. (1892–1961) and illustrated by Effie Lee Newsome (born Mary Effie Lee, 1885–1979), published in 1933 by the Sunday School Publishing Board of Nashville, Tennessee. Only eight copies of this well-preserved folio are recorded in libraries.

Dr. Dinkins was an African-American raised in a missionary home in Selma, Alabama, educated at Hartshorn College in Richmond and at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. At the latter school she was sensitive to discriminatory language used by instructors and never felt truly part of her class. With her degree in hand, she engaged in general practice in Selma and then was on the staff of the Tuskegee Institute. In 1922 she became Medical Director of Brewer Hospital and Nurse Training School in Greenwood, South Carolina, which was under the auspices of the American Missionary Association. Toward the end of the 1920s she worked in Monrovia, Liberia, and there she collected African folk stories.

By this time she had come into contact with Effie Lee Newsome. This may have been through The Crisis, a magazine founded by W.E.B. Du Bois and published monthly by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to which Newsome was a contributor and in which advertising for Brewer Hospital (with Dr. Dinkins’ name) appeared. Newsome had been a writer and illustrator since childhood, and was one of the first African-American authors to concentrate on works for children. Although the pictures in African Folk Tales were made in 1930 – most are dated thus – Newsome and Dinkins were collaborating on the book already in 1929. In a letter that year from Dinkins to W.E.B. Du Bois she writes from Monrovia that she was sending Du Bois some of “our” stories, referring also to Newsome who had told her that Du Bois was interested in publishing them.

It is unclear whether Du Bois in the end had anything to do with the publication of African Folk Tales. It seems reasonable to think that, had he applied his influence, the book may have appeared from a publisher more in the mainstream than the Sunday School Publishing Board of Nashville. In any event, Dinkins continued to write to Du Bois on her return to Selma later in 1929 and as late as 1932, when Du Bois advised that she would have a hard time finding a publisher for a memoir of her experiences in Africa. – WGH

John Paul Jones

Jones_broadside_1777The Chapin Library has been able to acquire, on its Class of 1940 Americana Fund, an apparently unique broadside by John Paul Jones (1747–1792), the “Father of the American Navy”. The sheet was almost certainly printed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1777, as a means of raising a crew for the sloop Ranger, the command of which had been assigned to Jones on June 14th of that year. Ranger, originally Hampshire, had been launched only on May 10th in Kittery, Maine.

To fill out his crew, Jones promised men wages, shares, bounties, even insurance against dismemberment or death. This proved more than he could deliver, but his intent seems genuine, the effort having been approved by the Marine Committee of the Continental Congress. The manuscript note at the foot of the sheet, attesting to this, has been identified as in Jones’s own hand.

On November 1, 1777, Jones and the crew of Ranger set sail for France, and subsequently caused mischief up the coast of Britain and around Ireland, taking several prizes. The ship returned to Portsmouth on October 15, 1778. – WGH

A Year of Acquisitions

This has been a good year for additions to the Chapin Library, both by gift and by purchase, as always in support of the work done by students and teachers at Williams, and following the purposes of our various funds. Here are only a few of the acquisitions made between July 2015 and June 2016, in no particular order:

Poems by Emily Dickinson. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1890, 1891, 1896. First editions of all three series (volumes). Purchased on the W. Edward Archer and John S. Van E. Kohn, Class of 1928 funds.

Le Cuisinier moderne by Vincent La Chapelle. Seconde édition revue, corrigée et augmentée. La Haye: Aux dépens de l’auteur, 1742. A classic of French cuisine in five volumes, purchased on the Bruce and Alice Healy Fund.

The Warden by Anthony Trollope. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1855. A fine copy of the first edition. Purchased on the Mary L. Hurt Richmond Fund.

A Narrative of Five Youth from the Sandwich Islands, Now Receiving an Education in This Country. New York: Printed by J. Seymour, 1816. A rare pamphlet, “published by order of the agents appointed to establish a school for heathen youth”, which was directly responsible for accelerating the establishment of a mission school in Hawaii. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

Laws of the Cherokee Nation Adopted by the Council at Various Periods, with The Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation: Passed at Tahlequah . . . 1839–1851. Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation: Cherokee Advocate Office, 1852. Two parts in two volumes, bringing together the earliest written laws of the Cherokees, all the constitutions, and the laws after Removal. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

Claims of the Jews to an Equality of Rights, Illustrated in a Series of Letters to the Editor of the Philadelphia Gazette, by Isaac Leeser. Philadelphia: Printed by C. Sherman & Co., 1841. A republication in book form of Leeser’s response of 1828 in the Richmond Whig to an attack on the Jews which had appeared in the London Quarterly Review. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

A manuscript sharecropping agreement from 1868, made between a white Virginia plantation owner and three African-American freedmen. Purchased in support of a student paper on agriculture by former slaves during Reconstruction, on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

Hand-made Fables by George Ade. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1920. An inscribed copy, purchased with ten typed letters signed and an autographed manuscript page, all by the noted American humorist of whose works the Chapin Library has a significant collection. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

American Entomology, or Descriptions of the Insects of North America by Thomas Say. Philadelphia: Samuel Augustus Mitchell, 1824-1825. Three volumes. The first edition of Say’s pioneering work, purchased on the Tobias Cabot Fund for Natural History.

Official List of Officers Who Marched with the Army under the Command of Major General Winfield Scott, from Puebla upon the City of Mexico . . . and Who Were Engaged in the Battles of Mexico. Mexico: American Star Print, 1848. An account printed on the occupying American army’s own press, including the plan of the battles in the vicinity of Mexico City. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund, as an adjunct to a large colored lithographic print and an original key drawing to the print given this year by, respectively, the Stanton E. and M. Elaine Tefft Foundation, and late Stanton E. Tefft, Williams Class of 1947, and the Marie Elaine Tefft Revocable Trust.

Parentalia, or, Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens by Christopher Wren. London: T. Osborne and R. Dodsley, 1750. The chief sources of the life of English architect and scientist Christopher Wren, compiled by his son and namesake. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

A Brief View of the Conduct of Pennsylvania, for the Year 1755, So Far As It Affected the General Service of the British Colonies, Particularly the Expedition under the Late General Braddock. London: Printed for R. Griffiths . . . and sold by Mr. Bradford in Philadelphia, 1756. The first edition of a noted response to Quaker pacifism after General Braddock’s defeat during the French and Indian War. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray, 1868. Two volumes. The first edition, first issue of the work in which Darwin gathered facts concerning artificial selection of traits to demonstrate an analogy for natural selection, and in which he advanced a hypothesis of the inheritance of characteristics. Purchased on the Tobias Cabot Fund for Natural History.

Poems by Eminent Ladies, edited by Bonnell Thornton and George Colman. London: Printed for R. Baldwin, 1755. Two volumes. The first edition of the first major anthology of poetry by women in English, a cornerstone for women’s studies in the 18th century. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

The Silkworm: A Poem by Marcus Hieronymus Vida. Translated by the Reverend Samuel Pullen. Dublin: Printed by S. Powell for the Author [i.e. translator], 1750. Pullen’s interest in the introduction of silk cultivation into the American (Caribbean) colonies was fueled by family connections with Jamaica. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

Sketches in Architecture by John Soane; with Six Designs for Improving and Embellishing Grounds by G.J. Parkyns. London: Messrs. Taylor, 1793. Two works bound together as issued, with plans for country cottages and picturesque estates. Purchased on the Mary L. Hurt Richmond Fund.

A Chronological History of North-eastern Voyages of Discovery, and of the Early Eastern Navigations of the Russians by James Burney. London: Printed by Luke Hansard & Sons . . . for Payne and Foss . . . and John Murray, 1819. The first edition of a scarce work on Pacific exploration, including a first-hand account of the death of Captain Cook. It is supplemental to Burney’s great five-volume chronological history of discoveries in the South Seas, which was already in the Chapin Library. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

The Manifesto by Jose acute Figueroa. San Francisco: Herald Office, 1855. The first English-language edition of Figueroa’s defense of his conduct in a colonization plan for California in the 1830s, made from the “commandant-general and political chief” of California to the Mexican Republic. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

The Laws of Contrast of Colour and Their Application to the Arts of Painting, Decoration of Buildings [etc.] by M.E. Chevreul. Translated by John Spanton. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1859. The third edition of the Spanton translation of one of the landmark works on color theory. Purchased on the Mary L. Hurt Richmond Fund.

Outfits for a Whaling Voyage. [New Bedford, Massachusetts: H.S. Kirby, circa 1858]. A printed list of supplies, annotated throughout by William W. Thomas, master of the bark Joseph Grinnell detailing supplies purchased for a whaling voyage to the Pacific. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

A collection of more than 190 photographs of Theodore Roosevelt by Underwood and Underwood, most from Roosevelt’s presidency but a few from his 1898 Rough Rider days at Montauk Point, Long Island. The Chapin Library has a significant collection of items by and about Roosevelt, a friend of Mr. Chapin in the New York State legislature. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund.

Cope’s Tobacco Plant. Liverpool: Cope Brothers, 1870–1881. Three volumes, a complete run of this periodical regarding tobacco; from the Arents library. Its main significance to the Chapin Library is in contributions by American poet Walt Whitman. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

Mineralogia Cornubiensis by William Pryce. London: James Philips, 1778. An important work on geology and mining in Cornwall. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

A manuscript document detailing the results of an inquest held at Southampton, Long Island, on June 6, 1681, with the names of some of the earliest English settlers. Purchased on the Thomas A. Frank, Class of 1963 Fund.

Six to seven hundred magazines and other printed items related to Frank Lloyd Wright, his buildings, and his apprentices. The gift of Larry Martyn, who was himself an apprentice to architect Wright, this collection complements the earlier Frank Lloyd Wright library given to the Chapin Library by Robert Fordyce, Class of 1956.

A Civil War soldier letter, April 20, 1865, commenting on Lincoln’s assassination (“hanging is considered . . . too good for the perpetrators”), on contrabands, and on the future of the Army of the Potomac. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

Some two hundred issues of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, rival to the better-known Harper’s Weekly, from the Civil War years 1861–1864. Purchased on the Class of 1940 and W. Edward Archer funds.

Zum ewigen Frieden by Immanuel Kant. Königsberg: Friedrich Nicolivius, 1795. The first edition, first issue of Kant’s essay on perpetual peace, given to the Chapin Library by Bruce M. Russett, Class of 1956.

Vestigi delle antichita di Roma Tivoli Possuolo e altri luochi con privilegio di sua Sac. Caes. Mae. Prague: Aegidius Sadeler, 1606. The first edition, first issue of Sadeler’s book of engraved views of Roman antiquities. Purchased on the W. Edward Archer Fund.

Reports of the Metropolitan Park Commission for Massachusetts. Boston, 1893–1919. Includes twenty-six annual reports in twenty-seven volumes, a complete run of this work, of great importance to historians of American city planning and landscape architecture. Purchased on the Class of 1940 Americana Fund. – WGH


Independence Day Readings

Once again this July 4th, at 1:30 p.m. in the atrium of Sawyer Library at Williams College, actors from the Williamstown Theatre Festival will read the Declaration of Independence of July 1776, the British reply to the Declaration of September 1776, King George III’s speech to Parliament of October 1776, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Admission is free. The readers this year will be Rebecca Naomi Jones, Gregg Mozgala, Wendell Pierce, and Katy Sullivan, the cast of Cost of Living, on the Nikos Stage through July 10th.

The Chapin Library’s collection of original Founding Documents of the United States is on permanent display in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406), and will be open on July 4th from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., and then again after the readings until 3:00. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Also on display at this time are “While Thy Booke Doth Live”: Shakespeare and His World in the Chapin Gallery, treasures from the Chapin Library in the adjacent Instruction Gallery, and Progress through Struggle: Student Activism at Williams in the Steven Schow ’81 Gallery along with Audubon’s Birds of America. – WGH

The Map Thief

Map Thief dust jacketThe final Tuesday Tea lecture for 2016 will be presented today, May 3rd, at 4:00 in the Archives/Chapin Instruction Room (Sawyer Library Room 452). It is sponsored by the Williams Libraries, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and the Ronald B. Moir, Class of 1951 Chapin Library Fund.

When we were planning our new library building, Sylvia Brown, then the College Archivist, and I spent a great deal of time thinking about how we might steal things. If we wanted to prevent a theft, we had to think like a thief. During this process, three names often came to mind.

The first was Donald Lynch, a shoe salesman who in 1940 posed as Sinclair E. Gillingham, an English professor at Middlebury College, and when no one was looking, stole the Chapin Library’s copy of the Shakespeare First Folio. We got it back, but the experience was proof, if proof were needed, that researchers should not be allowed to work out of sight of staff, and should not be allowed to keep a bag or briefcase at hand.

The second name that came to mind was Gilbert Bland. Bland was a nondescript little man who became the most notorious map thief of the 1990s, striking at libraries all over the eastern United States. Happily, Williamstown seems to have been too remote to draw his attention, but this too was a wake-up call which exposed deficiencies in security.

And finally there was E. Forbes Smiley III. Smiley was another map thief, but degrees worse than Gilbert Bland, because Smiley was a leading expert and dealer whom librarians trusted. Again, Williams was spared the experience of theft, possibly because our collections were less well-known than those of other libraries, but it showed that one had to be watchful even of those who seemed unlikely to turn to crime.

Forbes Smiley is at the center of today’s talk, and of the book The Map Thief by our speaker, Michael Blanding. Michael is a Williams College graduate, Class of 1995, and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute of Investigative Journalism at Brandeis. His work has appeared in Wired, The Nation, The New Republic, and other publications, including recent issues of Williams magazine. The Map Thief was deservedly a New York Times bestseller, an NPR Book of the Year, and a New England Society Book Award winner.

After Michael’s talk, there will be a short time for questions and answers, followed by a reception in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406).

Wayne Hammond, Chapin Librarian

Shakespeare and His World

Shakespeare portrait“‘While Thy Booke Doth Live’: Shakespeare and His World”, an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, has opened in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406) and will be on view through October 11th. Its title is taken from a poem by Ben Jonson which appears in the famous 1623 First Folio collection of Shakespeare’s plays.

Drawn from the rich holdings of the Chapin Library, the exhibition features works by Shakespeare in original editions, including all of the Folios, the 1640 edition of Shakespeare’s Poems, and late 17th-century printings and adaptations of some of his plays. Also in the display are books which put Shakespeare in the context of English history and the theatres of London, works he used as source material for his plays, such as Holinshed’s Chronicles of 1577 and the 1579 North translation of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, and writings by his contemporaries, such as Thomas Heywood and Christopher Marlowe.

Williams is fortunate to have many great books from the time of Elizabeth I and James I. While other institutions have borrowed a copy of the First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library to display during this anniversary year, the Chapin Library has had all four of the Folios, as well as the important second issue of the Third, in its collections since its founding, thanks to the generosity of Alfred C. Chapin, Williams Class of 1869.

Also on view, in the Steven Schow ’81 Gallery (Sawyer 455), is a selection of late 18th-century prints from John Boydell’s famous Shakespeare Gallery portfolio, depicting scenes and characters from Shakespeare’s plays.

The exhibition galleries of the Chapin Library and Williams College Archives are open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – WGH