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Colour by Numbers: Contemporary Japanese prints in the Visual Arts Collection

Library Matters - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 09:00

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By Isabelle Chartier, Collections Administrator, Visual Arts Collection

Printmaking is, traditionally, a colourless medium: black ink transferred onto white paper. Adding colour to prints is a slow and laborious process, at odds with the very essence of this fast-paced, often mass-producible medium. Japanese printmaking, though, has long been a colourful undertaking. Early European prints, when coloured, were individually hand-painted. Japanese artists were instead producing vibrantly coloured prints using the more efficient woodblock technique as early as the Edo Period (1603-1868). This technique and tradition are still alive today.

The Visual Arts Collection has been enriched by two gifts from Dr. Joanne Jepson (M.D.C.M., 1959), one in 2013 and a second in December 2018. Both gifts include exquisitely coloured Japanese prints. Students now can learn about the history of Japanese printmaking from the Edo Period to the present day by studying examples from the Jepson collection. Far less familiar to Western audiences than earlier prints, contemporary Japanese prints demonstrate how a traditional process can be used today to make new and original images.

Fig. 1: Ray Morimura (Tokyo, 1948-), Shinobazu no Ike (2011), woodblock print, 58.2 x 41.6 cm (paper). Ed. 49/70. Promised gift of Dr. Joanne Jepson. Visual Arts Collection, McGill University Library.

Prints by Tokyo-based artist Morimura Rei (also known as Ray Morimura) are a highlight of the recent acquisition. Born in 1948, Morimura attended Tokyo Gakugei University. He began his career as an abstract painter, later turning to woodblock printmaking, which he now teaches at Tokyo Zokei University. Shinobazu no Ike from 2011 (Fig. 1), for example, depicts a famous pond in Tokyo, the subject of many traditional Japanese prints. Here, however, Morimura uses modern, geometrical patterns to represent natural and architectural elements. The intricate bundle of pale-to-dark green and soft pink water lilies creates depth, guiding the eye to the temple in the background, itself marked by a vivid orange-red.

To achieve such a seemingly effortless result, woodblock printers rely on a complex, precise process. A hand-drawn source image is relief-carved into a block of cherry wood. Chipping away at the negative space, the carver leaves raised every individual line forming the final image. Ink is rolled onto the carved block of wood, which is then pressed against a blank sheet of paper to produce the print. A single carved block can produce hundreds of impressions.

Add colour to the equation, though, and it gets more complicated. Each and every colour and shade in the final image is applied using a different block. The source image is first divided into sections by colour. Think of your childhood Paint by Numbers kit, only much more complicated. Each section of the divided image is then relief-carved on one of dozens or more blocks, depending on how many colours are in the image. Printing the image requires incredible precision, as every block must line up exactly to produce the final colour image.

How many individual colours and shades can we count in Shinobazu no Ike? How many blocks can we imagine were needed to create the final print? Once mastered, the practice becomes faster, especially if artists employ carvers and assistants. Morimura, though, works alone, usually producing prints in limited editions of only 60 or 70. In this way, his contemporary, colourful landscapes testify, above all, to the value of tradition.

Coloriage par numéros : Les estampes japonaises contemporaines de la Collection d’arts visuels

Par Isabelle Chartier, administratrice des collections, Collection d’arts visuels

La gravure classique est sans couleur : l’encre noire est imprimée sur le papier blanc. L’ajout de couleurs est un processus lent et laborieux, contraire à la nature même de ce médium rapide, souvent destiné à la production de masse. L’estampe japonaise cependant est depuis longtemps affaire de couleurs. Alors qu’en Europe, les premières gravures colorées étaient peintes à la main une par une, les artistes japonais recouraient dès la période Edo (1603-1868) à la technique de la gravure sur bois, plus efficace, pour produire des images aux couleurs vives. Ce procédé et la tradition qui l’anime sont encore en usage aujourd’hui.

La Collection d’arts visuels s’est enrichie de deux dons de la Dre Joanne Jepson (M.D.C.M., 1959), en 2013 et en décembre 2018. Dans les deux cas se trouvent des estampes japonaises aux couleurs exquises. Les étudiants peuvent maintenant s’instruire sur l’histoire de l’estampe japonaise, de la période Edo à nos jours, en examinant ces exemples tirés de la collection Jepson. Beaucoup moins bien connues des Occidentaux que les estampes japonaises anciennes, les œuvres contemporaines illustrent comment on peut créer des images nouvelles et originales en faisant appel à un procédé traditionnel.

Fig. 1. Ray Morimura (Tokyo, 1948-), Shinobazu no Ike (2011), gravure sur bois, 58,2 x 41,6 cm (papier), 49e de 70. Don promis par la Dre Joanne Jepson. Collection d’arts visuels, bibliothèque de l’Université McGill.

Les œuvres de l’artiste tokyote Morimura Rei (également connu sous le nom de Ray Morimura) sont une pièce maîtresse de cette récente acquisition. Né en 1948, Morimura a étudié à l’Université Gakugei des arts libéraux de Tokyo. Peintre abstrait en début de carrière, il se tourne ensuite vers la gravure sur bois, qu’il enseigne maintenant à l’Université Zokei de Tokyo. Réalisée en 2011, Shinobazu no Ike (fig. 1) reprend un thème familier de l’estampe japonaise classique, un étang bien connu de Tokyo. Toutefois, Morimura représente ici les éléments naturels et architecturaux par des formes géométriques modernes. L’étendue complexe de nénuphars au dégradé de verts ponctués de lotus rose pâle donne de la profondeur à l’image et dirige le regard vers le fond, sur un temple rehaussé de rouge orange vif.

Ce résultat apparemment sans effort repose pourtant sur un procédé complexe et précis. Après avoir dessiné à la main une image source sur un bloc de bois de cerisier, le graveur taille cette image en négatif suivant la technique de la taille d’épargne, qui consiste à ne garder que les lignes formant l’image finale en creusant tout autour. Au moyen d’un rouleau, il encre la surface du bloc, qu’il presse ensuite sur une feuille de papier pour obtenir une image. Il peut ainsi reproduire une image des centaines de fois à partir d’un même bloc.

Les choses se compliquent s’il faut ajouter des couleurs. Chacune des couleurs et des nuances doit être appliquée avec un bloc différent. L’image source est donc divisée en sections correspondant à chaque couleur. C’est un peu comme la peinture par numéros pour enfant, mais en beaucoup plus compliqué. Chaque section de l’image est ensuite gravée en négatif sur un bloc – il y a autant de blocs à graver que de couleurs sur l’image. À l’étape de l’impression, il faut placer chaque bloc avec une précision sans faille pour obtenir une image finale sans défaut.

Combien y a-t-il de couleurs et de nuances dans Shinobazu no Ike? Combien de blocs a-t-il fallu graver pour créer cette image? Une fois maîtrisé, le procédé prend moins de temps, surtout si l’artiste s’entoure de graveurs et d’assistants. Toutefois, Morimura travaille seul et ne fait généralement que des tirages limités à 60 ou 70 planches. C’est donc de la valeur de la tradition que ses paysages colorés contemporains témoignent par-dessus tout.

 

 

Content Warning: This Library Contains Colourful Language

Library Matters - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 08:59

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By Elis Ing, Liaison Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections

“Pray, Goody, please to moderate the rancour of your tongue” (Pray Goody, ca. 1820).

Colourful language makes many people uncomfortable. Profane, blasphemous or crude words are often censured and considered unacceptable. For others, the use of colourful language is a worthy exercise in free speech. Library shelves can make strange bedfellows indeed and so it is that, upon the shelves of Rare Books and Special Collections, defenders of colourful language sit alongside its detractors.

Title page of Lexicon Balatronicum, an updated edition of Grose’s A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Uncatalogued 2516.

In A Classical Glossary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), Francis Grose speaks of a patriotic duty to complete his work, “not to be found under arbitrary governments”. An 1811 edition of the Glossary claims that knowledge of obscure profanities enables “improper topics [to] be discussed, even before the ladies”, for “it is impossible that a female should understand the meaning of twiddle diddles”. Nor, presumably, would ladies be in-the-know when it comes to other turns of phrase featured in the book, including toad-eater, scapegrace, fartleberries, and buck fitch.

Closer to home, the F.R. Scott Collection includes a book with a veritable bouquet of colourful language. Scott (1899-1985) was a poet and McGill Dean of Law, who successfully defended D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, against charges of obscenity in the Supreme Court of Canada. The book, Le livre des sacres et blasphèmes québécois (1974), is a sociological examination of the sacres, obscenities unique to modern Quebec and born out of the widespread secularization associated with la Révolution tranquille. Here, one can learn the local art of transforming words once reserved for the Catholic Church (e.g. calice, sacrement, and tabernacle) into colourful phrases with entirely different connotations. On a nearby shelf is poet Robert Graves’ Lars Porsena : or the Future of Swearing (1927), which bemoans “non-alcoholic substitutes for the true wine of swearing”, such stand-ins including “ye little fishes!” and “…you irregular old Pentagon!”.

A scene from God’s love to wicked little Joseph (circa 1840). The title character, “indeed a very wicked boy”, develops a penchant for outbursts of colourful language. By page 16, the boy is dead, apparently smote for his wicked tongue. PN970 A4 G6 1832. Sheila R. Bourke Collection.

Chapbooks, pamphlets often containing moral tales, from the Children’s Literature Collection provide some very different viewpoints as well as an insight into society’s expectations for children. In Careless Words (circa 1860), we meet Nellie and Mabel, two girls who commit themselves to recording every “slanderous expression” that the other speaks. In the end, the two are horrified by their own transgressions: “Oh, Mabel, did I really say that?… why, how wicked it was!” In A Visit to Grandpapa (1857), we meet Joseph, who fails to heed grandpapa’s warning to block his ears when in the company of those using “bad words”. The consequences are severe, if not slightly convoluted. In the end, he has but a narrow escape from drowning during a badger hunt gone terribly wrong. All, the reader is told, is in consequence of Joseph’s failure to ignore those who swear.

In strong agreement is Edward Fowler, author of A Vindication of an Undertaking of Certain Gentlemen (1692), housed in the Redpath Tracts Collection. Fowler identifies profane language as an undesirable phenomenon, grouping it with drunkenness and uncleanness. Similarly, Sharping London ; or, The Stranger’s Safeguard to the Metropolis (1880) couches a glossary of colourful language between bits of advice on avoiding nefarious schemes such as the selling of sham “fancy dogs”, suggesting that profanity is an effective tool in detecting ne’er-do-wells. The author uses the word “vulgar” to describe both profanities and working-class vernacular in general, suggesting class-based perceptions of the time.

Colourful language is divisive and so it seems only right that a library should give a voice to both those engaging in it and those petitioning against it. Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, all of these works are freely available for consultation and sure to put a little bit of colour in your day.

Watt’s Songs Against Evil (ca. 1850), a chapbook containing catchy ditties aimed at reminding children of the consequences awaiting those who are “wicked”. PR3763 W2 W38 1850. Sheila R. Bourke Collection.

Avertissement : le langage contenu dans cette bibliothèque s’adresse à un public averti

Par Elis Ing, bibliothécaire de liaison, Livres rares et collections spécialisées

« Pray, Goody, please to moderate the rancour of your tongue » (Je t’en prie, Goody, adoucis l’âpreté de ta langue) (Pray Goody, v. 1820).

Les gros mots mettent bien des gens mal à l’aise. Les grossièretés, les mots vulgaires et les blasphèmes sont souvent censurés et jugés inacceptables. Pour d’autres, un langage très coloré est un nécessaire exercice de la liberté de parole. Il arrive donc que l’on trouve des livres diamétralement opposés sur un même rayon de bibliothèque, comme c’est le cas dans la section des Livres rares et collections spécialisées, où défenseurs et détracteurs de la langue « libérée » se côtoient.

Page titre du Lexicon Balatronicum, édition mise à jour du Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue de Grose. Non catalogué 2516.

Dans son ouvrage intitulé A Classical Glossary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), Francis Grose dit qu’il était de son devoir patriotique de terminer ce livre, « pour qu’il ne soit pas livré à l’arbitraire de gouvernements ». Dans l’édition de 1811 du Glossary, on peut lire que la connaissance d’obscures grossièretés permet « de discuter de sujets malséants, même en présence de la gent féminine », car « il est inconcevable qu’une femme comprenne le sens de twiddle diddles ». De même, il est improbable que ces dames comprennent d’autres expressions figurant dans ce livre, comme toad-eater, scapegrace, fartleberries et buck fitch.

Plus près de chez nous, dans la collection F.R. Scott, il se trouve un livre qui abrite un véritable florilège de gros mots. Poète et doyen de la faculté de droit à McGill, Scott (1899-1985) a défendu avec succès D.H. Lawrence, auteur du roman L’amant de Lady Chatterley, accusé d’obscénité, devant la Cour suprême du Canada. Le livre des sacres et blasphèmes québécois (1974) est un examen sociologique des sacres, qui sont des obscénités propres au Québec moderne, issus de la laïcisation générale qui a suivi la Révolution tranquille. Ce livre permet au profane de s’exercer à un art local, en transformant des mots autrefois réservés au clergé catholique (p. ex., calice, sacrement et tabernacle) en expressions colorées ayant une connotation complètement différente. Sur une autre étagère, l’ouvrage du poète Robert Graves, Lars Porsena: or the Future of Swearing (1927), déplore l’usage « d’ersarzt non alcoolisés en lieu et place d’invectives bien distillées », notamment celui d’euphémismes comme ye little fishes! et …you irregular old Pentagon!.

Une scène de God’s love to wicked little Joseph (v. 1840). Le personnage principal est « un très vilain garnement » qui se laisse emporter et dit des grossièretés. À la page 16, le garçon meurt, apparemment puni pour sa mauvaise langue. PN970 A4 G6 1832. Collection Sheila R. Bourke.

Tirés de la collection des Livres pour enfants, les livres de colportage sont des pamphlets renfermant souvent des contes moraux qui offrent des points de vue très différents, ainsi qu’un aperçu de ce que la société d’alors attendait des enfants. Dans Careless Words (vers 1860), deux fillettes, Nellie et Mabel, entreprennent de noter toutes les calomnies que chacune dit. À la fin, les deux sont horrifiées par leur propre inconduite : « Oh, Mabel, ai-je vraiment dit cela?… Voyons donc, mais c’est honteux! » Dans A Visit to Grandpapa (1857), Joseph n’écoute pas le conseil de son grand-père et ne se bouche pas les oreilles en présence de personnes qui disent des gros mots. Sa désobéissance a des conséquences graves, pour ne pas dire tortueuses. À la fin, il échappe de justesse à la noyade au cours d’une chasse au blaireau qui tourne au désastre. Le lecteur est averti que Joseph aurait pu s’épargner tous ces malheurs s’il avait fui les personnes qui disent des grossièretés.

C’est un avis partagé par Edward Fowler, auteur de A Vindication of an Undertaking of Certain Gentlemen (1692), de la collection de pamphlets Redpath. Selon lui, le langage blasphématoire est répréhensible, au même titre que l’ivrognerie et le manque d’hygiène. De même, Sharping London; or, The Stranger’s Safeguard to the Metropolis (1880) présente un glossaire de gros mots, émaillé de conseils sur la façon d’éviter des magouilleurs comme les vendeurs de faux « chiens de fantaisie », qui laissent penser que l’on peut reconnaître un vaurien à son langage grossier. L’emploi du mot « vulgaire » par l’auteur pour décrire tant les obscénités que la langue vernaculaire parlée par la classe ouvrière est révélateur de la perception des classes sociales qui avait cours à cette époque.

Le langage coloré divise les opinions, et c’est pourquoi il paraît juste que l’on donne la parole tant à ceux qui le défendent qu’à ceux qui le condamnent. Quelle que soit votre opinion à ce sujet, vous pourrez consulter tous ces ouvrages à la bibliothèque; gageons qu’ils mettront un peu de piment dans votre vie.

Watt’s Songs Against Evil (v. 1850), livret de comptines accrocheuses visant à rappeler aux enfants les conséquences auxquelles s’exposent les vilains garnements. PR3763 W2 W38 1850. Collection Sheila R. Bourke.

 

The Colourful Journey of George Mercer Dawson

Library Matters - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 08:41

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By Frédéric Giuliano, Archivist, McGill University Archives

“The times were rife with great men making great strides, but in truth, I felt like one of those frogs in my adolescent poem, most certainly the younger, lifted from his own comfortable pond into one so much larger, where the bullfrogs reigned, massive and sure of their place on the largest pad. I knew mental fear, but swore too that when I came back again to Montreal I would be taller in mind, as tall as any other man of science.”  – George Mercer Dawson, 1869 [1]

Cabinet card of George Mercer Dawson, 1885
Photographer: William James Topley
McGill University Archives
Frank Dawson Adams fonds (MG 1014)
PR029133

These are the words of the young, 4 foot – 8 inch, George Mercer Dawson when mounting the ramp of the ship that was to carry him to the Royal School of Mines in London. It was 1869, and London was the centre of the world. After three years in London, George would come back to Montreal and prepare for his work at the North American Boundary Commission (1872-1874). He was responsible for surveying territory that had been a subject of many disputes since the Treaty of Paris of 1783 – the border between the province of Manitoba and the state of Minnesota that passes through the Lake of the Woods. That delicate work would establish his reputation as a highly respected geologist and surveyor.

From there, Dawson would go on to make one of the most epic exploratory journeys in Canadian history. Dawson is known to be the first educated man to explore and map the Yukon. Dawson City is named in his honour. Although he was primarily interested in what was beneath his feet, extensive correspondence shows that he captured the interest of those he interacted with as well. He was given the name Skookum Tumtum, “brave cheery man”, by the Cree Indians, a First Nations community he met while studying the Lake of the Woods region.[2] Letters, journals and other items in McGill’s Dawson-Harrington family fonds note his courage and boundless enthusiasm despite his physical weakness and illness. At the age of 11, Dawson was afflicted by tuberculosis of the spine resulting in a deformed back and stunted growth.

Lake Erie ship. George Mercer Dawson. 1869. McGill University Archives, Dawson-Harrington family fonds.

After all his travels, this ship, Lake Erie, remained of great importance to George, as numerous sketches of it illustrate.  This particular illustration shows the ship jostled by the waves when a storm engulfed Dawson’s crew for three days while passing the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. If George were still alive today, would he see this sketch and his other drawings as a symbols of his colourful journey? Of course, we will never have this answer, but it is certainly what comes to mind when scrolling through the slideshow below featuring the vivid work he left for us to uncover.

[1] Phil Jenkins, Beneath my feet: the memoirs of George Mercer Dawson., Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. 2007, p.36.

[2] Joyce C. Barkhouse, George Dawson the little giant. Toronto/Vancouver: Clarke, Irwin&Company Limited. 1974, p. 74-87

  • Kootenay Pass, British Columbia. George Mercer Dawson. 1882? McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
  • Baie des Chaleurs. New Castle, New Brunswick. George Mercer Dawson. August 1872. McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
  • Bad Lands Hills, 70 miles below Musselshell. George Mercer Dawson. 27 May 1881. McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
  • West Canadian landscape? / Paysage de l'Ouest canadien? George Mercer Dawson. 1874-1884? McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
  • West Canadian landscape / Paysage de l'Ouest canadien. Narrows 4 metres below Knife Bay. George Mercer Dawson. 1881. McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
  • Koprino Harbour, British Columbia. George Mercer Dawson. 23 August 1885. McGill University Archives. Dawson-Harrington families fonds.
Le parcours haut en couleurs de George Mercer Dawson

Par Frédéric Giuliano, archiviste, Archives de l’Université McGill

« C’était une époque foisonnante, où de grands hommes réalisaient de grands projets, mais en vérité, j’avais l’impression d’être une des grenouilles du poème de mon adolescence, très certainement la plus jeune d’entre elles, arrachée à son étang rassurant et jetée dans un autre beaucoup plus grand où régnaient les ouaouarons, énormes et persuadés de leur droit de cité. La peur a habité mon esprit, mais me suis juré que je reviendrais à Montréal grandi mentalement, aussi grand que n’importe quel autre homme de science. »  – George Mercer Dawson, 1869 [1]

Photographie de format cabinet de George Mercer Dawson, 1885
Photographe : William James Topley
Archives de l’Université McGill
Fonds Frank Dawson Adams (MG 1014)
PR029133

Ainsi parlait le jeune George Mercer Dawson du haut de ses 4 pieds 8 pouces (1,42 m), en s’embarquant sur le navire qui allait l’emmener à la Royal School of Mines à Londres. C’était en 1869, et Londres était le centre du monde. De retour à Montréal après trois années passées dans la capitale anglaise, George s’est préparé à travailler pour la Commission des frontières de l’Amérique du Nord (1872-1874), qui l’avait chargé de faire le relevé d’un territoire maintes fois disputé depuis la signature du Traité de Paris en 1783 – la frontière qui sépare le Manitoba du Minnesota en traversant le Lac des Bois. Ce délicat relevé fit de lui un géologue et un arpenteur-géomètre très respecté.

Dawson entreprit ensuite un des voyages d’exploration les plus épiques de l’histoire du Canada. Il est connu pour être le premier homme instruit à avoir exploré et cartographié le Yukon, et c’est en son honneur que la ville de Dawson porte son nom. George Dawson s’intéressait surtout à ce qui se trouvait sous ses pieds, mais son abondante correspondance indique qu’il suscitait également l’intérêt de ceux qu’il rencontrait. Ainsi, pendant son séjour dans la région du Lac des Bois, les membres d’une Première Nation, les Cris, l’ont rebaptisé Skookum Tumtum (« homme brave et joyeux »)[2]. Les lettres, journaux et autres articles conservés à McGill dans le fonds de la famille Dawson-Harrington témoignent de son courage et de son enthousiasme débordant malgré une santé fragile. Dawson souffrait d’une malformation au dos, séquelle d’une tuberculose de l’épine dorsale contractée à l’âge de 11 ans, qui avait freiné sa croissance.

Navire Lake Erie. George Mercer Dawson. 1869. Archives de l’Université McGill. Fonds Frank Dawson Adams.

Au terme de ses expéditions, George a gardé un souvenir affectueux du navire Lake Erie, dont il a fait de nombreux croquis. Sur cette illustration, les vagues secouent le bateau pris dans un orage pendant trois jours dans le golfe du Saint-Laurent. Si George était encore parmi nous, dirait-il que ses œuvres symbolisent sa vie haute en couleurs? Nous ne le saurons jamais. Par contre, en regardant le montage saisissant ci-dessus, c’est difficile d’imaginer autrement.

[1] Phil Jenkins, Beneath my feet: the memoirs of George Mercer Dawson., Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. 2007, p. 36.

[2] Joyce C. Barkhouse, George Dawson the little giant. Toronto/Vancouver: Clarke, Irwin&Company Limited. 1974, p. 74-87.

Jacques Fabien Gautier’s colourful life in printmaking

Library Matters - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 08:40

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By Mary Yearl, Head Librarian, Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Gautier Dagoty, & Du Verney, M. Essai d’anatomie, en tableaux imprimé, qui représentent au naturel tous les muscles de la face, du col, de la tête, de la langue et du larinx; d’après les parties disséquées et préparées, par Duverney, comprenent huit grandes planches, dessinées, peintes, gravées et imprimées en couleur et grandeur naturelles, par Gautier, avec des tables qui expliquent les planches. Paris, 1745.

Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1716-1785) was a man whose life was full of colour. Today he is best known for the spectacular works he created using four-plate colour printing in mezzotint. During his lifetime, he was just as well known for the many disputes he engaged in, with characters living and dead. He dismissed his first master’s ideas about colour, attacked the Comte de Buffon, and sparred with journalists in Trévoux about the quality of a restoration job.[1] In his vivid Observations sur l’histoire naturelle (1752), Gautier presented a diagram to “totally destroy the Newtonian system.”

In 1738, Gautier joined the Paris workshop of printer Jakob Christof Le Blon (1667-1741).[2] Gautier remained with Le Blon for only a few weeks before leaving due to a dispute about pay and status. Though they disagreed about the underlying principles that made colour printing work, their techniques were similar. Le Blon thought it was theoretically possible to print using three colours, yet he and Gautier are both known to have printed using four plates (black, blue, red, yellow) on white paper.[3]

Gautier set himself apart from other colour printers by moving away from the replication of oil paintings. He is most famous for his vivid if peculiar anatomical drawings, but he also created vibrant illustrations of animals. He recognized an opportunity in the blossoming scientific world, wherein large-format engraved illustrations gained popularity as surrogates for times one could not study the natural world first hand. He later moved beyond the biological world to explore earthquakes and cartography.[4]

In her poem “Gautier D’Agoty’s Écorchés,” Leslie Adrienne Miller described Gautier’s anatomical images as having been thought “too gorgeous to be accurate.”[5] One expects that Gautier himself would have taken exception to this characterization. One point on which he would undoubtedly agree is that the many Gautier works within the Osler Library are stunning, thought-provoking, and worth investigating in person.

[1] Élisabeth Lavezzi, “Peinture et savoirs scientifiques: le cas des Observations sur la peinture (1753) de Jacques Gautier D’Agoty,” Dix-Huitième Siècle, 31 (1999), 233-247.

[2] While only tangentially related to the above story, there is an unexpected link between Jakob Christof Le Blon and a different work that lives in the Osler Library. Le Blon had written that he was working on a series of colour anatomical plates. These never materialized and historian Andrew Cunningham has speculated that this was because of the involvement of Le Bron’s collaborator, Nathaniel St. André, in the case of Mary Toft. St. André was called upon by King George I, to whom he was physician, to investigate the case of Mary Toft, who had claimed to have given birth to rabbits. St. André verified Toft’s story and his credibility as a physician was undermined when her story was shown to be false. Several accounts of the Mary Toft case are collected in a bound volume that the Osler Library recently had digitized (see the book here). On the connection between Toft and Le Blon, see: Andrew Cunningham, The Anatomist Anatomis’d (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2010), 277.

[3] D.R.R. and Dale Roylance, “The eighteenth-century: search for tone,” Yale Art Gallery Bulletin 27/28 (October 1962), 28-29.

[4] See Cartes en couleur. Des lieux, sujets aux tremblements de terre dans toutes les parties du monde (1756)

[5] From a line in the poem by Leslie Adrienne Miller, “Gautier D’Agoty’s Écorchés,”Prairie Schooner 79,2 (Summer 2005): 30-31.

  • Turtle/Tortue. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Fish/Poisson. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Snails/Escargots. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Frogs/Grenouilles. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Bird/Oiseau. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Foetus. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
Jacques Fabien Gautier, ou la vie colorée d’un graveur

Par Mary Yearl, Bibliothécaire en chef, Bibliothèque Osler d’histoire de la médecin

Gautier Dagoty, & Du Verney, M. Essai d’anatomie, en tableaux imprimé, qui représentent au naturel tous les muscles de la face, du col, de la tête, de la langue et du larinx; d’après les parties disséquées et préparées, par Duverney, comprenent huit grandes planches, dessinées, peintes, gravées et imprimées en couleur et grandeur naturelles, par Gautier, avec des tables qui expliquent les planches. Paris, 1745.

Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1716-1785) a mené une vie haute en couleurs. Il est mieux connu aujourd’hui pour ses spectaculaires gravures en couleurs, réalisées suivant le procédé de la matière noire (mezzotinte) à quatre plaques. Il était également reconnu à son époque pour les nombreuses disputes qu’il a eues, tant avec les vivants que les morts. En effet, il rejeta les idées de son premier maître à propos de la couleur, attaqua le Comte de Buffon et se querella avec des journalistes, à Trévoux, au sujet de la qualité d’un travail de restauration[1]. En outre, Gauthier se démena à « détrui[re] totalement le sur un schéma paru dans son ouvrage saisissant, Observations sur l’histoire naturelle (1752).

En 1738, Gautier entre à l’atelier parisien du graveur Jakob Christof Le Blon (1667-1741)[2], mais n’y restera que quelques semaines, le temps de se disputer au sujet de son salaire et de son statut. S’ils ne s’entendent pas sur les principes concernant l’impression en couleurs, Gauthier et Le Blon appliquent néanmoins des techniques semblables. Le Blon pensait qu’il était possible en théorie d’imprimer en couleurs à trois plaques, mais lui et Gautier sont tous deux réputés pour avoir fait des impressions à quatre plaques (noir, bleu, rouge, jaune) sur papier blanc[3].

Gautier s’est démarqué d’autres graveurs qui imprimaient en couleurs en délaissant la reproduction d’huiles sur toile. S’il est plus célèbre pour ses planches anatomiques impressionnantes et pour le moins singulières, il est également l’auteur d’illustrations animalières d’une étonnante vitalité. Alors que le monde scientifique prenait son essor, il a reconnu le potentiel de la gravure grand format, qui gagnait en popularité comme substitut quand l’étude en direct du monde naturel n’était pas possible. Il a plus tard abandonné l’illustration du vivant pour s’intéresser à la séismologie et à la cartographie[4].

Dans son poème « Les écorchés de Gautier D’Agoty », Leslie Adrienne Miller dit des planches anatomiques de Gauthier qu’elles sont trop splendides pour être fidèles[5]. Gautier lui-même aurait probablement réprouvé une telle caractérisation de son œuvre. En revanche, il aurait sûrement concédé que ses nombreuses œuvres conservées à la bibliothèque Osler sont remarquables et inspirantes, et qu’elles valent le déplacement.

  • Turtle/Tortue. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Fish/Poisson. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Snails/Escargots. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Frogs/Grenouilles. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Bird/Oiseau. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.
  • Foetus. Gautier Dagoty. Observations sur l'histoire naturelle, sur la physique et sur la peinture : avec des planches imprimées en couleur : cet ouvrage renferme les secrets des arts, les nouvelles découvertes, & les disputes des philosophes & des artistes modernes. Paris, 1752.

[1] Élisabeth Lavezzi « Peinture et savoirs scientifiques. Le cas des Observations sur la peinture (1753) de Jacques Gautier D’Agoty », Dix-Huitième Siècle, 31 (1999);233-247.

[2] Mentionnons par ailleurs l’existence d’une relation inattendue entre Jakob Christof Le Blon et une autre œuvre conservée à la librairie Osler. Le Blon avait écrit qu’il travaillait à une série de planches anatomiques en couleurs. Or, ces planches n’ont jamais vu le jour et, selon l’historien Andrew Cunningham, l’implication du collaborateur de Le Bron, Nathaniel Saint-André, dans l’affaire Mary Toft y serait pour quelque chose. Saint-André avait été appelé auprès du roi George I, dont il était le médecin attitré, pour examiner le cas de Mary Toft, qui affirmait avoir donné naissance à des lapins. Saint-André confirma les dires de Mary Toft, et sa crédibilité en tant que médecin fut entamée quand l’histoire se révéla être un canular. On peut trouver plusieurs comptes rendus de l’affaire Mary Toft dans un volume relié, récemment numérisé à la bibliothèque Osler (pour voir ce livre, cliquer ici). Pour en savoir plus sur le lien entre Toft et Le Blon : Andrew Cunningham, The Anatomist Anatomis’d (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2010), 277.

[3] D.R.R. et Dale Roylance, « The Eighteenth Century: Search for Tone », Yale Art Gallery Bulletin 27/28 (Octobre 1962), 28-29.

[4] Voir Cartes en couleur. Des lieux, sujets aux tremblements de terre dans toutes les parties du monde (1756)

[5] From a line in the poem by Leslie Adrienne Miller, “Gautier D’Agoty’s Écorchés,”Prairie Schooner 79,2 (Summer 2005): 30-31.

Hazine blog

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 18:00

Hazine is a guide to finding information and resources for research purposes about Middle East and the Islamic world at large.

“In the Ottoman Empire, the hazine was the treasury, a storehouse in which courtiers found books to read, scribes deposited documents, and clerks stowed away precious objects that arrived from around the empire.”

Hazine as a storehouse of information, provides information about research resources, research centers, archives and libraries from all around the world for scholars who are researching the Middle East and the Islamic countries. Taking into consideration the numerous archives, libraries, research centers and publications, which are spread out all across the globe, it may not be easy for researchers knowing where to start their research. Therefore, Hazine hopes “researchers will use HAZİNE to acquaint themselves with these collections, large and small, and jump directly into the research.”

Hazine at the moment highlightes more resources and centres containing materials and information resources about Ottoman Empire, for example The National Archives of Japan was introduced as a valuable resource for scholars interested in Japan’s relationships with and growing interest in the Middle East and Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Detail of the Ottoman Ahdname of 1050/1641 (n. 1470, Miscellenea documenti turchi).

Moreover, it lists online archives like: The Venetian State Archives, that made available an important collection of Ottoman documents; Tahrir Documents which is a collection of pamphlets, newsletters, signs, poems, and other texts gathered in and around Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, between March 2011 and May 2012; the last mentioned online archive is Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran, a digital archive of materials related to the social and cultural history of Iran during the Qajar period.

Two women in European dress from the Olga Davidson Collection

 

Furthermore, this guide provides a list of related archives and libraries according to their geographical location, that can be accessed here Archives and Libraries.

 

 

 

Hazine can be find on social media via : Twitter Facebook

Can You Spot It?: Solving Visual Puzzles with Timeless Riddles

Library Matters - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:06

By Leehu Sigler

“Too many riddles weigh men down on earth. We must solve as we can, and try to keep a dry skin in the water.”[1]

― The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Timeless Riddles is back with some more puzzling problems! Were you able to solve the riddles from last time? The answer to the Enigma is ‘Heart’. The answer to the Charade is ‘Fortune’ (because ‘for’ is a preposition, ‘tune’ is a composition and ‘fortune’ is an acquisition!).

On today’s menu is a different kind of riddle: The spectacular Rebus! The Rebus is a visual puzzle. In order to solve it, you need to decode both words and images.

Here’s a classic Rebus from one of Lewis Carroll’s letters:

The Chestnuts

My dear Ina,

Though I don’t give

birthday presents, still I

may write a birthday letter.

I came to your door to

wish you many happy returns

of the day, but the cat met

me, and took me for a mouse,

and hunted me up and down

till I could hardly stand.

However somehow I got

into the house, and there

a mouse met me, and took me

for a cat, and pelted me…[2]

See how the letter is comprised of both words and pictures?

Some Rebuses emphasize the visual arrangement of their words to hint at their answer:

 

I have to               paid because work                    I am[3]

 

Looks funny, right? That’s because the way the sentence is presented contributes to its meaning!

The answer is: “I have to overwork because I am underpaid”.

“I have to” is literally over the word “work”, and “I am” is literally under the word “paid”.

While the idea of the Rebus originated over five thousand years ago, it gained popularity in England throughout the seventeenth century, especially as heraldic seals[4].

Even the celebrated William Shakespeare is not above such pun-tastic riddles! His very own coat of arms is a Rebus of his name – ‘Shake-Speare[5]:

Rebuses can come in many different shapes and forms. How about you try this one for yourselves?

Three-fourths of a cross and a circle complete,

Two semicircles and a perpendicular meet,

A triangle standing on two feet;

Two semicircles and a circle complete.

Don’t forget that the visual aspect is key! Tune in text time for the solution and more tongue-tying Timeless Riddles!

Like us on Facebook @timelessriddles, follow us on Twitter @Time1essRiddles, or shoot us an email at timelessriddles@gmail.com to solve riddles, ask questions, or just to stay involved!

Don’t forget to follow @McGillLib, @McGill_ROAAr, and @CookeNathalie on Twitter as well, without which this project would not be possible.

Keep calm and riddle on!

[1] Pg. 114, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (Project Gutenberg 2009) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28054/28054-h/28054-h.html

[2] “Part of a letter from Carroll at ‘The Chestnuts.’” Pg. 57, John Fisher, The Magic of Lewis Carroll (Simon and Schuster, 1973)

[3] Pg. 85, Tony Augarde, The Oxford Guide to Word Games (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984)

[4] Pg. 85-6, Tony Augarde, The Oxford Guide to Word Games (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984)

[5] Tomasz Steifer, Gdansk, 2008 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shakespeare1COA.png

Afghanistan Digital Library – دافغانستان ديجيتال كتابتون

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 12:04

Afghanistan Digital Library is an open access Library for Afghan publications from the period 1871–1930. The project’s long-term objective is to collect, catalogue, digitize and provide access to the first sixty years of Afghanistan’s published cultural heritage.

“Afghanistan’s legacy of publishing is in clear danger of disappearing. The earliest publications appearing in Afghanistan are extremely rare and, judging by their absence from library collections around the world, are to be found now almost exclusively in private collections, where public access is limited or non-existent. Decades of war in Afghanistan have further dispersed and destroyed holdings of books within the country itself.”

Phase 1 of the project started in 2005 and has drawn materials from the collections of several private collectors as well as from the holdings of New York University Library and the British Library. One year later, phase 2 of the project began. It has trained a staff at the National Archives in Kabul in conservation and digitization and has engaged in the cataloging and digitization of materials held in various public and private collections inside Afghanistan.

When Searching the Afghanistan Digital Library catalogue, it is good to know that the Search feature  is still in a pilot phase and they are working to optimize searching for the transliterated text on the site. If your search retrieved no results, browsing the collection is a better option to view what is available.

So far the library include Books, Documents and Newspapers, but eventually will include all published serials, pamphlets, and manuals.

The Afghanistan Digital Library is a project of New York University Libraries with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Reed Foundation, and the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.

The images available on this website may be freely reproduced, distributed and transmitted by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, unless otherwise indicated.

McGill @Expo 67

Library Matters - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 12:24

 

Fifty-two years ago this month, Expo 67 – the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, opened its doors to the public. Expo was situated on three islands in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River, in view of downtown Montreal. More than 50 Million people visited the site over six months to view the technological, scientific, and artistic achievements, as well as cuisine, of more than 60 nations.

The McGill Library Expo 67 Collection was formed in the years following the fair by McGill Library staff and subsequent donations. It includes ephemera, photographs, realia, published material, official documents, and architectural plans. We continue to collect Expo and related material, with recent acquisitions including the Jean Drapeau Archive and an architectural model of the Expo 67 Air Canada Pavilion.

Books and ephemera: The Expo 67 collection consists of ephemera such as license plates, visitor passports, postcards, a record, letter opener, bottle caps, ticket stubs, shopping bags, pins, souvenirs etc. There are also guidebooks, magazines, catalogues, posters, books, information manuals, and other written material including clippings and several unpublished documents. Included in this collection are pamphlets and brochures for numerous pavilions, events, services, and countries as well as a variety of maps regarding Expo 67 and subsequent seasons of the Man and His World exhibition.

Photographs: The Expo 67 Slide Collection archives almost 500 images capturing the buildings and surrounding area of the Expo ’67 site. The original photographs (slides) were taken by Meredith Dixon at the 1967 World Exhibition that took place in Montreal, Quebec on April 28th through October 29th.

Architectural archives: The John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection holds the archives of Moshe Safdie, Sigrun Bülow-Hübe, Norbert Schoenauer, John Schreiber, Joseph Baker, Harry Stilman, and John Bland, all of whom worked on projects at Expo 67.

For more information or to view items in the collection, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections.

 

Fiat Lux building project ramps up

Library Matters - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:15

The Fiat Lux building project is ramping up! Over several months beginning in early 2019, the building project team and working committees have been meeting to plan the next stage of the project. With the help of brightspot strategy, the Library’s master plan is being revised to reflect current realities.

brightspot wants to hear from you! They will be holding two open house style events – one on April 17 for students and the second on May 10 for Library staff and McGill faculty members. Representatives from brightspot will be on site to ask people what kind of future spaces & services the Library needs to be successful. Themes to be explored include: 1) Learning; 2) Research; 3) Technology; 4) Innovation; 5) Health and Wellness; 6) Sustainability; 7) Community. Bring your own mug for coffee!

In the meantime, we’ve updated our Library Fun Facts infographic from 2014 to give you a visual overview of our collections, services, and spaces. Enjoy McGill Library By The Numbers!

 

Census Day 2018 report: McGill Library received 15,117 visits during a 24-hour period

Library Matters - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 16:44

On Monday, November 19th, 2018, Library and security staff asked individuals entering Library spaces to scan their McGill ID cards. Those without a McGill ID card were asked to choose their status on a paper form, e.g., undergraduate student, member of the general public, etc.

The objective was to collect information about who uses McGill Library branches during a 24-hour period for the purpose of helping to inform decisions about improvements to Library services and spaces.

Census Day began at the start of Library services on Monday, November 19th, 2018 (8:00/9:00am depending on the branch) to the end of opening hours, which was the morning after for some branches (at 8:00/9:00am).

Individuals were asked to have their McGill ID cards scanned or complete a paper form at the entrances of the:

1) Birks Reading Room,
2) Humanities & Social Sciences Library (HSSL),
3) Islamic Studies Library,
4) Macdonald Campus Library,
5) Marvin Duchow Music Library,
6) Nahum Gelber Law Library, and
7) Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering.

90% of visitors had their McGill ID cards scanned and 10% completed paper forms.

Key Findings:

McGill Library received a total of 15,117 visits system-wide, of which approximately 67% of visits were from unique visitors.

There was a 3:1 ratio of total visits to available seats across all branches.

14,175 visits were from McGill students, which is 35% of the Fall 2018 student enrollment at McGill for all degrees.

McGill students were the predominant user group.

Visits by other user groups were from members of the external community (4%), McGill faculty & staff (1%), and unidentified individuals (1%).

Student library visits (including repeat visitors) surpassed 35% of enrollment for all degrees in six McGill faculties.

Students in each faculty visited different libraries, from 5-7 branches. In addition, each branch library was visited by students from five to all twelve faculties on that day.

Among repeat visitors on Census Day, 738 students visited 2 branches each. The top 5 combinations (listed alphabetically within each pair) were:

#1 HSSL – Schulich Library (491 students)
#2 HSSL – Law Library (65 students)
#3 HSSL – Islamic Studies Library (56 students)
#4 HSSL – Music Library (49 students)
#5 Music Library – Schulich Library (25 students)

The breakdown of received visits by branch is as follows:

Thank you to all those who participated in Census Day.

As the Assessment Librarian, I am constantly collecting information about the Library and am always interested in what others have to say about our services and spaces. Feel free to share with me your favourite study or working spot in the Library by voting below.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Some Rhyme, Some Chime: Practicing Enigmas and Charades with Timeless Riddles

Library Matters - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 13:15

By Leehu Sigler

Timeless Riddles is a ROAAr project dedicated to transcribing, solving, and researching riddles found in early manuscripts! Help us solve them all!

“It is one thing…to have very good sense in a common way, like every body else, and if there is any thing to say, to sit down and write a letter, and say just what you must, in a short way; and another, to write verses and charades like this.”[1] – Emma, Jane Austen

On today’s menu are the baffling Enigma and the scrumptious Charade – both kinds of Riddle.

An Enigma, as its name implies, is a slightly more complicated Riddle.

Enigmas are riddles – but in poetry form! Check this one out:

Learning has bred me – Yet I know not a letter

I have liv’d among books – Yet am never the better

I have eaten up the muses – Yet know not a Verse

What student is this – I pray you rehearse.

See how it rhymes? That’s what makes it an Enigma! The answer to this one is ‘worm’.

Another type of riddle we have at Timeless Riddles is the Charade. Charades are similar to the game of charades we play today. In fact, the modern game evolved from the written version[2].

This type of riddle first breaks the solution into parts, the last clue hints at the whole word, which includes the first answers combined. Here’s an example:

My first is equality (match)

My second inferiority (less)

My whole superiority (matchless)

 

Two more Charades for practice:

I cut my first with my

second and put my

whole in my pocket.

 

The answer to the first Charade is ‘penknife’. You cut your ‘pen’ (first syllable) with your ‘knife’ (second syllable), and can put the ‘penknife’ (whole word) in your pocket!

My first quite uncivil is often

times reckon’d,

a name for each creature

on earth is my second,

my whole when united so

odd will appear

the coward will fight me,

the hero will fear.

The answer to the second is ‘nothing’. ‘No’ (first syllable) is considered uncivil, a name for each creature is ‘thing’ (second syllable), and the coward will fight ‘nothing’, just as the hero will fear ‘nothing’ (whole word)!

Did you get them both? Now that you have all gotten the hang of it, try these on your own:

 

One Enigma:

A Riddle of riddles, it dances & skips

It is seen thro’ the eyes tho’ it cheats by the Lips.

It never is seen, but often is read

It is sometimes a feather, & sometimes ‘tis Lead.

If it meets with its Fellow – its happily caught

But if money can buy it-its not worth a groat.

 

And one Charade:

My first is a Preposition,

My second is a Composition

My Whole – is an acquisition.

 

Can you solve them? Tune in next time for the answers and more Timeless Riddles!

Check us out on Facebook @timelessriddles, follow us on Twitter @Time1essRiddles, or shoot us an email at timelessriddles@gmail.com to solve riddles, ask questions, or just to stay involved!

Don’t forget to follow @McGillLib, @McGill_ROAAr, and @CookeNathalie on Twitter as well, without which this project would not be possible.

Keep calm and riddle on!

[1] Jane Austen, Emma (Project Gutenberg, 2010) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/158/158-h/158-h.htm

[2] Pg. 24 Tony Augarde, The Oxford Guide to Word Games. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984)

A new acquisition!! Eastlaws, an Arabic legal database

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 03/30/2019 - 15:02

Founded in 1995 in Alexandria, Egypt, Eastlaws network specializes in the production of Arab legal programs as well as on the automation of prosecutions, courts, law firms, and legal departments. As such, the network collects, indexes, and makes available legal documents originating from professional associations, administrative units at all levels of Arab judiciary Institutions, Faculties of Law and legal Research Institutes, legal Departments of private Companies, and international Organizations. Eastlaws database includes a wide variety of legal sources such as court rulings, legislations, fatwas, Islamic judicature, etc.

The Islamic Studies Library and the Nahum Gelber Law Library recently subscribed to a number of modules from Eastlaws providing the McGill community with access to original legal sources from the Arab World. The list of modules available to us is as follow:

  • Legislative Database for 18 countries (Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, KSA, Oman, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Algeria and Lebanon)
  • Rulings Database  for 18 countries (Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, KSA, Oman, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Algeria and Lebanon)
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International and Arab Treaties and Conventions
  • Administration fo Fatwa
  • Islamic Judicature
  • Legal Terminology
  • Legal Dictionary.

It is important to note that all documents in Eastlaws are in Arabic. A very basic translation into English and French can be generated by Google Translate, embedded within the database. The interface of the database itself is also in Arabic, and partially available in English (some menus and options are not translated).

To access Eastlaws database, there are a number of options:

  • The McGill library catalogue

  • The Database A-Z list from the Library main page

  • The Islamic sources subject guide

Révolution! Le mouvement McGill français a maintenant 50 ans

Library Matters - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 09:49
  • Le professeur Stanley Gray en 1969. McGill University Archives, PR011313
  • Un jeune homme blessé, la tête qui saigne, soutenu par deux amis, quitte le campus après une manifestation lors du mouvement McGill français. McGill University Archives, PR045509
  • Un groupe d'au moins 25 policiers anti-émeute garde les portes Roddick durant la manifestation du 28 mars 1969. McGill University Archives, PR045397
  • Protestants durant le mouvement McGill fran]ais. McGill University Archives, PR041982.3
  • Police patrouillant le campus en 1969. McGill University Archives, PR041982.2
  • Le campus entouré par les manifestants. McGill University Archives, PR041982.1
  • Escouade anti-émeute de la police de Montréal défendant le campus lors de la manifestation du 28 mars 1969. McGill University Archives, PR000413

 

McGill français!  McGill au peuple!  Ces slogans sont lancés en force d’une foule imposante de manifestants. Partis du carré Saint-Louis, les quelque 10 000 manifestants se heurtent à un barrage tout aussi imposant de près de 500 policiers et agents de sécurité. Retour sur un événement qui a aujourd’hui 50 ans.

 

Qu’est-ce que McGill français?

L’opération McGill qui sera plus tard rebaptisée McGill français est un mouvement de protestation d’inspiration socialiste et nationaliste instigué par plusieurs organisations québécoises. Ce front commun regroupe des associations étudiantes, des organisations ouvrières et des groupes nationalistes. Le point central du conflit est la place du français à l’Université McGill (institution anglophone) et dans une plus large mesure, le rôle qu’elle doit jouer dans une société québécoise en pleine ébullition.

La manifestation du 28 mars 1969 est le point culminant de plusieurs semaines de tensions entre l’université McGill et Stanley Gray,  véritable catalyseur du mouvement. Gray qui est professeur de français à l’Université McGill veut que l’université s’ouvre à la société québécoise et que le français y occupe une place centrale. C’est dans cette optique qu’il fondera la SDU (Students for a democratic University) en novembre 1967. La SDU et Gray exerceront des pressions sur la direction de l’Université en interrompant des sessions du Sénat et du Board of Governors . À l’interne, le département de français de McGill ainsi que le journal étudiant le McGill Daily sont en faveur des changements proposés par Gray. Cette lutte intestine fera boule de neige, McGill étant perçue par une majorité de la population francophone comme un bastion de l’élite anglo-saxonne  au Québec, une institution qui demeure insensible au fait français. La lutte entre Gray et l’Université n’était donc plus une crise isolée, mais représentait la cristallisation des luttes populaires et identitaires de l’époque. Gray sera démis de ses fonctions de professeur au courant de l’année 1969.

Ce face-à-face est révélateur des profonds changements sociaux qui s’opèrent dans la société québécoise. La marche du 28 mars 1969 est la plus grande manifestation d’après-guerre au Québec. Elle est composée notamment du Mouvement pour l’intégration scolaire de Saint-Léonard, du Conseil central de Montréal, de la SDU (fondée par Stanley Gray) et de milliers de jeunes étudiants. Bizarrement, c’est un moment qui demeure largement méconnu de l’histoire de la Révolution tranquille.

Quelles sont les revendications?

Les revendications sont nombreuses et diverses étant donné l’hétérogénéité des groupes présents. Néanmoins, on peut distinguer certaines tendances en se basant sur les revendications des organisateurs de la manifestation du 28 mars 1969. Selon eux, le coeur du problème réside dans le constat suivant: Pourquoi l’État québécois devrait-il accorder 30% des subventions dédiées aux universités québécoises à une université anglophone alors que la population non francophone s’élève seulement à 17% ?

«C’est la majorité française qui paie pour McGill, à même ses impôts»,

Stanley Gray, McGill: option anti-Québec, Bienvenue à McGill, mars 1969, p. 4

Leurs demandes s’articulent autour de 7 points principaux:

  1. On réclame une francisation progressive de l’université (50 % en 1969-1970, 75 % en 1970-1971 et 100 % en 1971-1972)
  2. Acceptation d’une partie des 10 000 cégépiens dès l’année académique qui commençait en septembre 1969, et ce d’autant plus que le quart des inscrits de McGill venait de l’extérieur de la province et que la moitié de ses diplômés s’en allait faire carrière à l’extérieur du Québec.
  3. Politique de parité des frais de scolarité avec l’Université de Montréal (200 $) en attendant la gratuité scolaire (on assure que les frais de scolarité plus élevés à McGill empêchaient les élèves moins bien nantis de s’inscrire à ses programmes).
  4. Abolition du Centre d’études canadiennes-françaises qui scrutait les Québécois comme des indigènes (établi en 1963, le Centre reproduisait la structure des centres qui existaient déjà, comme le Center for East Asian Studies).
  5. Ouverture de la bibliothèque McLennan au grand public (celle-ci contenait la plus importante collection d’œuvres canadiennes-françaises du Québec).
  6. Priorisation des intérêts nationaux dans la recherche.
  7. Représentation tripartite au Conseil des gouverneurs: un tiers étudiant, un tiers personnel enseignant et non-enseignant et un tiers représentant direct du peuple québécois

Référence: Warren, Jean-Philippe, Bulletin d’histoire politique, 16-2, L’Opération McGill français. Une page méconnue de l’histoire de la gauche nationaliste.

 

Conséquences

En rétrospective, McGill français a eu peu de répercussions directes. Outre l’affaire de l’Université Sir George Williams en janvier 1969 où des étudiants ont occupé les locaux d’informatique, peu d’actions similaires ont vu le jour par la suite. Pourquoi ce constat d’échec? Selon Gray, le mouvement étudiant flottait encore trop «de crise en crise, de bordel en bordel, sans construire une organisation de base structurée, sans faire une éducation socialiste poursuivie avec la population et sans développer une stratégie cohérente. (Warren. J-P)

En 50 ans, la place du français à McGill a considérablement augmenté.  En 2018, on recensait 20% des étudiants qui ont le français comme langue maternelle comparé à 10% en 1970. Depuis 1984, il est désormais possible de produire travaux et évaluations en français. On n’a qu’à jeter un coup d’oeil au site web de l’Université pour se rendre compte de l’attrait suscité par la langue de Molière!

Si la diversité culturelle et linguistique est une richesse, McGill est un joyau de la Couronne et le français est le plus beau diamant dont il est serti.

La place du français à McGill

 

 

Le mouvement en dates clés

23 novembre 1967: Création de la SDU par Stanley Gray.

24 janvier 1969: Interruption d’une session du sénat de l’Université McGill par Gray et ses supporters.

19 février 1969: Ouverture des charges contre S. Gray par l’Université McGill.

Mars 1969: Publication du numéro spécial du McGill Daily «Bienvenue à McGill» favorable à la cause de Gray.

28 mars 1969: 10,000 à 15,000 manifestants déferlent sur la rue Sherbrooke jusqu’à l’entrée du campus de McGill  (Roddick Gates).

Avril 1969: Licenciement de Stanley Gray

 

Nos ressources à votre disposition!

Nous espérons avoir piqué votre curiosité à propos d’un évènement largement méconnu de notre histoire. Nos archives regorgent de documents fascinants sur McGill français!

En voici quelques exemples!

 

  • Première page du rapport du comité d'arbitrage sur le différend opposant Stanley Grey à l'Université McGill. McGill University Archives, RG32/C47/F1225
  • McGill News s'intéresse au mouvement McGill français.
  • Compilation de tous les communiqués de presse de l’Université McGill durant le mouvement McGill français. McGill University Archives, RG84/C130/F563
  • Le numéro spécial du McGill Daily de mars 1969 consacré au mouvement McGill français
  • Correspondance interne du principal Robertson au sujet de la couverture de presse du McGill Daily durant les événements de McGill français. McGill University Archives, RG32/C47/F1225

 

Pour en apprendre plus…

Consultez le site web des Archives de l’Université McGill:  https://www.mcgill.ca/library/branches/mua

Si vous avez des questions, contactez nous au : refdesk.archives@mcgill.ca pour plus d’information.

 

Écrit par Julien Couture et Frédéric Giuliano, archivistes à l’Université McGill.

 

Mickey Mouse Comes to McGill

Library Matters - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 13:59
  • Fig. 1: Mickey’s Circus, Disney Studios, 1936. Pencil on paper.
  • Fig. 2: Three Little Pigs, Disney Studios, 1933. Pencil on paper.
  • Fig. 3: Big Bad Wolf (with the Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), Disney Studios, 1933. Pencil on paper.

Disney’s most memorable cartoon characters have come to McGill’s Visual Arts Collection. A new acquisition of Disney material, donated by long-time supporter of the Collection, Dr. Joanne Jepson (M.D.C.M. ’59), includes a multitude of sketch prints and celluloid images that were used in the production of early Disney cartoons. At a time when cartoon art practices are increasingly digitized, these early production drawings showcase the real-time creation of iconic Disney images drawn by hand.

Mickey Mouse, who celebrated his 90th birthday last year, is a highlight feature of the new Disney donation.  Mickey made his first public debut in Walt Disney’s breakout short film Steam Boat Willie (1928), which was among the first cartoons to incorporate sound. In later years, the Great Depression became Mickey’s backdrop for success: his cheerful demeanor and uplifting attitude captivated dismal audiences across America. Mickey was an underdog that American audiences could root for as they escaped from their own. He became emblematic of Disney’s ability to bring us fun in a time of desperation. The famous mouse is seen in Fig. 1: a hand-drawn production sketch for the 1936 short film Mickey’s Circus. Here, he introduces the spectacle, welcoming all viewers to join him in a moment of delight. In the short, Mickey’s efforts are frustrated by the rambunctious circus animals who steal the show, but he perseveres regardless. In examining the paper, one feels incredibly close to the process: markings show the animator indicating color (red and green x’s and lines), leaving notes (written throughout), and even rethinking his choices (erased lines by Mickey’s hands and hat).

The Disney series Silly Symphonies, which debuted in 1929, was innovative in format, introducing new characters and a new story in every episode. It featured classical songs and narratives that often aimed to teach viewers a moral lesson. The 1933 episode featuring the tale of the Three Little Pigs was especially popular, with theaters continuing to play it week after week, much longer than any of the earlier shorts. Two production sketches for the episode are featured in this new acquisition, seen here in Figs. 2 and 3. The reason for the episode’s popularity is likely due to the narrative’s overarching theme that hard work pays off, especially in the face of adversity.

The optimistic message of these shorts, and of many others produced by Disney at this time, allowed these iconic characters to rise above their status as entertainers; they became emblems of hope and perseverance for struggling audiences. Their hopeful message was by no means universally accessible, though. Importantly, many scholars trace the origins of Mickey Mouse’s character to blackface minstrel entertainment. And as the Disney enterprise flourished, millions of Americans still struggled to put food on the table.

As we work to preserve these popular images of perseverance, and make them available for research and study, we must keep in mind not only their intended message but their multiple audiences and the social context from which they emerged.

-Written by Madeline Holton and Camille Crichlow, ARIA (Arts Research Internship Award) Interns at the Visual Arts Collection

Akkasah, the Center for Photography at New York University Abu Dhabi

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:09

Akkasah, the Center for Photography at New York University Abu Dhabi: Houses photographic heritage collections of the Middle East and North Africa. Since it is believed that the rich traditions of documentary, vernacular, and art photography in those regions has not acquired enough attention, Akkasah aims to investigate, document and preserve histories and contemporary practices of photography in those regions.

Akkasah contains 60,000 images, and gathers collection of prints and negatives; also it produces digital versions of collections of individuals or institutions who are willing to share their collections.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, street seller in the snow (circa 1930, Istanbul, Turkey). Source: Engin Ozendes Collection, Courtesy of Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi.

The database is constitute of three collections of Historical Collections, Contemporary Projects, Photo Albums.

Akkasah turns out to be more than a database of photo collection, it became a successful collaborative project management, representing partnership between faculty and library, here more information ca be found in this regards.

Wall of windows and mihrab with men praying in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Source: Engin Ozendes Collection, Courtesy of Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore, Akkasah through conferences, research fellowship program of the NYUAD institute, colloquia, and publications; tries to support research on Middle Eastern and North African photography also on cross-cultural and transnational aspects of it.

Some of Akassah’s activities includes:

  • Producing a series of publications that reflect the scholarly and archival concerns of the center
  • Commissioning new documentary projects on the diverse cultures and communities of the Unite Arab Emirates
  • Establishing a special collection of rare photobooks from around the world
  • Inviting applications for research fellowships in the area of Middle Eastern and North African photography through the Research Fellowships in the Humanities program funded by the NYUAD Institute.

In this article, you can read more the story of Akkasah: The long read: NYUAD’s Centre for Photography unveils a new collection of antique images from the Middle East

View of The Opera District in Dubai. (Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 January 2017) Photographer: Michele Nastasi Source: Collection of A Gulf of Images. Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi.

 

#WordlessWednesdays commence

Library Matters - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:42

We have an incredible amount of photographs in our files. Photographs of collections, spaces, events, staff, technology, digitization and on and on. Contemporary and historical photographs, colour, black and white, you name it.

Starting in March 2019, we will post #WordlessWednesday images on the Library’s Twitter account, letting the photos speak for themselves. We hope that you enjoy these wordless glimpses into #LibraryLife and into McGill, past and present…with an eye to the future.

 

The Recipes Project : Library Chat at the Osler

Library Matters - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 13:06

Welcome to a guest edition of Library Matters! This week’s blog is brought to you by Dr. Sarah Kernan of The Recipes Project. Dr. Kernan is an independent culinary historian who holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from The Ohio State University. The Recipes Project is a collaborative effort by an international group of scholars whose interests lie in the history of recipes, broadly conceived.

Dr. Kernan’s original post for The Recipes Project is available here.

********************

Welcome to the latest Around the Table and return to the Recipes Project Library Chat! Today we travel to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. I am delighted to speak with Dr. Mary Yearl, Head Librarian at Osler Library.

  1. The McGill Library has many items of interest to our readership, particularly in the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and the Cookbook and Menu Collection housed in Rare Books and Special Collections. Could you provide a brief overview of the library’s holdings and research strengths?

The Osler Library was designed by Percy Nobbs to house Sir William Osler’s books and his remains. Here one sees the library in the Strathcona Medical Building, where it opened in 1929. This room was reassembled in its current location in the McIntyre Medical Building in the mid-1960s.

The nucleus of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine is the collection of nearly 8,000 titles left to the McGill Medical Faculty by Sir William Osler when he died in December 1919. The holdings are mainly, but not exclusively, medical. The library is also home to editions of foundational works in the history of science and to a number of literary and theological books collected by Osler. The majority of our items are printed, but we also have sizeable collections of archival materials, artifacts, and some pieces of artwork.

Osler’s own collecting with respect to recipes favoured works from England written or published in the 16th and 17th centuries. That said, there are also works in French, German, and Latin, and the earliest item is an 8th-century BCE Assyrian tablet on various treatments

B.O. 53, Assyrian Medical Tablet. Containing such advice as, “‘the emerald plant’ in best beer thou shalt give him to drink,” This Assyrian medical tablet from ca. 700 B.C.E. provides recipes to treat an unnamed eye disease.

for an unspecified eye disease. Of the items that have been added more recently, the 19th and 20th centuries are well represented.

The real wealth of recipe-related items at McGill can be found outside of the Osler, within the Library’s division of Rare Books and Special Collections. The Cookbook and Menu Collection was established in the late 1960s and consists of over 3,800 titles. It is composed primarily of Canadian, American and British material. The bulk of the collection is from the twentieth century, though there are significant nineteenth-century holdings including a long run of editions and revisions of Mrs. Beaton’s Book of Household Management. In addition, there are some eighteenth-century books.

The collection includes a considerable number of ephemeral items containing recipes and produced by flour mills, sugar refiners and other food manufacturers. Cookbooks created by church organizations, women’s clubs, and other community groups form another significant part of the collection. In addition, there are a number of books devoted to home economics. Also within the Rare Books and Special Collections division is the recently-acquired Doncaster Recipes Collection, consisting of culinary and medicinal recipes mainly from the late-eighteenth through the first half of the nineteenth century.

  1. Can you highlight a few of your favorite recipes-related items?

Several of the recipes in this manuscript refer to a “Master Bernard,” whose identity is but one of many questions we hope to answer through scholarly research. Note the combination of fine artistic detail and practical medical information.

Without hesitation, our current favourite item is manuscript of medicinal recipes from ca. 1515, recently acquired with an eye towards honouring Sir William Osler as we commemorate the centenary of his death. We are in the early stages of planning a scholarly edition and are truly enthusiastic about the many directions we can go with this work. The work is marvellous aesthetically: it is a deluxe presentation copy with a velvet cover and fine illuminations, given by the Archbishop of Lyons François II de Rohan to his brother, Charles de Rohan-Gié. The manuscript bears clear signs of having been read, with marginal “nota” and the occasional “nota secretum” indicating that this work was not merely admired for its beauty, but was also appreciated for its contents.

Another interesting one is B.O. (Bibliotheca Osleriana) 7591, which in many ways is a standard late medieval recipe manuscript, a copy of John of Burgundy’s Practica phisicalia. This in itself is not remarkable, but in a blog post that appeared in the Osler Library’s former platform, De re medica, Patrick Outhwaite observed that B.O. 7591 had in common with Wellcome MS. 406 the removal of information about male sexuality.

Another local favourite is manuscript B.O. 7586, best known to us as “The Book of the Head,” which is the subject matter of the text bound with Nicholas of Lyra’s Postilla super librum Job. This 15th-century manuscript is part of a larger work that would have offered treatments for all sections of the body, but a deliberate choice was made in this case to include only recipes to treat ailments of the head.

Many of the less explored recipes come from daybooks, journals, and other sources of vernacular medicine. I was recently reminded of a short section on recipes that appears in a notebook kept by a woman from Ontario in the early years of the 20th century, which we recently acquired but have not

Margaret Parnell, Manuscript commonplace book. Ontario [various places], ca. 1908–1913. The abortifacient and contraceptive recipes recorded in this commonplace book from the early 20th century contain many ingredients that were either identified as poisons (ergot) or which are known as such (sugar of lead), and also includes the curious, “gun powder + whiskey + take freely.”

yet catalogued. “How to get rid of kids” is the start of a few pages of recipes on abortion and contraception. Fertility recipes are an important part of the history of medicinal recipes, and to see such a stark title is a somewhat ironic reminder of the utter humanity behind the pen. Despite the shock of the initial title, however, the recipes themselves are practical, if poisonous (e.g., a contraceptive douche that contains sugar of lead). Beyond these few pages, the commonplace book is as mundane (and interesting for this) as might be expected, also including household accounts, a list of books, and an inventory that includes a breast pump.

Other items we appreciate because they reflect our attempts to tell the history of medicine as practised locally. Some of our recipes come from patient notes. For instance, in a record book kept by Theodule Nepveu, who practised in a variety of towns around Quebec in the first half of the twentieth century, we find a “regime alimentaire” outlining permitted and prohibited foods for those with colitis. Nepveu’s record book is not spectacular in the way that the François II de Rohan illuminated gift is, but the information it contains is no less important. To start, one might examine a doctor’s comments about diet to draw conclusions about what foods were available, and which his patients were likely to have access to. Or, as with the commonplace book of the woman from Ontario, it is the ordinary practicality that makes the contents extraordinary.

  1. What tips can you offer to help users find collection items with recipes via your catalogue or finding aids?

MS 251, Practicall Physick of Roger Lickbarrow, mid-18th century, contains medicinal remedies for a wide range of complaints. The contents are ordered by type of ailment. The page shown refers to “diseases of the belly” and has “French pox” as well as “nocturnal pollution” near the end. Other sections are devoted to “womens diseases” and “childrens diseases”.

This is not intended to be a trick question, but at the moment it rather feels like one. We in the process of adapting to the new WorldCat Discovery catalogue, but those of us who work with rare materials are still waiting for certain search features from our old system to be made available in the new one. For those who wish to search the original Osler catalogue, the Bibliotheca Osleriana is easily found online. For archival sources, there is now an integrated archival catalogue, through which one can search all archival holdings at McGill. Another place to find recipe-related items is in the McGill Library’s collections within the Internet Archive, discussed below. With regard to searching those resources, though, it is a good idea to click “search text contents” rather than only searching the metadata.

Even though most of our material is catalogued, we would advise anyone with questions to reach out to us (osler_[dot]_library_[at]_mcgill_[dot]_ca) to see if there might be more.

  1. Does the McGill Library offer any digital resources to off-site researchers?

We have a small number of items that have been digitized, but enough that we have created an Osler Library collection within the Internet Archive.

We are making an effort to increase the digital resources available to off-site researchers. In addition to highlighting items to prioritize for digitization, we are figuring out the best workflow for digitizing items straight from cataloguing where feasible. Finally, we do digitize materials on demand. There will be some delay depending upon the queue in the digitization lab, but we regard user requests as one way of making our materials available to a wider audience.

  1. Does McGill offer any fellowships or travel grants for researchers who want to go to Montreal to use your materials?

The Osler Library offers three research grants and one artist residency. For those seeking to use materials within Rare Books and Special Collections, there are three available grants.

Thanks, Mary, for chatting with me! If you’d like to see your library or archive collection featured on the Around the Table Library Chat, please email Sarah Kernan.

Islamic Heritage Project

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 15:50

Harvard’s Islamic Heritage Project (IHP) is a digital collection of 280 Islamic manuscripts, more than 50 maps, and 275 published texts from Harvard’s renowned library and museum collections. IHP materials date from the 10th to the 20th centuries CE. These materials are freely available to Internet users worldwide.

IHP is made possible with the generous support of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

The IHP expresses the missions of its two coordinating partners.

 

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, which enhances Harvard’s ability to keep pace with increasing demands for knowledge and understanding of the Islamic tradition.

 

The Harvard University Library Open Collections Program, which shares the University’s intellectual wealth by developing and freely sharing digital collections on topics of contemporary concern that support teaching and learning.

Totaling over 156,000 pages, which represent the following:

Regions
  • Saudi Arabia
  • North Africa & Egypt
  • Syria, Lebanon and Palestine
  • Iran, Iraq and Turkey
  • South, Southeast, and Central Asia
Languages
  • Primarily Arabic
  • Persian, and Ottoman Turkish
  • Urdu, Chagatai, Malay and Gujarati
  • Indic languages and several Western languages
Subjects
  • Religious texts and commentaries
  • Sufism
  • History
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Sciences (astronomy, astrology, mathematics, medicine)
  • Poetry and literature
  • Rhetoric
  • Logic and philosophy
  • Calligraphy
  • Dictionaries and grammar
  • Biographies and autobiographical works.

Materials digitized for the IHP are limited to those in the public domain. In selecting materials for the Islamic Heritage Project, materials that are available in digital form elsewhere were excluded. Photographs and works of art were deemed out of scope. Microfilm was selected only in a few cases.

Following the guidelines of the Houghton Library Single-Item Manuscript Manual to produce full-level records for each manuscript. These guidelines mandate use of AACR2/APPM, MARC 21, LCNAF, LCSH, AAT, and the application of ALA-LC Romanization tables. All records are stored in centrally supported library systems using open protocols (MODS, OAI–PMH).

The Harvard Library Viewer is a new image viewing platform based on the open source Mirador project and compatible with the IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) standard.

Besides core page-viewing capabilities such as page-turning navigation, table of contents, full text search and print (PDF download), the Harvard Library Viewer implements frequently-requested features, including:

  • Two-page and scroll views
  • Improved page image rotation, zooming and panning
  • Comparison of IIIF-compatible documents

Additional materials may be added to the IHP over time.

Library staff reveal their McGill Moments | McGill24 2019

Library Matters - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McGill24, the University’s fourth annual day of giving is almost here. On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the international McGill community will come together in a celebration of McGill Moments. Giving on that day will help ensure that the next generation has a chance to create McGill Moments of their own.

Here, Library staff members share campus memories that have impacted them over the years.

Jacquelyn Sundberg, Grants and Special Projects Administrator, ROAAr

Manuscript 73 is an impressive 15th-century Italian antiphonal containing plainchant, which is stunning for its size (nearly 3 feet wide when open), beauty, and (for me) the temptation to sing the music in its pages. When I first saw it, I didn’t break the hush in the reading room by bursting into song. Since then, however, we have brought music to the stacks and rooms of rare books.

Working with Prof. Julie Cumming of McGill’s Schulich School of Music, we brought together a group of singers and we performed selections for a full house.

I think even the manuscript itself was happy to have been shared with so many people and to have the music in its pages once again voiced by a group of singers. Now valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, it was purchased in 1930 for $250(!) thanks to the support of donors.

Michael David Miller, Liaison Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences Library

C’est difficile de choisir un moment qui définit mon temps jusqu’à présent à l’Université McGill, car j’ai tant de beaux souvenirs. Tous les jours j’interagis avec des usagers et usagères de la bibliothèque à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de la bibliothèque où je les aide à naviguer et à découvrir les vastes collections de nos bibliothèques et des autres bibliothèques du monde. Cependant, j’étais particulièrement touché par la volonté de la direction des bibliothèques et de mes collègues de me soutenir dans les activités de #FiertéBiblio ces dernières années. Lors de la #FiertéBiblio on fêtait la diversité LGBTQ+ dans nos bibliothèques en même temps que Fierté Montréal. Cela m’a rappelé que nos bibliothèques sont véritablement ouvertes à tou-te-s.

Elis Ing, Liaison Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections

My McGill moment was, in fact, on the day of my McGill job interview. Shaking with nerves, daunted by the task ahead, I made my way to campus. I had made a special “I can do it!” playlist for the metro, but still I sweated. I wore a pin that reminded me of my family, who I knew were rooting for me, but still I sweated. I took a deep breath and walked into the McLennan Library lobby. There, proudly on display as part of a ROAAr exhibit, was a wooden box full of delicately crafted antique glass eyeballs. A lifelong adorer of all things curious, the box of eyeballs disarmed and distracted me from my nervousness. They were exactly what I needed in order to put my best, true self out there. Almost a year later, I’ve learned so much and enjoyed every day that I’ve spent amongst colleagues who care for special treasures like those eyeballs, and so so many more. For more information on the eye-catching eyeballs, click here.

Giovanna Badia, Assessment Librarian

The first time I visited McGill was as an elementary school student. I remember attending a 1-day young author’s conference in Leacock 132, and thinking that the university was an enormous and exciting place. Years later, coming on campus every day still excites me. Interactions with faculty, staff, and students inspire me to do my best on a daily basis. I am happy to be able to give back by serving the McGill community.

Katarina Daniels, Liaison Librarian, Nahum Gelber Law Library

When you’ve completed 3 degrees, met your partner and all your closest friends, and landed your dream job all at the same institution, you would think it impossible to select just one McGill Moment to highlight the importance of this place.

And yet, this is the task at hand. There have been many moments that have defined my time at McGill, but one recent one stands out: the first time my husband and I brought our newborn son to walk on campus this past summer. He was just over a month old, and slept through his selfie with the statue of James McGill, but on that day, we dreamt of all the incredible memories he would eventually create here, just as we had, from Frosh week to Convocation, and everything in between, and it could not have been any more special.

Learn more about McGill24 here
Learn more about giving to the Library here

Related posts:
Memories (and Memorabilia) for McGill’s next generation
Find your cause | McGill24 2018

#McGill24 #McGillProud

Women in the Driver’s Seat

Library Matters - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 18:32
A handbook for all women who motor or who want to motor…  by Dorothy Levitt

Studio Frontispiece Portrait by Foultsham & Banfield Ltd. of Dorothy Levitt

Advice for Women in Cars:

–“Regarding coats—there is nothing like a thick frieze, homespun, or tweed, lined with Jaeger or fur. The former has the advantage of being lighter in weight than the latter and is just as warm and much less expensive”.

 

 

 

Dorothy Levitt was not only a motorist, she was a car racer, and a talented journalist from London. This pioneering book for women was published in London in 1909. It is a lively piece of social history which we bring to you in honour of International Women’s Day, the foundations of which were begun in that same year. Levitt is, in fact, a very early adopter of the automobile, invented in Germany by Karl Benz in 1886 and initially developed in France. Mass motorization first took hold in America with the “Model T” by the American Ford Company in 1908.

This book was in our circulating collections (no pun intended) and is now safely transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections. Since then, the book has received all sorts of treatment : including restoration and digitization. It is nice to know that this volume was originally owned by Sarah Gray of Nottingham, England in March of 1909; it was afterwards acquired through funds given by McGill’s Royal Victoria College (with an all-female student body) for the library stacks. It was available for reading as of 1944. It has an attractive pictorial binding designed by the publishing house John Lane, operating in London and New York, and is comprised of high-quality photography. What’s more, the text can be discussed in classes on gender studies, or women studies, or on the history of mechanics, at the turn of the 20th century.

Dorothy Levitt showing attire for open-air rides.

 

“It is a good plan to have caps made to match your costumes.”

 

 

 

 

 

And -“If repair needs be, dawn a frock and follow the instructions in the book. Removing a faulty spark plug is a simple matter”.

Dorothy Levitt in coveralls with a toolkit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the book cover is smartly designed

 

We invite you to consult this multi-purpose text through the McGill University Library. We provide the link below.

Try it out for yourself.

 View eBook

 

 

 

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