June 29, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is excited to announce that we have just acquired an illuminated manuscript Book of Hours from the late 15th century.
Books of Hours were one of the most popular genres of books produced during the late Middle Ages and remained popular well into the Renaissance (Special Collections contains four examples of printed Books of Hours from the first half of the 16th century). From the mid-thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, more Books of Hours were produced than any other text, including the Bible. They were most often owned by laypeople, and found a significant audience among women. The prayers, Psalms, and illustrations in illuminated Books of Hours were meant to link church and home, with lay owners using the books for private religious devotion.
Pictured here are some of the illuminations from BYU’s new Book of Hours, which was likely created in Paris during the final decade of the 15th century. To find the Book of Hours, along with facsimiles of other manuscripts held by institutions throughout the world, search for the genre term “Books of hours” in the library’s catalog. You can limit your search results to Special Collections holdings only.
June 18, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
As the British Commonwealth celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the British throne, we are looking back at the only other British monarch to achieve such a long reign, Queen Victoria. Victoria marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne on June 22, 1897. The Victorian Collection at L. Tom Perry Special Collections contains memorabilia from her diamond jubilee and biographies and other works published during the celebrations. These items, and more material pertaining to Victoria’s life and reign, can be found by performing a subject search in the library catalog using the search string “Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901.” One interesting item in the collection from the 1897 jubilee is this commemorative pamphlet issued by London printer S.W. Partridge.
June 1, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
The British Commonwealth is celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee (the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne) this year, with big events planned this weekend. The only other British monarch to reign for 60 years was Queen Victoria, who celebrated her diamond jubilee in June 1897. As part of the jubilee celebrations, the Royal Archives has digitized Victoria’s journals, which she kept from age 13 until her death in 1901. They will be freely available online ONLY for the month of June.
Printed editions of Victoria’s girlhood journals and her Journal of Our Life in the Highlands are available in Special Collections, as are printed editions of Victoria’s letters and the letters of her husband, Albert, the Prince Consort. In addition, Special Collections owns several original letters and drawings by Victoria, as well as books formerly owned or gifted by her. These items, and more material pertaining to Victoria’s life and reign, can be found by searching the library catalog for “Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901.”
May 16, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
There are only a few more weeks to catch “The Life and Legacy of the King James Bible,” Special Collections’ current exhibit. It will be taken down in early June to make room for a new exhibit on the American Civil War. Don’t miss the chance to see a first edition copy of the King James Bible, many early printed and manuscript Bibles, and famous literary works inspired by the King James Version!
An online version of the exhibit is archived at http://lib.byu.edu/exhibits/kingjamesbible/.
April 24, 2012 by Kristi Young
We are in the middle of prom season. For many high school students asking for that big date isn’t as simple as picking up the phone and calling the desired date. No. The story of the invite is treasured as much, if not more, than the actual date. One invitation that has been around for at least 10 years is described by Melinda:
“When I walked in my room there was chocolate kisses all over the floor. Tons of them like four bags, and there was a note on the bed. It was on white paper and hand written. It said this: Melinda, Now that I have kissed the ground that you walked on; will you go with me to Homecoming on Saturday Evening?” (FA 14 188.8.131.52.6.2)
Another fun invite was received by Lara. “After going out one night, Lara returned home to her family. It was a little weird because they were all awake in the the family room, waiting for her to come home. She goes into her room and gets ready for bed. Her sister Samantha is in the bathroom as well with her. As Lara goes into the shower area, she notices that there is water in the bathtub. She wasn’t paying much attention and yelled at Samantha for leaving the bath water in the tub. She soon realized that in the water were 30 goldfish, alive and swimming. Along with the goldfish was a laminated puzzle that she had to put together. After about an hour, she put it together and it said, ‘Out of all the fish in the sea, would you go to Homecoming with me?’ It was decorated with fish stickers and it was obvious that he had put some time into this one. In order to answer him back, she got the goldfish crackers and spelled out yes on his bed.” (FA 14 184.108.40.206.16.2)
Then there are the near impossible invites. “About two weeks before the dance Dana decided to ask Grant to Senior Ball. Because they had asked each other to so many dances, Dana was running out of ideas. She decided that she didn’t care if it was stupid, she just wanted it to be messy. So she took lots of boxes of Uncle Ben’s rice and dumped them all over his porch and driveway. Dana left one box on the doorstep with a note that said, ‘Uncle Ben wants to know if you will go with me to the dance?’ Each one of the letters of Dana’s name was then written on a piece of rice and he had to dig through those mounds of rice to figure out who had asked him.” (FA 14 220.127.116.11.19.1)
The creative invites are fun and generally spark a creative answer which as in the goldfish example may play off the original invite. But that’s a story for another time.
April 2, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Special Collections is a great resource for historic costume research. Our photograph and rare book collections contain wonderful images of the clothing styles of earlier times, from antiquity to the 20th century, and you can even find clothing patterns in some of our 19th century periodicals! There is a whole genre of books which describe the clothing and manners of various nations and peoples. Special Collections owns several of these books, most dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The colored plates in these books provide insight not only into the costumes of the peoples of the world, but how different ethnic groups were perceived by the West. The illustrations shown here are from an 18th century French book entitled Costumes civils actuels de tous les peuples connus, and depict the dress of a Bavarian woman and an upper-class citizen of Paris.
To find books on historic costume, search the library catalog for the subject term “costume history.” Fashion books and magazines can be found using the subject term “fashion.”
March 21, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Visit Special Collections’ reference room to see a sampling of our many primary sources related to women’s history. On display now is “Women’s Life Stories,” a small exhibit which highlights everything from a letter by Susan B. Anthony to the diary of the first LDS woman missionary to the British Isles.
For more information on some of the manuscript resources for women’s history at Special Collections, visit the Women’s Manuscript Collections page.
February 23, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Did you know that L. Tom Perry Special Collections owns over 50 Arabic and Persian manuscripts dating from the 9th to 19th centuries? Curators from Special Collections and the BYU Museum of Art have selected a number of these manuscripts to display in Special Collections over the next few weeks in conjuction with the MOA’s new exhibit, Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture, which opens tomorrow (Feb. 24).
Stop by the 1st floor of the library this afternoon to learn more about Islamic texts and artwork at BYU. In addition to the manuscripts on exhibit there will be a display of publications from BYU’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI).
February 15, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Three newly-acquired facsimiles of original medieval manuscripts are available for study at Special Collections. The first is a replica of the Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux (pictured here), a 14th-century Book of Hours made for a French queen. The book is only about 4 inches high, and the facsimile comes with its own magnifying glass! The original manuscript is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Special Collections was able to acquire this facsimile thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Library. The second facsimile reproduces the Psalter of St. Louis, an illustrated psalm book created for King Louis IX of France sometime between 1253-1270. The original psalter is held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France. A third facsimile is a manuscript life of 11th century Tuscan countess Matilde di Canossa. The original manuscript was produced in the 12th century and is now held by the Vatican Library.
The facsimiles can be requested using the call numbers listed below. For other facsimiles, search the library catalog for the genre term “manuscripts, medieval” or the subject term “illumination of books and manuscripts.”
- Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux, Vault Collection 091 J344 1998
- Psalter of St. Louis, Rare Book Collection ND 3357 .S3 P835x 2011
- Vita der Mathilde von Canossa, Rare Book Collection DG 737.24 .M4 D66 1984
February 3, 2012 by Kristi Young
When we think about Valentine’s Day, we often think about romantic love. However, it is also a time for families to show their love for each other. Jillisa Cranmer shared this with Laurel Batchelor: The week before Valentine’s Day, well actually on the 1st of February, we would all pull names out of a hat. The person then became our secret pal. During the week we were supposed to do nice things for that person. It was nothing big, just little things like writing notes and leaving them in their hearts, loading the dishwasher, cleaning their room. You know, just little things. On Valentine’s Day we had a party and everyone revealed their secret pals. It really helped everyone feel good about doing things. (FA 14 8.2.111)
Terri Larsen shared the following: Every year on Valentine’s Day we each get something for our family, whether it is a treat like candy or a card. Sometime during the day we put the treat on the doorstep and ring the doorbell. Everyone acts surprised and expresses gratitude. At the end of the day my parents surprise each one of us with a Valentine gift. (FA 14 18.104.22.168.2)
Suzanne Eatough collected the following from Gaylynn Gurney: Each year for Valentine’s Day the members of her family write a letter to each member telling them what is happening in their life and why they appreciate and love the particular person they are writing to. (FA14 22.214.171.124.1)
Whether it is acts of service, small gifts, or letters and cards, families find many ways to express their love to one another on Valentine’s Day.
January 20, 2012 by Kristi Young
Folklore is sometimes viewed as a synomym for falsehood. That is not the case. One type of folklore is the personal narrative. These can be serious or fun but reflect events in a person’s life. Parents have long liked to tell stories about the scrapes their children get into as children or teens. The following narrative focuses on a prank that a teen played.
“That was right at the time Davis High School had been divided. It had been the only high school in Davis County, and then they had bought a new high school down in Bountiful, and this year they had gotten a new high school up in Clearfield. And they were so competitive, and it was such an exciting time. Clearfield had their firsts: they had their band, it was the first big football game in their brand new stadium, they had all of their girls (the pep-squad), and everything, and their flad. Everything was so new! And the green falcon (was their mascot), they were the green falcons. And they were ready. They were going to beat Davis. They were going to show’em. Some of their boys had gone to Davis, and now they were over there (the new high school). It was a big day for them.
“Well, I came home from work, and my dishpan was right outside on the lawn and it was all green inside. I said ‘what’s that doing out there, what happened to it?’ Well I didn’t know till later. What happened was that Rand, and I guess a friend of his, they got a chicken and they took it home and they dyed it green. And they made a little collar around it’s neck with a thing standing up on it that read ‘I’m the green falcon!’ And then, they took it over to the Clearfield Stadium and they gave that chicken a little whiskey. They’d found some empty whiskey bottles, and they had just a little bit left in the bottles and they emptied them all into one, and then they poured it down that chicken’s throat.
“And then when the half started, and Clearfield’s big new band came out and their girls marching, Rand went out and turned the chicken loose on the 50-yard line. And that chicken acted like it had been trained! They said it was hilarious! It marched back and forth and it would fall over, and it would get up, it’d go around and it’d ‘cluck! cluck! cluck!’ And everyone was just dying laughing! And Rand let it loose, of course he had a Hawaiian shirt on, an Aloha shirt, so you couldn’t miss him. Those kids were so mad. It broke up everything! And he started to run, and boys out of the Clearfield student body raced after him to catch him–they didn’t, thank goodness, they would’ve killed him.” (FA 1 1621)
December 27, 2011 by Maggie Kopp
Special Collections owns a number of important periodicals about the art and history of printing, particularly publications produced through fine printing methods. A sampling of titles in Special Collections includes Stanley Morison’s “The Fleuron” (1923-1930), The Fine Press Book Association’s periodical, “Parenthesis” (1998-present), and one of our new acquisitions, a complete run of “Alphabet and Image,” edited by Robert Harling (1946-1952).
Many more periodicals on printing technologies, book arts, and the history of printing can be found in Periodicals and the circulating collection. To explore some of these titles, search the library catalog for the subject “printing periodicals.” The library’s History and Art of the Book Subject Guide is also a great resource for finding articles and books about printing and book history.
December 8, 2011 by Kristi Young
Christmas is a magical time and Christmas customs are part of the magic. Every family has traditions that guide their observance of the season. One of the times that has customs that make it special is Christmas Eve. Our Customs Index outlines fun things that families do on that day.
Many eat special foods on Christmas Eve. In section 126.96.36.199.2 different families describe their culinary traditions. Some families serve food that requires very little preparation or relies on other people’s efforts. These can range from candlelit fast food to Chinese to finger foods. Other families opt for the ever popular pizza. (188.8.131.52.8.1 and 184.108.40.206.1.12.1)
Opening presents is another favorite activity. While most focus on family gifts, some families have a traditional first gift of Christmas–pajamas. (220.127.116.11.3.1-6)
Probably the most common activity is the reading of the nativity story. While some families just read the well-loved text, others act it out using people or a nativity set. (18.104.22.168.1.11.1-3)
If you are looking for new ideas for your Christmas celebration the Customs Index is a valuable resource.
December 1, 2011 by Maggie Kopp
What’s the smallest Bible at BYU? Well, it might be a microform version which is about 5 cm square. Over 1200 pages of text are reproduced on a single slide.
But if you’re looking for a tiny Bible which might actually be legible without mechanical intervention, Special Collections has several miniature books which contain the complete or partial text of the Bible. A book is considered to be miniature if it measures less than three inches in height or width. The miniature books pictured here include a 1965 edition of the Ten Commandments, a King James Bible published by David Bryce and Son In Glasgow in 1901, a pocket New Testament printed in 1892, and an edition of the Book of Ezekiel from 1835. These and other miniature books in the library’s collection can be found by searching the library catalog using the genre/form term “miniature books.”
November 12, 2011 by Kristi Young
On November 10, 2011, we held the annual Founder’s Lecture for the Wilson Folklore Archives. The speaker was Dr. David Dollahite of the Department of Family Life at Brigham Young University. His lecture was “Turning Hearts to God and Family through Telling and Writing Sacred Stories. Dr. Dollahite has allowed us to post the slides from his lecture. Soon they will be posted on the Wilson Folklore Archives homepage under projects.
2011 Founders Lecture Turning Hearts to God and Family through Telling and Writing Sacred Stories