Friends of the Library

Focal Points – Casey Wood and the McGill Collections

Library Matters - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:36

Casey Wood watches over the incunables nook of the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room.

Birds, eyes, and bile came into focus at this semester’s ROAAr symposium “The Eyes have it; a Re-appreciation of Casey Wood.”  You might wonder what such things have in common; the answer is Casey Wood. Wood was a passionate and driven collector for the McGill Libraries, a generous donor, a scholar, an ophthalmologist, a translator, and a falconry enthusiast. He became known here as the “Birdman of McGill,” and you can browse through some of his legacy in this digital exhibition.

Casey Wood helped shape both the Blacker-Wood Collection of biology and natural history and the Osler Library of the History of Medicine into what they are today; research collections of unique depth and beauty. He also advanced his own field by literally writing the book on the ophthalmology of birds, the Fundus Oculi of Birds. Evolutionary biologist Bob Montgomerie brought a fresh perspective to the Fundus Oculi (See Bob’s blog on Wood’s Fundus Oculi). Wood was fascinated by bird vision, as are all who listened to Bob, an active scientist, explain the relevance and importance of Wood’s book to his research today.

Victoria Dickenson, Adjunct Professor and organiser of the symposium,  speaking on the Taylor White paper museum.

One jewel of the Blacker-Wood collection is the Feather Book of Dionision Minaggio. This unique book illustrates birds and pastoral scenes from the Lombardy region using feathers, and only feathers! This book employs techniques copied from central and south American crafts. Carla Benzan presented her work on this book, which has been digitized and made freely available through our Digital collection. McGill once again owes thanks to Casey Wood for this volume, which Wood acquired with the Taylor White paper museum. Taylor White curated his so-called paper museum of birds and animals in the 18th century; all who ‘visited’ the 938 watercolous could be instantly transported to remote corners of the natural world through intricate illustrations and paintings of wildlife. He had a network of painters and illustrators who drew for him.  Marmosets, parrots, tropical beauties, ptarmigans and emperor penguins all provided stunning glimpses of far off places to contemporary viewers. Today, they serve as stunning entry points into the field of natural history in the 18th century and the scientific and artistic network that made the paper museum possible.

Mauricio Ruiz, UQAM, gave a lecture in french on Casey Wood and F.Marjorie Fyfe;s Translation of De Arte Venandi cum Avibus

Anna Winterbottom and Soma Hewa also spoke on this aspect of Wood’s work in Sri Lanka. The medical side of Casey Wood’s collecting in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia resulted in a substantial collection of olas (palm leaf manuscripts) containing the central works of the Ayurvedic medical system. The Osler library collection now contains number of these texts, inscribed onto palm fronds, along with medical objects like earspoons, medicinal eye pencils, and, to quote Anna Winterbottom, a clever medieval medicine box complete with “early modern child lock,” now make up the incredibly rich and diverse collections that McGill has today.

With presentations from scholars in diverse fields of study, Casey Wood and his legacy at McGill came to life through this symposium. More videos of the symposium presentations will be available on the McGill Library Youtube page.

For more details on the symposium, full roster of presenters, and more links see the event page.

 

 

 

 

Doha historical dictionnary of Arabic

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 13:34

The Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic is developed under the auspices of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Doha, Qatar. Founded “on the ideal that the social sciences and humanities have an invaluable role to play in Arab societal development”, ther ACRPS produces and publishes both applied and fundamental research, organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops accross the Arab World.

Officially launched in 2012, the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic initiative aims at creating a comprehensive Corpus of Arabic,deriving sub-dictionaries from the Historical Dictionary of Arabic, publishing lexicographical research and studies. At the time of our visit, a lot of resources were not yet available to visitors but one can hope the Lexicographer’s Forum will soon be activated, and Lexical Services soon be available.

The website is available in English and Arabic.

 

 

 

 

 

Six McGill Library activities to do with visitors in town for convocation

Library Matters - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 16:50

It’s that time of year again and the McGill campuses are abuzz with activity and happy graduates. We’ve compiled a list of six fun things to do with friends and family who are visiting from out of town.

1. Take a peek into the beautiful Octagon Room in the Islamic Studies Library, a study favourite for many students. While you’re there, don’t miss the exhibition on the storied history of the building, If Walls Could Speak: the History of Morrice Hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Visit the bustling Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Start with a viewing of the exhibit in the McLennan Library Building lobby which explores the history of autopsies. Head up to the fourth floor for a look at the new visual storage space, adorned with gems from the McGill Visual Arts Collection (to your right as you come off the elevator). While there, check out the Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room for a taste of scholarly life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stop for a photo-op and some sun on the McLennan-Redpath Terrace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Take a walk up the beautiful Promenade Fleuve-Montagne to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine and take in their current interdisciplinary exhibition, De Musei Fabrica: Cloth and Stitch Inspired by the Maude Abbott Medical Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Take a tour of the downtown campus’ public art with a member of the Visual Arts Collection team. Wednesdays at noon. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. If you’re at the Macdonald Campus, stop in at the Library to learn more about their innovative Seed Library, which is now in its second year. Click here for more information and opening hours.

Sharia Source

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 19:00

SHARIAsource is a flagship research venture of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.

The mission of this programme is organizing information available from all over the world about Islamic law in an accessible and useful manner. SHARIAsource is not a religious organization nor does it advocate any particular group or institution. It concentrates on academic principles and involvement by including diversity of various perspectives, peer-reviewed analysis and free and open exchange of ideas.

SHARIAsource creates a platform of storing Islamic law’s primary sources and it cooperates with various team of editors from all over the globe; moreover it provides the opportunity for people to analyze critically the mentioned sources and it also promotes research in order to shed light on academic as well as public discourse about Islamic law.

Their well-organized and classified portal provides access to cutting-edge content and context regarding Islamic law. Through this portal numerous resources can be browsed by Topics & Themes; Geographic Regions, Empires & Eras; Editors and Contributors and Document Types (ex.: Historical/Contemporary primary sources, Expert Analysis, legal documents, etc.). In addition to providing access to full text documents, the number of available resources associated to each category is presented as well which can be very useful to academics, journalist and policy makers.

Additionally readers who are interested to know about special events and news, their blog provides them with useful information in that regards.

“SHARIAsource was developed with support from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and from the Luce and MacArthur Foundations.”

 

Abandonnez ce qui a péri il y a longtemps…

Library Matters - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:45
… et laissez-nous aimer les vivants [English will follow]

 

McGill Yearbook, 1940.

Madeleine Parent n’aurait pu choisir une meilleure devise pour son album de finissants: «Abandonnez ce qui a péri il y a longtemps, et laissez-nous aimer les vivants». Une devise qui devait s’avérer prophétique, une ligne de conduite qu’elle suivra toute sa vie. Qui aurait pu imaginer que cette jeune diplômée d’un baccalauréat ès arts de l’Université McGill allait devenir, à peine 7 ans plus tard, l’ennemie jurée du premier ministre Maurice Duplessis?

Il y a 70 ans, un procès pour conspiration séditieuse

C’est durant ses années d’études à McGill (1936-1940) que Madeleine Parent s’initie aux mouvements de revendications sociales et de défense des droits des familles ouvrières. Elle lutte alors activement au sein de l’Assemblée des étudiants canadiens pour la création de bourses d’études gratuites destinées aux enfants de familles ouvrières. Au sortir de ses études, elle rejoint le mouvement syndical et devient, en 1942, secrétaire du comité d’organisation du Conseil des métiers et du travail de Montréal. L’année suivante, elle joue un rôle clé dans la syndicalisation des Ouvriers unis du textile d’Amérique (OUTA) au Québec.

Pamphlet contre Madeleine Parent distribué aux employés de la Dominion Textile.

Son implication dans la défense des droits des ouvriers et ouvrières du textile s’enracine dans un contexte extrêmement difficile. Le gouvernement en place, celui de Duplessis, mène alors une furieuse répression contre les organisations syndicales et leurs chefs, n’hésitant pas à recourir à la force et à la propagande pour dompter  ces «communistes». Si de s’opposer à Maurice Duplessis, à la police provinciale, au «Trust du textile» (comme on le surnommait à l’époque), au clergé et aux médias n’était pas un travail de tout repos, celui des ouvriers et des ouvrières de l’industrie du textile n’était guère mieux. Les conditions de ces travailleurs étaient les pires de toute l’industrie manufacturière. Alors que la semaine de travail normale est de 48 heures, elle avoisine les 60 heures pour les employés du textile pour un salaire moyen se situant entre 11$ et 15$ par semaine. La moyenne de l’industrie manufacturière est alors de 20$ par semaine. Ces longues heures de travail à l’usine ne se passent pas dans les meilleures conditions. La chaleur y est excessive, atteignant régulièrement les 35 degrés Celsius, sans parler du haut taux d’humidité, du bruit infernal des machines, de la pollution de l’air et du manque d’installations sanitaires.

C’est dans ce contexte qu’en 1946, suite au déclenchement d’une grève des ouvriers de la

Grève des ouvriers de la compagnie Ayers à Lachute, en 1947.

Dominion Textile à Valleyfield et Montréal que l’action de Madeleine Parent et des autres chefs syndicaux suscite l’ire du gouvernement de Maurice Duplessis. Ce dernier fera alors tout en son pouvoir pour y mettre un terme. Arrêtés à plusieurs reprises au cours de différentes manifestations syndicales, Madeleine Parent et les autres chefs syndicaux sont finalement accusés de conspiration séditieuse, suite au déclenchement d’une grève des 800 ouvriers de la compagnie Ayers, à Lachute, en avril 1947. C’est alors que débute le procès le plus long des annales judiciaires du Québec. Cette saga judiciaire s’éternisera pendant près de huit ans. Elle fut marquée par le décès du greffier avant que ses notes ne puissent être retranscrites ordonnant conséquemment la tenue d’un second procès. Celui-ci prit fin en 1955, après seulement trente minutes, faute de preuves de la poursuite, et se solda par l’acquittement de tous les accusés.

Allocution du Juge au jury reprenant l’acte d’accusation signé de Maurice Duplessis 1/5

Allocution du Juge au jury reprenant l’acte d’accusation signé de Maurice Duplessis 2/5

Allocution du Juge au jury reprenant l’acte d’accusation signé de Maurice Duplessis 3/5

Allocution du Juge au jury reprenant l’acte d’accusation signé de Maurice Duplessis 4/5

Allocution du Juge au jury reprenant l’acte d’accusation signé de Maurice Duplessis 5/5

Madeleine Parent, Azellus Beaucage et Kent Rowley dans le bureau du Shérif à la prison de St-Jérôme, en 1947, lors de leur arrestation.

Azellus Beaucage, Madeleine Parent et leurs avocats lors du procès pour conspiration séditieuse au palais de Justice de St-Jérôme, 6 février 1948.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Décédée en 2012, Madeleine Parent a fait don de ses archives au Service des archives de l’Université McGill en 2009.

 

Pour en apprendre davantage

Découvrez le fonds d’archives de Madeleine Parent (MG4269) via le catalogue des archives de l’Université McGill.

Consultez la collection numérisée des livres de finissants de l’Université McGill, de 1898 à 2000: McGill Yearbooks

Écoutez la chronique urbaine d’Hugo Lavoie consacrée à Madeleine Parent, à l’émission du matin de la radio de Radio-Canada: Gravel le matin.

 

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Give up what perished long ago, and let us love the living

McGill Yearbook, 1940.

Madeleine Parent could not have chosen a better motto for her graduation album: “Give up what perished long ago, and let us love the living.” A motto that would prove to be prophetic and a course of action she will follow all her life. Who could have imagined that this young graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University would become, just 7 years later, the sworn enemy of Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis?

70 years ago, a seditious conspiracy lawsuit

It was during her years of study at McGill (1936-1940) that Madeleine Parent initiated herself into the movements of social demands and the defense of the rights of working class families. She is actively fighting in the Canadian Students’ Assembly for the creation of free scholarships for working-class children. After graduation, she joined the labor movement and became, in 1942, secretary of the organizing committee of the Montreal Council of Trades and Labor. The following year, she played a key role in the unionization of the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA) in Quebec.

Lampoon against Madeleine Parent distributed to employees of the Dominion Textile.

Her involvement in defending the rights of textile workers is rooted in an extremely difficult context. At the time, the Duplessis Government led a furious repression against the trade unions and their leaders, not hesitating to resort to the force and propaganda to tame these “communists”. While opposing Maurice Duplessis, the provincial police, the “Textile Trust” (as it was known at the time), the clergy and the media was not an easy job, working in the textile industry was hardly better. The conditions of its workers were the worst in the entire manufacturing industry. While the normal work week was 48 hours, it was around 60 hours for textile workers for an average salary of between $ 11 and $ 15 per week. The average for the manufacturing industry was $ 20 a week. These long hours of work at the plant were not spent under the best conditions, the heat was excessive, reaching regularly 35 degrees Celsius, not to mention the high humidity, the noise of the machines, the air pollution and the lack of sanitary facilities.

 

 

It was in this context that in 1946, following the outbreak of a strike of the Dominion Textile

Strike of the Ayers Company workers in Lachute, in 1947.

workers in Valleyfield and Montreal, that the action of Madeleine Parent and the other union leaders aroused the ire of the government of Maurice Duplessis. The latter will then do everything in its power to put an end to it. Arrested several times during various union demonstrations, Madeleine Parent and the other union leaders will finally be accused of seditious conspiracy, following the outbreak of a strike of the 800 workers of the company Ayers, in Lachute, in April 1947. The longest trial of the judicial annals of Quebec therefore begins.

This judicial saga will drag on for almost eight years and will be marked by the death of the clerk before his notes could be transcribed hence forcing the holding of a second trial. This one will finally end in 1955, after just 30 minutes due to the absence of evidence of prosecution, and resulted in the acquittal of all accused.

Statement of the Judge to the jury repeating the indictment signed by Maurice Duplessis 1/3

Statement of the Judge to the jury repeating the indictment signed by Maurice Duplessis 2/3

Statement of the Judge to the jury repeating the indictment signed by Maurice Duplessis 3/3

Madeleine Parent, Azellus Beaucage and Kent Rowley in the Sheriff’s Office at St. Jerome Prison, 1947, at the time of their arrest.

Azellus Beaucage, Madeleine Parent and their lawyers during the seditious conspiracy lawsuit at the St. Jerome Courthouse, February 6, 1948.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deceased in 2012, Madeleine Parent donated her archives to the McGill University Archives in 2009.

To learn more

Discover Madeleine Parent’s fonds (MG4269) in the McGill University Archival Collections Catalogue.

View McGill University’s digitized collection of graduation books, 1898-2000: McGill Yearbooks.

Listen to Hugo Lavoie’s Urban Chronicle dedicated to Madeleine Parent at Radio-Canada’s morning radio show: Gravel le matin.

McGill convocation through the years

Library Matters - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:08

The tent is up on McGill’s downtown campus and the 2018 convocation ceremonies are right around the corner.

We’re taking a look back at the university’s convocations through the years with photos from our digitized collection of yearbooks, the McGill University Archives and most recently, our own camera lens.

Seeing students beaming with pride in the presence of their friends, family, fellow classmates and professors never gets old. Congrats, graduates!

Convocation ceremony, circa 1943. McGill University Archives, PR001290. Photographer unknown.

Convocation procession from Roddick Gates, circa 1945. McGill University Archives, PR017256. Photographer unknown.

Convocation ceremony, circa 1951. Old McGill Yearbook. Photographer unknown.

Convocation ceremony, Molson Stadium, circa 1965. Old McGill Yearbook. Photographer unknown.

Convocation ceremony, Molson Stadium, circa 1966. Old McGill Yearbook. Photographer unknown.

Convocation ceremony, circa 1979. Old McGill Yearbook. Photographer unknown.

Convocation, 2016. Photography: Lauren Goldman.

Convocation, 2017. Photography: Lauren Goldman.

Convocation ceremony, 2017. Photography: Lauren Goldman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to a beloved sculpture

Library Matters - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 14:56

Mahihkan, the larger-than-life and much-beloved sculpture of a wolf by Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard, will be leaving McGill by mid-summer. Originally installed on lower campus for the Balade Pour La Paix, an open-air museum that spanned one kilometre of Sherbrooke Street last summer, Mahihkan, together with Jonathan Borofsky’s Human Structures, remained on loan to the McGill Visual Arts Collection thanks in part to the support of the Monk Family Foundation.

Joe Fafard, Mahihkan, cast 2016. On loan from Fafard Sculpture Inc. Photo: Denis Farley.

While we must say goodbye to Mahihkan, Borofsky’s brightly coloured human pyramid will stay a while longer. Centering on themes of community and the individual’s relationship to their environment, both sculptures have been especially suited to display on a University campus. Together, they have attracted tremendous attention, especially on social media; in countless Instagram posts, groups of friends playfully pose amid the steel bodies in Borofsky’s work, while children and pets keep Mahihkan company. The popularity of Mahihkan and Human Structures is a testament to the value of public art installations and the creativity they inspire in those who interact with them.

Jonathan Borofsky, Human Structures, 2010. On loan from the Vancouver Biennale. Photo: Denis Farley.

If you have not had a chance to see both installations up-close, do so now! Come by anytime or, better yet, join a free, guided tour of the Visual Arts Collection’s public art every Wednesday at noon. Tours leave from the Welcome Centre on McTavish. Reservations are not required.

-Written by Tara Allen-Flanagan, ARIA Intern, Visual Arts Collection

Science Teaching in Pre-Modern Societies, May 24-26, 2018

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 08:23

The McGill Centre of Islamic and Science and Institute of Islamic Studies co-organize a workshop entitled Science Teaching in Pre-Modern Societies from May 24 to 26 2018. This two-days event will bring together scholars from all over the World, including Canada, the United States, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, etc.

The four panels will focus on Science Teaching in cross-cultural perspective, Science Teaching and the religious context, Science Textbooks and the “Science of the Stars”, and Epistemological Foundations of Science teaching. The full program, abstracts, and speakers biographies can be found here.

“This workshop is part of an international collaborative project entitled “Science Teaching in Pre‐Modern and Modern Islamic Societies: Pedagogical Approaches in Religious, Institutional, and Geographical Contexts,” with funding from a SSHRC partnership development grant, plus additional support from 3 partner institutions: the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG); Medeniyet University, Istanbul; and the University of California, Berkeley.”

Giovanna Badia and Merika Ramundo awarded the 2018 McGill Library Excellence Awards

Library Matters - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:42

Left to right, Merika Ramundo, Dean Colleen Cook, Giovanna Badia

Congrats to the recipients of the 2018 McGill Library Excellence Awards! The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the Library and its mandate.

Liaison Librarian, Giovanna Badia received the Librarian Excellence Award and Communications Officer, Merika Ramundo was awarded the Library Staff Excellence Award.

Giovanna Badia, Liaison Librarian | Librarian Excellence Award

Left to right: Dean Colleen Cook, Isabelle Roberge, Giovanna Badia

Giovanna is an exemplary librarian and has made a significant contribution both to the McGill University Library and to the profession as a whole.

Where Giovanna has perhaps demonstrated the most impact is through her tireless efforts to serve McGill science and engineering departments as Liaison Librarian. She goes above and beyond in the delivery of reference services and information literacy sessions, making herself available and invaluable to students, faculty, and staff. She is continually experimenting and assessing her practices while at the same time sharing lessons learned with other librarians. Giovanna continues to build on her contributions to positive student and faculty outcomes and experiences, as shown in her innovative support for the Department of Mining Engineering in open access publishing.

She has also demonstrated excellence in academic librarianship and has won the respect and admiration of her colleagues. Her successful research practices are evident in an impressive publication record, with over thirty works that include peer reviewed articles, conference papers and book chapters, four of which were released in 2017. She continues to explore research methods that require a high skill level and attention to detail, such as her project using citation analysis to identify appropriate databases. Giovanna also has an exemplary service record and has made a significant contribution to the profession through associations. Her expertise is recognized by colleagues internationally, as is shown by her role as 2016 Chair of the Special Libraries Association Engineering Division and her involvement throughout 2017.

Her passion, dedication, and innovative spirit shined during her tenure as co-chair of the Library’s Orientation Committee. Under Giovanna’s leadership, the Committee obtained funding to organize the Library’s first ever ice cream social. The event united Library departments and promoted a spirit of connectedness. Its success can be greatly attributed to Giovanna’s fearlessness in testing out inventive ideas and to her strong sense of diplomacy.

Committed and selfless, she doesn’t hesitate to give advice and that advice always comes with an offer to help. She’s an excellent team member and significant contributor to the McGill community. In short, Giovanna is generosity.

Merika Ramundo, Communications Officer | Staff Excellence Award

Left to right: Gregory Houston, Isabelle Roberge, Merika Ramundo, Dean Colleen Cook

Merika was nominated for this award by colleagues, former students, volunteers, Friends of the Library members and collaborators, in recognition of her boundless creativity, outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to promote the McGill Library.

A co-worker who has known Merika since she first joined the Library in 2010 had this to say: “Merika’s work impacts all aspects of the Library’s mission to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of students, faculty, and researchers. Her writing and visual communication initiatives cover the spectrum: constantly keeping our staff informed, supporting the Dean in her internal and external communications channels, providing outstanding support to our Friends of the Library lectures and outreach, not to mention launching new social media campaigns. No job is too big or too small for Merika. She brings professionalism and innovation to every task.”

Above and beyond her daily projects, Merika’s collaborative, pro-active approach is illustrated by several recent initiatives. She successfully launched two Library Innovation Fund initiatives: Enhancing McGill Library’s social media presence and McGill’s Little Free Libraries (LFL), a campus-wide book exchange project. Both projects were very successful and forged close collaborations between the Library and several university-wide units, including McGill Central Communications, the Faculty of Education and the Office of Sustainability.

Not one to take credit for herself, Merika always puts her colleagues and team members ahead of herself. She has a natural talent for bringing out the best in people and encouraging them to succeed. A former student who worked closely with her spoke highly of her openness and ability to inspire others: “She taught me how to use the tools I needed and gave me the time and patience I needed to learn, make mistakes, and try again. I felt like my opinion was valued and taken into consideration. The freedom and trust she gave me allowed me to flourish, pick up new skills, and express my creativity.”

Anyone who has met Merika knows within minutes that she is a beacon of positivity. Her optimism is infectious and she approaches the most daunting tasks with a smile. She throws herself into each project, large and small with a positive, can-do attitude. “She makes it all look easy.”

Congrats, Giovanna and Merika! Very well-deserved!

Nicholas Cronk on Voltaire at McGill

Library Matters - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:15

AN AMERICAN VOLTAIRE: The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection at McGill

By: Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University

Published by Cambridge Scholars in 2009, with contributions by Nicholas Cronk and other Voltaire scholars.

Pat Lee, who died in 2006, was a life-enhancing friend as well as a Voltaire enthusiast and an avid collector of books. The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection was acquired by McGill in 2013, and contains some 2000 books and 42 manuscripts, relative to Voltaire and his contemporaries. I recently had the huge pleasure of helping Ann Marie Holland organise in the Rare Books Library a small exhibit containing just a few of the highlights of this collection.

Like any great collection, this one has its share of precious printed books, as well as some remarkable manuscripts, not least a manuscript compilation of verse that belonged to Voltaire’s companion, Emilie Du Châtelet – this last item has been exhibited in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The compilation also has its unique personality: Pat Lee, as an American- who loved Voltaire, was born in Kentucky, and wrote his doctorate on Voltaire at Fordham University in New York – clearly had a particular predilection for books by and about Voltaire that were in some way connected with America.

Americans were keen readers of Voltaire from the early years of the Republic, and the provenance of some of the items is startling: a volume of Voltaire that belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, and a manuscript collection of French poetry with the bookplate of … George Washington. But it’s not just the famous names that are interesting. A book called Fame and Fancy, or Voltaire Improved, published in Boston in 1826, provides an American take on Voltaire: but Pat Lee’s copy is also interesting because the bookplate records its American owner: ‘Daniel Green, Jr., Portland, Maine’.

Another remarkable production from the same decade is Abner Kneeland’s translation of Voltaire’s Dictionnaire philosophique, also published in Boston in 1836. Kneeland (1774-1844) was an evangelist minister of radical views, remembered as the last man jailed in the United States for blasphemy – among his publications are The Deist (1822) and A Review of the Evidences of Christianity (1829). His edition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary was clearly a polemical gesture therefore, and one of the copies in Pat Lee’s collection is exceptional. The anonymous American owner has inserted two blank sheets in the middle of the volume, with pages headed ‘Births’, ‘Marriages’ and ‘Deaths’. It was common of course for families to own a ‘family Bible’ with such blank pages serving to record key events in a family’s history, a volume that would be handed down from generation to generation. In this (unique?) example, a nineteenth-century American has radically subverted the genre of the ‘family Bible’ by creating a ‘family Voltaire’. Only in America…

A tipped in censored illustration of Rockwell Kent’s Candide intended for the 1928 edition.

In the twentieth century, New York publishers were active in producing illustrated editions, and there are some remarkable illustrated Candide in this collection. The Rockwell Kent illustrations for Random House (1928) are justly famous – not least because the picture of Voltaire’s house in the colophon went on to become widely familiar as the Random House logo. Rockwell Kent’s first depiction of Pangloss conducting an experiment in natural philosophy in the shrubbery was deemed too shocking, and he had to replace it with a more anodine image:- the first edition in this collection is very special because it includes a real rarity -the ‘censored’ image has been tipped in to cover up its timid replacement.( See also the NYPL Candide website for more on Rockwell Kent)

The Rockwell Kent Candide is a celebrated publication, but also remarkable is the fact that the year before, 1927, there had appeared an edition of Candide illustrated by Clara Tice, a bohemian figure known as the Queen of Greenwich Village (below left); and two years later, in 1930, there was an illustrated edition by Mahlon Blane (below right).

This is real testimony to the vibrancy of the American market for illustrated books: three major illustrated editions of Candide all published in New York within the space of four years – and all three in completely contrasting artistic styles.

Following the hugely successful publication of Candide in early 1759, there appeared in 1760 a sequel, Candide, seconde partie – an amusing work that we now attributed to the abbé Dulaurens, but that at the time was widely attributed to Voltaire himself, so much so that it was not uncommon for the two parts of Candide to appear together as ‘one’ work by Voltaire. Gradually it became accepted that Voltaire was not the author of the second part, so this practice declined – except in the United States, where the two parts of Candide continued to be published together well into the twentieth century. This is another peculiarity of the American Voltaire – and this fidelity to the apocryphal Second Part of Candide gives illustrators like Clara Tice a wider range of scenes to depict – for example, Candide’s seduction by a lascivious Persian at the start of the Second Part.

Clara Tice Candide Part 2 in the 1927 edition.

Pat Lee’s Voltaire collection contains many of these beautiful objects – another is the illustrated edition by Jylbert, published by the aptly named: Editions du charme. The date here gives us pause for thought, though: the edition appeared in 1941, in occupied Paris. Does the scene with the monkeys in any way reflect what was happening on the streets of the capital?

Alongside this precious work, Pat Lee’s collection also includes a humble and modestly printed translation of Candide which appeared in the Armed Services Edition in 1943 – part of a series of books made available to American servicemen and women. In Chapter Three of Candide we remember how both sides in the war have a Te Deum sung, in the certain knowledge that God is on their side… And among the troops who liberated Paris, was there perhaps a serviceman who had Candide in his backpack? The Pat Lee collection gives us a specifically American take on Voltaire and his impact in North America, and as such, it is unique.

Click here for more about the Voltaire Foundation

Nicholas Cronk on Voltaire at McGill

Rare Books and Special Collections blog - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 13:42

AN AMERICAN VOLTAIRE: The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection at McGill

By: Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University

Published by Cambridge Scholars in 2009, with contributions by Nicholas Cronk and other Voltaire scholars.

Pat Lee, who died in 2006, was a life-enhancing friend as well as a Voltaire enthusiast and an avid collector of books. The J. Patrick Lee Voltaire Collection was acquired by McGill in 2013, and contains some 2000 books and 42 manuscripts, relative to Voltaire and his contemporaries. I recently had the huge pleasure of helping Ann Marie Holland organise in the Rare Books Library a small exhibit containing just a few of the highlights of this collection.

Like any great collection, this one has its share of precious printed books, as well as some remarkable manuscripts, not least  a manuscript compilation of verse that belonged to Voltaire’s companion, Emilie Du Châtelet – this last item has been exhibited in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The compilation also has its unique personality: Pat Lee, as an American- who loved Voltaire, was born in Kentucky, and wrote his doctorate on Voltaire at Fordham University in New York – clearly had a particular predilection for books by and about Voltaire that were in some way connected with America.

Americans were keen readers of Voltaire from the early years of the Republic, and the provenance of some of the items is startling: a volume of Voltaire that belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, and a manuscript collection of French poetry with the bookplate of … George Washington. But it’s not just the famous names that are interesting. A book called Fame and Fancy, or Voltaire Improved, published in Boston in 1826, provides an American take on Voltaire: but Pat Lee’s copy is also interesting because the bookplate records its American owner: ‘Daniel Green, Jr., Portland, Maine’.

Another remarkable production from the same decade is Abner Kneeland’s translation of Voltaire’s Dictionnaire philosophique, also published in Boston in 1836. Kneeland (1774-1844) was an evangelist minister of radical views, remembered as the last man jailed in the United States for blasphemy – among his publications are The Deist (1822) and A Review of the Evidences of Christianity (1829).  His edition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary was clearly a polemical gesture therefore, and one of the copies in Pat Lee’s collection is exceptional. The anonymous American owner has inserted two blank sheets in the middle of the volume, with pages headed ‘Births’, ‘Marriages’ and ‘Deaths’. It was common of course for families to own a ‘family Bible’ with such blank pages serving to record key events in a family’s history, a volume that would be handed down from generation to generation. In this (unique?) example, a nineteenth-century American has radically subverted the genre of the ‘family Bible’ by creating a ‘family Voltaire’. Only in America…

A tipped in censored illustration of Rockwell Kent’s Candide intended for the 1928 edition.

In the twentieth century, New York publishers were active in producing illustrated editions, and there are some remarkable illustrated Candide in this collection. The Rockwell Kent illustrations for Random House (1928) are justly famous – not least because the picture of Voltaire’s house in the colophon went on to become widely familiar as the Random House logo. Rockwell Kent’s first depiction of Pangloss conducting an experiment in natural philosophy in the shrubbery was deemed too shocking, and he had to replace it with a more anodine image:- the first edition in this collection is very special because it includes a real rarity -the ‘censored’ image has been tipped in to cover up its timid replacement.( See also the NYPL Candide website for more on Rockwell Kent)

The Rockwell Kent Candide is a celebrated publication, but also remarkable is the fact that the year before, 1927, there had appeared an edition of Candide illustrated by Clara Tice, a bohemian figure known as the Queen of Greenwich Village (below left); and two years later, in 1930, there was an illustrated edition by Mahlon Blane (below right).

This is real testimony to the vibrancy of the American market for illustrated books: three major illustrated editions of Candide all published in New York within the space of four years – and all three in completely contrasting artistic styles.

Following the hugely successful publication of Candide in early 1759, there appeared in 1760 a sequel, Candide, seconde partie – an amusing work that we now attributed to the abbé Dulaurens, but that at the time was widely attributed to Voltaire himself, so much so that it was not uncommon for the two parts of Candide to appear together as ‘one’ work by Voltaire. Gradually it became accepted that Voltaire was not the author of the second part, so this practice declined – except in the United States, where the two parts of Candide continued to be published together well into the twentieth century. This is another peculiarity of the American Voltaire – and this fidelity to the apocryphal Second Part of Candide gives illustrators like Clara Tice a wider range of scenes to depict – for example, Candide’s seduction by a lascivious Persian at the start of the Second Part.

Clara Tice Candide Part 2 in the 1927 edition.

Pat Lee’s Voltaire collection contains many of these beautiful objects – another is the illustrated edition by Jylbert, published by the aptly named: Editions du charme. The date here gives us pause for thought, though: the edition appeared in 1941, in occupied Paris. Does the scene with the monkeys in any way reflect what was happening on the streets of the capital?

Alongside this precious work, Pat Lee’s collection also includes a humble and modestly printed translation of Candide which appeared in the Armed Services Edition in 1943 – part of a series of books made available to American servicemen and women. In Chapter Three of Candide we remember how both sides in the war have a Te Deum sung, in the certain knowledge that God is on their side… And among the troops who liberated Paris, was there perhaps a serviceman who had Candide in his backpack? The Pat Lee collection gives us a specifically American take on Voltaire and his impact in North America, and as such, it is unique.

Click here for more about the  Voltaire Foundation

Syrian Print Archive

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 11:00

Syrian Prints Archive  is an independent documentary initiative “without any political, partisan or religious affiliations”, that provides archiving and storing services for Syrian print media issued since the outbreak of the March 2011 Revolution, regardless of content or orientations. Between March 2011 and the end of 2014, Syrian media witnessed a significance rise in the number of print publications.

These publications showcase the development of Syrian media and represent the new attempts at pluralism in Syria. Furthermore, the intellectual, social, political, economic and literary content of Syrian print publications is an important part of Syria’s recent memory, which documents a significant stage of the country’s history.

However, approximately 70% of these publications are no longer published due to various factors such as printing, technical or marketing problems, as well as a lack of reliable and stable host platforms. The value of these publications and their preservation were among the initial incentives to preserve and provide access to this huge collection. In November 2014, the website Syrian Prints Archive was officially launched during the first conference of Syrian Journalist Association in Gaziantep, sponsored by NPA.

This archive provides various interesting and helpful browsing and searching features. Aside from being fully text searchable, the site offers other useful search criteria. Searches can be conducted using titles and personal names along with complete references to associated articles and a number of related publications. Moreover this archives presents a variety of informatics info-graphs containing useful statistics on Syrian print publications.

أرشيف المجلات الادبية والثقافية العربية

McGill Islamic Studies Library's blog - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 17:26

 أرشيف المجلات الدبية والثقافية العربية This is an open access archive of various Arabic resources, containing digitized journals, books and articles from all over the Arab world.

This archive aims to preserve Arabic literature and cultural heritage as well as serving research and educational purposes. For that reason, a great number of journals (201), books (20,996) and articles (268,065) have been digitized. The collection covers a long period of time, ranging from journals dated in 1876 up to the present from different countries such as, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Algeria.

أرشيف المجلات الادبية والثقافية العربية is a searchable archive. Journals can be browsed by title and books are listed based on the author’s name.

Some of the important titles available on this database are as follows (some are available at McGill, Islamic Studies Library):

المقتطف from 1876 to 1952;  At Islamic studies library

الهلال from 1892 to 2007;  At Islamic studies library

المشرق from 1989 to 1914;  At Islamic studies library

لغة العرب from 1911 to 1931;  At Islamic studies library

الكرمل from 1981 to 2009;  At Islamic studies library

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