Iraq in Pictures, 1919

July 15th, 2014

Woman wearing niqab, Photograph Album: Iraq 1919, UCLA Library Special Collections

Library Special Collections has recently acquired a photograph album of Iraq ca. 1919, containing about 185 photographs and 25 postcards, all of which have captions. The photographs would appear to have mostly been taken by a British army officer, and predominantly feature Baghdad and Basra, although other locations such as Ctesiphon, Babylon, Najaf, and Kufah are also represented. The photographs cover a wide variety of subjects from pictures of typical Iraqis going about their daily lives, to coffee shops, boats on the Tigris and bridges over the river, British army officers at rest, mosques and Roman Catholic churches in Baghdad, dates and date pickers, a German tram and a German train outside Baghdad, and an Iraqi gun monitor on the Tigris.

“Showing Kofal Bridge, Baghdad, coffee stall, Quffas, and Arabs”, Photograph Album: Iraq 1919, UCLA Library Special Collections

“Tramway, running between Baghdad and Khadimain laid by the Germans”, Photograph Album: Iraq 1919, UCLA Library Special Collections

At the end of the First World War the Ottoman Empire was broken up. Britain inherited 3 Ottoman Vilayets – Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul – which were to form the basis of the British Mandate for Mesopotamia and later Iraq. In 1920, mass demonstrations occurred with the objective of forming an Arab government. Armed revolt followed. The British were forced to bring reinforcements from Iran to help put down the rebellion. By October the rebellion was over as supplies and funding for the rebels ran out. The rebellion prompted Britain to institute a more legitimate form of government, and to this end they installed the Hashemite ruler Faysal, a descendent of the prophet Mohammed. The Hashemite monarchy was very much a British puppet, but it survived until its overthrow in 1958.

“Baghdad (the City of Mosques)”, Photograph Album: Iraq 1919, UCLA Library Special Collections

Ruins of the Ctesiphon palace, Photograph Album: Iraq 1919, UCLA Library Special Collections

By Simon Elliot

LA Aqueduct Digital Platform series: Digging into the Friends of the LA River archive

July 10th, 2014

I’m a processing assistant for the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform project at UCLA Library Special Collections’ Center for Primary Research and Training. Over the summer, I’ll be working with Diane Ward, a graduate student in Geography who will process and create description for the Friends of the Los Angeles River records. FoLAR is an environmental organization working to restore the LA River and its habitat and educate people about the river’s importance. In my work, I’ll digitize documents, do risk analysis, and work on metadata, as well as make the occasional post here.

Postcard of the LA River (undated), Friends of the Los Angeles River records (Collection 1622). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

I’m an undergraduate minoring in conservation biology, so I’m excited to be involved with this project. For my minor, I’m learning about ecology and evolution, as well as ways to conserve and preserve the environment. The FoLAR records show how people might apply concepts covered in my classes, so this project is a great opportunity for me to see how what I’m learning can effect change in the world.

Two women sitting alongside the LA River (1933), Friends of the Los Angeles River records (Collection 1622). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

During our initial survey of the collection, we found a few items that stood out from the rest: LA River postcards from 1915-1920, photos from the early 1930s, and two railroad spikes, which appear to have been found during a river cleanup. The photos and postcards were unexpected finds that showed a very different LA River than the one we’re used to seeing, and it was exciting to happen upon these pieces of history. The railroad spikes were a different kind of surprise. We knew the box they were in contained items found during a river cleanup, but we didn’t know exactly what that might mean. FoLAR has found a variety of things during cleanups. Anything was possible. I don’t know what I was expecting to find in that box, but a pair of railroad spikes wasn’t it.

Railroad spikes, Friends of the Los Angeles River records (Collection 1622). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

By Victoria Maches, Processing Assistant, Center for Primary Research and Training

-

About the collection: The Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR) is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural habitat and historic heritage of the LA River through planning, education, and stewardship. The records of FOLAR document the organization’s endeavors to foster efforts to monitor and improve the River’s water quality, create educational programs, promote sustainable water usage, develop recreational and commuter bikeways and pedestrian paths along the riverbanks, as well as other advocacy efforts. This collection is comprised of newspaper clippings, publications, newsletters, reports, promotional ephemera, board reports and minutes, photographs, and other files generated and used by FOLAR during the course of the 1980s until circa 2011. The FoLAR records (Collection 2215) were acquired in Fall 2013. Processing is on track to be completed in December 2014 and will subsequently be open for research.

A Look into Korea’s Past

July 8th, 2014

Students make immense daily contributions to the work we do and the services we provide in Library Special Collections (LSC).  Employment in LSC provides students an opportunity to work directly with a globally-recognized collection of cultural heritage resources, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and artworks, to name but a few.  Working in LSC is not merely a job for students, but an opportunity to learn on a continual basis—and to have fun and work in a supportive team atmosphere.

LSC staff thought it would be nice to share these unique student experiences periodically, in the hopes of illustrating how “special” Library Special Collections is to them, and to celebrate the contributions that each and every one of them makes to our Department, the Library, and the larger UCLA academic community.

-

I wrote this entry a couple quarters back and thus it is way overdue (a scary word in the library context!). Now I am no longer a student assistant at the library, or even a student for that matter. However, currently being jobless, school-less, car-less, restless, and jobless (did I say that already?), I have jumped at the opportunity to make this entry blog-ready and in turn, to close up my time at Special Collections. Here goes.

Grace Song staffs the Reading Room at UCLA Library Special Collections

In search of the topic for my next blog, I was overtaken with way too many ideas that spanned from cook books to textiles to documents about Korean art and culture. Although I did have a ball in the stacks perusing cook books, I decided to hone in on the topic of Korean heritage, which to me seemed more of a challenge… and I love a good challenge (once in a while). Though I was but a lowly student worker in Public Services, I had to switch gears for this project to think and do as a researcher would. “Where do I even start?” I thought, as I fumbled around on the library catalog. People at LSC spent their precious time helping me to find relevant materials and I was taught how to use the Online Archive of California to find manuscript collections within the library. I must add that I have a newfound appreciation for the finding aid – as an undergraduate student, I had never before had an opportunity to use such a tool. After browsing, I discovered that there are more resources that have to do with the art and culture of Korea than I thought there would be. So, I rubbed my hands together and requested those boxes and paged those books like a hungry little scholar, waiting to devour a feast of resources and materials on the Reading Room banquet table… but only one box and one folder at a time, of course.

I decided to look into the Craft and Folk Art Museum Records (Collection 1835), in which there were, among many others, records of a 1982 exhibition called “Guardians of Happiness: A Shamanistic Approach to Korean Folk Art,” curated by Horay Zo Za-Yong of the Emillle Museum in Seoul, Korea. I had never before studied the traditions of folk art in my art history classes, so it was exciting to see pictures of and read about the pieces that were included in the exhibition as well as to take note of all the work and thought that went into the show. The exhibition included a variety of mediums that spanned from the 16th to 19th centuries: screens with colorfully painted animals, ink drawings of the “guardians” that were said to have protected families from evil spirits, woodblock prints, fabric designs, maps, intricately crafted roof tiles, objects such as bells, swords, drums, fans, stamps, and beautifully crafted ceramic pieces.

Horay Zozayong, “Guardians of Happiness” exhibition catalog, Emileh Museum, Seoul, Korea 1982. From the Craft and Folk Art Museum Records (Collection 1835), UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library

Most of the art was made by anonymous craftsmen and many of the objects were family treasures rather than objects to be displayed publicly. An interesting aspect about folk art is that it embodies “an art of an entire nation, of all classes” (Zo Za-Yong, “Paintings magic and mundane: Folk art with a wealth of significance for everyday life”). In the words of the curator, the craftsmen came from a variety of backgrounds, as some were nomads, others monks, and some even court painters. The imagery was to have been seen everywhere, in “the royal court, Buddhist temples, Shaman shrines, Kisaeng drinking houses, altars and private houses” (Zo Za-Yong). There I was, in the reading room, trying to imagine what daily life in Korea would have been like in times before the 1910 annexation, before the devastating war in the 1950s, and before any major industrialization. Looking at the documents gave me an insight into what my own ancestors in Korea would have been surrounded by on a daily basis.

To further supplement my exploration, I looked through a book called Korean Traditions: As Seen Through Paper Windows which features photographs taken by Joo Myung-dok (born 1940), who documented ways of life in the countryside as a way to preserve Korea’s heritage. His black and white photographs from the 1960s to the 1980s feature dancers wearing traditional dress, ritual ceremonies and monks, as well as children and families in familiar villages of his past. I was especially taken with the photographs showing a quiet kind of beauty within the architectural details of windows and walls. They show a side of Korea that I have never had the privilege to witness myself. Of course I can always Google images of the Korean countryside, but it is always a greater experience to see photos within a cohesive collection through the eyes of another individual who has a meaningful and intimate connection with the subjects.

Lastly, I happened to get a sneak-peek of another collection, the Ho Young Ham Papers (Collection 697). Ho Young Ham was a Korean-born man who immigrated to Hawaii in the early 1900s, and his collection includes books, photographs, correspondence, and clothing that belonged to his family. Two of my co-workers were admiring some of the hanbok (Korean traditional dress) and I obviously had to check it out too, not because I am nosy but because it is a rare occurrence to see clothing items in the library (okay, maybe I am a bit nosy).

Assorted Clothing, Ho Young Ham Papers Box 42 (Collection 697). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

Anyway, these articles of clothing were not like the hanbok dresses I wore when I was a little girl and not even like the one that my mom wore for my brother’s wedding, which was a more fancy type fit for the special occasion. I recently went to a hanbok shop in Korea Town, where I basically had a heart attack from looking at all the beautiful colors of silk. It is not that the clothing from the collection is not as pretty or not worth looking at – that is not the case at all. They were so very worth poring over because I had not seen traditional Korean clothing that was used for everyday wear. Granted, there were some fancier ones included in the mix, but what caught my eye were the garments that had the wear and tear of everyday life on them. The colors were just as beautiful and I had just as much of a heart attack as when I went to the fancy hanbok shop. I realized that I grew up looking at these types of colors – the soft but vibrant pinks, yellows and greens. I see them in the Korean dishes I eat, I see them in my mom’s art pieces that don our walls, I see them in my own art, and I see them as my favorite colors that spark memories within my mind. Even though Joo Myung-dok’s photographs were black and white, I see these colors in his pictures, and I also envision them in the artifacts included in the CAFAM show in 1982.

It was definitely very gratifying to “visit” an exhibition from the past, observe Korea’s countryside through another’s artistic eye, and see and feel the traditional clothing that was worn in everyday situations. Seeing these materials in the reading room helped me to better visualized and piece together certain aspects of my own heritage, which is something that I continue to think more seriously about in regard to my own life and identity. The experience also behooved me to appreciate not only the valuable materials available in the collections, but the readers who come in day in and day out to work on their various projects. It is challenging work and often goes unnoticed by many undergrads like me, who take much for granted. The best discoveries are always founded upon much toil and sweat, but also a whole lot of fun. And sometimes, one can see how one’s own life fits in with the little details along the way. I would very much encourage other undergrads to make these little projects for themselves, even if there is no grade or academic credit for it in the end. Since I am so wise now that I have graduated (cue the hair flip and eye rolls), I can say for sure that my college education has not amounted to a number, whether it is my GPA or the number of units I have taken. It has all to do with these types of discoveries and the lessons I have learned, whether they were in the academic context or in everyday living situations such as having a part-time job (the best one being at LSC). I will very much miss it and I hope current and future students will recognize and appreciate the wealth that surrounds them at the library.

By Grace Song, former Public Services Student Assistant

What a Drag!

June 17th, 2014

In the Library Special Collections Sheet Music Collection, which consists of approximately 100,000 pieces of popular American music, you can find pieces of sheet music that feature images of very popular and proper women who made their living performing as men on the British music hall and American vaudeville stages.

These publications date from the late 19th century through the early 20th century, as such performances declined in popularity when faced with the competition of talking motion pictures.

Today’s use of the term drag leads the viewer to misunderstanding the goals of these early cross-dressing women. Today their performances are understood as challenges to the traditional understanding of sex and gender. These performances were simply seen as one type among many that portrayed some sort of illusion or magic.

Some of these female male impersonators who can be found in the collection are: Claire Romaine (known as London’s Pet Boy), Grace Leonard, Hetty King (real name Winifred Emms), Florence Tempest, and Vesta Tilley (real name Matilda Alice Powles).

By Peggy Alexander, Curator of Performing Arts

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

June 2nd, 2014

As May ends and June begins, we should reflect upon the importance of this past month as Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. In 1992, May was designated by the United States government as APA Heritage Month, in remembrance of the trials and triumphs of those of Asian-descent in U.S. history. UCLA Library Special Collections possesses numerous holdings which reflect this past  Though the majority of these collections primarily originate from the 20th century, APAs have played a significant part in this country’s multi-faceted, multicultural past since the mid-19th century—and in certain cases, even prior to that. Presently, as the fastest growing racial group in the U.S., increasingly many APAs will want to look to their heritage, through materials such as these and the stories they signify, as they help shape the future of America.

The following are a sampling of the collections at UCLA:

Yuichi Hitata, photographed by Ansel Adams

Hitata was an internee at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in the Owens Valley in Central California. Sympathetic to the plight of Japanese Americans, Adam chose to portray his subjects as figures of empowerment rather than figures of victimization.  (Manzanar War Relocation Center records, 1942-1946; Collection 122.)

Political and social activist pins from the 1960s and 1970s.

Juxtaposed against the campaign buttons, which reflect traditional modes of vying for political power, are the activist pins showing support for ideas of anti-war, anti-racism, and for farm labor representation. Of note are the buttons from the Asian American Movement, also known as the “Yellow Power Movement,” which ultimately contributed to the establishment of ethnic studies programs at colleges and universities across the country, including UCLA. (Steve Louie Asian American Movement Collection, 1930-1980; Collection 1805.)

Screen shot of MiniDV recording of the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble performing a Southeast Asian form of music and dance conducted through gong and drum.

This performance in particular exhibits the Filipino form of Kulintang. Performed outside a commercial shopping outlet in Los Angeles, this image illustrates the cultural diversity of the city’s residents in an urban environment. (Collection 2003.5: Archiving Filipino American Music in Los Angeles Collection, 1980-2004. Care of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive.)

By Annie Tang, Association of Research Libraries/Society of American Archivists Mosaic Fellow

History of Medicine work-in-progress: “Making LSD a Psychotomimetic” on June 6

May 29th, 2014

 

UCLA History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Forum is a series which provides opportunities for faculty, students, staff, and visiting researchers to present recent work or unfinished work-in-progress in an informal, presentation-and-discussion format. Programs are held at lunchtime (sandwiches provided to those who make reservations), one or more Fridays per quarter during the academic year, in the Rare Book Room on the 4th floor of the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

The next program, on Friday, June 6, at 12:30pm, will be a presentation by Rob Schraff (PhD candidate in History, UCLA Department of History) on “Making LSD a Psychotomimetic.”

From the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, LSD was seen as a potential breakthrough in the treatment of alcoholism and other behavioral and emotional disorders; Sidney Cohen and Keith Ditman at UCLA were among the researchers working on these problems. The CIA took a very active interest in LSD at this time and sponsored a number of research programs. By the mid-60s, the hallucinogen had been labeled a “psychotomimetic,” a term which reflected common-sense understandings of experiences taking the drug, as well as the theoretical perception of LSD as a model for the understanding of schizophrenia and the development of antipsychotic drugs for its treatment. Again, UCLA was a major site for the latter project, with Louis Jolyon West and Daniel X. Freedman involved both before and after they came to Los Angeles. In this work-in-progress, Schraff will explore the history of LSD’s labeling as a psychotomimetic, from the metaphorical to the neurophysiological, in the mid to late 20th century.

Box lunches (or buffet of various salads) are provided to attendees who reserve a seat by noon Monday, June 2nd. Coffee and water will be available; attendees should bring their own other beverages. Reservations received after that time will not have lunch orders (please be advised that we require reservations because we must submit a list of confirmed attendees when placing our food order).

Seating is limited and is not guaranteed without a reservation. Reservations may be made by contacting History and Special Collections for the Sciences (voice: 310.825.6940; email: speccoll-medsci@library.ucla.edu). We can accommodate up to 40 attendees.

We are looking forward to seeing some familiar as well as new faces at this and upcoming programs, and welcome feedback and recommendations.

The UCLA History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Forum (this is the 20th meeting) is made possible by the Program in Social Studies in Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, by the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Program in the UCLA Department of History, and by History & Special Collections for the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections.

 

History of Medicine work-in-progress (May 16): “Blind in Palestine: Stories of Treating Trachoma”

May 12th, 2014

UCLA History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Forum is a series which provides opportunities for faculty, students, staff, and visiting researchers to present recent work or unfinished work-in-progress in an informal, presentation-and-discussion format. Programs are held at lunchtime (sandwiches provided to those who make reservations), one or more Fridays per quarter during the academic year, in the Rare Book Room on the 4th floor of the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

The next program, on Friday, May 16, at 12:00 noon, will be a presentation by Anat Mooreville (PhD candidate in History, UCLA Department of History) on “Blind in Palestine: Stories of Treating Trachoma.

Abstract: Trachoma was a major public health threat in Palestine during the first half of the twentieth century, with upwards of thirty percent of Jews and seventy percent of Arabs afflicted at the start of the British Mandate. Trachoma was doubly marked: first, as a disease of poor hygiene and primitive culture owing to its particular etiology; and second, as a “blinding scourge of the East,” as a result of regional endemicity. The American-sponsored Hadassah Medical Organization conducted an intensive “war against trachoma” starting in 1918 by employing one or two “traveling oculists” to conduct periodic trachoma checks in school children throughout the Yishuv. I comb the reports of the “traveling oculist” to elucidate how the campaign operated and was refashioned over a twenty-year period, and how the anti-trachoma campaign served to create a visual and medical distinction between Jews and the Orient in a time of nationalist development. However, fierce physician competition meant that not all eye doctors could find work in the Jewish sector. I analyze multiple first-person narratives of ophthalmologists’ experiences in private practice—an arena often missing in the archives—that document how physicians sought out or fell into establishing practices for Arab patients. Looking at both experiences reveals how trachoma was a platform for multiple models of interactions with the East, and how eye doctors also functioned as ethnographers, hygienists, and pioneers.

Box lunches (or buffet of various salads) are provided to attendees who reserve a seat by noon on the previous Monday (in this case, May 12th); coffee and water will be available; attendees should bring their own other beverages.  Reservations received after that time will not have lunch orders (please be advised that we require reservations because we must submit a list of confirmed attendees when placing our food order).

Seating is limited and is not guaranteed without a reservation. Reservations may be made by contacting History and Special Collections for the Sciences (voice: 310.825.6940; email: speccoll-medsci@library.ucla.edu).  We can accommodate up to 40 attendees.

We are looking forward to seeing some familiar as well as new faces at this and upcoming programs, and welcome feedback and recommendations.

The UCLA History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Forum (this is the 18th meeting) is made possible by the Program in Social Studies in Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and by History & Special Collections for the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections.

Upcoming programs:

Looping Genomes: Diagnostic Expansion and the Genetic Makeup of the Autism Population

Monday, 2 June 2014 at 4:00 pm

Gil Eyal, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

This meeting is additionally co-sponsored by the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Program in the UCLA Department of History.

Making LSD a Psychotomimetic in Los Angeles, 1950s-1960s

Friday, 6 June 2014 at 12:30 pm

Rob Schraff, PhD candidate in History

 

The Unknown Henry Miller : A Biography by Arthur Hoyle

May 6th, 2014

The Unknown Henry Miller : A Biography by Arthur Hoyle

Though Henry Miller possessed one of the most distinctive voices in the twentieth-century literature, he toiled in relative obscurity and poverty for much of his career, better known in Europe than in his native America. He achieved international success and celebrity during the 1960s when his banned books Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion were eventually published in the U.S. and judged by the U.S. Supreme Court not to be obscene.

The Unknown Henry Miller focuses on Miller’s years in Big Sur, when he wrote many of his most important books, married and divorced twice, raised children, and tried to live our an aesthetic and personal credo of self-realization. Drawing on his correspondence with Anaïs Nin, Lawrence Durrell, Alfred Perlès, James Laughlin, Wallace Fowlie, Huntington Cairns, and Emil Schnellock; and materials from UCLA Library Special Collections, this book explores Miller’s struggles to find an audience for his work and to reach his personal goal of spiritual self-realization.

A writer, educator, and independent filmmaker, Hoyle earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from UCLA. His documentary films have won numerous awards and have aired on PBS, and he has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Admission is free, but reservations are requested by May 6 to 310.206.8526 or <rsvp@library.ucla.edu>.

Parking is available in Structure Five, levels four and five, for $12. Enter campus at Sunset Boulevard and Royce Drive, then use the self-service pay stations to obtain a permit. The Research Library is to the northeast of the parking structure.

Campus map: http://www.ucla.edu/pdf/ucla-campus-map.pdf

Poem in Your Pocket Day Exhibition

April 24th, 2014

To celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, on view in our flash exhibition case –for today only!– are several examples from Library Special Collections’ holdings of miniature bindings.

Poems and Lovers, by A. R. Witten, 1969. (Call number: Min. PS509. B3W784p)

The pocket-sized volumes in the collection include a wide variety of works — from Catullus to nursery rhymes, early Italian printings to modern artists’ books, delicate folded paper to sturdy leather bindings, sublime verse to silly doggerel.

La Divina Comedia di Dante, 1555. (Call number: Min. Z233.G4D23d)

Be sure to discover other Poem in Your Pocket Day events in Young Research Library. Check the Facebook page and Twitter feed (@ucla_yrl) for more information.

 By Megan Hahn Fraser, Processing Projects Librarian

 

 

Chocolate: From Pod to Package

April 22nd, 2014

A mini-exhibit of old favorites and recent acquisitions in the History & Special Collections for the Sciences section of UCLA Library Special Collections is on display at the Louise M. Biomedical Library (1st floor lobby/research commons) through 30 April 2014.

Chocolate: from pod to package begins with the work of Francisco Hernández (1515-1587) and runs through items on loan from an extensive local collections of Peeps and Peepsiana. A highlight is the recently-purchased (from Zephyr Used & Rare Books in Vancouver, Washington) 1905 salesman’s sample travel case and book from Walter Baker & Co., the Dorchester, Massachusetts company which was awarded Grand Prize in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair for its educational exhibit about the making of chocolate.

This exhibit is part of an occasional series, “This Just In: Recently Acquired Gifts and Purchases.”

By Russell Johnson, Curator/Librarian, History & Special Collections for the Sciences