March is National Reading Month and thus an excellent time to celebrate the joys and wonders of reading. Reading is a fundamental skill that enriches us in countless ways; for some of us, reading a great book is like welcoming a new friend into our lives. The freedom to choose what you want to read is exciting and empowering and yet this freedom is being challenged at school and public libraries across the country in record numbers. We all have things we have to read for work and/or school and those documents are important, instructive, and even life changing. But there is something about choosing your own books that harkens back to our early days as a kid standing in front of the children’s section in our local library and reaching for that title that somehow spoke to us saying “Read me!” So exercise your right to read whatever you want by picking up a book of your choice and reading a few minutes each day. To start you out, have a look at the bookish suggestions on our WU Reads Reading Guide.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr Seuss
There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy
For information about censorship see: The American Library Association’s Fight Censorship site: https://www.ala.org/advocacy/fight-censorship
February in the Willamette Valley tends to be a little gray and dreary but happily, Valentine’s Day appears right in the middle of the month to cheer us all up! Some people think Valentine’s Day is nothing but a holiday created by the greedy greeting card industry. Some feel that it is a wonderful, romantic holiday for lovers and still others think that it is all about friendship and fun. Oh, and let’s not forget the wonderful candy and flowers associated with this celebratory day! When all is said and done, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love in all its forms. Regardless of your thoughts on Valentine’s Day, the library has a good assortment of love-related books to entertain, educate, and perhaps warm your heart the whole month long. Have a look at our WU Reads Reading Guide.
Your greatest power is to show love, to receive love and to be love. — Oprah Winfrey
Thanks to Shonda Rhimes’ hit Netflix series, Bridgerton,Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of King Georges III of England (1738 – 1820), and her court have been given new life in the public imagination. In the library’s vault, we have three works by women authors who served in and wrote about this world, and inspired other authors and composers.
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was born in Steventon, England in 1775 during the reign of King George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte. It was in the court of Queen Charlotte that one of Jane’s favorite authors, Fanny Burney (1752 – 1840), served from 1786 to 1790 as “Keeper of the Robes” for the queen. After leaving Queen Charlotte’s court, Burney decided to publish her third novel, Camilla, by subscription in 1796, and it is in this book that Jane Austen’s name appears in print for the first time. In our library’s copy of Camilla you can see “Miss J. Austen, Steventon” in the list of subscribers. Austen also mentions Camilla as one of the romantic novels, which the heroine of Austen’s first novel, NorthangerAbbey, Catherine Morland, reads for thrills and escapism.
Fanny Burney’s stepsister, Elizabeth Meeke, (1761 – 1826), was also an author, — and a translator. (MacDonald. Mandel.) One of her translations that is in our collection is Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia, by the French author, Sophie Cottin. (1770 – 1807) Cottin’s family were supporters of the French monarchy, which forced them to flee to England during the French Revolution. Sophie returned to Paris in 1798, published six novels, of which Elizabeth (1806) was her last before she died of cancer in 1807. Elizabeth; or, the Exiles of Siberia was widely translated and published throughout the 19th century. (Cutt) Our copy was published in New York in 1812. This book was so popular that Gaetano Donizetti based an opera in three acts upon it in 1820 and titled it Otto mesi in due ore ossia Gli esiliati in Siberia (Eight Months in Two Hours or the Exiles in Siberia).
Both Camilla and Elizabeth: or, the Exiles of Siberia were published during the reign of King George III, who suffered increasingly from mental illness. Eventually his reprobate son, Prince George, took on the role of Regent, which gave rise to the Regency Era that lasted from 1811 until the death of his father in 1820, when he became King George IV. Jane Austen was no fan of George IV, but he was a great fan of her novels. Recently a bill of sale from 1811 was found in the Royal Archives, which was “from a London bookseller, charging the Prince Regent 15 shillings for a copy of Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s first novel.” (Schuessler) To understand Austen’s distaste for the Prince Regent, one should look at a third book in our collection.
The Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George the Third until the Death of George the Fourth (1832), was allegedly written by Lady Anne Hamilton (1766 – 1846), who was a loyal Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Caroline of Brunswick, the unhappy wife of George IV. According to the Dictionary of National Biography: “A person who had gained the confidence of Lady Anne and obtained from her a variety of private information, published, without her knowledge and much to her regret and indignation, a volume purporting to be written by her, entitled Secret History of the Court of England from the Accession of George III to the Death of George IV.” The book created such a scandal that the publisher was forced to flee England.
In a letter from 1813, Jane Austen wrote of Queen Caroline: “Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband.” (Robins, p. 42). Two years later, Austen was invited to the Prince Regent’s library, where his “librarian, James Stanier Clarke, conveyed that the Prince Regent (who was not present) would not object if she dedicated her next book to him.” (Schuessler). Austen worked with the publisher to create this tepid dedication in her novel Emma: “To his Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, this work is, by His Royal Highness’s Permission, most Respectfully Dedicated by his Royal Highness’s Dutiful and Obedient Humble Servant, the Author.”
Just as the world is currently reading Spare, the memoir by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to discover the secrets of the most recent royal family, disclosing royal secrets is nothing new. Having worked for the Royal families, both Fanny Burney and Lady Ann Hamilton, could have shared similar tales of scandal. Similarly Fanny Burney and Sophie Cottin created tales depicting the emotional ups and downs of Romanticism, that were wildly popular in the 19th century, but did not reflect life in the royal courts. You can read these books online by following the links in this article, but you are welcome to come see our copies of all of these works in the Hatfield Library. If you would like to look at them in person, please contact Doreen Simonsen, email@example.com to make an appointment.
Burney, Fanny, and Thomas Payne. Camilla, or, A Picture of Youth. [First edition]. London: Printed for T. Payne, at the Mews Gate, and T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies successors to Mr. Cadell in the Strand, 1796.
Art and architecture surround and impact us on a daily basis. Paintings can make us stop and stare in wonder, sculptures can make us yearn to reach out and touch them, and buildings can inspire awe or makes us feel a sense of comfort and peace. Human beings have been making art since the beginning of time; art is a reflection of our society and our culture. Creating art stimulates the mind of the artist/architect while at the same inspiring the viewer in countless ways. December is Art and Architecture Month and we’re celebrating by featuring a selection of recent art and architecture-related books from our collection on our WU Reads Reading Guide.
Architecture is a art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere and when this environment produces well being.—Luis Barragán
Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views.—Mary Schmich
This fall, the Hatfield Library offered our first-year and transfer students free ghost mugs stuffed with candy and other items such as pens and stickers. We also conducted a voluntary, informal survey– included in each mug was a slip of paper with a QR code to a survey question: “Which two books have influenced your life the most?”
A special thank you to all those who participated in this survey! Here are the results:
Witches by Roald Dahl; Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; The Shining by Stephen King
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven; and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins!
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell; and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Stranger by Albert Camus; Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter; Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Demian by Herman Hesse; 1984 by George Orwell
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls; The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
It’s raining, the leaves are falling, and there is a nip in the air–hooray, it’s fall! Time to uncover your coziest sweaters, discover your favorite hot beverage at the Bistro, and revel in all things pumpkin! There’s something magical about grabbing your rain gear, tromping around among the colorful leaves, and listening to the geese fly overhead. Fall tourism or “leaf peeping” is big business in the New England states, but Oregon puts on some pretty impressive leaf shows as well. Fall bird migration is also in full swing so it is the perfect time to explore bird watching–take a walk at Minto Brown or visit nearby wildlife refuges like Ankeny or Basket Slough. And if you just feel like curling up in a comfy chair with a good book, check out the interesting selection of autumn-related print and e-books listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide.
Wild is the music of the autumnal winds amongst the faded woods. –William Wordsworth
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher in Missouri, decided that a month should be dedicated to celebrating and exploring gay and lesbian history. Along with other teachers and community leaders, they chose October to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which falls on October 11th. Several national organizations endorsed the idea and in 2006, Equality Forum, “a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus,” took on the responsibility for coordinating the month-long celebration. LGBTQ+ History Month provides us with the opportunity to recognize and discover the vital role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history. Thirty-one important lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals are highlighted and celebrated throughout the month; this year, Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, was chosen as one of these icons and her achievements will be honored on October 10th. In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, checkout these recently published books listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide.
A slightly belated welcome back from the Mark O. Hatfield Library. With the Claremont School of Theology leaving this summer and removing their book collection, we have made significant changes to the first floor. If you look behind the “Art Wall,” you will see that in the last few weeks we removed much of the shelving where the CST collection had been located and created a new seating area that is a mix of tables and comfortable seating. This area has a spacious, open feel to it and benefits from wonderful lighting from nearby windows. We are excited by the opportunity to establish a new, creative, mixed-use space for all to enjoy. Come on by, check it out, and let us know what you think.
In the future we hope to provide other kinds of furniture and/or services in this area, so please feel free to share any ideas you have with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who are budget or sustainability minded, please note that the removed shelving was recycled and the current furnishings came from existing furniture already in the Hatfield Library that was simply relocated.
Evolution of the change
Empty Shelving: After the removal of the CST titles.
The shelving is almost gone: Notice the interesting stripe pattern on the carpet–the dark stripes were where the shelving was located and the light stripes were the aisles.
Opening Days: A few stray items of furniture have wandered into the space.
Day after Labor Day: Movers brought more furniture from upstairs.
Later in the Day: It didn’t take long for students to find the new seating.
What do potatoes, mushrooms, and rice have in common? Besides being delicious (depending on who you talk to, of course) and nutritious, these three food sources share the same appreciation month. That’s right–September is National Potato Month, National Mushroom Month, and National Rice Month. Who knew? And did you know that potatoes are grown in all 50 states? And although often considered a vegetable, a mushroom is neither a plant nor animal. In the world of biology, mushrooms make up their own kingdom–Fungi! When it comes to rice, the average American eats 27 pounds of rice a year. Rice constitutes 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply, edging out wheat at 19%. Food scarcity is a growing concern worldwide so it seems appropriate to take a moment to think about the food we consume and appreciate the nutritional value in unassuming food sources such as potatoes, mushrooms, and rice. Checkout related sources from our collection on our WU Reads Reading Guide.
Potatoes have much more staying power than caviar. — Mark Helprin
Limited Edition books are a melding of fine literature and the art of fine printing. Four books in our vault are lovely examples of an author’s and a publisher’s joint enthusiasm for a unique presentation of a text.
“A limited edition book is one where the number of copies in the print run has been strictly defined prior to its issue, and that number is substantially less than a standard print run, and then no further print runs are issued after the first printing has sold out… [These] books may also contain additional features such as better quality paper, extra illustrations, author signatures, different cover art, etc.” (“Limited Edition Books”).
“Gwilan’s Harp” is a story by Ursula Le Guin that was published by the Lord John Press in Northridge, California in 1981. In the back of this book, you will find a page with a limitation statement, which in this case states that this book is number 298 of 300 copies printed.
Details about the paper used for printing this book, what type font was used, who designed the book, who printed the book, and who published the book may be listed. In addition, the author’s autograph may be found on this page, too.
Herb Jellen of Boston, an avid collector of autographs and first editions, started the Lord John Press, which published Le Guin’s story. From 1976-2006 Jellen published limited editions in printing runs of 150 or 300 copies, that were signed by the authors. The name “Lord John Press” came from Jellen’s “love of [the] authors: John Barth, John Cheever, John Fowles, John Gardner, John Hawkes and John Updike. “Lord” is said to have come from his desire “to marry” Great Britain and America.”
Sometimes these texts travel widely before being published as a limited edition book, such as Place in Fiction, an essay by Eudora Welty. Originally, it was a lecture she presented at Cambridge University in 1954, and was then published in The Archive (Duke University) in April 1955, the South Atlantic Quarterly in January 1956, and elsewhere.
Mrs. Marguerite Cohn heard Miss Welty read the essay on the Poetry Series of the Young Man’s Hebrew Association in New York and asked the author for permission to publish her essay as a limited edition book by her company, the House of Books, in 1957. This is the edition that we have in our collection, which is number 63 of 300 copies printed.
In Dallas, Texas, Hank Coleman founded Pressworks, a small literary fine press publishing company. When Anne Dickson purchased Pressworks in 1981, she inherited short works and poetry by such famous authors as Robert Penn Warren, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Barthelme.
We own a copy of Barthelme’s work, Presents, (1980). Its text consists of numerous brief sketches, most of which involve two naked women, and has four plates of collages done by the author. Our copy is number 150 out of 350 copies printed for sale.
Finally, we have a book of poetry by Oregon’s former Poet Laureate, William Stafford. His book, You and Some Other Characters (1989) was illustrated by his daughter Barbara Stafford and published by Donnell Hunter of the Honeybrook Press. Hunter was a prolific and significant Mormon poet, who ran the Honeybrook Press in Rexburg, Idaho. Our copy of Stafford’s You and Some Other Characters, is one of 328 copies, but it is not numbered nor autographed by the author. What makes this book special is that it was “designed & printed letterpress on Lana Laid paper by Donnell Hunter with hand-set Deepdene type & hand-sewn in Fabriano covers.”
The loving workmanship of hand-set type on fine paper makes Hunter’s physical copy of Stafford’s poetry a tactile pleasure that complements Stafford’s words.
Limited Edition fine press books are works of art created jointly by the author and the publisher / printer. Although these four books are recent publications, their scarcity and / or artistic nature classifies them as rare books, worthy of being shelved next to Shakespeare’s Second Folio, Medieval Books of Hours, and other treasures in the vault at the Mark O. Hatfield Library. If you would like to see them for yourself, please contact Doreen Simonsen, email@example.com