by James Procell, Music Library
One of the music library’s oldest and most unique collections, the Ricasoli Collection, is being fully digitized and made available through the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP). Containing more than 400 music manuscripts and early music prints belonging to the Florentine Ricasoli family, the materials in this collection range in date from 1720 to about 1850. Purchased by the School of Music in the mid-1980s under the guidance of former faculty member Robert Lamar Weaver, this collection represents one of the few Italian aristocratic family collections of music that has not been lost or dispersed due to wars, bankruptcies, or other tragedies. In addition to the numerous manuscripts, the collection also contains a great number of first edition publications, including works by Mozart and Beethoven that were published while these composers were still alive, as well as works by lesser-known Italian composers. Though the collection has been previously microfilmed and indexed in the online database Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), the collection has long remained protected from public view. Currently housed in the music library’s archive room, this historic collection is now being made available for the world to see. In addition, this collection is the subject of a 2012 book, edited by Susan Parisi, The Music Library of a Noble Florentine Family.
IMSLP is the largest and most well-known online public domain music score website. Similar to Wikipedia, IMSLP allows contributions from everyone around the world. Our music library is one of the first libraries to directly contribute materials to this online project, which currently contains more than 239,000 scores by 7,600 composers. See the collection’s page on the IMSLP website, which currently contains 253 pieces from the collection, and continues to grow weekly.
Title page for a harpsichord concerto by Giovanni Francesco Guiliani (ca. 1760-ca. 1820). This concerto is from 1784.
First page of a quartet by Ignace Joseph Pleyel (1757-1831). This manuscript is from circa 1790.
Cover page for a copyist’s manuscript of a sonata for violin and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). This manuscript is from ca. 1803.
First page of a manuscript part, in Italian, from The Creation by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809.) A performance using these exact parts took place in Vienna on April 29, 1798.
by Kathie Johnson, Associate Professor
Kathie Johnson is an Associate Professor and the Curator of History Collections for Kornhauser Health Sciences Library.
As I mentioned in earlier blogs – “I love my job.” There are many reasons for this, but the one I will focus on today is the neat items I get to see and touch on a regular basis. There are too many to name in one short blog, so I will just highlight a few and share them with you.
Civil War amputation instruments: which actually look like instruments of torture, and for anyone who had a limb amputated at that time, they probably were just that. So they had a choice of torture or death. We have probably all seen movies or television shows about the Civil War and scenes in hospitals or doctors working on the wounded in the field. But we know deep down inside that they are actors and there is no actual amputation taking place. When one sees and handles the actual instruments and realizes how they were used, it hits home. It also makes me glad that I live in this time period, so much for the “good old days.”
Brochures from various medical practitioners and facilities, 1898-1905: these items are interesting and often humorous. They are usually postcards or flyers, sometimes ads pulled from publications, but they illustrate the wide variety of legitimate and sometimes quack institutions that abounded at the turn of the 20th century. Of particular interest is the artwork used – photography, etchings, drawings, and other graphics. With no other media other than print, the advertisers usually went all out creating what today are real works of art as well as historic papers.
The records, photographs, text books and ephemera from various nursing schools in Louisville: I do a lot of research on nurses and nursing, and these items always prove to have something of interest to me, whether it be the images of the young women in their uniforms, their grade sheets, the yearbooks, or personal items such as letters and diaries.
One of my favorite artifacts is a shadowbox, approximately 6” x 12” filled with items an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) had removed from patients in the course of his practice. Included are about 18 coins (pennies through a half-dollar), 15 safety pins (of varying sizes), 3 straight pins, 3 buttons, 2 dental bridges (1 with 4 teeth, 1 with 1), 3 nails or screws, a bullet casing, a ladies ring, a metal jack, many small pieces of bone, nuts, or grain, and 2 spoon handles. It always amazes me to look at it, and wonder how in the world someone could have ended up with a spoon handle stuck in an ear, nose or throat. Nothing my children or grandchildren have ever hidden in an orifice compares to that!
So as you can tell, I have good reason to enjoy coming to work every day and I really do love my job!
Kathie Johnson, Associate Professor
Archivist/Curator, History Collections
Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
“Not only is Louisville famous for its annual event at Churchill Downs but it has also become famous for its many social courtesies extended those who visit at Derby time.”
The University of Louisville Libraries’ collections include visual and written documentation of Derby races and parties. Travel back in time to Derbies past through these images freely available in our Digital Collections.
Most Card fans know that the University of Louisville has a history of winning basketball teams–we are no strangers to championships. And we are no strangers to Wichita State: in February 1963, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees voted to join the Missouri Valley Conference, which then as now included the Wichita State Shockers.
50 years and three (soon to be four) conferences later, the University of Louisville Cardinals return to the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament for the 10th time on Saturday night, facing their former conference rival.
Photos from the University of Louisville Yearbooks show past meetups between the teams, such as these from the 1966-1967 season, featuring Louisville greats Wes Unseld (#31) and Alfred “Butch” Beard (#14).
The University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team dates back to 1909 when the dean of Arts and Sciences, John L. Patterson, heeded the request of a handful interested in forming a team.
Finding information on Local Art and Artists
Have you ever wanted to know more about a local artist whose work you have seen or read about? If so, using the resources on local artists at U of L’s Art Library can help. The library keeps clipping files on local artists containing newspaper articles, exhibition announcements, pamphlets and sometimes even student papers. We have also indexed the Courier-Journal art columns since 1944 and those columns contain a treasure trove of material on local art and artists.
Romuald Kraus (1891-1954) is a perfect example of the art library’s resources. You might have seen his sculpture in the Music School. Called Reminiscence, it was made from Tennessee marble in 1939 and presented to the School of Music in 1952 by the Louisville Philharmonic Chorus and the sculptor. Below is Reminiscence.
A library file on Kraus provides the following biographical information: Kraus was born in Austria and emigrated to the U.S. in 1924. He taught at the Cincinnati Art Academy before coming to the University of Louisville in 1947. A man who eschewed the limelight, he nevertheless was thrust into it when, in 1935 he was awarded a commission in a national competition to sculpt a figure of Justice for the Newark, N.J. federal courtroom. Kraus’ Justice had no blindfold, scales or sword and definitely did not look like a Roman sculpture, the style we are all familiar with. Justice won accolades from most but censure from others. Federal judge Guy L. Fake, in whose courtroom the sculpture was supposed to reside, said the piece smacked “blatantly of Communism,” and that it conveyed “ruthless confiscation” rather than justice.
The astute researcher will also find that the Art Library has the papers of Romuald Kraus which contain correspondence between Kraus and his wife Esther, various Kraus relatives, the sculptor Henry Kreis, and others. The collection also includes Kraus’ sketchbooks and exhibition lists, along with biographical information about Kraus and his brother Leo, catalogs, articles, and photographs related to Justice and Kraus’ other work. Kraus’ papers were instrumental in the work of graduate student Eddie-Sue McDowell whose 1992 master’s thesis was titled Romuald Kraus : Justice and other work for the Works Progress Administration, 1933-1943.
Another researcher, Yale law professor Judith Resnick and co-author Dennis Curtis, used the Kraus papers for their book called Representing Justice; Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (Yale University Press, 2011, available in the Art Library). Resnick and Curtis furthered the research on the controversy surrounding Kraus’ Justice. In 1939, during the dust-up, the statue was part of an exhibit of modern art sent to San Francisco. It received not only praise and an award but also a request that it be installed in a federal building in Covington, KY. In 1941, the Covington courthouse got a copy of the work.
Below is a photograph of Kraus with the 7 foot tall, almost 700 pound bronze Justice.
Do you use Google Translate? The Oxford Language Dictionaries Online, available from the University Libraries Databases A-Z list offers some advantages over Google Translate, especially for beginning language learners.
- The Oxford dictionaries are authoritative. No “voting” on whether the translation is good or not. They are compiled by language experts.
- Phrases! It’s fine to know the meaning of a single word. Google translate works decently for that. When you’re learning a language though, it is super helpful to know the phrases that often accompany a particular word, especially when they color the meaning of that word or when the word is not used literally. For example, Google will tell you that “gesicht” in German means “face.” The Oxford Language Dictionary will tell you that “solche Unhöflichkeit steht dir nicht zu Gesicht[e]” or “such impoliteness ill becomes you.” The translation of that phrase in Google: “Such rudeness does not become you to face.”
- Need to cite the word you translated? Oxford Language Dictionaries Online help you do that with the click of a button!
- The dictionaries contain important grammatical information for each language.
- Lists of useful phrases to use when you’re traveling!
The dictionaries also briefly summarize the history and current state of the language. U of L Libraries subscribes to Chinese, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish dictionaries through this service.
Have questions about this resource or any other library resource? Call 852-6747 or chat with us at Ask-a-Librarian.
by Kathie Johnson, Associate Professor
Kathie Johnson is an Associate Professor and the Curator of History Collections for Kornhauser Health Sciences Library.
As curator of the History Collections at Kornhauser Health Sciences Library I have a variety of duties, one of which is assisting researchers doing family history. Most of the research questions that I receive are genealogical in nature. Patrons want to verify that an ancestor attended and/or graduated from medical school in Louisville; or they have that information and want a copy of a diploma, a photograph, or information about medical education during that student’s time here.
Although the University of Louisville traces its roots to 1798, in reality it became an active and on-going educational institution in 1837, with the founding of the Louisville Medical Institute (LMI), which in 1846 became the Medical Department of the newly formed University of Louisville. By the end of the 19th century, Louisville had become a center of medical education with seven medical schools, but by the early 1900s, in response to pressure to improve medical education, four of the schools had been absorbed by the UofL Medical Department. Their alumni were officially listed as alumni of ULMD, and any records that still remained from the schools went to the combined ULMD and Jefferson County Medical Society Library, which is now the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library. The other two schools were closed by 1912.
One of the tools I have available to track alumni is a database that includes most of the medical students who attended LMI/UofL or the schools that were absorbed by UofL from 1837-1908. This database is also available on-line from the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library web page. While it is a simple matter to search this list for an individual name, there can be some challenges involved. Many of these names were transcribed from hand-written ledger books, some with almost illegible handwriting, and the spelling of names sometimes varies. Many of the students are listed with initials only, so common sir names may prove to be troublesome. Second, this list is massive, containing over 30,000 names, so as with any project this magnitude, a few names got omitted. An entry in the database only indicates attendance, not graduation, so follow-up in school records is needed.
All inquiries are written up on an “Information Request Form.” When the work is done, one copy is saved for tallying statistics, while a second is filed alphabetically by the name of the subject of the inquiry. If the research has already been done for a particular individual, that sheet may answer the entire question, thus this is the next step in my search. We also maintain extensive biographical reference files as part of the History Collections and a quick check there for a name is part of the process. These files may contain photographs, articles by or about a person, obituaries, CVs, and lists of publications among other things.
My search in not over after checking the above sources. Some very helpful tools are the various kinds of medical directories we have on hand. For doctors who could have died before 1929, I check the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929, which contains short biographical entries on most 19th century doctors. Next I go to the national medical directories, which in our collections date from 1878, and were published regularly from 1886 to the present. Entries may include location of practice, school and year of graduation, specialty, and occasionally additional details. Having over a century’s run of directories helps in tracking these individuals. If the database listing or any directory entries indicates that the person in question graduated from one of the Louisville medical schools, I can then check the school’s catalog.
Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, the catalogs listed not only the history of the school, the curriculum, the faculty, and the fees; it included the listing of the previous year’s students and graduates. The earliest ones also list the name of the students’ preceptor (or sponsor), their thesis titles, and their home state, or some combination of those three items. We hold a fairly complete run of catalogs for UofL and the schools absorbed by UofL along with some official alumni lists compiled periodically.
Many people also want to know about the courses offered in medical school, the length of the program, and other such information, which can easily be provided. The 19th and some of the 20th century catalogs are digitized and available in our Digital Collections, http://digital.library.louisville.edu/collections/kornhauser/ . There one can learn that well into the 20th century a college degree was not required for admission to medical school, or that for most of the 19th century, medical training only consisted of two four-month sessions.
We also house a collection of ledger books from the various schools, dating to 1880 for some, and beginning in 1908 for UofL. These may provide very little information or may include home addresses, names of preceptors, previous education, and even grades. It is a thrill to find a person’s name in a ledger, in 19th century script, especially if detailed information is also included.
If the person in question practiced in Kentucky prior to 1940 another source is the WPA files. One project of the Works Progress Administration during The New Deal in the late 1930s was the employment of writers to document the history of certain aspects of life and then produce a published work with this research. One of the Kentucky projects was to document the history of medicine. Writers traveled the state transcribing newspaper articles, obituaries and other written documents. This was all combined and indexed for easy searching.
Each time I receive an inquiry, it is a puzzle, a scavenger hunt, and a lot of fun. On top of that, I get paid to do this, making it even better. As mentioned in an earlier blog – I love my job!!!
by Andrew Clark
Andrew Clark is currently pursuing his master’s in Public History. For the past year, Mr. Clark has been processing the Lilialyce Akers Papers.
The Lilialyce Akers Papers, located at the University of Louisville’s Archives and Special Collections, are the record of a life well-spent in the service of humanity. Dr. Akers was an academic, a human rights activist, and an advocate for women’s rights on a local, state, national and international stage. Her papers serve as an important addition to the historical narrative of Louisville, Kentucky, as well as to the nation in the last half of the twentieth century.
The collection material spans from Akers’ undergraduate schooling at Wheaton College in the late 1930’s through her service in the American Red Cross during World War II, her graduate and doctoral work in Sociology at the University of Kentucky in the 1950’s, teaching positions at Midway Junior College, Morehead State College, Kentucky Southern College and the University of Louisville, ending with her death in 2008. The collection reflects the wide range of interests and activities that informed her life.
She was a committed educator whose career was spent at five colleges and universities in fifty plus years in academia. Her interests and activities varied widely throughout her life but the constant theme is that of an engaged and committed social justice activist, primarily concerned with feminist issues.
The papers were donated in two separate segments. The first was donated and processed in 2006, while Dr. Akers was still alive. This initial donation consisted of professional and personal papers and ephemera from her work with women’s issues. The primary focus of this portion of the papers was concentrated on her efforts to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as her work with local political organizations. The remainder of the collection was received by the archives after her death in 2008 and contained the additional personal papers as well as those of her husband Dr. Dee Ashley Akers.
It’s African American History month, and UofL Libraries is pleased to announce the addition of a new online resource and a new participatory opportunity relating to local African American history.
The Louisville Leader Collection features all extant issues of an African American community newspaper covering local, national,
and international news published in Louisville, Kentucky from 1917-1950. The building which housed original copies of the paper was badly damaged by a fire, and the remaining issues, loaned by Kentucky State University and the widow of the publisher, were microfilmed by the University of Louisville, with the digital files created from that microfilm.
The long and winding road the texts have taken toward digital representation has made them less than ideal candidates for optical character recognition (OCR), which has difficulty transcribing faded, torn, or misaligned texts, even when they are readable to the human eye. We are therefore soliciting the public’s help to make these articles easier to search and discover by transcribing them. The transcriptions created through this “crowdsourcing” initiative will then be added to the digital collection, improving its accessibility.
One of my favorite activities when I’m sitting at the reference desk waiting for a student to ask me a question is to explore new books. Sometimes we’ll have a cart full of new reference books waiting to go; other times I’ll use the catalog’s “new items” section to search for newly received books or videos. One fairly new release is The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book: Singin’, Praisin’, Raisin’. [Ekstrom Library 3rd floor book stacks F106 .F695 2011]
This anniversary book is part of the Foxfire series which started out as a student writing exercise by a new teacher in a Georgia school. He asked his students what they could do to make learning English interesting. They decided to start a magazine in which they would write articles based on community interviews. In addition to capturing their interest the assignment captured aspects of a disappearing culture – from dressing hogs to making quilts. Many of the magazine’s articles were later published as books. While we don’t have the whole series we do have a number of the books, including:
- The Foxfire book: hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts and foods, planting by the signs, snake lore, hunting tales, faith healing, moonshining, and other affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 2: ghost stories, spring wild plant foods, spinning and weaving, midwifing, burial customs, corn shuckin’s, wagon making and more affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 3: animal care, banjos and dulcimers, hide tanning, summer and fall wild plant foods, butter churns, ginseng, and still more affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 4: fiddle making, springhouses, horse trading, sassafras tea, berry buckets, gardening, and further affairs of plain living
- Foxfire 7: Ministers, church members, revivals, baptisms, shaped-note and gospel singing, faith healing, camp meetings, footwashing, snake handling, and other traditions of mountain religious heritage
- Foxfire 9: general stores, the Jud Nelson wagon, a praying rock, a Catawban Indian potter, haint tales, quilting, home cures, and the log cabin revisited
- Foxfire 10: railroad lore, boardinghouses, Depression-era Appalachia, chair making, whirligigs, snake canes, and gourd art
Besides being a great way to learn about Appalachian culture, the books have been praised as instructional tomes on all kinds of skills from fiddle making to horse trading.
 The Foxfire Fund, “Foxfire Magazine” http://www.foxfire.org/magazine.html. [Accessed January 29, 2013.]