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It’s the last Feline Friday of the summer. Once again we dip into Alexander and Some Other Cats for some pre-internet photos of cats doing ‘funny’ things.

Illustrations from the second edition of Nuttall’s Ornithology of Eastern North America (1896). Thomas Nuttall was a premier zoologist and botanist in the first half of the 19th century. He spent some time at Harvard as the curator of the botanical gardens. The Nuttall Ornithological Club, the oldest such organization in North America, meets monthly on our campus.

Hyak nin is’shiu, or Stanzas by a century of poets, being Japanese Lyrical Odes, by Frederick V. Dickins, M.B. , 1866

With an extensive preface detailing the painstaking effort of the author to accurately translate these poems, “familiar in every Japanese household,” this book includes poems, explanatory notes, text in Roman and Japanese characters, a full index and a catalog of Japanese author titles. It was scanned as part of the Google Books Project.

Librarians’ notes indicate that the book was given to the Harvard Library by George W. Wales of Boston in 1875 and that its paper was deacidified in 1992.

Acidified paper is the reason so many books and papers created after 1840 are yellowed and crumbling. Michigan State University library offers this description of deacidification of acidic paper.

Feline Friday

This chameleon evidently shares our surprise that the fall semester is upon us!

The cat and the chameleon, 1977.  More striking images from our Judaica collection. The entire photoset of the encounter between cat and chameleon (and human) can be seen at the link above.

We got a sneak peak at this beautiful new work thanks to our Collection Development Department!

Book of Candles by William T. Vollmann, 2006
 
Over the last thirty years, William Vollmann has established himself as one of the most original voices in American letters, producing a voluminous amount of published work, including Europe Central (2005), which won the National Book Award for Fiction.  Although Vollmann is an established writer of both fiction and nonfiction, less well known perhaps is his work as a producer of original artists books.  Harvard recently acquired the final available copy of Vollmann’s magisterial Book of Candles, an artist book containing original artwork and poetry.  Harvard’s copy of Book of Candles is one of two copies of this scarce and highly original work held in institutional collections.

Charles Sumner was a Harvard graduate, Massachusetts senator, and adamant abolitionist. In 1856 Sumner gave an impassioned antislavery speech called “Crime Against Kansas.” Days later an outraged Congressman from South Carolina brutally beat Sumner with a cane on the Senate floor.
According to a Harvard Library Bulletin article by John A. Riggs, “Sumner must rank one of the greatest benefactors of the Harvard Library. During his lifetime he gave the Library an estimated 250 maps, 1,300 volumes, and between 15,000 and 20,000 pamphlets.”
Above are a few volumes inscribed by Sumner. They read:
"To the Library of Harvard University, from a grateful child of the University. – Charles Sumner Nov 28th 1860"
"Albert Sumner Esq – From his brother, The Author."

There’s a book for everything. This one was for the 1940s gal who wanted an overview of all the different vacations she could take and pointers on coordinating her outfit and attitude with her vacation activities.  Susan, Be Smooth at Play, 1941 by Nell Giles, illustrated by Winifred W. Coffin.

"Susan" was representative of a certain free-spirited model of single young womanhood emerging just before World War II. We like to think some of Katharine Hepburn’s characters would have found this book handy, especially madcap socialite Susan Vance of Bringing Up Baby (1938), who would’ve gotten a kick out of a good .25 cent hotel.

The novelist and poet Charles Bukowski was born today in 1920. As a tribute, here is a selection of book covers from our collection.
Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970
Living on Luck: Selected Letters 1960s-1970s
Reach for the Sun: Selected Letters 1978-1994
The Night Torn with Mad Footsteps

The novelist and poet Charles Bukowski was born today in 1920. As a tribute, here is a selection of book covers from our collection.

We have something a little different today for Feline Friday. Maisie the kitten belongs to one of the Sprinkler Valve tumblrians and was named after the Henry James character. Here you see her helping her owner read another James story.  "A Most Extraordinary Case" indeed. Of cuteness.

We have something a little different today for Feline Friday. Maisie the kitten belongs to one of the Sprinkler Valve tumblrians and was named after the Henry James character. Here you see her helping her owner read another James story.  "A Most Extraordinary Case" indeed. Of cuteness.

Throwback Thursday
Exterior view of Widener Library, not dated.
In tribute to the last days of summer: a choir performance on the Widener steps in days gone by.

Throwback Thursday

Exterior view of Widener Library, not dated.

In tribute to the last days of summer: a choir performance on the Widener steps in days gone by.

On August 12, 1898 the United States and Spain signed a cease-fire agreement that brought the Spanish-American War to an end. Theodore Roosevelt, Harvard class of 1880, served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, more commonly known as the Rough Riders. Pictured above are Roosevelt and his men.

Both Harvard’s Widener and Houghton libraries house the Theodore Roosevelt Collection, which includes the correspondence of Roosevelt and his family, many of Roosevelt’s diaries and speeches, and other archival materials. The collection also contains books, photographs, and ephemera relating to Roosevelt.

Feline Friday is upon us once again. Speaking of being upon something, here are photographs of cats sitting on things. Proving that people liked sharing pictures of their cats long before the internet.

From Alexander and Some Other Cats

Carl Ritter was born on this day in 1779. Ritter is generally considered to be, along with the more well-known Alexander Humboldt, the originator of modern geographical science. He was particularly influential in advancing the idea that geography helps determine history. These maps are from Hand-Atlas von Afrika in vierzehn Blatt zur allgemeinen Erdkunde and Das Buch der Länder von Ebu Ishak el Farsi el Isztachri.

Its soft leather cover and worn gilt-edged pages reminiscent of a Bible, Shakespeare’s Ideals of Womanhood examines each of the Bard’s heroines through the lens of an American writer in the late 1920s.

From the foreword: “In the readiness of her wit and the sunniness of her charm Shakespeare may almost be said to have discovered the American girl three hundred years before she discovered herself.”

Happy Birthday to Guy de Maupassant, born August 5, 1850. While primarily known as a master of the short story, Maupassant also did some travel writing, including Sur l’Eau, which documents his travels along the Mediterranean coast of France.