Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reading Your Future at the Clark

July 22, 2014

By Reading Room Assistant Stella Castillo

The riddle of your future may be solved at The Clark! Recently, I was wondering what the future may hold, so I decided to look into fortune telling and came across several books detailing how to read your palm among other things (like your moles!) to determine your future. Palmistry, also known as chiromancy, is the art of reading lines on the hand to forecast the future.

palm

One book, in particular, the True Fortune Teller or Guide to Knowledge… (Call Number: BF1851 .T86 1698*) tells the reader in Chapter 2 that: “…first you must understand, that of all of the members of the body, none so plainly exposes our Fortunes or Fates as the Hand; for in that the God of Nature has ingraven legible Characters, to be read by the studious and industrious, to whom it is his pleasure to reveal such secrets And those are the lines and joynts, & c. apparent in the Palm, Thumb and Fingers, which have an immediate intercourse, though by devious ways, with the chief feats of life, having diverse Names.”

 

The method of evaluating a person’s character or future life by reading the palm of that person’s hand involves decoding the various lines and bumps. The lines have names like the life line, the head line, the heart line and the Saturne line. The palmist may begin by reading the person’s dominant hand which, according to some traditions, represents the conscious mind. According to various traditions of palmistry, the non-dominant hand may carry hereditary traits or information about past-life or karmic conditions.

palm2

The history of palmistry is hazy but it is thought to have originated in India with Hindu astrology and spread through the traditional fortune-telling practices of the Romani people to China, Tibet, Persia, Egypt and Ancient Greece. The earliest books on the topic appear in the 15th Century. During the Middle Ages the art of palmistry was actively suppressed by the Catholic Church as pagan superstition due to its associations with magic and witchcraft and it was used to detect witches. In Renaissance magic, palmistry was classified as one of the seven “forbidden arts,” along with necromancy, geomancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, hydromancy, and spatulamancy. It was believed that certain spots on the hand indicated one had made a pact with the Devil. Palmistry saw a resurgence during the 17th century, when scholars began to attempt to find rational and scientific foundations for the practice. However, palmistry was outlawed in Britain during the reign of King George IV.

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I could tell you more about what your palm might say, but perhaps you should come down to The Clark and have a look at how to read your palm yourself.

Henrique Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray

May 23, 2014

In the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray, there are actually two pictures of Mr. Gray — a “before” and an “after”– painted by two different artists.  The “after” painting by American artist Ivan Albright now lives in the Art Institute in Chicago, where you can find it on display.

Ivan Albright’s Picture of Dorian Gray

The other picture of Dorian was painted by Portuguese artist Henrique Medina, whose work should look somewhat familiar to Clark aficionados:

Henrique Medina's Picture of Dorian Gray

Henrique Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray

Medina is responsible for the portraits of William Andrews Clark, Jr., Cora Sanders, and Robert E. Cowan that are prominently displayed in the library’s drawing room.

Henrique Medina's Picture of Mr. Clark

Henrique Medina’s Picture of Mr. Clark

Medina (1901-1988) spent several years in Los Angeles, where he was a favorite of society and Hollywood figures, including (it seems) Mr. Clark and his staff.  Works by Medina are housed in museums and collections around the world and there is a museum of his work in his native Portugal.  What Medina thought about the coincidence of painting Dorian Gray’s portrait after painting portraits of the founder and staff of one of the largest Oscar Wilde collections in the world is unknown — but hopefully he found it as interesting as we do.

Medina's Picture of Robert Cowan

Medina’s Picture of Robert Cowan

Apparently his portrait of Dorian Gray was at some point given as a gift to Hurd Hatfield, the actor who played Dorian in the film.  According to Hatfield’s Wikipedia entry, his art collections and other estate contents were sold at auction at his home in County Cork in 2007.  We’d love to know if Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray was among those contents. If you can help us figure out more details about the auction and about who owns the portrait now, we would be very thankful!

Henrique Medina, from the University of Porto

Pittsburgh (i.e. Milan)

May 15, 2014

Shannon:

Here’s more on lying books and false imprints from Mitch Fraas at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries’ Unique at Penn blog:

Originally posted on Unique at Penn:


Why was the first book printed in Pittsburgh written in Italian? Spoiler: it wasn’t!

Above is the title page of the 1761 Lettere d’un vago italiano ad un suo amico with its place of publication listed as the thriving metropolis of “Pittburgo” a classic case of what bibliographers call a false imprint. I first came across this example nearly a year ago when researching European books which falsely claimed to be printed in North America and this April a copy of the first volume came up for sale from the bookseller Garrett Scott and is now here at Penn (call#: DP34 .C35 1761).

In 1761, Pittsburgh was only a few years old and had a population barely over 250. The first printing press and locally printed book didn’t come to the city until after Independence in 1786.  Given this fact and thanks to the sleuthing of the Italian…

View original 286 more words

Happy Birthday, Las Vegas!

May 15, 2014

From Nina Schneider, Head Cataloger

auction_vegas

Photograph of Clark townsite auction sale, Las Vegas, May 15-16, 1905 From the collection of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries

In 1905 a two-day auction took place in Southern Nevada. On May 15th and 16th 1200 lots were up for bid. The area: Clark’s Las Vegas Townsite. The owner: William Andrews Clark, the former state senator from Montana.

 

vegasmap

Las Vegas Land and Water Company Map of Clark’s Las Vegas Townsite, Lincoln County, Nevada, May 10, 1905 From the collection of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries

His activities weren’t limited to copper mining in Montana and Arizona. His fortune was already in the millions when he realized an opportunity to increase it even further. At the time, there was no railroad connecting Salt Lake City directly with Los Angeles, requiring a long trip through San Francisco. In order to shave hundreds of miles from this journey and take advantage of the shipping trades in San Pedro, California, Clark purchased nearly 2000 acres, along with the crucial water rights from Helen Stewart, the owner of a profitable ranch on the site of a former Mormon mission. Clark intended to build a train stop in Las Vegas. The rest is history. As James Hulse writes in “W.A. Clark and the Las Vegas Connection”:

The railroad laid out a town, Clark’s Las Vegas Townsite, and held a land auction on May 15, 1905. In two days, the 110-acres bounded by Stewart Avenue and Garces Avenue and Main Street and 5th Street (now Las Vegas Boulevard) were sold. The auction [on May 15 & 16, 1905] founded the modern Las Vegas Valley. … Clark’s Las Vegas Townsite became an incorporated city on March 16, 1911 when it adopted its first charter. Today the Las Vegas Valley is comprised of five jurisdictions: the city of Las Vegas; unincorporated Clark County; the city of North Las Vegas; the city of Henderson; and the city of Boulder City.*

Because liberal divorce laws were already in place and it was to be only two more decades before gambling was legalized and the Hoover Dam constructed, the city of Las Vegas thrived. Clark’s San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad was later known as the Union Pacific.

Senator Clark

Henrique Medina Pencil sketch of William Andrews Clark, 1932? From the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA

* Montana: the magazine of Western History, (Winter 1987):48-55

The Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar and Undergraduate Research

May 9, 2014

Congratulations, again, to Samantha Lusher and the rest of this year’s recipients of the UCLA Library Prize for undergraduate research. Read more about the prize and this year’s recipients here. We also want to congratulate Ms. Lusher’s professor, Dr. Alice Boone, who taught the Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar (an English Department capstone course), “Legacies of The Castle of Otranto, 1764-2014″ at the Clark during the Winter Quarter and Professor Joseph Bristow, who advised Charlotte Rose, another recipient of this year’s award.

The 2014-2015 Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar (a History Department capstone course), “Pirates of the Caribbean?,” will be taught by Professor Carla Gardina Pestana in the Fall Quarter. Students interested in applying for the course should apply by May 16. More information can be found at the link, above.

To give or not to give

April 11, 2014

By Cataloging Assistant Alejandro Sanchez Nunez

This week I had the opportunity to help catalog some of the Shakespeare books that Paul Chrzanowski recently donated to the Clark Library. Working with these books reminded me that whenever I am editing catalog entries, I inevitably stop and smile every time I see a field containing the phrase “gift of”.

The Clark is very fortunate to have had many generous donors over the years, and it is these gifts that have helped develop the wonderful collection we have today. In fact, its history starts with one such generous gift, Mr. Clark donating his books, library building, and home to the University of California in 1926.

I imagine that donating a personal library is not an easy decision given the sentimental and monetary value those books hold. But I think the feeling of reward that comes from knowing the books will be used and enjoyed by others far outweighs any feeling of doubt as to whether to give or not to give.

To Mr. Chrzanowski, Mr. Clark, and all donors to the Clark and UCLA Libraries… thank you!

Congratulations to Samantha Lusher, Winner of the UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

April 2, 2014

The Clark congratulates Samantha Lusher on winning the UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research, incorporating materials from the Clark Library collections. Ms. Lusher and her fellow students just completed this year’s Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar taught by Alice Boone. The UCLA English Department capstone seminar, Legacies of The Castle of Otranto, 1764-2014, explored the gothic past, present, and future of the novel, a theme that Ms. Lusher’s paper, “cyber!Gothic The Gothic Future from Frankenstein to Text-based Online Gaming,” so intriguingly evokes.

The UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research awards ceremony will be held at UCLA’s Powell Library on Wednesday, 30 April 2014, at 4:00 p.m. If you’d like to attend, please secure your reservations by Friday, 18 April 2014, with an email to rsvp@library.ucla.edu or a phone call to 310.206.8526.

Qui me neglige me perd

February 28, 2014

Shannon:

Our fellow Claude Willan has written a lovely blog post on a slip of paper, and its many doodles, inside one of our commonplace books.

Originally posted on Claude Willan:

We all doodle. Studies have shown (nb, studies may not actually have shown, but I think they have) that doodling can help you think. But there’s a certain point at which doodling crosses over into daydreaming.

Here in Clark MS 1986.003, Miss Boyes, the second owner of this commonplace book after Catherine Springett, has left us a little slip of paper showing us the fruits of what looks for all the world like a marvellously frittered-away French lesson. (And who hasn’t done that?) Riddles, drawings, all sorts of stuff. Let’s start with this one:

qui me neglige me perd

It looks to me like this says ‘s/he who neglects me, loses me’. I’m not 100% sure how this maps on a book in a cage and a bird flying away, and we’re struggling here through the layers of history, Miss. Boyes’s command of French, my own, and the barrier of handwriting in deciphering this scene…

View original 313 more words

Cupid at the Clark

February 14, 2014

By Library Assistant Nina Mamikunian

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Clark! We love all of you book lovers, and to show our appreciation, here are a few of my favorites from Cupid and Psyche, wood engravings by William Morris from 1881.

Admirers of the beautiful Psyche neglect their worship of Venus. Offended, Venus commissions Cupid to enact her revenge.

Image

Cupid, in search of Psyche on a faintly moonlit night:
photo(8)

Upon finding her, Cupid falls deeply in love:

Image

Morris engraved these images for a proposed edition of The Earthly Paradise.

Finding What You Seek (Redux)

February 13, 2014

As many of you know, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is a UCLA library and, as such, our holdings are represented in the UCLA Library online catalog. Searching the catalog can tell you what resources UCLA’s many libraries and archives have for you to explore, peruse, and read.

The UCLA Library changed the interface for its online catalog at the end of January 2014. The new interface is pretty intuitive, but this post will help to guide you through using it, and other resources, to help you to find what you seek in the Clark Library collections.

First, go to the UCLA Library catalog. Either click on the “Advanced” tab or the “Set Other Search Limits” button in the lower right-hand corner of the search box.

UCLA catalog basic screen

Both of these will take you to the Advanced Search screen.  Here, you can limit your search in many ways, including by “Location.” In the Location menu, click on “Clark Library,” add your search terms in the search boxes above, then click “Search” at the bottom of the page.

Note that, in the search boxes, you can choose to search your terms in one of three ways: “all of these” is the default, but you can also choose “any of these” (e.g., only one of the words you’re searching need be in the record) or “as a phrase” (e.g., the results will only include the specific phrasing for which you’re searching).

You can also search across all fields, using “keyword anywhere” (the default) or you can limit your search to just the Title, Author Name, Subject, Publication Information, Publication Date, etc.

UCLA catalog advanced screen

One additional note regarding the online catalog: If you’ve completed one search and you would like to maintain your “Clark Library” location limit, click on “Edit Search” to bring you back to the Advanced Search page, with the location limit still intact.

There are two additional sources that you can use to find what you seek within the Clark’s collections. The first is our collection of finding aids on the Online Archive of California (or, “OAC”). Here we post the descriptions of our archival materials, including manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, artwork, and other non-printed documents.

You can search within our page on OAC using the search box under “Find a collection at this institution” feature just below our address. You can also browse the finding aids, which are listed in alphabetical order in the right-hand column.

The third resource is our card catalog.

Clark card catalog

We indeed still have a card catalog, conveniently located in the foyer to the library’s Reading Room. During the process in which our catalog cards were converted into digital data and added to the UCLA Library online catalog, a number of records were inadvertently lost. The card catalog thus contains records of materials that are not in our online catalog and continues to be an essential searching tool.

We encourage our readers to let us know when they find materials in the card catalog, but not in the online catalog, so that we can add the missed records into the latter. But those interested in doing research at the Clark should be prepared to search our holdings in the card catalog as well as the online catalog. And, of course, the Clark staff are always here to help.


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