Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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 or a phone call to 310.206.8526.

Qui me neglige me perd

February 28, 2014


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.


Cupid, in search of Psyche on a faintly moonlit night:

Upon finding her, Cupid falls deeply in love:


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.

Letters in the Landacre Archive

January 15, 2014

By Library Assistant, Nina Mamikunian

Over the Fall quarter I had the pleasure of working in the Clark’s Paul Landacre archive. Landacre, born in Columbus, Ohio in 1893, was a self-taught wood engraver and illustrator who was active in fine press printing in Los Angeles beginning in the 1930s until his death in 1963. He first showed his work in Jake Zeitlin’s bookshop, and over the years illustrated books for Zeitlin’s Primavera Press and the Ward Ritchie Press. Landacre’s engravings are incredibly detailed and his prints (he printed his work himself on a Washington hand-press) are stunning: dramatic and sultry, capturing both the tumult and serenity of the California landscape in stark black and white. Landacre’s skillful and patient hand is evident in each line.

My research focused on Landacre’s professional and artistic achievements but I couldn’t help but lose myself in some of more personal material contained in the archive. There was the lock of Margaret’s (his wife of nearly forty years) hair, the dance cards and track numbers from his college-athlete days, and scores of letters from friends from around the country. While not every letter related directly to my research questions, they helped immerse me in the Landacres’ world. One of my favorites came from Delmer Daves, writing from a hotel in Berlin. The text of the letter outlines a particularly visible watermark on the hotel stationery.


Other favorites include a series of letters from a friend serving in the Navy in the 1940s who grew more and more exasperated with Landacre’s lack of letters. (And Landacre did procrastinate with his correspondence. The majority of his own letters start with some variation of “sorry I haven’t written to you yet”!)


Dear “friend”, Do you have a broken arm? Or don’t you have a stamp?


Dear Mr. Landacre, You make me mad. For godsakes, can’t you write?           

Also striking were letters that reflected some of the turmoil of the times, such as this letter expressing support for Sueo and Mary Serisawa, good friends to the Landacres. Sueo, a painter, was a Japanese immigrant, and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Serisawas left California for a time for fear of internment.  In the letter, Landacre says “It is my hope that Mr. and Mrs. Serisawa be accorded courtesy and consideration under all circumstances. They deserve it.”


I wish to assert emphatically that Sueo and Mary Serisawa are two of the finest people it has ever been my good fortune to know.

There are many more treasures in the Landacre archive. And for more info on Landacre, check out Clog posts, here and here!

2013 in review

January 2, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Early Modern Studies

December 12, 2013

Readers’ Annotations and the Early Modern Book

The University of California, Los Angeles welcomes applications for a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship in data curation for early modern studies. Awarded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, this post is based at UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, which houses many unique pre-1770 rare book collections of American, English, and European sources.  All cultural and scholarly activities at the Clark Library are administered by the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies. The fellowship also involves working closely on data curation with senior members of the UCLA library staff based on the main campus at Westwood. For information about UCLA Library policy on humanities data curation, see

The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library belongs to the UCLA Library system. Consistently ranked among the top ten academic research libraries in North America, the UCLA Library system comprises eight major libraries and thirteen library-wide departments and the Southern Regional Library Facility, the remote storage facility for the southern UC campuses. In addition, there are twelve affiliated libraries and library units located on the campus

The CLIR postdoctoral fellow’s research will focus on the challenges for data curation posed by the different types of readers’ annotations on early modern books. To date the guiding principle in digitizing early modern texts has been to provide “clean” copy. But where does this leave the common phenomenon of those books that readers have annotated, sometimes in painstaking detail? The Clark owns books so heavily annotated that they straddle the divide between published book and manuscript. As a consequence, our received histories of the transition between manuscript and print no long appear adequate. The annotations in many Clark volumes contain a trove of information on their circulation and consumption. How might metadata address the methodological and conceptual challenges presented by these objects, recording the level and type of annotation? How might recent work in the field of material studies/history of the book impact curatorial decisions? If, as seems likely for these texts, the study of annotation shifts the focus of understanding early modern volumes from authors to readers, how might this influence our description and cataloguing of the volumes?

Candidates should be recent recipients of the PhD in an appropriate humanities discipline (such as English, history, European literatures, or Classics) or in library and information science, and have demonstrated knowledge about the history of the early modern book. The appointed fellow will be provided with support from both faculty members and library staff to identify suitable sources that relate directly to the fellow’s areas of expertise.

Besides having an affiliation with a suitable academic department, the fellow will also be mentored by a library staff member who previously held a CLIR award. This award will enhance the fellow’s knowledge of both rare book collections and the material history of the early modern text. Since the Clark Library hosts both undergraduate and graduate classes in archival study, the fellow may have the opportunity to take up responsibility for designing and teaching a course whose syllabus derives from his or her research. The following blog post discusses one type of annotated early modern text held at the Clark: Catalogue searches indicate that over 500 pre-1700 volumes at the Clark contain various degrees of annotation.

The postdoctoral fellow will report to both Professor Barbara Fuchs, Director of the Center for 17th-and 18th-Century Studies, who will advise on publishing the results of the fellow’s research, and to the Clark Librarian. The fellow will have the opportunity to assist in academic programming at the Center/Clark that directs attention to the significance of data curation for early modern studies. The Center will supplement the stipend with a research grant to cover travel, conference, and equipment expenses of $1,500 per annum.

Contract: two years. Salary: $60,000 (plus benefits). Position is from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. Applications should include the following documents: letter of application; curriculum vitae; writing sample of scholarship (up to 30 pages of typescript or 25 pages of published article); and three letters of recommendation. Applicants should have graduated with the PhD after 1 January 2009, and, if currently ABD, should have received the doctorate before the fellowship begins on 1 July 2014. Applications need to be postmarked by 27 December 2013 to The review of applications will begin on December 27, 2013 but applications will be accepted until all positions are filled

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA or University) is an equal employment opportunity employer. It is the policy of the University not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person employed by or seeking employment with the University because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services (as defined by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994). This policy applies to all employment practices, including recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, demotion, merit increases, salary, training and development, separation, and making reasonable and appropriate accommodations for persons with disabilities.

Please welcome the Clark Library’s new interns for 2013-2014

December 5, 2013

By Nina M. Schneider, Head Cataloger

201314_groupshot_internsPlan of attack (l to r: Kate Papageorge, Becky Fenning Marschall, Patricia Garcia)

Once again, the Clark is lucky to host two interns from UCLA’s Department of Information Studies, Patricia Garcia and Kate Papageorge. Both students will be here for the academic year focusing on the library’s Press collection and archive. Specifically, they will be processing and cataloging items in the Ward Ritchie and Patrick Reagh collections. The book cataloging will focus on Ward Ritchie’s library which includes antiquarian books, printed ephemera, serials, specimens, and realia focused on printing, typography, and book history that Ritchie collected during his lifetime and bequeathed to the Clark in 2005.


Patricia Garcia is a PhD candidate with previous experience in archival processing and cataloging of digital resources and photographs. Pat comes to us from Austin, Texas where she earned her Bachelor’s from St. Edward’s University and her Master’s at the University of Texas, Austin, both in English Literature. She just completed her MLIS degree from UCLA. She is fluent in Spanish and swam in the ocean for the first time last weekend.

In her application, Pat explained her interest in this internship:

When I entered the archival studies PhD program in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, I decided that I wanted to earn an MLIS degree as I completed my PhD. Thus, I have been simultaneously taking masters and doctoral level courses in the department for the past two years. The ability to participate in classes at both levels has revealed a difference in professional expectations regarding one’s relationship to theory and practice. When I sit in a doctoral level course, the conversation revolves around theory and abstract ideas about the significance of information objects and institutions, such as the role of archives in society. When I sit in a master’s level course, the conversation is practice-­‐based and highly particular, such as the appropriate subject headings to use when cataloging a particular material.

However, since my terminal degree will be a PhD, I am often advised not to worry about the particulars of practice; I’m told, “You don’t need to know that kind of stuff. Worry more about the theory and research.” I disagree. How can an archival studies scholar develop effective theory, teach courses to future practitioners, and undertake worthwhile research projects if they don’t understand the everyday realities of working in an archive or special collections library?

We can offer Pat lots of reality! Her first task was to intellectually reorganize the Ward Ritchie archive before adding more materials that haven’t yet been processed. She’s now working on cataloging Ritchie’s printed collection and enhancing records of duplicate copies already in the library.


Kate Papageorge is a second-year MLIS student who has already had a taste of the cataloging world. After receiving degrees in Dance from Saddleback College and Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz, Kate participated in the Library Technology Program at Palomar College in San Marcos. She worked for a while at the San Diego County Library before starting at UCLA. In addition to studying full-time and participating in the Clark’s internship program, she volunteers once a week at the Museum of Natural History’s library, helping with some cataloging, preservation re-housing, and reference requests.

Kate’s interest in history, literature, fine press, and bibliographic description guided her to focus on library special collections and rare books. During this internship she will be organizing, arranging, and describing the Patrick Reagh collection, as well as cataloging the printed works from Ward Ritchie’s bequest. Kate became engaged over the Thanksgiving weekend, which, as she says, is her “favorite news of the week.”

Please make sure to say hello to Pat & Kate the next time you are here.

Size Matters: A Moment with the Miniature Books by Library Assistant Nina Mamikunian

November 25, 2013

The miniature book collection at the Clark Library is probably one of our most eye-catching yet least-used collections. As much as I would love to see our scholars pore over these tiny tomes, magnifying glasses in hand, the fact of the matter is that the miniature books hardly leave their shelf. However, whenever there is a tour or a class visit, invariably there is at least one person who notices the cabinet and is instantly fascinated, asking “Are they real?” and “Can you actually read them?” I am here to tell you that yes, they are real books, and yes, you might have to squint, but you can read them.


There are a few of the miniature books in the collection that I would like to highlight, particularly Barbara Raheb’s Oscar Wilde editions. Our Oscar Wilde collection is extensive (and well-used) but Raheb’s books are unlike any other, as they are only 24 millimeters tall. That’s slightly less than an inch!


Raheb first came to miniature books by way of miniature dollhouse accessories. According to Robert C. Bradbury’s 20th Century United States Miniature Books, it was Queen Mary’s dollhouse at Windsor Castle that first captured Raheb’s attention, and she began producing miniature books for dollhouses in 1976 under the name Mudlark Miniatures. In 1980 she began using the imprint Pennyweight Press and focused her attention on books for miniature book collectors. Raheb’s prolific output (over five hundred miniature books according to Bradbury) and the high caliber of her work earned her the Miniature Book Society’s Norman W. Forgue award in 1995 for her outstanding contributions to the miniature book world.


These miniatures are undeniably “real books.” Raheb’s books are bound in leatherette, have marbled endpapers and gilt titles on the covers and spines, are illustrated and have text. And as long as there have been books, there have been miniature books. A excellent overview of miniature book history can be found over at the Lilly Library’s online exhibit “4000 Years of Miniature Books” [] But the miniatures are nearly impossible to read without a magnifying glass. And if books are meant to be read, what, then, is their appeal? For starters, they are easier to carry around (this was important for the traveling libraries) and they are sometimes easier to hold (and this was important for children’s books). Miniature books are also easier to conceal. The first book on contraception, Fruits of Philosophy; or, The Private Companion of Young Married People, by Dr. Charles Knowlton in 1832 was a mere 2 7/8 by 2 1/2 inches. (When Knowlton, who did not include his name on the book, was discovered as the author, he was briefly jailed.) [“Why Miniature Books?” By Anne C. Bromer,

But there is no need these days to conceal The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Selfish Giant and paperbacks are easy enough to carry aroundWhy mini books today and why so incredibly mini? As Doris Welsh points out in the The History of Miniature Books, miniature books are charming. They captivate the imagination. They are tiny marvels that take a tremendous amount of effort and time. For me, their tininess draws attention to aspects of bookmaking that I might overlook simply due to over-familiarity. I rarely think about font-size with most books, but show me a miniature book and suddenly I want to know how tiny the type is. (Raheb’s are done in 9-point font and then photographically reduced. In the nineteenth century, before the advent of photoreduction, typesetters and publishers cast incredibly tiny 2- and 3-point fonts.) Miniature books, such as “Thumb Bibles” and “lilliput dictionaries,” were often produced for their novelty and to show off the publisher’s skills. What’s striking to me when looking at pictures of miniature books in bibliographies or online is that — unless there is something else in the picture to show the scale — I would never be able to guess just how incredibly small and marvelous these books really are.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 572 other followers