Archive for October, 2009

Ghoulies and Ghosties

October 30, 2009

(by Carol Sommer, Head of Reader Services and expert on Clark Library paranormal activity)

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
(Scottish Saying)

Since Halloween is nearly upon us, I’ve been asked about the ghost that haunts the Clark Library. Although never seen (well, maybe once but under dubious circumstances), the ghost has been heard. From footsteps running up the stairs (heard by a staff member who knew he was the only one in the library), to doors being slammed as one is closing the library for the night, to the mezzanine doors slowly opening even though there is no one on that level, most of the Clark staff has experienced at least one of these phenomenon during their time at the library. Our custodian has come in before any of the staff has arrived to find lights on, doors open, and objects moved (and no, it was not due to carelessness on the staff’s part the night before).


Snooks, the Clark family's Boston terrier, is buried on the Clark Library grounds

One visitor to the library, while waiting to be let out, heard a dog bark upstairs (Snooks perhaps, returned to look for his master?).  Another staff member reported “whispering voices” in the drawing room.  Regardless of all these experiences, the presence (whoever it may be) is at least not malevolent.

Just a reminder…

October 28, 2009

We would love to see you at our annual Halloween party this Friday, October 30th from 3-5pm!


Dia de los Muertos and Mr. Clark

October 26, 2009

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood is the resting place of scores of Los Angeles luminaries, from movie stars to the Otis and Chandler families of the LA Times.  It is also the resting place of our library’s founder, William Andrews Clark, Jr.  His mausoleum, designed by architect Robert Farquhar and situated on an island in the middle of a lake, is the largest monument in the cemetery.

The Clark Mausoleum

The Clark Mausoleum

This past Saturday, Hollywood Forever hosted its annual Dia de los Muertos event, which a couple of Clark librarians were able to attend.  Though the Clark mausoleum wasn’t decorated like the many altars erected across the cemetery (maybe next year?), it was lit with bright colorful lights and attracted the attention of lots of people who posed for pictures on its steps and probably wondered who was buried there, as the Clark name isn’t engraved anywhere outside.

mausoleum 2


photographs by Paul Marschall

More Chrzanowski News

October 21, 2009

A detailed press release about Paul Chrzanowski’s gift to the Clark is here at the UCLA Newsroom.

Back Online

October 21, 2009

When the new Clark Library website went up, two web exhibitions came down. In need of a redesign, these pages did not fit with the library’s new web presence. Well, now they’re back up and better than ever. Check out these two redesigned web exhibitions: Daphnis & Chloe and The Margins of the World, as well as the rest of our exhibitions.

de Bruyn - Levant - chameleons

Fifth Annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture

October 21, 2009

The Fifth Annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture
on the History of the Book Trade

Learned Book Illustrations, their Patrons, and the Vagaries of the Trade in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England

by Michael F. Suarez, S.J., University of Virginia

at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Saturday, November 7 at 2 pm

From the mid-seventeenth century, English antiquaries, cartographers, classicists, and scientists increasingly sought to produce large folios with elaborate illustrations.  But how to pay for the enormous production costs of such works?  Engravings by the leading practitioners of the day—whether depicting the beauties of the great cathedrals, the epic glories of classical antiquity, or the finer points of natural history—required significant investments in both men and materials.  This lecture will consider the commercial and cultural expedients that self-publishing authors, learned societies, and projecting booksellers developed to finance their books, many of exceeding beauty and genuine importance.  Examining these “books for looking” produced for cultural elites and chiefly underwritten by their intended readerships, we encounter narratives of fiscal irresponsibility, signal innovation, shameless advertising, remarkable networking, outright deception, outstanding loyalty, and brazen vanity.  Reading these lavish images and the stories of their making—in botanical books and star atlases, deluxe classical translations and county histories—compels us to consider the traffic between culture and commerce, to contemplate the exchanges between text and trade in new and illuminating ways.  Understanding materiality and meaning as mutually informing, we will attend to questions of patronage and capitalization, consumption, monumentality, and ideologies both political and religious as they bear on cultural and intellectual life in Restoration and early eighteenth-century England.

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. is University Professor and Director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.  He is co-General Editor of two large projects from Oxford University Press: The Oxford Companion to the Book, a million-word reference work on bibliography and book history (January 2010), and the Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (8 volumes, 2006–13). A Jesuit priest, he received his doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University and has held research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.  Fittingly, Michael Suarez’s visit to the Clark Library as the Karmiole Lecturer coincides with the publication of his co-edited volume, The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, volume 5, 1695–1830 (Cambridge UP, 2009), a work that promises to be a landmark in eighteenth-century studies.

Registration Deadline: November 2, 2009.

Please click here for a printable registration form.

Admission is complimentary, but advance registration is required.

Please be aware that space at the Clark is limited and that registration closes when capacity is reached. No confirmation will be sent, but we will contact you if we receive your registration after we reach capacity.

Today’s press

October 12, 2009

Paul Chrzanowski’s generous gift to the Clark is featured on the Los Angeles Times’ Jacket Copy today.  Go check it out if you haven’t read it yet.  And if you arrived here via Jacket Copy’s links, welcome!

Star Struck

October 9, 2009

Star Struck

An exhibition in honor of the Year of Astronomy, 2009
on view at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

October 8 – December 18, 2009

Opening reception: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 from 4 to 7 pm


Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei discovered the telescope.  That is, using information he heard about a certain Hans Lippershey of the Netherlands creating an instrument to see objects at a distance and then using the information found in a confirming report, Galileo manufactured a tube of lead with two glass lenses and put his eye to it.  The International Year of Astronomy is being celebrated this year to honor the anniversary of the first use of a telescope to study our universe.  William Andrews Clark, Jr. was particularly interested in astronomy and astronomical history.  In 1917 he opened an observatory on the library grounds that featured a Brashear six-inch telescope, exhibition galleries, planetary models, and a geological library.  This exhibition brings together some of the highlights from the Clark Library’s collection of astronomical works.

For more information, to make an appointment to view the exhibition during normal library hours, or to RSVP to the opening reception, please call (323)731-8529.

Go West, Young Man!

October 9, 2009

A new finding aid for 96 images of Montana and the West has been added to the Clark’s page on the Online Archive of California. Though the finding aid itself only includes descriptions of the images and no pictures itself, it should serve as a valuable entry point to this interesting collection, which has remained relatively hidden in the Clark’s stacks up until now.   The collection includes original black and white photographs of individuals from the Montana Territory, including such colorful characters as Calamity Jane, “Lonesome Charlie,” and “Flopping Bill,” as well as members of the military and other pioneering locals.  Other images include sketches and photographs of military and trading forts in the West, mining towns, and the great wilderness.

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane

Of particular interest are a handful of pictures of Theodore Roosevelt in the Dakota Territory: he took a hunting trip near a ranch he owned (Elk Horn Ranch) and pursued thieves who stole his boat on the Missouri River.  There is even one stereographic print of Roosevelt with a dead elk; one of a handful available for purchase by catalog for 19th century adventure-seekers.

Teddy Roosevelt and his horse

Teddy Roosevelt and his horse

The adventure of pursuing the boat thieves was chronicled by Roosevelt in his book “Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail”, illustrated by Frederic Remington, in the chapter “Sheriff’s Work on a Ranch”:

Roosevelt and the Boat Rustlers

Roosevelt and the Boat Rustlers

“While Seawall and Dow, thoroughly at home in the use of the ax, chopped down dead cottonwood trees and dragged the logs up into a huge pile, I kept guard over the three prisoners, who were huddled into a sullen group some twenty yards off, just the right distance for the buckshot in the double-barrel.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Trick or Treat!

October 7, 2009

Please join us for our annual Halloween party: