County Cork, Ireland lies in the southwest region of the country and contains many historically famous cities and buildings, such as Cobh (formerly Queenstown) where the Titanic last docked before its disastrous maiden voyage in 1912, and Cork City itself, the second largest city Ireland. In terms of its beauty and traditions, this particular county has not changed very much over the centuries, though like the rest of Ireland, has seen economic hills and valleys as well as its own take on revolution and patriotism in the island. In Charles Smith’s two-volume 1774 work in the Archives & Rare Books Library, The Ancient and Present State of The County and City of Cork, the author discusses the vast history of County Cork up to his own time in the 18th century. He explains all aspects of Irish history in Cork, ranging from wars to flora and fauna with maps and photos to illustrate what he is discussing. The volumes are part of the growing body of Irish literature in ARB and are consulted frequently by students and scholars interested in urban development, the history of cities, and the general history of Ireland. Smith’s work also includes maps and engravings of Cork City and the surrounding countryside. Continue reading
By: Eira Tansey
Twenty-five archivists, five and a half days, and untold quantities of coffee: these are the basics that make up the annual Archives Leadership Institute (ALI). ALI is a week-long leadership training institute for a cohort of 25 archivists, selected each year following an extensive application and review process. The institute is funded by a 3-year grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), and is currently located at Berea College (Kentucky). Continue reading
By: Eira Tansey
Many of us are looking forward to 2019, when the University celebrates its bicentennial. But another important anniversary is already upon us. On July 1, 1977, the University will mark its 40th anniversary as a state-affiliated institution. Prior to 1977, the University of Cincinnati was overseen by the City of Cincinnati. Continue reading
By Sydney Vollmer
Congrats to all the Bearcats who graduated and to those who celebrated surviving another semester! Now that it’s summer time, you might be looking for some fun things to do. I can tell you about one that’s right in your backyard…well, park. Once again the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will offer their free Shakespeare in the Park summer series. It opens July 14th and runs through September 4th. Each year Cincinnati Shakes prepares two shows for their various performances at parks around the city and Hamilton County. This year’s shows are Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Past years included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing. The official schedule hasn’t been posted yet, but it will be coming soon! You can check their website for updates. Continue reading
By: Sydney M. Vollmer, ARB Intern
In the spring of 1883, Cincinnati held its first Dramatic Festival at Music Hall, performing for a consecutive six days. The show had a lineup of performances of all sorts of dramatic works, with many of them holding Shakespearian titles. The festival was such a big deal that even the Chicago Tribune sent someone over to see what it was all about but unfortunately, the Tribune was less than impressed with Cincinnati’s efforts, claiming that the largeness of Music Hall drowned out the performances of almost all the actors. However, the critics did have some kind words for the orchestra as well as the performances of Hamlet and Julius Caesar. Apparently, these were the only two plays that were “great” enough to be worthy of performance while simultaneously using the space effectively. It certainly helped that in the role of Hamlet was the famous thespian James E. Murdoch.
By: Sam Whittaker, History Department Intern
The Archives and Rare Books Library recently received a new collection of papers from Marian and Donald Spencer. For over fifty years, the Spencers fought for educational equity and equal rights with organizations such as the NAACP, the U.S. Commission on Human Rights Ohio Board, and the Cincinnati Board of Education. While processing the papers of Marian and Donald Spencer, I learned a vast amount about their groundbreaking electoral campaigns, keynote speeches, court cases, and community boards. However, I also came to know them as people. Donald and Marian Spencer met while they were both students at the University of Cincinnati, married in 1940, and raised two boys. They spent a great deal of their nearly 70 years of marriage in Cincinnati fighting for social justice and equality in the community. Continue reading
By: Sydney Vollmer
Over the next few months, the Archives & Rare Books Library will open another of our exhibit websites that introduces our extensive collection of fairy tales and folklore for research and teaching. There are many volumes to sift through, but one I recently pulled caught my eye. In Powder and Crinoline doesn’t contain any stories with which I was familiar, but when I paged through it, I was more than a little pleasantly surprised.
This collection of stories retold by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) was first published in 1912 by Hodder and Stoughton. “Q” was a Cornish writer who was well known for his fiction and anthologies, particularly for his Oxford collection of English poetry in 1900. In the preface to Powder and Crinoline, he speaks of his first impression of the work: Continue reading
By: Sydney Vollmer
In our present time, it seems stories are constantly being changed or redone to make them more applicable to our lifestyle. This certainly isn’t an entirely new phenomenon in the course of literature, but the frequency seems to be picking up. Like any other content, fairytales are not excluded in this world of remakes, but how much are we allowed to change things? How does it impact the future generations who are learning these stories for the first time? Continue reading
By: Sydney Vollmer
A few weeks ago, Kevin walks into my office and tells me that word on the street is people want me to write about the Jacobins. After reading about the difference between Jacobites and the Jacobean Era, some people wanted to know if Jacobins had anything to do with either one of those. It all has to do with the recent donation of over 500 rare books on the Jacobites in Britain, providing a little context on what we have in the Archives & Rare Books Library and who all these Jackos or Jamesies are. Continue reading
By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager
A constant challenge for digital archivists is identifying potentially sensitive material within born-digital archives. This content may be information that fits a known pattern (for example, a 3-2-4 number that likely indicates the presence of a social security number), or sensitive keywords that indicate the presence of a larger body of sensitive information (for example, the keywords “evaluation” and “candidate” in close proximity to each other may indicate the presence of an evaluation form for a possible job applicant).
Digital archivists use a number of tools to screen for potentially sensitive information. When this information is found, depending on the type of information, institutional policy, legal restrictions, and ethical issues, archivists may redact the information, destroy it, or limit access to it (either by user, or according to a certain period of time). Continue reading