King Richard III: A Hunch about his Costume

Sydney Vollmer, Archives & Rare Books Library Intern

For those faithful followers who have not been keeping up with local theater, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s next production will be Richard III, running February 17th through March 11th. Their website (http://www.cincyshakes.com/) says of the show:

Shakespeare’s game of thrones enters its endgame as the history cycle’s final chapter takes the stage. The ruthless, remorseless and relentless Richard Plantagenet has his eyes set on the throne of England, and he makes the happy earth his hell as he carves a bloody swath through all that stands in his way. The History Cycle comes to its thrilling conclusion with the story of England’s most murderous monarch, Richard III. Paired with the production of Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 2, this theatrical event is not to be missed! Continue reading King Richard III: A Hunch about his Costume

BAE: Bureau of American Ethnology (not the Danish word for “poop” or an abbreviation of “babe”)

By: Colleen O’Brien, ARB Student Assistant

The acronym BAE does not refer to a common slang term amongst young folks or even to the Danish word for “poop.” Rather, in this instance it is a term which means Bureau of American Ethnology.

How did the Bureau of American Ethnology come to be and why is it important?

In 1879, as the discipline of anthropology was taking hold in universities across America, Congress established an agency called the Bureau of Ethnology.  There is some controversy over the exact purpose for which this department was founded, but one explanation is that the Department of the Interior needed to transfer archives and other materials to the Smithsonian Institution because the two entities were set to merge shortly thereafter.  Thus Congress decided to create a department to ease this change. The second reason, on the other hand, states the Bureau of Ethnology was established as a purely research division of the Smithsonian. Regardless, John Wesley Powell, the Bureau’s key founder, believed it should be used to promote anthropological research in the Americas.   In fact, in 1897, the Bureau of Ethnology changed its name to Bureau of American Ethnology in order to limit geographic interests. Continue reading BAE: Bureau of American Ethnology (not the Danish word for “poop” or an abbreviation of “babe”)

Costuming a King

By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Since the beginning of theater, costumes have played a crucial role to the understanding and enjoyment of the stories.  Over time, they have developed both in design and technique.  It was the Greeks who first invented costumes, using them to differentiate between characters of different class.  They were often ornate, with patterns and masks.   Romans continued the tradition of costuming, but no major changes were made for hundreds of years.  By the time Shakespeare came about, costuming had evolved so that actors would don whatever their character would wear in real life. Continue reading Costuming a King

What Is the Ohio Electronic Records Committee?

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

Public-sector archivists, records managers, and other information professionals across the country share similar challenges: electronic records are getting more complex, public institution budgets are leaner (and sometimes cut to the bone), and citizen’s interest in access to public records grows. In Ohio, we are addressing some of these challenges through the Ohio Electronic Records Committee (OhioERC). Continue reading What Is the Ohio Electronic Records Committee?

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

The transition from paper-based workflows to electronic records-based workflows has been one of the most profound ways in which work has changed over the last several decades. The “paperless revolution” has created many unanticipated challenges, but perhaps one of the more underrated ones is how it has affected institutional archives. Continue reading Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Kay Nielsen: Life Undrawn

By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Kay Nielsen

As mentioned in a previous blog post on the fairy tales in the Archives & Rare Books Library, this blog is about the illustrator of In Powder and Crinoline and many other tales, Kay (pronounced “Kigh”) Nielsen.

Born on March 12, 1886 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kay was the son of two actors.  His father, Martinus Nielsen, directed the Dagmarteater and his mother, Oda, was highly praised for her work both in the Dagmarteater and the Royal Danish Theater.  Despite his parents’ high standing in the theatre community, Nielsen found his passion in a different art form.  He studied in Paris from 1904-1911 at Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi and after he received his education, he moved to England for five years.  It was during that time he received his first commissioned work as an illustrator.

Rosanie The Man Who Never Laughed Felicia Continue reading Kay Nielsen: Life Undrawn

Donald and Marian Spencer: Lives of Love and Social Justice

By:  Sam Whittaker, History Department Intern

Donald and Marian SpencerThe 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 Donald and Marian Spencer: Lives of Love and Social Justice

Enchanting Fairy Tales Dressed in Powder and Crinoline

By:  Sydney Vollmer

12 Princesses in the WoodsOver 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 Enchanting Fairy Tales Dressed in Powder and Crinoline

My Deepest Apologies for the Three Bears

By: Sydney Vollmer

The Three BearsIn 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 My Deepest Apologies for the Three Bears

Jacob Here, Jacob There. Jacob Out, Jacobin

By: Sydney Vollmer

JacobinsA 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 Jacob Here, Jacob There. Jacob Out, Jacobin