It’s that time of year again. Winter is *hopefully* leaving and making room for spring. March brings a lot to look forward to, especially for the Irish-American community. Every year since 1991, the president has declared March to be National Irish Heritage Month. But what does Irish heritage mean? One University Honors class is on a mission to find the answer to that question. It turns out that “to be Irish” means a lot more than having red hair, drinking beer, and being one with a short temper. Led by professor Kevin Grace, along with Debbie Brawn of University Honors, 20 students will travel to Ireland over spring break to get an in-depth look at the country from where so many Americans emigrated. The weeks leading up to the study tour were filled with readings of Irish-American literature, such as Angela’s Ashes and Irish America: Coming Into Clover, as well as the viewing of films and many discussions about what Irish heritage means. Continue reading The Children of Lir: Ireland’s Sweethearts
Almost one year ago, Jeremy Dubin, Artistic Associate with at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, was kind enough to answer some questions we at the ARB had about the company. After writing our last blog on the costume designs in King Lear, we decided we were curious about what goes on in the mind of a costume designer. So, we went back to the CSC. Resident Costume Designer, Amanda McGee, answered everything we wanted to know. Below is the full copy of the interview with images.
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
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”)
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
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?
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
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.
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 Donald and Marian Spencer: Lives of Love and Social Justice
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 Enchanting Fairy Tales Dressed in Powder and Crinoline