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News from the field

Acquisitions

•Auburn University, Alabama, has acquired acollection of approximately 500 volumes having to do with railroads, principally in the United States. Many of the volumes are histories of specific railroads while others deal with railroads in various historical periods including the Civil War. The collection also includes numerous popular and highly illustrated volumes and autobiographical accounts, as well as a number of manuals and treatises on engine maintenance and construction. Among the rarer volumes are Locomotive and Stationary Engines (1860), and the Locomotive Encyclopedia of American Practice (1922). Also featured are works on American railroads in Central America and the development of British railroads in Africa.

•Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.,has received the papers of American playwright Philip Barry (1896-1949), noted for his masterpiece of high comedy, “The Philadelphia Story,” and other works. The papers are the gift of Barry’s widow, artist Ellen Barry. Included are the manuscripts of many of his dramas as well as correspondence with literary friends including Gerard Murphy, John O’Hara and Stephen Vincent Benet. The inscribed galley proofs of Benet’s classic one-act play, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” dedicated to the Barrys, is included, along with the original contract for “The Philadelphia Story,” signed by Barry and Katherine Hepburn.

•The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.,has received a large gift of musical and literary manuscripts by Italian–American composer Mario Castelnuovo—Tedesco (1895-1968) from Hans Moldenhauer, founder and director of the Moldenhauer Archives. The gift marks the establishment of a new collection, designated the Moldenhauer Archives at the Library of Congress. Moldenhauer Archives have already been established at several other institutions in the United States and Europe. The Castelnuovo–Tedesco material includes more than 200 manuscripts and a great number of facsimile blueprints with autograph inscriptions, as well as recordings and pictures. The Library holds a large group of similar materials given earlier by the composer and, later, his widow. A small group of autograph manuscripts, letters, and documents by composer Charles Martin Loeffler and others is also included in the gift.

The Library has also acquired a collection of theater materials from John Ford Sollers Sr., grandson of John Thompson Ford, the owner and operator of Ford’s Theatre when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated there on the night of April 14, 1865. The gift includes a large collection of playbills, theater-lobby broadsides, scripts, scrapbooks, photographs, and letters—some relating to Lincoln’s assassination, and others from prominent figures in the 19th-century theater world including actor Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, the suspected assassin. Among correspondence dealing with the Lincoln assassination are letters from friends and business associates of Ford, who was jailed for more than 30 days as a possible “co-conspirator” in the crime before being fully exonerated. The theater was seized by the government, which belatedly paid Ford $100,000 for it. Turned into government offices, it was restored and reopened to the public in 1968.

•Marshall University’s Society of Yeager Scholars, Huntington, West Virginia, has acquired a large collection of papers and memorabilia from the Society’s honorary national chairman, retired Air Force Gen. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager and his wife, Glennis. In addition to seven cubic feet of correspondence, the archive contains publications, technical papers, photos, files, books, and many items related to Yeager’s colorful career as a test pilot. Most notable is the wind-tunnel model of the Bell X–l experimental aircraft which Yeager flew in 1947 when he became the first man to break the sound barrier, as well as Yeager’s copy of the official reports of the historic flight. Also included are numerous trophies and awards, motion picture footage, videotapes, letters from various presidents, and the pocket knife Yeager carried on all his flights. By agreement, the collection will not be available to the public until after the deaths of General and Mrs. Yeager.

•The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., has acquired Folkways Records from the estate of its founder, Moses Asch, following three years of negotiations. Founded in 1947, Folkways became the best known commercial record publisher of folk and tribal music in the United States and publisher of a historically significant collection of spoken-word recordings. Over the years, Asch built up a catalog of more than 2,200 albums of tremendous diversity, ranging from early classical to electronic music; documented recordings of more than 700 native peoples of the world; instrument and language instruction recordings; readings from ancient and modern literature, in English and other languages; songs and games for children, in several languages; and a science series, including sounds of North American frogs and an introduction to human biology. The label has also featured a collection of historical and documentary readings of the words of historical figures as well as contemporary recordings of Theodore Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington, John F. Kennedy, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Josephy McCarthy, Bertrand Russell, Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Sandburg, among many others. Not one of the recordings was ever allowed to go out of print, despite an infrequent demand for many. In addition to purchasing Folkways’ published catalog, the Smithsonian has received the Folkways Archives as a gift from Michael and Frances Asch, Asch’s son and widow. The archives consist of an extensive collection of unreleased material, including books, tapes, original glass recording disks, correspondence and other materials of interest to scholars. The archives will become part of the Smithsonian’s Office of Folklife Programs. The purchase of the Folkways catalog was facilitated by the Birch Tree Group, a Princeton, New Jersey-based music publisher which has bought the existing Folkways inventory and signed an agreement to manage the marketing and distribution of Folkways Records for the Smithsonian. Plans are underway for the production of a benefit album or multi-record set to cover the costs of the acquisition, featuring a variety of well-known folk, country and rock artists.

The University of California, Riverside, has acquired a collection of Latino/Chicano literary materials belonging to the university’s late chancellor, Tomas Rivera. The collection, which also includes Rivera’s personal papers and correspondence, as well as other items, is the gift of Rivera’s widow, Concepcion. Numbering some 75,000 items, it will form the basis of the Tomas Rivera Archives, to be housed in the general library, renamed in Rivera’s memory in 1985. Rivera, the first minority chancellor of the University of California, was one of the highest Latino administrators in the state and a was appointed by President Jimmy Carter a member of the President’s Commission for a National Agenda for the ’80’s. Plans for the archives include a documentary film on Rivera’s life, a traveling exhibit highlighting some of its holdings, and programs and conferences.

The University of Delaware, Newark, has received more than 2,200 titles from the library of the late professor George M.A. Hanfmann, who taught at Harvard from 1935 until his retirement in 1982. Included are works on Greek, Etruscan and Roman art and archaeology; and Anatolian arts and archaeology from the prehistoric into the Byzantine periods, with a special collection on the excavations at Sardis, in Turkey, conducted under Hanfmamís direction from 1958 to 1978. The collection contains numerous rare archaeological reports originally published in very small numbers and now virtually unobtainable.

The University of Illinois at Chicago has formed the Robert Hunter Middleton Design Printing Collection, named for the late Chicago type designer and design theorist. The collection consists of artifacts, posters, drawings, photographs, slides, keepsakes, personal papers, record books, plans, drawings, books, manuscripts and items for corporate identification. The materials will be housed in the university’s Special Collections department. Middleton, who died in August 1985, was a Scottish immigrant who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later joined the Ludlow Typograph Company, where he designed and promoted 98 typefaces. He was a founder and subsequent honorary member of the Society of Typographic Arts, and a founding member of The 27 Chicago Designers, now in its 51st year. Middleton helped to found the Institute of Design (later the Illinois Institute of Technology) in Chicago, which attracted such figures as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Serge Chermayeff, R. Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, György Kepes and Walter Paepcke. The Middleton Archive includes the 1927-1970 records of the Institute. Middleton also won praise for his avocation, the private Cherryburn Press, in particular for his flawless prints of the wood engravings of the 18th-century English engraver Thomas Bewick.

Grants

The Library of Congress has embarked on a six-part project to catalog, restore, preserve, and publish its collection of about 200 maps of Washington, D.C. The goal of the four-year effort, financed in large part by a grant of $348,250 from the National Geographic Society, is to make the maps available to the widest possible audience. Included in the collection are Pierre Charles L’En-fant’s unique manuscript plan for the City of Washington, prepared in 1791, as well as the earliest topographic map of the District of Columbia and site maps of original property holdings in the District. The earliest known plan of the proposed Federal City, sketched by Thomas Jefferson in early 1791, is among significant holdings, along with the original map of the Federal District, also compiled in 1791, by Andrew Ellicott with the assistance of free black astronomer and surveyor Benjamin Banneker. Part I of the project is to classify and catalog all of some 1,000 maps relating to the city so they can be added to the MARC Maps database. Part II will undertake a cartobibliography of the first 800 maps of the City of Washington produced from 1790 to 1910. Each bibliographic entry will include expanded notes and pertinent information derived from original research, placing each map in its proper historical and cartographic context. Part III is the restoration and repair of the L’Enfant Plan, which was in an advanced state of deterioration when acquired by the Library of Congress in the early 20th century. All maps and atlases relating to the city will be deacidified, encapsulated, and microfilmed during Part IV of the project, including many in the Geography and Map Division which have badly deteriorated due to heavy use. Color microfilm copies will be made available to users. Part V of the project is the publication of a historical atlas of maps of Washington, D. C., which will include appropriate manuscript maps from other libraries and archives, and will encapsulate the history of mapping techniques from the surveyor’s compass to satellite photography. Finally, in 1991, to celebrate the completion of the project, the bicentennial of the L’Enfant Plan, and the creation of the nation’s capital, the Library will sponsor a major symposium and exhibition devoted to the planning and mapping of the City of Washington.

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