Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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The University at Albany Libraries’ M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives has been selected to receive a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for its project Building New Access Tools for the National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA). The $119,900 grant will support an arrangement and description program that will enhance access and discoverability of research material in the University at Albany Libraries’ NDPA. The grant project will be directed by principal investigator Brian Keough, associate librarian and head of Special Collections and Archives. The grant project provides funding for a full-time archivist to arrange, describe, and catalog 710 cubic feet of NDPA collections over 18 months, resulting in the completion of bibliographic records and of Encoded Archival Description finding aids that will be searchable using the eXtensible Text Framework, an open source platform providing robust access to EAD finding aids. The project will improve access to many of NDPA’s nationally significant collections, including the official records of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the David Baldus Papers, and the Capital Jury Project interviews with more than 1,200 jurors from 353 capital trials in 14 states.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ C. V. Starr East Asian Library has received a 33-month, $380,500 Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant to support processing and cataloging of the Makino Mamoru Collection on the History of East Asian Film. The collection contains more than 80,000 items chronicling the history of Japanese and East Asian film from the earliest moving pictures in Japan from the 1870s through 2006, including the unique and extensive materials of 9,500 Japanese film programs and fliers, 450 volumes of Japanese rare books from the early era of film, Japanese film periodicals both commercially published and self-published by student clubs at university campuses, and film studio archival materials. The grant will enable the Starr Library to recruit a Japanese cataloger and an archivist to perform original cataloging and archiving of rare books, early film magazines, internal film studio documents, film programs, and ephemera, a significant portion of which are unavailable in the United States or Japan. Online finding aids that include Japanese characters will be published to help scholars around the world access materials independently. Few actual Japanese films from prior to 1920 exist for research purposes. Thus, movie-related print materials such as programs, fliers, company newsletters, and books are an important scholarly element to the research and teaching of early Japanese film. The Makino collection contains 9,500 printed cinema programs, the largest outside of Japan, spanning from the earliest years of Japanese film to the present.

Acquisitions

A gift of materials by Edward Gorey (1925–2000), writer and illustrator, has been received by the Loyola University-Chicago libraries. The donors, Thomas J. and Jo-Ann Michalak of Winchester, Massachusetts, presented Loyola Special Collections with more 1,100 items, including Gorey’s published works, illustrated books and book jackets, magazine covers and articles, posters, prints, etchings, ephemera, and merchandise. A Chicago native, Gorey’s unique style and dark humor have influenced many artists, writers, and filmmakers, including Tim Burton. Also a poet and playwright, Gorey is best known to many for his animated introduction to the PBS series Mystery. Many of the items in the newly established Thomas J. Michalak Edward Gorey Collection will appear in an exhibition entitled “G is for Gorey—C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak” from February 15 to June 15, 2014.

The archive of American poet Billy Collins has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin. The materials span Collins’ personal and professional life from the 1950s to the present and document in detail his creative development. Collins, born in 1941, is known as a poet for the people, with a witty, conversational style that welcomes readers and illuminates the profound details of everyday life. This accessible style and public presence have garnered a wide following, and from 2001 to 2003 Collins served as poet laureate of the United States. Within the archive are dozens of notebooks, which include Collins’ observations, notes, doodles, clippings, and extensive drafts of poems, both published and unpublished. It also includes desk diaries or datebooks that document his life as a teacher, poet, and public figure. Also documented is Collins’ career as a teacher and his later emergence as a poet in the late 1970s. Audio and video recordings and drafts of speeches and talks document a full public life. Collins has published many books of poetry, including Pokerface, Video Poems, The Art of Drowning, Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, and, most recently, Aimless Love. In 1975, he founded The Mid-Atlantic Review with coeditor Michael Shannon, and he has been heard widely on Garrison Keillor’s radio program “A Prairie Home Companion.” Collins is the editor of Poetry 180, a collection of poems, one for every day of the school year, meant to reinvigorate poetry in the classroom. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and the distinguished fellow of the Winter Park Institute. His poem “The Names” was written after the terrorist attacks on September 11, and was read at a special joint session of Congress on September 6, 2002, to commemorate the victims.

Two Tyndale Bibles—the first printed English translations of biblical texts—have been acquired by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. The acquisition consists of two volumes: William Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), published in 1534, and his translation of the New Testament, published in 1536. Fewer than a dozen of each is known to exist worldwide. There are only two copies of the Pentateuch on record in North America. William Tyndale, an English scholar and a key figure in the Protestant Reformation, was the first to translate the Bible into English from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. His were the first English biblical translations to be published via the printing press. Later English versions of the Bible, including the King James Bible, drew heavily from Tyndale’s translations. In rendering the Greek and Hebrew scripture into English, Tyndale established the basis for early modern English, which William Shakespeare and others carried forward. According to Bruce Gordon, the Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School, Tyndale’s goal was to provide common people access to the Bible, a conviction that put him sharply at odds with Henry VIII and the Pope. Tyndale was arrested in 1535 in Antwerp and accused of heresy. He was executed in 1536—first strangled and then burned at the stake. Thousands of Tyndale Bibles were burned in England during the reign of Queen Mary, although Tyndale’s influence endured. The Beinecke Library purchased the Tyndale Bibles at auction. They are available to researchers in the library’s reading room.

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