Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Last week (3/19-3/23) was another slow week. I had heard that the computers in the Archives and Library were being updated to Windows 7, and as a result, I did all my work from my apartment. When Zorian and I met with Dr. Roberts on Monday, he suggested that we consider possible ideas for a paper/article which could be published along with the catalogue online. The idea was that we write about the possible applications of the library catalogue and our research on the books/volumes which were in St. Ignatius' early library. 

I spent a lot longer contemplating this than I expected, and while I had a few fleeting ideas, one idea stuck out to me: 

The information, broken down by subject, could be used to determine how important each of the subjects were at the time to St. Ignatius and possibly Jesuit education as a whole. If the number of books on Theology, for example, is much greater than the number of books on History or English, it says that Theology was a predominant part of the Jesuit education. While this is probably an obvious assumption that many people would make, this could also be compared to our current library. How many books do we have for each subject? How have the areas of focus changed from the 1870s to today? Why have these changed? Is this more a result of the college expanding into a university and gaining a broader curriculum, or has the focus of Jesuit education/education as a whole changed? I think this topic leads to a lot of applications for the catalogue which greatly expand the usefulness of the catalogue beyond a simple list of the volumes within the library at its inception. 

Finally this week, I finished looking up the last few books of the five pages I was given a few weeks ago. After finishing this, I started trying to compile a concise, organized Microsoft Word file of the books, whether they are in Pegasus, and whether I believe these are likely the original copies of the books from St. Ignatius. My original research wasn't particularly organized, and I felt the need to make an organized list both for my own purposes and for future interns in this project so that they might easily look through my work and build upon it. I hope to use the list, once I am done with it (hopefully by next week or the following week), to track down each book I believe might have been in the St. Ignatius library and check to see if they have a St. Ignatius stamp. 

That is all for this week. Thanks for reading!
During this week (3/12-3/16), I focused on finishing the last couple pages of the five pages of the first library catalogue, which I had been working on for the past few weeks. This was a fairly light week in comparison to previous weeks, as I only looked up the various books and volumes listed in the catalogue and then attempted to find them within Pegasus.

A few of the works I found really struck my interest. One of them was a book titled, "Historia de la conquista de México, población y progresos de la América septentrional, conocida por el nombre de Nueva España," although it was only listed as "Historia de la conquista de Mexico" in the catalogue. What made this interesting to me was that it was an account of the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, specifically Hernan Cortes' conquest of the Aztecs, published in 1704. The first publication of the book was in 1684, and although this was over 150 years after Cortes' conquest of the Aztecs, the age of the book and the book's status as a Spanish classic, according to my research on the book, made the book stand out to me. I was unable to find this copy of the book in Pegasus. The catalogue also listed an English translation of the book from 1724, and I was able to find this within Pegasus. It is in the Rare Books collection.

Another of the books that stood out to me was a book called, "The History of the Revolution in the Empire of Morocco upon the Death of the late Emperor Muley Ishmael." This book was written by John Braithwaite and published in 1729. This stood out to me because Braithwaite, an English writer, would likely give an interesting (albeit not necessarily accurate) account of the "revolution in the empire of Morocco." This was also interesting because I was reasonably surprised that there was enough British interest to publish a work on anything going on in Morocco in the 18th century. Morocco at the time was not under the control of the British or any European power, and as an Arab and Muslim country before/at the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, I am especially surprised that any English writer would spend his time writing a history of their country. The original publication from 1729, and possibly/likely the copy originally owned by St. Ignatius, was on Pegasus, and it is currently in Deck E. 

Anyway, there were a couple more interesting documents which I might discuss further in future posts, but that is all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope you will continue to keep up with my blog in the future!

Monday, March 12, 2012

After a week off for Spring Break, I will be returning to my normal routine this coming week. Since we had a week off for Spring Break, this post is about the week prior to Spring Break, February 27-March 2. Since I had only worked 3 hours the previous week, I spent 7 hours working for the internship during this week - 4 hours and 15 minutes in University Archives, and 2 hours and 45 minutes on researching the books from the initial library catalogue of St. Ignatius College.

During my time in the University Archives Office, I pieced through the course catalogues from 1914-1915 to 1920-1921. There wasn't a ton of information that was particularly interesting during these years, but a couple of things struck me. In 1919-20, the library is suddenly up to 70000 volumes from 50000 (which was last mentioned in 1916-17). Additionally in 1919-20, there is a list of what were considered to be the rarest books in Loyola's collection. I have mentioned many of these volumes in earlier posts, but I noticed something new which I did not recognize. The catalogue notes a "rare copy of Lactantius," but it does not provide any additional information. After a little google search of Lactantius, I learned that he was a 3rd and 4th century Christian writer who served as an aide to Constantine. Kathy and I did a little research and found a few titles that could fit this description, and two of these titles had a St. Ignatius College stamp in them, but it is impossible to tell which title the course catalogue references.

Additionally in my time at the University Archives Office, I spent a couple hours researching the history of Jesuit colleges in the U.S., specifically the 10 or so colleges listed in competitions with St. Ignatius College in the course catalogues. Much of my research focused on St. Mary's College in Kansas, which closed at some point, likely in the early-twentieth century. Due to internet difficulties in the Archives Office and very little information available on St. Mary's College, this was all I was able to find: I also did some research on Sacred Heart College in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It was a college for 9 years, closed, and later reopened as both a high school and a college. It was eventually renamed Campion College. Campion closed in the 1970s, but it was interesting to find out that Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, attended Campion. Here is some information on Campion:

Finally during this week, I spent a couple hours researching the volumes listed in the original library catalogue. To name a couple of the interesting titles I found, I found a biography of George Washington - Life of George Washington in Latin prose by Francis Glass. It is in Pegasus and from 1836, and it appears to be the same copy that the original catalogue lists. It is currently in the Library Storage Facility. I also found a book called Marquis de Lafayette A Complete History by an Officer in the Army from 1846. I also found this on Pegasus, and it is currently in Deck E.

Thanks for reading!