On the Verge of Extinction: Gilding Techniques & Vanishing Species

The University Libraries is proud to be showcasing the work of local artist, Kay Jackson, in an exhibit titled “On the Verge of Extinction: Gilding Techniques & Vanishing Species.” Jackson’s unique style employs ancient gilding practices to draw attention to at-risk and endangered wildlife. Describing her work, Jackson writes:

For the past twenty-five years, the environment and endangered species have been the major focus in my work. Using gilding techniques originating in ancient Egypt and perfected by European artists during the 14th and 15th centuries, I have attempted to bring attention to fragile ecosystems and vanishing animal populations with a medium that is also in danger of being lost. Medieval and Renaissance artists used these same materials and techniques to create some of the world’s most beautiful and enduring religious artwork. The light reflected from a gilded surface represents a spirituality that awakens reverence in the viewer and, even in today’s world, mesmerizes us with its symbolic optical power. I hope the golden aura illuminating from this work helps shine a light on endangered species and allows the viewer to reflect on our interdependence with nature and all God’s creatures.

Kay Jackson received a MFA in painting from George Washington University in 1984 after studying at Virginia Tech and the Corcoran School of Art. Her work has been shown in private galleries across the United States and exhibited at the National Academy of Sciences, the National Sporting Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, The College of William and Mary, American University and George Washington University. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Academy of Sciences, the Muscarelle Museum at The College of William and Mary, The Federal Reserve, the U.S. Department of State and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. To learn more about Jackson and her other works, visit www.KayJacksonArt.com.

The exhibit is on display in the May Gallery on the first floor of the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library now through March. A gilding demonstration with the artist will be held Wednesday, February 15, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM in the May Gallery of Mullen Library. The event is free and open to the public. To request accommodation, please contact Joan Stahl at stahlj@cua.edu or 202-319-6473 at least one week before the event.

News & Events: January 30, 2017

DIGITAL ARTS LAB – For the remainder of the Spring 2017 semester, the Salve Regina Digital Arts Lab on the second floor of Mullen Library will be open to the CUA community Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. To learn more about the lab and the software available, please visit art.cua.edu/Campus-Resources/salve-regina-digital-art-lab.cfm.

GILDING DEMONSTRATION – Artist Kay Jackson (www.KayJacksonArt.com) will provide a gilding demonstration Wednesday, February 15, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM in the May Gallery of Mullen Library. The event is free and open to the public. To request accommodation, please contact Joan Stahl at stahlj@cua.edu or 202-319-6473 at least one week before the event. The event is in conjunction with the current exhibit in the May Gallery of Jackson’s work, “On the Verge of Extinction: Gilding Techniques & Vanishing Species.”

WRLC AND BEYOND – When CUA doesn’t have the book or article you’re interested in, there are two services available to help you get what you need:

  • Consortium Loan Service (CLS) – CUA is a member of the Washington Research Library Consortium, a partnership between nine universities in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Our online catalog will show results from all nine WRLC libraries. When CUA doesn’t have the item you need, but another university in the consortium does, you can request that the book be delivered to CUA for you to check out at Mullen Library. To learn how to place a request through the Consortium Loan Service (CLS), check out this short video.
  • Inter-Library Lending (ILL) – If none of the WRLC institutions are able to lend the item you need, we can search beyond the consortium to find a library that is willing to lend us their copy through Inter-Library Lending (ILL). The easiest way to submit an ILL request is to first locate the book’s record on WorldCat. To learn how to submit an ILL request, watch this short video.

News & Events: January 23, 2017

NEW EXHIBIT – On the Verge of Extinction: Gilding Techniques and Vanishing Species – Contemporary artist Kay Jackson harnesses the power of medieval panel painting to call attention to the endangered species through the use of ancient techniques that are on the verge of being lost in our high-tech age.  This rare medium lends poetry to the message about vanishing species. May Gallery, Mullen Library. Opening Reception – January 25, 4:30 – 6 pm.

DIGITAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF AMERICA– The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) is partnering with the DC Public Library to become a service hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The DPLA is an all-digital library that aggregates metadata and thumbnails for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. If the application to become a DPLA Service Hub is accepted, the WRLC will provide information technology and service support while the DCPL will coordinate outreach efforts to local cultural heritage institutions. The target date for completing the initial ingest of metadata for the more than 55,000 digital objects in our combined collections is July 1st, 2017.

MEET WITH A LIBRARIAN – CUA students and faculty can now schedule a consultation with a librarian through Meet with a Librarian. Our librarians are available to meet with you about finding useful information resources, using a citation style, developing a research strategy, and much more. Please allow at least 24 hours between requesting a meeting and your suggested meeting times.

Charito-Grace Antiporda named 2016 Belanger awardee

Charito-Grace Antiporda, Collection Management Assistant, has been selected as the recipient of the Edward J. Belanger Jr. Staff Award for Excellence in Service for 2016.

One colleague nominated Charito saying:

… outside of being a dedicated and hard-working employee, [she] is a wonderful person. She never fails to come to work with a smile and good attitude. She remembers every birthday, every anniversary, and every happy occasion and will, unfailing, congratulate you on any good news in your life.

Another said:

I have worked with [her] for more than 25 years. She is a pleasure to work with and has a positive attitude at all times. I have seen her so many days working late, and when I ask her why she was still there, she would reply to me that she had to finish what she was doing. …

I have seen her taking so many responsibilities within her department [as times change]… and she is an expert in all of them….

[She is ] the one person who remembers pretty much every library staff’s birthday…. There were days that I forgot my own birthday and she had to remind me.

Ed Belanger worked for the university for over 40 years before retiring in 2002 as the Libraries’ business manager. His service and dedication to his fellow staff was extraordinary, and he is one of the most positive, up-beat, and good natured people you will ever meet. After his retirement, his children made a donation to the Libraries for the creation of an award in his honor. Each year the Libraries select a staff member of the year who not only contributes outstanding service to the library but also shares Ed’s good nature. Past honorees serve as the award committee, selecting from among nominations submitted by library staff.

The Archivist’s Nook: On Presidents and Parades – Inaugurations in the Archives

Ticket to the 1937 Inauguration (John A. Ryan Papers)

Every four years, on an often cold and wet wintry day, thousands gather on the National Mall and along Constitution Avenue to witness the peaceful transfer of power, as one President steps down and another takes the oath of office. Being located in Washington, DC, the CUA Archives has naturally accumulated images and documents related to the preparations and events that occur before and on Inauguration Day. While we have a number of photos and articles taken by witnesses to the inaugural ceremonies of Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Richard Nixon, the highlight of our inaugural materials are Taft’s inaugural in 1909 and Roosevelt’s second inaugural in 1937.

While every inauguration is an historic occasion, the 1937 ceremonies stands out in our collections for being both the first swearing-in to occur on January 20 and the first to have a public benediction. And the person who delivered this first benediction was Msgr. John A. Ryan, CUA alumnus and professor. During the contentious election of 1936, Ryan had delivered a speech defending Roosevelt against the criticisms of radio host and Michigan priest Fr. Coughlin. Being a steady ally and faithful advisor to the President on matters of Catholic outreach and minimum wage advocacy, Ryan was invited by Roosevelt in early January to provide the inaugural prayer.

1909 Inaugural Parade (Powderly Photographic Print Collection)

Thanks to Ryan’s personal involvement in this inauguration – also providing the benediction at the 1945 ceremonies – the Archives possesses a number of documents from the beginning of the second Roosevelt administration. From the tickets and programs to the “President’s Platform” seating chart and a parking pass to get through security, Ryan kept the materials from the inaugural he helped bless.

As far as it being the first January inauguration, the Constitution originally specified that the President be sworn in on March 4. With travel much easier and concerns over the Lame Duck period in both Congress and the White House, the passage of the Twentieth Amendment occurred in 1933, moving Inauguration Day to its current date. The 1937 Inauguration thus marked the first time the oath-taking occurred on a blustery January day.

Of course, it was not the first frigid inauguration! Weather was clearly not a factor in determining the date of the presidential swearing-in. As witnessed in the Terence Powderly Photographic Prints collection, snow was a frequent backdrop to the March ceremonies. The 1909 Inauguration is a prime example that the later date did not guarantee a sunny day in Washington!

Powderly snapped the top photo of the National Treasury staged for the 1917 Inaugural Parade. I snapped the below photo at the same site for the 2017 Parade.

While Powderly worked on-and-off with Presidents from McKinley to Coolidge, his photographs highlight the spectator side of inaugural set-ups and parades. Present in his collection are images of the parades of both Taft (1909) and Wilson (1913, 1917).  The 1909 Inauguration, then held on March 4, witnessed a blizzard the night before. Dumping 10 inches of snow on the city, the storm threatened to cancel the outdoor events, including the traditional parade. While the weather forced the swearing-in to move indoors to the Senate chamber, thousands of city workers labored frantically to clear the parade route. Due to their hard work, the Inaugural Parade proceeded as normal, albeit with many snow drifts visible along the route. (Incidentally, this was also the last year any official Inaugural Ball was held until 1949. When Wilson took office in 1913, he found the concept of galas unbecoming and too expensive and none were held again until Truman’s inaugural.)

No matter the weather – rain, snow, or shine – or the political or social changes that occur, and with or without an accompanying dance, the route of the Inaugural Parade and process of oath-taking has remained a constant in American politics and Washington life.

You can view find out more about the individuals who provide this glimpse into past inaugurations here:

News & Events: January 9, 2017

Welcome Back!Mullen Library in the snow.

Changes to Nursing/Biology Library – The Nursing/Biology Library currently located in Gowan Hall is being re-purposed, with print books and journals being relocated to Mullen Library. After the collection move is complete, the first floor of the existing Library will be re-opened by the School of Nursing as a learning commons where faculty and students may do research and work together. Plans are underway to utilize the second floor of the current space in Gowan for other nursing purposes.

Anyone needing help locating specific print books during the transition and relocation of collections may contact Taras Zvir, Interim Stacks Supervisor (zvir@cua.edu). Faculty needing to place items on course reserve may contact our Access Services staff (circ@mail.lib.cua.edu). Students and faculty are encouraged to arrange for research consultations through the Meet With A Librarian service, http://cua.libcal.com, or by contacting Linda Todd directly (todd@cua.edu).

Temporary Closure of Music Library Reading Room – Due to a facilities emergency that occurred over the weekend, the reading room (main stacks) of the Music Library will need to remain closed to patrons indefinitely. This is to protect the collection as well as everyone’s safety. We are working with Facilities to resolve the issue quickly so that the room may be reopened as soon as possible.

If you need to retrieve a book or score from the Music stacks, please ask the Music Library staff, and someone will retrieve the item for you. Remember that items placed on reserve are already available at the circulation desk. Also, until we are able to reopen the room to patrons, all students will be welcome to use the graduate study room in addition to the listening/computer room. We apologize for this inconvenience, and will do our best to get the room open as quickly as possible.

The Archivist’s Nook: New Year’s Greetings from The Young Catholic Messenger

January 1, 1891, illustration of birds with a quote from Matthew 6: 26: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” The Young Catholic Messenger Collection. American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.

The Young Catholic Messenger, 1885-1970, was the premier publication of George Pflaum of Dayton, Ohio, who also produced the more famous though not so long-lived Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact, 1946-1972, subject of several other blog posts from The Archivist’s Nook. We thought highlighting the YCM would be a great way to start off the New Year, and also make an appeal for donations of missing issues, either print or digital copies, from the first forty years we need to complete our collection, especially the digital collection we are building online.

In the nineteenth century largely Protestant America was wary of the millions of Catholic immigrants coming to the United States. Parochial schools were not trusted to teach young Catholics to be proper Americans and many states passed constitutional amendments forbidding the use of tax money for their funding. Nevertheless, by the 1880s the American Catholic Church had a wide network of parishes and parochial schools to safeguard the religion and culture of Catholic ethnic groups. Most of the teachers were religious sisters and priorities in the classrooms beyond knowledge included piety and discipline. The growth of Catholic schooling naturally generated a Catholic educational publishing industry. The YCM was the inaugural publication of the Pflaum Publishing Company, which created religious and civic reading materials distributed to students in the Catholic parochial schools that later included the Junior Catholic Messenger, Our Little Messenger, and the aforementioned Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact.

In the YCM’s early years the issues tended to be shorter and more literary in focus, while later on the number of pages per issue increased as more news and current events were included.  The YCM was published during the calendar year, January to December, through 1925, going from twenty-four issues a year to thirty-two. In 1926 they published a shortened volume, number 42, January – June, with twenty-four issues (again). This was followed by volume 43 with forty issues and aligned to the academic school year, September 1926 – June 1927. This was cut back to May in 1934-1935 and the issues numbers steadily declined until publication ceased in 1970, going down to thirty-eight issues in 1931-1932, thirty-seven in 1934-1935, thirty-six in 1940-1941, thirty-five in 1943-1944, thirty-four in 1944-1945, thirty-three in 1957-1958, thirty-two in 1961-1962, and only twenty-eight in the last year of 1969-1970.

The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives of The Catholic University of America currently needs access to Young Catholic Messenger volumes 1-6, 1885-1890; volumes 8-24, 1892-1908; volumes 26-28, 1910-1912; and volumes 32-40, 1915-1925. We are open to receiving individual issues as well as full volumes for donation, loan for scanning, or links to copies scanned elsewhere. We are also willing to negotiate any reasonable fees required. For more information, please contact us via email at archives@mail.lib.cua.edu.

January 1, 1909, cover includes a New Year’s poem and an illustration of the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. The Young Catholic Messenger Collection. American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.
January 1, 1913, New Year’s poem and photo of boy sled riding. The Young Catholic Messenger Collection. American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.
January 1, 1926, New Year’s poem, story, and illustration. The Young Catholic Messenger Collection. American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.

The Archivist’s Nook: A Very Merry Christmas from the Fathers Hartke and Magner

In 1972, Rev. Magner’s Christmas card transports us all the way to Jerusalem.
In 1972, Rev. Magner’s Christmas card transports us all the way to Jerusalem.

In the history of The Catholic University of America, two priests are truly larger than life:  Father Gilbert V. Hartke (1907-1986) and Rev. Msgr. James Magner (1901-1995). Both men served the University community for decades: 28 years for Magner and 37 years for Hartke. Best known for running CUA’s theater program, CUA’s playhouse still bears Father Hartke’s name today, while Rev. Magner was renown on campus for leading world wide tours to such far flung places as Mexico, India, and even behind the Iron Curtain.

“May the joys of Christmas shine brightly for you throughout the New Year.” Signed Lady Bird Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967.
“May the joys of Christmas shine brightly for you throughout the New Year.” Signed Lady Bird Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967.

Nothing makes these big personalities more human and relatable than the several dozen Christmas cards they’ve left behind. Rev. Magner meticulously kept track of the names and addresses of each person he sent a Christmas card to every year. Here at the Archives, we have many copies of his personal cards from the 1940s to the early 1970s. His cards have a somewhat trademark style drawing on his adventures abroad; they usually involve a solo shot of this well-traveled priest in an exotic location. Some of our favorites include Japan, Costa Rica, Alaska, Jerusalem, and Ireland.

Although show-biz priest Fr. Hartke did not create signature personal Christmas cards, he certainly received them! He received not just one, but a total of five White House Christmas cards from then President Lyndon B. Johnson and First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson. These large, gold framed Christmas prints showing White House winter scenes remain part of the Archive’s museum collection today.

Merry Christmas to our High Flying Friend!
Merry Christmas to our High Flying Friend!

While we were unable to locate a presidential Christmas card among Rev. Magner’s papers, he did get three impressive hand drawn cards from a devoted pair of ladies. Whoever they were, Helen and Betty really captured something of Rev. Magner’s glamorous, jet setting lifestyle. In one card, a Hawaiian shirt clad Magner climbs into an old fashioned cocktail while another depicts a fez wearing Magner flying a magic carpet and simultaneously smoking hookah.

Judging by their Christmas cards, these two priests effortlessly lead interesting and adventurous lives. These ephemeral items give a glimpse into the personal lives of two men who redefined their roles as priests and did great things for Catholic University in the process. Whether making and receiving Christmas cards or living life to the fullest, each of these men did it in their own memorable way. Merry Christmas from the Fathers Hartke and Magner!

News & Events: December 12, 2016

12374811_10154350579954325_3085663813511792542_oIt’s Finals Week! #CUgotthis

EXTENDED HOURS – Mullen Library is open 24 hours through midnight on Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.

FREE COFFEE – Coffee (while it lasts) will be provided on the first floor of Mullen Tuesday through Saturday.

HELP AVAILABLE – We’re here to help connect you to the information and resources you need!

GRADUATING? – If you will be graduating this semester, please make sure your library account is in good standing to avoid a hold on your account. You may do this by logging into My Library Account to check for any outstanding library loans or unpaid fines. Unpaid fines or overdue items will result in a hold on your account and prevent graduation. If you have any questions regarding your library account, please call Access Services at 202-319-5060.

Appy Hour: StoryCorps

App: StoryCorps  StoryCorps icon
By: StoryCorps, Inc.
Price: Free
Device: Reviewed on iPhone

During this winter break, you’ll probably get a chance to visit with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while. Make your time together memorable by interviewing a loved one. Find out something you’ve always wanted to know or capture oral history for posterity. All interviews uploaded through the app will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

When you open the app for the first time, you are asked to log in or sign up. You can sign up using your Facebook account or by creating a StoryCorps account. Once your account is created, you can start preparing your interviews right away. Pick a title and add the name(s) of the participant(s). Choose from dozens of suggested questions or write your own. Examples of suggested questions are “What advice would you give to your teenage self?” and “Tell me a favorite memory of me.”

When you’re ready to record, just press the “Record” button. An introductory paragraph will display on the screen with a template for introducing the interview. You tap the screen to advance to the next question. When you’re done asking questions or you’ve hit the 45-minute maximum recording length, you have the option to take or upload a photo to go with your interview.  Then you have the chance to review your interview information and add a summary, keywords, and location. Finally, you can either publish the interview to the StoryCorps.me website or save it to your device (with the option to publish it later).

The main focus of the StoryCorps app is your own interviews, but it has other features too. You can browse and listen to interviews uploaded by other people. There is also a “How It Works” guide and a “Helpful Hints” section.