OLL Blog – A 7 de Setembro Like No Other

On this September 7th, both the United States and Brazil are celebrating. In the United States, Labor Day is commemorated on the first Monday of September to honor workers and remember their contributions to society. The date became a national holiday in 1894 and throughout the years also became an informal marker for the end of summer. In 2020, this date coincides with Brazil’s Independence Day. 

Although this year’s celebrations are very different from years past due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both Brazilians and Americans have found ways to remember. Due to these circumstances, we were not able to host our annual exhibit at the Mullen Library to gather friends and colleagues. Nevertheless, we instead gathered virtually last month to officially mark the beginning of a collaboration between the Brazilian Senate and the Oliveira Lima Library that is wrapped in historical importance. The Senate’s Special Curatorial Commission, led by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, has the mission to organize celebrations of the approaching 200th years of Brazilian independence. On August 17th, in a live meeting broadcast via the Senate’s Youtube Channel, Provost Aaron Dominguez and I met to sign the agreement with members of the Senate’s Special Curatorial Commision, including: Senator Randolfe Rodrigues; Vice President of the Senate Editorial Council and Secretary of the Commission Esther Bermeguy; Heloísa Sterling, historian and member of the Curatorial Committee; and Ilana Trombka, the director general of the Senate.

It is with great pleasure that on this 198th Independence Day, the Oliveira Lima Library announces that with the signature of this cooperative agreement with the Senate’s Special Curatorial Commission, we will have an active role in the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Brazilian Independence in 2022. The Memorandum of Understanding’s stated purposes are to  establish a cooperative relationship between the Federal Senate and the Catholic University of America, aiming at the promotion of knowledge, preservation and dissemination of the personal collection that resulted in the library of the great Brazilian diplomat and historian Manoel de Oliveira Lima, and to establish a partnership in the organization of materials and contents to be exhibited at events related to the theme of the bicentenary, the publication of unpublished works or re-edition of works featured in the collection or other joint initiatives on specific topics of common interest.

Lima, O. (1922). O movimento da independencia, 1821-1822. S. Paulo [etc.]: Comp. melhoramentos de S. Paulo, Weiszfolg irmāos incorporado.
No. 6, O Brasileiro em Portugal: Lisboa 13 de Julho de 1822. Na Typographia Rollandiana. The Oliveira Lima Library Pamphlet Collection.

The projects are underway. Shortly, we will be announcing details on the publications we are preparing. New editions of Oliveira Lima’s books alongside edited volumes of long forgotten and hard to find works are being prepared. Finally, the well-known Independence Pamphlets Collection, which includes documents exclusively found in our collection, will be available for a wider audience in print.

This collaboration fulfills the mission of the Oliveira Lima Library as envisioned by its founder, Manoel de Oliveira Lima, who wished to establish in the United States an institution that would be a source of information for the study of the history of Brazil and a promoter of greater understanding between the two countries. By providing access to documents never before seen in Brazil, illuminating a pivotal moment in history and shedding light on voices of the unheard, we take another step in that direction. Although this is not the 7 de Setembro we had envisioned, we certainly do have a lot to celebrate. Feliz Dia da Independência!

 

The Archivist’s Nook: Conservation in Rare Books

St. Jerome with lion, Epistolae, ca. 1400 (MS 168) Learn more about why Jerome is often pictured with a lion here.

Beginning last year, Special Collections staff began a process of reviewing Catholic University’s Rare Books collection for works facing conservation issues. With over 65,000 works in the collection, we had to focus on the most immediate concerns. Of particular interest was the manuscripts collection, which holds over 200 one-of-a-kind handwritten texts from the medieval to the early modern period, ranging from alchemy treatises to choral books.

After working alongside graduate students and faculty from the Department of Greek and Latin, our staff selected four initial works to send offsite for conservation with local vendor Quarto. The four we chose exhibited serious binding and textual issues that threatened not only the long-term survival of the works but also severely limited their safe access by patrons.

Our goal in Special Collections is to provide both our external and campus patrons with access to the works they need to research and study. And thus, our number one goal in conserving these manuscripts was to render them stable for both eventual digitization and in-person access, without damaging the text or any original materials in the binding.

We would like to keep the campus community informed about the progress of this long-term project, so whenever we finish with a batch of books, we will post a blog on the highlights of the returned works. And so without further ado, we present the four most recently conserved works for your consideration:

1. De emandatione pectoris [and various other works], ca. 1450 (MS 114)

This work from the mid-fifteenth century contains theological and spiritual works from a number of late antique and medieval authors, ranging from Caesarius of Arles to Leonardo Bruni.

MS 114 – before (left) and after (right) conservation.

Comparing the before conservation photos (left column) with the after conservation (right column) reveals a subtle, but important, difference. This late medieval text was rebound sometime in the 18th century, with a leather covering that was beginning to experience red rot (a common degradation in vegetable-treated leather). The leather cover was cracked and loose, most notably along the spine. This cracking made it difficult to access the text without further damaging the leather covering and binding around the spine.

To resolve the issues limiting access, the conservators repaired and reaffixed the damaged part of the spine. They also used treatments to clean the textblock (the stacks of pages inside the covers and binding) of the manuscript and slow the process of decay of the leather binding.

2. St. Jerome, Epistolae, ca. 1400 (MS 168)

This northern Italian manuscript of Jerome’s letters is a beautiful work with a gorgeous miniature (a small illustration) on its opening text page (as pictured above). Sadly, accessing the work was difficult without its stabilizing boards attached.

MS 168 – Top and left center photo show the manuscript prior to conservation, with the bottom and right center image after.

Medieval and early modern books are usually bound with wooden boards over the front and back pages, offering stabilization and protection to the textblock contained between them. The boards, which are bound together with the textblock, are then covered with leather. These wooden boards can experience rotting or damage, but in this case, the binding had loosened, causing the boards to become completely detached from the textblock and spine. This made accessing the text difficult without adding damaging pressure onto the first few pages of the text.

In the collage on the right, you can see what the manuscript looked like a year ago, including how the front and back cover boards were completely loose.  On the bottom and right center photos, you can see the work Quarto did to restore the binding. The conservators rebound the boards to the textblock and added chemical solutions to stabilize the cover’s leather.

3. Johannes Canonicus, Quaestiones supra octo libros physicorum, 1364 (MS 169)

This may have been the most challenging of the works sent offsite. A manuscript reflecting on Aristotle’s Physics, the entire binding and cover boards of the work were warped, pest damaged, and decayed to such a degree that it was virtually impossible to safely open the manuscript. But this was a popularly requested manuscript from researchers!

MS 169 – Top photos are before conservation, with the bottom two after.

To complicate matters, the cover boards appear to be original to the text, dating from the 14th century. However, the spine is coated and bound in a much later (19th century) paper binding, including bits of newsprint. This paper binding had rapidly deteriorated and was marked with evidence of past insect infestation. The binding was effectively non-existent, with the work and its textblock loose. Even attempting to open the book was difficult and caused damage to the text. Serious work was needed to stabilize it for continued use.

You can see the end result of Quarto’s work above. Keeping the original boards and binding was nigh-impossible, so the conservators created replica boards and alum-tawed calf cover (a calf leather prepared with a liquid solution to create a white appearance) — mimicking the style and weight of the original — with new binding.

MS 169 – String and paper binding shown on top, with original board on bottom.

But fear not! We do not toss out book materials in rare books! These pieces can tell us so much about the original production of a work or later restoration, rebindings, or conservation work. So the original boards, spine, and threads have all been kept and added to our collections. Patrons wishing to access the collections may see these pieces, alongside the restored manuscript.

4. German prayer book, 1440-80 (MS 178)

Our final work is a fifteenth-century prayer book from Germany. A small, but bulky text, this work presented an interesting challenge. Not only was the front board missing and the original binding exposed, but several pages were loose throughout the text. The back board was still present and attached, with the original leather partially covering it (but cracking and brittle). With cracking leather and an exposed textblock, handling this work was precarious.

MS 178 – Left column of images are before conservation, with the right after.

In the left column, you can see the manuscript prior to conservation. On the right is the manuscript after conservation. The goal was to stabilize the textblock for access and preserve the original binding, board, and leather. In order to do so, Quarto crafted a facsimile board for the cover, worked to stabilize the surviving leather, and reattach the loose pages. Without modifying or removing the original binding threads, the conservation team attached the new board to the front and developed a paper chemise (a case in which a book is stored) to offer an extra layer of protection to the text and binding. This chemise is easily removable (as seen in the photos) and will allow patrons to study the original binding, board, and leather. When not needed for viewing, the chemise can be slipped back on to protect these original components.

While there are many details that this post did not cover with respect to conservation efforts — especially when it comes to cleaning the textblock’s pages — we welcome all patrons to send us questions about the conservation process or these manuscripts.

As we work on our conservation efforts, we will continue to update the community. In the meantime, if you have any questions about accessing the above manuscripts or any materials in Rare Books or Special Collections, please contact us at: lib-rarebooks@cua.edu

Our digitized manuscripts may also be viewed at this link.

The Archivist’s Nook: Teleworking in the Archives

After a few months away, finally back in the stacks. Something seems different?

During spring break week in mid March, as many of the Catholic University community were away from campus, the Archives staff met to discuss our contingency plans for the spreading pandemic. Our researchers from across the United States and the world were beginning to cancel or delay scheduled appointments, and we began to determine how best to shift our services and resources online. With little time to prepare, we readied the stacks for a possible long-term closure.

Friday, March 13, 2020 would end up being the last normal day of work at the Archives. (Yes, Friday the 13th was when our “luck” ran out.)

When we think of essential workers during the current crisis, we rightly think of medical professionals, delivery drivers, grocery and pharmacy employees, custodians, etc. But even among those professions mostly teleworking, there are those who exercise an essential function. In addition to the facilities staff (a huge shout out to them!), many administrators and librarians at Catholic University have continued coming to campus to assist in the transition to online instruction, to guarantee that students and faculty (as well as most staff) could remain safely at home.

My home office, with a book to prop up my laptop for Zoom sessions and serve as comforting reading when I need a break.

As for the Archives staff, we need to monitor our collections to guarantee that the humidity and temperature levels are maintained at proper levels, that leaks are not occurring, or that bugs are not infesting the stacks! Plus, as many online collections as we have, most of our materials are still only available onsite. Each of our staff received a letter marking us as essential employees, able to come in to protect the collections during the strictest period of the DC shutdown.

Does that mean we took unnecessary risks to visit the stacks? No. Most of us continued to telework, with two of our staff (who live close by or can drive in) stopping in one to two days a week to check the collections. (A special thank you to Archivist, John Shepherd, and Special Collections Technician, Brandi Marulli, for keeping the onsite stacks maintained during the first few months of the pandemic. Not to mention Curator, Maria Mazzenga, and Graduate Library Pre-professional, Amanda Bernard, for expanding our digital presence during the shutdown.) As for me? I began to return to the onsite collections in June.

“Stay Home” signage lines the streets of my neighborhood. One morning, I found one such sign sitting like this just outside my house. Cleaning up or an artistic statement?

Overall, I have been fortunate thus far. I’ve been able to mostly telework, have kept my livelihood, and been healthy. As a current graduate student, despite my displeasure at endless Zoom sessions, my remote classes have kept me busy. (Knitting during Zoom classes tends to help me stay focused on the lecture/discussion!)

With that said, I do live alone. Many days are long, with my small basement apartment becoming the center for my entire life. For over four months, often the only outdoor activity I may get is an occasional walk or an early morning trip to the grocery store.

My family is back in central Nebraska, and they reside mere blocks from a meatpacking plant forced to remain open, despite becoming a hot spot for the virus. My family had no options for teleworking and the local authorities seemed unwilling to take the pandemic seriously. For months, almost every morning, before logging into my laptop to work remotely, I would talk to my relatives on the phone to see how everyone was doing and check in myself. (So far, so good!)

George Avenue in late March, after the Maryland and DC “stay at home” orders went into effect. This is at the height of rush hour, when this road is usually bumper-to-bumper traffic.

All this has made me reflect on my short- and long-term plans. Every year, I visit my family several times. But not in 2020. Maybe not in 2021. Wherever I have been in life, I have always found my way back to Nebraska every Christmas and New Years, to see my family and childhood friends. This may be the first time in my life I must skip that journey, for fear of risking my family’s safety by traveling.

I worry about finances, as so many schools and businesses face tough economic choices. I consider my meager savings now as not only a cushion for myself but possibly for my distant family and friends.

While taking graduate coursework during a pandemic is a challenge unto itself, I am relieved to have the distraction. But also taking these courses has helped provide a sense that my life is not stagnating in quarantine, that I am advancing in some capacity while sitting at home most of the week.

I have friends and family who are public school teachers, rewriting their wills as they are potentially put back into classrooms too early, grocery store workers and truck drivers on the “front lines” for months on end with no breaks, and childcare workers furloughed. I know people who (incorrectly) claim the virus is a hoax, and others who will never leave their homes out of fear of getting sick. I know people afraid, people struggling, and people offering hope.

I live mere blocks from a food pantry. One to two days a week since late March, a long line has stretched down the street from it. It is heart-breaking to see, but it is also encouraging that the pantry keeps helping. Volunteers still go in, despite any personal risks to health. Food is still being handed out to each person in that line. Donations keep coming in.

Mullen Library main stairwell, with not a soul around.

Collecting stories can be exhausting – reliving my own experiences of the pandemic or empathizing with those submitting their own accounts – but it is crucial work to preserve our tales for the future, to vocalize our experiences, and to help us understand that we are part of a broader web of human experiences during challenging times.

There are millions of stories during this pandemic. Many negative, some positive, and most still being written.

Keeping a journal myself, I want to end with one short reflection I wrote a few weeks ago, after I came to campus and had entered the still-closed library:

As I entered Mullen Library at 6:30 in the morning to check on the collections, I found myself alone in the building. Staring over my face covering and fogged-up glasses, I found a sight I usually love – a quiet, uncrowded library.

But not like this.

Not for these reasons.

Not due to a pandemic keeping patrons away and staff at home. Not from an economic crisis forcing us to make hard choices about what services we can provide. Not due to BIPOC students feeling targeted on campus, thus feeling unwelcome in their own library.

So many of us as individuals, groups, and localities have sacrificed to slow this pandemic, have helped those hurting economically, and have protested and started the long-term processes of confronting our own internalized and institutionalized racism.

Staring around me at dawn, this quiet library served as a reminder of both these challenges facing us and the collective actions we are taking to address them.

It is shuttered to help us control the spread of a virus. It is quiet due to staff mostly teleworking, with the Library working to maintain their employment and health in uncertain times. It is a time in which libraries are further reflecting on and working to address institutionalized racism in the profession, while providing (usually digital) sources to help others learn about these issues.

What will define this empty library – the challenges of the present moment or the work that hopefully helps and changes our culture? I’m a historian, not a seer, but I’ll do my best with my small platform in this currently quiet library to help.

In a few short weeks, there may be more people going up and down these stairs. While I’d like to see that, I do have concerns. So I’ll keep my mask and hope handy.

Just one account among many during these times of pandemic, social change, and economic upheaval.

To learn more about submitting your own story, please see this form. Questions or concerns can be addressed to: lib-archives+covid19@cua.edu

Suddenly Teaching Online? Help is Here

While we look forward to the return of students and faculty to campus, it’s quite evident that this upcoming academic year will look very different from any in the past. The last two weeks of the Fall 2020 semester will be taught remotely, and final exams will be take-home or online. In addition, many classrooms on campus will be upgraded to support hybrid learning environments.

With this in mind, many of our faculty are working hard to move course content online, as well as refine courses that were moved online on short notice this past spring. University Libraries has compiled some resources to support faculty in these efforts.

LinkedIn Learning Courses

LinkedIn Learning Logo
The LinkedIn Learning video course library is available to all within the CUA community.

Members of the CUA community have access to LinkedIn Learning, an online video training library with thousands of courses and videos on a range of topics. Here are some relevant courses and sections:

Learning to Teach Online

  • Beginner Skill Level, 46 minutes
  • This course is designed to help instructors update their skill sets to teach effectively online. The course instructor shows the links between high-quality instruction and online education. He provides a framework for creating a digital classroom and guidance to get students interacting with the course material, the instructor, and each other.
  • Link to course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-teach-online/

Moving Your Class Online Quickly and Efficiently

  • General Skill Level, 1 hour 7 minutes
  • As the name suggests, this course breaks down how to move a course designed for face-to-face instruction online. The instructors provide strategies for breaking down your existing syllabus and a step-by-step guide for moving the course online. This course covers the process of incorporating both synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning opportunities into a newly virtual classroom.
  • Link to course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/moving-your-class-online-quickly-and-efficiently/

Teaching with Technology

Image of student watching online teacher
Courses available through LinkedIn Learning provide strategies for engaging students in online courses.

Teaching Techniques: Making Accessible Learning

  • Intermediate Skill Level
  • The section linked below provides an overview of some tools that can be used to increase accessibility for online course content.
  • Section 4 (16 minutes): Technology Accommodations for Learning

Teaching Online: Synchronous Classes

  • Intermediate Skill Level, 1 hour 12 minutes
  • This course provides tools, tips, and techniques for leading real-time virtual instruction. No matter which teaching tool you use, from Adobe Connect to Blackboard to Google Hangouts, instructors can apply these lessons to their digital classroom to increase collaboration and connection among students in a synchronous online class.
  • Link to course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/teaching-online-synchronous-classes/welcome?u=56747785

Blackboard Essential Training

  • Intermediate Skill Level, 49 minutes
  • While faculty at CUA already use Blackboard, the online test feature may be new to some. These sections walk through the process for developing, distributing, and evaluating tests through Blackboard.
  • Section 9 (45 minutes): Creating Online Tests
  • Section 10 (38 minutes): Deploying and Grading Tests

Teaching Technical Skills Through Video

  • Intermediate Skill Level, 43 minutes
  • For professors who teach technical skills such as programming, this course provides a variety of tools to deliver lessons via video. The instructor shows how to understand each student’s learning style and then use support material, adapt existing online content, and record videos to teach technical skills.
  • Link to course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/teaching-technical-skills-through-video/

 e-Books

Image of a distance learner working on an online course.
Some of the e-books in the library’s catalog include interactive sections to support the process of online course design.

A Guide to Online Course Design: Strategies for Student Success

  • From the publisher description: “This book…includes effective instructional strategies to motivate online learners, help them become more self-directed, and develop academic skills to persist and successfully complete a program of study online. It also includes a more in-depth understanding of instructional design principles to support faculty as they move their face-to-face courses to the online environment” (emphasis added).
  • Stavredes, T., & Herder, T. (n.d.). A guide to online course design: strategies for student success (1st ed.). Jossey-Bass.

The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips

  • From the publisher description: “Covering all aspects of online teaching, this book reviews the latest research in cognitive processing and related learning outcomes while retaining a focus on the practical. A simple framework of instructional strategies mapped across a four-phase timeline provides a concrete starting point for both new online teachers and experienced teachers designing or revamping an online course. Essential technologies are explored in their basic and expanded forms, and traditional pedagogy serves as the foundation for tips and practices customized for online learning” (emphasis added).
  • Boettcher, J., & Conrad, R. (2016). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

The Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide

  • From the publisher description: “The Blended Course Design Workbook meets the need for a user-friendly resource that provides faculty members and administrators with instructions, activities, tools, templates, and deadlines to guide them through the process of revising their traditional face-to-face course into a blended format. Providing a step-by-step course design process that emphasizes active learning and student engagement, this book will help instructors adapt traditional face-to-face courses to a blended environment by guiding them through the development of course goals and learning objectives, assignments, assessments, and student support mechanisms with technology integration in mind. It will also help instructors choose the right technologies based on an instructor’s comfort level with technology and their specific pedagogical needs” (emphasis added).
  • Linder, K. (2017). The Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide. Stylus Publishing.

The New Roadmap for Creating Online Courses: An Interactive Workbook

  • From the publisher description: “Whether you are an instructor, instructional designer, or part of a team, this interactive workbook will help you create effective online courses to engage your learners. Key features of the workbook include integrating cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of learning; explaining the central role of self-reflection, dialogue, and realistic application; the incorporation of themes, scenarios, and characters to provide relevant and meaningful learning experiences; and the use of semiotics for inclusion of diverse learners.”
  • Barber, C., & Maboudian, W. (2020). The New Roadmap for Creating Online Courses: An Interactive Workbook. Cambridge University Press.

Faculty members who are looking for e-resources to include in course syllabi may visit the Libraries COVID-19 Information Guide section on e-resources. The library website also has guides for specific subjects that include e-resources for students and researchers. Finally, faculty are encouraged to contact their subject liaison librarians to request specific resources and/or provide support for online and face-to-face instruction.

OLL Blog – Un acercamiento a la historia africana a través del Vocabulario de Bluteau – Andrea Guerrero-Mosquera

Un acercamiento a la historia africana a través del Vocabulario de Bluteau

Andrea Guerrero-Mosquera

Profesora en la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco

E-mail: guerrero.andrea10@gmail.com

Twitter: @Andreag1086

La Biblioteca Oliveira Lima posee una importante colección de libros raros, en los que se puede encontrar rastros de la histórica relación entre Brasil y África, y, no es para menos, la historia africana y brasileña comparten una historia común marcada por la trata de africanos.

Pero ¿qué podemos encontrar en la Biblioteca Oliveira Lima al respecto? Entre otras cosas, la Relaçam annual del jesuita Fernão Guerreiro (1605), De gedenkwaardige voyagie de Andrew Battell (1706), entre otros textos que nos permiten introducirnos e iniciarnos en la historia de África como lo es el texto de Olfert Dapper (1673). En esta ocasión, nuestro interés se centrará en este último texto en mancuerna con el diccionario de Bluteau.

Semanas atrás, la Dra. Nathalia Henrich nos mencionó: “No collection of literature of the Lusophone world worthy of its name is complete without the presence of Camilo Castelo Branco”; a lo que quisiéramos agregar, ninguna col

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez…1716. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

ección lusófona está completa sin el Vocabulário portuguez e latino de Bluteau (1716). Este reconocido erudito de la lengua portuguesa escribió ocho tomos de un diccionario lexicográfico que nos permite entender algunos aspectos relevantes del uso del portugués del siglo XVIII e incluso, de años anteriores.

La relación entre estos dos textos radica en que Bluteau cita, en varias ocasiones, el texto de Dapper (la versión francesa de 1686), en las que menciona algunas palabras que hacen referencia directa a África. Por ello, en esta ocasión, sólo mencionaremos dos vocablos: pombeiros y mandingas.

En la primera, hace referencia específicamente al comercio esclavista al mencionar que los portugueses en Angola les enseñaron a leer, escribir y contar a los pombeiros para que pudieran negociar en los pumbos(1720, 588) que estaban en sertão. Más adelante, hace referencia a Dapper (1686, 359) para anotar que los pombeiros solían estar fuera de “casa de seus senhores” años enteros dado que se encontraban “ocupados em comprar escravos, marfim, cobre, & outras mercancías” (Ibíd.). Esta definición en particular, no sólo nos ofrece el contexto geográfico: Angola; si no que, además testifica la trata negrera era realizada por mediadores que previamente habían sido “entrenados” para esa labor.

Este aspecto es muy importante a la hora de conocer parte de la historia de la trata negrera por tres razones: primero porque nos muestra que el comercio iba de la mano de otras actividades comerciales; segundo, porque nos ilustra el periodo que podría tardarse todo el proceso, lo que nos ubica, de una u otra manera en otra dimensión del proceso comercial que va más allá de lo popularmente se nos enseña en los libros de textos; y, tercero, nos reseña cómo se desarrolló la trata negrera en África central, actividad en la que estaban involucrados los europeos y sus mediadores, en este caso los pombeiros.

El segundo vocablo se aleja un poco del contexto esclavista y nos sumerge en la herencia africana en América. Cuando Bluteau intenta definir qué es Mandinga no se limita con ilustrar acerca del origen de este grupo de personas, sino que va más allá, y, retomando el texto de Dapper (1686, 245), los describe como grandes hechiceros (feiticheros) que, según Fromont (2020, 7), es una acepción derivada de un lusitanismo que los marineros portugueses acuñaron de la palabra “fetiche”, que a su vez fue un vocablo usado en Guiné para nombrar a los “ídolos”.

Posteriormente, hace referencia a las bolsas mandingas, elementos a los que otorga poderes de protección que “fazem impenetraveis às estocadas, como se tem experimentado nesta Corte, & neste Reyno de Portugal em varias ocasiones” (1716, 286).

Vendedoras con amuletos colgados al cuello y la cintura

Pero, ¿qué son las bolsas mandingas? Se dice que eran amuletos usados en el contexto atlántico portugués, e incluso se dice que llegaron al Caribe hispano y a la India. Estos elementos consistían en pequeños paquetes de tela cosida; podían contener semillas, cabellos y papeles con oraciones. Dichos amuletos eran usados como protección, y, en el caso de las personas esclavizadas, se sabe que las bolsas eran usadas como ayuda para evadir los abusos de los esclavistas y, también se usaron en cuestiones del “bien querer, es decir, en situaciones de tipo amoroso. También servían, como ya lo ha citado Bluteau, para evitar que las armas penetraran en el cuerpo ya fueran puñaladas o heridas de bala, y, asimismo, se usaban para evitar picaduras de serpientes.

Carlos Julião, Negras vendedoras de rua, (s.f.) Biblioteca Nacional de Brasil.

En líneas generales, las bolsas mandingas sirvieron a la población como forma de protegerse ante diversos eventos. Estos elementos hacen parte de la cultura material de la herencia africana, y su presencia es indiscutible en el mundo atlántico portugués, e incluso, más allá. De ahí la importancia de conocer su origen y su utilidad dentro de la población de origen africano.

Por todo lo anterior, en esta pequeña entrada quisimos explorar algunos aspectos de la historia de África que se pueden consultar en la Biblioteca Oliveira Lima, que, como se pudo ver en el texto, indagar sobre las culturas africanas en las colecciones de la biblioteca es factible. Lo anterior, teniendo en cuenta que el acervo documental es extraordinario, y, por medio de este, podemos acceder a algunos textos que nos pueden ayudar a entender el entramado comercial de la trata negrera y, al mismo tiempo, son textos que nos permiten comprender de dónde provenían algunas de las manifestaciones culturales africanas, cómo eran representadas en la literatura y cómo estas están enmarcadas dentro de un contexto narrativo particular: el de los viajeros.

Bibliografía citada

AHU, Fundo do Conselho ultramarino, Série Angola, Cx. 8, D. 959. Consulta do Conselho Ultramarino ao rei D. Afonso VI sobre o requerimento dos oficiais da câmara e moradores de Angola.

Battell, Andrew. De gedenkwaardige voyagie van Andries Battell van Leigh in Essex, na Brasilien : en desselfs wonderlijke avontuuren, zijnde gevangen gebragt van de Portugijsen na Angola, alwaar en waar ontrent [sic] hy by-na 18. jaren gewoond heeft. Ao. 1589. en vervolgens. Te Leyden: By Pieter Van der Aa, 1706.

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez, e latino, aulico, anatomico, architectonico, bellico, botanico … autorizado com exemplos dos melhores escritores portuguezes e latinos e offerecido a El Rey de Portugal D. Joaõ V. Coimbra, No Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesu, 1716.

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez, e latino, aulico, anatomico, architectonico, bellico, botanico … autorizado com exemplos dos melhores escritores portuguezes e latinos e offerecido a El Rey de Portugal D. Joaõ V. Coimbra, No Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesu, 1720.

Dapper, Olfert. Die Unbekante Neue Welt, oder, Beschreibung des Welt-teils Amerika, und des Sud-Landes. Darinnen vom Uhrsprunge der Ameriker und Sudländer und von den gedenckwürdigen Reysen der Europer darnach zu.  Wie auch von derselben Festen Ländern, Inseln, Städten, Festungen, Dörfern, vornähmsten Gebeuen, Bergen, Brunnen, Flüssen und Ahrten der Tiere, Beume, Stauden, und anderer fremden Gewächse; Als auch von den Gottes-und Götzen-diensten, Sitten, Sprachen, Kleider-trachten, wunderlichen Begäbnissen, und so wohl alten als neuen Kriegen, ausführlich gehandelt wird Zu Amsterdam: Bey Jacob von Meurs, auf der Keysersgraft, in der Stadt Meurs, 1673.

Fromont, Cécile. “Paper, Ink, Vodun, and the Inquisition: Tracing Power, Slavery, and Witchcraft in the Early Modern Portuguese Atlantic.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion Vol. 88, No. 2, 2020, pp. 460-504.

Guerreiro, Fernão. Relaçam annal das cousas que fezeram os padres da Companhia de Iesus nas partes da India Oriental, & no Brasil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guine, nos annos de seiscentos & dous & seiscentos & tres, & do processo da conuersam, & christandade daquellas partes, tirada das cartas dos mesmos padres que de là vieram Em Lisboa: Per Iorge Rodrigues, Impressor de liuros, 1605.

OLL Blog — My path to librarianship and the Oliveira Lima Library

Earlier this month, Fine Books & Collections posted an interview with me as part of their series Bright Young Librarians. While my tendency toward self-deprecation would lead me to question those qualifiers – months of sheltering-in-place I has got me feeling particularly dim and old – I was nevertheless thrilled to be featured in a publication of such note among my colleagues. It was a wonderful chance to speak about both the work Dr. Nathalia Henrich and I have been doing at the Oliveira Lima Library and the circumstances that brought me here. In the interest of highlighting the immense value of our collection and our role in maximizing that value, I’d like to take this opportunity to expand a bit on my remarks.

Apart from my love of history, what most drew me to the the field of librarianship was the social commitment of the library, the idea that the guarantee of access and use of library materials should be the driving force behind the development and implementation of theory and practice. To me, that idea is best expressed in the concept of stewardship. As Sharon Farb puts it, stewardship is, among other things, ‘service on behalf of users and on behalf of society.’ As library professionals such as Daniel Greenstein and Meg Bellinger have noted, while the Digital Age has challenged us to rethink our notions of preservation and ownership, it has also offered us opportunities to think of documented cultural memory in terms of interconnected networks, where the movement and exchange of knowledge takes precedence over the mere guardianship of materials.

This idea of stewardship has greatly eased my own personal anxieties and insecurities as a professional still relatively wet behind the ears. I often agonize over just the right content and structure of catalog records, wading through the mire of numbers and codes. In publishing a new record to our online catalog, I hope to create something laudable and unassailable by my peers. While these are certainly worthy goals, they should never get in the way of access. If I am uneasy about a record I have just created, I can rest assured that by making available to the public materials previously unknown, I am starting a conversation that will never end. Whatever gaps in my knowledge will be filled by those who come to use our collection. Nothing, certainly not my work as a cataloger, is written in stone. Beyond that, if our society’s current discussion has taught me anything, monuments to the past neither are nor should be protected from serious conversations.

In a way, this last point informs the work of Dr. Henrich and I. To be sure, we have been bestowed with the responsibility of keeping alive the memory of Manoel and Flora de Oliveira Lima; we are not, however, in the business of apotheosizing their memory nor the materials in their collection. The purpose of our work is to offer our holdings to the scrutiny of those wishing to undertake the serious and responsible endeavor of scholarship, regardless of their academic titles and honors. I find this in keeping with the legacy of Dr. Oliveira Lima, a man who was neither diffident in debate, intransigent in his political and social views, nor lacking in humor, even when it came to the caricatures of himself which often exaggerated his corpulence.

Access World News now available

The University Libraries is pleased to announce access to our newest database, Access World News. The database provides up to date news locally, nationally and internationally. Users can browse by topics of interest, geographically, or trending topics. In addition to the innovative browsing experience, users can access transcripts from popular news broadcasts such as NPR or 60 Minutes. Access World News is a great resource for students and faculty interested in current events from credible news sources. 

 

“With an unprecedented combination of global, regional and local news, including a unique merging of news formats (PDF image editions, web-only, full-text), this resource supports a diverse range of research needs across an array of academic disciplines for students and faculty. Includes current and archived news content from more than 12,000 sources spanning 200+ countries and territories. Easy-to-use interface.”

 

Major Newspapers: It’s important to have access to news at the national level as well as locally, especially in today’s world. Access World News makes it easy with the variety of regional publications and equally robust nationwide newspapers such as:

  • Baltimore Sun
  • Houston Chronicle
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Washington Times
  • Catholic Standard (and many more Catholic news sources)

 

Unique Features: Access the information you need with ease by utilizing some of the following tools and attributes:

  • Search by map
  • Full color PDF titles available
  • Full integration with Primo launch coming
  • Easily cite, email, or save articles 
  • View news in multiple formats: full-text, web-only, and images

 

Click here for a quick tutorial on navigating Access World News! 

 

OLL Blog – Entre Manhattan e Rio de Janeiro: O caso do periódico O Novo Mundo (1870-1879) – Alessandra Carneiro

Capa de O Novo Mundo com a imagem de Manhattan com a ponte do Brooklyn ao fundo: vol IV, nº43, 23/04/1874. Hemeroteca Digital, Biblioteca Nacional.

Entre Manhattan e Rio de Janeiro: O caso do periódico O Novo Mundo (1870-1879)

Alessandra Carneiro

Doutora em Letras pela USP

Um veículo de informação e cultura que promova o american way of life no Brasil não soa incomum no mundo globalizado do século XXI, mas não deixa de despertar interesse e curiosidade quando se trata do século retrasado. O Novo Mundo: Periodico Illustrado do Progresso da Edade foi publicado pela primeira vez em 24 de outubro de 1870 e desde 2012 pode ser consultado na Hemeroteca digital da Biblioteca Nacional do Rio de Janeiro. No entanto, manusear um original do periódico é um privilégio que pude ter na Oliveira Lima Library, em 2013, durante meu estágio de doutorado sanduíche financiado pela Capes/Fulbright, nos Estados Unidos. O tamanho grande, a beleza das imagens e o bom estado de conservação de O Novo Mundo impressionam e, sem dúvida, tornam o trabalho com ele muito mais prazeroso.

 Editado em língua portuguesa entre 1870 e 1879, o jornal era impresso em Manhattan e enviado mensalmente aos seus assinantes no Rio de Janeiro. Inicialmente, o fluminense José Carlos Rodrigues mantinha o periódico sozinho, ocupando-se de todas as funções necessárias para a produção e circulação, mas, posteriormente, importantes intelectuais brasileiros contribuíram para a folha, como o poeta maranhense Sousândrade. As matérias de O Novo Mundo (ONM) eram bastante diversificadas, visto que os seus 108 volumes publicados abordam, por exemplo, literatura, política, protestantismo, economia, ciências etc. Era declarado que o escopo do periódico não era publicar notícias atuais, mas discutir os princípios, a política e o progresso da república estadunidense. Assim, o seu intuito era um só: oferecer ao Brasil um exemplo de nação próspera na América que pudesse lhe servir de exemplo de modernização.

 Vale ressaltar que nessa época o Brasil ainda era uma monarquia escravocrata e essencialmente agrária, ao passo que os Estados Unidos – uma república livre e democrática após a Guerra de Secessão (1861-1865) – atravessavam um período marcado pela expansão econômica, além da acelerada urbanização, industrialização e inovação tecnológica. Desse modo, o periódico incentivava a ida de brasileiros aos EUA para conhecer o seu modelo de prosperidade in loco. Nesse sentido, ONM publicava assiduamente propaganda das oportunidades de formação acadêmica existentes nos EUA, tendo Rodrigues, inclusive, assumido a tarefa de guiar e aconselhar estudantes brasileiros recém chegados em Nova York, muitos dos quais se dirigiam à Universidade de Cornell para estudar Engenharia.

Edifício do New York Times onde também ficava a redação de ONM: Vol.4, nº45, 23/06/1874. Pág 162. The Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

Foi também possivelmente incentivado por Rodrigues que Sousândrade mudou para NY em 1871 levando uma de suas filhas para estudar (CARNEIRO, 2016). O poeta contribuiu com algumas publicações assinadas no periódico e manteve anonimamente a coluna Notas Literárias. Ele foi nomeado vice-presidente de ONM em 1875, permanecendo no cargo até 1879. Sousândrade corroborou uma das constantes do jornal que era criticar abertamente o Império brasileiro por meio de publicações concernentes abolição da escravidão.  Por exemplo, em novembro de 1871 foi publicada uma correspondência do poeta intitulada ironicamente A emancipação do Imperador, que refletia sobre a divulgação distorcida da promulgação da Lei do Ventre Livre de 28 de setembro daquele mesmo ano. Uma notícia publicada no jornal Herald de NY atribuía a Dom Pedro II o mérito pelo protagonismo ruma à abolição da escravidão, ao que Sousândrade reagiu ferozmente argumentando que não era iniciativa do Imperador, mas um clamor do povo que ele prudentemente ouviu e que inclusive ameaçava a monarquia. 

No mesmo tom crítico, na edição de março de 1872 saiu o artigo O Estado dos índios no qual Sousândrade condenava o descaso do Império brasileiro pela situação degradante em que viviam os nativos das comunidades ribeirinhas do Amazonas. O argumento do poeta nesse artigo era que o governo deveria investir mais em missionários e educadores capacitados para atuarem junto aos autóctones porque, se bem preparados, eles seriam trabalhadores livres mais adequados à substituição do trabalho escravo, na iminência do seu fim. Para endossar sua opinião sobre a colonização do sertão brasileiro utilizando os próprios nativos, Sousândrade cita no mesmo artigo o naturalista amigo de Rodrigues Charles Frederick Hartt, professor na Universidade de Cornell, que teria voltado do Amazonas há pouco e concluído que o índio seria melhor elemento de população que os imigrantes europeus, pois seriam mais inteligentes que, por exemplo, os irlandeses que emigravam para os

Colégio do Sagrado Coração, instituição de ensino católica voltada para meninas onde estudou a filha de Sousândrade, Maria Bárbara. Vol. II, nº14, 24/11/1871, pág. 25. Hemeroteca Digital, Biblioteca Nacional.

EUA.

Além de Sousândrade, outros homens de letras importantes contribuíram para a revista de Rodrigues, como o engenheiro André Rebouças, Salvador de Mendonça (nomeado cônsul geral do Brasil em NY em 1876) e o ilustre Machado de Assis. No caso deste último, houve uma única publicação feita sob encomenda de Rodrigues no volume de março de 1873: Notícia da atual literatura brasileira – Instinto de Nacionalidade; mas que causou impacto pelo seu posicionamento crítico ao romantismo brasileiro e à dependência ao referencial cultural europeu ainda em voga no Brasil. Considerando o afinamento de Rodrigues com as ideias aventadas por Machado, já se argumentou que a importância de ONM para a literatura brasileira se daria por constituir um suporte relevante da transição entre as tendências literárias românticas para a realista-naturalista/parnasiana no Brasil. (ASCIUTTI, 2010). 

Portanto, O Novo Mundo congregou brasileiros empenhados em assimilar o que consideravam o caminho que levaria o Brasil retrógrado à modernidade. Esses homens de letras não eram, entretanto, passivos à ideia de americanização da nação, pois antropofagicamente (salvaguardado o anacronismo do termo) buscavam no estrangeiro conhecimentos e ações que pudessem beneficiar o país de modo a torná-lo uma potência socioeconômica na América do Sul que fizesse par com os Estados Unidos. No século XIX, um projeto geopolítico desse calibre para a América configurava-se um contraponto inédito ao poder europeu, por isso a importância de ONM.

Referências 

CARNEIRO, Alessandra da Silva. O Guesa em New York: Republicanismo e Americanismo em Sousândrade. 2016. 214 f. Tese (Doutorado em Literatura Brasileira) – Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 2016.

ASCIUTTI, Mônica Maria Rinaldi. Um lugar para o periódico O Novo Mundo (Nova York,1870-1879). Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras Clássicas e Vernáculas). São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo, 2010.

Zooming Into a New Normal

Less than three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are already adjusting to some big changes in their day-to-day lives. Perhaps the biggest? Finding a way to work, play, and gather when the traditional methods are forbidden by social distancing rules. 

Happy hours, family gatherings, classes, and meetings are all still happening in quarantined America — it’s just that thanks to a growing number of teleconferencing and virtual meeting applications, they are now taking place in a virtual setting. The popular Zoom teleconferencing software has skyrocketed to prominence in recent weeks, with its daily active user count climbing 340 percent since December 2019 (Bary, 2020). Competitor Microsoft Teams’ daily user count, meanwhile, climbed nearly 40 percent in just one week during March 2020 (Paul, 2020). The University Libraries are in on the trend, too: Since the middle of March, the University Libraries has held two of its monthly All-Staff Meetings via Zoom, providing a way for staff to reconnect and stay productive. We are also using Google Meet and Zoom to bring regular reference and instruction services to our patrons. 

The University Libraries hold an All-Staff Meeting via Zoom.
The University Libraries hold an All-Staff Meeting via Zoom.

Are virtual-only gatherings the future? Right now, there are a number of potential drawbacks, including privacy and security concerns and the risk of lowered productivity. But virtual meetings may also provide a way for organizations — particularly libraries — to continue to better serve their patrons even after the lockdowns are lifted. 

“Zoom-Bombing” and Data Protection

Some of the main concerns about the rapid adoption of virtual meetings are privacy and security. Several high-profile anecdotes about “Zoom-bombings” — cases where hackers broke into a virtual meeting to share inappropriate language or images with attendees — have highlighted the need for caution. According to experts, any organization contemplating adopting videoconference applications should have two top priorities:

  • End to end encryption. In end-to-end encryption, communications are encrypted on the sender’s device and can only be decrypted by the recipient. This prevents third parties (in this case, the virtual meeting application) from accessing the data while it is sent (“End to end encryption,” n.d.). (Note that Zoom, in particular, has run into questions about its encryption or lack thereof.)
  • Data protection. When choosing a virtual meeting or teleconferencing application, organizations should look for transparency about what kind of user data is collected, whether any third parties have access to that data, and whether the application adheres to privacy laws and standards (Paul, 2020). 

Choose the Features You Need

Not all virtual meeting applications work for every team, so it is worth researching to find out which features are right for yours. A first consideration might be price; several of the most popular virtual meeting applications offer limited services for free. For example, Zoom’s free option allows unlimited one on one meetings, but caps groups at 40 minutes and 100 participants; Microsoft Teams’ free tier offers even more functionality (Bott, 2020). Others, like Blue Jeans Meetings and GoToMeeting, offer no free services but do have tiered pricing that can accommodate everything from a single person to a large enterprise (Bott, 2020).

virtual library services
During the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries around the world are using virtual platforms to continue serving their patrons.

Interoperability is also a concern — which software works best with your (or your organization’s) email, calendar, and collaboration platforms? For example, Google Hangouts Meet might be a good choice for organizations that use Google’s other business applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive (Bott, 2020). The better the match, the more seamless the transition from physical to virtual meetings will be. 

Keep the Connection Going

A virtual meeting can never replace in-person camaraderie and exchange of ideas. But there are some best practices for making a virtual meeting close enough to the real thing. Among them: ask all participants to use video — seeing our colleagues up close is heartening in a lonely time. On the other hand, make sure everyone mutes their microphone unless they are speaking, to minimize feedback and distracting background noise. And rather than force meeting-goers to watch long PowerPoint presentations or listen to a single presenter, encourage a dialogue that lets everyone contribute and be heard (Frisch & Greene, 2020).

Pete Ramsey, a Mullen Library liaison librarian and Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, has been offering virtual library instruction since the stay-at-home orders began. He recommends that instructors or meeting facilitators regularly “check for understanding” during sessions. “It’s helped to make sure the students are actually following what I’m trying to demonstrate,” he says. “For one-on-one sessions, I may have them share their screen so I can troubleshoot searching issues.”

Online Instruction
When teaching library instruction classes online, be sure to check in with students regularly to make sure they understand the material.

The Virtual Library

Libraries are vital partners in their communities, whether those communities are public, academic, or organization-based. Even in a time when physical services are minimal or nonexistent, virtual meeting software can help libraries continue to serve their patronsan, d may even help them find ways to expand their services once physical library visits are possible again.

Here are some ways libraries — including the University Libraries — using virtual meetings for their services.

  • Reference: While many patrons are using email to reach out to librarians with reference questions, virtual meetings can add a more personal dimension. Lea Wade, Mullen Library’s STEMM liaison librarian, recently used Zoom to share her screen and demonstrate to a student how to locate subject guides and databases. “I ran through a few searches for her topic in different databases, showing how to use the database’s limiters in advanced search mode. I also showed how to send the articles to a citation manager, then emailed them to her. It took about an hour, and she was pleased with the results,” she said. “I think being able to share my screen was especially helpful because she could see what I was doing and follow along.”
  • Instruction: Just as other schools, from K-12 to higher education, have moved classes online, so have libraries. Mullen Library’s liaison librarians have continued to offer library instruction to their departments. In addition, Kevin Gunn, the University Libraries’ Coordinator of Digital Scholarship and a liaison librarian, has taught or co-taught several webinars on such topics as open access, scholarly publishing, and digital scholarship. “Showing students how to do something on a website while you are showing your screen and the students are following along on the same computer can be challenging,” he says. Gunn suggests using short, pre-recorded tutorials for asynchronous learning, and devoting virtual meeting time to discuss specific research issues and questions.

Even though Catholic University plans to reopen in the fall for on-campus instruction and residence life, it remains to be seen how the COVID-19 pandemic may change higher education — and libraries — forever. Virtual tools such as these, however, help ensure that all patrons, no matter where they are, can continue to get the benefit of librarians’ expertise. 

References

Bary, E. (n.d.). Zoom, Microsoft Teams usage are rocketing during coronavirus pandemic, new data show. MarketWatch. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/zoom-microsoft-cloud-usage-are-rocketing-during-coronavirus-pandemic-new-data-show-2020-03-30

Bott, E. (n.d.). Best video conferencing software for business: Microsoft Teams plus eight more Zoom alternatives. ZDNet. Retrieved May 21, 2020, from https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-video-conferencing-software-and-services-for-business/

Frisch, B., & Greene, C. (2020, March 5). What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/03/what-it-takes-to-run-a-great-virtual-meeting

Paul, K. (2020, April 9). Worried about Zoom’s privacy problems? A guide to your video-conferencing options. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/08/zoom-privacy-video-chat-alternatives

What is end-to-end encryption (E2EE)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2020, from 

https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/end-to-end-encryption-E2EE

The Archivist’s Nook: War Comes to Campus – CatholicU Students in a Time of Crisis

Catholic University Receives War News Calmly

WWII Memorial, originally dedicated in McMahon Hall in 1945. Made by local sculptor, Frank Zuchet, it reads at the top, “We ask a memento for these students of the university who have died in service of their country”.

So reads the main headline of the December 12, 1941 Tower — the first issue of the Catholic University student newspaper published after the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. But reading into the article it headlines, and the many articles and letters that are in this same issue, one finds a variety of emotions on display beyond just “calm.” Many members of the campus community expressed fear and anger, patriotism, or even disinterest. This particular issue is a symphony of emotions and uncertainty. Students, faculty, and staff report hopes for peace, desire for revenge, or even attempts at making jokes. Columns advocated for a quick response by the college student to the crisis facing the nation and world. Rumors swirled about what would happen. The uncertainty about the length and severity of the conflict, or even if universities would be able to continue operating the same way in the short- or long-term weighed on many minds in December 1941 and in the months and years ahead.

In hindsight, it is easy to assume that everyone understood what was happening at the time and shared in a collective response. The hindsight of history has provided us with a perspective of the days and weeks following the US entry into World War II that can be uniform and seem well-planned, with every person and institution on the same page. But people and history are seldom so simple and clear-cut. And looking through the student-led Tower during the war years reveals the anxieties, hope, adjustments, and ultimate triumph of the campus community in the face of a global challenge.

Catholic University War Bonds Fundraiser in Mullen Library, 1943

To better understand their place and how their university may respond, students turned to the last major global conflict — World War I. The Tower reports efforts to understand how campus offices functioned and how groups such as the “Student Army Training Corps” operated at the time. Articles reflect on students enlisting and highlighted the way students rallied both to the nation and to the campus during the “Great War.” The paper also took pride in highlighting the service of WWI veterans among the current faculty and alumni community. In its column “C. U. Men of Yesteryear,” the focus shifted from job promotions and weddings to reporting largely on military enlistments. In the August 20, 1943  issue, the Tower casually reported on Class of 1912 alumni: 

Major-General Terry Allen, who so successfully commanded the first U.S. Infantry Division in North Africa, is currently leading the same outfit in the Sicily Campaign. 

Generals Omar Bradley (left), Terry de la Mesa Allen (center), and Dwight Eisenhower (right) pictured on November 10, 1944 in Grenzhof, Germany.

But it was not all focused on the war fronts, as campus life did continue. Changes to college life during the war years were anticipated, with a November 1942 Tower article discussing rumors about changing academic calendars, adjustments to how classes may be taught, and even shifting commencement dates. As the author put it: 

It indicated that the men in charge of the war effort, having solved the major problems connected with transferring the processes of civilian life to the methods of total war, were coming round to putting an end to the difficulties of the position of the colleges in war time.

As the war continued throughout the early 1940s, material and demographic changes occurred on campus. In addition to some dances and social gatherings, USO training sessions were held and military exercises occurred on campus. Publications like the Cardinal Yearbook were suspended from 1944-1947, and more women were able to enroll on campus.

1517th Army unit specialized training program at Catholic University, August 1943, marching in front of the now-vanished Albert Hall

As recounted in an earlier blog, the admittance of women to Catholic University was still relatively new and often limited to programs in the School of Nursing. But with so many male students enlisting, women began to take more active roles on the campus. In early 1943, for example, nine School of Nursing students joined the Tower staff as its first women members. But these writers were not merely replacements meant to keep the newspaper afloat, they were active agents shaping the future of the campus.

Among the nine writers, columnist and member of the Tower business staff Margaret Clarke ‘44, wrote:

It seems that throughout history women are facing some form of competition, some barrier, some challenge. Just in the past World War I days the women of the entire nation faced a challenge when they tried to gain the legal right to vote. But they overcame this challenge, and the country really doesn’t seem any worse today for it…Maybe if the few of this University would come to the realization that the women, too, belong to the University, that they are worthy of having an interest in what goes on about them on their campus. And yes, they have a right to partake in the various campus activities…maybe some day the few will learn to accept these students – and the University really won’t seem any worse then for it.

Catholic University War Bond Drive in McMahon Hall, 1943.

Despite the war ending in 1945, it would take several years for certain pre-war elements of campus life to return. For example, the Shahan Debating Society ceased operations during the war years and only returned in 1946. But other changes were fast and permanent. Women were more prevalent and active in the campus community. Not to mention, the G.I. Bill also led to an increased enrollment, dramatically ballooning the size of incoming classes. And with this increased enrollment came more and more new programs on the campus, from the School of Music to aerospace studies.

But students did not forget the war. Many of those present on the campus in the late 1940s and beyond were veterans. Memorials, both in print and in stone and wood, were established to remember the students and alumni who had passed away in the conflict. 

The November 12, 1946 sports page in the Tower memorialized those lost in the war. The caption reads: “The Editors of The Tower dedicate this potion of our paper to men of C. U. who made the supreme sacrifice, in World War I, and II, and whose names would have appeared on this page in various activities.”

During a time of great upheaval and uncertainty, Cardinals expressed various emotions and turned to the past to understand present challenges. But once the initial shock wore off, members of the campus community rallied both on and off campus, finding ways to win the day and build a University community adapted to the times. While sacrifices were made, opportunities also arose as the campus emerged out of the war years having forged new ways forward. Out of the crucible of crisis, Catholic University’s students adapted and persevered.