The Archivist’s Nook: Walter Reuther – 50 Years Later

Today’s guest post is authored by Kimball Baker,  former graduate student of the Catholic University History Department.(1)

Walter Reuther with James P. Davis, Bishop of San Juan, at AFL-CIO Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 1959. George G. Higgins Papers, Special Collections, The Catholic University of America.

A half-century ago, on May 9, 1970, America lost one of its greatest heroes, United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther, in the crash of a plane whose engine, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, was missing parts and had parts wrongly installed—including one part installed upside down. To this day, there is no conclusive proof of foul play, although it is widely suspected.

This tragedy, and several similar tragedies, occurred amidst a time like today, when progressive social reformers are battling valiantly to promote social justice in every area of American life. Therefore, it behooves us to take a fresh look at Walter Reuther and what he fought for, and to realize the large extent to which today’s workers and worker-justice activists are standing on Reuther’s shoulders.

Reuther, in turn, was standing on the shoulders of the workers and worker-justice reformers who preceded his rise to dominance as a leader in the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) during their organizing and 1935 founding. Reuther and his fellow workers and activists saw Industrial unionism as a direct outgrowth of a democratic-socialist vision for the United States, a vision in which workers and other Americans can thwart income inequality and play larger roles in determining their economic and political destinies.

John Brophy laying a CIO wreath with Dan Benedict and Walter Reuther in Mexico. 12/13/1954. John Brophy Papers, Special Collections, The Catholic University of America.

One cannot fully understand worker justice in the 1930s and 1940s without exploring the extent to which unions in those decades were affected by the relationship between the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) and its allies, and U.S. socialists and their allies (including the Catholic social-action movement). Communists and socialists were bitter foes long before the 1930s, and except for a brief period of cooperation during the Popular Front era of the 1930s (cooperation which ended with the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 23, 1939), UAW and other CIO unions were constant battlegrounds. Communist workers everywhere had to follow a line of complete subjugation of worker interests to the war aims and foreign-policy objectives of the Comintern (the Communist Party globally), which still and always included world domination. During World War II, CPUSA-led union factions hampered collective-bargaining activities (already hampered by corporate domination of wartime union-management relationships) by demanding no-strike pledges and extreme production speed-ups, and by downplaying workers’ concerns with low pay, meager benefits, lack of worker input, and unsafe working conditions.

From UAW’s founding, Reuther courageously led the union’s democratic-socialist coalition. He was a member of the Socialist Party in the 1930s until 1938, when he joined the Democratic Party, and he played a major role in UAW going from 30,000 members in 1935 to 400,000 members in 1938. He sought cooperation with the workers of every union faction, and was a veteran of the sit-down strikes and of the bitter three-year-long struggle to organize Ford Motor Company (featuring the famous photo of Reuther bloodied by company goons).

Walter Reuther’s World War II innovations, however, most dramatically exemplify his leadership. His defense-readiness plan was extremely effective, and could serve as a model for dealing with today’s coronavirus. And most significantly, in June 1945 he filed a brief with all war-production agencies recommending that in postwar, “Increased production must be supported by increased consumption, and increased consumption will only be possible through increased wages.” Indeed, he made this recommendation part of UAW’s then-current round of negotiations with General Motors by proposing that the company’s workers be given a 30-percent wage increase and that it not be accompanied by an increase in the price of GM cars. Reuther’s proposal didn’t go through, but it was a ground-breaking challenge to economic inequality in a ground-breaking manner and promises to play a key role in today’s crucial national debates.

Letter of October 24, 1949 announcing a Testimonial Dinner in honor of Walther P. Reuther. Phillip Murray Papers, Special Collections, The Catholic University of America.

Poet Robert Frost speaks of the importance of the “the road not taken”; and America’s not taking the road championed by Reuther set a discouraging tone for the country’s postwar years, when labor had to yield to corporate dominance and the country entered an era of excessive consumer abundance. Reuther was disappointed, but he still fought hard for worker justice (such as by supporting Cesar Chavez and farmworker organizing and by promoting public-sector unions), and he expanded efforts he had long made on other social-justice fronts, including civil-rights struggles, Vietnam War protests, and a greater voice for young people.

Unfortunately, this road called for but not taken has received woefully insufficient attention in the few major biographies of Walter Reuther. Nelson Lichtenstein, for example, in The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit, portrays Reuther after World War II as a champion of corporatism and consumer abundance, a portrayal which insufficiently accounts for Reuther having to row against the anti-labor current of that era and for his increased efforts in non-labor directions. Also, Lichtenstein neglects the positive anti-Communism which Reuther displayed and which helped propel him to the UAW presidency in 1947, helping bring about CIO’s expulsion of 13 CPUSA-led unions in 1949-50. Sadly, positive anti-Communism was soon replaced by the negative anti-Communism of the right wing and of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his ilk.

Ironically, during Reuther’s fight for his innovative challenge, James Matles, President of the CPUSA-led United Electrical Workers-CIO (UE), secretly negotiated with GM on behalf of the 30,000 company workers which UE represented. The UE-GM agreement unfortunately became a basis of the much weaker agreement which UAW eventually had to settle for.

Delegation of American labor leaders, including Walter Reuther, with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, 1960s. Joseph D. Keenan Papers, Special Collections, The Catholic University of America.

In The Wage Earner, a highly-regarded Detroit labor newspaper, the paper’s editor, Paul Weber, commented in October 1945 on the Reuther challenge: “If Reuther succeeds in forcing GM, one of the country’s largest industrial empires, to redivide the fruits of its production, the day of gigantic profits in American business will be done … [T]he result may not be the end of capitalism, but it will certainly be the beginning of a new kind of capitalism.”

 

The actual result, as we know, was swallowed up in the machinations of runaway capitalists and right-wing politicians, who then gave us decades of assaults on workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively—including, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan’s firing of 12,000 striking members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, or PATCO (see Collision Course, by labor historian Joseph A. McCartin, Oxford University Press, 2011). Such assaults continue today, but thanks to the renewal of the democratic-socialist vision for America’s future, Walter Reuther’s “road not taken” promises to become a wide highway of worker justice and of social justice in general.

 

(1)Kimball Baker is the author of “Go to the Worker”: America’s Labor Apostles (Marquette University Press, 2010). For further reading about Walter Reuther in the 1930s and 1940s, he suggests The UAW and Walter Reuther, Irving Howe and B. J. Widick (Random House, 1949).

OLL Blog – As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library Parte II – Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

Seguimos com a segunda parte do texto do Professor Pablo Iglesias Magalhães sobre as Servinas da nossa coleção. Se você perdeu a parte I, pode encontrar o texto aqui 

 

As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library 

Parte II: Serva entre o processo de Independência e o Segundo Império

Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

Professor dos cursos de História, do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Humanas e Sociais  e Vice-Diretor do Centro das Humanidades da Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia.

Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva faleceu no Rio de Janeiro em agosto de 1819. A tipografia já funcionava em sociedade com seu genro José Teixeira de Carvalho, desde junho daquele ano. A sua parte foi herdada pela viúva, Maria Rosa da Conceição Serva, e a oficina de impressão passou a se chamar Typographia da Viuva Serva, e Carvalho (1819-1827).  Diferente da sua primeira fase, na qual operou em uma conjuntura de prosperidade econômica e relativa tranquilidade política em Salvador, a empresa funcionaria em um período turbulento da História da Bahia, assinalado pela Revolução Constitucionalista (fev. 1821), a Guerra de Independência (1822-1823)  e a Revolta dos Periquitos (nov.1824), sendo que, nesta última ocasião, os prelos da Serva foram transportados à bordo da corveta Maria da Glória, para continuar imprimindo papéis do governo na Baía de Todos os Santos. 

Entre 1821 e 1822, a Serva deu prelo a uma série de papéis constitucionais, cujos raríssimos exemplares se encontram dispersos em bibliotecas públicas e coleções particulares no Brasil, Portugal e Estados Unidos. Esse conjunto ainda não recebeu a devida atenção pelos historiadores. Na OLL, há um exemplar das Reflexões sobre o decreto de 18 de fevereiro deste anno offerecidas ao povo da Bahia por Philagiosotero. O folheto com 11 páginas já começa registrando que “se o respeito ao Monarcha he nas Monarchias o primeiro dever do Povo, he tambem certo que huma justa consideração aos direitos do Povo he da obrigação do Principe, e qualquer ataque a estes direitos chama a resistencia legitima de huma Nação contra o mesmo Rey, que desconhece as suas funcções verdadeiras.” Philagiosotero é pseudônimo do paulista Antônio Carlos Ribeiro de Andrada Machado e Silva (1773-1845), que ficou preso por quatro anos na Bahia, por ter tomado parte na Revolução Pernambucana (1817).  Na OLL, ainda consta um exemplar da Relação dos Successos do Dia 26 de Fevereiro de 1821, escrita no Rio de Janeiro em 10 de Junho de 1821 e o controverso folheto Exame Analítico-Crítico da Questão: o Rei, e a Família Real de Bragança devem, nas Circunstâncias Presentes, Voltar a Portugal ou Ficar no Brasil? (1821).

A morte de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva e as rupturas institucionais e comerciais entre Brasil e Portugal, produzidas pela Independência, interrompeu o fluxo de livros baianos para a Europa. A Typographia de Serva, influenciada por essas transformações, foi gradualmente convertida em uma tipografia nacional e imperial, particularmente a partir de 1828. Naquele ano, os dois filhos de Maria Rosa da Conceição, Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva (1802-1846) e José Antonio da Silva Serva (1808-1878), se associaram a sua mãe e criaram a Typographia da Viuva Serva e Filhos (1828-1836).  Com o encerramento das atividades da Typographia Nacional da Bahia (1823-1831), a Serva passou a cumprir a função de imprimir papéis do governo imperial e provincial. Os impressos baianos daquele período são mais raros do que os da primeira fase da Serva, pois a interrupção na sua exportação fez com que seus papéis circulassem apenas nos trópicos, ficando mais expostos à umidade e insetos. 

Pigault-Lebrun. Monsieur de Kinglin, ou : a presciencia Bahia: Na Impressão da viuva Serva, 1829. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

As servinas pós-1822 também ficam mais escassas na OLL. Há a segunda novela impressa na Bahia, Monsieur de Kinglin, ou a presciência de Mr. Le Brun. A primeira novela impressa na Bahia fora uma tradução da Atalá (1819), de Chateaubriand, que havia sido impressa pela primeira vez em Lisboa em 1810 e censurada pelas autoridades inquisitoriais portuguesas em 1812. Monsieur de Kinglin também não foi bem vista à época, por não estar de acordo com os padrões morais e religiosos vigentes, tendo, contudo, a peculiaridade de declarar ter sido publicada “Na Impressão da Viuva Serva”.  Até hoje só encontrei dois livros com essa declaração editorial, atribuindo-se exclusivamente à Maria Rosa da Conceição Serva, que é a primeira proprietária de uma casa editorial no Brasil. Poucas foram, contudo, as novelas impressas na Serva e quase todas, se não todas, traduções do francês para o português. 

Na OLL, uma obra da Serva e Filhos se destaca, até o presente, pelo critério da unicidade. São as Reflexões Criticas Sobre a Administração da Justiça em Inglaterra,  tanto no civel como no crime, e sobre o jury, n’uma serie de cartas a um amigo (1829). Não foi possível encontrar outro exemplar dessas Reflexões Criticas, mas ela foi ofertada no Catalogo nº 14, de 1930, da Livraria Coelho, de Lisboa, classificadas in-8º de 34-53-60 páginas, ao preço de 40$00, em brochura. A primeira edição foi tirada na Impressão Régia de Lisboa em 1826 e seu autor foi José Joaquim Ferreira de Moira (c. 1776-1829), apelidado de “Doutor Macaco”, pelo poeta Manoel Maria Barbosa du Bocage. 

Em 1836, a Typographia da Viuva Serva e Filhos se dividiu em duas oficinas, a primeira que continuou na Cidade baixa e outra no Pelourinho, em uma casa na Rua do Bispo, n.o 29, com o nome de Aurora de Serva e Comp. Essa segunda oficina foi administrada pelo filho mais velho do casal Serva. Intelectual modesto, editor competente e impressor talentoso, que, entre 1836 e 1846, conseguiu restabelecer o prestígio e a apurada qualidade gráfica das servinas, comprometida pela baixa qualidade editorial desde a Independência. Serva transferiu sua oficina, após a Sabinada (7 nov. 1837 – mar. 1838), para outra casa, na quina oposta ao Aljube, n.o 6. Essa casa, contudo, foi destruída por um incêndio na madrugada de 31 de agosto de 1840.   

Moira, José J. F. Reflexões Criticas Sobre a Administração Da Justiça Em Inglaterra, Tanto No Civel Como No Crime, E Sobre O Jury, N’uma Serie De Cartas a Um Amigo. Bahia: Serva, 1829. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva, filho, retornara para o mesmo prédio onde seu pai estabeleceu a imprensa na Bahia, no morgado de Santa Bárbara. Os livros impressos na última fase da oficina em Salvador (1839-1846) são preciosos. Na OLL existe um exemplar de um livro dessa fase, de autoria do próprio Serva, intitulada Exposição das razões que reclamão o tratado de commercio entre o Brasil e Portugal (1843), que foi oferecida a Associação Comercial da Bahia.  Serva, contudo, faleceu repentinamente aos 44 anos, solteiro e sem herdeiros. Sua mãe e irmão mais novo logo venderam a livraria. A Typographia de Serva encerrou seus trabalhos na Cidade da Bahia em 1846.

Open Educational Resources: Teaching and Learning, Accessible to All

This semester, students may have noticed that they spent less money on required textbooks. That’s because Mullen Library, along with its partners in the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) recently joined the Open Textbook Network. This group of colleges and universities has joined together to produce openly-licensed textbooks — written by academics and peer-reviewed, but made available online for free use by all. Nearly 700 textbooks are currently available, with more added all the time  (“Introducing the Textbooks on Reserve Pilot Program,” 2020).

The Open Textbook Network is just one example of a trend that is reshaping higher education: Open Educational Resources, or OER. It’s a movement that aims to democratize education by allowing for the unlimited use, reuse, and modification of educational materials, at no cost to students or instructors.

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources refers to freely accessible content, digital or otherwise, that can be used for teaching and learning — lesson plans, textbooks, lecture notes and videos, and even full courses. In order to be considered OER, content must be openly licensed, allowing for a wide variety of uses. While licensing agreements vary, most OER allows for the following, known as the “Five Rs”:

  • Retain – users can download, duplicate, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the material can be used in a wide variety of ways, including in-person classes, via video, or online
  • Revise – users can adapt or modify the content to suit their specific teaching and learning needs
  • Remix – users can combine the content with other information, either original or from other open sources, to create a completely new resource
  • Redistribute – users can disseminate the content, along with any modifications or remixes, as widely as they need to (for example, share it with other instructors)

A Brief HIstory of OER

While the term “open educational resources” was first coined at a 2002 conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the idea had been circulating among educators for several years already. The open-source software movement of the late 1990s and the rise of distance-learning options around the same time led academics to consider how combining those ideas could help create a new paradigm of education. One early example of OER is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 2001 decision to put all of its course materials online as part of the OpenCourseware Project. MIT courses can now be accessed by anyone, anywhere, for free (although MIT does not award degrees or credits based on the use of this content) (Guttenplan 2010). 

In 2012, UNESCO and other global partners met in Paris, France, for the First World OER Congress, where they adopted the Paris OER Declaration. The Declaration “reaffirmed the shared commitment of international organizations, governments, and institutions to promoting the open licensing and free sharing of publicly funded content, the development of national policies and strategies on OER, capacity-building, and open research” (Miao et al 2016). In 2017, at the Second World OER Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the partners adopted the Ljubljana OER Action Plan. This list of 41 actions offers ways to help bring open-licensed resources into the mainstream, including enhanced training for librarians and educators on finding and using OER; making resources available in a wide variety of languages, and ensuring equitable and inclusive access (Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017). 

Benefits of OER

OER has its challenges–for example, ensuring that content that anyone can edit is accurate (Wikipedia is a great example). However, it also has many benefits for students, instructors, librarians, and researchers:

  • Learning anywhere, anytime. Consider the situation in which the Catholic University community–along with many other institutions around the world–finds itself during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of OER ensures that instructors and students can still access lectures, textbooks, and other essential materials, all without having to set foot in a classroom.
  • Easily modified course materials. Not all OER is one-size-fits-all, but open licensing allows instructors to add, subtract, and/or combine components to fit their needs, and those of their students.
  • Support for all styles of learning. OER includes a huge variety of material that can be used to create traditional lessons, active learning activities, and more.
  • Speed. The publishing cycle for most traditional textbooks can take time, but online, openly-licensed textbooks can be disseminated much more quickly–which also ensures that information is as up to date as possible.
  • Cost savings. A study by the College Board found that undergraduate students pay, on average, $1,240 a year for textbooks (“Average estimated undergraduate budgets by sector,” 2020). At Catholic University, the most expensive traditional textbook, an accounting text, costs students $446 (“Introducing the Textbooks on Reserve Pilot Program,” 2020). Open-access textbooks and other readings are a significant savings for students, opening up the world of higher education to a larger percentage of the population. 

Start Learning (or Teaching)

There are many ways the Catholic University community can make the most of available OER resources. 

To help promote OER and other open access initiatives, liaison librarian Kevin Gunn coordinates CUA’s participation in International Open Access Week each October. First held in 2007, Open Access Week is a worldwide event that helps OER advocates share information and learn from one another about developments in the field. You can read about previous Open Access Week initiatives at CUA in the Mullen Library blog, “What’s Up.”

— Tricia C. Bailey

References

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/38654317.pdf

College Board (2020). Average estimated undergraduate budgets by sector, 2019-20. Retrieved from https://research.collegeboard.org/trends/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-estimated-undergraduate-budgets-sector-2019-20

Guttenplan, D. D. (2010). “For Exposure, Universities Put Courses on the Web”. New York Times. New York. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/01/world/europe/01iht-educLede01.html?pagewanted=all.

Miao, Fengchun, Mishra, Sanjaya, &McGreal, Rory (2016). Open educational resources: policy, costs, transformation. Paris, UNESCO. pp. 8, 17, 20–21. ISBN 978-92-3-100158-1.

UNESCO (2017). Ljubljana OER action plan. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/ljubljana_oer_action_plan_2017.pdf

Wade, Lea.  (2020, January 21). Introducing the textbooks on reserve pilot program [Blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.lib.cua.edu/wordpress/newsevents/12311/.

OLL Blog – Unveiling the Camiliana at the Oliveira Lima Library

Castello Branco, Camillo. A Senhora Rattazzi. Porto: Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron, 1880.
Castello Branco’s A Senhora Rattazzi (1880), part of OLL’s Camiliana.

Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890), is considered one of the most important writers of his generation. His unmistaken style granted him an avid readership and a place in the heart of bibliophiles interested in lusophone literature. Castelo Branco lived as intensely as he wrote. His 1862 novel Amor de perdição (Doomed Love: a Family Memoir), famously inspired by his love affair with a married woman, was written during his imprisonment for adultery and became a bestseller. He was one of the few able to live off of his craft in his time. Castelo Branco wrote novels, plays, essays and poems. He also worked as a translator, translating French and English books to Portuguese. The irresistible force of love is a constant subject of his works, as much as social prejudice and the many forms of moral corruption, leading to stories that often end up in tragedy. Not all of them, though. There is also redemption, achieved through a great deal of suffering, and plenty of comedy. 

As a writer and translator, Castelo Branco had a prolific career, producing over 260 books until his death in 1890.  Although not entirely confined by the canon of Romanticism, he remained a stark critic of the Realist style represented by Eça de Queiroz. The two men were the most prominent examples of the main literary trends in the 19th century.  The importance of Castelo Branco in that context can not be overstated.

No collection of literature of the Lusophone world worthy of its name is complete without the presence of Camilo Castelo Branco. Manoel de Oliveira Lima, passionate bibliophile and book collector since the early age of 14, was very aware of that. Educated in Lisbon, he undoubtedly read and studied Castelo Branco’s works during his formative years. Later, an already seasoned scholar and book collector, he decided to build his very own Camiliana which would become part of the Oliveira Lima Library. Comprising more than 300 volumes, including original works, translations, catalogues from book sellers, Camiliana catalogues, compilations of correspondence, anthologies, and even books that belonged to Camilo Castelo Branco, is still a treasure to be unveiled. 

Castelo Branco, Camilo. Catalogo da preciosa livraria do eminente escriptor Camillo Castello Branco: contendo grande numero de livros raros ..., e muitos manuscriptos importantes, a qual será vendida em leilão. em Lisboa, no proximo mez de dezembro de 1883 ... sob a direcção da casa editora de Mattos Moreira & Cardosos. Lisboa: Typ. de M. Moreira & Cardosos, 1883.
Catalogue of a book auction in Lisbon that sold part of Castelo Branco’s private collection

The idea of revealing Oliveira Lima’s Camiliana to the world had already been in my plans for quite some time when a serendipitous encounter with Fabiano Cataldo, Professor of the School of Librarianship at the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) in Brazil, transformed it into a project. Prof. Cataldo researches and teaches on the management of Special Collections in Libraries and has extensive experience organizing specialized catalogues. More recently, he has been interested in the study of book provenance. That interest prompted him to start a project in 2018 with colleagues from Brazil, Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom, to map other similar projects, carry out an extensive review of concepts, and to study forms of identification and description of provenance marks. Ever since becoming a member of the Projeto “A Eloquência dos Livros: marcas de proveniência Bibliográfica”, the plan to organize a specialized catalogue of the Camiliana took a more defined shape. With the collaboration of Prof. Cataldo,  we developed a plan to study the collection within the framework of the field of provenance studies. The final product will be a printed catalogue of our Camiliana, possibly accompanied by an electronic version. The bibliographic records will also be accessible via our online catalogue.   

Denis, Jean F, Pierre Pincon, and Guillaume F. Martonne. Manuels Roret - Nouveau Manuel De Bibliographie Universelle. Tome I. Paris, a la Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, 1857.
Castelo Branco’s signature in one of the books acquired in the Lisbon book auction by Oliveira Lima that are now part of the OLL collection.

We are currently in the early stages of the project, which consists of the inventory of the collection. In completing this phase of the project, the aid of our team at the Oliveira Lima Library has been unvaluable. Cataloguing and the itemized description of the books will follow, with a special focus on the provenance marks, of course. Unfortunately, our work schedule has been affected  by the ongoing pandemic. We are doing our best to keep working while being safe. Although we are working exclusively from home and Prof. Cataldos’ visit will not be possible in the summer as previously planned, we are aiming to come up with creative solutions and keep the work going. We hope to be able to announce updates soon. Stay tuned for news on the project! 

Jazz Appreciation Month

This April marks the 20th annual Jazz Appreciation Month, or JAM, a celebration created by the National Museum of American History in 2001 to commemorate a music genre influential to American culture. A variety of celebrations, exhibits, performances, and lectures take place throughout the month–and although this year is a bit different given the circumstances, there is no shortage of resources and entertainment to celebrate the genre.

Swing, Zydeco, or Fusion; these are just a few. Today, jazz genres are seemingly endless and morph into other styles of music, but its origins are more concrete. Back in the late 19th century, in a little city called New Orleans, locals introduced “call and response chanting” with beats and drums, echoing the musical styles of West Africa. Is jazz a distinctly American genre? No, but Americans, African Americans in particular, cultivated the style and made it an American staple. You may not identify as an avid jazz fan, but it’s almost a certainty that sometime, you’ve hummed along to the familiar melody of a jazz standard. [1]

Here in Washington DC, jazz music holds deep roots. The famous Duke Ellington himself was born in Northwest DC. While his career was based in New York City, Washington holds on to his legacy. The popular area known as the U Street Corridor served as an epicenter of African American culture in the early twentieth century. Ellington, along with other greats such as Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, performed at the Lincoln Theatre, a popular music venue off U Street. To this day, it still draws in crowds to enjoy a variety of performances. Other jazz clubs and venues have emerged since then and can still be found throughout the city. Below are three prominent figures who, I believe served as trailblazers for jazz. They are by no means the only ones.

Mural on the True Reformer Building located on U Street. Taken from dchistory.org.
Mural on the True Reformer Building located on U Street. Taken from dchistory.org.

Duke Ellington: This swing composer graced stages and radios for more than sixty years. Chances are you’ve heard one of Duke Ellington’s most famous songs, “In a Sentimental Mood,” maybe in a movie, hotel lobby, or just on the radio. The soft echo of the piano no doubt soothes all listeners. Born and raised in Northwest D.C. Ellington’s legacy lives on in our region. The Duke Ellington School of Arts bears his name as a school for aspiring artists. His home; the Duke Ellington Bridge; and other locations throughout the city are marked and designated in his memory.

Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet. Image from NPR's 'Jazz Profiles.'
Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet. Image from NPR’s ‘Jazz Profiles.’

Louis Armstrong: You probably know Armstrong by one of his famous nicknames: “Satchmo,” “Satch,” or “Pops.” Known for his masterful trumpet playing and distinctive singing voice, Armstrong entertained the world for over five decades, and his influence is still present today. He was a staple of Dixieland jazz, a popular genre of the New Orleans region. During a time of racial tension, he was a voice that united: His music provided a bridge between tensions both political and racial. Armstrong was not one to publicly speak of politics or civil rights, but his presence reached far and wide; he even held a concert in East Berlin in 1965, which was controversial for the time. You can read about Satchmo’s life and his influences in his personal writings in Music is my life: Louis Armstrong, autobiography, and American Jazz. [2]

Glenn Miller Vinyl Record. Personal photo.
Glenn Miller Vinyl Record. Personal photo.

Glenn Miller: Major Alton Glenn Miller, his official rank while enlisted in the Army during World War II, was a talented trombonist and served as the leader of the Army Air Forces Band. His hope was to modernize the existing Army band; he no doubt exceeded this aspiration. At a time of uncertainty in the world, much like now, he provided comfort and entertainment as his music boosted the morale of soldiers and civilians alike. His most popular recordings, “In the Mood” and “Moonlight Serenade,” show his range. “In the Mood” is upbeat and makes one immediately feel happy and giddy, feeling the need to dance. “Moonlight Serenade” is a bit more somber and evokes a sense of longing. Unfortunately, Miller’s success came to an ominous ending in 1944, when his plane disappeared while traveling from England to France, likely due to a crash caused by fog. To learn more about Miller’s timelessness as a musician and his time in the Army Air Force Band, you can access this online book by Dennis M. Spragg: Glenn Miller: Declassified. [3]

How can you enjoy the wonders of jazz? Typically, one could attend the popular Jazz in the Garden held by the National Gallery of Art in their sculpture garden throughout the summer. Visit any neighborhood in the city and chances are there is jazz music performed at least once a week. Since those are wishful scenarios at the moment, there are plenty of ways to enjoy jazz from your home! Artists are holding livestream performances, many of which can be found here. You can always find a jazz playlist, of any genre you like, on your favorite music streaming service (below is a list of my personal favorites). This year, the National Museum of American History is celebrating Women in Jazz where you can visit their website for resources, history, and to view the museum’s online collection.

“You Rascal You” – Wynton Marsalis

“Strangers in the Night” – Frank Sinatra

“Beyond the Sea” -Kevin Spacey version

“Moonlight Serenade” – Glenn Miller 

“Blue in Green” – Miles Davis

“I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)” – Chet Baker

“All The Cats Join In” – Benny Goodman

“Go Down Moses” – Louis Armstrong

“C’est Si Bon” – Yves Montand

“I Love Paris” – Ella Fitzgerald

 

[1] “Jazz Origins in New Orleans.” https://www.nps.gov/jazz/learn/historyculture/history_early.htm. Accessed April 7, 2020.

[2] “Louis Armstrong: Biography.” Louis Armstrong House Museum. https://www.louisarmstronghouse.org/biography/ Accessed April 7, 2020. 

[3] “Glenn Miller: Biography.” https://www.biography.com/musician/glenn-miller. Accessed April 7, 2020.

OLL Blog – Brazilian Incunables?

The word ‘incunable’ comes from the Latin incunabula, which means ‘swaddling clothes’ or ‘cradle’. In the context of books, the term refers to the printed word in its infancy, which began with Gutenberg’s invention of movable type some time around 1450 and was first manifested in 1455 by Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible. Starting in Mainz, printing presses with movable type quickly spread from Germany to all of Europe throughout the 15th century: Spain in 1474, England in 1476 and Portugal in 1487. Strictly speaking, the period of incunables ends in Europe in 1501, a date by which many of the trappings of a printed book as we know it today – title page, numbered pages, illustrations and, importantly for catalogers, publication information – had been firmly established in European printing.

Montalboddo’s ‘Paesi Nouamente Retrouati….’ (1507)

However, beyond this restricted sense the word incunable is often adjectivized to describe early printing in a specific geographic or cultural area. In Margaret Bingham Stillwell’s opinion, it is eminently proper to speak of incunabula in the context of the Americas because both Gutenberg and Columbus “altered the course of history more effectively than anyone since the birth of Christ.” (p. x) This seems especially apt when we consider that history itself is nothing more than the documentary record of human memory and furthermore, that during the Age of Exploration the printed word was essential to publicizing the so-called discoveries of the various European powers in the New World, both enabling them to stake their claims and igniting the imaginations of rival European monarchs with the possibility for commerce and evangelism and goading them into the fray of imperial conquest.

We may thus initiate the period of American incunables with Columbus’ arrival in the Americas and the subsequent publication in 1493  his Epistola Cristofori Colom… In 1500 the first Europeans, led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, set foot on the land that would come to be called Brazil. The first printed account of Cabral’s voyage is to be found in Fracanzano da Montalboddo’s Paesi Nouamente Retrouati…. in Venice in 1507. It is the oldest printed book in the Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings.

As Stillwell notes, throughout the 16th century the majority of works on the Americas were still being printed in Europe, but by 1700 “the art of bookmaking…had become an established and influential factor in colonial life” in both North and South America. For many bibliographers, the various independence movements in the colonies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries mark the end of early printing in the Americas.

‘Warhafftige Beschreibunge aller und mancherley sorgfeltigen Schiffarten…’ (1567)

So when did printing begin in Brazil? How long did its period of early printing last? The answer to this question, like that of so many others, is deceptively complex and provides one of a host of examples of Brazil’s truly unique and cosmopolitan development.

Rocha Pitta’s ‘Historia da America Portugueza’ (1730)

The history of printing in Brazil offers a peculiar example within the context of the other European colonies in the New World, for whereas printing presses appeared within decades of the establishment of colonies in Spanish and English America, none would be officially recognized in Brazil until the arrival of the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro in 1808, a full 300 years after the arrival of Europeans in Brazil.

That is not to say that this Portuguese colony did not pique the interest of learned Europeans throughout its first three centuries of existence, nor that the inhabitants of Brazil did not publish works during the colonial period. The Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings provide a wealth of material as evidence to the contrary, such as Hans Staden’s Warhafftige Beschreibunge aller und mancherley sorgfeltigen Schiffarten… published in Frankfurt am Main in 1567 and Sebastião da Rocha Pitta’s Historia da America Portugueza, desde o anno de mil e quinhentos de seu descobrimento, até o de mil e setecentos e vinte e quatro, the first history of Portuguese America written by a Brazilian, published in Lisbon in 1730. Yet the fact nevertheless remains that it took 300 years for printing to be officially established in Brazil. Why is that?

Van Baerle’s ‘Rerum per octennium in Brasilia’ (1647)

At the risk of nuance, the lack of publishing houses in colonial Brazil can be attributed to two major factors. The first was the Portuguese crown, which jealously guarded the benefits of the mercantilist system which maintained Lisbon as the center of political, economic and cultural power of Portugal’s immense and far flung empire. Though this apprehension on the part of the Portuguese metropole was shared by Spain, Portugal’s policies seemed particularly restrictive of the production or entry of books into its colony. The second force at play was that of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, whose censorial power focused on ensuring that no publication run afoul of the Inquisition’s moral strictures.

Despite these eminently unfavorable conditions, three attempts were made at establishing printing houses in Brazil prior to 1808. The first was initiated by the Dutch during their brief reign over northeastern Brazil in the 17th century. It was fruitless, for Pieter Janzsoon, the printer hired for the task, died weeks after his arrival in Brazil in 1643. While unsuccessful in producing any books inside of Brazil, Dutch rule did produce many accounts of Brazil published in Europe, including Caspar van Baerle’s wonderfully illustrated Rerum per octennium in Brasilia… printed in Amsterdam in 1647.

A second attempt at establishing a press was made in Recife, Pernambuco, though the only evidence of its existence lies in two royal orders, the first from 1706 and the second from 1747, to seize the press’s materials.

The last and only successful attempt at printing in Brazil before 1808 was undertaken by Antonio Isidoro da Fonseca, who, for reasons as of yet uncertain, departed Lisbon in 1746 to found a publishing house in Rio de Janeiro. This daring endeavor would last a mere two years, from 1747-1749, producing a few pamphlets and the first book ever printed in Brazil, Relaçaõ da entrada que fez o excellentissimno, e reverendissimo senhor D. Fr. Antonio do Desterro Malheyro Bispo do Rio de Janeiro. According to Jerônimo Estrada de Barros (2012), the Oliveira Lima Library’s is one of less than ten known copies in the world.

‘Relaçaõ da entrada…’ (1747)

The arrival of the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro in 1808 led to the founding that very same year of Brazil’s first officially sanctioned publishing house and resulted in an explosion of books in the colony. Indeed, between 1808 and 1822, the Impressão Régia (Royal Publishing House) “would print nearly 1,500 books and over 700 laws, decrees, alvarás, royal letters, etc” an output which exceeded that of its counterpart in Lisbon. (Gauz, p. 43) Among the Oliveira Lima Library’s many books and pamphlets printed by the Impressão Régia during the waning years of the colonial period is Reflexões sobre alguns dos meios propostos por mais conducentes para melhorar o clima da cidade do Rio de Janeiro, the first book printed by the Impressão Régia in 1808.

‘Reflexões…’ (1808)

By 1822, Brazil had all but achieved independence. No longer beholden to the colonial metropole or the censorship of the Inquisition, publishing would greatly expand, marking the end of the period of early printing in Brazil and the beginning of a period of growth in the book industry in which academics and bibliophiles such as Manoel de Oliveira Lima surely must have reveled.

Bibliography

Borba de Moraes, Rubens. Bibliographia brasiliana: rare books about Brazil published from 1504 to 1900 and works by Brazilian authors of the Colonial period. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 1983.

Estrada de Barros, Jerônimo Duque. Na oficina de Antônio Isidoro da Fonseca: levantamento e análise das obras produzidas pelo primeiro tipógrafo da América portuguesa. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 2012

Gauz, Valéria. Early Printing in Brazil.

Stillwell, Margaret Bingham. Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: a Key to Bibliographical Study. New York: Cooper Square, 1961

The Archivist’s Nook: Special Collections – Your Virtual Classroom

Digital copies of textbooks from our Commission on American Citizenship can be found via our digital collections page. The Commission created civics textbooks used in most parochial schools in the United States, 1943-1970s.

Special Collections has thousands of free online digital objects for use in your virtual classrooms.

Our digital materials are organized by type:

  1. Digital Collections. A digital collection is a set of digital objects with minimal supporting information. These are either entire collections, or parts of collections that have been digitized and posted on our site with basic descriptive information such as collection description, title, date, and subject of object. We have 39 collections online, with materials ranging from Catholic University’s yearbook, The Cardinal, to The Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact Catholic comic book.

    John F. Kennedy tours the North American College in Rome with Archbishop Martin J. O’Connor, Summer 1963. Kennedy met the newly elected Pope Paul VI during the same trip. From the Remembering President John F. Kennedy digital exhibit.
  2. Digital Exhibits. Digital Exhibits are selections of digitized materials curated by Archives staff. Our trained staff, in addition to guests from various University departments, have curated several online digital exhibits for public use. These range from historical tours of the University campus to selections from our collections related to Irish nationalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  1. Digital Classroom. The American Catholic History Classroom is a continuously-updated primary document site featuring a range of materials related to the American Catholic experience. The sites also feature contextualizing materials and educational resources created by historians. Topics range from the immigration and the Catholic Church to Catholics and Politics in the 1930s.

    Image from a Book of Hours from the Rare Books Collection. This Book of Hours dates from the fourteenth century, likely France. It was gifted by Msgr. Arthur Connolly in 1919. Interestingly enough, the front and rear pastedowns are fragments of a ninth- or tenth-century manuscript.
In 1964 the Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact ran a series of panels on an African American candidate for president achieving the nomination by a major U.S. Party, as the final panel pictured here shows. You can read more about it in the Pettigrew for President classroom site.
  1. Rare Books. The holdings of the Rare Books Collection, some 70,000 volumes, range from medieval documents to first editions of twentieth-century books. We certainly don’t have all of these materials digitized, but you can find some of the rare books collection online.

 

  1. The Archivist’s Nook. Finally, Archives staff and guests publish timely and interesting blogposts related to Special Collections materials. Topics covered include everything from weird University happenings to short overviews of some of the interesting characters populating our collections.
History graduate student Mikkaela Bailey guest blogged on her experiences curating catechisms from our Rare Books Collection with her public history class last semester in this edition of “The Archivist’s Nook.”

Special Collections also has a limited capacity to digitize on demand, and we may have digitized materials available, though not yet online. Please contact Maria Mazzenga, mazzenga@cua.edu, if you have a request for a specific set of digital materials for use in your classes. Special collections staff are available for virtual assistance, just email us at lib-rarebooks@cua.edu with your requests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New 222: Expanded Group Study

At the heart of Mullen Library, room 222 has been improved to restore original continuity, both visual and circulatory, between the front of the building and the Stacks. With views of the Stacks and both courtyards, this re-unified room provides a unique intellectually inspiring and flexible group work space. 

Looking for the carrels? We’ve moved the carrels down to the first floor Reference Room. You can also find many more carrels on the third floor in the Greek & Latin and Religious Studies/Philosophy reading rooms. 

Introducing the Textbooks on Reserve Pilot Program

Textbooks are expensive, we know.

The top two most expensive textbooks at this university cost $446 for an accounting textbook and $396 for an Italian language textbook with the accompanying online access code. Libraries and colleges can work together to reduce the burden of textbook pricing on students. The Catholic University of America University Libraries is leveraging its membership in the Washington Research Library Consortium to examine options. The impact of textbook costs on students was discussed in a University Libraries blog post in April 2019.

One solution to resolving the crisis is expanding textbook access through library reserves.

For Spring 2020, we are introducing a Textbook on Reserve pilot program.  We analyzed courses with highest enrollment and expensive required texts. We limited the pilot to courses that have an enrollment of 50 or more students. Based on the analysis, we have identified 8 courses and purchased 9 textbooks that will be placed on reserve for limited use.

The courses identified for the pilot project are ARPL 102, CLASS 211, ECON 102, SSS 740, ENG 101, MATH 168, ME 342, and TRS 280.

Subject Course Number TTL course enrollment Textbook cost Title Author Instructor (Spr 2020) Required Spr 2020 Yes/No
ARPL 102 64 $60.00 DESIGN DRAWING-W/CD Ching Ohnstad, T y
CLAS 211 116 $106.65 CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY: IMAGES & INSIGHTS Harris Lao, E; Stanchina D y
ECON 102 61 $250.00 PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS Mankiw Asguet, E; Nowroozi, B; Kane, K y
SSS 740 59 $150.00 ETHICAL DECISIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE + PRACTICE BEHAVIORS WORKBOOK Dolgoff Zitzmann, B y
SSS 740 $120.00 ETHICS FOR PROFESSIONALS IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD Cooper Zitzmann, B y
ENG 101 386 $117.35 BEDFORD HANDBOOK + DEVELOPMENTAL EXERCISES FOR THE BEDFORD HANDBOOK, 10TH ED. Hacker y
MATH 168 99 $232.20 FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES: MATHEMATICAL LITERACY IN TODAY’S WORLD. Comap Semiyari, H; Khurshid S y
ME 342 88 $125.35 FUNDAMENTALS OF MACHINE COMPONENT DESIGN Juvinall Luo, X y
TRS 280 80 $126.65 ANATOMY OF THE SACRED: AN INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION Livingston Porter, J y

 

The textbooks can be checked out from the Mullen Library Circulation Desk for a 2-hour period. Students will need to bring their Cardinal ID card to check out a book. The books cannot leave the library.

We hope this service will save students money, as well as help with student retention and timely completion of degree programs.

Student success and retention have been demonstrably improved through transitioning to affordable textbooks (Winitzky-Stephens, 2017; Hardin, 2018).

In addition to the textbooks on reserve pilot program, the University Libraries have also partnered with the Washington Research Library Consortium to join the Open Textbook Network. The Open Textbook Network is a group of higher education institutions that provide access to openly-licensed textbooks. These open textbooks are written by academics, peer-reviewed, and may be found in the Open Textbook Library collection. The Open Textbook Library currently includes 690 textbooks, with more added all the time. The textbooks may be used or adapted freely to better meet instructional needs.

Open Educational Resources (OER) materials lower the cost and increase access to required texts. The below figure from a Department of Education analysis shows the relative cost and access issues that students face (Akani B, College Textbook Affordability, ED598412, March 15, 2019 [http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED598412.pdf]).

An interactive calculator created by the Open Education Group can show the impact of adopting OER material in lieu of traditional copyrighted texts: https://impact.lumenlearning.com/

If you wish to learn more about the textbook on reserve pilot initiative, please contact Lea Wade, wadel@cua.edu.