A Native American Provenance Enigma

A Philadelphia-area collector recently contacted curators in the Kislak Center about acquiring an unusual work in his collection, namely a copy of 1842 edition of the Book of Common Prayer in Mohawk and English, including, according to the Preface, “the Collects and some of the offices of the Church which were never before printed in Mohawk.” They were translated by “Mr. John Hill, Junr., a Mohawk Catechist, who has devoted much time and attention in assisting to prepare the present work for publication.” However, this copy is interesting not only because of its contents, but also because its provenance remains something of an enigma.

Brief History of the Mohawk Book of Common Prayer

The Mohawks are the most easterly of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquoian) tribes. Due in part to their location on the eastern frontier of the confederation, they were among the first that missionaries hoped to convert to Christianity. In 1712, Reverend William Andrews, who had some knowledge of the Mohawk language, opened a mission. Shortly thereafter, portions of the Book of Common Prayer were translated into the Mohawk language for use in instructing and converting the Indians, and printed, with both an Indian and an English title, in 1715 in New York by William Bradford, Philadelphia’s very first printer.

Richard and Samuel Draper reprinted part of the first edition in Boston in 1763, while waiting for the completion of the second edition, which didn’t appear until 1769.

1780 edition, Book of Common Prayer, Mohawk (Rare Book Collection PM1884 .C6 1780)

The Kislak Center has copies of both the 1780 and the 1787 editions in its collection. The third edition (1780), with a print run of 1,000 copies, was printed in Quebec, by its first printer, William Brown.  According to the Advertisement in the 1780 edition,

The Edition of Indian Prayer-books published in the Year 1769 consisting of a small number were soon delivered out to the Indians except a few which were … seized and made away with by the Rebels in 1776. It brings besides an Edition replete with mistakes, owing to the disadvantage of no one inspecting the Correction who understood the Mohawk Language in any degree tolerable, and the Indians could make no Sense of several passages in the Book.

The improvement of the text, both with respect to the translation and the orthography, was due in large part to the work of “Paulus Sahonwádi, the Mohawk Clerk and School-master, being present at the correction of every proof-sheet to approve of their being properly placed, &c.”

The copies were quickly dispersed, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts resolved to have a new edition printed without delay, with the British Government assuming all expenses.

1787 edition, Book of Common Prayer, Mohawk and English (Rare Book Collection BX5145.A6 M6 1787)

This fourth edition (London, 1787) was significantly better than its predecessors for a variety of reasons, including pointing, accentuation, and spelling.  

Title and attribution to Joseph Thayendanegea of the 1774 translation of St. Mark’s Gospel in the 1787 edition

It also contained additional material, namely a translation of the Gospel according to St. Mark by Joseph Thayendanegea, also known as Captain Joseph Brant, who we are told was “a Mohawk by birth, and a man of good abilities, who was educated at one of the American Colleges.”

The Preface to the 1787 edition speaks positively of the Mohawks, which should be noted is here attributed to their conversion to Christianity.

The Mohawks are a respectable nation. They entered into an alliance with the English immediately after the latter became possessed of the province of New York in the last century. To that alliance they have faithfully and uniformly adhered, without any deviation, from that time to the present date, which may in a good measure be attributed to their Conversion, and to the principles which were inculcated by the Missionaries who resided among them.

The 1842 Mohawk Book of Common Prayer

The Penn copy, printed in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1842, is the edition translated by John Hill “into the Mohawk language, compiled from various translations, revised, corrected, and prepared for the press, under the direction of the Rev. Abraham Nelles, Chief Missionary in the service of the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America.”

The Mohawk title page reads as follows:

Ne Kaghyadouhsera ne Yoedereanayeadagwha, tsiniyouht ne yontstha ne Skanyadaratiha Onouhsadokeaghty, tekaweanatenyouh kanyeakehaka kaweanoetaghkouh, watkeanisaaghtouh ne tekaweanatenyoehokouh, watkease, skagwada- gwea; neoni kaweyeaneatase ne tsiteyeristoghraraktha, ne raoteweyeanoenyaghtshera ne Ratsi, Abraham Nelles, Rarighwawakhouhtsheragweniyoh ne shakonatsteristase ne Tsikeatyogh- gwayea ne Tehadirighwarenyatha ne Orighwadokeaghty ne Ase Skanyadaratiha neoni aktatyeshouh ne America. Ne Adereanayeathokouh, ne Yoedatnekosseraghtha ne Yakaoseragwea, ne Yoedaderighwahniratstagweanitha, Yoedadenadarenawitha ne Yakonouhwaktany, Yoedouhradaghgwha Tyakothoewisea, &c. Ne Tehaweanatenyouh John Hill, Junr., Nene toetyereaghte waokeatane ne Kanyeakehakake ne keaiekea Kaghya- douhserakouh ne Yoedereanayeadagwha. (Oghroewakouh: Tekaristoghrarakouh Ruthven Tsite haristoghraraktha ne Kaghya- douhsera, &c., Koraghkowah Tsitekanatokea, 1842)

It was considered by those responsible for its creation to be the best for teaching purposes because, as in the 1787 edition, the Mohawk and English texts were printed on opposite pages, encouraging a cross-cultural exchange, despite objections by some English speakers to the very notion of translating such a work into Native American languages.

The mystery surrounding Penn’s copy

1842 edition of The Book of Common Prayer, Mohawk and English (Dechert Collection PM1884 .C6 1842)

This particular copy, which is bound in green leather, tooled and gold-stamped, is missing the English title page. It was a presentation copy, and the front cover reads:  “Presented to John S. Martin by Tharackatha Chief of the Mohawk Indians in Camp near Tyendinaga Canada West July 4th, 1857.” Within, pasted to the front free endpaper and a blank leaf are newspaper clippings from 19th century Canadian and American newspapers (Boston Saturday Evening Gazette, Montreal Gazette, etc.), all of which record events relative to First Nations peoples. These include a report of a descendant of Joseph Brant’s drowning and a poem about Wollonopauge, the native name of Wrentham, Massachusetts.

According to the collector,

[t]he most interesting of these clippings is a photograph from an 1869 issue of the Montreal Gazette showing a group of Mohawk men and women in traditional costume. The photo is undoubtedly by the Montreal photographer James Inglis, whose contemporary photograph of the same group of Mohawks posing with William Workman, Mayor of Montreal, and other Montreal dignitaries after a lacrosse match played in the presence of the Prince of Wales on his 1869 tour of Canada, is well-recorded. This is a singular image of the same gathering, sans caucasians.

Of John S. Martin and Tharackatha little can be determined: Martin is a relatively common surname among the Six Nations Mohawk Band (Oronhyatekha, the famous physician, businessman and benefactor of Six Nations was the son of Peter Martin, Sr., himself baptized “Peter Martin.”). However there is no contemporary census record of a John S. Martin nor of a “Tharackatha.”

The collector’s consultation with the lead historian of the Bay of Quinte Mohawks indicates no chief of that name at that time, but the moniker “chief’ was widely used by headmen of different levels of authority and dignity within the Mohawk nations at this time and there is no reason to think the inscription a fabrication. Rather, the inscription is more likely the only historical record of this particular Mohawk ‘chief’ in existence and, as such, fills an otherwise unknown lacuna in 19th century Mohawk history.”

The only potential clue comes from page 5 of the January 9, 1866, number of the Utica Weekly Herald, where the following is announced:

In Mohawk, January 1st, by the same, Mr. JOHN S. MARTIN, of Michigan, and Mrs. ELIZABETH E. RUNYEN, of Utica, daughter of John Golden, Esq., of Mohawk.

 If John S. Martin was a youth when he was presented with this book, he may well be the same person whose marriage is here noted. So, if anyone reading this piece knows anything about either Martin or Tharackatha, please contact us and help us solve this mystery.


Land Acknowledgment: Penn Libraries respectfully acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape.

For more information on the various editions of the Mohawk Book of Common Prayer, see The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World.

See additional works on the larger topic of Mohawk language and religion:

William B. Hart, “Mohawk Schoolmasters and Catechists in Mid-Eighteenth Century Iroquoia: An Experiment in Fostering Literacy and Religious Change” in The Language Encounter in the Americas 1492-1800, edited by Edward G. Gray  & Norman Fiering (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008), 230-257.

Daniel K. Richter, “’Some of Them … Would Always Have a Minister with Them’: Mohawk Protestantism, 1683-1719” in American Indian Quarterly, v. 16, no 4, Special Issue: Shamans and Preachers, Color Symbolism and Commercial Evangelism: Reflections on Early Mid-Atlantic religious Encounter in Light of the Columbian Quincentennial (Autumn 1992), 471-484.

Scott Manning Stevens, “The Path of the King James Version of the Bible in Iroquoia,” Prose Studies, 34:1, 5-17.

Scent of the Orange

We usually only see the labels for fragrances once they have been attached to the bottles, which makes this recent acquisition so wonderful. It is an engraved sheet with two apothecary labels for eau de cologne, one for a larger bottle, the other for a smaller bottle. They were printed from a single plate and then cut and pasted on the bottles. These elaborate labels, which probably date from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, show two alembics, which were used to distill the alcohol and extract the scent from the flowers.

The fragrance, consisting of distilled alcohol and scent, here make from orange blossoms, is described as “double,” suggesting a less powerful eau de toilette and a more powerful perfume of the same fragrance were also available. According to the label, the orange blossoms used in this fragrance came from an orange grove in the Provencal seaside town of Hyeres. Perhaps this was a local specialty that travelers to the region brought home with them as gifts for family and friends.

Hair It Is

As COVID-19 shuttered businesses, including hair salons and barbershops, and stay-at-home orders had so many of us working remotely, spending hours on Zoom meetings, our hair became a major focus of attention. Of course, this was really nothing new, as we have long had a complicated relationship with hair, which is rarely left in its natural state. We spend large amounts of money and time grooming it—brushing and combing, cutting and dying, curling or straightening, shaving or covering, braiding and arranging, even enhancing with extensions, hairpieces, and wigs. Our hair, whether styled or “natural,” is both an expression and a projection of our identity.

This year’s New York Antiquarian Book Fair provided curators with the opportunity to acquire Ouvrages en cheveux idéal (1878), a French hair artist’s manuscript album and catalogue.

The hair artist/author Henri Delaplace offers a variety of designs for tokens and memorials made from human hair, which are “Prix Divers: Suivant la grandeur,” that is, priced according to how fancy and hence how involved they were to create.

While some were quite small, others were large and required a great deal of hair to complete the piece. These two designs were clearly intended as gifts for a mother (A ma Mère) and a spouse (A mon Epouse). What the year “1868” represents is unclear–it could be the year it was given, the year the child was born, or have some other meaning now lost to us.

Delaplace completes his album with an illustrated history of hairdressing, suggesting he was both a hairdresser and a hair artist. In addition to the illustrations, many of which contain commentary, sometimes extensive, directly next to the drawings, there are five pages of text constituting a general history written at the end of the volume. This includes a section, “Mélange des Couleurs,” on hair color and hair coloring, that is, what tints are appropriate to apply to what types of hair.

The hairstyles in this history include Delaplace’s renderings of various ethnic or cultural examples (Native American, Chinese, and Turkish), historical French styles, and regional headwear for women.

It also includes some spectacular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women’s styles.

A popular folk art of the 18th and 19th centuries, hair art was a sentimental expression of love and grief. Human hair from both the living and the recently deceased was used to form flower bouquets, braided jewelry chains, weeping willows, and painted scenes of mourning.

This “Sketch for Human Hair Work,” with the hand reaching upwards, is a disquieting image.

Sometimes incorporating photographs, these were cherished tokens to preserve the memory of a deceased loved one, to chart a vibrant family tree of the living, or to exchange as friendship keepsakes.

A Busy Week

The work of a library carries on even when most of us are primarily working from home. Here at the Penn Libraries, my colleagues and I recently closed out a fantastic week of acquisitions work worth sharing from the comforts of home.

During the final week of October curators and area studies librarians here at Penn worked together to acquire an array of unique manuscripts from around the world at three different sales. One of the joys of working at the Penn Libraries are the wonderful and talented colleagues who enable us to have a truly global collecting scope. Thanks to these colleagues, in the space of a few days we were able to work together to build on Penn’s collection strengths and acquire important materials for teaching and research. 

Pennsylvania veterinary formulary, mid-19th century (Swann Galleries)

The Penn Libraries are home to a large and important collection of manuscript remedy books as well as significant materials related to the history of equine medicine. On Tuesday October 27th at a New York sale we acquired a regional mid-nineteenth-century manuscript formulary of equine veterinary cures from East Earl, Pennsylvania, which is near Lancaster. My colleague Lynne Farrington notes that it is important for the insights it provides into the treatment of horses during this period. She relates that one fascinating recipe is for “How to make the drops to make old horses young, or Get up and Howl!” with the following ingredients: cantharides (Spanish fly), fenugreek, and lots of brandy.

Short stories and tales in Gujarati, c. 1809 (Chiswick Auctions)

Two days later, on Thursday the 29th, the Libraries were fortunate enough to acquire two South Asian manuscripts in London which had been available to researchers in the United States during the twentieth century before being sold in the 1990s by their holding institution. Bringing manuscripts with this kind of provenance back into use by scholars is an important function of a research library, especially one such as ours which is world renowned for its South Asian manuscript collections. My colleague Jef Pierce, our South Asia studies librarian, notes that Penn’s existing holdings of these materials consist primarily of Sanskrit manuscripts so these two new acquisitions in Telugu and Gujarati bring greater linguistic diversity to the collection, and further expand its literary representation. The Telugu manuscript is a late 18th or early 19th century rendition of the Āmuktamālyada (Giver of the Worn Garland), an epic poem attributed to Krishnadevaraya, a 16th century ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire. Considered a masterpiece of Telugu composition, it relays in vivid detail the passionate devotion of poet-saint Goda Devi (also known as Andal) to Lord Vishnu. Serving as a prime example of premodern Vaishnava literature in South India, it offers apt literary comparison to the Sanskrit court poetry already typified by the collection. Similarly, the Gujarati manuscript acquired at the same sale presents vernacular versions of popular narratives, contrasting the Sanskrit register of similar works like the Pañcatantra. Comprising a three-volume set written by various Munshis in 1809, it includes numerous short stories and moral tales, and may have been commissioned as a Gujarati reader for a European scholar. Both of these manuscripts are written on British watermarked paper, demonstrating the increasing global exchange of the colonial period.

Eighteenth Century copy of the Qur’an from what is today Indonesia (Bloomsbury Auctions)

On Friday October 30th, the day after our success with South Asian materials, we made two exciting new acquisitions in the world of Arabic manuscripts thanks to the enthusiasm and sharp eyes of Heather Hughes (Middle East area studies librarian) and Kelly Tuttle (Project cataloger for Islamicate manuscripts). First, an 18th century copy (dated 1717 CE / 1130 A.H) of Dustūr al-adwiyah (دستور الادوية) by Dāwūd ibn Abī al Bayān al-Isrāʾīlī (d. c. 1236). A collection of herbal remedies, this copy of the work was made by Ilyās ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Nāṣirī , a Christian physician working at the Ṣalāḥī hospital in Jerusalem. He also kept notes about the treatments in the margins of the work. This copy complements Penn’s strong holdings in the history of science and medicine as well as its small but growing collection of Islamicate medical theory and treatment books. These include, among others, a medical recipe book similar in style to this new acquisition in Ottoman Turkish acquired last year (Ms. Codex 1998), and one in Persian dealing specifically with Ayurvedic medicine (CAJS Rar Ms 214) both of which have been digitized through the ongoing CLIR-funded Manuscripts of the Muslim World grant project. In addition to this medical work, we also acquired a decorated copy of the Qur’an from Indonesia, the country currently home to the world’s largest Muslim population (pictured above). This copy, likely from the 18th century, has three sets of colorful, dual-page illuminations in a style distinctly different from Qur’an copies produced in Persia, India, or the Ottoman lands. It is an important and useful addition for our faculty who teach the global history of Islam and its manuscript traditions.

Blue Skies to Red Seas


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[Ed. note: Today’s post is by Penn Libraries intern Akasya Benge. Many thanks to Akasya for her painstaking work in inventorying recently acquired Japanese Naval Collection magazines (Kaigun, Kaigun Gurafu, Umi to Sora, and Teikoku Kaigun) and reflecting on what she found within. Come check the magazines out for yourself in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center!]

I came to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries as an intern with already specialized interests. I studied abroad in Japan in high school, college, and post-graduate, and obtained my master’s degree in art history with a focus on premodern Japanese art. However, the project I ended up focusing on at the Penn Libraries was to inventory a sizable collection of 1930s and 1940s Japanese naval magazines. These magazines provide a look into propaganda both prewar and while at war, allowing readers to explore a subject little known or researched in the West – the presentation of upcoming war to the Japanese public.

Sora to Umi, October 1935

Cover of Umi to Sora, October 1935

It seems an odd choice for any university outside Japan, but the University of Pennsylvania Libraries has one of the largest collections of pre-WWII Japanese naval material in the United States, primarily dating from the 1920s-1940s. Indeed, it is the rarity of these materials that makes them so fascinating. While the United States understands its own narrative and choices leading up to and the conclusion of World War II, less is known in the Western world about how the Japanese people felt during those same troubled times, especially because of their own efforts to whitewash their imperial past after the war.

The focus of this post is the Japanese naval and aviation magazines held by the Penn Libraries, readily available publications to the Japanese reading public of the time. They have such names as Umi to Sora 海と空, a title that translates to “Sea and Sky,” and expresses an equally evocative image in Japanese as it does in English. The early 1930s publications of this magazine are scattered with meticulous diagrams of airplanes, as well as peaceful hovering planes gently soaring above the sea.

Sora to Umi, February 1935

Cover of Umi to Sora, February 1935

Beautifully detailed drawings of ships – which seem more suited to a children’s book than a military magazine – are also contained in these issues. A sense of hope pervades the pictures, the feeling that much had been accomplished and so much more awaited. Foreign militaries are approached with a feeling of inquisitiveness and interest, rather than malice and fear. This would quickly change with the 1940s, where Americans became distant and unapproachable, and the Germans, interestingly carefree and friendly. There is even a photograph of Hitler printed in the magazine Kaigun Gurafu 海軍グラフ in 1938, both commanding and terrifying; this image provides a stark contrast to the photograph published four years earlier of the Shōwa Emperor (known as Hirohito outside Japan) looking gentle and shy.


Adolf Hilter in Kaigun Gurafu, August 1938


The Shōwa Emperor in Kaigun Gurafu, July 1934

Other changes that occur over time in Sora to Umi include minute details such as the use of Japanese years rather than the Western calendar, in Chinese numerals: for example, Shōwa 17 昭和十七 as opposed to 1942. Something so barely perceptible may not seem of interest, but as linguists know, a strict demand to use only Japanese words and eliminate all traces of foreign influence marks a time of nationalism, and possibly gave fuel to the upcoming war.

Kaigun Gurafu, October 1935

Cover of Kaigun Gurafu, October 1935

In Kaigun Gurafu 海軍グラフ (Navy Illustrated), meanwhile, in the middle of 1938 we can observe another subtle change. From the glossy, graphic-design heavy magazines produced earlier, we temporarily receive something reminiscent of the Edo period (1603-1868): heavy, striped paper with feather-like sheets inside reminiscent of Japanese rice paper or washi 和紙. The cover, instead of the usual dramatic photograph, is emblazoned with a simple stamp, reminiscent of woodblock prints. This image from May 1938 shows the rising sun, along with a ship and airplane intersecting the top and bottom.

Kaigun Gurafu May 1938

Cover of Kaigun Gurafu, May 1938

The changes to the cover and the return to a traditional Japanese calendar illustrate the ways in which the Japanese are proclaiming their native heritage. In the 1930s and 40s, Japan was an expanding empire steeped in patriotic media, and there was a strong effort to establish the Japanese emperor’s identity as a living god with roots stretching back into the mists of time. This is amply on display here, with the image of the rising sun literally being reinforced with new displays of power – by air and sea.

Kaigun Gurafu relies less on imagery and more on facts than Sora to Umi. (Although, as its name implies — “gurafu” is short for “photograph,” indicating an illustrated publication — it always contained sections of glossy photos of various naval scenes.) However, even this publication inserts a loving tribute to Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō 東郷平八郎 (1848-1934), who began his naval career during the Meiji period (1868-1912) as a dapper and handsome young man, and even appeared on the cover of Time Magazine on November 8, 1926. Upon his death in 1934, multiple Western nations sent representative dignitaries to his funeral.

Kaigun Gurafu, July 1934

Section on Admiral Tōgō in Kaigun Gurafu, July 1934

Another interesting aspect of Kaigun Gurafu is the advertisements. The advertisement on the very first page of many mid-1930s issues show a woman proudly displaying her new household gadgets, ranging from everything from a fan to a vacuum.

Kaigun Gurafu, March 1936

Mitsubishi advertisement in Kaigun Gurafu, March 1936

Upon first glance, Western readers may think of a husband indulging his wife in state-of-the-art appliances, but the truth is this may not be the case. Japan has long had a system of women managing household finances, and it seems likely that this practice began in the 1930s, when the financial and industrial conglomerates known as zaibatsu 財閥 kept the economy relatively healthy despite the Great Depression ravishing the rest of the world. “Salaryman” サラリーマン (a term that originated in the 1930s) in Japan traditionally turned over their monthly salary to their wives and in return received pocket money or okozukai 小遣い to cover their monthly expenses like food, shopping, and entertainment.

Kaigun Gurafu, September 1937

Mitsubishi advertisement in Kaigun Gurafu, September 1937

So, in a magazine that we might assume had targeted men, why were items meant for women being advertised? It is possible that women were buying the magazine. Given that even European and American women’s reading habits are not well studied, how much less is known about the reading habits of Japanese women in the 1930s? Even more illuminating are our own attitudes to early Japan, where many assume was repressive for Japanese women. By the Shōwa era, were women as enthusiastic about the military as men? Did they read these magazine in earnest for their sons or themselves?

Regardless, by 1938, the advertisements directed towards women were moved from the front to the back, and the clothing they wore (modern, Western, and freeing) was replaced with traditional kimono. Now a woman, instead of actively cleaning, sits demurely in front of a Mitsubishi space heater, practicing her calligraphy.

Kaigun Gurafu, January 1938

Mitsubishi advertisement in Kaigun Gurafu, January 1938

Another advertisement shows two women, painted as old-fashioned beauties, both in kimono, using a Mitsubishi sewing machine to then make even more kimono. The message is clear: we don’t want your Western ideas (or products) here.

Kaigun Gurafu, January 1939

Mitsubishi advertisement in Kaigun Gurafu, January 1939

For me, to study such a different era than the one I normally focused on gave me an opportunity to see the artwork and ideology comparison from one era to a much earlier one. What remained quintessentially Japanese both at war and at peace? I hope it will encourage other researchers to dive further into this unknown tract of research, and bring to light more perspective that is not our own.

“If a Woman Had Been Mayor”

[Ed. Note: Today’s post is by Prof. Zachary M. Schrag from George Mason University. We are very grateful to Prof. Schrag for visiting the Penn Libraries for his research and volunteering to write about what he found.]

Robert Montgomery Bird Family Correspondence (UPenn Ms. Coll. 1074, Box 1, folder 11)

From May 6 through 8, 1844, Protestant nativists battled Irish Catholic immigrants in the streets of Kensington—then an independent district north of the city of Philadelphia proper—and burned the Catholic churches of St. Michael and St. Augustine. Among the witnesses to the latter was 37-year-old Caroline Augusta Mayer, who on May 10 described the events to her sister, Mary E. Bird, then in Newcastle, Delaware. Caroline’s letter, written in haste and now preserved in the Robert Montgomery Bird Family Papers. UPenn MS Coll. 1074, describes the violence from the unusual perspective of an opinionated Philadelphia gentlewoman.

In May 1844, Caroline was living with her parents, Philip and Lucy Rodman Mayer, whose home on Race Street was about half a mile west of St. Augustine’s. On the evening of May 8, the Mayers were in the parlor when a scream from the garret sent them running upstairs. It was “Poor Mary” (probably Mary Shails, the Irish-born domestic listed with the family in the 1850 census), “strong in hysterics” at the sight of the church in flames. “The cross on the cupola stood out distinct in the flames to the last,” Caroline wrote, “& when at length it fell in, the flames were directly extinguished. It looked most striking, grand & sublime.”

That evening, Pennsylvania Militia troops deployed to protect the city’s surviving Catholic churches, including the elegant St. John the Evangelist, just north of fashionable Chestnut Street. On May 9, Philadelphians turned out to gawk. “The ladies not choosing to be chased out of their Chesnut Street—as why should they be? were out in flocks,” Caroline reported, “particularly the upper part. We all took occasion to pass by 13th & Chesnut in the course of the afternoon, thinking we might not soon see a fortified church again.” She took her 5-year-old nephew—Mary Bird’s son, Frederic Mayer Bird—who “was perfectly delighted to see the soldiers & cannon,” which she held him up to see. “But do not let his Dear Father think there is the slightest danger of his getting among the fighters.”

Caroline’s sister, Mary Bird, initially blamed the immigrants for the violence. “What a dreadful, wicked set of people they are to make such horrid riots,” she wrote to Frederic. But Caroline had a different view. “The Americans are ten times worse than the Irish, except the Protestant Irish,” she asserted, “and as for the poor Catholics, if people persecute them much longer, and all the saintly people smile & say, ‘Ah, ’tis sad, but their doctrines are so very wicked,’ I shall be tempted to turn Catholic myself. They at least are sincere, & not such detestable hypocrites.” Quite a statement from the daughter of a Lutheran minister.

Caroline also had sharp words for Philadelphia’s Mayor John Scott, who had failed to save St. Augustine’s. “Mother says, she would think rather more of [him], if he were less of an old granny, & had had the moral & physical courage to order a cannon to be fired on Monday afternoon … It is an unnecessary panic I think, & if the authorities were not such poltroons & cowards would not have existed. If a woman had been Mayor, I’ll warrant ordered [sic] would never have been infringed.”

This was unfair. Whatever one might think of Scott’s manhood, his jurisdiction did not extend to Kensington, the scene of Monday’s fighting. Sheriff Morton McMichael did have county-wide jurisdiction but no forces to go with it, as he explained to his friend Robert Montgomery Bird, Mary’s husband. In a May 17 letter, now in the Robert Montgomery Bird papers. UPenn MS Coll. 108, the sheriff pitied himself: “In the late riots I did all that I could do to suppress them, but I have been so hampered by the tardiness and inaction of others, upon whom I depended, but could not control, that my personal efforts were to a great degree unavailing.” Philadelphia’s riots were too big a problem for any individual to control, and would not be resolved until Philadelphia absorbed Kensington and its other suburbs in 1854.

A Woodblock on Pilgrimage: From Flanders to Philadelphia

[Ed. note: we are very grateful to Dr. Patricia Stoop, visiting Brueghel Chair at the University of Pennsylvania / Universiteit Antwerpen for contributing this post.]

At the beginning of this year, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania purchased a unique and fascinating woodblock (c. 12.5 × 9.5 inches). Apart from the fact that for mysterious reasons over the course of time, a strip of about half an inch was cut off from the left end of the block—this was already the case when it belonged to a private owner in Eindhoven (Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands) in the 1950s—the woodblock is in excellent condition.

The devotional print is related to Scherpenheuvel (literally ‘Sharp Hill’, most often called ‘Montaigu’ after the French), which since the beginning of the seventeenth century was the main pilgrimage center in the Habsburg Low Countries. Its cult goes back to at least the beginning of the fourteenth century. In his continuation of the Spiegel Historiael the Brabantine priest and author Lodewijk van Velthem (c. 1260/75–after 1317) mentions a holy oak, which had the form of a cross and stood on the hilltop between the towns of Diest and Zichem, where he was ordained as a priest. The tree was worshipped because of the healing powers ascribed to it:

Van ere eyken die men anebede. LVII.

In desen tiden was ganginge mede
Tuscen Zichgem ende Diest der stede
Rechte bi na te middewarde.
Daer dede menich sine bedevarde
Tot ere eyken, dat si u cont,
Die alse .i. cruse gewassen stont
Met .ii. rayen gaende uut.
Daer menich quam overluut,
Die daer ane hinc scerpe ende staf
Ende seide dat hi genesen waer daer af.
Som [s]liepense onder den boem.
Dus quam hem voren in haren droem
Datsi vanden boem genasen.
Aldus so quamen daer die dwasen,
Ende die waren meest siec vanden rede,
Ende vele verlorne daer optie stede.
Dit duerde wel .i. half jaer,
Sodat menige scerpe hinc daer
Ende menich staf anden boem.

On an oak that was worshipped. Chapter 57.

In these days pilgrimage took place
to a place almost in the middle
between Zichem and Diest.
Many went on pilgrimage there
to an oak, that as you should know
was grown in the form of a cross
with two diverging branches.
Apparently many put their
pilgrim bag and their cane on the tree
and said that they were cured thereof.
Some slept underneath the tree.
They believed that in their dreams
they were healed by the tree.
Thus the fools came there,
mostly sick of mind,
and lost many belongings in that place.
This took place definitely for half a year
so that many pilgrim bags
and many canes hung there on the tree.

(Book 4, Chapter 57, ll. 4256–74)

Not too long after Velthem’s disapproving observation, a small statue of the Virgin Mary was placed in the cross-shaped tree. According to the legend, a shepherd had noticed around 1415 that the statue had fallen down. When he lifted it up in order to take it home, he was unable to move. Only when his master, who was worried because the shepherd had not returned home after work, put the statue of the Virgin back into the tree, was the servant able to move again. In this way the Virgin had shown the spiritual importance of the place. In the woodblock the shepherd is depicted in the lower left corner: he is identified by the French word berger, which indicates that the prints to be produced from this block were intended for a French-speaking audience.

After the miracle with the shepherd, the site was frequented by inhabitants of the surrounding villages whenever they were sick or a member of their family suffered from illness or pain. As suggested in the short passage from the text by Velthem, the pilgrims hung their support aids on the tree when they did not need them any longer: in October 1603 the tree counted no less than 135 canes. But there was also a lively trade in ex-votos: pilgrims could buy representations in gold, silver or tin of the body parts that were cured or needed healing (in the last case it was believed that the representation of the ill limb would take over the disease). These votive offerings were left hanging on the holy tree, as can be seen in the image above the radiant aureole in which the Virgin is depicted.

In the 1580s Scherpenheuvel found itself in the midst of the battlefields of the Dutch Revolt (1568–1648). While occupied by Protestant forces of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands between 1580 and 1583, the statue of the Virgin fell victim to an act of iconoclasm and was removed. After the town was retaken by the Spanish army, the cult was restored in 1587 by the parishioners of Zichem. (This town is represented in the woodblock both by the striped coat of arms at the left end of the woodblock and the stag with the crucifix at the right end of the block, which refers to St Eustachius, the town’s patron saint). By that time the site also had a strong appeal to Spanish soldiers who were wounded or infected by diseases. Via them, stories of miraculous healings spread all the way to France and the north of Spain. One of the people who benefited from these miraculous healings is represented centrally in the lower edge of the woodblock. Hans Clements—or Jean Clement as he is called on the woodblock (both names are derived from the Latin name Johannes)—, citizen of Lucerne in Switzerland, was born crippled. He traveled throughout the Netherlands on this knees, begging, until he arrived in Scherpenheuvel where the Virgin Mary finally answered his prayers and cured his disability.

The story about Hans (or Jean) Clements is one of the most famous miracles that happened in Scherpenheuvel in 1603 and 1604. It is extensively described by Philips Numan (c. 1550–1627), humanist writer and town secretary of Brussels, in his collection of miracles ascribed to Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel: Historie van de mirakelen die onlancx in grooten ghetale ghebeurt zijn door die intercessie ende voer bidden van die H. Maget Maria op een plaetse genoemt Scherpen heuvel by die Stadt van Sichen in Brabant [History of the miracles that happened recently in large numbers by the intercession and mediation of the Holy Virgin Mary in a place named Scherpenheuvel near the city of Zichem in Brabant]. Numan collected the miracles by order of the archbishop of Mechelen, Mathias Hovius (1542–1620). The first edition was printed in Louvain by Rutger Velpius in 1604. The image below is taken from the third edition printed by the same printer in 1606. Besides the publication in Dutch, Numan wrote a French version for the local nobility and a Spanish one intended for the court. Not much later an English translation was printed (1606). A Latin version was published by the famous humanist Justus Lipsius (1605).


The third edition of the Historie van de mirakelen (Brussels: Rutgeert Velpius, 1606). Copperplate engraving. Copy of the Heritage Library of the Ruusbroec Institute, Antwerpen, RG 3091 I 13. In the middle Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel is depicted in the same radiant aureole as can be found on the woodblock. She is accompanied by Hans Clemens to her right and Catherine du Bus, who is exclaiming the message of the devil.

The second great miracle is depicted in the lower left corner of the woodblock: there we see a woman on her knees, her arms spread while she expresses the message of the devil. The woman is identified as Catherine du Bus, a woman from Lille, France, who was able to speak Hebrew and Greek, although she never studied those languages, a clear sign that she was possessed by the devil. While being exorcized, she made predictions about the siege of the city of Ostend, which at the time was occupied by the Dutch rebels. During the process, which initially failed a number of times, the devil—in both the woodblock and the copperplate engraving he is pictured in a speech balloon—via Catherine’s mouth shouted to eyewitnesses that they were wrong in believing that the Spaniards would be able to win the siege. After eating a fragment of the oak tree of Scherpenheuvel, however, the devil was forced out, and on 22 September 1604 the Royal Spanish troops of Archduke Albert of Austria (1559–1621) took over Ostend, all thanks to the intervention of the Virgin of Scherpenheuvel.

Miracles like these established the fame of Scherpenheuvel as a pilgrimage site on a greater level than a regional one. In 1603, after they had heard that the Virgin had wept blood, the Archduke and his wife Isabella (1566–1633), who are depicted in the lower right corner of the woodblock (which is quite exceptional in devotional prints from Scherpenheuvel), visited the place for the first time and took it under their protection. In order to spread the devotion, books such as Numan’s and other devotional representations were mass produced. In the meantime a small wooden chapel was built for the statue of the Virgin in front of the oak in 1602. As we see in Velthem’s text, the worshipping of a tree was not much appreciated by the Catholic priests. Only two years later this wooden chapel was replaced by a larger, stone version. Likely it is this chapel that is depicted on the woodcut. In 1607 Albrecht and Isabella, out of gratitude for the expulsion of the Calvinists from the Southern Low Countries, decided that Scherpenheuvel had to be transformed into a fully-fledged pilgrimage site. In order to stimulate this they commissioned the building of a new basilica as a symbol of the Counter Reformation. The foundation stone of this new church was laid by them on 2 July 1606, the Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin. It is usually this basilica, which still is the destination of many pilgrims to this day, which is represented on devotional prints from Scherpenheuvel such as the example below.

Jean Clement and other pilgrims being healed by Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel, with the new basilica in the background. Printed by Johannes I van den Sande (1600–c. 1675), after 1620. Antwerpen, Ruusbroec Institute, Collection Alfons Thijs, KP 31.17.

This observation may help us in dating the woodblock. Contrary to the date of c. 1750 offered in the catalogue of Samuel Gedge Ltd. (from whom the Kislak Center acquired the piece) it is more likely that the woodblock is from a much earlier date. The fact that the woodblock does not depict the new basilica that was built from 1609 onwards (and consecrated in 1627), but instead the chapel that stood at the pilgrimage site before, indicates that the woodblock was produced in the short period between 1603/04, the years in which the miracles of Hans Clements and Catherine du Bus took place, and 1609 when the chapel was torn down in order to replace it with the new basilica, or certainly before 1627 when the new basilica was consecrated. Given the fact that devotional prints such as this woodblock were intended to propagate the cult of both the Virgin and the pilgrimage town, it seems to make little sense that one would not depict the impressive new church on devotional prints after it was completed. Moreover, the striking similarities in iconography with the copperplate engraving in the third edition of Numan’s Historie printed in 1606 as well as with a devotional print from 1602 and especially an approbation by the church on 17 November 1604 (see below) seem to support a dating in the first decade of the seventeenth century.

–Patricia Stoop

Ms20614_fol2v_3r detail

Copperplate engraving by the Antwerp engraver and print publisher Adriaan Huberti (active between 1573 and 1614) from an ecclesiastical approbation (1604) showing Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel in the oak, the three miracles ascribed to her, and archduke Albrecht and his wife Isabella. Under the mandorla with Our Lady one can see the little stone chapel that is also depicted at the woodcut. The coats of arms are those of Zichem (under the mandorla), Brabant (left) and the princess of Oranje-Nassau, the Lords of Zichem (right). Brussel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MS 20614, fols 2v–3r.


Bowen, K.L., Marian Pilgrimage Sites in Brabant: A Bibliography of Books Printed Between 1600–1850 (Leuven: Peeters, 2008).

De Meyer, M., ‘Een oude bedevaartprent van Scherpenheuvel’, Volkskunde: driemaandelijks tijdschrift voor de studie van het volksleven, 55 (1954), 144–45.

Duerloo, Luc and Marc Wingens, Scherpenheuvel: het Jeruzalem van de Lage Landen (Leuven: Davidsfonds, 2002).

Duerloo, Luc, Dynasty and Piety: Archduke Albert (1598–1621) and Habsburg Political Culture in an Age of Religious Wars (London: Routledge, 2012).

Samuel Gedge LTD, Catalogue xxv, no. 20.

Etta Winigrad: Artist of the Figurative and the Fantastical

It’s a small but important collection, documenting the work of a local woman who lives in two worlds, those of art and business. She has managed to create an amazing collection of ceramic sculptures while also helping to run the family business (Parkway Corp.), begun by her parents, Herman and Lee Zuritsky. Moreover, a collection of over 500 photographs of performing artists, taken by her late husband Allen J. Winigrad, between 1973 and 1989, has been in the collection of the Penn Libraries since 1994.

Etta Zuritsky Winigrad is a Philadelphia artist and Penn graduate (FA’58 Ed’59) for whom ceramics have been her primary, though not her exclusive medium. Her thought-provoking sculptures, which combine figurative and fantastical elements, reflect her focus on the situation of humanity in the world. As she herself says:

From the very beginning, my sculptural work has been a continuing exploration and attempt to illustrate ideas and concerns of the human condition, both whimsical and serious.

The figurative element in her work, as seen here in “Reborn,” provides a point of entry for the viewer.

By combining realistic and fantastical elements I am trying to encourage the audience to draw on their own imagination and life experiences for interpretation.

Over time, she developed a firing technique for her sculptures, which is fascinating, combining a conceptual framework with the serendipity of real life.

The recent sculptures are of a low fire white clay body that easily absorbs the smoke and carbon from the newspaper I burn around it out in the open after it has been fired to maturity in the kiln. The smoke acts as a paint brush which allows the color to appear as if created by the hand of nature and not as an applied coat of paint from the hand of man. By controlling the smoke, to some extent, I can use it to emphasize the forms and the way the audience views the piece.

Her influences are many, coming from the African, South Pacific, and pre-Columbian art that she and her husband collected, and which is on display in her home.

I especially like the simpler primitive shapes that speak to us so powerfully and seem to tap into those forms that we have genetically accumulated in our psyches.


Etta (born July 25, 1936) recalls being six or seven years old when her parents, Herman and Lee Zuritsky, began their Philadelphia-based parking business. Etta recalls that even in her day, Etta’s mother Lee was active in the business. One of eleven children, Lee Zuritsky was the only one to finish high school, and Etta describes her mother as her role model and credits her for having the courage to pursue her dream.

In the late 1950s, when she went to Penn, she applied to the School of Fine Arts, rather than the College for Women, knowing that it was easier to get into the fine arts program, but that once you were in you could take any course at the University that you wanted. After graduating, she briefly taught junior high school before deciding that teaching was not for her.

She admits that up until the time she got married, she thought of art consisted exclusively of painting and drawing. After she was married and had her first two children, she would have a babysitter come in for a few hours and use her free time to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for classes in drawing and painting. One day the teacher gave them some clay and asked them to use the model to create a three-dimensional work. This was an epiphany for Etta, who discovered that what she couldn’t do with paint she could do with clay. However, everyone who works in clay begins by making pots, which Etta found to be limiting, so she began to look for whatever would teach her about sculpture. After that she looked for classes on sculpting with clay, even traveling out west to take them. Between 1968 and 1996, she took continuing education courses at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, as well as workshops at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other institutions across the nation.

Etta and Allen lived for years in Cherry Hill, NJ, raising their four boys (Michael, David, Jacob, and Daniel) there. It was there that she had her first kiln, built in a shed from bricks, where she did more traditional kinds of firing, like Raku. It was originally a gas kiln, but she converted it to electric so that she would have more control over the actual process of firing, since during the process of firing the temperature needs to rise and then lower gradually, so as not to crack the sculpture during the firing process. It was while living and working in Cherry Hill that she first developed the smoking technique that was to become one of her signatures.

When she moved to Paoli, PA, after her children were grown, she had a big studio with an indoor kiln, the largest one they made, allowing her to make much bigger sculptures. She smoked them after firing in the driveway. The studio in her current apartment (seen here) in Rittenhouse Square, to which she moved more recently, was designed to hold a smaller electric kiln, this one computerized to fire her work to her specifications without constant monitoring, since the firing process can take days. However, the final smoking process now takes place in the driveway of her son David’s house in Penn Valley.

Smoking technique

When asked how she came to the smoking technique that she uses to provide a patina to the surface of her sculptures, Etta says she probably came to it accidentally. She was looking for a way to unify the surface and move the eye around the sculpture without using traditional color. Color doesn’t speak to Etta the way it does to what she refers to as “real colorists.” Color draws you to a certain point, and she didn’t want viewers to focus on color, but on the whole piece. She didn’t want color to pull one away from the sculptural aspects of her work. And when she occasionally uses color, it’s intended for a specific purpose.

The success of this technique depends on both the type of clay she is using and the firing technique she employs. High-fire clays can be fired at high temperatures, which allow the clay to “vitrify,” that is, undergo a chemical change that drive out all the water molecules and makes the object waterproof. However, low-fire clays have open pores after firing, meaning they can absorb water and, in the case of Winigrad’s smoking technique, the carbon byproducts of combustion.  Etta works with plain clays, generally white and gray, which work well as a receptive surface for tinting with smoke. The result is that it looks like the coloring has grown out of the piece rather than being applied to it.

 She insists on using the Philadelphia Inquirer for her smoking, shying away from pages with color as well as the sport section. To “smoke” a sculpture, she wraps newspaper around the sculptures and carefully sets fire to it, manipulating it as it smokes. She uses wet paper to mask areas that she doesn’t want smoked. After smoking she sprays it with a fixative so that the carbon patina becomes a permanent part of the sculpture. Continue reading

A Collection of Korekushon


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For libraries large and small, one of the most routinely challenging tasks is dealing with resources that can seem prosaic or even occasionally expendable: periodicals. For some of us, the word alone conjures up the image of unvisited library spaces desperate to be populated with “real books”; for others among us, it serves as shorthand for a cumbersome search and retrieval process followed by laborious photocopying that we’d rather someone else do for us. On the backend of the library, periodicals prevent a whole different series of frustrations: title changes, hiccups in numbering schemes and publication frequencies, and numerous special issues and supplements that defy tidy organization. But these difficulties can also serve as a fascinating view into the histories of publishers, and of the intellectual and economic trends that shaped their publications.

Select issues of the first three runs of Korekushon, housed in official portfolios.

Select issues of the first three runs of Korekushon, housed in official portfolios.

Korekushon これくしょん (from the English word collection), the little journal that could, serves as both a worthy exemplar of how the histories of publishers are encoded in their products, as well as a practical primer in the complex interrelationships among periodicals and their makers. Spanning some 66 years and four separate attempts to reboot the title, the history of Korekushon is also the story of its editors, Yamanouchi Kinzaburō 山内金三郎 (1886-1966) and Imamura Hidetarō 今村秀太郎 (1907-1994), and their half-century quest to connect art lovers with objects of beauty and the exquisite artists’ books that they helped produce.

The Birth of the Gohachi Brand: 1911-1937

The son of Osaka lumber dealer Yamanouchi Nakagobē 山内中五兵衛, Kinzaburō’s own interest in wood products veered towards the art objects that could be created from it. In 1910, at the age of 24, Kinzaburō graduated from the now-defunct Tokyo Fine Arts School 東京美術学校 (the current Department of Fine Arts of Tokyo University of the Arts), and in the following year, he established the art shop Gohachi 吾八, named in honor of his paternal grandfather. Gohachi dealt in all sorts of Japanese folk arts such as ōtsu-e folk illustration and traditional toys like kokeshi dolls こけし. In 1912, Kinzaburō turned his hand to publishing with the release of Ōtsu-e-shū 大津絵集, a compilation of ōtsu-e owned by numerous art lovers. Just two years later, under his artist’s moniker “Yamanouchi Shinpu” 山内神斧, Kinzaburō released what would become the first installment in a multivolume artist’s book, Jūjū 寿々(from the French word jou-jou, “toy”), a lovely compendium of illustrations of traditional toys from around the world.

By 1919, Kinzaburō had closed up Gohachi and began freelancing as an illustrator for the monthly women’s magazine Shufu no tomo 主婦の友, until eventually gaining full-time employment as a chief editor there. In 1936, at the age of 50, Kinzaburō retired from the company; in April of the following year, with the help of Shufu no tomo junior editor Imamura Hidetarō, he re-opened Gohachi in Ginza, Tokyo. To commemorate this occasion they launched the first issue of their PR-shi PR誌 (“house organ”) Korekushon with Kinzaburō as editor-in-chief.

The “Pre-War” Korekushon: 1937-1944

Known among collectors as the senzen-ban 戦前版 or “pre-war” edition, the first run of Korekushon lasted for 64 numbers, with the inaugural issue (no. 1, April 1937) coinciding with the opening of Gohachi.

Two spreads from

Two spreads from “paid edition” of the pre-war Korekushon, no. 18 (Sept. 1938). Top: Drawings of German folk toys from Saxony; Bottom: Playing card theme bookplate sample insert next to first page of glossy “advertising edition”.

Korekushon rode the wave of limited edition books (genteiban 限定版) and miniature books (mame-hon 豆本, literally “bean books”) that had begun to wash over Japan in the 1930s, just as the fervor for enpon 円本—the cheaply priced 1-yen books that drove the market of multivolume sets like zenshū 全集 (“complete works”)—began to ebb. In contrast to the mass-produced “collect ’em all” visual uniformity of enpon series, the special edition books of the 1930s encouraged collectibility by limiting their numbers. This first iteration of Korekushon not only advertised such books (some produced in-house at Gohachi), but also served as a limited edition collectible itself. Nominally marked as “not for sale” (hibahin 非売品), issues of Korekushon were initially printed in runs of 500 copies, and offered for sale in subscriptions of 5 issues for 50 sen (equal to half a yen).

Despite these relatively large production numbers, the 1937 Korekushon has a charming handcrafted feel to it. The covers and select pages are printed on Japanese paper (washi) and are untrimmed with a deckle edge. These washi pages feature hand-pasted inserts of full-color paper samples and unsigned woodcut prints of what was likely Kinzaburō’s own art. Interleaved with these are glossy black-and-white pages containing photographs of other artworks for sale. By Korekushon no. 16, Gohachi had implemented a new strategy: the glossy portions would serve as a self-contained catalog and be offered for free as the “advertising edition” (senden-ban 宣傳版); for a semiannual 1.5 yen subscription, however, readers could purchase six issues of the “paid edition (yūryō-ban 有料版), limited to 200 copies. These “paid editions” contained the entire glossy “advertising editions,” stapled into deluxe printed washi pages replete with content: original art by people like literatus Mushanokōji Saneatsu 武者小路實篤 (1885-1976); articles and serialized content like Kawaguchi Eizō’s 川口栄三 seventy-page bibliography on toys and figurines, Gangu ningyō bunken no shiori 玩具人形文献の栞 (included in no. 45-53); hand-inserted samples of the stationery and bookplates that Gohachi offered for sale; and, of course, the monthly editorial corner that kept fans and customers up to date on shop happenings.

Illustrations of folk dolls from Korekushon (1937)'s “paid edition”. Right: Stuffed

Illustrations of folk dolls from Korekushon (1937)’s “paid edition”. Right: Stuffed “older sister” dolls ane-sama ningyō 姉様人形 from Miyake Island (no. 34, Jan. 1940); Left: Korean female doll kaksi 閣氏 or 각시 (no. 35, Feb. 1940)

After five years of publication, Korekushon no. 64 (June 1943) was announced as the final issue, citing difficulties with the printers in a time when paper was seen as a wartime necessity and not a hobbyist’s frivolity. Not to be defeated, however, Gohachi’s final editorial announced a plan for a smaller, ostensibly less luxurious 4-8 page booklet to be distributed for free. Gohachi’s noble intentions notwithstanding, this short-lived sequel Gohachi dayori 吾八信り is no less attractive than its predecessor, but after a delayed no. 2 (December 1943), subscribers eager to read a third installment were instead greeted with a joint letter from Kinzaburō and Hidetarō, dated April 1944, announcing both the dissolution of Gohachi and a full refund on subscription fees—paid in the form of postage stamps.

Korekushon Goes Osaka: 1947-1955

Although Gohachi was the brainchild and brand of Kinzaburō, it was Hidetarō who took care of the store’s day-to-day operations. By Korekushon no. 5, Hidetarō was listed as the representative editor and publisher in the colophon. In actuality, just months after founding Gohachi, Kinzaburō was already living a bimetropolitan life, serving as the silent partner of Gohachi in Tokyo but spending most of his time in hometown of Osaka, where he dealt art objects in Hankyu Department Store 阪急百貨店. Ever the publisher, Kinzaburō served as editor of Hankyu’s newly-launched art-themed PR-shi Hankyū bijutsu 阪急美術 (later spelled 汎究美術), a little magazine that would eventually evolve into the commercially produced Nihon bijutsu kōgei 日本美術工芸 and cease in 1997 after a whopping 700 issues.

Back in Tokyo, the editorial column of Korekushon no. 47 (April 1941) announced that a new “Gohachi” was being planned as part of Hankyu Department Store. This store would instead launch under a new brand, Umeda Shobō 梅田書房 (“Umeda Booksellers”), and it would continue operations throughout the war, even as Gohachi went under in 1944. Although Kinzaburō’s flagship store had shuttered, his commitment to publishing continued. In February of 1947, taking advantage of a new post-war boom in the used book market, Kinzaburō rebooted Korekushon as the catalog of Umeda Shobō.

Kinzaburō’s flair for design is on full display in this 1947 edition of Korekushon. Almost every number of Umeda Shobō’s Korekushon is hand-written and mimeographed, with a zine-like feel absent from its 1937 predecessor. Only one issue is in typeset: no. 93 (August 1955), the auction catalog of Hankyu’s 18th Used Book Fair. An editorial in the following issue, no. 94 (October 1955), announced a glorious return to handwritten mimeography, due to vocal reader feedback.


Front and back covers of Korekushon (1947). Top: spread of no. 8 (Sept. 1947); Bottom: kokeshi dolls on no. 12 (Jan. 1948).

Despite the differences in textual flavor, and a stock list more naturally geared toward books than objets d’art, the content is a natural progression of the 1937 Korekushon, with preoccupations on folk craft (mingei 民芸) at the forefront. Besides features like the colorfully illustrated, 20-installment column “Meika junrai” 名菓巡礼 (“A Pilgrimage of Notable Confections”), the work of artists like of artists like illustrator Kawakami Sumio 川上澄生 (1895-1972) and textile designer Serizawa Keisuke 芹沢銈介 (1895-1984) begin to feature prominently in editorials and advertisements.

It’s difficult to say what inspired Korekushon to once again stop publishing: The Penn Libraries does not own the final issue, no. 102 (February 1957), so there is no farewell missive to consult. But this wasn’t the last that people would see of Korekushon. Continue reading

Beyond the First Folio

[Ed. note: Today’s post is by Isabel Gendler, a rising Penn senior and history major who is a CURF fellow at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts this summer]

On my first day interning at the Kislak Center, I paged through the Furness Library’s copies of the Second, Third and Fourth Folios. A group of scholars examining the less-studied later Folios had contacted Penn wanting to know if these copies contained any marginalia, corrections, or marks of provenance. To my surprise, I discovered that the flyleaves of Penn’s second copy of the Fourth Folio were virtually filled with notes in the same neat handwriting. The most recent work referenced in the notes, Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake (1810), suggests the annotations were written in the early 19th century.

Readers have long written, doodled, and made notes in their books.[1] The majority of marks made by readers simply indicate ownership. However, people also wrote in books to express their opinions or organize their responses (as readers do today), whether for personal enjoyment or for scholarly or professional purposes.[2] In her work on reader annotation, H.J. Jackson states that, while marginalia are potentially highly valuable to individuals studying literature and literary culture, scholars debate the degree to which marginalia can reliably be used to reconstruct an individual reader’s thoughts or a particular intellectual climate.[3] The copious notes present in Penn’s Fourth Folio suggest that if such notes do not lend themselves to definite conclusions, they may serve as a starting point for inquiries into the individuals and cultures that created them.

Three copies of the Fourth Folio, published in 1685, were donated to Penn in 1931, as part of the extensive library of Shakespeare and Shakespeare-related materials collected by Horace Howard Furness, Sr. and his son, Horace Howard Furness, Jr.. The title page of the copy designated “copy two” bears the signature “Bartram,” the only clue relating to its earlier history. The annotations in question comprise a mixture of excerpts from the plays themselves and references to scholarly and non-scholarly works. The reader cited the work of two respected Shakespeare editors and commentators, Edward Capell (1713-1741) and Edmond Malone (1741-1812), demonstrating a certain level of familiarity with the world of Shakespeare criticism. They also referenced an eclectic group of texts, including one of Petrarch’s sonnets and Bishop Robert Lowth’s treatise on Hebrew poetry (1753).

Isabel - Capell and Malone

Front pastedown of UPenn Furness Folio PR2751.A4 copy 2

In particular, the reader quoted Petrarch’s Sonnet 29 in association with Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy.


The reader’s familiarity with the sonnet and their decision to quote the poem in the original Italian suggests, much like the references to Capell and Malone, that the reader was well-educated, with a broad interest in literature. The sonnet’s value appears to be thematic rather than contextual – the narrator’s vision of the relief offered by death bears an obvious resemblance to Hamlet’s speech, but the 14th century sonnet seems to have little other relation to the 16th-century play. One might consequentially theorize that the reader was annotating for personal enjoyment rather than for more formal scholarly purposes. Whereas the aforementioned Capell compiled texts written before and during Shakespeare’s lifetime to better understand the intellectual climate in which the playwright operated, this reader may have quoted Petrarch simply because they enjoyed pairing the soliloquy with a beautiful poem expressing a similar sentiment.[4]

The reader further copied numerous lines of the text onto the front and back flyleaves, sometimes accompanied by mentions of scholarly or fictional works. Intriguingly, two quotes are preceded by the headings “woman” and “women – influence” and many others seem to center on femininity.

Isabel - Women

These quotes – which included Hamlet’s famous line “Frailty, thy name is woman” as well as selections from ten other comedies, tragedies and history plays – construct a somewhat complex image of Shakespeare’s female characters. In this reader’s vision, women appear to have a singularly powerful and sometimes destructive hold on men – selections from Measure for Measure  and Henry VI, Part I suggest that women can use their feminine grace and vulnerability to influence men, while Lady Macbeth goads her reluctant husband into action and the jealously of Adriana of The Comedy of Errors seems to have driven her husband insane (5.1.70-89). However, certain quotes describe feminine power and charm in a positive light – Henry VI, Part III’s Queen Margaret successfully rallies her son’s followers and a quote describing the captivating Cleopatra is followed by the phrase “no insipid beauty.” This may be a quote from the Shakespeare commentator George Steevens (1736 – 1800), from a note to the same scene in which he urged his female readers to note that many of the women who have “enslaved the hearts of princes” did so through their mental, rather than physical, charms.[5] It is probable that an individual familiar with Capell and Malone had also read Steevens’ work, leaving the modern reader to wonder if the annotator similarly believed their female contemporaries should learn from the examples set by the woman of Shakespeare.

This group of quotations illustrates how marginalia can spark scholarly inquiries. How, for example, does the image of women constructed by these quotations (if one agrees that these quotations do present a definite sense of feminine weakness and persuasiveness) compare to early 19th century norms of female behavior? How do these quotations compare to contemporaneous studies of women in Shakespeare?


[1] H. J. Jackson, Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001), 53.
[2] Ibid., 14, 33-35
[3] Ibid., 15.
[4] Marcus Walsh, Shakespeare, Milton and Eighteenth Century Literary Editing: The Beginnings of Interpretive Scholarship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 185.
[5]  Isaac Reed, ed., The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare with the Corrections and Annotations of Dr. Johnson, George Steevens and Others (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1905), 6:126.