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Ann Kenne

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Celtic Collection!

Join the Department of Special Collections and the Center for Irish Studies in celebrating 100th Anniversary of the founding of  Celtic Collection.  This celebration will be a part of our annual St. Patrick’s Day Open House to be held Tuesday, March 14th from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in the Special Collections Department (LL09 O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library).  In addition to a display of some of the treasures from the collection, a short program featuring Irish poetry will be held at 12:15 pm.

(image from The Fair Hills of Ireland by Stephen Gwynn, Maunsel Press, 1906)

The Celtic Collection can trace its origin to a September 1916 vote by the Minnesota chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to provide funds to establish an Irish Library at the College of St. Thomas.  From this initial gift of $600, the collection has grown to over 14,000 volumes containing significant materials related to Irish local history and antiquities, folklore, art, music, Irish language and literature and modern Irish poetry.

(image from The Irish Fairy Book by Alfred P. Graves, T.F. Unwin, 1909.)

  For more information on the UST Libraries rare books and manuscripts collections see our website.

News & Events, Special Collections and Archives

#ColorOurCollections at St. Thomas

It’s Color Our Collections Week!

If you have ever visited the Special Collections Department, you know we have a strict pencils-only policy.  But during the week of February 6 – 10,  we are joining libraries and archives from around the world to share images from our collection for you to color.  Break out your stash of crayons, colored pencils, and gel pens to color the images and make them your own.  It is a great way to relieve stress and exhibit your creativity!

See what other institutions have posted for #ColorOurCollections or download a PDF  of images from St. Thomas’s collection below.

Download seven pages of images from the St. Thomas Special Collection to color.

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Treasures from the Rare Book Collection – The Lapidary of King Alfonso X

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The Rare Books collection contains a number of facsimlies of medieval manuscripts.  One of the most unusual is the Lapidario del rey d. Alfonso X , a photo-chromo lithograph of a medieval lapidary.

A lapidary is “treatise on (precious) stones.”  Works such as this were popular in the Middle Ages when many people believed that certain gems held inherent powers and the wealthy accumulated jewels to store and transport capital.

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Commissioned by King Alfonso X of Castille and Leon, a group of Jewish scholars translated this work from an Arabic texts into the Castilian language. The content of the manuscript is different from more common lapidaries of the time in that it discusses the relationships between specific stones and the planets and other astrological bodies.  The work is divided by the Signs of the Zodiac with the various medicinal and magical properties of a stone (as it relates to a specific astrological sign) described and illustrated.

 

 

For more information on the UST Libraries rare books and manuscripts collections see our website.

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Treasures from the Rare Books Collections : The Book of Common Prayer (1904)

Another beautiful book found in the UST Library’s Rare Books collection is authorized American edition of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, & other rites & ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Church of England published by M. Walter Dunne in 1904.  This edition is a replica of the English edition of this title published in 1903 by the Essex House Press.

 

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The Essex House Press was founded by C R Ashbee (who also ran the Guild of Handicraft).   After William Morris’s death,  Ashbee bought the Kelmscott Press’s Albion printing presses and employed one of the Kelmscott’s compositors to work for him. This private press captured the sentiment of the Arts and Crafts movement that ‘art was for the people’ and that it was created ‘by the people’ to beautify their own lives.

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The masterpiece of the Essex House Press was the Book of Common Prayer which was produced to celebrate the coming to the throne of King Edward VII.  Ashbee designed the type used within the volume  and drew the illustrations used throughout the work.  The wood block illustrations were cut by the artists Clemence Housman and W. H. Hooper.

For more information on the UST Libraries rare books and manuscripts collections see our website.

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives – St. Thomas in 1916

Have you ever wondered what St. Thomas was like 100 years ago?   Well — the University Archives recently acquired a photo album created by a student who attended the college in 1916.   Browsing through it is an interesting peek into the past!

There were some obvious differences between the College of St. Thomas in 1916 and the University of St. Thomas in 2016.  For example, in the past only male students were enrolled and they were required to take military training.

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And many of the campus buildings (like the old wooden Chapel and the Administration Building) no longer stand on the Saint Paul campus.

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But, it turns out that there are several similarities between the time periods.  Students lived in Ireland Hall (although it was called the “New Building”).

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They attended football games on the site of the O’Shaughnessy Stadium / Palmer Athletic Field.

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And students wore apparel with the St. Thomas logo.

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I wonder what people in 2116 will think of images of St. Thomas from 2016?

To find out more about the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.

 

 

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives – The Tommy/Tommie Mascot

You have likely encountered Tommie, the St. Thomas mascot, at various campus events.  But do you know that Tommie is the descendant of a series of St. Thomas mascots?

As early as 1947, students were asking in the college newspaper (The Aquin) why the school didn’t have a mascot when many of our rival schools had one.

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It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the first mascot, Tommy Tiger, appeared on the scene.  Originally managed by the Letterman’s Club, this orange and black cat made appearances to boost school spirit at sporting and social events on campus.  By the early 1970s, interest in keeping up this tradition alive waned and Tommy Tiger disappeared from the campus scene.

Homecoming queen candidate with Tommy Tiger, 1957. C57-061

Tommy Tiger with the Homecoming Queen, 1957

Msgr. Terrence Murphy poses with Tommie and unknown outside against football stands. RS: 02.13.03. C-71-287-38.

Msgr. Murphy with Tommy Tiger, 1971.

The St. Thomas mascot was revived by the college the mid-1980s.  Instead of returning as Tommy Tiger, the mascot was renamed Tommie (a feline of undetermined origin).  Since its comeback over 30 years ago, Tommie has changed its appearance several times.   I would guess the purple fur from the 1980s is one look Tommie would like to forget!

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Tommie with a future St. Thomas student, 1984

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Tommie at a football game, 1997

Today —  Tommie remains an ambassador for St. Thomas and promoter of school pride and spirit at campus events.  Be sure to get a high-five from Tommie next time you meet it!

St. Thomas vs. St. John's football game, O'Shaughnessy Stadium, November 12, 2005. Tommie mascot

Tommie at the St. Thomas vs. St. Johns football game, 2005

To find out more about the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.

Libraries, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives – First Female Professor @ UST

March is Women’s History Month and it is a perfect time to introduce you to a significant figure in the history of women at the University of St. Thomas.

St. Thomas was as you may recall was officially an all-male school at the undergraduate level until 1977.   Its full-time faculty reflected that nature and was comprised wholly of priests and lay male instructors.  On occasion, a woman (generally the wife of a male faculty member) would be hired to teach a specific course.

That changed when Dr. Mary Keeffe came to the College of St. Thomas in 1947 as an Assistant Professor of Biology. Originally from Rhode Island, Keeffe knew little about the college when she heard about the job opening.   When she discovered there were no women on the faculty, she was initially skeptical that she would be hired.  But when she relayed her doubts to Fr. Vincent Flynn (president of the College of St. Thomas at the time) during her interview, it is said that he thought it over for a minute and then replied  “Why, I’m not so sure.  Maybe it would be a good idea.”

 

Biology Department, 1951  Dr. Mary Keefe with the Biology Department, 1951

Working in a single-sex environment was not unusual for Dr. Keeffe.  She was one of the first lay woman to receive a bachelors degree from Providence College in Rhode Island.  Plus, she received her M.A. from Columbia University and Ph.D. from Fordham University, both institutions which were all-male at the undergraduate level at that time.

Dr. Keeffe taught at St. Thomas for five years before returning to Rhode Island in 1952.  For the remainder of her career, she served as a professor of biology at Rhode Island College.

To find out more about the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.


News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives : Two Early African-American Students at St. Thomas

February is African American History Month.  In honor of this celebration, I want to highlight two early African-American alumni of the University of St. Thomas.

The first African-American student to attend St. Thomas was  John Henry “Harry” Dorsey.  In 1888, Dorsey was invited to attend the (then) St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary by Archbishop John Ireland.  Dorsey studied at the school for only a year before returning to his native Baltimore to attend the newly opened  Epiphany Apostolic College.  Ultimately, he was ordained as a member of Society of St. Joseph in 1902 becoming only the second African American priest to be ordained in the United States.  Fr. Dorsey spent many years serving as a missionary in several Southern States before his death in 1926.

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Charles Valmo (later known as Valmo Charles) Bellinger attended the College of St. Thomas from 1917 – 1919.  “Tex”, as he was known to his fellow students, hailed from San Antonio, Texas.  He excelled in the classroom as well as on the football and track teams and was known by his classmates for his willingness to debate on any issue.  After his graduation from St. Thomas’s Junior College in 1919, he completed his education at Lincoln University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University before returning to his hometown.   In San Antonio, he became active in local politics and founded and published one of the most successful African-American newspapers in the Southwest, the San Antonio Register.

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To find out more about the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage or search the Historic University Publications database and the Univeristy Archives Photograph Collection.

Libraries, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives – The Mid-Winter Frolic

Saint Paul is currently in the midst of celebrating its annual Winter Carnival.  But did you know that St. Thomas used to host its own version of the this celebration of winter?

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The Midwinter Frolic got its start in February 1938, sponsored by the Inter-Club Council. Miss Marion O’Hara, the reigning St. Paul Winter Carnival Queen, oversaw the event, which included an ice cream eating contest and an all-college dance. sta-1938-02-11-0-001

In 1956, it was expanded it to a week long celebration, co-sponsored by St. Thomas’s All College Council and the student government at the College of St. Catherine.  The annual celebration included a variety of activities each year including a broomball tournaments, snow sculpture contests, treasure hunts, beard growing contests, and tanning contests. The festival was discontinued in 1991.

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To find out more about this and other St. Thomas traditions, search the Historic University Publications database.

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Treasures from the Rare Books Collection – Irish translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

img532Lewis Carroll’s most notable book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland celebrates the 150th anniversary (sesquicentennial) of its publication this year. This classic children’s tale is so beloved that it has never been out of print in its 150 year history and has been translated into over 100 languages.

Among the rare books held in the Celtic Collection is an Irish language version of this work. Published in 1922 by the Maunsel Press, Eactrad Eiblis i dTir na nLongantas was translated by Padraig O Cadhla with illustrations by Kathleen Verschoyle.  Its illustrations depict many of the familiar scenes of the story including Alice meeting the Cheshire Cat and the famous tea party.  One notable difference in this edition of the story is that the character of Alice is illustrated with dark hair (rather than with the familiar blonde hair).

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The Maunsel Press was one of the leading publishers in Ireland in the first quarter of the 20th century.  The press was well known as a vehicle for young Irish writers and (after the Easter Rising of 1916) for works of a political nature.   This work is representative of the nationalist bent of the press as it was published to introduce the Irish language to children.

The Celtic Collection is the largest of component of the UST Libraries rare books collections.  It features rare and unique materials relating to Irish history, language and literature, with materials published in both the English and Irish languages.  For more information on the UST Libraries rare books and manuscripts collections see our website.