Entering the Public Domain

Under U.S. Copyright Law, a significant number of classic works first published in 1923 have entered into the public domain this year, which means that they can be republished and sold or read online free-of-charge through Project Gutenberg without permission of (or payment to) rights holders. Among the works entering the public domain this year are particular books by Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, and other leading authors of the last century. One title represented in the holdings of the Manuscripts Division is The Prophet, a collection of twenty-six brief inspirational essays by the Lebanese-American writer and artist Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), a Maronite Christian influenced by Sufism and Baha’i. This thin volume has sold tens of millions of copies since it was first published by the New York publisher Alfred A. Knopf on 23 September 1923. This popular book achieved cult status in the 1960s. Even before being discovered by the counterculture, President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address (1961) paraphrased Gibran’s essay The New Frontier, in which the latter had written (actually about the Middle East), “Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?” The book has been a perpetual bestseller and has been translated into twenty languages. Even today, Amazon.com rates Knopf’s Borzoi edition of The Prophet among its dozen best-selling works in the categories of “religious philosophy” and “inspirational philosophy.”

In 2007, the Library received the William H. Shehadi Collection of Kahlil Gibran (C1178) as a gift of the collector’s son Albert B. Shedadi (Woodrow Wilson School *1986). William H. Shehadi was a physician and director of the Department of Radiology at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center. He most admired Gibran’s compassion for others. His brother was the late Fadlou A. Shehadi (PhD *1959), a long-time Princeton resident. The collection includes significant portions of Gibran’s working manuscripts and notebooks for four well-known books, all written in English and published by Alfred A. Knopf in New York: The Madman: His Parables and Poems (1918), The Fore-Runner: His Parables and Poems (1920), The Prophet (1923), and The Earth Gods (1931). A page from the collection’s manuscript of The Prophet can be seen below. In particular, the notebooks contain the author’s many textual changes and deletions. The collection also includes fragments of other manuscripts, photographs of his New York studio, and published editions of his works. The Shehadi Collection is one of the main sources on Gibran, in addition to the author’s published works, love letters and private journal of his American friend and muse Mary Haskell, and Gibran manuscripts retained by family members and not readily available for research. In 1991, American University of Beirut published his book Kahlil Gibran: A Prophet in the Making, based on the Shehadi Collection. For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu


Ancient Egyptian Manuscripts Online

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that ten Pharaonic rolls, written in Hieroglyphic and Hieratic script either on papyrus or linen, have been digitized and are now available online in the Digital Princeton University Library (DPUL). See the listing below, with links to the digitized manuscripts. These rolls are the oldest part of the Princeton Papyri Collections. Most of them came to Princeton as part of the extensive 1942 gift of Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1897. In the late 1920s, Garrett acquired several such rolls, chiefly from the Ptolemaic period (305-30 BCE), in the antiquities trade. He purchased a fully mounted Saite recension of the Book of the Dead in Hieratic, 26th Dynasty, from Spink & Son (London) in 1928. Others were purchased still fully rolled. One of these, a Hieroglyphic Book of the Dead (Pharaonic Roll, no. 5), New Kingdom, 18th/19th Dynasty, was partially examined at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1944-48 by Egyptologist and fellow Princetonian William C. Hayes (1903-63), Class of 1924. Five of Garrett’s Pharaonic rolls were finally unrolled and mounted in the Library’s Preservation Office in 1998-99 under the supervision of paper conservator Ted Stanley. The work was done as part of the APIS Project (Advanced Papyrological Data System), with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, supervised the project at Princeton. Leonard H. Lesko, Charles Edwin Wilbour Professor of Egyptology Emeritus at Brown University, was the project consultant who provided guidance during the unrolling and mounting, and then described them for the APIS database. Over the past twenty years, Egyptologists have studied these rolls and published their findings in books and articles. Previous blog posts have focused on three of the Pharaonic rolls: no. 5; no. 8; and no. 10. For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu

Book of Amduat. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Contains 12th hour. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 1. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/dn39x503f

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Probably from a Theban tomb. Ptolemaic Period (?) Chapter 17 with polychrome illustrations. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 2. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/0r9677259

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period (?) Owner’s name is (N)es-Ese, a “chantress of Amon.” Contains chapter 110 (Field of Hetep) and beginning of chapter 149 written in retrograde from left. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library,1998. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 3. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/xd07gz04k

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus, with polychrome illustrations. Ptolemaic Period (?) Owner’s name is Pedimeh(y)et. His father’s name is (N)espautitaui, a “first prophet of Re”; his mother’s name is Lady Nebethutiyti. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 4. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/sn00b312r

Book of the Dead, with polychrome illustrations. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Dynasty XVIII. Owner is Iwt.nyr.syh (Iwtlsyh?), a name possibly of Semitic origin. Includes chapters 84, 77, 86, 85, 88, 114, 38, 105, 31, and 125. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1999. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 5. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/ff3658534

Unidentified fragments. Fourteen small pieces with either Hieroglyphic or Hieratic script. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 6. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/rx913v491

Book of Breathings. Hieratic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Nearly complete, unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1998. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 7. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/8w32r9117

Book of the Dead. Hieratic script on linen, Two complete rolls of the Saite recension (chapters 67-165), with illustrations in ink. The owner’s name is Hekaemsaf (or Heka-m-saf), whose mother was named Tinetmehenet. The owner should probably be identified with Hekaemsaf, a naval officer who served as Chief of Royal Ships under Pharaoh Ahmose II [or Amasis II] (570-526 BCE), 26th Dynasty. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 8. https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/k643b257s

Book of the Dead. Hieratic script on papyrus. Owner’s name is Khay-Hapy, “son of Isis-great-of-truth.” With Hieroglyphic labeling. Includes (from right) chapters 16, 18, 38B (?), 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 110, 27, 32, and 125. Ptolemaic Period (?). Pharaonic Rolls, no. 9. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/2514nq85z

Osiris text. Hieratic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1998-99. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 10. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/t148fm633

Litany or Hymn to Osiris. Hieratic script on papyrus. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 11. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/0v838406h

Note: A fragment of a Book of the Dead, in Hieratic script on papyrus (Dynasty XXI, ca. 1100-950 BCE), with the owner’s name Pen-Amen-Apt, has been digitized in Treasures of The Scheide Library. The Scheide Library M P95.

Not yet digitized: Crocodile mummy cartonnage made from gesso with polychrome decoration (Tebtunis, 2nd century BC) box 8 Item 1-5.

Pharaonic Roll, no. 5 (detail). Transformation Spell, no. 86: Swallow perched on mummy.

Minassian Islamic Leaf Collection

Over the past dozen years, Library renovation, space reallocation, and staff changes have led to the fortuitous rediscovery of valuable materials acquired long ago, even before Rare Books and Special Collections moved to the newly completed Firestone Library in 1949. One such rediscovery is a collection of early Qur’ānic and Persian decorated manuscript leaves (19 items), dating from the ninth to eighteenth centuries. Below one can see one of the nineteen: a bifolium of an early Qur’ān written on parchment in Kufic, the oldest of Arabic calligraphic scripts. Krikor Minassian (1874-1944), a New York dealer in Islamic manuscripts and Near Eastern art, probably assembled this collection by the late 1920s or 1930s and donated it to Princeton around 1940. The Library accessioned it in May 1945 (AM 13658). Minassian was a native of Kayseri, Turkey, and remained active in the international market for decades. He formed other Islamic leaf collections, which are in various American libraries, such as the Library of Congress and Brown University’s John Hay Library. It is likely that particular leaves in the Princeton collection were from the same manuscripts as those in these collections. The Minassian Collection has been rehoused and designated Islamic Manuscripts, Third Series, no. 885. When cataloging has been completed, it will be digitized and added to the growing Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts. At least a dozen additional Islamic manuscripts were found along with the Misassian leaves. For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu

Kufic bifolium

Patrick Henry and the American Revolution

“All the Families of those men of your Militia that have joined Gen’l Washington by my Orders, may be in want of Salt,” wrote Patrick Henry (1736-99) on 12 November 1777 as the first governor of Virginia after independence. He addressed his letter to the County Lieutenant of Berkeley County, who was probably Josiah Swearington (1719-88). The letter continues, “And as their absence from home may be the means of misery or supply of that necessary article, I desire you will give notice to all such militia on their Return, or to their Families in their absence, that an application to William Coorr Esq. at Dumfries half a Bushel of Salt will be delivered to each soldier of your militia that acted in Concert with the grand army, paying what it cost the public.” Months earlier, George Washington had advised Patrick Henry to prepare his state militia for engagement with British forces, and several Virginia militia companies, including one from Berkeley County, joined Washington’s “grand army” in Pennsylvania. The 1777 letter shows Patrick Henry’s level of daily responsibility as governor, including such mundane details as the provisioning of salt to militiamen and their families, no doubt for use in preserving food.

Patrick Henry is best remembered today for his stirring patriotic speech, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” urging his fellow Virginians to take up arms against British forces. He delivered it on 23 March 1775 to the Second Virginia Convention, assembled at St. John’s Church, in Richmond. Henry had first served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, then the Virginia Convention and was governor of Virginia, 1776-79 and 1784-86. The letter is the latest addition to the Manuscripts Division’s growing Collection of Patrick Henry Materials, 1743-1796 (C1165), which includes about 20 autograph letters and signed documents. Other letters in this collection pertain to his career as an attorney, owner of tobacco plantations, slaveholder, and land speculator. A 1784 letter to Colonel Joseph Martin concerns policy toward American Indians. This collection has been largely been assembled thanks to a generous Barksdale-Dabney-Henry endowment created in 2006 by Mrs. Margaret P. Nuttle. She was a direct descendant of Patrick Henry and had many Princeton family connections, including her brother S. Barksdale Penick, Class of 1925, a longtime Princeton Charter Trustee; and her son Philip E. Nuttle, Jr., Class of 1963.

The endowment made possible the successful Library exhibition, “A Republic in the Wilderness: Treasures of American History from Jamestown to Appomattox” (22 February-4 August 2013); as well as the acquisition of other early Americana to support research and instruction. Recent acquisitions include a 1774 journal relating to Lord Dunmore (1730-1809), the last colonial governor of Virginia, and to Lord Dunmore’s War. The journal was once owned by the Marquis de Chastellux (1734-88), a major general of French expeditionary forces under the Comte de Rochambeau (1725-1807) during the American Revolution. For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princedton.edu

Patrick Henry. Engraving by Edward Wellmore.

Middle English Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library

Among the most frequently studied medieval manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections are those in Middle English, the form of the English language spoken from around 1150 to 1500. Most of Princeton’s Middle English manuscripts, more than thirty in number, date from the second half of the fourteenth century until the last quarter of the fifteenth. The Manuscripts Division has the largest number because of the generosity of two great Princeton collectors, Robert Garrett (Class of 1897) and Robert H. Taylor (Class of 1930). Several manuscripts are in The Scheide Library, part of the extraordinary bequest of William H. Scheide (Class of 1936), announced in 2015. Included are manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, John Gower’s Confessio amantis, Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon in John Trevisa’s translation, Mandeville’s Travels, and the Wycliffe Bible. Among the most recently digitized is Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden (see image below). These are supplemented by Middle English verses attributed to Sir George Ripley, in two Ripley Alchemical Scrolls (1590s and 1624), which are the focus of a Firestone Library exhibition, Through a Glass Darkly: Alchemy and the Ripley Scrolls, 1400–1700 (Spring 2020). In addition, there are various Middle English charters and seal matrices in the John Hinsdale Scheide Collection of Documents (C0704) and the Bruce C. Willsie Collection of English Sigillography (C0953). These are discussed in Don C. Skemer’s “Cover Note,” in Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 75, no. 3 (2014), pp. 439-444 (available online in JSTOR). Latin and Anglo-Norman manuscripts from England are also well represented in Rare Books and Special Collections.

Below is a checklist of Middle English manuscripts, with links to bibliographical records in Voyager, the Princeton University Library’s online catalog. Manuscripts are being digitized, either from the original manuscript or from existing greyscale microfilm, in order to reach the widest possible audience. To date, about half of the Middle English manuscripts have been digitized, with additional manuscripts being added over time. Voyager records provide links to manuscripts digitized in the Digital Princeton University Library (DPUL). Full textual and codicological descriptions (with bibliographies) are available for the Garrett, Taylor, Kane, and Princeton manuscripts in the published catalog: Don C. Skemer, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library (2013). This two-volume catalog is available in major research libraries, and it can also be ordered from Princeton University Press and online vendors of books. For questions about those in the Manuscripts Division, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu Concerning Scheide manuscripts, contact Paul Needham, Scheide Librarian, needham@princeton.edu

Garrett MS. 136: John Gower, Confessio amantis.
Garrett MS. 137: Thomas Hoccleve, The Regiment of Princes.
Garrett MS. 138: The Prick of Conscience.
Garrett MS. 139: John Lydgate, Fall of Princes.
Garrett MS. 140: The Sowdon of Babyloyne.
Garrett MS. 141: John Metham, Works.
Garrett MS. 142: John Hardyng, Chronicle of England.
Garrett MS. 143: Devotional Miscellany.
Garrett MS. 144: Devotional Miscellany.
Garrett MS. 145: Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden.
Garrett MS. 150: Prose Brut.
Garrett MS. 151: Ranulf Higden, Polychronicon.

Taylor MS. 2: John Lydgate, Fall of Princes.
Taylor MS. 3: Sidrac and Boccus; Prose Brut.
Taylor MS. 5: John Gower, Confessio amantis.
Taylor MS. 6: Ranulf Higden, Polychronicon.
Taylor MS. 9: Arthurian Metrical Romances.
Taylor MS. 10: Mandeville’s Travels.
Taylor MS. 11: Speculum vitae.
Taylor MS. 13: The Prick of Conscience. 253
Taylor MS. 16: Wycliffite Sermons.
Taylor MS. 17: Arma Christi and Prayers.
Taylor MS. 18: King Henry VI, Royal Household Bills.
Taylor MS. 22: Religious Verse.
RTC01, no. 237: Ripley Alchemical Scroll.

Kane MS. 21: Nicholas Love, Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.

Princeton MS. 93: Ripley Alchemical Scroll.
Princeton MS. 100: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales.
Princeton MS. 101: King Edward IV, Great Wardrobe Account.
Princeton MS. 138: Fragments, nos. 5(a), 5(d).
Princeton MS. 186: Nicholas Love, Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.

Scheide M12: Wycliffe Bible.
Scheide M13: Wycliffe New Testament.
Scheide M143: Psalter with Canticles.

Garrett MS. 145: Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden.

Recent Acquisitions on African American History

These days, Aaron Burr, Jr. (1756-1836), Princeton Class of 1772, is chiefly remembered as the man who, while serving as the third Vice President of the United States (1801-5), mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel (1804). Burr’s career in public life all but ended with the duel at Weehawken, New Jersey. Sometimes forgotten, however, is Burr’s earlier distinguished service as a Continental Army officer during the Revolutionary War and his subsequent career as a busy New York City attorney and litigator. He moved there in 1783 to practice law and would handle cases of every conceivable description, including some involving the city’s more than two thousand slaves. As part of ongoing efforts to expand holdings on African American history, the Manuscripts Division has just acquired Aaron Burr’s signed legal complaint in the Mayor’s Court (9 August 1784) relating to his legal client, William Stevenson, a local auctioneer, whose woman slave had been taken “craftily and subtlely” by a certain John Lake, alleged to have “converted and disposed of the said Negroe woman slave to his own proper use to the damage of the said Thomas of eighty pounds.” This was one of three slave cases handled by Burr in 1784, according to Nancy Isenberg’s Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (2007). At the time, Burr was a slaveholder, yet surprisingly he also favored the abolition of slavery and opposed restrictions on the rights of New York’s free blacks. The document has been added to the Aaron Burr (1756-1836) Collection (C0089).

Other recent acquisitions include documents pertaining to the African slave trade and African Americans from slavery to freedom. The oldest is a slim volume of sailing directions for an unnamed English ship trading between the “slave coast” of West Africa and the Caribbean, 1760 (C1210).Added to the same open collection of documents were other items, such as a New Jersey slave bill of sale for a boy named Harry, sold by John Dixon, of Morristown, to Shubal Pitney, of Mendham, 1797 (see image below); a note concerning a runaway slave in Carroll County, Maryland, ca. 1817; a letter from James Holladay to William Langhorne, of Portsmouth, Virginia, discussing an advertisement for the sale of a slave girl, 1820; an order for the arrest and whipping of a black slave named “Negro Frank,” who was accused of insulting and striking John Kelly, a white man, 1851; and a slave bill of sale for five black men in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1857. The Hooe Family Papers is a separate collection (C1628) relating to a slave plantation in Prince William County, Virginia, 1829-50. Finally, the Manuscripts Division acquired a complete set of eleven Civil War muster rolls (1864) for U.S. Colored Troops, 39th Infantry Regiment and ten of its companies (C1626). Most of the black troops were from Baltimore and its environs, supplemented by others from other places. The regiment saw action in Virginia under the command of Colonel Ozora Pierson Stearns. Among the troops was Sergeant Decatur Dorsey, an African American honored for his actions at the Battle of the Crater (30 July 1864) and later settled in the town of Hoboken, less than two miles south of the Burr-Hamilton duel site.

Previous blog posts have surveyed holdings on the African slave trade and slave society in the Americas. For more information about recent additions, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu

New Jersey Slave Bill of Sale, 1797.

Palimpsests, Before and After

Palimpsests of early manuscripts may be interesting even when they contain no underlying text. Garrett Coptic MS. 7 is a fragment of a late 6th-century or early-7th century parchment codex. The piece was discovered in 1993 among approximately 50 Coptic manuscript fragments that Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1896, had purchased in Cairo around 1930 and donated to the Princeton University Library in 1942. The scribe used iron-gall ink, composed of ferrous sulfate, gallotannic acid, a binder such as gum Arabic, and occasionally other ingredients. Writing is now only visible only on the flesh side of the piece of parchment, which suffered considerable losses over the centuries. The ink was originally a dark brown but is now very pale, yet readable under ultraviolet light, which causes the ink to fluoresce. (See before-and-after photographs below.) One can see two columns of the Sahidic Gospel of Matthew (14:8-17). Sahidic was the southern dialect of Coptic, the leading dialect in the pre-Islamic period. This passage relates to the death of John the Baptist. It begins with Herodias’s unnamed daughter, known to history and legend as Salome, dancing before King Herod of Judea for his birthday and, at her mother’s urging, asking in return for the head of John the Baptist. The brief accounts in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 14:8-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9), varying in their details, were much embellished over the next two thousand years in art, literature, and opera. Think of the lurid visual details in Aubrey Beardsley’s illustration (1893) for the French version of Oscar Wilde’s Salome (“J’ai baisé ta bouche Iokanaan”) and the “Dance of Seven Veils” in Richard Strauss’s opera Salome (1905).

While Garrett Coptic MS. no. 7 has no undertext, there is much to see, such as hardpoint rulings in places, as well as what appears to be a portion of a vertical bounding line along the left side of the first column. Horizontal lines were ruled using vertical rows of prick marks, which can still be seen in the space between the two columns, and are most easily seen using transmitted light. So too is the thinning of the parchment wherever there is writing in iron-gall ink. As the parchment codex replaced the papyrus roll in the Roman Empire, particularly from the 4th century CE, prick marks were necessary to achieve the more-or-less uniform ruling of text areas. The text is written scriptura continua, with no spaces between words, in an upright Biblical majuscule datable to the late 6th or early 7th century. The original Coptic codex had probably been retired from use after a few centuries, stored in an Egyptian monastic collectarium, and then aggressively erased so the parchment could be written on again. Parchment was easily palimpsested, unlike papyrus, making it an attractive writing support for reuse. The flesh side of the parchment retained traces of the iron-gall ink, but writing on the hair side was obliterated. The word palimpsest is derived from a Greek word meaning “scraped again.” But most often, the text was erased for reuse by rubbing it with a wet cloth or sponge, perhaps with occasional spot-scraping if necessary.

Robert Garrett had purchased at least 17 of his Coptic parchment fragments in March 1929, according to annotations in his hand, from the Cairo-based antiquities dealer Maurice Nahman, along with some Greek papyri and early Arabic documents. Nahman was active in the inter¬national antiquities trade from the 1900s until his death in 1948. During the 1920s and 1930s, Nahman was selling Coptic fragments Coptic manuscripts and fragments to European and American libraries, museums, and private collectors. Many had been recovered from the White Monastery, the Coptic Orthodox monastery that St. Shenouda the Archimandrite had founded on the west bank of the Nile at Deir el-Abiad, more than 450 kilometers south of Cairo. By the 19th century, much of St. Shenouda’s large library was housed in the monastery’s “Secret Chamber.” In the 1880s and 1890s, innumerable fragments were sold to what are now the Bibliothèque Nationale and the British Library. Other fragments entered the antiquities trade and are now widely dispersed, from Russia to North America. It is possible that the Princeton fragments were among them. But Nahman also bought and sold Coptic manuscripts from other monasteries, so provenance cannot be certain. In 1942, Garrett donated these Coptic fragments to Princeton, along with the rest of his extensive collection of nearly 10,000 manuscripts that he had amassed since the 1890s.

For more information about the Coptic fragments, see the Preliminary Checklist in the Princeton University Library Papyrus Home Page.

Garrett Coptic MS. 7, photographed under
reflected and ultraviolet light, by Ted Stanley.

Publishing the Left Book Club

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce the acquisition of the publishing files of Victor Gollancz Ltd relating to its influential Left Book Club (LBC), one of the first book clubs in England. Sir Victor Gollancz (1893-1967) founded the Left Book Club in 1936, nine years after he had established the publishing house that bears his name, and was knighted in 1965. The goal of the book club was to publish books for paid subscribers, who received a new title each month, in order to popularize progressive and socialist ideals and to mobilize British public opinion against Hitler and fascism. Gollancz selected titles with the help of John Strachey and Harold J. Laski. The Left Book Club was so successful in publishing and marketing new titles that by 1939 it could boast 57,000 members and 1,200 organized reading groups. Membership declined during World War II, but the book club’s influence on British politics was significant and contributed to the upset victory of Clement Attlee’s Labour Party over Winston Church’s Conservatives in the 1945 general elections. Between 1936 and 1948, when it ceased operations, the Left Book Club published more than 230 titles, including works by Frederick Allen, Léon Blum, G.D.H. Cole, Arthur Koestler, Harold J. Laski, André Malraux, Franz Neumann, Clifford Odets, George Orwell, Edgar Snow, Stephen Spender, John Strachey, R. H. Tawney, Sidney Webb, Leonard Woolf, and other authors, social scientists, intellectual émigrés, and political figures. Four boxes of Left Book Club files, organized by author and title, include correspondence, publishing contracts, and printed promotional flyers (see image below), as well as occasion materials related to later reprints and anthologies. It should be noted that Rare Books already had a collection of the Left Book Club printed books.

See the finding aid for the Victor Gollancz Publishing Files (C1617), which also includes files relating to Gollancz’s titles by Irish authors and books on Africa, race, colonialism, and related subjects. The Manuscripts Division also has the Victor Gollancz Author Files (C1467) for Miguel Ángel Asturias, Edith Sitwell, and Richard Wright. For other archives of British and American publishers and books clubs, search finding aids or contact Public Services, rbsc@princeton.edu

Left Book Club promotional flyers

Treasures of Armenia

Armenian manuscripts have long been studied by medieval art historians for the quality of the book production, elegant script, distinctive illumination, vividly colored decoration, and original or treasure bindings (when extant). The Princeton University Library is fortunate to have a small but fine collection of Armenian manuscripts, dating from the 11th to 18th centuries. Most are in the Manuscripts Division, including those in the Garrett Collection of Armenian Manuscripts, which was part of the great 1942 donation by Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1897. Reproduced below is a two-page opening from one of Garrett’s finest Armenian manuscripts, an exquisitely illuminated Gospel Book (1449), here open to Baptism of Christ (left) and the Last Supper (right). In the 1930s, Seymour DeRicci and W. J. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (1935-40), included Armenian manuscripts among western manuscripts, no doubt because of the Byzantine influence on Armenian book illumination. But other artistic and cultural traditions played a role as well.

DeRicci, vol. 1, p. 868, listed seven of Garrett’s Armenian manuscripts, and this numbering was followed decades later in a far more authoritative catalogue: Avidis Krikor Sanjian, A Catalogue of Medieval Armenian Manuscripts in the United States (1976), pp. 392-417. At the same time, Princeton was using different sequences of manuscript numbers for Garrett’s Armenian manuscripts, which were shelved them next to Princeton Armenian Manuscripts. This led to confusion about the numbering of Princeton’s Armenian manuscripts because of their inclusion in two published surveys. In the interest of clarity, what De Ricci had designated nos. 17-23 (among western manuscripts) became Garrett Armenian, nos. 1–7; followed by Garrett Armenian Manuscripts, nos. 8-14, which Sanjian had designated Armenian Supplementary Series because they were not in DeRicci. In 1993, two other Armenian manuscripts were discovered in the Garrett Collection and assigned Garrett Armenian numbers. The list below provides old and new manuscript numbers, which will also be indicated in Voyager bibliographic records.

Three other Armenian manuscripts are in the Princeton Collection of Armenian Manuscripts and two in The Scheide Library. These are also described in Sanjian, pp. 418-32. Princeton Armenian, no. 2, accessioned by the Princeton University Library in 1951, has an interesting Garrett family connection. The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople gave this manuscript to Cleveland H. Dodge (1860-1926), Class of 1879, in New York, on 3 January 1919, in recognition of his humanitarian and philanthropic work for the Armenian people during World War I. The manuscript passed by descent to his twin sons, Cleveland E. Dodge and Bayard Dodge, both members of the Class of 1909. Bayard Dodge’s daughter Margaret married Johnson Garrett, one of Robert Garrett’s sons, in 1936. In addition to the excellent descriptions in Sanjian, a number of the manuscripts have been described in an Armenian journal Sion (July-August 1971), vol. 45, pp. 265-70; and exhibited at the Pierpont Morgan Library and described in Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts, edited by Thomas F. Mathews and Roger S. Wieck (1994). For additional information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu

● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 1. Gospel Book, Late 17th century. Formerly Garrett MS. 17.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 2. Gospel Book, 1449. Formerly Garrett MS. 18.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 3. Psalter and Breviary, 16th century. Formerly Garrett MS. 19.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 4. Breviary, 17th century. Formerly Garrett MS. 20.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 5. Hymnal, 17th century. Formerly Garrett MS. 21.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 6. Psalter, 16th century. Formerly Garrett MS. 22.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 7. Alexander Romance (6 illuminated leaves), 1526. Formerly Garrett MS. 23.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 8. Discourses by St. Gregory the Illuminator, 10th-11th century. Formerly Supplementary Series, no. 1.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 9. Gospel Book, 11th century. Formerly Supplementary Series, no. 2.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 10. Astronomical text, 1774-75. Formerly Supplementary Series, no. 3.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 11. Amulet Roll (Phylactery) with 11 miniatures, 18th century. Formerly Supplementary Series, no. 4.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 12. Armenian Gospel miniature, 1311. Formerly Supplementary Series, no. 5 (missing since 1980).
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 13. Gospel Book, 16th century? Found in 1993 among Garrett Islamic MSS, Enno Littmann series.
● Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 14. Uncataloged. Found in 1993 among Garrett Islamic MSS, Enno Littmann series.

● Princeton Armenian MSS., no. 1. Menologion, 1683 (2 leaves).
● Princeton Armenian MSS., no. 2. Gospel Book, 1730.
● Princeton Armenian MSS, no. 3. Uncataloged.

●Scheide 84.16. Gospel Book, 1239. Formerly Scheide M74.
●Scheide 83.11. Gospel Book, 1625-33. Formerly Scheide M80.

Garrett Armenian MSS., no. 2, fols. 16v-17r.
Gift of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897.

Peter C. Bunnell and Modern Photography

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that Peter C. Bunnell, McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art Emeritus, is donating most of his extensive papers to the Princeton University Library. They comprise about 110 archival boxes of materials documenting his long and distinguished career devoted to the study of modern photography. The papers include his correspondence with modern photographers, historians of photography, curators, publishers, and members of the Princeton University community. His correspondents include Ansel Adams and members of his family, Ruth Bernhard (whose papers are already in the Manuscripts Division), Alvin Langdon Coburn, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Beaumont Newhall, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Jerry N. Uelsmann, and others; extensive research files of printed materials and additional correspondence relating to the history of photography and particular exhibitions, much of it organized alphabetically by names of photographers; drafts and corrected typescripts for his many books, exhibition catalogs, journal articles, and other scholarly publications; lectures, lecture notes, and other teaching files; and photography by Bunnell or pertaining to him. He has also donated files for two organizations that he chaired: The Society for Photographic Education (SPE), organized in 1963, when art departments were first offering courses on photography; and the Friends of Photography, founded in 1967 by Ansel Adams and others.

Bunnell was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and was an undergraduate at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he studied with Minor White. He earned graduate degrees from Ohio University (1961) and Yale University (1965). He served as Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, then in 1972 joined the faculty of Princeton University’s Department of Art and Archaeology. At Princeton, Bunnell became the first McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art. He also served as director of the Princeton University Art Museum (PUAM), 1973-78; and acting director, 1998-2000. For 30 years, Bunnell was Curator of Photography at PUAM, where he was also responsible for acquiring the Minor White Archive and the Clarence H. White Collection. He has had a long association with the journal Aperture, established in 1952 by photographers by Ansel Adams, Melton Ferris, Dorothea Lange, Ernest Louie, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Dody Warren, and Minor White. He also taught at New York University, Dartmouth College, and Yale University, and has lectured widely. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.

Bunnell is the author of the monograph Minor White: The Eye That Shapes (1989) and he edited Photography at Princeton (1998). Bunnell has published two volumes of his collected essays: Degrees of Guidance: Essays on Twentieth-Century American Photography (1993) and Inside the Photograph: Writings on Twentieth-Century Photography (2006). He edited A Photographic Vision: Pictorial Photography, 1889-1923 (1980) and Edward Weston on Photography (1983); and Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952–1976 (2012). He was the coeditor of two Arno Press reprint series The Literature of Photography and The Sources of Modern Photography.

The Bunnell Papers will be available for research after processing. Please note: The papers donated to the Library are complemented by his recent gift to the Princeton University Art Museum of more than 30 years of his correspondence and other materials relating to its Minor White and Clarence H. White archival collections. See announcement. For more information, contact Don. C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, at dcskemer@princeton.edu

Peter C. Bunnell