Special Collections Blog

 

Special Collections Blog

Graphic Novels and Einstein by Jim Hetherington

Journey by Starlight

Following Albert Einstein and his sidekick through space and time, Journey By Starlight is a graphic novel that depicts how Einstein explains science backing everything. From Origins of the universe to the meaning of life, divided into 36 chapters, questions of alien existence and how relativity works are covered by the 201 pages in mostly black and white that are sometimes in full color. A must-have for any philosophizer, this book has its own place amongst the Science and Mechanics Collection. If you have yet to read a graphic novel, know that these pack punch and the speech bubbles break up the text in an easier to digest size. Plus having the characters drawn fills in blanks regarding who we hear from, all the while simplifying who is where justifying the word.

What follows the chapters is an index to be referred to after concluding the “time traveler’s guide to life, the universe, and everything.” Following Einstein through his lessons, the novel is not simply confined to a spaceship illustratively. As New York’s Journal of Books wrote, “[authors] Dr. Flitcroft and Mr. Spencer have created a showcase for why comics and graphic novels can be the perfect teaching tools.” Just the sheer amount of illustrations stimulate our creative side and provides a visual aid like any great presentation.

In the novel, Einstein explains gravity and how variable it is when referring to the moon and beyond. There’ s gravity and electromagnetic field and we’re all on it no matter how many light-years away from a planet or celestial object we are. Space is fragile, and so is the earth. Maybe Einstein is the right face to lead an allegory about global warming. His perspective from an afterlife will teach us Earthlings a valuable lesson with a parable about death, beyond and what to expect as we don’t trash and care for our planet.

With clear and concise messages, the meaning of humanity and our place in the universe is made apparent. “On a clear night on Earth, you can see only a few thousand stars, but there are 100 billion stars in this galaxy alone.” Humbling and gratifying, through learning about the universe and beyond, more and more of our lives become relevant.

The Kumin Collection by Jim Hetherington

To be Unforgettable

Poetry artist Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) left a legacy for the books with her notorious inclination for “her poems [to] become increasingly unforgettable.” Within The Long Marriage, she wrote poems of many types and sizes. Italics, spacing, poems spanning a couple of pages; yet no matter how they differ, they all fit the theme of “a long marriage.” It spans VII pages followed by an acknowledgments ending detailing her contemporary poets who think alike as well as whom she admired. Kumin bequeathed a collection of hers to Drew University after her death in February 2014. Consisting of nearly 2,000 items spanning from 20th century American poetry divided into individual volumes and anthologies, Kumin herself inscribes many volumes. So these autographs and anecdotal greetings contain a wide array of poetry periodicals, fiction and critical writings on poetry, plus more.

Maxine Kumin lived on a horse farm before she passed away during 2014. Initially published in 2002, The Long Marriage was not her last sell. In fact, Kumin was publishing up until the year she died and lost her farm. What’s bound in these tattered pages I describe as faithfulness and eternal blessing. As she says, “Inescapably, many poems come up out of the earth I live on and tend to.” That just goes to show how resourceful she is and ought to be. This collection is presented in a chronological order that grows on the reader or reciter. From highways to angels and other “Ancient Lady Poets,” what’s made clear is how all-encompassing supporting a friendship, let alone a marriage, proves to be.

Spanning over half a century, her career she describes as “poetry in the Dark Ages of the '50s with very little sense of who I was—a wife, a daughter, a mother, a college instructor, a swimmer, a horse lover, a hermit.” That’s a quotation. She remarked. Having several awards in the bag, the theme of “aging and mortality” are apparent to an American college English teacher and author, Clara Claiborne Park. Furthermore, aging and mortality are to be widely understood on planet Earth.

Something I have picked up on from reading is that the actions that lead to mindfulness and cultivating a relationship with herself are already on the surface. As far as long marriages go for everyone, that understanding in how to love starts with ourselves. Gauging her longevity as a published poet, after her accident with her horse chronicled in a memoir called Inside the Halo and Beyond, she was overwhelmed that “poetry might have ‘deserted’ her.” Please note not all the poems cataloged are about her life; in fact, she wrote about Anne Sexton in “Three Dreams After a Suicide.” Anne Sexton, an American poet, made it due to her highly personal and performance poetry verse/style. The nature of her writings points to how poetry can be picked up and put down in any order or time you imagine. With 1 to 2 pages length in poetry, how can you not want to pick up The Long Marriage?

A New Manuscript by Jim Hetherington

Manuscript detailing life at sea

Written in 1905, an anonymous account tells us the readers how heart and gut-wrenching life at sea can be. The sailors traveled from [Chittenham], England to Halifax N.C. Canada. Amongst the icebergs, there was abundant wildlife thriving. Whales and porpoises jumped out of the water while a funeral for a death-struck little boy returned the youngling to nature as we know it. The manuscript of the diary here recollects a 1st person account. “The whole of the passengers were there & also the officers,” calling for the group to restore unanimously and not fractured by rank. Their voices rang, “& we commit this body to the waves.” What was so keen about the text is the attention to detail of the “comments on whales spouting water 15 to 20 get into the air and seeing large porpoises jumping out of the water, [all the while] passing two or three hundred ice-bergs several times as large as the ship.”

Another insight regarding life at seas is how they manage their feelings. Circa 1905, their use of bad was widely understood as to how we cope in a situation. “It is a lovely day although the ship is rolling something awful. There are an awful lot of fellows bad, I can feel for them, for I know how bad it is.” Typically bad is a punishment not an understatement. Harsh as it sounds, 300 to 400 something odd miles a day, when pushing through storms creates a mood of us versus nature. With no way to gun it faster than what was over their heads for days and days causing the ocean to swell up and wash the deck; they probably put someone in charge of the diary to keep a keen sense on where they are, were, and will be.

Then the manuscript just ends without any grand conclusive remarks or link to more from that voyage. For a major duration of the journey covered in the document, the weather was “rough” and yet they preserved with optimism as a population of “a couple hundred.” The technology existed after all the wick carburetor was patented in 1905 (when the journal began) by Frederick William Lanchester.

Note: The ship’s destination was Halifax which was the largest city in Atlantic Canada. Founded under the Kingdom of Great Britain, Halifax became an influx and host to Protestant settlers under the direction of the Board of Trade. Via the expansion across the overseas, more food and stuff boosts the economy, and a boatload of 1,600 people on that voyage will shape Halifax even more with enlivening the culture with their accent and kind gestures. What’s apparent is the young child’s burial at sea. The service was “one of the saddest rights” and a real spectacle with the wildlife teeming up and out of the Atlantic.

Jacob Landau by Jim Hetherington

The Graphic Work by Jacob Landau

Before me, I have The Graphic Work by Jacob Landau. You may recognize his name. He illustrated Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. He typically draws what’s known as “the human condition.” That is inclusive of the critical events, characteristics, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence encompassing birth, emotionality, aspiration, and mortality. It starts with a colorful cover, and that is solely the only colored-in illustration on these pages.

The book calls for slow reading. The set up comprises of four primary chapters followed by a catalog without text for thought and a chronology of education, one-person exhibitions, and other noteworthy categories that mark points of Landau’s history here. Note: these chapters, from the forward to a biographical perspective and meditations as well as the director’s statement, were written by people Landau orchestrated to help him; except for the meditations segment. Let’s proceed.

These illustrations are surreal. Accompanying the text, they depict people from a different world: vastly different. Alongside the illustrations are what’s written, and it’s very interesting. I would venture to say that Jacob Landau is thoughtful and by that I mean his mind is brimming with paradoxes and material for a spectacular monologue. “The dialectic of motion and change… the two hands of God… left and right brains.” Where does he get this from? By now I think it’s misleading to be dismissive and say oh he’s a graphic artist, that’s not the way Landau. What matters is it’s clearly ordered and not in disarray. The meditations (ordered one thru eighteen) presented as a stream of consciousness, cover life to death and back again. It’s really whimsical and more importantly to the point.

With drawing and writing hand in hand, it’s clear Landau has a vast breadth on the spectrum of black to white with zero throwaways. The collection this work belongs to is gigantic so don’t hesitate to browse and select given that the possibilities are endless. Turning inwards I see an expression within his works comprising of the dance of life and how the human condition is all that we know.

The Kornitzer Collection by Jim Hetherington

The Bela Kornitzer papers

Fleeing from the Nazis and Communists, Bela Kornitzer left his native country Hungary. He arrived in the United States in 1947 and learned English largely impart by going to movies. Almost immediately writing a series of magazine articles based on interviews with leading public figures, his career launched as an American political biographer. In this special collection called Bela Kornitzer Papers, we have copies of his articles and books, cassette tapes and phonodiscs of interviews, correspondence, newspaper clippings, typescripts, notes, documents, interviews, scrapbooks, photographs, book reviews, and more than 40 signed or dedicated photographs of public figures. Before me, I have a guidebook from an exhibition of the aforementioned collection.

Dated March 15th to May 7th, 2004, the collection divides into four cases, each highlighting items associating with various presidencies. The breadth of this collection is great. Roosevelts / President Truman / President Eisenhower / Presidents Nixon, Kennedy and Johnson; each case has quality artifacts that paint a picture about not only what was communicated but how they came across and made an impact on the lives around them.

The Roosevelt family! Kornitzer posed a paradigm-shifting question regarding which one of the sons of Franklin D. Roosevelt struck Anna Roosevelt Boettiger (the president’s daughter) as the closest resemblance to FDR physically and spiritually. On the letter featured, Anna replied with a resolution: “I am sorry but this question I prefer not to answer as I hope to continue living peacefully with my brothers for many years to come!” Kornitzer’s digging falls beneath the overarching theme covered in his work for American Fathers and Sons. His focus (based on the title) focused specifically on “its role in molding the characters of some of the most distinguished men of the time.” It says here in the guidebook, “[Kornitzer] theorized that the essence of our democracy is reflected in the tolerant, democratic attitude prevailing in the typical American family.” Interviewing Kornitzer would have been very fascinating.

Farther along this line of thinking, not only were the offspring of presidents studied, but the parents of them were included within this project. As featured in The Independence Examiner, the Trumans were a close family. Kornitzer also became close with a family like the Trumans as seen by a thank you letter to Kornitzer for his “telegram congratulating the Trumans on their daughter’s engagement, March 14, 1956. The dated nature of these items is clear given the lexicon/vocabulary utilized. For instance, kow-towing (in the context of Kornitzer not being subservient but extolling (praising) accomplishments of the presidents) means to act in an excessively subservient manner. Certainly one must know their way when it’s their day job.

The exhibition that was here in the Drew University Archives 14 year ago had some really choice intellectual information. I love the anecdote where President Eisenhower reflects upon Kornitzer’s work March 20, 1953: “I am personally, deeply touched by the fact that Mr. Kornitzer and the Cosmopolitan Magazine have undertaken to make a public record of what we boys think of our father…” there’s just something about humanizing one’s self with respect to the olden days. This revert to how things were for presidents is a common thread within his investigations. For instance, “[President Nixon] was worried about his lessons and grades; he was extremely interested in how things were going at school and the welfare of his friends.” It seems that Bela Kornitzer had family that was also affiliating with presidencies. In a letter of sympathy from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Mrs. Alicia Karpati (Kornitzer’s sister) on December 1, 1964, “It is tragic that a man who had come to understand our country so well and who interpreted it so vigorously should meet such an untimely end.” In retrospect, letters like that aren’t really sent nowadays, even in e-mail form.

Ultimately Bela Kornitzer’s authorship and journalism earned his place at Drew in 1995 as an award established to honor publications by Drew University faculty. Additionally, in 2005, a second award was created for Drew graduates. If he were still alive today (a stretch being he’d be 109 years old) I would ask him what he thinks his life would have been like if he did not leave his birthplace early on. I have gratitude for Bela Kornitzer’s sister, Alicia who donated to our archives his work. Who will be the next great journalist? We need a lot for the news we read is slowly becoming more civic and community-based instead of politician and ad-based. Bela Kornitzer and his impact will continue to play a part in recognizing the work of our faculty here as well as encourage all who know him to look at relationships with friends, family, and philanthropy. I wonder what next great works will land on our shelves

McClintock Collection by Jim Hetherington

Paradise Lost

Reverend John McClintock, who became the first president of Drew Theological Seminary in 1867, is responsible for the collection in his name that was formed in 1975. As one of his first orders of business as president, he sent an agent to Europe to buy books for the new seminary’s library. On top of what was purchased, he donated many personal books to the library.

Paradise Lost by John Milton was first published in 1674. Spanning ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse per book, Paradise Lost tells the biblical story of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. An artistic choice, the poem does not rhyme. The publisher was confused why rhyme was not used, so Milton wrote an introduction saying that good poetry does not have to rhyme since rhyme is nothing “but the invention of a barbarous age.” The Royalists of the United Kingdom wrote in rhyming couplets, whereas Milton uses blank verse: ten-syllable metrical lines that do not rhyme. It’s symbolic of non-conformism and political freedom in the same breath seeing as he advocated for “freedom” from the “bondage” of the monarchy.

Oddly enough, Milton traveled to France and Italy, and while in Florence he paid a visit to Galileo Galilei. At the time blind and under house arrest for his challenging of authority regarding heliocentrism, Galileo was blind and confined. That visit had a profound effect on Milton’s writing, particularly his opposition to censorship. Milton later became blind. He was an anarchist who publicly advocated for the execution of King Charles I before serving in the republican government. He spoke out against the Catholic Church and did not believe in the Trinity and wrote pamphlets about the merits of divorce. Paradise Lost later became his most magnificent piece of work.

Three hundred forty-five years old, Paradise Lost delves into Satan’s character who is also known as Lucifer which means “the light bringer” in Latin. Being the first major character, his role as a semi-protagonist is quick to win the hearts of readers despite his being condemned to Hell for his rebellious habits in Heaven. This old bound book, comprising of books I and II, has a lengthy introduction and once the verse begins there are anecdotal interjections on each page. These tidbits of information refer to the author as Milton; thus they have an outsider perspective in this duo of books. Surprisingly, despite this being in a special collection, there are pencil marks annotating reading notes and explication.

Epic poems like Paradise Lost are not as prevalent in this day and age. Great modern works that transcend genre like the Harry Potter series ought to have a place in society. A carefully put together work like this book that was printed 1896 needs to be honored as the additional notes and even anecdotes compound information creating a poetic encyclopedia where the original prose is there, and so is the guide to appreciating and understanding the work. While this book is a collectible, I would love to see the rest of the books here under one roof. The real draw to the series originates in how something from the Bible could be drawn from and seem oh so real. A body of work so dated may be deserving of a sequel and a film, so when will the opportunity present itself?

Haberly Collection by Jim Hetherington

Fine Books and Loyd Haberly

Written, decorated, printed and bound by Loyd Haberly, Again is a joy to behold. A 1953 treasure, every page splashed with color introducing the intriguing typeface telling poetry commands attention. Spanning 26 pages, this copy from the Loyd Haberly Book Arts Collection is one of 50 copies made on a hand-press in the old stone Castle of Fairleigh Dickinson College. Known for printing his books, Haberly taught at Harvard, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Massachusetts, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was professor and dean for 27 years. This specific collection contains over 800 examples of fine press books, as well as works on typography, binding, and illustration. Including his own collection of works on printing history and the private press movement, as well as the books of poetry written, illustrated, printed and bound by Haberly himself, there is a plethora of material to be taken in.

Born in Ellsworth, Iowa, on December 9, 1896, he would have been over 100 years old when I was born. Again is such a clever title as we all have experiences that feel the same, that are nearly a repeat. He kicks off the book with a self-titled poem called “Again” that spans six pages. Atop each page is an original colored-in drawing from a man and deer to gems and an airplane. With a font reminiscent of medieval times scrolls, the words fill the page without it feeling too cluttered (he even has a book called Mediaeval English Pavingtiles). None of the poems spill onto the following page giving a sense of belonging and purpose the way of having the poetry fit together like puzzle pieces. If there are two poems on a page, the top one is always titled in a Christmas red and the bottom titled in a familiar green. Every page feels like it’s a pulpy construction paper, like parchment.

Fancying myself a poet and among more writers in my poetry outreach class on campus, real recognize real. Beyond Again being a sensory experience, as it is handmade, it’s a treat to take it all in and feel how Haberly used his poetic license. Had he been alive I would have cherished speaking on Again and his experiences in life just a campus over. Imagery from “Fangs of ice” to “a buzz the beetle jets” really gets the gears turning. While we won’t be covering more from Loyd Haberly, this is not the last of him. He kept publishing his creations until 1979 just two years before he left us here on Earth. It is awe-inspiring to be keen on a legacy and find another great poet hidden from plain sight here in the archives. Special collections are indeed a treat. Until next week, enjoy the weather!

Spiritualism in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

A History of Naming and a study of a book

As Art Jones, the Director Emeritus at the Drew University Library, said in his memorial speech for Julia E. Baker, “When it became clear that one of the Drew Library’s main needs was provision for the preservation of older materials and systematic organization of our older valuable books, it was Julia’s conscientiousness as well as her love of the old printing and fine bindings that led her to present a program for preservation, to investigate personally the practices of the Library of Congress,…and to become herself a rare book librarian.” With Baker’s collection only partially cataloged and some items unavailable for research, her legacy lives. She arrived at Drew in 1954 and left 24 years later in 1978. The collection contains the oldest and most valuable books in the Drew Library, including newer books autographed by authors or famous owners alike.

From the Rare Books Collection, I chose My Adventure Into Spiritualism by Ezra Lee Howard. Published in 1935, that hardcover book is withstanding the test of time with a sketch of Christ page not a part of the binding anymore… I do not know where amongst the pages it belongs. Yet, I know it belongs according to the frayed page edges creating a visual and tactile aesthetic. Dedicated to Howard’s mother, there is a short preface before the table of contents where 14 chapters are highlighted, depicting the journey each reader will set a course for.

Less of a manual and more of a retrospective on life, Howard leads a monologue on life being an adventure with depth, meaning, caring, and sharing. The author quotes, “add to faith, knowledge.” As a guide, the author refers to spirituality and various ways of being spiritually fit like detaching from “materializations” and admiring nature. Nature is really an all-encompassing term for we and all that we do are a part of nature, this Earth where 7.53 billion people live.

Spanning 181 pages, the book really gets inside the author’s head in a true to life story. Each chapter is a loose monologue, touch and go with the chapter’s title. My favorite moments are when the author directly talks on the psychic changes the occur on the path to spirituality. “Prayer is a power that never fails in the realm of aspiration… a pure and noble purpose is always the aspirant’s best defense.” Each of these proverbial gold nuggets is worth the wait. Have patience. By hearing about the quips and tidbits from the author’s life along the journey is eye-opening because then with a critical eye we can extrapolate and infer how Howard’s method to the madness is at play and in check.

It’s important to figure out what makes us tick. Aspiring to be a wise and illumined soul is inspiring, and the author’s passages about mysticism help involve a well-rounded picture to appreciate the book, how / why it was written, and a pace he sets as a life long learner. Being thorough about matters like leaving a hometown for good and then revisiting memories we keep all our life is a key to knowing thy self through investigation and wholesome conclusions.

Cartoons in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

The Festival of Cartoon Art

Since 1983, The Festival of Cartoon Art is an event that occurred every three years up until 2013. Held triennially, the gathering featured two days of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, receptions, and other special events and has attracted an international audience including cartoonists, comics scholars, fans, collectors and students. It was a place where cartoon enthusiasts and creators came together, exchanged ideas, and shared their passion for comics and cartoons.

From political cartoons making a mockery of a presidency to the celebrated Calvin and Hobbes series, The Festival Of Cartoon Art marked 1986 reads like a director’s cut of a movie. With the table of contents ordering illustrations in alphabetical order, fans are quick to sift through the pages to see a favorite artist’s contribution, This particular edition (the second in the series) features an extract of a three-part, four and a half hour interview with Milton Caniff by Jules Feiffer. Both cartoonists at heart, they delve into Caniff’s upbringing and influences he had as an artist growing up. With cartoons from 30 different artists interspersed throughout the 60 pages of this elongated book, the construction paper like pages are reminiscent of how every sketch and word bubble within, made the cut for publishing.

It is the nature of satirical cartoons in magazine and newspapers to be reread and explored as they are thick and meant to be dense with meaning. The eye-popping blue star patterns bordering the top of interview pages give a nice simplified, not overly complicated aesthetic to provide the book with a look. I truly have begun to appreciate illustrations like these within here. It is the artists' job to be selective with the words once the illustrations are made within each frame. Attending one of these festivals would have been breathtaking at the sheer drive the highlighted artists demonstrate. Maybe a cartoonists’ guild or other organization will start the festival tradition back up after its hiatus. Just by viewing that book I did myself a great service by seeing high caliber artists’ work, learning about how cartoons make an impact, shaping the political spectrum and cleverly lighting the path of understanding and artistry.

Poetry in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

A Witness Tree

Robert Frost, a prominent poet, and award-winning poet Pulitzer Prize recipient earned his niche in short lyric artistry. Notably, the man who pulled together a patriotic poem he read at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 on January 20th, “The Gift Outright” marks a time when he was well heard towards the end of his career at 87-years-old. He endured a lot of hardship and committed to writing as an outlet. After Frost’s daughter Marjorie’s death in 1934, his wife’s death in 1938, and his son Carol’s suicide in 1940, A Witness Tree published. Despite these losses, his knack for poetry remained resilient, and he fell in love with his secretary Kay Marrison, who officially lent insight for the remainder of his love life poems.

Before me are two separate editions of A Witness Tree. Both repay homage to his formal partner K.M. “FOR HER PART IN IT” as his true love. The larger edition printed in 1942, whereas the second edition (slightly small) was published in 1943. Both are covers that have trees on them. One may note how the 1943 cover is not so stark and barren as the 1942 cover’s tree. Either/or, the editions are teeming with poems organized into five chapters. Before embarking on a Frost poetry spree, two poems share a page. Setting the tone for what’s to come, “BEECH” and “SYCAMORE” appear, both species of tree and written by The Moodie Forester and The New England Primer respectively. Then the chapters unfold as such: ONE OR TWO, TWO OR MORE, TIME OUT, QUANTULA, and OVER BACK. Please note “quantula” is a medium-sized, air-breathing, tropical land snail. Also, either book contains all his A Witness Tree poems. The notable contrasts when analyzed book to book are the page size, text format, and book jacket that introduce and conclude either book.

Every poem has varying grammar structure. Each line begins with a capital letter, and the line breaks eventually lead to a period’s end. Some lyrics even have noted sections in Greek numerically. Culminating with in-time witty rhyming and provoking titles, Frost published a collector’s item. With the featured poems: “THE GIFT OUTRIGHT,” “A QUESTION,” and “THE SILKEN TENT,” Frost is housing an impressive selection of a legacy.

Heading the TWO OR MORE chapter, “THE GIFT OUTRIGHT” exuberantly timelines how the American colonies were oppressed by England… the gift being land and how malleable both it and the evolving colonies were, ultimately prompting their own flourish.

In QUANTULA, “A QUESTION” is no question, but a sentence with internal rhyming, sprucing up the coined idea that we are confronted with trials and tribulations, yet these problems are worth it to have been born.

The first chapter, ONE OR TWO’s “THE SILKEN TENT” paints a picture of a tent engulfed in nature. It symbolizes how one we are with nature, her beauty and how when we retreat to said nature we realize how apart of the picture we are.

A Witness Tree represents the Robert Frost Collection in a way as it marks a segment of life. Artists working are influenced by memories of loved ones, adventure, and lifestyle changes. Not many professions are inclusive of that kind of ebb and flow. Things like that imbue our lives and shape how we function, what we do, and who we are. Frost’s A Witness Tree capitalizes on how Mother Nature is here for us. All life on Earth goes through cycles low and high, interacting with its neighbor (us) all the while seeing it through as our guide.

Nature texts in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

Beyond Time from the Zuck collection

From the Zuck Collection of Botanical Books, I picked Beyond Time. Written and illustrated by Gwen Frostic, it is an all-encompassing take on nature through illustrations and poetry. Like any adventure in print, Frostic delivers symbiotic description binding works of art with words. Frostic highlights impressions lent to her by nature: the designer herself.

Every page is printed on different kinds of paper, and handmade illustrations are put on each spread. Multicolored, some words are printed hovering over artifacts in nature. From the pine tree to the loud bullfrog, to a rare hummingbird retreating to her hungry nest; each page turn holds purpose.

Pondering the title Beyond Time, I reckon nature is timeless and these moments frozen in time hold infinite meaning. Being there is no prologue nor epilogue, Beyond Time is open to interpretation as there are zero other voices within these pages: solely that of a poet. Now a book has architecture! Different kinds of paper every page, pulping. Even fray and watercolor on the edges. Akin to nature, Beyond Time unfolds and appeases the explorer. The drawings are of design; printed, each one looking stenciled, accurate as can be, and made given the story told.

A lighthearted page turner, every beginning and ending segues through drawings and poetry. Fathom the value, compound the botanics, reread about the artistry, try your hand at emulating how it reads, and feel more experienced now that you have sought a new attitude. Between the different text formats and calligraphy amongst styles of punctuation mixed in, soothing and inspirational thoughts are dug up. When reading, some may recognize how the narrative veers away from affecting nature, just observations in silence. Noting how harmony and zest appear far and deep in her nature, the creature and plant coexist.

“As the dynamics of its natural growth expand = it becomes an inseparable part of its milieu = = = = utilizing the resources accessible to become = = = and to flourish…….”

Every moment, page to page, the real significance is flocked by the astonishments pulled from outdoor experience. Some outlast others, some gather, some fly free, some make an eternal home, and some even understand life furthering their existence. Each poem is like an artifact holding its own influence on the reader, with no titles. No doubt. A premise of understanding ripple effects is clear. Where Frostic excels is when she foretells the light in each natural force in an accurate way depicting a dynamic beauty. A giant so supreme. We learn things unimaginable from: plants communicating, the ancient spiderweb designed like a target, storms replenishing the lands with water, birds migrating; everything all sought to be ancient rhythms of the universe, forever playing their part.

Religious text in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

Daily Food for Christians, from the Rare Book collection

I have here a book of hymns called Daily Food for Christians. I hold it in one hand and ponder how the accessibility of the item flourished day to day thought. Each day correlates to a devotion consisting of a promise from the Bible, a verse of hymns and an additional scriptural passage. Each page contains two days’ worth of verse, and you ought to know this here item is teeny tiny. Like they say, “big shadow, tiny tree.” Much like all types of calendars from the classical to day by day creative fact ones, folks look ahead and project the plan, planting the seed for the future. Here, Daily Food is like a spiritual forecast. I’m sure. Folks who had a copy may have a personal devotion they hold dearly.

The trifecta of promise, a hymn, and scripture is valuable because I do believe in matching different resources, oh so you know, to cross-examine related themes. This book has all the citations for a reader to reread and further explore an aspect, branching away from the initial uncovering of a plenty of good ideas. That book was popular in the nineteenth century for its meditation was used by missionaries, servicemen and other Christians for guidance and inspiration. Given its notes, by nature, every promise referencing the Lord is followed by hymn proclaiming the faith again. The additional scripture (“finalizing” the daily call) concludes free knowledge that we all relate to in the end. Now, like anything really, rereading proves to jog our take on the scripture. It is essential to identify the tone of the reading as separate from the tone of the author. Doing so yields an intellect that considers the underlying meaning of each and every devotion.

Daily Food has the charm of a lottery ticket where you can pick any number and feel good about it. Furthermore, how did each day get allotted scripture? Maybe each holiday was decided upon and then the remaining days were filled in? Structuring that tiny book takes time and brain power; something that is simply not all that understood. With each page turn, I find more and more again instilling a sense of security within a reader. As we know it, there is an inscription on the inside cover reading, “Willie W. C.” with the date June 24th, 1866. Some may choose to believe that due to the age, this collection of devotions is not relatable. Yet it is considered to be a reliant form of self-help by many. Holy literature does not always tell you what to think (or how), but what to think about (it’s a tao aka way). Spanning 192 pages, it’s lengthy yet practical to read anywhere, anytime. Often we do not talk about what makes us tick; thus our secrets grow in number as we hold them close… only understood by each of us. Daily Food is like a recipe for faster faith. The readability of Daily Food for Christians signs point to delving back into the same book a year later. Like a favorite song (just longer), movie you quote, book with handwriting in the margins, or a piece of art; we create habits to hold, strengthening a foundation now for better tomorrows.

Witchcraft in the Archives by Jim Hetherington

Sermon on Witchcraft, 1697, from the George Fraser Black Collection

James Hutchisone preached in court on April 13th, 1697, addressing seven “unfortunates” condemned to die for their occult activity and bewitching of a girl. As the minister of Kilallan, he spoke before the judges to pressure the conviction and death sentence of four witches and three warlocks. The sermon transcribed onto that booklet is introduced by Geo Neilson, informing the readers of the “contemporary spirit” that lies within the minister’s words. Here, contemporary is modifying spirit, that is to say, we must be in tune with all that life hands to us. The aforementioned “painfully direct pressure on the judges to convict and sentence to death” snippet placed before the sermon in this manuscript sums up how black and white the dichotomy of angels and demons is.

Hutchisone guides the audience to understand that witchcraft is a construct of Satan, and so are the practitioners. The sleight of hand in Neilson’s sermon falls where he divides the populace. To him, we are from the ground up of devilrie or of God’s spirit, alienating the witchcraft and solidifying the judge, jury, an all’s “covenant with God as well as the parents.” And he spoke his mind. No longer are we contrasting the occult and a man in the sky, but parenthood is woven in to evoke emotion and memory of being raised and having a guiding force to appease our authorities. Hutchisone even compares the “Honourable Judges” to Gods, saying they are among the “mightie,” passing judgment on the condemned. With all due respect the preacher’s argument was flimsy, lacking a complete look at the crime on the table. The witches and warlocks were underrepresented, compared to sin and not in the least bit humanized as functioning members of society. Their occult crime in 1697 centuries ago was not honed in on, in fact, the preacher man was building an army to renounce Satan when the myths and rituals of the specific seven witches remained untold. The trial called for reason, not ranting around. Within this particular work, the power of suggestion influences the crowds to source their life and even themselves to a good or bad seed. Nowadays, the prosecution of these witches and warlocks would be secular: justice not Jesus.

Here in the George Fraser Black Collection, it is clear as day that witchcraft is much like fiction, yet it was practiced like calls to prayer or based on early texts that can be found in Drew University Special Collections. Witchcraft, or Wicca, is much like a religion. It propels followers to engage in symbolism and calls of prayer. Anyways, crimes are crimes and stealing items for a ritual or engaging in other illegal activity is one way to get locked up or worse, especially back then. Christianity is indeed in the mix here. The moral is to tread lightly especially amongst supernatural thoughts and ways. What at first seems like a shortcut (like a spell) evolves into a chosen God’s glory “bring[ing] their works of darkness to light.”