Thursday, February 26, 2015

California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera collection

Trips Festival flier, 1966, California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera
The California Historical Society is proud to announce the availability of our most recently processed ephemera collection California Social, Protest, and Counterculture Movements Ephemera Collection. The materials covers the years 1965 through 1980, a turbulent time in California's more recent history, with brochures, fliers, and newsletters focusing on the Free Speech Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War protest movement, the civil rights movements of Mexican-American and Native American peoples and the women's movement. 

Students for a Democratic Society flier, California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera
The finding aid for this collection is available on the Online Archive of California and materials can be viewed Wednesday through Friday from noon to 5:00 in the North Baker Research Library at the California Historical Society.

End Barrio Warfare flier, California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera
Casaelya Festival flier, California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera
Take Back the Night flier, California social, protest, and counterculture movements ephemera

Jaime Henderson,

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Type Tuesday

Pardon the interruption to the regularly scheduled Type Tuesday! Your Type Tuesday correspondent is visiting sunny Los Angeles but will be back with you next week to share specimens from the Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing. 

In the meantime, please consider visiting the California Historical Society's gallery to view our exhibit case featuring treasures from the Zellerbach Paper Company. 

The display includes Zellerbach's whimsical miniature paper samples, the company's periodical The Informant, and a brochure on the history of papermaking. Keep your eye on our library exhibit case as it will continue to feature more eye candy from the Kemble Collection! 

Check back again next Tuesday! 

Jaime Henderson,

Monday, February 23, 2015

Manuscript Monday—Bill of Fare for the Steamer Sonora

This week we present another gem from the Society's Kemble Collection, a bill of fare for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company's Steamer Sonora, dated circa 1858. The carnivorous traveler could choose from a variety of boiled, fried, stewed, and roasted meats—including beef, pork, chicken, ham, mutton, tongue, kidneys, and pigs' heads. The menu was printed by the Excelsior Steam Presses in San Francisco.

Pacific Mail Steamship Co's Steamer Sonora bill of fare, circa 1858, Kemble MS OV 1, California Historical Society

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Type Tuesday - More Nelson C. Hawks and the Pacific States Type Foundry

Yesterday, my esteemed colleague shared with our audience the first extant diary of Nelson C. Hawks, typographer, creator of the typographic point system that would become the standard for both American and British type foundries, and head of the Pacific States Type Foundry. Although some of Hawks' work has already been featured in our Type Tuesday installments, I thought it might be a great time to share some more of our favorite Nelson C. Hawks' specimens set by his hand, along with some playful examples of offerings from the Pacific States Type Foundry.

Specimens initialed by "NCH" had been set by Hawks, although I believe his sense of humor might have also made its way into the bill heads and newspaper masts featured below. 

Jaime Henderson,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Manuscript Monday—Nelson C. Hawks diaries

At the 48th California International  Antiquarian Book Fair, held last weekend in downtown Oakland, CHS exhibited a few volumes from the diaries of the great San Francisco printer Nelson C. Hawks. Born in Milwaukee in 1840, Hawks came to San Francisco in 1874 as an agent of the Chicago firm Marder, Luse & Co. and was put in charge of the newly established Pacific Type Foundry. Hawks is most famous for inventing the American point system for standardizing types. (The French type founder Simon-Pierre Fournier actually originated the point system in 1734, but this system had not been implemented in the United States.) He also wrote very funny texts for type specimen books, as described by Alastair Johnston in his Type Tuesday post of September 10, 2013:
Hawks’ diaries form part of the Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing. The opening salvo of his first extant journal, written in 1855 when Hawks was still a teenager, is extraordinary. Is it an early specimen of Midwestern deadpan or dead serious?

Nelson C. Hawks diary, v. 1, 1855, Nelson C. Hawks diaries, Kemble MS 3, California Historical Society
I, Nelson Crocker Hawks, was born in the city of Milwaukee, on the 21st day of August, A.D., 1840. My early life was full of suffering. When I was a year old I had “dropsy of the brain,” in consequence of which, my head grew out of shape. When I was four year old, I had the “inflammation in the eyes,” and was perfectly blind. I continued so two years and then was afflicted with the “rheumatism.” I could not walk around much until I was eight years old. I then went to school. 

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Type Tuesday - Boston Type Foundry

These outstanding types were spotted in the recently catalogued 1892 type specimen of the Boston Type Foundry. 

These specimens of letter combinations are crying out for colorful tiles to bring out the best in their appearances!

Jaime Henderson

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Type Tuesday - Boston Type Foundry

Today we feature specimens from the oldest type foundry in New England, the Boston Type Foundry, established in 1817.

Boston Type Foundry agent John K. Rogers writes in the preface to the 1883 type specimen:

The Boston Type Foundry is not only the FIRST Letter Foundry in New England, having been established in 1817, but takes precedence also in the number and variety of its Faces, the quality of its Metal, the accuracy of its Bodies, and the general perfection of its manufacturers.

The Type-Casting Machine now in use all over the world, was developed and perfected at this Foundry in 1843, under the direction of Mr. David Bruce, the inventor.

Jaime Henderson,

Monday, February 2, 2015

Manuscript Monday—Sir Dynamite!

I was delighted to discover this anarchist broadside, with mysterious manuscript notations, in the California Historical Society's Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing. Described by Gary F. Kurutz as the "jewel in the crown of the Society's Research Library," the Kemble Collection comprises an extraordinary diversity of materials related to printing and publishing history, including books, periodicals, type specimens, labels, and manuscript collections. Our local Type Tuesday correspondent presents gorgeous typographic specimens from the Collection each week.

Dated from the 1880s, this broadside was published by Patrick Joseph Healy's Antiquarian Book Store and Song Factory at 104 O'Farrell Street. Healy, to whom an entire chapter is dedicated in Robert Cowan's Booksellers of Early San Francisco, is one of the most fascinating (and endearing) characters in the colorful book history of San Francisco. An Irish immigrant and labor activist, he earned the animus of his comrades by vigorously defending the rights of the Chinese during the sandlot riots. He opened his first bookshop in 1883 at the address above. His shop (later known as "the Tunnel" because of its narrow dimensions) became a sort of informal, democratic salon for political discussion and debate.

The song reproduced here is laden with Messianic expectation, as is typical of the radical discourse of the period:

The weary slave in mill or mine, 
The peasant and toiling herd,
Through the ages awaited the "coming sign,"
And died from "hope deferred."
"How long, oh, Lord!" they cried, "how long,"
Must we toil, and weep, and slave?"
But an answering cry for their cruel wrong
At length the heavens gave, 
In a new Messiah, to loose the bands
That chained down the sons of earth;
Send joyous tidings o er sea and lands
To cheer the poor toilers' hearth.
Let all proclaim his glorious name,
Who comes, man's wrong to right,
A terror he brings to the heart of Kings—
Puissant Sir Dynamite!

In 1905, Healy and Ng Poon Chew, the editor of a Chinese daily newspaper, co-authored A Statement for Non-Exclusion, an impassioned polemic in defense of Chinese rights. This work can also be found in the Society's collection.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Type Tuesday - Typothetæ and Platemaker

Today we feature another selection from the Kemble Collection's outstanding holdings of periodicals on printing and typography. 

Typothet√¶ and Platemaker was a journal “devoted to Printers, Engravers and Electrotypers” and featured beautifully illustrated, brightly colored covers.

The California Historical Society's Kemble Collection holds the full run of Typothet√¶ and Platemaker, from January of 1898 to December of 1900. January of 1901 marked a name change for the journal to The Progressive Printer, which the California Historical Society also houses.

Visit the California Historical Society's North Baker Research Library to view these (and many other) gorgeous journals available in our Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing. 

Jaime Henderson

Monday, January 26, 2015

Manuscript Monday—Guyana Emergency Relief Committee

Guyana Emergency Relief Committee press release, 1979 January 18, Donneter Lane papers relating to the Guyana Emergency Relief Committee, MS 3792, California Historical Society
The Peoples Temple Collection at the California Historical Society comprises over twenty collections of diverse archival materials, including organizational records; government documents; official and personal correspondence; newspapers and other publications; research materials; photographs; film and video tapes; audio recordings; and three-dimensional artifacts. Thanks to the generous donations of journalists, scholars, former Peoples Temple members, families, and friends, the collection has grown considerably since 1983—when the California and Guyana courts first deposited the Peoples Temple Records at CHS—and continues to grow, providing the most comprehensive archival record of the organization, from its origins in Indiana to the aftermath of the deaths of November 18, 1978.

Among these collections is a small but significant body of records maintained by Donneter Lane of the Guyana Emergency Relief Committee. The Guyana Emergency Relief Committee (GERC) was formed on November 28, 1978, by members of the San Francisco religious community in response to the deaths of over 900 people at Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Composed of representatives of the San Francisco Council of Churches, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and the Board of Rabbis of Northern California, the Committee had a two-fold purpose: to assist with the expeditious return of over 500 bodies from Dover Air Base, Delaware, to California for proper burial; and to provide counseling, pastoral services, and material assistance to grieving families.

In order to obtain funds for the interment of unidentified or unclaimed bodies from Peoples Temple assets, the Committee participated in proceedings held in the Superior Court of California for the winding up and dissolution of Peoples Temple (Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ v. The Attorney General of the State of California) as an Amicus Curiae ("friend of the court"). The Superior Court ordered that a portion of Peoples Temple assets be set aside to pay for burial expenses, and approved the Committee's plan for the removal, transportation, and burial of the bodies.

Cooperating closely with the State Department, the Committee communicated with family members (representing over 547 Jonestown victims) by telephone and letter. On a case by case basis, the Committee ascertained the wishes of family members regarding the burial of loved ones, arranged for the shipment and interment of remains, and helped family members obtain reimbursement for burial expenses. On May 10, 1979, the first 50 unidentified bodies were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California.

The collection at CHS documents the Committee’s early and diligent efforts to ensure dignified burials for Jonestown victims. In an interview for the book The Need for a Second Look at Jonestown (edited by Rebecca Moore and Fielding M. McGehee III), Rabbi Malcolm Sparer, one of the principal organizers of the Committee, recalled that only fifty members of the community attended a memorial service for the Jonestown victims organized by San Francisco Council of Churches and held the Sunday night before the assassination of Mayor Moscone. Despite the winds of fear and violence that swept over San Francisco in the terrible final months of 1978, the members of the Guyana Emergency Relief Committee resolved to pursue a course of pastoral care, cooperation, and healing.

The collection is currently in process and will be available for research use soon.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian