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Monday, June 30, 2014

Manuscript Monday—J. M. Hutchings and Yosemite

In celebration of the opening of our new exhibition, Yosemite: A Storied Landscape, we present this rousing letter, from J. M. Hutchings to California Congressman Anthony Caminetti, in its entirety:

"Poorly and inefficiently managed as the Yo Semite Valley has been for lo! these many many years, I can partly realize what that wonderland—and the Big Trees—have done for California, in bringing people of refinement, and intelligence and wealth to the State, from all parts of the civilized world. These have dropped tens of millions of dollars hither and thither; and inadvertently, perhaps, been the foundation-builders of many prosperous enterprises. And, when California awakes up to broad views, insists upon honest and square dealing to 'the stranger that comes within her gate,' cultivates the magnetic power of kindness and courtesy to all, and eschews excessive charges with exacting impositions that chafe and anger, there will break the dawn of the most glorious day of prosperity this State has ever known."

J. M. Hutchings letter to A. Caminetti : San Francisco, 1892 Jan. 1, MS 3695, California Historical Society

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Monday, June 23, 2014

Manuscript Monday—An anarchist, his lover, and the Mercantile Library

Sounds juicy, doesn't it? In fact, this diary tells the unexceptional story of a failed affair between the future anarchist, labor leader, and Kaweah Cooperative Colony founder Burnette G. Haskell (at the time, a somewhat idle bourgeois student of the law) and a young woman named Sophie McFarlane, whom Haskell unsuccessfully courted at the Mercantile Library between the years 1878 and 1879.

Volume 1, 1878-1879, Burnette G. Haskell diaries and receipt, MS 952, courtesy, California Historical Society
The diary includes Argonaut clippings of mediocre love poetry Haskell wrote for McFarlane, and ends, with a dramatic flourish of self-pity, on July 7, 1879—the day she eloped with another man. Haskell later married Anna Fader, who assisted him heroically with his many projects and schemes, serving as Master Workman of a local Knights of Labor assembly and setting type for his newspaper Truth.

Haskell himself was an erratic and perplexing character: extremely well-read but prone to bizarre fancies; today a socialist, tomorrow an anarchist, the next day a Nationalist; on the one hand, a compulsive man who poured out his life into a series of insanely ambitious and ultimately doomed enterprises, and, on the other hand, one of the most influential radicals in nineteenth-century San Francisco whose work led to concrete and lasting gains for organized labor.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Type Tuesday - Happy Birthday William Addison Dwiggins!

William Addison Dwiggins
Dwiggins in his studio, photograph by Robert Yamall Richie

Today's Type Tuesday prematurally celebrates the birthday of William Addison Dwiggins! Dwiggins, born June 19, 1880, was an American type designer, calligrapher, book designer, illustrator, commercial artist and wood carver who opened his own marionette theatre. In celebration of this multi-talented and supremely interesting fellow we offer a selection of some of Dwiggins' work. 

A ticket of entry to one of Dwiggins' marionette performances.

Jaime Henderson,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Manuscript Monday—Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Burgundian manuscripts?

Parchment manuscripts, 1643-1745, Paul Masson papers, MS 1421, courtesy, California Historial Society
These mysterious seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French parchment manuscripts form part of the recently cataloged Paul Masson papers. Masson was born in Burgundy in 1859 and immigrated to California in 1878. He worked for Charles Lefranc, proprietor of New Almaden Vineyard, and married Lefranc's daughter Louise. After his father-in-law's death, Masson assumed the management (and, eventually, ownership) of New Almaden Vineyard. He also founded his own winery in Saratoga, establishing himself as a major California "champagne" producer. Like many successful nineteenth-century Californians, Masson was unabashedly litigious, engaging in legal battles with his brother in France and his brother-in-law Henry Lefranc in California.

Parchment manuscripts (1643-1745) in the collection appear to relate to land holdings and vineyards in the Burgundian regions of Beaune and Volnay, possibly in the Masson family since the seventeenth century. These papers, some of which were created during the reign of the Sun King, are the oldest known manuscripts in the CHS collection. 

This lovely wine label (so French California!) is also from the Paul Masson papers, and has been digitized as part of an online album of California wine labels on Flickr Commons:

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler Type Foundry was originally founded as Great Western Type Foundry in Chicago, Illinois in 1873. As Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, the foundry became known for their distinctive type design and beautiful catalogs. Here we reproduce colorful selections from an undated catalog that demonstrate the foundry's modern interpretation of advertising types. 

The above left selection features the foundry's Bamboo font and the above right is an example of their Pekin font. The samples below show Barnhart Brother's & Spindler's selection of modernistic borders and it's Japanet font.

In addition to these delightful fonts, Barnhart Brothers & Spindler originally cast Oswald Bruce Cooper's font Cooper Black - a favorite font that I covered here a few months ago.

Also worth noting - Barnhart Brothers & Spindler's Wikipedia page states that when the company was purchased by the American Type Founders in 1911 it was bought only under the condition that the merger would not take place until 1933 - allowing time for the foundry's employees to either find other employment or retire from the trade. 

Jaime Henderson

Monday, June 9, 2014

Manuscript Monday—Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection

I am delighted to share the good news, from Santa Clara University Archivist Erin Louthen, that the Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection Processing Project has completed the online finding aid for the Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection:

Prepared by Erin Louthen and Deborah Oropeza, the finding aid provides a fascinating guide to this extraordinary collection. Fr. Viader's miscellany book, for example, includes manuscripts documenting health practices at the mission, including medications, remedies, and procedures for performing inoculations and the Cesarean operation. Juana Briones' sister Guadalupe Briones de Miramontes was trained as a midwife at Mission Santa Clara, and one wonders how much medical knowledge was shared between the sisters, the padres, and Native people at the mission. 

Congratulations to our Santa Clara University colleagues for their work on this important project! 
Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Type Tuesday - Dan X. Solo's Solotype

The perennial Type Tuesday favorite Dan X. Solo and his Solotypes.

Jaime Henderson,

Monday, June 2, 2014

Manuscript Monday—Mission Santa Clara padrón, 1839

John Howell Books identified this 1839 padrón (census) of Mission Santa Clara as a Zamorano printing unknown to bibliographers:

Mission Santa Clara padrón, 1839 December 31, Vault B-101, courtesy, California Historical Society, Vault_B-101.jpg.
Entered and signed by Father Jesús María Vásquez del Mercado, it records baptisms, marriages, confessions, communions, and deaths at the mission for the year, and baptisms, marriages, and deaths since the mission's founding, providing a demographic snapshot of mission life in the post-secularization era.

Father Vásquez del Mercado appears to have been a violent character: according to Hittell, the padre was accused of murdering a group of unarmed Indians in cold blood, and Governor Figueroa (in an unprecedented move) demanded that he be prosecuted for the crimes in secular courts. According to Bancroft, Vásquez del Mercado instigated an uprising at Mission San Antonio de Padua two years later, in 1835. These acts, and the civil government's response, point to escalating tensions between Church and State around the time of secularization.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian