Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bill Meneray retires, May 2009

Wilbur E. “Bill” Meneray is retiring this month from his position as Assistant Dean for Special Collections, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Dr. Meneray received his PhD. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a specialty in Latin American and U.S. history. He taught for several years in Guatemala before coming to Tulane University as manuscripts librarian in 1972. He has taught courses in colonial Louisiana, surveys of Louisiana and U.S. history, the modern urban United States, and Caribbean revolutions. Dr. Meneray has served on the Board of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, the New Orleans Civil War Round Table, the Memorial Hall Foundation, the Louisiana Historical Association, and the U.S. Center for the Civil War. He’s also been active in the Society of American Archivists, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Association, the Southern Archives Conference, Southern Historical Association, the Louisiana Historical Association, the Society of Southwest Archivists, the Louisiana Association of Museums. He has often given talks for these groups on archives, Louisiana history and Civil War history. For many years, he has managed the annual Friends of the Library book sale.

During his administrative library career, he supervised the renovation of Jones Hall, the move of Special Collections from the main Howard-Tilton building to Jones Hall, and the Special Collections recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. We congratulate him on this important milestone of his life, and wish him all the best in the future.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Omega Point

John Kennedy Toole—the Omega Point is a documentary film in production by writer/director Joe Sanford. Collaborators on the project include two Toole scholars who have worked extensively with our Manuscripts Collection 740, Joel Fletcher (author of Ken & Thelma) , and Toole biographer Cory MacLauchlin (see Eira Tansey interview posted here Feb. 16, 2009). The film features conversations with Joel Fletcher and Cory MacLauchlin, as well as Dr. Kenneth Holditch (UNO), Dr. Pat Rickels (University of Louisiana Lafayette), Dr. Jane H. Bethune (Salve Regina University), Dr. Billy Merck (Washington State University), and others. Shooting of the documentary should be finished by July.

A colorful four-minute video preview of the documentary is viewable on the film’s web site.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Special Collections on the evening news

As mentioned in the previous post, John Snell from Fox News, Channel 8 recently visited our library for a story marking the 125th anniversary of the 1884 World's Fair in New Orleans. The story aired on last night's 9:00 news, and included remarks from our own Ken Owen. If you didn't have the chance to see it, you can watch the video online.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Special Collection's 1884 World's Fair holdings in the news

This morning, we had the pleasure to host John Snell and a camera man from Fox Channel 8, WVUE-New Orleans in our Special Collections reading room. Channel 8 is planning to run a short story marking the upcoming 125th anniversary later this year of the World's Fair. We pulled materials such as exhibition booklets and posters from the Louisiana collection, and admittance cards, letterhead, stock certificates, and photographs from Manuscripts. Ken Owen, head of the Louisiana collection, was on hand to speak about the significance of the materials.

The World's Fair, also known as the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, was open from December 16, 1884 through May 31, 1885.

If you live in the New Orleans area, the story will be running on Tuesday, May 12 during the 9:00 pm broadcast on Fox Channel 8, WVUE.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Image of the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, Special Collections, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

If You Happen to Be in Washington D.C...

Several months ago we were contacted by staff from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. They were putting together a major new exhibition on American maritime history, and were interested in using the image to the left.

The search for "Eugene Robinson's Floating Palaces" turned into something of a wild goose chase, but we located the image within the Leonard Huber papers, Collection 879. Our work wasn't over yet - we still had to scan the image at an extremely high resolution to meet the Smithsonian's exhibition needs.

We just learned that the exhibit is opening very soon, and we encourage our friends and readers in Washington D.C. to check out what promises to be a fantastic new exhibit. "On the Water: Stories from Maritime America" opens the weekend of Saturday, May 23. If you can't make it to exhibit in person, you can get more information online. We are delighted to have been able to contribute to this effort.

Posted by Eira Tansey.

(Image of Eugene Robinson's Floating Palaces, Leonard Huber papers, Collection 879, Manuscripts department, Special Collections, Tulane University Libraries. Image may not be reproduced without permission.)

Bert Myers and Joel Grossman Myers

Bert Myers collection of art photographs

Dr. Bert Myers, a retired academic physician and full-time artist living in New Orleans, has authored two publications which are held in our Louisiana Collection: Inner Beauty of Nature, X-ray Photography; and Festival of Fins, a Public Art Display in New Orleans, Louisiana, 208 Fish Photographs. In the Manuscripts Department, there is also an archival collection (Manuscripts Collection 906) of 315 of his photographic prints, 1,792 slides and 35 glass holograms created and donated by Dr. Myers. He is best known for his work with x-ray and high contrast images of elegant natural and manmade subjects, in both color and black & white. Dean Benjamin Sachs of Tulane University School of Medicine asked Dr. Myers to donate images for the new building on S. Robertson St., several of which have been installed-- two of them measure 4 x 6 feet. For more information about Dr. Myers’ publications and photographic techniques, and to see many of these uniquely creative images, see his web site, and visit Special Collections in Jones Hall.

Grossman-Myers family papers

Dr. Myers’ wife, Joel Grossman Myers, is a New Orleans native who served as a past president of the League of Women Voters in New Orleans, and has worked on political campaigns, economic research and civic causes. She received her master’s degree from Tulane in 1971. In 1990, she donated to Special Collections the large (11 linear feet) Grossman-Myers family papers (Manuscripts Collection 909), covering the lives of her own immediate family as well as original historical documents dating back to 1897. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, certificates, genealogical tables, legal documents, clippings, ledgers, essays, poems, scripts and other writings. Of special interest are World War II papers of her father, Louis Eugene Grossman (1898-1962) with a condolence letter signed by President John F. Kennedy; papers relating to her grandfather, Emile Kahn; great-grandfather, Simon Abraham, and many other family members. Dr. Bert Myers and Joel Grossman Myers have been married since 1954.

See the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library online catalog and the WorldCat database for information about these and other manuscripts collections held by Tulane University.

Captions: “giant tun, tonna galea” and “leaf of rice paper plant, tetrapanax papyriferus”, x-rays by Bert Myers. Do not reproduce.

Posted by Susanna Powers