Earth Laughs in Flowers

“Earth laughs in flowers, to see her boastful boys
Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs;
Who steer the plough but cannot steer their feet
Clear of the grave.” – “Hamatreya” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This post was written by Khalid Tamimi, Research Services Student Assistant and undergraduate in marketing. 

“Cannaceae: Canna generalis Equador,” Box 1, Page 11, Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Special Collections Research Center holds a myriad of materials that cover the flourishing world of Botany. This includes photograph collections, like the one by Kjell B. Sandved, or books like Histoire des plantes vénéneuses et suspectes de la France (The history of venomous and suspicious plants of France), Temple of Flora, and many more that we have in our catalog.

 

 

 

 

Kjell B. Sandved, Norwegian nature photographer, spent his life traveling across our green planet and capturing its versatility and beauty one frame at a time. His images capture so much detail that a mere glimpse is enough to slow down ones perception of time and get lost in a lifeless image that portrays the very essence of life itself.

 

“Bougainvillea glabra, Hawaii,” Box 1, Page 7, Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

As one peruses over the breathtaking photographs you can’t help but envy those who have dedicated their lives to the study and observation of nature’s finest. We as a species seem to be obsessed with beauty yet we tend to forget the ever-blooming beauty that Mother Nature is.

 

 

 

 

“Grevilla Banksii Kahili flower. Queensland Australia,” Box 1, Page 12, Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

 

 

Flowers are a great reminder that standing out and being different warrant celebration rather than scrutiny. As social creatures, we fixate on assimilation and  yet we often forget that beauty almost always lies in uniqueness. At first glimpse do you notice the single flower? Or the identical leaflets on either side?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Histoire des Plantes Vénéneuses et Suspectes de la France contains over 100 plant species which vary in beauty but are all poisonous. This 1798 book provides information on each plant, though written in French, describing the parts of each plant and other useful facts. L’Hellebore noir is a beautiful flower that can be found across France; also known as the Christmas rose or Helleborus Niger. Despite its misleading name this plant does not belong to the rose family rather is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family. Despite its aesthetic charm, this flower is actually poisonous. Touching or being near this plant can cause the burning of the eyes, mouth, and throat, coughing, and in some cases, oral ulcerations. This may be Mother Nature’s subtle reminder that just because something appears beautiful does not mean that it is harmless or good.

“L’Hellebore noir,” Bulliard, Pierre, Histoire des Plantes Vénéneuses et Suspectes de la France, QK100.F7 B85 1798, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

“Tulips,” Thornton, Robert John, Thorton’s Temple of Flora, QK98 .T5, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Written in 1951, this oversize edition of Thorton’s Temple of Flora (originally Thorton published some editions in the late 18th century and early 19th century) has large, beautiful illustration of flowers, most of which are in color. The text within the book describes Thorton’s life, interests in botany and his relationship with the Darwin family. Exploring these illustrations, one can learn vital life lessons from natures finest. Not only should we all take the time to appreciate the intricacies of the natural world that we live in. Similarly, we can learn a lot about ourselves and how we coexist with other living things in this world. We can coincide peacefully together, regardless of the differences in the colors of our petals, their origins, or which way we choose to face the sun.

“The Dragon Arum,” Thornton, Robert John, Thorton’s Temple of Flora, QK98 .T5, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at speccoll@gmu.edu or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions. Appointments are not necessary to request and view collections.

U.K. National Map Reading Week

This year, the U.K. has established a National Map Reading Week, run by the Ordnance Survey, to encourage people to use and understand the importance of maps. Special Collections Research Center here at George Mason University also recognizes this importance and decided that we would feature just some of the wonderful maps we have in our collections.

 

Map of China. Japanese invasion of Manchuria photograph collection # C0200, Box 1, Folder 14. Special Collections Research Center. George Mason University.

Map of China lantern slide, Japanese invasion of Manchuria photograph collection #C0200, Box 1, Folder 14, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

Battle of Antietam. Charles Harrison Mann Collection # C0213, Folder 69, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Battle of Antietam, Charles Harrison Mann Collection #C0213, Folder 69, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

The New World Reproduction of map from 1600. Charles Harrison Mann Collection # C0213, Folder 89, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

The New World Reproduction of map from 1600, Charles Harrison Mann Collection #C0213, Folder 89, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

Moll, Herman, Atlas Minor , G1015 .M6 1745, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Moll, Herman, Atlas Minor, G1015 .M6 1745, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

Sanson, Nicolas, Atlas Antiquus, Sacer, Ecclesiasticus et Profanus, G1033 .A85 1705, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Sanson, Nicolas, Atlas Antiquus, Sacer, Ecclesiasticus et Profanus, G1033 .A85 1705, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

Map of Austria Romana with military maneuvers. Christine Drennon European lantern slide collection # C0068, Box 1, Folder 15. Special Collections Research Center. George Mason University.

Map of Austria Romana with military maneuvers lantern slide, Christine Drennon European lantern slide collection #C0068, Box 1, Folder 15, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.


To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at speccoll@gmu.edu or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions. Appointments are not necessary to view collections.

From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki

Document from scrapbook 14 of the Arthur E. Scott Photography Collection #C0096, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Document from scrapbook 14 of the Arthur E. Scott Photography Collection #C0096, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city, Hiroshima. A few days later on August 9th, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. It has been estimated that the total casualties from both bombs was under 230,000 individuals.

 

Japan was fighting for control over land in the Pacific before World War II, leading Japanese naval and air forces to strike Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This surprise attack left an estimated 3,500 American casualties, less than 100 of them civilians, and many sunken or damaged ships. There were significantly fewer Japanese casualties and the attack overall was a failure. For the next couple years, the United States of America began creating an atomic bomb to use during World War II since it was known that other countries were also experimenting with the creation of a nuclear weapon.

 

Document from scrapbook 14 of the Arthur E. Scott Photography Collection #C0096, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Document from scrapbook 14 of the Arthur E. Scott Photography Collection #C0096, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

The attack on Pearl Harbor was the beginning of the war between Japan and the United States. The U.S. government officially declared war with Japan on December 8, 1941. Only days later did the United States add Germany and Italy in their declaration of war, entering into World War II. As the war waged on, the United States of America, wanting Japan to surrender and end the war, dropped two atomic bombs. Shortly after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan surrendered and the war was over.

 

Canning, John, 50 True Tales of Terror, PR1309 .H6 A13 1972, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Canning, John, 50 True Tales of Terror, PR1309 .H6 A13 1972, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

 

“Hiroshima — Death and Rebirth” by C.E. Maine in 50 True Tales of Terror, is a story of a young man named Yoshio who experiences the devastation brought on by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The narrator describes the “blinding white flash” and “searing heat” that Yoshio will always remember. The rest of the tale follows Yoshio as he stumbles over rubble, finds his cousin badly injured, desperately searches for his family, and helps the local hospitals by finding medical supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information:

Hiroshima Day

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Testimonies

Pearl Harbor Survivors

 

To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at speccoll@gmu.edu or call 703-993-2220 to schedule an appointment or request materials.

Celebrate National Moth Week with SCRC

The late Kjell Sandved, born in Norway in 1922, was a noted nature photographer who took pictures of various insects, including moths, from all over the world. Sandved is best known for finding and photographing various shapes and patterns on butterflies and moths, including every letter of the English alphabet, smiling faces, red hearts, and animal shapes. A member of the staff of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History, Sandved published two encyclopedias: The World of Music and The World of Art, and co-authored nine other works, including: Butterfly Magic, Insect Magic, and Spiders in the Smithsonian. He passed away on December 20, 2015.

To celebrate National Moth Week (July 23, 2016 – July 31, 2016), we are featuring some photographs that were donated to Special Collections Research Center by Kjell Sandved. 

"Dog figure on silkworm moth," Box 4, Page 12, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Dog figure on silkworm moth, Rhodesia” Box 4, Page 12, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Speiredonia Sp. Moth 'Face',"Box 4, Page 12, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Speiredonia Sp. Moth ‘Face’, Sabah”Box 4, Page 11, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Problepsis, new sp. moth 'bug design',"Box 4, Page 12, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Problepsis, new sp. moth ‘bug design’, Malaya”Box 4, Page 10, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Plutodes discigera moth, Malaya" Box 4, Page 12, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Plutodes discigera moth, Malaya” Box 4, Page 10, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Eucereon confusum moth, Manaus, Amazon" Box 4, Page 9, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Eucereon confusum moth, Manaus, Amazon” Box 4, Page 9, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Cosmosoma metallescens moth, Manaus, Amazon" Box 4, Page 9, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Cosmosoma metallescens moth, Manaus, Amazon” Box 4, Page 9, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"'Warning behavior' repellant fluid from glands, Tiger Moth, Peru" Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“‘Warning behavior’ repellant fluid from glands, Tiger Moth, Peru” Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Azatrephes discalis, Tiger Moth, Manaus, Amazon" Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Azatrephes discalis, Tiger Moth, Manaus, Amazon” Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

"Oospila sp. moth, Manaus, Amazon" Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“Oospila sp. moth, Manaus, Amazon” Box 4, Page 8, in the Kjell Sandved nature photograph collection #C0020, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries. Copyright held by Kjell Sandved.

For more information about Moth Week and how to celebrate, visit:

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/national-moth-week.xml 

http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/national-moth-week

The collection:

The finding aid for Kjell Sandved includes biographical information and a content list for the materials we hold. Additionally it can be found by going to sca.gmu.edu and searching for Kjell Sandved. Anyone can make an appointment to look through the collection by contacting speccoll@gmu.edu. 

The Kjell Sandved estate retains copyright for these photographs.

Two New Exhibitions in SC&A Feature Items from Collection of Rare Books by Jan Morris and Oliver Atkins Photographs

Jan Morris, as photographed in 1974.

Jan Morris, as photographed in 1974. Photo is from her 1974 book, Conundrum.

SC&A has completed two new exhibits of materials from its holdings.  On exhibit displays a group of books by historian and travel writer, Jan Morris, while the other features photographs from photographer, Oliver Atkins. Both exhibitions run through December 2015.

“Excerpts from a Life Well Traveled: The University Libraries’ Jan Morris Collection”

George Mason University Libraries acquired a collection of rare Jan Morris first editions and pre-release review copies in 2010. The collection consists of 135 books and one rare signed poster from the 1940s.  Born James Morris in 1926 in Somerset England, Morris underwent gender re-assignment surgery in 1972. In her highly personal work Conundrum: From James to Jan – An Extraordinary Personal Narrative of Transsexualism, Morris describes her life and sexual reassignment. Morris began as a newspaper writer, working on the editorial staff of The Guardian from 1957 to 1962 and was the first journalist to report the conquest of Mount Everest.

Destinations (1980) is a collection of Jan Morris travel essays for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Destinations (1980) is a collection of Jan Morris travel essays for Rolling Stone magazine.

Morris also served in the military, was married, and has 5 children. One of her children is Twm Morris, the musician and poet. Her most famous work is arguably the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire. She is also widely acclaimed for her travel writing, which includes famous profiles of Oxford, Venice, Wales, Hong Kong, and New York City. The collection is the generous gift of Philip M. Teigen. Teigen also donated a substantial collection of rare John Richard Green volumes to the Libraries in 2008. Teigen’s interest in collecting Morris’ works stems from his development of the John Richard Green Collection. He wrote in a letter to the Libraries that he views Morris as Green’s “20th century intellectual heir.” This exhibit combines images with excerpts from select works.

Oliver Atkins in China, 1972. Olliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection, Box 34, Folder 2. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Oliver Atkins in China, 1972. Olliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection, Box 34, Folder 2. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

“A Life in Focus: A Look Inside the Oliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection”

Oliver F. Atkins was a professional photographer from the 1930s until the late 1970s.  He worked for several news organizations, the American Red Cross, The Saturday Evening Post, and the White House. He covered the Second World War and Korea as well as the American political and cultural landscape during the 1950s and 1960s.  Some of his subjects include Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, Gamel Nasser, Nikita Kruschev, Josip B. Tito, and Jawaharlal Nehru.

High School students from Ozark, Arkansas visit Chinatown in New York City, May 1950.  Oliver Atkins Photograph Collection Box 12, Folder 13. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives. Images taken for the Saturday Evening Post are © Saturday Evening Post.

High School students from Ozark, Arkansas visit Chinatown in New York City, May 1950. Oliver Atkins Photograph Collection Box 12, Folder 13. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives. Images taken for the Saturday Evening Post are © Saturday Evening Post.

In 1969, Atkins became the personal photographer of President Richard M. Nixon and chief White House photographer. Of his many images of Nixon, the series documenting the meeting of December 18, 1970 with Elvis Presley is the most famous and the most often requested. The collection, which contains over 60,000 images, is held in the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives department in Fenwick, C-204. This exhibition looks at various facets of Atkins’ life, career, and works. The collection, which contains over 60,000 images, is held in the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives department in Fenwick, C-204. This exhibition looks at various facets of Atkins’ life, career, and works.