SC&A has recently installed a new exhibit entitled Hidden Treaures in Special Collections & Archives.Â To borrow from the introductory text, the exhibit “features unusual, unique or otherwise unconventional archival items. The items selected for this exhibit are non-textual and intended to be visually appealing. Some of the selections are unusual items from heavily used collections such as the tomato marionette from the Federal Theatre Project Collection. Other selections are from smaller or lesser known collections such as the Japanese sash from the Leonard H. Clark Collection. Regardless, the exhibit serves to highlight items that one might not expect to traditionally find in an archive.”
The exhibit is located on the 2nd Floor, Wing A of Fenwick Library, and a Web version can be found at:
My coworker and I recently finished putting together a new exhibit on display here in Fenwick Library on “hidden treasures” at SC&A. Our focus was to showcase some of the more unusual pieces in our various collections. In researching material for inclusion in this exhibit I knew I wanted to include a cookbook from our wonderful Rosemary Poole Collection of cookbooks. Most of more than 200 books are 19th and early 20th century tomes of culinary delight. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately, you can’t go wrong with Jell-O.
Jell-O Cookbook Cover
This cookbook (really more of a pamphlet) is undated, but it was printed when Jell-O was still a product of the Genesee Pure Food Company. This dates it to 1923 or earlier, probably in the late teens. The cookbook is fully illustrated, with numerous essays extolling the virtues of Jell-O, and its ease of use among the culinarily challenged.
Some of the recipes seem pretty good, such as the Berry Frappe or the Marble Jell-O. Other recipes, such as the Prune Souffle or the Stuffed Tomato Salad, I suspect will only appeal to those with a more discriminating palate.
Among the George Mason University records held by the Archives are a large number from the GMU Libraries. In fact the libraries’ records are probably one of the three largest record groups contained in the archives along with the presidents’ records and the facilties records. As a result, there is much more documentation of the everyday work of the libraries than almost any other George Mason University office, department, school, or college.Â One of the recent discoveries consists of files from the late 1980s when the library allowed students to submit suggestions using a computer terminal. Although most suggestions contained useful criticism or praise, there were some that the librarians could not respond to because of the authors’ cryptic or insulting messages. The images below contain a small sample of those unanswerable suggestions. Click to enlarge the image.
From the GMU Libraries Records.
From the GMU Libraries records.
One of our graduate student workers found this interesting document while processing the Francis J. McNamara papers. McNamara collected a large number of documents on Communism and Anti-Communism while working for the United States government in the 1950s, including this pamphlet from 1958. This pamphlet reveals the extent to which some religious groups connected Communism with Satan.