Monday, January 26, 2015

Massachusetts Public Statutes of 1882

With the holiday season behind us and the deep freeze of winter upon us, I can think of no better time to write about a subtly celebratory find here in the State Library's preservation lab.  In 1903, Wilson Publishing Co. released the Encyclopedia of State Laws: Governing the  Sale of Liquor in the Various States throughout the Union, Also Embracing a Complete Collection of Fancy Mixed Drinks and How to Mix Them, for $1.00. 

The book contains Massachusetts public statues dating back to 1882, and while reading through the chapters, which include references to the sale of cider and obtaining special liquor licenses during the summer months, was interesting, my favorite part was the Appendix: Clear and Practical Directions for Mixing all kinds of Cocktails, Sours, Egg Nog, Sherry Cobblers, Coolers, Absinthe, Crustas, Fizzes, Flips, Juleps, Fixes, Punches, Lemonades, Pousse Cafes, Etc.  

With cocktail creations such as Medford Rum Smash, Hot Irish Punch, and Boston Egg Nogg, perusing the names and ingredients of this extensive list is impossible to resist. 

The text itself is a paperback with a sewn binding that needs to be reinforced. Loose pages will be reinforced with Japanese tissue and adhesive, and the cover will be reattached with Filmoplast cotton fabric book cloth.  That type of hard work calls for a Champagne Velvet!

Kelly J. Turner
Preservation Librarian

Monday, January 12, 2015

WWI 26th Yankee Division Photograph Digitization Project Is Now Complete!

Corp. George E. Bennett, Co. A.,
104th Infantry
In November of 2014, the State Library of Massachusetts completed the final stages of its World War I photograph digitization project.  The project, which began in 2007, oversaw the digitization of more than 11,000 images, with 8,500 26th Yankee Division and other soldiers represented throughout the collection.  These photographs are now all available online for the public to view and enjoy.  A large portion of this project also included the careful collection and multiple revisions of metadata that can be found with each digital image for enhanced searching and retrieval in the database.

The collection, also known as Photograph 359, was donated to the library in 1935 by the Boston Globe, which used soldiers’ photographs in the newspaper during the war.  Accompanying many of these photographs are “cut slips” produced by Globe staff members to record factual information for subsequent news articles; the slips include biographical and military information, as well as any notes on service recognition, wounds received, and casualties.  It’s also common to find on the cut slip the date when a story appeared in the Globe, which is helpful when researching a particular soldier.

Soldiers can be searched by their name, by military unit, and even by their hometown (when provided).  Users can also browse by soldiers’ last names.  The Division’s units most represented in the collection are the 101st, 102nd, and 104th infantries; the 101st and 102nd field artilleries; and the 101st and 301st United States engineers.

Here is a link to the library’s WWI Fickr set, which is a small example of what the collection contains: 

[Back of photo] "Left to right: Trainor of San Antonio, Leo Peterson of Minneapolis,
Murphy of Boston, Carlson of Boston; [Murphy and Carlson labeled] The Wild Beans." 
For further research, here are some helpful resources in the library’s collection:

Search the State Library’s online catalog for more publications.

Kaitlin Connolly
Reference Librarian

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New exhibition on Massachusetts As The Bay State

Massachusetts bears the nickname “The Bay State” proudly, as bays have played significant roles in the state’s history starting long before the Massachusetts Bay Company and the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s. The exhibition features maps, publications, and artifacts from the State Library to illustrate both actual bays in Massachusetts and uses of the term “Bay State” in commerce, art, and design.

Included are items from a collection of Bay State “souvenirs,” such as plates, mugs, magnets, and articles of clothing, books about the various bays in the state, and a wide selection of publications with the term “Bay State” in the title, selected from the State Library holdings.
The exhibition is now open and will remain on view outside the State LibraryRoom 341 of the State Housethrough May 29, 2015.

Special thanks to Special Collections Department interns Sarah Jennette and Victoria Zimmer, who helped with the selection, organization, description, and installation of the materials in the exhibition.