William Dearborn Brown journal

Image of William Dearborn Brown (1813-1901) journal

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: William Dearborn Brown journal (MSS 7819). In this journal, Brown writes about his ancestors, family history, and his own personal history. Entries date from around 1860.

William Dearborn Brown was born on February 27, 1813, in Gouverneur, New York. He married Harriett Frances Hatch on March 18, 1840, in Fowler, New York, and together they had ten children. He worked as a carpenter in Michigan and New York. His family converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and settled in Utah in the 1860s. He died in 1901, in Texas.

Cicero in the Renaissance

Cicero was a huge deal in the Renaissance. Manuscripts of the classical Roman statesman’s letters and speeches were rediscovered by the Italian humanists Francesco Petrarch and Poggio Bracciolini in the 14th and 15th centuries, leading to new interest and dissemination of his works among scholars. Many Renaissance humanists adored Cicero’s prose style, and his work was esteemed as a model for composing in Latin.

To meet the demand for Cicero in studies and schoolrooms, printers supplied numerous editions of Cicero’s works, including his letters and his works on oratory and rhetoric. Special Collections owns numerous copies Cicero’s works from the 15th and 16th centuries. The oldest is this beautifully-decorated copy of two rhetorical works, De finibus bonorum & malorum and Topica, printed by Fillippo di Pietro in Venice in 1480.

William Jordan Flake diary

William Jordan Flake (1839-1932)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: William Jordan Flake diary (MSS SC 1453). This is a handwritten diary kept while Flake was kept in the Yuma, Arizona, prison for polygamy. It includes a map of the lay out of the facility and descriptions of the treatment of the Mormons by the guards, including work by the prisoners to repair and unload railroad cars. Also includes poetry and information from letters he received from his family.

William Jordan Flake was born on July 3, 1839 in Smith Creek, North Carolina to James Madison Flake and Agnes Haily Love. In the 1840s his family moved to Mississippi, where they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They migrated west with the Church, settling in San Bernardino, California by the 1850s. In 1858 Flake married Lucy Hannah Smith in Beaver, Utah, where he set up a cattle ranch. He later married Prudence Jane Kartchner in a polygamous marriage in 1868. In 1877 Brigham Young called Flake and his family to help settle the Arizona Territory. With other pioneers he settled

Snowflake, Arizona in 1878. Under the Edmunds Act he was imprisoned for polygamy around 1883. He died on August 10, 1932 in Snowflake.

“Little Women” at 150

September marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the beloved classic novel Little Women. Special Collections is celebrating with a small exhibit drawn from our extensive collection of works by Louisa May Alcott. “Little Women at 150″ features the first editions of parts one and two of the novel, early European reprints and translations, and an array of modern adaptations and retellings of the story (Little Women and Vampires, anyone?). Also on display is Max Steiner’s original manuscript score for the 1933 film adaptation starring Katharine Hepburn.

Little Women at 150″ will be on display in Special Collections’ reference room throughout the month of September.

Harriet Fowler Allen autograph book and poems

Harriet Fowler Allen (1856-1944)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Harriet Fowler Allen autograph book and poems (MSS SC 1942). The autographs were written to Harriet Allen and usually include poems.

Harriet Adeline Fowler was born on February 4, 1856, in Gloucester, England to William Fowler and Ellen Bradshaw. Her family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and traveled from England to the Salt Lake Valley in 1863, coming in the Daniel D. McArthur Company.

In 1874 she married Charles Albert Allen and they had nine children together, four of whom lived to adulthood. Harriet Fowler Allen died on June 11, 1944, in Rexburg, Idaho.

Early music in Special Collections

Special Collections recently acquired a fine art facsimile of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, a 13th century Galician manuscript which contains a large collection of songs and hymns to the Virgin Mary. The original (known to scholars as the T manuscript) is held by the Biblioteca de El Escorial. The surviving Cantigas manuscripts are highly studied as examples of early Spanish and Portuguese literature, for the illuminations (including illustrations of medieval musical instruments), and for the music and musical notations. The Cantigas are often performed by early music ensembles — there are a number of recordings available in the library.

Special Collections and Music Special Collections both contain examples of medieval music manuscripts, including original manuscripts and manuscript leaves and facsimiles of music manuscripts held in other libraries across the world. They can be found by searching the library catalog using the genre terms “Music” and “manuscripts – facsimiles” or “Music” and “manuscripts.” The Cantigas de Santa Maria manuscript is available for research access now; the call number is Vault Collection Folio M 2112 .A4 C3.

Cyrena Dustin Merrill autobiography

Philemon and Cyrena Dustin Merrill – pioneers of Utah and Arizona

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Cyrena Dustin Merrill autobiography (MSS SC 2180). This handwritten autobiography documents the author’s life including her experience joining the Mormon Church in 1837 and spent time in the Far West, Missouri; Nauvoo, Illinois; Winter Quarters, Nebraska; and then her migration to Salt Lake City, Utah. She describes the impact of a measles outbreak among Ute Indians in Salt Lake City in 1851. In 1876 Merrill moved to Arizona with her family. Also included is a genealogy of the Merrill family.

Cyrena Dustin Merrill was born January 6, 1817, in Le Roy, Genesee County, New York, to Elizabeth Redfield and Seth Dustin. She moved with her parents and siblings to Portage County, Ohio, when she was about one year old and remained there until she left home at 21. Cyrena was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder James Emmett in March 1837, although her family opposed her joining the Church and persecuted her until she left home. In the summer of 1837, Cyrena visited Kirtland and viewed the Temple. She returned home and spent the winter with her parents and siblings, but determined to move with the Saints to Missouri when the time came. Cyrena would travel alone with the Saints from Missouri to Illinois. In Nauvoo she met and married Philemon Christopher Merrill on September 20, 1840. Eleven months later their first child was born in Nauvoo. She was an early member of the Female Relief Society, joining at the second meeting of the organization on March 24, 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois.

The small family fled Nauvoo February 6, 1846, and headed toward the Rocky Mountains with an early company of Saints; however, Philemon volunteered for the Mormon Battalion and Cyrena waited for him in Iowa until he came back for her. Their family joined the Silas Richards Company in Council Bluffs and arrived in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1849. Cyrena and Philemon helped settle parts of northern Utah and southern Idaho, and then the Church called them to help settle Arizona. They led a company into St. David, Arizona Territory, where Cyrena remained the rest of her life.

Cyrena Dustin Merrill died in Layton (now Safford), Arizona Territory on February 3, 1906 at age 88. She had eight children.

Women of Devotion

The new Special Collections reference room exhibit, “Women of Devotion,” features early editions of works by European women writers. Between 1500 and 1800 religious study was an important part of literate women’s education and piety was a well-respected feminine attribute. Thus, many of the published works written by European women at this time were religious. Whether they were nuns or laywomen, Catholic or Protestant, poets or prose writers, women displayed their devotion as well as their literary skill through religious writings. Devotional literature became an acceptable platform for women’s voices to be heard and respected. They showed that beyond being godly, women could also be great leaders, teachers, and thinkers.

This exhibit displays the work of 16th, 17th, and 18th century women writers from England, Italy, Portugal, and Spain (including Mexico). These women had a variety of backgrounds, lifestyles, and beliefs. But each work shows the creativity and intelligence of its author as she wrote about religious subjects. This exhibit was curated by the Special Collections summer interns, Hannah Chapman and David Moraza Sanchez. It will be open until the end of August.

New exhibit of African American literature

This month, Special Collections is highlighting three centuries of first editions by African American authors, from Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison. The exhibit is on display inside the Special Collections Reading Room, but you don’t need to be a researcher to come visit — just ask the reference staff for admission!

Parley P. Pratt affidavit

Parley P. Pratt (1807-1857)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Parley P. Pratt affidavit (MSS SC 2227). This is a handwritten affidavit in the suit of Hiram Kimball versus Parley P. Pratt. Pratt apparently had an open account with Kimball in which he encumbered a debt of $300 in “goods…and merchandise.” Kimball claimed that Pratt had “left the state with the intention of leaving his goods and effects removed beyond the limits of the same,” and that the debt was left unpaid. The lawsuit was filed in October 1846 in Hancock County, Illinois, after Pratt had already left for Utah.

 

Recent Posts

Archives