Now for the second post of the day:
As we told you in the Spring, our department now includes Rare Books and Special Collections. After discussing whether “Creighton’s Attic” should include materials from those collections or if we should keep the blog focused on archival collections and Creighton history, we decided on a hybrid approach. We will aim for a weekly archival-themed post (like we’ve usually done here), with an additional post each month about either Rare Books or Special Collections items. Let us know if that sounds like a good approach.
So without further ado . . . our first non-archival post.
Vienna Dioscorides (ADEVA facsimile)
Thanks to the generosity of Creighton alumnus His Excellency Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori of Dubai, visitors of our Rare Books collections have access to a limited edition facsimile of a 6th-century Byzantine text known as the Vienna Dioscorides. Medical practitioners turned to the information and illustrations of medicinal plants for centuries; and the handwritten notations in multiple languages indicates that it was used in several countries. Read more at the Rare Books website.
Today (July 31st) is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. The Society of Jesus is a male religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church, and its members are commonly referred to as Jesuits. Jesuits have been an integral part of Creighton since a small band opened the school in September 1878.
So this is an important day of celebration on our campus because Creighton is a Jesuit university. At noon today, many on campus followed the sound of church bells (playing the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts”) to St. John’s Church, where Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., presided over his first university-wide Mass since taking office as Creighton president.
As you might expect, we have a lot of photos of Jesuits in our holdings, and this one from 1984 is a favorite. The priests are dressed for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, held annually early in the academic calendar. In 1984, the Mass was held in conjunction with the blessing of the newly renovated, expanded and renamed Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library (where the University Archives is officed). The photo (above) shows the Jesuits on their way to the library dedication (shown below).
Technical difficulties have kept us from posting recently. We’ll try to make up for that a little today by posting two entries. This is the first of two. I hope to have a second post up later today.
For those of you who love art and Creighton’s history, this entry is for you. We have in our holdings watercolors, probably painted between 1930 and 1945, that together tell “The Edward Creighton Story.” Of the eleven original pieces, we have ten – so if you have the missing painting, please let me know – still in frames, some with cracked glass.
Here are a few. (You may have to click on the image to make it large enough to read the caption.)
Let me know if you want to see the rest.
I know our July 4th post was late notice to let you know about the interviews on C-SPAN2′s BookTV program. Two of the discussions were with authors who did some research in our collections for their books; and the third author, Dr. Heather Fryer, is a Creighton professor who has supported the University Archives in many ways. If you missed seeing them earlier, videos are online at the BookTV website:
Matt Holland, Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club
Amy Forss, Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989
Heather Fryer, Perimeters of Democracy: Inverse Utopias and the Wartime Social Landscape in the American West
Please join us in sending best wishes to Patrick and Angela Murray, who were wed in rural Nebraska this past weekend. Our long-time reader(s) may remember Patrick, who did outstanding work for the University Archives first while a student as well as a couple times after graduation. One of his great ideas occurred in June 2013, when Patrick suggested a wedding-themed post in honor of a former student who was getting married. The post featured Fr. Neil Cahill, S.J. (1923-2001), who was known as Creighton’s “marrying priest” because of the 300+ weddings he officiated.
So I propose starting a new Creighton’s Attic tradition: When a former University Archives student marries, Creighton’s Attic will honor the new couple with a photo of Father Cahill looking at the couples he joined together.
Send a comment to let me know if you like the idea for the new tradition. And I’ll be happy to relay any good wishes you send along to Patrick and Angela.
I mentioned earlier this week that Matt Holland and Amy Forss will be on C-SPAN2′s BookTV program today (July 4). I just learned that another friend of the University Archives, Creighton History professor Dr. Heather Fryer also will be on the program to discuss her book, “Perimeters of Democracy.”
The schedule,* as listed on the BookTV website, for these three:
- 11:02am Matt Holland
- 11:39am Amy Forss
- 11:47am Heather Fryer
* All times Central
Join us in welcoming Creighton’s new president, Father Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., who officially took the reins of our institution on Wednesday, July 1. (You can see his photo and read more about him at his bio webpage.)
The challenges and opportunities before Father Hendrickson are quite different than those faced by our first president, Roman A. Shaffel, S.J.
The Belgian-born Father Shaffel, assisted by five Jesuit scholastics and a couple lay teachers, opened the doors of our institution in September 1878. Most students then were not ready for college-level instruction; and many in fact were not yet ready for high school coursework. You can read more about Father Shaffel, as well as Creighton’s other presidents, at the Presidential History section of the Office of the President’s website.
Thanks to Dr. J. Christopher Bradberry for his time as Creighton’s interim president. Dr. Bradberry served after Father Lannon stepped down for health reasons.
An alumnus has asked an interesting question, the answer to which I do not yet know for certain: If Dr. Bradberry, as president, signed diplomas for this year’s graduates, is this the first time that no Jesuit signature appeared on Creighton diplomas?
This year’s grads: Let me know whose signature(s) appear on the 2015 diplomas.
Alumni: Let me know if you have a diploma – along with year and type of degree – that does not have a Jesuit’s signature.
All of us at the University Archives wish you and yours a happy Independence Day weekend.
The end of June was hectic, so please forgive us for missing a couple weeks of posts. I will have our regular Friday post tomorrow.
Today’s entry is to alert you to something on C-SPAN2 – yes, C-SPAN2 – this Saturday at 11am. C-SPAN2′s Book TV program will feature Omaha authors. The University Archives is honored to have provided some assistance (not much, perhaps, but some) to two of those featured. Matt Holland will discuss his book, Ahead of Their Time, that tells of the civil rights efforts of the Omaha De Porres Club. (We’ve mentioned Matt and his work previously, including our first mention of the book exactly one year ago). Amy Forss will talk about Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989.
Set your DVR’s! I hope C-SPAN will also put the video on its website after the show airs. If so, we’ll share the link.
As you might expect, the Creighton community considers our founders to be important people. Recently I received a reminder that the impact of the Creighton family went beyond our university and our city.
This week I heard from an individual with the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The department is updating the “Edward Creighton Company” page on the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website, and the department wanted to confirm that it could continue using an image of Edward Creighton – the one seen above. (We are honored to let them include the image in this and future versions of the website.)
In case you are interested, Edward is also recognized by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (formerly the National Cowboy Hall of Fame) in its Hall of Great Westerners. He was inducted in 1958 and is listed as “Telegraph Builder.”
It won’t surprise you to know that John Markoe, SJ, is a favorite of mine.
That’s him in his trademark white straw hat, on the front lines in the fight for racial justice in Omaha.
And this is the cover of a pamphlet he wrote in 1951. As you might expect, his “moral appraisal” makes a strong case against the immorality of racial discrimination. We have the pamphlet available online, if you’d like to read his arguments.
Father Markoe features prominently in Matt Holland’s book, Ahead of Their Time, about the DePorres Club’s efforts against discrimination in Omaha more than a half-century ago. You may recall our July 2014 post that let you know when the book was released.
Instead of my usual ramblings, I intend to keep this post short and sweet. Here is a photo from the mid-1950s that I like, so hopefully you will, too. Click on it to see a larger version.
Please let us know if you know the names of the kids.