The Bancroft Survey Project began in February 2008. Funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundations, the survey project is intended to be a simultaneously broad and in-depth survey of all manuscript holdings of the Bancroft Library, which has been collecting for over a century. Four archivists were hired to scour the collections for a three year term, during which they will review the vast myriad of manuscript materials and use a survey instrument designed to gather data on collection scope, subject categories, and physical condition. The survey archivists are Marjorie Bryer, Amy Croft, Dana Miller, and Elia Van Lith, and they are also the authors of this blog.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ode to My Old Stocking!

Journals offer glimpses into people's lives and personalities. Many of the journals that we've surveyed so far are not illustrated and I always look forward to coming across ones with sketches.

Here is an example of a poem and drawing of a sock found in the journal of Isaac W. Baker. It was written on the ship John Q. Adams while he was on a voyage from Boston to California in 1852.

The poem shows his sense of humor and I think his use of the pun 'darn' is great!

The poem says:

Ode to my old stocking!

Heeless and toeless work of art
Alas! thou'st getting old.
So worn and torn I scarcely know
The relics I behold!
Thy foot, sore scratch'd by many a nail
In many a place worn thin,
Indeed 'twould be a darned hard task
To make you whole again!

From the Isaac W. Baker journals, BANC MSS C-F 53
--A. Croft

1 comment:

  1. My Great Grandfather wrote a diary as he traveled West in 1853. However, his is not quite so eloquent nor full of humor as I understand Isaac Baker's journals have proven to be. I have begun some research into his time here in Murphys, California at the encouragement of his great great grandson. We are hoping to put together a small temporary exhibit in our Heritage Museum. Should you come across mention, sketches or other information from your research into his collection, I would love to hear what you have found. Thank you. Chris Gomez, Ironstone Heritage Museum.