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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good News for Elephants

We have come across many cartons of unsorted newspaper clippings during the survey so far. Unfortunately, this is not a rare sight:

Normally I wouldn't look too closely at them and would just make note in our database that there were loose and bundled clippings in this carton. However, these are clippings that Hubert Howe Bancroft collected and there was one bundle in particular that caught my eye:
[labeled "Useful Items"]

I was intrigued to say the least. I decided to spend some extra time to look at this small bundle and see what Hubert Howe Bancroft thought was useful in the late 1800s. The topics ranged from new patents, scientific discoveries, and funny items. My favorite clipping is one that describes the use of the meat of potatoes as a substitute for ivory - which, as the author points out, is excellent news for elephants!

I also enjoyed reading about a trio of traveling rats....

...and I learned about the beneficial effects of wearing flannel (actually pretty relevant for the surveyors given our chilly work environment!)

Here are some others that I liked:

From Banc MSS B-C 14: Bancroft miscellaneous newspaper clippings, 1860-1890.

--A. Croft

No comments:

Post a Comment