Arab-American Heritage Month 2024

Arab American Heritage Month 2024

Hey there, bookworms! Ready to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month with a literary twist? Join us as we dive into the captivating world of Arab-American authors and characters and their vibrant stories, both fiction and nonfiction. Explore more at UCB Overdrive today!



Workshop Reminder — Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks

UC Berkeley Open Book Publishing website with buttons to create a book or find a book

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 11:00am–12:30pm
Location: Online. Register via LibCal and you’ll receive the Zoom link for the event.

If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way.

Curious about how UC Berkeley faculty, students, and staff have used Pressbooks? Check out some of the Berkeley-created digital books and resources below, or browse over 6,400 open access books on the Pressbooks Directory.


PhiloBiblon 2024 n. 3 (marzo). Un incunable recuperado: el ejemplar Artigas de los Claros varones de Castilla, de Fernando de Pulgar (1486)

Óscar Perea Rodríguez

PhiloBiblon BETA – University of San Francisco

Desde hace ya algún tiempo, una de mis labores predilectas dentro del proyecto PhiloBiblon gravita en torno al recuento de ejemplares, manuscritos e impresos, de las obras de Fernando de Pulgar (BETA bioid 1339), el gran polígrafo de origen judeoconverso y uno de los mejores prosistas castellanos del siglo XV. Aunque en cuestión de fuentes primarias todos sus trabajos son de mi interés, me he centrado especialmente en los Claros varones de Castilla (BETA texid 1714), por haberse convertido en un clásico casi desde su primera edición en el año 1486. Desde aquella fecha fue siempre un fijo en las imprentas hispánicas, sobre todo en el siglo XVI, en el que alcanzaría notoriedad, éxito y fama a veces con el título original trastrocado por el de Claros varones d’Spaña.

Al realizar mis pesquisas personales he podido consultar de primera mano casi todos los siete ejemplares censados hasta ahora de la primera edición incunable, la ya mencionada de 1486, impresa en el taller toledano de Juan Vázquez (BETA biod 2328), familiar del obispo de Badajoz, Pedro Jiménez de Préjano (BETA bioid 1373). Fue este poco conocido artesano el que imprimió los dos textos fundamentales, al margen de la Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (BETA texid 1715), del autor madrileño de raíces toledanas: me refiero, por supuesto, a los ya citados Claros varones, una galería biográfica de destacados personajes de la época; pero también a las Letras (BETA texid 1717), una selección del intercambio epistolar entre el autor y algunos de sus amigos coetáneos. Este último trabajo ya lo había impreso un año antes en Burgos el alemán Friedrich Biel, o Fadrique de Basilea (BETA bioid 2253), junto a otro famoso texto de Pulgar: su Glosa (BETA texid 1716) a las polémicas y todavía anónimas Coplas de Mingo Revulgo (BETA texid 1121).

Primer folio Coplas de Mingo Revulgo
Primer folio de la Glosa de Pulgar a las Coplas de Mingo Revulgo (ejemplar de la British Library)

De los siete ejemplares conocidos hasta ahora de la edición incunable de 1486, tres se encuentran en Estados Unidos: dos en la biblioteca de la Hispanic Society de Nueva York (BETA manid 2081 y copid 2133) y uno más en la californiana Huntington Library (BETA copid 1698), situada en la ciudad de San Marino, a unos 20 km de Los Ángeles. Los cuatro restantes están en Europa: en la Hunterian Library de la escocesa Universidad de Glasgow (BETA copid 1696); en la Biblioteca Nazionale de Roma (BETA copid 1697); en la Biblioteca dell’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, también en Roma (BETA copid 2406); y el último de más reciente aparición, en la Biblioteca Nacional de Rusia situada en San Petersburgo (BETA copid 8949). Esta última copia es una de las dos únicas (la otra es la que reposa en la Academia dei Lincei) que cuenta en el primer folio con una letra inicial grabada a pluma, un elemento seguramente incorporado con posterioridad a la impresión.

folio a1r Claros varones de Castilla
folio a1r de los Claros varones de Castilla, ejemplar de la NLR de San Petersburgo (fotografía de Viacheslav Zaytsev)

Este ejemplar, que localicé a través del catálogo OPAC de la institución rusa, protagonizó otra entrada de este blog que redacté hace poco menos de cuatro años junto con el profesor Viacheslav Zaytsev. Fue mi colega del Instituto de Manuscritos Orientales de la Academia Rusa de las Ciencias la persona encargada de inspeccionar in situ la biblioteca rusa para concretar que, en efecto, se trataba de una copia hasta entonces desconocida, que se incorporó con celeridad a nuestra base de datos y también al ISTC de la British Library, la mayor autoridad en materia de incunables.

ISTC London British Library
ISTC London British Library

Poco podía imaginarme que, tras la publicación de esta entrada, me aguardaba todavía otra sorpresa mayor, como fue recibir un mensaje de correo electrónico de una lectora del blog llamada Clara Artigas. Se identificó como nieta de Miguel Artigas (BETA bioid 8794), insigne bibliotecario español y académico de número de la Real Academia Española, que había sido director de bibliotecas como la Menéndez Pelayo santanderina y la Biblioteca Nacional matritense. En su mensaje, Clara me hizo saber que disponía de un ejemplar de los Claros varones de Castilla, edición príncipe de 1486, que perteneció a su abuelo y que, tras su fallecimiento en 1947, había sido custodiado por sus descendientes.

Miguel Jerónimo Artigas Ferrando
Miguel Jerónimo Artigas Ferrando (foto de Wikipedia)

La existencia de esta copia no era desconocida, sino todo lo contrario. En su edición de los Claros varones de 1923, el primer editor moderno de la obra, Jesús Domínguez Bordona, agradecía a su “docto amigo y compañero”, el bibliotecario de origen turolense, que le hubiera dejado consultar este ejemplar suyo personal para depurar su texto, que fue durante muchos años el referente de la obra de Pulgar para todos los estudiosos de la prosa medieval castellana, bien en esta veterana edición o en las subsiguientes a la primera reimpresión, en 1954, dentro la colección Clásicos Castellanos de la editorial Espasa-Calpe.

Ed. de Domínguez Bordona
Ed. de Domínguez Bordona de los Claros varones de Castilla (1923, pp. XXIV-XXV)

 

Cuando Clara me hizo saber el interés de la familia por buscar un mejor acomodo al incunable, enseguida pensé en que la Biblioteca Nacional sería el mejor lugar, especialmente por el emotivo vínculo personal de haber sido su abuelo bibliotecario de la institución en el pasado. Después del largo y obligado proceso de comprobación y catalogación del ejemplar, soy muy feliz de haber creado en nuestra base de datos la ficha para el nuevo ejemplar, (BETA copid 9354), que desde hoy reposa en las baldas de la biblioteca matritense con la signatura INC/2927 y que ha sido presentado urbi et orbi en las redes sociales hace apenas unas horas.

<img src="topinfo_bg.png" alt="">
Portada manuscrita del incunable Artigas de los Claros varones de Castilla (BNE, INC/2927)

Hay que mencionar, de inicio, la modesta encuadernación en papel estucado (181mm x 135mm), que es apenas un milímetro mayor que la de los folios. Además, de todos los ejemplares que he examinado de primera mano, es el único que tiene una portada como la que se observa en la fotografía anterior. Tal como me indica María José Rucio Zamorano, Jefa de Servicio de Manuscritos e Incunables de la BNE, parece haber sido dibujada a mano, imitando el estilo del impreso gótico. Al igual que ocurría con la inicial del primer folio antes comentada, es bastante probable que la portada se incorporase con posterioridad a la impresión del libro; de hecho, me atrevería a decir que, como mínimo, se remonta a los primeros años del siglo XVI, de ahí que se desarrolle el título como Claros varones de España, y no d’Spaña, que es como figura en la portada de la edición de 1500 reproducida más arriba. Es más interesante, sin duda, la anotación manuscrita y la firma del propio Artigas en el vuelto de la hoja de guarda, donde se nos informa de la procedencia y de la fecha de compra: “Lo adquirí de Bernardo López | Santander 29 enero 1916 | Miguel Artigas”. Asimismo, en la portada propiamente dicha, encontramos otros dos nombres, casi seguro que de antiguos posesores de la copia: arriba, “R. de Ulloa, 1900”. En la parte inferior central, debajo de un escudo heráldico, “fº de herrera”, que en buena lógica debería de ser alguien llamado Fernando de Herrera.

Nota manuscrita de Miguel Artigas con la fecha de adquisición del libro
Nota manuscrita de Miguel Artigas con la fecha de adquisición del libro

El estado del ejemplar es bueno, sobre todo porque ha conservado la tabla de capítulos completa, algo que no es demasiado frecuente en las copias de este incunable que he examinado hasta ahora. En la parte negativa, hay que mencionar la existencia de algunas rozaduras en la parte central de los folios iniciales, que van disminuyendo progresivamente hasta el c1r, sin que haya pérdida de texto en ninguno de los casos. La copia no está foliada, como todas las demás de la editio princeps, sino que se sigue su orden a partir de las signaturas de cuaderno, que es la numeración que se seguirá en esta descripción.

Tabla con el índice de contenidos del impreso
Tabla con el índice de contenidos del impreso

Remitiendo a los detalles codicológicos más pormenorizados a su ficha en nuestra base de datos, tan solo destacaré en esta presentación en sociedad del incunable algunos detalles curiosos. Es el caso, para empezar, del simpático dibujo que figura en el folio b7v, que tal vez pretenda ser una especie de caricatura de Rodrigo de Villandrando, conde de Ribadeo (BETA bioid 3126), el personaje biografiado en esta parte y que tiene una relación muy especial con el impreso de 1486 de los Claros varones de Castilla (véase Perea Rodríguez 2019 y 2021).

<img src="topinfo_bg.png" role="presentation">
Ejemplar Artigas, f. b7v (BNE, INC/2927)

 

El códice también contiene algunas pruebas de pluma, muy toscas, en la parte superior del folio c5, con restos de humedad ciertamente visibles en el vuelto de esa hoja. Otra curiosidad destacable es la existencia de unas simpáticas manículas en c7v, que se usan para destacar la frase “E pues d’este caso se faze grand estima por los estoriadores”, junto con una anotación marginal que reza “mandamiento que los”, con referencia a la narración de una anécdota de batalla en la biografía de Pedro Fajardo (BETA bioid 1970), protagonista parcial del Razonamiento a la reina Isabel la Católica (BETA texid 13399),  que se encuentra en estos folios de la obra de Pulgar.

<a href="crocuspage.html"> <img src="ejemplar Artigas" alt=""> <strong> ejemplar Artigas</strong> </a>
Ejemplar Artigas, f. c7v (BNE, INC/2927)

A pesar del buen estado general de la copia, hay que lamentar algunas pérdidas de folios. Domínguez Bordona, en 1923, especificó la falta de ocho en total (uno del cuaderno c y siete del cuaderno d). En realidad, ese último folio del cuaderno c es el primero del d, lo que supone la pérdida total de este cuaderno. Consecuentemente, faltan todos los textos que Pulgar dedicó a los prelados en su galería de ilustres, a saber: Juan de Torquemada, cardenal de San Sixto (d1v-d2v / BETA texid 13400); Juan de Carvajal, cardenal de Santángelo (d2v-d3v / BETA texid 13401); Alfonso Carrillo, arzobispo de Toledo (d3v-d4v / BETA texid 13402); Alonso de Fonseca, arzobispo de Sevilla (d4v-d5r / BETA texid 13403); Alonso de Santa María, obispo de Burgos (d5r-d6r / BETA texid 13404); Francisco de Toledo, obispo de Coria (d6r-d7v / BETA texid 13405); Alfonso de Madrigal el Tostado, obispo de Ávila (d7v-d8r / BETA texid 13406); y Tello de Buendía, obispo de Córdoba (d8r-e1r / BETA texid 13407). El texto se recupera en e1r, con el final de la biografía del obispo cordobés y el comienzo del segundo razonamiento a la reina Isabel la Católica (BETA texid 13408), que antecede a la primera de las Letras (BETA texid 1717), la que dirigió Pulgar a su amigo, el doctor Francisco Núñez (BETA bioid 1377), y que se enmarca en el famoso tema de “los males de la vejez” (BETA texid 3116). A partir del folio e4 hay una marca en el tercio inferior derecho de los folios, un visible agujero que, en algunos casos, supone pérdida de texto, si bien, por fortuna, el diámetro es pequeño y prácticamente se puede adivinar las palabras o las letras que faltan sin necesidad de recurrir al cotejo con otro ejemplar. Se puede observar con claridad este desperfecto en los dos últimos folios, que contienen una de las epístolas (BETA texid 3132) que Pulgar envió a Enrique Enríquez, tío del Rey Católico y su mayordomo mayor (BETA bioid 6163), reproducidos a continuación.

<a href="crocuspage.html"> <img src="ejemplar Artigas" alt=""> <strong> ejemplar Artigas</strong> </a>
Ejemplar Artigas, f. i3v-i4r (BNE, INC/2927)

Al margen de las ya mencionadas pérdidas de hojas en el cuaderno d, en el f faltan otros dos folios: primero, el 3f, que mutila parte de la información referente a la epístola al rey de Portugal (BETA texid 3666), Alfonso V el Africano (BETA bioid 1903). El texto se recupera en 4f, con la parte final de esa misma letra y el inicio de otra (BETA texid 3667), dedicada esta vez a Diego de Muros, obispo de Tuy (BETA bioid 3479), que se encontraba preso en el vecino reino ibérico. El otro folio que falta es el 6f, que contenía la letra (BETA texid 3137) a Pedro de Toledo, entonces canónigo de Sevilla y futuro obispo de Málaga (BETA bioid 3594). El texto se recupera en 7f, con la letra al condestable (BETA texid 3134), Pedro Fernández de Velasco (BETA bioid 1252). Al margen de estas pérdidas, el ejemplar Artigas comparte la característica peculiaridad de esta impresión incunable de 1486: se cierra con un último folio, i4r, que se estampó sobre algunos sobrantes que quedaron en blanco del folio i1v, seguramente para aprovechar el papel, que era entonces muy caro.

<a href="crocuspage.html"> <img src="ejemplar Artigas" alt=""> <strong> ejemplar Artigas</strong> </a>
Ejemplar Artigas, último folio (BNE, INC/2927)

A esta notabilísima adquisición de un ejemplar de la edición príncipe hay que unir el hecho de que la BNE ya contaba entre sus fondos con una excelente representación de los Claros varones de Castilla de Pulgar: nada menos que un manuscrito del siglo XV, con signatura MSS/20272/12 (BETA manid 4602), antaño conservado en la Biblioteca del Museo de Santa Cruz de Toledo. Se trata de un códice que, aunque parcial y fragmentario, la crítica considera como las pruebas de imprenta manejadas por el impresor Juan Vázquez para diseñar su edición de 1486. Como se trata de un manuscrito digitalizado, disponible de libre acceso a través de la Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, se puede ver con claridad esa consideración de banco de pruebas que contienen casi todos sus folios, con sus tachones, raspados y añadidos, tal como se ve en los dos que se reproducen abajo.

<a href="crocuspage.html"> <img src="ejemplar Artigas" alt=""> <strong> ejemplar Artigas</strong> </a>
Manuscrito BNE MSS/20272/12 ff. 6v-7r

Al sumar hoy a sus fondos un ejemplar del impreso de la primera edición de 1486 que fuera propiedad de la familia Artigas, la BNE se convierte sin duda en el lugar más adecuado para estudiar los pormenores de la tradición textual de la obra cumbre de Pulgar. Y, por primera vez en más de cien años, ya no será necesario ir a una biblioteca fuera de España para consultar y leer este magnífico ejemplo incunable de prosa castellana del siglo XV. Así que solo queda agradecer su buen hacer a todas las personas implicadas en la adquisición y catalogación que han permitido hoy la puesta de largo del códice, en especial a Clara Artigas, por las facilidades dadas para su consulta. Y si algún lector o alguna lectora sabe del paradero de cualquier otro ejemplar de las obras de Pulgar, soy todo oídos 😉

 

Obras citadas

Gonzálvez Ruiz, Ramón. Estudios sobre la imprenta incunable toledana. Toledo: Cabildo Primado de la Catedral de Toledo, 2013.

Hoz Regules, Jerónimo de la. Miguel Artigas. De la Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo a la dirección de la Biblioteca Nacional. Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 2017.

Martín Abad, Julián. Los primeros tiempos de la imprenta en España (c. 1471-1520). Madrid: Ediciones del Laberinto, 2003.

Perea Rodríguez, Óscar. “Pulgar y sus Claros varones de Castilla: del manuscrito al impreso”. Harto de tanta porfía… Publicado 19/07/2019.

Perea Rodríguez, Óscar. “Censura y autocensura en la temprana imprenta hispánica: el linaje Villandrando, condes de Ribadeo, y los Claros varones de Castilla, de Fernando de Pulgar“. Ed. César Olivera Serrano. Entre el altar y la corte. Intercambios sociales y culturales hispánicos (siglos XIII-XV). Sevilla: Athenaica Ediciones, 2021, pp. 261-320.

Pérez Pastor, Cristóbal. La imprenta en Toledo. Descripción bibliográfica de las obras impresas en la imperial ciudad desde 1483 hasta nuestros días. Madrid: Imprenta de M. Tello, 1887.

Pulgar, Fernando de. Claros varones de Castilla. Ed. Jesús Domínguez Bordona. Madrid: Ediciones de “La Lectura”, 1923 (reed. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1954).

 


Remembering Joseph E. Bodovitz (1930 – 2024)

Joe Bodovitz sitting in living room
Joseph Bodovitz in 2015 oral history interview

On March 9, 2024, California lost one of its most revered public servants. For over forty years, Joseph Bodovitz stood at the center of the state’s regulatory process.  He was the founding executive director of both the San Francisco Bay  Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the California Coastal Commission. He was the executive director of the Public Utility Commission and headed up the California Environmental Trust. And before retirement, he agreed to serve as the project director for Bay Vision 2020. To be sure, his fingerprints could be found—one way or another—on some of the most important regulatory policies and decisions passed in California during the twentieth century—actions that would come to impact people throughout the Golden State, both then and now.

Joe, as most knew him, did not initially set his sights on government work. Born in Oklahoma City during the Great  Depression, he studied English literature at Northwestern University, and after serving in the Korean War, earned a graduate degree in journalism at Columbia University. In 1956, he accepted a job as a reporter with the San Francisco Examiner, allowing him to return to a state and region for which the young Oklahoman had grown fond during his military service with the Navy. In the early 1960s, Bodovitz left journalism to take a position with the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, an organization whose work in urban policy and development had become critical in the postwar boom of San Francisco. Such work proved a good fit for Bodovitz, whose reporting at the Examiner focused on politics and urban redevelopment in the city. By 1964, his reputation and work at SPUR had caught the attention of Eugene McAteer, a state senator from San Francisco who sought to establish a government study on regulating development and fill in the San Francisco Bay. Bodovitz not only joined that new group, he took the lead in crafting what would become known as the Bay Plan. When finished, he also agreed to serve as the founding executive director of the new regulatory agency that plan created, BCDC.

Bodovitz was entering uncharted waters in his role at BCDC. There was no precedent for this kind of environmental regulation back in 1965. In fact, BCDC was the first regulatory agency of its kind in the nation. That meant Bodovitz, with the help of commission chair Melvin B. Lane, was charged with creating a regulatory structure and policy from scratch. The task was daunting, especially in light of the array of forces they confronted throughout the process, from city mayors and wealthy businesses to citizen groups and environmental organizations. For Bodovitz, the principle that guided his work was striking a balance between economic development and environmental conservation. “People sort of had to confront the legitimate interests of both conservation and development,” he recalled in his 1986 oral history. “They may disagree on a particular permit or a particular issue, but no fair-minded person can say marshlands aren’t important. Similarly, no fair-minded person can say ports aren’t important to the Bay Area economy.” As he would often point out, balance was the underlying principle of BCDC: “There is a reason why conservation and development are in the name.”

In 1972, California voters approved Proposition 20, which created another historic agency: the California Coastal Commission. And as quick as the votes were tallied around the creation of the new state agency, Bodovitz and Lane were asked to bring their expertise from BCDC to the regulation of the state’s 1,100-mile coastline.  In the familiar role of executive director, Bodovitz began to adapt the regulatory structure and policies of the bay to the coast, crafting what would become the coastal plan. His experience aside, the task proved even more daunting this time around. As Bodovitz recalled, the stakes were higher and the issues much more complex. “I don’t mean to make the BCDC planning sound simple because God knows it wasn’t; but relative to what we were dealing with in the Coastal Commission—it was simpler.” Ultimately, that work created a foundation for coastal regulation which would be studied around the world, and help made California one of the most pristine coastal regions of the Western Hemisphere. Fifty years later, the shorelines of Golden State still stand as a legacy of Bodovitz’s work.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Bodovitz’s public service on behalf of California continued. Shortly after he left the Coastal Commission in 1979, he was named executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission—the state agency charged with regulating utility companies throughout the state. Here, Bodovitz brought his experience and expertise to a range of important issues, from the breakup of telephone giant AT&T to the rising debate about deregulation and its impact on the state’s utility services. After his terms with the PUC, Bodovitz was tapped to head the newly created California Environmental Trust, as well as serve as the project director for Bay Vision 2020, which created a plan for a regional Bay Area government. In both organizations, Bodovitz provided invaluable leadership in helping to address a new set of environmental and development issues at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

It is an oft-stated adage among those in politics that civil servants are the unsung heroes of government. They conduct the research, staff the committees and commissions, and do the legwork that turns a written bill into an effective public policy. Joe Bodovitz was one of California’s unsung heroes. The Oral History Center had the privilege of conducting two oral histories with Bodovitz, documenting his experience and insights for future generations. The first, published in 1986 as part of the Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Era Project, covered his experience at BCDC. Segments of this oral history are featured in the OHC’s Voices for the Environment exhibit and the accompanying podcast episode “Tides of Conservation.” The second oral history, published in 2015, offers an in-depth look at Bodovitz’s life and career. Both oral histories are available online through the links below.

Will Travis—another unsung hero of California in own right—perhaps said it best when writing the introduction for Bodovit’s 2015 oral history.

By having Joe as my friend for over 40 years and watching how other people treat him, I’ve learned why the Yiddish word mensch had to be created. A mensch is a person of integrity and honor, someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. In colloquial American English, a mensch is a stand-up kind of guy. Joe is a mensch.

“Joseph E. Bodovitz: Management and Policy Directions,” an oral history conducted by Malca Chall in 1984, in The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 1964-1973, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

“Joseph E. Bodovitz: Founding Director of the Bay Conservation Development Commission and the California Coastal Commission,” an oral history conducted by Martin Meeker in 2015, Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley.


Review of Sketches from Spain: Homage to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Sketches from Spain

Peter Neil Carroll. Sketches from Spain: Homage to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. ALBA Special Edition. Charlotte, NC: Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2024.

Scholar and poet Peter Carroll may be best known for his historical works on the Spanish Civil War and the 2,800 Americans who served in it. Building on The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War (1994) and From Guernica to Human Rights: Essays on the Spanish Civil War (2015), this new collection of poems is a tribute to those volunteers known as Lincolns. Longshoremen, sailors, teachers, students, novelists, poets, nurses, doctors, barbers, carpenters, florists, truck drivers, plummers, salesmen, tailors, artists, cabbies, musicians, and factory workers of all types joined the International Brigades to stop fascism from spreading in Europe. Men and women alike, Jews, African Americans, Asian Americans from virtually all fifty states united in a common cause to liberate the democratically elected Republic of Spain from a fascist uprising led by General Francisco Franco and the neighboring dictators who propped him up—Hitler and Mussolini. Through a lyrical collage of archival sources and blank verse, Carroll has assembled a poignant testimonial of those Americans he knew who enlisted in the Abraham Lincoln and Washington battalions of the International Brigades, more commonly referred to as the Lincoln Brigade after the war.

The Lincolns or brigadistas were united by the choice they made to risk it all crossing the Atlantic for an uncertain fate. The deceased, the survivors, and even the deserters get equal page space in Carroll’s kaleidoscope homage. But not all are typical heroes in these non-fiction poems. The first is dedicated to the fragmented unknown soldier:

Does it matter who he is
or why he’s smiling, what he read?
he was there,
Spain 1937
in ill-fitting trousers and shirt,
fighting fascists,
anonymous, immortal.

Other poems are dedicated to those who became known for their personal uniqueness, or the unique path they took to get to Spain. Many of these volunteers were first-generation children of immigrants from big cities, and small towns. One Lincoln was the son of an Ohio governor while another actually ran for governor of California in 1946. Among the better known is the charismatic Berkeley graduate student Robert Merriman—son of a lumberjack—and his wife Marion, who arrived from California via a research fellowship in Moscow. Novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Alvah Bessie was one of the “Hollywood 10” and appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 where he refused to talk, and became “a minor star mingling with the left elite.” Another who rubbed shoulders with Ernest Hemingway—one of the most renowned chroniclers of the war—was a working class Jew from Brooklyn named Milton Wolff, who began as a machine gunner and was quickly promoted to battalion commander before returning home with the rest of the international volunteers in December 1938.

The war in Spain brought dignity to those discriminated against at home because of the color of their skin, such as Crawford Morgan:

In Spain I felt like a human being, a man.
People didn’t look at me with hatred in
their eyes because I was black, it is quite
a nice feeling to feel like a human being.

 Or Salaria Kea:

She stood out, the one African American
woman in the Spanish Civil War, a nurse who
spoke her mind, fought racism, saved lives.

Carroll’s poems, rarely more than a page, are structured around both known and little known facts which defined these volunteers, many whom Carroll was able to interview himself when they were alive. Nearly all joined the Communist party—a prerequisite of the Comintern’s recruitment and a decision which would follow the survivors back to the United States. Many Lincolns were persecuted, blacklisted, imprisoned, or driven to suicide or exile by their own government during the McCarthy era. Carroll’s verses locate the humanity in those volunteers who had broken and turned against the cause. Edward Barsky, on the other hand, was among so many like Bessie and others who paid a high price for refusing to name names:

[…] He went to prison—
six months and a fine. Now a felon, he
lost his New York medical license but
what else could a good doctor do?

Whether they died in Spain, in the next World War, or in the U.S. most dedicated their lives to the struggle, taking up similar causes along the way. Carroll’s poems document how they found meaning and relevance in new fights against totalitarianism, racism, and anti-semitism in the 20th century. While many re-enlisted and served proudly in World War II, others protested American wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq as well as American covert operations in Cuba, Chile, and Central America.

Peter Carroll’s Sketches from Spain: Homage to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade is an accessible testament and representation of extraordinarily moving individuals who put their lives on the line to change the world. They recognized the high stakes at play in Spain, which so many Americans realized too late, as World War II would come to prove.

Claude Potts is the Librarian for Romance Language Collections at the University of California, Berkeley where he is also part of a cross-departmental team working to install on the campus a plaque honoring Spanish Civil War volunteer Robert H. Merriman. This review also appeared in H-Spain.


Primary Sources: 19th Century British Pamphlets

Due to budget cuts, the Library ended its previous subscription to this resource. Access has been restored through a purchase of JSTOR content by the California Digital Library.

From the JSTOR site: “Throughout the 19th century, pamphlets were an important means of public debate, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day. 19th Century British Pamphlets, created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK), contains the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in research libraries in the United Kingdom.”

More than 26,000 pamphlets from seven major UK research institutions are searchable and browsable in JSTOR.
Bristol Selected Pamphlets 1800-1899
Cowen Tracts 1603-1898
Earl Grey Pamphlets Collection 1800-1900
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection 1545-1900
Hume Tracts 1769-1890
Knowsley Pamphlet Collection 1792-1868
LSE Selected Pamphlets 1800-1899
Manchester Selected Pamphlets 1799-1900
Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection

I recommend reading the guides provided by the project, which describe more fully the content of the collections and how to search them. The guides also point out that the pamphlets don’t only reveal contemporary viewpoints, they contain statistics, illustrations, maps, and other evidence that would inform your research. Because pamphlets were sometimes published in response to another publication putting forward an opposing viewpoint, tracking them can provide insight into public debates.


World War II-era Japanese American Incarceration: A Guide to the Oral History Center’s Work

Anthology created by the Oral History Center
Research by Sari Morikawa, Serena Ingalls, and Timothy Yue, undergraduate researchers

After the entrance of the United States into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which mandated the forced removal of Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast into incarceration camps inland for the duration of the war. This forced removal uprooted families, disrupted businesses, and dispersed communities — impacting generations of Japanese Americans. The Oral History Center, or the OHC, and other archival collections in The Bancroft Library, feature several projects on this chapter of American history, comprising hundreds of interviews, photographs, artifacts, graphic illustrations, and podcasts for use by scholars and the public. 

Find these interviews and all our oral histories from the search feature on our home page. You can search by name, keyword, and several other criteria. Find all the oral history projects mentioned here, along with more in-depth descriptions, on our projects page

There are six parts to this collection guide to Oral History Center and other Bancroft Library resources:

  1. Projects about Japanese American incarceration
  2. Related projects
  3. Individual interviews
  4. How to search our collection
  5. Selected articles that highlight and synthesize this work
  6. Acknowledgements

Part 1: Projects about Japanese American Incarceration 

Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives 

The Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Oral History Project is the OHC’s newest project on this subject, consisting of interviews with child survivors and descendants of those who were incarcerated. The project documents the ways in which intergenerational trauma and healing occurred after the United States government’s incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Conducted by Roger Eardley-Pryor, Shanna Farrell, and Amanda Tewes, these interviews examine and compare how private memory, creative expression, place, and public interpretation intersect at sites of incarceration. Initial interviews focus on the Manzanar and Topaz prison camps, and pose a comparison through the lens of place, popular culture, and collective memory. Exploring narratives of healing as a through line, these interviews investigate the impact of different types of healing, how this informs collective memory, and how these narratives change across generations. The first set of interviews, comprised of 100 hours of oral history interviews with 23 narrators, continues to grow with interviews featuring child survivors and descendants of the Heart Mountain and Tule Lake prison camps.  

“‘Dad, were you put in the camps?’ They didn’t talk about it. It was something you didn’t bring up…. He was honest but then he said, ‘But that happened in the past. You don’t need to dwell.’”
—Peggy Takahashi, on intergenerational silence related to her family’s incarceration

The project includes interpretive materials as well. Season eight of The Berkeley Remix, the OHC’s podcast based on oral history, explores themes from the project’s initial oral histories. “‘From Generation to Generation’: The Legacy of Japanese American Incarceration,” is a four-episode season featuring stories of activism, contested memory, identity and belonging, as well as artistic expression and memorialization of incarceration. In addition, ten graphic narrative illustrations created by artist Emily Ehlen vividly express the experiences of Japanese American incarceration during World War II and its effects on future generations. The interpretive materials, along with the oral histories, are available for use in classrooms. 

 

Japanese American Confinement Sites

Interviews in the Japanese American Confinement Sites Oral History Project document the experiences of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II, including UC Berkeley students who attended college before or after the war. Themes running through these interviews include the experiences of forced relocation and incarceration; loss of property and livelihoods; identity; education; challenges faced after the end of the war; and emotional responses to their experiences. Many of the narrators went into fields such as public service, the military, advocacy, art, and education; some of them participated actively in the redress movement.

“Never again should there be such an event as a mass removal of an entire group of people without due process of law. … I try to pass that message on to as many people as I can.”
—Sam Mihara explains why he decided to become a speaker and share his stories

The voices of these narrators are brought to life in the slideshow: “The Uprooted: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans.” This slideshow was made to accompany the 2021–2022 exhibition in The Bancroft Library Gallery, “Uprooted: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans.” All photographs were drawn from the War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942–1945, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, BANC PIC 1967.014–PIC. The oral histories are from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Oral History Project. 

Japanese-American Relocation Reviewed 

Japanese-American Relocation Reviewed is a multi-interview volume of oral histories from the Earl Warren in California project, dedicated to a discussion of Japanese American incarceration.  In “Volume I: Decision and Exodus,” staff of the Justice Department, legal advisors to the US Army, and US and California State attorneys discuss the role of the US Department of Justice and the Western Defense Command in defining and administering policy towards enemy nationals, California Attorney General Earl Warren’s role in the forced removal of Japanese Americans to incarceration camps, the civil defense program, martial law, and the development of a constitutional argument for forced removal. 

“We kept saying that we won’t do it and haven’t got the authority to do it. And there are enough precedents, you know with Lincoln suspending the writ of habeas corpus, that if the military wanted to do it, they could do it. But we frankly never thought they would. We thought they were too damn busy getting the troops to go fight a war some place else. That was our mistake.”
—James Rowe, assistant to United States Attorney General Francis Biddle

In “Volume II: The Internment,” members of the War Relocation Authority discuss the authority, selection, and administration of incarceration camp sites; resettlement out of the incarceration camps; origin and activities of the Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play. It also includes an appended interview with a wartime YWCA national board member on Idaho’s Minidoka camp in 1943; an address given by Robert B. Cozzens in 1945, “The Future of America’s Japanese;” and reproductions of Hisako Hibi’s paintings of Tanforan and Topaz.

The Office of Redress Administration Oral History Project

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, a historic piece of legislation that sought, for the first time, to provide a measure of justice to Japanese Americans forty-six years after their incarceration during World War II. Over its decade-long operation (1988–1998), the Office of Redress Administration reached over 82,000 people with a redress payment and official apology letter from the President of the United States. Redress: An Oral History Project, by Emi Kuboyama, project creator and interviewer, with Todd Holmes, Oral History Center historian and interviewer, documents the complex history of Japanese American redress. The film, Redress, provides the first in-depth look at the historic program as told by both those who administered and participated in it. Additional educational materials supplement the film by providing historical overviews of the Japanese American experience and redress program, as well as a list of resources for further study and discussion. The project received the generous support of the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation and the National Park Service, US Department of Interior.

 

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records and Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive 

The Bancroft Library’s documentation of the Japanese American experience during World War II includes thousands of primary source materials drawn from an extensive collection of manuscripts, photographs, as well as audio and video. The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, accessible through the Online Archive of California, consists of surplus copies of U.S. War Relocation Authority agency documents, including publications, staff papers, reports, correspondences, press releases, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks and a few photographs. Included is the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, University of California, Berkeley, 1942-1946, containing diaries, letters and staff correspondence, reports and studies. These records include 250.5 linear feet (335 boxes, 84 cartons, 41 oversize volumes (folios), 7 oversize folders, 2 oversize boxes; 380 microfilm reels; 5,660 digital objects) (BANC MSS 67/14 c). The related Finding Aid to the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974 provides additional detail about the collection, including acquisition information, historic notes, scope, and contents. 

In addition, Calisphere hosts the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA), which contains thousands of primary sources documenting Japanese American incarceration, including: personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings; US War Relocation Authority materials, including newsletters, final reports, photographs, and other documents relating to the day-to-day administration; and personal histories documenting the lives of the people who were incarcerated in the camps, as well as of the administrators who created and worked there. Curated by the University of California, JARDA makes accessible materials from libraries, museums, archives, and oral history programs across California.

Part 2: Related Projects 

Rosie the Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project 

The Rosie the Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project comprises more than 200 interviews with women and men about the home front experience in the Bay Area. Many of the interviews in these projects include either brief references to or longer discussions about the World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans, and cover a broad range of experiences from a multiplicity of perspectives. Some interviews feature individuals who were incarcerated, while other interviews feature Japanese Americans in Hawaii and elsewhere who were not, but who recalled being affected by fear and prejudice. Other interviews include people who were friends, classmates, neighbors, and coworkers, who recalled the forced removal, and the emotions they experienced. Some of these acquaintances were troubled or appalled, whereas others were relieved and thought it justified. Some took care of farms and property until their neighbors returned; others benefited financially. Some go into great detail about race relations in farming and other communities throughout California. 

“We used to say, now, why did they make all the Japanese pilots look so ugly?”
—Gladys Okada, in reference to World War II American war films

Volumes about Earl Warren 

Two projects, Earl Warren in California and Law Clerks of Earl Warren, center around Earl Warren, who was California’s attorney general (1939–43) and governor (1943–53), before becoming chief justice of the Supreme Court (1953–69), and include an interview with Warren himself. The California project focuses on the years 1925–53, and documents the executive branch, the legislature, criminal justice, and political campaigns; Warren’s life; and changes in California during this period. The California project includes numerous multi-interview volumes that address different issues, including two volumes on labor, exploring Warren from the perspective of union members and labor leaders. The Law Clerks project comprises interviews of more than 40 of Warren’s law clerks; these narrators discuss watershed cases, the evolution of constitutional law, and other issues related to the court. Among other subjects, issues that arose in the interviews in these projects included the ways in which the narrators responded to the executive order; economic, military, and other motivations for the order; the process of identifying individuals and where they lived; reparations; economic consequences; and reflections on Warren’s actions and opinions. Earl Warren himself, in his interview, Conversations with Earl Warren on California Government, briefly addresses the incarceration and aftermath, including enforcement and other issues related to the Alien Land law, preparation of maps documenting where Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans lived, rationale for incarceration, reparations, and return from the camps. 

“‘We urge you to appoint immediately a trustee to hold in trust all the properties of the Japanese in this state… lest they be taken over by the wolves.’  They didn’t do anything. All the wolves came in and took over their property.”
—Richard Perrin Graves, executive of the League of California Cities and member of the Ninth Regional Civil Defense Board, on his telegram to the US attorney general

Related Papers

The Bancroft Library and greater UC Berkeley Library have extensive collections that address Japanese American incarceration during World War II and related matters. Here are a few. The complete files of the Fair Play Committee (Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play) are held in the library and include a comprehensive file of newspaper clippings from West Coast publications. The papers of Senator Hiram W. Johnson have information on land laws and Asian immigration. Senator James D. Phelan‘s records document anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1920s. The papers of Robert W. Kenny, who succeeded Earl Warren as attorney general in 1943, have information on law enforcement questions in the aftermath of forced relocation. 

Part 3: Individual interviews

“We can’t deny that the black people who lived in the Western Addition moved into places that were vacated because [of] the Japanese Americans who were put into internment camps. Our relationship with Japanese Americans is somehow affected by that history.”
—Carl Anthony, architect and environmental justice activist

Dozens of individual interviews scattered throughout the Oral History Center archive, with people from different backgrounds and walks of life, also detail many facets of this chapter in history. Although they were interviewed about other matters, the narrators in their oral histories in some way addressed Japanese American incarceration — sometimes only in passing, at other times more in depth. Some of the more well-known narrators include the following. Photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange discuss the artistic process, the ownership of their photographs, and the conditions in the camps. Willie Brown, speaker of the California Assembly and mayor of San Francisco, and Carl Anthony, architect and environmental justice activist, address race relations and how some black communities may have benefited from the forced relocation of Japanese Americans. Thomas Chinn, a historian and publisher of the Chinese Digest, discusses the evolution of race relations between Chinese and Japanese Americans in the United States, and noted that after Pearl Harbor, some people in Chinese communities wanted to distinguish themselves in order to avoid the same fate. Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa details her father being taken away by the FBI, her family’s subsequent incarceration, and the role incarceration played in her development as an artist.  

“All this equipment my father had gathered — the books, everything that had to do with Japan — they just made a big bonfire and burned all of that. Everybody had panicked at that time. My sister cried and she said, ‘Oh, please don’t, don’t burn the books.’”
— Ruth Asawa, artist, on the fear her family experienced after her father was taken away

The best way to find individual OHC interviews that address any subject is to search by keyword from the search feature on our home page. Use as many keywords as you can think of (one at a time) that might relate to the topic. When you get to the results page, you will see a list of oral histories. Click on any one to get to detailed metadata about that oral history, plus access to the PDF of the oral history itself. As a first step, the abstract provides an overview of the major themes in the oral history. For a more comprehensive look, you can open the oral history directly from this page within digital collections; then use the search feature from within the oral history to find keywords. The oral history will also have a table of contents, and some also have an interview history and other front matter that will provide more information. 

Part 4: How to search our collection:

Browse and access all of the oral history projects mentioned in this collection guide from the Oral History Center’s projects page. The projects page will provide a description of the project, and a list of all the oral histories on that project in the UC Library’s digital collections. To search the OHC’s archive by name, keyword, and other criteria, go to the OHC search feature on our home page. The OHC’s guides to various subjects in our collection can be accessed from the collections guide page. If you’re interested in making a documentary, podcast, or in undertaking other creative endeavors, you can access the audio/video and any related photos or ephemera through The Bancroft Library. You will need to open an account to order and access materials in the Reading Room. And here is more information about Rights and Permissions.

Explore collections related to Japanese American incarceration during World War II at all UC campuses by going to the UC Library Search. To explore all holdings from The Bancroft Library, go to the Advanced Search option from the Library Search page, and check “UC Berkeley Special Collections and Archives,” then search by keyword and other criteria. 

Part 5: Selected articles that highlight and synthesize this work

The Oral History Center Presents the Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Project, by Shanna Farrell

The Oral History Center Presents The Berkeley Remix Season 8: “‘From Generation to Generation’: The Legacy of Japanese American Incarceration” by Amanda Tewes

Graphic Narrative Art by Emily Ehlen from OHC’s Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Oral History Project, by Roger Eardley-Pryor

Q&A with Artist Emily Ehlen on Illustrating the OHC’s Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Oral History Project, by Roger Eardley-Pryor

New podcast series explores the legacy of Japanese American incarceration: Read a Q&A with the Oral History Center’s Shanna Farrell about the Project, by UC Berkeley News reporter Anne Brice   

‘I knew I had to draw it’: Illustrator brings to life testimonies of Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII and their descendants in new Oral History Center project, by Dan Vaccaro, writer for UC Library Communications

Interconnections, by Roger Eardley-Pryor

Out of the Archives: Patrick Hayashi: From Mail Carrier to Associate President to Artist, by UC Berkeley undergraduate research apprentice Zachary Matsumoto

OHC URAP Student Zachary Matsumoto Reflects on Work with Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Project, by UC Berkeley undergraduate research apprentice Zachary Matsumoto

‘Never again’: Library exhibit tells story of WWII Japanese American incarceration, sounds alarm on importance of remembering by Dan Vaccaro, writer for UC Library Communications

Oral history project highlights the little-known Japanese American redress program, by UC Berkeley News reporter Anne Brice

Redress: A film about the Office of Redress Administration by Edna Horiuchi in Discover Nikkei 

Janet Daijogo: Japanese Incarceration and Finding Her Place through Aikido and Teaching, by UC Berkeley undergraduate and Oral History Center research assistant Deborah Qu 

Bury the Phonograph: Oral Histories Preserve Records of Life in Hawaii During World War II, by UC Berkeley undergraduate and Oral History Center editorial assistant Shannon White

Part 6: Acknowledgements 

National Park Service, Department of Interior

The following projects were funded, in part, by a grant from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the US Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the US Government.

Japanese American Confinement Sites Oral History Project

Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Oral History Project

Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records

Office of Redress Administration Oral History Project

Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation

The Office of Redress Administration Oral History Project received generous support from the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation. The foundation also provided generous support for a second phase of interviews for the Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives Oral History Project. 

About the Oral History Center 

UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center, or the OHC, is one of the oldest oral history programs in the world. We produce carefully researched, recorded, and transcribed oral histories and interpretive materials for the widest possible use. Since 1953 we have been preserving voices of people from all walks of life, with varying perspectives, experiences, pursuits, and backgrounds. We are committed to open access and our oral histories and interpretive materials are available online at no cost to scholars and the public. You can find our oral histories from the search feature on our home page. Search by name, keyword, and several other criteria. Sign up for our monthly newsletter  featuring think pieces, new releases, podcasts, Q&As, and everything oral history. Access the most recent articles from our home page or go straight to our blog home.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Oral History Center if you would like to see more work like this conducted and made freely available online. The Oral History Center is a predominantly self-funded research unit of The Bancroft Library. As such, we must raise the funds to cover the cost of all the work we do, including each oral history. You can give online, or contact us at ohc@berkeley.edu for more information about our funding needs for present and future projects.


A Californiana Returns to the Bay Area: Ana María de la Guerra de Robinson

Women’s history month is the perfect time to announce an exciting addition to Bancroft Library’s collection of daguerreotype portraits. At the end of 2023 the library was able to acquire a beautiful 1850s portrait of a Californiana: doña Ana María de la Guerra de Robinson, also known as Anita.

Bust portrait of a young woman, about age 30, in semi-profile, wearing a dark lace mantilla over her head and shoulders
Daguerreotype portrait of Ana Maria de la Guerra de Robinson (BANC PIC 2024.043)

In this large (half plate format) daguerreotype of about 1850-1855, Anita wears a lace mantilla, in the Spanish fashion. A beautiful large daguerreotype like this was an extravagance at the time, and the portrait is all the more evocative because Anita, tragically, died within a few years of its creation.

Fortunately, quite a bit is known about her life. Anita was born into the prominent de la Guerra family of Santa Barbara in 1821 -– the same year the Spanish colonial period ended and control by an independent Mexico began. She was married at age 14, to an American trader and businessman named Alfred Robinson, 14 years her senior. This wedding is described in Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast, so we have an unusually detailed account of what was a grand occasion.

She and her husband snuck away from her family in 1838, leaving their baby daughter behind with her grandparents. Anita, age 15, wrote ”We have left the house like criminals and left here those who have possession of our hearts.” Various writers have interpreted these circumstances differently but, whatever the reason for this strange departure, Anita spent the next 15 years in Boston and the East Coast, seemingly eager to return home, but continually disappointed in the hope. It is hard to imagine that her life was entirely happy, in spite of the steady growth of her family and the prosperity and social prominence the Robinsons and de la Guerras enjoyed.

Having borne seven children, and having witnessed from afar (and apparently mourned) the transition of her homeland from Mexican territory to American statehood, Anita finally returned to California in the summer of 1852. It is likely she had her daguerreotype portrait taken at this time, in San Francisco, although it could have been taken back east. Sadly, she lived just three more years in California, dying in Los Angeles in November 1855, a few weeks after giving birth to a son. She is buried at Mission Santa Barbara.

A study of Anita’s life was published by Michele Brewster in the Southern California Quarterly in 2020 (v.102 no. 2, pg. 101-42) . Read more of her story!

With such a fascinating and relatively well-documented life, we’re thrilled to have Anita’s beautiful portrait here at Bancroft. It joins other de la Guerra family portraits, as well as numerous papers related to the family, including “Documentos para la historia de California” (BANC MSS C-B 59-65) by her father, José de la Guerra y Noriega.

Two of Anita’s sisters had “testimonias” recorded by H.H. Bancroft and his staff; one from Doña Teresa de la Guerra de Hartnell (BANC MSS C-E 67) and another from Angustias de la Guerra de Ord (BANC MSS C-D 134).

Anita’s daguerreotype itself presents an interesting conundrum and history. The photographer is unknown, as is common with daguerreotypes. The portrait has been known over the years because later copies exist in several historical collections, including the California Historical Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Bancroft Library’s own Portrait File. 

The daguerreotype acquired last Fall was owned for some decades by a collector. When he acquired it, it was unidentified. Later he encountered a reproduction of it in a historical publication, and thus had the identification of the sitter. Each of the known copies is somewhat different from the others. In her article, Brewster reproduces the copy from the Massachusetts Historical Society. It is a paper print on a carte de visite mount bearing the imprint of San Francisco photographer William Shew, at 115 Kearny Street. 

Bust portrait of young woman, identical to the daguerreotype portrait of Ana Maria de la Guerra wearing a lace mantilla, but portrait is a paper print on a card mount.
Portrait of Ana Maria de la Guerra Robinson, copied by William Shew circa 1875. (Massachusetts Historical Society)

Based on this information, Brewster attributed the portrait to Shew; however, Shew is merely the copy photographer. A daguerreotype, largely out of use by the 1860s, is a unique original, not printed from a negative, so only one exists unless it is copied by camera. The carte de visite format was not in widespread use until the 1860s, and Shew was not at the Kearny address until the 1872-1879 period. So the photographer remains unidentified.

Another puzzle is posed by the early 20th century reproductions in the Bancroft Portrait File and the California Historical Society, which appear identical. These copies present a less closely cropped pose than the original daguerreotype, which is perplexing! Anita’s lap and hands are visible in the copies, but not in the daguerreotype. Although the bottom of the daguerreotype plate is obscured by its brass mat, there is not enough room at the lower edge to include these details.  

Bust portrait of young woman, identical to the daguerreotype portrait of Ana Maria de la Guerra wearing a lace mantilla, but portrait is a paper print and her hand is visible near bottom corner.
Portrait of Ana Maria de la Guerra de Robinson, printed early 20th Century (California Historical Society, CHS-11437)

How could a copy contain more image area than the original?  Upon reflection, two possibilities come to mind: 

1) the daguerreotype was copied in the 19th century and photographically enlarged, then re-touched or painted over to yield a larger portrait that included her lap and hand, added by an artist. This reproduction was later photographed to produce the copies in the Portrait File and CHS.

or, 

2) the original daguerreotype included her lap and hand, and it was re-daguerreotyped for family members in the 1850s, perhaps near the time of Anita’s 1855 death. When the copy daguerreotypes were made, they were composed more tightly in on the sitter, omitting the lap and hands. The newly acquired Bancroft daguerreotype could be a copy of a still earlier plate – and this earlier plate could be the source of the later paper copy in the Portrait file. 

This will likely remain a mystery until other variants of this portrait surface. Are there other versions of this portrait of Anita de la Guerra de Robinson to be revealed?

 

Reference

Brewster, Michele M. “A Californiana in Two Worlds: Anita de La Guerra Robinson, 1821–1855.” Southern California Quarterly 102, no. 2 (2020): 101–42. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27085996.


Trial of Cine Cubano ending on March 29 2024

Trial of Cine Cubano
The library has started a thirty-day trial for Cine Cubano that some faculty members and students in Spanish and Portuguese may find of research interest.
Here is the link that one can use to access the trial.
More about Cine Cubano database:
Cine Cubano is a journal that provides valuable insights into Cuban revolutionary cinema and Latin American cinema. It has over 200 issues from 1960 to 2019, covering six decades of film theory, techniques, and reviews. The journal has now been digitized and made available online for the first time, providing unprecedented access to film scholars and students. All 205 print issues have been scanned and included in this new online collection. The scanning was done at the ICAIC Film Institute in Havana, Cuba, where the journal originated. Overall, this is an important new digital resource for studying the history of Cuban and Latin American cinema. The online availability makes decades of film knowledge more accessible.
The trial will end on 29 March 2024.
Cine Cubano is a journal that provides valuable insights into Cuban revolutionary cinema and Latin American cinema. It has over 200 issues from 1960 to 2019, covering six decades of film theory, techniques, and reviews. The journal has now been digitized and made available online for the first time, providing unprecedented access to film scholars and students. All 205 print issues have been scanned and included in this new online collection. The scanning was done at the ICAIC Film Institute in Havana, Cuba, where the journal originated
Cine Cubano, Issue 2, 1960
The landing page of a 2019 issue number 205 of the Cuban movie journal Cine Cubano.
Cine Cubano, 2019, issue 205

Sign up for the Oral History Center’s Advanced Institute (August 5–9)

The UC Berkeley Oral History Center is pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2024 Advanced Institute!

The OHC is offering online versions of our educational programs again this year.

Advanced Institute: M–F, August 5–9, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m., via Zoom

We are now accepting applications for our 2024 Advanced Institute on a rolling basis. Please apply early, as spots fill quickly.

Close-up of a recording device in someone's hand, with a partial view of someone else looking on
Advanced Institute students inspect equipment. (UC Berkeley Library)

The Oral History Center is offering a virtual version of our one-week Advanced Institute on the methodology, theory, and practice of oral history. This will take place Aug. 5-9, 2024. 

The institute is designed for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, university faculty, independent scholars, and museum and community-based historians who are engaged in oral history work. The goal of the institute is to strengthen the ability of its participants to conduct research-focused interviews and to consider special characteristics of interviews as historical evidence in a rigorous academic environment.

We ask that applicants have a project in mind that they would like to workshop during the week. All participants are required to attend small daily breakout groups in which they will workshop projects. 

In the sessions, we will devote particular attention to how oral history interviews can broaden and deepen historical interpretation situated within contemporary discussions of history, subjectivity, memory, and memoir.

Apply for the Advanced Institute.

Overview of the week

The institute is structured around the life cycle of an interview. Each day will focus on a component of the interview, including foundational aspects of oral history, project conceptualization, the interview itself, analytic and interpretive strategies, and research presentation and dissemination.

Instruction will take place online tentatively from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time, with breaks woven in. There will be three sessions a day: two seminar sessions and a workshop. Seminars will cover oral history theory, legal and ethical issues, project planning, oral history and the audience, anatomy of an interview, editing, fundraising, and analysis and presentation. During workshops, participants will work throughout the week in small groups, led by faculty, to develop and refine their projects.

Participants will be provided with a resource packet that includes a reader, contact information, and supplemental resources. These resources will be made available electronically prior to the institute, along with the schedule.

Applications and cost

The cost of the institute is $600. We are offering a limited number of participants a discounted tuition of $300 for students, independent scholars, or those experiencing financial hardship. If you would like to apply for discounted tuition, please indicate this on your application form and we will send you more information.

Please note that the OHC is a soft-money research office of the university, and as such receives precious little state funding. Therefore, it is necessary that this educational initiative be a self-funding program. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide financial assistance to participants other than our limited number of scholarships. We encourage you to check in with your home institutions about financial assistance; in the past we have found that many programs have budgets to help underwrite some of the costs associated with attendance. We will provide receipts and certificates of completion as required for reimbursement.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply early, as spots fill up quickly. 

Questions

Please contact Shanna Farrell (sfarrell@library.berkeley.edu) with any questions.

About the Oral History Center

UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center, or the OHC, is one of the oldest oral history programs in the world. We produce carefully researched, recorded, and transcribed oral histories and interpretive materials for the widest possible use. Since 1953 we have been preserving voices of people from all walks of life, with varying perspectives, experiences, pursuits, and backgrounds. We are committed to open access and our oral histories and interpretive materials are available online at no cost to scholars and the public.

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