Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Remembering Dr. Delahanty

Dr. Jim Delahanty in the 1978 Mount yearbook.
THE COLLEGE ANNOUNCED THE PASSING last week of Dr. Jim Delahanty,  a faculty member for 40 years in the History/Political Science Department. He was also a member of the Regents Council, and his wife, Jane, is an alumna of the class of 1965.  

The College Archives recently took in a large box of loose papers from Dr. Delahanty's office that has been stored upstairs in Chalon library since he retired in 2000.  It was a treasure trove of material, including meeting notes, correspondence (fan mail from students and a thank-you letter from Cesar Chavez; see a digitized copy on our Twitter feed) and scrapbooks from his years moderating the Model United Nations program in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  

Dr. and Mrs. Delahanty were featured on the Spring 1984 cover of Mount Magazine. More pictures and articles across his four decades at the Mount can be browsed in MSMC's digital archives, including magazines, yearbooks, and campus newspapers. Just type "Delahanty" in the search box.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Presenting our Digital Humanitarians!

Archivist's note: We have been privileged to be participating in a brand-new initiative at the Mount, a Weekend Format course in Digital Humanities. These master's degree candidates have been working with the Frank H. Spearman Collection in the College Archives under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Tran Smith. We're happy to present the first in a series of guest blogs by the team's social media manager, Breanna Bello.
Dr. Jennifer Tran Smith, right, and class break for lunch
on the Brady Hall patio during a day in the Archives.
 Presenting the Digital Humanitarians, led by Dr. Jennifer Smith, Mount St. Mary’s College Humanities program.  Graduate students in the class are designing a Digital Resource on the Internet for the 1906 western novel Whispering Smith.

One may ask, why a western novel?  Mount St. Mary’s College holds a collection which consists of published articles by or about Frank Hamilton Spearman published from 1899 – 1937. The documents are made accessible to Digital Humanities students by Victoria McCargar, Mount St. Mary’s College Archivist.

The course, HUM 249E, is called "Digital Humanities: Finding, Manipulating and Creating Electronic Texts." The creation of new a website will be the result of 100% collaboration of the students.  This class setting is a requirement for the subject matter, and it has never been undertaken before at the Mount. Throughout the the project, each student is accountable for several critical components.  In order to create an internet resource, students have engaged in responsibilities such as transcribing, editing, managing, annotating, describing and creating research resources for future scholars on Whispering Smith, Spearman's most successful novel. 

Unlike a typical 15-page term paper that is seen by few people, this grant-funded experiment is intended to show the Mount community the power of Digital Humanities scholarship.  At the end, we hope this endeavor will open the door to many opportunities concerning the subject of Digital Humanities at Mount St. Mary’s College and position the Mount at the forefront of the development of several Digital Humanities resources.
Guest Blogger Breanna Bello works with the
Spearman Collection photos in the Archives.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Capturing Doheny's calm beauty

Cool blues with a sunset sky bring the quiet and peace of
Chester Place to life. St. Vincent's looms in the background.
LOS ANGELES ARTIST AND AUTHOR Leo Politi is known for the special way he rendered our city in vibrant colors and bursting with activity, celebrating its ethnic diversity years before anyone started paying attention.

He could also paint stillness and quiet. Should anyone be surprised that he found them at Mount St. Mary's College?

The image above is from Tales of the Parks of Los Angeles, Politi's 1966 tribute to the most inviting cityscapes (Palm Desert, CA: Best-West Books). The Mount's copy was found earlier this week in Coe Library storage and will be cataloged and join several other Politi books in Special Collections.

Politi  numbered among his friends many Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and visited them at Chester Place, which in the mid-1960s had recently become the Mount's bustling Downtown Campus. But he came to paint after the students had departed and the grounds were returned to the resident nuns.

With the flowers in the Wishing Well providing the only bright splash, Politi captures the cool calm of the campus. The nuns are preparing for evening prayer at the end of what had surely been a very busy day for them.

Please see our Facebook page for additional pictures of Chester Place by Leo Politi, and you're invited to visit the Spearman Room in the Chalon Campus library if you'd like to see the originals.