Read about some of the equine history available at the Linda Hall Library (fellowships available). Written by Kat Boniface. I spent the last week and change as a travel fellow at the Linda Hall Library. I highly recommend them, especially for agricultural or early 20th century history. General Information: Deadline: this year was Jan. […]
The deadline for the John H. Daniels Fellowship at the NSLM is fast approaching! Still on the fence about applying? Here is an overview of the fellowship and the Library to help you decide.
Deadline: June 15.
Letters: one. Response time: Early Fall (I heard back Sept. 2). Who is eligible: pretty much everyone. Concerned? Ask the staff. They’re fabulous. Dates: Up to two months in the following calendar year; you list two choices on your applications. Funding: Up to $2,000/month, paid biweekly while in residence. Housing: Provided. Travel: Plan on a cab, etc. from Dulles airport. 30 min.
Application Process The hardest part of the application is getting all the pieces into a single pdf. Save yourself the headache and look for an online tool that can combine multiple file formats into a single pdf. There are lots. Make sure you look through the catalog, but keep in mind that not everything has been entered. If there is a topic you are investigating that you think fits the NLSM, but you can’t pinpoint your sources in the catalog, ask the staff. Don’t forget to look through the art collections and archival finding aids.
Scheduling I ended up having a minor scheduling conflict, as my students’ final was scheduled much later than I’d expected. I had to arrive a day late, and since there was no one due to come in right after me, I was able to add that day at the end of my stay. I only applied for two weeks. I should have applied for a month! It’s worth checking the schedule and seeing what exhibitions and events are planned before deciding on your dates. There may be something you want to see! While I was there, I went to the “Coffee with the Curator” for the Andre Pater exhibit at the Museum.
The closest airport, as mention above, is Dulles. My flight came in at midnight, so Istayed the night in a hotel by the airport, and took a lyft down to Middleburg early the next morning. I was perhaps a bit excited, and arrived bright and very early before any of the staff. I strolled around the grounds a bit, exploring the various equine sculptures. The area is absolutely beautiful. The Library and Museum are two separate, neighboring buildings. The Chronicle of the Horse offices are nearby.
Living The little cottage where fellows stay is behind the Museum, and set slightly into the hillside. It is surprisingly private. There is a sitting room with a couch, desk, hardline internet connection, and a fabulous view: Audubon bird paintings adorn the walls next to windows looking out on birds chattering the the trees. The kitchen has a full stove as well as microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and fridge. Dishes are provided, and the cabinets accrue leftover dry goods from past fellows. There is a Safeway a few blocks away. I went shopping every few days, partly so I didn’t have to carry much back and partly just to stretch my legs. Towels are provided for the shower, and extra blankets and pillows for the bed. The mattress is a bit old, if you have room to bring a topper with you it might be worth it. The cable for the internet will (just barely) reach into the bedroom, which was great, since jet lagged as I was I definitely wanted a movie before bed. There is a cleaning service for the cottage, and I was told laundry is available in the Library building somewhere, though as I was a short stay I didn’t avail myself of it. The NSLM is also just a few blocks from the Middleburg Tack Exchange, which somehow I still haven’t been to.
Research The important stuff, right? I spent several days reading the Sporting Magazine from its initial publication through 1866 (being the period I’m researching). As first, I did read every equine or breeding article, and skim the rest, but once I had the rhythm of the publication I started just taking photos; invest in a good pdf scanner before you go! Still, I wish I’d had more time to just read through them. Even those couple of days changed the direction of my research. While many of the Sporting Magazines are available on googlebooks, they’re often misnumbered or otherwise mislabelled. Going through them in order was amazing. I also explored the open stacks (and found my nemesis),
and checked out a few of the books there to read in the evenings when the Library was closed. The Library itself has wifi, so it was easy to take notes, look things up, livetweet some of my reading, and have the catalog at my fingertips.
The bulk of my visit I spent downstairs, with the rare books and archive, which is not open to the public. This isn’t an option everyday, so I tried to save my general reading upstairs for days the archives were closed. The bulk of the rare books were 18th and 19th century, which suited me well, but earlier works are well represented. The archival papers are mostly 19th and 20th century, which wasn’t useful for me but I’m sure there is still plenty of work to be done with them. Again, and as with any research trip, when in doubt ask the staff. Even when not in doubt, ask the staff. They know answers to questions we don’t know to ask.
I am still finding new things in the scans I took while I was there.
For #SourceSaturday this week, we recommend perusing yesterdays Archives Hashtag Party. The first Friday of every month, the National Archives “hosts” a digital archive party, and it is a great way to find new archives and get an idea of what they hold. This month was #ArchivesAnimals and there were plenty of horses, donkeys, and zebras!
The Veterinary Medicine Historical Collection at Michigan State University contains bountiful resources for anyone interested in the history of equine medicine, along with veterinary medicine in general. The collection includes over 1,400 manuscripts and books, dating as far back as the fifteenth century, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the United States.
Equine-related works are especially well-represented in the Collection. It mainly focuses on books published or written before 1800, with particular strength in eighteenth-century British texts. Highlights include:
A fifteenth-century manuscript of Giordano Ruffo’s Libro marischalcie equorum;
The only known first edition of Francisco de la Reyna’s Libro de albeyteria (1547);
The first illustrated edition of Marcus Fugger’s Von der Gestüterey (1584), on horse breeding.
Few research collections specialize in equine topics, but the Kellogg Arabian Library on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, CA provides an important exception. The collections originated in the records of the breakfast cereal mogul, W. K. Kellogg, and from a relatively obscure beginning have gained a dedicated space within the university library building.The brand new facilities, opened in 2012, include a spacious reading room and archival storage for approximately 6,000 items related to the specialized topic of the Arabian horse, primarily in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In addition to documenting the international appeal of the Arabian breed, these materials would be of interest for scholars researching agricultural science and livestock husbandry, leisure sport,public education and philanthropy, and southern California history.
W. K. Kellogg bred Arabian horses brought from the Crabbet Stud in England and became a popular ambassador to the early Hollywood entertainment industry with monthly “Sunday Shows” from 1925 to 1932, before a hiatus in which the land was donated to the state’s university system and housed the cavalry remount breeding program during World War II. A popular campaign to preserve the Arabian breeding center and restore its public educational purpose led to the development of the first southern California agricultural science program in the Cal State University system in the Kellogg Arabian Center.
Collection highlights include an extensive holding of the W. K. Kellogg Ranch Records, as well as photographs, postcards and archival film of W. K. Kellogg’s life. The collection also includes records about the United States Cavalry Remount Program, which was active from the nineteenth century through World War II, in the Edwards Papers. Also of note are the personal notebooks and research of the well-known artist of Arabian horses, Gladys Brown Edwards.The library collects rare and out of print works documenting Arabian pedigrees in the US and internationally.
As an added bonus for equine researchers, the Kellogg Arabian Center continues the project of breeding and educating the public about the history and uses of the Arabian horse, and their new crop of foals are just a 15 minute walk across campus. They have also continued Kellogg’s Sunday Shows, which are open to the public, on the first Sunday of the month.