Veterans Day and Temple’s World War I Poster Collection

While the First World War officially ended at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919,  major hostilities  concluded on November 11, 1918,  at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  November 11 was thereafter observed as Armistice Day  in many of the allied nations, including France, the United States, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth nations.   The day originally served to remember the  9 million combatants who had died  during the war.  After the Second World War, veterans of that conflict pressed in the United States to have November 11 become a day on which all veterans of military service would be honored, irrespective of  when they served in the U.S. Armed Forces.   President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a veteran of both the first and second World Wars,  signed the enabling legislation into effect in 1954.

Today, although all combatants from “war to end all wars”  have died,  we grapple still with the legacy of that terrible conflict which spawned several national revolutions,  reshaped the map of Europe, led  to the Second World War, and  directly or indirectly occasioned the creation of the modern states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and ultimately Israel.

The First World War is regarded  as a watershed event in the history of warfare, society and culture.  Government powers (taxation, rationing, conscription) significantly expanded in many nations in order to mobilize entire economies to fight a technologically advanced and industrially intensive war of such great geographic extent and duration.   Propaganda reached new heights of pervasiveness and persuasive power as governments increasingly saw the necessity to garner and maintain broad public support  in favor of war policies in the context of  broad literacy rates and mass suffrage.

One of the most prominent manifestations of the new propaganda was the war poster, many of which have survived in the collections of libraries and historical societies, as well as in private collections.   The Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University Libraries hold  a magnificent collection of over 1,500 World War I posters which were donated to Temple in 1937 by George F. Tyler who had been a Major in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during the War.  Temple’s Tyler School of Art is named for Tyler’s wife Stella Elkins Tyler.    Virtually all these posters have been digitized and are now freely available for study in our Digital Collections.      An interpretive online exhibition is also offered at: .  

Jonathan LeBreton, Senior Assoc. University Librarian

Notes from the Littell Project: Sci Fi Writings

Franklin Littell grew up to be a prolific writer of religious history, but he may have gotten his start writing science fiction.  When he was just 11 years old (circa 1928), he wrote “A Trip to Mars.”  In this story, a young student of astronomy named Jim journeys to Mars with his professor.  They travel in a ship invented and built by the professor that went “one hundred thousand miles an hour, forward, and one hundred thousand five hundred miles an hour, perpendicularly…” In the story, Littell describes a ship that was “run by five engines, of eight thousand horsepower each….  It had one pair of wings…,” was equipped with “fifty large oxygen tanks…,” and ran on “a new kind of gasoline that will make the plane go one thousand miles per gallon.”

Littell describes their arrival on Mars as experienced by his character Jim: “…under the plane some of the boldest men of mars, were preparing to fight…”.  Jim and the professor landed the ship and disembarked when “suddenly the chief [Martian] yelled and started for the man [the professor].  They [Jim and the professor] put up a desperate fight, but were outnumbered.  It was their [the Martians’] custom to poke their spears into their victims before they burned them…” .  Page 6 of the manuscript tells us what happens next.

Typed page on yellowed paper, from a Littell manuscript, (linked to larger version).

Littell’s short story is creative and fun and a definite foreshadow to his future life as a writer, but it also unexpectedly links the Littell papers to another collection acquired by the Special Collections Research Center in 2010, the manuscript and illustrations for Peter Caledon Cameron’s Nodnol (circa 1900).  Part of Temple’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collection, this manuscript takes the reader on an expedition to the Antarctic, where among other things, a new race of people are discovered.  The people found inhabiting the South Pole prove to be far less aggressive than those encountered on Mars by Littell’s Jim and the professor, but both stories speak to the early 20th century’s fascination with discovery and encountering new worlds.  By the time Littell wrote, the race to the South Pole was over and space was beginning to take shape as the newest, unexplored frontier.

“Nodnol. The narrative of a Voyage for scientific investigation into the Antarctic Regions, the discovery of Astrogee, a Second Satellite or New World, resting on the South Pole of Our Earth, its exploration, its strange fauna and flora, its marvellous [sic] natural phenomena, its wonderful nations of civilized Quadrumana and its glorious population of perfect Humanity.” 279 pages, annotated and edited by the author, with a separate portfolio of seventeen signed illustrations in pen and ink.

Purchased in May 2010 for the  SCRC’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection, the Nodnol manuscript was written and illustrated by the English-American water-colorist Peter Caledon Cameron (active in the U.S., coming from England, 1880s-1930s?; Philadelphia/New Jersey area) and is typical of 19th and early 20th century fantasy and science fiction writing and illustrating.

Black and white print of a futuristic city scene, (linked to larger version).





Notes from the Franklin Littell Project: Childhood


This gallery contains 2 photos.

  Work on organizing the papers of former Temple professor and father of American Holocaust Studies, Franklin H. Littell, is underway.  Littell was a scholar of religious history, whose focus lay in the history of sects and of Christian/Jewish relations.  He also brought … Continue reading

Civil Rights in a Northern City: Philadelphia

Thanks to a state Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, a Libraries project team has digitized more than 1,500 historical photographs, films, news clippings, manuscripts, oral histories, and pamphlets, documenting two events in civil rights history in Philadelphia: Girard College Desegregation (1954–1968) and the Columbia Avenue Riots (1964).

It’s all available at

The content, from the Libraries’ special collections, encourages students to use unique primary sources to study these significant events. Highlights include newly-created oral histories; several hours of local news footage not seen in over 40 years featuring Martin Luther King, Jr., Cecil B. Moore, and other movement leaders; and questionnaires that address Black-Jewish community relations in the 1960s.

Emphasizing that there were major events in the North that propelled the Civil Rights movement forward, the project’s consulting historian Matthew Countryman, associate professor of history at the University of Michigan and author of Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia, believes that this project exposes students and scholars to new insights on the issues.

Stay tuned for new content—including sample lesson plans for middle and high school teachers and new modules on other milestones in the history of Philadelphia’s Civil Rights movement

In Memoriam: William McLean

One of the richest resources in Temple Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center for the study of the history of Philadelphia and the region is the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin photographs and clippings. And one of the best friends and supporters of the archives and the Bulletin’s history was William McLean III, the last of his family to run the Bulletin. Starting in 1950, he worked in almost every department, serving as editor and publisher from 1975 to 1980. William McLean died on August 27, 2011, at age 83. Mr. McLean’s family took over ownership of the paper in 1895, and he ensured that its history and the history of Philadelphia it reported were preserved by beginning the donation of the photographs to Temple in February 1979. Most recently, Mr. McLean participated in an oral history interview Margaret Jerrido conducted with him on August 4. The recording and transcription of that interview will soon be available for research use. We are grateful for Mr. McLean’s lifelong commitment to documenting, studying, and learning from history.

A Million e-Books Added to Summon, Our New Search Engine

Summon, our new search engine, is now being previewed in its Beta version on the Libraries homepage. We are very pleased to announce that the Summon search now includes the public domain books offered by the Hathi Trust in full-text online format. These are books digitized by Google and numerous research library partners.

Hathi Trust, a non-profit cooperative centered at the University of Michigan, claims more than 2.3 million volumes are being served. That works out to about 910,000 titles at the moment, give or take. By the end of the year, we expect that total could reach 1 million titles all available 24/.7 in full-text online.

These Hathi Trust titles are for the most part in addition to the over 517,000 full-text online e-books which the Temple University Libraries already offered within the online catalog and Summon.


A great many of the Hathi Trust works date from 1923 or before. All books published prior to 1923 are now in the public domain and no longer prohibited from free reproduction by original copyright. However, there are tens of thousands of later works included because they are government documents or were found to be in public domain. Most are in English, but over 200,000 foreign language titles are included as well.

At present, Hathi Trust titles can be retrieved through Summon by author or title. For example, search Summon using the keywords Russell Conwell and limit the content type to ebook. Now you can read original works by Dr. Conwell, the founder of Temple University, or early biographies of the man.

Later this year Hathi and Summon promise to add full-text keyword searching to deliver a Google-like experience.

Please try Summon and let us know how it works for you.

– Jonathan LeBreton, Senior Associate University Librarian

2010 Library Prize Award Ceremony

Classes are over and finals underway, but you might still be curious about the outcome of the 2010 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research. This year’s winners were honored at an award ceremony that took place one week ago today, May 5 at 4:30 p.m., in Paley Lecture Hall. Faculty who worked with the winners were also present. Drs. Krueger and Collier-Thomas spoke passionately about their students’ winning projects and the experience of helping shepherd such amazing examples of undergraduate research to completion.

The winners also spoke eloquently about the starts and stops, frustrations and triumphs of conducting the research necessary to complete their papers. Prior to the award ceremony the three winning students sat down with their primary faculty sponsors for interviews.

Look for links to the MP3 interview files, PDFs of the winning projects, and pictures of the winners and honorable mentions to appear on our Winners page shortly.

2010 Library Prize Winners Announced

Congratulations go to all Library Prize applicants. The honorees this year are:

Winners (alphabetical order)

Donald Bermudez – Keystone of the Keystone: The Falls of the Delaware and Bucks County 1609-1692 (History 4997) – Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Rita Krueger and Dr. Travis

Glasson Brian Hussey – Setting the Agenda: The Effects of Administration Debates and the President’s Personal Imperatives on Forming Foreign Policy During the Reagan Administration (History 4997) – Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Rita Krueger and Dr. Richard H. Immerman

Charise Young – African American Women’s Basketball in the 1920s and 1930s: Active Participants in the “New Negro” Movement (History 4296) – Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas and Dr. Kenneth L. Kusmer

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order)

Adam Ledford – A Research Based Studio Practice in Ceramics (Crafts 4162) – Faculty Sponsors: Nicholas Kripal and Chad D. Curtis

Hung Pham – The Identification of Transcription Factors Mediating Homocysteine Pathology in Human Endothelial Cells (Biology 3396) – Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Deborah Stull and Dr. Hong Wang


Update on Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA): Now Available for Free

A recent press release by the Getty announced that the art database, Bibliography of the History (BHA) will now be available free of charge via the J. Paul Getty website. You can read the entire release here. Please note that the content available is only the archive of BHA. The database is currently not being updated. There is a sigh of relief in the art research community over this news. Despite the lack of updated content, BHA remains one of the most useful resources for art historical research.

Bibliography of the History of Art Ceases Publication

The Temple University Libraries were notified today that the Getty Research Institute has discontinued publication of the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), a critical database in the field of art history. Furthermore, we regret to report that the Getty will switch off all access to the BHA at the end of March 2010. Proquest, the distributor through which Temple has had access to the BHA, confirmed in writing to us that the Getty had been looking for a buyer for the database but that as of last week, no other publisher was willing to buy and continue the database. So Getty is pulling the plug. ProQuest maintains that no extension of access for any customers will be possible after March 31.


  • The Bibliography of the History of Art is a superior database and its coverage has not been duplicated in any single database available to us, but the Temple University Libraries can offer you some alternative databases that provide some overlap of BHA content.
  • ARTbibliographies Modern: Covers around 150 of the journals on BHA’s list, with unsurpassed strengths in areas such as modernism, contemporary global art and photography
  • British Humanities Index: Covers around 80 BHA journals, covering subjects such as fine art, antiques, museums, classical studies, European studies and interdisciplinary studies
  • Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI): Covers 40 BHA journals, with overlapping subject strengths in costume and dress, decorative arts and interiors

Again, all access to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) will cease on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Please continue to use this resource until then.

— by Jill E. Luedke, Reference & Instruction Librarian / Art Subject Specialist