Willard Ross Yates has an illustrious academic history in the field of political science. Before becoming a professor at Lehigh University, he earned his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Oregon and Ph.D. at Yale University. He was a Fulbright Scholar from 1951 to 1952 and served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. After obtaining his Ph.D in 1956, he taught at Kenyon College and the University of Vermont before coming to Lehigh.
At Lehigh, he was a professor of political science which would earn him the Hillman Award, the highest honor for a member of the faculty and staff. By the end of his career in 1986 he had held the titles of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Government Emeritus. He not only excelled in the field of political science but was an expert on the history of Lehigh and Bethlehem. He is most well known for his works “History of the Lehigh Valley Region”, “Bethlehem of Pennsylvania, the Golden Years”, and “Lehigh University: A History of Education in Engineering, Business, and the Human Condition” of which Lehigh Library Special Collections has the original manuscript and notes for. His works are considered the leading resource for Bethlehem and Lehigh history. He displayed the true signs of a Renaissance man with all the activities he participated in, from the Bach Choir, to completing 130 marathons, and winning prizes for gardening and poetry.
More detail on his life can be found on his obituary linked here:
#ColorOurCollections is a week-long coloring fest on social media organized by libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world. Using materials from their collections, these institutions are sharing free coloring content with the hashtag #ColorOurCollections and inviting their followers to color and get creative with their collections.
#ColorOurCollections was launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016.
Dr. Henry Coppée is considered one of the most substantial figures in Lehigh University’s development into a world-class institution. Selected by Asa Packer, Coppée served as the first president of Lehigh University from 1866-1875. Coppée Hall at Lehigh University was named after Henry Coppée, and now houses the Department of Journalism and Communications. During his time as a professor at Lehigh, Dr. Coppée taught subjects such as English literature and history. Although an engineer himself, as President of Lehigh, Coppée believed that all students should have a well-rounded, liberal-arts education. Lecture notes taken in 1884 by an engineering student in Dr. Coppée’s class , Henry Bowman Douglass, reveal subject material surrounding the Roman Empire’s influence on the development of Europe. Much of Lehigh University’s current history curriculum focuses on the Roman Empire, offering courses such as “Ancient Roman Religion” and “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”
Roughly 500 bright eyed and bushy tailed “sub-froshes” (prospective freshman) got more than they signed up for on a fateful morning in May, 1937. Apparently, they didn’t see “Communist flag viewing party” in the fine print of their schedules. Also, University admission tour guides must have forgotten to mention the day’s special event.
Students swarmed the courtyard, which, on any other day would’ve meant there was free food, but today it was to gape in disbelief as a Soviet Union flag waved atop the University flagpole.
Believed to be an elaborate prank put on by sympathizers of the communist movement, or perhaps just a couple of goons looking for a good laugh, the flag caused quite the frenzy.
The pranksters had managed to jam the flag’s pulley system so it could not be simply lowered to the ground. Incidentally, the fire department’s longest latter was “too short.” Thus, all hope fell into the hands and spikey feet of a daring steeplejack.
Thankfully, the steeplejack succeeded in his mission unharmed and once the flag was finally taken down, it was replaced by the glorious Lehigh University brown and white.
The Soviet flag fell into the custody of a Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother, who allegedly hung it up in his room. Yet today, the flag’s whereabouts are unknown.
In honor of today’s announcement that Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, let’s take a look back at his connection to Lehigh.
Bob Dylan first performed at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena in 1981. This performance came during what has been described as Dylan’s preaching, gospel, or “born-again” phase, which followed his conversion to Christianity in the late 1970s. The set list for this concert, as well as all of Dylan’s other concerts, is available on his website. Since 1981, Dylan has made six additional appearances at Stabler arena in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2010, and most recently in 2013. His initial visit to Lehigh in 1981 proved to be on the earlier end of his career, with his first album released in 1961.
Prior to his appearance at Stabler in 1981, Dylan’s influence on the student body was apparent in both the favorable and unfavorable references to him made in the Brown and White. In comparison to another folk music act that played at Lehigh in 1965, the student reviewer commented, “I can only describe Dylan’s voice as a premature senile croaking coming through a musty rain-barrel.” It seems that after 51 years, the Nobel Prize Committee has repudiated this reviewers opinion that “ranting and wailing, moaning and groaning about how the world is going to hell in a bucket isn’t my idea of good folk music.”
While Banned Books Week now provides the opportunity to celebrate the reading and expression of unpopular or challenging ideas, the suppression and censoring of controversial ideas in printed books has a long and well documented history.
With the advent of Gutenberg’s printing press in the 15th century came the ability to rapidly and widely disseminate information. This new method of printing made hand-written manuscripts largely obsolete, and in the process broke the Catholic Church’s near monopoly on the written word. In conjunction with the Christian Reformation, this literary revolution challenged the Roman Church’s moral and theological doctrines. In an attempt to combat this threat to Catholic dogma, Pope Paul IV published the 1559 Index Librorum Prohibitorum. This publication was an official list of “books which were not to be read or possessed by Roman Catholics without authorization, or which could be read only in approved or expurgated editions” (Glaister, p. 242). A more moderate, revised list was published in 1564 following the Council of Trent, which was later followed by another revision in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII. The final version of the list was published in 1948 and the Index was officially abolished by the Vatican in 1966.
The first librarian of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, Thomas James, anticipated Banned Books Week by several centuries. In 1627, James published his Index Generalis, which was based on the Index Expurgatorius, a list of works in need of revision or alteration for Catholic approval. James‘ Index was used “as an invaluable reference work to be sued by the curators of the Bodleian Library when listing those works particularly worthy of collecting” (Encyclopedia of Censorship, p. 133). According to the Encyclopedia of Censorship, James’ preface to the Index Generalis “makes his contempt for the Papacy clear, both because it extended so pervasive a censorship system and, perhaps more so, because the system was so poorly, ignorantly and unprofessionally implemented” (p. 133). Like the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, James’ Index continued to be used into the 20th century.
One of the most famous authors on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum was Galileo Galilei, who defended the Copernican model of a heliocentric solar system. Following his trial by the Roman Inquisition, Galileo’s Dialogo was added to the Index and he was officially prohibited from publishing any future works. This historic 1633 prohibition is noted in an 1830 publication titled Literary Policy of the Church of Rome, which was discovered in the circulating collection of Fairchild Martindale Library while researching this post and pictured above. This book was written by a British reverend and presents a historical analysis of the Catholic Church’s policy of censorship. Galileo did not abide by the Church’s ruling, publishing his seminal work Two New Sciences in 1638. Lehigh’s Special Collections holds several editions of Galileo’s Two New Sciences, including a copy of the first edition, which was the one millionth volume acquired by the Lehigh Libraries in 1992.
Happy first day of class! To celebrate the arrival of the first year class, the Freshman hand book from 1916 (class of 1920) has been digitized and uploaded to Lehigh’s Digital Library. While these handbooks are no longer being published, they have some similarity to the blueprint books being distributed to first year students.
One highlight of this handbook, which was sponsored and published by the Young Men’s Christian Association of Lehigh University, is the list of regulations that freshmen were required to follow. The stated purpose of these regulations was to “avoid embarrassment and stigma of freshness.” It appears that only one rule has survived the intervening century, no smoking in campus buildings. Nine of the sixteen rules deal with what clothing freshman are required to wear or banned from wearing, and 3 of these deal exclusively with freshman caps, which were known as “dinks.”
Hazing of freshman students was a serious problem during the early twentieth century, necessitating the inclusion of several paragraphs in the handbook explicitly outlining the protection of freshman. These sections are prominently crossed out in the archival copy held by Special Collections, although it is not known who made these annotations or their intended purpose.
Special Collections holds freshman handbooks dating from 1891 to 1966. These handbooks provide an annual snapshot of what basic information Lehigh provided to its incoming students and the types of issues that were relevant at the time. They also include advertisements from the period that shed light on the local businesses operating in Bethlehem and how they appealed to the student population.
With the a new semester on the horizon, a new page of John James Audubon’s classic Birds of America is now on display in Linderman Library. Replacing plate 356, “Marsh Hawk,” is plate 383, “Long-eared Owl.” This plate features a male long-eared owl perched on a dead branch. The first plates of Birds of America were published in 1827, with Lehigh acquiring its volumes in 1884. Each plate was printed individually and colored by hand. The volumes were originally sold by subscription and fewer than 200 copies were ever produced.
Audubon describes the long-eared owl in his Ornithological Biography, “In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere to the eastward, I have found it perched on the top of a low bush or fir….it seems to squint at you in a most grotesque manner, although it is not difficult to approach very near it.”
If you would like to view the long-eared owl, or one of the many other birds drawn by Audubon, The University of Pittsburgh has digitized the book and made it available in its entirety.
Like it’s physical counterpart, Lehigh’s Audubon display is easy to approach, so stop by Linderman Library and take a look!
Audubon, J. J., Lizars, W. H. 1., & Havell, R. (1827). The birds of America: From original drawings. London: Pub. by the author.
Audubon, J. J. (1831). Ornithological biography: Or, An account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America ; accompanied by descriptions of the objects represented in the work entitled The birds of America, and interspersed with delineations of American scenery and manners. Philadelphia: J. Dobson [etc.].
In honor of last week’s Bastille Day, the French National Day celebrating the 1789 storming of the Bastille Prison during the French Revolution, Special Collections would like to highlight another French institution, the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel and built for the 1889 Paris World’s Fair Exhibition, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The Champs de Mars, where the tower is located, was also the location of the first Bastille Day celebration in 1790 as well as many other events during the French Revolution. At the time of its construction, the Eiffel Tower represented a massive technological and architectural triumph, constructed entirely of wrought iron and measuring 324 meters (1,063 ft). At its completion, the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest building.
In 1900, Gustave Eiffel published La Tour de Trois Cents Mètres [The Tower of Three Hundred Meters], which documents the engineering and design involved in building the Eiffel Tower. Included in this book are a series of photographs documenting the construction process of the tower from foundations to completion. These photographs, taken from Special Collections’ copy of Eiffel’s book, are presented in the gallery below. A digitized version of the complete book is available online through the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Literature aficionados around the world gathered on April 21 st to honor William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death. Events were hosted across the world, especially in the English speaking countries. At the Globe Theater, they had a 2.5 mile interactive course of short films called “The Complete Walk.”
Prince Charles attended a televised performance about the Shakespeare’s life at the Royal Shakespeare Theater.
While Lehigh is across the ocean from Shakespeare’s home turf of England, we still have enough reasons to celebrate his life and works. Here at Lehigh University, we honored William Shakespeare by hosting a Sonnet SLAM! in Linderman Library Bayer Galleria. Attendees could choose to listen to the sonnets, or read one aloud. The event was an open-mike, open to everyone to recite one of their favorite sonnets, or one they wrote themselves.
Special Collections displayed all four of the Shakespeare’s Folios owned by Lehigh. They were showcased only during the event. Since Shakespeare’s death (also thought to be around the time of his birth, as well) coincides with National Poetry Month, Lehigh was able to honor both occasions at the Sonnet SLAM!