Summer Hours for Special Collections

Special Collections Reading Room Summer Schedule

Starting May 14th the Special Collections Reading Room will be open by appointment only for the summer months. Researchers should contact 812-237-2610 to make an appointment.

The Special Collections Department of the Cunningham Memorial Library holds the University’s unique physical and digital collections. Special Collections consists of four units: Rare Books & Manuscripts, University Archives, Digital Initiatives, and the Permanent Art Collection. These four units hold, preserve, and make accessible art, University’s history, local history collections, the world-famous Cordell Dictionary Collection, Rare Book collections on a variety of subjects, and provide digitization and data management support for the University’s Institutional Repository, Sycamore Scholars, and the community digital memory project, Wabash Valley Visions and Voices.

Cordell Dictionary Collection acquires its oldest word book

The newest addition in the Cordell Collection at Cunningham Memorial Library is also its oldest.

Italian humanist Johannes Tortellius’ “De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum,” published in 1471, was purchased with funds from a special sesquicentennial event at Indiana State University in November. The event celebrated the university’s Cordell Collection and the Schick Lecture Series and featured Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, co-hosts of “A Way with Words.” The popular National Public Radio show examines language through history, culture and family. All of the proceeds benefited the Cordell Collection’s purchase of a new dictionary.

Tortellius, who is largely known for his work with Pope Nicholas V and helping to establish the Vatican library, spent five years in Greece learning Greek in order to write this book, which documents Latin words of Greek origin and was completed in 1451.

The book was printed on the second press established in Rome and is now the oldest printed book in the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries. The collection’s next oldest printed piece was published in 1478.

“De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum” includes a short introduction to Greek spelling, pronunciation and syllabification. Each entry, which range in length from two lines to 24 pages, gives the word’s Greek and Latin pronunciations, definitions and its earliest appearance in Latin literature.

There are a couple of pages missing and, somewhere along the line, someone replaced the pages with ones from another edition, but the book has the original binding and is very typical of the time period,” said Cinda May, chair of Special Collections at Indiana State. “There is no title page, as was the practice in early printed books, and it has a wonderful illuminated page. It is a lovely example of a book of the incunable period (1454-1501), with the thin columns of text and wide margins that were intended for glossing. This book not only has the beautiful illumination, but also it has other fancy initials and details drawn in red and purple pen work. Like so many early books, this piece also has worm holes. Today, we say ‘bookworm’ and we mean someone who reads, but there really are bookworms.”

The text served as a pre-cursor for dictionaries and etymologies that followed, May added, making it a seminal work in its own right.

“It influenced Ambrogio Calepino, one of the earliest Italian lexicographers, and Thomas Elyot, whose 1538 dictionary set the template for Latin-English word books. These books were not really intended to be dictionaries like we think of today,” May said. “Instead, they were part of the tradition where knowledge was being rediscovered in the West and languages had to be learned again. That gave rise to dictionaries and etymologies when people were trying to figure it out again, so they could pass the learning and ability to read these languages and unlock the literary and nonfiction works of the Classical period.”

The Cordell Collection of Dictionaries began in 1969 with a gift of 453 English dictionaries to Indiana State from Warren and Suzanne Cordell. Warren Cordell, an Indiana State alumnus, continued to add to the collection over the years until his death in 1980. In total, he donated 3,232 editions and variants totaling 3,913 volumes. Today, the collection houses more than 30,000 volumes.

The collection includes in-depth, multiple editions of any work that is available and the latest piece helps fill in a gap in the collection’s early dictionary works.

“It wouldn’t have been possible for us to purchase the ‘De orthographia’ if it hadn’t been for the support of the attendees of the ‘A Way with Words’ fundraiser,” May said. “But now that it’s here, I think Mr. Cordell would be pleased that it is part of the collection.”

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Photos: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Submitted-Photos/Staff-Uploads/i-JcGJKwX/0/3afd6b92/XL/Book%20open%201-XL.jpg – An image of an inside page of Italian humanist Johannes Tortellius’ “De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum,” which was published in 1471 and is the oldest and most recent purchase for the Cordell Collection at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library. The text includes a short introduction to Greek spelling, pronunciation and syllabification. Each entry, which range in length from two lines to four pages, gives the word’s Greek and Latin pronunciations, definitions and its earliest appearance in Latin literature.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Submitted-Photos/Staff-Uploads/i-HNhsTBF/0/ad7e3eb6/X2/Flowerscroll-X2.jpg – An image of the illumination drawn throughout “De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum,” a dictionary by Italian humanist Johannes Tortellius. The text was published in 1471 and is the oldest and most recent purchase for the Cordell Collection at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library. The text includes a short introduction to Greek spelling, pronunciation and syllabification. Each entry, which range in length from two lines to four pages, gives the word’s Greek and Latin pronunciations, definitions and its earliest appearance in Latin literature.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Submitted-Photos/Staff-Uploads/i-q3rPf4P/0/22d2a00b/X2/3-X2.jpg – An image of the red and violet ink etchings on the inside page of “De orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum,” a dictionary by Italian humanist Johannes Tortellius. The text was published in 1471 and is the oldest and most recent purchase for the Cordell Collection at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library. The text includes a short introduction to Greek spelling, pronunciation and syllabification. Each entry, which range in length from two lines to four pages, gives the word’s Greek and Latin pronunciations, definitions and its earliest appearance in Latin literature.

Contact: Cinda May, chair of Special Collections, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University, cinda.may@instate.edu or 812-237-2534

Writer: Betsy Simon, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or betsy.simon@indstate.edu

[reported from http://www2.indstate.edu/news/news.php?newsid=5071]

November 9: NPR’s Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette to Keynote Library Major Fundraising Event

Cunningham Memorial Library in conjunction with the ISU Sesquicentennial Committee has planned a special evening on November 9 paying tribute to Joseph Schick and the Schick Lecture Series and the Warren Cordell family and the Cordell Collection. Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, co-hosts of NPR’s popular lexicography show, “A Way with Words,” will provide the keynote.

Tickets for this fundraising event are $100 per person with proceeds going toward the acquisition of a rare dictionary for the Cordell Collection.

Payroll deduction is available to ISU faculty and staff who would like to attend the event.

Registration Information

Library Student Assistants Graduate in December

Two library student assistants received post-graduate degrees on Saturday, December 17th!

  • Samuel Komera, a Graduate Assistant in Special Collections, was supervised by Cinda May and Kendra McCrea and worked with them for about a year.  Samuel received his Master’s Degree in Computer Science on Saturday, December 17th.  He’s from Telanger, Hyderabad, India and his work in Special Collections was focused mostly on revamping the department’s web page.
  • Ramya Sree Matcha was a student assistant in the Interlibrary Loan unit of Technical Services. She worked in that area for the past 3 semesters under Holli Moseman’s supervision.  Ramya, who is originally from Khaman, India, received her Master’s Degree in Electronics and Computer Technology.

 

Congratulations to both of these fine students!

Library hosting 2 conferences in July: ICHLL & ALI-ILC

yes, it’s all about the acronyms in library land!

First, an international conference will spend part of its time at the ISU Library:

July 14: The 8th International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology (ICHLL), held at IU-Bloomington July 12 – 15, 2016 will include a trip to the ISU Library! Arriving by bus, attendees will have a chance to visit Special Collections, highlighting the Warren N. and Suzanne B. Cordell Collection of Dictionaries. Conference sessions, lunch and an end-of-the-day reception will be offered. ICHLL is held every two years and was previously in Gargnano del Gardo, Italy; Leiden, The Netherlands; Edmonton, Canada; Oxford, UK; Jena, Germany; and Gran Canaria, Spain. ISU’s Office of the President and The Warren N. & Suzanne B. Cordell Collection are helping sponsor the conference.

For more on this conference, visit http://ichll8.com/

ALI-logo

Wednesday, July 20: Academic Libraries of Indiana’s INFORMATION LITERACY UNCONFERENCE

Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Instruction & User Services at Butler University Libraries is Chair of ALI’s Information Literacy Committee informs us that, as of this posting, registration is still open for this FREE conference (includes breakfast, hot lunch, snacks).

Time: 8:45am – 3:30pm (Opening Session begins at 9:30)

from the Conference website:

How does your institution partner with other campus departments, units, and disciplines in teaching information literacy?  In addition to the traditional partnering we do with faculty and discipline departments and programs, we want to know how you are partnering with writing centers, learning resource centers, career services, student affairs, greek life, health & wellness, programs, diversity programs & services, campus publishing initiatives (undergraduate journals and manuscript publications), and teaching and learning centers. Partnering with curricular development committees and administrative units can also be discussed concerning developing programmatic information literacy.  The goal is to highlight how “two or three can be better than one” when it comes to teaching the concepts of information literacy.

Via the unconference model, attendees will identify the topics to be discussed through the day and work together to share examples and discuss options.

UnConference Planning Commitee members are:

  • Sally Neal, Instruction & User Services Associate Dean, Butler Universitty
  • Brian Bunnett, Chair of Public Services, Indiana State University
  • Lisa Jarrell, Head of Educational Technology and Resources Collection, Ball State University
  • Michael Flierl, Assistant Professor of Library Science and Learning Design Specialist, Purdue University
  • Dara Middleton, Events, Marketing, and Mail Services Coordinator, Indiana State University