The Library of Congress is home to a noteworthy collection of rare Persian language manuscripts, lithographic books and early imprints, as well as printed books, housed in the African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Most of these Persian manuscripts and lithographic books were procured for the Library in the 1930s by Kirkor Minassian (1874-1944), a renowned dealer in fine Islamic and Near Eastern arts with establishments both in New York and Paris. The Minassian acquisitions included treasures from the entire Middle East with rare books and manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Armenian languages. Since the 1930s the Library has continued to purchase a small number of Persian language manuscripts and lithographs at auctions, and from antique manuscript and book sellers including Christies and Sotheby's. The Library has also benefited from the generosity of people who have donated rare Persian materials they inherited from their families over the generations and which have been present in the United States or Europe before World War II.
The Library's Near East Section showcased over 40 of these rare Persian manuscripts and lithographic books for the first time, for the public to see, in the exhibition "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" between March 27, 2014 and September 20, 2014. As a result of the interest generated by the exhibition, the Near East Section, with support from many divisions across the Library, began a digitization project in 2015 aimed at digitizing all of the rare Persian language treasures at the Library covering all the manuscripts, lithographs and the early imprint book collections as well as a rare collection of Islamic Book Bindings acquired from Kirkor Minassian in the 1930s. Currently the collection features 169 manuscripts and a selection of lithograph and early imprint titles. As more lithographic and early imprint holdings are digitized, additional titles will be added to the site in the near future.
"The only other person I've ever known of that can convey that much pain with just their voice and an acoustic guitar is Hank Williams. Rachel Brooke is not only a singular talent, if you ask me she is a national treasure."-Saving Country Music
Using a quote from painter Georges Braque as our motto (A lemon beside an orange is no longer a lemon, the orange no longer an orange; they have become fruit. Mathematicians follow this law. So do we), as well as a unified visual presentation, and the quasi-systematical use of pre-existing works of art as cover illustrations, we seemed to have succeeded in creating and running a series which became emblematic, was followed by music connoisseurs worldwide, and enjoys significant cult status to this day. During the following couple of decades, our attention was drawn to many other musical areas, Made To Measure was left aside and became a sort of sleeping treasure, so to speak. Time and again, successive generations of fans and artists drew inspiration from the series. Following an ephemeral rebirth in 2006 for the release of Tuxedomoon's "Bardo Hotel Soundtrack", Made To Measure was gradually revived since the mid-2010s, with new albums by Brown Reininger Bodson, Jozef Van Wissem, Bérangère Maximin, the soundtrack to the 'Blue Velvet Revisited' documentary by Tuxedomoon & Cult With No Name, Le Ton Mité and Stubbleman.
In an illuminating essay on the first seventy-five years of the U. of R., Professor John R. Slater divided the record into three periods: the Age of Foundation, ending about 1867; the Age of Concentration, to the close of the century; the Age of Expansion, to the point at which Slater laid down his pen in 1925. 1 Much can be said for selecting 1867 as a dividing line in the Rochester story. By then the upheaval in University affairs caused by the Civil War was subsiding; Anderson having declined the invitation to assume the fresh presidency of Brown, envisaged opportunities for the Rochester institution, and a set of new trustees and professors, as is indicated in the next chapter, filled the places left vacant the original managers and teachers. From a national point of view, the decades after the Civil War witnessed significant and substantial changes in American higher education, facilitated by the remarkable industrial expansion of the country, the accumulation of large private fortunes, unexampled philanthropy for educational purposes, and improved standards of secondary schooling. Endowment assets of old established academic institutions, it may be mentioned, were still of modest dimensions; as of 1870 the resources of Harvard and Columbia each totalled about $3,000,000, of Yale only half that amount. Challenging the historic American college were emerging universities modelled more or less upon the leading German shrines of teaching and research. Authentic universities obeyed a dual mandate: teaching, the transmission of learning, and increasing knowledge, which meant far greater attention than before to professorial investigation, original research, and publication. When the authorities at Yale decided in 1860 to pioneer in offering the doctorate in philosophy as an earned graduate degree, it was explained that the innovation was intended "to enable us to retain in this country many young men, and especially students of Science, who now resort to German Universities for advantages of study no greater than we are able to afford." Other institutions that felt competent to furnish advanced graduate training presently imitated the New Haven pathfinder. Several outstanding academic leaders, "prophets of new ideals," directed their institutions toward broader and deeper educational objectives: Andrew D. White at Cornell, which admitted its first students in 1868; Charles W. Eliot, who became president of Harvard the following year; and Daniel Coit Gilman, who organized (1876) the Johns Hopkins University on the German, pattern, though with collegiate instruction as well. President Anderson perceived in Eliot, with whom he conferred in 1874, a type of educational executive distinctly different from himself. "... He is evidently not a broad scholar," the Rochester administrator wrote, "but an active, clear-headed and determined man. He never teaches the student and has not the least formative control over their minds or characters. He is really a sort of general manager with duties analogous to those of a Superintendent or President of a Railroad. The same is to a certain extent true of Professor [Ephraim W.] Gurney, who is Dean of the Faculty and governor of the students. He does not teach and meets the students only for discipline or giving excuses. In fact there is no social tie between the double-headed executive and the students." 2 Aside from the eastern institutions of higher learning, state universities in the central section of the nation--Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, for example--advanced in stature and applied novel public service and vocational principles in education. As rule, these newer institutions admitted women on the same terms as men, and at the same time new colleges for women were being founded, Vassar leading the way, Smith and Wellesley coming along shortly afterward. Secular accents, moreover, became increasingly pronounced in higher learning, as the traditional role of promoting evangelical Christian interests and cultivating the moral character of students diminished. Curricular reform reflected the changing ties and the conviction that students should be confronted with stiffer intellectual challenges; instead of the standard instruction in the classics and mathematics, new disciplines (or older ones expanded), notably the natural sciences and social studies, and vocational, utilitarian, and technical training appropriate in an expanding industrial economy, found places in course offerings. And, in contrast to rigid prescriptions on subjects to be studied in order to gain a degree, the principle of free election of studies secured ever wider acceptance and application, though not without stiff resistance from educational leaders, like Anderson, who stubbornly insisted on the traditional studies for their disciplinary values and as essential for educating "the whole man"--the enrichment of personality. Critics of the elective concept disdainfully dismissed student liberty to pick their studies as "the restaurant system." Freedom in choice of courses, required, to be sure, greater library and laboratory facilities and enlarged and more specialized teaching staffs. II Viewed in retrospect, the diversified university--one day to be labeled the "multiversity"--represented "the wave of the future" in American higher education. But the post-Civil War innovations, in "the age of the university," by no means destroyed the historic small college, different in ideals, in curriculum, and in organization from institutions offering work for graduate degrees. However much plans were talked about, none actually matured to transform the college at Rochester into a true university. If no other countervailing influences had existed, the condition of institutional finances alone would have vetoed so far-reaching a reformation. 3 More funds were urgently needed, Anderson periodically reported to the trustees, to enlarge the teaching force, to raise salaries, to increase instructional facilities, and to cover annual deficits. Apparently, expenses exceeded income every year, and accounts were only balanced by almost literally "passing the hat" around to trustees and other friends of the University. The President lamented that despite immense national prosperity, no large benefactions had been forthcoming; more working capital was desperately required, but Anderson said he did not think it was his personal duty to solicit money. On his recommendation, the trustees appointed in 1869 LeRoy R. Satterlee, who conducted a preparatory school in the city, as general agent of the and financial secretary of the U. of R. but it is doubtful whether the funds he collected during his two-year tenure much exceeded the salary he was paid. A bequest in 1870 of $30,000 by Tracy H. Harris, a Baptist merchant of New York City, was applied to the endowment of a chair in mathematics and natural philosophy bearing the name of the donor. Anderson time and again praised William N. Sage for astute management of University finances and for his self-sacrificing labors on behalf of the college. In his annual report of 1871, the President spoke in, optimistic tones about the short-term prospects and the longer future of the institution. Two solid reasons encouraged faith and hope: Hiram Sibley of Rochester promised to finance the construction of a joint library and museum building, and the trustees voted to seek $100,000 in new productive funds. 4 For years, the trustees and officers of the U. of R. had been counting on Sibley to do something handsome for the college in his home community. A man of remarkable acumen in handling intricate financial transactions, he had amassed a large fortune in telegraph and other business operations, and had donated the money to start a school of engineering at Cornell University, of which he was a charter trustee, though he seldom attended board meetings. Like many of Rochester's most important benefactors, Sibley had received but scanty formal education and never knew by personal experience how thorough schooling might nourish the whole of life, yet he developed tastes for the higher living, above economic secularities, and for educational philanthropy. It seems that the managers of the U. of R. even considered changing the name of the institution to "Sibley" (which would match the honor accorded his business associate, Ezra Cornell) in return for a substantial benefaction. This gambit, however, was out of harmony with the thinking of Trustee President William Kelly, who wrote, "It belittles a public institution to bear a private citizen's name.... If Mr. Sibley would give the University any sum he might name, I would not consent to part with one [a name] that though of recent adoption has many dear and interesting associations; but I have no objections to naming a Library or some other edifice after him." 5 When revealing in 1871 the Sibley offer to erect a new building, Anderson informed the trustees that the donor wanted guarantees that in the event the college should go out of existence, or should ever move to a site outside the city, the structure would still be available for the benefit of the residents of Rochester. Sibley stipulated that the library should be open for study to anyone, whether connected with the University or not. Accordingly, a provision in the formal agreement between him and the University stated that if the building should cease to be used for college education it should "become the property of the municipal corporation of the City of Rochester, to be maintained for and made available" to the general public. It seemed to the President that the Sibley edifice would substantially strengthen the conviction that the U. of R. was here to stay and so would enhance its attractiveness for other potential donors. 6 Under the leadership of Trustee Dr. Edward Bright, a fund campaign was started to increase the resources by $100,000, and in 1872 it was disclosed that the money had been secured. At the same time, the alumni engaged in their first substantial money-raising effort, pledging to collect $25,000--a goal that was not reached until 1889. Highly gratified over the improved financial outlook, Anderson incautiously declared that in a comparatively short time the college would be beyond "all pecuniary embarrassment." In actual fact, the books of the treasurer year after year were stained with red ink. A drive to obtain as much as $350,000 in productive funds was talked of by trustees but not implemented; and in 1874 yet another special agent was hired to solicit subscriptions, but his work profited nothing or so the scantiness of the records would appear to show. Trustee President John B. Trevor donated (1875) $10,000 and indicated that if he continued to prosper he would make an annual contribution, for he was well pleased with the way education was being carried on at Rochester. Until other provision was arranged, Trevor agreed to pay a salary of $2,000 for an additional teacher of Latin. 7 To enlarge the student body, Anderson wanted additional scholarship funds to aid young men who were poor in purse, and to help graduates pursue advanced studies, either at Rochester or elsewhere. He also asked the trustees to provide a secretary to assist him and especially to handle correspondence, which averaged one hundred letters a month. The President again invited the trustees to consider offering professional instruction in science and technology and graduate work in the humanities. Now and then, pleas were sounded, outside of the college community and in it, for the establishment of schools of medicine and law, in which the teachers would be Rochester physicians and attorneys: In 1876, the Baptist denomination conducted a Centennial Movement to raise endowment funds for "the perpetuation and sustenance" of higher educational institutions connected with the church. Rochester faculty and students subscribed liberally, yet the net receipts to the U. of R. barely exceeded $33,000, far below expectations. So serious did the financial stringency become in 1878 that University salaries were sharply reduced, ranging from a cut of $500 for Anderson down to $100 in the case of the janitor. 8 III The University catalogues of the 'seventies recommended preparation for entrance to college at a public or private secondary school--or at the Brockport State Normal School. Admission formalities were extremely simple, especially if the applicant or his father was known to the University authorities. An entrance examination in the form of "a little close questioning!" by the President or a professor on the applicant's previous studies usually sufficed. In one instance, a candidate had to tell the professor of Greek whether he was fond of that subject, whether he liked the Anabasis or the Iliad better, and after he replied the Anabasis, he was asked to indicate which chapter in the work he had found most rewarding. "I told him... the speech of Clearchus to his soldiers, when they refused to cross the river in their advance against Cyrus." The statement prompted further cross-examination and "in less than half an hour, the professor had sounded my depths and shallows.'' Another applicant who lacked the Latin requirement for admission begged "Prexy" to admit him on trial--and he carried the day. In 1877, the faculty decided that students would be admitted by certificates from the principal and the teachers of languages and mathematics in qualified academies and high schools. These schools were subject to visitation by representatives of the college, and students who entered by certification had a probationary status for all or part of their first term of study. 9 As witness to the continuing commitment to the Christian faith, it was obligatory for professors and students, unless they were Roman Catholics or Jews, to attend daily chapel, held at nine in the morning in the 1870's. Terming compulsory attendance ''a mild species of religious persecution," an unconventional undergraduate argued that exemption should be extended to deists and atheists. Seniors, it was complained, had little regard for decency and propriety during the daily devotional exercises. Students likewise protested about "the multitudinous discords" that issued from the chapel organ, if the regular organist was absent, or when the instrument was out of tune. "No one can offer suitable praise," an undergraduate wrote to the college paper, "while the air is filled with the dying groans of a murdered tune." To remedy indifferent hymn singing, Anderson at one point named Joseph T. Alling, 1876, as organist, and Edmund Lyon, 1877, as precentor to stand beside the organ and beat the time; it is highly improbable that these youths imagined that one day both would have places on the University's board of trustees. Following chapel, each student attended three classes in succession, with a five minute interval between each, and after 12:15 Anderson Hall was virtually deserted. To call classes and dismiss them, the janitor rang the old hand-bell used in the original home of the University. "We wish the janitor would ring the bell louder,'' ran a typical undergraduate appeal. "Some of our profs. are hard of hearing especially at 12:15." With apologies to Thomas Gray, a student saluted the janitor, Elijah Withal, who sometimes intervened to stop interclass fracases, with "Not in a Country Churchyard:" Elijah tolls the knell of youthful play; The verdant Frosh winds slowly o'er the lea; The bolter homeward plods his wicked way, And leaves the halls to Withal and to me. More in the same vein followed. What Elijah could not overcome was thievery of overcoats, umbrellas, and other student possessions while classes were in session. How the students spent their afternoons and evenings is largely a matter of conjecture. One of them--Edmund Lyon, 1877--who may or may not have been representative, recorded, "...From 1:30 to 2:00 I would take some sort of bodily exercise--sawing wood or the like. From 2:00 until 6:00 I was unremittingly at work on my studies... From 6:30 until 7:00 I allowed myself a half-hour of recreation. From 7:00 to 10:00 I was engrossed in my studies. I recall one occasion when I devoted eight solid hours to a single page of Greek text." Christian accents pervaded all teaching at the college, though officers took pains to repudiate the charge of sectarianism. "The religious convictions of each [student] are respected, " an official statement read, "in so far as this may be done consistently with a dominant purpose to impart instruction, in every department of study, from a thoroughly evangelical point of view.... " An overall description of the course offerings and their objectives appeared in the annual catalogues under the title, "The Conspectus of Exercises." Intellectual and Moral Philosophy was taught so as to fix convictions in the mind of students regarding the reality, the certainty, and the limits of knowledge, and to prove that man possessed "a moral and intellectual constitution, even before processes of thought and action begin." In the teaching of the classics, the aims were a thorough command of Latin and Greek "to unlock the treasure house of ancient thought" and to help in mastering living languages. Although there was no professor of history, that subject was given consideration by teachers of the classics and of English; and Seniors had a term of study on the history of civilization. Rhetoric meant logic, elocution, study of the English language, and experience in declamation, essay writing, and orations; each undergraduate in the 'seventies was required to study German and French for two terms. Mathematics embraced higher algebra, calculus, and applications of mathematics to natural philosophy (physics) and astronomy. In natural science, the offerings were geology (in which use was made of the Ward Cabinet), zoology, physiology, the principles of hygiene, chemical physics, and general chemistry "with illustrative experiments" and visits to Rochester plants in which chemical processes were applied. 10 Descriptions of courses in the catalogues reveal little, needless to say, about their intellectual content and nothing about the standards of performance expected of the learners. Catalogues disclosed, however, that noteworthy revisions were effected in the methods of instruction. For example, the use of textbooks (which shed some light on what was taught) steadily declined in upperclass studies in favor of lectures and "free discussion" as supplements to recitations. In physics and political economy manuals in the French language were prescribed, but after four years of trial the experiment was abandoned as a failure. Something maybe learned about course content, too, from written examinations, though they were less frequent than oral examinations. For a time each course had an "associate examiner" attached to it, whose duty it was to visit the class occasionally, to be present at oral examinations, and to participate in evaluating the academic achievement of each student. That written examinations were no farce is attested by the challenge (in printed form) set (1871) for a class in. "The Art of Composition and Morals:" 2b1af7f3a8