Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ~ the first president of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, c.1923

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, c.1923

Today, May 19, is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s birthday.  Mustafa Kemal was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki, which was part of the Ottoman Empire and died on November 10th, 1938 in Istanbul.  Atatürk, which means father of the Turks was the first president of Turkey from 1923 to 1938.  He led the National Movement and was the commander during the war of independence against imperialism.  He was a nationalist and he advocated the independence of Turkey from all foreigners.   In 1923, he found the Republic of Turkey out of ashes of the Ottoman Empire and he transformed the country into a secular democratic nation-state and launched many reforms to create a modern Turkey by bringing a new political, legal, and education system and giving equal civil rights to women.

A number of books with information about Mustafa Kemal can be found in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library. These include Ataturk : a biography of Mustafa Kemal, father of modern Turkey by Lord Kinross, How happy to call oneself a Turk : provincial newspapers and the negotiation of a Muslim national identity by Gavin D. Brockett and Turkey by Arnold J. Toynbee and Kenneth P. Kirkwood. All three of these books are part of the Saeedpour Kurdish Collection.

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Rare Book on English Gardening Stolen from the NY Book Fair

Stolen in New York

The following book is missing, presumed stolen, from NY Book Fair, March 13, 2017.

STEELE [RICHARD]. An Essay upon Gardening, Containing a Catalogue of Exotic Planes for the Stoves and Green-Houses of the British Gardens… York: Printed for Author, By G. Peacock, 1793. 4to (25.7 x 20.1 cm).

Description: Later 19th century half calf on pebble maroon paper boards. The front cover is loose, almost off. Raised bands with double gilt lines; gilt title in upper panel; wear to edges. Collation: xxii [Includes Subscribers], [2], 126, [1-BL], [1-Explanation for plate], 127- 159, [1-Bl], [1-Errata], [1-Bl], 102, [2 –Explanation for plates], [2-BL] pp. + 3 copper engraved folded plates. The text has some edge dusting and minor toning. Plates and Explanation pages have toning and minor to moderate foxing, plates only.  The text block has been trimmed slightly, resulting in absence of plate mark at head and tail of plates. Details of plates is not affected, only blank margin inside plate mark.  This is scarce complete copy of one of the first publications with identification of origin of exotic plants growing in stoves, green-houses and British gardens.

If you have any information, or believed you have been offered this item, please contact Eugene Vigil (360-354-7512) or

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Happy Birthday L. Frank Baum!


Cover of 1908’s Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz located in the Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections.

Today we celebrate the birthday of L. Frank Baum, known for his children’s books, most famously The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. His first best-selling children’s book was 1899’s Father Goose, His Book. In 1900 Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , which sold for $1.50 at the time. He went on to write 13 more Oz books before his death in 1919.

Many generations over the years have enjoyed the story as well as 1939 film version based on Baum’s stories, which had its premier over 75 years ago. Baum didn’t live to see that film, but he was involved in a musical stage play (1903) and early silent films based on his most famous book.

A prolific writer, Baum published 55 novels, 82 short stories, and over 200 poems. Along with publishing under his own name L. Frank Baum, many of his books were published under the pseudonyms: Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes, Suzanne Metcalf, Laura Bancroft, and Anonymous.

Did you know? Baum was born in Chittenango, New York, in Madison County.

Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections holds several of Baum’s works including Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Road to Oz, The Magic of Oz and, of course, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Why not stop by and experience the magic of L. Frank Baum this summer?

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The Summer of Love: 50 Years

SOL web small

Dean of University Libraries Curtis Kendrick invites the campus and greater community to get “far out” and “groovy” at the opening of our new “Summer of Love: 50 Years” exhibit:

Reception from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, May 11, in Bartle Library’s second floor mezzanine

The exhibit showcases items from our Center for the Study of the 1960s collection that recall an important year in a tumultuous decade. The exhibit provides viewers with a glimpse into the past at the social, cultural and political movements that started or were advanced during the year of 1967. It features stunning rock concert poster art; books on Psychedelic art and the impact the movement still has on contemporary artists; and books on social activism of the late sixties and how those movements are still alive today.

In Special Collections, an exhibit will feature materials from the Libraries’ University Archives that show facets of Binghamton University campus life: activism, academics, the social scene, and groups and clubs. Go back in time to gain an archival perspective of what was happening at the University back in the day.

The exhibits are on view on the Glenn Bartle Library second floor mezzanine and in Special Collections (North Reading Room).

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Special Collections remembers Sandro Sticca, professor of French and comparative literature

Professor Sandro Sticca

Professor Sandro Sticca

We in Special Collections were very sorry to hear of the passing of Prof. Sandro Sticca. He was a frequent visitor to Special Collections and the epitome of an Italian gentleman. He was a generous donor giving works such as a 2-volume set dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci and a 2-volume set dedicated to Michelangelo. We are especially fortunate that he spent time in Special Collections just before his passing analyzing our rarest books in Latin and Italian. He will be greatly missed.

Special Collections owns many of Prof. Sticca’s books in our Faculty Archives as well as his gifts to us. Please stop by to see the writings and gifts of this scholar who spent more than fifty years at Binghamton University.

Read more about Prof. Sticca here

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Our Book of the Month and Honoring those who fought in WWII

war 001

The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (May 8 and May 9) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by Resolution 59/26  of the United Nations General Assembly on November 22, 2004. The resolution urges ‘Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals’ to pay tribute to the victims of World War II. In the United States, it is observed on May 8, the anniversary of the date when the World War II Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

May 8 is also Victory in Europe (V-E) Day. This day in 1945 marked the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. With that surrender came the end of World War II in Europe.

What did the WWII home front in Binghamton look like? Ronald Capalaces’ book, When All the Men Were Gone tells that story. He writes: “I lived on the Kelly block at 30 Dickinson Street in the First Ward during the war years with my mother, older sister, and younger brother in the two-bedroom apartment on the second floor – the one on the left, facing the street. All the men were gone; gone for the duration of the war. Left behind were wives, mothers, children, old folks, and the military rejects all facing an uncertain future.”

“The America of World War II stands in sharp contrast to the America of today … we at the Binghamton home front lived in a world where television, cell phones, computers, satellites, and the internet did not exist.”

How else did Binghamton then differ from Binghamton now? What was that world like? Read about it in When All the Men Were Gone, part of the Mark Kulikowski Collection, one of the Local History resources in Special Collections.

Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room). Our hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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CEMERS lecture Thursday – Ancient Christian Martyrs


Eusebius of Caesarea

Eric Rebillard, professor of classics and history at Cornell University, will speak on “Collecting Narratives about the Ancient Christian Martyrs from Eusebius (Fourth Century) to Ruianart (Seventeenth Century) and Today” at noon Thursday, May 4, in LN-1106. Rebillard has published five monographs, including The Care of the Dead in Late Antiquity (2009), Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa 200-450 CE (2012), and Transformations of Religious Practices in Late Antiquity (2013).

Jean Bolland (1596-1665), in the preface to the Acta sanctorum, and Thierry Ruinart (1657-1709), in the introduction to the Acta primorum martyrum sincera et selecta, both inscribe their project of collecting martyr narratives in continuity with Eusebius’ Collection of Ancient Martyrdoms (c. 300). However, attention to ruptures as well as to continuities will help in elucidating what was at stake in collecting martyr narratives between the end of the persecutions in the Roman Empire and the beginning of modern hagiography. Such a critical review allows us, in turn, to situate contemporary collections of Greek and Latin narratives about the ancient martyrs.

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Happy May Day!

may day

Detail from a Russian May Day Poster, 1930, original size 103 x 73 cm.

Proletarii! Sryvaĭte podgotovku imperialistov k voĭne!: V denʹ 1 maia tesneĭ sonmknem riady v borʹbe za Sovetskiĭ Soiuz i za mirovuiu proletarskuiu revoliutsiiu!

Proletariats!  Frustrate the imperialists preparations for war!  On the 1st of May, tighten up the ranks in the fight for the Soviet Union and proletarian world revolution!

This May Day poster was printed to commemorate the Communist Party’s most important labor holiday.  Of the 75,000 posters originally printed in Moscow by Gosudarstvennoe izd-vo, the government authorized publisher, only a limited number have survived to the present. This lithograph is number 782 and is housed in the Russian Poster and Print Collection.

The Russian Poster and Map Collection contains rare lithographs and maps printed in Moscow and Leningrad between the years 1929 and 1936.  These materials were given to the University Libraries by an anonymous donor when the Special Collections department was established in the early 1970s.

To see this and other Russian and Soviet posters, visit Special Collections located on the second floor of the Bartle Library.

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Kurdish panel event a success!


Avras Taha, Civil Engineer and Former President of American Kurdish Council, New York Chapter, speaks about his life as part of the Panel Discussion: “Kurdish Community Perspectives: Impacting our World.”

It was standing room only at the”Kurdish Community Perspectives” event hosted by the Binghamton University Art Museum on Thursday, April 20. Attendees heard presentations from speakers including Avras Taha, who came  to the U.S. in 1996 from Dohuk, Southern Kurdistan.

Other speakers included Bahattin Demir, PhD student in history, Ekrem Karakoc, associate professor of political science, and Nilay Ozok-Gundogan, visiting assistant professor of Ottoman history. Aynur de Rouen, Curator of the Kurdish Library & Museum Collection, spoke about that collection, its creator, Vera Beaudin Saeedpour, and its importance to Kurdish studies.

After the event, attendees enjoyed Middle Eastern cuisine prepared by Sibel and Ozge.

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The Most Complete and Luxurious Baths in the Country!


Image of advertisement featured in The Star Programme, April 1892.
Part of the Theater Collection located in Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections.


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