Tag Archive for Special Collections & Archives

Jewish Community Donates Roman Coin to Special Collections

Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Leipziger Teva holds a silver coin minted in 70 C.E.

Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Leipziger Teva holds a silver coin minted in 70 C.E.

In 70 C.E., Roman Emperor Vespasian and his son, Titus, sacked the city of Jerusalem, destroying the Jewish temple.

To commemorate the success of quelling the Jewish Revolt, the Romans minted a series of nearly 50 “Judea Capta” (Captured Judaea) coins in gold, bronze and silver to remind the Roman Empire of its victory. Most of these coins depict a Roman soldier or leader, outfitted in military attire, and a mourning female Jewish woman, seated under a palm tree or trophy.

On Jan. 14, Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Teva Leipziger Teva, director of religious and spiritual life, donated a silver coin, known as a denarius, to Wesleyan’s Special Collections and Archives. The silver denarius, featuring an embossed profile of Emperor Vespasian and the words “Caesar Vespasianus Avg(ustus),” was struck in 69-70 A.D.

The coin shows a mourning female Jewish woman, seated under a palm tree or trophy.

The coin shows a mourning female Jewish woman, seated under a palm tree or trophy.

“The coin was probably minted at a time when the teaching of Judaism and outward expressions of biblical, temple cult-based Judaism were made impossible by a dominating power,” Rabbi Leipziger Teva says. “Fast forward to 2010 at Wesleyan. Today we have multiple creative pathways for students to express and explore their Judaism and their Jewish identities. This coin talked about the complete opposite of all of this.”

Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections and Archives, says the denarius is the first coin donated to Wesleyan in at least 12 years. The coin will be housed with another Roman coin of the 15th century, which is embossed with the first, regularly used printer’s mark.

Taraba encourages faculty teaching courses on religion or history to use the coins as teaching tools. Jewish history

Special Collections Honors Earth Day with Exhibition

At left, Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections, speaks to Phil Resor, assistant professor of earth and enviornmental sciences, and Suzanne O'Connell, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences, director of the Service Learning Center, during the Special Collections and Archives Earth Day Open House April 22. Taraba is explaining printer and publisher Robin Price's "43." Paper maps from locations along the 43rd parallels are bound in an accordion that structurally supports the main text, which is printed on graph paper and joined together as an accordion.

At left, Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections, speaks to Phil Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Suzanne O'Connell, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences, director of the Service Learning Center, during the Special Collections and Archives Earth Day Open House April 22. Taraba is explaining printer and publisher Robin Price's 43 Paper maps from locations along the 43rd parallels are bound in an accordion that structurally supports the main text, which is printed on graph paper and joined together as an accordion.

Rebecca McCallum, cataloging librarian at Olin Library, used old cataloging cards to knit this "fabric," which was on display at the Earth Day event.

Rebecca McCallum, cataloging librarian at Olin Library, used old cataloging cards to knit this "fabric," which was on display at the Earth Day event. Several Olin library employees created recycled art for the open house.

William Manchester’s Life Discussed at Lecture, Exhibit

Portrait of a Writer" honoring and celebrating Manchester, a writer in residence at Wesleyan whose ties to the university date back to 1955. Manchester died at his home in Middletown, Conn. in June 2004.

Leith Johnson, project archivist for the William Manchester Papers, speaks about author William Manchester's career at Wesleyan Feb. 5 in Olin Library. The Friends of the Wesleyan Library sponsored the event titled "William Manchester: Portrait of a Writer" honoring and celebrating Manchester, a writer in residence at Wesleyan whose ties to the university date back to 1955. Manchester died at his home in Middletown, Conn. in June 2004.

Manchester was most known for his book, <i>The Death of a President</i> (1967). In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy selected Manchester to write about John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Two years later, she sued him to prevent the publication of <i>The Death of a President</i>, setting off a controversy that played out on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Manchester was most known for his book, The Death of a President (1967). In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy selected Manchester to write about John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Two years later, she sued him to prevent the publication of The Death of a President, setting off a controversy that played out on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

 

1873 Class Album Returns to Wesleyan

Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist at Wesleyan University, flips through the pages of a class photo album dated 1873. A gentleman from Newark, Del. found the album in a pile of books and donated it back to Wesleyan this month. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist at Wesleyan University, flips through the pages of a class photo album dated 1873. A gentleman from Newark, Del. found the album in a pile of books and donated it back to Wesleyan this month. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

When John Chambless was rummaging through a pile of old books at his mother’s home in Newark, Del., one mammoth album with an ornate and intertwined “WU” stuck out. Curious, he opened it up and discovered an album containing more than 50 black and white hand-laid photos of students, staff and campus buildings dated 1873.

Intrigued by the mysterious book that lacked attribution, Chambless began a series of internet searches in attempt of finding the book’s origin.

Manchester’s Life, Writing Celebrated Feb. 5

William Manchester in his Wesleyan University office about 1979. (Photo by William Van Saun/Wesleyan University via Associated Press)

Author William Manchester , pictured here about 1979, worked from an office on the north side of Olin Library. The office disappeared with the library addition. (Photo by William Van Saun/Wesleyan University via Associated Press)

During his 82-years of life, author and historian William Manchester made himself known for his writings on Winston Churchill, President John F. Kennedy, Douglas MacArthur, among other great figures.

On Feb. 5, the Friends of the Wesleyan Library will sponsor an event honoring and celebrating Manchester, a writer in residence at Wesleyan whose ties to the university date back to 1955. Manchester died at his home in Middletown, Conn. in June 2004.

“There are so many people on campus who still remember Manchester,” says Leith Johnson, project archivist for Wesleyan’s William Manchester Papers. “Almost all of his books made it onto bestsellers lists.