New Acquisition: David C. Herrin Photograph: Wanbdi Wanapeya (Eagle That Scares)

Photograph of Wanbdi Wanapeya (Eagle That Scares), member of the Lower Yanktonai, photographed by David C. Herrin. Recently acquired by University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) recently acquired a rare photograph of Chief Eagle That Scares of the Lower Yanktonai, photographed by David C. Herrin of Portland, Oregon (1899-1901 residency).  In the dialect of the Lower Yanktonai, Eagle That Scares translates to the Native name, Wanbdi Wanapeya.  The Lower Yanktonai, or “Little End Village,” were additionally referred to as Hunkpatina.  As a smaller constituent of the larger Sioux Confederation originating in the lands of Minnesota, the Lower Yanktonai experienced numerous migrations and forced transplantations.  In the late nineteenth century, the Lower Yanktonai would come to reside largely in the Standing Rock reservation of North and South Dakota, the Crow Creek reservation of South Dakota, the Fork Peck reservation of Montana, the Spirit Lake reservation of North Dakota, and a smaller population of Yanktonai dispersed in Canada.  In their migrations, the Lower Yanktonai supported Sioux Confederation tribes materially, in intertribal relations, and in governmental matters, including negotiating federal policy with officials.  All were actions that effected a powerful confederacy of tribes diverging in interest and geographic location (Galler, 2008).

The photograph of Eagle That Scares was the work of photographer David C. Herrin, or D. C. Herrin.  David C. Herrin and his wife, Margaret, who was also a renowned photographer, operated several photography studios in their tenure as photographers.  Most notably, the Herrins owned a photography studio in The Dalles from 1892-1898, and in 1899 transplanted to Portland, Oregon, to open a photography studio in cooperation with famed photographer Frank G. Abell (Old Oregon, n.d.).  Abell-Herrin Co. operated approximately around the years of 1899-1901.  David C. Herrin was also quite active in the Ancient Order of United Workmen (AOUW) as grand official instructor (Historic Photo Archive, n.d.).  The AOUW was established post-Civil War as a “fraternal benefit society” providing insurance, including death benefits, to select members, mainly white (Wikipedia, 2020).

In 1893, David C. Herrin released a collection of scenic photographs, most prominently featuring the Columbia River and “Dalles people,” quoted from the Dalles Times Mountaineer, 10 October 1983 (Historic Photo Archive, n.d.).  The photograph of Eagle That Scares is one of a series of fifty-four photographs of Native Americans photographed by David C. Herrin.  The obverse of the photo of Eagle That Scares lists the names of the Native Americans featured in the series, as well as artist name and location.  The photo is an albumen print on a cabinet card.


Galler, R. W., Jr. (2008). Sustaining the Sioux Confederation: Yanktonai initiatives and influence on the Northern Plains, 1680-1880. Western Historical Quarterly, 39(4), 467-490.

Historic Photo Archive. (n.d.). Herrin, David C. (Ashland, Medford, Portland, The Dalles).

Old Oregon. (n.d.). David C. Herrin.

Wikipedia. (2020, June 4). Ancient Order of United Workmen.

— Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist

Fall Term Operations

Special Collections and University Archives is now offering individual research appointments for UO faculty, staff, and students only. Appointments must be made 1 week in advance via the library’s calendaring system.

We are continuing our digitization services, and expanded research assistance for all researchers.

Questions about reference, research, and digitization services should be sent to our reference email (


New Acquisition: Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery by William Morris

Rumblings of thought during the latter portion of the nineteenth century in Great Britain insinuated the degradation and disintegration of integrity in design and manufacturing.  The founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement, a response to this perceived degradation, were opponents of the Industrial Revolution who sought a return to the beauty and careful craftsmanship inherent to medieval and gothic design.  The philosophical bases guiding the Arts and Crafts Movement were nestled in the works of A.W.N. Pugin and John Ruskin.  Pugin criticized the British Industrial Revolution and, like Ruskin, idealized gothic/medieval techniques as key exemplars for workmanship and design.  A fellow theorist of Ruskin, William Morris is credited with the founding of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.  Morris shared in the philosophical leanings of Pugin and Ruskin; he condemned the inherent trend industrialism had wrought upon manufacturing – the creation of a severance between designer and manufacturer (Obniski, 2008).  In reference to the effects of modern manufacturing processes, William Morris stated, “Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization” (Crawford, 1997).

The British Arts and Crafts Movement conceptualized the arts upon several principles.  One principle, “the Unity of Art,” challenged any form of hierarchy in which certain art forms were privileged above others.  Another principle, “Joy in Labor,” spoke to reuniting design and workmanship into the art of craftsmanship, where the laborer partook in a sense of joy in the creation of art (Crawford, 1997).  In a preface to “The Nature of Gothic” by John Ruskin, printed by the Arts and Crafts-inspired Kelmscott Press of William Morris, Morris wrote, “The lesson which Ruskin here teaches us is that art is the expression of man’s pleasure in labor; that it is possible for man to rejoice in his work, for, strange as it may seem to us today, there have been times when he did rejoice in it” (Crawford, 1997).  A third principle, “Design Reform,” inspired the creation of societies and associations that promoted the learning and development of craft and design (Crawford, 1997; Art Story Foundation, 2020).

William Morris wished not only for the beauty of manufactured items, but also for the utility.  At the Great Exhibition of 1851 held in London, burgeoning Arts and Crafts enthusiasts widely recognized the necessity for the pairing of utility with fine craftsmanship (Art Story Foundation, 2020).  Morris founded Morris and Co., a firm specializing in the creation of fine paintings, carvings, furniture, and metal works.  The firm’s success in the rejection of industrialist practices and in the honoring of integrity in production showed “how beautiful handcrafted things could be and how they could be assembled with taste” (Thompson, 1996, p. 17).

Part of Morris’s monumental influence on Arts and Crafts aesthetic rested in his keen interest in typography and the craft of bookbinding (Art Story Foundation, 2020).  He established the Kelmscott Press in 1891 in order to create “beautiful” books in what was to be a fervent revitalization of bygone techniques in typography, illumination, binding, and the selection of materials for production.  The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer was perhaps one of the most revolutionary and exemplary publications of the Kelmscott Press.  The work embodied the medievalist practices treasured by Arts and Crafts enthusiasts, from the elaborate borders to the ubiquitous intricate attention to detail.  Quite famously, the Kelmscott Press developed the original typeface Troy, the iconic font of the Kelmscott Chaucer.  Troy, set in gothic style, was not the only distinguished typeface attributed to the Kelmscott Press; William Morris collaborated with masterful typographer Sir Emery Walker to design the Roman-style typeface Golden used in the Kelmscott Press printing of The Golden Legend (Roylance, 1991; Peddie, 1915).

The influence of the British Arts and Crafts Movement on American craftsmanship was palpable in the late nineteenth century.  The ideals of the British Arts and Crafts Movement trickled into the United States through journal and newspaper publications, and the influence of Morris and other Arts and Crafts enthusiasts was immeasurable (Obniski, 2008).  Morris and Co. hosted showrooms exhibiting their productions in the cities of New York, Chicago, and Boston.  Boston emerged as the epicenter of the American Arts and Crafts Movement with the founding of the American Society of Arts and Crafts in 1897.  Soon after, the Guild of Arts and Crafts of New York was founded in 1900.  Founded by four women, the Guild held a unique station in the representation of the contributions of women to the Arts and Crafts Movement.  As the Arts and Crafts Movement continued to permeate the United States, private printing presses embodying the ideals of Morris, the Kelmscott Press, and other private presses of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, began to emerge and take hold (Thompson, 1996).

In addition to Morris’s success as a prolific artist and designer, he boasted a fine literary talent.  One of his works, Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery, received acclaim and was notably printed by several private printing presses of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.  University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) recently acquired two printings of Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery by William Morris, one printed by Elston Press of New Rochelle, New York, in 1902, and the other printed by Blue Sky Press of Chicago in 1904.

The Elston Press edition of Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery was also bound by the Zaehnsdorf bindery, established by the renowned binder Joseph Zaehnsdorf in London in the mid-nineteenth century.  The SCUA Unbound blog entry “Books as Art: Exploring Rare Zaehnsdorf Bindings” provides a history of the bindery.  Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery is a poem composed by Morris that is a meld of romance and “medieval religious drama” (Stevenson & Hale, 2000, p. 383).  The poem centers on the heroic tale of Sir Galahad, wrought with the requisite abundance of tests and trials of a hero’s journey (Stevenson & Hale, 2000).

The Elston Press was founded by Clarke Conwell and his wife, Helen Marguerite O’Kane, in 1900 in Manhattan, New York, prior to its relocation to New Rochelle, New York, in 1901.  While Conwell managed the private press, O’Kane expertly designed the printings, an endeavor in which she greatly excelled.  The books produced by the Elston Press adhered to impeccable standards; they were printed using handpress on homemade paper and bound by hand with boards, cloth, or vellum with ties (Thompson, 1996).  The Elston Press printings primarily used red and black inks and extensively featured O’Kane’s decorative illuminations, often floral in nature.  In the style of the Kelmscott Press, the Elston Press printed many of its publications in Chaucer typeface.  O’Kane’s design of borders and initials are highly emulative of Morris’s work, while her illustrations, characterized by the absence of white space, are emulative of designer Burne-Jones.  The Elston Press edition of Morris’s Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery was printed using a gothic typeface, and O’Kane’s design for the printing resembled Kelmscott Press features in border design, initials, and other stylistic elements (Thompson, 1996).  The work is printed on handmade paper with black and red ink, a double-spread title page, and two full-page woodcut illustrations.  Only 180 copies exist of the Elston Press edition of Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery (AbeBooks, n.d.).

The inception of the Blue Sky Press occurred in 1899 with its first publication, the magazine Blue Sky.  Alfred G. Langworthy managed the operational matters of the press, while Thomas Wood Stevens, Alden Charles Noble, among others accounted for the design and collection of literature.  The first printing of Blue Sky in 1899 used Jenson and Satanick typeface, while the second printing transitioned to Caslon typeface, which the Blue Sky Press used most widely.  The printings of the Blue Sky Press are often simpler than those of the Elston Press and other presses derivative of Morris.  Instead the designs reflect a marriage of the characteristics of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, and the Aesthetic Movement (Thompson, 1996).  The Blue Sky Press printed five hundred copies of Morris’s Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery on laid paper, and twenty-five copies on Japan vellum.  The book is bound in dark green boards with matching dark green endpapers, complete with a gold-stamped title and a Morris border.  The text is printed from hand lettered plates on one side of the page.  The ink is varied in black and red, with a running title in red ink on each page.  The printing most emulates the designs inherent to Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement (Thompson, 1996).

The Elston Press 1902 edition of Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery by William Morris may be accessed for use from SCUA at

The Blue Sky Press 1904 edition of Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery by William Morris may be accessed for use from SCUA at


AbeBooks. (n.d.). Elston Press Rarity: Sir Galahad, a Christmas Mystery.

Art Story Foundation. (2020). The Arts and Crafts Movement. The Art Story.

Crawford, A. (1997). Ideas and objects: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. Design Issues, 13(1), 15-26.

Obniski, M. (2008). The Arts and Crafts Movement in America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Peddie, R. A. (1915). The history and practice of the art of printing. Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 63(3242), 142-147.

Roylance, D. (1991). The art of the English book from William Morris to Eric Gill. The Princeton University Library Chronicle, 52(3), 367-383.

Stevenson, C. B., & Hale, V. (2000). Medieval drama and courtly romance in William Morris’ “Sir Galahad, a Christmas Mystery”. Victorian Poetry, 38(3), 383-391.

Thompson, S. O. (1996). American book design and William Morris. Oak Knoll Press and the British Library.

Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist

2020 Library Undergraduate Poetry Prize Winners

University of Oregon Libraries and Oregon Poetry Association are extremely pleased to announce the winners of the second Library Undergraduate Poetry Prize: Martha DeCosta and Stephany Fatheree. This biannual award is given to two undergraduate students, in coordination with the OPA conference, for excellent poems in whose composition the library has played a part. The prize consists of a $500 award to each winner and the publication of the winning poems in OPA’s Verseweavers, an annual anthology of prize-winning poems from OPA’s contests.

The poetry prize emerged two years ago from collaborative discussions between the two organizations. The UO Libraries Special Collections is the official archive for the Oregon Poetry Collection, a rich collection of volumes by Oregon poets or about Oregon going back to the 19th-century, which was founded by the OPA and is still growing, mainly through its members’ contributions of their new publications. The director of Special Collections, David de Lorenzo, said “we wanted to continue to add to the book collection by supporting young poets whose work is worthy of recognition.” Jeff Staiger, Humanities Librarian in Knight Library, who led the team of readers, noted that “we received nearly 20 applications for this round, an impressive number for a time when all university activities were suddenly challenged by a global pandemic. The review committee had to go completely virtual to assess so many accomplished poems in such a wide range of styles and approaches.”

We are very grateful to the readers and to the OPA volunteers who have enthusiastically supported the Poetry Prize since its inception. The UO Libraries is honored to have the support of the OPA to continue to make this award a reality.


Martha DeCosta Personal Statement:

I am a graduating senior at the University of Oregon with a B.A. in English and a minor in Creative Writing (poetry). During my undergraduate years, I participated in the year-long Kidd poetry program through the Creative Writing department and gained valuable experience in the craft through research and peer workshops. I have always been a storyteller. Much of my inspiration and my creativity comes from a unique multicultural upbringing. Although I was born in the U.S., I spent ten years of my childhood living in India with my family and traveling abroad in South Asia. These formative experiences shaped my worldview. After moving to Oregon, I felt drawn to the international community on my university’s campus. International relationships and experiences continue to influence my poetic interests. I explore diverse subjects in my writing, inspired by personal encounters that cause me to wrestle with some aspects of the world but simultaneously marvel at its diversity. As an aspiring poet and creative writer, I want to contribute my multicultural voice to the poetic community. After my upcoming Spring 2020 graduation, I will be actively job searching, but I also hope to share my writing through online publications and expand my platform.

Martha DeCosta Winning Poem:

I Learn to Knit

Auntie doesn’t speak a word of English except


my knuckles quiver

as I fumble with the loops,

mass like tangled hair in my lap.

Auntie’s braid falls over her shoulder

like a silk dupatta hanging


her gentle palms overlap my fingers,

another row ripples across the needles

fluent as the Ganges River,

the needles click-click at me

for a button hole in the tight pattern –


we knit, purl, knit, purl,

my blue yarn and Auntie’s yellow yarn

neela, peela

Hindi leaps back and forth between us

but I can’t follow her closely enough.


she says, and I am mesmerized by every rotation –

the skein in my lap,

the twists of my wrists,

the loops off my fingers,

Auntie nods and tells me her new word:


Stephany Fatheree Personal Statement:

I was raised in Maui, Hawai’i, and moved to Oregon at nineteen with the hopes of eventually attending a university. After careful consideration, and establishing residency in the state, I decided to attend the University of Oregon to pursue a path in music. Writing has always been a very helpful means of expression and introspection to me, so naturally a large part of my creative expression has been through the craft of words. From my love of creative writing stemmed a love of lyricism, which is how I first developed an interest in music. Since then I have taken as many creative writing classes as I could while also creating music. I have loved exploring both songwriting and poetry, learning that they are so similar yet so different and that I can inhabit different mindsets for each. I was lucky enough to have been a part of The Walter and Nancy Kidd Creative Writing Workshops this year, and through them, poetry has allowed me to focus on the balance between profundity, uniqueness, clarity, and craft. I have thought about the reader and my audience in a more intensive way than I ever have before. Receiving feedback in workshops has been so helpful and rewarding, and being surrounded by poets who share my passion, discussing the craft of poetry has strengthened my love for it. My first term of these creative writing workshops took place in the library, and twice a week for months the library gave me this enriching environment. During my time at the University of Oregon, I have spent hours upon hours every term in its libraries reading, writing, analyzing, and printing poems. I have very much missed having this space to work on my poetry, and I look forward to returning to it when it is safe to do so.

Stephany Fatheree Winning Poem:

Tea Kettle

You take my water

And offer to boil it for me.

You give me rolling stovetop bubbles

So that I may sit with warmed hands

In the midst of Fool’s Spring

In grass that is sunlit but refrigerated

Because winter isn’t done with us yet.


You take my water,

Soak the echinacea leaves,

Expand the chamomile blossoms,

And pour it into my favorite ceramic mug—

The lopsided one that’s so tricky to clean—

So that I may run it through my pharynx,

Shaking loose the Lane County pollen

That makes it hard for me to sing.


You take the panic

That has spread with this pandemic,

The anxiety of this quarantine,

And soothe them with little lavender baths,

So that I may escape my mind for a minute

And pretend I am nothing but tastebuds.


You take my water

And you begin to whisper

Until your whisper becomes a whistle

And starts to sound more like a screech

Amplified by the kitchen.

This chaotic tune is now my favorite song

Because I need something steady,

Something my hands can control

Other than their own hygiene.

The Black Plague: A Pandemic of the 14th century

The Plague – also known as the Black Death, the Pestilence, and the Great Morality – was one of the deadliest pandemics in history, killing an estimated 200 million people in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Islamic cities lost nearly a third to half of their population and Europe lost an estimated 33% of their population. The disease was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis and can manifest as a bubonic, pneumonic, or septicemic strain, depending on what bodily system it is affecting. It was primarily transferred by infected fleas from rats found on boats and spread initially by shipping.i

The famous pandemic that occurred in the fourteenth century is from the Second Plague Pandemic appeared between China and the Crimean Peninsula in the 1330s, making its way to the Black Sea region by 1345. It arrived in Messina, Sicily in 1347 and quickly spread through Europe. The Black Death lasted until 1352, but the Second Plague Pandemic did not end until the early 1770s.ii The plague is now curable, but a vaccine has not been made for the plague, so a small number of cases appear every year in North and South America, Central Asia, and Africa.iii

The plague impacted the European social, political and economic structures, as well as the art produced during and after the fact. Previously, monarchies and governments were the most frequent and high-paying patrons for the arts. However, the impact of incredible population loss, especially in the noble class, caused a switch in established structures – while governments struggled, religious institutions gained a significant amount of wealth from, “the bequests of the dead.”iv It is not just the primary patrons that changed, but the iconography of the commissioned works. Samuel Cohn, a professor of medieval history at the University of Glasgow who specializes on the Black Death, argues that these changes included more saints added to the rolls who were intended to protect the patron from the plague.v

The Office of the Dead appeared more in Books of Hours after 1350, and included a multitude of images associated with the plague, such as Pope St. Gregory during the First Pandemic, King David prayers to avert a plague, the Three Living Meet the Three Dead, the Triumph of the Death, general funeral imagery, and Due to the frequency and re-occurrence of the plague, the macabre imagery persisted throughout the pre-Modern periods (15th-17th centuries).

Figure 1: Fol.3r, UO SCUA, MS 28. Image courtesy of University of Oregon Libraries

Despite the devastation of the plague, the 14th still holds beautiful works of art of the book. The University of Oregon Special Collections & University Archives holds three items from the fourteenth century. The first was made between the 13th and 14th centuries and is an Italian Vulgate Bible with a prologue by St. Jerome and a Book of Interpretation of Hebrew Names (UO SCUA, MS 28, figure 1). The included image, folio 3r, is the initial I that begins Genesis and includes interlaced vine-work that forms six spaces, each containing a miniature that represents one of the six days of creation. The manuscript contains 2 large historiated initials, 29 large illuminated initials, 58 medium-sized illuminated initials, and 38 small illuminated initials.vii

Figure 2: Fol. 1r, UO SCUA, MS 31. Image courtesy of University of Oregon Libraries

Next is the Liber Prophetarum, a large German Vulgate Bible from 1380 (UO SCUA, MS 31, figure 2). Although the illuminated initials do not contain figures, they are tremendous examples of the extreme and detailed flourishing commonly found in 14th century German manuscripts. This type of initial does not occur frequently in the manuscript; instead, there are minor pigmented initials and some column flourishing. Since this manuscript was made twenty years after the most decimating part of the pandemic, perhaps the infrequency is due to some sort of consequence from the plague, likely the lack of tradesmen to do this specialized work due to death in their ranks.viii The population of Europe did not rebound to its pre-Plague numbers until the mid-17th century.

The final 14th century item is a nativity scene in a leaf from a late-13th – early 14th century French Book of Hours (UO SCUA, MS 54.) The leaf demonstrates an attempt at some intuitive perspective, using the lines of the roof of the manger to demonstrate receding space. While some of the leaf has some flaking damage, the delicate use of painted gold leaf remains intact. Given the evidence of gold-leafing, it’s very likely this item was made before the Plague. Gold and other minerals were at a high premium, due again to reduction in population, and the need for prioritizing services such as farming.

While the Black Death eradicated a significant amount of the world’s population, individuals found creative outlets and incorporated their death-stricken realities within their art for centuries to come. Although we are not in quite the same drastic position as the artists of the 14th century, perhaps some of the most beautiful and fantastic art of the early 21st century will emerge from the trauma of our current pandemic.

Written by Zoey Kambour, a second-year master’s student in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of Oregon and a Special Projects Cataloger for the University’s Special Collections and University Archives.


[i] Joseph P. Byrne, Encyclopedia of the Black Death (Santa Barbara, UNITED STATES: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2012),

[ii] Byrne.

[iii] John Frith, “The History of Plague – Part 1. The Three Great Pandemics” Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health 20, no. 2 (April, 2012), 11.

[iv] “Black Death and Medieval Art,” Grove Art Online, accessed August 24, 2020,

[v] Samuel Kline Cohn, The Cult of Remembrance and the Black Death: Six Renaissance Cities in Central Italy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

[vi] Byrne, Encyclopedia of the Black Death, 54-55.

[vii] For more images, please see: Catalogue link:

[viii] For more images, please see: Catalogue link:

— written by Zoey Kambour, August 2020