Rare Books Online Showcase Archive 2013

November: Woman's Weekly November 1930


The November Rare Books Online Showcase takes a peek back at the November 15, 1930 issue of Woman’s Weekly.  This issue is an example of a British women’s magazine during the interwar years.  Women’s periodicals can generally be grouped into three categories: commercial, feminist, and organizational. Women’s Weekly can be considered a commercial women’s interest periodical. The first issue of Woman’s Weekly was published in the UK on November 4, 1911 just over a hundred years ago.  Women’s magazines during the interwar years were both cheap (2d. as against the usual shilling, or approximately 47 cents Canadian today) and highly professional looking. In turn, they were a fairly convincing way to reach a large audience in need of advice on becoming the ideal woman. Periodicals like this one can be a great resource for researchers studying historical context or societal changes over time, particularly in relation to portrayals of women.

 The advice offered in the magazine runs the gamut of homemaking, fashion, etiquette, economical tips, health and beauty.beautyexpert cover2 Beauty tips include: what to do when you’ve rashly clipped your eyelashes, found that you’ve disfigured your toes with tight shoes or suffer from patchy makeup.  Romantic fiction is also a popular regular feature within women’s periodicals of this kind.  The stories commonly portray marriage as a definite necessity and the best job of all.  This issue of Women’s Weekly offers patterns for dresses that are glamorous while still being economical, a reflection of the changing economic conditions of the time.  Tips are given on how to take last year’s dress, and with just minor alterations, transform it into this year’s fashionable model.  Interest in royal babies was just as high back then as it is now, with the magazine featuring an article about the childhood goings on of Princess Elizabeth.  Crocheted lace patterns and a pattern for a smart knit jumper also make an appearance.

 skinRegular features in the magazine are complemented with similarly themed advertising messages for items meant to assist in achieving happiness in the domestic realm. During this period, Woman’s Weekly and other women’s magazines became an influencing force in the consumer decisions of the British and North American woman.  Readers could find ads for cod liver oil, sardines, household cleaners, fabric, and surgical belts. An ad for Cephos promises aid for women with slight internal derangement or delicate constitutions suffering from distress.  The ads also promise ways to gain well behaved children, quickly prepared food, beautiful skin and a happy world away from headaches and constipation.  The ad for Player’s cigarettes is a good example of how during the 1920s and 1930s the feminization of smoking in advertising helped to increase smoking amongst women.


 While the magazine is clearly from long ago and many things have changed, it is interesting to note that the idealized themes being offered to a female audience have not changed much at all. Today, as back then, we are taunted by the image of the perfect female, and while her sense of style and daily responsibilities may have changed, her un-attainability certainly hasn’t.



Doughan, David T. J. "Periodicals by, for, and about Women in Britain." Women's Studies International Forum 10.3 (1987): 261-73.

Tinkler, Penny. "Rebellion, Modernity, and Romance: Smoking as a Gendered Practice in Popular Young Women's Magazines, Britain 1918–1939." Women's Studies International Forum 24.1 (2001): 111-22.

"Woman's Weekly Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary." Press Gazette. Press Gazette, 02 Nov. 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

October: Books in Disguise - A Eulogy for the Buoyant


October is the month of Halloween, and for many of us, that means thinking up the costume to outdo all costumes--something more gruesome, or more beautiful, cleverer, or funnier than any costume we have worn before. While brainstorming that perfect costume, consider this: books, like the people who read them, might also enjoy donning the occasional disguise.

Since 2002, the JackPine Press of Saskatoon has been helping books do just that. The small chapbook publisher has become well known in Canada for their experimentation with the book-as-medium, creating products that challenge ideas of what a book must be. Their chapbooks range in form from a triangle (Muskwa-Kechika Dayenu), to a block of wood (The Daughter of a Lumberjack), to a faux but surely functional powder-puff (Plush).

Zachari Logan’s A Eulogy for the Buoyant, published in 2010 by JackPine Press, is no different. At first glance, what we have is a black paper bag:

In bag

At second glance, we have a rather nondescript book with a black and white cover:


At third glance, we have a strikingly personal and direct look at death and grief by a young artist who himself suffered early the loss of his father. The book is as layered as the poems it contains, and is, in its construction, just as haunted, with the poems being printed on near-transparent rice-paper, through which ghostly sketches of a rose, done by Logan, can be seen.

With the bag acting as coffin, and the thick layer of mylar acting as shroud (blocking out even the title of the work), Logan’s words are bones to a larger skeleton. As we read, we are challenged to look death in the face—to grapple with our own fears and grief, and seek, with Logan, an answer to the unanswerable question of moving on.

Zachari Logan brings this same unflinchingly open-casket approach to all of his artwork. The Saskatoon-based visual artist has earned worldwide acclaim, with his paintings and drawings having been shown across Canada, as well as in the United States and Europe.  His current artwork takes on notions of “narcissism and beauty implicit in the homocentric gaze” as well as “ideas of mortality and bodily vulnerabilities, regardless of perceived virility” by utilizing his own body as subject (Logan, 2013).

Though Logan has frequently shown himself naked in his art, and has likewise bared himself in A Eulogy for the Buoyant, sometimes it is the layers on top of that nakedness that prove the most revealing. A Eulogy for the Buoyant is a book made up of layers, wearing a less-than-figurative paper bag over its head. It is a book in disguise and--as with any disguise--part of the allure comes from delving into the mystery of what lies beneath.

a rosetogetherode


JackPine Press. “Who We Are”  http://www.jackpinepress.com/index.php

Logan, Zachari. A Eulogy for the Buoyant. Saskatoon: Jack Pine Press. 2010.

Logan, Zachari. “Writing/Showing/Reading”. 2013  -http://zacharilogan.com/Writing_Showing_Reading.html 

More from JackPine Press:

Bernhardt, Darren. To Kerouac and back : journals from the road . Saskatoon : JackPine Press, 2005 –  Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .B46K47 2005

Hancock, Brecken Rose. Strung. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, 2005.- Available at:  Special Collections-  Shortt    PR9299.3 .H366S75 2005

Horlick, Leah and Alison Ruth. Wreckoning. Saskatoon: Jackpine Press, 2010. – Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .H67W74 2010

Johnson, Kirsten. Songs of love and honey. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, 2005.-  Available at: Special Collections-Shortt  SF523.3 .J65 2005 

Johnston, Sean. A long day inside the buildings. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, [2004?] – Available at:Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .J63L66 2004

Klar, Barbara. Tower road . Saskatoon : JackPine Press. 2004. Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.2 .K618T68 2004 

Lawrence, Katherine. Split ends : a story. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, c2005Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.2 .L422S74 2005

Lowry, Nancy. Even the sky parts. Saskatoon : JackPine Press. c2011. – Available at: Special Collections Shortt PR9299.3 .L824E93 2011

Luhning, Holly. Plush. Saskatoon : JackPine Press. c2006. -  Available at:Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .L85P58 2006 

Mays, Mariianne. Umbrella suites. Saskatoon. : JackPine Press, 2005. – Available at:  Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .M396U63 2005

McAdam, Rhona. Sunday dinners. Saskatoon: JackPine Press. 2010. – Available at: Special Collections Shortt PS8575.A32 S96 2010

Neilson, Shane. Field hospital : the last writings of Lt. Colonel John McCrae. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, 2010. – Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .N44F54 2010 

Pas, Ed, and Lia Pas. Husk. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, c2008. Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.2 .P266H87 2008 

Quigley, Ellen. Gabrielle and the man who is belly-flopped on the world . La Ronge. : JackPine Press 2003. Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.2 .Q53G33 2003  

Ridley, Sandra. Lift. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, c2008. Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .R55L58 2008

Rose, Dawna. Smoking with my mother. Saskatoon : Jack Pine Press. 2006 – Available at: Special Collections Shortt PR9299.2 .R66S66 2006

Spray, Mitch . Farm raised.Saskatoon: JackPine Press, c2011. Available at: Special Collections-Rare Books PR9299.3 .S67F37 2011 

Still, Jennifer and Jennifer Beaudry. Nest : a handicraft. Saskatoon, SK : JackPine Press, 2010. – Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.3 .S76N47 2010

Theis, Leona. The Occupations of Muriel Thompson. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, c2008. - Available at: Special Collections-Shortt  PR9299.2 .T373.O.34 2008   and  Special Collections-University       Authors  PR9299.2 .T373.O.34 2008

Trussler, Michael Lloyd. A homemade life. Saskatoon. : JackPine Press. 2009. – Available at: Special Collections Shortt PS8639.R89 H65 2009

Virgo, Seán. Nonagon : fugue. Saskatoon : JackPine Press, c2007. - Available at: Special Collections-Shortt PR9299.2 .V81N66 2007 

Yawnghwe, Onjana. The imaginary lives of Buster Keaton. Saskatoon, Saskatoon. : JackPine Press.c2011- Available at: Special Collections Rare Books PR9299.3 .Y39.I.53 2011

Young, Patricia. Pilgrimage : love poems. Saskatoon : JackPine Press. 2011. – Available at: Special Collections Rare Books PS8597.O95 P54 2011

September: 1661 Atlas

1661 AtlasInspired by summer road trips and travels to lands unknown, Rare Books Online Showcase features our Atlas consisting of charts and plans collected together from various geographical works by an unknown previous owner in Amsterdam in 1661.This collection is an excellent example of work produced during the Golden Age of Dutch mapmaking. In the 1600s, Dutch cartographers were dominant in Europe, mostly due to the power of Holland’s overseas trade enterprises. Between 1602 and 1795, when charter companies such as the Dutch East India Company, existed, hundreds of mapmakers produced topographical maps of Dutch overseas territories and navigational charts. (Zandvliet, 1433) Taking over from Portugal and Spain, Amsterdam became the centre of international map production and the map trade.

1661 AtlasMap of Europa by Willem Blaeu

This atlas contains over 70 black and white intricately engraved maps that vary in size and are printed on an assortment of papers. Items of note include several maps engraved by two of the most well-known and highly respected Dutch cartographers of the era, Willem Blaeu and his son, Johan (also known as Joan). Willem Blaeu, once a student of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, was a highly skilled cartographer who had his own commercial print shop for many years before being appointed the Chief Cartographer for the Dutch East India Company in 1633. The maps produced by Blaeu and later by his son Joan combine a high degree of scientific accuracy with outstanding artistic features and superb craftsmanship. Also represented in this collection are other prominent Dutch mapmakers: Blaeu’s main competition, Johannes Janssoniu; Frederick de Wit; Henricus Hondius; and Dancker Danckerts.  In addition to maritime navigational maps, this atlas contains city plans, a relatively new introduction to the profession and something for which Frederick de Wit was well known.

1661 Atlas1661 Atlas

Bound in a handsome tan leather cover, the maps in this atlas are reflective of the Baroque era in which they were crafted. They are resplendent with fine engraving, elaborate cartouches, exquisite pictorial and heraldic detail and superb calligraphy. The detailed borders provided a glimpse into the life and features of cities/countries featured in the maps, while also revealing some of the cartographer’s attitudes and beliefs about the location featured. Mapmakers widely borrowed, and in some instances, directly copied cartographic information and artistic embellishments from maps drawn by other prominent mapmakers. At the beginning of the century, Dutch mapmakers borrowed predominantly from Portuguese and Spanish maps and later in the century, from their Dutch contemporaries.  Ornamentation became so important that several cartographers worked with designers to create noteworthy embellishments. Willem Blaeu, for example,is known to have worked with designer David Vinckeboons who created much of the ornamentation and design for several of Blaeu’s most spectacular maps. Towards the end of the 17th century, cartographers looked to Dutch painting for inspiration in ornamenting their maps. During this period it was Dutch custom to use maps as wall hangings and as such, hand-coloured maps were highly prized.

1661 Atlas1661 Atlas


Clark, John O.E., ed. “The age of atlases: The Blaeu family.” In 100 Maps: The Science, Art and Politics of Cartography Throughout History, 116-121.  New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.,2005.

Shilder, Gunter. “Development and Achievements of Dutch Northern and Arctic Cartography in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.” In Arctic, 37(4), December 1984, 493-514.

Welu, James A. “Cartographic Ornamentation in the Netherlands.” In Art and Cartography: Six Historical Essays. Edited by David Woodward, 147-173. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Zandvliet, Kees. “Mapping the Dutch World Overseas in the Seventeenth Century.” In The History of Cartography:  Volume 3, Part 2, Cartography in the European Renaissance. Edited by David Woodward, 1433-1462. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

July: Brendan Missal

Brendan Missal

Even in its fragmentary state, this Missal survives as a superb example of an ordinary liturgical manuscript that was intended for, and received, daily use. This is decidedly not a manuscript that was produced as a treasure or for show. The dirt, stains, indeed the very softness of the well-thumbed vellum all speak eloquently of its long years of use. In its original binding, it is complete with medieval tabs, and includes an unpublished inventory of a Church treasury, dated 1509, that deserves further study.

Brendan Missal

The style of the script and decoration suggests that this manuscript was copied in the first half of the fifteenth century, c. 1400-50, in the Low Countries or the neighboring area of Germany, northern Rhine-Westphalia. The script is an example of a formal liturgical Gothic (note the frequent use of decorative hairlines); there are also notes to the rubricator throughout and liturgical directions copied in a gothic cursive script, an interesting example of how these two types of scripts were used within the same manuscript for different functions.

The marginal tabs or place-markers, consisting of large braided leather knots attached to leather ovals that are glued to both sides of the leaf are of special interest, and they are also a good indication of how the manuscript was used.  Similar tabs are found in Utrecht, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit.

Brendan MissalThis manuscript is a Missal – the liturgical book for the celebrant that includes all the texts necessary to celebrate the Mass. By the thirteenth century Missals were the predominant book used by the celebrant during the Mass, largely replacing Sacramentaries. Sacramentaries included only the prayers said by the celebrant; Missals, in contrast also included the biblical readings, read or chanted by the Subdeacon and Deacon, as well as the texts sung by the choir. Brendan Missal

The contents of the Missal reflect changing liturgical practice during the Middle Ages; by the eleventh century the Celebrant was required to sing or say, either aloud or quietly to himself, all the Mass texts, including the sung texts and the readings. Missals also answered the need of priests saying private Masses, and many surviving Missals, especially from the later Middle Ages, are rather small, portable volumes suitable for this use. This Missal, in contrast, is a splendid example of a large format Altar Missal that must have been used for daily worship in a Church.

Brendan MissalBrendan Missal

This Missal is unusual in including the Canon of the Mass twice. The Canon consists of the texts said by the celebrant at every Mass, regardless of the time of year or the feast being celebrated. The most important texts in a Missal were often introduced by an image of the Crucifixion. During Mass, the Priest kissed the image of the Crucifixion, or other crosses provided alongside the miniature or in the margins. Why two Canons were included here is a puzzle, but the second Canon is copied in the traditional larger script for easy consultation on the altar, and includes a more detailed text. It was inserted into the manuscript, and is not part of the original foliation. Both sections appear to have been used heavily.