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by Beth Farwell, Associate Director for Central Libraries

Holidays conjure up childhood memories, time with family, reading books to children, and bears.

Bears?

How about bears in rare children’s books? Or better yet, a bear reading about bears in a rare children’s book!

Meet Bruiser.

Bruiser reads Three Bears
Bruiser reads Three Bears
Bruiser is Baylor’s mascot who lifts up school spirit with Baylor’s Spirit Squad. The Bear mascot tradition began when Baylor chose the Bear instead of the ever popular Bookworm to represent the school as its official mascot in 1914. The start of Baylor's 1981-1982 basketball season showcased the bear costume that we have come to know and love today as Bruiser the Bear.

For the holidays, Bruiser is helping us turn the spotlight on one of the library’s rare children books. The Three Bears by Robert Southey, edited by Jean Hersholt.
Robert Southey (1774 – 1843) was an English poet and writer of prose appointed in 1813 as poet laureate. Southey presented this story in one of his anonymously published volumes of The Doctor (1834-47). The original version was written with an old woman as the character who intruded into the bears’ home. This 1949 version of the poem introduces the intruder as a pretty little girl, called “Goldilocks.” Bruiser did agree with this version of a very naughty girl and 3 good bears.

This well-known children’s folk tale has since been reworked with numerous changes in the intruder, order of events, type of house, and punishment for the "vagrant." Core to all the versions are the three bears, although early stories do not describe a family order (papa, momma and baby). Most refer to bears by size: Little, Small, Wee Bear, Middle-sized Bear and Great, Huge Bear.

Folklorists are interested in this particular tale as one of the few folktales traced closely to a specific author. Many agree that Southey probably patterned his story after an earlier tale called “Scrapefoot” with a little fox who stole into three bears’ castle.

An earlier story with three bears was published by Eleanor Mure in 1831 before Southey’s The Doctor publication.

page from version by Eleanor Mure, 1831
page from version by Eleanor Mure, 1831
However, researchers have uncovered family letters that prove Southey’s uncle often told this story at family gatherings prior to Mure’s 1831 version.

Perhaps you would like to continue the research and investigation?
If you are interested in more about this tale’s history please contact us to view the Southey edition: Polk PR5464 .T47x 1949 or you can find other versions located in our general stacks in a book titled The Story of the Three Bears GR 141 .S86.

For more information, please visit our webpage www.baylor.edu/lib/centrallib/index.php?id=97560

We look forward to working with you and hope you enjoyed our holiday spotlight. Best Bear wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

Bruiser and The Three Bears
Bruiser and The Three Bears

Many thanks to Bruiser and Ben Johansen for a festive photo session!

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by Beth Farwell, Associate Director for Central Libraries

Procedures and process can be boring, but important to communicate. So, I invited some campus personages to help. I hope you enjoy this rare exploration behind the scenes with our rare collections in the Central Libraries.

The NoZe Brothers and rare books? It makes perfect sense to me. Both are steeped in Baylor history and tradition.

What are rare books and primary resources?
The Library of Congress defines primary resources as the raw materials of history, original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. Use of these resources supports a more personal engagement to events of the past, develops critical thinking skills and builds knowledge when faced with contradictions, differing points of view and complexities of the past.The Central Libraries' Special Collections contain rare manuscripts, facsimiles (copies), archives (letters and other documents), photographs and more.

Who are the NoZe Brothers?
I have no idea.

Who better to introduce you to our complex, contradictory treasures than this group of unique, complex, contradictory and inquisitive students?

Let’s begin our tour.

How do I start?
Whether you have identified a specific resource or have a general topic, you will need to set up an appointment to view these materials. Rare materials are not open to the public and are housed in “closed” stacks.

Serious cataloging discussion
Serious cataloging discussion

Library staff will pull requested titles and have them ready for use in a reading room. Most of the special collections can be found in the online catalog www.baylor.edu/lib/.

You can schedule an appointment online www.baylor.edu/lib/CentralLib/index.php?id=97616 or call me (Beth Farwell) at (254) 710-3679.

Appointments can be made Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.
We have several librarians with subject expertise that can assist you in your research of these materials if needed.

Where do I go?

skipping in
skipping in

The Central Libraries' Special Collections are located in Moody Library. Skipping is the preferred mode of transportation for the NoZe Bros., but not required to view the resources. Once your appointment is scheduled, we will meet you in the Riley Reading and Digitization Presentation Room on the third floor of Moody Memorial Library.

What do these collections contain?
The combined collections hold over 10,000 volumes dating from the 12th century to the present. Collections include rare books, manuscripts, book arts, scholars' libraries, archives, early printed music, and more. Covering a broad range of subjects, the collections are particularly strong in rare Bible versions, hymnals, early American popular sheet music, and significant American imprints.

Medium Rare Search
Medium Rare Search

Let’s check in with the brothers and what they discovered as they began their tour in the medium rare collections (there is really no better description). Medium rare collections include scholars’ libraries, individual archives, and the Sue Margaret Hughes Collection that houses rare materials published after 1801.

The brothers passed over a facsimile of the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, some older government documents which may have included the Roswell report, the library of Dame Kathleen Kenyon a leading archeologist of her time who directed the excavation of Jericho in the 1950s, and many other first and signed editions.

Getting closer
Getting closer

While the brothers did linger over these medium rare titles, they were looking for something more. Something more rare. So off they skipped to the Polk Rare Book Room.

The Polk Rare Book Room houses the libraries’ most rare materials including titles published or printed before 1801. Currently the room houses almost 2,000 items.

Almost!
Almost!

Popular titles viewed by NoZe Bros. were the collected works of Jonathan Swift from 1751, a first edition of the Hobbit, Gutenberg Bible facsimile bound with 15th century techniques, 18th century parables, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Ellesmere facsimile), and a facsimile of the Gospels written in about 1035.

The brothers chose this beautiful full-color facsimile from 1035 “Codex aureus Escurialensis” for more research in the Riley Reading Room. The facsimile is in Latin with Carolingian minuscule (a type of font) in gold ink originally created in a scriptorium of a Benedictine monastery at Echternach, Luxembourg. Echternach was known for producing elaborate luxury editions.

Success!
Success!

Full of 12th century interpretation and new knowledge of all the treasures available for research, the NoZe Bros. wrapped up their tour. We hope you enjoyed this quick skip through the rare collection procedures and a glance into the types of materials available for your use.

For more information, please visit our webpage www.baylor.edu/lib/centrallib/index.php?id=97560

We look forward to working with you!

Many, many thanks to the Noble NoZe Brotherhood for their time, respect for primary resources, and help in highlighting Baylor’s rare collections. In addition, a huge "thank you" to Ben Johansen for his time and creative photography skills!