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The wister family collection

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For La Salle University's History 665 class

For La Salle University's History 665 class

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  • 1. The Wister Family Collection CONNELLY LIBRARY DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
  • 2. “An effective exhibit givesreign to the visitor’simagination.It should create a directlink to an authenticpast, a sense ofimmediacy andintimacy.” (National Park ServicesMuseum Handbook, Part III, 2001)Special Collectionshouses a curatedcollection of primary andsecondaryresources, which containrich possibilities for yourbackground research. Dr. Owen Jones Wister
  • 3. Wister Collection Overview This collection is comprised of a range of materials relating to the prominent Philadelphians who are associated with the estates of Belfield, Little Wakefield, Wakefield and Wister in the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The bulk of this collection relates to Owen Wister (1860- 1938), author of The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains (1902), and to members of the Wister family. In addition to an excellent selection of works about Germantown history, this collection includes books by and about Wister family members; as well as archival material such as photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence. The collection includes ephemeral material, family-owned Bibles and genealogical information. Spanning five generations, this collection reflects the experiences of the family from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and both World Wars.
  • 4. Archival CollectionsApproximately five dozen Owen Wister letters, somediscussing The Virginian and a number discussing politics(1900-1935)The Starr Family Papers (1889-1992), being the personalpapers of Sarah Logan Wister Starr and her husband James,chiefly concerned with the running of Belfield estate.A small collection of personal papers of Sara YorkeStevenson (1847-1921), archeologist, Egyptologist, civicleader, newspaper editor and columnist, and friend ofFrances Anne Wister.
  • 5. The papers of Ethel Langhorne WisterChichester (1881-1977); includingcorrespondence with her father JonesWister (1839- 1917). The collection alsoholds a corrected typescript of JonesWister’s Reminiscences (1920)The papers of American horticulturalistJohn Caspar Wister (1887-1982); includingcorrespondence, diaries and day books,manuscripts of lectures and publications,and garden and landscape plans. Works byand about John C. Wister, primarilyrelated to gardening in the US.Wister family photograph albums anddiaries, circa 1900-1930.
  • 6. Searching the CatalogThe Wister Collection is fully cataloged. The library cataloged is configuredto sort by specific collections. To narrow results to the Wister Collectionselect: Owen Wister Spec Coll. To find selections of archival materialsthe following keyword searches are helpful: • Diary • Letters • Papers • Photograph albumSpecial Collections also maintains a separate Germantown History Collection.For this project you may want to broaden your search to “All of Special Collections”to find some other useful books. Some useful phrases to search: • Germantown history • Germantown historic http://connelly.lasalle.edu/
  • 7. FullInventories Use theOnline “findMulti-box archival feature”collections have morecomplete inventories ofcollection contents linkedto the catalog record.Certain catalog recordswill have a link to Viewthe inventory onlineText embedded in thecollection inventories isnot indexed in thecatalog. But you can do abasic word search of thepdf using the embeddedsearch box.You will find much morerich description in theseitem-by-item guides.
  • 8. Online featuresOur online features for this collection are undergoing a total “renovation.” Please use these links toaccess our online features: • Department website and collection overview http://www.lasalle.edu/library/speccoll/wister.php • For excellent articles and biographies from our old digital platform: http://www.lasalle.edu/digital/articles.php • Our new content management system for all of the digitized materials from Special Collections (a.k.a. “Digital Collections”): http://digitalcollections.lasalle.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15860coll2In order to achieve a more up to date look, and allow for more interactive exhibit features online, we arepresently using Omeka web publishing to create a new website. Check out the free version of Omeka at:Omeka.org
  • 9. Can I Check Out the Book?Some materials in Special Collections docirculate, but due to the age and uniquenature of the material in this collection, allitems must be viewed in the Department’sreading room during research hours.Please contact me to find the best time to visitthe collection:Sarah Seraphin215-951-5166seraphin@lasalle.edu

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