In 1985, librarian Winnie Lichtenwalter was rummaging around in the basement of the Leavenworth Public Library. She was preparing for the move from the old Carnegie Library to the library’s new building when she discovered several boxes of glass plate negatives. The images depicted the city of Leavenworth, Kansas, at the turn of the twentieth century. Initially no one among the library staff knew anything about the photographs. After conducting some research into the library’s records, they found that Leavenworth resident and amateur photographer Frank C. Morrow was the one who had made them.
Morrow was born in Pickway, Ohio, on May 15, 1867. By 1885, at the age of 18, he was living in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he worked for the Great Western Stove Company. He worked there for fifty years, retiring one year before his death in 1936. His wife, Anne Zipp Morrow, died in 1945. They had one son who was born in 1899 and died in 1923.
Lichtenwalter, knowing that her library could not properly house and care for Morrow’s collection, contacted Nicolette Bromberg, a former photo archivist at Kenneth Spencer Research Library. By their nature, glass plate negatives are very fragile. In addition to the risk of breakage, the delicate chemical emulsion will peel and crack on the glass without proper storage and suitable environmental conditions, and Morrow’s plates were already showing signs of stress. Spencer Research Library houses and cares for several glass plate collections, so acquiring Morrow’s plates was a natural fit. When Bromberg went to the Leavenworth Public Library to pick up the boxes, she searched around the basement a little more and found yet another box of negatives that the staff had missed. In all there are 314 glass negatives.
N. Kıvılcım Yavuz is conducting research on pre-1600 manuscripts at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Each month she will be writing about a manuscript she has worked with and the current KU Library catalog records will be updated in accordance with her findings.
to our records, it has been some years since any researcher looked at Kenneth
Spencer Research Library, MS C68, a paper manuscript of 16 leaves
arranged in a single quire. MS C68 contains a single text, a translation into
Latin of a work in Greek called the Hiero
by Xenophon. Xenophon (c. 431 BCE–354 BCE) was an ancient Greek historian and
the Hiero is significant as being his
first work to be translated into Latin as far as we know. This translation into
Latin by Leonardo Bruni was completed at the very beginning of the fifteenth
century, in May 1403, under the title of the De vita tirannica [‘On the Life of a Tyrant’]. Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444),
a renowned Italian humanist, translated several classical works from Greek into
Latin including those of Aristotle and Plato as well as other works by
Xenophon’s Hiero is a short piece, set as a dialogue between Hiero I, tyrant of Syracuse in Sicily from 478 to 467 BCE, and Simonides of Ceos (c. 556–468 BCE), a lyric poet. They discuss how the lives of a tyrant and an ordinary citizen differ with regard to joys and sorrows. Framed as a conversation between a ruler and a wise man, the Hiero is left somewhat open-ended, with Hiero arguing that a tyrant has far fewer pleasures and many more and much greater pains than an ordinary person and Simonides offering advice on how to improve Hiero’s life by enriching himself with friends and employing deeds of kindness.
Knowledge of the Greek language was very rare in the Latin West in the later Middle Ages. Leonardo Bruni learned Greek from Manuel Chrysoloras (c. 1355–1415), who was a diplomat of the Byzantine Empire in Italy. In 1396, Chrysoloras was invited to come to Florence as a professor of Greek by Coluccio Salutati (1331–1406), the Chancellor of Florence, who was also a renowned humanist scholar and a book collector. Salutati was also the patron of Bruni, who succeeded Salutati as the Chancellor of Florence. In his preface to the translation, Bruni refers to the De vita tirannica as a libellus–a little book or a booklet–and dedicates it to Niccolò Niccoli, who he thinks would “embrace Xenophon with a particular love.” Another Florentine and a friend of Bruni, Niccolò Niccoli (1365–1437) was also a protégée of Salutati and is credited for developing the Italian cursive script.
of interest in MS C68 may be explained with what Brian Jeffrey Maxson calls a “small
amount of scholarship” on the work in modern times. Even though Bruni’s De vita tirannica had made available to
readers in Latin an otherwise inaccessible text in Greek and was very popular
during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it has received little attention
in modern scholarship. There is neither a modern edition nor a translation of
the work into a modern language. Nor are there any comparative studies dealing
with both the Greek and the Latin versions of the story. We know, for example,
that Coluccio Salutati published a treatise titled the De tyranno [‘On
the Tyrant’] in 1400 and the topic of good rulership was being discussed in his
political and scholarly circles. Therefore, it can hardly be a coincidence that
Bruni titles his translation the De vita
tirannica instead of keeping the
original, that is the tyrant’s name, Hiero. Another indicator that Bruni’s
translation was read and circulated widely is that this short translation was
published in print editions at least eight times within a span of thirty years between
1470s and the end of the century, and our MS C68 is one of estimated 200 manuscript
witnesses of the translation that survive today.
Neither the origin nor the early history of MS C68 is known. However, the examination of script and the watermarks in the manuscript put the date of origin to somewhere in the first third of the fifteenth century. This means that MS C68 was probably copied during Bruni’s lifetime.
currently stands, MS C68 has a modern binding, perhaps from
the nineteenth century, and carries the bookplate of Sigurd and Gudrun Wandel
on the front pastedown. Sigurd Wandel (1875–1947) was a Danish painter, who
later became the director of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and Gudrun
Wandel (1882–1976) was his first wife. At least two other books with the same
bookplate from their collection in Denmark ended up in the United States and
are now at the Penn Libraries.
The Kenneth Spencer Research Library purchased the manuscript from Bernard M. Rosenthal Inc. in July 1960, and it is available for consultation at the Library’s Marilyn Stokstad Reading Room.
Read a translation from Greek into English of Xenophon’s Hiero on Perseus.
Read more about translations from Greek into Latin in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries here: Paul Botley. Latin Translation in the Renaissance: The Theory and Practice of Leonardo Bruni, Giannozzo Manetti and Desiderius Erasmus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN: 978-0521837170
Read more about the context in which Leonardo Bruni translated the Hiero here: Brian Jeffrey Maxson. “Kings and Tyrants: Leonardo Bruni’s Translation of Xenophon’s Hiero.” Renaissance Studies 42.2 (April 2010): 188–206. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-4658.2009.00619.x
N. Kıvılcım Yavuz Ann Hyde Postdoctoral Researcher
So what is this group (semi-)smiling about? The Snyder Book Collecting Contest, of course! In case you can’t tell by the hair and the clothes, the year was 1973, but you don’t have to travel back in time to join in the book-related fun because the 64th Annual Snyder Book Collecting Contest is now open and accepting entries. KU undergrads and grad students, scan your shelves and submit your collections by March 22, 2020, 11:59 p.m. to win cash prizes as well as a gift card from contest co-sponsor Jayhawk Ink!
The contest offers the following awards in both Graduate and Undergraduate divisions:
First Prize: $500
Second Prize: $350
Honorable Mention: $100
Each winner will also receive a gift card in the following amounts from contest co-sponsor Jayhawk Ink, a division of KU Bookstore:
In fact, the student representative on this year’s judging panel, History graduate student Paul T. Schwennesen, first won the graduate division of the 2018 Snyder Book Collecting Contest with his collection “Borderlands — A Manifesto on Overlap,” and then went on to take second place at the national contest in Washington, DC. Since 2014, KU students have won prizes at the national level three (!) times.
The speaker for this year’s awards ceremony on April 14 is also a Snyder Contest alumnus: Danny Caine. Since placing second in the graduate division of the 2016 Snyder competition, Danny has made a life in books. Not only is he a poet whose books include Continental Breakfast (2019) and El Dorado Freddy’s (with Tara Wray, 2020), but he owns and runs Lawrence’s Raven Book Store. In 2019, he was selected as the Midwest Bookseller of the Year.
According to the article “Center of Attention” on the KU History website, Chamberlain “had his own thirty-minute weekly radio show on student station KUOK” during his time at the University of Kansas. “‘Flip’er with Dipper’ featured current hit records and Chamberlain’s banter, as well as occasional guest appearances by his fellow Jayhawks.”