This April marks the 90th anniversary of the deaths of three Passionist Catholic priests at the hands of bandits in China. The priests had come as missionaries to Hunan province, and their murders shocked American Catholics, U.S. diplomats, and the Holy See. A new exhibit in the Heritage Room, titled “Life, Death, and Memory: Art and Artifacts from the Passionist China Collection,” honors the martyred men as well as the service of the many other Passionist priests and Sisters of Charity who worked in the region from 1921 to 1955, when the last missionary was expelled from Communist China. They served through famine, flood, and war, and witnessed both incredible suffering and hope. Ultimately, they left a legacy that continues to the present day, inspiring a new generation of Chinese Passionist priests.
The exhibit will be on display until April 24 during normal library business hours. There will be a reception and lecture, by Father Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D, and Passionist Historian, on Monday, April 8, at 6:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room. The lecture will focus on remembering the witness of faith of the martyred priests, and the larger story of the Chinese Catholic witness of faith. The reception is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341.
McHugh Special Collections is celebrating National Handwriting Day with a writing specimen from penmanship master Daniel Ames (1841-1909).
The reception for the exhibit, “The World’s Best Penman: The Artistic and Business Career of Charles Paxton Zaner, 1864-1918,” will be held tonight in the Library’s 5th Floor Heritage Room, from 6-8 p.m. Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian, will give a lecture titled “Charles Paxton Zaner and the Penmanship Profession.” The event, which is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, is free and open to the public. Don’t miss it!
Michael Knies was interviewed about the exhibit by WVIA’s Erika Funke, which can be accessed below. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-941-6341.
Wednesday evening, October 24, from 6-8 p.m., the Library will host a reception for the exhibit “The World’s Best Penman: The Artistic and Business Career of Charles Paxton Zaner, 1864-1918,” in the 5th Floor Heritage Room. Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, this event is free and open to the public. Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian, will give a lecture titled “Charles Paxton Zaner and the Penmanship Profession.”
The exhibit will be on display through December 14 during normal library hours. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 570-941-6341.
The Heritage Room is featuring an exhibit on the career of Charles Paxton Zaner, penman extraordinaire and founder of the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Company. The Weinberg Memorial Library has been the home of the Zaner-Bloser Collection since 2010, and the collection has been used in a number of exhibits. Zaner-Bloser, which is still in business, has been a leading publisher of penmanship instruction materials since 1888. However, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of C.P. Zaner’s tragic death in an automobile collision with a train at the age of 54. Consequently, the exhibit will focus on Zaner’s career and feature calligraphic alphabets, flourished birds, other artistic work and penmanship exercises. But Zaner was more than a penman. He was a businessman, a publisher, an essayist, and author of penmanship manuals. The exhibit will also display manuscript copies of his essays, copies of manuals he authored, accompanied at times by the original penwork and printing blocks, and material from the company he created.
The exhibit, titled “The World’s Best Penman: The Artistic and Business Career of Charles Paxton Zaner, 1864-1918,” will be on display until December 14 during normal library hours. There will be a reception and lecture, by Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, on Zaner’s career and the profession of penmanship during his lifetime on Wednesday, October 24, at 6 PM in the Heritage Room. The reception is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341.
The University is pleased to announce that our substantial collection of Western Penman and American Penman journals has been digitized and is now publicly available online as a part of the Library’s digital collections. The Western Penman can be accessed here and The American Penman here.
Contained within the Library’s extensive Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the journal is one among many penmanship periodicals published during what is known as the “Golden Age” of penmanship, extending several decades before and after the year 1900. Austin Norman Palmer began The Western Penman in 1884. A contemporary and competitor of Charles Paxton Zaner (who would begin publishing his own journal, The Business Educator, eleven years later), Palmer created a simplified method of manuscript writing designed for speed and relying on muscle memory and whole-arm movement. Palmer’s technique contrasted with the more ornate Spencerian script that was the standard of the time. The insistence on speed, evidenced even in Palmer’s habit of closing letters with “Rapidly yours,” aligned perfectly with the growing American obsession with the automobile and his ideas were soon taught in schools across the country. In 1900, Palmer began publishing separate student and professional editions of The Western Penman. In 1906, the publication was renamed The American Penman and ran until 1938, resulting in a total of fifty-five volumes of issues.
The Library’s collection encompasses the entire span of the Penman’s life cycle, although some volumes and issues are missing. While a substantial amount of the Library’s penmanship journals, consisting mostly of the Penman’s Art Journal and the Zaner-Bloser publications, were digitized in 2010 by the Internet Archive as a part of the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative, the Western Penman and American Penman journals remained available almost exclusively in their print editions. In 2017, twenty-two bound volumes were digitized by Backstage Library Works. Our digital collection now contains 519 issues, with a total of 17,119 page images. The master TIFF image files, which are stored in our digital preservation repository, add up to 652 GB.
We extend our warmest thanks to all of those involved in the process of making these journals digitally available! They are sure to offer great value, both historically and artistically, to our Library’s users.
Below are examples representing various elements of the journal: examples of penmanship completed by students at a business school in Michigan, a page of exercises written by penman R. H. Robbins, and an excerpt from a detailed lesson by Palmer concerning his Muscular Movement technique. Palmer wrote that he considered his readers to be an “immense writing class” led by his teachings.
Currently on display in the Library’s 5th Floor Heritage Room is the exhibit “Scranton and World War I.” The exhibit is a cooperative effort with the Lackawanna Historical Society in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical Association‘s annual conference which will be held at the Radisson Hotel from October 12 through October 14. The conference’s opening reception will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit is composed of World War I era materials that relate to Scranton from the Lackawanna Historical Society and The University of Scranton Archives, as well as materials from the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton Collection, and the Visiting Nurse Association Collection.
The exhibit is on display during normal library hours through Friday, December 8th. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570- 941-6341.
Thanksgiving engrossing by J. F. Briley (b. 1869) with the poem “A Little Thankful Song” by Frank L. Stanton. From the Zaner-Bloser, Inc. / Sonya Bloser Monroe Penmanship Collection and Horace G. Healey Collection. (undated)