Matsukaze: A Japanese No Play

Cover of the RBR's copy of Matsukaze: A Japanese No Play

Cover of the RBR’s copy of
Matsukaze: A Japanese No Play

So, just what is a Japanese No (or Noh) play?  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Noh comes from a Japanese word meaning “talent” or “skill.”  It refers to a traditional Japanese theatrical form, one of the oldest exant theatrical forms in the world.  It involves music, dance and drama, and has been around since the 14th century.  Plots are drawn from legend, history, literature and contemporary events, with themes often involving dreams, the supernatural world, and ghosts.  All the performers in a No play are men, in rich and heavy costume.  The main character, the shite, often takes several roles, each represented by a mask so that the audience knows which character is on stage at the time.  There is actually little action, with the performers acting more as story-tellers than actors.

One of the most famous of the No plays is Matsukaze, translated as “Breeze through the Pines,” or “Wind in the Pines.”  It is a “wig play” or “woman play” in which the characters are women, although played by men.  In Matsukaze, the two main characters are the spirits of Matsukaze (the wind) and her sister Murasame (the Autumn rain).  They lived in Settsu Province, and when the news of the death of their lover came, they both died of grief.  However, their sprits lingered on.  As the play opens, a traveling priest asks about a local memorial, finding out that it was built as a tribute to the two dead sisters.  The priest meets them in a dream, they explain their past and are overcome with madness.  Their souls are released and they pass from the mortal world, leaving only the sounds of the wind and the rain behind.

Matsukaze title page

Matsukaze title page

Dr. Harold Marvin (Davidson, Class of 1934) donated a copy of Matsukaze to the library’s Rare Book Room from his private collection.   Our copy, Matsukaze a Japanese No Play by Kwanami, was translated by Dan Frank Waugh, was privately printed in New York City in 1933, and is number 15 of only 75 copies.  It was bound by hand at the Stratford Press in imitation vellum and textured gray and black paper boards.  It was printed on hand-made Japanese silk paper.

Hand-made silk paper with deckled edges

Hand-made silk paper with deckled edges

The delicate paper is uncut (folded at the top) and has deckled edges. The decoration on the title page is from an ancient Japanese sword guard and symbolizes the play Matsukaze.

Thanks to Dr. Marvin for deciding to give us this beautiful book.

Coping with College

A June 2017 New York Times article, “Colleges Get Proactive in Addressing Depression on Campus,” mentions several programs at Davidson College and quotes the recently retired Dean Shandley as well. The article explains that colleges and universities are hosting numerous mental and emotional health programs to see what works the best and for the “broadest swath of students.”

I decided to take a look at Davidson College roughly fifty years ago to see what was offered. In the 1962-63 Davidson College Reference Catalogue (part of our digital collections), there are numerous references to “counseling” and this service was found in several departments and offered in various locations on campus.

Inquiries regarding “Student Interests and Counseling” were to be addressed to the Dean of Students and this was indicated on the first page of the catalogue. In addition to the Dean of Students, there was also an employee with the title, Director of Student Counseling.

Alumni Weekend, June, 1963, Dr. William Hight,
Director of Student Counseling

The David Ovens College Union is described as a “laboratory of student management and self-expression as well as a place for informal counseling and guidance.”

Aerial photo of Johnston Gym and Richardson Stadium and Field; the roof of the Ovens College Union is visible.

As one might expect, one of the responsibilities listed for the College Chaplain was “personal counseling;” although, expectations that the Chaplain would provide counsel regarding summer employment, another stated assignment, would probably not be anticipated. The Supervisor of Dormitories was also encouraged to offer advice and counsel students regarding problems in campus housing.

Mrs. Moore, Supervisor of Dormitories, surrounded by students.

Although the term would probably not be applied the same way on today’s campus, in the 1960s, counseling began with Freshman Orientation and continued throughout a student’s career, according to “The Degree Programs” section of the 1962-1963 catalogue.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact

“A Fondness for Town Ball”: Early Years of Baseball at Davidson

As the Men’s Baseball team goes on a Cinderella run in the NCAA Division I World Series, let’s look back at the foundations of baseball at Davidson College.

Baseball is first mentioned as a pastime on campus in 1870, played as recreational “Saturday ball”-style games by members of the literary societies. Much of the information the archives has on 1870s baseball come from the reflections of E.M. Summerell (Class of 1876), who was interviewed for a May 15, 1924 Davidsonian story, “Earliest Days of Davidson’s Baseball History Are Pictured By Former Player”:

“Dr. Summerell said that he had a fondness for town ball and that when a baseball club was organized here the spring after he came, he joined and made the team. He played every position on the field, including pitcher, catcher, and infielder.”

Members of the Class of 1892 baseball team, holding a sign indicating that their class had won the championship showdown between all class teams.

Cornelia Shaw’s Davidson College describes the spirit of Davidson baseball in these early years:

“The first mention of baseball was in September, 1870, when two clubs (The Mecklenburgs and the Red Jackets) were in existence… Members were excused from literary society meetings on Saturday mornings to take part. The games were an overflow of joyous interest in sport; there were no coaches and no admission fees.”

Baseball became an intramural sport, and each class fielded a team to play against the others. Quips and Cranks, the yearbook, often recorded athletic records set each year, including a “baseball throw.” However, the March 1898 issue of the Davidson College Magazine noted that “baseball doesn’t receive as much attention among us as it should,” implying that football was the more popular sport on campus at that time.

The 1905 intercollegiate team, with their mascot – that year, “Bowman’s baby.” We do not know who Bowman is, but likely a townsperson in Davidson.

Class baseball played an important role in one of the most infamous riots on campus – the Freshman Riot of 1903, when inter-class competition and hazing led to a conflict between the Class of 1906 (then freshmen) and the Class of 1905 (then sophomores) that legendarily involved their baseball score score (freshmen 12, sophomores 9) being scrawled on the columns of Old Chambers, sophomores being barricaded from their rooms, both classes taking refuge in boarding houses in town and then possibly settling their differences in a fistfight on the College President’s lawn.

The baseball squad in 1906. Since this image includes 47 players, it is likely of all the class teams and the intercollegiate team players together.

Baseball became a varsity sport in 1902, when Davidson began intercollegiate play. The first season went swimmingly, with Davidson recording victories over Duke University (then Trinity College), The Citadel, and University of South Carolina. The intercollegiate team’s first season record was 7-2, and the team would go on to post a 84-55-2 record over the first ten years of play. The freshmen class retained a junior varsity team, known as the “Scrubs” and later as the “Kittens” or “Wildkittens”, which allowed freshmen to get more playing time.

A summary of the first year of varsity intercollegiate baseball play appeared in the 1903 Quips and Cranks: “What team in the beginning of its career ever made such a record on the diamond as our team did last year?”

A baseball cartoon from the 1902 Quips and Cranks, the first year of intercollegiate baseball play.

A cartoon from the 1904 Quips and Cranks, celebrating Davidson baseball’s win over UNC. Cartoons of this type, often featuring racist stereotypes, were commonly featured in yearbooks in the early 20th century.

The baseball program has significantly expanded since the early years of “town ball,” class team rivalries, baby mascots, and early intercollegiate play. Cheer on our modern-day Davidson ball players in their best-of-three super regional match-up against Texas A&M – game one will be on June 9, game two on June 10, followed by a third game on June 11 if necessary. Go ‘Cats!

Happy Retirement, Jan Blodgett!

A few weeks ago longtime College Archivist and Records Management Coordinator Jan Blodgett retired after 23 years of service to Davidson (for information on our new College Archivist, DebbieLee Landi, see our earlier blog post introducing her). Jan has made an impact all across the Davidson College campus and the town of Davidson, including on this very blog – Jan started Around the D on January 21, 2009! This week we’ll celebrate her time as College Archivist by delving into our photo archives for images of Jan:

Jan sits at a table in the archives in 1994, with Loyce Davis and Barbara Butler.

Jan leads a discussion on Davidson history in the Davidsoniana Room during Freshman Orientation in 1996. Jan’s introduction to the past and present of Davidson College has been a part of orientation for over 20 years.

Jan stands by one of the columns of the Chambers Building in 1997, while then Library Director Leland Park chats with Josh Gaffga.

Members of Common Ground, including Jan, a local grassroots organization designed promote communication and understanding and improve relations among people of all races in Davidson, gather for a Christmas Day memorial service in 1998.

Library staff, including Jan (in the pink skirt and shirt), gather in the lobby of E.H. Little Library, circa 1998.

Library staff gather in front of Beaver Dam in 1999. Jan is towards the back of the group.

Jan chats with then Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, in the Rare Book Room during his visit to campus in 2001. Billington is looking at the Arabic language Bible of Omar Ibn Sayyid, one of the highlights of our rare book collection.

Jan works with a student on researching campus architecture, in the Rare Book Room in 2014.

Jan led a paddleboard tour of the history of Lake Norman in July 2015, in partnership with Davidson Parks and Recreation.

A full Archives & Special Collections staff #shelfie in 2015! From right to left: Caitlin Christian-Lamb (me!), Sharon Byrd, and Jan Blodgett.

Jan (with her back to the camera) works with ENV 340 students in the Rare Book Room, in 2016.

Hilton Kelly is photographed while photographing Jan (meta!) working with Charlotte Mecklenburg public school teachers on a workshop in summer 2016, aimed at integrating archival materials across secondary education. The teachers’ projects can be found here.

Jan enjoys archival glogg in December 2016 with Roman Utkin and Caroline Fache.

Jan addresses the crowd at her final campus history tour in April 2017 (you can view the livestream of the tour here).

Jan Blodgett was the first professionally trained archivist to work at Davidson College, and her work building and organizing collections, as well as fostering community and curricular connections is fundamental to the Archives & Special Collections current and future work. We will always be grateful to Jan for her tireless, generous, and energetic work – please join us in wishing Jan a fond farewell and a happy retirement!

Burke’s Weekly for Boys and Girls

Burke's Weekly for Boys and Girls

Burke’s Weekly for Boys and Girls

The library’s 100,000th volume, an addition to the Rare Book Room, was the 1st volume of Burke’s Weekly for Boys and Girls, a short-lived serial (1867-1871) which was published in Macon, Georgia.  Our volume includes the issues for 1867.  It was given to the library by Dr. Leland M. Park, our former library director, who had received the volume from his father.

Burke’s Weekly was begun by two brothers, J. W. Burke (the publisher) and T.A. Burke (the editor) after the U.S. Civil War to provide southern children with a magazine of stories, games, puzzles, and poetry.  The timing of the publication in the South, when many of the region’s families were trying to rebuild from the war and had little money to spare, was not the best, and subscriptions lagged, so much so that the publication ceased in 1871.  The brothers indicated in its last issue that they thought a publication such as theirs was needed and desired, but that they had not succeeded in that enterprise.  They then thanked those who had supported them.

Burke's Weekly Title Page

Burke’s Weekly Title Page

The stories in the issues had plots, which although they were interesting to children, also often included moral lessons.Stories with a moral  Other stories, specifically aimed toward girls, included information on pursuits such as “keeping house” and helping their mothers with the household chores.  The activities of animals and children were often topics for stories, and the poetry was sometimes religious in nature, or had topics related to the seasons.



Issues also included a section called “Our Chimney Corner” which included riddles, and other puzzles.

Our Chimney Corner

Our Chimney Corner

Thanks to Dr. Park (and his father) for this volume.

Some Things Never Change: Advice for Students

As students graduate and get ready to leave Davidson, they all get plenty of advice.  Whether they’re going on for further formal education, going into their first “real” jobs, or taking a year to volunteer or travel… whatever they decide to do, they all get advice…solicited or not…from parents and other family members, friends, and their “Davidson Family.”  Faculty members who have been important in their lives are often sources of advice, and that hasn’t changed in the last two centuries, as seen in one of our Rare Book Room titles “Youth’s Friendly Monitor, or The affectionate school-master: containing his last pathetick farewell lecture to his young pupils, on their entrance into a busy world, and their diligent pursuit after new employments….”  This 60 page volume, a gift of Dr. William P. Cumming, class of 1921, was published in 1787 and was written by James Burgh (1714-1775), a London schoolmaster.

Burgh’s lecture began:

“The Time being now come, when you are to remove from under my Care and Direction, and to go into other Hands, which will soon send you out into the wide World, where you must struggle for yourself and either sink or swim, according as you are favoured by Providence, and conduct yourself prudently, or otherwise; I think it my Duty to add to the many Advices I have given you from Time to Time…”


His advice included the following:

There is nothing of so much Consequence toward gaining a handsome subsistence, and arriving at an early and comfortable Situation in the World, as constant Application to Business, and steady Pursuit of the Main Point.”

“Be on your Guard as to Amusements and Diversions, which, if too much indulged, will take you off your main Pursuits….”

“Do not depend wholly upon your own Judgment; but, in the Choice of a Friend, strive to find one who has the universal Approbation of his Acquaintance, for his Integrity and Discernment.”

He also advised that:

“When you know no Good you can say of a Person, whose Name you hear mentioned, to be quite silent.”

And, he recommends that a scholar continue pursuing

“useful and ornamental Knowledge,” which is “the very Food of the Mind, and except Virture and Piety, is the most truly valuable Acquisition.”

He also reminds students of the importance of philanthropy.

It is a fatal Error, though a common one, …for a Man of Wealth to spend his Riches wholly upon himself….”


Good advice in 1787, and still pretty good in 2017!

Studying in the Library: A Picture Post

Tomorrow is Reading Day, which means finals are just around the corner for Davidson College students. Students do their work in a variety of locations, although the library has always been a popular study spot – there have been four libraries throughout the history of the college: Union Library (a consolidation of the literary societies library collections in Old Chambers Building, 1861 – 1910), Carnegie Library (now the Carnegie Guest House, 1910 – 1941), Hugh A. and Jane Parks Grey Library (now the Sloan Music Center, 1941 – 1974), and E.H. Little Library (1974 – present). This week, we reflect on images of students studying in the library throughout the years:

Three students at a table in the Carnegie Library (now Carnegie Guest House), circa 1916.

A crowded studying scene in Carnegie Library, 1917.

Students working at a table in the old Davidsoniana room in Grey Library, date unknown.

A busy day in the reading room of Grey Library, circa 1960.

A more somber nighttime scene in the Grey Library reading room, circa 1960.

A student studies at a table in Grey Library (now Sloan Music Center) while wearing cowboy boots, 1968.

Students read in the Grey Library smoking lounge, date unknown.

A student reads in front of the large windows in Little Library, circa early 1970s.

A group of students gather at the circulation desk in Little Library, September 18, 1974.

Students study on the upper and lower levels of E.H. Little Library, 1977.

Three students work in an aisle of Little Library, circa early 1980s.

Two students study by a window on the first floor of Little Library, with Chambers visible in the background, 1980s.

A student uses the microfilm reader in Little Library, circa 1980s.

Two students use a computer in Little Library, circa 1993.

Good luck to all Wildcats on their final exams, papers, projects, and theses!

Welcome DebbieLee!

As we say goodbye to longtime Davidson fixture Jan Blodgett, who retires this month, we say hello to a new archivist – join us in welcoming DebbieLee Landi, the new College Archivist & Records Management Coordinator! DebbieLee began work two weeks ago, and I conducted a short interview with her to introduce Around the D readers to the newest member of our team:

You just began working at Davidson a few weeks ago – can you talk about your background in archival work and where you’ve worked before?

I was fortunate to attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and gained a solid foundation in archival theory and practice while living (and playing) in one of the most beautiful and captivating cities in the world.  I have worked at two other private liberal arts colleges, Furman University and the University of the South, affectionately known as Sewanee.

What appealed to you most about the College Archivist & Records Management Coordinator position?

The quality of the established program that includes both the archival records for the College and Records Management.  I was already familiar with the work of the current archivist, Jan Blodgett, and when I visited campus, I was impressed with the expertise and talents of the other members of the department as well as the staff of the Little Library.  There were several students involved in my interview process and they, too, were exceptional, demonstrating a keen interest in the work of the department and asking insightful questions.

Beginning a new job can be a bit of a whirlwind, but do you have any favorite moments so far?

There are so many.  Each day I learn something new and receive warm and welcoming greetings from people all around campus.  In the E.H. Little Library, one of the greetings was a musical serenade performed by members of the staff (including an original song!).  Another very unexpected welcome was an anonymous donation in my honor to support the #allinforDavidson campaign.

The #AllinforDavidson campaign donation card that DebbieLee received.

What has surprised you about the college or the area?

The number of smiling, friendly faces and the beauty of the campus.

Are there any new initiatives or ideas that you’re hoping to implement here?

Augmenting the impressive work of the department with the integration of Archives & Special Collections resources in the curricula and expanding those initiatives to include programs such as Study Abroad and Service Odyssey.  Involving students as field agents and inviting guest curators to increase the involvement of the college community in building the archival record. Exploring the possibilities of a digital badging initiative and archival records as Open Education Resources … to share just a few ideas.

What are your hobbies when you’re not in the archives?

Trying new recipes and new restaurants and incorporating chocolate whenever possible!  Keeping up with Moxy, my canine companion, and the latest travels of Dr. Who.  Hiking and visiting state, national and provincial parks in search of waterfalls and secluded beaches.

Coffee Spice Cake

This installment of Recipes from the Archives comes from the Davidson Civic Club’s Davidson Cook Book (circa 1928), the source of some of our favorite archival recipes. Our library colleague, Sarah Crissinger, is departing Davidson for a new position at Indiana University as their Scholarly Communication Librarian, so I made Ruth Strickland Hengeveld and Kalista Wagner Hood’s “Coffee Spice Cake” for her going away party in library today.

The coffee spice cake on the snacks table during Sarah’s party, April 26, 2017.

As I’ve previously discussed on other Recipes from the Archives blogs, sometimes finding out information about women in Davidson prior to the latter half of the 20th century can be difficult – most of the cookbooks in our collection are town compilations, and the recipe contributors might only be referred to by their husband’s first and last name. This week’s subjects, listed as Mrs. Fred Hengeveld and Mrs. Frazier Hood, were particularly difficult to track down information on. However, between files on previous faculty members, alumni records, and some clips of local newspapers, I was able to piece together at least small parts of these two women’s stories.

Kalista Wagner Hood hailed from Water Valley, Mississippi, and came to Davidson in 1920 when her husband, Dr. Frazier Hood (1875 – 1944), took a position in the psychology department. Dr. Hood received a B.A. from Southwestern University (Tennessee), and went on to study at the University of Mississippi and Johns Hopkins University before receiving a Ph.D. from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty at Davidson, Dr. Hood served as a first sergeant on the army psychology examining board during World War I and taught at Hanover College (Indiana), the University of Oklahoma, and West Tennessee Teachers’ College.

The Hoods married in 1903 and had one daughter in 1906, Kalista Hood Hart. The younger Kalista studied at St. Mary’s school in Raleigh, Le Femina in Paris, the Jessie Bonstelle School of Dramatics, and the American Academy of Dramatics and acted on Broadway before returning to Davidson and directing plays at the college. She married a Davidson alumnus, Walter Lewis Hart (Class of 1930), in 1945, and one of the upperclassmen apartment buildings on campus is named for the Harts.

Kalista Hood Hart and W. Lewis Hart are in the foreground of this group photo, taken at the 60th anniversary reunion for the class of 1930.

According to recollections written by Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson, in 1927 the Hoods “developed Davidson’s only approach to a ‘country seat.’ A mile from the college they purchased a magnificent wooded hill top and began construction of ‘Restormel,’ christened for a castle of the Hood forebears in England but connoting in the name the refuge from routine they intended despite the hurricane winds of the locality… For a lawn seat under the largest oak, they secured the first step of old Chambers Building (1859) when the portico was razed in 1927.” After her husband’s death. Mrs. Hood built a new home closer to the center of town, on Concord Road. Mrs. Hood attended Washington College in Maryland, and was an active member of the Booklovers’ Club, as well as contributing recipes to the Civic Club’s cookbook. She passed away in 1960.

“Restormel,” the Hood family home from the late 1920s until the late 1940s.

Ruth Strickland Hengeveld moved to Davidson in 1921, after marrying Fred W. “Dutch” Hengeveld (Class of 1918), who coached the basketball and baseball teams at the college in the early 1920s, and served as the college Registrar from 1922 until 1967 and as the Director of Admissions from 1946 to 1967. She hailed from Waycross, Georgia, which was also the hometown of her husband. The Hengevelds had two children, Virginia Hengeveld O’ Harra and Fred W. “Little Dutch” Hengeveld, Jr. (Class of 1951). The family lived on the corner of Concord Road and College Drive for many years, and Ruth Hengeveld passed away in 1970.

The Hengeveld family in 1963. From left to right: Mike O’Harra, Bill O’Harra, Fred W. Hengeveld III, Virginia Hengeveld O’Harra, Ruth Strickland Hengeveld, Anne Lowe Hengeveld, Fred W. Hengeveld, Fred W. Hengeveld, Jr., and Steve O’Harra.

Kalista Hood and Ruth Hengeveld’s coffee spice cake is a simple recipe, and its coffee flavor is subtle. It stood out from the other spice cake recipes in the cookbook due to the use of coffee – I brewed Cafe Britt’s Costa Rican Poas Tierra Volcanica blend for the 3/4 cup of cold coffee needed.

Hengeveld and Hood’s Coffee Spice Cake recipe, 1928.

Like many recipes from the Civic Club’s Davidson Cook Book, directions are sparse – since a baking temperature wasn’t given I set my oven for 350° and checked the cake every five minutes or so. Because I don’t have a good loaf pan, I used a sheet, which I think sped up the baking process since the cake was thinner. Overall, folks at Sarah’s going away party gave rave reviews – although the cake is very simple, it’s also very tasty!

The completed Coffee Spice Cake – very simple, but very tasty!

8th Annual Poetry Reading in the RBR

Tomorrow night, April 20th, at 8:00 we are celebrating National Poetry Month with our 8th annual Poetry Reading in the Rare Book Room of the E.H. Little Library.  Last year was great fun, and we’re looking forward to this year’s event. Davidson students, faculty members, and town poets —talented all—will read from their own works.  There will also be time afterwards for refreshments and chatting with the poets.

Hope to see you there!