University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


SELF WORKS:
DIARIES, SCRAPBOOKS, AND OTHER AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL EFFORTS

Word and Deed

St. Louis Star-Times Mark Harris, 23-year-old St. Louis staff correspondent
for the International News Service, has written a novel about
Willie Jim, a Georgia Negro, and his encounters with white society.
Actually a tract pleading for racial tolerance, "Trumpet to the World"
resulted from Harris being stationed as a soldier in the South...
- Newsclipping in 1946 Scrapbook of Mark Harris

The commonplace book, where an individual might collect personal records, quotations, and miscellaneous facts, was a precursor to the scrapbook. Men's scrapbooks are often collections of news clippings or any printed documentation of their work and activities. Journalists, especially, are prone to keep record of their bylines, authors keep reviews of their work, and public figures keep scrapbooks of their press coverage. Brian Coffey, the Irish poet, stands apart as a creative artist with his highly personal self book/scrapbooks.


____ Bradley.
Commonplace book, [1831] - 1845.
1 volume (107 pp.)
from Diaries, Journals, Ships' Logs

Bradley, an employee between 1814 and 1826 of Berry Smith, owner of a cotton spinning mill in Kighley, York County, England, recorded all sorts of personal notes and miscellaneous facts in this commonplace book, including Smith's breach of promised compensation for millwork. A sort of textual scrapbook of life events, this notebook collects Bradley's widely assorted observations: local histories of buildings, events, political elections, mill owners, and death dates of Kighley residents. Mathematical problems, mechanical and scientific notes, and brief mention of international events project Bradley's fascination for discoveries, inventions, and political affairs around the world. The notebook presents a transitional historical moment when one small-town laborer could record his curious awareness of civilization's progress around the world.

Bradley's brother John sailed to Philadelphia on the Algonquin on July 8, 1831 and returned to Liverpool on March 21, 1832. Bradley's wife died at age fifty-five on November 6, 1831, and their son John began business in the machine trade in May 1836. On January 4, 1834 "there was a child exhibited with two heads in the New Markit Kighley." On January 14 of the same year Bradley attended the Mechanics Institute for a chemistry course on electricity and, later, a lecture on construction of a telescope. He noted odd facts such as dimensions of York Cathedral, the death of sixty-nine Yorkshire centenarians between 1740 and 1822, the death of a man at age 117 in France, and the abundance of large pines near "Spokan" and the Columbia River. Bradley thought it worthwhile to remember the birth of George Washington in 1732, the birth of Isaac Newton in 1727, and the 1785 Channel crossing by balloon of Jeffries Blanchard. Bradley recorded Queen Victoria's succession to the throne, Frederick William of Prussia's death, and the removal of Napoleon's remains from St. Helena to Paris. But Bradley's characteristic enthusiasm for change and progress is revealed best in entries such as the one for April 6, 1845, which notes a game of chess was to be played by telegraph between one party in London and another in Southampton; and another entry realizing that a journey between London and Bath which had taken two days to complete by stage coaches in 1745 could be completed by railway coaches in two and three quarter hours in 1845.


David M. Nelson, 1920-1991.
Scrapbook, 1940-1941.
1 volume
from David M. Nelson papers

Dave Nelson
In 1938, David Nelson was graduated from Northwestern High in Detroit and enrolled at the University of Michigan. An outstanding student and athlete, the 5' 7" 165-pound Nelson played halfback in the same Blue backfield as tailback Tom Harmon, quarterback Forest Evashevski, and fullback Bob Westfall, under the legendary coaching of Herbert O. (Fritz) Crisler. "Little Davey" led the team in rushing during his senior year, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The 18 scrapbooks of newsclippings (1936-1977) in Nelson's papers document his lifelong athletic achievements, from high school to his coaching career at Hillsdale College, Harvard University, the University of Maine, and the University of Delaware. As a noted rules authority and scholar of the game of football as well as coach, Nelson compiled other books of his own articles and two syndicated columns, "Breaking the Rules" and "Official Football."


Harold Brayman, 1900-1988.
Scrapbook, January - June 1930.

Notebook: "The Political Week," United States News, March 29 - November 1, 1940.
2 volumes
from Harold Brayman papers

Harold Brayman, pioneering leader of the modern public relations industry and director of public relations at Du Pont Company from 1944-1965, had an earlier career in journalism as a Washington correspondent and syndicated columnist. It was this journalistic background in politics and government, the power of the media, and the usefulness of communications networks which shaped his effectiveness in the public relations field. As a specialist in reporting and analyzing political events, Brayman attended all national political conventions from 1928 through 1940. He criss-crossed the nation as a correspondent on the presidential campaign trains of Alfred E. Smith in 1928, President Roosevelt in 1932, Alfred M. Landon in 1936, and Wendell L. Wilkie in 1940. Brayman was president of the National Press Club in 1938 and president of the Gridiron Club in 1941, one of the very few Washington correspondents to have been elected president of both of these organizations. Ten scrapbooks of newsclippings with Brayman bylines (1928-1939), notebooks of press badges and campaign ephemera, and two scrapbooks related to books which he authored are included in the Harold Brayman papers.


John J. Williams, 1904-1988.
Scrapbook, January - May, 1964.
1 volume
from papers of Senator John J. Williams

John Williams scrapbook
John Williams represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1947-1970. Williams served on both the Finance and Foreign Relations committees, and was nationally known as an advocate of financial accountability and ethical responsibility from the government. He was called the "Watchdog of the Treasury" and the "Conscience of the Senate." After gaining notice for exposing widespread corruption in the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the early 1950s, Williams continued to exercise congressional oversight in several other investigations. Williams initiated inquiries into the unethical behavior of senate staff member Bobby Baker in the early 1960s, the subject of several newsclippings in this scrapbook. Senator Williams's staff carefully compiled forty-five scrapbooks over his twenty-four years in the Senate, leaving comprehensive documentation of his public life. The scrapbooks consist of Delaware, national, and occasionally international press clippings which featured Williams, supplemented by background articles on issues and investigations which Williams helped bring to the attention of the public.


Brian Coffey Brian Coffey, 1905-1995.
Self Books, 1973-1974, 1974-1975, 1976, 1977-1978, 1978-1982.
5 volumes
from Brian Coffey papers

The self-titled "self books" of Irish poet, translator, critic, teacher, artist, and printer Brian Coffey are sketch books, correspondence files, poetry workbooks, draft books, and scrapbooks for newspaper clippings, postcards, photographs, feathers, and family memorabilia. In addition to blank books, he used old phone directories and scrapbooks to collect his thoughts and whatever caught his fancy or sparked his creative mind. Coffey began writing poetry when he was a student at University College, Dublin, between 1924-1930. During this period, Coffey met the aspiring poet Denis Devlin, who became one of his closest friends and literary colleagues. In the '30s, Coffey moved to Paris where he made the acquaintance of Thomas MacGreevy and Samuel Beckett, and studied philosophy under Jacques Maritain. His interests in French poetry, Catholic philosophy, and the avant-garde movement were lifelong pursuits, all reflected in the self books. Coffey emerged as a poet of significance with the publication of Poems (1930, jointly authored with Devlin) and Three Poems (1933). After teaching in the United States, Coffey returned to live in England where he taught, studied printing, and began his own press, Advent Books. Coffey's self books are source books for all manner of his creative endeavors and represent fascinating working laboratories for the creative process itself.


Mark Harris, 1922- .
Scrapbooks, 1946-1948, 1949-1957.
2 volumes
from Mark Harris papers

Trumpet to the World
After his military service in 1943-1944, Mark Harris began a decade of work as a journalist for a number of newspapers and small magazines: Daily Item (Port Chester, N.Y., 1944-1945), PM (New York, 1945), the International News Service (St. Louis, 1945-1946), and Digest and Ebony (both in Chicago, 1946-1951). Though Harris was already a habitual diarist, and he was awaiting publication of his first novel (Trumpet to the World, 1946) which grew out his army training camp experience in the segregated South, it was in his early years as a reporter in Port Chester "where writing so much began for me." Spanning the dates 1944-1963, Harris' scrapbooks include clippings, articles, and tearsheets, as well as reviews, advertisements, and correspondence and fan letters related to his later novels and non-fiction work.


Considering self works Creating self works Living & learning Domestic diaries
Business & adventure War diaries Keepsakes Word & deed
Inner journeys Travel diaries Professional writers Avocational efforts

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