Vol 25 | No 2 | Spring 17
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Gems in the UCI Libraries

ImageWith more than 3.6 million electronic and print volumes and 640 archival collections that include over 1 million original documents and photographs, there are many amazing resources within the UCI Libraries. Each newsletter we will showcase some of these collection gems!

From our General Collection

I-Ching Collection of some 2,000 volumes, largely in Chinese and Japanese traditional binding format and with publication dates back to 1911 and earlier. Donated by the family of the late Chinese history Professor at Cornell, Ni Tseh. Many, such as Ba Shi Gui Ju Song Lue Shuo (China, cir.1593) and Ekikyo Chokkai (Japan, cir.1660), are the only holdings in North America;

Shūkan Shōnen Magajin (1959-1995) from the very first issue to issues from its peak publication era. A unique resource for Japanese cultural and visual art studies, this weekly magazine was one of the many generous donations from Mrs. Sawako Noma, President and CEO of Kodansha Ltd.;

Hanʼguk Hojŏk Sŏngchʻaek (1904-193?) and Koseki Daicho (1902-1934), two sets of microcopies of significant Korean census records, of which the originals are kept in two Japanese universities (Kyoto and Gakushuin) respectively. The acquisition of these rare census records is a result of a close collaboration between the Libraries and a former UCI historian.

From Special Collections & Archives

Raw #6 (May 1984): "The Graphix Magazine That Overestimates the Taste of the American Public"

ImageRecently re-discovered in the Special Collections & Archives uncatalogued backlog, Raw is a "graphix magazine" that showcases the work of experimental comic artists and storytellers in a boldly illustrated, large-format, zine-like production. It is one of the publications that helped to kick start the 'alternative comics' movement during the 1980s. A collaboration between publisher --now art editor of The New Yorker-- Françoise Mouly, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman, it continued the mission of the underground comic anthologies from the 1970s that focused on a mature and rebellious counter-culture audience. Running for only eleven issues from 1980-1991, Raw is notable for intentionally challenging preconceptions of the comic as a juvenile medium for storytelling. Its emphasis on experimental illustration often lead to it deviating from the comic device entirely and issues frequently contained spreads of non-sequential illustration, artwork, archival material and articles on outsider artists. And in the zine tradition, issues sometimes contained unusual additions such as audio collage flexi-discs, gum and trading cards, or fold outs of large posters or small-format zines stapled in. Though many of its contributors were from the United States, it was one of the few channels that European, and to a certain extent, Latin American and Japanese experimental comic artists found an American audience.

Arguably the most significant contributor to Raw was Art Spiegelman, whose Pulitzer prize winning work "Maus" was first published in Raw as a serialized zine addition. "Maus" utilized a frame-tale device-- or story within a story --to recount interviewing his father about his parent's lives during World War II as Polish Jews, especially their internment in Nazi concentration camps and their eventual liberation. Spiegelman's use of stark but visually striking illustrations of anthropomorphized animals as Jewish prisoners (mice) and their Nazi oppressors (cats) disarms the reader when depicting the atrocities and suffering re-told by his father. "Maus" eventual collected publication and distribution in bookstores nationally and internationally brought it popular acclaim and it became one of the first 'graphic novels' to be studied seriously in academic circles.
Raw #6 (May 1984): "The Graphix Magazine That Overestimates the Taste of the American Public" contains Maus: Chapter 5 "Mouse Holes" and will soon be available to view in Special Collections and Archives.

Mitsuye Yamada Papers (MS.R.071)
Although it has been a part of the UCI Libraries Special Collection & Archives since 2010, the Mitsuye Yamada papers have found increased use and research interest in our tumultuous political climate. A Japanese American poet and political activist who was interned in the Minadoka Relocation Center in Hunt, Idaho while a teenager during World War II, her papers document both her own experiences and the experiences of the wider Japanese American community after they were designated a threat to national security after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Further, they were evacuated from their homes (for Yamada, this was Seattle, Washington) to a series of desert camps until their release at the end of the war with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The collection contains a wide range of material related to this time-period in her life organized within the archive as part of the series, Japanese American relocation files 1942-2000. It documents camp memorabilia and publications notably including a high school yearbook, The Memoirs, Hunt High School yearbook, 1944. Although Yamada does not appear in the yearbook, as she already had sufficient credits to graduate prior to being relocated, it is a distinctly uncanny memento that represents the continuity of everyday life in profoundly unjustifiable conditions. As part of the Humanities Core Primary Sources Workshops, the yearbook, in conjunction with a copy of the Japanese exclusion act will be used to guide undergraduates in their investigation of primary source material around the theme of "Empire and Its Ruins." Additional material includes contemporary newspaper clippings, ephemera and publications that provide a sense of the variety of sentiments in reaction to the relocation, as well as post-internment information such as the redress movement to compensate the internees, remembrances and pilgrimages and finally retrospective accounts.

The Mistuye Yamada Papers represent the full life of the person and internment was not the end-all of her story, rather it was just the beginning. After receiving her M.A in English Literature from the University of Chicago she would move to Orange County with her family and begin her teaching career in Fullerton before moving on to teach across the University of California system and later become active as a poet, publishing and editing in anthologies as part of the burgeoning Orange County literary scene. Her first book, "Camp Notes and Other Poems" draws inspiration from her personal experiences at Minadoka Relocation Center but is underlined by what will become an increased political activism around women's rights, ethnic diversity and eventually lead to her participation in Amnesty International. Both her literary and political interests can be found in two series in the archive, Literary materials and professional papers, 1942-2005 and Amnesty International records, 1975-2005 though the separation between the poetic and political is never distinct. As a catalyst for founding both the Multicultural Women Writers of Orange County and the Asian American Studies Program at UCI, she is a looming presence and continues to be active having recently recited poems included as part of the OC Literary History Anthology, "Orange County: A Literary Field Guide" by UCI English lecturer Andrew Tonkovich and editor Lisa Alvarez.

The Mitsuye Yamada Papers (MS.R.071) can be consulted in the Special Collection & Archives without appointment Monday through Friday 11am-5pm.

For more information please contact Becky Imamoto, Head, Collection Strategies Department at rimamoto@uci.edu or 949-824- 2639 or Derek Quezada, Outreach & Public Services Librarian for Special Collections & Archives at quezadad@uci.edu or 949-824-4967.