What initially started as two bankers boxes of materials has turned into a lovely collection of nine organized boxes. Over the past few weeks I’ve developed an appreciation for geology and it’s many aspects from this collection. E.O. Hovey was particularly interested in volcanoes and earthquakes and had made numerous trips to the Caribbean to study Mt. Pele on Martinique, which erupted in 1902, 1903, and 1908. I had always associated volcanoes with the Pacific Ring of Fire; however, this volcano seems to have been quite active in the beginning of the last century.

In the last box I have placed all of Ettie Hovey’s travel journals together. Ettie was Edmund’s first wife who joined him on numerous trips between 1891 to 1903. It was interesting to read parts of her journals and see how she refused to be a “geology widow” who stayed home. Rather, she gamely followed Edmund around the world and visited sites that interested her. Some of the things she wrote about were architecture, museum exhibitions, and the garments of Turkish women. This is not to say she didn’t join her husband in the field. In the front cover of one of her books she includes the inscription: “Three times during the writing of this book I have sat at a table….all the rest has been written while I was sitting on the ground waiting for Otis to study rocks or at odd times when we were waiting for a train.”

It’s been a fantastic experience getting to know this wonderful couple and leafing through their beautiful handwriting. It’s also been great being able to put my coursework to use. Thank you to Barbara, Becca, Iris and everyone here at the Library for making this such a great semester!

Happy Holidays!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *