On Monday February 5th, our CSP went to visit Oxy’s Special Collections. The exhibit we went to see showcased real life examples of things we learned about in class like the phonograph, manuscripts, records, and more! While I found the whole collection to be riveting, this small little hymn book made for army men was what caught my eye. This little collection of hymns touched me so deeply because it conveys how important music and chants have been to society all along. In the fine print of the Preface, the publisher writes about how this books was compiled to heed the needs of the volunteers who have gone to war. These men had specifically asked to have access to these hymns. The design of the hymn book makes it very accessible and practical to carry because it is small enough to fit into a pocket. Portability is important on the battleground, when a soldier has an uncertain and nomadic existence. It’s just really moving to know, that even when these soldiers have nothing on the battlefield, they requested to have a little book of hymns to give them hope!
Luckily, I don’t think this book will be too hard to preserve for the future. It’s in pretty good shape right now. It’s clearly delicate and people should not turn through it too quickly, but the binding is still intact and it is readable. This little book is similar to other small pocket books produced today. This one is full of religious hymns, but you find a pocket book with different content and topics today.
Based on the item I choose, I don’t the experience of seeing it in person vs. online would’ve made a huge difference. I think seeing something in real time when I am able to grasp the tangibility of it and interact with it is always more special, but I don’t think it gave me a lot more information for this specific item.