Special events and exhibits

Irish Bog Oak Sculptures Now on Display

With St. Patrick’s Day just a few days away, we’ve got Irish culture on our minds at Doherty. We’re celebrating with a new exhibit put together by Katie McDonald featuring Irish bog oak sculptures from her personal collection.

Bog oak sculptures are crafted from fallen trees buried thousands of years ago in Ireland’s bogs and later extracted from the peat. The reaction of the oak with decaying vegetation gives the wood unique properties. For craftsmen working at the height of bog oak popularity in the 1850s, carving the oak could be tricky:

“When the timbers were first brought to the surface from the airless depths of the bog they exhibited a mid-brown to dark brown hue, but on contact with oxygen, semi-petrification soon set in, causing the wood to take on an ebony colour. It was therefore essential, if carving was to be undertaken, that the wet and pliable state be preserved, thus enabling easier fashioning. Then full petrification took place, rendering the finished item deep black and almost steel-hard. ” *

All of the pieces on display in the library were created in Ireland. The exhibit is available for viewing during regular library hours in the Doherty Lobby until April 15.

*Irons, Neville. “Irish Bog Oak Carving.” Irish Arts Review (1984-1987) 4, no. 2 (July 01, 1987): 54-63. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20491991. For UST students and faculty, go to: http://ezproxy.stthom.edu:2048/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/20491991

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Remembering 1882: Fighting for Civil Rights in the Shadow of the Chinese Exclusion Act

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The Doherty Library will host a photographic exhibit titled:
“Remembering 1882: Fighting for Civil Rights in the Shadow of the Chinese Exclusion Act”

Passed by the US Congress in 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was intended to prevent people of Chinese descent from entering the United States and sought to deprive those in residence of full legal protection and the right to apply for citizenship. As a result, this nation’s Chinese American population was reduced by half with those remaining relegated to second-class legal status until full repeal in 1968. The exhibit will be on display in the main library atrium from March 23 to April 18. A reception will be held on April 2, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in the library atrium, all are welcome to attend.   The exhibit and reception is sponsored by the Chinese Historical Society of America and the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies.