Elves on the Shelves of the Phillips Library

& Jennifer Hornsby


Introducing (from left to right): Buddy, Jingle, and Winkie!

For the month of December, the Phillips Library has taken pleasure in receiving a little help with inspiration for the holiday spirit around our offices. Much to our surprise, we have been visited by a trio of North Pole natives, a group of elves who apparently love rare books and manuscripts almost as much as they love snowball fights and fine-tuned toy manufacturing. During their time here, our elves have provided healthy doses of cheer and mischief, reminding us that the special and rare items at the Phillips Library really should be shared and celebrated by everyone.

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Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 23

Cover, A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore, 1862

Cover, A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore, 1862

First published anonymously on December 23, 1823, Clement Moore did not acknowledge authorship of this poem until 1844.  Although Moore’s poem is largely responsible for the folklore surrounding Santa Claus from the early 19th century to the present, have any of you questioned the miniature sleigh, the tiny reindeer, and the jolly old elf, described as little several times — little old driver, little mouth, little round belly?  Maybe that is why all of us can envision Santa Claus coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Read more

Sister Cities

Sandy Sheckman

This blog originally appeared on the PEM blog Connected.

Late, on a recent dark and gloomy November afternoon, smiles and laughter filled the PEM Atrium as a group of Japanese travelers were officially greeted by Daisy Wang, PEM’s curator of Chinese and East Asian Art. Neither jet-lag nor language could get in the way of a visit that recalls a long and storied relationship with Salem’s Sister City: Ota, a part of  greater Tokyo.  The official PEM welcome was then followed by official greetings from the Ota delegation along with the honored tradition of gift exchanging and lots more smiling and nodding.

PEM’s Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art, Daisy Wang, shakes hands with guests from Ota. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM

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