[PW] Saying: A disordered desk was a sign of genius. (Request help accessing 1947 and 1950 "Typo Graphic")

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Sun Sep 24 07:41:06 PDT 2017

Garson et al:

I think I've requested the three volumes be pulled from U of MN
library storage facility and held for me, so will report back when
that happens and I have a chance to view them (and, hopably, photocopy
any relevant hit).

I say "I think" because since my retirement four years ago, the
library system has "improved" their catalog to the point where I have
a terrible time finding anything, or, in this case, figuring out how
to request a storage volume, or, again in this case, having requested
one such, figuring out how to "go back" to request another volume from
the same set without logging off and starting all over again.  (I
think I finally managed it, and maybe it qualifies as "intuitively
obvious" for somebody, but that somebody is not me.)

Mostly these days if I have to find a record I expect to be in the
library, I go to WorldCat, find it there, bring up the holding
libraries page, and click on the U of MN line therein to let WorldCat
do the work for me.  Better it than me.

Though even WorldCat nods.  Earlier this morning I was trying to find
holding libraries of a 1925 UK book, and could bring up the basic
record but kept getting an "error" message (one I'd never seen before)
when I tried to bring up the associated list of 38 holding libraries.
Has anyone else had a comparable problem lately (or ever) with
displaying such in WCat?

 Title: Memories and reflections
Author: Troubridge, Laura
Accession Number: 1026817

Error formatting records from WorldCat


Dennis Lien, old and befuddled former U of MN reference librarian //
d-lien at umn.edu

On Sun, Sep 24, 2017 at 7:45 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> "The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs" (DMP) compiled by Charles Clay
> Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, and Fred R. Shapiro has an entry for the
> following saying:
> [Begin excerpt]
> A messy (cluttered) desk is a sign of intelligence (brilliance,
> genius, creativity, productivity, a busy person, etc.).
> [End excerpt]
> The first DMP citation is dated 1973. My searches indicate that there
> is probably a 1947 or 1948 citation for the expression in the subject
> line within a periodical called "Typo Graphic" (Pittsburgh,
> Pennsylvania). Also, there is probably a 1950 citation in "Typo
> Graphic". Unfortunately this periodical is difficult to access, and
> this message is a request for help to obtain pertinent page scans.
> WorldCat lists only five libraries that hold any issues of "Typo
> Graphic". Further, some of these libraries do not hold the pertinent
> issues. For example, the Newberry Library in Chicago does not have any
> issues in 1947 or 1948, and it has an incomplete run in 1950.
> The one facility that seems to hold the target issues is the storage
> facility of University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I hope Dennis Lien
> will be willing to help. Alternatively, perhaps someone else can
> locate the issues in another library.
> Here is the information for the first citation.
> Year: 1947 or 1948 (year from GB snippets and metadata)
> Periodical: Typo Graphic
> Article: Well Thanks, Brother (guess based on a snippet)
> Publisher: Pittsburgh, Pa.: Edwin H. Stuart (based on catalog metadata)
> Quote Page 36 (page number from GB)
> Database: Google Books Snippet
> https://books.google.com/books?id=8e8oAQAAMAAJ
> [Begin excerpt]
> Or, that you're one of those geniuses who have a piled-up desk and you
> threw the card in the pile and it got lost. Tolstoi said that a
> disordered desk was a sign of genius and we see lots of littered desks
> in our rambles around Pittsburgh.
> [End excerpt]
> Comments: Google Books metadata is sometimes inaccurate and must be
> verified with hardcopy or scans.
> The text of the quotation is not visible in any snippets of the
> volume. Instead, Google Books (GB) displays a different section from
> the page containing the target text. (GB refuses to display some
> snippets. This refusal might be due to an anti-piracy strategy to
> prevent automated extraction, or it might be an error in the GB
> database.)
> One snippet from page 36 (GB) shows part of the phrase "Well Thanks,
> Brother" in a large font. Searching for "Well Thanks, Brother"
> produces a snippet from a table of contents indicating that the phrase
> is an article title.
> Searching for "1947" and "1948" in the GB volume above produces
> snippets that indicate that the volume does contain issues from 1947
> and 1948. There are no matches for "1949" and "1950". There are
> matches for "1946", but none show issue headers.
> Here is the information for the second citation.
> Year: 1950 (year from GB snippets and metadata)
> Periodical: Typo Graphic
> Article: Odds and Ends, Flotsam and Jetsam (guess based on a snippet)
> Publisher: Pittsburgh, Pa.: Edwin H. Stuart (based on catalog metadata)
> Quote Page 207 (page number from GB)
> Database: Google Books Snippet
> http://books.google.com/books?id=j_MoAQAAMAAJ&q=tolstoi#search_anchor
> [Begin excerpt]
> Genius! An artist associated with the design and drafting staff of the
> U.S. Steel group located in the Chamber of Commerce Building, had a
> sign over his desk saying, "Don't clutter up the exhibit."
> And his desk really is an exhibit—everything on it except the kitchen
> sink. Oh well, Tolstoi said, "A disordered desk is a sign of genius."
> [End excerpt]
> The goal is to gather scans showing the quotation and the metadata for
> a complete and accurate citation, e.g., issue date, page number,
> article title, article author (if possible), periodical title, and
> publisher.
> Of course, earlier instances of the adage would be most welcome.
> Thanks for any help you can provide.
> Garson O'Toole
> Quote investigator
> _______________________________________________
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> list at project-wombat.org
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