Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College

Welcome to the Official page for the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College

Operating as usual


Come join us from 4-5pm on Wednesday, October 4 (TOMORROW!!) for a look at items printed at the Scripps College Press. We can’t wait to see you there🪲


Join us for an Insider’s tour and discussion, Thursday, September 28, 2023, at 4:15 pm, for the Remembering the Caretakers of the Land exhibit in Denison Library. The exhibition will run from September 25th to October 13th, 2023.

Sponsored by the Ella Strong Denison Library and Scripps Presents.


As midterm season starts to approach, keep in our Fall 2023 hours in mind!



Come visit our booth at the Back to Your Future Event to learn about Denison and for a chance to win a reading duck!! We’ll be here until 6🐥🐥


After having grown up and spent much of her adult life in the midwest, it is no surprise that Ellen Browning Scripps developed an affinity for San Diego during her trips to Southern California in the 1890s. In her correspondence with E.W., her younger and closest brother, she writes, “I was a little surprised at Nackie’s [your wife’s] raptures over Los Angeles; for I was not so much impressed with it; but then I saw it after I had been over the rest of California instead of striking it directly from the bleak and barren north. I much prefer San Diego.” In La Jolla, she purchased her first real estate and built herself a home (pictured). This set off a chain of future land purchases.

Link to the correspondence:

Photo Source:

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 12/07/2022

Denison Library is partnering with the class presidents of Scripps Associated Students to host a Harry Potter-themed study hall evening on Wednesday, December 7th, from 8-11pm. Come and join us for studying and fun! Also, mark your calendars for our other extended hours for finals: on December 11, 12 & 13 the library will be open until midnight.

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 12/07/2022

The California Young Book Collectors Prize deadline is coming up on December 15, and given the enthusiasm for Scripps students and alumnae for books, we encourage members of our community who are under the age of 35 to consider applying! More information can be found at: https://www.abaa.org/CAPrize

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 12/01/2022

Last Saturday, Amalia Koch '25 and Isabel Li '25, who interned at Denison Library over the summer, presented their research about the life of Ellen Browning Scripps at the 2022 Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, hosted by Pepperdine University!


Ellen Browning Scripps was a lifelong learner. She always made an effort to immerse herself in different cultures and understand what was going on in the world around her. During her travels to Europe in her forties, she purchased 46 French language lessons for herself (shown in an 1882 receipt recording her payment) and filled a notebook with written grammar lessons.

Photo source:

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 11/15/2022

People who knew her described Ellen Browning Scripps as shy and timid, so it was a surprise to her great-niece, Ellen Clark Revelle, when one evening, the elderly Miss Scripps was convinced to participate in a Greek play at the La Jolla Woman’s Club. She played a role that required her to brutally insult the character played by Dr. Mary Ritter (1860-1949), the wife of the director of the San Diego Marine Biological Association (later the Scripps Institution of Oceanography), to which Ellen had contributed funds for its founding. Afterwards, Ellen explained her rare display of emotion to her great-niece, saying, “To tell the truth…I’ve always wanted to say those things to that woman, but I never had the chance!”

Pictured: (1) Ellen Browning Scripps (left) in costume and character with a fellow actress. (2) Group shot of the ensemble. Ellen Browning Scripps is second from left.

Photo sources:


Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 11/04/2022

For this month’s food-themed , we are featuring a grocery receipt from the Ellen Browning Scripps Collection. This receipt, which dates to December of 1881, indicates the food that Ellen Browning Scripps and her brother E. W. Scripps purchased while traveling around Scotland. From butter to wine, it seems that they were preparing for a hearty meal!

Source: https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/p15831coll3/id/1265/rec/5

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 10/31/2022

Happy Halloween from Denison Library! In case you missed our Spooky Spines and Twisted Tales event last week, here are a couple of digital treats: an engraving by John Martin from John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1827), an aquatint by Francis Mockel from Victor Hugo’s Et Nox Facta Est (1985), and an endpaper detail from Fred Hagstrom’s Watching Bones (2020).


Mary B. Eyre, friend of Ellen Browning Scripps and one of the first psychology professors at Scripps College, gave a speech at the College’s convocation in 1935, three years after the death of Ellen Browning Scripps. She detailed Miss Scripps’s upbringing, philanthropic interests, and opinions regarding the future of the college.

“Miss Scripps believed that Education implies growth, and that growth means change, progress. Education should never be safe, static. Where we are safe, we tend to linger; and then there would no longer be progress. I do not believe that Miss Scripps ever thought in static terms, but always toward growth and service. She did not seek safety as a prime value of life, but rather, obligation,” she said.

Full Speech: https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/p15831coll3/id/3996/rec/35

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 10/18/2022

Happy birthday to our college’s founder, Ellen Browning Scripps!

This letter, written on October 16, 1931 by Scripps College student June White, shares her experiences as a student at the young college and expresses her gratitude toward Ellen Browning Scripps for her 95th birthday. White describes many memorable facets of the college in beautiful detail, thanking Miss Scripps for enhancing the lives of many young women.

Read the full letter here:

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 10/13/2022

In her mid-forties, Ellen Browning Scripps traveled around the world, keeping a travel column of observations and cultural comparisons for her family newspaper, The Detroit Evening News. In an 1882 article she wrote titled "The South of France," she details France's beautiful scenic landscapes, especially on the railway from Bordeaux to Toulouse. Her railway tickets during her journey can still be found in her collection of travel ephemera.



Before beginning her education in Knox College, Ellen Browning Scripps obtained a teaching certificate for Schuyler County, Illinois, on October 1, 1855. After graduating college with a degree in mathematics in 1859, she briefly worked as a schoolteacher in various one-room schoolhouses. Although she was not particularly passionate about her teaching position, her devotion to education would influence her future contributions, many of which include funding for schools and colleges.

Photo Source: https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/p15831coll3/id/5089/rec/1

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 10/03/2022

On October 3, 1927, James A. Blaisdell, then-President of Pomona College, sent a letter to Ellen Browning Scripps inviting her to the inauguration of Ernest Jaqua as the first president of Scripps College. He lauded Miss Scripps’ impactful initiative in creating a women’s college and gave her credit for founding a consortium of affiliated colleges. Although Scripps herself was not able to attend the inauguration on October 14, 1927, and instead sent several family members to attend in her place, her legacy endures throughout the establishment of the Claremont Colleges to the present day.

Photo Source: https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/p15831coll3/id/5364/rec/1

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 09/12/2022

Make sure to visit our current exhibition of artists’ books at the Clark Humanities Museum, "A Good Book Engages all the Senses: The Legacy of Judy Harvey Sahak and Denison Library," before it closes at the end of September. The Clark Humanities Museum is located on the second floor of the Humanities building on the Scripps College campus and is open Monday through Friday from 9am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-5pm. Be sure to add these two exciting events associated with the exhibit to your calendar:

•Folded and Flipped: Make Your Own Artists’ Book -- Tuesday, September 13 from 2-4pm
•Exhibition Reception and Tea -- Thursday, September 22 from 3-5pm

Isabel Evans '23 Investigates Environmental Education and Colonial Violence | Scripps College in Claremont, California 08/03/2022

Summer isn’t just a time for trips to the beach, but rather an opportunity to conduct more research. At Denison Library, six different undergraduates have spent their summer with us, immersed in books, archives and ideas. You can read more about one of our student researchers, Isabel Evans (’23) and her work here:

Isabel Evans '23 Investigates Environmental Education and Colonial Violence | Scripps College in Claremont, California The extent of Evans’ research wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the Scripps College Research in Environmental Analysis and Pre-Thesis Fellowship.

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 02/08/2022

Denison Library’s fourth annual book lovers’ event is back!

Make your reservation now to join us in person on Monday, February 14, 2022 between 12-3pm for our Blind Date with a Rare Book event. You’ll be “matched” with one of the library’s rare and unusual books and will have an opportunity to learn more about Denison Library’s distinctive collections.

Sign up at: http://denisonlibrary.setmore.com/blinddate

James Joyce fan alert! One of the volumes to be displayed will be the 1988 Arion Press edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses featuring etchings by Robert Motherwell. This year marks the book’s centenary, as it was first published in 1922.


There are still spots available for the event this evening! Hope to see you there - if you dare!

Photos from Scripps College's post 09/18/2021

Denison Library opened more than three weeks ago for the Fall 2021 semester, and we are excited to have patrons back on site!

Appointments are required for students, faculty and staff of the Claremont Colleges who wish to use the library's collections, reserve a space to study, or view our exhibition related to Elizabeth Turk's Look Up Project. You can schedule your appointment at: www.scrippscollege.edu/denison, or you can scan our QR code posted at the library’s Valencia Courtyard entrance. At this time, we cannot accommodate researchers who are not currently affiliated with the Claremont Colleges, but are happy to answer questions via email and telephone.

The library’s current exhibition focuses on the history of the college in times of crisis and our collective perseverance as a community within the context of Scripps alumna and MacArthur “genius” Elizabeth Turk’s (’83) Look Up Project. Materials on display include Turk’s own conceptual design notes for Look Up alongside materials from the Scripps College archives. Students, faculty and staff from The Claremont Colleges can register for Elizabeth Turk’s immersive art event to be held on the Scripps campus this Saturday at 10am via the Scripps Presents website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/look-up-an-immersive-pop-up-art-event-tickets-167516415107

Denison Library’s Fall 2021 hours are below:

Monday: 10am-9pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday & Friday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 1-5pm
Sunday: 3-9pm

We look forward to seeing you in the library and assisting you with your research endeavors this academic year.

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 07/28/2021

Tucked into the front of Denison Library’s first edition of Jack London’s 1903 adventure novel, Call of the Wild, is a letter from Charmian Kittredge London to Isobel Field dated February 21, 1917. Charmian (1871-1855) was a writer, free spirited adventurer, and the second wife of Jack London. Her publications included The Log of the Snark (1915), Our Hawaii (1917), The Book of Jack London (1921), and several articles, and today she is also recognized as an inspiration for and editor of some of Jack London’s works. In this letter, she writes to Isobel Osbourne Strong Field (1858-1953), a fellow author who was the daughter of F***y Van de Grift Osbourne Stevenson (1840-1914) and stepdaughter of Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), about the praise Charmian received for her publication of The Log of the Snark in 1915. The book documented Charmian and Jack’s two year journey from San Francisco to the South Seas on their sailboat named the Snark, and it also contained photographs she took on the voyage. Note in the upper left hand corner of the letter where she typed “Mrs” above the printed name of her then-deceased husband on the stationery; Jack London passed away in November 1916, just months before this letter was written, at the age of forty. Today, a digitized version of Charmian’s The Log of the Snark is available on the Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/logofsnark00londrich/page/n19/mode/2up


Denison Library’s Suzanne MacPherson Collection consists of correspondence, diaries, photographs and ephemera related to her work for the Red Cross during World War II. As a volunteer for the Red Cross Clubmobile Service (ARCCS), she received training in first aid and nursing before traveling abroad, where she and her cohorts delivered coffee, doughnuts and entertainment to boost the morale of American soldiers in France, Italy, and North Africa. In a letter to her father, she described her work with “a big canteen truck, carrying jukebox, lending library, coffee and donuts, and 2 girls – to outposts where no recreation has been organized. We take turns driving. It sounds like more freedom and fun than a regular club, plus a view of the countryside and opportunity for odd adventures.”


In observance of Juneteenth, today we share images of an artists’ book by Emory Douglas titled "Reparations" (2009) from Denison Library’s collections. Douglas was born in 1943 and is recognized for his work as a graphic artist for the Black Panther Party and the San Francisco Sun Reporter newspaper. His 4” x 4” letterpress printed book addresses the legacy of slavery and the need to make amends by using a single accordion-folded page on which abstract human figures connected by chains form the single word, reparations. The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, but Douglas’s book reminds us that there is still work to be done with respect to the legacy and reckoning of our collective history.

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 05/27/2021

With the academic year winding down and the start of summer, it’s time to move away from our computer screens and enjoy the outdoors. For inspiration, Denison Library’s 16th century illuminated manuscript, "Gradual from Maundy Thursday to the Vigil of Pentecost," has a few brilliant illustrations of insects in its illuminated borders. Perhaps you can find something similar in your local park or garden?

For those who can’t leave their screens behind, you can seek out other insects on the digitized pages of Denison Library’s gradual on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library: https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/scg


Congratulations to the Scripps College Class of 2021! Tomorrow, Saturday, May 22, is the college’s virtual commencement ceremony. We are so proud of our graduates who wrote their theses and completed their degrees during a worldwide pandemic – they truly know how to live with confidence, courage and hope.

This year also marks the 90th anniversary of Scripps College’s first commencement ceremony; thirty-nine graduates in the Class of 1931 also weathered difficult challenges during their time at Scripps, including the start of the Great Depression. Ernest J. Jaqua, the first President of the college, observed in October 1931 that Scripps graduates would “be able to appraise the events of today and be prepared to apply their critical faculties to the personal and community problems which will be theirs in the future.” His words ring true today for the Class of 2021, the Class of 1931, and all those in between.

Incipit Vita Nova!

Class of 1931 Graduating Seniors Pictured on Commencement Day

Connections: The Willow and the Mountain | Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists 05/13/2021

Congratulations to Scripps alumna and book artist, Mari Eckstein-Gower ‘70, whose recent work on the ecological legacy of Mount Saint Helens, The Willow and the Mountain (2020), is featured in the exhibition, “Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists,” hosted by the University of Puget Sound. Click on the link below to see images of Mari’s new book as well as watch a video in which she turns the pages and speaks of her design process.


Connections: The Willow and the Mountain | Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists Connections: The Willow and the Mountain Mari Eckstein-Gower (artist) and Carri LeRoy (scientist) Closed BookBefore the Eruption Fold-Out MapMagma BuildingThe Magma ChamberThe EruptionLife Under The Pumice PlainThe Willow and New StreamsPhotos: Sy Bean. To enlarge images, move the cursor on the thum...

Photos from Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College's post 04/30/2021

Scripps College’s very own Fine Arts Foundation used to have the tradition of wearing creative hats to their gatherings. An archival photograph of some Fine Arts Foundation members reveal their fascinating accessories to be true spectacles. The late Scripps Art Professor and former Director of the Art Department, Paul Darrow, illustrated one of these infamous meetings in, perfectly capturing their energy. What’s your favorite type of hat?

Hats off to these creative millinery achievements and head adornments!

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