Professor Maldwyn Jones
And The PITTSTON GAZETTE …
From the May 1987 Monthly Report
Reference Questions… continue to flow into W308! It is very tempting for our contacts to seek help on various questions, since they assume that we have all of the resources of the Pennsylvania State University at our disposal.
Interestingly enough, many of the questions have nothing whatsoever to do with newspapers. Our most recent request was for a copy of the Hail Mary in French… (the prayer, not the movie).
I wish we had kept a log of all the questions we’ve been asked. It’s the only thing we didn’t document.
Our most distant query, geographically speaking, came from Professor Maldwyn Jones of University College, London, England. His research on a prominent Member of Parliament, Mr. John Henry Puleston, led him to the United States, more specifically, Pittston, Pa.
Professor Jones discovered in Winifred Gregory’s Union List of American Newspapers that an 1858 issue of the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal was extant at the Northumberland County Historical Society LINK to the VAULT. He wrote the Society asking about the issue.
The NCHS had meanwhile sent their collection to [Penn State] for permanent storage, so the letter was forwarded to us.
Professor Jones said the Mr. John Henry Puleston, MP, had come to Pittston in 1857 and edited the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal until spring of 1860. Could a copy of the only existing issue be sent to him?
It could; and we did. For weeks we didn’t hear whether it had been received by Professor Jones (it traveled by boat!). Finally he called to say he had received it and was very pleased. (The University had made an excellent copy of it).
While all this was going on, we had since removed another file of the Pittston Gazette, the entire back file, to the PSU Hazleton Campus, and had found a special Jubilee Edition which talked about past editors of the paper, and illustrated the article with photographs. We had sent a copy of that article to Professor Jones as well.
When we mentioned this to the Professor on the phone, his delight was effusive – a photo of Puleston had actually been found! It seems information on Mr. Puleston is hard to come by.
Even in that article, written in 1900, the editor of the Pittston Gazette Jubilee Edition was having a hard time tracking down the file of the paper edited by Puleston and said then that no issues for the period 1857-1860 could be located.
Anyway, Professor Jones wanted to know when we would be inventorying the U.S. Collection at the British Museum. Said he: “It’s quite extensive, you know”.
–From the May 1987 Monthly Report
Maldwyn Allen Jones (1922 – 2007)
Born: Greenfield, Flintshire 18, Northeast Wales
Historian and Professor, University College, London
Dates of correspondence between Dr. Maldwyn Jones and the Penn State Project Librarians. Journal Entries and Letters follow:
February 17, 1987- Dr. Jones’ letter to the Northumberland Co. Historical Society
March 7, 1987 – Jack Hetrick’s letter to us, forwarding Dr. Jones’ request
March 11, 1987 – Our letter to Dr. Jones
March 26, 1987 – Our note to Dr. Jones accompanying the article he wanted
May 1, 1987 – His letter to us
May 8, 1987 – Our note to Dr. Jones saying we had not heard from him
May 14, 1987 – Our letter to Professor Jones
Partial JOURNAL ENTRIES
Wednesday, March 11, 1987
…Beck worked on writing letters. Wrote a long lengthy letter to the person in London requesting a newspaper belonging to Northumberland County Historical Society. She also then wrote Jack Hetrick to tell him what she had done…
Wednesday, March 25, 1987
Beck and I went to Pattee Library – got the key to Stow-Away from Jim Petro and went to find the one copy of the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal for someone in England.
Well we got to the storage area and looked at all those volumes, boxes, etc. Where in the hell to begin?
After about the 7th box we found it! I was about ready to give up.
Back to the office to get it copied.
Denise thought that we could get the newspaper copied at Engineering Copy Center – so she walked it down – cost $10.00.
Tomorrow will send it to London… [Remember: “scanning” not yet available]
Thursday, March 26, 1987
…Oh; we got the Pittston Gazette in the mail to London (England). Sent the roll w/the newspaper copy separate from the letter. Hope he appreciates all the work we (Denise too) did in getting it to him.
Thursday, May 14, 1987
…Received a phone call from Dr. Jones, London, England. He wanted to know if we got his check. Told him we found additional information on Puleston in an August 2, 1900 Jubilee Edition of the Pittston Gazette. He was so pleased to get more information…
Beck and I photocopied the appropriate article from the Jubilee Edition on Puleston and sent it to Jones.
Talking to Dr. Jones gave us back our enthusiasm again – like a refreshing breath…
Letter from Professor Jones to Jack Hetrick of the Northumberland County Historical Society:
Letter from Jack Hetrick to Becky, asking for assistance with Professor Jones’ request:
Handwritten notes on the office copy of this letter: March 11, 1987. Sent Jack copy of the letter to Dr. Jones; sent Luzerne Co. history on this title [the Pittston Gazette]: