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Category Archive for 'Rare books'

Can you read the text on this page? Neither can I!  But it’s one of many foreign-language Bibles in our Special Collections that I’ve had to catalog.  Back in the early 19th century, the British Foreign and Bible Society was hard at work on its goal of translating the Bible into as many foreign languages […]

  Just because it’s in a history book doesn’t mean it’s correct.  In this detailed study of the Battle of Waterloo from 1815 (where Wellington soundly defeated Napoleon), someone has written tons of annotations (comments in the margins), correcting the author. Given what he’s written, it sounds like the person writing the comments was right […]

How did people really feel about nuclear weapons back in 1945, just after the first bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  Here’s one way to find out: The Atomic Age Opens (New York: Pocket Books, Inc., 1945) gives a view into the public mindset in 1945, and some of the questions that were […]

Who knew that you could find actual plant specimens in Special Collections & Archives?  It’s true, we own several books of pressed plants, including this book of pressed sea vegetation from Bermuda. Bermuda 1890 was handmade out of blue-green paper, with hand-painted oceanfront scenes on the front and back covers.  Inside, 45 different specimens of […]

Here’s a newly-cataloged book in our collection: Account of a voyage to the western coast of Africa, performed by His Majesty’s sloop Favourite, in the 1805, being a journal of the events which happened to that vessel… By F. B. Spilsbury (London: R. Phillips, 1807).  Several of the engravings in the book show that the […]

  I made a presentation to the summer Wesleyan Mellon Mays Fellows of a selection of resources related to their research interests. One item I showed was the book, Biographical Sketches and Interesting Anecdotes of Persons of Color. To Which is Added, a Selection of Pieces in Poetry. According to The Annual Report of the […]

A colleague provided this link to a post found on the Ask the Past: Advice from Old Books blog: Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with […]

The World’s Fair: Being a Pictorial History of the Columbian Exposition…, published in 1893, provides a comprehensive description of the Fair and its host city, Chicago. Members of the Wesleyan community may be particularly interested in this chapter:

What do you think of when you see the name “Booth” on the cover of a 19th-century U.S. play?  Does the name “John Wilkes Booth” come to mind, perhaps?  I’ve been cataloging just such an item, a promptbook of the 1859 play The Octaroon. Right at the top of the cover, handwritten in ink, is […]

Suzy Taraba recently showed Prof. Kate Birney’s Introduction to Ancient Greek (GRK101) class the 1569 polyglot Bible, “the second of the great Polyglots, known as the Antwerp, or Plantin’s polyglot, otherwise the Royal polyglot,” according to Darlow & Moule. The class was studying Exodus 21:22-25 in Greek (see below). A polyglot Bible contains multiple translations […]

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