Making Quills Part 1: Curing

by Katie Hartman Quills are part of the basic materials needed to create a medieval manuscript. Their use and creation were a basic part of the scribe’s daily work and the quill is usually regarded to be the symbol of the scribal trade.  Typically, medieval quills were taken from geese or swans. The best feathers for […]

Adventures in Cataloging: Arabic Manuscripts at RBML

In the cold rooms of the stacks, I walk through the smell of centuries-old books  As I scan the shelves, I notice a stack of books untouched, with white tags protruding from the covers. Some are wrapped with cloth strings and cardboard; others barely attached to their spines. The white tags all with the same […]

A Halloween History: Movable & Pop-Up Books

Pop-up books, also known as movable books (the umbrella term encompassing pop-ups, tunnel books, volvelles, flaps, pull-tabs, pop-outs, pull downs, and more), have been around for centuries. Children, however, were not the target audience until the late 18th century. Prior to then, the audience was primarily adults, and usually with a scholarly purpose. Authors would […]

Edward Gorey: Granddaddy of Goth

by Kellie Clinton Edward Gorey (February 22, 1925-April 15, 2000) is an author and illustrator best known for his pen-and-ink illustrations in Victorian and Edwardian settings. Due to his illustrations generally grim, dark, and depressing content, Gorey’s works have found their home in a specific niche, and earned him the title of “Granddaddy of goth” […]

“A League of Their Own” Typescript

With the World Series in full swing it’s a good time to take a look at one of the many interesting baseball holdings in the collection: the first draft of the typescript for the 1992 movie A League of Their Own directed by Penny Marshal. This typescript, pictured below, was written in 1989 by Lowell […]

Exile Aisle: Challenged and Banned Books in Youth Literature

Curated By Kellie Clinton The American Library Association celebrated Banned Books Week from September 22 through September 28, 2019. Even though Banned Books Week is over, this display will remain up through the end of the week. This exhibit is meant to draw attention to the types of books that are being banned and the […]

Punny Pick-me-ups: Humor as a Social Medicine Prescribed by Professional Punsters

by Kellie Clinton April Fool’s Day seems like it happened years ago, but we are carrying on the humor with our current pop-up exhibit, “Punny Pick-me-ups: Humor as a Social Medicine Prescribed by Professional Punsters,” curated by GA Kellie Clinton. On display are a series of joke books, also referred to as wits, witticisms, jests, […]

Wynkyn de Worde’s “The boke of Chaucer named Caunterbury tales”

written by Katie Funderburg Although less momentous than William Caxton’s first edition and certainly less ornate than the later Kelmscott Chaucer, Wynkyn de Worde’s The boke of Chaucer named Caunterbury tales (Incunabula Q. 821 C39c 1498) provides valuable insight into early English print history. As one of the most prolific English printers at the turn […]

Rosa Lee Ingram and Black Feminist Organizing

In November of 1947, a death in Ellaville, Georgia, led to a court case that caused national outrage and protests for the rights of black women in the Jim Crow South. At the center of the court case was Rosa Lee Ingram, a black sharecropper who, along with her three oldest sons, was accused of […]

A Woman’s Place in Anarchy: Lucy E. Parsons and the Haymarket Riots

Currently on display in our pop-up exhibit cases are items relating to the life of Lucy E. Parsons, an anarchist and activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lucy Parsons, born in approximately 1853, was the child of enslaved parents. She grew up in Texas and while working she met and married Confederate […]