Proust and the Great War

Selected Letters at the University of Illinois by François Proulx, Assistant Professor of French This online exhibition is part of The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects, a campus-wide initiative marking the centenary of World War I. (Read more about this exhibition)   At the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914, Marcel Proust […]

Victorian Scrapbooks Rediscovered

Here at The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, seemingly simple reference questions often turn into much deeper discoveries.That was the case when a patron enquired about our material concerning one Martin F. Tupper. If you aren’t familiar with Martin F. Tupper (1810-1889), then you probably didn’t live in the mid-19th century; if you did, you likely […]

A Christmas Carol and Its Corresponding Collector

While updating the catalogue record for an 1869 edition of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, I came across a letter inside the front cover. Dated 3 April 1867, it was written from Andrew Varick Stout Anthony (1835-1906) to Alexander Farnum (1830-1884) regarding William James Linton (1812-1897), an English engraver who had recently immigrated to the United […]

A Collection of Letters to Barnard Gregory

“Satire’s my weapon. I was born a critic and a satirist; and my nurse remarked that I hissed as soon as I saw light.” In the vault of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we recently rediscovered a correspondence collection of the London actor and journalist Barnard Gregory […]

Letter Reveals Lord North’s Apprehension Over British Defeat at Trenton, 1777

***This post was previously posted at the RBML Discoveries from the Vault website*** On the night of Monday, February 10, 1777, Lord North the British prime minister sat at his desk at 10 Downing Street and wrote a quick note to his friend and chief intelligence official, William Eden. In addition to forwarding to Eden […]

Lost Letter from Leopold von Ranke Found!

***This post was previously posted at the RBML Discoveries from the Vault website*** The German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) is today often regarded as the founder of the science of history as a discipline involving the use of a wide range of documents in historical research. At one time, a very interesting letter from […]