A Birthday Card for Albert Camus

Albert Camus, the French novelist, playwright, journalist, philosopher and Nobel Prize winner was born on this day, November 7, one hundred years ago. This is a good occasion to highlight a small manuscript fragment from Camus’s 1951 essay L’Homme révolté (Paris: Gallimard, translated in English as The Rebel) which was recently re-discovered on the shelves […]

Marcel Proust on Writing

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Du côté de chez Swann (Swann’s Way), the first part of Marcel Proust’s lengthy literary masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, also known as Remembrance of Things Past. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is celebrating this milestone with an exhibition drawn from its renowned Proust […]

William Paul Schenk Papers: A New Acquisition Related to Carl Sandburg

The Rare Book Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of the William Paul Schenk Papers from his estate early in 2011. In addition to many of his own manuscripts, the William Schenk papers contain a treasure trove of articles, correspondence, and photographs concerning Carl Sandburg and his family. Schenk greatly admired the famous poet […]

Congratulations to our Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin!

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Illinois now has even more reason to be proud of being the home of William S. Merwin’s papers: on Thursday, July 1, it was announced that William S. Merwin would be named the next poet laureate of the United States. The duties of the Poet Laureate Consultant in […]

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 […]

An anonymous manuscript tract found in the Incunabula collection

While updating the catalog records for the Incunabula collection, a copy of the Pseudo-Augustinian work Sermones ad heremitas was recently re-cataloged. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has three fifteenth-century imprints of this work, two from Venice and one from Strasbourg. The copy printed by Paganinus de Paganinis on 26 May 1487 is the smallest […]

Letters from John Ruskin primarily to Joan Severn (Post 1650 MS 0009)

Sitting quietly in our vault, awaiting further study is a cache of thirty unpublished letters from John Ruskin to his Scottish cousin Joan (Agnew Ruskin) Severn.   Ruskin wrote over 3000 letters to Severn, many of which have been published in the thirty-nine volume edition of The Works of John Ruskin by Edward T. Cook and […]

To the End of the World and Back (Post-1650 MS 334)

Under the direction of Captain Sir William Parry, the HMS Hecla and HMS Griper left port on 11 May 1819 destined for the Arctic. Their objective was to continue the search for the Northwest Passage and to pursue the Longitude prize by surpassing the record for a sailing vessel traveling the farthest north (previously set […]

Spanish Antiphonal Manuscript (Pre-1650 MS 209)

Recently donated by Roberta Lynn Hay, Pre-1650 MS 209 is a large and imposing addition to The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Once used for the observance of the Divine Office, this manuscript is one volume of an incomplete antiphonal of the Temporale cycle of a non-Dominican monastery […]

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 […]