Non Solus Blog

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Sitting quietly in our vault, awaiting further study is a cache of thirty unpublished letters from John Ruskin to his Scottish cousin Joan (Agnew Ruskin) Severn.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 Read More

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 Read More

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 Read More

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 Read More

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 Read More

“The Humble Petition of William Andrews,” ca. 1690

***This post was previously posted at the RBML Discoveries from the Vault website*** A handwritten letter from around 1690 that has long been in the uncataloged area of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has recently been cataloged. Though known to curators in the past, cataloger Brandy Parris came upon it again and brought it Read More