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” […]

RBML Rocks at the Illini Fest in Chicago

Last Thursday, July 19th, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the University Library participated in the first ever Illini Fest in Chicago. The gathering lasted 3 hours and was a celebration of the University and its alumni. The event was a huge success: hundreds of people stopped by to participate and learn, and enjoy […]

Once Upon a Time: Fairy Tales from Around the World

Fairy tales are short, fantastical stories of folklore that were told orally for hundreds of years before being recorded. As works of folklore, fairy tales do not usually have a single author but rather are attributed to the groups of people from which the stories are believed to originate. A fairy tale typically begins with […]

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 […]

German Myths & Fairy Tales

Written by Taylor Fisk Henning Myths and fairy tales are two different types of stories that share a tradition of being passed down orally through many generations. Because of this oral tradition and the diffusion of tales throughout time, there are countless variants of the same stories in many different lands and cultures. In most […]

Making Mr. Darcy: Cultural Context for the Regency Gentleman

Curated by Lynne M. Thomas Feb 21 – May 24, 2019 On display in the Ellen and Nirmal Chatterjee Exhibition Gallery Join us in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library for our spring exhibition, “Making Mr. Darcy: Cultural Context for the Regency Gentleman,” curated by Lynne M. Thomas, Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book […]

Books of Hours: Devotional and Decorative Practices

written by Katie Funderburg Developing out of increased veneration of the Virgin Mary that occurred throughout Western Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Books of Hours are devotional texts that allowed the average person to model their daily approach to worship after the ordained clergy. The genre receives its name from the organizational structure of […]

“Black Steel” by Gwendolyn Brooks

Written by Taylor Henning On March 8, 1971, heavyweight champions Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali faced off at Madison Square Garden in what was billed as the “Fight of the Century.” It was the first time that two undefeated boxers fought each other for the heavyweight title. In this first of three fights between the […]

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

Happy (belated) birthday to Jane Austen! Jane Austen’s novels have remained in print almost non-stop since they first began appearing in 1811, and her fame and popularity have grown to iconic status, incorporating numerous adaptations of her novels in other mediums. During her lifetime her name was much less well known. She anonymously published her […]