Non Solus Blog

Germania Rediviva

Goths, Angles, Saxons, Jutes—these are the tribes of ancient Germania, the so-called barbarians who migrated during late Antiquity, building the kingdoms that displaced Rome. The spate of museum exhibits and television shows is only the most recent expression our fascination with ancient Germania. Earlier historical periods likewise came under their spell. In this exhibit, we Read More

Have I Got to Cook That?

The Frederick Joseph Wells Collection consists of letters written by the science-fiction author H.G. Wells to his family members, photographs of H.G. Wells, drawings by H.G. Wells, and other documents related to H.G. Wells. The collection was compiled by H.G. Wells’s older brother, Frederick Joseph Wells. The majority of the letters in the collection are from Read More

Larry McMurtry’s personal collection of H. G. Wells

We’ve recently finished processing Items from the Larry McMurtry collection of H.G. Wells. The items in this collection formed a part of Larry McMurtry’s personal collection of H. G. Wells and includes some of H. G. Wells personal correspondence, publishers’ correspondence and records, items related to the production and marketing of the film Things to Come, and drawings, Read More

Student Designs for a new Rare Book & Manuscript Library!

Graduate Architecture Students in Professor Vidar Lerum‘s studio course took on the challenge of designing a new home for the magnificent collections of the University of Illinois’ Rare Book & Manuscript Library. With librarians and curators servings as their “clients,” and adhering strictly to their stated needs for special spaces to house, research, care for, Read More

A 12th-Century Charter

This charter records a privilege granted to the city of Como, Italy, by the German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V (1086-1125). Henry V is mostly known for his role in drawing up the Concordat of Worms, which brought the investiture controversy to a close. His life tends to pale next to that of Read More

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library Invites Visiting Scholar Applications

The John “Bud” Velde Visiting Scholars Program The Rare Book & Manuscript Library University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, 2016-17 Program Cycle The Rare Book & Manuscript Library annually awards two stipends of up to $3,000 to scholars and researchers, unaffiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who would like to spend Read More

The Rule of Saint Benedict

This wonderful historiated initial comes from the opening of our copy of the La regle saint Benoit, a French translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The illustration shows Saint Benedict addressing four attentive nuns. The artist incorporates suggestive details that give the scene a liveliness that is surprising for so small a picture. The nun closest Read More

Like an insect in amber

It is not unusual to run across insects in old books: flies and spiders get squashed in the margins, and paper-loving silverfish perish between the pages they’ve been dining on. However, it is out of the ordinary to find one embedded in a book’s actual paper, as RBML cataloger Linda Bial did recently! This unfortunate spider Read More

Who Saw the Wright Brothers’ First Successful Flight?

When the Wright Brothers went to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to successfully test their “Flyer,” the first successful airplane, they did not drag behind them a train of reporters, public relations flacks, or the other impedimenta we associate with technological breakthroughs. There was too much uncertainty; there had been too much failure before. As it happened, Read More

Reunited for the First Time Since 1879: Six Books and an Invoice

When private libraries like the Cavagna Collection–containing over 40,000 books and manuscripts–are purchased, one of the first questions that arises is how these owners and collectors acquired their books. A Pavia native, Cavagna purchased his books primarily from booksellers around northern Italy. The evidence we’ve encountered so far suggests that he turned and returned to Read More