Non Solus Blog

Stuart David and Sophia Belzer Engstrand Collection

By Nicole Connell The Stuart David and Sophia Belzer Engstrand Collection has been processed and cataloged, and is now open to researchers at RBML! Stuart David Engstrand (1904-1955) was a best-selling author, publishing primarily in the 1940s. His works include Beyond the Forest, A Husband in the House, The Invaders, More Deaths Than One, The […]

Musing on Miniatures: An Introspective

By Elissa B.G. Mullins The miniature format recommends itself to a wide variety of genres—from devotional materials to political pamphlets; from almanacs to advertisements; from volumes designed for the small hands and big imaginations of children, to delicately hand-crafted artists’ books. All boast portability, stealth, ease of storage, and economical use of paper and binding […]

Adventures in Cataloging: Arabic Manuscripts at RBML Part 3

By Hanan Jaber Welcome to the final part of our Arabic Manuscripts at RBML series! Today, we are presenting the last four books for this collection.  Hand-written Qur’an – 1845 Of course I was expecting to find Qur’ans within the manuscripts just because many older books tend to be law books and religious texts. I […]

Adventures in Cataloging: Arabic Manuscripts at RBML Part 2

By Hanan Jaber Welcome back to part 2 of our Arabic Manuscripts at the RBML series! Today, we present to you some Islamic as well as Christian texts found in Arabic.  Asrar Namah by Shaykh Farid al-Din ‘Attar Amongst the Arabic manuscripts, there were also Persian manuscripts, such as Asrar Namah, a Sufi “secret” book […]

Collection Highlights: The Story of Mable Schamp (1912-1951)

by Jonathan Puckett The Schamp-Levin Collection contains the papers of Mable Schamp and her second husband, Meyer Levin. Mable Hall Schamp (1912-1951) grew up in poverty but earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1936, served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, worked on male contraceptives, battled mental illness, and […]

Iron Gall Ink

By: Katie Hartman Besides the quill and parchment, ink was one of the most basic components of manuscript production.  Black inks were typically produced either from collecting soot (most common in Asia) or from oak galls (most common in Europe). Oak galls are growths that are formed around the larva of the gall wasp.  The […]

Tools of the trade for Opening Day 1921

By: Tony Hynes One hundred years ago on the opening day of the 1921 baseball season, April 13, manager Johnny Evers’ Chicago Cubs were set to host Branch Rickey’s St Louis Cardinals for a 4-game series. This series was followed by 150 more scheduled games, ending with pennants for neither team (the Cardinals finished third […]

Making Quills Part 3—Cutting the Quill

By: Katie Hartman Cutting the quill’s nib is often seen as the most finicky and difficult part of the quill making process.  In a way, this assumption is both true and false.  Cutting a quill nib takes practice and some getting used to, especially if you’re nervous handling a knife or razor blade.  But, once […]

Making Quills Part 2- Curing with a Dutching Tool

By: Katie Hartman Technically speaking, dutching simply refers to the process of hardening a quill by using heat.  However, since the process of using a dutching tool differs greatly from the other methods discussed in part 1, it is useful to refer to the process of using a dutching tool as dutching and the process […]

Now Available: Fairy Tales Digital Exhibit

The digital pop-up exhibit “Once Upon a Time… Fairy Tales from Around the World” is now available! Curated by former graduate assistant Taylor Henning, the exhibit highlights fairy tale books from the RBML collection while exploring variations of familiar stories from five continents. Delve into the world of folktales and fairy tales by visiting the […]