Non Solus Blog

Eikōn basilikē of King Charles the First

By Elissa B.G. Mullins 56 copies in 26 editions of the Eikōn basilikē of King Charles I have recently been disambiguated, rescued from minimal catalogue records, and made fully accessible to researchers. Although its publication could not save Charles I from his beheading in 1649, the Eikōn basilikē (subtitled The pourtraicture of His sacred Majestie […]

Happy birthday, Gwendolyn Brooks!

Gwendolyn Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas. She is often recognized for her time as Poet Laureate of Illinois (1968-2000) and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1985-1986), and for being the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize in any category (1950). While many materials in the […]

Journal of a residence in St. Petersburg

Open this sturdy stationery-bound journal (Post-1650 MS 0806) and join Hugh Perkins as he embarks from London to St. Petersburg, traveling through the North and Baltic Seas in the autumn of 1834, writing and sketching along the way. His illustrations are skillful, executed in various media, including pencil, watercolor, and gouache, documenting ships, birds, landscapes, […]

A Marriage Contract … and a Book Cover?

By Elissa B.G. Mullins Don’t judge a book by its cover—especially when the cover warrants its own catalogue record! Little did yeoman William Butter and his wife-to-be Judeth Shaw imagine that their marriage contract would one day be recycled to cover an astronomical treatise printed a century before they met. A fragment of their contract […]

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 […]