Non Solus Blog

Proust and the Great War (Part 2)

Selected Letters at the University of Illinois by François Proulx, Assistant Professor, Department of French and Italian Time Regained, the final volume of Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, is among the most famous literary depictions of World War I. Yet most of Proust’s letters from the war period have never been translated into Read More

Let’s Talk About Sex: A Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Exhibit at the RBML

12 February – 23 February 2018 Curated by Claire Berman & Siobhan McKissic Birds do it, bees do it, but how do we do it? Sitting down to talk about sex has long been a trope in television and books. These depictions show the discomforts parents, teachers, and friends face while trying to explain a Read More

Information for Novice Street Fighters

In May of 1969, a battle broke out between residents and police officers over a plot of land owned by the University of California at Berkeley. After the plot had sat vacant and abandoned for a year, local residents and students named the land People’s Park and had begun planting trees, shrubs, and flowers in Read More

Who was Mother Goose?

Who was Mother Goose? Was she real, or just a fictional character? The truth behind the identity of the friendly woman whose nursery rhymes have charmed children for generations may never truly be known. Some believe that Mother Goose may date back to the 10th century French court. According to legend, the wife of French King Read More

No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

In mid-November, No Blue Memories premiered at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The paper puppet show, performed by Manual Cinema, focused on the life of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. The show was written by Dr. Eve. L. Ewing and Nate Marshall, featured live music by Ayanna and Jamila Read More

“This Never Fails if Rightly Done”: Cookery and Curatives from Regency England

A pop-up exhibit at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library 11 December – 22 December 2017 Curated by Katie Bergen The Regency era is a time often remembered for its glittering balls and the amusements of high society. These aristocratic pleasures have been canonized in literature that remains popular to this day, including works by Read More

Happy Ninetieth Birthday W. S. Merwin!

The prolific and accomplished American poet and writer, William Stanley Merwin, turns ninety years young on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Since 1984 and by arrangement with the author, the formative materials for his nearly seventy books of poetry, prose, translations and plays–including notes, notebooks, drafts, typescripts, proofs, and correspondence–have been deposited in the collections of Read More

Peekaboo!

We’re so excited about the eclipse, here at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This graphic comes from an announcement published in 1760 in Milan, alerting citizens of an upcoming eclipse to occur on June 13 of the same year. As the diagram shows, only seven-tenths of the sun would be covered. Spiegazione geografica dell’ecclisse Read More

Decorated paper, German nobility, and wax seals, oh my!

The Cavagna Collection contains many surprises waiting to be discovered, and recently a particularly interesting find came across my desk. Like numerous other items in the collection, it is in a simple paper wrapper. In many instances paper wrappers served as temporary coverings until a work received a more permanent binding. In this case, however, Read More

Type Under Siege

In late 1544, Henry VIII’s forces were defending the English possession of Boulogne in a series of brutal battles against the French as part of the Italian War (1542-1546). They were aided by Giovacchino da Coniano, a sergeant-major in charge of the Italians fighting on the side of the English. The king had been present Read More