Non Solus Blog

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

A Well-Traveled Atlas

As I was beginning to work on a two-volume atlas from the Cavagna Collection printed in Venice between 1740 and 1750, I noticed from the rather rudimentary catalog record that a second copy was listed as containing the bookplate of David Garrick (1717-1779), the most famous Shakespearean actor of the eighteenth-century, whose legacy is still Read More

Cave of the Dogs

Next time you’re in Naples, why not take a side trip to the Grotta del Cane (Cave of the Dog)? As you can see from this engraving from the 1652 edition of Giulio Cesare Capaccio’s La vera antichita di Pozzuolo, it looks like quite the tourist trap. The Cave of the Dog takes its name Read More

University of Illinois-Urbana 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: 2017-18 Program Cycle The Rare Book & Manuscript Library annually awards two stipends of $3,000 to scholars and researchers (unaffiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) who would like to spend a month Read More

Opulent Almanacs

                  It’s been a wonderfully colorful week here at the Illinois RBML: after Joan Friedman’s illuminating lecture on Owen Jones and color printing on Wednesday, we came across these exquisite chromolithographed title pages from Goffredo di Crollalanza’s series of almanacs: the “Almanach Héraldique et Drôlatique”, from 1883-1885. Read More

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