Occasionally I come across a few rare gems in our public stacks that I carefully rescue to be catalogued in Special Collections. Last week, I gathered many multi-volume sets in series of Spanish theater and poetry published by M. Aguilar in the 1940s-50s. What caught my eye was the hint of color on the top edge of one of the books, and when I pulled it from the shelf I gasped at the bright, intricate stencil that looks to have been airbrushed along the textblock’s head, tail and fore-edge. Some have faded over time along the head, but the edges that have not been exposed to light in some time are as bright as ever. The books vary in size and are all cased in soft leather dyed in various colors. Many feature whimsically illustrated end-sheets as you open the cover, and each has a sepia toned portrait of the author facing the book’s title page. A classy and surprising series indeed! You can now access these books in the Reading Room of SC&A, on the third floor of Monroe Library.
News & Events from the Monroe Library
Archive for the ‘Rare Books’ Category
December 16, 1884 marked the opening day of The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. The Cotton Planter’s Association chose to commemorate the first recorded shipment of cotton from the United States to England, which happened in 1784, at the World’s Fair that year in New Orleans.
Special Collections & Archives has several books commemorating the Exposition. The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans, 1884-85 describes the opening ceremony and exhibits in the fair. Each state in the U.S. (of which there were 38 at the time), the 7 territories (Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming), and 17 foreign nations (of which the Mexico exhibit was particularly lauded) had its own exhibit, and there were also dedicated exhibits on the government, education, women, people of color, the railway, horticulture, art, and livestock.
Catalogue of the art collection describes the art on display at the exhibition and includes prices.
Finally, Map of the city of New Orleans showing location of exposition grounds and all approaches thereto by land & water shows the exhibition’s locations around the city as well as drawings of some of the exhibition buildings. Special Collections & Archives’ copies are very fragile, but the map is digitized and available online in David Rumsey’s Map Collection, Harvard University’s Digital Maps Collection, the University of Milwaukee’s American Geographical Society Library – Maps Collection, and Wikimedia Commons (shown below). Most of the exhibition took place in what is now Audubon Park.
There are many more items related to the Cotton Centennial in the Louisiana Digital Library, including LSU’s New Orleans Centennial Exposition Stereoscopic Views collection.
You can view the three books detailed above in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives, Monroe Library, Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm.
Today we take a glance at a thin volume of poetry. Estrays was first published in 1918 and then again edited and in hardcover in 1920. It is populated with poetry composed by the poets: Thomas Kennedy, George Steele Seymour, Vincent Starrett, and Basil Thompson.
Below is a selection of a poem that that is both representative of the collections’ title and themes (estray : stray); The Quest, by Thomas Kennedy.
Even though Halloween is over, there’s still time to appreciate things on the creepier side! These are a few pictures from a French copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug printed in 1892. This story was one of the most popular ones during his lifetime, and was submitted for a writing contest in the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, for which he earned the grand prize of $100 dollars, or about $3,230 today. Not only that, but this popularized the idea of cryptography, because the plot is based around an epic treasure hunt, which contains a rather complex cryptogram, with an explanation on how to crack it. So if you like mysteries with a couple chills down your spine, maybe you should check it out!
This item and more can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library.
Blog by student worker Miranda Renzi.
Published in 1828, Deutschlands wildwachsende Arzney-Pflanzen (Germany’s Wild Medicinal Plants), by Johann Gottlieb Mann, contains hand-colored lithographs of medical plants, flowers, and fruits. Here is a small selection. To view more of these lithographs click HERE to access them via Louisiana Digital Library.
Today Found in the Archives takes a look at The History of the Fan.
This large and lavishly illustrated volume was assembled by G. Wolliscroft Rhead, and published in a limited edition of 450 in 1910.
Inspired by the fact that despite the fan’s ubiquity, “[e]ven on the continent the literature of the Fan is exceedingly scanty,” Rhead traces, in minute detail, the fan from ancient times…
…through the eighteenth century.
The volume features many beautiful examples:
As well as helpful instruction on the language of the fan:
Come see The History of the Fan for yourself in Special Collections & Archives!
Today we take a look at volume 2 of a 2 volume set Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque.
We are sharing with you the 2nd volume, since volume 1 is much more fragile. Luckily it has been digitized and is available via Rice University’s The Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA) and through the Internet Archive.
This book was compiled and written by Professor George Mortiz Ebers and translated by Clara Bell. Ebers was a German Egyptologist and writer (1837 –1898). Clara Bell (1834–1927) was a translator best know for her translation of the 90-volume work The Human Comedy by Honoré de Balzac. Heavily illustrated, with over 400 images, with gilt edges. It is a large book at 387 pages and measuring 12 1/4″ x 15″ making the digitization of it a joy not only of access but for its ease of use.
Today we offer you a selection of images (all of the artists are credited at the front of each volume) from the book with corresponding links to modern images, additional information, and locations of the sites.
Come check out this or one of our other rare books housed in the Special Collections & Archives at Monroe Library Loyola University New Orleans, M-F 9-4:30.
We just can’t get enough of Irish literature and history books in Special Collections & Archives (previously here, here, here, and here). To celebrate another St. Patrick’s Day, here are some more images of rare books about St. Patrick and Ireland in our collection.
From St. Patrick’s Day Sermon:
From History of Ireland:
These and many more can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM.
Welcome to another week, and another edition of #marbled monday! Take a look at these beautiful end-papers from volumes in Special Collections & Archives.
Plutarch’s Lives, 1727 [DE7 .P45 1727]
The Masterpieces of George Sand, Amandine Lucille Autore Dupin, baroness Dudevant : now for the first time completely translated into English, 1900. [PQ2397 .I8]
Plutarch’s Lives, 1905. [DE7 .P5 1905]
These beautiful volumes are available for viewing in Special Collections & Archives Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.
To continue with a theme we introduced on Tuesday with our post on James Joyce, we bring you another Irish writer from our special collections.
Padraic Colum was an actor, writer and participant in the Irish Literary Renaissance. Close friends with James Joyce, he helped type pages for Finnegan’s Wake as well as wrote a biographical reminiscence about Joyce with his wife Mary Colum called Our Friend James Joyce.
The Padraic Colum book from our collections that we chose to showcase today is his children’s novel, The King of Ireland’s Son.
Beautifully illustrated by Hungarian illustrator Willy Pogany, the book is a collection of Irish folktales.
Written when Colum was living in the United States, and published the same year as the 1916 Easter Rising, his writings sought to bring the myth, folklore, and the dream of Ireland to children and adults alike.
This volume is available for viewing Monday through Friday in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room from 9:00 – 4:30.