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5th Week of April 2023

April 30th, 2023

Years in the making

The new site Science in the Making digitizes 30,000 manuscripts from the collections of the Royal Society’s long history of scientific publishing.

Screenshot of a page on the site


Under the microscope

Conserving a Mughal Album from the Shahjahan period

A magnified image of flaking paint in the manuscript


A Century of Dining Out: The American Story in Menus, 1841-1941

The latest Grolier Club exhibition in-person and online surveys the Henry Voigt Collection of menus.

Art Deco image of a bartender pouring a cocktail at the Fountain Room


PSU Libraries amplifies ‘Black History and Visual Culture’ with digital collection

The digital collection, a celebration and remembrance of Black life at Penn State campuses, broadly across the United States, and around the world, is free for public viewing.

Photo of Malcolm X captioned "He was ready, are you?"


2023 Acquisitions of the Library Collectors’ Council

New acquisition highlights from the Huntington Library.

The diary of John Shaw, 1810, and letters by Francis Hoyt Gregory, 1845, and Elizabeth (Shaw) Gregory, 1842.



4th Week of April 2023

April 23rd, 2023

Behind the Scenes: Sorting Part X of the NAACP Papers

The challenges of processing this large and important collection to make it available to researchers.

boxes of NAACP Records awaiting processing in the Manuscript Division Preparation Section.


Reconstructing a medieval volvelle

Any volvelle content that reaches my RSS reader will be featured here–that’s the Special Collections Roundup promise to you the reader. Be sure to click through for the animation of the volvelle in action.

A 15th century manuscript with a series of rotating disks for astronomical calculations


Preserving Bach’s manuscripts

Repairing damage to the Well-Tempered Clavier by some ill-tempered iron gall ink.

Music manuscript with iron gall ink burn


Entering the Public Domain

A new project from Princeton will digitize highlights from the collection that enter the public domain each year.

Cover of “Copper sun,” by Countee Cullen; with decorations by Charles Cullen


Register Now for Free Preservation Week Programming

Beginning Monday, a series of webinars on preservation at the Library of Congress.

Multispectral imaging system


3rd Week of April 2023

April 16th, 2023

New Discovery Finds Hidden Text Between the Lines of Biblical Passages

UV imaging reveals a Syriac palimpsest in the Vatican Library

Manuscript under UV light


National Taiwan Library repairs 500-year-old Quran

‘Book Hospital’ tasked with repairing ancient Quran damaged by time, elements

Conservator at work on the Quran


Seeing Codicologically: New Explorations in the Technology of the Book

The latest volume of the Journal of the Walters Art Musuem

A manuscript book of hours with repeating patterns cut into its blank margins


The Printed Image: Wuthering Heights

Fritz Eichenberg’s powerful wood engraving illustrations to the 1945 Random House edition.

“I have not broken your heart – you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.”


Tradition and Modernity in the Palm-Leaf Manuscripts of Lombok

Research into one of the most significant libraries of Indonesian palm-leaf manuscripts ever collected.

Invoice for the cost of religious ceremonies, totalling 24000 copper coins [Or. 5239]

2nd Week of April 2023

April 9th, 2023

Baseball Opening Day, and the Library Adds MLB History Online

Celebrate the start of the season with a new digital collection on baseball history from the Library of Congress.

The "Bull" Durham baseball guide 1910-


The Wonderful World of Passover Haggadot

The oldest illustrated Haggadah at the John Rylands Library dates from the early fourteenth century.

A marginal figure raises a cup of wine


Margaret Mee: Portraits of Plants

A new Dumbarton Oaks exhibition highlights botanical illustrations from Brazil.

Margaret Mee, 1958, 66 x 48 cm, gouache, signed and dated “Bromeliaceae, Pitcairnia flammea, Jardim Botanico


Inside a Tudor woman’s home

A 1593 inventory of the London house of Alice Smythe.

The beginning of the inventory of Alice’s house: Egerton Roll 8797



1st Week of April 2023

April 2nd, 2023

Note: this is an April Fools-free zone; all posts are true to the best of my knowledge.

Medieval and Renaissance Women: full list of the manuscripts

An index of links to all 93 manuscripts digitized for this British Library project.

St Birgitta of Sweden, sitting and writing in a book, from a copy of her Revelations


Anticipating Preservation Needs of Archived Audio Tapes

Testing the stability of audio tape answers some pressing questions for the future of the Library of Congress’s vast collection.

A technician examines reel-to-reel tapes at a shelving unit.


ARCHiOx, part 4: ‘Let him make a statue of a horse with its rider’

Part of a series on a special imaging project at the Bodleian–ultra-high resolution images of clay seals from the Achaemenid Empire reveal the fingerprints of its maker.

An impression of the seal of Aršāma from Sigill. Aram. V.


ASMR at the museum

A series of behind-the-scenes videos from the Victoria & Albert Museum to send tingles down your spine.

A conservator stuffs paper into a bowler hat


Ashbery-esque: Adventures in Cataloging the John Ashbery Reading Library

Houghton Library recently acquired a collection of 2500 books belonging to poet John Ashbery, which shed light on the reading that shaped his work.

Copy of Animal Farm inscribed by John Ashbery as a Harvard Student