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1st Week of February 2023

February 5th, 2023

NYPL Acquires Archive of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne

“The dual collection comprises the couple’s literary and personal papers and stands as a rich testament to two of the most successful and important writers in postwar America.”

Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne at home on a couch


An Extraordinary New Acquisition!

Michigan acquires a beautifully illuminated book of hours ca. 1505.Miniature by Jean Coene IV, "King David in Prayer",


Uncovering the secrets of PUL items through spectral imaging

Collections display more than meets the naked eye when photographed under other wavelengths of light.

The front cover of 'Incipit prolog in elucidario' before (left) and after (right) spectral imaging


The Early Days of Women’s Suffrage, Archived

PACSCL’s In Her Own Right digital; project collects materials from a dozen Philadelphia-area institutions.

Portrait and manuscript of Julia Wilbur


50 years of powerful Bay Area posters collected by Oakland library go online

Oakland Public Library’s César E. Chávez branch digitizes its poster collection.

Who's the illegal alien, pilgrim?



4th Week of January 2023

January 29th, 2023

An Exhibit with Legs

Restoring an 1883 lifesize papier mache model of a giant octopus at Harvard’s Museums of Science and Culture.

Restorer Terry Chase and the model


Video: Hesburgh Libraries Analog Preservation and Conservation

A short video about preservation work at Notre Dame Libaries (featuring an appearance by my former Houghton colleague Luke Kelly!)

Still from the video: three librarians examine a book


Posters Power!

An introduction to the poster collections at the Library of Congress.

Palais de glace--Champs Elysées / Chéret.


Three Alexander the Great manuscripts newly digitised

More items from the British Library’s current exhibition Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth.



3rd Week of January 2023

January 22nd, 2023

UAlbany Professor Finds New Poem by Famed Early American Poet Phillis Wheatley

The poem “On the Death of Love Rotch” dated 1767, was found in a Quaker commonplace book at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania attributed to “A Negro Girl about 15 years of age.”

UAlbany Professor Wendy Roberts


The Anne of Green Gables Manuscript

An extensive new site makes the fully digitized manuscript available along with explanatory notes and other supporting material.

Stack of manuscript leaves


Now open: Pattern and Flow

A new Grolier Club exhibition available in person or online on the golden age of American decorated paper.

Marbled paper by Iris Nevins


Brrr–Frost Fairs on the Thames

The Thames River completely froze over during several winters between 1608 and 1814, providing London denizens with a sudden new space to utilize for work and play.

Map of the Frost Fair of 1683-4


2nd Week of January 2023

January 15th, 2023

Early Astronomy in the University of Michigan Collections

A new online exhibit featuring a selection of manuscripts, early printed books, and artifacts illustrating Mesopotamian, Greek, Islamic, and Western European astronomies.

Sharḥ al-Jighmīnī. Mūsá ibn Muḥammad Qāḍīʼzādah al-Rūmī (d.1436?) ca. 1473


Jane Segar, an artist at the Elizabethan court

A newly digitized manuscript made as a New Year’s gift for Queen Elizabeth and inscribed “the handyworke of a maiden your majesty’s most faithful servant … graced with my pen and pencell.”

The upper cover of Jane Segar’s ‘Divine Prophecies of the Ten Sibylls’


The Secret (Past) Lives of Library Books

Documenting the history of Library of Congress collections for the Material Evidence in Incunabula project.

Multispectral imaging reveals erased inscriptions


A Master Tailor’s Manual

Master tailor Diego de Freyle’s 1583 manual, Geometria y Traça para el Oficio de los Sastres

Woodcut illustration of a tailor’s shop


Top 9 of 2022 from NLM Collections on Instagram

NLM reviews the year’s most popular posts.

Frontispiece from Anatomia per uso et intelligenza del disegno


1st Week of January 2023

January 8th, 2023

Caught Our Eyes: More Brünnhilde the Cat

No contest for which story I’d put in the top slot this week. Brünnhilde!

Cat in Wagnerian opera costume


A Year in Review: Newly Scanned Maps of 2022

Recent digitization from the Library of Congress Geography and Maps Division

Authorized birds eye view of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.


Meg Piorko’s Weekly Picks: Public Domain Day 2023

To celebrate Public Domain Day, Villanova’s Falvey Library highlights newly public domain publications from 1927 in its digital collections.

Cov er of Pirates of the Prairies



A Tiny Press Calls for a Tiny Book

Duke conservator makes a miniature book to go inside a miniature book press for an exhibition on conservation work.

Miniature book and press


Wax Cylinders Hold Audio From a Century Ago. The Library Is Listening.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts acquired a machine that transfers recordings from the fragile format. Then a batch of cylinders from a Met Opera librarian arrived.

Wax cylinders from NYPL


4th Week of December 2022

December 25th, 2022

Digitized Cookbooks on the Getty Research Portal for your Holiday Feasting

The Getty Research Portal’s newest Virtual Collection is available just in time for the holiday season! The Virtual Collection includes more than 100 digitized cookbooks from the Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky Gastronomy Collection.

Elizabeth Grey, A True Gentlewomans Delight (London, 1653).


Iraqi conservators strive to preserve ancient manuscripts

In an annex of Iraq’s national museum, a conservator pores over a 17th-century manuscript, carrying out delicate restoration work as part of efforts to preserve and digitise 47,000 precious texts.

Conservator treating a manuscript


Irv Koons Product Design Archives Digitized

The Hagley Library and Museum has digitized its collection of the influential product packaging designer Irv Koons, showcasing work from a nearly 50-year career.

Cadbury Schweppes - Cadbury Cookies supermarket display


Library Acquires Rare Codex from Central Mexico

“The Library purchased the rare codex this fall. It contains new details about the earliest legal structures in Mexico after Spanish colonization and the way Indigenous people used Spanish laws to defend their rights. The codex is one of only six 16th-century pictorial manuscripts from central Mexico known to still exist. With its acquisition, the Library now holds three of the six manuscripts.”



3rd Week of December, 2022

December 18th, 2022

The Huntington Acquires Thomas Pynchon Archive

“Comprising 70 linear feet of materials created between the late 1950s and the 2020s—including typescripts and drafts of each of his novels, handwritten notes, correspondence, and research—Pynchon’s literary archive offers an unprecedented look into the working methods of one of America’s most important writers.”

Cover of Inherent Vice


The Most Important Science Book Ever Written

Adam Savage visits the Royal Society Library to see the 1st edition and manuscript of Principia Mathematica, and Newton’s death mask. (Despite the cover image, the book handling is blessedly gloveless.)

Screenshot of YouTube video


Lincoln Presidential Museum offers a virtual gallery of artifacts

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has released a collection of 100 3D models of artifacts ranging from Abraham Lincoln’s desk to Mary’s bloomers.

The desk on which Lincoln wrote his First Inaugural speech


New Interactive Map Showcases the Panoramic Maps Collection

The Library of Congress’s collection of bird’s-eye maps of the late 19th and early 20th centuries spans the U.S. as can be seen in its new browseable map interface.

Browseable map of panoramic map locations


Dream Anatomy

20 years after its online debut, the National Library of Medicine has revamped its pioneering exhibition Dream Anatomy.

Anatomical diagrams of the muscles


2nd Week of December 2022

December 11th, 2022

The 2,000-Year Story of Building the Book

The New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler covers the new Grolier Club exhibition celebrating the teaching of the history of the book at Rare Book School. (NYT gift link)

Erasable ivory tables


Huntington’s Shōya House Will Open in Fall 2023

The newest addition to The Huntington’s grounds is 320 years old–the Shōya House, a magistrate’s residence moved from Marugame, Japan and reconstructed The Huntington’s Japanese Garden.

Exterior of the Japanese Heritage Shōya House


A Holiday Feast of Colorants

Can you smell what the Library of Congress is cooking? It’s the spices traditionally used to make dyes.

From left to right: saffron threads, annatto seeds, sumac powder, and some experimental colorant patches made from them following 16th-18th C. treatises.


Armenian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library

The Bodleian has digitized 14 Armenian manuscripts and one early printed book as part of an ongoing Carnegie-funded project.

Betrayal of Judas. Bodleian Libraries, MS. Arm. d. 13, fol. 12r


Digital Jigsaw Puzzles: Holiday 2022 Edition

Enjoy these virtual jigsaw puzzles drawn from the collections of the Smithsonian Libraries.

Plate 38, The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1771).


1st Week of December 2022

December 4th, 2022

34,000 New Digital Images of Medieval Items Go Online

Seven institutions, including the Berlin State Library, Leiden University Libraries, and the Bibliotheque National de France, contributed to a new Europeana project called “The Art of Reading in the Middle Ages”.

Translator at work from BL Royal 18 E III, f. 24


Year of Glass: Contemporary Native American Beadwork

As part of an ongoing series highlighting holdings during the UN’s International Year of Glass, the Cooper Hewitt Museum looks at a new acquisition that demonstrates the use of glass beads in contemporary Native American artwork.

Ah-Day: The Favorite One’s Chair, 2002; Designed and made by Teri Greeves (American [Kiowa], born 1970) and Dennis Esquivel (American [Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa], born 1970); Cherry wood, glass beads, deer hide, metal, and brass tacks;


Nick Biddle and the Commemorative Power of the Carte de Visite

The story behind this portrait of Nicholas Biddle, a 65-year-old Black soldier attacked by a pro-slavery mob in the first days of the Civil War

CDV Portrait of African-American Nicholas Biddle


The Many Names of Laurence James

All these books have different authors, but they and nearly 200 more were all written by the same man–Laurence James, an editor at a major paperback publisher who grew tired of the vagaries of working with temperamental authors and decided to eliminate the middle man.

Six 1970s paperback novels


Animated Advertising: 200 Years of Premiums, Promos, and Pop-ups

A new online exhibition at the Grolier Club surveys two centuries of three-dimensional or moving advertising ephemera.

Kellogg’s Krumbles. Battle Creek, MI: Kellogg's, 1912.


4th Week of November 2022

November 27th, 2022

Tuning in for World Television Day

For World Television Day, the Smithsonian highlights the 100 top television-related items from its collections, including a pair of sneakers that Fred Rogers slipped into on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

A pair of blue sneakers


Cunard’s “Around the World Cruise” Centenary

Delve into the University of Liverpool’s Cunard archives on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first passenger cruise liner to circumnavigate the globe.

Souvenir bookplet for a 1924 cruise around the world


Renewed Meaning: Exploring Madison’s Constitution Debate Notes

Library of Congress staff are using multispectral imaging to delve beneath the strikethroughs in James Madison’s notes from the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

A researcher views a screen showing a handwritten text under various imaging conditions