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Archive: September 2023 (3 Posts)

Title page of Doctrines of the Middle State with inscription.

The Middle State: Famous Owners of a Controversial Text

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Clementina Rind (d. 1774) was the first female newspaper printer in Virginia and associated with Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph, and other American founding fathers. The Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress holds a controversial religious text given to her by her father, which was later owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Image of a lion with small objects and figures.

In Your Mind’s Eye: Strange Mental Architecture to Help You Remember

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Memory training was an important part of education in the Middle Ages. Borrowing from classical sources, medieval techniques offered elaborate and creative methods for memorizing lengthy works and speeches. The blockbook Ars memorandi, likely printed in Germany around 1470, offers a surprising lesson for those interested in the history of graphic design or mnemonic theory.

Portrait of Rose O'Neal Greenhow

From Captivity to Capsized: Wild Rose O’Neal Greenhow

Posted by: Amanda Zimmerman

Among many fascinating books related to the Civil War, the Library of Congress also holds a demurely-bound, water-damaged volume inscribed by its author. This volume, the autobiography of Confederate spy and Maryland native Rose O'Neal Greenhow (1815-1864), documents her exploits as a persistent thorn in the side of President Abraham Lincoln and the Union cause.