This post explores a set of mysterious manuscript volumes in the Harry Houdini Collection. These manuscripts were written by Frederick Hockley, noted participant in the British Occult Revival of the late 19th century, and they contain the results of his experiments with the art of crystal-gazing.
Among the books in Thomas Jefferson's Library that Congress purchased in 1815 was a copy of William Cheselden's The Anatomy of the Human Body, and Jefferson's annotations show that he studied the text carefully, connecting it to his study of ancient literature and history.
Likely created in Tours in the 1470s in a workshop influenced by the French painter and manuscript illuminator, Jean Fouquet (c. 1420 - 1480), a Book of Hours in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress reminds us that Halloween is just around the corner.
James Merrill (1926-1995) was a poet and writer who won nearly every major poetry award in the United States. The Rare Book and Special Collections Division acquired a Merrill Collection in 2015 that holds a surprising number of his works bearing inscriptions to his romantic partners. This blog post looks at some of the inscriptions to four of Merrill's lovers.