In 1866, the Smithsonian physically transferred its library of over 40,000 works to the Library of Congress. A notable event in the history of both information institutions, the Smithsonian Deposit included a range of materials which today are dispersed throughout the Library’s divisions. Among them are some unexpected and intriguing materials in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
This post explores the life and work of Chester Himes (1909-1984) and his friendship with fellow African American author Ralph Ellison (1914-1994), as evidenced by Himes' books in Ralph Ellison's personal library.
Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, a tenth-century Saxon living in an abbey, wrote plays inspired by the classical author Terence at a time when it is typically thought that the classics had been forgotten or discarded.
George Schneeman was a poet and artist who collaborated with the Poetry Project at St. Mark's in New York City. This blog post provides a short biography and some examples of his work found in his archive.
2023 was a memorable year for the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. As a way of reflecting on this past year and looking forward to the next, we have highlighted Library resources that are now, or will soon become, available to the public. Happy 2024!
Is that mermaid holding a mirror? No, and yes. The lower border of the January calendar page from this fifteenth-century illuminated Book of Hours contains a Siren, who is holding a mirror. What is a Siren? Why it is in this Book of Hours? Learn more in this New Years post.