It’s Magic! Ye Olde Hocus Pocus

The earliest known English-language work on magic was published in England in 1635, containing how-tos for many tricks, including an on-stage decapitation. It’s the forerunner of the “saw the assistant in half” trick, performed for ages. The Library’s copy of this influential book comes from the library of Harry Houdini, the master magician and escape artist of the early 20th century, who donated his collection to the Library.

Medieval Pandemic Cures That Were…Medieval

This intriguing look into the medical practices of Europe some 600 years ago was written by Andrew Gaudio, a reference librarian in the Researcher and Reference Services Division. As the world grapples with containing the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of vaccines, each with varying rates of effectiveness, it’s worth remembering that cure-alls for deadly […]

Another Little Piece: A New Way to Study Medieval Manuscript Fragments

The Library is collaborating with the international initiative Fragmentarium.ms to help pioneer digital fragmentology, piecing together long-ago manuscripts that were torn apart or had fallen into pieces over the centuries.

Fragmentarium is building an international community around the ability to identify, search, compare, and collect data on medieval manuscript fragments.  What does that mean?  For one, it means that libraries across the world can work together to create complete virtual reconstructions of Ege’s manuscripts. O

The Aramont Library: Stunning Private Collection Now at Library of Congress

The Library has acquired the Aramont Library, a stunning collection of more than 1,700 literary first editions, illustrated books, and an astonishing number livres artiste (books by artists) by some of the most important artists of the 20th century. The Library has been in private hands for more than 40 years and has never been seen before by the public.