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.
A 529-year-old Jewish religious text is discovered in the Library’s collections, just in time for Eric Lander, the new director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, to use it in his swearing-in ceremony.
Mark Twain made his name on the lecture circuit with a talk about his work as a newspaper correspondent in Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands.
Art and handcrafted books of the fine press movement have produced wildly innovative takes on traditional printing and book production. The Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division collects modern takes on t what a “book” might actually be.
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 […]
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 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.
The Library’s newly digitized gallery of African American portraits from the late 19th and early 20th centuries showcases the lives, hopes and dreams of the famous and the forgotten of the era. Here are stories of Robert Church, Gertrude Mossell and William Pettigrew.
After the Union victory at Gettysburg in the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln asked the nation set aside the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday of thanksgiving. Congress made it official in 1870.
The Library’s collection of Lynd Ward’s works includes a first-edition copy of “Gods’ Man,” a 1929 wordless novel that is credited as the precursor of the graphic novel.