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Archive for April, 2014

I am delighted to announce that we have nearly completed cataloging the whole of the Younghee Kim-Wait/Pablo Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection. As of this morning, 1,372 titles are now included in the Five College Libraries Catalog and the books themselves are on the shelves in the Archives & Special Collections ready to be used. (Except for those on display in our current exhibition: Native Voices/Native Books, on view through July 31.) Our spectacular catalogers expect to wrap up cataloging the last few items by the end of May.

As soon as the cataloging of the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg books is finished, we will turn our attention to working through the 500+ books we recently purchased to build on that collection. Last month we took delivery of another 20 cartons of books, this time from the personal collection of Joseph Bruchac, noted author, editor and publisher. Bruchac’s personal papers — his manuscripts, correspondence, and other documents of his deep involvement with Native American writing — are held by the Beinecke Library at Yale University. The books we acquired were owned by Joseph Bruchac, but are generally not particularly rare or valuable in and of themselves.

So why did we purchase this collection?

Because of items like these:

Masterpieces of American Indian Literature (1993)

Masterpieces of American Indian Literature (1993)

The Portable North American Indian Reader (1974)

The Portable North American Indian Reader (1974)

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Celebrating the coming of spring, I took a gleeful stroll through our Rare Books Collection and pulled out some of my favorite harbingers of the season.  This also happens to be a great way of highlighting our substantial holdings in Natural History, Earth Science, and Nature .  And, of course, Emily Dickinson, who cannot meet the spring unmoved.  She and I have that in common.

Emily Dickinson "I cannot meet the spring unmoved," AC 230, F 1122, J 1051

Emily Dickinson “I cannot meet the spring unmoved,” AC 230, F 1122, J 1051

Our holdings in Ornithology include an outstanding copy of the double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, as well as the Richard L. Soffer (Class of 1954) Ornithology Collection.

Richard L. Soffer ’54 has donated an extensive collection of volumes about birds, with many books specifically focused on the various methods and techniques that have been used to reproduce illustrations of birds. The books in the collection provide examples of every type of illustrative technique: hand painting, woodcut and wood engraving, etching and engraving, lithography, and modern photomechanical methods.

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Brasher, Rex, and Lisa McGaw. Birds & trees of North America. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1961.

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The success of Jen Bervin and Marta Werner’s recently published The Gorgeous Nothings suggests that this might be a good opportunity to say something about another modest yet gorgeous nothing from our collection.

While researching a minor detail of Emily Dickinson’s biography during the summer of 2012, I came across a folder that caught my eye.

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