Category Archives: Uncategorized

Responding to Ongoing Racism: Our Commitment to Our Community

In light of the tragic deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans, and amidst ongoing national conversations about systemic racism, Burns Library staff grieves with the families of those who have died and all those who are affected by … Continue reading

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Popcultural Histories: Close Reading American Comics

In the current age of seemingly endless blockbuster superhero franchises, it’s always fun to look back on some of our favorite superheroes’ retro looks. However, for those interested in American Studies, using comic books and their contents as cultural artifacts … Continue reading

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The Lasting Legacy of Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures

Maria Monk, one of the most infamous names in American anti-Catholicism, was the author of Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk (1836), “probably the most widely read contemporary book in the United States before Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” (Hofstadter, 77) Burns Library … Continue reading

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The United Fruit Company in the Williams Collection

In the constitution of this small, banana republic was a forgotten section that provided for the maintenance of a navy. –O. Henry, “The Admiral” (147) The unremarkable sentence above, which appeared in O. Henry’s 1904 collection Cabbages and Kings, constitutes … Continue reading

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The Genius of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci’s fame and influence is indisputably unparalleled. His works are renowned throughout the world, especially his best known piece, the Mona Lisa. What I respect most about Leonardo Da Vinci is that he is not only a great … Continue reading

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20th Century Propaganda from the Woodruff Collection

Collections tell stories about their former owners. (John) Douglas Woodruff’s personal collection, acquired from his estate many years ago, uncovers his interest in communist and fascist era propaganda. Born in 1897, Woodruff was known for his erudition and wit. After … Continue reading

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New Year’s Gift

In the New Year of 1846, the children of Boston were given a New Year’s present: “Pictures from Memory’s  Gallery”.  An anonymous, eloquent author, in a pamphlet entitled Pictures from Memory: A New Year’s Gift from the Warren Street Chapel, … Continue reading

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Housekeeping in 19th Century America

As the season changes from Thanksgiving to preparations for holiday festivities, cooking, cleaning and all things of the home are brought to mind.  Four 19th century books in the Burns Library’s General Collection offer fascinating glimpses of middle and upper-class  American … Continue reading

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Circle in the Sun

To celebrate the first day of the fall semester and my first day as Burns Librarian, Burns Library staff members gathered last Tuesday for a group photo on the steps of the Ford Tower. It took us a moment to set … Continue reading

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