Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Charles Knight: Publisher & Author

The Burns Library owns a handful of books published by Charles Knight (1791-1873), a 19th century publisher, author, and educator whose crusade to bring cheap educational literature to the working class played an influential role in changing the face of … Continue reading

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Blog in Review Fall 2012

The Fall 2012 semester at the Burns Library has been a busy time of research and study for many scholars, students and professors. The most popular collections in the Reading Room this semester have included the Jane Jacobs Papers, the … Continue reading

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Reading Room Log: Danish Illustrator Kay Nielsen

Kay Nielsen (pronounced Kye), was a Danish illustrator and artist, who was born in Copenhagen on March 12, 1886. The images in this post are taken from the book East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales From … Continue reading

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Cataloger’s Corner: A Fascinating Autograph

Recently Adeane Bregman offered the Burns Library a number of 19th century titles that the Bapst Library was de-accessioning; I accepted a handful of them. Cataloging these today, I ran into a very interesting autograph that beautifully explicates how old … Continue reading

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