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Tag: Rare Books and Special Collections

Has the Renaissance warped our view of the Middle Ages?

Has the Renaissance warped our view of the Middle Ages?

April 2, 2019

The picture of the Middle Ages as “awful, smelly, stinky, [and] dangerous” is not accurate, says medievalist and University of Pennsylvania professor David Wallace, this year’s Ferrari Humanities Symposia visiting scholar.

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Celebrating 60 years of ‘Seward’s Folly’

Celebrating 60 years of ‘Seward’s Folly’

March 28, 2019

The Alaskan flag, with its simple Big Dipper and North star design, was the winning entry submitted by a 13-year-old Aleut boy, John Bell Benson, for a competition by the Alaska Department of the American Legion. Chosen in 1927, this particular example is now part of the University’s William Henry Seward Papers.

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Turning the gears of an early modern search engine

Turning the gears of an early modern search engine

February 18, 2019

A collaboration between librarians and engineering students, the book wheel in Rossell Hope Robbins Library is a recreation of a 16th century design, solving the problem of needing access to multiple books at the same time.

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‘Drifting open eyed into insanity’

‘Drifting open eyed into insanity’

January 28, 2019

Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation has acquired a remarkable collection of 52 personal letters from author and early feminist reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who minces no words when it comes to motherhood, marriage, and depression.

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Waited 100 years for it? Listen here to the rediscovered Frederick Douglass ‘Farewell’ song

Waited 100 years for it? Listen here to the rediscovered Frederick Douglass ‘Farewell’ song

January 9, 2019

The rare song, scored for voice and piano, probably hasn’t been performed in more than a hundred years, with only two known copies of the sheet music in the world. The only known copy in America now resides at the University of Rochester.

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Tribute to Frederick Douglass in word and song

Tribute to Frederick Douglass in word and song

December 4, 2018

On December 3, 1847, the first issue of the North Star newspaper was published in the city of Rochester. One hundred and seventy one years later, the city again celebrated abolitionist, activist, author, and orator Frederick Douglass in an evening of words and song at Rochester’s Hochstein Hall. The Prophet of Freedom event include a performance by Eastman School of Music student Jonathan Rhodes ’20 of a song written for Douglass in 1847 that had not been performed in 100 years.

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Rediscovered song honoring Frederick Douglass to be performed for the first time in a century

Rediscovered song honoring Frederick Douglass to be performed for the first time in a century

November 14, 2018

Only two copies of “Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass” are known to exist—and one of them was acquired earlier this year by River Campus Libraries.

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Seward Family Digital Archive project tops $1 million in grant money

Seward Family Digital Archive project tops $1 million in grant money

October 11, 2018

The project brings together students in the humanities and computer science and retired volunteers to help transcribe the thousands of Seward family letters written in Victorian-era cursive handwriting.

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The myth—and memorabilia—of Seward’s Folly

The myth—and memorabilia—of Seward’s Folly

March 29, 2018

Several generations after the purchase of Alaska on March 30, 1867, the William Henry Seward Papers at the University of Rochester show the supposed folly to be a shrewd bargain.

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Remembering Frederick Douglass on his 200th birthday

Remembering Frederick Douglass on his 200th birthday

February 13, 2018

Like most African Americans born into slavery, Frederick Douglass was never told the date and year of his birth. He chose February 14 as the day on which to celebrate it, and in 2018 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. At the University of Rochester, one of the most extensive collections of Douglass artifacts in the country can be found in Rush Rhees Library.

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