Rare Books

Discovering a Seventeenth Century “Yearbook”

By Rose Miyatsu on May 14, 2018

As commencement approaches, many of our graduating seniors will soon be circulating their yearbooks, filling them with the signatures of their departing friends and colleagues. This practice of signing books is a college tradition that dates back as far as the 1540s, when students in Wittenberg, ...

Newman Tower Exhibit: Biedermeier Greeting Cards

By Rose Miyatsu on May 10, 2018

The new Newman Tower of Exploration and Collections has provided the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections with a unique chance to share some of our most treasured collections with the public. In this post, we would like to highlight a beautiful collection of Biedermeier greeting cards ...

Newman Tower Exhibits: Forms of the Book

By Rose Miyatsu on May 4, 2018

What makes a book a book? Does it have to have lines of text that you read from left to right or right to left? Does it have to be bound with pages and a cover? How does the form of the text influence the way you read it? These are questions that we hope […]

Newman Tower Exhibit: Triple Crown Collection

By Rose Miyatsu on May 4, 2018

The new Newman Tower of Exploration and Collections has provided the Special Collections department with a unique chance to share some of our most treasured collections with the public. One particularly beautiful series of books currently on display features works from our Triple Crown Collection...

Declaration of Independence Exhibit Now Open in Olin Library

By Julie Hale on May 2, 2018

University Libraries’ new Declaration of Independence exhibit was unveiled on May 1, 2018, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the John M. Olin Library Transformation project. The exhibit spotlights a rare broadside copy of the Declaration that was printed by So...

Newman Exploration Center Exhibit: Blaeu Atlas

By Rose Miyatsu on May 1, 2018

Joan Blaeu began publishing atlases with his father Williem Blaeu in Amsterdam in 1635. After Williem’s death in 1638, Joan continued to publish new atlas editions on his own. The Altlas Maior was his final and grandest atlas project. It was published in multi-volume sets between 1662 and 1665, w...

Lasting Legacies: Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection

By Rose Miyatsu on April 25, 2018

In anticipation of the official opening of the newly transformed Olin Library on May 1, 2018, we would like to preview some of the new spaces and exhibitions. Lasting Legacies, the inaugural exhibition of the Thomas Gallery on Level 1 of John M. Olin Library, pays tribute to seven influential Was...


New Exhibit Highlights Antiquities in University Collections

By Jody Mitori on April 10, 2018

“Investigating Antiquities in University Collections,” a new exhibit featuring some of the earliest materials in Special Collections, is now on display in the Special Collections Reading Room. The exhibit includes examples of papyrus from as early as the 2nd century BCE, including a rare love let...

Contemporary Female Book Artists

By Rose Miyatsu on March 27, 2018

Continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, today we are highlighting four prominent female book artists: Claire Van Vliet, Carol June Barton, Julie Chen, and Robbin Silverberg. What is an Artist Book? An artist book is a work of art that plays with the book in some form. Usually these a...

Artists and Authors Weigh in on Women’s Suffrage

By Rose Miyatsu on March 1, 2018

For Women’s History Month, we have decided to highlight some of Washington University Libraries’ suffrage materials from early twentieth century England. Although British suffragettes have become famous for their sometimes violent and even deadly demonstrations, a vast majority engage...