Cabinets of Curiosities: Selections from the University Libraries Special Collections

The Special Collections of the University Libraries contain some unique and eclectic items. These range from an Imperial Court Robe to theatre costume illustration to artists’ books. Acquired over two centuries, the contents of these collections, a sampling of which will be featured in this exhibition, offer a glimpse into the history of the school. The Essentials of Perspective, a textbook written by Leslie W. Miller, the first principal of the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art, is on display, as is Floricultural Cabinet, an example of a mid-19th century magazine used at a time when plant analysis was taught.

Thru October 15 in the President’s Office gallery – 320 South Broad Street


Digital Library of the Week: Historical Book Arts

If you haven’t already heard, the University Libraries’ Special Collections exhibition, Cabinets of Curiosities, opens this week in the Office of the President in Hamilton Hall. Featuring some of the rare and more unusual books and ephemera in our collection, I wanted to share with you a wonderful digital collection on the history of the book.

an example of decorative leather binding
an example of decorative leather binding

The Historical Book Arts digital collection from the University of Washington is an excellent site for learning all about books and their history. Using items in their Special Collections, the digital collection includes examples of books and manuscripts from the 11th to 19th centuries. Images of bindings, printing techniques, and decorative paper provide illustration for the different skills and materials needed to create a book – a time consuming and technically difficult process!

To learn more about book arts, search the UArts Libraries’ catalog by subject for bookbinding, book design, or artists’ books. We also have a terrific subject guide on book arts. Stop by the exhibition to view some wonderful gems within our collection and then stop by the libraries to see the whole collection for yourself!

Library Staff Book Recommendation: An Exaltation of Larks, or The Venereal Game

Casey Murphy
Casey Murphy

Casey from the Greenfield Library recommends:

An Exaltation of Larks, or The Venereal Game
by James Lipton
427 L66 (Find it in the Greenfield Open Stacks)

An Exaltation of Larks is a celebration of language. Lipton (famous host of Inside the Actor’s Studio) researched venereal terms back to the fifteenth century, and has composed a few of his own. The text is paired with beautiful engravings by Durer and Granville, among others, and it’s simply great fun for word and list lovers alike!

Library Staff Book Recommendation: Krazy Kat – The Comic Art of George Herriman

Mike Sgier
Mike Sgier

Mike from the Greenfield Library recommends:

Krazy Kat – The Comic Art of George Herriman
by Patrick McDonnell, Karen O’Connell, and Georgia Riley de Havenon
741.5 H435k (Find in in the Greenfield Open Stacks)

Krazy Kat begins with a simple love triangle: cat loves mouse, mouse hates cat, and dog hates mouse and protects the cat. But the artist George Herriman found innumberable permutations to express this relationship, creating comics with these characters and other residents of Coconino County from 1913-1944. Krazy Kat is now recognized as a masterpiece of the comic form, with Herriman’s Sunday pages standing out for their novel use of design, color, and language. This book provides an assortment of the daily and Sunday strips from the comic, as well as an in-depth look at Herriman’s life.

To read more about the residents of Coconino County, take a look at Krazy & Ignatz: Shifting Sands Dusts its Cheeks in Powdered Beauty, 741.5 H435kr 2006 in the Greenfield Open Stacks.

Library Staff Book Recommendation: Sue Johnson: The Alternate Encyclopedia

Shannon Robinson
Shannon Robinson

Shannon from Greenfield Library recommends:

Sue Johnson: The Alternate Encyclopedia
published by the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota – Duluth
709.24 J637t (Find it in Greenfield Open Stacks)

Sue Johnson’s work is part traditional art and part exhibition design. She blends her paintings and prints with found objects and museum displays, creating new meanings for both her original work and the found objects. Johnson is interested in how we organize and exhibit nature – and how we desperately try to remove ourselves from nature. In the end, though, she always finds us in the natural world with wonderful touches of humor.

To see more of Johnson’s work, search the library catalog for Johnson, Sue as author.