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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

Fashion and Beauty Trends Through History

Many beauty and fashion trends quickly fall out of vogue, but others have more staying power. In Special Collections there are many fashion books and magazines produced in numerous time periods, as well as historical retrospectives that focus on the history of fashion and cosmetics. Women in particular ....

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Slave Narratives

In the late 18th century, a new genre of American literature began to appear. Sometimes dictated and sometimes written, the slave narrative opened the window into the lives of Americans living in bondage. Northern abolitionists and others were avid readers of slave narratives, many of which became best sellers. Slave narratives were also influential in...

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Spotlight on Early African American Poetry and Fiction

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, African-American poetry and fiction began to develop in two distinctly different ways. As educational opportunities improved in selected areas of the United States, some black writers sought to emulate the traditional forms and themes of classical white authors. Still others began to...

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The John Brown Letter

Special Collections and Archives holds a letter from abolitionist, John Brown, to his wife and children dated November 23, 1855. Brown is best known for attempting to to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans and for his unsuccessful seizure of the United States Armory located in Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859, which is considered a precursor to...

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Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the United States, in which family and friends gather together to have dinner and give thanks. Special Collections and Archives holds several items that relate to how people celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. While some people have family traditions that include...

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