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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

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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Mysterious Universe

The universe is filled with beauty and mystery. We don’t know for sure what is out there, but as curious humans, we have made attempts to know all we can about the parts of our universe. We’ve developed theories about the universe and how it works, we’ve mapped out the stars, we’ve ventured into outer space, we’ve creatively written fiction about the wonders of the universe, and...

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Publications by Monsignor Francis J. Weber

Monsignor Francis J. Weber is a distinguished Catholic scholar, an Honorary Chaplain to His Holiness, and the archivist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the San Fernando Mission, as well as a former professor of history at Queen of Angels Seminary. Special Collections and Archives houses over 100 titles...

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The Edwin Booth Family Collection

Edwin Thomas Booth may be best known as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, but Edwin was one of the most famous American Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century. The Booths were a family of actors beginning with...

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Curiosities, Rarities, and Ephemera in Special Collections and Archives

In general, archival collections are primarily made up of manuscript collections and published materials which are used for scholarly research. However, many collections also yield unusual and unique items in the form of rare ephemera, one of a kind or single issue publications, and curious objects that cannot be categorized. These items, captured through human ingenuity and inventiveness, reflect...

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The Arnold Court Collection on Polar Exploration

There exists a place where travel is so treacherous that survival is not guaranteed. The cold is so brutal here that mere seconds of exposure can cause irreparable damage. Optical illusions abound and strange animals brave the fierce temperatures. The early explorers declared it to be an “awful place,” and still...

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Liturgical Music from 18th-Century Spain

Earlier this year, Special Collections and Archives acquired a folio-sized antiphonary. An antiphonary is a collection of liturgical plainsong, or single-line melodies with no accompaniment usually sung by a small group of singers. These pieces of music, which are commonly known as Gregorian chant, were written to be performed during ...

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