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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

Once Upon a Time.....

"Once upon a time" is the well-worn opening to several traditional fairy tales, but where did the phrase originate? What is a fairy tale? Scholars generally agree that a fairy tale does not need to include actual fairies, but they agree on little else. Some basic themes in fairy tales are the presence of magic, some form of transformation (of a character or an idea), and the inclusion of the extraordinary ....

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Religious Beliefs and Human Sexuality

The Vern and Bonnie Bullough Collection on Sex and Gender contains a variety of books that focus on the intersection of religion and human sexuality. While some faiths might view sexuality as a taboo subject, or even as an abomination, other religions embrace and revere the human capacity for sexual expression.

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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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