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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

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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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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