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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

Manuscript Bibles from the Middle Ages

Johannes Gutenberg chose the Bible to be the first book he would print on his new printing press in the 15th century. As such, the Bible is the first mass-produced book in the world. Before the invention of the printing press, bibles and other books were written and illustrated by hand. It could take several years ....

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Women in Classical Guitar

When you think of the guitar many images and words associated with the instrument might come into mind, such as romance, passion, captivation, and love. Now, who do you picture playing this captivating, romantic and passionate instrument? Most likely, you would think of men because through time famous guitarists have been mostly men. This is especially true in the field of classical guitar...

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In Honor of Mothers

Mother's Day has its roots in early Egyptian festivals which honored the goddess Isis,  known as Mother of the Pharaohs. Other ancient cultures also honored mother figures, worshipping and celebrating mother goddesses like Cybele and Rhea, among others. With the spread of Christianity across Europe and England in the sixteenth century, celebrations of motherhood became focused ....

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Celebrating Poetry

This month marks the twentieth anniversary of National Poetry Month, established by the Academy of American Poets to raise awareness and appreciation for poetry, to celebrate and highlight the extraordinary legacy and cultural contribution of poets, and to encourage the reading of poetry beyond the classroom. Special Collections and Archives holds hundreds of books of poetry...

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Musical Theater in Special Collections and Archives

Musicals are a combination of theatre, music, and dance, and musicals have been a popular form of entertainment since the 19th century. Gilbert and Sullivan's musical theater productions were especially popular, and receiving more viewers than those that preceded them. Special Collections and Archives has ...

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A River Runs Through It

Members of the Portolá Expedition were the first Europeans to see the Los Angeles River, camping on its banks near what is now downtown Los Angeles in the summer of 1769. Franciscan missionary and diarist for the expedition, Fray Juan Crespi wrote, "...we entered a very spacious valley, well grown with cottonwoods and alders....

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Songs of Slave Resistance

Africans forcibly transported to the Americas, removed from their homes, families, and cultures utilized various forms of passive and active resistance. These men, women, and children were forced to take new names and create new families, they were bred, bought, and sold, and active resistance was immediately and harshly punished. While physically forced into submission, slaves as a group were...

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S.F.V.S.C., November 4, 1968

Many are unaware that the campus unrest of the mid-1960s and early 1970s left a lasting impression on the campus of San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN). Special Collections is home to several books and archival collections that discuss this discord, including two books representing different sides of what is known on campus as...

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