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Peek in the Stacks: special collections

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are verses, chants, or poems spoken or sung to small children to amuse or sooth them. Most were first written down in the 18th century when publications for children moved away from being purely educational, though many rhymes were probably not new at that time. They come from numerous sources, including proverbs, drinking songs, riddles, and historical events or people ...

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St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish

Hidden among the thousands of rare and unique publications in Special Collections and Archives are undiscovered treasures that tell the story of Los Angeles. One of these gems is Visit of His Excellency Most Rev. Diomede Falconio, Apostolic Delegate to the United States. This souvenir book was published to commemorate the dedication of St. Joseph’s Church, one of the most...

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Living in the Nude

Naturism, or Nudism, is a social movement that advocates and practices social nudity in an effort to encourage self-respect and respect for others. Advocates believe that they came into the world in the nude and therefore they feel closer to nature and the earth when they are in the nude. They also believe that by removing clothing, which establishes social status...

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The Evolution of Men's Fashion

If you look up "men’s fashion" on your search engine you might see images of men wearing a combination of ripped jeans that look uncomfortably tight and ride too low, and an equally tight plaid button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, topped off with a vest that is too close to the body, unproportioned and improperly...

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Accounting for History

Historical accounts of the pueblo at Los Angeles first began to surface in the 1870s. Yet, aside from iterating the widely accepted facts related to Spanish exploration and the founding of the pueblo, early writers largely neglected the Spanish colonial period in Los Angeles history. These works were primarily regional histories created by boosters in an effort to glorify the city’s residents and promote...

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Getting Into the Spirit

Many believe that the modern Spiritualist Movement can trace its beginnings to a series of supernatural events which occurred near Rochester, New York in 1848. As legend has it, John Fox and his family moved into their Hydesville farmhouse in December 1947. Over the next few months the family was repeatedly frightened by unexplainable rapping, tapping, and other strange sounds...

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Tattoos in the Archives

Archeological discoveries have suggested that the art of tattooing may have been practiced as early as the Stone Age. Twenty-five years ago in the Otztal Alps, located between Austria and Italy, physical evidence of tattooing was discovered on Otzi, the ice man. In addition to his shoes, clothing, and a quiver...

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