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Peek in the Stacks: united states

Early Forms of 19th Century Photography

Most of the earliest photographs were not printed on paper, but on sheets of metal or glass. These photographs capture extraordinary details, and give us a glimpse of life in the 19th century. In Special Collections and Archives there are many examples of photographic portraits that give an incredibly detailed view of fashion, personal adornment, and...

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Food for Thought

While food and drink are strictly prohibited in Special Collections and Archives, the department houses a number of items sure to interest amateur foodies and trained gourmets alike. The Culinary Pamphlet Collection includes recipe booklets, advertising literature, and cooking equipment brochures, most of which were published in the United States between 1871 and 1965. Together these materials provide a glimpse of how...

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19th Century Scrapbooks

In Special Collections and Archives there are many books, images, and archival material that date prior to the 1900s, including some scrapbooks that have beautiful images and newspaper clippings telling important stories from the past. Scrapbooks are a fascinating way to view history, functioning as a lens through which we can now ...

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Peggy Gilbert Collection

Peggy Gilbert was a jazz saxophonist who, beginning in the 1930’s, formed several all-female bands, and through her work represented women in the world of jazz performance. Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Gilbert was an active member of the Los Angeles Musicians Union, local 47, remaining a trustee after retiring from her performing career. She formed her most successful group, the Dixie Belles, at the age of 69. The Dixie Belles toured throughout the U.S from...

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The House Un-American Activities Committee

While October 20th, 1947, seemed like an ordinary Monday for many Washington Congressional staffers, for some the day began by throwing their feet on the floor with a feeling of dread in the pit of their stomachs. On this day, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) held special hearings that were to last two to three weeks. The New York Times reported...

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What Fools These Mortals Be!

Puck was an American humor and satire magazine published from 1871-1918. Published in both English and German language editions, the magazine was founded in St. Louis and moved to New York City within 5 years. Most issues were 32 pages in length. They included colorized cartoons on the front page, and a large, colorized political cartoon on the centerfold. Many well-known....

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Superheroes in the Archives

Special Collections and Archives is home to the David S. Somerville Collection which features comic books from both Marvel and DC Comics, and many other books that focus on superheroes and other pop culture characters. Marvel has its roots in comic books, but has also made movies, television shows, and video games. Marvel Comics was originally established in 1939 ....

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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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Dr. Leonard Osborne Journal

Dr. Leonard Osborne was a U.S. Navy surgeon based in Maryland during the War of 1812. His personal journal, dated 1809 to 1815, is one of the many treasures held in Special Collections and Archives. In it, he describes medical lectures he attended, some medical treatments, various locations his ship visited, and his fellow seamen. He also included some...

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