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Peek in the Stacks

Image from Frontispiece, Twelve Years a Slave, Narrative of Solomon Northup.

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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A drawn picture of a naval ship, taken from one of Dr. Osborne’s hand drawn maps.

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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Child receiving an inoculation, California Historic Photographs Collection.

Over the last few years, the Ebola epidemic, a resurgence of measles outbreaks, mutating influenza viruses, and a host of other diseases have caused concern throughout the world. Although many people are afraid that these viruses and bacterium will spread easily and quickly, medical professionals and researchers work ...

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Book jacket illustration, Native Son by Richard Wright

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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