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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

Floriography: The Language of Flowers

A rose is generally accepted in the United States as a symbol of love, but roses aren't the only flowers imbued with cultural meaning. During the Victorian period in Britain and the United States there was a rise in popularity for the codification of culturally-created floral meanings in dictionary form. This "language of flowers" is known as floriography....

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The Boysenberry and The Chicken Dinner

Walter Knott of Knott’s Berry Farm was born in San Bernardino, CA in 1889. He was raised by his widowed mother and elderly grandmother. Special Collections holds an autographed version of Fabulous Farmer, The Story of Walter Knott and His Berry Farm. The book, published in 1956, was authored by reporters Roger Holmes and Paul Bailey.....

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Francesca Lia Block & Irving Block

Francesca Lia Block published three books of poetry prior to her debut novel Weetzi Bat: Moon Harvest, Season of Green: Poems, and IV, Four Poems, when she was 15, 17 and 22, respectively. All three titles were published and printed by the Santa Susana Press, CSUN’s fine press which ran from 1973 to 1994, and are held in Special Collections and Archives.

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What is this place?

As people move around the 2nd floor of the library and pass Special Collections and Archives, they sometimes pop in to ask, "What is this place?" Special Collections and Archives holds the library’s rare book and periodical collections, and a wide variety of manuscript collections and individual items. The next question often starts "So, what is your (pick an adjective) item or book?" Today for our blog, we have set out to answer a few of your most pressing questions...

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Saint Patrick in the Archives

Originally, Saint Patrick’s Day was a religious celebration of the life of the patron saint of Ireland. The March 17th celebration that bears his name is believed to be his death date in the year 461 CE. Saint Patrick is known for having brought Christianity to Ireland and, to a certain degree, to the Anglo-Saxon world.  As a young man in what is now the United Kingdom, he was abducted and enslaved in Ireland. During this period, he leaned on his Christian faith for solace...

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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 experiment with non-traditional styles, seizing upon opportunities to battle racism through literature...

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George Cruikshank

George Cruikshank was a 19th century engraver, caricaturist, illustrator, and satirist. The Cruikshank family was awash with artist/illustrators, including George himself, his father Isaac, brother Isaac Robert (later known as Robert), and nephew Percy. Cruikshank's career spanned more than 70 years, working in both copper and in wood. He is often cited as the successor of illustrator William Hogarth. While exceptionally prolific, Cruikshank remains best known for his work on sociopolitical topics such as slavery and temperance...

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What is this place?

As people move around the 2nd floor of the library and pass Special Collections and Archives, they sometimes pop in to ask, "What is this place?" Special Collections and Archives holds the library’s rare book and periodical collections, and a wide variety of manuscript collections and individual items. The next question often starts "So, what is your (pick an adjective) item or book?" Today for our blog, we have set out to answer a few of your most pressing questions...

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John Steinbeck Highlights in Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives holds many rare, unique, limited, and first edition works of American literature, including books by famed author John Steinbeck whose books of fiction and non-fiction have often sparked controversy. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath, which focuses on the plight of farm workers ...

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