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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

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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What About the Werewolf?

This week’s blog post shines (moon)light on just a few of the books in Special Collections on the werewolf and lycanthropy, from reprints of classical Greek and Roman texts to mid-twentieth century discourse and compilations. What do you know about werewolves, the difference between werewolves and lycanthropes, and why ....

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The History of Scrapbooks

The evolution of the scrapbook dates back centuries, as people began to document their lives, the places they visited, and the significant events that shaped their daily lives in the unique format. Special Collections and Archives holds a wide variety of materials that illustrate this evolution, including scrapbooking's historical roots and the merging of storytelling...

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The Left Book Club

The Left Book Club was a left-wing organization founded in 1936 by labor politician Sir Richard Stafford Cripps, Sir Victor Gollancz, a publisher and humanitarian, and Evelyn John St Loe Strachey a labor politician and writer in the United Kingdom. Its primary purpose was to speak out against fascism and promote peace in the world through its publications. The club supplied a book title for purchase by members every month that covered a number of topics, including science, reporting, fiction, and a range of other subjects, from a left-leaning perspective...

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Miniature Books

When a student or other patron requests a book in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, he or she is sometimes surprised to find the book is a part of our Miniature Book Collection. Whether or not a book is called "miniature" is determined entirely by its size; any book smaller than 3" can be considered a miniature book. Miniature books are often made in limited editions. Some people find them so fascinating...

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The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement, also called the Prohibition Movement, was a political and social movement in the United States during Progressive Era. Supporters of the Temperance Movement, mostly Protestant and known as "teetotalers," worked for many decades to end the sale of alcohol across the United States at the local, state and national level. Groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Anti-Saloon League argued alcohol was the root of numerous social problems plaguing the nation at the time, especially in rapidly expanding urban areas flush with new, predominantly Catholic, immigrant groups...

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Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

It's finals week, when tensions are high and stressed minds long for rest, relaxation, and adventure in the great outdoors. Special Collections and Archives holds a number of tantalizing titles sure to interest even the most exhausted minds in an exploration of California's wilderness wonderland, King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks...

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Spain's Conflict with Fascism

"Spain woke up to a shock on the morning of July 18, 1936. The first shots were fired in Morocco. They were soon heard throughout Spain. From mouth to mouth, house to house, street to street, the alarm was raised: 'The army in Morocco has rebelled against the Republic!'" This statement comes from Delores Ibarruri, one of the primary resistance leaders in Spain’s fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War...

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Is Little America on Your Bucket List?

US Navy pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Admiral Richard E. Byrd led several expeditions to Antarctica over approximately 30 years. From 1928-1930 he led the first expedition to reach the South Pole by air. Byrd would return several times, with his third, fourth, and fifth expeditions funded by the US government and supported by US Navy personnel, vessels ...

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