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Peek in the Stacks: rare books

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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Les Surréalistes

The surrealist movement began in Europe in the years immediately following World War I. Surrealist artists and writers strove to create works that were illogical, or that expressed the unconscious mind, often through use of surprising elements and unexpected juxtapositions. While some of its most famed members are artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte....

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Delilah L. Beasley and the Trail She Blazed

Delilah Leontium Beasley was born on September 9, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio to parents Daniel and Margaret. She attended segregated Cincinnati public schools, and by the age of twelve had begun to write and publish short social notices in the local black newspapers and some white newspapers, such as...

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"How do I love thee?"

This week’s blog is inspired by Valentine’s Day. In the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th, and traditionally involves the giving and receiving of cards, gifts, or flowers, the reciting of poems, the singing of songs, or similar expressions of love and friendship. While we don't usually equate Special Collections and Archives with Valentine's Day, keep reading...you might be surpised!

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Please Pass the Cranberries

This week's blog post explores several cookbooks from our Culinary Collection, focusing on one main ingredient—cranberries. The cranberry is an indigenous fruit to North America growing in the colder northern regions.  In 1815, American commercial cranberry harvesting began in Massachusetts.  At present...

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Chapbook Collection

Chapbooks are small books that were sold on the street for a penny or less from the 17th century to the 19th century. Publishers created the books with cheap materials and with woodcut illustrations that often didn't relate to the subject matter. People of the lower socioeconomic classes could afford to read literature printed in them...

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S.F.V.S.C., November 4, 1968

Unrest on campus in the mid-1960s and early 1970s left a lasting impression on San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN). Special Collections is home to several books and archival collections that discuss this discord, including two books representing different sides of what is known on campus as...

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Margaret Sanger and the Women's Suffrage Movement

Margaret Sanger was one of the most influential advocates for the suffrage movement and women's rights in the twentieth century. Yet interestingly, Sanger's views on women's rights did not always coincide with the National Woman Suffrage Association and other suffrage groups that were primarily made up of middle and upper middle class white women. Sanger's early experiences as one of eleven children and her career as a visiting nurse in the slums of East Side New York...

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"The Naturall Language of the Hand"

American Sign Language, the predominant sign language used by deaf communities in the United States and much of Canada, began in the 19th century. Prior to its creation, local sign languages were developed and used in the US and around the world. Our knowledge of these early sign languages is contained within contemporary written works that primarily described what are called "manual alphabets," or fingerspelling systems....

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Window to the World

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the god condemned to hold up the heavens for eternity. In modern culture, we think of an atlas as collection of maps, usually bound, that can be a window to the world packed with colorful maps and guides. In Special Collections and Archives, we have many interesting atlases, including...

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