Special Collections & Archives Banner

You are here

Peek in the Stacks: special collections

The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto, published on Christmas Eve 1764, launched the Gothic novel genre. Horace Walpole initially issued the work under a pseudonym and claimed it was a translation of a found Italian medieval tale. However, after the novel was well received, Walpole revealed that he was the true author in the second edition published in 1765.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Weird Tales: A Sexualized Scare

The cover of Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Satan’s Palimpsest  greets the reader with a nude blonde, seemingly excited to invite the bat-like Satan into her boudoir. Similarly, Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Children of the Bat cover greets the reader with another nude blonde—this one half-bat with breasts and chained by another bat, who seems to be half-human as well. Through the covers' portrayal of hyper-sexualized, imprisoned women and bats as their captors, the Weird Tales pulp art combines both the scariness and seduction of the Gothic monster, which represents the Other in U.S. culture. 

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Batman issue number 400 “Challenge of the Man-Bat!”

Written by Frank Robbins, Batman issue number 400, Challenge of the Man-Bat1, was published in June of 1970 after a paradigmatic shift in U.S. comics censorship history. Challenge of the Man-Bat was published a decade and a half after the creation of The Comics Code Authority in 1954, which regulated or censored comic book content.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Weird Tales and The American Sherlock Holmes: Craig Kennedy

Welcome… to Weird Tales. Initially founded in 1923, the Weird Tales pulp magazine boasts an impressive lineup throughout its just over thirty year run, having been one of the first places where American audiences could be introduced to later sci-fi staples such as Cthulu and Conan the Barbarian. Weird Tales was one of the first magazines of its kind, publishing exclusively horror and sci-fi tales, and was even the starting point for several authors who later became household names, such as Ray Bradbury and Robert E. Howard.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Rationing During World War II in the US

World War II stands as a memorable chapter in human history, forever altering the course of nations and leaving a permanent impact on the world. As a step towards the great sacrifice and collective effort of the United States, rationing became a necessary initiative. Special Collections & Archives houses multiple collections related to the events that occurred during World War II. Specifically, the World War II Rationing Collection, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Collection and Corporal Raymond Marshall Collection all have items related to rationing during WWII.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Creole Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Louisiana Creole community are people of mixed French, African, Spanish, and Native American ancestry. An extraordinary Creole culture rich in traditions around food, literature, music, and more thrives in New Orleans. Special Collections & Archives holds many rare books that highlight these traditions.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Lend Me Your Ears: Shakespeare in Special Collections

“Lend me your ears” writes William Shakespeare (1564-1616) in his play Julius Caesar. This is just one of many catchy phrases penned by the great writer and playwright. Scholars believe Shakespeare moved to London and began working in the theatre by the latter part of the 1580s, and William Shakespeare’s name began to appear in the record as a playwright by the early 1590s. Special Collections & Archives holds hundreds of titles written by and related to Shakespeare.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries

Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Collection

https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c82z1d78/Family memories that are made within a diaspora are all the more precious. This is especially true about the materials housed in the newly processed Zaruhy “Sara” Chitjian Collection, which documents the Armenian genocide survival and immigrant experiences of Hampartzoum “Harry” and Ovsanna Piloyan Chitjian.

Read more Peek in the Stacks blog entries