The Wonderful World of Miniature Books

By:  Savannah Gulick, Archives & Rare Books Library Student Assistant

Five minature books from the Archives and Rare Books Library collectionsToday at work, while I was thinking about what topic I might want to write my blog post about, I helped Sue Reller look for a miniature book that members of Cincinnati Book Arts Society visiting the Archives & Rare Books Library wanted to see. From taking Kevin Grace’s honors seminar on the Culture of Books & Reading I had learned that ARB owns the smallest book in the world – only legible by using a magnifying glass!!!  But I never realized the entire collection of miniatures that the library owned is around 250 books. Needless to say, I was inspired by the number and the fact that not many people know the archives houses such a large collection of them or that miniature books existed – a world of its own! The attention to detail in all the books astounds me, from the beautifully marbled end papers to exquisite drawings and illustrated covers. Continue reading The Wonderful World of Miniature Books

Hans Landolt and the Conservation of Mass : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 55, March/April 2019

A highly stippled photo of Landolt’s balance with two of his counterpoised reaction tubes (7) – the one on the left before reaction and the one on the right after reaction.
A highly stippled photo of Landolt’s balance with two of his counterpoised reaction tubes (7) – the one on the left before reaction and the one on the right after reaction.

Issue 55 summarizes, using the resources of the Oesper Collections, the work of the Swiss-German physical chemist, Hans Landolt, on the experimental verification of the law of conservation of mass in chemical reactions. 

Click here for all other issues of Notes from the Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

DAAP Library Exhibit-Emil Robinson

Come see Assistant Professor of Design, Emil Robinson’s paintings in the Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP). On display across from the circulation desk are: Tulips 1, Broken Bumper, Tulips 2–all three paintings are oil on panel and painted in 2019. He has paired them with books, which give clues to his technique/process. It’s a sneak peek of the spring we are all desiring. 

New Langsam Library Exhibit – “Animals in Antiquity” as Reflected through Books and Artifacts in the John Miller Burnam Classics Library

animals in antiquityOn the fifth floor lobby of the Walter C. Langsam Library is the exhibit “Animals in Antiquity: An exhibition from the collections of the John Miller Burnam Classics Library.”

Curated by Rebecka Lindau, head of the John Miller Burnam Classics Library, and Michael Braunlin, assistant head of the  Classics Library, and designed by Michelle Matevia, library communication design co-op student, the exhibit highlights the role and importance of animals in Antiquity.

Bastet the Cat
Cats were sacred in ancient Egypt. There was even a cat goddess, Bastet.

Animals were divinities, especially in Egypt.  In Ancient Greece and Rome they were the companions or theomorphic stand-ins for gods and goddesses. Many animals were considered sacred to the ancient Greeks and Romans. However, as humans went from a nomadic existence to one of settlers and farmers, they began taming and using animals for their own purposes and so the status of animals began to decline.

After their domestication, bulls, cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, sheep and goats were used to plow fields, to provide milk and meat, transportation, and clothing. Wild boars were hunted for food and for “displays of manhood” by well-to-do young men as were various birds, deer, hares and even lizards.  Some animals were made companions or pets such as sparrows, pigeons, doves, dogs, cats, monkeys and even wild animals, gazelles and cheetahs. Animals in Greece, rabbits, dogs, roosters and doves, were given as presents, also in courtship as “love gifts.”

Foxes were wild and often considered a nuisance for wine growers because they liked eating the vines.

Various kinds of fish were eaten in antiquity, but they, too, could be pets and were sacred to the gods. Animals such as horses and elephants were used in war and as entertainment, for example, among the Romans at the Colosseum where lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, bears, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, wild donkeys, hyenas and ostriches were forced to fight to their deaths. Greek and Roman authors such as Plutarch, Aelian and Pliny the Elder wrote about animals in works on ethics, morals and natural history and prose, poetry and history writers such as Homer, Aesop’s Fables, Lucretius, Ovid, Seneca, Dio Cassius, Diodorus Siculus frequently used animals to tell stories and to illustrate the human experience.

Sections of the exhibit inform how animals were used as entertainment, as companions, for ritual sacrifice, even in war. In addition, the exhibit features animals in art, displayed on coins, vases and statues. A bibliography of resources used in the creation of the exhibit is available on site and online as a PDF.

To learn more about Animals in Antiquity, read about or visit the Classics Library located on the fourth floor of Blegen Library where the books and artifacts featuring the texts and images in this exhibition are housed and where the librarian is happy to answer questions and offer research advice on this or any other topic concerning classical antiquity.

WorldFest 2019 is Here! Don’t Miss the Trivia Night on March 6!

A joyful opening ceremony on February 28 marked the beginning of WorldFest 2019 at the University of Cincinnati. This year’s program includes 15 cultural programs and events, all of them free and open to the public!

On March 6th UC Libraries and the Quiz Team will co-host an annual Trivia Night.

event information

Come and show off your knowledge of geography, history, cultures, and miscellaneous facts! You don’t have to compete!  You will still learn a lot, meet interesting people, and enjoy free food, including Bearcat pizza.

We are sure that the competitors will be as strong as in the past. The top three teams will win the prizes shown below.

prizes to win in the 2019 trivia night

 

UC Libraries Seeks Books Good Enough to Eat for the International Edible Books Festival

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2018 Best Overall – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jessica Ebert

Know of a good book to eat?! Create an Edible Book for UC Libraries International Edible Books Festival!

It’s time once again for the fan-favorite International Edible Books Festival scheduled for Monday, April 1, 2019, from 1-2:00pm in the Walter C. Langsam Library’s 5th floor lobby. UC Libraries is seeking people interested in creating an edible book for the enjoyment (and consumption) of all in attendance. There are few restrictions – namely that your creation be edible and have something to do with a book – so you may let your creativity run wild.

t-shirtAs in previous years, entries will be judged according to such categories as “Most Delicious,” “Most Creative,” “Most Checked Out” and “Most Literary.” Those awarded “Best Student Entry” and “Best Overall” will win a limited-edition UC Libraries t-shirt.

If you are interested in creating an edible book, please e-mail melissa.norris@uc.edu by Friday, March 22 with your name and the title of your creation.

Looking for inspiration? Visit UC Libraries on Facebook to see photos from the 2018 festival.

A Complete Qual Lab : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 54, January/February 2019

The extraordinary
lab bench, chemicals
and equipment for
performing qualitative
chemical analysis offered for sale in the 1902
catalog of the Viennese
laboratory supply house of Lenoir and Forster.

Issue 54 reviews the various chests of reagents and apparatus sold over the last 250 years to private chemists and students wishing to perform qualitative chemical analysis and as highlighted in our collections of apparatus catalogs and monographs.

 Click here for all other issues of Notes from the Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

Read Source to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

source graphicRead Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

In this edition of Source, Dean Xuemao Wang writes about the university’s Bicentennial and we announce an exhibit of books from the libraries that document the university’s 200 years.  We interview Brad Warren, associate dean of library services, and focus on the Visualization Lab located in the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library.

An article from Rich Puff, assistant vice president of public relations & communications, Academic Health Center, honors Lucy Oxley, MD, ‘a pioneer and a servant leader.’ University archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library Kevin Grace writes about James Landy’s 1876 images celebrating William Shakespeare

Lastly, we promote to upcoming events: Hidden Treasures: An Adopt-A-Book Evening on March 14 and the Cecil Striker Society Annual Lecture on May 15.

Read these articles, as well as past issues, on the web at http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/source/ and via e-mail. To receive Source via e-mail, contact melissa.norris@uc.edu to be added to the mailing list.

The Surviving Legacies of Early Spain or Influences in Early Spanish History

By:  Savannah Gulick, Archives & Rare Books Library Student Assistant

Roman Aqueduct in SegoviaAs a Spanish and International Affairs major, travel, global politics, and reading have always been of interest to me. Fortunately, our Archives & Rare Books Library contains an extensive collection on early exploration and travel accounts.  Just having recently returned from Spain, I want to focus this blog on a few of the Spanish-centered accounts.  For most people, Spanish history is often minimized to a few events: Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas and the dictatorship under Franco. Because of this, I want to highlight other important centuries of Spanish history while pulling some  illustrations and details from our various books.

Spanish history is full of wars amongst powerful nations (Roman, Moorish), famous people (Seneca, Trajan), and important discoveries (antiseptics, modern surgery). Owning Spain was important to trading, resource extraction, and crucial routes A door in the Alcazar Cathedralbetween Europe and Africa. One such empire that realized the value of Spain and would hold power of the area for centuries was Rome. To this day, the Roman impact on Spain is still evident: Segovian Aqueduct as illustrated in Edward Locker’s Views of Spain (1824) continues to provide water; Roman law; Christianity; the Romance language of Spanish;  and the prevalence of olive oil and wine in the cuisine.

Following Roman rule, the Moors from North Africa arrived and claimed land in the southern peninsula. From the architecture to the language, and even the agriculture, the Moors shaped a significant part of Spain’s history much like Rome. The exquisite palace, Alcazar of Seville, remains one of the greatest and most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. The same architectural style can also be seen in the Great Mosque of Cordoba. S. P. Scott’s Through Spain: A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the Peninsula (1886) highlights the impressive beauty of the Alcazar and the Mosque.

the Great Mosque of CordobaDuring the Middle Ages, both types of architecture (Roman and Moorish) alongside newer styles from the ruling Hapsburgs or Bourbons would create iconic cathedrals, palaces, and public buildings. One example of this mixture of architectural styles is the La Seo Cathedral in Zaragoza. Although it is hard to see in the stone etching of the cathedral from Locker’s Views of Spain (1824), the structure contains a Romanesque apse, a Baroque tower, Mudejar exterior walls, and a Gothic altarpiece. The conglomeration of multiple styles illustrates the diverse and rich history of Spain and highlights the acceptance of cultural differences that was evident throughout much of the nation’s history – minus a few dark periods, of course.

Zaragoza CathedralFor more information about early exploration of Spain or other travel accounts, visit the Archives & Rare Books Library on the 8th floor of Blegen Library.  We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm.  You can also call us at 513.556.1959, email us at archives@ucmail.uc.edu, visit us on the web at. http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb.html, or have a look at our Facebook page,  https://www.facebook.com/ArchivesRareBooksLibraryUniversityOfCincinnati.