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the gift

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Eliza Leslie, ed.  The Gift: a Christmas and New Year's present for 1836. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1835.

      Gift books such as this are literary anthologies that were very popular from the 1830s until the Civil War.  This one is an especially evocative example with a personalized leather binding and a handwritten dedication to Ann Petit from her friend Elihu Roberts.


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christmas in california

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Edward Rowland Sill.  Christmas in California.  San Francisco, Calif.: Channing Auxiliary, [189-?].

      Connecticut born poet Edward Rowland Sill lived a peripatetic life before settling down as an English professor in California.  This pamphlet was illustrated by Helen Hyde and published by the Channing Auxiliary, a women's group of the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco. 


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Flora Lexicon

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Catharine H. Waterman.  Flora's lexicon: an interpretation of the language and sentiment of flowers; with an outline of botany, and a poetical introduction.  Philadelphia: Herman Hooker, c1839.

Expressing sentiment through the "language of flowers" was a popular Victorian pastime.  This example combines science and poetry, and it triggers thoughts of Spring.

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 Othello

 Anthony and Cleopatra

 King Henry

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Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.  Edited, with notes, by William J. Rolfe.  New York: Harper & Bros., 1892.

Shakespeare's tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra.  Edited, with notes, by William J. Rolfe.  New York: Harper & Brothers, c1891.

Shakespeare's history of King Henry the Fifth.  Edited, with notes, by William J. Rolfe.  New York: Harper & Brothers, c1895.

These three Shakespeare plays belonged to Ashley Horace Thorndike, Class of 1893, the first of a long line of Thorndikes who attended Wesleyan.  Thorndike had a lengthy and illustrious career as an English professor at Columbia, and these were his college texts.  All three volumes are interleaved, with Thorndike's class notes written in a careful hand.  The Othello is regularly used by current Wesleyan students as part of an editing assignment for English 201.

Special Adoption level: $150 per volume, or three volumes for $300.

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 Duties of Women

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Frances Power Cobbe. The duties of women: a course of lectures.  Authorized ed. Boston: G. H. Ellis, 1881.

This semester's Gender and Labor class, crosslisted in African American Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, visited Special Collections & Archives to look at similar books that outline earlier concepts of a woman's proper sphere.

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 Liberal Education

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James Orton, ed. The liberal education of women: the demand and the method: current thoughts in America and England.  New York, Chicago: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1873.

Not surprisingly, many Wesleyan classes consider 19th century views of women and education from a variety of angles.  This volume was published shortly after Wesleyan first began admitting women in 1872, although there is no mention of this pioneering effort.

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E.E. Cummings

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e. e. cummings.  16  poèmes enfantins. New York: Marion Press, 1962.

Despite the slightly precious title, the juvenile poetry of e.e. cummings was written in English. 

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 Nous Gens

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Nancy Cunard.  Nous gens d'Espagne, 1945-1949.  Perpignan: Imprimerie Labau, 1949.

One of 500 copies numbered and signed by British heiress, writer, activist, and publisher Cunard, our copy is inscribed to British poet and writer Kenneth Hopkins.  Cunard's Parallax, published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1925, was on view in the exhibition, "Building Wesleyan’s Poetry Collections," Spring 2011.

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 Leaves of Grass

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Partially adopted for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor.  Please join in the effort to reach the funding goal for this book.


Walt Whitman.  Leaves of grass.  New York, 1867.

Special Collections & Archives holds more than thirty different editions of Leaves of grass.  This is one of multiple variant issues published in 1867.  Our copy was purchased with funds bequeathed by Caroline Clark Barney, Class of 1895, and it includes a penciled note stating that it was acquired directly from the author by C.E. Prentiss.

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county atlas

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Partially adopted for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor.  Please join in the effort to reach the funding goal for this book.

County atlas of Middlesex, Connecticut: from actual surveys by and under the direction of F.W. Beers.  New York: F.W. Beers & Co., 1874.

      Nearly everyone investigating 19th-century local history, from Ron Schatz's Middletown history class to community researchers, finds the Beers atlas invaluable.

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  working with the hands

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Partially adopted for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor.  Please join in the effort to reach the funding goal for this book.

Booker T. Washington.  Working with the hands: being a sequel to Up from Slavery, covering the author's experiences in industrial training at Tuskegee.  Illustrated from photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston.  New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1904.

      Booker T. Washington's famous book on his educational method was displayed in our exhibit, The Photograph and the Book.  It was also used by students in a recent class on 19th century African-American girlhood.

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  household tastes

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Charles L. Eastlake.  Hints on household taste in furniture, upholstery, and other details.  London: Longmans, Green, 1869.

   This Victorian design manual informs students of decorative arts from book design to china.


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Atlas of Astronomy

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Sir Robert Stawell Ball.  An atlas of astronomy: a series of seventy-two plates …  London: G. Philip & Son, 1892.

Irish astronomer Sir Robert Stawell Ball was well known in the Victorian era for his popular science books.  In the 2011 Spring semester, Seth Redfield’s Descriptive Astronomy (ASTR 105) became the first Astronomy class to visit Special Collections & Archives, where they viewed a selection of holdings from the 15th to 21st centuries.

 

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Nile

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James Bruce.  An interesting narrative of the travels of James Bruce, Esq., into Abyssinia, to discover the source of the Nile …  2nd American ed., being a literal copy of the English.  Boston: Printed by Samuel Etheridge, for Alexander Thomas and George Merriam, 1798.  

This 18th century American imprint is an abridgement of a classic travel narrative about the Middle East.  Bruce's work is one of many resources that supports Wesleyan’s new Middle Eastern Studies Certificate.

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Karamania

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Francis Beaufort.  Karamania, or, A brief description of the south coast of Asia-Minor and of the remains of antiquity. With plans, views, &c. collected during a survey of that coast … in the years 1811-1812.  London: R. Hunter, 1817.

 

Wesleyan’s copy of Beaufort's exploration of Turkey is very special indeed.  It belonged to James Van Benschoten, who taught Greek from 1863 to 1902.  “Van Benny” traveled widely, and his Karamania is full of pressed botanical specimens he gathered on his trip.  The father of a Wesleyan dynasty, two of his three daughters and numerous descendents graduated from Wes

Adoption level: $500 due to the special handling required.

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Adopted Books

 

 

london labour

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 Reserved for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor

 Henry Mayhew.  London labour and the London poor: a cyclopaedia of the condition and earnings of those that will work, those that cannot work, and those that will not work.  London, Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1861-62.

       This classic text is a staple of Wesleyan classes that explore 19th-century London and its underclass

 

 

cloud crystals

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 Reserved for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor

 Frances E. Chickering, ed.  Cloud crystals: a snow-flake album. New York: Appleton, 1864.

     This anthology includes sixty-five poems, stories, and scientific articles about snow.  It is illustrated by several plates of artists' renderings of snowflakes.


 

  illustrated astronomy

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Reserved for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor

Asa Smith.  Smith's illustrated astronomy, designed for the use of the public or common schools in the United States, illustrated with numerous original diagrams.  New York: Cady, 1848.

                 This schoolbook was a gift of Astronomy professor Slocum, who taught at Wesleyan from 1914 until the 1940s.  It recently figured prominently in a student paper about the history of Wesleyan's orrery, an elaborate planetary model that was given to the Smithsonian long ago.

 

 

 

Narrative of an Expedition

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Reserved for conservation treatment thanks to generous donors

Matthew Calbraith Perry. Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China seas and Japan, performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy ....  New York, D. Appleton and Company; London, Trubner & Co., 1856.

 

 

Sassoon Nativity

Sassoon


Reserved for conservation treatment thanks to a generous donor


Siegfried Sassoon.  Nativity.  Designs by Paul Nash.  London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927.  (Ariel poems; no. 7)

Siegfried Sassoon.  To my mother.  Drawings by Stephen Tennant.  London: Faber & Gwyer, 1928.  (Ariel poems; no. 14)

British poet Siegfried Sassoon is best known for his poetry written during the First World War.  These attractive little pamphlets complement other poetry by Sassoon, which was on view during the Special Collections and Archives exhibition, "Building Wesleyan's Poetry Collections" Spring 2011.