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“[…] what a spot of mud on your name—I was going to say on your reign—is this abominable Dreyfus affair! A council of war, under order, has just dared to acquit Esterhazy, a great blow to all truth, all justice. And it is finished, France... Read All
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“It is designed, that the Country shall be furnished once a month (or if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener,) with an Account of such considerable things as have arrived unto our Notice.” Opening lines of Publick Occurrences, 1690     On Thursday September 25, 1690, a singular event occurred in... Read All
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Whirl up, sea— Whirl your pointed pines, Splash your great pines On our rocks, Hurl your green over us— Cover us with your pools of fir. “Oread,” Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle, 1914     This remains poet Hilda Doolittle’s (1886 – 1961) most famous piece... Read All
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The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC recently named Lonnie G. Bunch III as its fourteenth Secretary, the first African American to hold the position. In celebration of this occasion, let’s explore the beginnings of the Smithsonian.   The Smithsonian Institution is a remarkable institution. Founded in 1846 and sometimes... Read All
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We recently augmented 19th Century Masterfile with data from the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office. This index—and the library that spawned it—were largely the work of one incredible surgeon and bibliophile: Dr. John Shaw Billings.   We’ve all, while... Read All
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Research often takes us in weird directions whether you are a scholar completing a chapter for a book, a student working on a project for class … or an editor checking sources for a piece of copy. Coming across the unexpected is one of the best parts of the process... Read All
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The First World War affected the world in profound and irrevocable ways, not least the field of literature. The impact of the Great War on literature has been well-documented, both in terms of how changes in outlook were reflected in the books, poems, short stories, and articles produced by during... Read All
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Exploring the Register of Debates and the Congressional Globe… Today we will look at two mainstays of early Congressional reporting: the Register of Debates and the Congressional Globe. Both dominated the journalistic world of Congress and politics in the decades before the Government Printing Office began producing its official... Read All
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Exploring the NYPL Public Domain Collection… Today we will look at the New York Public Library’s Public Domain Collection. The NYPL recently made approximately 190,000 digitized public domain items from their special collections available online for unrestricted use. Why does the NYPL have such a large library of... Read All
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Exploring the Farmers’ Bulletin… Our “Exploring” series continues with the Farmers’ Bulletin, a publication from the United States Department of Agriculture that first appeared in 1889. For over a century, the Bulletin has disseminated the latest research out of Agricultural Experiment Stations across the country with... Read All