New interactive online exhibit for “By Dawn’s Early Light”

In March 2014, the exhibition “By Dawn’s Light” opened at the Center for Jewish History in New York. It details the contributions of antebellum Jewish authors, composers, and comparable creative figures to American culture. The show includes numerous loans from the Princeton University Library. [See this link for more particulars.]
Available now is an interactive online exhibit allowing one to zoom in closely on items relating to such topics as poetry, theatre, religious work, travel, and several others.

“By Dawn’s Early Light”: Loans from the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Collection of Jewish-American Writers on display at the Center for Jewish History in New York

❧ “By Dawn’s Early Light: : An exhibition of more than 140 books, maps, prints, manuscripts, and paintings documenting Jewish contributions to American culture from the nation’s founding to the Civil War, opening on March 16 at the Center for Jewish History. On display are many items from the Library’s Leonard L. Milberg ‘53 Collection of Jewish-American Writers as well as loans from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Jewish Historical Society, and Mr. Milberg’s personal collection.

“For Jews, initially a tiny minority in the early Republic, freedom was both liberating and confounding. As individuals they were free to participate as full citizens in the hurly-burly of the new nation’s political and social life. But as members of a group that sought to remain distinctive, freedom was daunting. In response to the challenges of liberty, Jews adopted and adapted American cultural idioms to express themselves in new ways, as Americans and as Jews. In the process, they invented American Jewish culture.” (Exhibition handout, p.1)

This exhibition was made possible through the generosity of Leonard L. Milberg with additional support from the Center for Jewish History.

For further publicity see:
• Announcement from the Library Company of Philadelphia [link]
• Article published in The Jewish Voice [link]

Editions of the ‘Columbus Letter’ : Scans newly provided by the Library

A representation of Columbus’ landing on an island in the Bahamas, with caption “Concerning the recently discovered islands in the Indies sea.” Note portion of land labeled “Insula hyspana.” This illustration appears in the [Basel:] I.B. [Johann Bergmann, de Olpe] 1494 edition (Goff V-125).

❧ Columbus’s description of his first voyage first appeared in print in a Spanish edition published in Barcelona in 1493. Within four years it had gone through fifteen known editions, including seven Latin editions, one German edition, a paraphrase in Italian verse in five editions, and a second Spanish edition, Valladolid, about 1497. These fifteen different editions were products of presses scattered in ten cities across Europe.

❧ Of these fifteen editions, there is at Princeton an exemplar for three of the seven Latin editions and an exemplar of the German edition. The most direct manner of listing these is the number assigned in F.R. Goff, Incunabula in American Libraries (1964):

• C-758. Latin. [Rome: Stephan Plannck, after 29 April 1493]. Cyrus McCormick copy, presented to PUL. Permanent Link:

• C-759. Latin. Rome: Eucharius Silber, [after 29 April] 1493. Grenville Kane copy, acquired by PUL. Permanent Link: and the Scheide Library copy.
Permanent Link:

• V-125. Latin. [Basel:] I.B. [Johann Bergmann, de Olpe] 1494. Grenville Kane copy, acquired by PUL. Permanent Link:

• C-762. German. Strassburg: Bartholomaeus Kistler, 30 Sept. 1497. Grenville Kane copy, acquired by PUL. Permanent Link:

❧ REFERENCE: W. Eames, “Columbus’ Letter on the Discovery of America (1493-1497)” in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 1924, 28:597-599. (NB: Eames lists seventeen editions; however, the number is actually fifteen because Eames was unaware that three issued by Marchant in Paris were variants of one edition.)

Digital collections extended

Recently the Library completed work extending the holdings of two digital collections

The Sid Lapidus ’59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution • Eighty-five new digitial books added on the topics of slavery and the slave trade in the empires of Great Britain and France. The books are part of his large private collection and Mr. Lapidus generously made them available for scanning. To see these additional books, go to

Annotated Books • The PUDL’s digitization of annotated printed books in Firestone Library continues, with the addition of seven additional titles, including Gabriel Harvey’s annotated copies of Machiavelli’s Arte of Warre; Buchanan’s De Maria Scotorum regina and his Detectioun of the duinges of Marie Quene of Scottes; Smith’s De recta & emendata linguæ Anglicæ scriptione, dialogus; Freigius’s Paratitla … juris civilis; Magnus Olaus’s Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus; and Melanchthon’s Selectarum declamationum.

The Art of Factual Writing • An Exhibition in Tribute to John McPhee ’53

Currently on view in the lobby of Firestone Library through Commencement.

The Princeton University Library and the Class of 1953 join in honoring the author John McPhee on the occasion of his 60th class reunion. McPhee has been a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton since 1974, leading two seminars every three years. The present exhibition focuses on McPhee’s approach to factual writing, which is central to his teaching at Princeton and has contributed to the success of his many students. The exhibition shows stages of the creative process, from concept to bound book and beyond. McPhee’s own papers show the author at work, beginning with information gathering in the field and formalizing his notes. McPhee structures his writing with the help of diagrams, as explained in his recent article, “Structures,” in The New Yorker (January 14, 2013). Then, working with editors and publishers, he crafts a series of manuscript drafts and corrects proofs. The resulting articles, first published in The New Yorker and, occasionally, other magazines, have been the starting point for most of McPhee’s twentyeight books and two readers published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as reprints, e-books, and translations. Included in the exhibition are loans from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and The New Yorker, as well as papers and awards loaned by the author himself.

Gilder Lehrman Institute launches new educational website based on the collection of Sid Lapidus in the Princeton University Library

The Gilder Lehrman Institute recently launched a new educational website:

“Liberty and the American Revolution
Selections from the Collection of Sid Lapidus, Princeton University”

According to GLI’s associate director of education: “In addition to highlighting documents from the Sid Lapidus Collection the interactive includes:

• Lesson plans by Rosanne Lichatin (NJ), Nathan McAlister (KS), and Anthony Napoli (NY)

• Videos featuring: Nicole Eustance, Gordon Wood, John Shovlin, and David Armitage.

• Links to the catalog entries on Princeton’s website, Common Core units, DBQs appropriate for the AP/IB Level, and a selected bibliography for those who would like to explore the topics further.”

Digitizing the Lapidus Collection

An earlier post announced the donation from Sid Lapidus of more than 150 books and pamphlets on the theme of Liberty and the American Revolution.
During the past eleven months, the Library has digitized all items in the gift — more than 31,600 page images. We now announce two results of that project:
1. At the Princeton University Digital Library (PUDL) you will find the Lapidus books and pamphlets digitized in full. (“Search” helps you locate items in the collection. Once an item is found, page turning software facilitates browsing and reading.)
2. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has just posted a new teaching resource based on selections from the Lapidus digital books.
These projects are the result of a large number of people working together. Working with me at Princeton, thanks go to: Cliff Wulfman, Roel Munoz, Jennifer Cabral-Pierce, Mary Marrero, Don Thornbury, Jen Meyer, Jon Stroop, and Shaun Ellis.
At Gilder Lehrman, James Basker, Susan Saidenberg, her staff, as well as others, worked with files provided by Princeton to build the teaching resource.
And, of course, thanks goes to Sid Lapidus for his donations and encouragement.

Cartographies of Time • Exhibition on view, June 25 to September 18, 2011 at the Art Museum of Princeton University

Daniel Rosenberg, Associate Professor of History, University of Oregon, writes:

WHAT DOES HISTORY LOOK LIKE? How do you map time? In this exhibition, historians Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton–drawing from their celebrated book, Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline– explore the emergence of modern visions of history through graphic representation. Rarely viewed books, manuscripts, charts, and other ingenious devices– drawn primarily from the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the Princeton University Library–illustrate a history of visual innovation that stretches from the manuscripts of late medieval Europe through the rise of modern print technologies.

Cartographies of Time focuses on the mutually influential developments of historical thought and graphics, highlighting the emergence of the timeline as both a graphic and an imaginative tool. The works exhibited follow a kind of timeline of their own, beginning with a medieval scroll listing the kings of France and England. Such genealogical scrolls emphasized the continuity of families, sometimes from the creation of the world. But, as the exhibition demonstrates, by the beginning of the sixteenth cen­tury, chronologists were experimenting with new and rediscovered graphic forms.

Among early European forms, the tabular grid– a reinterpretation of the model promoted by the Roman Christian theologian Eusebius–was preeminent. Early modern chronologists also borrowed from theological allegory, as in the illustration to Lorenz Faust’s An Anatomy of Daniel’s Statue (1585), where the rulers of four monarchies are inscribed within the image of the biblical king of Babylon. [Illustrated at right.] In addition, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century chronologists relied on the work of astrono­mers to provide reliable dating; striking chronological graphics–such as those in the magnificent Astronomicum Caesareum (1540) by Petrus Apianus– integrate astronomical and historical data.

By the eighteenth century, chronologists thought it logical that time, like space, could be measured and mapped in an intuitive visual format, and a powerful new visual vocabulary for history emerged, emphasiz­ing an analogy between historical time and the mea­sured line. In the 1750s and 1760 scholars published timelines rigorously measured to scale.

But while these new linear timelines quickly became ubiquitous, and their productions were often strikingly beautiful, historians continued to experiment with novel systems of reference and mnemonics. Stunning examples include a hand-colored chart designed by the Austrian chronologist Frederich Strass (1804), depicting world history as a series of flowing rivers, and one devised by the American educator Emma Willard in 1846, representing historical time as a Greek temple.

Still, this diversity only made clearer the visual force of the measured, linear timeline, which had become embedded in European and American historical consciousness. In the twentieth century it became usual to speak of “timelines” in reference to historical events themselves, not only their graphic representations. The timeline had become a tool of imagination as well as of information graphics.

[p. 7, Spring / Summer 2011 Magazine, Princeton University Art Museum]

Newly published by the Library: The Cracked Lookingglass Highlights from the Milberg Collection of Irish Prose Writers

Now available for purchase, published in conjunction with the symposium and exhibition celebrating the most recent gift of Leonard L. Milberg to the Library.

· 224 pages
· 169 full color illustrations

· 56 descriptive and / or interpretative essays about single items, groups of materials, or entire subgenres making up the collection, provided by 22 contributors including the two editors, as follows:

· Transatlantic Connections in the Early Nineteenth Century — Joseph Rezek
· Manuscript Letter from Maria Edgeworth
· The Irish Romantic Novel — Claire Connolly
· Representing Ireland: The National Tale — Renée Fox
· Manuscript Letter from Mrs. S. C. Hall
· Salute of the Earth: Carleton, Kiely, McLaverty — Paul Muldoon
· Charles Joseph Kickham — Howard Keeley
· The Irish Gothic — Renée Fox
· Manuscript Letter from Charles Robert Maturin
· Caroline Blackwood — Greg Londe
· Merrion Square — Renée Fox
· Telling Irish Fairy Tales — Renée Fox
· Manuscript Letter from Samuel Lover
· Irish Children’s Books — Renée Fox
· George A. Birmingham — Howard Keeley
· The Blasket Island Writers — Tom Shea
· Reinventions of the Gaelic: A Primer — Greg Londe
· A Fulcrum for Fun: Seosamh Mac Grianna — Paul Muldoon
· Walter Starkie — Mary Burke
· Comparing Colonies: Ireland and Africa — Greg Londe
· Manuscript Letter from James Stephens
· 1916: A Year in Prose — Greg Londe
· Liam O’Flaherty — Greg Londe
· On Somerville and Ross’s “The Whiteboys” Manuscript
· How to Say Yes: Quiet Men and Popular Fictions — Greg Londe
· Kate O’Brien — Paige Reynolds
· Manuscript Letter from Kate O’Brien
· Irish Writing during World War II — Clair Wills
· Manuscript Letter from Francis Stuart
· Irish Pulp Fiction — Greg Londe
· Elizabeth Bowen — Siân White
· Manuscript Letter from Elizabeth Bowen
· The Midcentury Short Story — Colm Tóibín
· Flann O’Brien Gets Away — Greg Londe
· O’Faolain and The Bell — Greg Londe
· Brian Moore — Terence Brown
· From across the Irish Sea — Colm Tóibín
· Iris Murdoch’s Working Notebooks — Greg Londe
· J. G. Farrell — Marina MacKay
· Northern Irish Fiction — Renée Fox
· Edna O’Brien, Carlo Gébler — Anne Fogarty
· Rethinking Endings: Irish Women Writers — Renée Fox
· The Lens of the Sentence — Colm Tóibín
· John McGahern — Kevin Whelan
· John Banville — Michael Wood
· Raven Arts Press: The New Dissident Dubliners — Greg Londe
· Dermot Healy and Sebastian Barry — Colm Tóibín
· The Art of the Irish Essay — Shirley Lau Wong and Greg Londe
· Colm Tóibín — Kathleen Costello-Sullivan
· The Art of the New Irish Memoir — Colm Tóibín
· Transatlantic Commuters in the Twentieth Century — Paige Reynolds
· Typescript Letter from Colum McCann
· The Bog Gothic — Ellen Scheible
· Emma Donoghue — Brian Cliff
· Queer Novelists — Renée Fox
· Anne Enright — Claire Connolly

Several of the essays are footnoted, in one instance with as many as 49 footnotes.

Other sections of the book: —

· 3 sections of front matter: notes on contributors; editor’s note; foreword by bibliographer and antiquarian bookseller J. Howard Woolmer

· 3 appendices: a listing of authors collected; a note about related Irish collections in the Library, particularly also those given by Leonard Milberg, and a checklist of primary works by authors in the collection. Available as a PDF.

· The whole carefully edited by Gretchen Oberfranc and artfully designed by Mark Argetsinger.

· Further bibliographical particulars: The catalogue is 224 pages (14:16s), paginated xv, 205, at a trim size of 8.5 x 11 inches. There are 177 images of which 169 are full color (39 at full-page, and 130 at half-page or smaller size), and 8 as B&W (although all images are technically printed as four color). The text stock is 80 lb. Mohawk Superfine Text, White, Smooth Finish.

Price: $30. Shipping is $4 within US, $9 outside the US. To obtain a copy, contact assistant for the Friends of the Princeton University Library, Linda A. Oliveira — email: