Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections.
In the early 20th century, a new form of dance was emerging, one fostered by periods of experimentation in European cities and transferred to American stages by impassioned personalities led by Isadora Duncan. As this new, modern dance both challenged and influenced other dances from ballet to vaudeville, the lines between these forms became blurred allowing for a cacophony of creative expression. The dance world was expanding...Read More
Some words wear a patina of history that make them appear to have been around forever. Others, like "skyscraper," seem inherently modern, embodying the age which first saw the buildings they describe. By complete accident, while looking at an early 19th-century log book in the papers of Philadelphia physician and botanist, William Darlington, we recently stumbled across the word "skyscraper" in a very different context.
In fact, while our contemporary usage dates from about 1883, it is one of many according...Read More
This post is by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata.
Virtually every document in the American Historical Manuscript Collection holds a surprise. Take for example the seemingly nondescript receipt below, given to George H. Yewell to document his payment of $65.00 for cabin passage aboard the ship James Foster Jr. in 1856:
Not terribly exciting, but flip the sheet over to reveal the lovely nautical scene Yewell painted on the reverse:
The James Foster Jr. might have been a fine vessel when...Read More
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