Artist as soldier: David Cronin’s sketches from the field of war
February 12, 2014

This post was written by Deborah Tint, cataloging assistant.   At the start of the Civil War Harper’s Weekly, then known as a journal of news, culture and serial fiction, sprang into action to provide striking images of the conflict to those at home and at the front. Articles appeared to inform readers that a corps of “Regular Artist-Correspondents”…

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Elephants in the (Reading) Room
March 27, 2012

Written by Joseph Ditta, Reference Librarian. Apropos of nothing, here are two elephant “firsts” from the library collections. The Elephant (Newburyport, Mass.: William Barrett, 1797) Broadside SY1797 no. 26. Although most accounts refer to it in the masculine, the first elephant brought to the United States (through New York, of course!), was actually female. Some…

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Merry Christmas!
December 23, 2010

Most people do not associate Santa Claus with war, but in fact the connection goes back to Santa’s very beginnings. Our popular image of Santa was created by cartoonist Thomas Nast during the Civil War. Nast’s first Santa illustrations, published in the January 3, 1863 edition of Harper’s Weekly, featured Santa visiting dejected Union soldiers….

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