[Wish you were here] / by Emily Martin.  [Iowa City, Iowa : Naughty Dog Press, 1996]

"Consists of 21 envelopes and 57 postcards commemorating the artist’s trip to Wales and mailed to Iowa City, Iowa. The postcards, numbered sequentially from 1 to 57, are distributed in groups of 3 in the envelopes, each set forming one continuous communication. Each envelope also contains some memento from the trip, e.g., an airline boarding pass, a hotel receipt, a parking ticket, etc. Postmarked chiefly from Cardiff, Wales, the envelopes are joined to each other by interlocking loops cut from their ends and hinged together by a series of red and yellow pencils".

N7433.4.M364 W5 1996 

Emily Martin teaches in the University of Iowa Center for the Book. ( uicb ).

Not too many of our books are held together with iron bars and nails, but this hefty hymnal needs the support for its massive wooden boards.

Privately printed in 1646, for the Monastery of Santa Maria della Pace by Giovanni Agostino Casoni della Spezia in Genoa, no expense was spared for this weighty wonder, including commissioning a giant unique typeface and initials that were used exclusively for this work.  (Do you see how big that “I” is?  It is as big as my hand!).  In addition, each of the 103 pages is a full sheet printed as a broadside.

This is our most recent acquisition, and the bookseller Bruce McKittrick and his team did an incredible amount of research to figure out all the details about this unique hymnal.  As we sort through the included research and catalog this item, we will post an update.

There is so much exciting archaeological news in Iowa City these days (see the coins dug up recently in the excavation near the Union, and the exciting mobile museum.)

Not to be outdone, or to join the theme, we’re featuring archaeology in Special Collections for this Miniature Monday.  

Bolton, Claire. Dig : an excavation at Marcham.  Marcham : Alembic Press, 2002.  N7433.4.B66 D5 2002 

"A flag book inspired by the recent archaeological excavation around the site of a Roman amphitheatre at the edge of the village of Marcham. The book features an accordian folded spine, with 24 flags in different colours of paper and with different type faces representing some of the finds, followed by a 4 page sewn section of explanatory text which is set in 8pt Gill. The book is housed in a stiff paper pocket sleeve." [X]

As always, stop by the Special Collections reading room on the third floor of the Main Library to (like an archaeologist - gently) dig through the layers of this flag book structure.  

If you want updates on the archaeological happenings and natural history I suggest following our U. Iowa colleagues over at iowanaturalhistory and iowaarchaeology.

To find out more about miniatures from Alembic Press, stop by their website, or check out their book Madeleine, that I featured previously.

See all of our Miniature Mondays.

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-Colleen

uispeccoll

uispeccoll:

It’s Miniature Monday, everyone!

Today we’re taking a break from books and feasting our eyes upon this adorable set of cards by Chez Marcilly.  Cris de Paris is a set of 23 cards, each featuring a “cry” heard around Paris circa 1829.  Each card has an illustration of the speaker and the text of their characteristic cry. This special item conjures up a little slice of Parisian life in the mid 19th century.  

Cris de Paris. Paris: Chez Marcilly, 1829.  Charlotte Smith Miniature Collection.

See all our Miniature Monday posts

See all posts with GIFs.

-Laura H.

The GIF wasn’t properly displaying, but seems to be working now.

It’s Miniature Monday, everyone!

Today we’re taking a break from books and feasting our eyes upon this adorable set of cards by Chez Marcilly.  Cris de Paris is a set of 23 cards, each featuring a “cry” heard around Paris circa 1829.  Each card has an illustration of the speaker and the text of their characteristic cry. This special item conjures up a little slice of Parisian life in the mid 19th century.  

Cris de Paris. Paris: Chez Marcilly, 1829.  Charlotte Smith Miniature Collection.

See all our Miniature Monday posts

-Laura H.

Today it’s all about the Yapp!  Here is a three volume set of Livy’s History of Rome printed in Amsterdam by Ludovicum & Danielem Elzevirios in 1664 and edited by the German scholar Johann Fredrich Gronovius.  This set is bound in vellum with lovely yapps at the foreedge.  Yapps were widely used in early modern binding.  (To see another yapp in action check out this Staxpeditions video!)

I just learned how to make a yapp at the uicb!  Here is a model I made out of department office supplies!

Cheers!

-Jillian P.

PA6452 .A2 1664

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Pleased to announce our newest book arts acquisition: 

The Deep by Kevin Steele.


Colophon:  

"The Deep is a tribute to maritime folklore and tradition developed over centuries of nautical exploration… [It] is a circular accordion pop-up book which unfolds to an oversized eight-point compass rose. The compass, arguably the sailor’s most valuable instrument, not only enables accurate navigation but brings good luck, ensuring safe passage home and protecting against a watery end in the Deep.”

Visit the artist’s website, for many more beautiful views of this work and additional description!

If you want to take a look in person just stop by the desk in our reading room and our librarians will probably offer a bit of assistance.  I particularly recommend getting a group together and stopping by since it is a great one to gather around. 

See it in the catalog: http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=007449255
uispeccoll

uispeccoll:

Tumblr, I have found wonderful unique historic Tumblers!

The Hanlon Brothers, or the Hanlon-Lees, were some of the most influential circus and variety performers ever.  Performing first as children in the 1840s and continuing into the early 20th century, they became known for their acrobatics and death defying stunts such as the “Perilous Ladder.” They were also jugglers, acrobats, human projectiles, did pantomime, did early bicycle tricks, and eventually became comedy performers with trick scenery and slapstick gags, dance, illusions and stage magic - basically any kind of extreme public performance.  They were some of the first to adopt the trapeze (which they called zampillaërostation) into their act, and patented the aerial safety net - sadly after the loss of their eldest brother. [source]  Their influence cannot be underestimated, particularly in vaudeville and silent movie actors.

I present to you a truly unique item from U.Iowa Special Collections.  This is a velvet bound scrapbook of watercolor paintings of their various stunts and acrobatics, wax sealed testimonials from European royalty, and press clippings.  The watercolor paintings appear to be from their earlier years - 1860s?.  Special Collections x-Collection FOLIO PN2598.H25 A5 

This scrapbook is not fully digitized but you can take a look at several images which appear in the Iowa Digital Library.

And see this particular [Non GIF] image in the Iowa Digital Library.

For further reading, I recommend Hanlon Brothers : From Daredevil Acrobatics to Spectacle Pantomime, 1833-1931 by Mark Cosdon, which, if you are affiliated with the University of Iowa, you can read right now as an ebook and which features the watercolor illustrations from this scrapbook throughout.

I will bring you more GIFs from this book in the future. The Hanlon Brothers should fly again!

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Reblog for the weekday crowd.

All hail Miniature Monday!

Although it’s a while past the Ides of March, I couldn’t resist Pictures of Roman History in Miniature. Illustrated and designed by Alfred Mills in 1817, Roman History features images and anecdotes concerning major events in Roman history.  Standing at 2 and 1/2 inches tall, it is truly an example of multum in parvo!

Pictures of Roman History in Miniature. London: Darton, Harvey, and Darton, & J Harris, 1817. 

-Laura H.

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