Our active collecting activities each year bring to the Newberry far more books, manuscripts, and maps than can be highlighted or even listed here. From among the arrivals of recent years, we present a selection that exemplifies our collecting today.
Case MS 212 (Newberry/Western Michigan MS 6)
A necrology recording in its columns the death of laymen including prominent aristocrats and their bequests to a small parish church adjacent to the château of Nangis (which belonged to the family of Bouchard-Montmorency; the name of Bouchard de Montmorency is the sole entry written in red). The bequests endowed commemorative prayers; some names have been cancelled in pen, perhaps because the donation was insufficient. The book also includes a list of the lands owned by the parish making the book a kind of cartulary or reference book for the spiritual and temporal assets of the church.
VAULT folio Case MS 5339
Minute book of Village Creek Baptist Church of Christ of Wabash County, Illinois, containing minutes of business meetings of the church held between Aug. 1826 and Feb. 1839. The Village Creek Baptist Church was part of the group of “primitive”, or original, fundamentalist Baptists who settled in early Illinois.
Vault Case Wing oversize RG 520 .H9 1774
John Baskerville was the most distinguished private printer of the eighteenth century. The Newberry's collection of his publications is excellent. This volume of great import for the history of medical illustration fills an important lacuna.
Midwest MS 59
A group of 5 photographs made in the immediate aftermath of the Chicago fire of 1871. The photos were made from small negatives printed on thin paper, with manuscript annotations on the verso possibly by Eliza Allen Starr, Chicago artist and author. One of them shows a greenhouse, which survived the fire. The image on the left is of the First Presbyterian Church on Wabash.
VAULT Case G5753.N4 1793 .C37
This unrecorded map puzzle was created by one of the major English children's book publishers of the early nineteenth century from an eighteenth-century printed map of the county of Norfolk, laminated onto wood and cut into puzzle pieces. It is housed in its original box and complements other map games and puzzles in the Newberry's collections.
Ayer AY64 .M245 1865
The Magnetic Almanac, a rare Civil War-era medical almanac, includes all the typical content of such publications. But it includes an elaborate six-page advertisement written in the form of a captivity narrative. The "Rescue of Tula" describes Dr. Cunard's rescue of the Aztec princess from the Navajos. His reward is the secret of the Mountain Herb Pills that “will purify and cleanse as sure as the sun will rise to-morrow.”
Ayer folio F 785.3 .J65 1890
This rare travel guide for points between Louisiana and Southern California, was apparently published by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It is a good example of the type of travel and description literature that is found within the Ayer Collection and throughout the Library. It also complements our three major railroad archives.
Vault Case MS 204
A rare copy of the entire corpus of these Cistercian sermons in original format as a collection of texts, intended for meditative reading (and not for oral delivery). Northern Italy, ca. 1400. Manuscript on parchment.