The Journalism of Opinion Conference Video

Video of Columbia University’s recent conference on opinion journalism in American intellectual history, which was cosponsored by the  Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is available at the Columbia Journalism Review site. Conference speakers included Victor Navasky (former editor and publisher of The Nation, who delivered the keynote), jazz and social critic Stanley Crouch, Dissent editor Michael […]

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Technical vocabularies–serving wine in the Middle Ages

Plimpton MS 160 is a late 14th century manuscript held by this library; its texts are serious and scientific:  Euclid’s Elements, followed by theoretical treatises on astronomy and mensuration.  A while ago, I had noticed a casual drawing on f. 41v, an otherwise blank leaf at the end, but only recently made an effort to […]

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International Geophysical Year, a Giant Globe, and Historical Maps

In 1958 students entering Columbia University’s Geology Library were confronted with a six-foot-tall inflatable rubber globe, on display as part of an exhibit on maps. Although they may have been unaware, the 18-month year from July 1957 to December 1958 had been designated International Geophysical Year by the International Council of Scientific Unions. The result […]

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Le Festin Nu [that’s French for Naked Lunch]

In 1964 the French publisher Gallimard brought out the first French translation of William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch under the title Le Festin Nu. Ironically, the book first appeared in Paris in its original English form in 1959, in the Olympia Press Traveller’s Companion series (see RBML‘s copy here). France traditionally had been a friendly […]

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A New Medieval Manuscript, or rather, an old one in a new home

Good news here: we have just bought a new manuscript–newfor us, of course. And it has just been delivered today, our new baby. It’s a copy of Hugh of St. Cher’s Postils on the Apocalypse, dated 24 November 1468, and produced in the lower Rhineland, probably Cologne. It’s a beautiful book of 151 parchment leaves, […]

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