Spotlight on Special Collections

  • October 26th, 2017

    We hope you will join us on Monday, October 30, at 3 PM in Special Collections for an informal gallery talk about our exhibit “Iceland.” On hand to talk about items on display […]

  • October 9th, 2017

    Though we enjoyed summer-like weather this October weekend, the leaves are beginning to pile up around Madison, calling attention to differential patterns of leaf fall from one kind of tree […]

  • detail from Heinrich Zeisings Theatrum machinarum.
    September 1st, 2017

    Although the campus is buzzing with the excitement of football — first home game tonight — and the beginning of classes next week, we want to take this occasion to […]

  • August 20th, 2017

    Like other special collections libraries prompted by tomorrow’s solar eclipse to post images from their holdings, we weigh in with examples from, among others, our exhibits “On the Sunny Side” […]

  • August 14th, 2017

    While our Thordarson Collection is perhaps best known for its holdings of science and natural history on the one hand and Iceland on the other, as in our current exhibit, […]

  • July 26th, 2017

    We are pleased today to host participants in “Ten months that shook the world: Russia’s revolutions in a global perspective. A workshop for Wisconsin educators” and to share with them […]

  • July 12th, 2017

    The UW-Madison Libraries recently acquired a true first edition of Thoreau’s Walden, Or Life in the Woods published in 1854 by the Boston firm Ticknor & Fields. Its physical aspect […]

  • Title page vignette of Thoreau's Walden, 1st ed., Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    July 12th, 2017

    To celebrate Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, we offer a preview of a new acquisition, the first edition of Walden, or, Life in the woods (1854). The work, with the imprint “Boston: […]

  • July 4th, 2017

    Our good friend Jim Dast just brought us two volumes to add to our very large Peter Pauper Press Collection. Both were printed by the Peter Pauper Press for the […]

  • June 30th, 2017

    With Andrea Rolich of the Preservation Department, we were recently looking at the UW-Madison Libraries’ copies of the periodical Every Week, including the issue for July 2, 1917, now a […]

  • June 11th, 2017

    Our current exhibit, “Natural History :: Natural Philosophy,” includes much about that quintessential topic of 18th-century natural philosophy, electricity. On display are numerous titles depicting electrical experiments, some for a […]

  • May 15th, 2017

    An image of the “sea monk” or “monkish fish” in an announcement for this week’s Great Lakes Great Libraries conference in Madison caught our eye. The image was often reproduced in […]

  • Jacob's ladder from James Sowerby, English botany, or, Coloured figures of British plants.
    April 30th, 2017

    Please join us as Martha Glowacki reprises her lecture about the Chazen Museum exhibition “Martha Glowacki’s Natural History, Observations and Reflections” and Robin Rider introduces  the complementary Special Collections exhibit […]

  • April 22nd, 2017

    In celebration of Earth Day, we look back to a memorable acquisition — the 1,000,000th volume in the University of Wisconsin-Madison libraries, gift of Research Products Laboratory: Hutton’s work in […]

  • Detail from April's sowing.
    April 17th, 2017

    Splashes of spring green on the cover, frontispiece, and title page of the novel April’s sowing seem apt after a balmy April weekend in Wisconsin. The work is by Gertrude […]