Spotlight on Special Collections

  • July 12th, 2017 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 by

    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 […]

  • March 24th, 2017 by

    John James Audubon (best known for his double-elephant folio Birds of America) drew a sharp distinction between the North American badger and the European badger. One difference, easily seen in […]

  • Commelina coelestis from Roscoe's Floral illustrations of the seasons.
    March 20th, 2017 by

    To welcome the first day of spring tomorrow, we offer details of hand-colored engravings and distinctive bindings from our holdings. Our copy of Margaret Roscoe’s Floral illustrations of the seasons, […]

  • March 6th, 2017 by

    We’re looking forward to the premiere this evening of Wisconsin Public Television’s Polka!, which includes an image of some lively dancing from our holdings: The image comes from Mrs. Perkin’s […]

  • March 2nd, 2017 by

    Thanks for the shout-out in the Wisconsin State Journal from artist Martha Glowacki, whose exhibition “Martha Glowacki’s Natural History, Observations and Reflections” at the Chazen Museum of Art officially opens tomorrow, […]

  • eye through magnifying glass, from Margaret Bryan's Lectures on natural philosophy (1806).
    February 11th, 2017 by

    We invite you to take a closer look at our new exhibit Natural History :: Natural Philosophy, on display in Special Collections through early June. The exhibit, designed to complement […]

  • January 29th, 2017 by

    In honor of the lunar new year celebration today, and inspired by a New York Times piece about Shanghai, we show this illustration of steamer baskets (dumplings?) from Mémoires concernant […]