Spotlight on Special Collections

  • December 21st, 2018

    Special Collections will be closed for Winter Break (December 24, 2018 through January 1, 2019). We will reopen with normal hours (9 AM to 5 PM) on January 2, 2019. […]

  • snowflake
    December 20th, 2018

    Unseasonably warm temperatures here in Madison have recently melted what little snow we have received this season. By way of what we’re missing, we turn first to Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, with […]

  • November 20th, 2018

    As we prepare for a brief Thanksgiving break (please see a calendar of the Libraries’ hours for the holiday weekend and beyond), we turn for inspiration to Edna Beilenson’s Festive Cookery […]

  • detail from the War Bride's Flag
    November 13th, 2018

    Among the strengths of the Cairns Collection of American Women Writers are titles about women’s roles in World War I. In this, the centenary year of the Armistice, we call […]

  • November 12th, 2018

    One hundred years ago, at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, fighting in the war to end all wars came to an end. One section […]

  • October 31st, 2018

    Though our abundant holdings of illustrated ornithological works feature many an owl, this Halloween we turn instead to Hootie Toots of Hollow Tree (1925), call number: CA 18807. This small work began […]

  • October 12th, 2018

    In honor of this weekend’s symposium “On Human Nature: Machiavelli’s Mandrake at 500,” we offer a look at the account and depiction of the mandrake in A nievve herball, or, Historie of plantes: […]

  • From paper wrapper of Legati, Tesoro di varii secreti
    October 4th, 2018

    We continue our exploration of so-called books of secrets (secreti italiani) in the Duveen Collection, recently digitized as part of the subcollection “Secrets Reveal’d: Early Modern Printed Books of Alchemy […]

  • September 10th, 2018

    Some of the smallest treasures of the Duveen Collection of Alchemy and Early Chemistry, cataloged under the collective title of “Miscellaneous pamphlets in Italian on occult sciences,” have now been […]

  • Detail of Mr Colliers Wind-Mill
    September 3rd, 2018

    As Madison and Dane County cope with widespread flooding, we turn to earlier examples of water control – an 18th-century illustration of a windmill for draining land: The illustration, headed […]

  • the word New, from Susan Coolidge, The New-Year's Bargain (1878).
    August 13th, 2018

    A new online request system, shared with University Archives, Mills Music Library, and Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, and linked closely with the UW-Madison Library Catalog and finding aids, is designed […]

  • July 6th, 2018

    This year’s Madison Early Music Festival, with its theme “A Cabinet of Curiosities: Journey to Lübeck,” offers us the opportunity to showcase our many books of curiosities from the 16th-18th […]

  • Detail from cover of Psychedelic Review
    July 1st, 2018

    Our current exhibit, “The Sixties: Remembering Who Was T/here,” pays tribute to, among other, eleven influential novels of the era. Though the exhibit features their front covers, we were also […]

  • Spine detail from Dana's Characteristics of volcanoes.
    May 20th, 2018

    In light of recent news re ports and striking video of an eruption from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, we revisit here some of our holdings about Kilauea, Hawaii, and […]

  • Detail of synagogue.
    April 17th, 2018

    In the current exhibit in Special Collections, Preserving the Word: World Religions in our Libraries, our colleagues Thomas Durkin, Todd Michelson-Ambelang, and Lisa Wettleson have highlighted many examples from the holdings of […]