Spotlight on Special Collections

  • 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 […]

  • March 12th, 2018

    Today’s Google Doodle honors Sir William Henry Perkin’s 180th birthday and the organic dye mauveine for which he is best known. We counter with a volume on natural and synthetic […]

  • Chazen Museum exhibition preparation
    February 12th, 2018

    Images from our holdings of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin figure in the exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art curated by students in Prof. Ann Smart Martin’s introduction to […]

  • December 20th, 2017

    The Department of Special Collections will be open our normal hours (weekdays, 9 am – 5 pm) through December 22, closed December 23 through January 1, open our normal hours […]

  • December 13th, 2017

    The presentation about the Library of Stains project on December 13 prompts us to look at different sorts of stains in Special Collections — notably, stains within our chemistry holdings. These […]

  • November 22nd, 2017

    Thanksgiving this year is an apt time for us to show off a plate from volume 1 of American ornithology; or, the natural history of birds inhabiting the United States, […]

  • 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 […]