Out of all the illustrations in all the books in Special Collections, this one ranks high among my favorites. It’s the last image in Leonhart Fuchs’ stunningly illustrated herbal De historia stirpium comentarii insignes, and it acknowledges just how important the artists were in the production of this book. This is thought to be the first book that has portraits of the artists, and here they are, in hand-colored woodcuts, labeled with their names and the tools and activities of their trades.  At the top, Albertus Meyer produces an illustration from a live specimen, while Heinricus Füllmaurer transfers the drawing to a woodblock.  

The sculptor, Vitus Rodolph Speckle, appears below.  He would have carved the wooden blocks so they could be used to print the intricate illustrations that appear in this work, but he is the only one of the three who is not depicted working with his hands. Perhaps this denotes that Speckle held a higher status than Füllmaurer or Meyer, an idea that relates to Renaissance debates about which art form was greatest: painting, sculpture, or architecture.

- Kelli

 Fuchs, Leonhart, 1501-1566. De historia stirpivm commentarii insignes … : adiectis earvndem vivis plvsqvam quingentis imaginibus … Accessit … uocum difficilium & obscurarum passim in hoc opere ocurrentium explicatio. Basileae : In officina Isingriniana, 1542. MU Ellis Special Collections Rare Vault QK41 .F7  


We surveyed staff on the scariest movies they’ve ever seen and why. Here’s what they said:

The Exorcist - You have to ask!”

The Exorcist. Super scary and hits right at the heart of my Catholic childhood”

Note: The Exorcist received 4 total votes making it the scariest film per our staff members

The Ring ….the little girl Samara creeps me out so bad. I had to sleep with the lights on for a week. In high school!”

The Ring. I watched it on Halloween with a friend (what was I thinking???) and had to go home to my apartment and throw blankets over all my TVs. Still terrifies me to this day.”

Blair Witch Project. Could not believe it scared me watching it at home. I’m still scared of stick figures.”

Blair Witch. They implied everything.”

“I remember watching Carrie alone in my dad’s basement at 1 a.m. A combination of being by myself and eleven probably contributed to my terror.”

Silent Hill. I was tricked into going by my so-called friends and spent the entire movie with my fingers in my ears and my eyes pressed into my knees! I think I made it worse hiding from it, because the sounds were horrible. To this day the noise of the siren in the movie makes me start hyperventilating!”

Wait Until Dark. The blind person in danger. Very suspenseful.”

“Watching Night of the Living Dead as a young kid. The scene where the girl ate the heart.”

The Mummy. The part that stands out is when they bury him alive”

Rosemary’s Baby. Creepiest lullaby I’ve ever heard.”

101 Dalmatians when I was very young. I was terrified of Cruella De Vil. I realized then that scary movies were not for me and I haven’t seen any since.”

Friday the 13th! A person got stabbed from beneath their bunk bed and at that age I had a bunk bed. I had to check under the bed every night for 2 years…”

“I nearly vomited while watching just part of Begotten. In retrospect, I probably should have gone through with it.”

Dead Silence. I haven’t seen it in about 10 or 11 years, so it probably doesn’t hold up. I used to spook easily. But the twist at the end was cool!”

The Shining. So surreal and unknown. And the bathtub scene!”

The Collector. I had never seen any kind of gory torture flick before, and this one freaked me out to the point that I had a nightmare before I even saw the movie. The fact that people were essentially trapped in their own home really got to me. Apparently there’s a sequel. I do not plan to watch it.”

The Strangers. The idea of these cult members who not only want to kill you, but want to psychologically torment you for as long as they can before they kill you really got to me.”

Sweet Briar College | News | VMDO Architects win third award for Sweet Briar library renovation
Preservation Virginia recently recognized VMDO Architects with its 2016 Gabriella Page Preservation Award for the “outstanding rehabilitation” of Sweet Briar College’s Mary Helen Cochran Library.
By Sweet Briar College

Thank you, VMDO, for reviving our beautiful library!

An Old English word for library was “bōchord”, which literally means “book hoard”, and honestly I really think we should go back to saying that because not only does it sound really fucking cool, but it also sort of implies that librarians are dragons.

Have you ever thought about how much is available to you, to use and take in and enjoy, without needing to own them? Concerts, libraries, parks, a good joke, sunsets, the smell of freshly cut grass, soaking in the sun a lazy afternoon in August, or sharing a cup of coffee with someone you love on a still Sunday morning, watching the world wake up? And have you ever thought about the fact that memories, all your memories, are built on these things—things you don’t need to own. They are like the universe’s gift to us all, to enjoy. Like a present to celebrate you being here. How beautiful is that?


You can read my previous ‘Top Ten Most Beautiful Libraries Around The World’ post here.

1. The National Library of the Czech Republic - Prague, Czech Republic

2. Admont Abbey Library - Admont, Austria

3. Trinity College Library - Dublin, Ireland

4. The Royal Portuguese Library - Rio de Janiero, Brazil

5. Stuttgart Municipal Library - Stuttgart, Germany

6. George Peabody Library - Baltimore, United States

7. Wiblingen Monastery Library - Ulm, Germany

8. University of Iowa Law Library - Des Moines, United States

9. Walker Library - Minneapolis, United States

10. Vennesla Library - Vennesla, Norway


The JSTOR Art Project 

I’m PUMPED to share this poster with you–It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve completed in the past year. I was asked by JStor to create an image of a student’s desk…and to, basically, have fun with it. I filled the space with treasured objects from my studio, from my memories, and from my own research projects on JStor. I included some detail shots because this poster was HUGE and I was able to get really detailed. 

Detail 1: An excerpt from a quote that is very important to me.
Detail 2: Some book spines, including a sneak peak of the spine of Compass South (our first story, Hope! :))
Detail 3: A ticket stub that is very important to me. (and I only wish I owned that skull)
Detail 4: Pluche, or the Love of Art–a good book and you should read it.

 This poster will be distributed to school libraries and institutions across the country.

In addition, JStor also came to my studio and filmed a little interview with me about the poster. If you are interested in seeing my adorably low-budget studio space and my pink-potato face, you can watch it here. (edit: or below)

Women in the Appalachian mountains on horseback delivering books and reading to those who could not as a feature of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930’s.  Established in 1935, the Pack Horse Library Project was aimed at providing reading materials to rural portions of Eastern Kentucky with no access to public library facilities. Librarians riding horses or mules traveled 50 to 80 miles a week up rocky creekbeds, along muddy footpaths, and among cliffs to deliver reading materials to the most remote residences and schools in the mountains. Some homes were so remote that the book women often had to go part of the way on foot, or even by row boat. — with Stephanie McSpirit.

Source: Voices of Appalachia (FB)

Here in the northern hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower should be peaking sometime soon, as Earth crosses into the dust trail left by comet Swift-Tuttle. Are you watching for shooting stars?

- Kelli

Pérégrinations d’une comète, from Un autre monde : transformations, visions, incarnations … et autres choses by Grandville. Paris : H. Fournier, 1844. MU Ellis Special Collections Rare NC1499.G66 A42. Original image at https://exhibits.lib.missouri.edu/items/show/8.