Today I decided to post some lovely photos of one of my favorite publisher’s bindings in our Mabbott Poe collection of Edgar Allan Poe materials. Here is our 1857 edition of The Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, With Original Memoir. This books really stands out of the shelf due to its bright green cloth binding. There are many other wonderful books to be found in this collection, which was donated by Thomas Ollive Mabbott. Mabbott also has a manuscript collection at Iowa, and the finding aid gives a description of his book collection - check it out below:

“Thomas Ollive Mabbott also bequeathed his collection of books by and about Edgar Allan Poe to the University of Iowa Libraries, and they continue to be a seperately shelved sequence in Special Collections. The collection is particularly rich in appearances of Poe’s works in magazines. An endowment accompanied the gift, and the income from this fund has allowed the Libraries to add fine press and other editions of Poe’s work as well as books about Poe. In 2003 the collection was greatly enriched with the gift by Burton Pollin of his collection of illustrated Poe – several hundred books in diverse languages containing illustrated versions of Poe’s works.”

Mabbott Poe PS2605 A1 1857

-Lindsay M.


These two books, The Poetry of Flowers, live side by side in our Mabbott-Poe collection. Thomas Ollive Mabbott (1898-1968) is best remembered as an expert on Edgar Allan Poe. His books and research form our large Poe collection known as the Mabbott-Poe collection. As I pulled these two red books off the shelf I expected to find the same work in different bindings, but was pleasantly surprised to find two unique works!

The book on the left, The Poetry of Flowers selected by Mrs. C.M. Kirtland is a compilation of several poems about flowers and nature by mostly 19th century British poets.

The book on the right, The Poetry of Flowers and Flowers of Poetry by Frances Sargent Osgood is organized based on the language of flowers. Flowers are listed with their associated emotion and accompanied by a poem. A few colorful plates are scattered throughout the text. Osgood also includes botanical treatise and floral dictionary.


The Poetry of Flowers PN6110.F6  K57

The Poetry of Flowers and Flowers of Poetry PN6110.F6  O85 1860

Brain infection starts in gut

The study reveals how the proteins - called prions - spread from the gut to the brain after a person or animal has eaten contaminated meat.

Variant CJD

Scientists say their findings could aid the earlier diagnosis of prion diseases - which include variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cows.

In people, the disease remains very rare - 229 people have died from vCJD since it was first identified almost 20 years ago, of which 177 were from the UK.

Whether all individuals with evidence of prion infection in their gut go on to develop neurological disease is not known. We need a greater understanding of what factors enhance our susceptibility to prion diseases so that we can put in place safeguards to prevent these conditions from spreading in people and farmed animals. -Professor Neil Mabbott (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)


Prions are infectious proteins with abnormal shapes that can be passed between people and animals by eating contaminated meat.

Until now, it was not known how prions spread from the gut to the brain after consuming infected meat.


Researchers at University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute studied the course of prion infection in mice.

They found that prions must first build up in specialised structures in the lining of the small intestine before they are able to spread throughout the body to the brain.


The structures - called Peyer’s patches - are part of the body’s immune system and form the first line of defence against contaminated food.

The study suggests prions hijack Peyer’s patches to cause infection.

Later stage

Prions did not build up in similar patches in the large intestine until a later stage of infection, the team found.

At this stage, prions were also detected in the spleen and lymph nodes.


As many as one in 2000 people in the UK could be carrying infectious prions without showing any symptoms of disease, according to recent estimates.

These are based on analysis of tissue taken during routine appendix removal operations.

The researchers say that these estimates may fail to identify individuals in the earliest stages of infection, where prions have not yet spread beyond the small intestine.

Neurological symptoms

When prions get into the brain, they destroy nerve cells. This can lead to major neurological symptoms including memory impairment, personality changes, and difficulties with movement.

Other prion diseases include scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting disease in deer.


On this day in 1793, Louis XVI was executed by guillotine.  Here in Special Collections we have over 8,000 pamphlets from the French Revolution! These pamphlets are in the process of being recataloged. So instead here are some medals from the 1848 French Revolution!  You can see the same revolutionary themes are repeated: the citizen’s red cap, Marianne (Liberty), and of course the national motto, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. 

These medals are representative of the several dozens in the Mabbott Collection of Medals. Thomas Mabbott was also an Edgar Allan Poe collector and it is his materials that form our extensive Poe collection.



Edgar Allan Poe is a staple of Halloween literature.  From creepy ravens to beating hearts (outside of the human body, of course), Poe knew the mysterious elements that strike fear into our hearts.  This collection of Poe’s works, Tales of Mystery and Imagination was illustrated by Harry Clarke and provides a grim glimpse into the stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

 Come take a look at this book, and more spooky items from Special Collections, at our Ghosts in the Stacks event on Thursday, October 30th from 12-4pm in group area D across from the Food for Thought cafe.  It will be a thoroughly spooky start to your Halloween weekend! 

Poe, Edgar Allan.  Tales of mystery and imagination.  Illustrated by Harry Clarke.  New York : Brentano’s, 1923. 

Special Collections Mabbott Poe Collection PS2612 .A1 1923