old book collection


ARIES-LIBRA:Aka everyone’s favorite pair,the best balance between beauty and conflict,one is the gold crown and the other is the sparkling gem stone embellishing it,the creator-destroyer pair,the fire tornado of astrology,super loyal and protective towards each other.

TAURUS-SCORPIO:The embodiment of the pleasing seasons:spring&fall,very intense relationships full of love,really keen on keeping each other happy,royal blood running through their veins,one is the the rose the other is the thron,their bond will never truly disappear

GEMINI-SAGITTARIUS:The diamonds that glitter beautifully and break glass,meditate together while listening to nature sounds,one is the arrow the other is the red target point,have the grace of old school swing dancers,the most beautiful song players,one is the ocean the other is the wind

CANCER-CAPRICORN:The most wonderful parents,the stoic couple that will survive every battle,one is the timeless wooden box and the other is the haunted treasure,fairies with star sparks in their hair,the sweet scent of old perfume bottles in their palms,give the best kisses

LEO-AQUARIUS:The Gods drinking ambrosia on the white clouds,always wear nice fabrics that fit well,one is the candle light and one is the butterfly orbiting around it,have and impressive old book collection,feel at home on old wooden stages that crack under their feet,the stars that attract us towards them

VIRGO-PISCES:The glamorous rebel pair that don’t care about your opinion,one is the crystal glass the other is the cold pink champagne inside it,their skin makes them look like sculptures in moonlight,can almost physically music notes at concerts,put daisies in each other’s hair,the embodiment of the lovely new year’s kiss

Tartan-Bound History

Scotland is a country of rich history and tradition. Four little books in Special Collections manage to cover a broad swath of Scottish history. They highlight a theologian, an outlaw, a knight, and a queen who are widely known in Scottish history and lore. These four books are part of Bryce’s Tartan Series, and are bound in tartan silk, adding that extra bit of heritage.

First up is The Story of John Knox. John Knox was a Scottish theologian who led the Protestant Reformation of the Church of Scotland and established the Presbyterian tradition.

The closing words of the book are, “He is the one Scotchman to whom of all others his country and the world owe a debt. His fearless love of truth, his self-sacrificing patriotism, his brave soul and clean conscience will for ever [sic] entitle him to the admiration and respect of all earnest seekers after truth.”

Rob Roy was a type of Scottish Robin Hood—an outlaw turned folk hero. He earned his reputation by participating in the Jacobite Rebellion, which sought to restore the Stuart line as the rightful rulers of England as well as Scotland. William Wordsworth even wrote a poem commemorating him, part of which is inscribed on the title page of this book. It reads, “Thus among the rocks he lived, / Through summer’s heat and winter’s snow; / The eagle, he was lord above, / And Rob was lord below.”

Sir William Wallace became the Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland because of his leadership in the Wars of Scottish Independence. In the fight for Scotland to separate itself from England, Wallace played an important role when he defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The opening words of The Story of Queen Mary are, “The Stuart dynasty was cradled in misfortune and extinguished in disgrace.” These despairing words seem to be true in the case of Mary, Queen of Scots. The young Scottish queen was known for her turbulent life, trouble-filled marriages, and most famously for her unfortunate death. After being ousted from her own throne, she sought protection from Elizabeth I, Queen of England. Many years later, Mary was convicted of participation in a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth in order to put Mary on the throne. The punishment was beheading.

Though there are many sides to each of these stories, and in those other narratives our characters might be portrayed as the villains, to the Scottish these four are heroes. These books celebrate Scottish history, and whatever you might think of the four heroes, at the very least they are stories worth telling.

 -Lauren Galloway, student employee

My grandma’s eyesight has gotten really bad (and she’s moving to a smaller apartment), so she told me I could go through her books and take whatever I wanted. I filled two laundry baskets with books published between 1880 and 1930 and oh my god I am never gonna leave my apartment again


Peter Apian’s Cosmographia, originally published in 1524, was based on the writings of Ptolemy. It provided instruction in astronomy, geography, cartography, navigation, instrument-making, weather and climate, and map projections. It is illustrated with some of the earliest maps of the Americas and includes a number of moveable parts, also known as volvelles or the “Apian Wheel.”

A volvelle is a paper instrument that dates to the 11th century and is made of rotating paper disks attached to the center. In the 16th century they were used to calculate time and distance and were used in many different subject areas such as astronomy and astrology.

At Special Collections you can find the 1553 and 1584 edition. The images above are from the 1584 edition. If you are interested in seeing images from the 1553 edition, take a look at this earlier post from last year.

-Jennifer Needham

Gheleon sits beneath the tree and leans against its gnarled trunk, enjoying the summer warmth while it lasts. It is old, its boughs blackened by the passing of time and he does not know what else. Perhaps it is older even than he is, older even than them all. Timur would find some wild portent here, would make some reference to the old books and legends he collects, but Gheleon respects it because it has survived. Even this far north, where the winters are cold and long.

Once, he put Quietus into the trunk to test its hardness, but that was long ago and now he cannot find the scar.

It is Efrideet who finds him, as she always does - he is not surprised that it takes one Hunter to catch another. She comes up over the hill, singing to herself, not bothering to hide her approach.

“Gheleon!” she yells, waving an arm over her head. He doesn’t respond. Her cloak shifts in the bright sun, sparkling white and green, and although they are all accustomed to the weight of their armor, today she is helm-less.

She sits next to him with a sigh. “You’re not thinking of cutting it down, are you? Whittling yourself a pair of greaves?”

He shakes his head. “Soft, flammable - hard to think of something worse.”

Efrideet laughs. “Less morbid than bone, though.”

“Less effective, too.”

“As you say. Besides, I can’t picture you hurting the old thing. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone to be so fond of a tree.”

They share the silence for a few long moments. Hunters are better than the others at keeping their mouths shut and their eyes open, but only Efrideet knows what it means to be really, truly still. Even Perun, cat-like and predatory as she is, is full of restless, twitching energy.

“So?” he says at last, eyes closed to the sun.

“The Fallen are moving east, towards the old Cosmodrome. Radegast is worried.”

“Better them than another upstart warlord.”

“Perhaps. We’ll move tomorrow. Bring your knives.”

“You came all this way just to tell me not to be late?”

“Someone had to find you. And maybe I’m fond of the tree, too.”

She stands, stretches, then pats the trunk. Her hair flashes in the dappled sunlight that filters between the leaves. “Always nice to catch up.”

“Likewise,” mutters Gheleon.

“Wasn’t talking to you,” Efrideet says over her shoulder, but there is a smile on her lips and Gheleon cannot help but return it. She disappears the same way as she came, and only by straining his ears can he hear the crackle of her jumpship.

He looks down at the grass that splits around a thick root that rises, serpent-like, before diving back beneath the ground. He imagines how deep it goes, pictures it circling the world, pictures the deep roots and the reaching trunk above supporting all the cosmos in the gentle grasp of leafy branches.

He has been spending too much time with Timur.

Perhaps Efrideet is right. Perhaps he is morbid. But when he speaks of finger-bone gauntlets and skull-helmets made from the remains of his friends, it is because it is a kind of comfort to imagine their presence wrapped around him. He pulls Swiftling from its sheath, and the metal sparkles almost as brightly as her smile.

He wonders if she understands it as well as he has come to: even the strongest plate can be shattered. This is his armor, now; the summer sun and a moment of quiet, the wolves and their boundless hope, the promise of growing earth beneath his tired feet.

anonymous asked:

Hi! I hope you're doing well :) in a previous ask you said that "I only buy language learning books from there" (talking about Amazon) and I was wondering if you could recommend some good ones? Sorry if you've been asked this before! Thanks in advance!

I have recommended some books before, but those were my favorite books. I think I should just list all the books I have liked/used instead to give you a broader view. I categorized the books by the CEFR guidelines/ Test of Russian as a Foreign Language so the advanced books won’t be as useful until you’ve had at least three years of Russian in college (except for the dictionaries and roots vocab). I put a * by my favorites since this is a lot.

For Beginners (A1 Level or complete beginners)

  • The New Penguin Russian Course* : I used to own this before giving it away, but it was very beginner friendly. I think this is the best book to start learning Russian since it is not expensive, it does a good job at explaining grammar, and includes exercises with answers.
  • Golosa: A Basic Course in Russian Book 1: This was the textbook I used to learn Russian in college. While I liked it and found the tables really helpful,it is very expensive and not worth it for self-studying.
  • Oxford Pocket Russian Dictionary: This is a nice beginner dictionary that I still use. It is small and great for quick reference. It is not as exhaustive, however, since it is small.
  • Russian Grammar Quickstudy Sheet: Not a book, but it is great as a reference sheet.

For A2 Level (You know cases and verb tenses)

  • Schaum’s Outlines of Russian Grammar* : It explains the grammar you need to pass the A2 level without going beyond the details you need. It is very well organized and has exercises. 10/10 would use again.
  • A Comprehensive Russian Grammar: A great grammar book that people love. I only prefer Schaum to this because I like the format of the former better, but you can’t go wrong with it.
  • Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs: A great book for learning how to conjugate verbs. This includes exercises and how to use the verbs.
  • Schaum’s Outlines of Russian Vocabulary: A great vocab book. It doesn’t have stress marks, which makes it a bit difficult to learn pronunciation, but you will learn so much from it. It teaches you through themes and exercises.

For Intermediate: B1-B2

  • Ultimate Russian Advanced: The title says advanced but it is really B1-B2 grammar. It does a good job at presenting you with texts to learn from, as well as providing phrases and their meaning and usage in everyday language.
  • Making Progress in Russian* : This is the textbook I used (buy the 1st edition because it is much cheaper). I love the in-depth explanations of grammar, but the vocabulary can be quite outdated.
  • Russian Verbs of Motion (Stilman)* : At 78 pages, it is very handy when learning the verbs of motion. It provides how to form them, their prefix usage, charts to remember them by, as well as colloquial usage of the verbs.
  • Russian Stories: A Dual-Language Book* : You should definitely use it not only to improve your reading comprehension but also because it introduces you to some great Russian writers. It includes notes, stress marks, reading questions, and a glossary. While an intermediate student will not understand everything, I highly suggest it.
  • Short Stories of the 20th Century: A Dual Language Book: Similar to the above, but with different stories. I had to include it since I adore Russian 20th Century literature and this introduces you to great authors that are not as known as in the previous book.

For Advanced & Graduate Students

  • Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage* : Goes very in depth with the grammar and when you should use certain constructions, as well as how they would be translated.
  • Roots of the Russian Language: I am currently using this book to improve my vocabulary. By learning roots, it is easier to infer what the words mean in Russian, especially when dealing with verbs.
  • Introduction to Russian-English Translation: This book is for translators that want to correctly express terms from Russian to English and English to Russian. It outlines problems that occur in translation and how to correct them, along with exercises.
  • Russian Translation: Theory & Practice* : This goes more in-depth than the above. Definitely for academics/ graduate students.
  • Dictionary of Russian Slang & Colloquial Expressions: One of the better slang books out there. As with such things, it is not as up to date, but still does a good job at presenting you with when the words are used
  • TORFL C1 Level: PDF file with practice tests for the TORFL. This is more for those that want to take the test, than for those learning for fun.
  • Novels in Russian! Honestly, this is the best way to continually improve. I suggest starting with authors like Хармс and Гоголь and working your way up to Булгаков, Пелевин, and other modern writers.

The links to the books are either on Amazon or PDF files. I suggest you buy a copy of the books since it makes it easier to learn from.

La Fiammetta

Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta is an Italian novel written by Giovanni Boccaccio and first published in 1344. The copy shown here was published in 1594. The novel’s main character is Lady Fiammetta, a woman who has a tragic love affair. Though the content may sound old as time, La Fiammetta is a new story in its telling. It is thought to be the first “psychological novel” in Western literature. A psychological novel delves deep into one character’s emotions, thoughts, and inner world. Little external action is described, but the character’s thoughts about the outside world are laid bare. Because of this, the novel mostly focuses on Lady Fiammetta’s experiences of jealousy and despair rather than the actual love affair. The novel is written in first-person, and Lady Fiammetta’s purpose for writing is to recount her experience as a warning to other women. Lady Fiammetta’s name means “little flame” and the character appears in many other of Boccaccio’s works. She is also thought to be based off of Boccaccio’s lover and muse, Maria d’Aquino.

-Lauren Galloway, student employee

Yes I’m still talking about Black Sails. Yes I’m still all the way in my feelings. Cause like…

What if Thomas had James’s hair ribbon? (does it have an official name?).
Like James left it in bed a while ago and Thomas had been meaning to give it back to him but keeps forgetting (but not really though cause James hadn’t seem to miss it anyway and it was Thomas’s sneaky little way of always having his lover with him).
But it’s the only thing from his past he manages to hold onto some how he’s not even sure how it made it this long (and he wishes he had one of Maranda’s as well or something but one is better than nothing at all) and it’s faded from over use cause he use to tie it around his wrist but it’s falling apart now so he’s very gentle with it the way he is with the old books he’s collected.
And now James is going through aforementioned books and he sees it being used as a book mark in Thomas’s favorite.
And I’m crying.