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Book Talk: Amy Nichols-Book Artist as Alchemist.
May 7, 2015, 3:00 p.m. Rosenwald Room, LJ 205


Featured Book of the Month:
King Philip II Grant of Arms.

From the Jay I. Kislak Collection. Grant of arms conferring nobility on Alonso de Mesa and Hernando de Mesa in recognition of their service to the Crown of King Philip of Spain. Signed "Yo el Rey." November 25, 1566. One page accompanied by nineteen pages of text with endorsements. The origin of the heraldic tradition in Spain, including inheritable coats of arms, began in the eleventh century as a means to distinguish nobles on the field of battle. Spanish nobility was based almost entirely on military service. The "Coat" of Arms actually began as a cape or coat that was worn over armor. The design of the arms were up to the owner and could be inherited through either males or females.

Visit our new Audubon Pinterest board!

Map of St. Augustine, Florida from the Jay I. Kislak Collection
Map of St. Augustine, FL
This view of St. Augustine is the earliest engraving of any locality that is now in the United States. The English fleet lies at anchor, the infantry troops having disembarked and are attacking the Spanish settlement on May 28 and 29, 1586. To see more, visit the online exhibit of The Cultures and History of the Americas; the Jay I. Kislak Collection.

The Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible is the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type. It marks a turning point in the art of bookmaking and in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world. Completed in Mainz, Germany, probably in late 1455, Johann Gutenberg is generally credited with inventing the process of uniform type. The Bible was purchased for the Library of Congress from Dr. Otto H. F. Vollbehr by an act of Congress in 1930.

The Rare Book and Special Collection Division Reading Room

  101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 239
  Washington, D.C. 20540-4740
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Books available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop:

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
The Alfred W. Stern Collection of Lincolniana
This extensive collection of Lincolniana is now available online from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
View collection online »

PBS News Hour Segment

View "Rebuilding Thomas Jefferson's Lost Library" »


What's New in Rare Books

  • The Otto Vollbehr Collection of Printers' and Publishers' Marks now has a finding aid available online: See: The Otto Vollbehr Collection for details about this collector and the collection.
  • First Among Many: The Bay Psalm Book and Early Moments in American Printing” Exhibition Opens June 4: A new exhibition at the Library of Congress will tell the story of early printing in the American colonies, spanning 100 years, as printing evolved from a colonial necessity to the clarion of freedom. 
  • The Art of Good Eating Pinterest board: Gastronomic and epicurean-themed illustrations from our fabulous rare book collections. Fine dining, high cuisine and the fine art of distillation. Yum.
The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 800,000 items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815.
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  May 5, 2015
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