1. Ever taken out a library book and admired that little square of paper glued to the inside cover detailing who owns your copy? That, tumble-friends, is the bookplate, a tiny morsel of bibliographic labeling that may only excite rare books enthusiasts (or librarians!). More specifically:

    A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, “from the books of…”], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed “booklabels”.

    Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as “from the books of…” or “from the library of…”, or in Latin, ex libris…. Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books. [Source]

    In honor of those simple but occasionally stunning accoutrements, here’s a set of antique bookplates found using DPLA. Enjoy! 

    Image credits

    1. The Arctic Crusoe: a tale of the polar seas, by Percy B. (Percy Bolingbroke) St. John, 1821-1889. Courtesy the University of Michigan via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    2. Itinéraire de Bretagne en 1636, d’après le manuscrit … pt.2 (ca. 1898-1902),by François Nicolas Baudot, seigneur du Buisson et d’Ambenay, called Dubuisson-Aubenay, ca. 1590-1652. Courtesy Princeton University via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    3. Arcadia di m. Iacopo Sannazaro : nuouamente corretta, … . by Jacopo Sannazaro, ca. 1455-1530. Courtesy Universidad Complutense de Madrid via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    4. Die reise nach Braunschweig (1839), by freiherr von Adolf Franz Friedrich Ludwig Knigge, 1752-1796. Courtesy Library of Congress via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    5. Hrotsvitha und ihre Zeit (1859), by Franz von Löher, 1818-1892. Courtesy University of California via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    6. Modern history ; from the coming of Christ and change of the Roman republic into an empire, to the year of Our Lord 1854 (1859), by Peter Fredet, 1801-1856. Courtesy University of Virginia via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.


  2. Good news! We’re excited to share that nearly 60,000 items from the Medical Heritage Library are now available via DPLA.

    The MHL, a specialized research collection stored in the Internet Archive, currently includes

    nearly 60,000 digital rare books, serials, audio and video recordings, and ephemera in the history of medicine, public health, biomedical sciences, and popular medicine from the medical special collections of 22 academic, special, and public libraries.  MHL materials have been selected through a rigorous process of curation by subject specialist librarians and archivists and through consultation with an advisory committee of scholars in the history of medicine, public health, gender studies, digital humanities, and related fields.  Items, selected for their educational and research value, extend from 1235 (Liber Aristotil[is] de nat[u]r[a] a[nima]li[u]m ag[res]tium [et] marino[rum]), to 2014 (The Grog Issue 40 2014) with the bulk of the materials dating from the 19th century.

    To view the Medical Heritage Library in DPLA, click here

    Oh, and if that wasn’t enough goodness for one day, we also have more than 150,000 items from the Government Printing Office (GPO) coming online soon. Huzzah!

    Image CreditAn atlas of human anatomy for students and physicians, v.3-4 (1919), by Carl Toldt (1840-1920). Courtesy Medical Heritage Library via Internet Archive and DPLA. View original record.


  3. With Autumn right around the corner, we’ve been pondering our bark-covered friends and seeking out arboreal imagery available via DPLA. The images in this set come from old botany textbooks or monographs that touch upon the subject of trees, plants, or botany. For more tree-themed archival finds, visit DPLA.

    Image credits

    1. With the trees (1903), by Maud Going, 1859-1925. Courtesy the University of Michigan via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record.
    2. A university text-book of botany (1902), by Douglas Houghton Campbell, 1859-1953. Courtesy the University of Southern California  via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record. 
    3. Trees, by Samuel Rawlins Stevens. Courtesy the University of Michigan via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record. 
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. With the trees (1903).
    7. At home and abroad: a sketch-book of life, scenery, and men … ser. 2 (1862), by Bayard Taylor, 1825-1878.  Courtesy the New York Public Library via the HathiTrust Digital Library. View original record
    8. With the trees (1903).

  4. For our final post as part of the DPLA-Imgur Summer of Archives collaboration—tear!—we pulled together a hodgepodge of historical GIFs. Enjoy! All films courtesy the US National Archives and Records Administration.

    To view the rest of the GIFs in our final installment, visit http://imgur.com/a/5sJIW.

    For a look at the entire Summer of Archives series, check out our Imgur page, or read the series recap over on the Imgur blog.

    Image credit

    B-58A Escape Capsule, Chimp and Man Ejections" (1962). Courtesy the US National Archives and Records Administration.


  5. It’s the first day of school for most kids in the United States, and so a good time to highlight the resources the Digital Public Library of America has ready and waiting for students and teachers this school year.

    Just like kids, DPLA spent the summer growing and maturing, adding new partners, new staff, and over a half-million items along the way. And we’ve been thinking a lot about how we can be most helpful in the classroom; this fall we will be talking to many educators from K-12 through college to get their advice.

    Meanwhile, we encourage everyone to tell a teacher or student this week about some of DPLA’s handy features, a few of which are sketched out in this post from DPLA Executive Director Dan Cohen

    Image credit: Detail of “Catherine M. Rooney, 6th grade teacher instructs her alert pupils on the way and how of War Ration Book Two,” circa 1943. Courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration (view original record).


  6. We had so much fun uncovering gilded and fanciful book cover after gilded and fanciful book cover for our recent Summer of Archives feature that we thought we’d share a few more just for the heck of it. These five covers were designed by Will Bradley (1868-1962) and Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944), our two most favorite designers of the bunch.

    A bit about Armstrong:

    "Margaret Armstrong was among a number of important woman cover designers, beginning her work in the late 1880s. She began her career at A.C. McClurg and then went on to other publishers, primarily Scribner’s, for whom she designed half of her total output of about 270 books." [source]

    And Bradley:

    At the peak of Will H. Bradley’s career in the late 19th and early 20th century he was acknowledged as one of the premier American graphic artists of his time and had made a marked impact on fine and commercial graphic arts. He contributed to the growth of various artistic movements within the United States and influenced developments in illustration and layout practices in the book and periodical arts. He did not restrict himself to a narrow range of styles, and his body of work, including his publishers’ bindings, shows him to be one of the more diverse artists of his generation. [source]

    Love vintage book covers? DPLA’s got you covered.

    Image credits

    1. Binding for “Like a Gallant Lady" (1897 edition) by Kate M. Cleary. Designed by Will Bradley (1868-1962). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.
    2. Binding for “The Quest of the Golden Girl" (1896 edition) by Richard Le Galliene. Designed by Will Bradley (1868-1962). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.
    3. Binding for “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" (1911 edition) by Henry David Thoreau. Designed by Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available
    4. Binding for “Astoria, or, Anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains" (1897 edition) by Washington Irving. Designed by Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.
    5. Binding for “The Bird’s Calendar" (1894 edition) by H.E. Parkhurst. Designed by Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.

  7. Who doesn’t love a beautiful book cover? Our latest installment in the Summer of Archives series features stunning 19th and 20th-century book covers designed by the likes of Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944) and Will Bradley (1868–1962), among others. 

    For more amazing historical book covers, visit http://imgur.com/gallery/vbPO6

    Image credits

    1. Cover and binding of “The Day of the Dog" (1904) by George Barr McCutcheon. Designed by Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available
    2. Cover and binding of “Jersey Street and Jersey Lane: Urban and Suburban Sketches" (1896) by H.C. Bunner. Designed by Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.
    3. Cover and binding of “The Story of Ab: A Tale of the Time of the Cave Men" (1897) by Stanley Waterloo. Designed by Will Bradley (1868-1962). Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.
    4. Cover and binding of “Three Thousand Dollars" (1910) by Anna Katharine Green. Image courtesy University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Full text available.

  8. Hau`oli la ho`omana`o,* Hawaii! Today, August 21, marks the 55th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. In 1959, President Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union. [source]

    All images courtesy the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. They are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license [view]:

    1. [“The Hawaiian Islands”], 1941.
    2. [Atlas of Oblique Maps…section title page, Hawaii and South Pacific], 1988.
    3. [The Dole Map of the Hawaiian Islands], 1937.

    *That’s “Happy Anniversary” in Hawaiian. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-na-o. [source]


  9. These short GIFs, taken from a ca. 1927 newsreel, depict Charles Lindbergh taking off from St. Louis en route to Chicago with some 200,000 letters in tow. Lindbergh flew the very same route after completing US Army flight training in 1925; he pulled off his famous transatlantic flight on May 20-21, 1927. The USPS really needs to revive the whole celebrity delivery thing…

    ["Lindy" Flies the Airmail], ca. 1927. Courtesy US National Archives and Records Administration. 


  10. If 106-year-old Mrs. Nelson can be this happy enjoying HER coffee this morning, surely you can make it until 5pm?

    106th birthday…March 22…with Bible in lap and drinking coffee from 65-year old cup, 1952. Courtesy of the University of Southern California. Libraries.