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Alphabet Rendered Instructive and Entertaining
This beautifully illustrated alphabet book, published in 1775, is an excellent example of early children’s literature from the eighteenth century. Produced by copperplate engraving, the book originally sold plain at 9d. (9 pence) or hand-colored at 1s6d (1 shilling, 6 pence). Published by William Tringham of London, this copy was probably sold plain and colored later. The reproduction method, which was relatively expensive at the time, was also used by the great late eighteenth-century children’s publisher John Newberry. The book consists of 26 plates, each representing a letter of the alphabet accompanied by an illustration and a verse. Lessons provided by each verse combine instruction of both an orthographical and a moral nature.
American Clown: Athletic Dance for Men or Boys
Small 16 page book on directions for clown dancing. Date of publication is around 1927.
Angelica Singleton Van Buren Collection
Sarah Angelica Singleton was born in Wedgefield, South Carolina in 1818, the daughter of a prominent South Carolina plantation owner, Richard Singleton, and his wife Rebecca Travis Coles. In 1838, Angelica would marry Abraham Van Buren, son of the 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. During her father-in-law's term of office, Angelica would serve in teh capacity as first lady due to the death of Mrs. Martin Van Buren seventeen years prior. Angelica's papers, consisteing of two travel diaries, dated 1854-1855, documenting her family's trips to New York and Europw, and an autograph book, dated 1831, can be viewed here. This collection gives a first-hand account of early to mid nineteenth century aristocratic life in the United States and abroad.
Brief History of Moscovia by John Milton
John Miltonï¿½s Brief History of Moscovia, and Other Less-Known Countries Lying Eastward of Russia as far as Cathay. Gathered from the Writings of Several Eye-Witnesses (1682) is one of several shorter prose works published late in Miltonï¿½s life or shortly after his death. By comparison with his better-known prose works from the 1640s and 1650s, published during the turmoil of the English civil wars and its political aftermath, the Brief History is more informational than controversial, surveying the geography, customs, and recent history of a country that was both mysterious and fascinating to Miltonï¿½s contemporaries. Milton tells the heroic story of the first English expeditions to make contact with the Russian imperial court, and his narrative makes clear both the perilous journey and alien culture that contemporary Englishmen faced in traveling to Muscovy.
Camilla Urso Collection
Camilla Urso was one of the leading violinists of the 19th century. She accomplished this at a time when the violin was not considered to be a suitable instrument for a woman to play. Furthermore, she made the difficult transition from child prodigy to mature artist with a career that spanned more than fifty years and that took place on several continents.
Catalogue of the Library of the South Carolina College
A facsimile of the 1836 catalogue to the University of South Carolina's remarkable library, especially valuable as the only guide to the antebellum books arranged by subject rather than format or author. This books is freely available online, but may also be purchased through the USC Press' AccessAble Book Program.
Charles Darwin's The Foundations of the Origin of Species
A sketch written in 1842 and published in 1909.
City of the Jugglers
William Northï¿½s The City of the Jugglers or, Free Trade in Souls, A Romance of the ï¿½Goldenï¿½ Age (1850) is one of the most original novels of the mid-Victorian period, but it is also the most elusive book by one of the nineteenth-centuryï¿½s most elusive authors. Only three surviving copies are recorded in WorldCat, with only two listed in libraries in North America, including the one here, held in Rare Books and Special Collections.
Delbert Claire Brandt Collection
This collection contains 32 letters and postcards relating to Delbert Claire Brandt (Claire Brandt), a young man from Sharon, Pennsylvania who served with the 1st Cavalry in World War I, was wounded, and died on November 16, 1918. The letters were written between May 1918 and November 1918. Most of the letters are from Claire Brandt to his sister Beatrice. Topics range from the care packages which Beatrice sent to Claire Brandt’s travels in the army.
Development of the Printed Page: 150 Examples of Handpress Printing and its Antecedents, ca. 1200 to 1937
This collection offers a wide survey of typography, page design, and book illustration spanning 500 years of printing in Europe and the Americas. Also included are manuscript leaves from the medieval and early modern periods, including some examples from the Middle East.
Enquiry Concerning the Intellectual and Moral Faculties and Literature of Negroes by Henri Grégoire
The Abbé Henri-Baptiste Grégoire (1750-1831), a Catholic priest and bishop, was a leading French abolitionist at the turn of the eighteenth century, a participant in the Revolution of 1789, and a member of its governing assembly. His work An Enquiry Concerning the Intellectual and Moral Faculties and Literature of Negroes was first published in 1808. The first edition in English, the complete text of which is included here, was brought out in 1810 by Brooklyn printer Thomas Kirk.
Ethelind Pope Brown Collection of South Carolina Natural History
This collection is comprised of 32 opaque watercolors, or gouaches, on paper created in the late 1700s. Each depicts at least one species of flora and fauna (primarily birds, trees, and flowering plants) found in the American Southeast.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Ledger, 1919 - 1938
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger is one of the richest primary source documents in existence for any literary author. Fitzgerald began recording information in this business ledger sometime in 1919 or 1920 after leaving the Army and moving to New York to begin his professional life as a writer.
Filles et Garcons: Scenes de la Ville et des Champs by Anatole France
This children's book, written by Anatole France, pseudonym for Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921, is an excellent example of early twentieth century French Children's literature. The illustrator, painter Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1855-1913), was a highly successful children's portraitist and illustrated a number of children's books.
History of Education in America
This collection of textbooks and printed works on nineteenth century American education had its impetus in a request from our colleague, Professor Susan Schramm-Pate, of the College of Education here at the University of South Carolina. She was interested in supplementing the core group of texts for her doctoral seminar “Curriculum Classics: Trends and Issues” (EDCS 822). The initial group of selected works from the nineteenth century were either printed in the South for a Southern audience, or are the texts of speeches and remarks concerning the state of Southern schools and education. The materials have been drawn from the collections of both the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections (including the William Savage Textbook Collection) and the South Caroliniana Library. None of these works have been freely available online until now. We hope that this online collection will form the basis of a larger site of nineteenth- and twentieth-century works on the history of American education with a focus on the South.
Humboldt's Atlas of Latin America, 1799-1804
The German scientist Alexander von Humboldt and his expedition partner, botanist Aimé Bonpland, traveled through Central and South America between 1799 and 1804. Under a Spanish warrant, they explored the Orinoco in Venezuela, surveyed and gathered plant and animal specimens, and studied the geology and mineralogy of Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. They climbed Chimborazo, the highest summit in Ecuador and what was then thought to be the highest summit on Earth, reaching the highest altitude of any human before succumbing to oxygen sickness near the summit.
Isaac Rosenberg: Early Poetry and Related Documents from the Joseph Cohen Collection of World War I Literature
Rosenberg, recognized as the first significant Jewish poet in English literature, was one of the major poets whose life was cut short by the Great War, and the only one who served in the ranks. This online collection includes six items, including one of only three known copies of Rosenberg's first book of poems, Night and Day (1912). This copy also contains a manuscript poem in Rosenberg's own hand.
Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection
The Great War of 1914-1918 remains a watershed in social and cultural history, on both sides of the Atlantic. It involved millions of combatants from around the globe. It technologized warfare. It redrew the map of Europe. It precipitated lasting changes in demographic structure, social behavior, and cultural expression. It marked the imagination, not of one generation only, but of generations to come.
Joseph M. Bruccoli (1892?-1965) was a veteran of the Great War. His campaign medal carried eight bars, each representing a major battle in which he participated. He was severely wounded and was deeply patriotic. His son, Professor Matthew J. Bruccoli, has initiated this collection as a continuing personal project in his father's memory.
Leaves of Grass Imprints: American and European Criticisms
With a new introduction by Joel Myerson, this book is freely available online, but may also be purchased through the USC Press AccessAble Book Program.
The illustrated annual giftbook is one of the most distinctive publishing genres on both sides of the Atlantic, from the mid-1820s through to the 1850s. In 1823, the British published Rudolph Ackerman issued what is usually recognized as the first annual, the Forget-Me-Not, an almanac with poems and engravings, issued in a small format in papercovered boards in a printed slipcase. Ackerman's innovation was soon imitated by others: Friendship's Offering (from 1824), the Literary Souvenir (from 1825), The Amulet (from 1826), and The Keepsake (from 1828).
Pages from the Past, A Legacy of Medieval Books in South Carolina
Pages from the Past comprises a digital record of all the medieval manuscripts in South Carolina’s institutional archives. None of the manuscripts in private hands has been documented. A total of 118 items includes eight more or less complete codices, but most are individual leaves and cuttings. As representative samples of the medieval book, however, the South Carolina manuscripts expose an impressive range of pre-modern literacy—theological, scientific, liturgical, historical, and so forth. This website has been designed to showcase a range of texts over centuries of transmission, chiefly as an introduction to the technology and function of writing in the Middle Ages.
Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects (1773)
Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773) is the first book published by an African-American author, and the frontispiece portrait of Wheatley is the only surviving work by the African-American slave artist Scipio Moorhead (born ca. 1750). Thomas Cooper Library’s copy, acquired with support from the College of Arts & Sciences and from library endowments, is the first copy recorded in WorldCat for any library in South Carolina. The library’s Digital Collections team is pleased to make available this full page-by-page digital facsimile of the first edition, in searchable form.
Primary Sources for K-12 , Pilot Project
In collaboration with a pilot group of South Carolina teachers, USC Libraries has made these primary resources available online. We want to build on this effort. Please let us know what you think.
Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy
In 2011 Robert B. Ariail donated an extraordinary collection of historical astronomy to the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina State Museum. Over the past half-century, Mr. Ariail built a collection that encompassed both historic telescopes and astronomical instruments, now at the State Museum, and more than 5,000 rare books and other published items, now housed in the University's Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections.
Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped in Young Folks Paper
Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel about the adventures of young David Balfour, is one of the Scottish author’s most famous works. Set in eighteenth-century Scotland, Kidnapped originally appeared in serialized form in James Henderson’s literary magazine Young Folks Paper from May 1 to July 31, 1886. Young Folks Paper was published under various titles from 1871 to 1897 and hosted the first editions of Stevenson’s Treasure Island and The Black Arrow, as well as Kidnapped. In addition to fiction, the magazine printed essays, poetry, and history.Young Folks Paper also included a “Literary Olympic” that offered payment and criticism for original contributions, as well as a “Riddle Tournament” consisting of readers’ submissions.
Scottish Literature Digital Projects
The G. Ross Roy Collection of Burnsiana and Scottish Literature includes works by and about Robert Burns. In addition to Burnsiana, the G. Ross Roy Collection covers a wide range of Scottish literature, including poetry anthologies, histories, and modern writings.
South Carolina and the Civil War
Poised for the sesquicentennial remembrance of the Civil War, South Carolina and the Civil War brings together eyewitness views and accounts of this period of American history, selected from the rich holdings of University of South Carolina Libraries. Books, diaries, sheet music, maps, letters, photographs and illustrations all provide glimpses of everyday life during exceptional times. This collection provides students and other researchers with primary sources on the Confederate and Union soldiers, women, African Americans, and others who lived in camps and on battlefields, in urban and rural areas, at the homefront and on both sides of the blockade during our bloodiest conflict.
Tried as by Fire: or, The True and The False, Socially by Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927) was the first woman to run for President of the United States, the first female stockbroker on Wall Street, and the publisher of the first English translation of the Communist Manifesto. With her sister, Tennessee, she published a progressive journal, Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly (1870-1876) and was involved with the early women's rights movement in America. This 1874 speech, a stinging attack on marriage, was part of her truly radical vision of social, economic, and political equality for both men and women.
Tycho Brahe's Instruments in the Blaeu Grande Atlas
In the late 16th century, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) established two observatories on the island of Hven, near Copenhagen. This section from Jean Blaeu’s Grande Atlas, from the French version issued in 1663, describes and illustrates Brahe’s astronomical instruments. Blaeu’s handcolored copper-plate engravings were revised from wood-cuts originally published in Brahe’s own Astronomiae Instauratiae Mechanicae (1598), with the descriptions in Latin; an English translation from Brahe’s 1598 text is available from the Danish Royal Library. The section also gives a map of Hven and plans and descriptions of Tycho’s two observatories, Uraniborg and Stelleborg.
Virginia - (Merrimac) Monitor Engagement, and a Complete History of the Operations of these Two Historic Vessels in Hampton Roads and Adjacent Waters.
This 42 page book written around 1907 describes how the iron-clad steamer, Virginia, destroyed the Merrimac and others during the Civil War.