On the Twelfth Day of Christmas in July…

… we present Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.

In this collection of the Gospels from 1591, the text is written in both Arabic and Latin.  It's inscribed "With compliments to my friend Dr. W. Burggraaf, Christmas 1931."


A beautiful example of works in translation, the book also contains 149 woodcut illustrations.  They were, however, printed from only 68 blocks, so the careful reader can discern some copycat pictures in different places.  Like the two below, both used to illustrate a version of the same story in Matthew and then in John.

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Reusing woodblocks was a fairly common practice, particularly in bibles where multiple versions of similar events or themes are told by the various authors of the books of the Bible throughout.  We've come across several other books in our collection where the illustrations give us deja vu.

That's it for the 12 Days of Christmas in July series!  Have a merry holiday, and if you should feel like celebrating with us, stop by and see us next week – we'd be happy to show you any of the books featured here, along with any of the others in our collections!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you The Singer of Tales written by Albert Bates Lord, a large part of whose library came to us in a donation in the Spring of 2011.




Gifted in 1960 by the author, this book contains a fun little surprise inside that we found when paging through it prior to this post:  the paper tag from a tea bag!



"There is no greater power than the power of the word."  This message is doubly appropriate when considering that Lord was a prominent scholar in oral composition and performance and this book in particular is about epic poetry and oral tradition.  A more fitting message on an impromptu bookmark would definitely be hard to come by.

Stay tuned for the final book in our 12 Days of Christmas in July series tomorrow!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you ten gems from a Bibliography of Rudyard Kipling.

"Ten Gems" as in Ten Gems from Kipling, a collection of ten stories from Kipling.  It is featured in an entry in this rather thorough bibliography of the author.


Interestingly enough, this book was given as a Christmas gift in 1927 from Flora Livingston (the author)  to someone who may have also been a Kipling enthusiast.


What's also interesting about this book is the gilt top edge.  While very pretty and eye-catching in itself, gilding the pages of a book (applying gold powder or leaf, or in some cases gold-colored paint to the edges of the page and sometimes the covers and spine as well) serves a practical purpose too.  When the gold powder is applied with glue it helps to protect the pages from dust, moisture, and browning.


Pretty and practical.  Check back tomorrow for more pretty and practical gift books in our 12 Days of Christmas in July series.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you this edition of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales.  (No nines in this one, it was a really hard day to find a book to fit…)


Given to Bertie in 1884, this volume contains the collected works of Andersen's fairy tales, including the ever popular "The Little Mermaid."


Many other stories also have illustrations to go with them, like this one from "The Snow Man" about a snowman that melts in the sun.  Much like one would if it were outside in today's mid-July weather.


If you're melting in the heat today, come visit us in the cool air-conditioning of the library!  And check back tomorrow for Day Ten of the Twelve Days of Christmas in July series.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas in July…

… have a book gifted in 1888.  (Okay, it's a stretch, but that's a lot of eights.)  This copy of Mad Cap, a book of short illustrated children's tales was given either to or by Harry D. Silsby on Christmas 1888.


Though the pages are in a delicate condition now, the illustrations remain a beautiful example of a great Christmas gift, as you can see for yourself below.


Drop us a comment below and tell us your favorite book as a child.  And stay tuned for more in our Christmas in July series!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas in July…

… how about an adventure on (or rather under) the seven seas?  This edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was given to John from Babby and Ella in 1935.


This volume comes from our Frank Luther Mott Collection of American Best Sellers.  For those unfamiliar with the book, it was written by Jules Verne in 1869/70 and tells the story of Professor Pierre Aronnax and his eventual dealings with Nemo, the bizarre captain of the submarine the Nautilus.

This edition contains several wonderful illustrations of the odd and sometimes frightening sea creatures that those aboard the submarine come across in their travels, as well as some interesting designs on the endpapers.



For more of our Christmas in July series, check back here tomorrow!


On the Sixth Day of Christmas in July…

… here are six beautiful flowers, plucked from the pages of The Flowers Personified.  A favorite of the Special Collections librarians, this book was given to Mrs. Walter Burnham on December 25, 1912 because '"She" loved Flowers and loved this Book.'  Why the mysterious quotation marks?  We may never know.

Though beautifully bound, the real treasure lies inside this volume, with illustrations engraved on steel by J.N. Gimbrede from designs by J. J. Grandville.


If you've been to Special Collections before, you might recognize some of the prints below – we love to show off this book, and it's been in some of our relatively recent exhibits.

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In order from top to bottom are:  Wild Rose, Lily, Dahlia, Forget-Me-Not, Thistle, and Grape Vine.

You don't have to worry about these flowers wilting in the heat – they're nice and cool in our stacks!  Check back here tomorrow for more of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Countdown.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you five illustrated ballads.  Pretty Peggy and Other Ballads is a collection of five songs for children, given to Nell Merrill in 1884 by 'Aunt Baba.'


The ballads contained in this volume are Pretty Peggy;  Pray Papa, pray Papa; The sailor lad; There was an old man who lived in a wood; and Robin.  Each section of the book starts off with the music of the song, then a series of illustrations of the events in the song.


As you can see, our copy has been well loved and even drawn in by a previous owner.  If you look closely in the picture below, you can see a pencil outline around the girl in the illustration.


Though not good for preservation, it's interesting to get to see the evidence that a book has been loved by a previous owner, perhaps even Nell herself.  What was your favorite book you ever received or given as a gift?  Comment and tell us (we'd love to know) and check back here for more of our Christmas in July series tomorrow!

On the Fourth Day of Christmas in July…

… we present a book by one of our four-legged friends.  Millie, the pet dog of Former President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, dictated the story in Millie's Book to Barbara, who then had it published.








Signed by both Mrs. Bush and Millie, our library's copy was originally gifted on the Christmas of 1990.


The book details a day in the life of the President's dog, as well as personal anecdotes such as the birth of Millie's puppies.  Photographs of the Bush family and pets abound, like this one below, which shows George Bush playing with Millie and one of her pups on the lawn of the White House.







To see this book and the others featured in our Christmas in July Countdown, pay a visit to us here in Special Collections and keep an eye out on our social media sites for the rest of our 12 Days of Christmas in July books.


On the Third Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you a book currently in its third library.  Previously owned by Fred A. Knapp, the Macrobius was gifted to Mary Lou Carlson Lord on Christmas in 1955 before her and her husband's collection came to be in our library.

The Lord Collection, donated to Mizzou in the 2010-2011 academic year, is a collection of nearly 2,000 books, articles, and artifacts, most of which are housed in our Closed and Rare stacks.  Albert Bates Lord, the original owner of the collection, was a professor at Harvard and a prominent scholar in the study of oral tradition.


The book itself is written in Latin, with a portion of the text in Greek.  A fold-out page in the back reveals several interesting charts, referenced to throughout the text.


Stay tuned for more of our Christmas in July countdown!