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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Some new thoughts for the new year

Here are some New Thoughts for your New Year, courtesy of our extensive collections of seventeenth- through nineteenth-century British pamphlets.  This one was printed in 1796.

IMG_0046The Cheap Repository Tracts series was created by the British poet, playwright, and philanthropist Hannah More, whose writings often dealt with religious themes.  They were printed in large quantities for distribution to the poor.  Although there must have been thousands of original copies, they were ephemera – not meant to be preserved.  Only six copies of this tract are recorded in libraries around the world. 

IMG_0047Many of the tracts deal with people in trades or in domestic service.  This one shows "How Mr. Thrifty the great Mercer succeeded in his Trade, by always examining his Books soon after Christmas, and how Mr. Careless, by neglecting this rule, let all his affairs run to ruin before he was aware of it."  The pamphlet ends with a hymn for the new year.

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Find it in the MERLIN catalog.

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Posted in Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

Missale Romanum, 1701

We're always making new discoveries in Special Collections, and this is one exciting find.  This Roman missal was published by the Plantin-Moretus Press in 1701.  It's bound in red velvet with silver clasps and decorations, gilt edges, leather tabs, and red silk bookmarks.  The text is printed throughout in red and black, and there are amazing engravings after works by Rubens. Interestingly, the name of a previous owner is engraved on one of the clasps: "HAC Defresne Possessor – 1817."

There are six copies in WorldCat.  Three, including ours, are in North America (two in the United States, and one in Canada).  The others are in the Netherlands. 

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Find it in the MERLIN catalog.

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Posted in Rare Book Collection

Unsolved Mystery #6: The Lucubrator by James Noyes

Our final unsolved mystery of the semester is a manuscript donated to the MU Libraries by Mrs. Edwin Ball in 1974.  Its title page attributes the work to James Noyes, but we know very little else about it.  It consists of a series of essays on a wide variety of topics.  Titles include "On Female Education," "On Bad Neighbors," and "On the Utility of Dancing," to name a few. The essays are dated between 1794 and 1797. James Noyes (1778-1799) wrote a mathematics textbook and a couple of almanacks around 1793-1794, but we have not been able to establish whether he and the author of this manuscript are one and the same.

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Who was James Noyes?  Is this manuscript in his hand?  Where was it created?  Were the essays ever published?

As always, email us at SpecialCollections@missouri.edu with your thoughts on this unsolved mystery.

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Posted in Rare Book Collection
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