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Carroll’s Wonderland Menagerie

"And as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!"

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With an imagination as great as Lewis Carroll's was, it's no wonder he was able to create such a range of creatures to inhabit the appropriately named Wonderland.  In addition to the Jabberwock above,  Wonderland is home to a host of bizzare beings.  Most famously, perhaps, is the Cheshire Cat, who appears and disappears to give Alice some cryptic advice from time to time.

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Other denizens of Wonderland are the toves, mome raths, and borogroves; talking flowers, a mock turtle, and even a caterpillar that smokes a hookah while dispensing even more crytpic advice to poor Alice.

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More fabulous beasts from the mind of Lewis Carroll can be found by visiting us at Special Collections!  (Perhaps you might stop by on a hunt for the elusive Snark?)

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Here There Be Dragons

How do you make a dragon student angry?  You send it to knight school!

St. George and the Dragon

Bad jokes aside, our fabulous beasts series continues with this week's feature creature – the dragon.  From our 13th century manuscripts to modern day joke books, dragons are running rampant through our collections.

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Like this little guy, a favorite of the librarians here, curled around a letter "p" in our illuminated manuscript leaf of the Acts of the Apostles.

The Visconti Uffiziolo

Another dragon drawn from a religious text is this take on the story of Moses and the Serpent.  Instead of his staff turning into a snake as the story usually goes, here we see Moses leap back in fright from the dragon that has sprung forth instead.

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A bit of visual humor here, from the same volume as the pun that opened this post.

Dragonology

And for all the latest information on dragons, try Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology, found in our Closed Collection.

To see more of these dragons, and others, stop in at Special Collections!

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New series: Fantastic Beasts of Special Collections

What does Special Collections have in common with Rubeus Hagrid of the Harry Potter novels?

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 We both take care of multitudes of fantastic beasts! Though unlike Hagrid with his forest full of creatures, ours live on the shelves in books called bestiaries.

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In the spirit of the first week back at classes here at Mizzou, we'll kick off our new series of fantastic beasts and where to find them in Special Collections with The Academic Bestiary by Richard Armour.  In this book, which combines the style of medieval bestiaries with humorous depictions of the modern residents of Academia, you'll find creatures such as the Dean, R.A., Artist, Historian, and (of course) the Librarian.  Can you tell which of these names belong to each of the pictures above?

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Posted in Comic Collection, Special Collections
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