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!

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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!


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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.

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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.’

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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!

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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.


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