Category: manuscripts

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Monday Manuscript: Bertrand Russell tells you how to be a philosopher

The semester's last manuscript of the week is from philosopher Bertrand Russell, whose birthday is on the 18th.  These three original manuscripts contain the text of "How to become a philosopher," "How to become a logician," and "How to become a mathematician."  They were later published in one volume by Haldeman-Julius Publications as nos. 7, 8, and 9 of The How-to series in 1942.  E. Haldeman-Julius donated them to the Philosophy Section of the Missouri Academy of Science in March 1943. Find it in the MERLIN catalog.

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Manuscript Monday: A Tiny Dutch Bifolium

We think this week's post counts for manuscript Monday and maybe even miniature Monday too!  This is a bifolium – a sheet folded to make two leaves, or four pages of text – from a very small prayer book in Dutch.  It was produced in the Low Countries sometime during the fourteenth century. The dimensions of each page are 72 x 76 mm, or about 2.8 x 3 inches.  

You can find more about this bifolium in the Digital Scriptorium.  It's fragment number 128 in the Fragmenta Manuscripta Collection: a group of leaves, binding waste, and other manuscript fragments assembled by John Bagford in the seventeenth century.

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Monday Manuscript: Tiny stories in Charlotte Bronte’s own handwriting

Happy 198th birthday to Charlotte Brontë, and happy manuscript Monday! Here's one of the most famous items in the collections: a manuscript by Charlotte herself, written at age 17.  Believe it or not, if you're on a desktop computer, the scans below are probably displayed on your monitor at larger than actual size.  The original manuscript is only about 5 inches tall. Its eight leaves contain not just one, but two short stories – "The Secret" and "Lily Hart."  What's amazing to note is that Charlotte actually edited this manuscript. If you look really closely, you can see where she's crossed out some phrases and added others. 

Can you read it?  If not, never fear: this manuscript was published by William Holtz in 1979 in facsimile and transcription, for those of us whose eyesight isn't quite as keen as Charlotte's must have been.  This manuscript also has an amazing history; see a past Mizzou Wire article for more information, or find it in the MERLIN catalog.

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