Category: manuscripts

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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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Posted in Rare Book Collection

Monday Manuscript: Notebooks from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright

April 13 would have been playwright Lanford Wilson's 77th birthday, so we're celebrating him by featuring his work on this week's Manuscript Monday. Wilson passed away in 2011 and left his papers to the University of Missouri Libraries. The collection includes correspondence, working notebooks, drafts and proof copies, and well as work related to Wilson's personal interests, such as gardening and art collecting.

The manuscripts featured here relate to Wilson's plays A Sense of Place and Fifth of July, which was recently produced on campus by the MU Theatre Department. It's fascinating to watch Wilson at work through these pages, as he adds, edits and deletes the texts of his plays.  


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An unexpected bonus: we also found Wilson's recipe for tomato tart, which sounds delicious. Let us know if you try it! wilson2

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Posted in Special Collections

Monday Manuscript: 630-year-old notebooks from notary Bernard de la Turade

This week's manuscript is the register of Bernard de la Turade (or Iurade), a medieval notary.  The two notebooks contain documentation of wills, marriage contracts, and sales in several cursive hands.  The first volume has a large vellum tab that would have helped its original owner to identify it on the shelf – think of it as the ancestor to a modern-day file folder tab.  There are even a few fourteenth-century doodles at the end!

More information and images at the Digital Scriptorium, or view the MERLIN catalog record.

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Posted in Rare Book Collection

Special Collections and Rare Books

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