A Salute to Black History Month

  • 1960s, USA --- Martin Luther King Jr. --- Image by © Marvin Koner/Corbis

Before Black History Month wraps up for this year we should remember that 2015 is the 50th anniversary of two seminal events. 

It’s the 50th anniversary of the three Selma to Montgomery marches that were part of the Selma Voting Rights Movement which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

It’s also the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X.

First a photo salute to Black History Month from the vast archives at Corbis followed by a few selections from our inventory.



Obama Audacity


Signed by the President

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama.
Published by Crown, 2006. First Edition, First Printing.





3000 Years Black Poetry


3000 Years of Black Poetry: An Anthology
Edited by Alan Lomax and Raoul Abdul.

Dodd, Mead, 1970. First Edition, Review copy.

Important comprehensive anthology tracing the history of black poetry from the black Kings of Egypt to contemporary African American poetry.




Paris Noir


Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light by Tyler Stovall.

Houghton Mifflin, 1996. First Edition.

Writers profiled include Richard Wright, Chester Himes, James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes and Claude McKay.





Reading Room 2013 ML


Reading Room by Barbara Earl Thomas. 15″ x 20″, 2013

Book Patrol is delighted to offer a selection of bookish linocuts from noted Northwest artist Barbara Earl Thomas




the negro a beast 2189


The Negro a Beast or in the Image of God by Professor Charles Carrol

Savannah: The Thunderbolt, 1968. First published in 1900.

Reprint of Carroll’s infamous racist book with a new three-page introduction by white supremacist J.B. Stoner, who claims “a black revolution and a race war already under way in America.” Scarce.





by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Photographs by Alice Attie.

Seagull Books, 2012. First Edition.

“The African American at the end of the nineteenth century was described by W. E. B. Du Bois as two souls in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. In the United States today, the hyphen between these two souls-African and American, African-American-is still being negotiated.”


Browse New Arrivals

What Darwin Saw: Sketchbooks from the voyage of the HMS Beagle added to Cambridge Digital Library

HMS Beagle Eglise de San Francisco, ValparaisoCharles Darwin considered it to be one of the most formative journeys of his life. His diary and scientific journal of his time aboard the HMS Beagle, now best known as The Voyage of the Beagle, was a bestseller. It was also on this voyage that the first seeds of his masterwork, Origin of Species, were planted.

Now thanks to Cambridge University the entire sketchbooks of Conrad Martens, a shipmate of Darwin’s on the HMS Beagle, are available online. Martens made the drawings between the summer of 1833 and the early months of 1835. They “vividly bring to life one of the most famous voyages in the world and arguably the most famous in the history of science” said Dr Alison Pearn, Associate Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project.

HMS Beagle sketchbook Santa Cruz RiverSanta Cruz River

HMS Beagle sketchbook weaverWoman of Chiloé weaving

HMS Beagle sketchbook Santa Cruz River a[Santa Cruz River], 120 [miles] from the mouth

HMS Beagle Forest scene at Chiloé

Forest scene at Chiloé

YouTube Preview Image


HMS Beagle sketchbooks added to Cambridge Digital Library | University of Cambridge

Collectible books by Darwin on HMS Beagle

Top image: Eglise de San Francisco, Valparaiso


Happy New Calendar! A Sampling of Calendars at the DPLA

Calendars L. Prang & Co.  1879Now that we have our new calendar in place to help track the year ahead let’s have a look back at some of the thousands of calendars available for your perusal at the Digital Public Library of America, DPLA. Derived from the Latin word kalendae, which was the name of the first day of every month, there are as many varieties of calendars as there are days of the month. 

From a 12th century Book of Hours to a 16th century perpetual calendar to a Native American calendar on buckskin to a handwritten calendar by Lee Harvey Oswald there is no shortage of creative ways to track time and in many cases to advertise ones business.


Calendars November December 1200November/December, 12th century

Calendars Perpetual CalendarPerpetual Calendar by Ortensio Toro, 1594

Calendars Kiowa AnkoKiowa Anko calendar on buckskin, ca. 1871 – ca. 1907

 Calendars Ladies Calendar 1889 Hoyt's German CologneLadies Calendar 1889 perfumed with Hoyt’s German Cologne

Calendars zenoleum 1905Little Miss Zenoleum” [sic: title under portrait] from The Zenner Disinfectant Co., Detroit, Michigan, 1905

Calendars 1912Wills’s Cigarettes, 1912 NYPL

Calendars lee harvey oswaldHandwritten calendar, Lee Harvey Oswald

 Calendars 1972Dan Friedman

Calendars Alkahn Labels 1987Alkahn Labels, Inc. Jacquard woven calendar for 1987

top image: [Calendar from 1879 depicting a woman, child and birds.] by L. Prang & Co

This post first appeared on the blog of the DPLA