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In the Stacks: Columbia University, From Homer to Howl

This installment of In the Stacks takes us to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University.
From Homer:
Fragment from Homer’s Odysseyis dating from between the third century to the second century BCE. One 2000 papyrus fragments housed at Columbia.




Original contract between Herman Melville and Harper & Brothers for “The Whale,” or better known as Moby Dick. Columbia acquired the archive of the publisher in 1975.






Alexander Anderson Wood engraving of garden-house scene,  (6.5 x 8 cm.) Anderson has been considered the father of wood engraving in America. 




Arthur Rackham.  Self-portrait, 1924.  The Rackham collection at Columbia contains 413 drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings, as well as 30 sketch books, and some 400 printed books and ephemera






Prospectus for the Grove Press edition of Naked Lunch. Part of the online exhibit Naked Lunch at 50.



To Howl:

 Typescript of Howl which Ginsberg enclosed in a letter to Lucien Carr, in which he called attention to the “new style, long lines, strophes.” Ginsberg graduated in 1948 from Columbia.


For more collection hi-spots see the exhibition celebrating Columbia’s 250th anniversary; Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures from the Special Collections of Columbia’s Libraries

Previously on In the Stacks:

Private Libraries at the Museum of the City of New York

Boston Public Library

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