Beyond the Reading Room

Anecdotes and Other Notes from the U-M Special Collections Library

You Shall Not Read Any of This!

Index librorum prohibitorum: cum regulis confectis per patres a Tridentina synodo delectos (Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1570)

Since we are now “celebrating” Banned Books Week, I thought that readers of our blog would be delighted to know that the Special Collections Library holds an important selection of early-printed editions of the justly infamous Index librorum prohibitorum (List of Forbidden Books).

Passenger Pigeons: The University of Michigan’s Elegiac Displays of an Extinct Species

Illustration of a male and female passenger pigeon beak to beak on branches

A singular bird’s last breath is not often met with sadness, nor does it necessarily signify the emphatic end of an era. However, on September 1, 1914, the last living passenger pigeon, Martha, passed away at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens. In the course of a century, the passenger pigeon went from being the most abundant land bird in North America to an extinct species. As September 1st, 2014 marks the centennial of Martha’s passing, the University of Michigan’s Special Collections...

The Ted Kaczynski Papers: FBI Files and Photographs

The Ted Kaczynski Papers are part of the Special Collections Library’s Joseph A. Labadie Collection which documents the history of social protest movements and marginalized political communities from the 19th century to the present. The Ted Kaczynski papers were acquired in 1998 and the bulk of the collection includes correspondence written to and by Kaczynski since his arrest in 1996. Other materials in the archive include legal documents used during his trial, writings by Kaczynski, clippings...

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