Picturing Gulliver's Travels

Front cover of Gulliver in Brobdingnag, showing Giant King and Queen holding a magnifying glass

Today we celebrate the final day of Picture Book Month and also the 349th birthday of Jonathan Swift, English satirist and poet, most famous for his authorship of Gulliver’s Travels. In honor of both, this post highlights two picture book editions for children from the Hubbard Collection of Imaginary Voyages.

Federico Arcos Papers now open

Photograph of Federico Arcos

An unforgettable figure of the anarchist and syndicalist communities, Federico Arcos (1920-2015) was known for his generosity and the unabating commitment with which he pursued his ideals. Friends of the Labadie Collection remember Arcos as a long-time benefactor and collector. Federico and his wife Pura curated in their home in Windsor, Canada, an important library of anarchist books, newspapers, and archives that never failed to impress their many guests. In addition to the many items he...

Artists' Books: Structures for Instruction

Several artists books on a table - each described in the post below.

Last Friday, I was privileged to welcome students from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to the Special Collections Library. As part of a class on exploring the book, attendees were preparing for an assignment to create a one-of-a-kind artists’ book. The instructor had asked me to find examples of unusual artists’ books with interesting structures, offering me an opportunity to explore new dimensions of Special Collections’ artists’ book holdings.

Harvest Mice, Ponds on Chalk Hills, and the Torpidity of Swallows: Gilbert White's Natural History

Black and white wood engraving of a bird in tall grass.

First published in 1789, Gilbert White’s The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne describes the history and environment of the parish in eastern Hampshire where he lived for much of his life. The book offers gently reflective accounts of White's observations, structured as 110 letters to two friends - zoologist Thomas Pennant and amateur naturalist Daines Barrington. An immensely popular and influential work in the genre of nature writing, White's writings continue to inspire...

New Discoveries of the Labadie Family

Photograph of Carlotta Anderson and her uncle Laurance Labadie.

As the only grandchild of Jo and Sophie Labadie, Carlotta Anderson was fascinated by her family's history. She wrote an authoritative biography of her grandfather, researched anarchism, labor unions and Detroit history before the auto industry, and preserved original family documents dating back to the nineteenth century. Anderson was a dear friend of the Labadie Collection and, shortly before her death she donated important papers that are now open for research.

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