Posts on February 2016
from Beyond the Reading Room

Now Online: The Oldest Known Cookbook Authored by an African American

Title page of Malinda Russell's A Domestic Cookbook

As Black History Month comes to a close, we highlight Malinda Russell’s A Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen. Published in Paw Paw, Michigan in 1866, A Domestic Cook Book... is the oldest known cookbook authored by an African American, and the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive holds the only known copy. This past year, a digital facsimile of this important work was made available through Hathi Trust.

"Dignity and stately magnificence': Paul Robeson's Othello

Newsclipping showing four photographs of Robeson (Othello) and Ashcroft (Desdemona) on stage.

The exhibit Shakespeare on Page and Stage: A Celebration (Audubon Room, January 11-April 27, 2016) showcases both the textual and performance history of Shakespeare’s plays. With this post, we focus in greater detail on Paul Robeson’s performance as Othello in Ellen Van Volkenburg and Maurice Browne’s 1930 London production at the Savoy Theater.

Hamlet and the Wolverine Press

Three students setting the type to replicate  the G gathering of Q2 (Hamlet: 1604). Nearest is Amanda Rybin-Koob, poet, MFA; center,  Rebecca Fortes, fiction, MFA;  and furthest, Elijah Sparkman, English major, LSA undergraduate

An extraordinary project is currently taking shape at the Wolverine Press, the letterpress studio at the University of Michigan. Led by Rebecca Chung (UMSI) and Fritz Swanson (Wolverine Press), a team of U of M students is working on a handset edition based on the G gathering from the second quarto of Hamlet, published in 1604 and conventionally known as Q2. In this gathering you can read what is probably the most famous soliloquy Shakespeare ever wrote: “To be, or not to be". In brief,...