Posts on May 2020
from Beyond the Reading Room

Handmade in Cuba: Rolando Estévez and the Beautiful Books of Ediciones Vigía

Book Cover: Somewhat abstract drawing of a woman with wings holding an oil lamp on a pale blue background

The Special Collections Research Center holds a large collection of works by Cuban book artist Rolando Estévez, including many books that he designed during his time with Ediciones Vigía and examples of those published under his own imprint, El Fortín, established in 2014. A new book from the University of Florida Press explores Estévez' impact as artistic director of Ediciones Vigía from 1985-2014.

Graham Bread, Temperance Reformers, and America’s First Fad Diet

A brown rectangular loaf of bread cools on a wire rack on a white kitchen counter.

Due to newfound free time exclusively spent at home, bread baking has become massively popular as of late. Americans collectively baked enough bread to cause a national yeast shortage. For me, remote work at home led to research on Special Collection’s culinary archive; and, desperate to preserve my last packet of instant dry yeast, I decided to find out how bakers before us made non-yeast bread.

In Praise of Chiaroscuro

Detail of Color woodcut from four blocks, in the chiaroscuro technique, from Jean Michel Papillon. Traité historique et pratique de la Gravure en bois. 2 vols. (Pierre Guillaume Simon, 1766)

We are very pleased to announce the recent acquisition of the first comprehensive treatise ever published about the illustration technique of woodcut: Jean Michel Papillon. Traité historique et pratique de la Gravure en bois. 2 vols. (Pierre Guillaume Simon, 1766). Papillon’s manual is particularly remarkable for including a fully illustrated step-by-step depiction of the sixteenth-century technique of chiaroscuro.