Catherine Wehrey is The Huntington’s reader services assistant for the Dibner collection.

Women Computing the Stars

A piece of women’s history lies deep in the underground stacks of the Huntington Library, among the papers of American astronomer Frederick Hanley Seares (1873–1964). Seares was the head of the computing division at the Pasadena office of the Mount Wilson Observatory from 1909 to 1940. His correspondence gives us a … Continue reading

What is the Oldest Item in the Library?

This is one of the most common questions asked of the Library staff. The Gutenberg Bible, the Ellesmere Chaucer, and first editions of Shakespeare’s plays come to mind when considering famous older items in the Library’s collections. However, not many are aware that The Huntington holds an object dating to … Continue reading

And the Oscar Went to…

Winners of the Pulitzer Prize might walk the halls of the Huntington Library, but come February the only awards that matter are the Oscars. Luckily, The Huntington has one in its collections. In 1956, Sonya Levien won an Oscar, along with William Ludwig, for Writing (Story & Screenplay)—an award that’s … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Feasts for the Ages

Green turtle. Jowl with spinach. Coconut cake. Crab à la Mayonnaise. What’s on your Thanksgiving menu? If you and yours celebrated the holiday in late 19th-century California, your table might have buckled under the weight of some of these delicacies alongside more traditional fare like roasted turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, … Continue reading