Preserving the Signs of Censorship

Five hundred years before government officials in some countries got in the business of censoring Instagram feeds or Twitter accounts, the Roman Catholic Church was using ink to black out text that it considered dangerous. Censors went through books, including scientific texts, and crossed off portions that defied Church doctrine. … Continue reading

Recent Lectures: Feb. 23–April 12, 2017

Home to gorgeous gardens, spectacular art, and stunning rare books and manuscripts, The Huntington also offers an impressive slate of lectures and conferences on topics and themes related to its collections. Below are audio recordings of 10 recent lectures. Potosí, Silver, and the Coming of the Modern World (April 12, … Continue reading

Transcription Challenge for Civil War Telegrams

In June 2016, The Huntington launched a crowdsourcing project called “Decoding the Civil War” to transcribe and decipher a collection of 15,922 U.S. Civil War telegrams between Abraham Lincoln, his Cabinet, and officers of the Union Army. This extraordinarily rare collection, acquired by The Huntington in 2012, is a near-complete … Continue reading

Telling Her Stories

The Huntington is launching the first major exhibition on the life and work of award-winning science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006), whose literary archive resides here. She was the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur “genius” award and the first African American woman to win widespread recognition … Continue reading

Women Making Art

In 2016, The Huntington launched /five, a five-year contemporary arts initiative focused on creative collaboration. The plan? Each year, a different arts or cultural organization is selected to bring in artists to create works in response to The Huntington’s library, art, and botanical collections in new and unforeseen ways. The … Continue reading

Autism Awareness at The Huntington

Children with autism react to sensory stimuli in very different ways. Some children on the autism spectrum are overly sensitive, while others are just the opposite. The Huntington offers a range of environments to suit any child’s needs. “The Huntington can be a wonderful place for someone with autism because … Continue reading

An Ingeniously Printed Book of Songs

Examining a real book up close can tell us things that a microfilmed or black-and-white online image of the object doesn’t show. Scholars often discover interesting information by inspecting a book’s watermarks, paper stocks, or bindings. A good example of this is a fascinating booklet dating from 1685 called A … Continue reading

Bill and Ned’s Excellent Adventures

I’ve been tracking two people in the archives of the Huntington Library whose careers reveal surprising parallels. One is William Wordsworth, the Romantic-era Lake District poet who made a career of dancing among daffodils and touring the rural reaches of late 18th-century England. The man became almost more important than … Continue reading