LOOK>> A Printed Fan

With LOOK>>, we venture into our wide-ranging collections and bring out a single object to explore in a short video. In this piece, we look at an 18th-century printed fan. Printed fans had become popular fashion accessories in Europe by the late 18th century, being used for everything from keeping … Continue reading

LOOK>> A Historiscope

With LOOK>>, we venture into our wide-ranging collections and bring out a single object to explore in a short video. This time around, we look at Milton Bradley & Company’s Historiscope, ca. 1870. While we often think of Milton Bradley as the toy company that produced such classics as The … Continue reading

LOOK>> A Myriorama

With LOOK>>, we venture into our wide-ranging collections and bring out a single object to explore in a short video. Up first is Samuel Leigh and John Heaviside Clark’s Myriorama from 1824. In the early 1820s, a popular new toy came on the market—the myriorama—whose name was derived from the … Continue reading

Sir Isaac Newton, Alchemist?

Is it possible that the English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest theorists in the history of science, practiced alchemy? That a giant of the scientific revolution shared a dream common among charlatans of his age—to turn lead into gold? William R. Newman, professor of history … Continue reading

EXHIBITIONS | Lifting the Veil [video]

When a visitor enters the refurbished Library Exhibition Hall, it may seem as if the rare artifacts in that hushed and glittering space appeared as if by magic. Yet the new permanent exhibition, “Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times,” is no conjurer’s trick. Nor do the 150 or so items on view … Continue reading