Tomes & Treasures: Adam Poe and the Freedman’s Aid Commission

Did you know that one of Ohio Wesleyan’s founders was a civil rights champion? This week’s feature is especially exciting, because you can go see it for yourself! On display outside of the Special Collections section of Beeghly Library is some of the literature of the Western Freedmen’s Aid Commission (WFAC) and the Freedmen’s Aid Society (FAC).

Tomes & Treasures: Cruikshank’s Comic Almanack

George Cruikshank was a 19th century British caricaturist best known for illustrating his friend Charles Dickens’s novels, such as Oliver Twist. One of the more interesting (and amusing) of his works that we have in the library, though, is his Comic Almanack. A little bit like the The Onion today, it contained cartoons and sociopolitical satire.

Tomes & Treasures: Emma by Jane Austen

 Jane Austen is one of the most influential writers of the Western canon. She wrote novels which were, for their time, rather subversive, – depicting women exercising autonomy, highlighting class differences, and generally challenging the status quo. She was also the age of many college students when she wrote Pride and Prejudice, only 20 years old (which makes me feel like I really ought to hurry up and do something important).

Tomes and Treasures: The Iliad

Homer’s Iliad is a work that almost every student of literature is bound to read at some point in their lives. It has been considered required reading literally for millenia. The Rare Books Collection has an edition of the Iliad published in 1660, translated by John Ogilby. It is a beautiful book, filled with annotations which summarize much of the previous scholarship on the Iliad.

Tomes & Treasures: Leaves of Grass

One of the most exciting parts of the Rare Books section in Beeghly is the Bayley/Walt Whitman Collection. This unique trove of materials includes many first or early editions of Whitman’s work, photographs of Whitman, and even a scrapbook put together by Whitman himself!  

One of the most important pieces we have is a first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.