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Blog Topic: Public collections

July 9, 2019

Books of hours: illuminating the Trinity College Watkinson Library special collections

Books of hours are devotional texts that contain a personalized selection of prayers, hymns, psalms, and New Testament excerpts chosen specifically for their owner. Popular in the Middle Ages, the most expensive of these books could be highly decorated, but the more affordable versions usually only showed minimal decoration, usually of the first letter of […]

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March 4, 2019

What’s in the box? The art of reliquaries

Relics—bits of bone, clothing, shoes or dust—from Christian martyrs became popular in Western Christianity in the Middle Ages. The cult of relics dates back to the second and third centuries, when martyrs were persecuted and often killed in ways that fragmented the body, which was taboo in Roman society. The intention was to desecrate the […]

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October 30, 2018

Open Access: an early guide to hieroglyphics

The Allegheny College Egyptian Hieroglyphics collection features every page of a single manuscript in the James Winthrop Collection. The collection includes approximately 3,000 titles from the libraries of Winthrop and his father, John Winthrop, who was Hollis Professor of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics at Harvard. This particular manuscript is in the public domain, and Allegheny […]

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September 27, 2018

On this day: the book that led to the creation of the EPA

On this day in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published, bringing widespread attention to environmental issues caused by the use of synthetic pesticides in the United States. The book sparked controversy, particularly from chemical companies that dismissed Silent Spring’s assertions about the connection between pesticides and ecological health. However, Carson’s claims were borne out […]

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August 16, 2018

2,000+ punk rock flyers, free as they were intended to be

  Punk flyers from the 1970s to the 1990s shared many of the qualities of the music they promoted–a DIY aesthetic, an embrace of cheap and accessible technology (i.e., photocopiers), plus a healthy dose of humor. In contrast to the often ornate Art Nouveau-inspired rock posters of the psychedelic 1960s, punk flyers typically featured dissonant […]

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August 2, 2018

The New Hampshire Institute of Art expands its public collections in Artstor

An update from our friends at The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) Last summer, The New Hampshire Institute of Art’s John Teti Rare Photography Book and Print Collection received a second major gift from collector and philanthropist John Teti. This gift contained original photographic prints of many leading 20th-century photographers, including Harry Callahan, Paul Caponigro, […]

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June 27, 2018

More than 1 million images now publicly available at!

Good news! Artstor has made more than 1 million image, video, document, and audio files from public institutional collections freely available to everyone—subscribers and non-subscribers alike–at These collections are being shared by institutions who make their content available via JSTOR Forum, a tool that allows them to catalog, manage, and share digital media collections […]

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September 8, 2017

Artstor and copyright: a guide

Did you know that Artstor does not own the rights to the images in our collections? When you search Artstor you may be viewing images from multiple sources with differing permitted uses. Some collections might even be from your own institution’s archives and available only to you! To help you better understand how you can […]

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July 20, 2017

Persuasive Cartography: collector’s choice

Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Mode Collection is a physical and digital open access collection of maps donated to Cornell University Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections. This collection brings together maps from many eras from all over the world to explore their power as visual messengers.  Following up on our interview in which he shares the origin […]

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