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Lilly Library

  • Detail of cover of 'Tarzan of the Apes' showing a shirtless man swinging on a vine with a chimpanzee swining along behind

    A Glossary of Ape

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was not a lexicographer but an author of pulp fiction, dozens of adventure and science fiction novels. ...
  • Shelf of books with classic bindings

    Still Unpacking the Kripke Collection

    At the beginning of 2023, I wrote that I’d pull interesting dictionaries and occasionally other language books and items from ...
  • Square note with the date April 25, 1910 at the top. Watercolor robin on a branch and a poem: “O, to be a robin In the Spring! When the fleeting days of April are a-wing, And the air is sweet with knowing, Where the hidden buds are growing, And the merry winds are going Wandering!” The note is signed Mabel E. Ryals

    Elvira Bates Friendship Album

    One of my favorite parts of my job is interacting with aspects of history I never would have sought out ...
  • This photo of the book Pop-Up Mickey Mouse features a pop-up of Mickey standing up in his garden with his two arms pointed straight. Meanwhile, a pop-up of Pluto is tied to his doghouse looking perplexed.

    Disney and the Blue Ribbon Books

    By Kamden Spies, Lilly Library desk attendant and graduate student in the Department of Information & Library Science By 1932, ...
  • Title page of The English Schoolmaster

    A Most Expensive Textbook

    I was surprised that I wrote so much about prices in my recent post about the unique copy of Louis-Lucien ...
  • Detail of the binding of collection of pamphlets reading, Presented to H. H. Prince L. L. Bonaparte to Henry Baird

    A Book Unique in Several Dimensions

    Madeline Kripke’s collection includes many rare books, some of them classically rare — old books of status for which collectors ...
  • Detail of the cover of the game box for "Say the Word," a dictionary game for children.

    Just Say the Word

    If you supply schools with dictionaries and hope that every home with children will have a children’s dictionary handy, you ...
  • Detail of the title page of A Treatise of Gravelkind, with red and black printing

    What Is Gavelkind?

    Few of us, not even lexicographers, recall William Somner (1606–1669), but he figures importantly in the history of English dictionaries ...
  • The title page of the Lilly Library's copy of Bernhard Schmid's Einer neuen kunstlichen Tabulatur auff Orgel und Instrument (1577). "Monasterius Weingarth" is written on the top and bottom of the page, with the year "1600" on the top.

    A Map for the Body

    By Travis Whaley. This summer, the Lilly Library acquired a rare copy of Bernhard Schmid’s Einer neuen kunstlichen Tabulatur auff ...