Spring in Special Collections

It’s finally been feeling like spring in Rhode Island this week, which has everyone feverishly thinking about crocuses and tulips, budding trees, mud puddles, and every other seasonal motif one can list.

For instance, we’ve been dreaming about soft, fuzzy chicks…


Novellus Libellus institutionum pro tyronibus. Cologne: Thomas Odendall, 1742.

And loveable, huggable bunnies.


Conference program, New England Convention of Magicians. Boston: NECM, 1947.

Phew! Yikes! Happy spring!


Mystery Wood Block

UPDATED: Thanks to Prof. Robert Felsing at the University of Oregon, we now know the text is a passage from the New Testament. (Thanks to Prof. Felsing as well for pointing out that the images were originally posted upside-down.)

Wanted: Asian language expert.

Posted below are images of a wooden block used for printing. It’s an interesting object, but unfortunately I don’t know what the text is or when it was produced. So if anyone reading might be able to offer a clue as what this is, I’d appreciate it. In addition to the unmodified images, the higher-contrast and flipped images below might be legible to anyone who can read the language.

The first person to provide information about the block’s identity wins a year’s subscription to our periodical, Occasional Nuggets. Post suggestions in the comments or by email to jgoffin@provlib.org.

Images of the front and back:


Higher-contrast versions that have been flipped on the vertical axis:


A 1779 map of London

The Bowles family were successful map publishers and sellers whose considerable output spanned a century. This map is the second edition of an original 1777 plan. It includes a table of references to churches and principal buildings. The built-up areas of the City of London are stippled. The scale is given in miles or furlongs.