Serpents in the Stacks

Serpents Book Illustration

As you know, when I was cleaning the Special Collections books, I came across all manner of interesting books. This one in particular I was asked to keep an eye out for having been a favorite of a dear MMA friend. Happily, I found it!
It seems a little unusual to have but I can understand why we were given it. It’s from 1742. Titled An Essay Towards a Natural History of Serpents in Two Parts it was written by Charles Owen. Frankly, it is a book that might have a hard time finding a home but from a historian’s and even a scientist’s perspective it can be helpful with learning more about the worship of serpents, the belief in them, and how actual snakes and other invertebrates might spawn (sorry) tails (sorry again! I can’t help it!) of serpents. I have provided you with the title page and one of the copper engravings.Serpents Book Title Page dated 1742


AND, AND!  A Happy Birthday to Alice Paul.  Born a Quaker, she was a mover and shaker in the rights for women.  Check out today’s “Google Doodle.”

Women’s History Month – Alice Paul

This link for a blog came to me last week from the Mitchell House’s 2013 summer intern, Sarah Scott, who is a 2012 graduate of Vassar College.

Alice Paul was a Quaker suffragist who was born in 1885. She most likely knew of Maria Mitchell but she was born just a few years before Maria passed away. Quite a remarkable woman, Paul often faced controversy in how she went about making her point. Take a look at these links to learn more about her.

Blog Post forwarded from Sarah on Alice Paul:

Alice Paul Institute:


National Collaborative of Women’s History

For quite a few years now, the Mitchell House has been a member of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS). The NCWHS’s mission is to support and promote “the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that bear witness to women’s participation in American life. The Collaborative makes women’s contributions to history visible so that all women’s experiences and potential are fully valued.”

Other members of NCWHS includes the Alice Paul Institute, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Clara Barton National Historic Site, Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Pearl S. Buck Historic House and Site, and the National Women’s History Project to name a few. A guide book to the various member sites was published a few years ago and the NCWHS just featured the Mitchell House on its homepage this month. Take a look at the feature – – and also take some time to learn more about this wonderful collaborative effort on behalf of women’s history sites – because all historical sites have women’s history! – because this week marks the anniversary of the first women’s right conference at Seneca Falls.


Woman’s Suffrage and Lady Gaga

I posted this a few months ago.  And while I have tried not to repeat any blogs, I think this one is well worth it and I recently watched it again.  It came to me via the National Women’s History Project (click on the link below). I am not sure what Maria Mitchell might think of it, but it is pretty clever. Enjoy!