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.”

The Fascinating World of Research

I came across this fantastic short clip that advertises the use of the New York Public Library for genealogical research through its Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy. A lot of effort went into this one – and it shows how relevant such archives still are – and will always be. Research is fun and exciting – it’s a mystery and a process of digging and uncovering all sorts of interesting tidbits. And when you find what you are looking for or make a connection that no one else has or uncover some new and exciting information – it is like you are Indiana Jones or Sam Spade – just without the whip or the rod! Your weapons to slosh through the materials are instead a pencil, your brain, and paper. Other libraries within the system have made films – quite clever – but this one is my favorite. History is fun – and the people who are there to help you along the way are knowledgeable, friendly, and very willing to help – not cranky people who have never seen the light of day! Enjoy!