Ephemera in Special Collections & Archives: The Newtonian system of philosophy by Tom Telescope

Enlightenment ideas about science and philosophy take center stage in this small book of lectures presented to children by a boy called Tom Telescope, the “little philosopher.”  The pseudonymous Tom explains complex concepts through conversation and demonstration with “familiar objects, in an entertaining manner, for the use of young ladies and gentlemen,” as made clear in the publication’s subtitle. 

Open Doors: A Reflection on SC&A and National Poetry Month 2021

It was two years ago, April of 2019, that I first came to the Special Collections and Archives. I was a pre-frosh at WesFest, awkwardly wandering across campus with a wrinkled assortment of info sheets and campus maps. The disorienting stream of events and people left me with a nagging sense of worry: maybe Wesleyan wasn’t the place for me, maybe it was all too much.

Postcards from a Pandemic

It’s been just over a year since the University Archives first asked for your experiences related to COVID-19. Thank you to all those who responded, we’ve been slowly adding all the submissions to our Digital Collections. We have a new project aimed at the whole Wesleyan community to find out what this year has been like. Postcards … Read more

Beyond Repair: Examining Brokenness in Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are designed to be played: to be hit, struck, blown, and handled by humans in a variety of ways. Over time, this repeated interaction in combination with environmental conditions can have a tangible effect. Just as with any physical object, an instrument’s material – whether wood, metal, animal skin, or other – wears down, weakens, and breaks over time. Sometimes these issues can be fixed, but in other cases the instrument is beyond repair.

DAC Collection Highlight: William Henry Fox Talbot’s Lace

William Henry Fox Talbot, Lace, ca. 1845. This image of lace is an example of a calotype, an early photographic technique. William Henry Fox Talbot, the author of this work, invented the calotype in 1841 as a competing medium to the daguerreotype, another early photographic technique, in which an image imprinted on thin metal. To … Read more

Commemorating 30 Years of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

This month marks thirty years since the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, also known as NAGPRA. NAGPRA is a federal law that protects Native American graves and funerary objects. It also provides a process by which museums and agencies must repatriate Native American human remains, funerary objects, and certain categories of cultural objects to lineal descendants, Native American tribes, and Native Hawaiian Organizations.