Spring is in the Air?

The weather has been doing a particularly poor job of conforming to my expectations lately.  On a cold, blustery day like today—and with yet another dusting of snow on the ground! —I found myself in desperate need of some springtime imagery.  Fortunately, I came across just the needed morale boost in the Filson library’s Madison Cawein poetry collection.  Perhaps Cawein’s […]

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March is Women’s History Month, and we have women’s history at The Filson!

During summer 2011, several of my colleagues and I delivered a two-part lecture entitled “‘Her’story: Encountering Women in The Filson’s Special Collections.”  Robin Wallace, Sarah-Jane Poindexter, Lydelle Abbott, and I presented a theme-based overview of women found within our department’s collections.  While we talked about different themes and different women, I believe our audience also gleaned some over-arching messages from […]

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Words of a Forgotten Poet: The Musings of Ben H. Hardin

The Filson Library recently acquired a small, rare book of poetry entitled A Progressive Age.  It was published in 1922 by Johnstown native Ben H. Hardin, who also went by the name of “Bennie” when he was young.  Hardin was born in Logan County on July 20, 1888, the oldest son of Henry Hardin & his wife Emma.  In addition […]

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The Games People Played

With the coldest days of winter (hopefully) behind us and Spring rapidly approaching, The Filson offers this glimpse into our collections showing how people entertained themselves in the nineteenth century, well before there was a television in every home and video games in most of them. Much as you might expect, a great deal of people’s (especially children’s) entertainment occurred […]

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Dreaming of Spring

– by Cassie Bratcher I am sure that I am not alone in dreaming of warmer weather.  So far we have had a bitterly cold, snowy winter.  I am sick of wearing multiple layers just to stay warm, and I can imagine people throughout the years have had similar feelings.  Enough is enough, time to move on . . . […]

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Snow: A love-hate relationship

Every winter, I argue with myself about snow. On one hand, it’s pretty and the world looks magical for just a little while. On the other hand, it’s hard to get anywhere. Now that I have a daughter, I appreciate snow in a whole new way, because I see the magic of it through her eyes. With the snow today […]

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Cards at Christmas: 150+ years of tradition

I’m not always the best at sending Christmas cards, but I managed to mail a few to friends and family this year.  My parents have always sent out a Christmas letter to their friends—a tradition that I would like to some day adopt.  We also often receive family photographs from others during the holiday season, especially from families with young […]

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A Long Way from Home: My Italian Adventure & Travel Narratives in the Filson’s Collections

I recently visited Italy for the first time.  My husband and I spent two weeks sightseeing in Italy’s great cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice, as well as the small town of Ravenna.  During our time in Italy, we saw some of the greatest art and architecture of the Western world.  We were amazed by the Colosseum and the Pantheon […]

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From Kindergarten to Columbia Teachers College: Patty Smith Hill Departs for New York

Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946) is likely best known for, along with her sister Mildred Jane Hill, writing the song “Good Morning to All,” featuring the tune that eventually became “Happy Birthday To You,” which we have all sung or been sung, with greater or lesser happiness depending on what age we happen to be turning. But Hill was most prominently […]

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