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Detail from Home Baseball Game

May 5, 2020

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections owns a board game called the “Home Baseball Game,” made by McLoughlin Brothers in 1900.  It is somewhat unusual for an archival repository to own a board game. Nonetheless, this artifact reflects the fact that American children and adults have customarily enjoyed playing board games, including those involving baseball, the national pastime.

Detail from Home Baseball GameThe board game kit includes several components. The cover of the game has a color image of a batter and a catcher. Wearing a matching striped shirt and hat, the batter is right-handed. His pants are cropped just below his knees. The catcher wears a facemask and chest protector. This particular cover of the game is a bit dirty.

The main wooden board displays bases along a diamond and space for the outfield. The positions of the nine defenders are listed on the board. Wooden pieces are used as the players on both sides. It is interesting that the second baseman’s position is directly on second base, not in between first and second bases. Such an alignment would work well as a shift against a modern-day, right-handed pull hitter. The final part to the game is the spin wheel, which players spin to determine the outcome of each at-bat.

McLoughlin Brothers, a long-standing company based in New York City, produced children’s books and board games.  At the turn of the 20th century, Americans played and watched baseball avidly across the nation. Amateurs and professionals alike played the game with passion.  Baseball organizers created the American League in 1901. The American League champion Boston Americans defeated the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903.  The National League had originated as the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1876.

In the age of baseball video games, this board game may seem old-fashioned. However, children across the country enjoyed using their imaginations to simulate baseball games by using this game.

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Home Baseball Game gameboard

Another set of the 1900 Home Baseball Game exists at the New-York Historical Society. It is not known how the Booth Family Center acquired its set.

This blog post was intended to celebrate the opening games of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, now postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

--Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

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Detail from Chism poem

April 21, 2020

In addition to University-produced records which convey an “official” version of events on campus, the University Archives preserves student-produced documents and publications which can show campus life from a very different perspective. This blog post highlights one of my favorite examples of this—a poem written by a student from Louisiana named Warren Chism during the 1867-1868 academic year. I am drawn to this item because of its content and also because of its form.

The content speaks to the quality of food on campus—and I imagine that complaining about that topic is something of a tradition on most university campuses. At Georgetown, we can trace complaints back at least to 1812, when our founder John Carroll commented that while our meals were good in substance, he feared our cook was deficient

When we look at the form of the poem, we can see from the creases on it that it was cross-folded down to a much smaller size. This and the fact that the phrase Open. Read and Pass On is written on the back indicates that it was passed, presumably surreptitiously, around a Georgetown classroom or study hall.  And apparently, a student to whom it was passed strongly agreed with the sentiments in it because the words Hurrah for Chism were added in a different hand, perpendicular to the words of the poem.

Back of Chism poem

A second, later, addition comes in the form of explanatory notes at the bottom. These are signed F.B. and dated May 28, 1899.  While the full name of the writer is not given, the handwriting is very familiar to me.  Father Francis Barnum became Georgetown’s Librarian at the end of the 19th century. He was the first person to attempt to systematically organize material in the University Archives and was an inveterate note-writer, dispersing written explanations, descriptions and reflections throughout the Archives collection. I always feel a connection to him as a fellow Georgetown archivist when I see his handwriting (even if we are separated by the span of more than a century) and know that I am going to learn something from what he says. Barnum's notes are inevitably accurate; in this case, he had been a student at Georgetown from 1866 to 1872 and would have been familiar with both Walter Chism and the food that was served.

Chism poemChism’s poem reads:

Come rally round your flag boys*
And strike for better grub
We’ve stood it long enough boys,
But now we’ll make the rub.

Let it cost us what it might boys
Let it cost us what it may
We can’t live without eating boys
No not a dar –ned day.

If the “petition” is not heeded boys,
We’ll all dine out in town,
But we can’t live without eating boys,
And we won’t eat John Brown.

* The first line of the poem may have been influenced by the first line of the Civil War song Battle Cry of Freedom, which was also known as Rally 'Round the Flag.  Its opening lines are: Yes we’ll rally round the flag, boys, we’ll rally once again, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

[Father Barnum’s notes:]

This was written in 1867-1868 by Warren Chism La
The food had become wretched, and all hands were on the verge of revolt. A petition was gotten up and things improved a little.
“John Brown” was the name given to a horrible kind of dry hash which was served regularly.
“Open read and pass” was the customary formula on all general notes which were circulated around the study hall.
This was given by B. Camalier in Apr. ’99 while on a visit. He was a fellow student of Chisms and preserved this memento.
Poor Chism was shot by his overseer down in La. He was a brilliant fellow and a general favorite

May 28, 1899

--Lynn Conway, University Archivist


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Woodstock Theological Library

Magazine cover of abstract person

Cover of Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ) on Trans*/Religion (Volume 6, issue 3, August 2019)

In 2008 Georgetown University Library received a grant from The Gladys Brooks Foundation to establish an endowment fund in support of the acquisitions of library materials in emerging disciplines (see Library Associates Newsletter Spring 2008, no. 87). This year Amy Phillips was awarded funding from the grant for the area of trans studies, religious and theological studies. Below, she gives an outline of the state of the field and a list of the new materials she has acquired with her Gladys Brooks Foundation grant:

Might not trans theology be one technology by which trans activists, theologians, and scholars are reimagining both cosmology and ontology? Theology can function as a method of rethinking materiality and the conditions of embodiment outside its current constraints, which is part of what made it so attractive to early feminist theologians.” - Max Strassfeld and Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

The above quote comes from an introduction essay by Max Strassfeld and Robyn Henderson-Espinoza for a special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ) on Trans*/Religion (Volume 6, issue 3, August 2019). The special issue brought the most recent scholarship to the fore of what is a growing area of much needed attention not only in the academic pursuit of studying theology but in reflection on the practical and lived experience of transgender people in communities of faith. It is “an interdisciplinary field that draws upon the social sciences and psychology, the physical and life sciences, and the humanities and arts,” that is “as concerned with material conditions as it is with representations practices, and often pays particularly close attention to the interface between the two.” (Kelly quoting Stryker, page 10, see below)

Prior to this TSQ issue, another major publication bringing together scholars in this nascent field was the special issue of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (volume 34, no. 1, Spring 2018). The issue was devoted solely to “Transing and Queering Feminst Studies and Practices of Religion''. Obviously, the title for my blog is based on this special issue.  Of note in this issue is the literature review of Trans* Studies in Religion by Siobhan M. Kelly entitled “Multiplicity and Contradiction” (pages 7-23). This article was key for me because I used it to expand my knowledge of the field and to select the landmark and most recent publications in this area for our library collection. 

Below is the fruit of the Gladys Brooks Foundation Grant. I should note that some of the older titles represent prototypes or groundbreaking works in the field. I’ve organized the list starting with the most recent publications alphabetized by title. Please be aware that many of the books have not been received yet, so online books might not be available and physical books might not have arrived in the library yet.


Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life by Tory R. Saxby. Chapel-Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2020

Queer Religiosities: An Introduction to Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion by Melissa M. Wilcox. Lanham, MD: Rowman & LIttlefield Publishing Group, 2020

Something that May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Mallory Othberg. New York: Atria Books, 2020.

Unlocking Orthodoxies For Inclusive Theologies: Queer Alternatives by Robert E. Goss London: Routledge, 2020


Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture by J. Alan Branch. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019

Queer Theologies by Chris Greenough. Abingdon : Routledge, 2019

She’s My Dad: a Father’s Transition and a Son's Redemption. By Jonathan Williams, with Paula Stone Williams. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2019


Trans-Gender by Justin Sabi-Tanis. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2018 

Transforming the Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians by Austen Hartke. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018


According to Whose Will: The Entanglements of Gender & Religion in the Lives of Transgender Jews with an Orthodox Background by Oriol Poveda. [Sweden]: Uppsala Universitet, 2017

Retreating Forward: A Spiritual practice with transgendered persons by David E. Weekley. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications, 2017

Transgender Liturgies: Should the Church of England Develoop Materials to Mark the Gender Transition? By Martin Davie. London: The Latimer Trust, 2017


This is My Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians. Edited by Christina Beardsley and Michelle O’Brien. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2016


Queer Bible Commentary edited by Deryn Guest. London: SCM, 2015  (reprint of 2006 first edition)


Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith edited by Erin Lane and Enuma Okoro. Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud Press, 2013


In From the Wilderness:  She-R-Man by David E. Weekley. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2011


Balancing the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community edited by Noach Dzmura Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2010.

Psalms by Joy Ladin. Eugene, Or.: Resource publications, 2010


Another possible word edited by Marcella Maria Althause-Reid, Ivan Petrella, and Luiz Carlo Susin. London: SCMS Press, 2007


Practicing Safer Texts: Food, Sex and the Bible in Queer Perspective by Ken Stone. London: T& T Clark, 2005 


The Sexual Theologian: Essays on Sex, God and Politics edtied by Marcella Althaus Reid and LIsa Isherwood. London: T & T Clark International, 2004


Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible by Robert E Goss. Cleveland : Pilgrim Press, 2000

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Rare Books from Woodstock Library
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Rare Books from Woodstock Library

This has been a surreal month with limited movement outside our homes, or, in some cases sheltering in place altogether. Italy is under complete shutdown. People are finding ways to amuse themselves as we saw glimpses of Italians organizing communal balcony concerts. What are you doing at home? A long time ago, in Tuscany a Jesuit was sheltered in place and you’ll never guess what he did to pass the time….

Alfonoso Niccolai (1706-1784) was a Jesuit theologian trained at the Roman College between 1726 and 1738. He taught rhetoric along with courses in Scripture. In 1781 Leopold II made him his court theologian, a fortunate appointment since this was when many Jesuits were sent to prison or expelled from their countries because Pope Clement XIV extinguished and suppressed the Order. One of Niccolai’s most significant works was the biblical commentary entitled Dissertazioni e Lezioni di Sacra Scrittura, which was first published in 1756. This work was 12 volumes covering the Old Testament and was lauded by the Jesuit poet Giambattista Roberti. 

So to answer the question of what Niccolai did in midst of the suppression of his order: In 1781,  sheltered in place, as it were, in Tuscany, while Leopold II’s theologian, he began working on a second edition of this monumental multi volume work! One wonders if the work grew tiresome or too difficult. There is not an answer to this question, but we do know he never completed the second edition. 

Woodstock’s set of Dissertazioni e Lezioni di Sacra Scrittura is incomplete. Mitchell Fariss, one of our metadata specialists, helped bring this to light during our comprehensive cataloging project for our rare books.

Post by Amy Phillips

Front page of Dissertazioni

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Woodstock Theological Library

Entrance to Woodstock Library, one door open, sign above the door

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Lauinger Library, and the exhibit, 50 Years of Excellence and Service,  Woodstock Theological Library highlights its part in Lauinger's story with its own exhibit.  The exhibit,  Woodstock College Goes to Woodstock Center, tells the story of Woodstock's collections as it moved through various locations culminating in its joining Lauinger 46 years ago, and the joint history of the Woodstock Theological Center,  which served as a Jesuit thinktank at Georgetown until 2013. The exhibit is located next to the Woodstock reading room, and will be viewable from March through May. 




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Detail from suffrage march

March 4, 2020

An archivist’s job is never finished. Just when I thought I’d done a pretty good job rooting out all of the material regarding women’s rights advocacy in the manuscripts collections here, I was delighted to make some new discoveries. In time to celebrate Women’s History Month and the centenary of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, I’m sharing my latest finds with you in this month’s blog. Of course, this is an open invitation to come see these wonderful items in person at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

Suffrage Procession, 1913

Woman's Suffrage Procession, 1913
(Janet Richards papers GTM540129, Box 2, Folder 6.1)
Click image to enlarge

Substantial correspondence from the leading suffragists who founded the National Woman’s Party are included in the James Brown Scott papers, GTM660503 (Box 48). James Brown Scott (1866-1943) was an American authority on international law and an advocate of women’s rights.

Edith Houghton Hooker (1879-1948), American suffragist and social worker. She was a leader of the suffrage movement in Maryland in the early 20th century and was posthumously inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. She also happens to be maternal aunt of actress Katharine Hepburn.

Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), American feminist, socialist, and suffragist. She was among the principal leaders and strategists of the campaign for the 19th Amendment. As a leader of the National Woman’s Party, and together with fellow suffragist Lucy Burns (1879-1966), Paul organized activist events such as the Woman Suffrage Procession in 1913, the first organized march for women’s rights in Washington, D.C.; and the Silent Sentinels protest at the White House in 1917.

Doris Stevens (1892-1963), American suffragist, women's legal rights advocate and author. She was the first female member of the American Institute of International Law and first chair of the Inter-American Commission of Women.

Women’s rights leaders also appear in the Janet Richards papers, GTM540129. Janet Richards (1859-1948), was a Washington, D.C. journalist, advocate of women's rights and education, and intrepid traveler. She was a friend of suffragists Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Clara Barton (1821-1912). Her personal papers include letters from both suffragists; as well as photographs of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C.

 Anna Shaw

Anna Shaw. Signed photograph. No date.
(Janet Richards papers, GTM540129, Box 9, Folder 8)

Anna Shaw (1847-1919) was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, immigrating with her family to the United States in 1851. Shaw devoted her life to the cause of women's rights despite earning a medical degree from Boston University, in 1855. She became a great orator on women’s suffrage and the longest-serving president (1904-1915) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

Other collections containing women’s right’s advocates include:

The papers of Esther Neira de Calvo (1890-1978). She was a prominent Panamanian educator, politician, and diplomat. The extensive collection of personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, speeches, and awards, provides a fascinating perspective on 20th century Panama and Inter-American cooperation, especially relating to women’s rights. Notable women in Neira de Calvo’s circle of acquaintances include Carrie Chapman Catt, Maria Ossa de Amador Guerrero, Matilde Obarrio de Mallet, Gabriela Mistral, Eva Peron, and Eleanor Roosevelt (see Esther Neira de Calvo papers GTM071217 and blog post by my colleague Scott Taylor,  “Esther Neira de Calvo: Women’s Rights Advocate”).

Two letters from British suffragette Beatrice Harradan (1864-1936), are included in the Sir Newman Flower papers (GTMGamms300, Box 1, Folder 3).

Beatrice Harradan

Beatrice Harradan letterBeatrice Harradan letter

Beatrice Harradan. Letter and signed photograph. Incomplete date.
(Sir Newman Flower papers, GTMGamms300, Box 1, Folder 3)

Records of the National Council of Catholic Women may be of interest. The organization was founded in March 1920, under the auspices of the U.S. Catholic bishops in recognition of the accomplishments of Catholic women’s organizations during World War I.  NCCW provided U.S. Catholic women a unified voice, a national service program, and the ability to reach out to each other through a national organization. Emphasis was given to the education of Catholic women so they could exercise their newfound civic duties granted by their right to suffrage in 1920 under the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (National Council of Catholic Women records, GTM840321). For more information about the history and activities of the NCCW, go to the website

Woman's suffrage ephemera
Woman's suffrage ephemera

Woman's suffrage ephemera

Women’s suffrage printed ephemera, circa 1910
(Janet Richards papers GTM540129, Box 2, Folder 6.2)

And finally, check out these related resources:

RightfullyHers  National Archives celebrates the centenary of the 19th Amendment with an exhibition of records, artifacts and photographs.  In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920 showcases Philadelphia-area collections highlighting women’s struggles leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment. In Her Own Right is a pilot project executed by members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL), with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

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Detail from Kress photo of Georgetown waterfront

February 7, 2020

Photograph album of Charles KressThis unassuming photo album hides some remarkable images of Georgetown from the early 1900s. The penny is included for scale. Recently acquired by the University Archives (gift of Stephen Fernie, 2019), the album belonged to one Charles Edward Kress, who entered Georgetown College in 1904 and departed in 1906 without graduating. Alongside Georgetown images are a few of his hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A selection appears below; if you want to see more of the collection of almost 100 photos, you can make an appointment to browse through the album in our Paul F. Betz Reading Room.

Click the images to enlarge them.

--Stephanie Hughes, Communications and Projects Coordinator, Booth Family Center for Special Collections

Georgetown waterfront in Kress photo album

"View along the Potomac, and the inspiring towers of Georgetown in the distance."


Georgetown College boys bathing in the Potomac

"Bathing in the Potomac."


Dormitory room at Georgetown

"Room, Georgetown University."


Photo of canoeing on the Potomac

"Canoeing on the Potomac."


Bridge over the Potomac at Georgetown

"Another view of the bridge at Georgetown."


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Detail of Brede Place

January 21, 2020

American writer Stephen Crane (1871-1900) lived from 1899 to 1900 at Brede Place, a manor house built in Sussex, England in the 14th century. Prior to moving to that location, he earned widespread attention for such classics as the novels Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and The Red Badge of Courage (1895), the poetry collection The Black Riders (1895), and the volume of short stories The Open Boat (1897). During his short life, he published a wide array of literary works in various formats. His biographer Paul Sorrentino described Crane as the “most innovative American writer of the 1890s.”[1]

As his work was warmly received in England, Crane and his companion Cora E. Taylor moved into Ravensbrook Villa in Oxted, Surrey in 1897.  Later, while Crane was covering the Spanish-American War in 1898 as a journalist in Cuba, Cora negotiated with Moreton Frewen, the owner of Brede Place in Sussex, England, to rent the home. Many private individuals had lived in the house over the centuries, but it had been recently uninhabited. Stephen and Cora rented the home in February 1899, and Stephen wrote furiously during his time at the house.  He produced a remarkable number of works during this period, including a full novel, stories, and newspaper articles.

At Brede Place, Stephen and Cora entertained many of the leading luminaries in English literature, including Joseph Conrad, Henry James and H.G. Wells.  However, Stephen’s past financial debts and his battle against tuberculosis and malaria had followed him to Brede Place. His health failing, he traveled in 1900 from Brede Place to a tuberculosis sanatorium at Badenweiler, Germany, where he died on June 5, 1900.

Ames W. Williams (1912-1991), who wrote Stephen Crane: A Bibliography in 1948, donated his personal papers to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.  In his gift, he included a set of photographs of Brede Place. One of those photographs is in Box 4 folder 128 of the Ames W. Williams Papers.  A note on the back of the photograph indicates that Crane wrote in the room above the entrance.   Williams made the photograph in December 1943.  This photograph measures approximately 7 ½” x 9 ½”.

Brede Place

11 more photographs of Brede Place are found in Box 1 folder 20.5,  five of which appear below. These photographs measure about 3” x 5”.  One of the photographs of the entrance to the house matches the photograph in box 4.  It appears that the larger photograph was reproduced from one of the smaller photographs.   Therefore, all of the photographs of Brede Place in the Ames W. Williams papers seem to date to December 1943.  Williams presumably made the photographs himself.

Brede Place  Brede Place

Brede Place

Brede Place


A fire ravaged Brede Place in 1979.  A restoration project from 1979 to 1983 rebuilt the house, and private individuals own the home again. The photographs of Brede Place from 1943 in the Ames W. Williams papers provide important visual evidence of the house before it was largely destroyed by fire.  The site remains the place of a brief but creative phase of Stephen Crane’s short life.

--Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist


[1] Paul Sorrentino, Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 2014), 362.

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 Job TitlePhoneEmail 
J. Leon Hooper, S.J.Department 
Adrian VaagenesDigital & Archival Services 
Amy PhillipsRare Materials 
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Detail from gingerbread recipe

November 1, 2019

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”-- Hippocrates

The season of sharing food (and ailments) is upon us, which inspired me to search “recipe” in our archival database. The latter obligingly yielded comestible results which it gives me pleasure to share with you along with the following “food for thought” —

Food and recipes for its preparation offer many insights about people because eating and drinking habits are markers of cultural difference. Food influences virtually every aspect of human life and as such provides the opportunity for a fascinating study of a “total social phenomenon."

Remedy for tertian feverA perusal of a historical recipe book may divulge much information: how food was prepared back in the day, what ingredients were available, methods of preservation (pickled, salted, canned, etc.). Family cookbooks often included recipes for ailments and household maintenance, which offer insight into lifestyle and contribute to our understanding of contemporary agriculture, economy and industry. (Click the image at left to see an 18th-century recipe for a cure for "Terzana," or tertian fever. The second part is the last page of a longer remedy of an unnamed ailment. (John M. Yoklavich collection of Italian Manuscripts GTMGamms102, Box 1 Folder 6.)

In the spirit of a season that in many cultures brings people together to celebrate their relationships with one another over food, you are invited to stop by to “sample” these delectables and make your own connections to the past.

Recommended fireside reading: Pilcher, Jeffrey M. The Oxford Handbook of Food History. Oxford University Press, 2012. Call # TX353.094 2012

Recipes for the hungry

❖     Recipes for Christmas cooking by Ann Batchelder (1885-1955), author of Ann Batchelder’s Cookbook (1941, revised 1949), containing 500 recipes for classic American meals. A native of Vermont, Batchelder was food editor for Ladies' Home Journal. (Lisa Sergio papers GTMGamms172, 1:6)

Batchelder Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes by Ann Batchelder (Click image to enlarge)

❖     Loughborough family recipe book, circa 1800s. A typical 19th-century album of cookery and household recipes including several for dye-making.  (Loughborough family papers GTMGamms274, 3:52)

❖     Richards family recipe book, circa 1800s. (Janet Richards papers GTM540129, 8:2-8:2.1)

❖     Early 20th-century recipe book (Tonita Ridgway Martin papers GTMGamms340, 4:4)

❖     Three 18th-century Italian recipes. The first, "Ricetta per fare l'Elisir Vite," is a recipe for an "elixir of life" containing aqua vitae, a strong Swedish alcohol. The second, "Ricetta Per comporre il Vino aromatico Wermut," is a recipe for vermouth. The third appears to be a recipe for making a sort of pie, perhaps an 18th-century version of pizza. (John M. Yoklavich collection of Italian Manuscripts GTMGamms102, Box 1 Folder 4

An elixir of life:

elixir of life

Making vermouth:

Vermouth recipe

A pizza recipe:

Pizza Recipe

Pizza Recipe

Remedies for the ailing

In addition to the tertian fever remedy above...

A fragment of the original 16th-century holograph manuscript of a recipe for preventing contraction of the plague. Louis Bossu published a description and transcription of the manuscript in 1913, entitled, "La Prophylaxie de la Peste en Barrois vers l'An 1500.” (William A. Zimmerman collection GTMGamms152, 1:3.  Printed booklet is available in the Rare Book Collections, Call # 92A5.)

Plague remedy

Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist




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