Reading Room's blog

The Peter Hujar Collection: A Self-Portrait in Fragments

This is a guest post by Eric Dean Wilson, writer, educator, and doctoral student in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

I’d spent two weeks in the Morgan Library & Museum Reading Room when María Molestina offered to take me to see where they store the Peter Hujar Collection. It’s a humbling experience to see spread before you a life in boxes.

Adventures in Curatorship

This is a guest post by Timothy Gress, currently an undergraduate at Manhattan College.

I first came to the Morgan Library & Museum to view the exhibition I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson in 2017. During my initial visit I was struck not only by this carefully curated exhibition, but also by works on display in J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library—especially a first edition of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Little did I know that I would soon have the opportunity to write exhibition labels for these same exhibit cases as part of the Morgan’s Treasures from the Vault series.

My Adventures at the Morgan

This is a guest post by Abraham Samuel Shiff, who studies historical topics and has published on William Shakespeare and William Blake.

When I reached retirement age in 2006, I was free to return to graduate studies full time. I enrolled in the history department of Brooklyn College and also studied at the Graduate Center. In a course on the history of science at the Graduate Center, I was assigned to report on an Elizabethan mathematician who was the first to publish in English on the radical theory of Copernicus.

Marguerite Duprez Lahey: "The World’s Best Bookbinder"

This is a guest post by Saira Haqqi, book and paper conservator at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Every book conservator wonders about the past lives of the books she works on, and I am no exception. It is particularly intriguing when the book bears the marks of an individual craftsperson rather than an industrial bindery.

Bringing the World to America: Eleanor Franklin Egan (1879–1925)

This is a guest post by Sharmishtha Roy Chowdhury, a writer and historian, specializing in modern world history and modern European history.

I came to the Morgan Library & Museum in search of Eleanor Franklin Egan, a forgotten writer of the First World War. While preparing my book manuscript for the First World War, Anticolonialism and British India, 1914–1924 (Routledge, forthcoming), I saw a reference to writings by Eleanor Franklin Egan (1879–1925).

Serendipity and the Archives

This guest post is by Susie J. Pak, an Associate Professor in the Department of History at St. John’s University (New York).

When I began working on my dissertation at the Morgan Library & Museum in June 2001, researchers still entered from the 36th Street entrance, and the librarians sat in the center of the Reading Room at a raised oval desk. By the time the Piano renovation was completed, I had finished my dissertation, and I returned to the Morgan to the newly modernized Reading Room, where I spent many days for several years until my book, Gentlemen Bankers, went to press in 2012.

Celebrity in the Eighteenth Century

This guest post is by Sophia Natasha Sunseri, a Doctoral Candidate in the English department at the Graduate Center (CUNY).

The collections at the Morgan Library & Museum span a rich and diverse spectrum, from the ancient Mesopotamian period to the contemporary. As a Graduate Archival Fellow working in the Sherman Fairfield Reading Room, my attention was specifically drawn to the Morgan’s collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century “extra-illustrated” books: texts that were enhanced by the inclusion of letters, manuscripts, prints, drawings, and ephemera.