Reading Room's blog

Time Traveling Through Eleven Centuries

After finishing my master’s thesis in the history of art and medieval history and working at and with different European museums, I wanted to gain more knowledge about other international collections, their history as well as how their art is handled. My interaction with the Morgan Collection started a few years ago in Germany.

Maria Knox in India

This is a guest post by Sam Bussan, a PhD student in the Department of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

I spent this summer at the Morgan working with the Literary & Historical Manuscripts Department to catalog the Maria Knox Letters. This collection of sixty-three letters, almost exactly two centuries old, records the life of a British family in India from 1816 to 1822.

Transforming The Buccaneers for the Stage

This is a guest post by Dawn-Elin Fraser, Associate Arts Professor, Head of Spoken Voice and Speech for the New Studio on Broadway at NYU.

As an Associate Arts Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, I teach in the New Studio on Broadway, where our students focus on both musical theater and heightened text. Our student body is talented, eager, and hungry for opportunity. It is also a student population that is overwhelmingly female identified, though the cannon of heightened text (particularly period centered) is primarily written by men with male characters at the heart of the narrative. I wanted to do something to shift that.

Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, the Baskett "Vinegar Bible," and the Forgotten Art of Extra-Illustration

This is a guest post by Sean Nortz, a PhD student in the Department of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

I was very pleased to be granted a CUNY Graduate Center fellowship this summer to work on the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection of extra-illustrated books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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).