Sandra Carpenter's blog

A "Free Woman" Lost and Found

Group of handwritten letters arranged like a fan.

The shelves of most rare book and manuscript libraries contain their fair share of mysterious items of unidentified origin or authorship, residing in obscurity beside works by the famous and celebrated as a lingering challenge to contemporary catalogers and researchers.

Welcome Home Brother

Without knowing its underlying historical context, a viewer is likely to find this print from the Morgan’s collection bafflingly obscure. Once you learn it was published in London during the dark days of the Great Plague of 1665–1666, however, the meaning and significance of “Welcome Home Brother” begins to come into focus and strike an uncomfortably contemporary note.