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Best of the Rauner Library Blog

Hartford Train Disaster - Leslie's February 12,  1887The Rauner Library blog started in 2009 and is now 12 years old. After the first year, we created an exhibit showcasing our favorite posts, so we thought it was about time to repeat this. With some 1,079 posts it’s pretty hard to pick favorites, or even to remember what we’ve blogged! So, rather than choosing ourselves, we decided to exhibit the all-time most popular of the blog posts. To do this, we looked at the 23 most popular posts. It turned out that this was a pretty eclectic mix. It also turned out that some of the pieces were simply too big to fit in the cases (looking at you Plantin Polyglot Bible!) or were just not very visually appealing despite being associated with an incredible story (cough, cough, Ada Blackjack collection). In the end, we were forced to winnow down the selection to represent just 14 of those top 23. 

The results are still pretty eclectic, but they’re all interesting. The topics run the gamut from a local train disaster, to an early George Washington document, to a stunningly beautiful Book of Hours produced in Florence in the late 15th century. 

We hope you enjoy this cabinet of curiosities that we’ve produced! The exhibit was curated by Peter Carini, College Archivist, and Scout Noffke, Rauner Library's Reference and Adminstrative Specialist. You can download a handlist of the exhibit items here.

Materials Included in the Exhibition


  1. S. Hill and Josiah Dunham, A front view of Dartmouth College: with the chapel, & hall. 1790. Iconography 399
  1. Will Carter, R: This letter R demonstrates the main principles behind the shaping of the design called Dartmouth: emphatically waisted strokes, with strong, square-ended serifs and clearly defined counters; perfect for incising on stone or wood. Originally conceived for some carved teak panels in the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, it was later adapted as a type-face. Hanover, N.H. : Will Carter, 1969. Broadside 969940.2
  1. Dartmouth Hall fire photos, Photo files
  1. Hartford Bridge Disaster, Photo files



  1. Horae beatae Mariae virginis ad usum Romanum. Catholic Church, 15th century. Codex 001054 
  1. Nathaniel C. Knapp, N.C. Knapp's Practical and Ornamental Chirography. 1830. Codex 003046
  1. George Washington, mathematical exercise, 1745. MS-1033, box 1, folder 1 
  1. Robert L. May, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” manuscript layout of text and illustrations. 1939. MS-630, box 1, folder 4
  1. Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát: of Omar Khayyám, the astronomer-poet of Persia. Translated by Edward Fitzgerald. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1872. Bindings 210
  1. Edward Gorey, The Gashlycrumb Tinies. New York, N.Y.: H. Hutter, 1979. Illus G675gas



  1. Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front. Shanghai: Aikesi Shudian. Rare Book PN6790.C6 X59 1930z
  1. Fugitive Slave Broadside. Broadside 000294
  1. Simon Pokagon, The Red Man’s Rebuke. Hartford, Michigan: C. H. Engle, 1893. Presses E58p