CyPix: A 19th century view on books and reading

Letters to Young Ladies, by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, Hartford : Wm. Watson, 1835. (Special Collections LC1441 .S58 1835)

Letters to Young Ladies, by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, Hartford : Wm. Watson, 1835. (Special Collections LC1441 .S58 1835)

When intercourse with living becomes irksome, or insipid, summon to your side the departed spirits of the mighty dead. Would you think it an honor to be introduced in the presence of princes and prelates, or to listen to the voice of Plato or Socrates? Close the door of your reading-room, and they congregate around you. (page 94)

April 23rd is World Book and Copyright Day which is a day to “to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them” (UNESCO).

Above is one of the books in Special Collections – an 1835 set of “letters” to young women, advising them on a variety of topics. The image above links to Mrs. Sigourney’s thoughts on books and reading. Here in Special Collections we acquire books that are rare and/or support the teaching and research areas of Iowa State University. To find books in Special Collections, use the library’s Quick Search and change the drop-down box for “all items” to “Books and more.” Once your search results appear, filter the list by choosing “PARKS Special Collections” under “collection” on the left side of the screen.

To see more of our blog posts on our book collection, choose “rare books” from the categories drop-down on the right of this page.

Happy reading!

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