Themes and Subjects

Stamps and devices in the French Revolution Collection

As part of the terms of our “rapid cataloging” project for the French Revolution Collection, we catalogers do not typically describe ornamentation on the pamphlets. Title vignettes as well as head- and tail-pieces tend to go unmentioned, in part because…

Of Pamphlets and Profanity

It is a poorly kept secret in Hollywood that profanity and toilet humor can, in a pinch, substitute for wit. If the French Revolution Collection (FRC) is any indication, this secret was well known during the time of the French…

Revolutionary Expense Reports

On 21 nivose an III (10 January 1795), not long after the end of the Reign of Terror, the Convention nationale passed a law dictating that all the représentants en mission furnish a report of their activities, appropriations and expenditures…

Heads will roll: the trial and execution of Louis XVI

For the past few months, I have shifted gears to work exclusively on cataloging the Louis XVI Trial and Execution Collection. The Louis collection overlaps with the French Revolutionary Collection (FRC) in that it contains pamphlets from the same time…

Financial subject analysis

Taking a look at the subject headings that have come up so far in the project reveals a heavy bias towards financial matters. Anyone reading the blog posts up top this point is likely to be unsurprised by this. As…

Pamphlets as artifacts

On a basic level, handling a piece of history dating back to the 1790s or earlier is awe-inspiring. These pamphlets were not necessarily intended to stand the test of time—they were printed and distributed rapidly, and much of the content…

What is a book prospectus?

The Collection of publishers’ prospectuses, catalogs, and other materials at the Newberry Library contains, not unsurprisingly, a large number of book prospectuses.  A book prospectus is a description or advertisement with which a bookseller or publisher hopes to generate interest…

Off with their heads!

I’ve been surprised by what I see as I leaf through the French Revolution Collection (FRC).  I was hoping to find a lot of strong feelings on whether the King and Mrs. King should lose their heads.  There are some,…

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