Constructed Families are everywhere. With or without real kinship ties, we build comfort groups that act like family: military organizations especially transcend kinship, but so do extended households and estates, business relationships, and circles of friendship. Reading and study can also create networks of friends that can function like families.
This illuminated sheepskin document records a grant by Duke Francesco Sforza to Giovanni Merlo and his descendants to buy and sell goods in Milan, a right of enormous value to a commercial family. [Essay 49]
Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan
Grant of Commercial Rights
Milan, September 7, 1452
Newberry Library Associates Fund, 1969
A family device, or emblem, consists of a title or motto, an image, and a short, satirical or moralizing poem. This emblem book was the first by a woman writer, and also the first devoted entirely to Christian imagery. [Essay 95]
Georgette de Montenay
Emblemes, ou devises chrestiennes [Emblems, or Christian devices]
Lyons: Jean Marcorelle, 1571
Henry Probasco Collection, 1890
This text defines the roles of maids, mistresses, and other household workers, and provides a glimpse of English servants’ place in the extended middle class family. [Essay 99]
The Compleat Servant-Maid; or, The Young Maiden’s and Family’s Daily Companion.
London: Edw. Midwinter, 1729.
General Fund, 1958
Case H 5248 .188
This map is an example of hand-drawn, large-scale estate plans which illustrate the life of the extended family of a rural estate. [Essay 85]
A Plan of Miss Hall’s Estate at Hazzeldon nigh Hartlepool in the County of Durham 1758
County of Durham, England, 1758
McNally Fund, 1988
VAULT oversize MS Maps8C G5754.H47 1758 R5
This copy of an official publication, which lists names of British officers who served during the American Revolution, is heavily annotated by its original owner, General Alexander Leslie. He provides information about his brothers-in-arms. [Essay 4]
A List of All the Officers of the Army: viz. the General and Field Officers; the Officers of the Several Troops, Regiments, Independent Companies, and Garrisons.
London: War-Office, 1781.
Ruggles Fund, 2004
VAULT Ruggles 438
William Apes was an American Indian intellectual, author, and political activist. This volume is his autobiography, the first published by an American Indian. [Essay 21]
A Son of the Forest : the experience of William Apes, a native of the forest: comprising a notice of the Pequod tribe of Indians
New York: The Author, 1829
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
Ayer 251 .P4571 A6 1829
This bamboo roll records songs created on such themes as courtship, kinship, nature, food, hunting, and funeral and social customs. Their pre-Spanish writing is read vertically, from bottom to top. The Newberry has a large and notable collection of Philippine materials. [Essay 29]
Songs in the Hanunoo Mangyan Dialect and Texts in Tagbanua
Mindoro, Philippines, 1904/1905
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
VAULT oversize Ayer MS 1726
In this letter from Paris, the as-yet-unpublished Ernest Hemingway regaled his mentor Sherwood Anderson with tales of friendships in the expatriate literary community: “Gertrude [Stein] and me are just like brothers.” [Essay 47]
Letter to Sherwood Anderson
Paris, March 9, 1922
Gift of Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, 1947
Midwest MS Anderson Box 21 Folder 1068