Arts & Culture / Mosaic / September 28, 2011

Knox archives prove a treasure trove

Hidden on second floor of the library are the Archives. Containing articles and artifacts from 2000 BCE to old Knox memorabilia, the Archives consist of some of Knox’s very own hidden treasures. The Knox Student brings to you some of the most interesting articles in the archives.

Cuneiforms. Hidden in a safe, away for the exposure of light and human hand lay Cuneiforms from 2000 BCE. These tiny stone tablets are one of the earliest forms of written expression. The Archives hold tablets that were once used as receipts given in exchange for the purchase of livestock such as sheep. They also preserve larger tablets that were once used in schools to teach children how to write.

The Navigator. A book that was used as a guide for riverboat pilots, it includes the changes that took place after the 1811 New Madrid Earthquake.

The Diderot. The Archives have the 1st edition of the French Encyclopedia whose main contributor was Denis Diderot. It was one of the first attempts to gather everything in a book and was published in France between 1751 and 1772.

1st Edition Hemingway. Famous for writing “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” the archives have 1st edition prints of Ernest Hemingway’s books. The collection also includes an original manuscript of a play made from “Hills Like White Elephants” and handwritten letters.

Netsuke. Invented in the 17th century, Netsukes were miniature sculptures used by kimono-wearing monks. Since kimono robes had no pockets, netsukes were used to hang personal belongings on. The archives have preserved a few from the 19th century that were hand carved in ivory.

Famulener Collection. Used by the art history and studio art classes, the Famulener collection consists of prints from 17th and 18th century artists. Some of the works represented in the collection include Wolgemut, Rembrandt, Goya, Durer, LaLanne and Kollowitz. See next week’s issue of The Knox Student for full coverage of this collection.

Thomas Jeffery’s Atlas was used at the time of the American Revolution. Jeffry’s collection includes maps of America and its original colonies that were printed in England. The last map dated is from 1776.

Founder’s Map (Roger’s Map). The founder’s map was used by Sylvanus Ferris, one of the founders of Knox College, to find his way from New York to the Midwest in 1831. Former President Roger Taylor was known to come see the map every time he would pay a visit to the archives.

The Book of Hours is an illustrated prayer book that was hand painted in 1450. Used by both the literates and illiterates, the Book of Hours was printed in Flemish (presently the Netherlands) and consists of illuminations as well as a piece of paper with the blood of a Saint.

The Euclid. One book that many people may be surprised to know is still being used by classes, is the Euclid. Printed in 1482, “The Elements of Geometry” is an old mathematics textbook that many students still use for reference in their math classes. The book also has pop-up illustrations in order to explain the geometric concepts in more detail.

Minah Rathore

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