Two women reading using a metronoscope to help focus their reading in the 1950s.

From the Archives: Reading Accelerators

May 4, 2018

Happy Reading Day! Need help studying? Maybe try one of these “reading accelerators” like a metronoscope (in use in the above photo), controlled reader, or tachitoscope, which were used to increase reading retention rates. Officially, the reading accelerator was not invented until 1957, but these 1954 Reading Class students seem...

Walter Orr Roberts as a young man, seen looking through a telescope

From the Archives: Walter Orr Roberts

May 3, 2018

Walter Orr Roberts (1915-1990) was a renowned astrophysicist whose pioneering work on the sun's corona produced data on the sun's temperature, brightness and atomic makeup, and demonstrated the link between solar flares and weather patterns on Earth. In 1940, as a graduate student at Harvard University, Roberts moved to Colorado's...

Photograph of the Alps by Harry F. Reid, 1892

From the Archives: the Glacier Collection

May 2, 2018

The Roger G. Barry Archive at National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has over 50,000 photographs of glaciers. From glass plate negatives taken in 1890 to chromogenic prints taken in 2017. These documents allow for landscape and glacier observations giving scientists opportunities for discovery and analysis. It’s also a...

May Day Fete 1919 cropped

From the Archives: May Day

May 1, 2018

In 1911, the women of the University of Colorado had decided the time was right for a major campus building of their own, one with parlors, bedrooms, a dining room and a gymnasium. To raise money, the CU Women’s League planned a spring festival called the May Day Fete. A...

"Are Parents People" from Paramount Pictures, old sheet music

Silent Film at CU

April 30, 2018

Silent Film is more popular now than it has been since before the invention of talkies, and the Front Range is one of the hottest parts of the country for celebrating the tremendous art and music of these treasured parts of cinematic history. We hope you had a chance to...

The 1914 Pi Beta Phi Chapter at CU Boulder.

From the Archives: Pi Beta Phi

April 29, 2018

Yesterday was the anniversary of the national Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. The 12 founders had the vision to form the first secret society for women patterned after men’s groups at a time when...

A train on Georgetown Loop trestle near the turn of the century, photo taken on a large glass plate.

From the Archives: Glass Plate Photography

April 28, 2018

Over the years since photography was invented in 1839, the generally accepted date of "practical photography, photographer have used any number of materials to fix an image from salt paper printing to modern day pixels. Many of these experiments have proven to be exceptionally challenging to preserve. Lachlan McLean, for...

Handwritten Italian in the days before the printing press

Il Decamerone: an Italian classic in Special Collections

April 26, 2018

Printed in 1555, this book was brought to the Preservation unit for a new enclosure, but, while here, we discovered a beautiful handwritten page in the middle of the binding. Talk about penmanship goals! It’s even more impressive when you consider that the book is only around 5” tall! Want...

1871 Ethiopian Magic Scroll is made of very tightly bound goat skin and handwritten in red and black ink

From the Archives and Preservation: 1547 Land Deed

April 25, 2018

This handwritten land deed from the 16th century came through the Preservation unit to have a new custom box created. The 1547 deed for parcels of land in England was sealed with a seal as big as our Conservator’s hand. Want a closer look? Materials like this are available to...

Librarian Adam Lisbon shows how a 1700s map of Kyoto can be aligned with Google Maps.

300 Year Old Books Illuminate Japan’s Relationship with the Environment

April 24, 2018

Japan’s relationship with the environment is not as harmonious as many may believe. For one, the island nation’s susceptibility to earthquakes and tsunamis has long set a backdrop for an adversarial relationship with nature. Simultaneously, man made disasters like Minamata disease (mercury poisoning) challenge the idea of a people living...

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