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New Acquisitions Week, Day Two: Self-Portraits in Image and Word

We’re celebrating the beginning of a new fiscal year with a week’s worth of new acquisitions from the first half of 2012.  Two newly acquired selections will be featured in a post every day this week.  All of these amazing resources will be available for today’s scholars, and for future generations of researchers in the Rubenstein Library!

  • Quintilian, Institutiones Oratoriae: This 1482 incunable (or book printed in Europe before 1501) printed in Tarvisio, Italy, is a rare edition of one of the great Renaissance guides to rhetoric.  The remarkable copy now at Duke is unique, bearing the extensive handwritten annotations of a 16th-century scholar, Augustino Pistoia (or Agostino da Pistoia).  In addition, Pistoia drew two self-portraits at the end of the text, and noted the date on which he finished reading the work: “On the 20th of October [?] 1583 I Augostino Pistoia have read this book by Quintiliano under the teaching of mag. Pompeo Gilante my master/ 1583 1584.”
Self-portrait by Augustino Pistoia, in Quintilian, Institutiones Orationae (1482).
  • Edith Ella Baldwin Papers: Born in 1870 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Ms. Baldwin was an artist, craftswoman, and author.  Frustrated in her early attempts to publish her writings, Baldwin decided instead to keep one copy of each of her works for posterity, making a binding for each herself.  The collection consists of 38 unpublished volumes of stories, novels, poetry, lecture notes, and family history, including a novel about sex education for women, diary excerpts describing her visits with painter Mary Cassatt in 1890s Paris, and copies of letters from her aunt, Ellen Frances Baldwin, dating from 1848 to 1854. Edith Baldwin’s writings tend to cover timeless themes of religion and love, although many compositions feature contemporary issues such as automobiles, labor strikes, and women’s rights. The Baldwin Papers add to the rich body of materials documenting women’s literary expression in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

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