Imprints of the 18th and 19th Centuries
Special Collections area of University Library
Curated by Susan Hanson and Alan Boehm
Over the past year, the Special Collections area has acquired a number of rare and historic books and other materials through the generosity of donors as well as through purchases and by other avenues. Valuable as research resources and for educational purposes, these items allow us various and vivid glimpses of history. Some provide perspectives on the early circumstances of Tennessee, others help represent the mental world of certain eighteenth-century readers, and others still suggest the day-to-day activities of the nineteenth-century schoolroom
Included in this exhibition are items that themselves have a history. Three of the books on display were originally owned by William Douglas. Douglas was a Presbyterian minister who emigrated from Scotland to America in the middle of the eighteenth century. Around 1752 he established a boarding school for the sons of prosperous planters and wealthy landowners in Goochland County, Virginia. Between 1752 and 1757, Thomas Jefferson boarded with Douglas and attended his school, learning there the rudiments of Latin and Greek. Although it cannot be verified, it is nonetheless possible that Jefferson read the very copy of Samuel Walker's The Christian on display in the exhibition
Other new items in this exhibition help document the early history of Tennessee. Of particular note is an extraordinarily rare pamphlet (only four copies are known to exist). Cholera, as it appeared in Nashville in 1849, 1850, 1854 and 1866 , written by physician W.K. Bowling and published under the auspices of the Medical College of the University of Nashville. It was issued in 1866 during an outbreak of cholera that eventually killed over 1,000 people in Nashville.
We hope you enjoy this online sampling of items on display and we encourage you to visit Special Collections to view the entire exhibition.
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