Civil Leader Y.C. Hong Archive on View at Huntington Library

A recently opened exhibit at the Huntington Library explores the life and work of You Chung (Y.C.) Hong (1898-1977), one of the first Chinese Americans to pass the California Bar. An expert on U.S. immigration laws, Hong was a tireless advocate for equal rights of Chinese-Americans and worked to overturn the Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law signed by president Arthur in 1882 that prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers and severely restricted the entry of Chinese non-laborers. (The law … Continued

Unknown Beatrix Potter Story Discovered

Unknown Beatrix Potter Story Discovered - via Rare Finds on
via Victoria & Albert Museum

“The Tale of Kitty Boots”

A previously unknown Beatrix Potter story was discovered in the Victoria & Albert archive in London. The story will be published for the first time this fall with illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Two years ago, Penguin publisher Jo Hanks found mention of the unedited story, entitled “The Tale of Kitty Boots,” in a letter that Potter wrote to her publisher in 1914.  A search through the Victoria & Albert archive eventually uncovered the story as well as a rough sketch of Kitty-in-Boots.

Roald Dahl: a family builds a love of books

Our Roald Dahl collection started entirely by accident, but that’s often the case when collecting books, isn’t it? When I married my husband, I had a son from a previous relationship. As is expected, the two hadn’t quite found the moment that clicked between them. My son was preschool age and generally regarded my husband as the tall, odd man that fed and bathed him. My husband was (is) a tall, odd man who wanted nothing more than to lavish … Continued

Elvis Memorabilia Rocks Graceland Auction

Elvis Memorabilia: 1957 cropped photograph of Elvis from a publicity still for Jailhouse Rock. Source: The Library of Congress.
A 1957 cropped photograph of Elvis from a publicity still for Jailhouse Rock. Source: The Library of Congress.

In 1956, Elvis Presley hip-thrust his way onto American record charts and television sets, making his silver-screen debut in Love Me Tender and appearing on programs like The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show no less than 11 times. Perhaps the most thrilling place to catch a glimpse of the King that year was live in concert: Presley enthralled crowds in nearly 80 cities across the country, securing the sexy baritone’s place in the hearts of fans forever.

To celebrate Presley’s arrival on the entertainment scene 60 years ago, the Graceland Mansion hosted a series of events including an auction and birthday party that will extend through this weekend. (The singer would have been 81 today, January 8). (more…)

Literatura de Cordel with Juan Felipe Herrera

Lampiões by Alexandre José Felipe Cavalcanti d’Albuquerque Sabaó Saboia

The man who graces the front cover of our winter issue is US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. The Library of Congress honored the California-born poet with that title in June of last year, and since that time, Herrera has been active on the LOC’s website, editing the many submissions to his web-based epic poem, La Familia (The Family), but also showcasing some of the library’s resources in El Jardin (The Garden). (more…)

The Man with the Golden Typewriter

A golden typewriter? Yes, when Ian Fleming finished writing Casino Royale in 1952 (published in 1953), he rewarded himself by purchasing a gold-plated typewriter. The novel was such a success that thirteen more James Bond books followed, as well as two works of non-fiction and the famous children’s story, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. The Man with the Golden Typewriter is the name of a new book edited by Fleming’s nephew, Fergus Fleming, which contains the author’s “James Bond” letters, that is, the correspondence … Continued

Theodore Roethke Museum Seeks Owners of “Open House”

The Theodore Roethke Musuem in Saginaw, Michigan is planning a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Open House, Roethke’s first book of poetry, in March 2016. The Museum wants to hear from any and all owners of the 1,000 hand-numbered copies of Open House, which was first published in 1941. The nonprofit group is launching an ownership census of Open House and combining it with a storytelling effort to hear about the journeys each of the books … Continued

Join the BiblioWorks Reading Corner Fundraiser!

Clarita loves to be read to! Can you help us build reading corners in the libraries in Bolivia?
Clarita loves to be read to! Can you help us build reading corners in the libraries in Bolivia?

“Clarita likes to sit on the librarian’s lap and listen to stories while she follows the text and pictures with her eyes. After the story is over she plays with games, while recalling words that she saw in the book. Clarita has become a favorite among all of the volunteers that come to Pampa Aceituno to work with our organization. She learned to read at the age of four, something that would have never happened without the support of the Reading Corners program.” read more at

A Reading Corner is a space in the library that is dedicated to children ages 4 to 8. These areas are intended to be a comfortable area with a rug, pillows, games, books, and other learning tools for young children.

BiblioWorks is raising funds to create these cozy corners in each of their libraries ever since the Reading Corner in Pampa Aceituno has gone over so well with the children and librarians! (more…)

Victor Hugo’s Plea for the Poor

As anyone who has read or seen Les Misérables will know, a country’s poor are roughly treated and greatly in need of the charity of fellow citizens. Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, served a long prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his hungry family. He is changed not by serving time but by the kindness of a bishop who overlooks another theft, which gives Valjean both hope and enough money to amend his life. Like … Continued

2nd Annual Soup Showdown Honors Willa Cather, Warms Community

The Troll Garden - Willa Cather
The Troll Garden – Willa Cather

Soup fosters a good story, and was an integral narrative element for Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Willa Cather (1873-1947). In Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), two French missionaries arrive in New Mexico to work with the locals. On Christmas Eve, Father Latour enjoys a soup prepared by his friend Father Vaillant, exclaiming: “A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition.There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.” The soup recalls his homeland,  a hearty symbol of French civilization. In The Song of the Lark (1915), a piano teacher measures the success of a meal on the reception of the broth: “[Harsanyi] had a theory that if the soup went well, the dinner would go well; but if the soup was poor, all was lost. To-night he tasted the soup and smiled . . .” (more…)