David Ruggles

The First Black-Owned Bookstore and the Fight for Freedom

Black abolitionist David Ruggles opened the first Black-owned bookstore in 1834, pointing the way to freedom—in more ways than one.
A woman on a conference call in front of a bookcase

The Timeless Art of the Bookcase Flex

Flaunting a massive collection of books did not start with work-from-home videoconferences.
Illustration of a woman walking with a book

The Library That Walked Across Belgium

What two scholar-artists learned from taking ninety books on a very, very long walk.
A few BabySitters Club Books

Do Series Books Turn Kids Off Adult-Approved Novels?

Goosebumps. The Baby-Sitters Club. Even Nancy Drew. In the 1990s, concerned educators wondered if series books were luring kids away from "literature."
Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson: All of Us Came from the Same Root

The poet and essayist Shayla Lawson, author of This Is Major, talks about the meaning of race, Black History Month, and her love for Lizzo.
Irving Browne, Iconoclasm and Whitewash. New York, 1886. Illustrated by the author. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

“Grangerization” Made Beautiful Books Even Better

But the eighteenth-century readerly hobby angered critics, who saw it as a “monstrous practice.”
Nicholas Black Elk

Wounded Knee and the Myth of the Vanished Indian

The story of the 1890 massacre was often about the end of Native American resistance to U.S. expansion. But that's not how everyone told it.
Cixin Liu

“To Reach the Pure Realm of the Imaginary:” A Conversation with Cixin Liu

The science fiction author Cixin Liu is best known for his mind-bending trilogy The Three Body Problem.
Scholars attending a lecture in the Ashmolean Museum

The Invention of the Archive

Seventeenth-century scholars were horrified by how much ancient knowledge had been lost when the monasteries dispersed.
Six book covers

Editors’ Picks: What We’re Reading

The history of Native resistance, the philosophy of love, the medicalization of madness, color in fairy tales, and dinosaur bones.