Two pages from a baby book from the 1920s

The Long-Lost Ritual of Baby Books

Mothers used to documented their infant children's milestones—first steps, first smile—in specially made books. They're amazing historical documents.
The cover of the first edition of Slan by A.E. van Vogt

The Self-Styled Sci-Fi Supermen of the 1940s

Way before there were stans, there were slans. Too bad about their fascist utopian daydreams!
The cover of Exodus by Leon Uris

How Americans Were Taught to Understand Israel

Leon Uris's bestselling book Exodus portrayed the founding of the state of Israel in terms many Americans could relate to.

Resistance through Silence in Camus’s The Plague

"On this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences."
Dr. Emile Coue, 1923

The Self-Help Mantra That Got Better and Better

Every day, in every way, the pop psychology of Emile Coué conquered 1920s Britain.
Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins: Exploring the Multitudes within American Blackness

In her new book, Wandering in Strange Lands, Morgan Jerkins takes a deeply personal look at the effects of the Great Migration.
Illustration: An illustration from The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/11305222256

Meet Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective

Fictional detectives usually reflect conservative values. But the first "lady detective" story written by a woman broke boundaries.
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.