Manuscripts, Documents and Ephemera

(a small selection).  


[BULLETS]. Speer Handloaders Manual. Volume One (all published). Lewiston, Idaho: Speer, 1954. ¶ An irresistible specimen of 1950s commercial book design. A manual giving handloading instructions and loading data for rifle cartridges. Profusely illustrated throughout with reproductions of photographs and diagrams. 

Moncrif "Les Chats" (1727)

[African-Americana]. Mose Skinner's Grand Peace Jubilee and Jewsharp Oratorio (1869). One of several 'Mose Skinner' pieces created by James E. Brown, and recorded in Wright. In parody of Grant's line, "Let us have peace," the wrapper shows dogs gnawing over a carcass with the caption, "Let us have piece." A rare tract; most copies were simply discarded, although the work remains important for our understanding of the United States Reconstruction Era. 


The Farmers' Calendar, or the New York, Vermont & Connecticut Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1815. Almanacs were a staple of the printer's trade for centuries, with some editions being printed in hundreds of thousands of copies. Purchasers ranged from the hard-scrabble farmer to the prosperous proprietor and everyone in between. "All our domestic operations are carried on by the aid of this daily manual; and we do not stir from our firesides without running over the long thin columns of days, sun's declination, time of rising and setting, or without a wishful glance at the hazardous assurance of the bright moon-light nights, and pleasant days." (Atlantic Magazine, August 1, 1824, page 298)

YORKSHIRE INDENTURE (1619). Manuscript on parchment. ¶ An extraordinary 1619 English "Demise for 3000 Years" between Alan & Roger Carr, and Thomas Brayshaie. An English "Demise" was the transfer of an estate by lease, especially for a fixed period, implying a covenant "for quiet enjoyment." The conveyance or transfer of an estate, either in fee for life or for years, most commonly the latter. A Demise is basically a "lease", or the right to exclusive occupation for a set period. Such documents are important historically and as artifacts of the English legal process.

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