Diderot, Encyclopediephilosophes, who advocated secular thought, tolerance, skepticism, and the advancement of science. Because of its progressive and critical stance, the Encyclopedie was vigorously opposed by the government and conservative churchmen. In 1759 it was formally condemned, and permission to publish was denied for several years.
A seventeenth-century antiphonary, an illuminated manuscript containing the choral parts of the Divine Office. It consists of 70 vellum leaves folded to 140 folio pages and is dated 1627, a rather late date for illuminated manuscripts. The first page is half framed by a Venetian floral and gold border, and decorative initials, many heightened with gold, appear throughout the text. It is housed in the rare book room in an elaborate wooden box, probably constructed at a later date. It was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. C. Miller, who also gave Reed a collection of best sellers ranging from the nineteenth through the mid twentieth centuries.
Book That Influenced Shakespeare
Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1587, three volumes in two, in the rare book room. John Hooker continued this second edition as editor after Holinshed's death in 1580. Hooker and his colleagues wrote so freely of what were virtually contemporary events that the privy council ordered extensive revisions after publication. This copy is the expurgated version. These chronicles were a valuable source of historical information and plots to Elizabethan dramatists, most notably Shakespeare.
Best Holographic Discovery
The Charles F. Adams collection, a book gift of some 1,450 volumes donated to the library in 1940-41, was found to contain holographic letters and manuscripts by authors and other notables. Letters by Samuel Clemens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ambrose Bierce, Eugene Field, James Whitcomb Riley, Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow are among the most interesting documents in the collection. Found in the rare book room. One letter by Bierce, undated, written to the editor of Overland magazine, reveals the frustration of an author struggling to make a living: "I . . . repeatedly declined [to write for the magazine] unless paid $50 for anything I might write. I would not write ten lines for any magazine for less. . . . anyone who has passed the ABC of his art would be a goose to accept less, unless necessity compelled him. It does not compel me."
A Further Range, by Robert Frost, 1936, inscribed by the author, "For the library of Reed College by the Pacific from Robert Frost by the Atlantic."
Sleepers Awake, by Kenneth Patchen, 1946, #14 of a limited edition of 75, autographed by the author and given to the Reed library by Henry Miller on March 28, 1947, with the inscription "For Reed College Library, to make Patchen better known in his own country."
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.
Most Popular Thesis
The Doyle Owl: A Study of Ritual at Reed, an anthropology thesis by Angel Dawn Angelina Dawson, 1983.