Diamonds in the Rough


Alice in Wonderland Book
Sometimes when you are working on a large project for archives in a different area of the library you find diamonds in the rough where you least expect them. This edition of, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass”, was a surprise find in the Loyce Adams Graduate Reading Room here on the 4th floor of the Newton Gresham Library.

There is no visible publishing date but an inscription on the inside cover reads, “May Adelaide’s birth days to come be as full of pleasure as was her 10th, Peyton Dec 7th 1913.”

The ten year old Adelaide mentioned in the inscription grew up to be the wife of S. Calhoun Wilson, Jr. who was the son of S. Calhoun Wilson, Sr.

S. Calhoun Wilson, Sr. was the Head of the Sam Houston State Teachers College Department of Agriculture from 1910-1939. S. C. Wilson, Sr. is credited with growing the Sam Houston State Department of Agriculture to one of the largest agriculture departments in the South at the time. He was known as, “The father of vocational agriculture in Texas”. He was also responsible for acquiring large amounts of aid for his department and the university in 1917 under the Smith-Hughes Act.

This book is now a part of the S. C. Wilson Collection in the SHSU University Archives.

Terrible Title Thursday: Uneasy Lies the Head


We have a feature on our Tumblr ( that highlights terrible titled and wonderfully weird books every Thursday. It has been quite successful so we thought we would showcase it on the blog as well.

Today’s entry can be found in our Special Collections department. It is called Uneasy Lies the Head by Charles W. Berry. The work is unpublished so the dealer decided to subtitle it Unpublished Work on 1, 268 Ways to Die. The book is a listing of monarchs and great men and how they died. The work contains typed and handwritten manuscripts accompanied by illustrations of some of the great leaders and their method of death – some with gory detail. The book also contains an introductory letter from Berry to friends concerning his dinner parties. The genesis of the work may have come from a sort of dinner club, so maybe it is not so random. It is strange and entertaining work either way. Significantly, the work was in the famous Jenkins bookshop during a fire, and has smoke damage to the outside cover and spine.

Most of the leaders died in battle or were poisoned. However, Theodebert I, King of Austrasia (which is a real place), had the unfortunate luck to die by falling tree. Poor fella.


Thomason Rare Book Collection: Geese Flying South


This gallery contains 3 photos.

This is an interesting book that has gone overlooked amongst our Criminal Justice rare book collection. It a book of Texas poetry by Ernest E. Kirkpatrick. You may be asking yourselves “why is a book about poetry in a collection … Continue reading

Painted Fans of Japan



Check out this miniature book showcasing fifteen Noh- drama fans called Painted Fans of Japan; fifteen Noh-drama masterpieces by Reiko Chiba. Noh or Nogaku is the major form of classical musical drama in Japan. The book comes along with selected verses to accompany the fans. Enjoy!

This item can be found in the Thomason Room at Newton Gresham Library.