Friday, August 15, 2014

A Treatise on Madness, and a Four-Leaf Clover

Generally on Fridays, I spend time on the History of Maryland Medicine, which involves poking through the artifacts, or working up in the stacks. I am working on a big project, see here, and I need to fill 172 linear feet of bookshelves in the Krause Reading Room. Cabinet (1)

So I headed up to the stacks to measure, post sticky notes in bright green, make notes on length and select a range of books. I am working to make sure there’s a mix of topics, bindings, eras, and other aesthetic and medical concerns.

As I was poking around, I pulled out a little book, no bigger than a sheet of paper. Its covers were missing and so was its title page. As I leafed through the book, I realized that it was William Battie’s Treatise on Madness, originally published in 1758 or so. IMG_2249

Imagine my surprise as I noticed something stuck between the pages and realized that it was a huge four-leaf clover!IMG_2247

Who left it there? How long has it been there? Why did they leave it?

There was something so poignant about finding it.

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