Category Archives: Book Collections

Interview with Amy Pirkle, Book Artist and author of Smoke (2008)

Interview with: Amy Pirkle, Book Artist & University of Alabama Instructor in the Honors College, New College, and the Department of Art How would you describe book arts to a layperson? For me, book arts is a broad field that … Continue reading

Hidden artistry: fore-edge painting

By: Allyson Holliday, W.S. Hoole Library Complex Copy-Cataloger “Old” books hold a special place in my heart as the complex copy-cataloger for the Hoole Library. I have a deep appreciation for decorative publishers’ bindings that show the artistry that has … Continue reading

Two Kinds of Santas!

Both on publishers’ bindings, and both in glorious green cloth. The Old Santa Fe Trail (Macmillan Co., 1898, from the Hoole Richard Minsky Collection) and A Captured Santa Claus (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905, from the Wade Hall Collection of Southern … Continue reading

Great Literature in Different Packages: Moby-Dick

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Armed Services Edition New York : Council on Books in Wartime, 1944 AC 1 .A7 G-209 Moby Dick Comic. Authorized Edition New York : Dell Pub. Co., 1956. Hoole Library Harold E. Selesky Comic Collection … Continue reading

Alabama’s Storyteller, Kathryn Tucker Windham

We recently said goodbye to renowned storyteller, author, photographer, and radio personality, Kathryn Tucker Windham. She will be greatly missed, but she will live on in our hearts and through her stories. The Hoole Library houses over twenty different works, … Continue reading

Margaret Armstrong, Myrtle Reed, and those Purple Books!

Six purple bindings designed by Margaret Armstrong, all from the Minsky Collection at the Hoole Special Collections Library, and all in Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books!

Favorite Seasonal Publishers’ Binding: Halloween Edition

If Tam O’Shanter’d had a wheel : and other poems and sketches by Grace Duffie Boylan Binding design by Blanche McManus (Signed binding: B.Mc.M) New York, E.R. Herrick, 1898. pba02560, from the Richard Minsky Collection, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library … Continue reading


Among Hoole’s many fascinating treasures is this slim manuscript volume – eight pages of hand written text, which came to us as part of the T.P. Thompson Collection. The detail above gives us the words for rain, wind, sun, moon, … Continue reading

Remembering Isaac Hayes: Cooking with Heart & Soul

The legendary musician and personality Isaac Hayes passed away this week. An accomplished musician, singer, and songwriter, he is probably best remembered for his Oscar-winning song, Theme from Shaft (Hayes was the first African-American Oscar winner for any category outside … Continue reading

Sinking Ships and (Relative) Ancient History

One hundred and forty-four years ago, on June 19, 1864, the CSS Alabama was sunk at the end of a fierce naval engagement with the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Cherbourg in France. The Alabama had docked in Cherbourg … Continue reading