The Phillips Library is excited to participate in #ColorOurCollections week (1–5 February 2016).  This special collections “coloring fest” was inspired by the New York Academy of Medicine’s success with a coloring book based on materials in their collection put out a couple of years ago.

We encourage our followers to print out the images we post this week, color them in, snap a picture, and tweet them back to us!  We will try to entice you with multiple images from our eclectic collections…

Original rough design of the Peabody Museum of Salem's seal by F. W. Benson, 1867. MH 88, box 15, folder 9.

"The Reference Librarian" from Song of the Library Staff, illustration by Merle Johnson

A curious Junto of slandering elves, or list'ners seldom hear good of themselves. Cartoon by George Cruikshank, 1817.

Monstrosities of 1821. Cartoon by George Cruikshank, 1821.


Sketch of a pottery shop, by Edward Sylvester Morse, undated. E 2, box 20, folder 5.


"After Lunch" sketch by Edward Sylvester Morse, undated. E 2, box 20, folder 2.

"Plate XIV: The Earth" from an 1823 geometry/physics textbook by John Jackson. MSS 722.


Two page spread from a book of Japanese flower arrangement, undated.

Clipper Ship card advertising the Prima Donna, undated. MSS 470, box 8, folder 57.


Fratercula Arctica (Atlantic Puffin), drawing by Elliott Coues for his book "Key to North American Birds," undated. NH 12, box 5, envelope 6.


Collected Alchemy

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits, Peabody Essex Museum, 2015. Photo: Peter Vanderwarker.

With Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Sprits, we breathe the scents, we hear the echoes, we see visions of Cuba past and present.  In the commissioned works, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons  re-imagines Cuba’s sugar mills and rum distilleries, tracing the painful history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and offering a new cosmology for the future. The multimedia installation provokes questions relevant to us all: How do we experience the effects of history as individuals and as cultural communities? Read more


Logbook of the Elizabeth Leavitt, traveling to Havana from Boston, 1858.

When my fellow librarians and I became aware of this month’s theme for PEM/PM, we knew right away that the Phillips Library collections needed to be a part of it.  “Agridulce,” or “Bittersweet” in Spanish, is a perfect descriptor of the contentious sugar, slave, and rum trade prevalent in the Caribbean in the 17th through 19th centuries.  We have decided to bring a selection of materials from our collections which, as a whole, demonstrate the more bitter side of international trade through Salem. Read more