The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.
If you are researching the papers of Methodist minister and missionary Thomas Ellis Reeve, Sr. and his wife, Etha Mills Reeve, you might be a little surprised by the contents of Box 22. The Reeves were assigned to the Methodist Episcopal Congo Mission (South) at Wembo-Nyama, Tunda and Minga (1921-1929). Thomas Reeve wrote a book, In Wembo-Nyama’s Land, detailing his experiences in the Congo—a book which was quite critical of the colonial Belgian government. When the Reeves returned to the United States, they also brought back artifacts which included a set of tusks, snake skins and animal teeth. Pictured here are the tusks and three of the largest teeth, all unidentified. At MARBL, we are librarians, archivists and historians, not biologists—so if you have any ideas or tips about the identification of these items, please let us know!