Beinecke Epiphanies

Audrey Ruan and I researched at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library over Spring Break. Here are some of our epiphanies. First, Audrey’s discovery, published in the British Journal of Medicine’s Medical Humanities. Here is a photo of the six-story, glass-enclosed tower of more than 180,000 rare books, which towers over the reading room where we worked:

photo by Sarah Higinbotham, March 9, 2020

Audrey — as a pre-med and English double major — was working on the intersections of poetry, pediatrics, and medicine. My agenda was the Beinecke’s Taussig Collection for my book on early modern legal violence. We studied our different materials at parallel desks until Audrey started on William Carlos Williams’ papers, when I abandoned 16th-c secretary hand for Williams’ original prescription pads, on which he sketched out a theory of poetry. Here is Audrey’s transcription. 

Audrey and I bonded over Beowulf, Elizabeth 1, and Philip Sidney in 2018