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Knox College Library
Special Collections and Archives
371 S. West Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Netsuke Ivory Carvings
Netsuke were an essential item of Japanese dress during the Tokugawa Period (1615-1856). The small decorative toggle attached to the cord which held a box (an inro) in which a gentleman kept his personal necessities (money, tobacco, writing implements). Japanese men would have several netsuke (pronounced NET-ski) just as men today have several ties. Sometimes made from wood, most often, netsuke were carved in ivory. Rarely larger than two inches, the pieces were both functional accessories and extraordinary sculptures. The fine little works of art celebrated the Japanese view of daily life, religion and humor. The collection at Knox College was the gift of an anonymous donor.
Outside the Shadow of Rembrandt
The exhibition and catalogue Outside the Shadow of Rembrandt: Selected 17th Century Prints from the Famulener and Wilson Collections grew out of research that was conducted during winter term 2001 by Knox College students in the course Baroque Art and Architecture. The prints were displayed May through August 2001 in Seymour Library, where the collections are housed.
The Art of the Book: Personal and Institutional Bookplates
The bookplates found inside the front covers of tens of thousands of books in Knox's Seymour Library are an invaluable history of both the book collectors who have given their personal libraries to Knox College and of benefactors who have established endowments either to purchase books on particular subjects or to honor the memory of someone near to them.
Blacks in Galesburg
The history of Galesburg, Illinois, which begins in 1837, includes the history of black Americans. The town was settled by earnest abolitionists from the "burned-over district" in New York state. Anti-slavery sentiment was an important part of the philosophy of Knox College, around which the town was founded. And indeed the year after the settlers arrived, the first anti-slavery society in the state was formed here.
54th Massachusetts Infantry and Galesburg, Illinois
"The 54th Regiment Massachusettes Volunteer Infantry was the first military unit composed of men of African descent to be raised in Massachusetts. The first members assembled in February 1863. The unit soon included members from Massachusetts and from other states. Thirty men from Illinois joined the Regimant, including twelve Galesburg men in Company H."
--H. R. Muelder A Hero Home From the War...
From 1861-1890 the nation's railroads grew more rapidly than at any other time. The men who ran the railroads at this time were cognizant of their roles in the expansion of the American nation and the American economy even as it was being played out. In 1870 agents selling railroad bonds said of Illinois that, "Rail-roads have made the State, and the State, with her increased population and productions, is now making a hand-some profit for her rail-roads." This collection contains documents, maps, photographs and railroad ephemera. Many of the photographs of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trains were taken by Allen A. Green, Knox College class of 1903.
Ever since Lombard College closed its doors in 1930, Knox has been the center of Lombard College alumni activities, and the Special Collections and Archives holds many items related to the history of Lombard College. In addition to this small online exhibit, please view the Lombard College manuscript inventory and the pages on Lombard: Honoring Lombard: A Look Back at Galesburg's Second Prairie College.