‘What’s the Most Unusual Item in Your Special Collections?’, from the Chronicle

I’m particularly fond of the pasta poetry:

The University of Chicago has, among other odd items, a limited-edition book of poetry printed on a raw pasta noodle — “alas, becoming more brittle by the year,” writes Alice Schreyer, director of special collections.

Wilson Library runs Treasure Tours once a month. I’ve gone on 2 of these tours now, since they’re different every time; I wish I had the time to go on every one. The oddest item on display when I went on the last tour was a Napolean death mask. It’s not an original, it’s a 2nd-generation cast. And it’s slightly broken; someone, at some point in time, dropped it & chipped poor Napolean’s upper lip, giving him a slightly Hitler-ian look. And wow, Napolean had a schnoz, let me tell you. The portraits you see of him never really highlight that particular feature.

Napolean death mask