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Highlights from the Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection

Rare Book Reading Room and Gallery

An exhibit of rare, seminal titles collected by Mrs. Bliss in the field of garden history and botanical illustrations, as well as important recent acquisitions. Volumes on display in the Rare Book Gallery include the Hortus sanitatus, or “Garden of Health,” the oldest printed book in the Rare Book Collection, Joan Blaeu’s “Town Book of Italy,” and Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’s Paintings of flowers, butterflies, and insects.

Some of the literary first editions, manuscripts, and autographs from Mrs. Bliss’s collection are in the Rare Book Reading Room exhibit cases. Examples include a first edition of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, an autographed copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and a letter from Robert Browning to Edward Moxon, discussing the upcoming publication of a book of Browning’s poems.

Please note, the reading room is open to the public during the weekend only.

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