Lazy Like a Fox

Here's an item that's probably best described as a "multimedia" production:


In this deed Henrietta Hawkins grants ownership of some Brookhaven, NY real estate to Hannah Barleau. Ephemeral "job printing" such as forms like this one were the bread and butter of many publishers, and Avery Herrick presumably printed many copies of this standard deed. The document itself is cleverly-designed to fit any situation (printing "ha" so that the document can accommodate the singular "has" and the plural "have," for instance), and mixes printing and manuscript modifications.

But this case takes that familiar situation to another level: not just printing and manuscript, but also recycled news print. Why go to all the trouble of writing out a description of the property, Henrietta must have thought, when I can just paste in the one I already had printed in the newspaper?

This item can be found in a scrapbook in our Nicholson Whaling Collection (Subgroup 25, Scrapbook 1).

Find this post and more like it at the Notes for Bibliophiles blog.

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Jordan Goffin

Special Collections Librarian Jordan Goffin has been mining the wonders in the Library’s Special Collections since early 2011. If you’d like to stop in and spend some time with the historic and noteworthy books, manuscripts and ephemera at PPL, contact him by email at or by phone at 401.455.8021. Also, visit the Notes for Bibliophiles blog ( to read more about the exciting materials in Special Collections and to keep up with events and announcements.


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