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UC Davis English Professor Frances Dolan

New faculty book features images from Archives and Special Collections

Cover of Digging the Past

Congratulations to Professor Frances Dolan on her latest book, Digging the Past: How and Why to Imagine Seventeenth-Century Agriculture, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Professor Dolan completed a good deal of research for this work using rare books held in the UC Davis Library’s Archives and Special Collections.

Her book also features several images drawn from three of those 17th-century volumes. Her cover image is reproduced from Walter Blith’s The English Improver Improved (1652) and the frontispiece is from John Worlridge’s Systema Agriculturæ (1668). John Gerard’s The Herball, or General Historie of Plantes (1636) was the source for further images.

You can find both the print and electronic version of Professor Dolan’s book in the library catalog.

Plus, for a real behind-the-scenes look, read Professor Dolan’s blog post on how the original image from our Archives and Special Collections was transformed into the cover image for her book.     

the title page of Walter Blith’s "The English Improver Improved"
The original image from which Dolan’s book cover was derived is the title page of Walter Blith’s “The English Improver Improved” (1652). (UC Davis Library Archives and Special Collections)


Archives and Special Collections


Patron Published Project Rare Books