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It was the working collection of Ohio zoologist and aquaculture pioneer Rendell Rhoades.
Rhoades collected books that made any reference to crayfish, and the geographic focus of the collection is not restricted to Louisiana.
To learn more and explore recent acquisitions, see the Lib Guide to Rare Books.
In 1971, John Stauffer Mc Ilhenny donated to LSU the natural history portion of the library of his uncle, Edward Avery Mc Ilhenny, member of the prominent Louisiana family which since 1868 has produced the world-famous Tabasco hot pepper sauce.
This exhaustive accumulation of scientific literature, spanning four centuries, relates to the taxonomy and culture of the crayfish (the scientific, as opposed to culinary, spelling of crawfish).Among other notable works in the collection are a 1610 copy of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Lord Kingsborough's , an illustrated chronicle of the antiquities and natural history of Egypt produced by French scholars accompanying Napoleon’s expedition to the Middle East, is another one of the Rare Book Collection’s most important items.Also available are high-quality reproductions of more than 125 manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.The William Morton Bowlus Collection includes more than 7,000 comic books, many from the “Silver Age” (late 1950s and 1960s), and related materials.Bowlus, an LSU alumnus, began collecting comic books in grade school and continued until his untimely death in his late 20’s.